It’s always nice to see bitcoin turn people into believers, especially those who at one point, seriously doubted the currency and felt nothing but animosity towards it. This isn’t necessarily the case for billionaire investor Howard Marks, but he didn’t always feel extreme positivity towards the world’s number one digital currency by market cap.
Howard Marks: BTC Is Better Than an “Emerging Market Currency”
Now, looking at the currency and seeing how far it’s come, Marks can confidently say he’s got a better attitude towards the asset, and he recently commented that it’s far better than an “emerging market currency.”
In an interview, Marks said that when bitcoin first began to come to fruition, he didn’t think much of it. He commented that it had no intrinsic value, and that he never thought it could ever be used as a true currency. However, his thoughts have since changed. He says:
There are a lot of things that people want and value highly which have no intrinsic value.
Some of the examples he uses in his discussion include bars of gold, paintings and diamonds. He says that bitcoin falls into the same category as these items, though what intrigues him about bitcoin is that transactions can virtually occur anytime in any place regardless of whether the institutions in charge of it are open or closed.
This is one of the major issues with banks and standard fiat currencies. The fact is that many traditional institutions operate within certain business hours, and if you cannot engage in a transaction during those hours, the parties involved must wait for the next available window.
With BTC, things don’t operate this way. You can send money at 3am your time and still expect to see the transaction occur within a specific period regardless of an exchange’s normal business hours.
In addition, he was confident in the anonymity bitcoin offers its users. He says it’s a great way to keep one’s finances quiet, mentioning:
Nobody knows about your holdings but you. The government can’t know. Nobody can steal it from you. It’s better than an emerging market currency.
Being Skeptical Wasn’t the Best Approach
Marks has made a living out of investing in “distressed assets,” and he says that he’s worked with a lot of people over the years who have invested in bitcoin. At first, this situation made him nervous, but seeing them all invest in a currency that at one point was worth only about $5,000 per unit and has now jumped to ten times that amount has caused him to change his ideas. He says:
My initial response was a knee-jerk reaction without information, and that’s not a good way to behave. Now, I’ve learned how much I don’t know… While the story is far from fully written, the least I can say is that my skeptical view has not borne out to date.