Barry Silbert Explains Why Central Bank Digital Currencies Boost Bitcoin
On Feb. 12, Barry Silbert, the founder and CEO of Digital Currency Group (DCG) and Grayscale Investments, spoke about his positive perspective on Bitcoin in a Grayscale investor call. He covered different issues related to digital assets, such as the role of Bitcoin in the transfer of wealth across generations, decentralized finance, stablecoins and central bank digital currencies (CBDCs).
CBDCs are digital currencies that a federal regulator controls and issues. Unlike cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, CBDCs represent fiat money in the digital form. So far, no global jurisdiction has launched a CBDC, but many governments have been exploring and developing such projects. While China is reportedly getting ready to test its CBDC soon, at least 10% of central banks are expected to issue a CBDC for the general public in the near future.
He claims to have acquired his first Bitcoin in 2012, three years after the creation of the first block on the Bitcoin blockchain. Silbert stated that by developing the infrastructure for institutional interest, central banks that make their own digital currencies might be strengthening Bitcoin. He thinks that the same infrastructure that is used by the widespread adoption of CBDCs could benefit Bitcoin and other non-central bank cryptocurrencies: “So at one point of the future we might have 80 different CBDCs. And if that happens, it would trigger a tremendous amount of investment in operators of financial systems where essentially every financial institution would then have to be able to safely store and transact CBDCs and, guess what, if they actually build that infrastructure, that same infrastructure could be used for non-central bank digital currencies like Bitcoin.” He also expressed confidence that central banks will require users to use and engage with the existing financial systems and will not limit the supply of the digital currency. “Central banks love to print money,” Silbert said, highlighting Bitcoin’s limited supply feature.
As he leads two major companies that are involved in various aspects of digital assets, Silbert is one of the most influential figures in the crypto industry. With over $40 billion in assets under management as of Feb. 12, Grayscale Investments is the world’s largest digital asset manager. Various crypto-related projects, such as Foundry, Genesis Trading and CoinDesk, are invested in by Digital Currency Group, which is a venture capital firm.
For a long time, Silbert has been vocal about his bullish views on BTC and other cryptocurrencies. He has also been critical of some projects, such as Ripple (XRP), which he considers to be centralized and not a true cryptocurrency. He has also forecasted that most altcoins will go bankrupt in the long term, while Bitcoin will continue to dominate the market.
To sum up, Barry Silbert is a prominent figure in the cryptocurrency industry who thinks that central bank digital currencies are beneficial for Bitcoin. He contends that CBDCs will create the infrastructure for institutional interest in non-central bank cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. He also emphasizes that Bitcoin has a limited supply feature that makes it superior to fiat money. He leads two major companies that are involved in various aspects of digital assets: Grayscale Investments and Digital Currency Group.
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