- Well known Bitcoin bears are finally educating themselves on the cryptocurrency, with the result that they are finally appreciating it
- Jordan Belfort and Howard Marks previously dismissed Bitcoin, but last week both reversed their opinions
- The pair admitted to actually learning about the cryptocurrency, which led to their change of heart
Bitcoin will always have its detractors, but some are more famous than others. For every Elon Musk there is a Bill Gates, for every Michael Saylor a Warren Buffett. However, recent weeks have seen a change in mindset from two long-established Bitcoin bears in a sign that the digital world may finally be winning over the analogue stick in the muds. ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ Jordan Belfort and Howard Marks, co-founder and co-chairman of Oaktree Capital Management, have both been avowed anti-Bitcoiners up to this point, but it seems that the pair have finally had a change of heart as Bitcoin has seen rapid institutional adoption and a price rise to $60,000.
Belfort Praises Bitcoin’s “Elegant Design”
Belfort spent the best part of three and a half years publicly railing against Bitcoin, warning people to variously “get out” of it and that it is a “mirror image” of the scam that ended with him being imprisoned in 2009. In February 2018 he claimed that it was a “virtual certainty this (Bitcoin) ends up at zero or close to it”. However, after enduring the 2018-2020 crypto winter, Bitcoin has subverted Belfort’s claims and has rebounded strongly, finding a new narrative among institutional investors as a store of value.
Belfort has now changed his tune, telling Fortune magazine last week that he was wrong about Bitcoin, hailing the “much bigger base of buyers” that now exists and that its fixed supply provides an advantage over stocks, adding that it can hit $100,000 in the short term. Belfort also praised its “elegant design”, marking a stunning u-turn in outlook that has been studiously ignored by the same mainstream media that were all too eager to publish his negative views in the past.
Marks Admits Lack of Education Was Behind Dismissal
Around the same time as Belfort’s reversal in opinion was being published, Marks was telling CNBC that he had been “‘knee-jerk’ skeptical” on Bitcoin and that he didn’t understand the power of Bitcoin’s supply and demand design. Like many, Marks was dismissive of Bitcoin because of its perceived lack of intrinsic value, but noted that over time he has come to realize that “the same can be said of the dollar and many, many other things that have value like paintings and diamonds.”
Marks’ comments on his Bitcoin Road to Damascus moment should also act as a lesson to others who have dismissed Bitcoin without researching it:
…now I’ve learned how much I don’t know, so you shouldn’t talk about things you don’t know about. My initial response was a knee-jerk reaction without information and that’s not a good way to behave.
Start of a Mass Conversion?
It is refreshing to see long term Bitcoin haters finally educating themselves enough to have an informed opinion, which is all we can really ask. If they don’t like it after that then fine, but as Belfort and Marks both admitted last week, they didn’t understand or fully appreciate what Bitcoin was all about before they dismissed it. This is a pattern we are likely to see repeated in the coming months and years as Bitcoin further establishes itself as a viable store of value.