Central Bank Digital Currencies Are Good for Bitcoin, Barry Silbert Says
In a recent Grayscale investor call on Feb. 12, Barry Silbert, the CEO and founder of Digital Currency Group (DCG) and Grayscale Investments, shared his optimistic view on Bitcoin. He discussed various topics related to digital assets, such as Bitcoin’s role in the generational shift of wealth, stablecoins, decentralized finance and central bank digital currencies (CBDCs).
CBDCs are virtual currencies that are issued and controlled by a federal regulator. Unlike cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, CBDCs represent fiat money in the digital form. No CBDC has been launched by any global jurisdiction yet, but such projects have been developed and explored by many governments. 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.
Silbert said that central banks that create their own digital currencies could be empowering Bitcoin by building the infrastructure for institutional interest. He claims to have purchased his first Bitcoin in 2012, three years after the first block on the Bitcoin blockchain was created. He suggests that Bitcoin and other non-central bank cryptocurrencies could gain from the same infrastructure that is used by the widespread adoption of CBDCs: “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 stated that he was sure that central banks will require users to use and engage with the existing financial systems and will not restrict the supply of the digital currency. “Central banks love to print money,” Silbert noted, pointing out Bitcoin’s limited supply feature.
Silbert is one of the most influential figures in the cryptocurrency industry, since he leads two major companies that are involved in various aspects of digital assets. 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.
Silbert has been vocal about his bullish views on Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies for a long time. He has also been critical of some projects, such as Ripple (XRP), which he thinks are centralized and not real cryptocurrencies. He has also projected that most altcoins will go bankrupt in the long run, 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.