Kevin O’Leary: Bitcoin a ‘Scam’ & ‘Total BS’
O’Leary, also known as “Mr. Wonderful,” tried to debate bitcoin enthusiast Anthony “Pomp” Pompliano on CNBC’s SquawkBox Tuesday. The co-founder and partner at Morgan Creek Digital crushed him like a cockroach, which is precisely what O’Leary calls entrepreneurial hopefuls’ ideas when he viciously shoots them down.
In bashing bitcoin, O’Leary dug deep into his bag of insults, lambasting it as a “digital game,” a “scam,” and “total BS.”
He said to Pompliano:
“Where is the value in owning bitcoin as an asset class? Tell me why this, which is basically a digital game, has any intrinsic value. And where is the long-term value? Just this idea that they’re going to cut the number of units in half is just a scam. That’s just total BS.”
Pompliano tried to bring O’Leary up to speed, but the reality television star kept interrupting him, which could explain his ignorance on the space.
When Pompliano said that bitcoin is a disruptive technology, Mr. Wonderful chirped there is “an odor of BS” about that explanation, too.
An incredibly patient Pompliano continued:
“Everything that’s new seems different right in the beginning. And I think what you have to realize is with bitcoin specifically, money is a belief system. So, for the US dollar, the only reason you and I use it is because we believe it has value. So I give you a dollar, and you give me a good or service in exchange.”
“Bitcoin has value because the two people who exchange it believe it has value. And what we’re seeing is the volume, look at people using it.”
Great job Pomp. You made sense. O’Leary sounded old and out of touch with what’s coming. Keep up the great work. @APompliano
— David (@dmittler123) May 14, 2019
That “Wallet Thing” Called Coinbase
The forever self-congratulatory Kevin O’Leary deferred to himself with another shallow spiel. He said that he taught a class at Harvard 18 months ago, and was “challenged” by the students to give crypto a try.
“I put a hundred dollars into something called Coinbase, which is a wallet thing. I bought all the crypto crap. I put a hundred dollars in. It’s now worth $30. That’s a 70 percent loss on my crypto crap. I bought them all, and I think that really sucks. People should understand that today it’s the hot digital [token] is bitcoin, and tomorrow could be whatever, right?”
Had his students convinced him to put $100 into that “crypto crap” in Dec. 2016, and he sold a year later, he’d have been sitting on over $3k. It’s simply timing.
— Patrick (@Patrick_LTC) May 14, 2019
Not tangling with that Coinbase nonsense, Pompliano said the reason bitcoin is getting so much attention relates to it:
- being the best performing asset over the last decade
- drastically outperforming the S&P 500, as well as other financial assets
- attracting institutions because it is a better store of value.
No matter, O’Leary said:
“If it is a real currency, why can’t I pay my taxes with it?”
That was another “duh!” moment because people can do just that in Ohio, which allows taxpayers to pay with bitcoin.
Can’t Buy $10 Million of Land in Switzerland With Crypto!
In a wild hypothetical about buying land in Switzerland, O’Leary sought to prove that bitcoin was not a “real currency.” He called it “useless because you can’t get in and out of it in large amounts.”
“Let’s say you want to buy a piece of real estate for $10 million in Switzerland and they don’t want to use the traditional transfer system. They want to guarantee that the value comes back to U.S. currency attained. You have to somehow hedge the risk of bitcoin. That means it’s not a real currency. That means the receiver is not willing to take the risk of the volatility it has. It’s worthless.”
I truly don’t know how @APompliano remains so cool, calm and collected when asked so many ignorant questions.
— RevolutionaryWill (@JuliaJubes123) May 14, 2019
Pompliano’s response was sublime: “Everyone eventually comes around. Just takes time!”