Bitcoin Could Go Down Like VHS Competitor Betamax, Says Tech Investor

  • Prominent tech investor Glenn Hutchins argued bitcoin could lose its dominance to another cryptocurrency, like Betamax lost to VHS.
  • Currently, bitcoin is still the dominant cryptocurrency with 36.5 percent of the ecosystem’s market share.

Glenn Hutchins, one of the biggest tech investors to venture into the cryptocurrency world, has recently argued bitcoin, the flagship cryptocurrency, could be pushed out by competitors in the future, much like video cassette tape format Betamax lost to rival VHS.

Speaking at CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” the tech venture capitalist stated that “bitcoin could turn out to be Betamax,” referring to Sony’s home entertainment technology Betamax, which battled JVC’s VHS over which device would be used to record and watch videos and movies. VHS eventually won the battle, with Sony officially ending Betamax shipments in 2015.

Hutchins, a director at AT&T and an investor in various cryptocurrency startups - including Abra, Circle, and Ripple - claimed he believes it’s likely one cryptocurrency will eventually prevail, just like VHS. The winner, he said, could be an altcoin like Ripple’s XRP, litecoin, or ethereum.

Hutchins was quoted as saying:

"The token of exchange at the heart of the math solution that leads the technology will be there. Different tokens will be used for different applications."

Glenn Hutchins

The tech investor isn’t the only one seeing one cryptocurrency rise above others. Former Goldman Sachs President Gary Cohn, as covered, recently predicted a global cryptocurrency, but asserted it won’t be bitcoin. This global cryptocurrency, he claimed, won’t be “based on mining costs and costs of electricity and things like that.”

Similarly, Hutchins has in the past claimed bitcoin suffers from several “serious issues,” referring to how “expensive and energy-intensive it is to mine.” To him, bitcoin isn’t digital gold, but a utilitarian metal. He stated:

"I think it's more like copper, like an industrial metal that's used for a purpose to drive an outcome. There will be a token that's used just like there's an industrial metal that's used for wiring."

Glenn Hutchins

At press time, bitcoin is still the dominant cryptocurrency, as it has 36.5 percent of the ecosystem’s market share. Ethereum, the next biggest cryptocurrency, is at 17.3 percent, while Ripple’s XRP is at 7.2 percent.