Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of social media giant Reddit and early-stage venture capital firm Initialized Capital, has recently touted cryptocurrencies like bitcoin as “fuel to a potentially new internet.” He further defended cryptos as a tool that can protect people from hyperinflation.
Appearing as a guest at The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Ohanian defended bitcoin’s role as a store of value that isn’t backed by a central government. Early on in the interview, Colbert asked Ohanian why he would prefer cryptocurrencies over regular fiat currencies. He stated:
“Cryptocurrencies are a fuel for a potentially new internet. Things like bitcoin and cryptocurrency are an opportunity for us to have a store of value that is not backed by a single country.”
According to the venture capitalist, cryptocurrencies give people the ability to control their own money, and are especially valuable in countries where people have to deal economic uncertainty. This idea, he noted, may sound silly to people living in more developed nations.
Ohanian added that cryptocurrencies are also valuable because they allow us to easily transfer value across national borders, and are potentially less volatile than some fiat currencies. As covered, Venezuela’s inflation rate hit 8,900 percent this year, which helped bitcoin’s adoption reach record highs in the country.
Cryptocurrencies have historically been used to fight hyperinflation. Bitcoin, the flagship cryptocurrency, often trades at a premium in countries where monetary policies fail. Turning to bitcoin helps people ensure they don’t lose their money when fiat currencies plummet.
“We sort of take it for granted the fact that we all have bank accounts, and we move money here and there, but for so many people in the world to have actually this security of knowing that what is yours is yours, because it is now digital, could be transferred with you wherever you are going, is actually pretty empowering.”
The Reddit co-founder recently made headlines, as he predicted Bitcoin will end the year above its former all-time high, at $20,000. Ethereum, per Ohanian, will reach $15,000 by year-end.
Reddit itself is also looking into cryptocurrencies. As covered, the social media giant is set to bring back bitcoin payments, while also adding support for litecoin and ethereum.