Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, while being interviewed on Monday at the Money 20/20 Europe 2018 conference (4-6 June) in Amsterdam, explained why he still believes in Bitcoin (BTC) despite the huge drop in price since the all-time high of almost $20,000, which was reached in December 2017:
"I believe so strongly in mathematics and purity and science as defining the world... Bitcoin is mathematically defined, there's a certain quantity of Bitcoin... people who keep copies of the ledger have a way to get paid a little... And it's pure. And there's no human running it. There's no company running it. And it's just going and going and growing and growing and surviving. That to me says that [it's] something that is natural, and nature is more important than all our human conventions."
Wozniak told CNBC on 12 June 2017 that he had tried to originally buy Bitcoin for fun when it was around $70, but had failed because it was much harder to buy in those days. Eventually, he managed to buy some bitcoin at a price of around $700:
"I remember getting interested in bitcoin some time ago," Wozniak said. "It was $70 for a bitcoin, man and I went online and you had to have a special bank account at a special bank and I couldn't buy any bitcoin so I gave up. Eventually I got some of them at the $700 stage and it went down to $350. I didn't invest, I did it so I could play with bitcoin."
In particular, he wanted to see what it was like to use Bitcoin as a form of payment:
"It's not that easy to do yet, but it's getting there. I was just playing around trying out how to buy and sell stuff and I didn't care I lost a ton of money, but now I'm way up."
However, the price volatility of Bitcoin was too stressful for him, and so he decided to sell his bitcoins. Here is how he explained it to a crowd at the Nordic Business Forum in Sweden on 24 January 2018:
"When it shot up high, I said, 'I don't want to become one of those people that watches it, watches it and cares about the number.' I don't want that kind of care in my life... Part of my happiness is not to have worries, so I sold it all and just got rid of it."
Coming back to the Money 20/20 conference in Amsterdam, the CNBC interviewer then asked Wozniak if he had bought any more Bitcoin since his original purchase at $700. Wonziak replied:
"No, my point is I never invested in Bitcoin... I sold all my bitcoin except one. I kept one to experiment with now, and I have two ether, and that's it."
He was then asked what he thinks of all the altcoins entering the market:
"Yeah, we've seen hundreds of Bitcoin copies, and some are faster, and some are a little centralized, and some have other advantages. Only Bitcoin is pure digital gold, and that's the phrase that's used, and I totally buy into that. All the others tend to give up some of the aspects of Bitcoin, for example, being totally decentralized and having no central control. That is the first one they have to give up to try to have a business model. How the maths on Bitcoin was so correct that it still works!"
Wozniak was also asked about Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey's view that Bitcoin would eventually (within the next ten years) become the single global currency:
"I buy into what Jack Dorsey says, not that I necessarily believe it's going happen, but because I want it to be that way. That is so pure thinking."
When asked about his prediction for how high Bitcoin could go, he answered:
"Bitcoin, because it is regulated in its quantity, it's down to supply and demand. And as more and more people want it and demand it... there's no extra supply. It's limited. In terms of dollars, Bitcoin will go up and up over time."
When Wozniak talks about the "store of value" use case for Bitcoin -- calling it the only "pure digital gold" -- it is important to realize that he believes that this form of "digital gold" is better than real gold. Here is how he explained it on 22 October 2017 at the Money 20/20 conference in Las Vegas:
"Gold gets mined and mined and mined. Maybe there's a finite amount of gold in the world, but Bitcoin is even more mathematical and regulated and nobody can change mathematics."