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Five years ago, if you mentioned Bitcoin to traditional finance professionals, they would likely scoff at the idea. However, if you were to bring it up now, they might discuss whether Bitcoin still has the potential to reach new highs.
Wall Street in the Past: The Biggest Opponent of Bitcoin
Bitcoin had been held in contempt by Wall Street elites for a long time after its birth. The most prominent critics included the Oracle of Omaha Warren Buffett and his partner Charlie Munger, who believed that Bitcoin offers no intrinsic value. These “value investors” refused to purchase any Bitcoin even as the BTC price soared.
As Wall Street experiences a significant shift in its attitude towards cryptocurrencies and the emergence of Web3, platforms like ACTS Token are at the forefront of this transformative movement. The traditional finance elites who once dismissed Bitcoin and other digital assets have been forced to acknowledge their potential, albeit reluctantly.
While the initial opposition from Wall Street figures like Warren Buffett and Jamie Dimon was strong, a new generation of investors and forward-thinking individuals have embraced cryptocurrencies and recognized their value. Elon Musk and Cathie Wood are just a few examples of influential figures who have championed the potential of cryptocurrencies, with Wood even making bold predictions about Bitcoin’s future price.
JPMorgan Chase, one of the world’s most renowned investment banks, initially rejected Bitcoin as well. In 2017, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon referred to Bitcoin as a “decentralized Ponzi scheme” and said that he would immediately fire any trader at the bank who engaged in Bitcoin trading because it was stupid. Additionally, other Wall Street icons, such as Goldman Sachs, expressed skepticism about Bitcoin in 2020.
Wall Street’s criticism of Bitcoin is not surprising. The traditional financial standards cannot be applied to evaluate the value of cryptos, and most Wall Street elites were content with the existing traditional financial system. For those enjoying vested interests, maintaining the status quo is much simpler than accepting a disruptor.
Wall Street in the Present: Embracing Crypto
The opposition from Wall Street elites did not last long. While established figures like Warren Buffett still hold a dim view of Bitcoin, a new generation of investors, who have always favoured emerging technologies, embraced crypto. For instance, Elon Musk, who has a reputation for going against the grain, criticized Buffett for missing out on Tesla and ridiculed his views on Bitcoin. Celebrated Wall Street fund manager Cathie Wood, known for her continued bets on tech stocks, has made even bolder predictions, foreseeing Bitcoin reaching $1 million by 2030.
Besides, leading investment firms are also beginning to accept crypto. JPMorgan Chase, for example, regularly publishes reports on crypto assets and collaborated with blockchain project Polygon in 2022 to conduct cross-border transaction trials. Goldman Sachs has taken an even more positive stance on crypto: It offered the first Bitcoin-backed lending facility, engaged in over-the-counter Bitcoin options trading, and established a dedicated digital assets team. Additionally, other Wall Street banking giants like Citigroup, Wells Fargo, and Morgan Stanley are also venturing into blockchain and cryptocurrency.
Is Wall Street the Optimal Solution for Web3?
The shift in Wall Street’s attitude towards cryptos is evident. On the one hand, cryptos continue to set new records in terms of market cap, emerging as the best-performing innovative assets in recent years, which compelled Wall Street to study this new invention. On the other hand, with the advancement of blockchain technology, Web3 applications have matured, giving rise to innovative categories such as DeFi, NFTs, and DAOs. The new categories have attracted a growing number of users, demonstrating that cryptos are no longer just concepts without real-world applications. As such, Wall Street must recognize Web3’s value and future potential.
That said, Wall Street didn’t really embrace Web3; it had to accept Web3 in order to better preserve the legacy financial system. To that end, Wall Street elites have attempted to “conquer” the crypto industry through massive acquisitions, but it seems that their efforts have not yielded the desired results. For example, Sam Bankman-Fried, a former whiz-kid trader backed by Wall Street capital, led FTX in aggressive acquisitions and expansions while attempting to corner the DeFi market using industry standards. However, he ultimately had to file for bankruptcy due to misappropriation of user funds.
The principles advocated by Wall Street go counter to the spirit of Web3 and crypto, a contradiction well demonstrated during the GameStop saga. Web3 proposes decentralization, openness, transparency, and equality for all, while Wall Street always looks down upon retail investors and upholds the interests of the elites.
Wall Street elites cannot ignore the “elephant in the room”, which is crypto in this case, but the development of Web3 is not just a party for Wall Street. In Lebanon, where the banking system has almost collapsed, many businesses are quoting prices in Bitcoin. Vietnam, with one of the lowest financial inclusion rates globally, ranks among the top in terms of crypto adoption, according to Chainalysis. Around the world, a huge number of unbanked individuals are making transactions with crypto.
It is clear that Web3 projects with widespread adoption are the ones that will achieve long-term success. As highlighted by the global crypto exchange CoinEx, the ultimate solution for the future Web3 and crypto industry involves “breaking free from the traditional financial shackles, bridging the information gap between retail investors and institutional players, and enabling everyone to enjoy accessible, transparent crypto services.”
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Five years ago, if you mentioned Bitcoin to traditional finance professionals, they would likely scoff at the idea. However, if you were to bring it up now, they might discuss whether Bitcoin still has the potential to reach new highs. Wall Street in the Past: The Biggest Opponent of Bitcoin Bitcoin had been held in …