An early bitcoin investor said Monday the digital currency can run higher, but the hype has far outpaced its usability.
"I think in the short run it can run up a lot more," Roger Ver, CEO of Bitcoin.com, said Monday on CNBC's "Fast Money." But "it's no longer a cryptocurrency. It's just a game of hot potato at this point, and games of hot potatoes can go on for a long time, and lots of people can pump a lot of money into it and it might go on for even decades. But as far as its [being] used as money, the developers behind that have destroyed that at this point."
"I'm really, really concerned about the future of bitcoin," he said.
Nicknamed "Bitcoin Jesus," Ver was an early proponent of bitcoin and bought $25,000 worth in 2011 that is now worth $425 million. However, in the debate over how to improve bitcoin's transaction speeds and costs this summer, Ver sided with a minority of developers behind an offshoot called "bitcoin cash."
"The fact of the matter is, the utility of bitcoin has been damaged," Ver said. "If you feel like you missed out on bitcoin back in 2011, take a look at bitcoin cash, give it a use. I think you'll be really, really impressed with the usefulness."
On Sunday, the median transaction fee for bitcoin was $12.42 versus 1.8 cents for bitcoin cash, according to BitInfoCharts.
Bitcoin cash launched in August and was trading more than 7.5 percent higher Monday at $1,425, according to CoinMarketCap. The original bitcoin, which some call "bitcoin core," traded 12.7 percent higher, near $16,950, according to CoinDesk's bitcoin price index. In the last several months, sharp gains or losses in bitcoin have corresponded with losses and gains in bitcoin cash.
Bitcoin investors at the time of the split should have received equal amounts of bitcoin cash. Coinbase, the leading platform in the U.S. for buying and selling bitcoin, plans to add support for bitcoin cash by Jan 1. Ver said Monday his company was nearing 1 million bitcoin cash "wallets."
The bitcoin futures launched on Cboe on Sunday track the original bitcoin. The new futures, which expire in January, soared nearly 20 percent in their debut to $18,545.