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Bitcoin could be worth 40 times its current value one day, Cameron Winklevoss — one half of the famous twins — told CNBC on Wednesday.
The cryptocurrency had a market capitalization or value of $135 billion on Wednesday, according to CoinDesk data, after the price recovered following a violent sell-off. Forty times this would be over $5 trillion.
Cameron Winklevoss made the call after comparing bitcoin to gold during a CNBC-hosted chat at the Milken Institute's MENA Summit.
"Taking bitcoin in isolation … we believe bitcoin disrupts gold. We think it's a better gold if you look at the properties of money. And what makes gold gold? Scarcity. Bitcoin is actually fixed in supply so it's better than scarce … it's more portable, its fungible, it's more durable. Its sort of equals a better gold across the board," Winklevoss told CNBC.
"So if you look at a $100 billion market cap today, now last week it might have been more like 200, so it's actually a buying opportunity, we think that there's a potential appreciation of 30 to 40 times because you look at the gold market today, it's a $7 trillion market. And so a lot of people are starting to see that, they recognize the store of value properties. So we think regardless of the price moves in the last few weeks, it's still a very underappreciated asset."
Even at the lower $100 billion market cap, a 40 times price appreciation would peg bitcoin's value at $4 trillion. Winklevoss did not give a time period but throughout the interview, mentioned he and his brother Tyler were taking a 10-to-20-year view.
The Winklevoss twins famously settled a dispute with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in 2008 over the claim that he stole the idea for the social network from them. They are now heavily involved in the cryptoworld and were credited with becoming the first bitcoin billionaires.
Bitcoin has undergone a wild ride in terms of price in the past few days, with many pouring cold water over the digital coin space. J.P. Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon famously called bitcoin a "fraud", investing legend Warren Buffett said cryptocurrencies would "come to a bad ending," while Goldman Sachs published a note earlier this week suggesting that most digital coins would crash to zero.
Tyler Winklevoss hit back at critics.
"You know the criticisms are just a failure of the imagination," Tyler Winklevoss said.
"Cryptocurrencies aren't really important for human-to-human transactions ... but when machines-to-machines trade economic value, they are going to plug into protocols like bitcoin and ethereum. They are not going to open bank accounts at J.P. Morgan ... those were invented by bankers before the internet existed. Trying to use them as payments or money on the internet is a square peg in a round hole at best."
The other Winklevoss twin described a world in which driverless cars may pay other cars, or large number of devices will be making micro-payments, in which case digital currencies will be very useful.