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Not only does venture capitalist Tim Draper think bitcoin is here to stay, he says it could be bigger than the internet.
When asked during a debate how the digital currency compared to his early investments in Tesla, Hotmail and Skype, Draper said bitcoin will be "bigger than all of those combined."
"This is bigger than the internet. It's bigger than the Iron Age, the Renaissance. It's bigger than the Industrial Revolution," Draper said at Intelligence Squared U.S. debate presented in partnership with Manhattan Institute's Adam Smith Society on Saturday. "This affects the entire world and it's going to be affected in a faster and more prevalent way than you ever imagined."
Draper, founder of leading venture capital firms Draper Associates and DFJ, reiterated his bullish call for bitcoin to hit $250,000 within four years and elaborated on use cases.
"In five years you are going to try to go buy coffee with fiat currency and they are going to laugh at you because you're not using crypto," the early internet investor said. "I believe that there will be a point at which you will no longer really want any of the fiat currency."
Draper bought nearly 30,000 bitcoins in a 2014 U.S. Marshals Service auction, and told CNBC in December he was still holding all those coins. If that is still the case, Draper's holding is worth about $268 million at Monday's prices.
The opposition in Saturday's debate, Financial Times Managing Editor Gillian Tett, highlighted nefarious uses for bitcoin, its volatility and risks to investors. Draper responded that he is "more secure in my bitcoin than I am in the money that's sitting there in Wells Fargo."
Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne debated alongside Draper in favor of bitcoin, and was equally bullish on its security.
"This has been hacked at more than anything in history and has never been defeated," Byrne said. "Last I checked, banks get hacked too. And yeah, Bitcoin is used by unsavory characters. Last I checked, they used U.S. dollars too."
Byrne is in the process of reorganizing Overstock's retail business to focus on blockchain, the technology behind bitcoin.
While there are more than 1,500 cryptocurrencies in existence according to CoinMarketCap.com, Draper said bitcoin has an "enormous" lead will likely win the "long-term crypto battle" because of its market share.
Bitcoin dominated about 38 percent of the global market capitalization as of Monday. Ethereum is the next biggest, making up roughly 16 percent of global market cap, while ripple comes in third at about 8.5 percent.