Bitcoin, trapped in a painful bear market for over a year, has lost some 80% of its value since it hit an all-time high of almost $20,000 in December 2017—leaving many investors concerned the bitcoin price may never recover.
While the bitcoin price has struggled, bitcoin supporters have remained hopeful it will continue to grow, with the likes of Twitter’s Jack Dorsey and Tesla’s Elon Musk heaping praise on bitcoin and its underlying technology.
Now, Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak has said, despite the heavy bitcoin sell-off, he still experiments with bitcoin and believes there has been “massive value creation” since the bitcoin bubble burst.
“We’ve seen massive value destruction but we’ve seen massive value creation. I had a lot of bitcoin, but never as an investor. I only had bitcoin to experiment with … and I still experiment with it on new bitcoin devices,” Wozniak said, who was speaking to Bloomberg.
Some $400 billion in value has been wiped from the cryptocurrency market over the past 12 months as adoption stalls and banks put closely-watched plans to wade into bitcoin and cryptocurrencies on hold.
Bitcoin’s epic 2017 bull run was largely put down to expectations institutional investment and big bank support for bitcoin would soon arrive. As 2018 dragged on and that investment failed to appear many investors and traders got cold feet, bailing out of their bitcoin and cryptocurrency positions.
This caused a bitter so-called crypto winter that has lead to many bitcoin, cryptocurrency and blockchain startups slashing jobs or shutting down already and a further turn for the worse could spell disaster for the burgeoning bitcoin sector.
Ethereum cofounder and ethereum-based development studio ConsenSys chief executive Joseph Lubin (who has predicted blockchain technology will cause a radical overhaul of society) announced plans to restructure ConsenSys to protect it against the recent downturn late last year.
“I don’t want to be one of those people constantly checking the price,” Wozniak said, adding he has a lot of respect for bitcoin believer and Twitter founder Jack Dorsey.
Dorsey, who moonlights as the CEO of payments processor Square and has some experience of bitcoin through its Cash App, has said he expects developments like bitcoin’s lightning network, designed to speed up and reduce the cost of small bitcoin payments, to drive adoption.
Earlier this month Dorsey said he thought bitcoin will “probably” become the internet’s “native currency.”
Meanwhile, Elon Musk, who last year got everyone fired up that he might be getting into bitcoin, last week called bitcoin’s structure “quite brilliant”, adding “it bypasses currency controls … Paper money is going away. And crypto is a far better way to transfer values than a piece of paper, that’s for sure.”
Last year Wozniak warned the bitcoin and cryptocurrency faithful they need to remember payments is about people—and not get carried away with the bitcoin price.
“Steve Jobs wasn’t a computer person, but he was a people person,” Wozniak (who is often fondly referred to as Woz) said.
Many in the bitcoin and cryptocurrency industry complain there is too much focus on the price of bitcoin and not enough on the user experience—which remains too technical to be used easily by most people.
Jobs, with user-friendly tech gadgets like the iPhone, made technology more accessible to people who were previously not interested in it.