Venture capitalist Tim Draper told CNBC on Friday that bitcoin is good for humanity and that federal regulators should give it room to flourish.
Cryptocurrencies have faced increased criticism from Washington, D.C., after Facebook announced that it and dozens of other companies are developing a new cryptocurrency called Libra.
However, Draper said on “Squawk Alley ” that he believes the larger spotlight is good for bitcoin overall.
“It’s bringing it to light. It’s good to have people talk about it because the more they talk about it, the more they realize how important bitcoin is going to be for the planet, for all of us,” Draper said.
The veteran tech investor cited the potential for decreased transaction costs and ease of international payments as ways that cryptocurrencies would benefit humanity.
“This is one of the best things that’s ever happened to us,” Draper said.
Draper — one of the first investors in failed blood-testing start-up Theranos and a defender of its embattled founder, Elizabeth Holmes — said regulators are making a mistake by preemptively regulating cryptocurrencies.
David Marcus, the Facebook executive in charge of the company’s Libra efforts, testified in front of Congress for two days this week and faced criticism from both sides of the aisle.
Draper said the federal government should back off and allow cryptocurrencies to grow or it risks losing the innovation to other countries.
“Facebook’s just announced Libra. They haven’t even been able to ship it yet, and the regulators are all over them,” Draper said. “Let them ship the thing. Let’s see how it happens. Let’s let things roll, and then if there’s a problem, then, great, now it’s time for regulators to step in.”
The price of bitcoin has swung considerably several times in recent weeks with the increased focus on cryptocurrencies due to the Libra proposal. The bitcoin price has been both above $13,000 and below $10,000 within the last month.
Draper is a longtime bitcoin bull, predicting last year that the price would reach $250,000 in 2022.
Crytpocurrencies have received heavy interest from mainstream companies. In addition to the Libra project, several financial firms, including J.P. Morgan, are working on their own crypto projects.
Despite the efforts from corporate giants, Draper still believes bitcoin will be the dominant cryptocurrency.
“All these other cryptos are bridges to where we have a bitcoin environment, and the governments are all trying to figure it out. It turns out, our government has a lot of heavy regulators and they’re all trying to get involved here,” Draper said