David Marcus, the head of Facebook’s cryptocurrency projects, on Wednesday said that Bitcoin is digital gold, but it’s not a good currency for transactions.
“I don’t think of Bitcoin as a currency. It’s actually not a great medium of exchange because of it’s volatility,” Marcus said speaking at the New York Times DealBook Conference in New York. “I see it as digital gold.”
Marcus said Bitcoin is like gold because you can hold on to it as an investment just as people do with actual gold, but the drastic upswings and dips that Bitcoin goes through makes it a bad option for people who need a system to send remittances across borders.
That is a key market that Facebook is targeting with its Libra cryptocurrency and Calibra digital wallet. Unlike Bitcoin, libra’s value will be tied to currencies like the U.S. dollar and the Euro, which will help it remain stable.
Marcus said a key reason that Bitcoin has not been regulated out of existence is because it is not perceived to be a medium of exchange.
“It’s an investment class that’s decorrelated from the rest of the market,” Marcus said. “Why feel threatened by that?”
Marcus has been the face of Facebook’s libra cryptocurrency and Calibra digital wallet since the company announced the two projects in June. Since then, he has made multiple public appearances, including a hearing before the U.S. Senate, in an effort to spur support for Facebook’s cryptocurrency endeavors.
“People don’t use a unit like digital currency of Bitcoin to pay for things just because it’s so volatile,” Marcus said. “It serves a completely different purpose.”