TransferWise CEO Taavet Hinrikus has pronounced Bitcoin dead.
Hinrikus, who runs the cross-border money transfer firm, made the remark during an interview last week to promote TransferWise’s Mexican debut. The CEO said that Bitcoin’s growing popularity was akin to a “gold rush,” that “real people” are not using it, and it doesn’t even solve any problems in the first place.
The grain of salt to take with Hinrikus’ remarks is that Transferwise is in competition with several Bitcoin firms. Circle, which just obtained a U.K. operating license, facilitates money transfers by turning currency into Bitcoins and then converting them back into fiat currency after the transfer completes.
These Bitcoin transactions depend on the distributed computing power of the network’s users rather than a central body such as a clearinghouse, so they ultimately cost less because there is no middleman that needs to receive payment.