Barstool Sports founder and CEO Dave Portnoy said he thought Bitcoin was a “Ponzi scheme” when the cryptocurrency was first introduced, but he “certainly” wouldn’t say Bitcoin “is a scam now.”
Portnoy noted that he has “come around” on Bitcoin in a Thursday appearance on “Varney & Co.” His updated stance was shared in response to Donald Trump’s comments on the cryptocurrency three days prior when the former president told host Stuart Varney it seemed like a “scam.”
“The currency of this world should be the dollar. And I don’t think we should have all of the Bitcoins of the world out there. I think they should regulate them very, very high,” Trump told Varney on Monday adding, “it takes the edge off of the dollar and the importance of the dollar.”
Portnoy said when Bitcoin first surfaced, “I wasn’t too far off from Donald.”
“I thought when Bitcoin was first introduced and for a long time that it was a Ponzi scheme,” he continued. “I’ve come around on it and whatever reason it started for, at this point, it’s too widely accepted; there’s [sic] too many people using it, too many big people believe in it, too many stores accepting it. There’s liquidity. You can get in and out of it easily.”
“I don’t know what it started as, but I certainly wouldn’t say it’s a scam now,” he stressed.
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Bitcoin has fallen from its record high of $64,829 to the $36,000 level, but is still up around 27% year-to-date as of Thursday, according to Coindesk.
Portnoy noted that you have to have patience with cryptocurrencies and be in it “for the long game.”
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies remain unregulated within the U.S. financial system.
Portnoy shared that the only cryptocurrencies he has money invested in are Bitcoin and SafeMoon.
Last month, Portnoy discussed his bullish views on the cryptocurrency SafeMoon with Varney. He stated in a video that he had purchased $40,000 of the coin and told Varney last month and reiterated on Thursday that he planned on holding on to the cryptocurrency for years.
Portnoy said back in May that he’d done a bit of research and liked the “concept of SafeMoon” before purchasing the crypto, noting that, since then, it has been “a wild ride.”
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On Thursday, he told Varney that he was “down 50%,” but was never going to sell his holdings in SafeMoon.
“I’ve said I am doing it for the long term – so it’s been a little rocky road, but that’s the nature of the beast when you get involved with these types of coins,” Portnoy told Varney. “SafeMoon will eventually land on the moon and I will be there to throw a yacht party when it does, but it’s down.”
He subsequently noted that he is not losing interest in cryptocurrencies despite having been “down,” and pointed to the Bitcoin 2021 conference, which took place in Miami, Fla. over the weekend, as evidence that people are gaining interest in the cryptocurrency.
Conference organizers estimated about 50,000 people attended to talk about Bitcoin’s rapid growth and potentially promising future.
Portnoy said he did not attend the conference, but mentioned he witnessed many people who were in Miami for the event out in the streets, at restaurants and nightclubs.
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“Everything was busy,” Portnoy told Varney. “People were using crypto.”
“Crypto isn’t going anywhere,” Portnoy concluded, although he admitted that, “it’s hard to brag about how great everything is going when you are down 50%.”
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Fox Business’ Suzanne O’Halloran contributed to this report.