Successful Businessmen: Richard Branson, Bill Gates, Kevin O’Leary, John McAfee Give Opinion on Bitcoin, Cryptocurrency


This video is a compilation of interviews with successful businessmen.

When asked in an interview by Bloomberg News whether bitcoin will eventually work, Sir Richard Branson, the Virgin Group billionaire, said, “I think it is working. There will be other currencies like it that may be even better, but in the meantime there’s a big industry around bitcoin. You know, people have made fortunes out of bitcoin, some people have lost money out of bitcoin.”

When asked why he decided to accept bitcoin in November of 2013, Branson said, “I am not foolish, if people have got lots of bitcoins and they want to go to space, I would much rather they spend that money on our spaceship… a Virgin Galactic spaceship than on, you know Elon [Musk] will be sending people to space one day on Elon’s spaceships, so we’ll grab the money while it’s there.”

The video then transitions to a Bloomberg interview with Bill Gates. Gates calmly declared, “Bitcoin is exciting because it shows how cheap it can be… Bitcoin is better than currency in that you don’t have to be physically in the same place and, of course, for large transactions, currency can get pretty inconvenient.”

The video then jumps to an interview of Kevin O’Leary who says, “I don’t consider it a currency and I’ll tell you why,” O’Leary tells CNBC Make It. He recalls an experience that taught him firsthand the problem with bitcoin’s volatility.

“I recently tried to settle a transaction for around $200,000 with bitcoin. It was an international transaction with a European entity and I suggested, ‘Why don’t we try bitcoin?'” O’Leary explains.

The benefit of using bitcoin would be to eliminate the hassle of exchanging currencies and clearing the money through banks. “The whole idea of bitcoin as a currency is you don’t have to do any of that,” O’Leary says. “You just buy $200,000 of bitcoin and then send it to them.”

Then he hit a snag. The Europeans he’d be paying wanted O’Leary to guarantee the value of the bitcoin against the price of the U.S. dollar.

“If clearly neither side thinks it is stable enough to transfer in one minute, and they don’t even want to take one minute of risk, it is not a currency,” he says.

Lastly, an interview with John McAfee, an anti-virus software developer, who took over as the chief executive officer of MGT Capital Investments Inc. last year and turned the video-game company into a cybersecurity firm. He expects the money-losing company to be profitable as it ramps up its bitcoin mining business, with the goal of becoming the biggest in the world.

“We will definitely be profitable before the end of the year,” McAfee said in a phone interview Wednesday. “From bitcoin mining, we will get the experience and expertise to apply the blockchain to our security products.”

“No matter how much government and regulators may scream and complain, there will be a world standard alternative currency,” McAfee said. “Bitcoin appears to be the one… It cannot possibly be a bubble.”