Count Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak as a believer in crypto as a payments medium.
“Yes I am in that camp that crypto will be used effectively,” said Wozniak — also a panelist on the new show “Unicorn Hunters” — said Yahoo Finance Live. “We just have so much digital ways to pay for things now, even to transfer money to people. It goes back to PayPal, and now we have Apple Pay and Apple Cash. We have Venmo. So crypto has just a bit of anonymity. I don’t know if that’s right that, gosh I can do things without people knowing. It’s hard to trace back.”
Crypto as a payments medium appears to be gaining more steam of late, despite the asset class’ trademark price volatility. Sorry, U.S. dollar devotees.
Bakkt shares soared earlier this week after announcing a partnership with Mastercard to offer crypto debit and credit cards. The tie-up is alleged to make it easier for consumers to pay using digital coins, according to Yahoo Finance cryptocurrency reporter Jennifer Shoenberger.
Affirm founder Max Levchin told Yahoo Finance Live on Thursday his buy now, pay later platform continues to explore adding crypto to the platform.
Levchin struck a perhaps more skeptical tone on crypto than Wozniak.
“As crypto and more established coins like bitcoin become part of the vernacular in the retail investing industry, I think it can orient as an asset class,” Levchin explained. “I am still fairly skeptical of a rapidly appreciating asset class being used as medium of exchange. So I don’t think it lives up to the currency name just yet, although as we know things are changing pretty rapidly.”
Meanwhile, American Express is taking a wait and see approach.
“You are probably not going to see an Amex crypto-linked card anytime soon,” said American Express CEO Squeri at Yahoo Finance’s All Markets Summit on Monday.
Where Wozniak —an engineer at heart — says crypto is most promising is by way of the blockchain.
“Crypto has an awful lot of promise through the blockchain of different things it can do differently than before… right down to elections even,” Wozniak added. “It has a very trustable format that can’t be modified easily.”
Brian Sozzi is an editor-at-large and anchor at Yahoo Finance. Follow Sozzi on Twitter @BrianSozzi and on LinkedIn.
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