- Mark Cuban championed Dogecoin and blockchain in an interview this week.
- The “Shark Tank” star argued bitcoin isn’t a currency, or hedge against inflation.
- Cuban also touted decentralized finance (DeFi) and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Tech billionaire Mark Cuban trumpeted decentralized finance (DeFi), dismissed bitcoin as a hedge against inflation, and explained why he loves dogecoin on Cointelegraph’s “Blockchain & Booze with Adam Levy” show this week.
The “Shark Tank” star and Dallas Mavericks owner – who sold his audio-streaming startup to Yahoo during the dot-com frenzy – also discussed the cryptocurrency boom, predicted blockchain will revolutionize business, and shared his first experience with non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
Here are Cuban’s 21 best quotes from the conversation, lightly edited and condensed for clarity:
Stocks and cryptocurrencies
1. “The stock market isn’t gonna stay where it is unless interest rates stay really low. If interest rates stay really low then there’s no other place to put your money, so people are going to put their money into stocks and alternative assets like NFTs. If interest rates get up to 3%, 4%, 5%, then you’ll see the prices start to come down some.”
2. “When interest rates are this low, people are taking greater chances: ‘If I’m gonna make half of 1%, let me buy $600 of ethereum, or bitcoin, or whatever it is, and see where it goes.'”
3. “You’ve got nothing else to do. You’re sitting there and you’ve got this money, if you put it in the bank it’s gonna make you nothing. Crypto is like fantasy sports.” – explaining why the pandemic has accelerated adoption of cryptocurrencies.
Bitcoin and blockchain
4. “In the early days of the internet, everything went from analog to digital. Over the last five to seven years, you’ve seen it becoming servitized, where it becomes an online service like DocuSign. Now you’re going to see the blockchainization of all that, where those same things can be put on a public blockchain, encrypted, validated, and made available far more easily. A lot less overhead and administration assigned to it, a lot less computing power required to manage it, a lot fewer employees required to deal with it.”
5. “This whole thing of bitcoin or any cryptocurrency being a hedge against inflation, there’s just no connection there whatsoever. You can’t have something that’s only available at the whim of HODLers and miners be a hedge to fiat, you just can’t.”
6. “Bitcoin is an algorithmic source of scarcity and a store of value. But that’s supply and demand, which has nothing to do with hedging against inflation. Just like gold has nothing to do as a hedge against inflation. It makes for a great sales pitch. It’s like price-earnings ratios and ‘buy and hold,’ all those are narratives to sell stocks.”
7. “Bitcoin is not currency. It’s just too slow, too limited, too expensive to really be a true currency.”
8. “In terms of utility, pre-DeFi, a banana had more utility than bitcoin because I can eat a banana. Now the utility has changed. There’s so many things that you can do now. If I’ve got my bitcoin, whether it goes up or down in value, I can take a percentage of that and borrow and lend and earn income, and be my own personal banker.”
9. “Dogecoin is an easy way to have fun. When I first bought some for my son on the Robinhood app, it was less than a penny. You spend a dollar, you get 100 of them. And he’s watching it and learning about crypto. It’s better than buying a lottery ticket. It’s probably more rewarding than playing daily fantasy sports. It’s a great way to learn, it’s great entertainment, it’s addictive, it’s cheap, and the downside is negligible.”
10. “The entertainment value is so high, and then you add the entertainment value of the community where everybody’s just come together, and I get to put rocket ships in my tweets and ‘doge to the moon’ and all this. It’s just fun.”
11. “People have to stop taking it so seriously. It’s not meant to be serious, it wasn’t designed to do anything. It’s the Seinfeld of crypto assets, the cryptocurrency about nothing. Seinfeld was a great show and it was entertaining even though it was about nothing and so is Dogecoin. I think it’s amazing, I love it.”
12. “If you’re spending thousands of dollars, you’re probably putting your money in the wrong place. But if you’re doing it for the fun of it, why not? It’s a whole lot better than most places and you’ve got a chance to make some money.”
13. “DeFi’s a mess because everybody’s competing for liquidity. You’ve got everybody trying to come in and pick off different banking applications. I don’t know if it’s a race to the bottom yet, but it’s a challenge.”
14. “Personal banking. For me to borrow money, I have to be overcollaterized with my bank, I’ve gotta call somebody, I’ve got to do a DocuSign, or sign something, it’s gotta get approved at multiple levels, even if I’m borrowing $10,000 – you don’t know how much money I have in my bank account just to borrow that. Unless I’m putting it against a credit card, or just writing a check, it’s a hassle. The fees are ridiculous as a percentage. Owning a crypto asset, I can do my own banking and it’s very friction-free, and it’s very straightforward, and it’s fast. That lack of friction is the game-changer.” – describing a key application of DeFi.
15. “I’m trying to get my companies to say, ‘Okay, just take 3% or 5% or 10% of our cash balances that we’re making nothing on, and let’s learn how to use some DeFi to increase our yields on that. Even if we have a failure rate of 3% or 4%, we’re still gonna make more money than the half of a percent we’re getting from the bank right now.'”
16. “I’m not saying put in a ton of money. Just try it, because at some point in the near future that’s going to be part of the job of a CFO. I think companies are gonna have a chief crypto/DeFi officer. You’re going to want somebody that manages your money that way for you because it’s a unique opportunity. I think DeFi is here to stay, it’s just a question of who.”
17. “The crypto natives, particularly Gen Z, their most valuable assets are on their phone. Unless you have a house or a car, everything that you value, your brand is your Instagram, or Snapchat, or TikTok account. Everything that you’ve ever captured in your life that you find dear to you, you keep on your phone. That’s why people my age don’t fully understand that this is not a transition, this is not hard, this is natural.” – discussing why DeFi and NFTs are taking off.
18. “I just took GIFs of me going to work out and I put them out there for $25 apiece, thinking no one’s gonna spend any money on this. Then I was asked, ‘What would you like your royalties to be?’ Oh my god. What a game-changer, that just changed the nature of selling anything digital, period, end of story.” – discussing his experience of selling GIFs as NFTs and raking in royalty payments after they were resold.
19. “In business, I think the collectible side of it is going to a smidgeon compared to being able to monetize corporate IP.” – describing a major application of NFTs.
20. “Even with NFTs, 99% of the artists are still gonna starve. But the difference is the gatekeepers have changed. Starving artists need to know that they’ve still gotta go out and sell. There’s not a gallery that you can’t get in because the curator’s keeping you out, but you’re one of 50,000 pieces of art that are on the marketplace and you have to find a way to stand out.”
21. “Kids are the worst. Kids and animals because you can’t be mean.” – discussing types of entrepreneurs on “Shark Tank.”