- Anthony Scaramucci compares bitcoin's future to Amazon shares.
- "Bitcoin is 12 years old. But if you bought Amazon after the 12th year, you got a 64x return on your money from 2009 to 2021," the SkyBridge Capital founder told CNBC.
- Scaramucci predicted bitcoin will trade with less volatility over time, just as Amazon shares have done.
SkyBridge Capital founder Anthony Scaramucci believes bitcoin can move even higher over the long term and become a less volatile asset as adoption picks up. He likened his outlook on the digital cryptocurrency to shares of Amazon.
Scaramucci made the comparison during an interview Thursday on CNBC's "Squawk Box." Co-host Andrew Ross Sorkin asked the hedge fund manager what would happen to the price if early bitcoin investors sell the digital currency because they can no longer generate outsized returns.
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"Bitcoin is 12 years old. But if you bought Amazon after the 12th year, you got a 64x return on your money from 2009 to 2021," Scaramucci said, noting that Amazon's massive gains in its first 12 years did not preclude the stock from soaring in its next dozen years. Amazon shares have surged more than 3,600% from the company's IPO in May 1997 to May 2009.
"Amazon now, 20 years later, is trading with more stability. It got a very big pop because of the pandemic, but just take a look at its long-term chart, and I think that will happen to bitcoin," he said. "Once it fully scales, ... you're going to be looking at that situation and saying, 'OK, it's way less speculative.'"
Bitcoin has experienced a meteoric rise since its creation in 2009 and in recent months. It traded around $57,800 per coin Thursday morning. Just six months ago, it was priced at roughly $11,000. Bitcoin's value by market cap has nearly doubled this year alone, according to CoinDesk data.
The total supply of bitcoin is capped at 21 million. Roughly 18.66 million coins are in circulation, CoinDesk data shows. Proponents see bitcoin's predetermined supply limit as a reason why its price can continue to rise with more investors seeking ownership.
Bitcoin has been prone to wild price swings throughout its history. In 2017, it rallied to trade at nearly $20,000 per coin, a record at the time. In 2018, however, bitcoin lost about 80% of its value in what's now known as the "crypto winter."
Some bitcoin bulls say the current run is different due to increased institutional adoption.
For example, companies like Tesla and Square have bought the digital coin with cash on their balance sheets; Mastercard intends to open its network to some cryptocurrencies later this year; and Morgan Stanley is set to become the first major U.S. bank to grant its wealth management clients access to bitcoin funds.
Skeptics question whether bitcoin is an efficient means of transaction or even a durable store of value.
"As a collectible, it's gone up a lot, but it's not gone up at the right times," New York University finance professor Aswath Damodaran told CNBC on Tuesday. "In fact, last year, when stocks were collapsing, bitcoin went down even more. That's not what you want in a collectible."
Damodaran, known as Wall Street's "Dean of Valuation" for his company analyses, stressed he's not opposed to the idea of cryptocurrencies. "I think there will be a good cryptocurrency. I just don't see how bitcoin can be it."
Scaramucci, whose firm has a bitcoin fund, said the currency is still in a "transitory period," like Amazon shares years ago. However, he said some of bitcoin's fundamental characteristics — such as running on a distributed digital ledger known as a blockchain — have been key to its market cap skyrocketing.
"Bitcoin got to a $1 trillion faster than all those companies, primarily because it's decentralized, so now you're taking all that C-suite drama and all the politics associated with it, away from it," he said. "It's a fully scaling, monetary network and store of value and it's going to get there over the next 15 years."
Scaramucci, who briefly served as former President Donald Trump's White House communications chief, told CNBC earlier this year he believes bitcoin will reach $100,000 per coin by the end of 2021.