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Peter Schiff Critiques Bitcoin’s Value “Here’s How It Works”

Last Updated January 25, 2024 4:43 PM
James Morales
Last Updated January 25, 2024 4:43 PM

Key Takeaways

  • Peter Schiff has spent more than 10 years critiquing Bitcoin.
  • Schiff’s frequent criticisms usually come with the advice to buy gold instead.
  • The former banker owns multiple businesses that are heavily invested in the gold market.

Career Bitcoin hater Peter Schiff is at it again, peddling the same argument he’s been making for over a decade.

Since 2013, Shiff has called Bitcoin  a ponzi, a pyramid, a scam, and all manner of other slurs, always delivered with an equally exuberant endorsement of his favorite investment, gold. Which begs the question: what does he have to gain from repeating the same thing over and over again?

Peter Schiff the Professional Bitcoin Critic

Officially, Schiff usually refers to himself as an economist or a strategist. He started his career in the 90s as a Lehman Brothers stock broker before founding Euro Pacific Bank, which collapsed in 2020 under the pressure of mounting tax evasion and money laundering controversies.

But although his credentials as a banker might be questionable, Schiff’s career as a Bitcoin critic emerged unscathed from Euro Pacific’s insolvency.

“This is how Bitcoin works” he declared on Wednesday, January 24. “We create something with no value, then artificially limit its supply. Then we all pretend it has value and buy it. Other people see the price going up and they buy it too,” the X post went on. True to form, Shiff wrapped it up by shilling his EuroPac gold fund as the bearer of “real value” that BTC could never approximate.

At the time of writing, Schiff’s latest social media rant has been shared 550 times, generating more than half a million views, 2,400 comments and around 3,200 likes. In general, his anti-Bitcoin posts generate significantly more interest than the predictable economic critique, election commentary and reposted ShiffGold promotions that make up the rest of his feed. 

In a digital economy where social media engagement is the most valuable currency of all, the veteran investor appears to have found a winning formula. 

Bitcoin vs Gold

On public social media platforms, the inauguration of Schiff’s “Bitcoin is a bubble you should all buy gold” spiel can be traced back to a 2013 YouTube video in which he contrasted the “speculative” value of BTC with the “intrinsic” value of gold.

Of course, Shiff does have a point. No one makes jewelry out of digital currency. Nor can it be used to garnish deserts, insulate spacecraft or treat lagophthalmos. But ultimately, these diverse use cases for gold have far less impact on its price than the combined buying power of bullion-hoarding bank reserves and mutual funds, for whom Gold’s value is rooted in the knowledge that it can always be swapped for cash.

What’s more, while the price of gold has increased by around 60% in the last 10 years, BTC has surged by more than 4500% during the same period. Not bad for something that Shiff once insisted “does not have a store of value.”

Despite the endurance of Schiff’s cryptocurrency reservations, skeptics may still question their veracity. The online gold broker he owns accepts payment in BTC, BCH and ETH, but it relies on social visibility to generate traffic. With that in mind, why would the head of SchiffGold renounce a guaranteed source of free publicity?

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