Apples to Bitcoins; Player Sees Crypto Idea as Bigger Than the One Behind iPhone Maker

Investment manager weighs in on the potential of Bitcoin, including a possible hard fork.

It’s not often that you hear someone say a concept is bigger than the one behind the behemoth we know as Apple. 

However, that’s exactly what has happened as a key Wall Street player has weighed in on Bitcoin’s potential.

Catherine Wood, CEO of Ark Investment Management, made the Apple comparison comment on CNBC Thursday. Specifically, she said:

“I know a lot people say don’t compare [this] to Apple, which is nearing a trillion dollar [market cap], but this is so much bigger an idea than even Apple, which is a pretty big idea.”

Bitcoin’s market cap is estimated to be between $250 billion and $275 billion.

Who’s Ark?

ARK touts itself as focusing solely on disruptive innovation that is changing the way the world works. So gaining exposure to Bitcoin was a natural move for it. On its website, it is stated:

“ARK Invest is quite optimistic about the potential for cryptoassets, while cognizant that the burgeoning ecosystem will experience growing pains as it evolves.  Survival of the fittest!”

The firm cannot buy Bitcoin directly so it has chosen to get in on the Bitcoin action by investing in the Bitcoin Investment Trust (GBTC). Wood said the firm began buying shares in the trust in 2015, when Bitcoin was barely $250. 

Created by the digital currency investment firm Grayscale, GBTC’s shares are the first publicly quoted securities solely invested in and deriving value from the price of Bitcoin.

Ark is the first public manager to own GBTC, and Wood noted that it remains the only ETF to own GBTC.

Rethinking rules

Wood also discussed Bitcoin’s quantity rule, which limits the number of Bitcoins that can be mined to 21 million. She said that perhaps a pricing rule would be more appropriate, noting that a hard fork could be the solution. 

"Maybe [Bitcoin] will do a hard fork, so it has both the store of value role and the means of exchange role. The right rule would be a price rule. Other cryptos are starting to think about price rule.”

Wood also expressed optimism about the future of Bitcoin in light of the larger players getting involved. She specifically pointed to Goldman Sachs, which is evaluating how to settle Bitcoin futures for select clients.