Bitcoin has created a fair few millionaires since it exploded in value over the last few years, with some 17,000 bitcoin addresses containing more than $1 million worth of bitcoin.
Bitcoin, by far the most valuable cryptocurrency, has also increased its dominance, a measure of bitcoin’s value compared to the wider crypto market—now at almost 70%.
New alternatives to bitcoin, created in an attempt to overcome bitcoin’s legacy issues, have slowed since a boom in 2017, but now Erik Finman, named as a teen bitcoin “millionaire” by the likes of Yahoo Finance, has backed metal, which launched in 2017, but has revamped as a “all-in-one digital banking platform for cryptocurrency”—despite slumping 98% in value since its all-time high.
Earlier this year, Finman predicted the bitcoin price could climb back to its all-time highs of near $20,000 by the end of the year, thanks to social media giant Facebook wading into crypto, along with iPhone-maker Apple, and U.S. presidential hopefuls talking up bitcoin.
But Finman has had a rocky relationship with bitcoin in the past, pronouncing it “dead” late last year in the midst of a bitter bitcoin and cryptocurrency bear market that left most major tokens down almost 90% in value and sparked fears the great crypto experiment could come to an abrupt end.
“Bitcoin could be at $50,000 per bitcoin without all the fragmentation,” Finman said, who has tried to encourage passive investment in bitcoin with his CoinBits project.
“But you can’t change the fees,” he added. “You can’t change the loading times. I’m very pro-crypto and pro-bitcoin but with just one coin you can only do so much.”
The cryptocurrency metal peaked at over $13 per token in September 2017 as bitcoin and cryptocurrency excitement reached fever-pitch, but has failed to hold almost all of that value as users and investors dried up, slumping to just $0.30 per metal token.
In comparison, the bitcoin price is currently down 45% from its all-time highs.
Finman’s support for metal comes as Metal Pay relaunches to compete with more directly with the likes of Venmo and PayPal, payment platforms that want users to store and send cash on their apps.
“We’ve worked for years to make certain that all laws and regulations are met in an effort to deliver the best possible product for our user base,” said Marshall Hayner, founder and chief executive of Metal Pay. “With this launch, we truly believe that Metal Pay has the opportunity to become bigger than bitcoin.”