Bitcoin is the future, and its going to be the next great thing for businesses and individuals.
In this exclusive interview with CNBC, Adam Lashinsky, CEO of bitcoin exchange BTCChina, explains what he thinks about the currency, what it means to the global economy and why people are buying it.
The cryptocurrency has exploded in popularity, with prices in some countries topping $10,000 per coin.
But its price has come under scrutiny from regulators in China, and bitcoin exchanges have been shut down for alleged corruption.
As a result, many businesses are turning to bitcoin, which allows users to store and transfer money with a fraction of the costs of conventional currency.
Lashinsky, who’s also the founder of bitcoin wallet wallet and trading platform Circle, told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” that bitcoin is the “next great thing.”
“I think bitcoin is a lot more secure, a lot better than traditional currencies,” Lashinsky said.
“I think you’ll see it be a more secure and efficient way of paying for goods and services than a lot of the other currencies.”
The price of bitcoin rose by more than 300 percent over the past year to an all-time high of $4,000 in July, and the value of a single bitcoin rose more than 800 percent to nearly $7,500 in July.
The price has remained near its all-year high for two straight weeks.
The currency has been praised for its flexibility and ease of use.
For example, the currency can be used to buy coffee, a convenience that many businesses have struggled to find with other currencies.
Lakinsky also said bitcoin is not tied to a central bank and is an open platform for anyone to run a business.
“I don’t think bitcoin will ever be tied to any government,” he said.
But some critics have raised concerns that the currency could be used by governments to control the economy and stifle free speech.
Lashinginsky said he doesn’t think the Bitcoin community is the problem, but that many people are trying to control it.
“It’s all very silly and ridiculous, but I think that people have been using it as a political tool,” he explained.
“It’s a lot like the Occupy movement.
People are really trying to make it as easy as possible for them to control things.”