Noted bitcoin critic Peter Schiff now accepts bitcoin

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In late 2013, as bitcoin prices were reaching their historical peak, noted commodity investor and radio show host Peter Schiff mockingly dismissed the growth in the virtual currency as “modern-day tulip mania.” Since then, Schiff has continued to be a vocal critic of bitcoin as an investment, claiming it to be poor competition for the silver and gold sold by his company, Euro Pacific Precious Metals. Earlier this week, however, many in the bitcoin community were stunned to find a “Bitcoin Accepted Here” banner on Euro Pacfic’s website.

Has Schiff changed his mind on bitcoin? No. But he does realize that there’s money to be made from bitcoin believers. Speaking to CoinDesk, Schiff explained the reasoning behind his newfound tolerance for virtual currency.

We’re not accepting bitcoin, we’re accepting dollars. BitPay is accepting bitcoins.”

Schiff is still an adamant skeptic about bitcoin and other alternative currencies, but he said that the average bitcoin holder is more likely to be a precious metal buyer than someone who has more traditional investments. With that in mind, he said “I think it makes sense to target bitcoin holders as customers.”

In the long term, Schiff believes that bitcoin is destined to decline in value, perhaps scraping into the $100 range in the near future. At the same time, he believes that silver and gold, two metals in almost constant demand as hedges against currency fluctuations, are likely to rise dramatically. If accepting bitcoin-bearing customers through BitPay helps him sell more gold and silver, he’s all for it.

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