Michael Dell, the founder of the computer company Dell Technologies, thinks blockchain technology is "probably underrated." But he decided to "pass" on giving a view about Bitcoin.
Speaking to The New York Times DealBook blog in an interview published Saturday, Dell was asked to do a lightning round on whether certain things in tech and finance are underrated, overrated, or properly rated.
"I think blockchain is probably underrated," he said. "Bitcoin, I’m going to pass on that. I don’t really know."
The 56-year-old billionaire created the company that built the computer this article was written on. His computer company, which has sold about 800 million PCs, has a market cap of $80 billion.
But Bitcoin, a globally distributed network of virtual cash, eats up figures like that for breakfast (and even vomits them up hours later). In the past week, Bitcoin rose about 15%, or about $150 billion. Bitcoin is now about 13 times more valuable than Mr. Dell's company.
Dell didn't entirely pass on Bitcoin. In mid-2014, his company accepted Bitcoin payments through a partnership with Coinbase. In a month-long promotion in July 2014, it offered 10% savings on Alienware computers using Bitcoin up to $150.
Back then, Bitcoin was worth about $620. That means that the $150 promotion would have been worth $13,770 today.
Dell stopped accepting Bitcoin in October 2017 due to low demand. Maybe Dell got things wrong once again: shortly after, Bitcoin spiked to highs of not-quite $20,000, the highest price of Bitcoin until earlier this year.
Editor's note: This story was updated on Oct. 12 at 1:56pm EST to reflect that Michael Dell said he would "pass" on giving his view of Bitcoin, not that he would pass on Bitcoin.