In terms of how long it maintained its $100 billion valuation, Bitcoin has outperformed every tech company that existed, claims Balaji Srinivasan. The former Coinbase CTO said that the biggest unicorn of the 2010s wasn’t any of the usual picks such as Uber, Airbnb, or Snapchat, but rather the world’s first decentralized cryptocurrency.

Bitcoin’s performance beats every tech company, ever

Bitcoin Price from 2010 to 2019 December
BTC was trading at 0.05$ in early 2010. Investment returns from July 24, 2010 : 150,000 times

With the end of the year getting closer, the ever-present performance summaries begin to surface. And while many focus on breaking down the yearly performance of various companies and sectors, zooming out often provides a better picture of the market.

The past decade has been a tumultuous one, seeing many industries rise and fall. But, while many say the tech industry is what shaped the 2010s, one person believes the winner of the decade aren’t any of your run-of-the-mill unicorns.

Balaji Srinivasan , the former technical director at Coinbase, said that out of all of the tech companies with billion-dollar valuations, Bitcoin is by far the biggest.

Srinivasan said that out of all of the other unicorns in the space, including giants such as Uber, Airbnb, and Snapchat, Bitcoin held on to its $100 billion market cap the longest. Nothing else that was founded in the same timeframe as Bitcoin managed to perform at Bitcoin’s level, Srinivasan said, adding that it was an important fact from an investor standpoint.

Is Bitcoin truly the biggest unicorn of the last decade?

Despite Srinivasan’s view of Bitcoin being on par with the market’s sentiment, his tweets were met with a lot of criticism. Angel investor and philanthropist Shervin Pishevar said Srinivasan shouldn’t have compared Bitcoin with companies such as Uber. He acknowledged that both were great investments, but said they were ultimately two different asset classes.

Many others criticized Srinivasan’s view, saying Bitcoin was everything but a company. Nonetheless, the former Coinbase CTO stood by his words saying that looking at Bitcoin purely as a tech investment, it is by far the best of the decade.

In response to Qz’s tech editor Mike Murphy, he said that as more tech companies are disrupted by decentralized protocols, the protocol vs. company comparison will become more common.

Srinivasan’s words weren’t met with universal disapproval, though. Many users said that disrupting the traditional monetary system is what made Bitcoin the main driving force of the decade.

TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington praised Bitcoin for democratizing and decentralizing the investment process. As someone who invested in unicorns such as Uber and Airbnb, Arrington said Bitcoin’s accessibility was “powerfully equalizing.”

Tech-companies usually IPO at insanely high valuations leaving retail investors at loss. For example, Uber IPO’d at $45 and currently trades at $28 while Slack IPO’d at $26 and currently trades at $22. Not all IPOs perform poorly, like Zoom IPO’d at $36 and is currently trading at $70.

Due to series wise fundings of these companies, retail investors are the last ones to enter the market and often suffer losses and are exposed to little upside. Bitcoin has been available for retail investors right from the beginning.

While comparing the world’s first truly decentralized protocol with a traditional corporation is a bit far-fetched, few can deny the impact Bitcoin had on the past decade. It gave birth to one of the fastest-growing industries the world has ever seen, paved the way for thousands of new digital assets to be created, and gave the people a whole new definition of the word “freedom.”

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