Startup News & Analysis

“I’m a sucker for a Twitter bet”: Atlassian co-founder Mike Cannon-Brookes and Square Peg’s Paul Bassat bet thousands on the price of Bitcoin

Dominic Powell /

Bitcoin

Atlassian co-founder Mike Cannon-Brookes. Source: Supplied.

Fresh from his famous bet in March with Tesla founder Elon Musk, Atlassian co-founder Mike Cannon-Brookes is at it again with the Twitter wagers, this time challenging Square Peg co-founder Paul Bassat on the future price of Bitcoin.

It all started when Bassat, also an avid tweeter, took to the social platform earlier this month to comment on the ever-increasing price of Bitcoin, which at the time had just blasted pass $US10,000 ($13,000) and was well on its way to an all-time high of $US18,000 ($23,400).

“Think collapse of Bitcoin price is more a question of how and when than if. The bubble seems to have more in common with tulip bulb mania (no inherent value) than Dotcom bubble. What, if any, collateral damage will be caused by collapse in price?” Bassat tweeted to his followers, unknowingly adding to the ever-growing list of Bitcoin obituaries.

A few days later, Cannon-Brookes responded to Bassat’s comments on an impending Bitcoin crash, advocating for the volatile digital currency.

The Atlassian co-founder has long been a Bitcoin advocate, tweeting about the cryptocurrency multiple times and revealing in May he held some of the currency, comparing cryptocurrency markets to horse racing rather than investing. He also said he once recommended that 1% of Australia’s government Future Fund should be invested in Bitcoin and Ethereum.

But the Square Peg co-founder disagreed with Cannon-Brookes’ bullish sentiments, instead predicting the price of Bitcoin will be below $US2000 in two years time and goading Cannon-Brookes into a “bit of fun” wager. Whoever loses the bet would be required to donate thousands to the winner’s favourite charity.

Acknowledging he was a “sucker for a Twitter bet”, Cannon-Brookes agreed and upped the stakes, pledging the amount at 2-1.5 Bitcoin to the winners chosen charity, equivalent to whatever price Bitcoin is in 2019, followed by the hashtag “#goodtrackrecordwithtweetbets”.

But doing the maths, Bassat worked out at Bitcoin’s current rate of growth, the bet could cost him $1 billion by 2019. He offered a cash-only “old-fashioned” bet of $10,000, accompanied by the hashtag “#craptrackrecordwithbets”.

And with a simple thumbs up emoji, the bet was on. Speaking to StartupSmart, Bassat says if he wins the “bit of fun” bet, his charity of choice will be the Peter MacCallum Cancer Hospital in Melbourne. He also explained why he is bearish on the price of Bitcoin.

“I don’t think it properly meets the two key tests of a currency: a store of value and a medium of exchange,” he says.

However, that doesn’t mean Bassat doesn’t think it’s “super important”. He does believes the underlying blockchain technology will have a “profound impact on societies”.

“Also in relation to cryptocurrencies, there is likely to be new cryptocurrencies that emerge and which address some of the inherent flaws that Bitcoin possesses. We may see cryptocurrencies become very important over the next few years,” he says.

So will it be Cannon-Brookes or Bassat who wins the bet? Find out in two years.

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Dominic Powell

Dominic Powell is a journalist at StartupSmart and a tech and music geek. When he’s not writing, you can find him reading or browsing record shops.

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