Dallas Mavericks

Bitcoin? Cryptocurrency? Here's Mark Cuban's view of the new digital money

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban plans to accept bitcoin as payment for tickets next season.
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban plans to accept bitcoin as payment for tickets next season. The Associated Press

Next season Mark Cuban says you’ll be able to buy Dallas Mavericks tickets with bitcoin.

But how that will work, whether his plan includes all of the embryonic crypto market or if cryptocurrency will even have value by then, remains to be seen.

Bitcoin is a decentralized payment network using completely digital money. It's a user-to-user format that has no middleman.

Cuban is monitoring the evolution of cryptocurrency in much the same way he approached gathering stamps and coins as a kid.

“The crypto market, it’s a collectible,” he said. “It’s interesting that there’s kind of a psychological side to it, there’s the buzz side and then there’s this day-trader side of it.”

In the recent run up to record highs in the stock market, market corrections or investor sell-offs to reap profits have caused concern and volatility of late.

Day-trading, a term made popular during the run up of technology stocks from around 1997-2000, is when investors open and close positions in a short amount of time.

With regard to traditional stocks listed on American exchanges, investors purchase positions in a financial vehicle and close those positions typically before the market closes or within a relatively short time.

It is the direct opposite of buy-and-hold strategies, advocated by institutional investors such as Warren Buffet or Fidelity’s Peter Lynch.

The crypto currency market, of which Bitcoin is currently the gold standard, is full of various alternative coins being offered by entrepreneurs with goals that range from streamlining contract enforcement in real-time to simply connecting video game players.

Still, it’s hard to make sense of what cryptocurrency is and that’s where Cuban enjoys the view.

“Most of the people on the day-trading side of it don’t understand the technology behind it,” he said. “There was a time when collecting comic books was hot and then the price went through the roof.

“There was a time when you collected stamps or coins and I did stamps as a kid and made a boatload of money doing it. That’s what we’re talking about here.”

Last summer, Fortune magazine and CNBC touted Cuban’s fundraising effort for Unikoin Gold.

Cuban reportedly made a significant initial investment that helped Unikrn, a sports-betting eco-system, raise $25 million on its way to $100 million.

“Over the last 20 years we’ve had internet stocks and now crypto has taken on a similar foundation of that,” Cuban said. “Right now, there are a lot of people buying that think they understand it and nobody else does.

“They also think it’s going to change everything and that’s not typically how something like this works. But it’s a collectible. It’s that simple. As long as there are more buyers than sellers, the price will go up, and if there’s more sellers than buyers, the price will go down.”

So what does that mean about the future?

“Each alt coin is different and it’s too early to tell what’s going to be sustainable and what’s not because every one of them has a tale,” Cuban said. “It’s not something I’ve gotten excited about.”