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Billionaire Fertitta: Bitcoin’s here to stay, but a lot of people won’t buy in until it’s insured

For billionaire restaurateur Tilman Fertitta, the wax of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin has striking similarities to the dot-com bubble of the fashionable 1990s.

“I think it’s here to stay,” the founder and CEO of Landry’s told CNBC’s “Power Lunch” on Thursday. “It’s no contrastive than anything new. Everybody forgets that if you put ‘.com’ at the end of your name honourable 20 years ago, your stock ran up.”

Fertitta, also the star of CNBC fact show “Billion Dollar Buyer,” said his biggest reservation around the digital currency’s early days was the fact that it is not yet insured.

The CEO portioned an example: if some eager individual tried to withdraw $1 million in notes from a bank, the bank would probably be unable to fulfill the plea.

“They don’t have the money. It’s just paper. That’s all bitcoin is, is dossier, but it’s not insured by the FDIC today. And until it’s insured, a lot of people are never effective to buy it,” Fertitta said.

Even so, the man behind the parent company of Bubba Gump Shrimp (and a slew of other triumphant dining and entertainment venues) said he could see his businesses accepting bitcoin as payment someday.

“I characterize as it’s going to happen,” Fertitta said. “I mean, I remember somebody step into my office and saying, ‘The world’s going to change. There’s this obsession called the internet.’ And that wasn’t that long ago. So we have to retain this. It’s just something new and everything moves at a quicker pace today.”

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