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Why Bitcoin Now: Bitcoin Under a Biden Administration

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In this episode, Dan Tapiero, founder of 10T Holdings and Gold Bullion International, and Cathie Wood, CEO and CIO at ARK Invest, discuss the long election week in the U.S. and how they believe Bitcoin will behave in a post-election world. They also talk about:

  • how a changeover from a Trump to a Biden administration could affect Bitcoin
  • how the prospect of legal challenges from the Trump administration might affect Bitcoin
  • whether they think the presidential election influenced Bitcoin’s precipitous price jump in the first week of November
  • what it takes to change the mind of a Bitcoin skeptic in the investment world
  • whether gold investors are becoming more resistant or more embracing of Bitcoin
  • whether Democratic control of the Senate would affect Bitcoin
  • how they expect the new wave of rising coronavirus cases and lockdowns to affect economies and Bitcoin
  • the new inflation policy introduced by Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell and how it will affect Bitcoin
  • the recent Bitcoin halving and how they expect Bitcoin to perform over the next year
  • how banking will change over the next few years and how that will affect Bitcoin
  • their thoughts on central bank digital currencies and how an increase in CBDCs might affect Bitcoin
  • what factors they are looking at right now when thinking about what could happen with Bitcoin over the next year

Thank you to our sponsor! 

Crypto.com: https://www.crypto.com

Episode links: 

Cathie Wood: https://twitter.com/cathiedwood

Ark Invest: https://ark-invest.com/

Yassine Elmandjra: https://twitter.com/yassineARK

Dan Tapiero: https://twitter.com/DTAPCAP

10T Holdings: https://10tfund.com/

Gold Bullion International: https://bullioninternational.com/

Unchained with Brian Brooks: https://unchainedpodcast.com/acting-comptroller-of-the-currency-brian-brooks-on-crypto-banks/

Jerome Powell speech on targeting inflation of 2%: https://www.cnbc.com/2020/08/27/powell-announces-new-fed-approach-to-inflation-that-could-keep-rates-lower-for-longer.html

Bitcoin-gold correlation: https://coinmetrics.io/correlation-charts/#assets=btc-gld

Bitcoin-S&P 500 correlation: https://coinmetrics.io/correlation-charts/#assets=btc-s&p

Forbes profile on Cathie Wood: https://www.forbes.com/sites/antoinegara/2020/10/05/how-cathie-wood-beat-wall-street-by-betting-tesla-is-worth-more-than-1-trillion/?sh=12d44f813d45

ARK Invest Bitcoin white papers: https://ark-invest.com/white-papers/bitcoin-part-one/

https://ark-invest.com/white-papers/bitcoin-part-two/

Transcript:

Laura Shin: 

Hi everyone, welcome to Unchained, your no-hype resource for all things crypto. I’m your host, Laura Shin, a journalist with over two decades of experience. I started covering crypto five years ago, and as a senior editor at Forbes was the first mainstream media reporter to cover cryptocurrency full-time. Subscribe to Unchained on YouTube, where you can watch the videos of me and my guests. Go to youtube.com/c/unchainedpodcast and subscribe today! 

Crypto.com

Crypto.com – the crypto super app that lets you buy, earn and spend crypto – all in one place. Earn up to 8.5% per year on your BTC and more than 20 other coins. Download the Crypto.com app now to find out how much you could be earning!

Laura Shin: 

This is the eighth episode in the Why Bitcoin Now series, in which we take a closer look at Bitcoin in the context of macroeconomic forces, including the pandemic and the economic response. The most recent episode in the series came out the day of the election, and now here we are recording this on Friday afternoon, and at this moment in time, it looks like Joe Biden will become the 46th president of the United States. Here to discuss how this could affect Bitcoin are Dan Tapiero, co-founder of 10T Holdings and Gold Bullion International, and Cathie Wood, CEO and CIO at ARK Invest. Welcome, Dan and Cathie. 

Cathie Wood:

Thank you, Laura. Thank you for having us. 

Laura Shin: 

There’s so much to discuss about this crazy Groundhog Day week we’re all, basically, still going through. Hopefully, by the time this comes out we won’t still be going through it, but first let’s discuss the elephant, or in this case, donkey in the room, the presidential election. At this moment, the most likely scenario we’re looking at is that we’ll have former Vice President Joe Biden as our next president. How do you think a changeover from a Trump administration to a Biden one will affect Bitcoin?

Cathie Wood:

Who would you like to start, Laura?

Dan Tapiero:

Go ahead, Cathie. Go ahead. 

Cathie Wood:

Okay. Well. You know, it’s interesting. This is what I love about our political system. I don’t think a lot is going to change, because this is really a regulatory question, and I don’t think…I don’t see a lot of changes on the regulatory front, although the head of the OCC, I really love the direction he’s going in as long as he stays in that…

Laura Shin: 

Brian Brooks.

Cathie Wood:

Yeah, Brian Brooks. As long as he stays in that position, I think we’re going to have a force for good. if Jay Clayton is chosen to…or is chosen for a different position away from the chair of the SEC we might get someone more friendly, I think, to crypto. I think given all of the stable coins and the currency-backed coins that each country is starting to issue I think there’s a certain acceptance of this now, and if you want to move into the modern age you kind of have to be with it, and I think this administration would like to be a part of that movement, but again, on the regulatory side if there’s some displacement at the SEC we might see things moving. 

What I find interesting is I have been used to watching all of these financial regulators compete with each other over the years and I feel…for power, that is, and I’ve been waiting for Jay to respond to Brian, but I haven’t seen much movement, so I think we could get someone more friendly and maybe some competition from a regulatory point of view, meaning a positive point of view. 

Laura Shin: 

And when you say you’ve been waiting for Jay Clayton, the Chairman of the SEC, to respond to Brian you mean in what way, like in a way where he would be more friendly to crypto, kind of in a competitive way?

Cathie Wood:

Well. Basically, this is my turf and it’s a turf thing. 

Laura Shin: 

Oh, I see. 

Cathie Wood:

It’s a turf thing. In 2006, I think, was the first time I ever saw regulators work together and that was when they all wrote a letter and said, we don’t like these exotic home equity loans. They were united. Now, back then I was saying, wait a minute. This is really bad because they never get together. This is going to cause a lot of problems, which of course it did. This time I would expect not that. I would expect someone to be looking at what Brian is doing and saying, wait a minute. I should be weighing in on this. It’s a little bit of a competitive regulatory dynamic that I’ve witnessed over the years. 

Laura Shin: 

Interesting. Yeah, I have a little bit more to add to that, but why don’t we…Dan, why don’t you say what you think?

Dan Tapiero:

Sure. I don’t think the election is going to be determined for quite some time. I think it could run easily into late December. I think the Supreme Court eventually, probably, has to weigh in. The votes are just too close, and Trump is just not going to…he’s just not going to sit down and say, okay, I’ve lost because he’s lost by five thousand votes in one state, so I think you’re going to have recounts in multiple states. I don’t think they can start the recounts until after December third, that’s when the official, I guess, vote gets handed in by each of the states, and then again, each of the states has a different view about when does vote-counting stop, so I think this is almost as complex an issue as Bitcoin. Maybe not quite as complex, but it’s very complex, and I think it’s going to take a while, and every time I think that we try to count out Trump, and again you could’ve started doing this in early 2016, he’s defied the consensus, so I’m not really willing to bet against him even though it does look…it’s leaning one way or another. I just don’t know, and I think that uncertainty, actually, has been helping the Bitcoin price action, helping Gold as well, but look, the big relief is that this…from my perspective, why is the market up so much the last few days? Because the 20-percentage point gain…increase in the long-term capital gains tax, that Biden had outlined, seems to be off the table, and so that is basically it, right. 

That’s why we’re doing what we’re doing in the markets because maybe they raised it some amount, but that 20% was going to be destructive, completely destructive. Now that the senate and the house have picked up a little bit of a Republican bias, clearly the socialists…or I would just…okay, left-leaning…or let’s say, extreme left agenda that some people had feared that would come along with a blue wave, that’s not going to happen, so I think the more uncertainty, also, if it drags on past December and into January I think there’ll be more of a reliance then on monetary policy. That’s another reason I think for sort of this 50% move in Bitcoin in the last few weeks, or 30-40%, is that they won’t get fiscal together, and so if things do soften or if they are nervous about things you’re going to get more on the monetary, and that was confirmed a little bit by the ECB and the Bank of England this week, that they’re thinking about additional bond-buying, etcetera, so yeah. 

Cathie Wood:

Yeah, I was going to add, working in the equity markets it was very interesting for me to watch the equity markets move up into the election. This has been a decent year, certainly for the NASDAQ, and so the market in its wisdom, I think, saw effectively gridlock, which is what we have now with a Republican Senate and a Democrat house. Even though Biden’s numbers were going up in the polls the market was going up, and I’ve watched many elections over the years, and I’ve been surprised at the market and its wisdom. 

I think, also, one other thing that’s going on, there are flashpoints in the world, and I think it emanates from all of these unhinged monetary policies. I guess Argentina’s peso is down 30% this year, the Turkish lira is now down 30%, and I do believe that people, especially in emerging markets and Asia especially, remember when the Thai Baht devalued in, I think it was 1997, nobody thought anything of it. Who cares? Thai Baht, who cares? It was the beginning of a domino effect and I’m wondering if what might be getting into Bitcoin now is a little bit of a sense of a domino effect here. 

Laura Shin: 

Oh, yeah. Yeah, there’s so much to unpack in what you guys just said. So, I actually want to go back to the initial comments about the different appointments, because I do…Cathie, when you mentioned Brain Brooks…by the way, people should listen to the episode I did with him where I asked him all kinds of questions about what he’s doing at the OCC, and yes, he has been so extremely friendly to the crypto industry. He did come from Coinbase previously and he really understands the problems that the crypto industry faces and understands the labors of government. However, I will say also, actually, there are some good signs in that even though a lot of these positive moves that the OCC made for the crypto industry after he was appointed as acting comptroller of the currency, actually the news came out afterward that they had been in the works for quite some time, so I do think there are other people in these agencies that sort of understand what’s going on and are working to make things better. 

However, what I will say is because he’s acting comptroller and he hasn’t been confirmed I don’t know if he will survive through a Biden administration. I mean, he might but just from what I heard I think that this is the kind of appointment where a democratic president would want someone that they…somebody from their party to have in that position, so that may switch over. However, I have heard people who are steeped in the DC world saying that they think that a switchover to a Biden administration will be sickly, also potentially remove some other people who tend to be quite problematic for the crypto industry, and so they view it as a positive in other respects, and so yeah. 

Dan went right into a question that I was going to ask a little later, but we might as well just go there now because obviously, the counting has been very slow at the moment. As I started…I said it was trending in a direction that’s positive for Biden. However, as we know, Trump has previously refused to say whether or not he would accept the outcome of the election if he loses, and so now that it does appear that he will probably lose in his campaign, is already mounting these legal challenges in the different states. How do you think the prospect of these legal challenges that drag on and put into doubt this transition of power in the US, how do you think all of that will affect Bitcoin, if it happens?

Cathie Wood:

Dan, do you want to start this time?

Dan Tapiero:

Well. Yeah, I mean, I think it is happening. As I said, he’s not going to concede, and I don’t think that’s connected to his previous comments. I think if I were running for president and I lost the whole thing in five thousand votes, I would want a recount, so this is completely, I think, within the realm of what is reasonable. Maybe foreigners don’t understand this. I’m getting messages from people around the world like, why is Trump not stepping down? Well. Because it’s part of our process. In 2000, we had the recount, that was normal, and I suspect four or five states are close enough that there will be recounts, so look, it’s positive for Bitcoin in the same way, in a sense, that it’s positive for Gold. There’s a little bit of uncertainty premium, but as I said, I think the key driver here is that we’re just not going to see those more extreme left policies that I think some of the markets were worried about. 

Cathie Wood:

And I guess I might have a little more a different take on that. If we had thought that socialists policies were going to start permeating the US I would definitely think that that would be a reason to take an insurance policy out with Bitcoin, so I’m taking my cues more from the equity market and I do think, as I said, that Bitcoin is going up. There’s a tremendous amount of liquidity in the world, so that’s the monetary policy, but also these flashpoints, in terms of devaluation. When I see scrolling on Bloomberg in one day after the other, Turkish lira does this, Turkish lira…there’s something going on out there and usually, mistakes are made…when mistakes are made the emerging markets are the most vulnerable, so that’s why I keep my eye on them. 

Dan Tapiero:

Yeah. I mean, I think there’s something to that, but you know what? I think the greatest mistake people in this space make, and look, I’ve been…I guess I’m saying this coming from 30 years of trading in the macro markets is that I think Bitcoin is just doing its own thing and I think people attempts at trying to figure out why it’s up this week or why it’s down that week aren’t really relevant. I mean I can make the case that you’ve got enough independent Bitcoin positive news between what Saylor’s doing, between PayPal, Square, the fact that Barry’s Grayscale thing is eating up all the Bitcoin outstanding, we’re in a position where supply is getting really tight, regardless. We could have any outcome for the presidential election, any outcome for secretary of treasury. Again, I think the concern before was about Warren getting in, and now I think that’s less of an issue, so I just…I think there is some applicability of the macro to Bitcoin, but actually, I think Bitcoin’s bigger than all of this stuff, is my view.

Cathie Wood:

Yeah, and I agree with you on what’s happening on the corporate front. Square just reported last night, just a boom in Bitcoin trading, and PayPal embracing it as well. There’s a competitive dynamic, that’s very interesting, and PayPal…what’s interesting, PayPal has a relationship with MercadoLibre in Latin America, and that’s where one of these flashpoints is, right, so I do think that, and then also the idea that a MicroStrategy and that Square itself would put some of its cash into Bitcoin. Some or all of its cash. You know, when MicroStrategy did it I looked at the management team and I said, okay. Wow. This is interesting, and I saw that the CFO had, had a lot of experience in Latin America, probably used to the hyperinflations and the roller coaster there, but I did think what they did was extreme, Square following on. I think we’re going to see more, and then this notion of 21 million units. We’re at 18-and-a-half. It’s going to start resonating a little bit more. 

Laura Shin: 

Well. But one thing…so I totally understand your point, that right now there are just so many forces that are boosting the Bitcoin price, but in particular this week, there was very sharp movement in Bitcoin that maybe was tied to the presidential election. I wanted to ask you guys about that, because at this moment that we’re recording on Friday afternoon, yesterday Bitcoin hit $15000 for the first time since the early days of January 2018, and not only that but within the last 24 hours it had risen so precipitously that there was a point where it almost reached $16000, so I wondered what you guys thought of that, like why that was the case. I mean, it has since pulled back, but I just wondered if you thought it had to do with the presidential election or something else?

Cathie Wood:

I think one source of demand after another is starting to impact it, and if you look at Yassine Elmandjra, crypto analyst, just wrote, actually, a two-part Bitcoin paper trying to figure out, okay…the question was, are institutions ready for Bitcoin, and he turned that on its head and said, wait a minute, Is Bitcoin ready for institutions, and looked at all of the ways to get access, exposure to Bitcoin from an institutional point of view, and the easy way just to mention it is, it trades like just one of the mega-cap stocks, just one in our market. Now, that’s pretty big, and as the price increases there’s more “market cap”, but if institutions are beginning to leg in here, and there certainly is a lot of support from Fidelity, the Cambridge Research Associates, reports saying hey, you should at least check this out, we have Bakkt, we have Square. We have a lot of infrastructure moving into place, which is legitimizing it from an institutional point of view. It’s still not really easy to do, but I do think there are some adventurous…if not…it would probably be more on the alternative side, of course, more of the fast adopting institutions are…they might be just dipping their toes in. 

Laura Shin: 

Dan, do you have an opinion?

Dan Tapiero:

Yeah. No, I think that’s right. I’m a head of an investment committee for an endowment of relatively significant size, and that’s sort of my…charitably I’m not…I don’t receive any compensation for that, but…and I’ve done that for 10 years, and plugged in a little bit to how other endowments are thinking and acting, and I will say in Q1, Q2 of ’19 last year we put one percent of the entire endowment into Bitcoin, a touch into Ethereum, a very small percent, and a little bit into what I would call some other digit asset fund exposure, and at the time I think we were the first endowment of this type to do that. The investment committee is sort of very forward-thinking, and our advisors, and the people that we spoke with who help us manage that portfolio, they really kind of caught on. I think they really…they got it, and when they see guys who are sort of more from a traditional background, being able to explain to them why at least one percent…I think we probably should’ve had three to five percent, but one percent is that Wences Casares thing, get off zero, just put one percent. That’s very helpful with institutions, and for 10T Holdings, we’ve been speaking with lots of institutions. There are more people who are getting it, and who are sort of getting ready and warmed up, so I think that just…I think the infrastructure is there to handle the flood, but the price will go up, so it’ll double, or triple, or whatever it is in whatever time period. That’s what Bitcoin is meant to do. It’s going to…unlike these currency pegs, in a way, or the opposite of the currency pegs, the one thing that there’s no control of, is the upside. The price will go to wherever the price needs to go. 

Cathie Wood:

Yeah, so Yassine just wrote, I think, another blog. If it’s not out now it will be soon, and it may have been part of our second paper, and basically took a look at 10 years’ worth of data. All the assets that are available to institutions, and the managed assets at that, so those that are actually managed by third parties, and that’s about 110 trillion in the world, so a 10-year study, in order and news and using correlations of returns, and all of the usual metrics determined that in order to minimize the volatility of putting Bitcoin in the portfolio, and still enjoy the return, I think that was a two-and-a-half percent…a two percent position. If you wanted to maximize the return and were willing to accept more volatility that would’ve been a six-and-a-half percent position, and the punchline…and this is going to be years away, but if that six-and-a-half…if institutions were to cue to that six-and-a-half percent in Bitcoin that would you know, all other the things equal, knowing what we know about the supply out here, and the fact that more than 50% of all the Bitcoin holders right now have held the Bitcoin for more than year, and many for more than five years, so you have to take that out as a supply constraint. The number he came up with as a price target, and I don’t want this plastered all over headlines and so forth, because this is just if, if, if, lots of ifs there, is $500,000.

Laura Shin: 

Oh, wow. And did he have by a certain time period, or just if these things happened?

Cathie Wood:

No, this will happen gradually and believe me, we’re talking about the institutional world. These sorts of things happen quite gradually. 

Dan Tapiero:

Yeah, but I think that’s about…that’s around the right number. I’ve recorded at least 10 or 15 times in the past year with that kind of $300,000-$500,000 number. It’s just not too crazy. I mean, the market cap of Bitcoin now is, call it, 300 billion. If you understand what the security apparatus is that is the Bitcoin network, and you sort of contemplate what that kind of network is actually worth to the world. I mean, you could easily say it’s worth two, three, four trillion. It’s certainly worth more than one company in the NASDAQ, and so that can get you to that number. It’s just that, look, it’s a complex thing. Most people don’t even realize that it is a network. They think it’s a price bobbing up and down or flashing on their Bloomberg, or that its magic money, or whatever it is. 

Laura Shin: 

Magic internet money.

Dan Tapiero:

Yeah. I mean, I think there’s still a lot of residual, you’d think that would go away by now, but I still meet people who are definitively hard no, it’s fraudulent. I’ll have nothing to do with it. 

Laura Shin: 

Wow. That’s not my world. 

Cathie Wood:

Yeah. Dan, you have a lot of credibility in this call because you came out of the physical gold world, and there’s…

Dan Tapiero:

Right. 

Cathie Wood:

I’m sure there are a lot of your former colleagues, or maybe they are still your colleagues, who wouldn’t touch Bitcoin, so it’s been very interesting to watch your evolution. 

Laura Shin: 

Yeah. Well. Dan, actually, do you want to talk about that a little bit, either your conversion or watching somebody else’s? What does it take to take someone like that and have them finally understand what Bitcoin’s about?

Dan Tapiero:

So, I think the most natural…the first adopters really, in theory, should be gold people because we’re from this hard money school, and so people out there in the Bitcoin world who are attacking gold they don’t really…I mean, they don’t really understand all the nuances that come along with owning physical gold, and no need to get into it here, but the philosophy behind owning gold, just generically, is very, very similar, and so I think…in a way, and I’ve said this before, the gold guys are kind of like cousins to the Bitcoin crowd, and it’s really sort of the long-only equity crowd in America that sort of needs to be converted, and the reason they aren’t, is because they never think about currency, right? If the dollar goes down…if fiat is going down it’s good because it generally has been supportive of the equity market, so for most American investors, fiat is the NASDAQ for them. Meaning, fiat going down makes sense because the devaluation of the dollar over time always has shown up in the S&P or in the NASDAQ, so Americans aren’t as natural, let’s say, as the Argentines or other people who have grown up with trying to understand currency. Americans are not as advanced, and so being a gold guy and being a hard money…someone who understands hard money, the jump to Bitcoin is easy. What’s difficult is to understand what exactly Bitcoin is, and so you have to go, and you read the Satoshi white paper and you say, okay, that solves the Byzantine General’s Problem. Okay, why is that important, and then you say, oh my gosh, he turns electricity into security, Bitcoin is a security network, right. That’s the genius of this thing, is that it’s…so it’s actually…Bitcoin is actually a lot more than just gold. 

Gold is a store of value but it’s not programmable. There’s no lighting network on Bitcoin. There’s no digital asset ecosystem. I mean, I think the real opportunity of Bitcoin is much, much greater than just digital gold, so…and as Cathie mentioned before, there’s a whole world of companies that are growing up in, what I would call, the digital asset ecosystem, that are enabling the usage and transaction of cryptocurrencies. There are early-stage applications of watching technology that are relevant. The bitcoiners hate that word. I just think that the Bitcoin and the technology that’s behind it, or the invention of the Satoshi’s and what it actually is, is just much bigger. I mean, a very bullish goal. I think we’re in the early stages of a bull market. I think the gold price will double, but as Paul Tudor Jones says, Bitcoin will be the fastest horse. I think Bitcoin can go up 20 to 30x as gold doubles. It’s just at an earlier stage of its development, but I mean, there’s a lot there I said, and I should stop. 

Laura Shin: 

Yeah. Well. So, why don’t we…you know what? We’re going to regroup a little bit about election stuff because I still feel like there are certain questions there, we should discuss, but first, let’s take a quick word from the sponsors who make this show possible. 

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Laura Shin:
Back to my conversation with Dan and Cathie. So far, we’ve been mainly just discussing the presidential election, and we have been talking about having a new administration that has a legislature that’s controlled by the other party. However, there are two elections that look like they’ll be going to a run-off in January in Georgia, which would potentially determine the control of the senate, and I just wondered what you thought things would look like if we ended up with an administration with a legislature that had…or that was controlled by the same party, for instance. If it was a Biden administration where the democratic won. Would that change your remarks in any way about how this could affect Bitcoin?

Cathie Wood:

It would change remarks about how it would affect everything because what you’re talking about there is the so-called, blue wave and I do think we’d see tax rates going up pretty precipitously, and I think the equity markets would go down. I think Bitcoin could serve as a place of safety, or a refuge of some sort, so it’s been interesting to watch the equities and bonds. Going up to the election what we’ve seen is if you look from January of ’18, just say people started thinking about the election way back then, what you’ve seen is there’s been an in-flow into the bond market of more than 800 billion dollars, and there’s been an outflow of equities, and this excludes share repurchases, to the tune of more than 400 billion dollars, so investors in the equity market have been somewhat concerned about how investments will be treated here. I think what you’re seeing in the market with the odds going up that the Republicans will control the Senate, notwithstanding what you’re saying about those two, the odds have gone up. I think the equity market is levitating, and it is interesting that Bitcoin is going…all assets are levitating. It’s like, okay, the money is out there. Let’s see how many places we can put it, so I find that very interesting, and housing. Housing as well, screaming. 

So, I think we’re beginning to see the very early days of the reserves that have been sitting on the Central Bank’s balance sheet for a long time, they’re being activated. That has been kindling for a long while and we just put another dollop on it with the coronavirus. The peak last time, after ’08, ’09, was 4.5 trillion dollars. Now, if estimates are correct, this could be nine trillion dollars just in the US by the end of the year, and it seems like risk-taking is stepping up a bit. That the memory of ’08, ’09 and the fact that the equity market’s been going up consistently since, which has left a lot of people on the sidelines, it seems like they’re stepping out and taking more risk, and I think that a gridlock…if that’s what we end up with, Republican Senate and Democrat house. I think the risk-taking will continue to increase, our risk-seeking will continue to increase and that will include Bitcoin. It seems like a risky animal because it’s volatile. Maybe not as volatile as it used to be, but it is a hedge of…it’s an insurance policy, so I can see diversifications of portfolios into many, many asset classes. 

Laura Shin: 

Dan?

Dan Tapiero:

Yeah. No, I would probably agree with that. I would broadly agree with that. I just think as long as the tail of the extreme left and the Liz Warren type possibilities are gone, I mean, I don’t think the Democrats, even if they win both, they don’t really have a mandate to completely change everything in the country. I mean this was…the whole thing was basically a toss-up, so I don’t think they have that…they don’t have that mandate. No, but broadly I think Cathie’s right. 

Laura Shin: 

Cathie mentioned this briefly, but we really should discuss this more in-depth because obviously with all of this stuff going on there’s also the pandemic, which in the US, looks like it’s going into the third wave. There were 121,500 new cases yesterday, 1100 deaths yesterday. In the US we’re reaching almost a quarter-million deaths total, and France, Germany, and England at this point are all entering new lockdowns. There’s India and Russia, which are seeing high numbers, so it’s only fall here. We’ve still got fall and winter to go through, and I wondered how you expected this new wave of infections, and the subsequent lockdowns to affect the economy and in turn how they would affect Bitcoin?

Cathie Wood:

Dan, you want to go this time.

Dan Tapiero:

Yeah. Look, I think it’s…look, increased uncertainty. The US economic data has been relatively strong. The Chinese data’s been good. Europe is still floundering a bit, so I think it just…it sort of takes the edge off of…or the fear that things are coming back too quickly. In fact, I think Jay Powell has been very cautious, and look, that’s all good because rates at zero are very supportive for all sorts of assets, and importantly…look, I think the most important decision investors have to make in the next 10 years, so the key thing during the ’20s will be what to do with that part of the portfolio. The traditional portfolios that are 70/30 or 60/40 what to do about that 30 or 40, because they’re in government bonds or in bonds that are yielding very low yields, and they’re not going to protect if we have a slowdown. They’ve sort of become neutered as a hedge component of the portfolio. Their upside will be limited by the zero bound, and so as people realize pensions and insurance companies, and we’re already seeing this in Europe with negative yields. They’re going to have to go out and find some real alpha, and I think the academic work, certainly, that’s been done on what happens to your portfolio when you add one percent to Bitcoin or three percent to Bitcoin? The results are so dramatic that I think it’s hard for investors to ignore, so that’s…

Laura Shin: 

With the caveat that if you buy at the right time because I’m sure there are definitely people who have bought…

Dan Tapiero:

No, Laura. So, I don’t think that’s right. I think that’s the greatest misconception. If you’re a long-term…if you’re an endowment or a pension, as I said, you’ve got a 10-year horizon. There is no 10-year horizon that you could buy today, you could buy for the next three years. You’re going to be fine on a 10-year horizon and that’s…on Bitcoin. 

Laura Shin: 

Yes, I agree with that. 

Dan Tapiero:

So, those big pools of capital, that 100 trillion-plus that Cathie’s talking about, I think they’re going to make their…they’re starting to see this and it’s partly as a result of the bond yield staying low, and that’s also partially a result of COVID hanging over everybody because everyone is still cautious and uncertain, even though my personal opinion is that its sort of beyond the worst of it. March was the worst, April that we’re going to see, but people can remain cautious for another year or two, so again, that keeps yields low, that keeps…and that makes the institutional investors start to question what 30% of his portfolio is doing at 40 basis points. 

Cathie Wood:

Right. I would say that this latest surge…I think in the US we’ll probably respond differently than Europe is. I mean because I think we’re asking the questions, wait a minute, this is a virus. The first lockdown did not work. Really? So, what are we thinking? Why are we doing that again, so I think there’s more of that attitude in the US, and I think that actually impacted the election to be honest. I think there was a clear difference. I mean, looking at the election results if I didn’t know anything except the numbers in congress, senate, and the house. The Democrats lost seats in the house. The Republicans kept the senate despite the polls saying otherwise, I would’ve said that wow, President Trump’s coattails brought a lot of these people along. It did not seem like…or at least the…I don’t know how the vote will end. As Dan says, it will be contested, but I would’ve said, wow, those are some coattails, because that was a big change and was not predicted by any of the polls, and I think part of it was one party wanted to shut the country down and the other party did not. I mean, that’s a little too black and white and so I do think that’s why we are back in gridlock in congress. I really do. 

Laura Shin: 

All right. Well. I mean, this has been sprinkled throughout the conversation, but let’s just tackle this directly. In late August, Federal Reserve Chairman, Jerome Powell, introduced a new interest rate policy that will target an average two percent inflation, even if that means allowing for higher inflation for longer periods of time, so I wondered how you thought this policy would affect Bitcoin.

Dan Tapiero:

Well. I don’t think…there’s not a lot out of the Central Banks that’s really relevant. I mean, two percent inflation. I mean, look, obviously, they’re not going to care about two or three. It’s bullish for Bitcoin. It just means there’s more liquidity available out there. They’re going to let things run hot, but I just don’t think we’re in that old framework anymore. The old let’s try to interpret monetary policy to mean something is just…it’s just not…that’s old school macro. That’s what you did in the ‘90s and the 2000s. I think it’s, all rates everywhere are basically…really rates everywhere are basically zero around the whole world, and nominal rates are zero in a big chunk of the world, so if we get some, what you want to call, inflation and the rate goes up one percent, I mean, it doesn’t matter. I think we’re in a post-Central Bank world in a way. Post-monetary policy world, I would say. I don’t think they have much impact…ability to impact things. 

Cathie Wood:

So, I think what Dan says, a lot of people after ’08, ’09 seeing the monetary base go up so dramatically, were worried about inflation, and so here we are again in the second big stage here, and I see fewer people worried now, which makes me worry a little bit more. In other words, I think complacency is where we could get into trouble here, so when I saw the two percent, and we’ll let it go above two percent, not saying how far above because of how far below and how long it has been below two percent, I said, hmm. 

So, I’m going to be looking at a few things. One…and they have to do with the velocity of money, which has been plummeting, and that’s why it hasn’t caused any inflation. When consumer confidence increases I have associated that in the past with…all we need to see is a cessation of the fall in velocity, and we’re already seeing…for example, in the housing market we’re seeing shortages of lumber and materials, which is kind of an inflationary psychology, and we’re seeing the minimum wage. If you look at Amazon and a number of other companies they’re talking about, yes, we’re going to have a 15-dollar minimum wage, and so you get people thinking oh, okay. Well. If we change the mindset from this, I have to hold my money, I have to hold precautionary balances. I can’t spend it because something could go wrong, then if they just stopped acting like that, just a cessation of the decline in velocity would change the momentum here, in terms of inflation. We’ve got M2 at 25% on a year over year basis. It might be even higher than that right now, so while I don’t think there’s an inflation problem right away I think we’re focused at ARK exclusively on disruptive innovation, Bitcoin, blockchain technology being that, but they’re all deflationary in nature, so I think there are these huge undercurrents of deflation and productivity gains that are going to hold inflation at bay. I listen and do hear people not worrying about it anymore, and I’m not worried about it, because of what I just told you. However, I don’t like the complacency, and I think…because I think that’s when mistakes are going to be made, so for that reason, I have upped my own insurance policy on Bitcoin, and I already owned a lot. 

Laura Shin: 

Okay. Well. Yeah, let’s actually dive a little bit more into Bitcoin, because here we’ve discussed politics, we’ve discussed the pandemic, and amidst all this, we also have this halving last spring, which cut the new supply of Bitcoin being produced in half to 6.25 Bitcoins every 10 minutes down from 12.5, and so I wondered, as you’re looking at these larger forces and then in the middle of all that you see the clock-like ticking of the Bitcoin software, how do you expect Bitcoin to perform over this next year? I know we did talk just generally without putting a timeframe on it, but I’m kind of curious. Over this next year, as we continue to ride out the pandemic and we just had halving. 

Cathie Wood:

Well. The last time we had a halving it took a little while for…I don’t know if it took a while for the knowledge to hit in, or the actual impact to make its way into the marketplace, but it was a setup for a very nice run, and I do think that’s part of what’s going on this time as well, as people do the arithmetic. Yassine, in his paper, put out…or it may be the next paper, but this chart where you can track because the network is so transparent, how much Bitcoin has been held for five years and more, three years and more, one year and more, 30 days and the loyalty is pretty startling. I mean, 60% more than a year, so a lot of people think it’s this wild, crazy trading mentality at work, but it’s 60% more than a year. Equity portfolios…even our own equity portfolios we might hold our names, we may have very little name turnover, but we’ll be trading around volatility, we’re not seeing that in Bitcoin. I mean, at the margins of course we are, but in terms of the vast majority of the holders I know some of its lost, and we don’t know how much of that is 60%, but they’re holders, so that’s quite significant. 

Laura Shin: 

Dan, what do you think?

Dan Tapiero:

Yeah, I mean look, I think it’s too hard to trade Bitcoin. I think the certainty of a price projection over one year is dramatically less than over three years. Look, I would say can Bitcoin go to 30,000-40,000 by the end of next year? Sure. But I would have a higher degree of confidence that it could get to 70,000 in three years, so I just…again, I think there’s too much of this historical, traditional…or attempts at historical analysis or traditional analysis from other markets, like to say, if X happens, X plus Y will then equal Z. I think, as I said, Bitcoin is just doing its own thing. It’s an early-stage technology, early-stage monetary standard. I mean, it’s so many different things, so I could see it at almost any number, honestly, and I think trying to finesse it, is just going to be heartache. I mean, this is one of the few times in life where you’re really just given an opportunity to just sit back. If you have that luxury. You don’t have to do anymore…you can spend an hour or two reading about Bitcoin. You’ve got your position. People always want to run around and do things and move around and be productive. If your long enough Bitcoin in the right percentage, that’s going to be enough. I just want to say one thing about Cathie’s point, and I’ve admired her business and her focus and how she set that up. I mean, I think it’s sort of a new wave of companies, and also she’s doing something better than the legacy system, and the deflationary pressure that she’s talking about that’s coming from the industries is just so massive, and it’s, in a way, never been measured before, and so you’re looking at these old things, like the CPI, which were constructed who knows when, 1948. I mean, it’s like the Swift system. It’s like pre-internet. 

So, just an example, Zoom for instance. I was supposed to go to Australia and meet investors for two weeks. I was going to have 20 meetings. COVID hits, I don’t have to go to Australia, I don’t have to spend two weeks, 50 thousand dollars on hotels and flights, and this and that. I do one call with 20 investors. One hour. One call. Finito. So, tell me is that measured in the CPI? No way. I just saved 50 grand just to not…so I just think that this is the most interesting time I can ever recall in my career, because the change that’s going on underneath the system, or underneath the market, like the changes. Yes, there are people who are suffering now, but there’s been so much that’s been pulled forward, especially in Cathie’s world, so much that’s been pulled forward that’s sort of gone into hyper speed. I mean, and again, Zoom is the perfect example. I don’t think those things have been calculated and normally I’m worried about the complacency aspect as well, but…on inflation. But no, I’m not, and I actually really like Saylor’s, the way that he’s looking at inflation, which is that I’ve got to keep up with my…the 15% a year that the NASDAQ’s going to do, or I…so he’s looking at his allocations based upon what relative assets do that he’s involved with. I like that, and also the point that…yes. I mean, your cash at zero with a one percent inflation rate you’re losing one percent a year, and so there are a bunch of powerful forces, right now, that are interacting, and I don’t think there’s any analysis that’s been done on that yet. They’ll do it in three or four years, and this confusion leads to opportunity, and that’s why each of you, in our own way, are prospering having focused on this new digital world.

Laura Shin: 

Well. I imagine, Cathie actually probably has done some analysis, and I was going to ask you about that, but why don’t we jump to that question now, because I know that one area that you’ve called out as ripe for disruption is banking, and obviously you’ve made prescient investments in Square and such. So, how do you see banking changing over the next few years, and obviously, how do you think that will affect Bitcoin?

Cathie Wood:

Yes. So, we believe that…I think the numbers…there are about roughly 250 billion dollars in back branches, and those are going to be stranded assets. We are going to walk around with bank branches in our pockets or our pocketbooks. Honestly, we’re shocked that this year JP Morgan, after shrinking its bank branch base has decided to move it up, and the only thing we can conclude, because at least they’re thinking about crypto and digital wallets and so forth, is that JP Morgan is aiming to become the Walmart or Costco of banking, which is very different from what they’re perceived right now. They want to roll up the industry, because we think the industry’s in real trouble, and one of the reasons we think it is in real trouble is the yield curve is…while it’s gone positive here we think it’s going to flatten and go negative, longer-term again, because if you look at periods of very rapid inflation, and you go back to…I mean, innovation you go back to telephone, electricity, automobile in the late 1800s, early 1900s. The yield curve was inverted more than half of the time there, back then, over that 50-year period, into the roaring ’20s with the average inversion being 100 basis points, and that was primarily because of the burst of deflation that was occurring associated with these new technologies. So, we think banks are going to be commoditized. There’s no way they can…they cannot jump into this new DNA. That’s one thing I’ve learned over my career, there’s old DNA, and they usually say to the newbies when they surface, like Square, and Venmo, either they dismiss them entirely or they basically say, we’re going to wipe them off the face of the earth. That’s our installed base. We can do that. We’re spending this much on technology. Wrong DNA. They set up their…

Dan Tapiero:

Yeah, but Cathie, you and I are old DNA and we’ve been making the transition. 

Cathie Wood:

Well. But I don’t think organizational…

Dan Tapiero:

That’s not completely wrong.

Cathie Wood:

I don’t think organizational structures can. When you think about…I mean, everything we do, whether it’s autonomous, electric, the auto manufacturers are not even…that’s not how transportation’s going to be going forward. You have to be battery…you have to know batteries, you have to know software, you have to know artificial intelligence. It’s just a new ballgame, new ballgame. You and I, as investors, I mean I’m charged up by innovation, so I’m always seeking it out, and I certainly…I think one of the biggest mistakes that our industry has made, I think it’s led to the most massive misallocation of capital in history, and that is the move to indexation, passive, especially after the tech and telecom bust, and the ’08, ’09 meltdown. More than half of all equities in the United States today are held in passive portfolios. That is really sad. Massive misallocation of capital. That’s why I want us to stay ahead as much as we can in the blockchain world, Bitcoin world. I know this is a global phenomenon, but I don’t want the innovation associated with it to migrate because the capital markets aren’t financing it, right. That’s one of the reasons I started the company. 

Dan Tapiero:

They’re not financing it. 

Cathie Wood:

No, they’re not. 

Dan Tapiero:

They’re not financing it. 

Cathie Wood:

I know. and in fact, a lot of the innovation is moving abroad. A lot of the funds are moving abroad, and they don’t even want American investors in them because of our regulatory system, so we risk being left out in the cold in some ways. Like I’m out there beating the drum saying, hey, you want to win in this race, you’ve got to make the regulatory environment much more friendly to innovation, otherwise we lose it to other countries, and especially now with China on the march. On the march, right. Literally, on the march to become number one in innovation. 

The one thing we do very well here in the United States though, is open source. The movement started primarily here. I think Linux was from Norway, but the movement started here, and I do think more and more industries are going open source. Of course, Blockchain…Bitcoin and blockchain, that’s open source. China is not going to allow that. they’re not going to allow that, so they could be left out in the cold for that reason. I’ve been thinking a lot about this, but we in the United States have got to get our capital allocation straight and move away from the dinosaurs. That world is going to be really destroyed in many ways, and I think that…you asked about banks, and here I am off on a completely worldview, but I really think banks are in harms way, that’s why they’re underperforming. I think they’re going to lose their business to digital. Yeah, they’ll be able to participate in some of it and it will be a rollup industry. It’ll be a rollup. There will be some…very few, but some very big strong banks, but more digital will run circles around the rest of it. 

Laura Shin: 

Yeah. 

Dan Tapiero:

Laura, I think we’ve got to get Cathie down to DC on one of those committees to tell them that we really are…there really is a possibility that we lose our edge here. I couldn’t agree more. 

Cathie Wood:

Yeah. 

Laura Shin: 

Yeah. So, I don’t get involved in that. However, I will say I do know a number of regulators do listen to this show. However, they’re probably already the ones that are interested in this stuff anyway, so maybe they’re not the ones that need to hear it, but yeah. There was a funny thing that happened to me. I think it was last winter, and I did mention it on the show, but I was walking down the street and I think I…I don’t remember what it was. I had, I don’t know, let’s say a dentist appointment or something, and I was leaving, and I was thinking about nothing and I passed by a bank and a little voice in my head was like, that won’t be there in five years. 

Cathie Wood:

Yes. 

Laura Shin: 

I remember when that thought just popped in my head. I was like, what, and then I thought, oh yeah, that’ll probably be the case, but it’ll be more like within the next 10, but anyway. Since you mentioned China, I was also going to ask about the whole issue around Central Bank Digital Currencies because here we’ve got great momentum around Bitcoin, which you can think of this non-state money, and yet, on the other hand, we have all these governments that are working on these Central Bank Digital Currencies and China, Obviously, is already in this pilot phase of rolling one out. The European Central Bank is actually soliciting feedback on a potential digital euro at the moment. The Federal Reserve has said that it is exploring a CBDC, and obviously we know there are smart and influential people, like the former CFDC Chairman Chris Giancarlo, who’s advocating for a digital dollar, so at this point, I’m sure it’s just a matter of when not if, and I wondered as we start to see more Central Bank Digital Currencies become issued how do you think that would affect Bitcoin and kind of what are you looking for in that movement, especially if China comes out first? Do you think they could leverage that in any way?

Cathie Wood:

I actually think that movement to CBDCs is going to…in a way it’s…an indirect way it’s validating this space even though it bears no resemblance to Bitcoin, right. Nothing. Night and day. In fact, this is just a way for China to continue its surveillance and verification procedures, and as more people learn that that…when you’ve got Big Brother watching everything now, I think the demand for Bitcoin, stateless Bitcoin will go up, so that…

Laura Shin: 

Yeah, and this will probably serve as an easier on-ramp because it will…their money will already be digital, and Dan…

Dan Tapiero:

Yes, that’s what I was going to say. I mean, I agree with Cathie that puts the…also the scarcity aspect of Bitcoin in stark relief, right. I mean the central banks just push a button and it’s created, but more importantly, I think it gets people more comfortable with the concept of abstract money or digital money, and we’re going to be on those new rails, and so once you’re on those new rails you’re like, well, what else can we put on these rails? Oh, there’s Bitcoin, there’s Ethereum. I mean, I just think that it opens up people’s minds, and I think that’s the big challenge in this space with Bitcoin and broadly the digital asset ecosystem. It’s just getting people comfortable with how it works and why it is the future. 

Laura Shin: 

All right. So, we’re kind of coming up on the hour here and we haven’t even…I mean, there’s just been so much activity in Bitcoin and there’s just so much going on in the world that could affect Bitcoin, so there’s kind of too many things to discuss, but I will throw out some other things around, just to see. I’m kind of curious to know what you’re looking for in the next, let’s say, year in terms of how you think this could affect Bitcoin, but we didn’t go into the whole MicroStrategy or square thing very much. We did not even touch PayPal integrating Bitcoin, which is obviously huge, or the JPMorgan Chase investment note, which was kind of bullish on Bitcoin, which is pretty remarkable given that the CEO, Jamie Dimon has been famously pretty dismissive of Bitcoin, so just with everything going on in the world, the political stuff, the election, the pandemic, et cetera. What are you looking for when you’re thinking about what could happen with Bitcoin over the next year?

Cathie Wood:

Well. I think the rush you’re seeing here is there’s this…there’s been this aha moment, and I think the coronavirus caused it. Innovation always takes off during tough times. Always. Because it solves a lot of problems, and that has certainly been true here, and I believe that executives are looking at the accelerated shifts taking place in retail. If you listen to Sheryl Sandberg, on Facebook’s call last week, she made this, just simple observation that online retail has gained 100 basis points of share every year for the last four years. In the second quarter, it gained 400 basis points, so four percent, so it took four years prior and in one quarter we got four percentage points, up to 16%, and only 16% in the US, online retail is the percent of total. Most of us think and behave as though it’s much more than that. That is the beginning point of the sweet spot for the s-curve, just the exponential growth. 

Many people think Amazon’s already done it, but there’s so much more to come, and I think executives were awakened to a lot of digital realities and how far behind they were. If you look in the GDP report that came out this last week, I have never seen a bigger surge. I think it was a 70% surge, that’s an annualized rate, in one quarter. I’ve never seen that before. There is an absolute rush to get into the modern digital age, and part of that is all digital assets, including cryptocurrencies. That’s why I do think you saw the MicroStrategy announcement and Square integrating it into its digital wallet. It saw the use cases, and now stocks and everything, so if you…this digital wallet that Square has, this Cash App, is going to trample so many traditional financial institutions that they have to face the reality, what is my digital future, so they have to learn more about crypto assets, cryptocurrencies, and digital assets broadly. So, I think it’s a wake-up call and that the movement gained acceleration. This okay, yeah, I have to think about this. This is not a five-year phenomenon it’s now. That’s what I think is happening. 

Laura Shin: 

Dan, what about you?

Dan Tapiero:

Yeah. I mean, that’s very well said. Look, I’ve been…I’ve sort of had the same view on Bitcoin, in terms of price, and in my head, it’s sort of on autopilot so I don’t…there’s no trading of it. I’m holding. I think I have a price in my head years down the line, so I’ve actually been focused more on what I would call the mid to late-stage businesses, companies that are in the digital asset ecosystem not the VC or early stuff. You say who built that PayPal functionality. Well. It was Paxos, Paxos is a D…what I call a DAE company. Coinbase is going to have potentially an IPO next year. There are some really good companies that are all private that are growing up in this space. My attention is squarely focused on them and I will be incorporating equity in those companies into my own portfolio, and 10T is going to make a business of that. 

So, I think that that’s a whole other world we haven’t even discussed. There are some phenomenal companies. You look at BlockFi, that’s come out of nowhere. I could go on and on about…and the growth rates are astronomical, so I think that will also bring a whole new level of attention to Bitcoin because you asked the question about Bitcoin, but as…and as these companies grow and hire more people, and people start to know what Kraken is or just people outside of our world don’t even know that there are companies in this space. They don’t know that you can earn five percent on your Bitcoin if you want. That’s something that is easy for people to understand, equity, companies, leadership, income statement, balance sheet. They don’t have to figure out token economics, or which protocol is going to beat the other protocol, so I think investors increasingly become focused on this world, right. 

Cathie Wood:

Right, and the whole DeFi movement, and to your point, Dan, the interest rates that you can get out there in the crypto asset world those are attracting a lot of interest relative to the competition in the old world, and I think the best thing that happened to that ecosystem was March. The coronavirus also, because there were masters of the universe evolving and they thought they could do no wrong and now their businesses are shutdown. Really good in terms of getting the right governance structures put in place in this very young emerging technology world, so we’re pretty excited about that as well. 

Laura Shin: 

All right. Well. We will get to see where all this takes us and what the future holds amidst all of these shifting forces. In the meantime, where can people learn more about each of you and your work?

Dan Tapiero:

Well. Cathie, go ahead. I mean, you’re…

Cathie Wood:

Thank you, Dan. So, ARK-Invest is our research site, so we put all of our research up there. We give it away, and we’re on Twitter as well. If you look on our site, you’ll see our analysts. Each one of them has a handle, Yassine Elmandjra’s handle, if you’re interested in Bitcoin, is probably the one you want to follow, but we’re…the research…we’re doing more and more research on Bitcoin because we do believe the institutional world should be and is getting ready to move into this space. 

Laura Shin: 

Oh, yeah. Actually, Cathie, I’m glad you mentioned the open source thing because…or your research because I did mean to mention that when you talked about open source, that you open source your research, which I think is definitely, obviously, something quite different in your world, but it shows that you really follow the philosophy and your investment philosophy aligns with how you run your business. 

Interviewee:

Yes, thank you. 

Laura Shin: 

And Dan?

Dan Tapiero:

Yeah, and thanks, Cathie, for doing that because I certainly have benefitted from reading some of those research pieces. 

Cathie Wood:

Oh, great. Thank you. 

Dan Tapiero:

Yeah. No, absolutely. I mean, five years ago there was no research in this space. That was part of the reason it took me a while to get into it, but I think you’re doing great work and you’re helping tons of people out there. 

Cathie Wood:

Thank you. 

Dan Tapiero:

So, I would recommend that to people. I’m on Twitter. I put something out every once in a while, on Bitcoin, gold, macro, et cetera. 10T Holdings is a private equity fund. It’s private. You can Google me. There are all kinds of interviews and other things that we’ve done. Gold Bullion International is the gold company I founded 10 years ago. We are still booming, and this year was a record year, and we do sell physical gold and sell in-store, and we think we are sort of the institutional quality high caliber provider in the space. We are now the third-largest vaulter of gold in the world outside of the banking system. Over 300,000 clients, we’ve done over a million trades on the platform. I mean, so it’s very robust, but I’m not involved in the day to day there. I’m just watching it grow, especially this year, but it’s really Twitter and of course, everything is on Google now. I mean, I used to remember when you could Google…and before Google, I would spend two weeks in a research library looking for one book and now it’s like…I did that when I studied history in college, and now it’s like everything is there. Where can they not find you is really the question, right. 

Laura Shin: 

Yes. Yes, I totally agree. I just feel like even…yeah, just in the two decades since I’ve graduated from college just the way that I research things has completely changed.

All right. Well. This has been such a fun conversation. Thank you both, so much, for coming on Unchained. 

Dan Tapiero:

Thank you.

Cathie Wood:

Thank you, Laura. 

Laura Shin: 

Thanks so much for joining us today. To learn more about Dan and Cathie, check out the show notes for this episode.

Don’t forget you can now watch video recordings of the shows on the Unchained YouTube channel. Go to youtube.com/c/unchainedpodcast and subscribe today. 

Unchained is produced by me, Laura Shin, with help from Anthony Yoon, Daniel Nuss, Bossi Baker, Shashank, and the Team at CLK Transcription. Thanks for listening.

Source: https://unchainedpodcast.com/why-bitcoin-now-bitcoin-under-a-biden-administration/

Blockchain

Die 5 wichtigsten Ereignisse im DeFi-Sektor

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Da der NFT-Hype langsam aber sicher abzunehmen scheint, bekommt der DeFi-Sektor endlich wieder die verdiente Aufmerksamkeit. DeFi spielt in der Krypto-Welt eine immer größere und wichtigere Rolle. BeInCrypto hat für euch fünf der wichtigsten Innovationen bzw. Ereignisse im DeFi-Sektor zusammengestellt.

1. UniSwap-Gründung

Die dezentrale Exchange (DEX) UniSwap (UNI) kam 2018 auf den Markt. Sie basiert auf dem Ethereum Netzwerk und ist zurzeit das Krypto-Projekt mit der zweitgrößten Marktkapitalisierung. UniSwap ist wohl das oder zumindest eines der populärsten DeFi-Projekte.

Die Nutzer der Exchange können ihre Einlagen ohne eine zentralisiertere Drittpartei untereinander austauschen. UniSwap hat den Kryptomarkt, der überwiegend von zentralisierten Börsen (CEXs) wie Binance kontrolliert wird, komplett verändert.

Im Februar 2021 erreichte die führende DEX als erste dezentrale Exchange ein Transaktionsvolumen in Höhe von 100 Milliarden US-Dollar. Der UNI-Token besitzt außerdem (zum Zeitpunkt der Veröffentlichung) eine Marktkapitalisierung von knapp 15,5 Milliarden US-Dollar. Die Kryptowährung ist laut Coingecko zurzeit die neunt-größte Kryptowährung auf dem Markt.

2. SushiSwap Fork

UniSwap war die Ursache für viele neue Entwicklungen und Innovationen im inzwischen milliardenschweren DeFi-Sektor. Einer der bemerkenswertesten (und wahrscheinlich direktesten) Einflüsse war die SushiSwap-Fork. Die Fork entstand damals, weil Mitglieder der Uniswap-Community mit einigen Aspekten von UniSwap nicht einverstanden waren.

Bei der Fork floß ein beachtlicher Teil der Liquidität in das SushiSwap-Netzwerk. Anschließend entwickelte das Team von SushiSwap einige neue DeFi-Produkte und viele neue Geschäftsbeziehungen. SushiSwap ist deshalb inzwischen einer der größten Konkurrenten von UniSwap.

Zum Zeitpunkt der Veröffentlichung ist SushiSwap außerdem die fünftgrößte DEX mit einer Marktkapitalisierung von rund 2,1 Milliarden US-Dollar.

3. Yearn Finance’s Fair Launch

Auch wenn DEXs die Basis für die DeFi-Ökonomie sind, so sind es die DeFi-Produkte, die den DeFi-Markt so attraktiv machen. Und kaum eine andere Plattform kann diesbezüglich mit Yearn Finance (YFI) mithalten.

Yearn Finance wurde von Andre Cronje gegründet. Auf der Plattform können DeFi-Nutzer ganz einfach auf verschiedene DeFi-Produkten zugreifen. Ein weiterer großer Pluspunkt von YFI sind die sogenannten „Fair Launches“.

Bei dem „Token Generation Event (TGE)“ sind sämtliche YFI Token an die Teilnehmer ausgeschüttet worden. Keine der damals ausgegebenen Token ging an die Entwickler oder an die damaligen Investoren.

4. Die Entwicklung von Smart Contracts

Smart Contracts sind die Grundlage für die meisten DeFi-Anwendungen und -Plattformen. Die Meisten von ihnen befinden sich auf der Ethereum-Blockchain. In der Tat gäbe es ohne Smart Contracts überhaupt kein DeFi. Die Idee hinter den Smart Contracts ist allerdings fast zwei Jahrzehnte älter als Ethereum.

Im Jahre 1996 entwickelte der legendäre Nick Szabo bereits das Konzept für die Smart Contracts. Damals konnte die Idee aufgrund der noch nicht vorhanden technologischen Möglichkeiten aber noch nicht umgesetzt werden. Erst im Jahr 2012 implementierte Vitalik Buterin das Konzept auf der Bitcoin-Blockchain und erschuf damit Ethereum.

Ethereum Statue
Ein Bild von BeInCrypto

5. Bitcoins Genesis Block

Und schließlich, wo wäre der gesamte Krypto-Markt ohne Bitcoin selbst. Viele glauben, dass DeFi im DeFi-Sommer 2020 entstand. In Wahrheit ist allerdings Bitcoin das erste wirkliche DeFi-Produkt.

In dem berühmt gewordenen Bitcoin-Whitepaper schrieb Satoshi Nakamoto:

„Eine reine Peer-to-Peer-Version von elektronischem Geld würde es ermöglichen, Online-Zahlungen direkt von einer Partei zur anderen zu senden, ohne den Umweg über ein Finanzinstitut.“

Bitcoin ist also per Definition ein dezentrales Bezahlsystem. Inzwischen hat sich Bitcoin sogar zu einem Vermögensspeicher („Store of Value“) entwickelt und wird immer weniger für dezentrale Zahlungen verwendet.

Zum Zeitpunkt der Veröffentlichung dieses Artikels liegt der Bitcoin Preis wieder bei über 60.000 US-Dollar. So wie es aussieht, wird Bitcoin seine Position noch weiter ausbauen können.

DeFi Cube
Ein Bild von BeInCrypto

Übersetzt von Maximilian M.

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Emmanuel trat 2013 als Kryptowährungsbroker in den Bereich Kryptowährung ein. Er ist ein Krypto-Enthusiast, Unternehmer und Investor, der mehrere Projekte und Communities in diesem Bereich aufgebaut und geleitet hat. Zu den Interessen gehören: DeFI, CBDCs und Investment.

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Knut Svanholm im Interview: „Bitcoin verwischt die Grenze zwischen Besitz und Wissen“

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Knut Svanholm ist eigentlich Sänger, Großsegler und Führungskraft einer Reederei. Allerdings hat er vor einigen Jahren Bitcoin für sich entdeckt und seine Leidenschaft zum Beruf gemacht. Sein Buch „Bitcoin: Selbstbestimmung durch Mathematik“ gehört zu den beliebtesten Büchern über die älteste Kryptowährung.

Außerdem ist Knut Svanholm immer häufiger als Redner auf verschiedenen internationalen Konferenzen anzutreffen. Im Gespräch mit BeInCrypto ging es – natürlich – um Bitcoin, aber auch über Satoshi Nakamoto und Mathematik.

„Denk mehrere Generationen voraus“

Knut erzählt, dass viele Menschen eine Sache an Bitcoin außer Acht lassen: die Langfristigkeit.

„Es geht darum mehrere Generationen vorauszuplanen. Das ist der beste Weg, um wirklich ein Gefühl dafür zu bekommen, wie großartig diese Entdeckung ist. Und wie lebensverändernd sie für alle Menschen sein kann, die es schaffen, nur ein paar Bitcoins in die Hände zu bekommen. Unabhängig davon, wie viel Bitcoin du hast, es wird für ein paar Generationen ausreichen. Betrachte Bitcoin also als das Kostbarste, was es gibt. Das Angebot wird in den nächsten 120 Jahren immer weiter abnehmen und das macht Bitcoin einzigartig. Ich denke, die Leute unterschätzen die Auswirkungen dessen.“

Knut erklärt weiter, dass er momentan keine Hindernisse für die Ausbreitung von Bitcoin sieht:

„Vor allem, weil das Lightning-Netzwerk funktioniert. Ich meine, das Lightning Network ist seit 2019 aktiv und es funktioniert bei mir jedes Mal einwandfrei, wenn ich es benutze. Das einzige, wofür ich Bitcoin ausgebe, ist für anderen Bitcoin-bezogenen Dingen, um das Wachstum der Sache an sich zu fördern. Wie zum Beispiel mein Abonnement für das Citadel21 Magazine. Dafür benutze ich Bitcoin.“

Für ihn ist der erste und wichtigste Anwendungsfall die Spartechnologie:

„Es ist so, als würde man der Zukunft das Risiko nehmen. Ich kann mir nicht vorstellen, das jetzt auf eine clevere Art und Weise auszudrücken. Deine Bitcoins werden der gleiche Teil der 21 Millionen sein, unabhängig davon, wie lange du wartest. Es gibt nichts, was den Wert beeinträchtigen könnte, zumindest sehe ich das nicht. Es fällt mir schwer, ein echtes Risiko dafür zu erkennen. Vielleicht gibt es Risikofaktoren, an die wir nicht gedacht haben, aber je länger es funktioniert, desto vielversprechender sieht es aus.“

Über Artikel und Bücher

Zwischen den Jahren 2013 und 2014 hörte Knut erstmalig von Bitcoin. Aber erst einige Jahre später, im Jahr 2016, kaufte er seine erste kleine Menge Bitcoin. Ferner belegte er einen Online-Kurs an der Universität von Nikosia in Zypern.  

„Ich hatte all dieses neu gewonnene Wissen, mit dem ich etwas anfangen musste. Ich hatte damals einen ziemlich langweiligen Job, also fing ich an, Artikel auf meinem Handy zu schreiben. Einer von ihnen startete richtig durch und wurde ungefähr 70.000 gelesen. Bei dem Artikel ging es darum, wie man seine privaten Schlüssel vor der Bitcoin Cash Fork sichert. Und ich dachte mir, dann habe ich vielleicht eine reale Chance mir Gehör zu verschaffen und einen echten Beitrag zu leisten. Dann habe ich damit angefangen die Artikel zu einem Buch zusammenzufassen. Allerdings waren das ja „nur“ Artikel. Also dachte ich mir, ich schreibe besser ein richtiges Buch über Bitcoin.“

Knut Svanholm setzte sich als Vorsatz für das neue Jahr das Ziel täglich eine Seite zu schreiben.

„Aber ich hatte nur 100 Seiten und das Gefühl, alles gesagt zu haben, was ich in diesem Buch sagen wollte. Ok, lass es uns ein kurzes Buch daraus machen und sehen, was damit passiert. Es passierte aber sehr wenig, bis ich den Schlüsselpersonen in der Branche 25 Bücher gab und danach wurde es zu einer Art Phänomen, das hat mich sehr glücklich gemacht.“

Vor allem das Buch „Bitcoin: Selbstbestimmung durch Mathematik“ ist in Bitcoin-Kreisen stark frequentiert. Knut erklärt uns dazu:

„Ich habe auf dem Weg herausgefunden, dass Bitcoin die ultimative mathematische Sache ist, um die objektive Realität zu studieren. Und die Praxeologie ist das ultimative Werkzeug, um herauszufinden, warum Menschen etwas tun.“

Bitcoin: Ein Bild von BeInCrypto.com
Bitcoin: Ein Bild von BeInCrypto.com

Von und mit Bitcoin leben

Knut berichtet, dass es momentan schwer zu sagen ist, wann ein Leben gänzlich basierend auf Bitcoin möglich sein wird:

„Es könnte ein oder zwei Generationen dauern, aber es könnte auch innerhalb der nächsten fünf Jahre geschehen. Wir wissen es nicht, aber im Moment haben wir überall bullische Signale. Sobald diese großen Tech-CEOs keine andere Möglichkeit haben, ihren Wert zu speichern, gibt es nichts, was über einen langen Zeitraum sicherer ist. Wir werden einen Massenübergang sehen. Alles bewegt sich vorwärts, wir leben durch Hyperbitcoinization und wir befinden uns in den ersten Stadien davon. Vielen Menschen fällt es schwer zu glauben, dass Bitcoin ungefähr 50.000 Euro wert ist.“

Ferner berichtet er, dass Individuen vor Regierungen, Institutionen oder Unternehmen einen großen Vorteil haben, wenn es um die Aquisition von Bitcoin geht.

„Es ist für eine Person viel einfacher als für Regierungen Bitcoin zu kaufen. Die Institutionen werden hier zurückfallen, haben aber natürlich die Mittel den Fortschritt zu hemmen. Dennoch haben Einzelpersonen bereits jetzt einen Vorsprung. Bitcoin ist eine persönliche Sache und verwischt die Grenze zwischen Besitz und Wissen. Denn zu wissen, wie du auf dein Bitcoin zugreifen kannst, bedeutet gleichzeitig Bitcoin zu besitzen. Sich die Seedphrase zu merken ist genauso wertvoll wie das zugrundeliegende Gut. Und ich denke, das ändert alles, was wir über das Eigentum im Allgemeinen wissen. Es befähigt den Einzelnen; Ich denke, alles muss auf individueller Ebene beginnen, um langfristig zu bestehen.“

Immer wieder sehen wir Bemühungen von Regierungen Bitcoin zu verbieten oder aber die Integration zu fördern. Knut erklärt:

„Gegen Bitcoin zu sein ist ein bisschen wie gegen die Sonne, die jeden Morgen aufgeht. Sie können so viel dagegen sein, wie sie wollen, aber das ändert nichts. Es wird immer noch da sein und arbeiten. Man kann der Mathematik keine Waffe an den Kopf halten, es funktioniert nicht. Wenn du eine Waffe auf 2+2=4 richtest, bleibt 2+2=4. Und Bitcoin ist nur Code und Mathematik, es ist dasselbe. Du kannst deine Regeln nicht den Regeln der Natur aufzwingen, es funktioniert nicht.“

Häufig wird das Argument diskutiert, dass die Dezentralität von Bitcoin dessen Entwicklung zugutekommt. Schließlich haben Instanzen somit keinen Anhaltspunkt eine oder mehrere Entwickler zur Verantwortung zu ziehen oder anzugreifen. Entsprechend ist es einigen Bitcoin-Enthusiasten ganz recht, dass niemand so richtig weiß, wer Satoshi Nakamoto war oder ist.

„Wer auch immer es war, hatte eine gute Basis. Denn all die verschiedenen Teile, aus denen Bitcoin besteht, wurden bereits erfunden. Und er musste nur die Punkte verbinden. Ich vermute, dass es Hal Finney gewesen ist. Er war seiner Zeit weit voraus und sagte so viele kluge Dinge.“

Abschließend erzählt Knut noch davon, wie sich Bitcoin im Laufe der Zeit gewandelt hat:

„Es hat viele Veränderungen erfahren, seit Satoshi Nakamoto gegangen ist, und wir sehen Bitcoin heutzutage in einem ganz anderen Licht. Auch die digitale Goldanalogie ist nicht mehr gut genug. Wir müssen nicht wissen, wer Satoshi Nakamoto ist oder war. Was zählt ist, dass er verschwunden ist. Das ist ein großer Teil des Grundes, warum Bitcoin funktioniert, ein sehr unterschätzter Teil. Wir wissen auch nicht, wer Pythagoras war, wir wissen nur, dass seine Theorie funktioniert, und das ist der wichtige Teil.“

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Alex hat ihren Bachelor in Orient- und Asienwissenschaften an der Friedrich-Wilhelms Universität Bonn absolviert, danach Deutsch als Fremdsprache am Goethe Institut studiert und ihren Master in Arabistik an der Freien Universität Berlin absolviert. Seit 2017 ist sie als Krypto-Journalistin tätig.

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Krypto Person der Woche: Abigail Johnson

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In dieser Kolumne geht es Woche für Woche um Persönlichkeiten aus der ganzen Welt, die sich im Kryptoversum durch besonders interessante Ansichten oder Aktionen hervorgetan haben. Diesmal ist die Krypto-Person der Woche Abigail Johnson.

In dieser Kolumne geht es Woche für Woche um Persönlichkeiten aus der ganzen Welt, die sich im Kryptoversum durch besonders interessante Ansichten oder Aktionen hervorgetan haben. Diesmal ist die Krypto-Person der Woche Abigail Johnson.

Momentan begegnen uns die Bitcoin ETFs regelmäßig in den Krypto-News. Während dem NFT-Boom langsam die Luft ausgeht, gewinnt das Thema Bitcoin ETF mächtig an Fahrt. Und genau deswegen werfen wir in dieser Woche einen genaueren Blick auf die US-amerikanische Milliardärin und derzeitige Präsidentin und Geschäftsführerin der amerikanischen Investmentfirma Fidelity Investments Abigail Johnson. Sie ist ganz nebenbei auch noch Vorsitzende der internationalen Schwesterfirma Fidelity International.

Abigail Johnson sitzt aber nicht zufällig im Fidelity-Versum ganz weit oben. Schließlich hat ihr Großvater Edward Johnson II Fidelity Investments im Jahr 1946 gegründet. Momentan verwaltet Fidelity Investment ein Kundenvermögen von über acht Billionen US-Dollar. Und weil sich im Moment im Finanzbereich alles um den Bitcoin dreht, springt Fidelity Investment auf den Krypto-Zug auf.

Fidelity Investment: Bitcoin ETF

Im Jahr 2018 führte Johnson bei Fidelity Krypto-Investitionen ein. Seitdem können vor allem institutionelle Anleger ganz einfach in Bitcoin und Ethereum einsteigen. Ferner entwickelte Abigail Johnson die Tochtergesellschaft Fidelity Digital Assets, um diesen Servicebereich auf Depotbank-, Research- und Ausführungsdienstleistungen auszuweiten. In einer Rede soll Abigail Johnson gesagt haben:

„Ich liebe dieses Zeug – Bitcoin, Ethereum, Blockchain-Technologie – und was die Zukunft bringt.“

Entsprechend gab FD Funds Management, eine Tochtergesellschaft von Fidelity, bekannt, die finanzielle Unterstützung für einen börsengehandelten Fonds namens Wise Origin Bitcoin Trust zu liefern. Möglicherweise basiert der große Sprung in börsengehandelte Bitcoin Investitionsmöglichkeiten aus den Forschungsergebnissen des Papers „Bitcoin Investment Thesis“ aus dem Jahr 2020.

Bitcoin: Ein Bild von BeInCrypto.com
Bitcoin: Ein Bild von BeInCrypto.com

Was die Zukunft bringt…

Was die Zukunft in Bezug auf die Bitcoin ETFs bringt, bleibt abzuwarten. Zu vermuten ist aber, dass diese börsengerechte Investitionsmöglichkeit in den Krypto-Bereich einige institutionelle Investoren anlocken wird. Nicht jeder dieser Investoren wird sich grundlegend mit dem Bitcoin Whitepaper von Satoshi Nakamoto anfreunden können oder wollen. Schließlich geht es hier möglicherweise eher darum große Profite mitzunehmen.

Einen ganz anderen Ansatz sehen wir bei der Integration von Bitcoin bei Tesla. Das Musk´sche Unternehmen hat nicht nur einen großen Geldbetrag in die älteste Kryptowährung investiert, sondern bietet die Zahlung in Bitcoin an. Der wichtigste Punkt ist aber der, dass Tesla die BTC-Zahlungen nicht in Fiat umwandelt und sich für die interne Abwicklung auf eine eigene Bitcoin-Infrastruktur via Nodes stützt.

So oder so dürfte diese unternehmerische Annäherung an Bitcoin und anderen Kryptowährungen diesen zu einem enormen Adaptionsvorteil verhelfen.

Mal sehen, wer in sieben Tagen auf den Thron der Krypto-Person der Woche klettert…

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Alex hat ihren Bachelor in Orient- und Asienwissenschaften an der Friedrich-Wilhelms Universität Bonn absolviert, danach Deutsch als Fremdsprache am Goethe Institut studiert und ihren Master in Arabistik an der Freien Universität Berlin absolviert. Seit 2017 ist sie als Krypto-Journalistin tätig.

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Ethereum Preis erreicht neues Allzeithoch bei 2200 USD

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Der Ethereum Kurs ist verhältnismäßig langsam über das letzte Allzeithoch angestiegen. Die zweitgrößte Kryptowährung der Welt stieg heute, am 10. April 2021, für kurze Zeit auf  ca. 2200 US-Dollar an.

Vor rund einer Woche stieg der Ethereum Preis auf ein neues Allzeithoch an. Da es über dem aktuellen Allzeithoch kein Widerstandslevel gibt, könnte der Ethereum Preis bald erneut auf ein neues Allzeithoch ansteigen.

ETH Kurs folgt dem BTC Kurs

Der Ethereum Kurs folgte in den letzten Monaten großteils dem Bitcoin Kurs, wie auch viele andere große Altcoins. Der Zusammenhang zwischen den Kursverläufen der beiden größten Altcoins ist allerdings am stärksten ausgeprägt.

Der Bitcoin Kurs konnte heute das Widerstandslevel bei 60.000 US-Dollar als Support validieren und zwischenzeitlich um beinahe 7% ansteigen. Der Ethereum Kurs stieg ebenfalls um ca. 7% an, als er das letzte Allzeithoch bei rund 2200 US-Dollar erreicht hat.

Ethereum Kurs 10.April 2021

Ethereum News sind ebenfalls bullisch

Die Zahl der in den Ethereum 2.0-Contract eingezahlten ETH steigt immer weiter an. Aktuell befinden sich rund 3,45 Millionen ETH im Staking. Das sind umgerechnet rund 7,4 Milliarden US-Dollar. Mit dem Upgrade soll das Netzwerk schnellere und günstigere Transaktionskosten ermöglichen sowie mehr Transaktionen abwickeln können. Die hohen Transaktionsgebühren sind aktuell noch ein Problem, dass die dezentrale(n) Exchange(s) noch meistern muss.

Visa, einer der größten multinationalen Finanzdienstleister, benutzt jetzt außerdem das Ethereum Netzwerk. Visa hat damit begonnen, Transaktionen auf seinem eigenen Netzwerk über den von Ethereum unterstützten USD Coin abzuwickeln. Die Nachricht ist bestimmt einer der Gründe für den jüngsten Anstieg des Ethereum Kurses.

Ethereum Aufstieg BeInCrypto DeFi
Ethereum Aufstieg BeInCrypto

Ethereum Kurs könnte bald neue Rekordwerte erreichen 

Der Ethereum Preis könnte bald neue Rekordwerte erzielen. Die Krypto-Marktkapitalisierung erreichte vor kurzem ebenfalls ein neues Allzeithoch. Sie liegt inzwischen bei über 2 Billionen US-Dollar. Viele Trader gehen davon aus, dass wir bald eine Altcoin Season wie damals im Jahre 2017 sehen könnten:

Übersetzt von Maximilian M.

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