Published August 17 on Medium.com and Coimonks and The Capital
Inheritance planning is probably the most disregarded topic by bitcoiners. It is human nature. Crypto holders are generally young and tend to consider death a remote possibility. Statistically most bitcoiners are millennials and only 22% of millennials seem to have a will in place. The family of young bitcoin miner Michael Moody has learned it the hard way. More recently, the fortune of another bitcoin multimillionaire — 41 year old Mircea Popescu who drowned in Costa Rica — might have been lost forever. Therefore it is prudent to plan for the inescapable event sooner rather than later, to make sure that at least our bitcoins will benefit our families and not only the bitcoin community which gains from the increased monetary scarcity of the cryptoasset.
The recent move by El Salvador´s President Bukele to render bitcoin legal tender in the country was widely reported as a very important step towards bitcoin adoption. Though I agree that this is an historical step towards wider bitcoin adoption by sovereign nations and I clearly saw this coming, I have some concerns about how this is being done by El Salvador. In particular, I am against any “forced” adoption of bitcoin which, to use the words of Nic Carter, should better continue to “ flourish on its own merits “.
But before getting into my reasoning let me clarify first what are we talking about here, what is the meaning of “legal tender”.
Sometime between 3800 BC and 2000 BC a Sumerian, one inhabitant of ancient Mesopotamia — literally the “land between the rivers” Tigris and Euphrates — wrote the following on a clay tablet: “You can have a lord, you can have a King, but the man to fear is the tax collector”.
Wise words from over 4000 years ago.
The cat and mouse game between people and the tax collector has been going on forever, probably even before the first historical records of taxes dating back to ancient Egypt.
But in the last 20 years two epochal trends have altered the landscape: growing globalization and the digitalization. The first ones to benefit from that trend have been large corporations like Apple, Amazon, Facebook etc who have easily moved where they are taxed less...
Michael Saylor is relatively new to the crypto sector. By his own admission he did not know much about bitcoin until February 2020. He then made the news in August 2020 when his company, Microstrategy, announced that it bought US$ 250 million of bitcoin as a treasury reserve. It was the first publicly listed company to make such an historical move. Since then he has built a 90.000 bitcoin treasury reserve worth over US$ 4 billion and no doubt this has influenced other public companies´ decisions to invest in bitcoin, such as Paypal, Tesla, Square and institutional investors such as MassMutual. In a short time he became ...
Financialization of bitcoin is coming. This is the only reason why Wall Street is interested in bitcoin. The objective is to package bitcoin into some fancy financial product that they can sell for a profit. And sell a lot of it, for lots of profits. Some say this is good because it increases adoption. Think about a bitcoin ETF. It is no doubt easier for traditional investors to buy an ETF and get an exposure to the bitcoin price rather than buying the real thing with the added complications of self-custody.
Governments around the world have dealt with bitcoin and cryptocurrency adoption substantially in 3 ways: (i) countries like Switzerland and Liechtenstein have been first movers and have fully and openly adopted cryptos thereby creating thousands of new businesses and jobs in their prosperous crypto-valleys, (ii) countries like the USA and Europe have tended to regulate the sector albeit remaining permissive...
Published January 31 on Medium and Hackernoon and Data Driven Investor
In a recent post Coindesk´s Nic Carter has made a very good case for bitcoin banking. While I share his views on the future that bitcoin will play in revolutionizing the legacy banking sector, I would like to see this issue from a slightly different perspective, that of the emerging economies.
Published January 7, 2021 on Medium and Hackernoon
While the bitcoin community seems fully absorbed by the daily ups and ATHs of bitcoin, it seems that most people have missed what might well be the biggest and most impactful news of the year 2021 for the crypto sector.
Yesterday´s BIG news was that the US bank regulator OCC issued an opinion letter in which it allows US banks to use blockchain infrastructure and stablecoins.
I posted this yesterday but it seems that - with a few exceptions - the crypto community did not fully register the importance of such event. This is not simply important, it is HUGE. It is like banks saying "OK we´ve criticized bitcoin and the crypto sector for 10 years until yesterday...but sorry we were wrong, now we like it and we will start using your infrastructure and even crypto assets like bitcoin and USDC, USDT for our payments". BINGO.
There are three key maxims in the world of crypto, "Not your keys, not your bitcoin", “Not your node, not your rules,” and more generally "Don´t trust, verify". Those three mottos summarize the key foundations of the Bitcoin protocol. While the last two refer to the decentralized nature of the blockchain and the way the consensus is created and transactions are added to the blockchain in a trustless manner, the first one sums up bitcoin´s resistance to coercion and its lack of counterparty risk. Somehow, that last one should also apply to gold. Likewise, gold is worth only if you physically hold it. Physical possession is 100% of its value. All the rest are just claims, IOUs, so called "paper gold".
Venezuela is learning the lesson the hard way.
How blockchains will reshape Covid-19 vaccine supply chains and how a startup backed by Bill Gates´GAVI is at the forefront of the multi billion $ bonanza.
Supply chains are probably the weakest link in complex business architectures. The "just in time" inventory needs of modern consumption, the rampant consumerism, the extreme globalization and connectivity, made supply chains all too complex, fragile and more than ever exposed to sudden shocks. Then came Covid-19 which put supply chains under considerable strain and made their weaknesses and lack of resilience all too apparent.
Invariably, as bitcoin spikes and defies gravity, either up or down, the attention of institutional investors, central bankers and prominent financiers is suddenly awaken. Always then, I write something to debunk the all too common flawed narrative and misunderstandings. Whether it was Warren Buffet before or Ray Dalio today, their comments simply indicate ignorance of what Bitcoin is and what it stands for (please take note of the capital B because they do not).
That 2020 US Presidential elections would be tight and a nail biter was to be expected. At least by those who had a real feel for American politics and who took critically the mainstream media propaganda and the sponsored polls for a blue landslide.
But few would have expected to see such a quantity of alleged errors, miscalculations, technical glitches, irregularities or plain fraud accusations that are now surfacing. This will keep the elections in a judicial limbo for the next few weeks — despite the democrats having already officially claimed the victory — and at least until December 14 when the US Electoral College is due to meet to vote the new President.
But regardless of what the final verdict on those elections will be, one thing is certain, the US electoral system needs a fixing...
The day that the Italian borders were reopened after the lockdown — on June 3rd — I drove across the Brenner Pass with an overwhelming joy. I could finally rejoin my family and my old friends. I could fill again my heart and eyes with the beauty of my homeland. Since that day, I have spent most of the summer in Italy — enjoying the unique beauties of the Dolomites, Lake Garda, Tuscany, Umbria, the Marche, all the way down to the Gargano Peninsula in the Apulia region. I became fixated with the idea of coming back to live in my beloved homeland and started to look at the grants and incentives that the government was planning. The recent Law n.34 of 2020 — known as “Decreto Rilancio” — grants tax incentives for the restructuring of real estates aimed at improving both the building´s energy consumption and its structural stability. While the government’s...
When discussing bitcoin with investors who are new to the crypto sector this is their recurring question “… all very interesting but ultimately what can I do with bitcoin? What can I buy with it?”
True, adoption for bitcoin is somehow an issue, but it is also a poorly understood issue. Bitcoins´adoption is normally related to the growth of its addresses (?) or its use as a currency, to buy things. Either way, the mainstream debate is mainly focused on the wrong issues. Since bitcoin is primarily used as a store of value, its adoption as a store of value is not exactly compatible with the use as currency — indeed it is hoarded rather than spent.
While the adoption of bitcoin as digital-gold and as store of value is certainly the key driver at the moment — which will heavily impact on its market cap and price when it will gain even only a fraction of the gold´s market share — this still pales compared to what will be the future main driver for bitcoin adoption.
Enter DeFi, Decentralized Finance or Democratized Finance as many call it...
The recent disclosure by Wall Street investor Paul Tudor Jones that his Hedge Fund will start trading bitcoin futures to gain an exposure to bitcoin of approx 2% of their total investment portfolio made the financial headlines the past week. What was little discussed though where the reasons that caused Tudor Jones to take such an important and still contrarian investment step for a highly respected institutional investor on Wall Street.
To put things in the right perspective Paul Tudor Jones is not a Millennial. He is a Baby Boomer, a veteran Wall Streeter. Someone who got big in the ´80s at the time when Michael Milken and Ivan Boesky roared Wall Street and inspired the Hollywood fictional characters of Gordon Gekko and Buddy Fox in the Wall Street movie. Under that light his opening to bitcoin is even more remarkable, simply because digitization and cryptocurrencies — for one of his age (don´t mean to be disrespectful, I am myself close that age group as well) — are not exactly in the DNA. Rather, it requires both an open mind and much critical thinking to...
Being a philanthropist — someone who promotes human welfare or donates funds for humanitarian purposes — is not as easy as one might think. Some — despite calling themselves “philanthropists” — spend huge sums to rather advance their own political-societal ideologies in a sacred-mission to prevail over those not in agreement. Clearly this has nothing to do with philanthropism and much to do with lobbying and promoting its own hidden political, geo-political and economical agendas, just like the Soros Open Society Foundations does.
Others — like Bill and Melinda Gates —
The uncertainties surrounding the evolution of the Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on the global economy are gripping both the people and the markets with fear. A global recession is now the best case outcome also for JP Morgan while Goldman Sachs foresees the possibility of a second great depression. There are currently few data available. It´s too early to ascertain the damage inflicted to China´s economy, which is still struggling to restart after its economic engine province Hubei grinded to a halt after the city of Wuhan was first put into lockdown on the 23rd of January. The spreading of the virus seems now under control in China, but the economical damage still needs to be assessed.
Italy’s lock-down measures are estimated to have hit tourism and transport activity by 90%, retail by 50%, and ...
While Bloomberg has celebrated the best decade in history for financial returns, it is not a coincidence that the wealth inequality has reached proportions not seen since the roaring´20s. And while this does not seem to concern the financial elites - who celebrated another fat end of the year - this is in reality a major concern for all the others, the 99,..%ers. This has created all sorts of distortions, not only in the economies and in financial markets but also in political systems of countries which were traditionally considered as the most democratic forms of government around the globe, such as the USA and the EU. The massive amount of wealth concentrated in few hands tends to manipulate the markets and to corrupt political systems globally, so much that today it is impossible to see a normally functioning (i.e. not manipulated) financial market or a truly democratic form of government. This "cancer" has spread fast in the USA and throughout the EU.
I love sports and I thank my dad for teaching me its precious values. I have done it all my life since I was 5 or 6 and still do it, everyday, well...almost. And to watch, there is nothing better than American sports. And this is not about the sport itself - for instance I love watching rugby which is not big in the US - but it is about the ability that Americans have to put up an outstanding show, a great entertainment. Nothing equals superb spectacles such as the Super Bowl, the NBA Playoffs or a big UFC bout.
Above all American sport has always been big business. Big money was involved well before it did anywhere else in the world. In that respect the tokenization - which can be used as an effective vehicle to raise finances - is a technological development which will impact heavily the future of fund raising also in the sport business. And I am sure we will soon see the first examples of tokenization in the Sport business.
It is a fact that from 2018, institutional money has started to flow into the crypto sector at an increasing pace. I wrote about it here and this was recently confirmed by Coinbase CEO. To remain bullish on the sector though, it is vital to understand whether this money inflow will continue in the short to medium term and what are the main reasons driving the inflow.
There are different reasons. I have analyzed in this article why bitcoin is by all means a digital version of gold and the reasons why the whole crypto sector is worth investing into. But the fact that an asset class is a good investment opportunity for any number of reasons, does not necessarily mean that that investors will buy it. There must be a catalyst to drive money into that assets class. Then we must understand why the big money, which is on the verge of what Ray Dalio defines a paradigm shift in investing, will be inevitably driven into precious metals and - my take - into the crypto sector as well.
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