Crypto to the moon? Or through the floor?
Big News: Crypto to the moon? Or through the floor?
As you’re probably aware the price of Bitcoin has shot up over 50% in August alone to a new all time high over $4K (Bitcoin has nearly quadrupled during 2017). August 1st was a big date and there was a lot of money on the sidelines waiting for that date to pass to jump in. The hard fork was seemingly a non-event, and SegWit is on track to be implemented successfully which increased everyone’s confidence in the Bitcoin scaling debate and money poured in.
With every massive run up in price, news and opinions about the crypto space explode as well. On one hand you have exultant Bitcoin fans who double down on their views (Ronnie Moas increased his BTC target to $7500), and on the other hand, all the skeptics reiterate their stance that Bitcoin is fool’s gold and that crypto mania is just another tulip mania. Because this market swings so wildly, it’s healthy from time to time to step back and look at the bigger picture. This past week we saw a lot of fantastic interviews from some of the great minds in this space and wanted to share some of their perspective on this movement.
Naval Ravikant, Founder AngelList & CoinList, Metastable
Are we over hyping it to say that this is the biggest thing that's happening since the invention of the internet? I think whatever we're probably overplaying the token part and we're probably under playing the decentralized decision-making part. The decentralization part is key. With blockchains, we're going to decentralize all the things.
I think the direction of the Internet has shifted. It has gone from having lots of overly expensive middlemen to having a few thin middlemen and now it's going to go to having no middlemen or just the absolute minimum.
We're in this in this period of exuberance but there [are] periods in which there's less public interest. I think there are troughs and valleys and we have to make sure that we're in it for the long haul and remember what we're actually here for. I think even today that 99% of people and probably 90% of serious financial investors still don't understand what's going on so there's still way more opportunity on the unaddressed side that there is on the addressed side.
If you were around for the ‘99 bubble you knew it was a bubble you knew there was a lot of crazy stuff going on. By the way, that bubble was way bigger than this one. That was a $1.7 trillion bubble at peak. Here we're [just over] one hundred billion dollars total. But during that bubble, you knew there was a lot of junk… Nevertheless, that’s when Amazon was created that's when Google was created that's when eBay was created when Craigslist was created. So there was enormous wealth creation going on even at that time.
Recently the news came out that Jeff Bezos is now the richest man in the world, he just passed Bill Gates in net worth. So that basically tells you the internet revolution has now overtaken the PC revolution. It's been 20 years for the internet revolution to overtake the PC revolution. It might take 20 years for Satoshi Nakamoto to overtake Jeff Bezos, but I think it'll happen.
David Sacks, COO PayPal
Bitcoin is fulfilling PayPal's original vision to create "the new world currency." Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are now fulfilling that original vision. They are doing it in a decentralized way (with a decentralized database called the blockchain) whereas PayPal tried to do it in a centralized way… It feels like we are witnessing the birth of a new kind of web. Some people have called it the decentralized web or the internet of money.
For those of us who lived through the dot-com era, this feels reminiscent. You have some of the same speculative excess and random enrichment. But you can also feel that something revolutionary is happening. Money is being made programmable. That's a fundamental change with implications we can still barely see.
Ultimately this is a technology for maximizing the efficiency of every asset, means of ownership, fluidity of markets, and mechanism of payments. The goal is the optimization and maximization of the world economy. That may make it the biggest revolution of all.
Jack Dorsey, Founder Square & Twitter
Technology gets more empowering when it gets more decentralized, and when there are fewer gatekeepers and centers of control.
I’m from St. Louis, Missouri, and I have a lot of friends and family who are not into technology. Over the holidays, one of the things I kept getting asked by people I know is, ‘You work in technology, you work in finance, how do I buy bitcoin?’ I asked, ‘Why do you want to buy bitcoin?’ And they said, ‘Well I heard it’s a fast easy way to make money... someone said it’s like digital gold.’
“Do you agree with this concept of digital gold, and people buying Bitcoin as an investment?”
“It doesn’t really matter what I think, this is what the market is telling us it is!”
Blockchain and distributed ledger technology are the next big unlock. There are so many problems we can help solve [with blockchain] that are not just related to finance, but finance is an obvious one.
Plasma is a new proposed solution to further enable the scaling of blockchains. The idea is blockchains in blockchains. There’s currently one cryptocurrency looking to implement it, OmiseGo. Link
Paypal’s former COO, David Sacks talks about how bitcoin is accomplishing the vision Paypal had to be the database of all money. Link
Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Square and Twitter does an interview about his thoughts on blockchain which he describes at the ‘next big unlock.’ Link
Nvidia is one of the flagship companies to buy GPUs for cryptocurrency mining. The Nvidia CEO stated, “cryptocurrencies are here to stay.” Link
Ripple expands to China Link
Blockstream has the ambition to provide increased access to bitcoin to more people and hope to accomplish this through their Bitcoin satellite: Link
A Forbes article about why you shouldn’t own Bitcoin. (hint: it’s an uneducated explanation) Link
Chart of the Week
You can use this chart from Tuur Demeester as a sort of checklist to think about Bitcoin’s value and future use cases. Bitcoin is already higher than his estimate for 3 out of 8 scenarios, and we still haven’t even ticked one of them off the list!