AAn estimated 30,000 people attended last week’s Bitcoin 2022 conference in Miami, which is fast becoming a major global center for crypto-finance. Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, who earns his salary in Bitcoin, kicked off the event by unveiling a giant laser-eyed cybernetic bull statue modeled after the iconic Charging Bull facility that sits near the New York Stock Exchange. (NYSE). – subtle allusion to the fact that the city wishes to present itself as the “crypto Wall Street”.
It was a great pleasure to see everyone from HIVE Blockchain Technologies, who helped sponsor the conference. I want to recognize their hard work in making HIVE one of the most efficient and profitable Bitcoin and Ether miners.
If there’s one theme that ran through the entire four-day event, it’s that we’re still so early. I believe buying bitcoin today is like investing in internet stocks in 1995. There is incredible upside potential, and for those worried that bitcoin is overpriced at $40,000, just hold on five to 10 years.
Like the Internet in 1995
Ask yourself: do you think Bitcoin adoption and ownership will increase or decrease over time? At the moment, ownership is still relatively limited. In the United States, for example, only one in five people own Bitcoin. But as its use cases become more evident and more people join the network, that number is expected to grow. This is called Metcalfe’s Law.
Bitcoin critics say it has no use and is wasteful. Warren Buffett calls it “the death of rats squared”. The same type of FUD, which represents fear, uncertainty and doubt, was spreading across the internet in 1995. If you had listened to people like astronomer Clifford Stoll, who in a now famous Newsweek the editorial said it was rubbish whether we buy, read the news or go to school online – you would have missed investing in Amazon, Google and many other companies you probably interact with once per week or even daily basis.
Just like in the 90s, young investors seem to benefit the most. The average age of Robinhood commission-free trading app users is around 32 years old. These investors have made Bitcoin the number one recurring buy asset on Robinhood – higher than Apple, higher than Tesla, higher even than broad-based stock index ETFs.
But didn’t Internet stocks crash in 2000? Yes, and many of the businesses that survived are still around today and very profitable. Besides Amazon, there’s eBay, Booking Holdings, Priceline and more.
According to CoinMarketCap, some 18,760 cryptocurrencies are currently traded on over 500 different exchanges. If a similar “dotcom bubble” were to burst right now, 99.99% of these “sh*tcoins,” as they are called, would disappear overnight.
Bet on the winners. For me it’s bitcoin and ether. Everything else is pure speculation.
My best takeaways
I’ve attended so many great presentations and panels in the past week that it’s hard for me to choose just one, but I’ll do my best. Three different announcements come to mind.
The first announcement comes from Robinhood. The company’s Chief Product Officer, Aparna Chennapragada, took the stage to tell everyone that, finally, Robinhood would be rolling out digital wallets to as many as 2 million users who were on a waiting list. This means they can now send and receive crypto, including Bitcoin, peer-to-peer. Additionally, Robinhood plans to integrate the Lightning Network, which will make these transactions instantaneous and virtually free.
The second announcement is about mass adoption. At last year’s conference, we learned that El Salvador will become the first country in the world to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender, which it has now done. Last week, we learned that two new jurisdictions are following in his footsteps. Prospera, a new special economic zone in Honduras, has just officially adopted Bitcoin, as has the autonomous Portuguese archipelago known as Madeira, home to more than a quarter of a million people. And believe it or not, Mexico could be next. Mexican Senator Indira Kempis Martinez told the thousands in attendance that she was working on legislation that would make Bitcoin legal tender in her country, where a third of adults are unbanked and have no access to credit.
And finally, I want to mention an exciting announcement made by Strike CEO Jack Mallers. In a very entertaining and breath-taking presentation, Mallers announced that his company had partnered not only with Shopify, but also with the largest point-of-sale systems in the world to allow consumers to pay for a Big Mac at McDonald’s or wine at Costco using Bitcoin. . Mallers touted this innovation as the first real evolution in payment processing technology since 1949, when the Diners Club credit card was designed. Hundreds of household-nominated stores and restaurants are expected to start accepting Bitcoin as payment, eliminating all middlemen and third-party fees.
It is truly an exciting time, and I hope you are part of it. Cathie Wood, I think, said it best. During his panel with Michael Saylor, the head of ARK Invest called Bitcoin “the first private open-source digital rules-based global monetary system in the history of the world.” We are only just beginning to realize the full implications of this.
Watch my live interview from the conference with Liz Claman of FOX Business by clicking here!
Originally published by US Global Investors on April 11, 2022.
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Holdings may change daily. Holdings are reported at the end of the most recent quarter. The following securities mentioned in the article were held by one or more accounts managed by US Global Investors as of (12/31/2021): Amazon.com Inc., Apple Inc., Tesla Inc., Booking Holdings Inc., Costco Wholesale Corp.
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