In episode 1 of Hash Power, we explored blockchains as a technology—how they work, why tokens (also known as cryptocurrencies) are an integral part of any blockchain, and how these new networks might change the world. In episode two, we spend time with the leading investors in the field. Like any frenzied asset class, there are countless cryptocurrency hedge funds popping up everywhere. But founders from three of the original firms—Polychain, Metastable, and Blocktower Capital—are our primary guides this week.
As I speak, the total market cap of cryptocurrencies is $136B. There are hundreds of tokens currently available, but bitcoin and Ethereum represent 75% of the total market cap. $136B sounds like a big number, but its tiny relative to any other asset class—and I use that term with hesitation. To put it in perspective, that’s exactly the same size as the market cap of IBM. But IBM had more than $10B of earnings in 2016. Tokens have none. As you will hear, valuing tokens is a very hard exercise.
In such a nascent world, we are seeing investing strategies take hold. Olaf Carlson-Wee, Josh Seims, and Ari Paul walk us through different takes on cryptocurrency investing, be it early stage, long term buy and hold, or more hedge fund style strategies.
Hash Power is presented by Fidelity Investments
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Fat Protocols (Joel Monegro)
0:05 – Recap of part 1 and introduction to part 2 of Hash Power
2:58 – Ari Paul, CIO of Blocktower explains how he got involved in cryptocurrencies
5:23 – Why do we need bitcoin
7:23 – Polychain Capital founder Olaf Carlson-Wee on why the value of tokens accrue
9:23 – How main stream money is getting into this space
12:26- Useful comparisons when talking about ICOs when compared to IPOs
15:01 - Naval Ravikant, CEO of Angellist, is asked to explain the protocols of cryptocurrencies to platform businesses like Uber or Airbnb
17:43 – Naval’s interest in investing in cryptocurrencies
18:42 – Why average folks should avoid it before they dive thoroughly into the topic
20:25 – what are the most compelling counter arguments to using cryptocurrencies
23:07 - Olaf Carlson Wee on the lifecycle of a token
24:02 – SAFT note, Simple Agreement for Future Tokens
25:31 – What is the earliest stage that edge is most present for investors in cryptocurrency protocols
28:12 – How do you mitigate the volatility that is present in blockchain
31:18 - Jeremiah Lowin, a risk and statistics expert, who runs risk management for a large private family office, talks about why he no longer owns cryptocurrencies
34:19 - Jordan Cooper, a venture capital investor, is optimistic about blockchains in general, but thinks there may be some overvaluations in current currencies
37:02 – How Jordan would value a single cryptocurrency
42:10 – Fat Protocols (Joel Monegro)
43:52 - Josh Seims, of Metastable, the value investor in blockchain?
51:15 - Ari Paul on the equivalent of listed stocks in the crypto currency world
52:33 – Understanding the concept of a coin in blockchain and how people are getting access to them
55:07 – The fairground analogy to understand cryptocurrencies
57:57 – What lessons from traditional markets can you apply to investing in cryptocurrencies
1:02:48 – Where do family offices stand when it comes to jumping into this space
1:06:51 – Ari is asked to discuss some of the alternative cryptocurre