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Crypto Monday NYC - Jan. 8, 2017

January 8, 2018 - NY Crypto Mondays Meetup Transcript


 

Lou Kerner:

So this event is, we call it Crypto Monday. This is the first one and the idea is really simple. It's a meetup. I think what's magical about meetup is how it enables people who share a passion to get together and share their passion with somebody else. There's no content at this meetup. It's just coming and yapping with other people as passionate about crypto as you are, and I think that's happening all over the world so the idea is to start Crypto Mondays in cities all over the world.

James Haft:

We find that one of the most important aspects is the use of blockchain for the social good so Lou, my partner and I, Lou Kerner, partners in Crypto Oracle, decided that we would start something called Crypto Mondays. Every Monday night we're getting together with all of our three hundred best closest friends and family to celebrate the community, and to get together and create a pool of donations that we can give to charitable causes in the name of blockchain for the social good.

Ed McGuire:

Blockchain of course is not new. We just passed the ninth birthday of the Bitcoin blockchain. But I've been looking at disruptive technologies really for a number of years since I was following Ray Kurzweil's work on exponential technologies. I think the a-ha moment to me was when I went to an ICO conference just in early September and saw that the number of ICOs in any given week, starting earlier this year, were growing at an exponential pace.

So when you start to see these things, the reality of exponential technologies is they tend to start out very slow, or the growth is almost imperceptible. It's easy to be fooled by the slow progress, but all of a sudden, when you think about doubling grains of rice on a chessboard, when you get to that second half of the chessboard, things get big.

Stephen Mckeon:

We started researching it back in 2015, you know, a Theorem was $10 for something like this. Obviously we've seen an explosion in asset values and general interest as well.

Lou Kerner:

Well look this is a new asset class so every new asset class, you know, you're throwing the water. What percentage of your portfolio do you want in this asset? How long do you take to get there? It's portfolio science. This is no different than any other investment they're ever making.

James Haft:

This is a new asset class, which is emerging like junk bonds came out and like other securities have come out in the past. And in the early stage they're looked at as being difficult and dangerous and gamble and a bubble and later they're looked at as core assets that you have to hold for your portfolio. So I really think that right now where we are in this market, that it's a huge mistake not to take a small percentage of your liquid wealth, maybe 5 or 10 percent, when you can afford to lose if we're totally wrong and put it in to this asset class because if we're right, it's going to double or triple your portfolio. And if we're wrong, you'll lose the amount, which is irrelevant, but if you don't come in and we are right, then you're going to be sitting on the sidelines and really unhappy.

Brian Wirtz:

I actually came from the other firm called Harris Williams in 2013. I had heard about bitcoin in 2012 so I sort of brought it with me. So, in 2014 my boss let me work on a deal for a very large bitcoin mining company and we learned a lot through that experience. So we actually did our first mandate in 2014. [inaudible 00:03:29] first Bitcoin maker.

Lou Kerner:

Things are moving forward so fast. You know, you don't know who's going to come up with what to solve whatever the current problem is. I think, again, we used to talk about internet time back in the nineties and now there's crypto time, which personally seems like it's even moving faster.

Todd Breeden:

There's a lot of opportunity out there and companies surrounding Bitcoin using blockchain and things like that. The company we're invested in out of the west coast is using blockchain to fundamentally change how big pharmaceuticals manage their track and trace and if what they're trying to build is able to be put together. They'll be able to execute the first properly managed recall of a pharmaceutical drug in existence. I think the far reaching implications of a software like that that will be able to keep people healthy and safe all across the United States is a really important mission. I'm hoping that the growth of blockchain businesses will allow for a lot more technological capability that will bring safety and security to all our lives. Part of the thing that's fun being the BC is you want to be helpful and you want to hope that what you're doing is going to create a lot of value to people everywhere. My hope is that blockchain is going to be able to do that for a lot of people.

Ed McGuire:

I think the opportunities for regular people to get exposure to an early project is amazing. One of the characteristics of the equity markets right now in the U.S. is that there's only about half as many company traded stocks today as there were 20 years ago because so many stocks ... There were over 7,000 stocks that were traded back in like 1997 because of IPOs, because of mergers, failures, bankruptcies, etc. Now there's only about 3,700 so if you're an investor and you want to find some interesting opportunities there's just a lot less to choose from. This explosion of Crypto currencies, crypto assets ... Now you already have 1400, 1500 new ways to invest.

Stephen McKeon:

It's really important for people to kind of understand the fundamentals of what they're investing in as opposed to just reacting to so called FOMO right? Fear of missing out, jumping on things not really doing the due diligence certainly as a finance professor I can't endorse that sort of action.

Brian Wirtz:

I think ICOs from a personal standpoint not thinking from [inaudible 00:06:07] I think it's a wonderful funding mechanism. I think that the world needs to have additional ways for smart, core teams to drive towards their mission. I think it's a very, very smart funding mechanism.

Kevin Chen:

One of the big benefits of Crypto currency is that this is a very open and very collaborate space and there's a lot of knowledge sharing and I think that is a huge net benefit for all of us.

James Haft:

I mean I like to look at it more as a political and social movement than an economic movement. Most people have talked about the money and the crypto currencies but what's happened is that the younger generations they don't really want to have Chase take their money and they don't want to look at their cell phone bill and see 12 layers of taxes they don't understand. They don't want Equifax to take their money and make money off of them and then lose the information then charge them for the benefit of getting back their information. You don't want to go searching on the internet and have people giving away your name and making money off of you. What's happened is Blockchain is an answer to that. It's a political and social movement where you get to own your own information and treat it on a granular basis and then you get to treat your information and your identity as an inalienable right. Then monetize it as you see fit where use it or share it as you see fit.

So Blockchain is the technology that allows you to decentralize, remove the middleman and give individuals the chance to democratize their own information.

Lou Kerner:

When you take the man out of the middle and there's now nobody up top telling everybody else the way it's going to go, you have to have some kind of other mechanism that actually helps you govern yourself and helps you evolve. That's a whole nother science. We're just decentralized governance.

Brian Wirtz:

You know if you think about what is Crypto for? Crypto's for the 5 billion people in the world who don't have internet access, who don't have a bank, number one. Number two is for machines. Right? Machines are going to be huge. You've seen the success of Wiota and some other coins like that [inaudible 00:08:04]. And then lastly I think Crypto's for millennials and millennials don't really care about some of the old things that some of the older people cared about. Certainly the 5 billion people in the world don't care about all the regulations, machines don't care about regulations so in my personal view, ICOs are a wonderful funding mechanism and I hope they continue.

Nodar Janashia:

Recently I participated in a telcoin. I think telcoin is one of the most practical projects. It's getting Crypto into the hands of actual, real people. Right now to convert your dollars to Crypto, you need a bank. In countries like Ukraine or Georgia, most of the people tap up their sim cards with cash in these cell phone locations. So what telcoin is going to do is they are going to first distribute the coins to the telco providers and then the telco providers are going to be selling it to their customers. So in a way telco companies are going to be like banks and its genius because more people have cell phones than bank accounts in Southeast Asia and Ukraine and Georgia.

Ed McGuire:

Crypto is still ... It's still early and there's an opportunity for people who are getting into it right now. It's not too late, we're still in the early adopter faze of the market so I think because it's so complex it takes time to understand it. We really have an opportunity here, particularly around the way that incentives are set up around tokens and Crypto economics to really build some systems and companies and organizations that are going to fairly reward people for all the value that they contribute.

Lou Kerner:

We're moving in to a tokenized world and were going to have all these different token economies that often have 2, 3, 4 tokens and how they interact with each other and incentivize the different players is a science. We're in the very beginning of it, but as they say in 5 years they're going to be graduating kids from the best universities with degrees in token economics.

Stephen McKeon:

Where I see it headed is ... My thesis is mostly around something called traditional asset tokens. So the idea that you can use these Blockchain technologies to tokenize assets like real estate, stocks, bonds, private equity funds, things like this. So almost bringing the Blockchain back in to assets that investors already understand.

Ed McGuire:

2018 is going to be the year when we get regular clarity around the characteristics of tokens. I think what's come out of the SEC and the U.S. so far has been pretty constructive, but we're definitely going to get a bit of a shake out. I think that's necessary. It's going to scare a lot of people away from the markets temporarily, but I also think we're going to start to see a lot of the infrastructure, the exchanges, the ways to store currency mature quite a bit.

So, I think ultimately there will be a lot of noise but also we're going to get a much higher bar for companies that are looking to raise funds through an ICO. The days of easy money or gold strikes are behind us. So it's a lot more hard work, but I think the companies that are going to do it right are going to make sure that they pay attention to all of the latest regulations. It's going to become much more of a security, a regulated market like the equities market. I would say between 18 and 24 months, the markets are probably going to resemble the pink sheets like the over the counter, small cap stock market.

Brian Wirtz:

In my view, Blockchain technology is an agent of freedom. It's like a freedom virus. So I think it's an amazing technology. I think it'd do a lot of good for the world and I think we just need to continue to nurture it.

Lou Kerner:

I really think this is the biggest thing to happen to humanity ever. I think it's going to be 10x or more the impact of the internet and it's just the very beginning. People get excited, you get bubbles and then they get depressed and it goes up and down, but in 20 years this is going to be ... Again, I really think just something incredibly epic and it's so exciting to be here at the beginning of it all.