Crypto Mondays LA Meetup, Santa Monica - Jan. 29, 2018
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January 29, 2018 - LA Crypto Mondays Meetup Transcript


Henry Park:

Bitcoin started off as a transactional Blockchain. I think it's now evolved into being an asset class of its own. I think the way the Blockchain was designed to try to make it into a transactional Blockchain at this point is I think we're past that. I think the future of Bitcoin is going to remain as an asset class, as a replacement for gold for the newer generation of investors.

Cory Klippsten:

So interestingly I'm actually now it turns out kind of a contrarian in believing that Bitcoin will turn the corner, have low transaction fees and actually be used as a broad currency for everybody all over the world. I actually still believe that the original intent of Bitcoin will be fulfilled. I think what's different about gold or some other form of traditional money is that it's not programmable, it's not something that can be changed but we actually have developers building the original Bitcoin core code and it gets committed and it gets voted in and people start mining it with the difference and then you also can build on top of it, you can build things like lightning network and actually create payment channels and drive these transaction costs down super, super low. One of the most interesting things on Twitter over the last five days or so has been people actually experimenting with sending SegWit transactions now that more people have adopted and the transaction fees somebody just sent just to prove a point, 400 million dollars worth of Bitcoin for 10 cents a few days ago. That's something we haven't really seen since at least a year or two ago and now it's becoming possible again.

Don Oparah:

Bitcoin has had its [storied 00:01:48] history ups and downs. I think Bitcoin will stay around. I don't know if Bitcoin will be the one that wins in the end. There might be a Google coin or Apple coin or even US Federal government coin but there will be some kind of cryptocurrency that wins out in the end from a transaction perspective.

Benjamin Greenberg:

Bitcoin will never be a payment system, it's a store of value. You have to think of it like foreign held hundred dollar bills in poor countries where they use it as their savings account or gold bars even here in the US if you don't want to be subjected to inflation. Bitcoin's protocol is more useful for large transfers of wealth and value at an institutional level as opposed to something like EOS, which will actually be available and usable by the public for transactions of all sorts. I mean you can't go into a Starbucks and wait for six hours for your Bitcoin to hit your accounts in order to get your Starbucks right?

Mihai Crasneanu:

Bitcoin it's so far a great and probably the best store of value. I don't see Bitcoin evolving as a mean of payment between people or between people and entities because of its volatility, because of the fact that it's not necessarily easy to transact, it's still slow, it's still inexpensive. It might probably evolve. It will certainly evolve and when it does then it will make sense but still if it's going to be a store of value, that store of value will increase in value by itself because it's a limited supply. When you do a transaction, you want this transaction to have a stable price. If I go to buy a cup of coffee, I want that cup of coffee to be priced at the same price right now in an hour or tomorrow morning. Would I pay in Bitcoins maybe not because the guy will be erasing the price every half an hour if it's going up and down.

Jeff Briggs:

Robin Hood no transaction fees is going to eat Coinbase's lunch in my opinion in the sense that if they're allowing you let me step back. Coinbase is a great place to bring US dollars into the cryptocurrency world right? It's the nameplate for taking your US dollars and buying cryptocurrency and then maybe moving it into other exchanges. Well Robin Hood could change everything in the sense that it already has millions of embedded users that are already familiar with what it does and they already have it tied with their bank accounts so if they can take that same cash that they have in stocks in their bank account and immediately buy cryptocurrencies to answer your question, I think it's going to inflate or really be a gold rush to some degree inflation or shot in the arm so to speak of the valuations of all the coins presented to large financial institutions as ways to get people into their ETFs, into their different more basic funds like mutual funds. It was especially marketed to be able to get millennials into those situations. Now that millennials have shown an affinity for cryptocurrencies, it's only a natural choice. Robin Hood will add a significant amount of demand to the buy side of all these assets that they offer before anybody even chooses to sell, these are new customers. I remember the early days of joining Robin Hood when it was still in the wait list.

Sergei Gritsenko:

I was one of the first to jump on that bandwagon and be interested in buying stock, regular old stock through them because of their low fees or absence thereof and now them coming into bringing the message of what Coinbase did to the crypto for average consumer, I think it's a great thing. I think the simpler we can put it on people's phones and simplicity of using it on everybody's iPhone or Android, it's a great thing so ability to have people like Coinbase, like Robin Hood app to be there for everyday consumers to understand what it is the Blockchain stands for, what Bitcoin and cryptocurrency stand for and what Ethereum is trying to offer as a technology, I think it's a good thing.

Henry Park:

I think the ICO space is going to change, SCC regulations are starting to come in and so one ICO that we were supposed to launch this year is actually getting pushed back to rewrite the presale details as well as the ICO information. I think it's going to change, it's going to change from being ICOs to TGEs or token generation events to really get away from the whole securities play right now.

Don Oparah:

Cryptocurrency investing so far it's mainly speculative so people are mainly day traders, people are putting money and hoping for the price to go up and then take some profits. The ICO investing I think people are still making some quick profits but there's also people that are putting money in for the long term 'cause they actually believe in what the ICO is doing, they believe in the long term potential of Blockchain.

Mihai Crasneanu:

Cryptocurrency is investing right now, it's really, it's pure investment at the best of it and is a huge casino at the worst of it, which is not necessarily bad. You have Vegas on your mobile phone 24 7 to make money or lose money with it, that's one thing, that's the speculative aspect. It's not bad, it's not good, it's what it is. On the other side, ICOs I think should be and most of them are not but should be more on the business side of what can be done on the crypto space on the Blockchain space, that should be de correlated from any speculative aspects and unfortunately right now, you have too much noise, too much project that doesn't make any sense that shouldn't even be out on the Blockchain that have nothing to do but just are there to raise money and blow the money away.

Benjamin Greenberg:

The presale portion of the sale which generally reserved for credited investors some people have significant wealth, it's not usually available to the public and the cool thing about the presale is that you have a discount to the price of the tokens, usually this is denoted in a bonus right now, that's the state of the art for how you phrase it. Let's say you have a 40% bonus, that means that you are getting the tokens at 60% of their actual cost. If the token's launching at a dollar, you're getting it for 60 cents. It's feeding into the pipeline.

Cory Kilppsten:

My favorite resources is to point people toward is even though it's getting a little bit dated, the writing of the book Digital Gold is so good and it's so entertaining you won't out it down that it will firmly root you in the space and at least point you to other resources that will then get you up to speed. If you're not into reading a book or listening on Audible, I highly recommend all of the YouTube videos of a guy named Andreas Antonopoulos. You can find him and it's absolutely fantastic watching how he talks about the space specifically about how to get up to speed on ICOs and figuring out which of these projects have merit. I find probably the best way to do that is to spend a lot of time on Twitter and a little bit less time on Telegram. Telegram seems to be the place where people do pumps and dumps and the information is pretty bad but on Twitter if you can find the people that seem to be the smartest, seem to be the most credible, that seem to be the most involved in the best projects that are rising up the tables on CoinMarketCap and then get involved in following the Twitter accounts of the investors or the founders of those projects, that's a good place to start.

To toss out a few names, obviously anything that Vitalik Buterin puts out from Ethereum, anything that Dan Latimer, Latimer puts out, founder of EOS and then some of the great investors in the space, pretty much anything that Pantera is putting out, Polychain, MetaStable, Nick Tomaino from 1Confirmation who is also involved in Token Summit, a few of my favorite names and then of course Lou Kerner is a prolific blogger and tweeter and also does some great conference calls with smart folks in the space like Chris Burniske who is known for valuing these tokens.