Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang talks about the value of ethereum, advances in crypto mining and the global semiconductor shortage in a recent interview. Here are the 10 best quotes.

Jensen Huang - Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang speaks during a press conference at The MGM during CES 2018 in Las Vegas on January 7, 2018.
Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang

  • Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang spoke to a group of journalists at the Computex IT conference.
  • He said ethereum will be valuable due to its scalability and credibility in areas including DeFi.
  • He also spoke about Nvidia’s role in the future of crypto mining and said he believes a metaverse is imminent.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Jensen Huang, the CEO of chip and graphics card producer Nvidia, recently spoke to a group of journalists at the IT expo Computex about his views on ethereum’s value, how Nvidia’s products fit into the crypto ecosystem and why he thinks we’re on the cusp of creating a metaverse in an interview published by VentureBeat.

Nvidia’s graphic processing units are top-level graphic cards that also have crypto mining capabilities. Huang, a big proponent of artificial intelligence, unveiled a lower resolution graphics card at the conference that has been designed specifically for crypto mining. He also addressed the global chip shortage, Nvidia’s role in it and whether he believes the Chinese government will interfere in the development of artificial intelligence.

Here are Huang’s ten best quotes from the interview, lightly edited and condensed for clarity.

  1. “Am I excited about proof of stake? The answer’s yes….Ethereum has established itself. It has the opportunity now to implement a second generation that carries on from the platform approach and all of the services that are built on top of it. It’s legitimate. It’s established. There’s a lot of credibility. It works well. A lot of people depend on it for DeFi and other things. This is a great time for proof of stake to come.” – on the opportunities ethereum provides and the network’s value for blockchain and crypto.
  2. “We reduced the performance of our GPU on purpose so that if you would like to buy a GPU for gaming, you can. If you’d like to buy a GPU for crypto mining, either you can buy the CMP version, or if you really would like to use the GeForce to do it, unfortunately the performance will be reduced.” – on how Nvidia is trying to decrease graphic card prices and why they developed CMP.
  3. “We’ll just keep working with our supply chain to inform them about the changing world of IT, so that they can be better prepared for the demand that’s coming in the future. But I believe that the areas that we’re in, the markets that we’re in, because we have very specific reasons, will have rich demand for some time to come.” – on managing the ongoing global shortage of semiconductors.
  4. “It’s now established that ethereum is going to be quite valuable. There’s a future where the processing of these transactions can be a lot faster, and because there are so many people built on top of it now, ethereum is going to be valuable. ” – on the outlook for the ethereum network based on its scalability.
  5. “I believe we’re right on the cusp of it. […] There will be many types of metaverses, and video games are one of them, for example. […] We’ll see this overlay, a metaverse overlay if you will, into our physical world.” – on when and how a metaverse will become real.
  6. “You need that blockchain to have some fundamental value, and that fundamental value could be mined. Cryptocurrency is going to be here to stay. Ethereum might not be as hot as it is now. In a year’s time, it may cool down some. But I think crypto mining is here to stay.” – on the future of crypto mining and blockchain networks.
  7. “I believe that there will be a larger market, a larger industry, more designers and creators, designing digital things in virtual reality and metaverses than there will be designing things in the physical world. […] The economy in the metaverse, the economy of Omniverse, will be larger than the economy in the physical world. Digital currency, cryptocurrency, could be used in the world of metaverses.” – on his vision for the omniverse that Nvidia is developing.
  8. “My sense is that we’re welcome in China and we’ll continue to work hard to deserve to be welcome in China, and every other country for that matter.” – on whether the Chinese government will step in and regulate Nvidia’s work on artificial intelligence.
  9. “One of the most important technologies that we have to build, for several of them – in the case of consumers, one of the important technologies is AR, and it’s coming along.” – on the development and accessibility of augmented reality.
  10. “This is the largest market opportunity the IT industry has ever seen. I can understand why it inspires so many competitors. We just need to continue to do our best work and run as fast as we can.” – on the future of the graphics processing unit industry and the competition within it.
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Bitcoin anonymity is just a big myth – and using it to launder dirty money is stupid, a crypto ATM chief says

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  • A big misconception about bitcoin is that it’s anonymous and untraceable, CoinFlip’s Ben Weiss said.
  • Using bitcoin to launder money is one of the stupidest things to do, he said.
  • Bitcoin addresses have no name attached, but transactions can be linked to identities with some effort.
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Many people think bitcoin transactions can be anonymous or untraceable, but they’re misunderstanding how the process works, Ben Weiss, CEO of crypto ATM operator CoinFlip, said at a webinar on digital assets this week.

“It’s not anonymous. It’s pseudo-anonymous. You can’t buy any large amount of bitcoin without KYC or ID or driver’s licenses,” he said, referring to “know your customer” and similar identification checks.

“Bitcoin is actually more transparent in many ways than typical things in the financial system,” he added.

The perception is that because the digital currency is often associated with illegal activity, then it must shield the identity of the user. But that is not true, Weiss said.

The bitcoin addresses may not have names registered to them, but in practice, they can be linked to real-world identities, he noted. That’s because every investor is required to log their personal information before they buy the cryptocurrency.

A recent incident, the recovery of much of the $4.4 million ransom paid by Colonial Pipeline to a Russia-linked hacker group, raised questions as to whether bitcoin is free from government control and manipulation.

What isn’t well-known is that relevant enforcement agencies can track down bitcoin purchases, if they are prepared to put in sufficient effort, Weiss said.

That’s why one of the most stupid things anyone could do would be to attempt to launder dirty money using bitcoin, Weiss said. The US government can track bitcoin transactions with the help of blockchain analysts and through serving seizure warrants authorized by district courts, he said.

“You’re really playing with fire if you tried to today,” he said, adding that bitcoin transactions are more traceable than cash.

Tax is one area where some people are still learning that they are out in the open when it comes to cryptocurrency transactions. Many US taxpayers may not realize that if they fail to report crypto assets when filing their annual returns, these may be discovered and there may be consequences. Transactions on the blockchain are not hidden, and the records are public.

To hunt out unreported crypto-related income, the US Internal Revenue Service has launched “Operation Hidden Treasure“. A dedicated team of IRS criminal investigation professionals is seeking out and targeting taxpayers who are not listing cryptocurrency transactions on their tax returns.

Read More: Morningstar lays out the 10 highest-conviction bets being made by US stock-pickers right now – and shares 4 Big Tech names that look cheap

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A top exec at ‘green’ crypto firm Chia says today’s volatility is just like the wild price swings in dot-com stocks in the 90s – and that both further turbulence and regulation will ultimately help the market

Gene Hoffman
Chia President and COO Gene Hoffman

  • Gene Hoffman, president COO of Chia, told Insider the company welcomes government regulation.
  • Hoffman said volatility was ‘required’ before mass adoption of crypto and the technology that underpins it.
  • Chia coin minting uses less energy, but has been criticized for creating electronic waste.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

This year’s extreme volatility in the cryptocurrency market has troubled regulators and given big investors pause for thought. But it doesn’t faze Gene Hoffman, president and COO of Chia, the new $500 million “green” token.

“During adoption phase, volatility is almost required,” he told Insider in an interview. “It’s kind of like saying that we’re gonna adopt the internet in the late 90s without having volatility in internet stocks. Was not going to happen that way.”

In the heady days of the late 1990s, traders chased anything remotely connected to the internet. Amazon was one of the market darlings at the time and could often rise or fall anywhere up to 60% in a month in the run-up to the bust in early 2000.

Cryptocurrencies have swung wildly throughout May and June, losing as much as $460 billion in a single day last month after China – home to most of the world’s crypto mining capacity – said it would clamp down on banks to prevent them from providing crypto-related services. Furthermore, Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted his concern about bitcoin’s energy use, calling it “insane”. Around the same time, his company stopped accepting bitcoin as payment for its luxury electric vehicles.

Chia’s XCH token, which only began trading on May 3, has been no exception. It debuted at $1,498 and fell by two thirds in just three days. It has since swung from highs above $1,600 to lows this week below $540, according to data from CoinMarketCap.com.

But Hoffman thinks these are just teething problems before there is the mass adoption of cryptocurrencies and the blockchain technology that underpins them.

And others agree – billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban has likened cryptocurrencies to the dotcom bubble of the late 1990s. Cuban said in January he expects some coins will survive future crashes to become the crypto world’s equivalent of Amazon or eBay.

Chia was founded by BitTorrent inventor Bram Cohen in 2017, and promotes its “proof of space and time” process as a much more energy-efficient way of mining coins than bitcoin’s “proof of work.” The company raised $61 million in its latest funding round.

Proof of work is an algorithm in blockchain technology that is used to confirm bitcoin transactions and rewards miners with new coins. It’s also highly energy intensive and makes bitcoin one of the less climate-friendly coins out there. Rival coin ether’s ethereum network is soon moving to a “proof of stake” process, which is slightly different and is far more energy-efficient, for example.

Chia’s XCH token earns its green credentials from the energy use of its mining process. Rather than “mining” for coins, the network’s users “farm” them.

Chia “farmers” generate and store cryptographic numbers into “plots” onto their hard drives or solid state drives (SSDs) – a newer, faster type of storage device. A farmer’s plot can win the chance to create a block and receive a reward on the blockchain based on the proportion of total space a farmer has filled up compared to the whole network.

A server – called the “Timelord” – verifies the block and awards XCH tokens to the farmer in a process the company calls “proof of space and time”.

But Chia has received criticism for simply creating a new kind of waste, specifically burnt-up hard drives and SSDs. Demand for these storage devices has skyrocketed in Europe, while some IT businesses in Vietnam said they ran out of stock last month.

“There’s no free lunch,” Hoffman said. “It’s hard to say that being a thousand, 10,000 times more efficient for the same security isn’t a massive innovation.”

Hoffman also said that burning through SSDs can be avoided: “If you use the $79 cheap-y SSD and try to plot a bunch against it you might burn that up, but the $99 will last you a lifetime,” he said. “So the people who are complaining about that are buying the wrong tool for the job.”

Regulation is key to survival

Aside from bitcoin’s carbon footprint, the prospect of ever-tighter regulatory scrutiny has been one of the key drivers in the drop from the token’s record high around $65,000 in April, to closer to $30,000 now. And this hasn’t just affected bitcoin. Ether, Ripple’s XRP, meme currency dogecoin, Polkadot’s DOT, or Cardano’s ADA are all down sharply from the highs of earlier this year as a result.

Hoffman said Chia embraces government regulation – a major incentive behind the company’s plans to go public “relatively quickly,” possibly via a blank-check company, or SPAC.

“Everyone who’s kind of merged their equity with their coin has generally been doing an illegal securities offering, and that can’t scale, that cannot be adopted, that cannot become the thing that governments run central bank digital currencies on,” Hoffman said.

Part of cryptocurrencies’ appeal is their decentralized nature – no one government or central bank controls them – and the degree of anonymity they afford their users.

But Hoffman believes people want transparency.

“You want to see the audited financials and the quarterly reports,” he said. “These are not crazy ideas if you’re trying to build trust.”

And he hopes that by listing his company on the stock exchange, and keeping its corresponding XCH token as a separate asset, investors will be protected against wild swings in coin prices when using it.

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A teen crypto influencer who started by investing her pocket money into bitcoin says Gen Z could make crypto go mainstream – once they understand its benefits

Crypto Influencer Miss Teen Crypto
  • Miss Teen Crypto says Gen Z could push bitcoin mainstream once they understand and adopt it.
  • She began investing in crypto at 16 with her pocket money, after her dad introduced her to bitcoin.
  • Digital-native teens could easily dive into NFTs, once they understand the financial side, she said.
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Miss Teen Crypto, a cryptocurrency influencer who started investing her pocket money into bitcoin when she was 16, told Insider she believes Gen Z could be the catalyst to take crypto and NFTs into the mainstream, if someone would just explain the benefits and how they work.

The 18-year-old, who has tens of thousands of followers across the major social-media platforms, believes her digital-native generation could easily understand the digital side of crypto, but not the financial side – but more education could fix that.

“I think that Gen Z – we’re a little behind in terms of the financial aspect, but we’re not behind in terms of technology,” she told Insider in an interview.

“We’ve been on Snapchat since it came out, we’ve been on the internet our whole lives. So we know the concepts of digital property, we understand how to use this technology,” she said. “We just have to be educated on why we should and how we could.”

Her first investment, at 16, was around $200 saved up from her pocket money and birthday gifts. Her dad had got involved with bitcoin and crypto five years before that, when she was 13 – but at that time, she paid no attention to his passion.

“I was just tuning out. I was like, ‘This is boring, I don’t want to hear about it,'” she said. “But then a few years after, he actually showed me how a bitcoin transaction worked.”

When the New Yorker saw that bitcoin transactions were easily carried out on her phone, she recognised bitcoin’s potential, both in terms of investing and changing the world, she explained.

The crypto HODLer – who grew up Randi Hipper but is known by @MissTeenCrypto on Twitter, her podcast and Instagram – has seen others have the same experience when she has talked to them about crypto and bitcoin. Her high-school peers knew as little as her teachers about the assets, and 95% of the people she has talked to at Times Square have never heard of them.

Non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, are a great way for young people to realise crypto’s potential, the influencer believes. These are unique digital assets – such as image, video or audio files – that are built and stored on blockchain technology. As they cannot be duplicated, so they can be Collectable and hold value.

The key advantages, she said, are that anything can be turned into an NFT – from digital art, to music, to “your high school diploma” – and everything is documented on blockchain. There are also no age limits to creating them.

“Especially with Gen Z, we could take the space and run with it,” the crypto fan said. “It’s just amazing. I think NFTs could be everything,” she added.

All that is needed for a wider adoption of crypto assets is more education, she argues. That could spark a digital revolution that goes beyond finance, she said, bringing changes to not just the financial system, but also to the way people interact and make transactions work.

“We have to be able to reach more people and educate more people, which is what my mission is,”she said. “I’m trying to use social media, and I’m trying to make more educational content just to reach more Gen Z – because it really is the education that matters.”

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S&P 500 hovers near record highs on continued economic optimism and Fed support

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US stock market investors are feeling optimistic about the economy.

  • US stocks rose with the S&P 500 hovering near record highs Friday as investors remain optimistic about the US economy.
  • The benchmark index on Thursday broke both its intraday and closing records.
  • The 10-year Treasury yield was around 1.455% Friday, in a sign that the market believes strong inflation will prove transitory
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US stocks rose on Friday, with the S&P 500 hovering near record highs as investors continue to remain optimistic about the US economy amid support from the Federal Reserve.

The benchmark index on Thursday broke both its intraday record and closing record, to finish the session at 4,239.18.

Tom Lee, managing partner and the head of research at Fundstrat Global Advisors, said the breakout to new highs was presaged by the upside breakout last week.

“Our base case of a surge in S&P 500 to 4,400 before mid-year 2021 remains intact,” Lee said in a note.

While Thursday’s data showed that US inflation surged more than expected in May, weekly jobless claims fell to a pandemic-era low.

The 10-year Treasury yield was trading around 1.455%, two basis points above its March low, in a sign that the market believes strong inflation will prove transitory, as the Federal Reserve has stated.

Here’s where US indexes stood at 9:30 a.m. open on Friday:

Bitcoin was trading at $37,421. The world’s most popular cryptocurrency climbed to a one-week high Thursday, hitting $38,000 as the cryptocurrency shrugged off renewed calls for tighter regulation.

Gold slipped by 0.57% to 1,887.18 per ounce. The precious metal lost some ground as the US dollar rose.

Oil prices fell. West Texas Intermediate crude edged lower by 0.07% to $70.24 per barrel. Brent crude, oil’s international benchmark, was down 0.07%, at $72.47 per barrel.

The International Energy Agency said on Friday that global oil demand is set to return to pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2022, but renewed COVID outbreaks and low vaccination levels in developing countries will make the recovery uneven.

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A ‘CryptoPunk’ NFT called ‘Covid Alien’ was bought for $11.8 million by DraftKings’ largest shareholder in a Sotheby’s auction

People walk past a CryptoPunk digital art NFT displayed on a digital billboard in Times Square.
  • The NFT of a “CryptoPunk” character fetched $11.8 million, setting a new world auction record for a single CryptoPunk.
  • The token, dubbed “Covid Alien,” was bought by Shalom Meckenzie, the largest shareholder of DraftKings.
  • The sought-after token is one of the nine alien CryptoPunks made by Larva Labs in 2017.
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The non-fungible token of a character from the “CryptoPunk” series fetched $11.8 million Thursday, setting a new world auction record for a single CryptoPunk, luxury auction house Sotheby’s said.

The NFT, dubbed “Covid Alien,” was bought by Shalom Meckenzie, the largest shareholder of online sports gambling firm DraftKings.

The sought-after token called “CryptoPunk #7523” is one of the nine alien CryptoPunks made by artists Matt Hall and John Watkinson, the founders of Larva Labs, in 2017. It is the only one with a mask.

Before the sale, a collector known as Sillytuna owned the token.

In total, there are 10,000 24 x 24-pixel CryptoPunks with no two that are exactly alike. Other characters in the collection are composed of 24 apes, 88 zombies, 3,840 females, and 6,039 males.

The NFTs were initially released for free besides a small transaction fee but the record-breaking amount seen from Covid Alien indicates the massive interest investors have.

Following the sale, the auction house announced it will offer five “exceptionally rare” CryptoPunks later in June.

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NFTs have soared in popularity this year. The market thus far has seen immense growth and buyers now vastly exceed sellers, according to a report from L’Atelier BNP Paribas.

These tokens are digital representations of artwork, sports cards, or other collectibles tied to a blockchain, typically on ethereum. Each NFT has a signature that can be verified in the public ledger and cannot be duplicated nor edited.

When people buy NFTs, they gain the rights to the unique token on the blockchain, not the artworks themselves. But the fact that the information on a blockchain is next to impossible to alter makes NFTs appealing, especially to artists.

Many have speculated the space is in a bubble, and apart from some massive sales, evidence shows the craze may be cooling for now. The number of NFT sales for June is about half of what they were during March’s peak, the industry tracker NonFungible.com showed.

Read more: The CIO at a digital asset hedge fund that returned 373% in 2020 breaks down why bitcoin’s sell-off is in its final stages – and shares why he thinks ether could triple from current levels

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Bitcoin rises back above $36,000 as El Salvador declares it legal tender and inflation concerns persist

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Bitcoin has lost nearly half its value since April.

  • Bitcoin rose back above $36,000 Wednesday, boosted by El Salvador’s move to make the cryptocurrency legal tender.
  • Persistent inflationary pressures may have also encouraged investors to add exposure to the digital asset.
  • Once bitcoin breaks through $38,000, it may signal an upward trend towards $47,000, an expert said.
  • Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell.

The price of the world’s most popular cryptocurrency rose back above $36,000 Wednesday, boosted by El Salvador’s historic move in becoming the first country to establish bitcoin as a legal tender. Persistent inflationary pressures may have also encouraged investors to flock to the asset, which some view as an inflation hedge.

Bitcoin rose to $36,840 at around 1:24 p.m. ET Wednesday, rising 17% from the intraday low the previous day. It has lost almost 50% of its value since hitting an all-time high of nearly $65,000 in April.

“This current market pause is not unexpected. Everyone needs time to assess and digest what the community has built,” Paolo Ardoino, CTO of Bitfinex, a cryptocurrency exchange said. “I’m still extremely bullish in the long term about bitcoin and the long-term fundamentals and use cases of the technology.”

Tim Frost, founder of fintech firm Yield, said if bitcoin can break through $38,000, it may signal an upward trend toward its medium-term average of around $47,000 and potentially beyond.

The congress of El Salvador on Wednesday voted in favor of bitcoin becoming legal tender in the country, cheered on by President Nayib Bukele. Once the law passes through the legislative processes, bitcoin will have the same status as the US dollar – the country’s current national currency.

Bitcoin by then will automatically and immediately be converted into US dollars upon use.

Meanwhile, investors are anticipating US Consumer Price Index data on Thursday, which is expected to show inflation picked up faster than April’s pace, which was already the highest reading since 2008. The European Central Bank will also meet the same day.

Several economists including those at Deutsche Bank have said inflation will make a comeback if the Federal Reserve sticks to its current policy of keeping interest rates historically low.

“We expect inflationary pressures to re-emerge as the Fed continues with its policy of patience,” the bank’s economists on Monday said. “It may take a year longer until 2023 but inflation will re-emerge.”

Beyond these, John Wu, president of Ava Labs, the team behind altcoin avalanche, said that as bitcoin becomes more mainstream thanks to institutional adoption, the more closely it becomes correlated to traditional asset classes.

“Bitcoin was the first crypto to feel this impact and begin to recover,” Wu said. “We’re now seeing it ripple through the rest of the crypto markets.”

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NY Senate approves lighter version of bill targeting emissions from bitcoin mining operations in the state

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A view shows the data centre of BitRiver company providing services for cryptocurrency mining in the city of Bratsk in Irkutsk Region, Russia on March 2, 2021.

  • The New York Senate has passed a bill that will target crypto mining operations that use the proof-of-work method.
  • Proof-of-work is an energy-intensive method of validating transactions to mine new tokens.
  • The approved bill is the result of a watered-down version of an earlier that sought a total ban on mining in the state for three years.
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The New York Senate passed a bill on Tuesday that will target large-scale cryptocurrency mining operations.

The legislation would seek to ban the state from granting permits to new bitcoin mining operations that plug directly into the state’s carbon-emitting power plants. It now heads to the state Assembly for approval.

The bill singled out the magnitude of computing power required by the proof-of-work method, which it claimed consumes as much energy as an average American household uses in a month.

“The annual global energy use for proof-of-work authentication is equivalent to that of the country of Sweden and exceeds the energy consumption of all the global activity of major tech companies like Amazon, Google, and Facebook combined,” the bill said.

Proof-of-work is the foundation many cryptocurrencies are built on. The method is used to validate transactions and mine new tokens.

“Given that there are at least 15 other methods to validate transaction it is simultaneously completely unnecessary,” Assemblymember Anna Kelles said.

The bill is a watered-down version of an earlier proposal that aimed to halt bitcoin mining for three years until the state could assess its impact on the environment.

The senators also narrowed the scope to new projects and existing operations.

The bitcoin mining industry, the bill said, is expanding in the state of New York. Most of these operations are concentrated in retired fossil fuel power stations, including dormant peaker plants.

Among the mining centers active in the state is Greenidge Generation Holdings, a natural gas power plant in the Finger Lakes region, which can mine an average of 5.5 bitcoins every day, according to CoinDesk.

The facility was previously a coal-fired power plant but was converted to natural gas in 2017 and then to a bitcoin mining center in January 2020, according to its website.

Bitcoin mining has long been criticized due to its heavy energy use and environmental impact. Recently, Tesla CEO Elon Musk publicly expressed his concern about the rapidly increasing use of fossil fuels for bitcoin mining and transactions, sending shockwaves across the digital asset ecosystem.

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Billionaire banker Ken Moelis says the bitcoin craze is like the gold rush of 1848 – and the meme stock frenzy is down to its entertainment value

Ken Moelis
CEO of Moelis & Co, Ken Moelis.

  • Billionaire banker Ken Moelis compared the cryptocurrency obsession to the gold rush of 1848.
  • His investment bank is focused on having crypto expertise before diving into the space, he said.
  • Most of the meme-stock frenzy is just for fun, and those ending up with losses will accept it, he said.
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Investment banker Ken Moelis likened the bitcoin craze to the California gold rush at a Bloomberg summit this week, and said he’s eyeing the cryptocurrency space for business opportunities, just as Levi Strauss did for miners in 1848.

Moelis, who founded the boutique investment bank Moelis & Co, said he was personally open to investing in crypto, but his firm is more focused on having expertise before diving into it. “It’s a big market, there’s a lot of capital in there, there’s a lot of projects,” he said, adding that he remains cautious of taking his firm into the space.

More-traditional banks have until recently taken a watchful stance toward bitcoin and other mainstream cryptocurrencies. But an explosion of adoption by major banks such as Goldman Sachs and of new deals in the area has solidified the establishment of a whole new asset class in the financial world.

“It’s like the gold rush of 1848. A lot of people didn’t know if there was gold in the ground, but Levi’s made a business selling jeans and Wells Fargo made a banking business,” Moelis said at the summit. “I believe our business is selling the picks and the shovels, so we have to know what people want – what picks and what shovels they need, what tools they need to be successful.”

In 1848, the discovery of gold flakes in a California stream unleashed the largest migration in the US by would-be miners attracted by the prospect of massive wealth. Likewise, the huge gains logged by bitcoin since its inception has attracted an ever-growing legion of fans to cryptocurrencies, with some previous major detractors like Howard Marks changing their outlook. In March, online brokerage Etoro reported it had added over 5 million new bitcoin-focused users in 2020, and as of 4 January, it had 61% more bitcoin holders on its platform year-on-year.

Moelis also shared what he thinks about the meme-stock frenzy, which has seen retail investors band together on social platforms to buy and hold targeted stocks such as GameStop, often with the aim of pitting themselves against Wall Street. He said his own children are actively involved in the trend, and that they regularly update him on certain stocks.

“They’re just having fun – I think 70 to 80% of this is fun,” he said. “When you go to a casino, the most boisterous, loudest craps table is always the one where everyone runs over because someone has made their point, they’ve predicted something.”

But he said there will be some who bet beyond what they can afford. “At every craps table, 70 to 80% of the people, they know they’re having fun, and know they’re going to lose their money, and accept it. There is somebody who’s going to lose their mortgage.”

Read More: A veteran options trader breaks down 3 potential drivers of AMC’s 2,500% surge this year – and shares how long the retail-fueled rally might last

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Bitcoin rises back above $35,000 as El Salvador declares it legal tender and inflation concerns persist

2021 03 13T111735Z_1_LYNXMPEH2C07M_RTROPTP_4_CRYPTO CURRENCY BITCOIN TREASURY.JPG
Bitcoin has lost nearly half its value since April.

  • Bitcoin rose back above $35,000 Wednesday, boosted by El Salvador’s move to make the cryptocurrency legal tender.
  • Persistent inflationary pressures may have also encouraged investors to add exposure to the digital asset.
  • Once bitcoin breaks through $38,000, it may signal an upward trend towards $47,000, an expert said.
  • Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell.

The price of the world’s most popular cryptocurrency rose back above $35,000 Wednesday, boosted by El Salvador’s historic move in becoming the first country to establish bitcoin as a legal tender. Persistent inflationary pressures may have also encouraged investors to flock to the asset, which some view as an inflation hedge.

Bitcoin rose to $35,349 at around 8:14 a.m. ET Wednesday, rising 12% from the intraday low the previous day. It has lost almost 50% of its value since hitting an all-time high of nearly $65,000 in April.

“This current market pause is not unexpected. Everyone needs time to assess and digest what the community has built,” Paolo Ardoino, CTO of Bitfinex, a cryptocurrency exchange said. “I’m still extremely bullish in the long term about bitcoin and the long-term fundamentals and use cases of the technology.”

Tim Frost, founder of fintech firm Yield, said if bitcoin can break through $38,000, it may signal an upward trend toward its medium-term average of around $47,000 and potentially beyond.

The congress of El SalvadorWednesday voted in favor of bitcoin becoming legal tender in the country, cheered on by President Nayib Bukele. Once the law passes through the legislative processes, bitcoin will have the same status as the US dollar – the country’s current national currency.

Bitcoin by then will automatically and immediately be converted into US dollars upon use.

Meanwhile, investors are anticipating US Consumer Price Index data on Thursday, which is expected to show inflation picked up faster than April’s pace, which was already the highest reading since 2008. The European Central Bank will also meet the same day.

Several economists including those at Deutsche Bank have said inflation will make a comeback if the Federal Reserve sticks to its current policy of keeping interest rates historically low.

“We expect inflationary pressures to re-emerge as the Fed continues with its policy of patience,” the bank’s economists on Monday said. “It may take a year longer until 2023 but inflation will re-emerge.”

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