Mars Blockchain Summit NYC 2018 was successfully held in New York on October 18, EST. Joint by well-known financial institutions and industry leaders from both China and Wall Street, guests engaged in deep dialogues to explore what’s next in blockchain.
Six panel topics were tackled during the event, including the Trend of Global Regulations, the Future and Implementation of STO, Stablecoin, Secondary Market and Trading Platforms, Public Blockchain and Application, and Investment Strategy against Market Cycle.
Fred Wang, the Founder of Mars Finance and Jeffrey Wernick, the famous angel investor and early investor in Bitcoin, Uber and Airbnb joins for a fireside chat at the summit. Some main points from the discussion by Wernick: bitcoin is not an asset class, and is by far the most dominant cryptocurrency, bitcoin is unlikely to become a global currency, and the “stability” in stablecoin is relative which is why I don’t believe in it.
Below is the full content of the discussion, recorded and edited by Mars Finance, unconfirmed by the speakers:
Fred: you were an early investor in “sharing economy” and an early investor in Uber and Airbnb. At a fairly early stage, you entered the bitcoin world and started to mine by yourself. You acquired a lot of bitcoin but never sold any. Apparently you think cryptocurrency is very important. With the launch of stablecoin and other cryptocurrencies, will you still hold onto bitcoin?
Jeffrey: when I was 15 years old, Nixon broke the bond between dollar and gold, and that's when I started to have basic ideas about money. And I became interested in money issuance and control. When I was 15, I used all my saving to buy a gold stock. Fortunately, the price of gold rose from $35 to $600, and the $5,000 I invested turned into $200,000 in three years.
When I went to college, I began to realize that currencies around the world are almost always linked to "other currencies," and those "other currencies" are linked to gold. We've always been on the gold standard. The state controls the national wealth by controlling the financial system, the monetary system and the payment system.
I never thought America was a free market, and I was a liberal, so I was always looking for a way to fight. Initially I was doing my resistance through gold, but after I came into contact with bitcoin, I quickly understood its properties and what it represented. I find that bitcoin has a bigger advantage than gold. So I started mining bitcoin eagerly, and I thought I would never sell it and just keep it.
Fred: since last September, many people think that there will be no more room for bitcoin to appreciate. In your opinion, is there room for bitcoin to appreciate? Can investors still make money from bitcoin?
Jeffrey: I do not think that the currency is an asset class, two years ago, the price of the currency was $600. I was asked about the price of the currency movements, I think the expectations of $2500 to $3000 is already very aggressive, I don't think the currency will rise to $19000 in 2019, although currency prices fell back, but the current $6300 compared with $600 two years ago, is unthinkable.
The market is going crazy, but I'm not going to care about bitcoin for a month or a year. I am more concerned about its future development space, where the world's demand on cryptocurrency is only going to grow.
I think the most dominant cryptocurrency by far is still bitcoin, and I believe the practicality of bitcoin is going to get better and better, and I'm a very patient person, and I'm willing to wait for the day to come.
As a long-term holder of bitcoin, I think price predictions are purely noise, and for noise, I usually filter it out.
Fred: do you think people will see bitcoin as a common currency in the world one day?
Jeffrey: I welcome this day, but I don't think it's likely. I see a lot of difficulties in it. I think the most likely is that we start to use the encryption currency issued by a government. The government through the issuance of encryption currency could gain control and bring certain security to people. With the development over time, there will be more people holding onto coins, but they are unlikely to become a global currency. Though, this is what I expect to see.
Fred: we all hope that bitcoin can become a global currency because it has cross-border liquidity. Although China has now become one of the most important economies in the world, there are still some restrictions, such as foreign exchange control. In that sense, bitcoin gives people a lot of freedom. At present, the market is gradually emerging with the government-backed stablecoin. The Chinese government and the central bank are also paying attention to cryptocurrency. Some people say that the next currency war will be caused by stablecoin, what are your thoughts on that?
Jeffrey: I think the emergence of stablecoin has hampered the development of bitcoin and cryptocurrency in general.
First of all, I don't like the word "stable". The concept of stability is artificial and relative. Therefore, I don't think stablecoin is a rational concept.
Secondly, the use of the stablecoin is to measure other cryptocurrencies. An important feature of the cryptocurrency is its anonymity, but stablecoin would expose user data and information, so the government can indirectly manage other cryptocurrencies through the management of the stablecoin.
If you don't think freedom is valuable, what do you think is valuable? I would rather accept the freedom of fluctuation than the restraint of stability.
Fred: I agree with you on the importance of freedom. You are known as an early investor of Uber and Airbnb. Currently, there is a project similar to Airbnb but is based on blockchain technology in Japan. As an early investor of the sharing economy, do you think that blockchain technology will have a disruptive impact on the traditional business model?
Jeffrey: I think it will overturn not only existing business models, but the existing knowledge system. And I don't think Uber and Airbnb as sharing economies, they don't generate value sharing, and they're apps designed based on concentrated funding.