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Current Thoughts On Crypto

by | Jan 10, 2024 | Investment News

A client replied to a recent mailout. Why hadn’t I mentioned Bitcoin spot ETFs and what were my thoughts on this article: https://bitpay.com/blog/analyzing-past-btc-halvings/

I am always grateful to hear from clients like this, I find having to respond really focusses my thoughts. On this occasion my potted thoughts coalesced as follows:

“The article was interesting and useful as an infomercial, so to be taken with the same amount of salt as any forecasts / “research papers” issued by the established investment houses.


The market for crypto is still very much in its infancy. 10 years is no sort of track record, and it takes a long time for meaningful trends to become reliable. Even then they are subject to prolonged periods of seeming irrationality.


The London Stock Exchange was established 222 years ago in 1801 although there were surely less formal forerunners.  I imagine it was a cesspool of insider trading, obfuscation and out and out lying and cheating. In fact, it proved to be so, hence today’s heavy regulation.


We might all have been blinded by the shine of the Stock Exchange in 1811, 10 years after it started. It was still new, innovative, looked a lot like the future and seemed to offer an easy way to make money.


But could we have relied on, or had any confidence in, the data or what was going on inside it? You would have had to have had an immense constitution to seriously engage with it, especially if you knew you were on the outside looking in.


So, I find 10 years’ data unreliable thereby making crypto uninvestable. For me, crypto is a speculation.


We should also address the blurring of correlation and causation in the article. Correlation can be seen in many, many things, causation much less so. Causation is very difficult to prove, is frequently misappropriated and occurs rarely in any event.


There simply isn’t enough meaningful data to make any causative link at the moment in crypto. I would argue there’s barely enough in the public stock market 200 years in. For me correlation is a red herring.


In time I am sure crypto will establish itself and become more and more acceptable. For me, for now, it is like gold without the breeding and history.


The average retail investor should be looking for undramatic accumulation over 40 years of work to afford a 30-year retirement. Crypto does not sit well with that and will remain niche in the same way as gold and property are for most.


The average retail investor has sufficient exposure to gold and property through the businesses they own which include companies with vast property holdings (e.g. Tesco) and miners who are affected by changes in the price of gold. There is no need to overweight these areas through a specific holding.


Similarly many of the c8,500 companies you are a part owner of are exposed to cryptos ebbs and flow. As the crypto market grows so will the influence of crypto on the companies you own and the returns earned – I see no reason to make a specific allocation to crypto.


Unless of course you want to speculate with an amount of money as I have done. And if you do that is fine, but it should not be to the extent that it kills you.


But if it is not enough to kill you the chances of making a killing – a life changing amount of money – is very slim, so what is the point other than for a bit of a thrill?


To make serious money you have to put up serious money.


Remember we are way down the food chain when it comes to knowing what is going on – insiders don’t share information they do not have to or unless it benefits them. That leaves most participants in crypto in the dark, though I don’t believe most acknowledge the extent to which this is to their detriment, if at all.


The ETF is a first step in going legit, but only a first step, more steps will follow, some good, some bad. There are plenty of shocks and scandals still to come. Quite where it all ends up is anyone’s guess, nobody knows, nobody can know.


Which is why I am happy to sit on the sidelines with a fraction of 1% of my wealth exposed to crypto. And no more than that.


That’s where I am at with crypto at least. What are your thoughts?”




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