Chamath Palihapitiya Bitcoin – Why We Are Buying Much Of Everything – Oct 8, 2021
I think what that means is that the sec is going to be asked increasingly more often to approve simpler on ramps for this stuff and now in the last week, by the way we had a pretty important two things happen, both jerome powell and gary ginzer basically Said cryptos here to stay, and you know were not going to ban this stuff, and so hopefully what it means is that you get some etfs passed in the united states. You know, grayscale is one there could be more, and i think that stuff makes it much easier for folks to own this stuff. Well, clear regulation would be a great thing for the industry for people to buy into it and removing some of the lets call them. I dont want to say bad actors, but people who are maybe questionable. Well, i think you have to put things in a bucket of like. Is it an investment or is it something that represents an idea that you love so much if its the latter? You should never sell if its the former yeah, you got to manage risk, or rather you know, is it a trade or is it something you want to own by the way? Let me just clean this up, because um solano was not a direct investment for us. What we did is we invested in um in a crypto venture, firm, called multi coin capital. This is back in 2017. We realized, like crypto, was becoming like a full time job for us, it was a total rabbit hole and we were like we dont have time to figure out this, like 24 7 trading stuff, but we met kyle and tushar.
Who were these two young guys? We met them through vinnie lingam, actually, and they were creating multi coin capital and we actually invested. We gave him a million bucks at a 20 cap to help set up their firm and then we invested in their. They had both a venture fund and a hedge fund, and they were like the first money into solana, so that fund i mean its like a 100x fund, its just like bonkers, crazy, and so, as a result of that, we are um. Indirect beneficiaries of this huge increase in solana, it will end up being about you know a billion dollars of, i think solana for us in terms of returns, but um, but its the multi coin, guys determine the trading decisions on that yeah, and so people who dont Know, solana is a programmable. You know ethereum uh competitor, i guess, and its at 50 billion dollars so market cap it was trading at a dollar not long ago and now its at 164., its an ethereum competitor. Basically, for you know, smart contract platform and theres a lot of people id say smart money in silicon valley who are betting on a flipping where solana could ultimately overtake ethereum as the preferred platform, but even if it doesnt overtake ethereum it. You know its. The number eight cryptocurrency right now you know it could go theres a lot of people. Betting itll go to number three or you know what have you.
Additionally, it is a fraction of a penny for a transaction uh and it can do many more transactions than ethereum theres, so much to know about the crypto world, its a hard thing to invest in unless youre, like totally focused on it. Ive struggled with that, like ive, tried to go deep on a couple topics and, like i realized holy ive, been in this for like four to six hours, just trying to learn this stuff and im not like there and then i feel uncertain about making any decisions. I i totally get it i mean you got ta have folks like working on this and the the pace is changing um so rapidly uh. You really need to kind of be up to date on whats next, you know what the other thing. The other issue really is when you look at crypto, people use the word crypto as if its like thats, all there is totally crypto, is like thats like distributed computing, yeah right, ecash, cryptography, uh. You know financial modeling or building new economic systems, chamoth theres business model, innovation, theres technology, innovation, theres, economic innovation, its distributed computing, innovation, yeah infrastructure, infrastructure hardware. I mean theres theres, quite a lot of uh layers of activity. Are you spending time in crypto yourself or do you have people doing it for you or how are you kind of yeah? We have look, we have. We have a lot of it um a lot of a lot of everything.
So yeah we have things, but do you go deep yourself tomorrow, like how do you spend enough time to really get up to speed on all the goings on i cherry pick and i snipe and uh opportunities where i get intellectually curious and jump in, but a Lot of the credit goes to my team theres, a couple folks that spend a lot of their time in it, and you know weve weve had a couple. People um do extremely well for us uh. You know similar similar to davids story back in the day. You know i invested uh in barry, silbert and uh dc market, barry, silver, yeah and uh. You know, dcg is now i dont know im guessing a 20 billion dollar company, maybe more, i dont know. So. How does it mechanically work with your team? They they are investigating opportunities and then they come to you and bring you. You know, hey well, do a meeting and im going to share four with you and then you say: let me go on the phone with that guy. Do you basically go deep, go deep when something shows up? No, so so, basically, what happens is they have carp launched to do whatever they want and what theyre typically doing is theyre working with entrepreneurs to seed projects, and you know to to to get projects off the ground and then at some point when those when those Projects become large enough, then theyll, issue, tokens and you know well get a certain allocation of those tokens and so weve done that, for you know, call it.
I dont know some number of projects that we think are valuable. Then, along the way you know, theyll have certain views on bitcoin theyll have certain views on ethereum theyll, have certain views on solana and will make capital allocation decisions? They tend to have the ability to do whatever they want and then what i tend to do is just think about when it gets above like it to me, i need to see the chance to make. At least you know in the rough justice around you know. 500 to a billion dollars and then ill get involved, but otherwise they just kind of run. The whole thing. Let me ask you guys, um a question here. You know when you look at the market caps of these projects. It seems, like things are changing. Uh, cardona or cordana is number three now and uh tether still remains number five xrp still number six, but so long. I would encourage people to not look at it. Like that, i think looking at it as a rank list betrays what it is. So you know ill give you a simple example: lets like like compare the fate of two projects or actually right now, theres a distributed form of um discord, thats being built discord, the chat, app yeah theyre popular in a completely distributed way, with an integrated crypto wallet Because if you look at discord, its really two cohorts of people, theres gaming and theres crypto right, so those are the two big ones yeah.
So you know thats an example of a really interesting product that has some real potential. Then, if you look at something like diesel, diesel is a decentralized social programming framework. Then, if you look at something like helium thats completely about building a large distributed, you know connection of um, of on ramps to the internet, so internet connectivity, so those are three completely different ideas with three completely different paths to success. If to invest in those tokens, you you have to believe in three totally different sets of things yeah, so to look at it on a ranked list and just buy something because its cheap, its stupid. That wasnt really my question. My question was, you know we, we have an extraordinary number of the public whove invested in bitcoin and ethereum as number one and number two, and those projects feel may be stagnant when compared to the dynamism of what ill call you know the projects launched in the Last three or four years, because theyre at the different: no no but youre talking about confusing again thats. What i mean those are layer, one protocols right, meaning they are at the core substrate of how all of crypto is going to work. Then you have these other projects that build on top of these things in different ways or build around them. So my point is: if you dont have, if you dont, want to take the time to understand which layer twos you want to own and which layer ones you want to own and why i think youre much better off.
I i understand your point, my point, etf or something else, because there are, there are ways to own these things. So, for example, david david solana is, does not need ethereum to exist, so my point is: do we do we see a day when this? You know the past decade has been about bitcoin and ethereum. Do we see a day when maybe people stop buying those and start buying these new ones anythings possible, but heres heres, the evolution of our thinking, i mean the first step was realizing. Okay, we need to own bitcoin. Why? Because you know theres now enough evidence where what like a decade were more than a decade into this, nobody has been able to essentially counterfeit a bitcoin. It is you know new money, it is, it is better money. So if you, but so im not going to convince people right now of the argument for bitcoin, but if you believe in it thats sort of the first step, is you realize you really need to have one to two percent of your portfolio in bitcoin? In the event that fiat money, sort of becomes debased and eventually moved to crypto, then you realize well wait. A second bitcoin is just one application of blockchains theres, a bunch of applications of blockchains. So maybe we need to own. Not just sort of you know digital money, but we also need to own the underlying blockchain platform, and that leads you to ethereum.
Then you realize that theres, a bunch of competitors to ethereum and its still very early days and one of those guys might ultimately displace ethereum as a blockchain platform. Then you realize that theres all these applications on top of all these blockchains, and so you know the conclusion i come to after all of that is i cant figure all this out and well. Maybe i could, if i was willing to go back to school and like make this a full time job which i just dont want to do i mean im, lazy and thats. Why i focus on sass like thats, what i know: youre killed investor yeah like im. Not going to reinvent myself its like you playing hold them versus plm right right right exactly so, but this is why we partner with multi coin capital. So what i would just say is like the idea that you, as an individual investor, are going to, like you know, pick off the one cryptocurrency here or there to invest in i mean thats going to be a lottery. I would i would find a manager, basically who is really good, who has a track record who understands this stuff. Our approach is to hire very young, extremely technical computer scientists and mathematicians to basically do the work. Thats thats working yeah and you know one of the things that i think these guys do and the reason why it is very helpful for the computer scientists is.
These are all open source projects, so they go. Look at the repos. Just go! Look at it. Go! Look at it and actually see the changes being made, and this is like do you realize theres only 12 people who are actively working on solana, but you need to you – need to look at all the code check ins, seven of them work for solana. You need to look at all the code check ins. You need to look at the velocity of the code check in so you can see like how many projects are being created on these platforms. The white papers are also really exceptional, like if you, if you read these white papers, they are theyre, theyre, theyre, really, incredibly, thoughtful and and well written, and you can really understand what their goals are and you can make some informed decisions there. But again, if youre not going to be in the business of being in this ecosystem, because i think davids right, everything is moving so fast. Whats successful today could be just a dog tomorrow and vice versa that i think speculating in this market will. Not only will it be super volatile, but more than likely youre going to lose all your money, so i would encourage people to not speculate in crypto. I would encourage you to figure out an elegant way of having an abstracted bet if, to the extent you care about it and by the way in the uk, for example, there are ways where you can own publicly traded mutual funds that give you exposure to this.
Its just simple: yes, yes, yeah, but theyre mutual funds of credit.