Originally published at cointelegraph.com on May 8, 2018.
There has been a time when a saying was popular on Wall Street: “when Warren Buffett speaks, you listen.” Now Wall Street is better not to listen, if they do not want to become history faster than Kodak or Blockbuster.
The media are going mad reporting the latest senseless rants from Warren Buffett, Munger and Bill Gates, just to name the last few. The usual barrage of senseless observations, wrong assumptions, popular, but wrong and ignorant distinctions between “the technology behind Bitcoin” — which is good and everyone on the Street loves it — and the rest which is obviously very bad or just plain insults to the whole crypto community — as if instead Wall Street is populated only by honourable gentlemen and philanthropists.
Shall the crypto community start trading insults with them? Shall we respond?
No we shall not. For they are slowly becoming the past at an accelerating pace and they do not understand it. Besides, they know nothing about Bitcoin. It is like asking a rugby player to dance the ballet’s classic “pas des deux”. It is pretty unlikely that the player will know how to dance the ballet.
It is worth repeating again and again what Bitcoin is (with capital “B” the protocol), what bitcoin is (with “b” the money), that Bitcoin was the first ever Blockchain, that it is today the largest, open, peer to peer system of payment without intermediaries and without central point of failure, that it incorporates “a planetary scale, self evident, thermodynamically guaranteed system of trust and immutability”, that it is tamper and censorship resistant, that it is resistant to geopolitical manipulation, that lives by consensus and has the features of money and that all this extraordinary complexity put together will change the world we live in and will be the backbone of this coming digital or 4th industrial revolution? No, these are words wasted on them, because they represent the establishment and they are either too much ingrained in the current system to be able to see something different coming or they have too much vested interest in it to be able to acknowledge it.
They prosper in a system which is based on custody, control, intermediary chains, oversight, cronyism, centralized trust and manipulation. Bitcoin has none. Bitcoin is an alien to them.
The last time that Warren Buffett made very serious money has been with the financial crisis in 2007–2008. When millions of people lost their lifesavings and the hope for a decent future life he made more than $10 bln. By its own admission, this is not because he is a great investor:
“If I didn’t think the government was going to act, I would not be doing anything this week. I am, to some extent, betting on the fact that the government will do the rational thing here and act promptly.”
Buffett told the above to CNBC after investing $5 bln in Goldman Sachs. Sure enough the US government did just that, saved the too big to fail.
So you see, you do not have to be an “oracle” to profit from stocks of companies which you know will be saved with public money when you are pals with the President, the Treasury Secretary and the Fed Chair and they can guarantee that to you. There are few in Wall Street who can represent more egregiously today’s crony capitalism than Warren Buffett.
B(b)itcoin stands tall as a symbol against all that. Obviously he does not like it.
Of his despisal the Crypto community must be proud. There is hope for a different world coming, away from this crony capitalism towards a decentralized, open, trusted and democratized capitalism based on more honest money (just like Bitcoin).
So the message here is not for the Buffetts´ of this world, it is for the crypto community of young and bright technologists and entrepreneurs. It is an appeal to stop bickering about which technology is better than the other. Do not waste your time in internal battles that only delay the progress. This is not a religion or a dogma. Yours is a fundamental contribution towards a better future, towards a better world. Put your heads down and whatever you do keep doing it together to improve the Bitcoin´s fundamental pillars of: (i) real decentralization and openness (ii) an inbuilt system of trust and immutability which must be highly resilient to coercion, censorship, geopolitical manipulation and tamper and (iii) cryptographic encryption. Whatever will be the solutions adopted to improve on that, then the result will bring progress to humanity as a whole.
The Buffetts´ of this world will be soon the past. For it is a question of when, not if, the NYSE and the NASDAQ Blue Chips will start tokenizing their shares on crypto exchanges, when there will be no more IPOs but only STOs, when VC firms will bring their illiquid portfolios to crypto exchanges to be tokenized and when — in only a couple of years from now — the tokenization will be a trillion dollar industry, then also Berkshire Hathaway will do what Goldman Sachs is doing today, forming a crypto desk and buying tokens.
The irony is, to be able to do that, they will have to buy bitcoin.
Then, suddenly, it will all make sense to old Buffett as well.