There seems to be an audible buzz. It’s been a long, hard game. Three players, all above six-feet tall, look to their coach.
“Downtown” Josh Brown steps to the free-throw line.
“It’s very easy to think your way out of investing in bitcoin,” he tells the packed house.
For the roughly 350 fans at Fordham University for “The Truth Machine: The Blockchain and the Future of Everything” book launch, this bullish dialogue marks exactly the kind of mental athletics they came to see.
And the handful of blockchain industry all-stars on hand delivered, so much so even the speakers themselves made jokes about the scene resembling a sports match.
“We look like a basketball team,” said Brown, a crypto investor and co-founder of Ritholtz Wealth Management, who recently converted from a skeptic to a bitcoin believer.
Brown shared the stage with Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, founders of cryptocurrency exchange Gemini, and Paul Vigna, a Wall Street Journal reporter and co-author of the Truth Machine, with crypto industry pundit Michael Casey.
Not to be outdone on the athletic display, the Winklevoss brothers brought hints of future news and announcements.
Speaking to a question about whether the exchange – which facilitates trades in bitcoin and ether only – would be adding new cryptocurrencies, Winklevoss struck an optimistic tone, stating:
“We’re definitely going to increase our menu of options.”
On the sidelines
But while we still might be in cryptocurrency’s “first quarter,” the event provided more evidence retail investors are interested in going pro.
When Vigna and Casey’s first book, “The Age of Cryptocurrency,” was published, bitcoin was trading at just over $1,000. Flash forward to today and those figures look like Little League. And that’s led to a considerable amount of FOMO (fear of missing out).
Still, even with the broader cryptocurrency industry’s gains, Brown was measured in his response about whether rookies should invest.
He explained that while he does not discourage his clients from investing in crypto assets, he also avoids directly advising them to invest. Although, he does think there’s merit to investing in that it can be a good way for someone to form their own opinion about the long-term value of cryptocurrencies.
Casey warned the industry against an over-reliance on consortia, which large enterprises such as big banks, continue to join.
In his mind, the idea of a single shared ledger in this regard goes against what the cryptocurrency movement was all about in general, saying:
“You think a too big to fail bank is a problem? Imagine a too big to fail blockchain.”