A Fool and His Money

Weekly crypto news, in under 5 mins!

The Motley Fool Changes Its Tune  

The near three-decades-old financial advice brand, The Motley Fool, was founded by brothers David and Tom Gardner, embodiments of American everymen and the early retail investment revolution of the 1990s. 

They’re intellectual heirs to the Value Investing tradition spurred by trading luminaries such as Benjamin Graham. Graham’s seminal work, the mid-20th century classic, The Intelligent Investor, distinguished his philosophy from pure speculation, advocating for active investment and a buy-and-hold mentality. 

Graham’s most famous acolyte in this regard is Warren Buffett, so-called Oracle of Omaha. Buffett, of course, is a legendary contrarian who favors longer-term investments, kicking the tires of a company, meeting its management team, knowing its company’s cash on hand and other considered almost folksy fundamentals by today’s go-go trading standards. 

It’s no wonder Buffett is philosophically skeptical of technology companies as a rule. The distrust bled into a rabid dislike of cryptocurrencies and Bitcoin. Buffett has called the phenomenon delusional, poison, and of no value. 

The Gardners and The Motley Fool then aped Buffett’s Bitcoin ire, publishing, “Why Bitcoin Is a Horrible Investment Idea,” back in 2013. “Bitcoin might be fun to gamble on, but as a long-term investment, its current reliance on the largest bitcoin exchange makes it iffy at best,” The Motley Fool concluded. “One of the important aspects of bitcoin is its distributed nature, but in its infancy, it has yet to fully realize that value due to a lack of trusted exchanges.”

The piece was destined to become intellectual roadkill of the Krugman internet = fax machine variety. 

Oh, what a difference a bull run makes. Cut to 17 February 2021, and the tune-changing-staff-authored revelation, “The Motley Fool Announces $5 Million Investment in Bitcoin.” In it, The Motley Fool makes a complete 180 degree turn. 

For good measure, the firm even recently tweeted:

“1. We believe it will store value more effectively than gold over the long term.

2. We believe it may become a medium for transactions, as/if pricing stabilizes in the decade ahead.

3. We believe it can act as a productive hedge against inflation.”

Welcome to the party.

Bitcoin developer Jameson Lopp noted, however, “If the Fools had made their $5M allocation when they published [their 2013 denunciation], it would be worth $2.5B today.”

Whales Like Twitter’s Jack Buttress Coin Center  

Washington, DC-based think tank, Coin Center, exists to educate policy makers on better understanding cryptocurrencies. Its work is an unfortunate necessity for those operating in the real world and who understand, like it or not, government regulation is coming, and coming hard. Perhaps Coin Center can mitigate government’s blunt instruments. Hard to tell. But the crypto bull run has whales taking no chances. As Executive Director Jerry Brito explained, “I'm thrilled to announce that Coin Center has received donations to claim the amazing $1 million match from @Grayscale in full. We’ve been stunned by the outpouring of support from the community. Thank you @Sonnenshein and team! But there's one more thing… Coin Center has received an incredibly generous gift of $1 million from @jack — we’re speechless. We were almost to our goal for the matching campaign when he put us over the top and then some. Your confidence in our work is incredibly humbling.”

The Black Swan Author Drops Bitcoin

Nassim Nicholas Taleb, author of ecosystem favorites such as The Black Swan, Antifragile, and Skin in the Game, is “getting rid” of his Bitcoin holdings. Taleb is prickly by nature, often battling with fellow intellectuals and, more recently, Bitcoin maximalists such as Saifedean Ammous (author of The Bitcoin Standard) over coronavirus policy skepticism. The plot thickens because Taleb wrote a widely-praised Foreword to Ammous’ popular tome. Just prior to dumping his BTC, Taleb also blocked Ammous on social media. For his part, Ammous snidely tweeted in response, “Delighted to announce @michael_saylor has agreed to write a new foreword for the coming reprint of The Bitcoin Standard! Michael's championing of the book & his conviction in acting upon it are the biggest compliment it received. Bonus: he actually read it!”

$700,000 is a lot of Money 

Eighteen year old NFT digital artist @fewocious celebrated sales from Gemini-backed platform Nifty Gateway. The company cheered:

“The @fewocious open editions have just closed. Over $700,000 was sold. Congrats to @fewocious and all collectors!!”

Nifty Gateway is an auction site, attempting to popularize a notion seemingly contrary to our understanding of things-internet: owning a digital item. Wild stuff.  

Barstool Sports El Presidente is Salty

Oof. The US-based bro sports and lifestyle platform, Barstool Sports, CEO Dave Portnoy is quite a character. Half the time, even followers can’t tell if he’s funning, goofing around. For months, Portnoy engaged in showing up Wall Street traders, veterans of high finance, by pulling day trading stunts that earned him millions… in public. He’d look outside his window and see a deer. Then, he’d log-on to a retail brokerage and buy gaggles of John Deer stock. Fans would FOMO along, and the price often rocketed. Portnoy soon dabbled in Bitcoin, sinking a reported $1 million. He even took a meeting with the Winklevoss. He engaged Crypto Twitter. A couple of weeks later, he announced selling it all in a classic case of weak hands. The price has nearly 3X’d since, and Portnoy is mighty salty about the whole experience. 

He says:

“I will never buy #Bitcoin. Never. #DDTG

NVIDIA Limiting Hash Rate of GeForce RTX 3060 GPUs 

In an effort to make NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 GPUs “less desirable to miners,” hoping to entice the industry toward their “NVIDIA CMP for professional mining,” Matt Wuebbling, VP of Global GeForce Marketing, detailed how the company is catering more to gamers. As a result, “RTX 3060 software drivers are designed to detect specific attributes of the Ethereum cryptocurrency mining algorithm, and limit the hash rate, or cryptocurrency mining efficiency, by around 50 percent” as of 25 February 2021.  

By C. Edward Kelso, NBTV contributor.

Find more of Kelso’s work here: @coinfugazi / coinfugazi.com