My Draft Crypto Portfolio Outperformed The Markets By A Lot

Two weeks ago I wrote about 10 crypto assets that are in my watchlist or portoflio. I wanted to see how they have performed since I’ve written that blog post.

Here’s the two week performance below.

AssetPrice on 28th JulyPrice on 11th Aug% Gains
BTC$39,851$45,64414.53%
ETH$2,307$3,16036.97%
SOL$28.33$41.1245.14%
AXS$47.75$74.8956.83%
FTT$31.32$49.5058.05%
PERP$9.96$15.6457.02%
RUNE$4.10$7.1373.90%
MKR$2,705$3,41826.36%
LUNA$9.55$16.5673.40%
STX$1.16$1.4726.72%

If you allocated $1,000 to this draft portfolio on 28th July and allocated $100 to each of the listed assets, your returns would have looked like this

AssetValue on 28th JulyValue on 11th Aug
BTC$100$114.54
ETH$100$136.97
SOL$100$145.15
AXS$100$156.84
FTT$100$158.05
PERP$100$157.03
RUNE$100$173.90
MKR$100$126.36
LUNA$100$173.40
STX$100$126.72
Total$1000$1,468

This would have yielded a cumulative return of 46.80% on your entire portfolio in 2 weeks. If you had a Bitcoin only portfolio you would have generated 14.53% return while if you had an ETH only portfolio your return would have been 36.97%. If you had a 50/50 BTC/ETH portfolio, your returns would have been 25.70%.

In addition, if you had a way of mirroring the entire market, the crypto market has grown from 1.527 trillion dollars to 1.885 trillion dollars. This index would have yielded you 23.44% returns.

Luckily, my draft portfolio above outperformed BTC, ETH, BTC&ETH as well as CMC Index portfolio.

Crypto Assets That I’m Keeping An Eye On

There are several crypto assets that I’m either holding, or watching and I wanted to write one-liner on each one of them. I may be holding some of them for the short-term and some for the long-haul. Others, I may just be observing from the sidelines. Also as fundamentals change, some of these projects will no longer be in my portfolio or watchlist.

Please do your own research and do not consider this to be a financial advice as I’m not qualified to give any financial advice.

$BTC – best monetary policy, no pre-mine, largest, most-secure, simplest, best, deserves largest allocation in each portfolio.

$ETH – most popular infra-layer. Attracting most innovation. Dapps built on ETH will likely replace banks, financial institutions and many fintech apps and neobanks.

$SOL – the most likely contender to compete with ETH. Fastest, cheapest, a little bit more centralized. Supported by the best institutional investors in the crytpo space.

$AXS – play to earn game. Gaming is no longer a pastime activity but a job. Crazy fundamentals. Axie earns $150 million dollars per month and AXS is trading at PE ratio of only 7.

$FTT – native token of the best derivates exchange. Can go wild like BNB (but not as much).

$PERP – largest DEX for perpetual contracts.

$RUNE – one of its kind decentralized exchange that enables trading of non-synthetic assets. All other dexes e.g Uniswap, Pancakeswap use synthetic tokens for assets from other chains.

$MKR – DAO behind largest (partially) decentralized stablecoin DAI

$LUNA – Powering largest (fully) decentralized stablecoin UST

$STX – Just in case, Bitcoin wins DeFi infra layer too. Smart-contract platform secured by Bitcoin’s hashpower.

How Realistic Is Elon’s Dogecoin As A Replacement For Bitcoin

I do not own any Dogecoins. I have never had held any. I didn’t see the premise of buying into it. But Elon has taken it too far and hence I thought to finally write about my thoughts on the situation.

Yesterday, Elon Musk tweeted that he no longer supports Bitcoin due to it’s massive carbon footprint.

Later that day, he expressed his plans that Dogecoin could be that alternate cryptocurrency which also happens to use <1% of Bitcoin’s energy.

Let’s dive into this to see if this could realistically be an alternate to Bitcoin or not.

Bitcoin

A few weeks ago I recorded an impromptu podcast with my friend ZSM to share my views on the biggest benefits of Bitcoin. Full podcast can be heard here. But the TL;DR was that Bitcoin’s limited supply vs infinite fiat money is what makes it a potentially attractive store of value. In order for Bitcoin to deliver on this promise, it needs to be really safe and temper proof. This is where Bitcoin’s 150 TWh energy consumption comes in. Bitcoin network has no ceiling to how much energy it can consume. The miners are incentivized to provide hash power (security) to the network to earn/mine bitcoins. So as long as the cost of mining bitcoins is lesser than the price of bitcoins mined, they can continue to add hash rate profitably, infinitely. Since Bitcoin price has no ceiling due to its limited supply and high demand, you can not predictably say what would be the maximum amount of energy bitcoin needs to operate.

Bitcoin consumes a lot of energy but also provides an opportunity to billions of people. An opportunity for them to protect their wealth and be free from the state-run money. An opportunity at a better life.

Bitcoin also incentivizes renewable energy. For maximum profitability, miners are encouraged to secure bitcoin by incurring the least amount of cost. Renewable energy is usually the cheapest form of energy source with least amount of carbon emissions and hence >75% of the miners and ~50% of the hash rate comes from renewable energy sources.

Bitcoin is not just money, it’s also a payments network. Hence to compare Bitcoin to traditional fiat money on the basis of energy consumption, you wouldn’t just look into the number of trees that need to be cut to print paper money, but would also need to look at energy consumed by millions of banks and financial institutions that act as payment networks for the fiat money.

Doge

Unfortunately, like Bitcoin, Dogecoin is also a proof of work cryptocurrency. Which means it is also secured by energy and not through another consensus mechanism (more on this later). Since Doge has had a massive price appreciation this year, miners are incentivized to provide more energy to Dogecoin in order to mine/earn Dogecoins. This is a perfect opportunity for more and more miners to flock in and profitably mine Dogecoins. This translates into higher energy consumption by Dogecoin as compared to before.

So a lot of critics would suggest that Dogecoin has the same reward-loop as Bitcoin and hence even if it consumes lesser energy today, it would consume the same amount of energy as Bitcoin (or more) as long as the price continues to appreciate.

But there’s a catch. Dogecoin price can not appreciate infinitely. Dogecoin has infinite supply and infinite new issuance, hence Dogecoin can never have a sustainable price appreciation. Since there’s a cap to how much it can grow, there will also be a cap for miners’ interest in the network. Hence, IMO, dogecoin will always continue to be less energy-intensive than bitcoin, just as Elon has pointed out.

Does that make dogecoin better than bitcoin? I don’t think so. It is just like fiat-money. But worse. Dogecoin comes with many of the cons of Bitcoin (energy consumption, price instability) and also many of the cons of fiat (inflationary, infinite supply, bad store of value etc). Hence any amount of energy needed to protect dogecoin network is a wasted energy. The lower carbon emissions are not going to give billions of people a chance at a better life. A chance to be inflation-free. A chance to store their wealth reliably.

Dogecoin is infinitely worse than Bitcoin, at least in my opinion.

Ethereum (or other Proof-of-Stake alternates)

Ethereum is having a fantastic year. Thousands of decentralized finance (Defi) apps are being built on Ethereum. It is programmable money unlike Bitcoin. It does consume energy since it’s also a POW asset, but will soon be a proof of stake asset with ETH2.0 (beaconchain for which is already live). Hence, in the future Ethereum will be consuming <1% of the Bitcoin’s energy. It will also have a deflationary/reducing supply after EIP1559 which will be implemented in the next quarter this year. In short, Ethereum has a fantastic narrative going on right now. It is often dubbed as “ultra-sound money” these days.

ETH2.0 will come with many of the pros of Bitcoin (store of value, deflationary, limited supply) and will also be consuming less than 1% of Bitcoin’s energy.

However, POS is still a lesser-proven alternate to POW. There is a lot of criticism on it by POW-proponents. One of which is that Bitcoin is protected by “external costs” in the form of energy. Ethereum 2.0 will be protected by staked Ethers hence the protection will come from within the network which is akin to a snake eating it’s own tail.

I like Ethereum. And I like Bitcoin. But I don’t understand Doge. It offers no value and it solves none of the problems. If Elon had to pick a crypto that was envoirment friendly, he could have just gone ahead with Ethereum. He seems to like it anyway.

Why Is Grayscale Buying 100% Of The Mined Bitcoins Since Halving

Grayscale is buying 100% of the bitcoins (and more) that have been mined since halving.

Grayscale’s fund is for the investors who want to buy and hold Bitcoins without going through the trouble and technicalities of acquiring and storing Bitcoins safely. Instead the investors simply buy shares in the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust.

But it’s not so difficult to buy and store Bitcoins especially with companies like Coinbase in business that make buying BTCs as simple as using PayPal. Then what is this new kind of increased interest from this certain class of investors who are only willing to buy Bitcoins through Grayscale’s trust? Let me explain.

This new attention seems to be coming from IRA / Roth IRA retirement and pension accounts that are eligible for tax benefits when buying BTC through Grayscale’s trust. In other words, with macro instability and to hedge the COVID-19 related crisis, the retirement and pension money is going into crypto-assets.

There are many out there who view Bitcoin as fake-money or a ponzi-scheme. At the same time the world is exchanging “real cash” for the “fake one” at 30 million dollars per week from their retirement and pension accounts to weather a storm.

Libra Vs Bitcoin

The optimist in me loves Bitcoin despite its many shortcomings. I don’t think Bitcoin will ever be as popularly used as Libra or another stablecoin payment system. Despite that, the optimist in me suggests Bitcoin is a great buy.

The realist in me recognizes how powerful Libra could be. For those of you who don’t know what Libra is, it’s a collateralized crypto-payment project by Facebook. Libra plans to offer basket of stablecoins like USD, EUR & GBP.

Here’s an intro video of the Libra Project.

There are many collateralized stablecoins already out there in the market so Libra isn’t planning to do something that isn’t done before. However the unique thing about Facebook is that whatever they do, they can plug and play that to 2.5 billion users.

Libra’s Advantages

Facebook demos that they will make sending money as simple as sending emojis with features to do so built right within the Facebook’s family of apps. Libra’s unique proposition in comparison to other available options is users and ease of use.

Libra or other stablecoins have several advantages over Bitcoin. The crypto-assets will be fully collateralized and backed by fiat currencies. The crypto-assets will be stable in value and the transactions would be really fast.

.. But Money Is Already Digital?

However, if you think about it, money is already digital. When you pay with your debit and credit cards, or you send money using your bank, or through PayPal, you’re passing value digitally. Money has been digital long before Bitcoin or any crypto-assets.

Digital is generally the opposite of anonymous and censorship-resistant. When you say digital, the information about your money is hosted on someone’s server. Who ever controls the server can see what you do with your money and can intervene, reverse or block actions that you may take with your money.

Cash in comparison is not digital but anonymous and censorship-resistant.

Bitcoin’s Advantages

Bitcoin’s # 1 strength is seldom talked about. It is the finite supply of Bitcoin which makes it deflationary in nature instead of inflationary which USD and all its digital variants including stablecoins & Libra are. The second most important feature is that Bitcoin is censorship-resistant because it is decentralized with no central control. The third one about anonymity could be argued upon. It does an OK job at being anonymous but since the ledger is out in the public, it isn’t fully anonymous.

Conclusion

The feature of stablecoins being stable like USD or EUR is not just a feature, it’s also a bug. One of the biggest disadvantages of money as we know it is that you can’t just hold on to money without losing value. You’re forced to have your money invested in real-estate, stocks & bonds for it to not lose value. Bitcoin as a money is designed to be free forever from the central bank’s control over the money’s supply and its movement. Because of this Bitcoin is designed to grow in value and hence it can not be stable.

The following table could be helpful

AssetDigitalDeflationaryCensorship-resistantStableAnonymous
BitcoinYesYesYesNoYes
CashNoNoYesYesYes
Stablecoins / LibraYesNoNoYesNo

Why Are These Exactly Opposite Money Events Happening At The Same Time

I am not an economist. I know nothing about it. Although, I like to preserve my wealth and I also like to read a lot about how to do that. So you can call me wealth preserver.

There are two money events happening right now. One of them is that the Federal reserve continues to print trillions and trillions of dollars to stimulate the economy. The other one is that Bitcoin is cutting its printing rate to half in about 7 days.

Both the events are happening at the exact same time.

When you increase supply of one thing by a lot and trade it with something of a fixed quantity, you’ll either need to pay more of the asset with an increased supply or get less of the asset with fixed quantity.

The long-term impact of the first event is that you’ll need more pieces of paper to buy assets with fixed quantities such as real estate.

The long-term impact of the second event is that you’ll need less number of Bitcoins to buy assets with fixed quantities such as real estate.

Disclaimer: This is not an investment advice and should not be taken as one. I accept no responsibility for any loss, damage, cost or expense incurred by you as a result of any error, omission or misrepresentation on this site.

What Markets Do To You, And What You’re Supposed To Do

Facebook advertising can be overwhelming because of how inconsistent it can be. Despite it’s inconsistency, it still is and will continue to be my go to place for marketing. I’ve been busy with the launch of our new store as I mentioned in my last blog yesterday. So I’ll be writing this one in a hurry, so I can head back to work.

Markets. They are a good place for everyone to passively build wealth while you actively work on your business or in a job. But in times like this, markets can get the best of you. Let me tell you a story.

The first time I bought a Bitcoin was for $1000. The first time I sold a Bitcoin was for $200. I think most people are aware that Bitcoin went all the way up to $20,000 and trades today at $6000. I was a newbie in the markets. I continue to be even today, but I wouldn’t make that same mistake again. You shouldn’t either.

If you always wanted to own a certain asset whether it’s Bitcoin or stocks or gold, now and the weeks to come could be the time to do that. 2020 is a better time to buy these assets, as they trade 30% below the price they traded in 2019. 2021 could be an even better time than 2020, but we don’t know that. What we do know is 2020 is a better time to buy than 2019.

As cliche as it may sound, buy when there’s blood in the streets and if you can’t, that’s okay. At the very least though, don’t sell when there’s blood in the streets.

Currency? Store of Value? Uncorrelated? What is Crypto?

During the market meltdown that started about 10 days ago, crypto-assets crashed the most. With Bitcoin going as low as $3500 from the high of $8000 in a single day posting the largest value drop since inception, everyone wondered what is Bitcoin?

People didn’t expect this drop to happen. Here’s Brian, CEO of Coinbase, tweet about this

People wondered if Bitcoin isn’t currency (volatile), or store of value (posting massive losses in value), and it’s also not uncorrelated with stock markets or other assets, then what is it?

Personally, it made me wonder that too. If it can’t even act as an hedge against the other markets, what is it? This drop affected my confidence in this asset-class. However, only a week later, my confidence picked up, at least by a bit.

During the first 3-4 days of the meltdown, I started to see that gold is losing value too. What is often seen as the safe haven during financial turmoil, was losing value too. The oil markets crashed as well, although that likely happened for a different reason, but it did. There was pretty much nothing that didn’t lose value.

What I concluded in the end is that during a financial crisis like that, people sell everything to move to cash. It doesn’t matter what asset class. It doesn’t matter what safe haven. All assets are sold so people can sit on cash and take their time to understand what’s happening before figuring out what to do next.

In the next week, I saw crypto-assets and Bitcoin rebound by a lot. It is trading above $6500 at the time of this writing. It is still below where it dropped from, but has recovered by a lot. Meanwhile, the stock market hasn’t recovered at all. The S&P 500 index for example is still down by 30%. What I’ve concluded from that is while all assets are correlated at the time of turmoil, only 10 days later, I can see crypto-assets moving in a different direction. I feel that in the coming weeks and months this uncorrelation will be very well established.

And that would be the first real world test that this asset-class would pass.

Bitcoin Halving & It’s Affect On The Price of Bitcoin

Bitcoin halving is approaching fast. It’s scheduled for May 2020. That is just under 110 days. Halving is when block reward for mining a block reduces to half. This happens every 4 years and it has a mega affect on the over-all economics of Bitcoin. Let me explain.

Roughly every 10 minutes, a Bitcoin block is mined. The miner or the pool of miners that mine the Block, a process needed to protect the Bitcoin network and confirm pending transactions, get rewarded for mining the block. At inception, this reward was set to 50 Bitcoins per block. 50 Bitcoins were given away as a reward to miner every 10 minutes. This reward reduces to half every 4 years. Right now it’s 12.5 Bitcoins per block. This reward will reduce to 6.25 Bitcoins per block in about 100 days.

How does halving affect Bitcoin? What is it’s significance? At the time of writing, an average miner spends approximately $5,000 in hardware and utilities to mine 1 single Bitcoin. The miner is then able to sell this Bitcoin at a premium in open market at about $8,300 which is what the Bitcoin is worth right now.

Almost always the open market rate is higher than the miner’s cost. If the open market rate gets lower at some point, the miners will not be able to protect the Bitcoin network and confirm transactions profitably. Which means some of the miners will discontinue their operations at that point. But the miners are also likely to stop selling Bitcoins below the cost hence miners in a way set the floor pricing for Bitcoin as well.

As the block reward halving happens in the coming weeks, the cost to mine 1 bitcoin will instantly jump from $5,000 to $10,000. As that happens, the open market rate is likely to float above the cost of mining. Add premium to that and we could see Bitcoin trading consistently above $10,000 may be even $15,000.

However, if the open market price is unable to catch up, some of the miners will withdraw operations to cut losses reducing mining difficulty, and pulling the price further down.

Crypto Revolution Will Happen

Often I hear from people about the “bad innovation” that’s happening around us. Not everything seems like a good idea to everyone. But I think innovation has never stopped, and never will, even if some people believe that it’s ruining lives.

The first industry that I watched very closely in my career was the music industry. Artists made their living by selling albums on cassettes and eventually CDs. But someone decided that music needs to be more portable and digital and so Mp3 was invented.

MP3 contributed big time towards music piracy and killed the revenues for musicians. Eventually Steve Jobs saved the day for musicians and record labels by offering “a la carte” music at 99C a piece to customers as a legal alternate to piracy. The digital music had to happen even if it happened at the cost of suffering of musicians and record labels.

In a similar way, I think crypto revolution will also happen, even if it happens at the cost of many other things. The money will be digital, decentralized and deflationary whether someone likes it or not. It’s likely that just like Mp3, Bitcoin or other crypto assets may need to be acquired from the iTunes of crypto-assets. But the crypto revolution will happen.