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E5: In Search of Green Marbles

Jordi Visser

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For a recap of this week’s episode of In Search of Green Marbles, we’ll start at the end with an anecdote about a possible Leonardo Da Vinci painting, Salvador Mundi. While there are questions about the painting’s provenance, just by the “maybe” aspect of it being a Di Vinci, the price soared from $1,100 to $450 M in less than a decade. This is purely a function of narrative and scarcity, which reflects the nature of the blockchain’s value.

Picking up where episode 3 left off on Web 3.0, this one focuses on the persistent, pervasive, and pronounced nature of the movement and what this means for cryptocurrencies. To begin, Jordi states that in his discussions with sophisticated investors at pension plans, endowments, and foundations, most remain skeptical, afraid of being late to the party and/or simply do not know how to invest in the space. And for those with a long enough career to have experienced a few bubbles, this is a very hard story for people to believe. This isn’t surprising because it’s hard for people to separate the entrenched connection between governments and money. To unpack this narrative, Jordi refers to Yuval Noah Harari, who wrote Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, who said, “the most successful story ever told is money.” This perfectly illustrates the skepticism many have with the crypto space.

While the early phases were characterized by nefarious use cases and bubbles or volatility, the notion that crypto is a Ponzi scheme is a topic that G3 and Jordi take aim against.  This idea in and of itself is laced with hypocrisy when one considers there is approximately $2tn hard currency, yet there are $140tn in assets. Furthermore, using the post-Lehman toolkit, M2 (cash, deposits, easily converted assets), grew by an astounding 30% in the last 20 months. This stopped stabilized asset prices and stopped everyone from selling at once, but the Ponzi scheme continued. The point is that the scrutiny applied to the crypto space should also be applied to the fiat system.

In the end, Jordi and G3 make the case that digital assets have inherent value due to scarcity and authenticity, just as is the case with physical assets. And because of rising inequality many, in effect, are saying, I like the crypto Ponzi scheme better than the old fiat Ponzi scheme because the former has more equitable distribution.

Please listen and subscribe to In Search of Green Marbles wherever you get your podcasts.