Soros, $25k Bitcoin, Riskiest Cryptos and More

I’ve asked my good friend Tony Sagami to write this column today and most Mondays from now on.

Tony’s a technology nerd who began studying math and investing when he was barely out of grammar school. As a young man, he owned a software company that devised one of the first quantitative models to forecast stock prices.

Today, Tony spends much of his time scouring the globe to find companies that are leading the digital money revolution. For this column, he cuts through the hype and clutter with a weekly list of the most important cryptocurrency news, insights, price analysis and more.

Thanks for that intro, Martin.

I’m not a crypto expert like my colleague Juan Villaverde, who writes most of these columns; I don’t study the blockchain protocols with the intensity and depth that he does.

My primary role is finding investment opportunities that the crypto revolution is creating in the stock market — and spotting news that I think will have the most impact. Here are just a few examples …

Follow the Billionaire. George Soros is one of the richest men in the world as well as one of the largest investors. When he starts buying, other major institutional investors follow. This often means that higher prices are around the corner.

According to Bloomberg, Soros’ $26 billion hedge fund will include cryptocurrencies in its portfolio. Believe me, that’s not a trivial event. It has already had an impact on Bitcoin prices and could continue to do so.

Bitcoin to Hit $25,000 By Year-end: Thomas Lee, one of Wall Street’s brightest investors, has become one of Bitcoin’s biggest fans and now predicts that it will hit $25,000 by the end of 2018.

“We still feel pretty confident Bitcoin is a great risk/reward and we think it can reach $25,000 by the end of the year,” said Lee.

Does this sound like hype? Sure it does. But it just goes to show that not everyone with a brain (or without) is saying that “Bitcoin is dying.”

The Riskiest Cryptocurrencies: John Wasik of Forbes looks at the riskiest of the already risky cryptocurrency world. The seven most risky according to him? Comet, Expanse, Matchpool, Megacoin, Novacoin, Quark and Salu$.

“Stocks, bonds and cash vehicles may be really boring next to cryptos, but they won’t experience the kind of crazy volatility seen in the digital currency market,” says Wasik.

One word: “Plastics.” That was the career advice given to Benjamin Braddock (Dustin Hoffman) in 1960s hit “The Graduate.” The same cutting-edge career advice today would be “blockchain.”

Mastercard announced that it’s looking to hire 175 blockchain specialists, and that’s just the tip of the global demand for people with blockchain skills. A good sign for the industry longer term.

Facebook Killer? Facebook is dealing with its self-inflicted problems, but the social media landscape is about to undergo a massive change. Barron’s predicts that Facebook will go the way of AOL and create a new army of social media millionaires.

Agreed. In fact, Juan wrote about this back in March. (See “Facebook Disaster: How Centralized Systems Have Failed Us.”)

The Amazon of Blockchain? “If you could find the next Amazon … you could make millions.”

How many times have you heard that hype-laden phrase?

Here’s another example, but this one rings with a bit more truth:

An upstart named ShareRing is building a blockchain-based platform that aims to transform the entire sharing economy.

Could ShareRing become the next big thing? Big enough to become the “Amazon” of the shared economy industry?

Too soon to say. In fact, at this early stage in the industry’s evolution, even some of the best ideas could flounder, says Juan in his latest post.

Best wishes,


About the Technology Analyst

Even in the worst years for stocks, Tony was twice named “Portfolio Manager of the Year” by Thomson Financial. He was one of the first to introduce computer software for trading stocks. And in the early 2000s, he wrote “The Supernet,” providing a vision of the future internet that was far ahead of its time.

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