The world’s most successful investor can help sway the future of bitcoin and universal basic income over just one meal.
Justin Sun, founder of TRON, recently invited me to attend a dinner with Warren Buffett, Chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, as a guest.
The dinner was a life-changing moment for me. It was a huge honor to meet one of the world’s most famous and successful investors—a personal hero of mine. I have admired him from afar since my childhood.
Meeting him in person, I heard him say exactly what he has written in numerous books. Namely, that investing is simple. Making money in the markets is easy. Invest in businesses you understand and believe in. If you follow the rules of value investing, as explained in Benjamin Graham’s 1949 book, then you will succeed as an investor.
The reason that this dinner was so life-changing is that my entire life I have been a fan of capital markets. I started investing at 13 and I have built a company whose vision is to provide everyone everywhere with access to these markets. Yet, while I know a lot of people involved in capital markets, very few follow the rules of value investing. It is like hidden magic that reveals itself to you only after 20 years of making 15-20% and compounding those returns.
Luckily, I have Popular Investors on the eToro platform who can now read this and put value investing into practice for the benefit of our global user base.
Warren believes in businesses that generate value. Bitcoin does not have these overt indicators, so he does not see the value of bitcoin. Warren believes that bitcoin is only valuable in the context of short-term market volatility and crashes (similar to gold). In his eyes, bitcoin is not a store of value, it is a store of fear. He believes that investing in something that expects a market crash is not a good strategy. However, he thinks that blockchain technology has value, but that no companies out there right now are using it correctly. The smartest people say it is an important technology, but no one is really using it yet.
I agree with him that we are still very much at the early stage of blockchain technology. Yet I am incredibly excited about its potential—especially its potential to do good. We must remember that transformative technologies take time. Alessandro Volta produced electricity through a chemical reaction in 1800; 31 years later Michael Faraday introduced a machine that generated electricity, but only in 1878 did Thomas Edison invent the light bulb, which brought electricity to the mainstream.
Last year we started an experiment called GoodDollar, designed to try and reduce wealth inequality through blockchain technology. Our goal is to build a new, global, open-source cryptocurrency called GoodDollar which, if adopted, would be a positive force in bringing more people to the global economy and reducing financial inequality. Its goal is to distribute money to all using the principles of Universal Basic Income, on a global scale. It is still early days and we do not yet have all the answers, but we are making progress and want to invite collaboration.
The 42 richest people on earth have more wealth than the poorest 3.7 billion. We need to address this imbalance and help the billions of people who face a daily struggle to survive. Universal basic income offers the opportunity to bring free money to all. Free money means financial freedom, allowing more people to finance their dreams. It is a chance to bring 2.5 billion more people into the global economy. This will in turn provide growth so it is a win-win. You can find out more at gooddollar.org.