Nugget’s News founder Alex Saunders recently attended and presented at the Gold & Alternate Investments Conference. In the article below, he reflects on what he learnt from the Sydney-based event.
Last week, I flew north to Sydney to attend the Gold & Alternate Investments Conference, Australia’s largest gold investment event. This year was particularly special for the conference because it was the first time the organisers put on an additional day devoted to alternate, non-gold investible asset classes such as cryptocurrencies.
Having participated in a panel discussion the day prior, this additional day (i.e., Gold & Alternative Investments Day) was a great chance for myself and various other representatives of the cryptocurrency ecosystem—including HiveEx head of operations and growth James O’Donoghue and Ainslie Wealth director Paul Engeman—to further educate attendees about Bitcoin, the burgeoning cryptocurrency asset class, as well as the technology that makes it all possible, blockchain.
With the conference having come and gone, I’ve had some time to reflect and come away with some takeaways—below are the main ones.
Takeaway #1—Putting Things in Perspective
Being immersed in the industry for so many years, it’s easy to forget how relatively tiny the cryptocurrency asset class is. Currently, the value of the all cryptocurrencies is hovering around US$250 billion. At the height of the most recent period of speculative mania, it didn’t even hit $1 trillion.
The investible asset that the conference was centered around (i.e., gold) is about 100 times larger than the value of all cryptocurrencies. If that alone doesn’t speak volumes, then consider the fact that the monetary value of gold is not even worth one per cent of the world’s combined wealth.
Takeaway #2—An Industry Shooting Itself in the Foot
One of the most common bits of feedback I received was how—from the perspective of an outsider—the stories of in-fighting and fragmentation is all incredibly confusing. Questions like “why are there so many camps?” and “why does the Bitcoin community hate the Ethereum community?” were surprisingly common.
Indeed, for an industry built on top of such novel technology and complex nomenclature—both of which I have learnt are enough to deter people who’d otherwise be open to learning about cryptocurrencies—the fact it’s also filled with a number of staunch communities is making things all too much for outsiders.
Takeaway #3—All Comes Back to Education
Following my presentation, about a dozen gold investors—basically all of whom were over fifty years old—introduced themselves to me and were eager to know how they can learn more about cryptocurrencies.
This was promising on one hand, but on the other it was a huge reminder of just how misrepresented the cryptocurrency and blockchain ecosystem is. You see, many of these investors were telling me how they came into the day thinking they understood Bitcoin—and cryptocurrencies in general—only to find out that there was so much they had yet to consider.
For more of Alex’s thoughts about his recent trip to the Gold & Alternate Investments Conference, watch the below video from the Nugget’s News YouTube channel. Subscribe to make sure you see his soon-to-be-released 30-minute presentation from the conference.
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