ASH BENNINGTON: Happy Friday, everyone. Welcome back to The Real Vision Daily Briefing, live without a net, with Raoul Pal, CEO and co-founder of Real Vision. Back to back, two weeks in a row. Welcome back, Raoul.
RAOUL PAL: I'm like everywhere right now. My pieces on the crypto part, my pieces on Real Vision, I'm on The Daily Briefing, I'm every-- you can't avoid me. I'm omnipresent. I'm part of the exponential age.
ASH BENNINGTON: Indeed. Talking of which, rhetorical question, Raoul-- what are we talking about today?
RAOUL PAL: Should we talk about the bond market?
ASH BENNINGTON: [LAUGHS] Take a nap.
RAOUL PAL: No, what I wanted to do, I put that video out on Real Vision, which is really a Real Vision Crypto piece, but it's broader than that. It's actually for Real Vision itself. Because I wanted to get across that learning journey that I've just been on and I'm still on. I mean, it's reminding me, I learned something entirely new this morning alone that has blown my mind yet again in where this is all going.
But I wanted to at least plant the flag because, people have seen me on other podcasts, on Real Vision, writing stuff. I want to put it all together. So all right, here's my big-picture view. This is what I think is going on and where we're going.
And it is very hard to keep up with, because it is exponential. So exponential, you in your mind think, OK, well, I know how fast this is, and I'll just think it goes forwards like that. But exponential gets exponentially faster.
ASH BENNINGTON: Yes.
RAOUL PAL: So It gets harder and harder to keep up with how fast it's going. If we go back a year-- let's settle ourselves back into pandemic. We're now-- this time, we're in lock-- we're all in lockdown all around the world, thinking what the hell's going on. The markets are falling apart, just finding a base. And we all start talking a bit about Bitcoin and what the central banks have to do, and we start figuring out.
At no point are we having conversations about NFTs, and DeFi, and all of the protocols going on, and the metaverse, and gaming, and all of the stuff that's coming in the 12 months afterwards. But it's just like hit nuclear how fast this is all exploding, and it's fascinating. Obviously, price has been a good part of that, and many of us have participated in this whole thing.
But it's more than just about price. It's about an adoption or a migration to this new world. And that is happening at a speed even I'm surprised at.
ASH BENNINGTON: Yeah, if I had to sum up that recording in three words, it would be, Bitcoin is macro.
RAOUL PAL: Yes, but not only Bitcoin. When the entire world's financial system and structure of money and value is changing at lightning speed to something else, it is the most macro thing you're ever going to live through. I know you said that about the pandemic, but this is like an equal and opposite reaction. So we have the worst-ever recession, pretty much, in world recorded history, followed by this, a complete, accelerated rebuild of an entire millennia-old system of value. I mean, really?
And it's not about, oh, dear, I don't like Bitcoin. I prefer my gold. It's nothing to do with that. It's to do with everything. I mean, now you're trading equities that are listed on crypto exchanges because they trade 24 hours a day. Why would you not?
We're now seeing it at instant settlement rails. We're now seeing all of these worlds colliding so fast that everything that we understood up until this date of finance is changing.
ASH BENNINGTON: Yeah. So maybe software is macro, and it has eaten the world.
RAOUL PAL: Software. Is macro. That is that truer statement that I never believed I say, because I thought that was a different world.
ASH BENNINGTON: Right.
RAOUL PAL: And yes, I could understand that technology was driving productivity, and efficiency, and other things. But I thought that-- part of it was the issue of the financial system itself and the mess that it was in was a bigger offset to that. And now, we've got that technology stuff that's going on, and we've placed this financial system at the same time. So it's going to free us of this other one.
Now, it won't feel like that for a bit, and there will be a bit of a battle. But the battle, I think, is slowing the speed of migration to the new world. I keep saying it. It's like people have discovered the Americas. And how fast do you populate, and what you populate first? That's what's going on. People are migrating there as fast as possible.
ASH BENNINGTON: Yeah. So what does that migration look like? As it starts to unfold, how do you envision that occurring?
RAOUL PAL: Well, I mean, the answer is I don't know, because it's going to happen to different people in different ways. Because the people buying the NBA NFTs, many of them aren't even thinking it's crypto. Many people are exchanging tokens in games. They're not thinking in terms of, oh, that's a cryptocurrency. So crypto is just something underneath the surface for some of this.
When people have remittance payment rails, it doesn't matter that it's on crypto. Just crypto happens to be the better solution for it all. So a lot of people will come into this world without even knowing about it.
ASH BENNINGTON: Yeah.
RAOUL PAL: Others have come in purposefully, with that sense of mission of the change of the system. Others have come seeking return on capital or protection of capital. So different people will come.
Oh, others have come for the intellectual journey. So people are migrating for a number of reasons. But interestingly enough, around it, people are leaving the financial system and rebuilding in the digital world at rapid pace. So Sam from FTX is a great example. Traditional finance guy, and complete crypto guy.
And I could give you 30 of those now. So many of the world's most famous billionaire hedge fund managers, they've just completely moved to crypto now. And I know I keep mentioning that, but I get more and more of them all the time. So they're all migrating.
So whether it's the student, whether it's the billionaire, whether it's the guy building his business, it's the developer, they're all moving.
ASH BENNINGTON: Yeah.
RAOUL PAL: And so it is really something quite profound.
ASH BENNINGTON: Yeah. By the way, one of the interesting things-- you and I came to the same conclusion separately, independently, and I completely agree with you-- is this idea about NFTs. NFTs are not about collectibles. NFTs are not about crypto kiddies 2.0. You said it extremely well. In the exponential age, it's about the tokenization of everything.
RAOUL PAL: Yes, I've been bleating on this for about three or four years. Just it's slow to come. I mean, we've got tokenization of real estate to come. And what that means is you can infinitely slice an asset to allow many more people to participate and have equal rights, right? That doesn't really happen in the world.
So I can have the amazing mansion in Bel-Air, and somebody else can't afford it. But when you tokenize it, everybody can have a participation in it. But everything is gonna get tokenized. And that's everything from IP rights to communities, from insurance to rare assets, from supply chains to, I mean-- I mean, everything. It's the exchange of all value.
And again, even I, when I heard that statement on exchange of value, didn't really understand it. But the more you think about it, it's like the software is eating the world thing. The more you think about it, the more profound it is, and the more you sit down with a glass of wine and go, oh my god, I can't get my head around this any longer, because the more it impacts.
And it's the exchange of value. That is what it is doing, is it's allowing something to connect to the digital world that now is transferable and tradable. Whatever that is-- could be anything. It's [INAUDIBLE].
ASH BENNINGTON: And creating trust in a trustless system.
RAOUL PAL: Exactly. Because authenticity, trusted authenticity on an asset, is basically the creation of value. Now, there are other elements to value, so any piece of random artwork put on a blockchain and made NFT is not valuable. The NFT itself is not valuable. The actual thing has to be valuable. The NFT is a mechanism by which you can exchange, or store, or transfer that value.
ASH BENNINGTON: Yeah. Well, I have to say, my screen's lighting up with questions already. Usually, they don't come rolling in until about the halfway point.
RAOUL PAL: Well, before we go into questions, so I'm going to tell you about-- so I just laid out, for an hour and 40 minutes, my whole, like, this is where we are. I get up this morning, and somebody, the Real Vision Bot Guy --
ASH BENNINGTON: Yes.
RAOUL PAL: They put this-- does anybody know how to build a website like this? And showed the website of the family office of one of the founders of Nintendo, right? And it's this, like, mini-metaverse.
So I'm like, oh my God, of course. And then I mentioned it in an internal Slack message, and somebody said, well, you need to go and have a look at the Cryptovoxels metaverse. So they sent me a link, and the link is a coordinate.
This is what people need to get across. So people watching this, the web link is a coordinate to a place in that metaverse. It happens to be at a record store, a vinyl store which has music playing, vinyl, and you're selling NFTs. So I mean, a physical place in the digital world that somebody sent me to.
And then, it made me realize-- and I could walk around, and talk to other people, and meet people in that. And it's amazing. Everybody should go to Cryptovoxels, V-O-X-E-L-S. And just walk around and move to places. Find out what events are going on. It's kind of literally mind-blowing. And everyone here is bored of me saying mind-blowing, but my mind is being blown quite a lot.
But what I realized is in 10 years, there will be no websites in the way that we have websites. Of course not. You're going to give coordinates in a metaverse. So you can create a perfect place for your guests to come to.
So if you come to visit a website, well, if you are come to visit the Real Vision website, well, we want to show a cool merch store, and here's some video playing. And hey, you want to meet some of the guys here? And all of this stuff-- oh, and here's our community-- is basically represented in these things much better than a 2D website.
So I've just realized that every single website is gonna change over time as well to coordinates in the metaverse-- that there's so much going on. And that's-- Cryptovoxels, it is built on crypto platforms. It's all exchange of value. NFTs-- so Opensea and all the NFT platforms all operate in it. So do your wallets. It's unbelievable.
ASH BENNINGTON: Yeah, and I should add, "The Exponential Age, Crypto's Fast and Furious Rise," released today, now available on Real Vision Essential, and also on Real Vision Crypto, which means it's available to everyone for free if you just go to the Real Vision website and sign up on the Crypto tier for full access.
RAOUL PAL: Yeah, all you need is your email address, and you get everything. And if you haven't signed up to Real Vision Crypto, I know I've mentioned it a few times, it's crazy. Its the world's best content on this whole new world. It's been laid out, given to you on a plate. All you need to is give your email address, and it'll be delivered to you. And you'll get The Distillery every week to tell you what's been going on, because it's hard to keep up.
ASH BENNINGTON: Yeah, extremely hard to keep up. Even for those of us who just do this for a living, it's hard to keep up.
RAOUL PAL: Yeah, impossible.
ASH BENNINGTON: Yeah. So Raoul, my screen's been lighting up on Dogecoin. What are your thoughts on this? I'm very curious to hear. Let me just throw some statistics out for you, by the way. Now, over $40 billion, same market cap as Barclays, up 400% in seven days.
RAOUL PAL: [LAUGHS] I don't know. This is either a stupid bubble or something we don't understand. And I'm gonna give those two things equal weighting.
ASH BENNINGTON: Yeah.
RAOUL PAL: And when I say, "don't understand," what happens if somebody decides to use that chain to connect a community, and they decide to use it? Maybe somebody has. Maybe somebody bought a whole load of this stuff to basically control an entire crypto chain, because they can do it, and you can use it for community tokens or whatever.
I don't know. It's possible. It's possible that even Tesla have decided to use Doge as their crypto-- their tokenized system, just for the hell of it, for the fun of it, for the meanness of it. I don't know.
Or maybe it's just rampant speculation, and it's all stupid. I have no idea. And I've learned not to pass judgment on this stuff, because really, I mean, most people are generally wrong.
ASH BENNINGTON: Yeah. Well, here's what's interesting to me. You know, whenever you look at the valuation of any asset, you always have indicators that are pro and indicators that are con. But the fascinating thing about the crypto space and with Doge specifically is the complexity of evaluating these.
Look, here's the anti-Doge case. It's very simple. This is a coin that was created as a joke, right? Literally. It's a meme coin. It's up dramatically. It looks like a hockey stick growth.
And it's inflationary by design, right? It is the opposite of what Bitcoin is. And the top 10 Doge addresses, according to some coin metrics quoted by Coindesk, 41.3% of all circulating Dogecoin are held by 10 individual addresses. Highly concentrated.
These are some very, very, very negative signs. That said, to your point, do you reach a point of scale on this where someone just jumps in? It's so widely held that someone wants to do something interesting with it? You can't rule that out.
RAOUL PAL: You can't, because network effect generally need two parts. It's not just people buying it. It needs to have application development. It needs to be an ecosystem. Right, this has one side of the ecosystem. It has a lot of people owning it.
ASH BENNINGTON: Right.
RAOUL PAL: OK, well, that's very powerful, as you rightly say, if you can be the other side of that. Meaning, not the guy who owns these coins-- sure, those guys might be doing something-- but it's can you apply this community to something else now? That's really interesting. A reverse takeover of the chain? Maybe.
ASH BENNINGTON: That said, the only use case right now is that someone might want to buy it back from you at a higher price tomorrow.
RAOUL PAL: Well, that's for most things, really. Same as a piece of art.
ASH BENNINGTON: True.
RAOUL PAL: I don't know. So I will amuse myself by watching it, but I will not make-- pass comment on it, because I don't know. Because things, too many things are changing. Too many economic models are being completely rewritten in front of our eyes, that anybody who thinks they understand what's going on is lying to themselves.
ASH BENNINGTON: Yeah. I'm definitely a skeptic on Doge, but I have to say, this space in general.
RAOUL PAL: And I'm a skeptic on Doge, but I'm not going to say-- well, I don't know what the hell it is. So I'm just skeptical in terms of, it's not for me. Do your homework, kids. You understand that this is something that has, in the usual construct, no value.
ASH BENNINGTON: [LAUGHS]
RAOUL PAL: But maybe we're the chumps, and before you know it, Taylor Swift turns it into her community. I have no idea.
ASH BENNINGTON: Right. Yeah, two points. The first is that there are a lot of people out there, retail investors, who are speculating in this. And they will often say, well, you know, Elon Musk owns this, and Mark Cuban owns this. I can assure you that if Doge goes to 0, neither Elon Musk nor Mr. Cuban are going to have problems paying their rent. They're not going to have to send the email to the landlord saying, I'm very sorry, I'm going to be a little late this month.
RAOUL PAL: And the speculative part of this cycle is now starting to really get underway.
ASH BENNINGTON: Yeah.
RAOUL PAL: And there will be a lot of FOMO. I mean, I'm struggling with it myself. I mean, everything is going to go up, and it's going to go up-- overusing the word-- exponentially. And people are going to be shocked at what's about to happen, and people will make mistakes with their money.
ASH BENNINGTON: Yeah.
RAOUL PAL: And you know, it's all well and good. There is a money-making opportunity in all of this. That really is. But just don't take risks you can't run because you think it's your one chance.
It's not the one chance. There's a whole universe that's being built in front of us. You don't need no-- you don't need to make it all in one trade.
So take the risks you're comfortable with. Participate in the glory of a full speculative frenzy in the middle of an exponential rise of an asset class. It's a beautiful moment in time. But realize that speculation will run riot, there will be the downward counteracting move to that speculation, which is a bust, and then we'll start all over again.
ASH BENNINGTON: Yeah. To that point, in terms of concentration and it's not a one-trade type of situation, Kathy Wood, ARKF, the FinTech innovation ETF run by Kathy Wood invested in Coindesk 0.25% of her portfolio.
RAOUL PAL: In Coinbase?
ASH BENNINGTON: In Coinbase, yes.
RAOUL PAL: And now-- and when was that, now?
ASH BENNINGTON: Two days ago, when the trade report came out.
RAOUL PAL: And she didn't hold it [INAUDIBLE].
ASH BENNINGTON: At the listing.
RAOUL PAL: Right.
ASH BENNINGTON: Well, we just-- we don't know. We just know that trade report said COIN, Coinbase, 0.25%. So the point is, when professionals make bets, they're very careful and very thoughtful about their positioning.
RAOUL PAL: Yeah.
ASH BENNINGTON: And their sizing.
RAOUL PAL: Yeah. Look, it's the wild West, and it's not the Wild West because everybody's a scammer. It's the Wild West because none of us have been here before. It's the new discovery of this new world. And it's gonna get crazy for a while.
ASH BENNINGTON: Yeah.
RAOUL PAL: Just don't be too stupid. Don't--
ASH BENNINGTON: In many ways, the flip side of exponential growth is radical uncertainty, radical unpredictability, and radical humility required to understand and participate.