The Hidden Value in Crypto

Published on
November 12th, 2018
37 minutes

The Hidden Value in Crypto

Skin In The Game ·
Featuring Ari Paul

Published on: November 12th, 2018 • Duration: 37 minutes

Ari Paul, CIO and managing partner of BlockTower Capital, joins Real Vision's Ash Bennington for a wide-ranging conversation about the future of blockchain and cryptocurrency. Paul unpacks his views on the risks and opportunities in crypto-assets now, and discusses the ways in which he draws on his background as a traditional asset portfolio manager to make better decisions. Filmed on October 23, 2018 in New York.


  • LB
    Louis B.
    20 November 2018 @ 20:33
    That was a great conversation and I'm glad I listened to it, to broaden my understanding of the crypto world and, more importantly, my understanding of the fans of the crypto world. I say that because it amazes me how dismissive smart young people today are of the role of gold in sound money. I guess it's just ignorance or historical facts, unfortunately. The crypto world possibilities today are just too exciting I guess and it captures such smart people's attention completely. Ari, who i did not know of before this video, did mention a very important point - which i wholeheartedly agree with - which is that if we had sound money maybe there would not have been any Iraq war or any war. He was obviously thinking of bitcoin as sound money, not gold. But here's the thing: WWI started after the UK and France and other European countries had already introduced new legal tender laws in 1909 introducing fiat or irredeemable money. That is what made it possible to wage WWI and the many long and expensive wars since. Prior to that, gold had a role to play to keep circulating money sound. That role was to provide a standard measure of value to what was used as money. The only reason gold was used and nothing else for that standard is because gold has the lowest declining marginal utility of any good that exists. That, by the way, has not changed: gold still does have the lowest declining marginal utility of any real tangible good that exists today. Bitcoin is attempting to replicate this unique characteristic that gold has, with its 21 million cap. It may succeed and it may not; time will tell. Gold on the other hand has acheived its unique ability to serve as a stable unit of measure of value because of thousands of years of human action. Why not at least recognise that? Bitcoin (or any other crypto currency) cannot replace gold. But it sure has captivated (and maybe captured?) a whole generation of smart people.
  • RB
    R B.
    13 November 2018 @ 07:34
    Ethereum was originally a project on Bitcoin, but the functionality that enabled it was turned off in the code, so the Ethereum creator (Vitalik Buterin) created his own coin. And Bitcoin CAN scale to many more transactions per second, without sidechains (which are just a way to make money for intermediaries; watchtowers that always need to be online), but it has been crippled by an unwillingness to increase block size. And steps that have been taken to minimally increase the block size only implemented extra security flaws. This all happened since a certain company, called Blockstream, entered the scene, hired all the core developers developers/community-portals. And a heavy censoring of all discussion forums started happening. Also, those sidechains that will solve everything, have programming/math problems that have not been solved. They are relying on fictional technology to save Bitcoin. While all the shortcomings can be solved with the fixes that Bitcoin Cash (BCH) already implemented. Worth a look. I own BTC, ETH and BCH.
    • TM
      The-First-James M.
      13 November 2018 @ 15:27
      So if you increase the block size, how will the inevitable latency issues be handled when blocks are transmitted to Nodes? Nodes play a vital role in the resiliency and security of the Bitcoin Blockchain. The more data you transmit across the internet as part of a single component (for the non-technical, think of a file), the greater the risk of latency or dropout. I don't claim to represent Bitcoin Core Devs or to have a deep technical understanding of Bitcoin, but I can understand their concern here. Not every jurisdiction or person has access to 30+MBPS upload and download speeds...
    • PN
      Paul N.
      13 November 2018 @ 23:51
      This is conspiratorial nonsense. Blockstream was started BY some of the developers to build infrastructure services and the vast majority of developers and the community don't think raising the block size (with continuous hard forks) is a sustainable scaling solution. And now the BCH network is suffering spam attacks BECAUSE it raised the block size. Complete amateur hour project.
    • MM
      Mak M.
      20 November 2018 @ 19:45
      Does bigger block size means more data to store on the disks and to transfer on the network?It means that a node will need an ever increasing computing power and storage space in order to run the software. I believe that the side chain idea is very intelligent for solving the scalability problem.
  • MM
    Mak M.
    20 November 2018 @ 19:37
    Thank you RV for that interview!
  • FG
    Flavio G.
    20 November 2018 @ 08:42
    What does Ari mean by "it's very hard to transfer that share to Japan". You don't need to ! A Japanese investor can own shares in any exchange, why do you need to transfer that from one exchange to another? I get that there could be some benefits in using crypto but I think its fans are inventing needs that simply don't exist !
  • WB
    William B.
    16 November 2018 @ 03:59
    Fantastic, informative, and mind expanding. Worth every second.
  • JK
    Jan K.
    15 November 2018 @ 18:00
    This was great and so well informed!
  • PN
    Paul N.
    13 November 2018 @ 23:55
    I'm glad he framed alternative consensus mechanisms as unproven. Far too many commentators treat proof-of-stake as the obvious future of cryptocurrency, rather than as theoretical systems that haven't been battle-tested at massive scale.
    • AB
      Ash B. | Real Vision
      15 November 2018 @ 04:23
      Yes. So true.
  • MH
    Matthew H.
    15 November 2018 @ 02:19
    Any chance RV could get an update on Hedrea Hashgraph? Seems with all the focus on the scalability issues with Bitcoin and Ethereum, some discussion on the new DLTs out there would be of interest. Even an interview with someone from Accenture or IBM discussing what is happening in the private/corporate DLT space would be interesting as well. The real world use cases seem to be happening in this area rather than the more widely known cryptos
  • JF
    Joseph F.
    14 November 2018 @ 17:18
    Nov 14 2018 BTC -723.37. -11.54% THIS THE FUTURE. NOW.
  • NR
    Nelson R.
    14 November 2018 @ 06:20
    Great work Real Vision, thank you for listening to user recommendations and feedback. Another two that would be great to interview are Chris Burniske & Kyle Samani.
  • MW
    Moritz W.
    13 November 2018 @ 20:42
    Can you please interview Saifedean Ammous, the author of "The Bitcoin Standard"? And Giacomo Zucco? Please! I can not listen anymore to this confused blockchain/cryptoasset/tokenization hype!
  • PW
    Paul W.
    12 November 2018 @ 19:51
    Overall, excellent presentation but I think he underestimates the risk of government seizure in the United States - clearly he has not heard of the current epidemic of civil asset forfeiture that is afflicting our local law enforcement. Clearly, this is an advantage of cryptocurrencies even for those of us in the USA and represents a compelling driver for broader acceptance along with the other advantages over fiat currency.
    • PF
      Patrick F.
      13 November 2018 @ 18:40
      You missed the point, they cant seize your Bitcoin, as long as you have your seed (24 word code), you have your Bitcoin
  • gg
    georgy g.
    13 November 2018 @ 17:21
    Simply, who cares? This is fringe. Will stay fringe. Bubble or not. Blockchain could go mainstream in underdeveloped markets, but cryptos who cares
  • KK
    Kevin K.
    13 November 2018 @ 14:17
    Ari's ability to articulate his rationale and outlook for crypto/DLT is second to none in this space. Highly recommend following him on Twitter for more thought-provoking concepts. Ash also asks great objective questions. Slam dunk guys, keep it coming.
  • AH
    Andreas H.
    13 November 2018 @ 12:34
    very intelligent, but you I do not agree with almost any of the assumptions....
  • PU
    Peter U.
    12 November 2018 @ 10:28
    Both his appearance and his demeanor are Snowdenesque!
    • CL
      Charles L.
      12 November 2018 @ 11:43
      Absolutely, and great communicator too.
    • NI
      Nate I.
      13 November 2018 @ 03:38
      The similarity in mannerisms was uncanny.
    • MZ
      Martin Z.
      13 November 2018 @ 08:04
      Not just his appearance, but also his voice and his accelerated manner of thinking and speaking. I actually forgot for a minute that I wasn't watching Ed Snowden when he was comparing the electricity consumption of mining crypto to the cost of maintaining an enormous, wasteful, and highly redundant financial infrastructure - not to mention the AISC of building and sustaining a huge military to "back" the USD's exorbitant privilege. That latter in particular is an apt comparison, and one that I have not really heard before.
  • KP
    Krishna P.
    13 November 2018 @ 03:41
    Great interview! We need to bring Ari to do a main story on crypto. And Ben has done a good job in bringing out the best
  • RA
    Robert A.
    13 November 2018 @ 00:43
    Great Crypto update. I first heard and learned about BTC through RV several years ago. My curiosity and the RV Crypto expert interviews have gotten me to a place I would otherwise never have discovered. Thank you again Milton, et al.
  • AM
    Adam M.
    12 November 2018 @ 22:20
    awesome conversation. Ari's the real deal and Ash is a rising star at RV....more from few minutes on China is worth this talks' weight in gold...err...BTC...BCH...
    • AB
      Ash B. | Real Vision
      12 November 2018 @ 23:37
      Wow. Thank you Adam. Much appreciated.
  • MC
    Michael C.
    12 November 2018 @ 19:01
    Great interview. Please keep the crypto content coming!
    • TR
      Travis R.
      12 November 2018 @ 22:50
      Agreed. Having invested dozens of hours into attempting to understand crypto; every interview helps.
  • DC
    David C.
    12 November 2018 @ 19:19
    Ari is a fantastic communicator. Would love to see him on a more regular basis.
  • MT
    Matthew T.
    12 November 2018 @ 19:02
    Audio link?
  • SN
    Scott N.
    12 November 2018 @ 16:41
    can someone put up the download audio link for this video? Thanks a lot in advance.
  • EL
    Elizabeth L.
    12 November 2018 @ 14:42
    WOW!!! This piece way exceeded my initial expectations. You expanded my thought processes and my understanding of the crypto world. Thank you guys.
  • EM
    Ewan M.
    12 November 2018 @ 12:11
    The reach of the CCP scares me.
  • PU
    Peter U.
    12 November 2018 @ 10:54
    really good also