Article | August 18, 2021
NFTs are at the moment a real buzz. The word NFT stands for non-fungible token, which means a unique, irreplaceable cryptographic object. It aims to manage ownership of digital content (digital collectible items) by storing the ownership in the form of a digital certificate on a blockchain (usually on the Ethereum blockchain, but other blockchains can also be used). This way the buyer can prove that he is the owner of a certain digital item.
The fact that the NFT token is unique and irreplaceable, generates traceability of the owner, but also ensures authenticity and (digital) scarcity, thus resulting in its value (via its uniqueness it becomes a collectible item).
This makes it an attractive asset for both buyers and sellers. For sellers, creating (= minting) an NFT gives an easy option to monetize (without intermediaries like galleries or auction houses) their digital content (products), like digital pictures, animations, music, videos…. Additionally NFTs have the feature that the author can also get a percentage of future transaction amounts (thus profiting of a future increase in value of the NFT).
The buyer can invest in digital art and can be sure of the uniqueness and his ownership (i.e. the bragging right that you own the art) and the ownership can easily be transferred to any other buyer in the world (becoming the new owner) with the click of a button.
NFTs started in 2017 with CryptoKitties (a game to breed and trade digital kittens) and CryptoPunks and gradually increased over the last years, but it exploded in 2021 (i.e. in 2020 the market was estimated to $250 million over the whole year, while in the month of February 2021 alone already $360 million of NFTs were traded), with some record transactions, like:
The record is held by the digital composite called "EVERYDAYS: The First 5000 Days" of the digital artist "Beeple" (Mike Winklemann), which was sold at Christie’s for $69.3 million. Of the same artist also a video was sold for $6.6 million.
Christie’s auctioned recently also an NFT of 9 virtual rare CryptoPunks for a record amount of $16.9 million
The first tweet on Twitter of the co-founder and CEO of Twitter Jack Dorsey was sold for just under $3 million
The Canadian singer-songwriter Grimes (also known as the partner of Elon Musk) sold for around $6 million of digital artworks, including an NFT of about $400.000 for a 50-second video.
NBA’s Top Shot has generated more than $230 million in selling NFTs of NBA highlight videos, with a top transaction for a movie of Lebron James dunking, which was bought for over $200.000. These NFTs have become the digital equivalent of the paper sports collection cards.
While those transactions get the news headlines for their record amounts, thousands of NFTs are also sold for a few thousand euros. E.g. a selfie of Lindsey Lohan was sold for $59.000, Bad Luck Brian yearbook photo for $36.000 or the "Charlie bit my finger!" YouTube clip was sold for $761.000, not to mention the thousands of transactions that do not get any media attention at all.
These enormous prices definitely attract a lot of media attention and investors, but nonetheless NFTs remain difficult to grasp. While for traditional art, the owner has the physical artwork in his possession, this is not the case at all for NFTs. For example, the NFT for the Beeple picture sold for the record amount can perfectly be downloaded on the internet at no cost. This downloaded file will be identical to the digital file owned by the buyer (i.e. the copy is literally as good as the original).
Obviously, this is a new technology which raises a lot of questions and issues, e.g.
What do you actually own? The NFT is just a digital certificate on a blockchain. The blockchain does not even contain the digital artwork, but just a link to a location where the digital artwork is stored. This raises automatically questions like:
What is the legal ground of an NFT? Can you claim the ownership in court, i.e. will the courts consider the blockchain as sufficient proof of ownership? Will the judge even understand it? Will it have the same legal basis in any country in the world? Can I win at court if someone exploits commercially the digital content owned by me?
What happens if the link to which the NFT refers is no longer available? Does the NFT lose its value? Can the link be adapted?
What is the exact digital asset I am owning? On the blockchain a hash of the digital asset, together with some ownership info, is stored. However if someone changes 1 (invisible) pixel to a digital artwork, the hash will no longer match. Do I also have the ownership of this new (nearly equivalent) digital artwork?
How transparent and well-defined are the properties of ownership? E.g. do you also buy the copyright and reproduction rights? Are you allowed to ask royalties if the digital item is downloaded/published? Are you allowed to ask BigTechs (like Facebook or Google) to remove all copies they store of your digital asset?
NFTs are typically sold via intermediate platform (like OpenSea, Rarible, Superrare, Foundation, AtomicHub, Nifty Gateway, KnownOrigin…), managing the contact with the artist, setting up the NFT, managing the transactions on the Blockchain and also storing the digital artwork in the cloud (i.e. location to which NFT refers). This raises a number of questions about the trustworthiness of those platforms:
Will they ensure the link to the artwork remains available (i.e. not lost or broken)? Even if they go bankrupt? More and more decentral IPFS network or blockchain based storage is used to mitigate this risk.
Does the platform ensure an artist does not create multiple NFTs of the same (or slightly changed) digital asset?
Do they ensure that the NFS is minted by the real artist (creator) of the content and not by an imposter? Which procedures do they have in place for verifying that?
Even though the decentralized nature of the underlying blockchain ensures trust, buyers and sellers still need to trust the platforms facilitating these NFT transactions. This is for me a general issue of blockchain use cases (cfr. my blog on blockchain "ttps://bankloch.blogspot.com/2020/02/blockchain-beyond-hype.html" - Blockchain - Beyond the hype), i.e. although the blockchain entry can be perfectly trusted, the end-to-end user journey is much more extensive, thus requiring still trust in a central party.
How future-proof are the blockchains? With blockchains in full evolution, will the Ethereum blockchain (or other blockchain on which an NFT is held) still be around in 5 years or in 10 years (or not be replaced by a more popular and more modern blockchain)? Will it be possible to keep the decentralized nature of this blockchain while volumes increase enormously? Beginning of June 2021 the Ethereum blocksize (of the full blockchain) was over 800 GB, an increase of more than 100% compared to the year before. This shows that storing the full blockchain (and then we do not even speak about the resources required for mining) has become more and more a specialist job, hence more centralisation and less guarantee that a lot of parties will continue to keep track of the full blockchain. Furthermore it means it becomes less straight forward to prove your NFT ownership, without consulting a specialized party which stores the full blockchain.
Is the energy consumption for an NFT sustainable and will it not negatively impact the future success of NFTs?. For example, the energy consumption to create an NFT of a simple animation is equal to using 1.5 million times a pressure cooker. However with blockchains switching more to Proof of Stake-consensus mechanisms this will likely be resolved in the coming years (although Proof of Stake raises naturally other new concerns about centralization and potential manipulation).
Are the NFTs currently sold for a lot of money sufficiently time-lasting? This question can be raised for both the digital artworks as for the technology underpinning it:
Are the digital artworks not too time-specific, i.e. linked to current, non-lasting hypes? E.g. will YouTube movies which are popular now still be remembered and popular in 5 years? In the traditional art, certain historical artists (like Monet, Van Gogh, Picasso…) have an established reputation/track record, but for this digital art there is of course no historical records to turn to and as a result it is very difficult to predict future trends.
NFTs are also more and more used in games, to describe ownership of virtual plots of land or unique weapons or armors. This makes the NFT practically usable, but what is the value in a few years when the game is no longer popular?
Is the technology sufficiently robust? Not only is there a risk due to the above-mentioned dependency on blockchains and the platforms for storing the digital asset, but besides that you also have to ensure the file format of the digital content can still be read or ensure you can still access your digital wallet.
Due to popularity of the underlying blockchains (like Ethereum), NFTs are confronted with high transaction costs(high gas fees to get your NFT on the blockchain). While this transaction cost is marginal for the above record amount NFTs, it does pose an issue for cheaper NFTs (as transaction cost become too significant compared to the NFT price).
The whole process of minting, buying and transferring NFTs is not so user friendly, i.e. you need to onboard on an NFT platform, you have to acquire the right crypto-currency (e.g. if the NFT is on the Ethereum blockchain, you need Ether coins, i.e. Bitcoins won’t be usable) and you have to pay with crypto-currencies, which is still not so user-friendly (i.e. typically via a browser plugin, which might be easy for a computer specialist, but still difficult to setup for the common layman).
Clearly the concept of NFTs is great, as there is a need for managing ownership of digital content. With more and more digital content being produced and some artists even only exclusively producing digital content, there is a need for them to make money and NFTs are a good way to do this. However the too strong focus on the underlying (blockchain) technology and the bullish prices, make it still too much a playground for the (mega)-rich, than a common investment asset class. However even if it remains such a playground, it is still interesting to follow. As there are as many as 100,000 people who have $1 million or more stashed in crypto-currencies, there is an enormous audience with the means, interest and risk appetite to try out NFTs. For them, there is the cool factor of trying out something new, the potential of making same profits as with crypto-currencies, the emotional and bragging aspect of owning digital arts (compared with owning parts of the moon or owning a star. This has no legal ground, but is still very romantic and fun) and the Robinhood aspect of pushing governments to change and fighting the traditional art system (cfr. the actions on Robinhood to stop the short-sellers on the share of GameStop).
This being said, NFTs are clearly an excellent real-live experiment, where fundamental questions around ownership, value, digitalization and authenticity are being addresses.
The question remains however if ownership can be managed outside governments, i.e. as ownership requires laws to protect the owner, it is very difficult to manage this outside a government.
Clearly governments should sponsor some kind of register of such digital ownership. This will ensure that there is legal ground and also long-term continuity, as unlikely governments will disappear/go bankrupt. However if done by a government, there is no real need for a blockchain, as you have a central, credible authority, which could perfectly store the ownership (personal details of the owner) and the full digital content (so not just a hash) in a traditional database.
While governments are starting now to explore an alternative for crypto-currencies in the form of CBDCs (cfr. my blog "https://bankloch.blogspot.com/2021/05/cbdc-new-kid-on-block.html" - CBDC - The new kid on the block), this will likely happen as well for NFTs.
In the meantime, it is good the conservative art world is shaken up by these kinds of innovations.
Article | August 18, 2021
As millions of small business owners are applying for low-interest loans associated with the Paycheck Protection Plan, I can’t help but think of all the small business owners I personally spoke with over Facebook last weekend as the PPP got off to a rather bumpy start as lenders tried to absorb the new regulations associated with the SBA’s disaster relief loans. With that in mind, it seemed like a good time to share 4 things that automatically disqualify you for a PPP loan and talk about an option or two for next steps.
Article | August 18, 2021
2020 has been a challenging year for all industries. As COVID-19 continues to create uncertainty, many FinTech brands are under stress for a number of reasons. However, FinTech brands can use this opportunity to build their reputation and emerge as a substantial entity after the crisis has passed. Many FinTech organizations are putting in their thoughts on big ideas and innovative digital offerings that meet customer demand for a frictionless and seamless banking experience.
This article aims to list down the challenges faced by FinTech brands and effective ways to resolve them:
Challenges Faced by FinTech Brands in Generating Demand
In this unprecedented time, lead generation is on high priority to acquiring new customers. The pressure is to get on board with working remotely, adapting to new challenges, changes, and dealing with customers having urgent & new requirements. FinTech companies have faced unique challenges over the past year. They are using complex technologies to develop better products & services for businesses. Replacing traditional methods to improve financial services need strategic planning, technological advancement, and original content marketing ideas to survive in the digital age.
Read on to find out the challenges faced by FinTech brands in generating demand for their solutions.
Impact of Covid-19
COVID-19 continues to create uncertainty due to the widespread lockdown. Many FinTech brands are under the stress of counting recent losses, cost-effectiveness, and rethinking their offerings to adapt them to changing needs. The banking & finance industries are now shifting from response to recovery. They are now investing in introducing new FinTech apps for the post-pandemic world.
According to a recent survey, almost 82% of the citizens don't want to visit their banks and try digital apps to carry out financial transactions. FinTech brands are grabbing this opportunity to reach out to a new demographics by testing and adding new product range. Today, popular FinTech apps include mobile banking, e-wallets, contactless payments, international money transfer, retail banking, stock trading, FinTech loan app, InsurTech, etc.
Go mobile Go digital.
As a FinTech brand develops innovative solutions to be used during the pandemic, they also need to figure out ways to promote these products and services to reach their target audience. You are getting acquainted with various social media platforms, and understanding your target audience will help you reach wider. Identifying the top social media platform that works best for your product and service through content marketing will boost your customer base, reduce churn, and attract potential customers. Other functional content marketing solutions that you can think of includes web – content syndication, social media, mobile app – advertisements, and brand awareness content.
Inefficiency to maintain a healthy lead pipeline
Several FinTech brands are reassessing their approach, their budget, goals, and their offering. Those quickest to adapt to this change will lead the market and continue to grow. According to a research report, B2B specialists make 48% purchases online, up from 38% before the COVID-19 outbreak; this trend is likely to increase.
FinTech companies need to generate more new leads than ever to maintain a healthy lead pipeline. To do so, they need to be where their audience is.
• Finding the best social media platform for your industry
• Rethinking events – Online & Offline
• Exploring online opportunities – Webinars/Podcasts/Live Streaming/ Live Q&A/Online Sessions/ Live Feeds
• Publish demo videos
One of the most significant issues and struggles with a FinTech brand is to gain the trust of their consumers. Consumers usually select financial service providers as they are trusted by their families for generations. These financial brands should be able to handle issues such as security, confidentiality, and digital fraud. The brand should also comply with the latest financial regulations that need to be communicated. Social media is an ideal platform for brands to connect with their existing and potential customers. To build trust & loyalty between the company and the end-user, brands must focus on helping their customers rather than selling.
Inadequate tech stacks to work remotely
The inability to work remotely gave rise to new entrepreneurs with knowledge of finance who developed innovative solutions to help FinTech brands connect remotely. Another essential aspect that has evolved this industry is remodeling the user interface and customer experience. FinTech brands are largely coming out with innovative solutions that can help with:
- Financial close
- More visibility and transparency to financial transactions
- Centralized data
- Cloud support
Cybersecurity is a common problem across industries. With the advent of advanced technologies rises the need to develop stronger security. Considering the threat posed by cybercriminals and fraudsters, the financial system needs to handle this risk smartly. All the financial information remains sensitive, whether it's your social security number, card number, PINs, or password.
With the growing number of smartphone users, FinTech becomes cheaper and easy to use. The process and services that were once monopolized by the banking sector are now available for all, helping develop innovative solutions, lower operating costs, and improve financial organizations' efficiency.
FinTech brands should target millennials. They are fueling the market among money transfer applications and personal investment applications. Financial brands need to focus on financial management, lending, financing, and insurance applications. According to a report, 33% of millennials believe they won't need a bank at all in 5 years.
Expanding FinTech press/media
The increasing use of financial technology has given rise to a number of media houses covering them. Over the year, dozens of FinTech focused media sites, podcasts, and newsletters have been launched. Several authoritative publications have hired beat writers to pump up stories on trending topics and subject interest.
The FinTech market is growing in numbers, and the industry is heading towards the trillion-dollar industry. To grow as a FinTech brand, you need to ensure that you are better than your competitors. These challenges are temporary and can be overcome through practical approaches and technological advancements. While the challenges in deploying a FinTech firm continues, we have given a clearer perspective on how to overcome them in this blog. Overall, digital transformation for customer satisfaction is what is necessary.
Q1. What risks are associated with FinTech products and/or services?
A1. Cybersecurity, consumer data privacy & security, consumer data rights, online frauds and scams; cross-border transactions, anti-money laundering and countering terrorist financing; and digital identity risk are the key factors in the FinTech market.
Q2. What are the benefits of FinTech?
A2. FinTech has helped us drive positive change in the traditional financial services and foster innovation by creating products and service that benefits customers and small and big enterprises. Some of the benefits of FinTech products and services include convenience, digital resolutions, hassle-free practices, flexibility, high rate of approval, upgrade payment systems, customer services, and revenue, user-centric, transparency, and many more.
Q3. What are the challenges for the financial services industry?
A3. As mentioned in the blog, there are 7 key challenges faced by the FinTech Market they are:
Inefficiency to maintain a healthy lead pipeline
Inadequate tech stacks to work remotely
Need to expand FinTech press/media
"name": "What risks are associated with FinTech products and/or services?",
"text": "Cybersecurity, consumer data privacy & security, consumer data rights, online frauds and scams; cross-border transactions, anti-money laundering and countering terrorist financing; and digital identity risk are the key factors in the FinTech market."
"name": "What are the benefits of FinTech?",
"text": "FinTech has helped us drive positive change in the traditional financial services and foster innovation by creating products and service that benefits customers and small and big enterprises. Some of the benefits of FinTech products and services include convenience, digital resolutions, hassle-free practices, flexibility, high rate of approval, upgrade payment systems, customer services, and revenue, user-centric, transparency, and many more."
"name": "What are the challenges for the financial services industry?",
"text": "As mentioned in the blog, there are 7 key challenges faced by the FinTech Market they are:
Inefficiency to maintain a healthy lead pipeline
Inadequate tech stacks to work remotely
Need to expand FinTech press/media"
BITCOIN AND CRYPTO
Article | August 18, 2021
Coin Conundrums: Expert vets 3 popular ‘flight to safety’ coin assets amid forecasted financial strife
As the financial markets strive to rebound from what has been a hugely trying and tumultuous period, courtesy of a deadly global pandemic, we may need to brace ourselves for yet more trouble ahead. This as an ongoing Harvard Business School study predicts a 40% probability of a financial crisis in the next three years, which is largely based on unprecedented growth in credit coupled with the reality that interest rates will eventually rise, making debt service unbearable.
“Now factor in over $10 trillion in global economic stimulus, as well as increases of 26% in the M2 money supply and 78% in the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet over the last year, and the lack of sustainability becomes readily apparent,” says alternative investment pundit Thomas Neptune, Esq. “As the economy artificially recovers and we inch toward full employment over the next few years, the reality is that the Federal Reserve is trapped. It only seems logical that the Fed will, at some point, be forced to raise interest rates to combat inflation, while doing so could put a giant pin in several asset price bubbles.”
When financial markets collapse, it’s known that non-correlated “flight to safety” assets generally perform very well. Due to the heightened level state of uncertainty in the current climate, many investors are already increasing allocations to alterative investment vehicles like Cryptocurrency, U.S. rare coins and gold bullion coins while prices are relatively modest (depending, of course, on whom you ask).
The question then becomes, which of these distinctive “coins” is right for you relative to your situational needs for downside protection, upside opportunity, inflation hedging and overall utility?
Below, Neptune offers his analysis of all three.
In simple terms, Bitcoin is a decentralized peer-to-peer payment system that utilizes an accounting ledger called the blockchain. Bitcoin is the unit of accounting. It can be used as a medium of exchange for some goods and services, but there has not been universal acceptance of Bitcoin as a form of payment. It has recently garnered attention as an asset class as the price has skyrocketed. Almost anyone can own a tiny fraction of a Bitcoin through sites such as Coinbase.
The supply of Bitcoin is capped at $21 million, with approximately $18.5 million currently in circulation. The annual supply increases similar to that of gold, unlike monetary and fiscal policies that promote unlimited growth through the printing press. With 78% of the circulating Bitcoin classified as illiquid and not changing hands, there is not a high likelihood of sellers flooding the market. That being said, the price has been historically volatile as demand varies and competitor cryptocurrencies enter the market. Theoretically, the price could plummet to near-zero if demand shifts elsewhere or regulators step in with force, although Bitcoin has institutional traction and its loyal following is most likely here to stay.
It is no secret that the price of Bitcoin has unlimited upside opportunity based on its supply and demand dynamics. Now almost everyone is getting in on the action. What might have been shocking news only a few years ago, even college endowments like Harvard, Yale, Brown and others have been placing bets on Bitcoin as have influential business leaders such as Elon Musk. It will be interesting to see whether Bitcoin can sustain its meteoric rise.
As an inflation hedge, Bitcoin does not have a long track record, as it was created in 2009 just prior to a market expansion where we saw little inflation for the last decade. Although the supply may increase now at a rate consistent with inflation, its demand and the ensuing price history have been extremely volatile. As such, buyers are placing a bet that, regardless of their entry price, the performance of Bitcoin will outpace inflation over the long-term, despite high volatility.
The technology around how Bitcoin is stored, sent and received is rapidly advancing. For example, the Bitpay wallet can now be added to Apple Pay to use Bitcoin as payment anywhere that accepts this type of monetary exchange. This is a significant development as there are over one billion active iPhones and these crypto-wallets can automatically settle transactions in the users’ currencies, potentially eliminating the risk of price volatility for transactions. Two other major benefits include portable wealth and instant liquidity for retail buyers.
** U.S. Rare Coins
Collecting financial artifacts of various civilizations has been in high demand for over 2,000 years, from when wealthy Romans were collecting Greek coins up to the present day. Representing the birth of the United States economy, its sovereignty on the world stage and notable events throughout the nation’s history, the U.S. rare coins that have survived in spectacular condition have been in high demand from wealthy global collectors and investors since the birth of this young nation.
There is a finite supply of high-end U.S. rare coins, which can be publicly verified on the census reports of the two major authentication companies: Professional Coin Grading Service and Numismatic Guaranty Corporation. These historical artifacts are not known to flood the market, as wealthy individuals with holding power generally do not need to liquidate them for less than their purchase price. Further, there is immense passion and competition to own the best trophies—why this market is known as the Hobby of Kings—which has evolved to sport for the affluent to locate and own these elusive artifacts in a private market. This passion-driven market with an extremely long track record has attracted investors to hold these highly sought-after assets as a long-term wealth protection strategy. As such, the market has demonstrated long term stability and steady price appreciation for well over a century based on these driven collectors and investors.
The U.S. rare coin market has benefited from numerous advances in technology and other innovations, most recently the introduction of the two major certification companies in the 1980s, followed by the ubiquity of the Internet in the 2000s. Although the market has largely flown under the radar from institutional investors, there has been a massive increase in demand for U.S. rare coins over the last decade, which has ramped up during the pandemic, as wealthy individuals have more time to pursue their interests and compete (via a publicly available points system) to own the finest rare coin portfolios. According to Michael Contursi, Partner at Contursi Rare Coin Investments, “The high end of this market is currently dominated by ultra-wealthy, sophisticated collectors and investors who can afford to own multi-million dollar portfolios. Imagine if these assets could be fractionally owned by the masses. We are already currently seeing this in collectibles such as fine art and baseball cards. The upside for U.S. rare coins is astronomical when you consider the potential for an exponential increase in demand.”
With unprecedented fiscal and monetary stimulus, coupled with a finite supply of U.S. rare coins with intrinsic value, these assets have proven to be an excellent hedge against inflation due to this disequilibrium of supply and demand. As the least volatile of the three “coin” markets here, the high end value of the U.S. rare coin market can be a safe diversification tool for those seeking an inflation hedge, largely based on historical price appreciation data from the last 125 years.
The two major certification companies secure these little treasures in sonically-welded holders with a certification number, barcode and other methods for protecting against counterfeit threats. Due to the weight and size of these items, owners can transport large amounts of wealth with extreme ease. Further, there are no reporting requirements for owning these assets, which makes them extremely private and can be a great way to retain wealth outside of the banking system in case of a financial meltdown or digital economy.
** Gold Bullion Coins
There are many ways to participate in the gold (and silver) bullion markets, some of which include owning mining company stocks, futures contracts on the commodities exchanges, ETFs, or physical control. To this extent, gold bullion can be owned as both a digital asset (like Bitcoin) or a physical asset (like U.S. rare coins).
Many people forget that from 1933 to 1975 it was illegal for Americans to own gold in the United States. Since then, investors have been making small allocations to gold as a diversified investment. It is globally-accepted that gold is a non-correlated, flight-to-safety asset during times of great uncertainty, such as The Great Recession of 2007-09 or the current global coronavirus pandemic. However, the spot price of gold is also extremely volatile, similar to Bitcoin, and the price could move significantly lower depending on one’s entry level to the market.
The value of the U.S. dollar, as well as virtually every other major fiat currency, has drastically declined in its purchasing power over the last century. Since the gold market is currently transacted in U.S. dollars, it becomes cheaper for international buyers (mainly governments or large institutions) to own gold as an alternative to holding dollars or their own currencies as the currency continues to decline. For the retail investor, it is clearer than ever that fiat currencies will continue to decline as governments print an unlimited supply of money to monetize their debts. Similar to the masses that have already entered the Bitcoin frenzy, and those poised to enter the various collectibles markets such as U.S. rare coins, the upside opportunity for gold has already been demonstrated by the Reddit black swan event last month that caused silver spot prices to soar. The same could happen for gold, perhaps in a more sustained trajectory.
Gold is known as an inflation hedge, which to some extent creates a self-fulfilling prophesy—as inflation expectations increase, institutions purchase gold and the increasing spot price protects their purchasing power. In addition, only approximately 2,500 to 3,000 tons of above ground gold are added to the global supply each year, with the majority used for jewelry. These relatively small increases to supply (similar to Bitcoin and finite rare coins) are a significant benefit when compared to printing binges for fiat currencies, thus helping protect against inflation.
The utility of owning physical gold is primarily as a store of value where the owner maintains direct control and access to a tangible asset. Many believe they can use their gold to transact during a doomsday scenario, as these are uniform products owned globally. The downside is that gold is very heavy, making it difficult to store or transport. Nonetheless, it is highly liquid and easy to turn into cash during times of need, like an insurance policy.
Which Coin is Right for You?
All three of these “coins” have either a finite or slowly increasing supply, making them very attractive during times of economic uncertainty, as even relatively small increases in demand can move prices higher. Depending on needs, there is a case to be made to own any of these assets, including small positions in all three.
According to Neptune, “Many of the families who invest with us side by side in the U.S. rare coin space also own small positions in cryptocurrencies and precious metals. Bitcoin is fun and people are speculating on its tremendous upside, whereas gold bullion is highly liquid and has a long track record as an inflation hedge. People have preconceived notions of all three markets, but I think with education and more transparency you will find more portfolios containing small allocations to all three of these assets.”
As investors become more comfortable with the idea that they do not have to be renowned experts to own these tangible assets—similar to the idea that they do not need a Ph.D. in mechanical physics to drive a car—investors can utilize all three markets for various needs in a diversified portfolio.
Since many financial advisors don’t yet know how to access or offer these types of alternative assets, they simply aren’t included in the investment mix and, thus, clients can’t reap the benefits—ostensibly suffering opportunity loss. Therefore, the prudent entrée to owning one (or all) of these “coins” is engaging with reputable companies or trusted experts. They will certainly help wealth-seekers make heads or tails of the burgeoning coin category.
Forbes Business Council Member Merilee Kern, MBA is an internationally-regarded brand analyst, strategist, futurist and marketplace trends pundit who reports on industry change makers, movers, shakers and innovators across all B2C and B2B categories. Connect with her at www.TheLuxeList.com / Instagram, Twitter & Facebook @LuxeListReports