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Two sides of the same bitcoin

Warren Buffet recently said in a Yahoo Finance interview that when you buy cryptocurrencies you’re not actually investing. Instead, you’re speculating – speculating that “somebody else will come along and pay more money tomorrow.” Investments need to generate a return. And nobody is at all clear on how to value these crypto-assets. This is noteworthy, of course, because it’s Buffet.

But I thought Fred Wilson wrote a good rebuttal on his blog where he points out that, while, yes, a discounted cash flow model isn’t going to be very useful in helping you determine value in this instance, what we are actually seeing is, “the creation of a new internet, built upon protocols that allow for decentralized networks to form…” We’ve talked about this many times before on the blog.

So where I stand on this debate is that I agree with both Warren and Fred. I don’t see crypto-assets as something I want to start putting a lot of money into right now because I don’t know how to calculate what the IRR may be. But at the same time, if crypto-assets are creating decentralized infrastructure that will one day power the “new internet”, I am positive this new internet will eventually create businesses that will fit into Warren’s definition of an investment. 

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