The Future of Money, The Future of Green Tech, Cyber Weapons

March 24 2021

“There were two vices much blacker and more serious than the rest: lack of persistence and lack of self-control....Endure and Renounce.”

- Epictetus

“Since the masses are always eager to believe something, for their benefit nothing is so easy to arrange as facts.”

- Talleyrand

“It is the very pursuit of happiness that thwarts happiness.”

- Viktor Frankl 

“The one important thing I have learned over the years is the difference between taking one’s work seriously and taking one’s self seriously. The first is imperative and the second is disastrous.”

- Margot Fonteyn 

"New goals don't deliver new results. New lifestyles do. And a lifestyle is a process, not an outcome. For this reason, your energy should go into building better habits, not chasing better results."

- James Clear

A. The Future Of Money & The Internet

We discussed the Future of Money a couple of times in February:

February 10: The Future of the USD and Bitcoin

February 17: What Is Money

Over the last week, I geeked out on the Capital Allocator series with Ted Seides, where he covered Crypto for Institutions:

Crypto for Institutions: Eric Peters – The Macro Case for Bitcoin 

Crypto for Institutions: Seth Ginns – Investing Beyond Bitcoin

Crypto for Institutions: Ari Paul – Exploiting Inefficiencies in Crypto Trading

I think there is a real opportunity here for investors and in client surveys, while the vast majority has no exposure, at the margins I am seeing rising interest and curiosity to learn more. Some have even bought a little personally to get comfortable, before buying institutionally.

If you have already gone down the Bitcoin rabbit hole and are ready for the next, then this great article by Packy McCormick on the Dao of DAO’s (Decentralized Autonomous Organization) is a great overview of Web3 across the tech stack.

Things will look very different in five years.

If you’d rather just dive into NFT’s, then it’s worth checking out this Invest Like the Best Podcast with Jesse Walden on A Primer on NFTs, or Fred Ehrsam (Coinbase Co-Founder) on the Future of NFTs and Bitcoin.

NFTs are an example of what will exist in the Metaverse, and discussed by Wired earlier this year.

B. The Future of Green Tech

A few weeks ago, we did a detailed summary of Bill Gates’ new book: How To Avoid A Climate Disaster, it’ll save you the 300 pages.

He was also recently on a TED virtual conversation, discussing the innovations we need to avoid climate disaster.

Gates says, the single most important thing for avoiding a climate disaster is cutting carbon pollution from the current 51 billion tons per year to zero.

He introduces the concept of the "green premium" -- the higher price of zero-emission products like electric cars, artificial meat or sustainable aviation fuel.

He lastly identifies the breakthroughs and investments we need to reduce the cost of clean tech, decarbonise the economy and create a pathway to a clean and prosperous future for all.

If we are going to innovate our way out of it, we are going to need to change this:

C. A Few Things Worth Checking Out

“Investors often imagine there are two distinct macro environments: times when the future is clear and times when it isn’t. In reality, though, these periods are all pretty much the same, since perceived clarity regarding the future often turns out to have been illusory. Most macro forecasting consists of extrapolating current levels and recent trends with minor tinkering. While predictions of ‘no change’ are often right – as continuation is the general rule – they give rise to little in terms of profit. Only forecasts of major deviation from trend can be highly profitable. But to be so, they also must be correct, and they rarely are. That’s why profitable macro forecasts (and successful forecasters) are few and far between.”

- Howard Marks

1. Howard Marks Memo: 2020 in Review.

2. We discussed Cyber Weapons last week and this picture was a good summary of the SolarWinds hack. It was both one of the most effective and large scale hacks of US infrastructure.

I encourage you to spend time understanding what happened. The next wars will be fought in cyberspace.

I’m interviewing the President of CrowdStrike later today, who also spent 25 years at the FBI. Shout if you’d like to join.

3. My old friend Dylan Grice at Calderwood, interviewed my Family Office buddies Steffen Dietel and George Nadda to discuss the opportunities in Oil & Gas today.

4. My dirty pleasure this week has been watching Season 3 of Formula 1 on Netflix. Who’s your favourite driver? I’m a Vettel and Stroll guy.

5. And if you like British shows, then “The One” is a great show set five minutes in the future, in a world where a DNA test can find your perfect partner – the one person you’re genetically predisposed to fall passionately in love with.

The thesis is: No matter how good your relationship, which one of us can honestly say we haven’t thought about whether there is someone better out there? What if a hair sample is all it takes to find them? The idea is simple, but the implications are explosive.

This is strange. Why do you think this is?