Intervju

Bitcoinlegenden Tuur Demeester (2021)

Coinbase
3.84%
51119 USD/BTC

First of all, could you list your top bitcoin brokers?
In choosing a bitcoin custodian, trading desk or exchange, especially if you consider them for storing some of your funds, in my view it’s crucial that the founding team has a deep understanding of the underlying technology, has a long term outlook, and a track record of ‘doing the right thing’. Bitcoin has no central bank, so that means no bailouts! Even with impeccable management, there exists no bitcoin insurance that will cover all scenarios for customers, and keep in mind that even the best operators could potentially suffer a hack causing you to lose your funds. If you have meaningful investments in the bitcoin space, I’d recommend diversifying your exposure.

Here are a few companies which have so far left a positive impression on me: Kraken (in which I’m an investor), Bitfinex, Bitonic, NYDIG and Fidelity.

 

Do you still think that average Joe should use cold storage as first choice or are there other decent alternatives for non-techies?
I’d say the most important part is to get some exposure first to escape the “analysis paralysis”. This exposure will motivate you to learn more about the technology and the options for storage. Your choice of storage depends on your personal situation. Are you prone to forgetting passwords or procedures? You’re not alone! Forgetting a password is still by far the most common cause of loss for self-custodied bitcoins. So in that case a third party custodian could be helpful. Do you have a stable family situation and decades old, solid friendships? Then multi-signature cold storage could be something for you. Do you live near a city where bank vaults are easily available? Then individual cold storage could be more of an option, too. The bitcoin space is moving fast and new innovative solutions are offered all the time. I recommend looking into companies like Casa.hodl, who offer a hybrid solution where they help you by storing some keys for you while still allowing you to retain full control over your coins.

 

In 2018, you mentioned Lightning network and Smart contracts as interesting developments for Bitcoin. How have they developed for the last 3 years and are they still top of your list?
Well, I think the Lightning network is really coming into its own now. We’re seeing many software and even hardware wallets that are integrating it, as well as exchanges. I don’t believe Bitcoin would have ever been considered as a legal tender by El Salvador (and now also other countries) if it wasn’t for this lightweight decentralized payment layer on top. And keep in mind, Lightning is a smart contract layer on top of bitcoin! I think the DeFi space is interesting, but those applications need to be built on a more decentralized and mature base layer in order to be robust and durable. I’m optimistic on Liquid as a basis for token issuance for example.

 

What is the biggest threat to the Bitcoin blockchain according to you?
The biggest threat to bitcoin is probably for the market to not see its fundamental value: censorship resistant scarcity. If many people are swayed by for example proof-of-stake coins (which are censorship vulnerable and inherently much less scarce, but which lure people in with the illusion of perpetual income via staking), then we could see the fiat monetary system absorbing these types of coins (which are philosophically very similar to fiat), which would have a crowding out effect on bitcoin and serve to confuse people around the world about the value proposition of non-dilutive proof-of-work decentralized financial settlement networks.

 

What have been the most positive and negative Bitcoin developments since we last spoke?
Most positive: the growth of collaborative custody (multi-sig), this is a form of custody which makes bitcoin even more censorship resistant, and the growth of bitcoin as a reserve asset (collateral for loans).

Most negative: the widespread fear and confusion about bitcoin mining.

 

In 2020 you invested in ether (Ethereum), how come?
That was just a trade. The chart looked good for ETH and so I bought some. I liquidated that position a while ago.

 

Finally, what is your price outlook for btc short term (next 12 months) and long term (5-10 years)?
For the next 12 months: my thesis has been and still is that this cycle is somewhat similar to the 2013 bull cycle, in which bitcoin rallied to $270, then dropped to $100-$150 for several months, and rallied to $1,200 -all in the same year! And so I think after an initial top at $65k we are now in the dolldrums where the weak hands are enticed to sell but where the sentiment doesn’t go as low as it does in a real bear phase. I expecta sharp rally before the end of this year in which we will break above $100k and where we could even print $200k for one bitcoin. For the next 5-10 years I expect it will become quite meaningless to assign a dollar value to bitcoin predictions, because who knows what the dollar or krona will be worth by then? In other words, I think values of $1M-$5M are likely to happen but we will have to see whether that will be enough to buy 10 new mercedeses or 100 new mercedeses.

 

Many thanks and hopefully we can do a follow up in 3 years =)
Yes, let’s do that!

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