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I started my career in the startup world fundraising and helping others fundraise. At the time, I used to write Investment Memos to present startup opportunities to angel investors.

Below is my Investment Memo for what I believe is the largest and most impactful startup of our generation.

Bitcoin

The Investment Memo

 A software startup disrupting central banks, their fiat currencies, and all forms of savings

Last updated: 01.05.2023

 

The Big Problem

Central banks have been stealing the savings of 7+ billion people through 180+ fiat currencies.They claim we need prices consistently go up (inflation) to have a "healthy economy". In reality inflation = printing money = theft from everyone who is not printing. In a healthy economy, prices should consistently fall thanks to new technologies which allow us to produce more stuff faster and cheaper. Justifying inflation is mental gymnastics to normalize the theft central banks have been doing since World War I and the creation of the US Central Bank in 1913.

All central banks globally have followed the same policy of printing ever more fiat currencies. Here are the results:

The Big Problem has affected all prices & markets

The constantly growing supply of fiat currencies has created massive price bubbles in all major markets: real estate, equities, bonds, art, and other forms of savings. These bubbles have grown especially fast since 1971 when central banks exited the gold standard (they stopped backing fiat currencies with gold).

Alan Greenspan

Chairman, US Central Bank

"In the absence of the gold standard, there is no way to protect savings from confiscation through inflation. There is no safe store of value."

The Solution: take money out of central banks' control

In 2009 Satoshi Nakamoto proposed a global decentralized, neutral payment network with its own neutral asset: bitcoin (BTC). The asset bitcoin has a strictly limited supply of 21 million coins.

Bitcoin recreates gold's characteristics in a invisible and weightless digital form. This makes bitcoin potentially a very well fit store of value for the internet age. At the same time, it makes it extremely hard for central banks to gain control over bitcoin (like they gained control over gold).

Over the past 15 years bitcoin has organically emerged as the hardest money in history because:

  • You can produce more units of any other money: gold, silver, fiat and cryptocurrencies.
  • You cannot produce more bitcoins regardless who you are or how wealthy you are.

Team

  • Satoshi Nakamoto launched the network
  • 500+ developers maintain its code
  • 100,000+ miners process transactions
  • 100,000 node operators audit the network every 10 minutes
  • 250,000+ evangelists educate the public and build products on top of bitcoin

Anyone can join Bitcoin's decentralized team as a developer, miner, node operator, evangelist, or entrepreneur.

No single person, group of people, or entity can change the Bitcoin network and its rules. Any change requires a wide consensus among the majority of bitcoin's users.

Headquarters

The team is spread across 7 continents, 180 countries, and thousands of cities.

Features of the bitcoin asset
  1. No counterparty risk: if you hold it, it is truly yours (exactly like physical gold)
  2. Greatly divisible: 1 bitcoin = 100,000,000 satoshis making it fit to serve as a medium of exchange
  3. Infinitely durable: like gold, bitcoin does not age; 1 bitcoin today is the same as 10 years ago
  4. Super portable: you can transfer $1 or $10B across the world within 60 minutes
  5. Verifiable: it is impossible to create fake bitcoins (while is it is easy to create fake gold or fiat)
  6. Fixed monetary policy: bitcoin's inflation is set in stone and is constantly decreasing

These features make bitcoin the best money ever discovered - much better than gold, silver, or any fiat currency. We compare and contrast these different monies in depth in the Bitcoin Masterclass.

Dr. Saifedean Ammous

Author, The Bitcoin Standard

"Bitcoin is the only currency that has a strictly limited supply, and that makes it the most valuable currency in the world."

Bitcoin for kids (and parents:)

A 3-minute video explaining Bitcoin. Brought to you by Tuttle Twins TV.

 

Bitcoin's price history

Bitcoin's inflation rate decreased 3 times since the network launched in 2009. Every inflation decrease (called halving) triggered a jump in bitcoin's price. The next halving will be in early 2024. If history is to repeat (or rhyme), the next price jump will start in 2024 and reach a peak in 2025. Based on current supply/demand data for bitcoins, we expect the new price peak to surpass $100k.

Disclaimer: This memo is solely educational and has not been catered to your individual circumstances. Any action or inaction which you may contemplate based on the memo should be made in consultation with your personal legal, tax, and financial advisors.

Product market fit

Bitcoin has found strong market fit with all kinds of socioeconomic classes:

  • Westerners use BTC as a long-term store of value
  • The rich use BTC to avoid excessive taxation
  • The middle class use BTC to escape the never ending rat race
  • The poor use BTC to escape hyper-inflationary currencies
  • Rich, middle-class, and poor use bitcoin to escape capital controls
  • Refugees use BTC as unconfiscatable, invisible, weightless digital property
  • Energy producers use bitcoin miners to monetize excess energy
  • Farmers literally convert animal shit into bitcoin
  • and many more...as bitcoin's mining, payments, and custody infrastructure matures.

We believe bitcoin and its lightning payment network could soon become the go-to technologies facilitating instant AI and M2M (machine-2-machine) payments. LightSpark, Breez, BlockTank, and many other startups are moving us in this direction.

Traction

  • 99.988% uptime of the bitcoin network since 2009
  • 100% uptime of the bitcoin network since 2013
  • Survived endless technical & political attacks, governmental bans, copycats, and media obituaries
  • Massive decentralisation making the network practically impossible to destroy
  • Emerging store of value delivering outstanding returns (despite its volatility)
  • Institutional adoption by Fidelity, BlackRock, visionary insurance and pension funds
  • Growing adoption as a corporate treasury asset for public and private companies 
  • Nation state adoption of bitcoin as legal tender in El Salvador, Madeira, and Lugano in Switzerland
  • Kingdom of Bhutan has been mining and accumulating bitcoin with hydro energy since 2019
  • Rumours that USA, Russia, Saudi's sovereign wealth fund, North Korea, Iran, and other countries are accumulating bitcoins

Bitcoin has triggered the societal shift of our lifetimes: The Great Monetary Transition from central banking monopolies to decentralized bitcoin banking. Like every transition, this one is also messy. It is hard to see it as you live your day-to-day life. But if you zoom out, study money, history, central banking, and Bitcoin, this current transition becomes easy to see. You can read more about it here.

Competition
  1. Gold.
    It is the centuries-old organic counterparty-free money. But gold:
    - Is heavy, hard to divide, and not fit for the internet, commerce, and AI;
    - Is captured by central bankers who control most of its supply.
  2. Ethereum and all cryptos.
    They are fragile, centralised, easily capture-able by central banks & governments.
  3. CBDCs
    Central Bank Digital Currencies are a new digital form of fiat currencies designed to exert even more control and money printing by central banks. We do not believe in communism. It
    failed 1984 times and we are confident its modern day CBDC reinvention will fail again. 

 

Competitive advantages

  • Extremely strong network effect of users, wallets, institutions, etc.
  • Immaculate conception that is borderline impossible to replicate or supersede
  • A missionary community that religiously defends, promotes, and builds on top of bitcoin

Risks

  • Major bug in bitcoin's code
  • Electro-magnetic storm destroying electricity grids
  • Something else that we have not thought of

Temporary (non-critical) risks

  • Government bans
  • Quantum computers
  • Ban of bitcoin wallets by Apple & Google

But no one uses it!

People just speculate with its price!

21 Steps to Bitcoin as Full Global Money

Most people look at Bitcoin as a picture. In reality, Bitcoin is a movie that is constantly evolving. It has evolved from an experiment in 2009 to a speculative asset in 2013 and to an emerging store of value in 2019. As time passes, its price grows, and its volatility lowers, bitcoin will mature into a reliable store of value. As its price grows and stabilizes further, merchants will gradually start accepting it for payments.

Who is already invested in BTC?

Business Leaders

Elon Musk, Naval Ravikant, Jack Dorsey, Ricardo Salinas Pliego (Mexican billionaire)

Legendary Investors

Bill Gross, Bill Miller, Stand Druckenmiller, Peter Thiel, Paul Tudor Jones, Ray Dalio, Alan Howard, Li Ka-shing (Honk Kong's wealthiest person)

Iconic Executives

Tim Cook, Michael Saylor, Vikram Pandit, Rick Riede

+50 public companies

+1000 private companies

+100 million people (~1% of global population)

Jack Dorsey

Founder, Twitter & Stripe

"Bitcoin changes absolutely everything. I don’t think there is anything more important in my lifetime to work on."

Target Market

Bitcoin targets the largest markets globally comprising a market cap of $900 trillion:

  • all fiat currencies
  • all forms of savings: gold, bonds, real-estate, equities, fine art, money.

Money is a winner take all market. No one wants to have  multiple monies. You need only one which works. If you deeply think about it there is no reason for the world to have more than 1 money. The only reason we have 180+ currencies is for the currency issuers to exert control and rent-seeking over its users.

The reality is until recently we did not have one monetary technology that was durable, easily divisible, portable, verifiable, and hard to produce. In 2009 we discovered this technology and it is called Bitcoin. And it is never too late to adopt it. Just like it is never too late to adopt electricity or the internet. Eventually, everyone ended up using electricity, the internet, and we believe everyone will use one money: bitcoin.

 Bitcoin's markets and price potential

Yes, you read that right. 1BTC = $10 million is our conservative long-term price target. And when we say $10 million we mean it in today's dollar value. Since USD is designed to constantly lose value we expect the nominal price of 1BTC to go higher.

Terms & Valuation

Who can invest: Anyone

Minimum investment: $1

Current Valuation as of Q2 2023:

  • Market cap: ~$0.5 trillion
  • Price per coin: ~$30,000
  • Price is determined in real time (bitcoin is the only free market globally open 24/7/365).

 

Exit strategy (how to sell BTC?)
  1. Bitcoin markets are open every day, every hour, every minute. You can always sell BTC for fiat at an exchange and/or OTC desk (learn how with our guide here).
  2. Bitcoin has become recognized as an extremely high quality collateral. Just like you can go to your bank and borrow fiat backed by an apartment you own, you can do the same with bitcoin: borrow fiat backed by the bitcoin you have (get our guide about bitcoin loans).
  3. Lastly, as the Global Monetary Transition advances, ever more people start valuing BTC more than any fiat currency. And so over time you will be surprised to see others happily accepting your bitcoin as a direct payment for goods & services.

 

Two possible outcomes

There are only two possibilities for bitcoin's future: It either goes to zero or to millions. There is no third option.

Setting probabilities for these two outcomes is art rather than science. Based on the knowledge presented in the Bitcoin Masterclass we place the probability of bitcoin:

  • going to $0 at 0.25%.
  • going to $1M+ at 99.75%.

Conclusion and Verdict

To sum up, Bitcoin is a mature decentralized startup disrupting the largest markets in the world: money and all forms of savings. It has been successfully growing for 14 years proving its robustness to both technical, political, and jurisdictional attacks. It seems there is little that can stop bitcoin from overtaking a large part of fiat currencies and the various assets we use as savings.

The precise timeline of bitcoin's rise is impossible to predict, but we guess it will take anywhere from 10 to 50 years.

Having zero bitcoin seems extremely risky. The proven market fit, battle-tested protocol, and huge upside make bitcoin a must-have asset in everyone's portfolio. If you think there is 0% chance that our predictions realize, then stop reading now. But if you think there is a mere 0.1% chance that bitcoin reaches the market potential we outlined, you have no choice but to allocate a tiny part of your net worth into BTC as an insurance in case that 0.1% chance materializes.

Lastly but not least, acquiring even only $100 worth of BTC is your vote for a new transparent financial system which does not steal via inflation and does not create massive price bubbles. This would be a financial system with a stable foundation for investing, growing, and living!

And if you vote for that system, you will be proud to tell your kids about the choice you made during the Great Monetary Transition.

#StudyBitcoin #ForTheKids. If not now, when?

To deeply understand and learn how to use Bitcoin, check out our Bitcoin Masterclass.

Are you IN or OUT?

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