Bill Miller the billionaire founder and chief investment officer of investment firm Miller Value Partners, has said he considers Bitcoin (BTC) an “insurance policy against financial catastrophe.”
Appearing on an episode of the “Richer, Wiser, Happier” podcast on May 24, Miller backed the cryptocurrency as a means for those caught in conflict to still access financial products. He used the collapse of financial infrastructure in Afghanistan after the United States withdrawal in August 2021 as an example.
“When the U.S. pulled out of Afghanistan, Western Union stopped sending remittances there or taking them from Afghanistan, but if you had Bitcoin, you were fine. Your Bitcoin is there. You can send it to anybody in the world if you have a phone.”
Miller said examples of how the crypto can function as insurance don’t “have to be all or nothing” and noted how Bitcoin performed during the early stages of the pandemic and the Federal Reserve’s reaction to it:
“When the Fed stepped in and started gunning the money supply and bailing out, in essence, the mortgage rates […] Bitcoin functioned fine. There was no run on Bitcoin. The system functioned without the Fed and without any interference. Everybody got their Bitcoin, the price adjusted, and then when the Bitcoiners realized, ‘Wait, we’re going to have inflation down the road,’ Bitcoin went through the roof.”
“It’s an insurance policy, the way I look at it,” he added.
Miller also rebuked Warren Buffett’s recent criticism of Bitcoin, where the billionaire investor famously remarked that “it doesn’t produce anything” and he “wouldn’t take” all the Bitcoin in the world for even $25:
"He said that Bitcoin is a non-productive asset and therefore he can’t value it. Fair enough. If the only thing that you think you can value are productive assets, then no one’s making you buy it, right? So ignore it.”
He later followed up his comment, adding “the objective of investing is not to own productive assets, the objective is to make money”.
Spam and bots have been the bane of anyone that uses the internet for years, but recently this digital scourge has ramped up activity in the crypto sector in a big way.
Crypto intelligence provider LunarCrush has revealed spam in the cryptosphere has increased by an astonishing 3,894%. The firm has been collecting crypto-specific social data since 2019, and says not only is spam at an all-time high, it's also “the fastest growing metric on social media.”
The findings were published in a May 25 report, stating that “more spam accounts than you would think are actually people.” For this reason, it is often a challenge for software to detect and flag spam.
Twitter is the social media platform of choice for the crypto industry, and it is awash with spam and bots. There has been an estimated 1,374% increase in Twitter spam volume over the past two years, according to LunarCrush.
LunarCrush CEO Joe Vezzani told Quantum Economics founder Matti Greenspan in his crypto newsletter:
“For a Web2 platform like Twitter, there is a direct incentive to turn a blind eye to fake accounts because it increases the value of their platform.”
Tokenized Web3 platforms (such as Aave’s Lens Protocol or Orbis) differ in that they want to have as many genuine users as possible holding the asset rather than trying to extract value from the community, he added.
Billionaire Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s sensational takeover of the platform was put on hold earlier this month pending further details supporting Twitter’s assertion that spam and fake accounts represent less than 5% of the platform’s traffic.
Musk plans to crack down on spam bots that have plagued the platform and suggests that the company’s claim of 95% genuine users is too high.
Purging the bot accounts would drop the number of followers most genuine accounts have. One estimate from SparkToro suggested that Musk could lose half of his 95 million followers. Earlier this month, the software firm conducted in-depth analysis reporting that almost 20% of all active Twitter accounts are fake or spammers.
Until Musk gets his way and shakes the spammers out of the Twitter tree, users of the platform and other social media sites will have to be extra vigilant regarding the rising tide of crypto scams and spam which none of them appear to have the power to control.
Multinational investment bank JPMorgan Chase & Co is reportedly trialing the use of its own private blockchain for collateral settlements.
According to Bloomberg, JPMorgan conducted a pilot transaction on May 20, which saw two of its entities transfer a tokenized representation of Black Rock Inc. money market fund shares.
A money market fund is a type of mutual fund that is considered to be a low-risk investment, as it offers exposure to liquid and short-term assets such as cash, cash equivalents and debt securities with high credit ratings.
In terms of JPMorgan’s broader vision for its private blockchain, the bank said that it intends to enable investors to put forward a wide range of assets as collateral that can also be used outside of regular market hours. It pointed to equities and fixed income in particular.
“What we’ve achieved is the friction-less transfer of collateral assets on an instantaneous basis,” stated JPMorgan’s global head of trading services Ben Challice. BlackRock wasn’t a counterparty, but it has been heavily involved in the initiative “since day one and are exploring use of this technology.”
JPMorgan has been actively involved with crypto and blockchain tech for quite some time now and also founded Onyx Digital Assets (ODA) in late 2020. The project is described as a “blockchain-based network that enables the processing, recording and Delivery-versus-Payment (DVP) exchange of digital assets across asset classes.”
While it wasn’t specifically outlined if JPMorgan used the ODA in this instance, the network is geared up for the exchange of cash for different types of tokenized collateral, providing intraday liquidity and offering access to the bank’s digital payment infrastructure and token JPM Coin.
Tyrone Lobban, head of JPMorgan’s Blockchain Launch and the ODA, said the bank is aiming to get ahead of a trend in which it sees a broader range of traditional financial services being offered via blockchain tech:
“There will be a growing set of financial activities that happen on the public blockchain, so we want to make sure that we are able to not only support that but also be ready to provide related-services.”
This Daily Dose was brought to you by Cointelegraph.