The MapleMoney Show » How to Invest Your Money » Cryptocurrency

What Is the Outlook for Cryptocurrency and the Blockchain? with Eric Rosenberg

Presented by Wealthsimple

Welcome to The MapleMoney Show, the podcast that helps Canadians improve their finances to create lasting financial freedom. I’m your host, Tom Drake, the founder of MapleMoney, where I’ve been writing about all things related to personal finance since 2009.

Want to know more about cryptocurrencies and NFTs or how the blockchain works? It’s a fascinating and ever-changing world, and as you explore it, the possibilities seem endless.

Eric Rosenberg is a finance writer, speaker, and consultant. His writing has appeared in publications including the Huffington Post, Business Insider, Investopedia, and many others. He’s worked with many top brands, including TD Ameritrade, Betterment, Citizens Bank, and BMO Harris.

I met with Eric at Podcast Movement this past week to discuss current trends in cryptocurrency, NFTs, and ways the blockchain could be used in the future.

I asked Eric for his thoughts on the current state of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum. He explained why he feels different coins have value, regardless of recent price drops. Our conversation shifts to other digital assets, like NFTs, online games, and music streaming. We even touch on the subject of real estate, and Eric shares his ideas for how the blockchain could be used to facilitate real estate transactions in the future.

Whether you’re completely immersed in the blockchain or only have a passing interest, this episode has something for you!

Eric Rosenberg is a finance writer, speaker, and consultant. His writing has appeared in publications including the Huffington Post, Business Insider, Investopedia, and many others. He’s worked with many top brands, including TD Ameritrade, Betterment, Citizens Bank, and BMO Harris. I sat down with Eric at Podcast Movement this past week to discuss trends in cryptocurrency, including ways in which the blockchain could be used in the future.

Do you prefer to invest in socially responsible companies? If so, our sponsor Wealthsimple will help you build a portfolio focusing on low carbon, cleantech, human rights, and the environment. To get started with Socially Responsible Investing, head over to Wealthsimple today!

Episode Summary

  • The current state of crypto
  • NFTs explained
  • Video games and music as digital assets
  • What stocks would look like on the blockchain
  • What real estate transactions could look like on the blockchain
  • The differences between Bitcoin and Ethereum
  • What gives Bitcoin its value?

Read transcript

Want to know more about cryptocurrencies, NFTs and how the blockchain works? It’s a fascinating and ever-changing world, and as you explore it, the possibilities seem endless. Eric Rosenburg is a finance writer, speaker and consultant. His writing has appeared in publications including, The Huffington Post, Business Insider, Investopedia and many others. He’s worked with many top brands, including TD Ameritrade, Betterment, Citizens Bank and BMO Harris. I met with Eric at Podcast Movement this week to discuss current trends in cryptocurrency, NFTs and ways blockchain could be used in the future. 


Welcome to the Maple Money Show, the podcast that helps Canadians improve their personal finances to create lasting financial freedom. Do you prefer to invest in socially responsible companies? If so, our sponsor, Wealthsimple, will help you build a portfolio that focuses on low carbon, clean tech, human rights and the environment. To get started with socially responsible investing, head over to today. Now, let’s chat with Eric… 


Tom: Hey, Eric. Welcome back to the Maple Money Show. 


Eric: I am so excited to be here. Thank you for having me. 


Tom: We’re glad to have you here. We’re Podcast Movement. We’re in the HubSpot recording booth. I wanted to have you on because there’s something I’ve always kind of followed, got a little bit interested in—and feel I probably caused the current problems because I avoided Bitcoin cryptocurrency for years. I remember saying it wasn’t much of an investment back in 2017. And I still have a hard time calling it an investment. But sure enough, as soon as I got any interest in it, it started to crash. Since then it’s come up a little bit, but then it’s kind of crashed down again. When I looked at the historical numbers today, I noticed it’s worth less than half of what it was a year ago, but it’s still worth more than it was two years ago. So it might depend on frame of reference for someone like me that kind of got interested closer to the top. It’s hard to see a benefit, but if someone’s been in two years, three years, it seems like something you could be still more bullish on. You can see a positive because maybe you haven’t gone in the hole yet on this. Just to start us off, can you give me your general thoughts on where we’re at today with Bitcoin and all these other cryptocurrencies that are hard to keep track of? 


Eric: Sure. To take a broad approach to where crypto’s at today, I’d say we’re in a crypto winter. That’s the cryptocurrency term for a “bear” market for stock market investors. In the stock market, typically it means you’re down 20 percent from your most recent peak. If you look at Bitcoin, (when I looked yesterday or the day before) it was down about 70 percent from its recent peak. That is clearly a bear market or a crypto winter, as we’d say. It’s a hard period. As you said, some people got in at the top and lost a lot of money and it stinks. I feel bad for those people. And also through this, just like we’ve seen with other financial crises in different industries, there have been some bankruptcies. Voyager is gone. That was a crypto lending platform, an exchange, I believe. Celsius is a crypto lending platform that who knows what percent of their money people will get back. I hope they get most of it. Yes, there’s still a lot of risk. It’s still a new industry. It’s having a tough moment, but I don’t think it’s going away. If you look back at the history of Bitcoin and crypto, the modern versions of cryptocurrency as we know them started in 2009. We’re a little more than a decade into this. It’s long enough that I think it’s proved itself as a technology. No one’s been able to just totally destroy it. But also, it looked a lot like the exuberant jubilation of the early dotcom era. There’s a lot of parallels I see to what happened. If you’re as old as me and Tom, I remember 20 years ago when the dot com bubble grew and burst. What’s happening now looks very similar. If you think back to the dot com bubble in the 90s where we had this new cool technology called the Internet that was going to revolutionize and change everything in the world, there were all of these investors happy to write $1 million checks to anything dot com. If it had dot com in the name, they could raise a billion dollars. It was it was crazy money—stupid money, as you might say, in the finance world. People were just writing checks out to anyone who’s said, “I’ve got an idea. I’m going to start a store to sell gadgets and call it gadgets dot com,” and people said, “That sounds like a great store. I’ll give you $100 million.” That’s what was happening. But then we know what happened next. If you look at, that’s probably the most infamous of the dot com era—overexuberance turning south. The company pretty much blew up and went to nothing. I mean, now you can go to and buy stuff, but it was obviously way, way overvalued by investors and the stock market so the company exploded. That proved, just because you have dot com on it, doesn’t mean it’s a success. There were a lot of those stories. That’s just one to pick on. Also, out of the ashes of that period came, PayPal, eBay, Google, companies that have totally changed the way we live every day. I think that is what we might be seeing in the crypto world right now, just at a bigger scale. I think there’s going to be a lot of in the crypto world. There’s about 10,000 cryptocurrencies listed on CoinMarketCap and CoinGecko. Those are the two big tracking sites. There are 10,000 of them. Obviously, there’s not 10,000 that are really good ideas. It’s a lot easier to create a cryptocurrency than a lot of people might realize. All you need is some computer coding skills and you can make your own cryptocurrency and have it out there. I think we’re going to see a lot of them go to zero. Maybe 95 percent, 98 percent. A lot of these are not going to last because they’re not really worth anything out there. They’re trading tools that some guy made—probably some guy sitting in his mom’s basement drinking too much Mountain Dew, eating Doritos and saying, “I’m going to make a coin named after a cute dog and see if I can be a $10 millionaire tomorrow.” Some of them did it. But those ones are probably going to end up going away because they’re not worth anything other than the few bits and bytes on a computer that they y take up. There are other currencies, ones like Ethereum, Solana, Cardano, Polygon, Stellar Lumens… There are probably a few more that I’m not thinking of—Avalanche. These ones have an actual utility or an actual function. And those are the ones I think have a chance of being the next eBay or the PayPal of this era. When we look at all these different currency, yeah, some of them are probably still going to have more pain. Some of them are probably going to go away. But one or two of these probably will make it through the reason I think so isn’t necessarily because of that currency coin, but the technology of what it does—the blockchain behind it. 


Tom: One thing I liked that you said was comparing it to the “dot com” boom at the time. Nobody knew how to value those sites. And that’s kind of why I had trouble calling something like Bitcoin an investment, as a as a financial analyst. I can’t wrap my head around the idea of how to value something like that. It is real money. It is something where you can say it’s gone up double and now it’s down. That’s fine. But just to say, it’s actually worth this (amount), I can look at a company and see their statements. I can figure something out. But with these, it feel like you’re kind of just speculating a bit more or just outright gambling when it comes to some of these smaller coins. I do definitely agree with you… One of the things that got me most interested in it was when I did start seeing it as a technology, where it’s going to do these different things—the whole “smart contract” thing. That made a lot more sense to me. That seemed more real and tangible than just, “This is a currency that has a value because we say it has a value.” I could see an actually use to it at that point. 


Eric: Yeah. Well, one good example of one of those, the last one I bought before they all started going down was Flow. That’s a currency that’s not super, super well known, but it’s actually attached to a company that runs NBA Top Shot. Everybody’s heard of that. That’s the blockchain, if you’re into basketball or sports cards or any of that. If you’re not, I’ll explain it really quick. It’s like a video version of a sports card that you own as an NFT, which is a non-fungible token or an asset that you own just like a cryptocurrency. It’s blockchain attached that means there is a crypto element or blockchain element to it. Every time a transaction happens using NBA Top Shot or other games and things being built on the same platform (using Flow as the backend), every time a transaction happens, a payment is made in Flow to the servers who process all the transactions. That’s where the value comes from. Flow is required, as a currency, to use the Flow blockchain. And there are products using it. That is a tangible service they provide. Compare that to Dogecoin, another one to poke fun at because you said it looks more like gambling…


Tom: Because it does. 


Eric: Dogecoin is a digital asset you can own and trade with people and collect. 


Tom: We did an episode on NFTs and a few people wrote in and said, “It sounds interesting, but I still don’t understand it.” It was a very complicated topic, this idea of virtual items and collectability versus this whole metaverse thing. 


Eric: Well, here’s a good way to kind of tie that together in a way I hope is easy to understand for people. If you played a lot of video games in your life, which I know I have, let’s say you’ve played any of those games like World of Warcraft where people run around building a character, collecting items and trying to level up your character. If you go back 10 or 15 years, not that long, on eBay, Craigslist and places like that, people were buying and selling World of Warcraft characters. I don’t know if they still are. At the time, somebody was willing to pay for that character just because they had whatever level and that character was attached to whatever sword or shield or boots or armour or whatever magic spells— it’s a game. But, if you think about each of those things, that’s all digital. If you’ve ever played like one of those. Collectible card games like Magic Cards or Pokémon or any of those, or even collected baseball cards, that’s like the physical version. Let’s say you played Pokémon (the game) on your computer. You can kind of go back and forth, right? You get the card as a physical version of what’s happening in the game. With these online games, they function more like a World of Warcraft but you can trade those items more like a physical card. That’s a way I can kind of think of an NFT world in my head. Instead of having to go through some weird system on eBay and sell your username and password to somebody, there’s a system built in for me to sell you that character or sell you that sword that I spent hours beating a dungeon to get or something. It allows you to buy and sell items in the game in a way that you can track ownership transparently, and anybody can participate. 


Tom: With over a decade of video games having DLC downloadable content, people had no problem spending this extra money in a game. I remember I bought songs for Rock Band. 


Eric: Yeah, yeah. 


Tom: You’re buying these digital goods. I do like the idea of an NFT in that you’re buying something, but if it holds value, it’s something you actually can resell. With normal DLC, you spend the money and it’s gone. If someone doesn’t understand the idea of these digital goods, you don’t have to look too far back to think of things like getting downloads from iTunes. People are paying for songs. You’re not getting a real CD but nobody has an issue with that anymore. 


Eric: And the idea if we were to treat digital songs as NFTs, which you can do, the big difference between the NFT world and the old iTunes world is if I bought it on iTunes, I’d pay $0.99 and I’d have DRM (digital rights management) that says I’m the only one who can listen to it. The money’s gone and I can listen to it, like you were just explaining. If it were a blockchain asset, I would be able to then sell you that song. I would lose access to listen and you would gain access and listen. It kind of puts a physical parameter of ownership around digital goods. 


Tom: Yeah. It actually makes it more real than in the past where you’re kind of just spending money out in one direction. With things like game DLC and stuff, if these games cease to exist… I’ve heard about people with certain video game systems where, if they shut down those stores, you can’t access your games anymore if they’re not on already downloaded. 


Eric: Yeah. There’s risks of things like that. I’m a big Star Trek fan. If you have a PC, you can play Star Trek online. It’s just like World of Warcraft for Star Trek. And someday they might say, “I’m not making enough money on this game anymore. It costs too much to run the servers. I’m going to turn it off,” and people who paid hundreds of dollars to buy spaceships will probably be sad, but it’s going to happen at some point. No product (in game) is going to run forever. Eventually, people stop playing the original Call of Duty, Modern Warfare, online and move to the new one, right? They stop supporting the old one. So it’s the same thing. It will probably happen. But one thing that’s cool here is maybe a “forward version” of the game could still have compatibility with some of those digital assets. So if you end up getting into an ecosystem that succeeds and gets a lot of players, which we’ve seen with a few of those kind of metaverse style games like Decentraland. It’s probably one of the most noteworthy in the crypto blockchain world where you can buy digital land and then create a character that goes and explores it. I tried it out. It’s kind of fun. 


Tom: But some of that seems expensive too, though. I remember looking at Axie Infinity, another game. If I have this right, I think you need three characters to start the game. But these characters were selling for $200 each. 


Eric: At some point they were selling for $1,500 each. You almost needed $5,000 to start playing. 


Tom: Yeah, this isn’t a game I’m going to get my kids into or anything like that. 


Eric: I was not playing that. I did not buy any Axies. Obviously, there’s a point that it doesn’t make sense, right? There has to have a good balance. 


Tom: That’s where the speculation comes back in. Maybe it was the first game, I can’t remember. Or at least the first noteworthy one where people thought they needed to pay a lot of money to get these because everything is limited, right?  


Eric: It is limited, which is kind of the fun of it. There’s another game I tried. I wrote an article about this game called Zed Run I thought I’d try out as I wrote the article. The idea of it is, it’s a horse racing game where you can own a digital racehorse. I own one named Marley Edmonds. I have it in my Ethereum wallet. I can play it in this game. I can go online, click to unlock my wallet and Marley Edmonds comes out. It can race against other horses, and I can sell Marley Edmonds on any of the big marketplaces like OpenSea. That’s actually where I got it. Because it’s a female, I can also have it bred with someone who has a male horse and it will create a new horse as a new NFT (that I would get because I own the female horse). It’s an interesting platform. Each of the horses stats transfer onto their horse children. And there are different generations that have different skills and traits and are better and worse. So, if you’re really into horse racing, it’s a super fun game and concept and it’s a great way to apply the idea of NFTs. Each horse is an NFT, but you can really play something. You can really do something with it. And, if I get over it, I can sell it. It’s an open market. If no one wants to buy it for the price I paid, I might have to lower the price, which is a bummer. But if you buy a really cool horse, maybe people will pay more. Who knows? 


Tom: So we’ve talked about games, music and the entertainment side, but there is a there’s a real purpose to some of the stuff. I’ve heard that things like real estate transactions, banking—all of this could be on the blockchain. I know with banking, it means instantaneous transactions. There’s no waiting for the bank to open. Everything’s just trackable from beginning to end. How do you see that working out? I know banks aren’t always the quickest to act. These are big institutions normally that don’t change well. So, when I hear this is the future of banking or of real estate transactions, it seems like the technology’s here but it might take a while to actually become a thing. 


Eric: Yeah, I think you’re spot on. I think it’s going to take a little while for some of these things to happen. It could work right now, but it doesn’t mean it will work right now. The same thing could probably be said of self-driving cars. We could all get self-driving cars and 95 percent of the time we’d probably all be fine. But then it might snow and our car can’t see anymore. There’s a reason things are happening a little slower there, and that’s probably good. I’d say the same is probably true in real estate and other financial tools, but if you look in the nuances, it gets a lot cooler than just instant tracking for the transaction processing. I’ll start with the stock market. I think that’s the best, easy example for people to understand. If you turned each share of stock into an NFT essentially, a blockchain asset, that’s pretty much how the Nasdaq works right now, except it’s not called a blockchain. It’s called the Nasdaq. But it’s a big database. It’s a big computer system that all these other computers connect to. If I want to sell 100 shares of Disney and you want to buy 100 shares of Disney, we both put in our orders at our brokerage accounts and the computers all connect up. I guess that’s a bad example because it’s on the different stock exchange. It’s on the New York Stock Exchange, I think. But either way, is going to work the same way, more or less. It’s a bunch of computers talking to each other, facilitating trades. 


Tom: One thing I wanted to add was the idea—the stock market is actually one of my favourite examples of how this works already. Because when people say, “Oh, I wouldn’t buy this NFT because it’s just a digital thing. I don’t actually own it.” But someone will buy a portion of Disney and they don’t ship you the stock certificate anymore. You’re just buying this thing in your brokerage that says you own this much stock. Even now, it’s not officially a blockchain item, but the way it works is kind of the same way. In a digital sense, you’re actually being told you own this thing. 


Eric: Exactly. So if you take that and move it to the next level… Let’s say Nasdaq. We’re going to switch to a blockchain. What that would mean is instead of having one hub of centralized computers running the whole stock exchange, there would be a bunch of distributed computers all around the world that all have a copy of the database. And every single transaction is shared on every copy. So if someone tries to cheat or break one of the copies, the other ones will automatically say, “Wait, no, we have the good copies.” That’s part of how blockchain works. It makes sure every transaction is accurate and it tracks who owns every asset from inception to date. So any asset that we would need to track who owns it or who has owned it—shares of stock is a perfect example. That could be a perfect thing to have for a blockchain, but then you could add on. For example, take Disney. Let’s say I own 50 shares of Disney and I want to give my daughter one share for her birthday for a birthday present (to teach her a little something about investing) so she can make a few cents of dividends every year. So, today, I’d go into my Schwab account, have to print and fill out a form, send it in. They would handle the processing. It’s a hassle just to give my daughter one share of stock. It should not be that hard. I guess I could log into the account and buy a share in her account, but I couldn’t give her my share. With a blockchain I’d be able to open up my digital wallet account, but in my password to unlock it. Put in her digital wallet address as a receiver. Click a couple buttons. Pay a small fee to the network for processing. That’s what’s called “gas” for Ethereum (if you’ve heard that term). Then a few moments later it would pop up in her wallet account. It would be easy. It would be quick. It would be cheap. And every single computer on that network would know the transaction happened. So there’s no dispute of who owns that share of stock. It’s very clear. She could do whatever she wants with it then because it’s hers. That would be so much more efficient for family transactions, things like that. Then, if you want to really take it to a little bit more complicated of a level, talking about real estate, that’s where I start to kind of salivate at the idea of what businesses are going to come up. Because I think governments are going to be slow to recognize blockchains as the place of record for real estate transactions. Right now, I know in the U.S. it’s pretty much county buildings who keep all those records, and it’s lots and lots of paper and storage boxes, file vault—it’s a mess. If you’ve ever bought a house, there’s a bank involved. There’s mortgages. There’s the seller, the buyer, the real estate agents, appraisers, all these different closing fees. It’s a quite a to-do. And you’re paying a bunch of fees to a bunch of companies to do all this stuff and make sure the money goes to the right place. So here’s where smart contracts come in (and where I get excited). Let’s say there was a real estate company that did smart contract stuff and I wanted to buy your house. We made a deal. You said we’ll do it for however many dollars. And that translates to, I don’t know, maybe two Bitcoin or five Bitcoin, whatever. We make a handshake hands on it and say, “Alright, we’re going to do it.” We’d set up the transaction online. And because of how smart contracts work, the contract can hold assets. They all use, if, this, then, that, logic for most computer programs. For example, if this happens, do that. We could set it up that if this contract receives an escrow payment from the buyer, then take the real estate NFT or real estate ownership and put it in the contract. And when the final payment is made by the lender, it will automatically disperse the funds and then send the real estate title to the bank to hold it. All this stuff could happen automatically as a chain of events that everyone agrees will happen in succession. They have to happen in order. And the computer enforces it. It would be a legal contract. The whole transaction could happen and maybe you don’t even need a real estate agent. Maybe you don’t need a title company. There’s all these different people and companies getting their fingers in that pie that we might not need any more if we have a record of ownership that goes back forever for all these properties, or at least from the inception of the blockchain tracking. Then you could also do really cool things like real estate investing with a partner. Let’s say I wanted to buy a rental house with my sister and we live in different places. It doesn’t matter where we live. We could live on opposite sides of the globe, it wouldn’t matter. Let’s say we pick a house. We set up that real estate deal using blockchain (just like we just described). But at the end, instead of having ownership transfer to the mortgage lender, to one buyer, it could say 50 percent is owned by this wallet address and 50 percent is owned by this wallet address. Then when rent comes out, it could automatically distribute it using a smart contract. It could all be automated, all these different financial transactions and tracking. Again, that’s where I get really excited. I think there’s a huge opportunity and a bright future for these technologies. It’s just going to take a little while for it all to mature. It’s definitely going to take a while for governments to come around. I don’t think we’re going to see digital loonies or digital dollars or digital pesos very soon. I like the U.S. Decoin, those types of stable coins that are backed by real assets. If you look at other stable coins— we just had the huge blow up of the Terra Luna Stablecoin because it wasn’t really backed by anything. If you back your asset by Bitcoin and Bitcoin goes down in value, the thing you have goes down in value too. They were tied together, so there was no way that was really going to work. That was an example of a bad system. The algorithm makes Stablecoin—I don’t think I could ever see one making sense. But when they’re backed by actual dollar deposits, that digital dollar is really worth a dollar. So U.S Decoin is probably the best version of that right now, or maybe at the Binance dollar. But then there’s also bad players out there, so beware. Tether, I think, is probably the scariest landmine in the crypto ecosystem right now, because I think most people realize it’s not really backed by anything. Yeah, there’s a lot of it out there. 


Tom: If something is backed by real dollars and it truly is stable, that makes sense to me because you see some stores, companies and websites that are willing to accept Bitcoin for payment. But Bitcoin is so volatile as a price right now. It’s hard, really. Let’s say you’re buying something bigger, like a car and all of a sudden the value of Bitcoin drops just as you’re about to make your transaction. The idea that you could pay in this type of currency just seems very, very volatile right now. For a big purchase to say, “We’ll do this for one Bitcoin,” or something. 


Eric: That’s true. But look at if you live in, Zimbabwe. I have a money collection that when Zimbabwe’s dollars became so inflated that you could get a loaf of bread for $100 trillion. I got 10, $100 trillion bills. I had to look it up. I am a Zimbabwe quadrillionaire. What’s so different from Bitcoin to the Zimbabwe dollar? Maybe Bitcoin is better because it didn’t go through that. There are other weak currencies out there. And I’m not saying which cryptocurrency is a strong one or a weak one. I don’t want to take a position on that. But I would say the ones that are backed by dollars, the Stablecoin that are backed by verified dollar deposits, are the most safe thing in the crypto world. And that could be used as a medium for these transactions. Hopefully, as time goes on, things will stabilize more. I mean, look at the euro and the dollar and the pound and how they’ve all moved against each other in the last year. They’re anything but stable. They are totally moving up and down. I was just up in Canada and it felt like everything was on sale because the U.S. dollar was strong. The last time I went to Canada, it didn’t feel like that a few years ago. It can happen in anything. It just seems to happen more suddenly right now with cryptocurrency. I think that’s partially because of it being a new market. As it matures and a lot of the junk gets weeded out and the go away and the gamblers get less involved. There was a lot of gambling going on, especially during COVID. There were some things that happened—if you look at the timeline, it created kind of a perfect storm for gamblers. At the same time, all these people who really like betting and sports, all the sports leagues turned off so they couldn’t bet on that. Then they got all these big government checks. Then this new thing came out that they could kind of bet on. Timing wise, it was not really great for crypto—that it got wrapped up in all the sports betting people’s stimulus money. I think that’s why it got so inflated, partially. But that could be just a blip on the radar. The U.S. economy has had bad periods. The Canadian economy has had bad periods. The world economy has had good and bad periods. I think we’ll probably see the same in crypto. There’s going to be good and there’s going to be bad. And as those blockchains and currencies that actually do provide value and that list we talked about earlier with Avalanche and Cardano, as those really mature and evolve, they can start to support more things beyond just video games and buying digital monopoly assets. And there’s a game called Upland that I play where you buy and sell properties. It’s a blockchain game backed by the EOS blockchain. That’s another one that actually providing a service. So as these ones that provide a service keep providing services, I think it’ll be easier to come up with a model to say, “Okay, this is what this is worth,” because it kind of is like a company. Ethereum is providing a big service to a lot of people every minute. There’s all these transactions that need it. If that went away, that would affect people and that would not be good so people would pay to keep that going. It’s just, what is the “company of Ethereum worth? You divide it by the number of Ethereum out there, and that’s what an Ether coin should be worth ( would think, if you were going to try to model it out). As you said, it’s hard to say what these things are worth. But yeah, it’s hard to say what they’re worth. I don’t know if Ethereum should be worth a dollar or $5,000, but I think it should be worth something, some I’m holding onto it. 


Tom: You mentioned Ethereum and all these other coins have an actual service attached to them. They’re useful. But everybody always talks about Bitcoin. It’s always the standard when it comes to pricing. I guess the last thing I was wondering from you was what do you see for Bitcoin? It seems to me like it might start to not become such a big deal. Or maybe it will be the currency and everything else is more a service. But to me, I still don’t see much actual point or value in Bitcoin compared to these other things that I can wrap my head around a bit more. 


Eric: Bitcoin, I’ve heard that argument. I’ve heard people say, unlike Ethereum, it can’t keep up. That’s what people are saying. People think Ethereum will eventually become kind of the standard because of the ability to do transactions where Bitcoin can’t. But Bitcoin, I find a little easier to use, a little easier to understand. It’s a little simpler. The big, big downside is it uses a ton of energy. It uses the proof of work system to where computers compete against each other to process transactions, where Ethereum is moving to a system called, proof of stake, where the computers are more collaborative—there is less competition. So they use way less energy and transactions happen faster. Bitcoin definitely has some handicaps, but yes, it’s the original and there’s only ever going to be 21 million. Some of the other currencies have inflation built in. There’s specific inflation or even deflation mechanisms. That’s called “burning” in the crypto world when you deflate. Minting is creating new currency. That’s built into some currencies and makes sense. It was built into Bitcoin that it would create new Bitcoin. That’s why it was called, mining. Because when you’re processing transactions, you were mining or creating new bitcoin, trying to find more. Once there’s 21 million, that’s it. There will never be more Bitcoin. So I think because of that scarcity and its position as the original, it has a little bit more of a likelihood of making it even though it doesn’t provide a service. But again, it’s still anybody’s guess. There was a point everyone thought Enron was the best company in the world. It made so much money and you know what happened there. I like to look at it as digital gold. I think it’s kind of a fun analogy for it, but there’s no guarantee with any investment. But this is a riskier one than some of the others you might encounter. 


Tom: Well, thanks for taking us through this. I think it’s good to keep tabs on this, even if someone hasn’t hopped into this yet. I definitely like the analogy to the dot coms. And yes, we’re still kind of in a wild time where with the others, there’s no regulation, things are a little confusing with all these different types of wallets and exchanges and everything. Hopefully, this will become more streamlined, more dependable, with regulation and everything that it’ll get more and more adopted in the future. Can you let people know where they can find you online? 


Eric: Yeah, absolutely. The easiest way to find me is just type in your browser and hit enter. It will take you to a jump list of all my goodies, including a free weeklong boot camp that I love to give away and some other places to find me. The best place to chat with me is on Twitter. I’m Eric Profits, there. 


Tom: Perfect. Thanks for being on the show. 


Eric: Thank you. 

Thanks, Eric, for the fascinating discussion of where the blockchain might be headed. While the price of crypto has taken a beating in 2022, it looks as though it’s here to stay. You can find the show notes for this episode at Thanks, as always, for listening. We’ll be back at Podcast Movement again next week with Monica Louie and Lacey Langford and we’ll be discussing the power of a good network. See you next week.

Because of (Bitcoin’s) scarcity and its position as the original (cryptocurrency), it has a little bit more of a likelihood of making it even though it doesn’t provide a service. I like to look at it as digital gold, I think it’s kind of a fun analogy for it… - Eric Rosenberg Click to Tweet