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Zak Mir: Making sense of the Bitcoin revolution

Zak Mir: Making sense of the Bitcoin revolution
This week Zak found himself at a presentation discussing Bitcoin and the wonderful new world of Blockchain

As part of my moral and intellectual duty to be as informed on as much as possible at all times, this week I found myself at a presentation discussing Bitcoin and the wonderful new world of Blockchain.

Perhaps the most understandable part of the proceedings for a technophobic 50-year-old such as myself was the analogy between Blockchain in 2017 and the mobile phone in 1985.

At that time most people simply did not get the point of paying £2,000 to be able to make and answer phone calls, when there were telephone booths everywhere, and of course answering machines.

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But despite the almost universal take-up of the smartphone now, for much of the 1980s and even 1990s, you could have jumped up and down until you were blue in the face regarding the merits of mobile communications, and still have met with a wall of apathy.

The same has been true over much of the 2010s so far as the merits or otherwise of using cryptocurrencies rather than fiat currencies, with scares over hacking and volatility only making matters worse.

However, it is clear that there is a place for this concept and this technology, the only uncertainty is how widespread it is going to be when it finally comes of age.

From an investment perspective I am reminded of my fund manager hero Hugh Hendry of Eclectica, who said it is just as bad to get too early to a party as it is to arrive too late.

Similar to the Dotcom revolution

Perhaps in the case of all things Bitcoin I might have to tweak the observation of the great man in suggesting that given how we are clearly at the ground floor of this particular revolution, one would imagine that the downside in being “too early” is limited. It is to be hoped that the analogy is akin to the potential of the Dotcoms ahead of the bubble in 1999-2000.

Back in today's world and the highlight in the wake of the Easter Holiday things were certainly livened up by Theresa May's decision to call a “snap” election.

This was perhaps not too much of a surprise given the way that ahead of this move the Prime Minister was 21% in the polls.

May headed for a resound victory

Clearly, her view was that while polls may not always be as accurate as one would like, even a gross margin of error could still allow for a 50 plus seat majority, as opposed to  the 150 seats of the consensus.

From a markets perspective though, I have to say that the reaction of FTSE 100 up / Pound down, was opposite to what might have been expected from a Hard Brexit Conservative Government from June 8.

The trend since the referendum vote has been for Sterling to fall on fears of any aggressive anti EU moves. But at least from the perspective of those who missed out on the best of the rally since last summer, the quick tumble for leading UK stocks has perhaps given them a fresh bite of the cherry. Dips towards 7,000 – if there are any, may prove to be a comfortable accumulation zone as the General Election campaign continues.

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