Wall Street Journal, Feb 4th, 2014
Coverage of our Bitcoin 2014 Conference Call By The Wall Street Journal…
Jamie Dimon might have called bitcoin a “terrible store of value” on CNBC last month, but if Barry Silbert, founder and CEO of the Bitcoin Investment Trust, is to be believed, many of the JP Morgan’s chief’s peers are very keen on it.
“I can say with confidence that 2014 will be the year of bitcoin on Wall Street,” Mr Silbert said during a conference call Tuesday to discuss themes surrounding the digital currency.
“I can’t tell you how many individuals I meet or meetings I go to where I’m asked to talk about bitcoin, but I can tell you it involves the most senior people at the some of the largest banks and funds here on Wall Street,” he said.
“While there is a lot skepticism on CNBC, some of the smartest and most well-known investors have invested in bitcoin via the Bitcoin Trust,” said Mr. Silbert, who made his name in setting up the private exchange SecondMarket. The Bitcoin Investment Trust is limited at this stage to sophisticated institutions and high-net-worth individuals.
He said there has been a “fantastic response” to the Trust and “we haven’t done any sales or marketing. And by the way, we’re hiring.” (Mike Casey)
Here are the slides from Mr. Silbert’s presentation:
Bitcoin Investment Trust – Bitcoin 2014 from Lou Kerner
Speaking on the same conference call as Mr. Silbert, Chris Larsen, CEO of Ripple Labs, said his firm’s global digital-currency exchange has processed some $40 million in transactions over the last 60 days.
He said that the network, which is built on a decentralized structure akin to the bitcoin protocol but which operates independently of bitcoin, now has 63,000 independent “nodes.” These function as market makers for trading currencies via an encrypted system or as gateways for people to buy or sell XRP, the Ripple protocol unit, in return for fiat currencies or other units of value.
The value of XRP in market capitalization terms now stands at $2 billion, he added, without elaborating on how that number is reached.
(Based on discussions in different chat forums for users of digital currencies, there’s some debate over how best to measures XRP’s market cap, which the company derives by multiplying the last price at which an XRP transaction occurred by the number of XRP units that Ripple has issued.) (Mike Casey)