Cryptocurrency, Blockchain, and Digital Assets: Love ‘em, Hate ‘em, but Don’t Ignore ‘em

Our Chief Market Strategist Stephen Dover explores blockchain and digital assets through an equity-investor lens with Anthony Hardy and Christophe Vande Walle. They discuss the growing implications and why investors and asset managers shouldn’t ignore this space.

Listen to our latest Talking Markets podcast to hear more. A transcript follows.

Christophe Vande Walle: Welcome Stephen and Anthony, a real pleasure having you both. I want to start our conversation by looking at the blockchain and digital assets space more from an equity-investor standpoint, with the first question for you, Anthony, how long have you been following the broader crypto and blockchain space, why is this technology so interesting, and why do you think investors should be paying attention to this space?

Anthony Hardy: My wife and I were actually just joking about this a couple of days ago, because last week was 10 years since both of us heard about Bitcoin for the first time. And, since we went on our first date as well. The first time I had heard the concept of a Bitcoin, we were on a hike in San Diego, it was a small group and it was funny—it was me and this other guy, we were both trying to ask my now-wife out. He was telling us about this internet money, I think Bitcoin was around a dollar at the time, and it sounded interesting, kind of funky, but, honestly, I should have been paying more attention at the time. I didn’t, I was too focused on trying to ask this girl out.

Fast forward 10 years, now I’m happily married to her, and he is a multi-billionaire with his crypto holdings. So, I like to joke that I got the girl, he got the coin, and my wife always likes to remind me, “don’t complain about doing the dishes because I could have married a billionaire.”

So, crypto has been on the radar screen for me for a long time. I’d say really over the past five to six years, I’ve gone deep down the rabbit hole and, in my role within the Franklin Equity Group and it is, in my view, one of the most fascinating trends in recent history, right up there with, kind of the adoption of cloud computing and even the internet.