Pandemic, war, crypto law… what comes next?
2022: the pandemic is waning, now what?
The first couple of years of this decade have been filled to overflowing with amazing events that almost nobody foresaw. It is true that Bill Gates warned several years ago that a virulent pandemic, not nuclear war, would be the thing that the world needed to plan for. As it turns out, Bill was correct, but was pilloried for his warnings.
The vast majority of people were not planning for a pandemic, and after it occurred, many tin-foil hatters reflected back and “shot the messenger” by blaming Bill Gates for making it come to pass. We have never met the man, but have serious logistical doubts that a staunch capitalist would plan to kill millions of people in order to make more money. Exterminating customers has never been part of the capitalist agenda. Anyone in business needs more customers, not less.
At the dawn of 2022, it seemed that we could finally start to slowly return to normal. The COVID pandemic was starting to wane: mask mandates relaxed, QR code check-ins were limited, and people were starting to make travel plans. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, the world witnessed war in Europe.
The quote may be apocryphal, but has been most often ascribed to Lenin: “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” First reported over a century ago, the quote is apt for our times. With Russia at war and a pandemic still occurring, it seems like 2022 echoes 1918; another time when decades were compressed into days.
Despite early indicators that the USA would send troops, support has been more by remote control: sending weapons and cash to Ukraine, and restricting Russia from the international SWIFT banking system.
How does this affect me?
If you do not have friends or family in Ukraine or Russia, it can be easy to think that this crisis is merely happening on TV, and does not impact your life. Look a little closer, and see that the USA seizing yachts and real estate assets from Russian oligarchs may have an effect on the economy of both countries.
With Russia locked out of the SWIFT banking system, Visa and Mastercard are also useless in the region. Those without access to cash may increase their use of cryptocurrency: the bankless and borderless payment system.
Last month we reported that the Canadian trucker protest also resulted in freezing of many bank accounts and an uptake in crypto adoption. How many more warning signs do people need, before they realise that the funds in the bank are not necessarily theirs?
The central banks have been devaluing fiat currency by rampant printing, causing higher inflation. A million in 2022 cash may now be worth just $750 000 in 2020 funds, and then you discover that they can freeze your accounts as well?
This is bad news for cash holders, but good news for crypto markets. We have seen Bitcoin rise by around 35% during the Ukraine crisis, and strong gains from other cryptocurrencies. Hold on for more crypto growth as the situation unfolds, and possibly reconsider your cash position. Crypto critics will say that the new asset class is too volatile, but if your bank suspected you of sending funds to Canada or Russia in the last few months, your cash could instantly go to zero. That is a strong argument to have at least some of your money in cryptocurrency.
What are the wealthy doing?
It is well-known that every crisis also reflects an opportunity, so there are some people making money during any pandemic or war. There are also people making bank just because the timing is right.
Crypto markets have been around for 14 years, have just been tested through an armed conflict and come out strongly. This somewhat silences the naysayers or crypto critics, and gives encouragement for new people to enter the maturing market.
Several financial managers have come out with new crypto funds and draft crypto legislation is currently being floated in several countries. BlackRock, the world’s largest fund manager is rumoured to be offering crypto products to its customers, joining the ranks of Goldman Sachs, Fidelity, Citibank, Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia.
Prior to 2022, if an investor asked their financial institution why they did not provide crypto products, the standard answer was “lack of regulation”. There are long-standing rules around banking services and the stock market which make it safer for investors, and many major financial institutions did not wish to risk losing money or losing reputation in the crypto ‘wild west’.
It seems that later this year, the legislation may be introduced, which could lead to recommendations from financial advisers and major crypto mass adoption. We at Boston Trading were fortunate enough to be able to provide feedback on draft crypto legislation to the relevant ministers and government departments, and we are very excited to see the crypto sector becoming safer and more popular.
Undoubtedly there will still be a few rogue elements in crypto, just as there are in stocks and banking. No rules are perfect, and every so often, people are mislead by the likes of Theranos, Enron and others. Whether you are investing in stocks, crypto or anything else, the same rules apply: do your own research (DYOR) and diversify (eggs in different baskets). The wealthy do this well, and if you wish to build your own wealth safely, emulate the billionaires.
How did we go this month?
The Bostoncoin fund (BOS)
Bitcoin and Ethereum lead the charge into 2022 with some solid double-digit gains, and as always, there were a few stars adding outperformance. Bitcoin is up 9%, Ethereum up 13% and Bostoncoin grew 15.8% since last month.
Big winners included:
Crypterium CRPT up 513%
Thorchain RUNE up 223%
Origin OGN up 210%
Axie AXS up 141%
Terra LUNA up 133%
As at 25/3/2022
BOS price 183.872491
BOS NAV 167.15681
The POLLYcoin (POLLY)
Regular as clockwork, no ups, no downs, just 5% income. We could probably skip reporting on this fund, but if the legislation is passed, we will have to do it by law, so we may as well. No news is good news here: POLLY just ticks along, doing her do, paying a regular income with low volatility, unaffected by global events.
As at 25/3/2022
POLLY price $1.00
The DARTcoin (DART)
Our little “rocketman” has been racing around since his public launch earlier this year, shaking things up in his inimitable fashion. The DART portfolio is up 47.4% this month, and is up over 300% for his first year. Outstanding gains include:
Binance BNB up 172%
Polygon MATIC up 434%
As at 25/3/2022
DART NAV 293.036801
Dart price 322.340481
Meanwhile, in other news
The founders of Bostoncoin were excited to be doing a live event in Sydney for Wholesale Investor Network’s #Emergence2022 conference. It was a chance to travel on planes, wear formal clothes and greet investors with a warm handshake, rather than a Zoom-based “can you hear me now?”
Boston Trading.co CEO Jennifer Robertson spoke at length before thousands of people, with a great presentation. Bostoncoin CFO Jeremy Britton was allowed to speak for sixty seconds on stage, which was probably a good thing as he was nervous and not used to wearing shoes. The recording of the stage presentation is here if you missed it.
We were also able to speak in person with hundreds of investors and handed out scores of Bostoncoin t-shirts and watches. There were several new partnerships formed whilst in Sydney, which will be revealed in upcoming newsletters, so watch this space for more updates.
Until next month, stay safe, invite your friends to the puppy pack and share this email with those you care about. Newsletters are always free and a great way to learn more about cryptocurrency before investing.
PS — if you missed our mention in Forbes Magazine, the link is here. Follow us on Twitter for more frequent updates.