“The beauty of Cryptocurrencies is that they offer the same freedom to the individual as that traditionally enjoyed by large corporates”
It must be the Swedish nature of David Drake that lends him to want individuals to enjoy the same tax and privacy privileges of large corporations. ‘Isn’t that the beauty of owning Bitcoin,’ he says on the line from New York. ‘Anyone can enjoy the lack of intrusion or censorship operated by countries – it’s all about freedom.’
Drake is the CEO and founder of LDJ Capital, a Multi-Family Office that looks after the wealth of UHNW (ultra high net worth) individuals and families. An independent financial institution, LDJ Capitals claims to offer its clients financial advice that is uncomplicated by franchises or connections. And recently Drake has been chatting about the benefits of cryptocurrencies on public platforms and in interviews. ‘Although I do not give trading advice,’ he emphasis, ‘I am not a trader.’
Having said that Drake scored highly on the ICObench people list – at a cool 51.6 – topping the poll of ICO bench people where he is also linked to more than 10 ICOs, both as investor and adviser – including Ambrosus (November 26) covered here a few weeks ago.
‘I like cryptocurrency and see value in buying them,’ says Drake. ‘I personally hold about 30 different coins and intend hanging on to then and watching them grow. But I find people can be nervous and they are not without reason.’
Drake reckons there are three main impediments to mainstream adoption.
The first is lack of knowledge. ‘What I don’t understand I don’t trust. If people don’t understand cryptocurrency they will prefer to ignore it rather than do anything about it. No one wants to look foolish or stupid,’ says Drake.
‘Secondly, there is no insurance on cryptocurrency,’ he says. ‘The industry is crying out for insurance and peace of mind. We need to know that an insurer has got your back. If someone will offer insurance then you can be sure people will be prepared to pay for it.’
Finally, Drake reckons for cryptocurrency adoption to go mainstream, there needs to be bankers to mediate it. He laughs at this point as he is now directly arguing against the disintermediary nature of blockchain and cryptocurrency.
‘I know,’ he says, almost ruefully, ‘but if you want mainstream adoption, then people need to understand how to invest in cryptocurrency. Most people who invest their money in the stock marker are not traders but people who place their money with traders. Same too with cryptocurrency.’
The idea of insurance leads us onto security against theft. I moot that it is scary to think that people have lost fortunes in bitcoin in forgotten laptops or devices. Or even that if you forget your password and device, the money is gone too. And what about robbery of exchanges and I mention the theft of $70 million from a cryptocurrency mining marketplace NiceHash on Wednesday.
However, Drake points out that people get robbed all the time – up and down the country – just not for such vast amounts. Being robbed of cash is very easy, however; just leave some under your mattress and see what intruders can take. But no one speaks of the inherently untrustworthy nature of cash, so what makes alt coins different? Their novelty of course.
Drake has been involved with different crowdfunding projects for many years and stresses that theft here is also very low. ‘However, one big fraud and everyone might turn against crowdfunding. It is all in the perception.’
Drake set up early meetings four years ago with the US Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) on the regulations surrounding crowdfunding. ‘We were mostly self-regulating but we knew we could not overstep the mark.’
He reckons that Bitcoin will go to $40,000 by the end of 2018 and he is personally holding onto his coins. ‘I predict that the next big influence on price will be the entrance of institutional funds into this space.’ He says. ‘We are no longer talking about dollars but millions and millions of dollars investing and trading cryptocurrencies. Those big cheques will make a huge difference,’ he says.
So, while he is not giving financial advice, Drake reckons the price has a bit to climb he may well be right.
He is not alone in his predictions as John McAfee, antivirus founder, privacy campaigner and wanted man, claimed on Twitter in November if bitcoin doesn’t make $1 million by 2020 he will eat his d*ck on live television.