Stuff Elon says, (inevitable) bitcoin edition

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Tesla CEO Elon Musk appeared on ARK Invest’s “For Your Innovation” podcast on Tuesday, to be fawned over interviewed by Ark CEO Cathie Wood and analyst Tasha Keeney. Here they all are having a jolly ole' time (pic from Keeney's Twitter profile):

A strange choice of podcast for him to appear on given that nobody has heard of it, perhaps?

Not really. ARK Invest — an investment company "focused solely on capturing the future, today" (!) — is very bullish on Tesla. The electric car company is the top holding in the $1.09bn Ark Innovation ETF, which is actively managed by Wood, making up 8.07 per cent of the fund as of Feb 20th.

Last August, Wood wrote to Musk, pleading him not to take the company private and saying that "according to ARK Invest’s research, Tesla should be valued somewhere between $700 and $4,000 per share in five years". ($700 is her "bear case". The stock is currently around the $300 mark.)

Wood has said at various times that Tesla is the next Amazon, the next Apple, and that Musk is "a one in a billion type of person". (Implying six other Elons might be on the loose around the planet?)

But Wood is also very bullish on blockchain and crypto. Very bullish. Here's a chart from a piece authored by her from last month: Big Ideas: Technological Breakthroughs Investors Shouldn't Miss in 2019:

The steam engine? Pah! The telephone? Boring! Electricity? Irrelevant! Computers? Who cares! But blockchain technology...

At one point in the podcast, Wood — whose fund also has a holding in the Grayscale bitcoin Investment Trust, and also in Nvidia, which makes GPUs for cryptocurrency mining — tells Musk that "there were $1.3tn dollars' worth of transactions in bitcoin, and we don’t see it here because it’s not for pizza or coke", to which Musk replies: "Haha, it might be for coke." (As we've seen before, 47-year-old Musk loves a narcotics joke.)

She then continues:

It’s business to business in Africa, where it is prohibitively expensive to convert from one nation’s currency to another - you have to go through the dollar. It really is very important — it’s money over IP for them; it’s free transmission of money, and that’s really important to opening up the world.

It's not. There is no advantage in going through bitcoin rather than going through the dollar. but there are many disadvantages — volatility, higher FX fees, the risk that the head of your crypto exchange or wallet provider "dies", etc. Businesses in Africa, just like businesses elsewhere, need to be able to actually use and spend the money they transact in.

Musk, in response to Wood, said (emphasis ours):

Yeah. It bypasses currency controls. Yeah. Paper money is going away, and crypto is a far better way to transfer value than pieces of paper, that’s for sure.

It was already a close correlation, but the Tesla-bro-to-crypto-bro Venn diagram is officially a perfect circle.


Related links:
Chart crime as a measure of crypto-desperation - FT Alphaville
If it has to be said out loud...(Tesla edition, part deux) - FT Alphaville
Stuff Elon says - FT Alphaville
If it has to be said out loud... (Tesla edition) - FT Alphaville

  1. The great Tesla solar roof distraction
  2. Volkswagen/Tesla: errr
  3. Walmart sues Tesla over dodgy solar service
  4. Tesla’s fake buyout, one year on
  5. Tesla’s second quarter, charted
  6. Tesla’s latest security offering: cars
  7. FT Alphaville ordered a Tesla Model 3
  8. Tesla executives aren't sticking around for a record quarter
  9. Tesla: significant other
  10. Tesla strikes out on its own
  11. The curious blocking of elonmusk.today
  12. ARK Invest's effective Tesla model
  13. Finally, a Tesla Model 3 for $39,900
  14. Tesla's shifting capital raise narrative
  15. Tesla returns to the capital markets
  16. Three questions about Tesla's first quarter results
  17. The Tesla Twitter war, charted
  18. Autonomy Day brings flat cash flow expectations to Tesla
  19. Tesla and Panasonic hold fire on the Gigafactory
  20. Tesla's dire deliveries
  21. Elon Musk reveals his favourite cryptocurrency
  22. Why Tesla is such a great place to work [Update]
  23. Tesla's parallel universes
  24. Tesla's number one retail investor begins to doubt himself
  25. Tesla's war against whistleblower Martin Tripp
  26. The Tesla semi-truck is ready to reserve [UPDATED]
  27. Tesla: “Surprise! You may not be fired"
  28. German watchdog slaps down Tesla's pricing practices
  29. How much does Tesla have in the bank?
  30. Tesla: 'Surprise! You're fired!'
  31. Meanwhile, just past midnight on the West Coast...
  32. Stuff Elon says, SEC compliance edition
  33. Tesla's profitability: how every little helped [Update]
  34. If it has to be said out loud...(Tesla edition, part deux)
  35. Finally, a Tesla Model 3 for $35,000*
  36. Stuff Elon says
  37. All the better to share you with
  38. A message from the dear leader to the stakhanovites
  39. Tesla's Q3, the mea culpa
  40. Missing: Tesla's full self-driving option
  41. Tesla's full self driving: compare and contrast
  42. Meanwhile, at 1.22am on the West Coast....
  43. The SEC vs Elon Musk [Updated]
  44. Tesla needs cash, says Morgan Stanley
  45. Calling all suburban Bond villains
  46. If it has to be said out loud... (Tesla edition)
  47. Tesla: ladies, liquor and leverage
  48. Taking Tesla private
  49. Change of control: How would Tesla's creditors fare in a LoLBO?
  50. Tesla going private? We have questions...
  51. Tesla: a strange case of credits [Update]
  52. Je suis Montana Skeptic, part deux
  53. Je suis Montana Skeptic [Update]
  54. Just how many dimensions of chess is Elon Musk playing?
  55. A brief history of Tesla and the number 500,000
  56. About that Tesla short squeeze...
  57. Tesla: debt deterioration meets equity exuberance
  58. Selling an unintelligible dream at Tesla (an update)
  59. Selling an unintelligible dream at Tesla
  60. Elon Musk plays to human fantasy, and the world plays along
  61. Raise eyebrows one day, and liquidity buffers the next
  62. “Great quarter guys!”
  63. Elon's plea, an interpretation
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