This reporter attended his first bitcoin meetup in sunny Scotland on Thursday.
It took place in the Bayes Centre – Edinburgh University’s snazzy artificial intelligence and data science hub. It also happens to be the spot where IOHK, the creators of the Cardano cryptocurrency, helped establish a Blockchain Technology Laboratory.
The topic of the meetup, “Bitcoin, Wealth and Wisdom,” afforded a forensic examination of the largest cryptocurrency’s rollercoaster cycle of price bubbles and corrections with plenty of examples of the emotional trauma that accompanied the ride.
But what appeared, prima facie, to be nothing more than a roomful of rabid maximalists, on closer inspection turned out to be a bunch of canny investors.
“It’s not so much that bitcoin is great, it’s that fiat is so bad,” said an asset manager who asked to be identified only as David. “Going back to the gold standard would be the only thing that would really hurt bitcoin.”
A recurring theme among veterans and newbies alike was buying in after the 2017 price bubble, when bitcoin dropped back down to around $3,500 during the 2018 doldrums.
Kind of fitting to encounter prudent financial behavior, this being Scotland. And of course, not forgetting that Thomas Bayes, the logician and theologian who studied at Edinburgh in 1719, is generally associated with advanced theories around machine learning and probability.
CoinDesk spoke with a number of investors at the meetup to hear what drew them to bitcoin in the first place.
Kenny Huschmann, retired
Max Sherwood, Edinburgh University master’s student and founder of Wholegrain Crypto
Indre Karaliute, neuroscientist
Romanos, Edinburgh University master’s student
Thomas Dainovec, developer
Arthur Zubkoff, business analyst and computer-science graduate
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.