This is a picture from a Broadway play I attended with my family a year and a half ago. New York and Hawaii are our all-time favorite places to visit. Besides fun, for me, New York is the center of the business universe.
I spent at least a week a month in New York for about 4 years leading up to the 2008/2009 Banking/real estate crash. I can tell you exactly where I was on the day the news hit about a financial crisis.
My business partner and I were meeting with the CEO of the world's largest media buying company. It was a company not many people would know the name of, but they bought and sold billions of dollars in media for the largest companies and ad agencies. They were considering an offer to buy our business. This company had been around for over 20 years and had never laid off an employee, until that day in October of 2008.
During our meeting, the CEO received a phone call and asked to leave the room. We sat there not thinking much of it until he returned...he had just laid off 300 people. First time in the history of the company. As you can imagine, the mood was horrible. We left and never saw him again.
Of course, what no one knew was the extent of the crisis. I think most of us went through the 7 stages of grief, starting with denial. It couldn't be that bad, could it? It was worse. The entire financial system was crashing.
Smart people figured out a way to restore order. Without that, it could have been worse that the 1929 great depression. However, they did so by printing money and bailing out entire industries. Again, I do not fault them, the alternative was a world-wide catastrophe. However, new regulations and new structures did not solve the problem, they merely put a band-aide on it.
This is the environment in which Bitcoin was born. Now, I am bullish on Bitcoin, but you should know I don’t think it’s the ultimate answer either. However, it is a statement that there has to be a better way for our financial systems to operate. It may be some form of Bitcoin or one of the many alternatives out there. Many are saying we need to go back to a gold standard, such as a currency, or crypto currency backed by some asset such as gold. Maybe...
My point is we are not done with the 2009 financial crisis. Cryptocurrency is showing that many of you believe me. It’s an alternative to FIAT or government-backed currency. Crypto is immature, full of competitive squabbles and untrustworthy, but, it is finding its way. It will mature and there are smart people out there like the people at TZero who are even proposing replacing the entire system of stocks with Crypto. (no, I don't have stock in TZero, but if Patrick wants to get me some, I'll be happy to accept :-))
In some ways, New York is still the center of the financial universe even for Crypto. Bitcoin rumors on EFT's and hedge funds and investment banks and regulations all stem from New York. Let's make sure that this industry helps to make the financial system better, but... Let me emphasize this one, BUT...let's not allow New York to apply a failed system to the promise that new Fintech solutions bring. In other words, let's accept the investment and big money from New York, without changing the promise of a better system.
New York is still the center, but some form of Cryptocurrency is the future.