Cryptocurrency Revolution: On The Frontlines of the World's Hottest Tech Opportunity
Frank Giustra, Marco Streng Bitcoin Documentary
It was spring 2017 and I was sitting across the table from one of the biggest finance legends to emerge out of the 2008 crisis. Mark Hart was partners with Kyle Bass when their bet against the U.S. subprime mortgage market paid out handsomely; they sextupled their money in little more than a year. Nearly a decade later, here he was speaking at the Mauldin Economics Strategic Investment Conference and our shared dinner table was heatedly discussing the markets.
The topic of Bitcoin came up and I flippantly shot my mouth off. In late 2014 I had been the executive producer of a mini-documentary covering the rise of Bitcoin for Mauldin. The film featured some of the better-known names in the space; folks like Barry Silbert – the CEO of Digital Currency Group, futurist George Gilder and hedge fund manager Mark Yusko. At the time of production the Bitcoin price was around $600, but there was a lot of skepticism. By the time the film launched in early 2015 the price was below $300 and dropping. Luckily - I thought at the time - I had dodged a bullet by not purchasing any.
I related that story to Hart, not realizing Bitcoin had eventually rallied (a year-and-a-half later) and was, at that point, north of $2K. Needless to say, I was put in my place. From the conference stage Hart would go on to publicly predict that with Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, “I do think you have the seeds of the greatest mania humanity has ever seen.”
Hart’s influence that evening, along with the input of several of my friends in finance, convinced me to take a closer look at the cryptocurrency space. That’s when I came upon HIVE Blockchain Technologies, a public company backed by Frank Giustra and Frank Holmes. Giustra founded Hollywood’s largest independent studio, Lionsgate, and was also behind Goldcorp, one of the world’s largest gold miners. Holmes is the CEO of US Global Investors, a Texas-based investment advisor with nearly $3 billion under management.
From my point of view, what makes HIVE unique is that it is essentially a partnership between Giustra’s Fiore Group and Genesis Mining, the world’s largest cryptocurrency miner. With over 1 million customers globally, Genesis is a very serious company. It also owns 30% of HIVE, so its interests and HIVE’s are aligned.
I do a lot of work in the economics and geopolitical arenas and I thought I had a strong grasp of the expansive potential blockchain and cryptocurrencies possess. But nothing could have prepared me for the new age I found dawning all around me as I worked on my new film, To The Ends of the Earth: On The Frontlines of the World’s Hottest Tech Opportunity.
I spent time at Genesis/HIVE’s operations in Iceland; I flew to the heart of Texas to meet with Frank Holmes; I had a ringside seat as HIVE’s team took over their brand-new office in Zug, Switzerland; and I spent a considerable amount of time with HIVE and Genesis executives in both professional and laid-back environments. Through all of these experiences this was the #1 takeaway: blockchain is here to stay, and the opportunity is likely bigger than anything the tech world has served up in the last 30 years.
My film is an authentic look at a team of people striving to be at the cutting edge of this opportunity. If you look at previous tech and investment booms, the opportunity with blockchain and cryptocurrencies is still in its infancy. Given its first mover status, HIVE has a huge advantage over other players in the field. It also has a tremendous team that starts with Genesis CEO Marco Streng and Giustra, and extends to HIVE chairman Frank Holmes and CEO Harry Pokrandt.
This is why I wanted to tell their story: they are striving to play the long game with some of the deepest pockets in finance and smartest minds in tech. That’s a pretty good combination.
I hope you enjoy the film as much as I enjoyed making it.
Jonathan Roth is the executive producer of Roth Multimedia Inc. and handles large television projects for various broadcast, corporate and NGO clients. He is also the Chief Video Content Officer at Mauldin Economics and hosts online videos for Geopolitical Futures. Prior to launching his own production company, Roth spent well over a decade as a producer and executive at major Canadian television corporations, including Bell Media, Rogers Media and S-Vox.
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