“The best thing the Republicans have going for them is the Democrats. Those guys are also nuts.”
As for his old boss, Scaramucci was blunt on his chances of regaining the White House in 2024, saying The Donald’s sliding popularity makes it unlikely he’ll even run for the nomination.
“Donald Trump does not want to lose the presidency twice,” Scaramucci declared.
But while Scaramucci has clearly lost none of his ability to entertain, it was his insights on the world of crypto that reminded the audience what he really is – one very smart cookie.
The Long Island native joined Goldman Sachs after studying at Harvard Law School with Barack Obama and then starting his first investment firm in 1996, selling it five years later.
In 2005, he started Skybridge Capital, a pioneering alternatives investment firm that he still leads; ASX-listed Challenger actually held a stake for several years until Skybridge bought it back in 2017.
The firm has three focuses: advising big pension firms, running a hedge fund (which uses a fund-of-funds approach) and, since late 2020, investing in digital assets including bitcoin and ether.
Skybridge has also created an ETF that tries to give investors the best approximation for investing in bitcoin, given the US regulator is still to approve a cash bitcoin ETF.
The Mooch happily admits he’s a late convert, having made his first investment in bitcoin in October 2020. But he gave one of the more clear-eyed descriptions of why he diverged in.
Essentially, Scaramucci views cryptocurrency investing as a hedge against the future adoption of digital coins.
“You want to get in here ahead of the curve,” he said. “If you’re not long crypto, you’re effectively short it.”
He sees crypto as “a wonderful delayering asset for the economy” that can help cut out the intermediaries that clip the ticket across the economy.
When Scaramucci first bought bitcoin 18 months ago, there were around 80 million digital wallets containing bitcoin; now there are 247 million and the Mooch sees that hitting 1 billion by 2024. “Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve reached escape velocity,” he declared.
The proliferation of bitcoin holders means that a world where every restaurant in five year’s time will accept cryptocurrency payment from a consumer’s smart wallet – thus cutting out the credit card providers – is not unimaginable.
His appearance at the Summit provided a great comparison on how quickly internet technology has moved.
As Scaramucci pointed out, it’s not that long ago that he would have needed to go through a telephone operator to talk to someone in Australia; now he can address a conference at virtually zero cost thanks to the speed with which technology has moved.
“We are just getting started in the world of crypto – imagine where we’ll be in five years.”
Scarcity is another big selling point for Scaramucci. It’s common knowledge that bitcoin is limited to 21 million coins, and there are less than 2 million coins left to be mined.
But Scaramucci says the consensus view is that at least 2 million coins have been lost in some way, meaning the pool is more like 19 million coins.
As the use of bitcoin grows – remember that restaurant example – demand will collide with ever-shrinking supply; a “halving” event is scheduled for 2024, when the number of bitcoins allowed to be produced will fall from 900 to 450.
The Mooch admits his prediction that bitcoin would surge to $US100.00 was off the mark and says the US regulator’s refusal to approve a cash bitcoin ETF, the pandemic and now the war in Ukraine have set the industry back.
But his belief in the “elasticity of this situation [in bitcoin] and the likelihood of these prices heading to a half a million [US] dollars” remains undiminished.