Crypto - A fad or the future? More like a big social experiment

If there was one thing that was evident from our latest Fin Gym in Melbourne, it was that no one really knows what’s going to happen in crypto land.

The one thing everyone in the room was able to agree on however, was that we are all bystanders (or brave participants) in one of the biggest social experiments of our time. An experiment that has been bubbling away for nearly ten years now.

Before the night got Reddit style deep into crypto philosophy, forking Bitcoin chains and paper wallets, financial coach and advisor, Tristan Scfio from Purpose Advisory was on hand to deliver a healthy dose of finance fundamentals.

Investing versus speculating - it’s always buyer beware

Tristan sensibly walked us through the basics of investing versus speculating, something that applies to any investment, be that superannuation or cryptocurrencies. Key takeaways from Tristan’s talk included:

· Make sure you know the difference between an active investment and a passive one · If you do plan on investing, be prepared to commit to the ground rules, which in Tristan’s world are:

  1. Invest in what you Know (the Buffet rule)
  2. Accumulate Assets (look for Income + Growth)
  3. Commit to the Long Haul
  4. Seek strong and reliable Risk vs Return
  5. Ensure reliable and known Liquidity (easy access)

· Hot investment tips from cabbies or Uber drivers should be handled with care!

Filled with knowledge and brimming with questions, our audience then broke into small groups to share some of their own investing stories with each other.

Outside of crypto, the GA crowd told us that when it came to investing, they were looking at other areas they saw as becoming more and more relevant to their lives, like robotics, ecommerce, renewables, microloans, AI and healthcare. We love these megatrends at Zuper too, and I wrote about these, alongside crypto, in a guest post for the CoinJar blog called Cryptocurrency: the next megatrend for superannuation.

One audience member shared a story with the group about the mysterious Pineapple Fund, which has given away the equivalent of $53M in Bitcoin to charities in healthcare and conservation space. While a great windfall, the double-edged sword, she said, was spending and using it. Which takes us right back to Tristan’s 5th rule – ensure reliable and known liquidity.

This lead us all the way to our last conversation point – it was generally agreed that buying, selling and using crypto is still difficult. So, it was lucky we had Asher Tan on hand from CoinJar to talk next, as this is exactly what him and the team are solving.

There is no question Asher knows his crypto. His talk took us through Bitcoin’s early origins, to more recent day arguments within the community over its future, all the way to the key players in the ecosystem crypto investors entering today should be across. They include managed wallet providers, exchanges, miners, payment gateways and, more recently, investment funds.

The CoinJar Blog is currently running a series of articles that cover each of the main cryptocurrencies, and is well worth a read to learn more.

After all that hard work at the Fin Gym, it was only fair to reward our guests with some treats. This month our Melbourne Discovery Partner was Miss Gourmet & Co, who donated 2 luxury hampers for the audience to indulge in. Miss Gourmet & Co allow you to completely personalise a hamper either in person at their Hawthorn store, or by sending a vision or idea through to Kristen, Adrian, Chloe & Sue.

We visited them earlier in the day and the shop is amazing! We love showcasing boutique brands at Fin Gym, so email us if you’d like to be involved or can introduce us to someone. Plus for all lucky readers of this blog, if you mention the Zuper Fin Gym event over email, phone or in store, they’ll give you 10 per cent off your hamper order.

And finally, a big shout out to our friends at General Assembly Melbourne who provide the space, wine and beer. If you’ve been thinking about taking a course and getting yourself across things like data science, user experience design or product management, you can use the code ZUPERGA before March 31st to score $20 credit of your next General Assembly class or workshop at either Melbourne or Sydney (not valid for full-time, part-time or online offerings).

That’s it for now, see you soon in Sydney!

Jess Ellerm

CEO and Co-Founder at Zuper Superannuation. Loves fintech, writing, pilates, Campari and soda's and, as of 2018, marathon running.

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