Events were going full speed in Monaco last week, and welcome Antony Ritossa 15th Anniversary Global Family Office Investment Conference, which gathered guests from around the globe.

Ritossa summit put a great focus on the crypto and blockchain ecosystem much like it was the case in their Dubai edition back in March, 2021, with a wide panel of high profile guests, of which  Brock Pierce, the former child actor who became a renowned entrepreneur, philanthropist and major Bitcoin investor was part.

Laurent Barocas – Co-founder & CCO of Trakx.io – interviewed Brock and we are delighted to have his interview on our media.

Interview Brock Pierce – major Bitcoin Investor

Brock, how did you come so early into digital assets?

I started in 1999 with card games like Magic and Pokemon. Shortly after, the first game became networked and virtual reality emerged.

I was in my 20s at the time, and for 10 years I lived in “Matrix-style Virtual Reality”.

I managed all the gaming currencies and markets for thousands of virtual countries and built a team representing about 400,000 people mostly located in China, who were playing and living in this virtual world.

We were Paypal’s biggest merchant for years and were instrumental in the launch of Alipay and Ant Financial, which developed a global cross-border payment platform.

I then became the first private investor in Goldman Sachs principal strategies at the age of 25.

Interview Brock Pierce – major Bitcoin Investor

What was your view on Bitcoin then?

I thought this was the future but I was not sure about the imminence of this revolution.

In 2012 I realised that it was happening now, so I started dropping all my businesses to focus on crypto full time and started to talk publicly in 2013.

Interview Brock Pierce – major Bitcoin Investor

Did you consider this asset class for its utility or as an investment?

I would say both as I was a hyperactive entrepreneur creating a new company every 45 days and with an investor mindset. That being said, I was also a true believer in the decentralized vision created by Bitcoin.

I was an early investor in Mastercoin ICO, which was the very first ICO in the world and then launched the first blockchain venture capital fund called Blockchain Capital.

Blockchain Capital recently closed a $300 million fund led by PayPal and Visa and is on track to be one of the most successful venture funds of all time.

Mastercoin is now Tether, the biggest stable coin digitizing the US dollar with over $60 trillion of transactions per year, proving to governments and Central banks that an alternative to the current system is possible.

Based on this framework, the Chinese government created the Digital Yuan.

I like to consider myself as a mule for creation, being the mastermind behind the world most impactful crypto projects.

Interview Brock Pierce – major Bitcoin Investor

Are you only invested in crypto or do you also invest in traditional equity/fixed income?

I don’t do much equity or traditional fixed income but focus a lot more on real estate and commodities which are tangible/ hard assets.

Do you see Bitcoin as a currency or as a safe haven/store of value?

It has the potential to become a currency but it’s not yet there.

What about El Salvador?

I view traditional money more as a checking account and Bitcoin as a saving account.

Considering the current negative interest rates, traditional checking accounts are not producing any returns. Bitcoin can therefore be considered as a better alternative to traditional bank accounts for the people of Salvador.

People against Bitcoin indicate its high Volatility, do you think that it can be an issue?

You can manage volatility only in short time frames. In the long term, it is proven to be very delicate.

Most people who put money in their savings accounts do it over time, little by little. Bitcoin is democratizing access to the financial system for the 4.5 billion people that can not access it. Until now, it has been proven that Bitcoin keeps increasing over time, even if it is volatile in the short term.

Bitcoin as financial inclusion that sounds very Social – ESG but what about the “Green” narrative part of Bitcoin?

It is greener than anything. Because of Bitcoin, we are going to get renewable energy faster. Right now Bitcoin mining is financing el Salvador energy grid. The combination of bleeding hedge energy consumption combined with government incentives is what is going to facilitate that transition.

Humans are consuming more energy than ever before and we have to accept this reality. Denying this reality as Elon Musk did is not the right thing to do. I strongly believe that we are going to have cleaner energy faster thanks to Bitcoin.

Bitcoin is much cleaner than electric cars. Electric cars run on electricity powered by fossil fuels and batteries are produced with lithium which is not green at all. Should we close the electric car industry because of that? Of course not, because we recognize that they are not clean yet but are a necessary stepping stone that leads to a better future.

We talk a lot about NFTs and art tokenization. What is your view on that?

It’s real, but a lot of the trends are just starting, and most of them won’t last.

But the underlying truth of what is happening here, a system for provenance, a system for chain of custody and title is a good thing, and it also brings technology to Art.

It is creating a more fair environment for artists and creators. We may experience a market correction (or not) but the technology is here to stay and is real.

Should digital assets be more regulated to become mainstream?

The role of regulators in theory is to protect the people. I am ok with regulation as long as it is proportionate and does not block innovation.

We already operate in a regulated environment but the issue is that current regulations are built on top of an existing regulatory framework that is outdated.

We also need to keep in mind that nations are competing against each other and we live in an open world. So too much regulation can kill innovation and transfer value to other countries that create more business-friendly environments.

Cryptocurrencies such as the Chinese Digital Yuan are currently challenging the world reserve currency, it is not a trivial fact.

This is the fourth industrial revolution and there will be winners and losers, regulators need to keep this in mind.

Interview Brock Pierce – major Bitcoin Investor

Special thanks to Laurent Barocas and Gary Rebibo – Trakx.io – digital assets