On Monday (5 November 2018), in another sign of crypto becoming more mainstream, Oscar-winning American actress Gwyneth Paltrow tweeted about Bitcoin, more specifically an article (in the form of an interview with Bill Barhydt, the founder and CEO of Abra) published on her hugely popular "goop" website about the basics of cryptocurrencies and how to invest in them.
Goop describes itself as "a lifestyle brand with its roots in content across six key pillars: Wellness, Travel, Food, Beauty, Style, and Work." It started life in Autumn 2008 "out of Gwyneth Paltrow’s kitchen as a homespun weekly newsletter." Paltrow wanted "a place to organize her unbiased travel recommendations, health-centric recipes, and shopping discoveries for friends, and she also wanted to get her own questions—about health, fitness, and the psyche—answered."
This is the tweet sent out by Paltrow yesterday:
Startup investor and technology entrepreneur Bill Barhydt is the CEO of Abra, which was founded by Barhydt in Founded in Saratoga, California in 2014. Abra released the beta version of its mobile app (for iOS and Android) in 2015. This app allows users to buy, sell, and store 28 cryptocurrencies: Augur (REP),Basic Attention Token (BAT), Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Bitcoin Gold (BTG), Cardano (ADA), Dash (DASH), DigiByte (DGB), Dogecoin (DOGE), Ether (ETH), Ethereum Classic (ETC), Golem (GNT), Litecoin (LTC), Lisk (LSK), Monero (XMR), NEM (XEM), NEO (NEO), OmiseGO (OMG), QTUM (QTUM), Ripple (XRP), Status (SNT), Stratis (STRAT), Stellar (XLM), TRON (TRX), Verge (XVG), Vertcoin (VTC), Zcash (ZEC), and 0x (ZRX). The Abra wallet can be funded in multiple ways, but if you want to use crypto, you need to use one of the natively supported coins, i.e. BTC, LTC, or BCH.
The article on Goop is titled "The Basics of Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency—and How to Invest." This is basically a Q&A with Bill Barhydt, covering questions such as "What is Bitcoin?", "Where does Bitcoin come from and how is it created? Where can you get it?", "What is a blockchain and how does it work?", and "How should a newcomer approach investing in cryptocurrency?".
One of the more interesting questions asked of Barhydt is "Are there common mistakes or misconceptions you see in this investment space?". Here is how he answered it:
"There is a massive misconception that crypto is shady. Some of that reputation is based on the fact that it’s a new technology and not widely understood yet. But it’s also because the early days of Bitcoin were filled with all kinds of dramatic activity, like heists, drug rings, and other criminal activity. But now we are moving from a phase where cryptocurrencies were a very niche, technical topic to a phase of more mainstream adoption and use. Big institutional investors and name-brand financial companies are getting involved, which will not only bring more users but also kind of help take a little of the edge off crypto’s Wild West image. Recently, several of the largest university endowments in the US announced that they had invested in cryptocurrencies, too. The irony of all of this is that it is all unfolding in exactly the same way that the internet itself evolved in the mid and late 1990s, when many people believed that it was all about gambling and pornography. Today we know that’s not true."
Over on Twitter, this was how Nic Carter, a co-founder of cryptoasset analytics firm CoinMetrics, replied to Paltrow's tweet:
Gwyneth... welcome to the resistance— nic carter (@nic__carter) November 5, 2018
However, this was not the first time that Paltrow has been involved in the crypto space. According to a post on Abra's blog published on 1 August 2018, Barhydt chose Paltrow to be her company's advisor when Abra was featured on an episode of Apple Music's "Planet of the Apps" show, even though all four of the show's entrepreneur advisors wanted to help his app. He had this to say to Forbes about Goop's CEO:
"She has been a huge value add. She's opened up her network to us, given us valuable business advice, her insights on running a consumer business with hundreds of thousands of paying customers."
The day after the airing of this episode, Barhydt sent out the following tweet:
Featured Image Courtesy of Goop