American Actress Gwyneth Paltrow Tweets About Investing in Bitcoin

Siamak Masnavi

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:

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

IBM’s VP of Blockchain and Crypto on World Wire, XLM, Ripple, XRP, and BTC Price

On Wednesday (February 20th), during an interview with Australia's largest comparison site Finder.com.au, Jesse Lund, IBM's Vice President of Blockchain and Digital Currencies, talked about his company's cross-border payments solution "IBM Blockchain World Wire"(which runs on the Stellar network), how this product differs from what Ripple is doing with xRapid, and gave his medium term (end of 2019) and long term (some day) price predictions for Bitcoin (BTC).

In this article, we focus on some of Lund's most interesting comments made during this interview.

IBM Blockchain World Wire

"The architecture of World Wire is really a cross-border payment network, the magic of which is the ability to send a payment message instruction saying 'Hey, I'm sending you something; get ready!' and on the other end, the receiver is making sure that who you are sending it yo is not some nefarious actor or bad actor, but once that happens, and that happens really fast, then we send the value along, and that transfer of value is made possible by an ecosystem of digital settlement instruments, of which [Stellar] lumens is one."

"IBM's long game in this is to be the network operator... So, the subscribers, the customers, if you will, of World Wire are market makers who really provide the pay in, pay out locations, and they themselves have corporate clients and probably retail clients. So, we're really providing a kind of conduit through which money can flow in real-time." 

IBM Blockchain World Wire vs. Ripple's xRapid

"Credit Ripple for the vision of using a digital asset in order to enact immediate settlement with finality. I think their implementation followed one path. Our implementation is a little bit different. We are not the issuer of an asset. In fact, what we believe is that there should be an ecosystem of a variety of digital assets that provide the settlement instruments that enable these cross-border payments. The participants on the network should be able to choose and negotiate their choices in real-time and the pricing might be different depending on the settlement instrument you use. So, I think with Ripple, they're looking at XRP as the primary digital asset for settlement, and for us, it could be lumens, it could be Ripple, it could be XRP even, it could be Bitcoin, but it would also probably include other instruments like stablecoins and even eventually, hopefully soon, central bank issued digital currencies."

Bitcoin (BTC) Price Prediction

"[Bitcoin's price at the end of 2019] ... I think it's going be higher [than today], I'll go with $5,000, but let me just say this. I've got a long term outlook... I see Bitcoin at a million dollars some day. And I like that number because if Bitcoin is at a million dollars, then satoshi is on value parity with the U.S. penny, right? And that means there's $23 trillion of liquidity in this network. Think about $23 trillion in liquidity and how that changes things like corporate payments, large payments, and what that does to the financial services landscape."

Featured Image Credit: Photo via Pexels.com