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PODCAST: Josh Brown on Why Bitcoin Is Like the 1800s Railroad Boom

“In the 1800s we had a bubble in railroads, and almost every one of them went bankrupt,” said “Downtown” Josh Brown, CEO of Ritholtz Wealth Management. “But what was left behind in the wake of that financial wreckage were the tracks, and the trains, and the stations, and the expertise to build more.”

That’s the analogy Brown sees with the bitcoin bubble of 2017, as explained in a recent episode of Bitcoin Macro, a pop-up podcast series featuring speakers from CoinDesk’s upcoming Invest: NYC conference on Tuesday, Nov. 12.

“Eventually the technology [railroads] found a way to be profitable, useful, and became woven into the fabric of our society,” Brown said. “So it’s possible that the crypto investments people made in 2017 were stupid, but that they had the right idea.”

The last six months have seen a growing dialogue between the bitcoin industry and leaders in global finance. No longer written off as some ignorable niche, increasingly people are asking: Is bitcoin a macro asset? Is it a safe-haven asset? How will it perform in the next recession?

Brown is a regular contributor to CNBC. In this episode of Bitcoin Macro, CoinDesk’s head of strategy, Nolan Bauerle, talks with Brown about:

Why bitcoin feels like a protest asset but doesn’t see huge amounts of capital flowing into it from turbulent regions. Why U.S. dollars and assets like Manhattan real estate are still the top options for moving wealth out of countries. Why it’s impossible to know how bitcoin will react in a recession given the unique set of circumstances surrounding the market’s past 11 years. Why the bitcoin and crypto spaces have veered back and forth between overly optimistic and overly pessimistic. Why true technology disruptions tend to happen long after their earliest promoters have left the stage. Why the impact of bitcoin may be something very different than the macro, non-sovereign money narrative in favor today.

Listen to the podcast he...

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