In today’s Exponential Investor…
- Where’s my next beer?
- AU$950 into £244 million
- Claim your ‘crypto stimulus’
It was late 2008.
I’d only just returned to Australia after about six months gallivanting around Europe from April to November 2008.
I won’t lie, six months overseas wasn’t cheap. I wasn’t working. Pure adventure. I’d had some long-term investments I’d cashed in, some savings and now upon my return to ‘real life’ some very depleted funds.
I’m not sure if the timing of this adventure was perfect, or not.
It was right in the midst as you’re aware of one of the biggest financial meltdowns of all time.
Thankfully I’d managed to tap out of some of my investments before the mega-pain set in.
But thinking more about where my next beer was coming from rather than the ever crashing markets, probably helped a little as well.
Nonetheless, I couldn’t completely stay out of the market or the news. And there may have been a couple of buys back into the market from a hole-in-the-wall internet café in the nether-regions of the Hungary.
When I returned to Australia, I wasn’t completely out of cash or investments. And little did I know, but I was about to get a little boost from the good old Aussie government too.
Due to the crushing nature of the ‘GFC’ the government decided to hand out cash payments to Aussies. This was to ‘stimulate’ the economy back into action.
Another term for this, helicopter money. Like someone throwing wads of cash at the people below from a helicopter.
The amounts were relative to how much you earned. Around 13 million Aussies would get these cash payments. It was part of the government’s $42 billion ‘stimulus’ package.
Remember, this was off the back of possibly the worst financial crisis ever seen outside the Great Depression.
Anyway, I couldn’t fathom how this would work. The idea was giving everyone $950 (or less depending on what you earnt) which they would then spend in the economy and we’d be A-Okay.
Did it work? Well, yes and no.
I logged into my Commbank online banking and there it was. AU$950 right there just for me, from the government to do with what I wanted. They just gave me AU$950 for free!
I was pretty pumped about it, albeit that would have bought a lot of beers in Greece a few months earlier…
Hindsight says I should have used my AU$950 free money and bought bitcoin. Had I known about bitcoin well enough in mid-2009… things might be a little different today.
Bitcoin back then was worth very little. But by the end of 2009 it was worth roughly 3.3 cents in Aussie money. Had I spent my free AU$950 on BTC back then I’d have got around 28,787 bitcoin for my money.
In today’s prices that would have been worth just over £244 million.
That’s no typo. AU$950 of bitcoin in 2009 could have been worth over £244 million today.
And I bought a TV instead…
Still, would have, could have, should have… didn’t.
What would you do with stimulus today?
This year, thanks to another economic and financial crisis, stimulus and helicopter money cheques have again been doled out around the world.
In the US $1,200 was sent out to people to get the economy moving again. Here in the UK it came a little differently, via furlough payments – same same but different.
There’s a few Twitter accounts that track what those stimulus cheques would be worth had the recipients put it all in bitcoin. As of this week, the stimulus cheque would now be worth over $2,100.
But this is all stimulus from the ‘legacy’ financial system. What about the ‘crypto’ financial system? Has there been any kind of ‘stimulus’ in the crypto financial system that’s helped spur things back into action?
Well, sort of.
You see there’s been a crazy phenomenon evolving in decentralised finance (DeFi) in the crypto world. And it’s seen hype, mania and FOMO return and then quickly dip out of a number of crypto assets.
But the FOMO is coming back and it’s via the way of an ‘airdrop’ of FREE crypto tokens to anyone that’s interacted with the UniSwap protocol.
I’ll try to keep this high level as it can get a little complicated.
But the UniSwap protocol is a decentralised ‘swap’ exchange. That means you can trade crypto without ever having to transfer them to a third-party exchange.
It’s a bit like holding share certificates and then trading ownership of them with someone else you’ve never met, will meet or know who they are, for other shares or fiat money. No brokers, no intermediaries, just peer-to-peer trades and swaps.
This UniSwap protocol has been a key aspect in the rise of DeFi in crypto over the last year and a half. And as a reward to the people who’ve ever interacted with, used or traded on the UniSwap platform, they dropped new UNI tokens to wallets that connected with and used UniSwap.
UniSwap decided to mint their own crypto, and distribute it out. 400 UNI to any wallet that interacted with UniSwap. That’s all that was needed.
If you had used two, three, 10 different Ethereum addresses with UniSwap, then each one would get 400 UNI. You just have to go to UniSwap, connect the wallet and claim the 400 UNI.
With that said, if you’ve ever done this, ever interacted with UniSwap you should check to see if you can claim your UNI.
If you do, you’re looking at claiming a free stake worth about £1,542 at the time of writing.
That’s because the UNI tokens are trading at a value of a bit over £3.85. It’s remarkable really. And it’s what many in crypto are calling the ‘crypto stimulus package’.
It’s sent out millions of pounds’ worth of value in the space of mere minutes when it all took place. And all that was needed was just having used the UniSwap platform.
UniSwap did in minutes, what many governments took months to put into effect.
What was also interesting is that apparently a lot of people who got their UNI tokens, sold them to go and buy the new PlayStation 5 as pre-orders were released the same day as the UNI airdrop.
Now that’s what I call economic stimulus.
And I bet the powers that be in the central banks and government ivory towers never considered that there would be economic stimulus created from crypto, virtually instantly and with nothing to do with the legacy financial system.
Yet here it is, here’s £1,542 in value up for grabs to those who had the foresight to test and try and get involved in something new, exciting, pretty high risk but potentially world-changing.
The crypto world is a little wild and whacky, but in times like this, you’ve got to marvel a little at the ingenuity and the potential of what it can do.
By the way, if you’ve ever interacted with UniSwap and need some help in finding out if you can claim UNI or how to go about it, send me an email here. Happy to help people try and claim their crypto stimulus.
Editor, Exponential Investor
P.S. I mention that some of the developments in crypto can be world-changing. That’s true. But what could be more world-changing, in the immediate future, is the development and release of vaccines and solutions to the coronavirus pandemic. As we creep into lockdown #2, the importance of biotech developing the covid-killer vaccines is vital to our world. Thankfully there are a handful of breakthrough biotech that are on the brink of such results, that you can invest in and potentially profit from as biotech looks to literally save the world.