Cayman Investment Forum to focus on bitcoin and gold

Topics at Oct. 11 forum include decline of U.S. dollar

With events such as Brexit and the election of U.S. President Donald Trump, many see a reversal in the trend of globalization that has taken place over the last several decades.

Such eras of de-globalization are often accompanied by changes in international currency regimes, according to Chartered Financial Analyst Society member Emil Kalinowski. That is why this year’s Cayman Investment Forum is focusing on bitcoin, precious metals and the possible decline of the U.S. dollar as the world reserve currency, said Mr. Kalinowski.

Speakers at the event include bitcoin investor Tuur Demeester, and Indiana University history professor Rebecca Spang, both of whom participated in interviews on Tuesday with Mr. Kalinowski and his fellow CFA members, Simon Cawdery and Neville Hicks, about what they will be talking about at the Oct. 11 investment forum.

According to Ms. Spang, the primary determinant – especially in times of political turmoil – of whether a given currency will be used as money is people’s expectations that it will have value in the future.

Factors such as fears of inflation and rising tensions between the U.S. and China – a major holder of the U.S. dollar – have led to a movement of people who think that the dollar could be replaced by an alternative currency.

But within that movement are dissenting views of whether a precious metal like gold or a cryptocurrency like bitcoin would be better suited to serve as money, said Mr. Kalinowski. While advocates of precious metals point to the thousands of years of history that they have been used as currencies, fans of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are looking to how they could potentially be used in the future.

“Bitcoin comes out and proclaims itself as the modern-day gold, and of course the gold community bristles at the idea that something that’s seven years old can compare with something that’s thousands of years old,” said Mr. Kalinowski.

Rebecca Spang

Right now, many people think of bitcoin as an investment opportunity rather than a currency, said Ms. Spang. But the currency is still in its infancy stages, noted Mr. Demeester, who said that developments such as the development of regulations, insurance for bitcoin exchanges, and financial instruments to hedge against volatility will make bitcoin a sounder currency.

These and other currency-related issues will lead to spirited discussions at the Cayman Investment Forum, said Mr. Kalinowski.

Other speakers include economic researcher Luke Gromen, who will provide his thesis that the global monetary order is on the verge of revolution; analyst Jeff Snider, who will discuss “shadow money;” and Simon Mikhailovich, who will discuss why gold could return as a reserve currency.

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