“Pomp”, a fictional character that appeared to me in a dream, shouldn’t be confused with Anthony Pompliano, whom I’ve never met, spoken to, or interacted with in any other way than just screwing around his Twitter handle until he banned me.
As I sat down with Pomp for a fireside chat on top of a volcano, facing the abyss (just in case you still didn’t believe this was a completely made up story), he seemed wonderfully welcoming and friendly. His Colgate-bright smile inspired trust and confidence, and you kinda felt like you could give him all your money, and he would invest it in something, anything, and you shouldn’t have a shadow of a doubt that the outcome would rhyme with moon and lambos.
Trolly McTrollface: Hi There, Pomp. You seem pretty jovial today.
Pomp: Well of course I am, Trolly. We live in amazing times. The virus is spreading!
Trolly McTrollface (felling uneasy): What? A virus? What are you talking about?
Pomp (laughing): The crypto virus, my friend, nothing to worry about, on the contrary! Didn’t you read the news? Nasdaq and Estonia’s DX Exchange are launching Ethereum tokenized stocks. What a time to be alive! We’re taking over the finance industry, my friend, we’re tokenizing everything!
“All Successful People I Know Do These 27 Things”
Trolly McTrollface (relieved): Oh, you’re talking about that metaphorical “virus”, I see. Well, the DX Exchange certainly did make some waves with this announcement, but don’t you think that they got a little bit ahead of themselves?
Pomp: What do you mean, my friend? They just won the war between old finance and new finance. The future is tokenized!
Trolly McTrollface: Well, they haven’t exactly won the war. They want to issue tokens that are somehow linked to shares of companies, but the legal framework isn’t there. Can I convert my tokens into securities themselves? If I own a token that represents one share of Apple, for example, do I have the vote that come with the share? If I transfer my tokens to someone else, how is that different from a bearer bond, a big no-no in the worldwide fight against money laundering?
Pomp: All the successful people I know do these 27 things. One, they wake up before five a.m. Two, they work out twice a day. Three, the read at least one book per week. Four, …
Trolly McTrollface: What? How is this relevant?
Pomp: Eight, they only eat broccoli for lunch. Nine, they all know me. Ten, they’re all super rich. Eleven, …
Trolly McTrollface: What the fuck are you talking about?
Pomp: Twenty seven, they all have penis-duelled with me. My point is, you don’t do half those things, which means that you’re not successful, so your questions don’t matter. I, on the other hand, have done all of them, many times, so I get to win all the debates.
Trolly McTrollface: Have you ever… penis-duelled with yourself?
Pomp: Of course I have. And I’ve won. Every. Single. Time.
“We’re helping the small guy invest in the best startups”
Trolly McTrollface: But seriously, aren’t you worried that the DX Exchange news is just another instance of a company who just wants to produce hype, and doesn’t really understand neither the complexity of the processes that underpin the market they’re trying to disrupt, nor the actual need for said disruption?
Pomp: Dude, you don’t get it. What we’re doing here, is cutting out the middle man, the fat banker venture capitalist who got a rent thanks to corrupt government regulations. Before crypto, if you wanted to invest in startups like Facebook or Google or Amazon, before they became multi-billion dollar companies, you had to give your money to a VC, who would invest on your behalf, and take a huge cut off your profits. We’ve put an end to that, with tokens and ICOs and blockchain. Retail can invest directly in projects at the seed stage, and get crazy rich super fast. To the moon! (Pomp takes a toy rocket out of his pocket, and pushes the ignition button. The small rocket spews out a burst of flames, and explodes into his face. Unabated, he looks at me, smiling, his right eyebrow missing.)
Trolly McTrollface: What you’re talking about is called survivorship bias. Unsophisticated investors always think that it’s easy to make money in stocks, because they only see the companies that succeeded. To invest in Amazon before it got big, you either had to be very, very lucky, or to diversify your portfolio into hundreds of stocks, to the point where Amazon’s success barely managed to make up for all the other ones that failed. Moreover, by taking away institutional oversight, you open the floodgates and let all the scammers and swindlers in. People didn’t invest into the ICOs that had the best ideas or the best teams, they bought into the guys that screamed louder than the rest. Don’t you feel like you bear a little bit of responsibility for relentlessly promoting a system that’s fundamentally flawed?
Pomp: The most successful people I know do these 52 things. One, they never sleep. Two, they don’t eat, they read books, and that brings nutrients to their braincells through photosynthesis. Three, …
McTrollface: I think I know where this is going.
“Bitcoin grows stronger every day”
Pomp: You just don’t understand the power of crypto. Take Bitcoin, for example. It was it’s 10th birthday, yesterday. You know how many times governments and aliens tried to kill it? They failed. It grows stronger every day, feeding off the fear and anger of its opponents.
McTrollface: Haha, cool Star Wars reference!
Pomp: What? Star Wars? Dude, successful people do 93 things every day, and none of these things is watching movies. No, what I mean is, every day Bitcoin doesn’t die, it proves to everyone that it didn’t die, and so people start to think that maybe it won’t die the next day, too. And then they understand why it’s valuable.
McTrollface: I’m pretty sure value doesn’t come from the fact of not dying, but rather from utility, and future cash flows. As for Bitcoin, future cash flows are negative, because it costs currently around $5 million per day in electricity and ASIC hardware to maintain the network.
Pomp: You don’t understand crypto. An entrepreneur somewhere is building a crypto company right now that will one day be worth $1 trillion. Winning in the decentralized world will be exponentially more valuable than winning in the centralized world.
McTrollface: Pretty sure you’re just quoting Anthony Pompliano word-for-word here. What does “exponentially more valuable” even mean? To be exponential, something needs a time variable, where’s the measure of time in all of that?
Pomp: Wanna penis-duel?
McTrollface: Maybe some other time.