Hundreds of devoted cryptocurrency investors set sail from a Singapore port and luckily were wearing their sea legs. When these passengers departed for the high seas for the Second Annual Blockchain Cruise, on Jan. 15, the bitcoin price was trading in the $13,500 range, with their profits intact. But by the time they docked in Thailand on Jan. 17, the bitcoin price had sunk to the $10,000 level, slashing the net worth of the successful bitcoin investors in the interim, a group of 600 reportedly comprised of mostly young men.
Bloomberg’s Blake Schmidt was on the ship, and he documented as well as tweeted about the experience of what he described as an “extravaganza,” one that seemingly had the makings of a James Bond movie with drones flying overhead to capture the festivities on camera. While bitcoin was a hot topic of discussion, passengers also explored the life-changing potential for blockchain technology in key sectors including healthcare.
They had embarked on a five-day cruise via the Strait of Malacca, ironically enough in the surrounding region of the latest regulatory scrutiny out of Asia. The trip was filled with high-profile speakers and events as well as sun and fun to immerse themselves in all things blockchain and crypto, as the run-up in bitcoin and other altcoins put many of them in a higher tax bracket last year. Apparently, it takes more than a 20% drop in the bitcoin price in a single session to get these guys seasick, not to mention a 50% drop from the December high. In fact, the timing of the trip gave them the opportunity to discuss the shifting sands in the bitcoin price among peers, with some providing perspective on the selloff.
“Nothing goes up in a straight line,” assured Ronnie Moas, who is behind Miami’s Standpoint Research and was among the featured speakers on the cruise including a session about income inequality, in which he reportedly challenged the new bitcoin-millionaires to use their wealth to make an impact on society. He also gave the closing keynote. Looking at the glass half-full, Moas predicts that if all the stars align, bitcoin could be trading as high as $300,000 by 2025.
John McAfee, the antivirus-software veteran turned bitcoin miner, headlined a session about “emerging cryptocurrencies” and their influence on businesses and bitcoin. The selloff, according to McAfee, was driven by skittish investors baselessly anticipating the other regulatory shoe to drop. You can’t blame them after a week filled with chatter, such as South Korea possibly taking a page from China’s book by cracking down on cryptocurrency exchanges, for instance.
But there is a difference between most people vis-à-vis those with crypto fever. The cruisers are in it for the long-haul and are prepared not only for the choppy waters that they encounter along the way but also a future of smooth sailing in which blockchain technology and bitcoin are natural as the air we breathe.
Among the passengers on the blockchain cruise were founders of blockchain-based businesses looking to pursue fundraising via an upcoming ICO, including one alternative power bitcoin-mining startup, as well as a former Aussie coal-miner who was able to retire amid his cryptocurrency-driven fortunes.