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  • Trends with Benefits

    Trends with Benefits #44: [Crypto Series 1] - What is Bitcoin with Pierre Rochard

    Ed Lopez, Head of ETF Product
    February 05, 2021

    In this episode I speak with Pierre Rochard, Bitcoin Strategist at Kraken about the basics of bitcoin and what investors should know in order to understand the digital currency.

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    In addition to bitcoin making its way into many of our living rooms through breaking news headlines, it has been a major focus for us here at VanEck for quite some time. Understanding the world of bitcoin can be intimidating, largely in part to it having its own language. Our CEO, Jan van Eck recognized this missing link and the need for investors to have jargon-free educational content around bitcoin.

    Along those lines, we decided to extend that effort by producing a special podcast series dedicated to bitcoin education. This week, the first in this series, I welcome Pierre Rochard, Bitcoin Strategist at Kraken, one of the oldest and largest bitcoin exchanges, to help me break through some of the complicated jargon that surrounds bitcoin and explain things in layman’s terms. I begin the episode by asking the simple question that I think many still have a hard time answering simply: What is bitcoin?  

    Looking beyond the fixed 21 million bitcoin that populate the universe, Pierre also pops bitcoin’s hood and explains the three key characteristics investors should be aware of. As we dig in a bit deeper, Pierre explains mining and the important dynamic that takes place between nodes and the miners, bitcoin authenticity and value. Tune into the podcast to learn why freedom, decentralization and social consensus are the grounding principles of the cryptocurrency.  

    Trend or Fad

    Listen for Pierre’s take on day trading, central bank digital currencies and Austin, Texas.

    Follow Ed Lopez @ThatEdLopez and Pierre Rochard @pierre_rochard on Twitter.

    You can listen and subscribe to this podcast on Apple PodcastsSpotifyStitcherSoundCloud, and YouTube.


    Please note that VanEck may offer investments products that invest in the asset class(es) or industries included in this blog.

    The views and opinions expressed are those of the speaker(s) but not necessarily those of VanEck. Commentaries are general in nature and should not be construed as investment advice. Certain statements contained herein may constitute projections, forecasts and other forward looking statements, which do not reflect actual results, are valid as of the date of this communication and subject to change without notice. Information provided by third party sources are believed to be reliable and have not been independently verified for accuracy or completeness and cannot be guaranteed. Any discussion of specific securities/financial instruments mentioned in the commentary is neither an offer to sell nor a solicitation to buy these securities. Fund holdings will vary. All indices mentioned are measures of common market sectors and performance. It is not possible to invest directly in an index. Information on holdings, performance and indices can be found at

    All investing is subject to risk, including the possible loss of the money you invest. As with any investment strategy, there is no guarantee that investment objectives will be met and investors may lose money. Diversification does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss in a declining market. Past performance is no guarantee of future performance.

    Cryptocurrency is a digital representation of value that functions as a medium of exchange, a unit of account, or a store of value, but it does not have legal tender status. Cryptocurrencies are sometimes exchanged for U.S. dollars or other currencies around the world, but they are not generally backed or supported by any government or central bank. Their value is completely derived by market forces of supply and demand, and they are more volatile than traditional currencies. The value of cryptocurrency may be derived from the continued willingness of market participants to exchange fiat currency for cryptocurrency, which may result in the potential for permanent and total loss of value of a particular cryptocurrency should the market for that cryptocurrency disappear. Cryptocurrencies are not covered by either FDIC or SIPC insurance. Legislative and regulatory changes or actions at the state, federal, or international level may adversely affect the use, transfer, exchange, and value of cryptocurrency.

    Investing in cryptocurrencies comes with a number of risks, including volatile market price swings or flash crashes, market manipulation, and cybersecurity risks. In addition, cryptocurrency markets and exchanges are not regulated with the same controls or customer protections available in equity, option, futures, or foreign exchange investing. There is no assurance that a person who accepts a cryptocurrency as payment today will continue to do so in the future.

    Investors should conduct extensive research into the legitimacy of each individual cryptocurrency, including its platform, before investing. The features, functions, characteristics, operation, use and other properties of the specific cryptocurrency may be complex, technical, or difficult to understand or evaluate. The cryptocurrency may be vulnerable to attacks on the security, integrity or operation, including attacks using computing power sufficient to overwhelm the normal operation of the cryptocurrency’s blockchain or other underlying technology. Some cryptocurrency transactions will be deemed to be made when recorded on a public ledger, which is not necessarily the date or time that a transaction may have been initiated.

    • Investors must have the financial ability, sophistication and willingness to bear the risks of an investment and a potential total loss of their entire investment in cryptocurrency.
    • An investment in cryptocurrency is not suitable or desirable for all investors.
    • Cryptocurrency has limited operating history or performance.
    • Fees and expenses associated with a cryptocurrency investment may be substantial.

    There may be risks posed by the lack of regulation for cryptocurrencies and any future regulatory developments could affect the viability and expansion of the use of cryptocurrencies. Investors should conduct extensive research before investing in cryptocurrencies.

    Information provided by Van Eck is not intended to be, nor should it be construed as financial, tax or legal advice. It is not a recommendation to buy or sell an interest in cryptocurrencies.


    Van Eck Associates Corporation

  • Authored by

    Ed Lopez
    Head of ETF Product

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