The best of Travis KlingsteemCreated with Sketch.

in #neoxian5 years ago (edited)

Dear steem, today I would like to introduce you to my man crush, Travis Kling.

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Who is Travis Kling?

Travis Kling is the Founder and CIO of Ikigai Asset Management. Recently, Travis has made guest appearances on lots of different podcasts and news channels offering his views on bitcoin and the crypto and finance spaces as a whole. Don’t be fooled by his southern drawl. He is a big-picture guy whose commentary reflects the macroeconomics lens through which he views bitcoin. In Marty Bent’s ‘Tales from the crypt’ podcast #105, Travis candidly stated “I had no public presence before I got into crypto”. Nowadays he is an absolute natural. The first time I heard him was on Anthony Pompliano’s ‘Off the Chain podcast’ in September 2018. This was pretty much the moment he introduced himself as a no-BS, clear-talking crypto thought leader. Thanks Pomp for unleashing Travis!

I also recommend you listen to the Coinist episode with Travis. Travis’s colleague from Ikigai, Hans Hague, is on the show with him. It’s great to hear the extra insights with Travis and Hans bouncing ideas off each other. However, my favourite Travis interview is the What Bitcoin Did episode with Peter McCormack. They covered topics such as how bitcoin could change the destiny of poorer countries in a single generation (@24:35), supply versus demand and movement in bitcoin (@1:15:00) and what creates value (@1:16:34). Some of the ideas I took from this conversation absolutely blew my mind!

Travis’s narratives

Travis has a tendency to re-hash anecdotes, analogies and tag-lines when speaking with different interviewers (which I noticed a lot more when I was curating sources for this blog post). I see this as a strength as he is able to synthesise his thinking about complex issues into bite-sized chunks that are accessible to a general audience.

Tag-line

This is classic Travis - Bitcoin is:

a non-sovereign, hard-capped supply, global, immutable, decentralised, digital store of value; an insurance policy against monetary and fiscal policy irresponsibility from central banks and governments globally

Source: Marty Bent’s Tales from the crypt podcast #105 (@5:00)

He also went with this on CNN @3:15. Note that in this interview he uses the word hedge instead of insurance policy, which the interviewer picks up on. I love her response:

You’re basically saying that, at a time when some of the biggest economies and the banks in those economies are enacting a race to the bottom as far as their currencies are concerned, pushed by stimulus to support their economies, actually cryptocurrencies like bitcoin offer a better (an alternative) option for protecting your wealth. Is that what you’re saying?, because you used the term hedge there, which is an interesting way to describe them.

Also on twitter (01/05/2019) - take that Trump!

On a blog post on Ikigai’s website

NOT a tech guy

This is how Travis introduces himself in the CNN interview (0:32) and Off the Chain with Pomp. He’s no tech guy. No he’s a finance guy! I think the sub-text here is that he came into the tech space with no biases, no pre-conceptions, etc and also that he has something different to offer.

Travis has never sky-dived

He doesn’t like gambling either. This is the anecdote (or is it an analogy?) he uses to introduce his style of investing. Being a traditional finance guy, he’s naturally a conservative investor. So although crypto and bitcoin are perceived as risky, he’s a numbers guy. His high-conviction, bullish views on crypto are the result of thorough due-diligence.

Although he did go parasailing (aka kite-surfing) in Brazil once - that’s pretty risky Travis!

(Pomp and Marty Bent’s podcasts)

Bitcoin is the hardest money in human history

To paraphrase, Gold has proven scarcity. Bitcoin has even more provable scarcity than gold. In Austrian economic terms, it’s the hardest money in history. Can’t argue with that - at least, I can’t argue because Travis knows much more about these things than me!

(CNN and Marty Bent podcast)

The Chuck e-Cheese token phenomenon

This one is an analogy, I know that for sure! Apparently once upon a time you could put five-dollar bills into a machine and get back Chuck e-Cheese ‘tokens’ to play video games. The video game machines wouldn’t take quarters. But when you were done playing, what if you were stuck with the Chuck e-Cheese tokens? You’d rather have quarters. So you might as well spend the rest of your tokens. You don’t want to be holding them so they don’t accrue value. He’s essentially talking about a lot of utility tokens that exist for one purpose only right now. It’s also known as the ‘velocity problem’.

(Pomp and Marty Bent podcasts)

Also on Twitter: https://twitter.com/travis_kling/status/1068288091553759238?s=21 (30/11/2018)

Aside - Whilst writing this, I’m visualising a party with a bunch of Travis followers (geeks) sitting around listening to his podcasts drinking whenever they hear him spout one of his signature narratives.


I encourage anyone interested in bitcoin, cryptocurrencies and macroeconomics to check out some of Travis’s work. Any of the sources podcasts or interviews I’ve mentioned here would be a great starting point.

Aside - I’ve got time to write this post today because I succumbed to the threat of the cold which had been lurking for almost a week. I won’t be posting via @actifit today. Sigh.

Thanks for reading.

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