Bitcoin: A compelling alternative asset class | Jack Tatar

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It seems as though everyone is talking about bitcoin these days.

To put its current price in perspective, back in January of 2017, it was trading at $1,000 a bitcoin. Clearly, anyone who put money into it back then would now have huge profits. But the question for many investors and investment managers is – is it an investment? Perhaps the first question should be – what the heck is bitcoin?

What is Bitcoin?

The creation of Bitcoin grew out of the financial crisis of 2008. It was created by an anonymous entity known as Satoshi Nakamoto. Six and a half weeks after mid-September, 2008 when Lehman Brothers declared bankruptcy and Merrill Lynch was sold to Bank of America to save it, Satoshi released the Bitcoin white paper. This document outlined a new method for electronic transactions and is the genesis for every single blockchain implementation deployed. Satoshi wrote, “We have proposed a system for electronic transactions without relying on trust.”…

Bitcoin as an asset

Bitcoin is currently traded on numerous exchanges throughout the world on a 24-hour basis. Anyone can trade fiat currency for bitcoin through exchanges such as Coinbase (NYSE is an investor). At any time, traders can recognize a price for bitcoin and many other cryptoassets, including ether (ethereum) and litecoin. Currently there are over 800 cryptoassets trading on exchanges around the world. Along with bitcoin, many of these assets exhibit volatility and significant returns for those brave enough to invest in them…

Bitcoin as an alternative asset

In 2013 as a columnist writing on retirement for, I began a series of articles about my interest in pursuing bitcoin as a holding for my investment portfolio, specifically into the alternative asset allocation of my portfolio. After the financial crisis of 2008, we saw financial service firms incorporate alternative assets into their asset allocation for clients…

JACK TATAR is a member of the 3iQ Independent Advisory Committee and the co-author of “Cryptoassets: The Innovative Investor’s Guide to Bitcoin and Beyond”.

Jack has over two decades of experience in financial services including as a financial advisor and executive with Merrill Lynch, and as owner of GEM Research Solutions, a leading research provider to the financial services industry. He is an angel investor and advisor to startups in the cryptoasset community, and speaks and writes frequently on the topic. He was one of the first financial professionals to receive certification from the Digital Currency Council and is the coauthor of one of the earliest books on Bitcoin, What’s the Deal with Bitcoins?  as well as numerous books on retirement and finance.

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Fred Pye

Frederick T. Pye


Frederick T. Pye is the Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and Director of 3iQ Corp. He is also the Chairman and Director of 3iQ Digital Holdings Inc. Mr. Pye is recognized for creating and promoting creative and unique investment products for the investment industry.

Mr. Pye has managed private client portfolios with Landry Investment Management and various other investment dealers. Prior to this Mr. Pye was Founder, President & Chief Executive Officer of Argentum Management and Research Corporation, a company dedicated to managing and distributing quantitative investment portfolios including the first long-short mutual fund in Canada.

He was also Senior Vice-President and National Sales Manager of Fidelity Investments Canada and an integral part of the team that saw assets rise from $80 million to over $7.5 billion in assets under management during his tenure. He also held various positions with Guardian Trust Company, which listed the first Gold, Silver and Platinum Certificates on the Montreal Exchange.

Mr. Pye obtained a Masters in Business Administration from Concordia University.