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Sid Ahl: Cryptocurrencies have grown into a $2 trillion market. VC funding into blockchain projects has more than tripled this year to over $15 billion. And blockchain-based based decentralized exchanges, essentially software programs with catchy names like Uniswap and Sushiswap, have processed a staggering $450B of cryptocurrencies transactions in just the first 6 months of this year. Big banks and payment processors – like Visa, JP Morgan, Square and PayPal -- have rushed to implement their own blockchain projects and connect to this new avenue of growth and potential. Meanwhile investors have been forced to examine the potential of a new class of Digital Assets.
Most of you have probably heard of Bitcoin, but the potential of blockchain may have less to do with Bitcoin and more to do with decentralized, blockchain based applications that cryptocurrency enthusiasts believe could re-imagine the world of software, re-wire our outdated financial infrastructure and lead to a future where users become owners in the next generation of the internet.
But there are still many questions hanging over the industry, from its incredible volatility and issues scaling to compete with existing Internet and software infrastructure, to the uncertain regulatory environment and concerns over the energy usage required to run these blockchains.
I’m Sid Ahl, I’m the Chief Investment Officer of our Private Client, Endowments and Foundations business, and I’ve been spending a lot time thinking about the power, potential and pitfalls of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies.
To help us better understand this fast-changing area of innovation, I sat down with three blockchain experts to explain the technology and tell us what excites and worries them most in the space today. Stay tuned after my conversation with our experts, Joe, Ash and Ria – I’m going to bring in a couple of my colleagues to unpack some of the investment takeaways.
Mrinalini "Ria" Bhutoria
Principal, Castle Island Ventures
CEO, Bison Trails; Partner, Ambush Capital
Sid Ahl, CFA
CIO for Private Client, Endowments and Foundations, Brown AdvisorySid is a partner, a member of the Executive Team, serves as chief investment officer for private client, endowments and foundations, and head of the New York office. He is responsible for advising individuals and institutions on investment portfolios that contain significant allocations to alternative investments and have a high tolerance for less liquid investments. Prior to joining Brown Advisory in 2012, he was a partner and director of research at CDK for 10 years, where his initial focus was on hedge fund manager research and the design of hedge fund portfolios. Prior to CDK he was a senior consultant with FactSet Research, advising hedge funds, institutional investors and private wealth managers in the areas of portfolio risk management and quantitative modeling.
Kenneth Coe, CFA
Equity Research Analyst, Brown AdvisoryKen is an equity research analyst covering the financial sector and is also an associate portfolio manager of the Sustainable Small-Cap Core strategy. Prior to joining the firm, he served as an analyst at First Annapolis Consulting and also worked on a financial econometrics research study.
CIO of Sustainable InvestingErika is a partner, a member of the Executive Team, and serves as chief investment officer of sustainable investing and as a portfolio manager in the Boston office. She manages balanced accounts for private and institutional clients. Erika has worked in the investment management industry since 1996. Prior to Brown Advisory, she was an investment advisor at Silver Bridge Advisors. Erika started her career at MFS Investment Management before working in sell-side Equity Research for eight years following large cap pharmaceuticals, household products, consumer and retail sectors at Schroder & Co and then UBS Investment Bank. More recently, she was an analyst following consumer and retail companies at a hedge fund, Balyasny Asset Management. For more than 10 years, Erika’s has been researching investment options in the sustainability industry and helping clients build portfolios that are aligned with their mission and values.
S2 | Episode 6 | The Future of Cities: What We Can Learn from San FranciscoApril 30, 2021
In this episode, Brown Advisory’s Meredith Shuey Etherington, a San Francisco-based portfolio manager, speaks with Fred Blackwell, CEO of the San Francisco Foundation, and Craig Young, Managing Principal of Tidewater Capital, to examine whether the Bay Area and San Francisco can retain and even enhance their identity as the home of the innovation economy.
San Francisco has been a paradox for decades—at once a stunningly beautiful city at the epicenter of high-tech innovation, and a fragile community grappling with various social crises, the highest cost of living in the U.S. and a vast wealth gap. The pandemic intensified many of the city’s problems, and recent headlines have revealed a string of companies moving their headquarters from the Bay Area to Austin, Miami and elsewhere. Our conversation looks at the challenges and opportunities that will shape San Francisco’s future. Later in the podcast, Brown Advisory’s JJ Baylin and Amy Hauter join Meredith to discuss how we are investing in the future of cities for our clients.