The Bitcoin ETF parade and Grayscale Trust, with Jason Urban of Galaxy Digital

Join us in this, our last episode of the year, where we’re talking Crypto and Bitcoin ETFs with Jason Urban, Global Co-Head of Trading at Galaxy Digital – which is perhaps better known as the folks behind the world’s largest Bitcoin Fund, the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust and its ownership of 650k+ bitcoin!  Today we step into a bit of Jason’s past when he founded and ran the equity index derivative business at a Chicago prop firm DRW and his time at Goldman Sachs where he ran its equity vol business. We talk about all the moving parts of pure flow trading, skew/cheap, skew/rich, the right side of the trade, when to get out;  and his first exposure to Crypto Currencies. Jason talks Grayscale, billionaire founder Michael Novogratz & all things Galaxy Digital, from touching all aspects of the crypto universe, from mining to trading to venture funding; being on the Institutional only side of the market, whether or not DeFi is a Disrupter or tool, the FOMO aspect, staking, and maintaining the ledger, the mining ecosystem and the decentralized way of doing things while trying to solve problems in this Crypto space. If all that doesn’t get you going about Crypto currencies, we still find room to discuss just what the Options space looks like in crypto (the implied vol is how much??), Bilateral trading, and of course – the Grayscale Trust going from premium to discount – and the potential for all the new Bitcoin ETFs coming out. Enjoy!

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Check out the complete Transcript from this weeks podcast below:

 

The Bitcoin ETF parade and Grayscale Trust, with Jason Urban of Galaxy Digital

 

Jeff Malec  02:05

Hello everyone has mentioned last week this will be our last episode of the year as we retool our format a bit and get to scheduling and recording guests for 2022. Which brings me to if there’s a trend following legend, you want to hear from a Volatility specialist, some more Bitcoin folks, whatever it is, make sure to comment, or drop us an email at invest at RC M A m.com. And let us know which guests or even which type of guests you’d like most like to see in the new year. So enjoy this pod and we’ll see you back here after the holidays. Okay, we’re here today talking crypto and Bitcoin ETFs. And trust sec, the CFTC and all the gray areas in between. We’ve got Jason urban with us. Jason is the global CO head of trading at Galaxy digital. Prior to joining galaxy, he was CEO of drawbridge lending, which we highlighted on the pod way back when maybe episode four or five or somewhere in there. So we’ll put that in the show notes. Make sure to check that out. And Jason also founded and ran the equity index derivative business at Chicago prop firm Dr. W. and was previously at Goldman where he ran its equity vol business. So welcome, Jason.

 

Jason Urban  03:15

Thanks for having me.

 

Jeff Malec  03:17

No worries. Thanks for being here. Where are you at today? You’re here in Chicago,

 

Jason Urban  03:20

and I’m here in Chicago today. So windy city.

 

Jeff Malec  03:25

Yeah. Got cold again. It was nice yesterday. Where? Where’d you grew up in Chicago?

 

Jason Urban  03:31

Yeah, Chicago area out in Palatine. And so I’m a local guy. I’ve been here you know, off and on my whole life.

 

Jeff Malec  03:40

And we have a somewhat unique friend in common. I think last time I saw you it was at his going away party when he left Chicago. So wanted he had a question. He wanted me asking on the pot if you’re up for it.

 

Jason Urban  03:52

I’m always up for it. But

 

Jeff Malec  03:55

yeah. Yeah, you should be worried. He wanted me ask you what it’s like being the perfect cross between Frankenstein and Moe from Nightcourt.

 

Jason Urban  04:07

I don’t have to worry about Halloween costumes. Yeah, exactly.

 

Jeff Malec  04:14

So anyway, that’ll lighten the mood. So want to start by talking about those two pieces on the resume equity vol at Goldman an equity index derivatives a dear w. So tell us what that was, like. Maybe start with the Goldman piece that was first right.

 

Jason Urban  04:30

Yeah, you know, I think that you can think about, you know, different trading styles. And there’s certainly a trading style at a large bank, a financial institution. You know, in the early days at Goldman, you know, we had just invented the VIX. And there were things that were you know, the tradable VIX. You know, there was a lot of opportunity and a lot of things that were happening you also had to be focused a little bit on, on client, you know, on client service, client flow, things of that nature. And so you’re Listen, your goal as a trader is always to buy ones and sell twos effectively. But there are different forces that that compete, you know, when you move to the, to the PTG world, you know, and my time at TRW, it’s strictly a return a return based, you know, function, you know, at a bank, there’s a little more, I don’t want to call it bureaucracy. But you know, there you stay in your lane, where a place like Dr. Wu, it’s like you stay in your lane. But you know, and it’s not just unique to the RW. But you stay in your lane, but you also can kind of branch out into other things and do, you know, do some other things if the opportunity set is there. And so, you know, one place is a little more structured and other places a little more entrepreneurial. And so as you kind of learn to look at the markets, you know, you’re taking that mindset to market structure, trade ideas, ways of doing things, you know, so on and so forth.

 

Jeff Malec  05:56

And Goldman, what was your main take you were today? What was their VIX trade dances predated VIX futures?

 

Jason Urban  06:04

No, this was this was right about the time that that the VIX futures rolled out, and you know, and so the trade there was simply just, you know, replication and recreation, right. So, you would take, you take the VIX, you would take, you know, that term structure that forward starting variants, you would then you know, trade either in the variant swap market, the inter dealer market, or you could look at, at the listed market, and that triangular trade that stool was basically, it was never perfect, and there was always an opportunity to, you know, buy VIX sell variants, you know, figure out your stub trade with, with the listed market, etc. So there was always something there were there were moving parts. And so you could kind of, you know, mathematically say, Hey, this is where this is going. And then, you know, subsequently, there was also just, you know, pure flow trading and kind of thinking about, you know, these are these are trades that are happening that are rotating and rotating out, there’s the skew cheap, is the skew rich, you know, how does the term structure look?

 

 

 

Jeff Malec  07:03

Why does it look that way, you know, taking a more macro approach,and when that was for the bank’s benefit, or for clients are a little bit

 

Jason Urban  07:09

for my side of the business was for the bank’s benefit. But you were always kind of dealing with the client, the client facing side of the house that would come in and be like, Hey, I’m for bid. Well, listen, the client really wants to sell fives, and can you do me a solid, where, if you’re at a PTG role, I’m never going to pay five, when I when I showed up for bid at the bank, you’re like, I twist my arm, I’ll work like hell to get out of it type of thing.

 

Jeff Malec  07:34

So there’s a little different, right? Because they make that entity $3 billion a year on the other side of the business.

 

Jason Urban  07:39

Exactly. Exactly. So you’re looking, you know, you’re looking at the whole relationship, not just, you know, is it? You know, what’s my return on my return on equity?

 

Jeff Malec  07:52

There’s probably some people rolling over in their graves right now that we’re calling Goldman a bank. But technically, they aren’t these days,

 

Jason Urban  08:02

Right. And so this was, this was this was all pre Dodd Frank. So that was, you know, the world, the world change subsequently.

 

Jeff Malec  08:08

Yeah. And so did that push you out of there? Like, why does anyone leave Goldman

 

Jason Urban  08:13

That was, you know, for me personally, it was definitely the, you know, the tarp considerations. And I looked at it and said, Okay, so there was a lot of talk about drawbacks and things like that, and in my take was, okay, so if I, if I do really well, I run the risk of getting, you know, clawed back, and if I do poorly, you’ll fire me. So it looks an awful lot, like, you know, heads, you win, tails, I lose. And, you know, you start to kind of you do the math, and you say, you know, maybe in hindsight, was that the best decision? You know, that’s always debatable, but it brought me to where I am today, which is a, which is a place

 

Jeff Malec  08:53

where you then when you’re New York, are you here in Chicago,

 

Jason Urban  08:56

Primarily, primarily Chicago at that point.

 

Jeff Malec  09:01

And then Dr. W, I’m hoping to get Danny on the pod one day, we’ll see if that ever happens. I don’t think he has any incentive to share what he’s doing. But, uh, give us a little bit of the background there. It’s well known here in Chicago, but probably not worldwide, or to most of our listeners. So, well, what was that? Like?

 

Jason Urban  09:18

I mean, that was another great experience, I mean, a very entrepreneurial place, you know, growing fast doing things in all aspects of the world. And so you could definitely, you know, come in try new ideas out, you definitely had the rope to experiment, at least in the early days, you know, whether it was inside of your inside of your area of expertise, or if there was something collaboratively that made sense outside. I mean, at one point, we were running a physicals business there that I was, you know, part of part of launching and, you know, we had 50,000 head of cattle, you know, things that you know, it’s not as it’s not As it’s not as random as it might actually sound, but it was a, it was a mathematical, it was a mathematical, you know, trade and it kind of, you know, you, you were given the ability to do it if it made sense. It wasn’t like, you know, you could just walk into Don’s office and say, hey, I want to buy some I want to buy some cows. It’s like, yeah, sure, go ahead. No, that’s not, that’s not how that works. You know, but they’re, they they’re, you know, very involved in a lot of a lot of aspects of the world, everything from real estate to, you know, and obviously, where they got their start trading and that universe.

 

Jeff Malec  10:35

But the general model there is, it’s the firm’s money, we’re gonna bring down traders and give them a little bit of rope, teach them how to trade or know, were you were you able to run your own model?

 

Jason Urban  10:46

Yeah, I was able to, you’re able to run your own model and do things. But you’re also, you know, as any, as any manager of an enterprise, your goal is to teach people to, you know, to broaden, broaden your team’s scope and reach inside of its area. And so that’s what you’re doing. So you’re definitely developing talent, you know, teaching them things.

 

Jeff Malec  11:08

And then what kind of what was what were those deals like, or you can just speak generally in Prop firms in Chicago, you come in and you put up capital or no,

 

Jason Urban  11:20

the RW did not some of the places that we looked at your you would put up capital. And so it’s kind of a function of, you know, whatever deal, you’re looking for some places, you put up capital, some places, you, you know, they put up the capital, and you’re subject to a split based on performance, and, you know, capital and capital use and everything else.

 

 

 

Jeff Malec  11:45

And how much rope do you get? If you lose one month? You’re okay, two months in a row, three months in a row?

 

Jason Urban  11:52

It depends, like, you know, there’s, you know, there’s different there’s different sides of that equation, right? Like, why did you lose three months in a row? Was it something that the firm was fine with? And it just, you know, the market conditions were such that it didn’t, you know, interest rates went to zero, and you were an interest rate trader, and they were pegged because they were at zero forever, you know, that becomes a firm wide becomes a firm decision that says, you know, we don’t necessarily want to be in this business, versus saying something like, Hey, I got short, Vol, and vol, one bid. And now I’ve lost three months in a row and you didn’t cover? Well, that’s a that’s a, you’re an irresponsible trader, standpoint, as opposed to, you know, yeah.

 

Jeff Malec  12:35

And then two big trades, you guys have one was, in a way, just buying a ton of real estate, right? That was a little bit of harvesting, the volatility harvesting, though, the positive skew and the money you made on the on the sell off, and then putting that back into kind of short ball assets. You think about it that way?

 

Jason Urban  12:54

You know, I mean, like,

 

Jeff Malec  12:56

what is that is the short version.

 

Jason Urban  12:59

Listen, there’s, there’s always a combination of both, right? You know, you when you when you think about any trade, right, people can be the right side of the trade and just be lucky, the guys who are good know when to get out when to when to double down and when to, you know, not look a gift horse in the mouth. And I think that, you know, tried and true Dr. Wu and Dan and the team are some of the best in the business. And so they’re pretty good at knowing, you know, in order to win the game, you got to be in the game, but you also have to know what you’re doing once you’re there.

 

Jeff Malec  13:31

So and then rumors aren’t they’ve gotten pretty big into crypto. Was that starting when you were there?

 

Jason Urban  13:36

Yes, it was. I mean, they I mean, they’re, you know, Cumberland, Cumberland mining is a known entity in the space. And that was kind of my first foray into it, even though that wasn’t I wasn’t directly involved. I was, you know, you’re tangential things, things touch each other. You know, it’s it’s a trading firm, and traders talk and people are always looking like, Hey, we’re, where’s the next great opportunity. And at the time, that was was truly, you know, one of the best opportunities in the space.

 

Jeff Malec  14:04

My pet theory is crypto was created by these prop firms is just a like gambling contest, right? Like, hey, you’re pretty good at trading on this exchange stuff. Let’s just come up with something that has no intrinsic value and see who can trade it better.

 

Jason Urban  14:20

Well, that’s, that’s why we’re gonna have this discussion today. Because I think it’s, you know, I started off, you know, with that view, and as I as I learned, you know, I’ll give you my my foray and how I got into crypto was it I was exposed to it. And my first would through TRW and through the guys that were starting Cumberland there. And, and my first thought was exactly that. Like, you know, Hey, what is this internet money? You know, this is not this, is that right? Yeah. And I made the mistake early in my career of when the internet came out, saying, you know, people are never going to buy their things on the internet the internet’s great, great, um, I mean, the fact that we can talk and I can say, I remember when the internet was, you know, was a new thing, you know, I set up, but people are still gonna want to try their clothes on, they’re gonna want to, you know, go to the shoe store and, you know, make sure this one fits just right. And now everybody every day you show up, and there’s 10 boxes in front of your front door from Amazon, and the world change. And I said I wasn’t going to, to, you know, take up, take a closed mind stance to it. But I was going to I was going to, you know, try to be try to be more open minded and learn. And in doing so, I realized that, you know, these crypto currencies aren’t necessarily assets, but they’re a tradable technology. They, they they do they solve a known or needed problem in this in the space, and it just so happens that that token is your your ticket to the solution, as opposed to or it is the solution in some cases, and so that it’s a way to to solve a known issue. And if you think about it that way, there is an inherent value. Ethereum has a value because it is a smart contract. It there, you know, it solves the who goes first problem. It solves it with technology. You know, and similarly, you know, Bitcoin solves, you know, the issue of stable, reliable stores of value, that are that are truly, you know, portable, and, you know, unique to unique to the individual. And so as you start to go down the line, all these other protocols, some of them, you know, are maybe, you know, more aspirational, but some of them are legitimately real, and there will be the, you know, if you think back to the Internet age, there was Netscape and there was Google, right? Some of them, some of these will be the Googles, and some of these will be the Netscape and that’s just going to be a function of, of time will tell execution will matter.

 

Jeff Malec  16:55

And just last, who is the Netscape guy? Was that guy? And Anderson? Yeah, he did. All right, right. Oh, yeah.

 

Jason Urban  17:04

He did. All right. But a lot of people that had piled in afterwards or something that, you know,

 

Jeff Malec  17:12

Marc Andreessen? Yeah. Um, and just this popped in my head saying, you remember when the internet was getting started? Now you’re in this young man’s game? Like, do you ever feel like the old man at the table? And all these young kids are bringing all these ideas? How do you how do you navigate that? Well, here,

 

Jason Urban  17:30

on one level, you’re only you’re only as older as young as you think you are. That’s one piece of it, too, is that if you if you have a curious mind, and you’re looking to learn, you know, you’ll always you’ll, you’ll always be part of the young man’s game. The advantage that I look at it not as a detriment, but as a as an advantage in the sense that, you know, I’ve traded through bubbles and traded through, you know, ponzis and everything else things that are real problems in any asset, real, you know, the same the same issues that you want to be aware of here and not make those mistakes, right. And so that’s something that I think is helps me in my day to day inside a crypto is understanding what exactly were you know, what exactly could go wrong? Where you know, as the options trader what’s my what’s my max loss, and understand how that can happen and then just guard against that and make sure that we’re, you know, if not the smartest guys in the room, at least asking the right questions on those guys.

 

Jeff Malec  18:39

grayscale, so our galaxy digital, so explain, first of all the different set grayscale and Galaxy digital,

 

Jason Urban  18:47

well grayscale, grayscale is DCG. Galaxy is we have our own trusts and things that we’ve done with CI you know, Galaxy, the best way to think about galaxy is a financial services company inside of crypto, were set up in a way that the best way to think about us is five divisions. You have the trading division, which is the division that I call run, which looks and feels an awful lot like any trading place. We have an Asset Management Division, which does you know, the indexes the ETFs that we do in Canada, the clothes then trust the things that we’re doing in the States, both public and private placements. We have an advisory business, which does which doesn’t mostly think of it as investment banking, m&a, activity, things of that nature. We have a principal investments team, that is us basically investing the firm’s balance sheet in projects, protocols, things that are tangential to the to the ecosystem. And then the last piece is the mining division, which does, which does mining that and also offers minor services. So for mining clients who are looking for either capital raises or hedging or liquidations, you know, in addition to us actually running the gear ourselves. So as you kind of think through it, you know, we we are touching every part of the ecosystem. And we’re touching it, you know, oftentimes, you know, I say this people are like, who are your competitors? Well, pretty much everybody’s a competitor in some in some form, and everybody’s a client in some form. And I think that’s the one thing that right now is very unique to crypto, is that crypto is, crypto is it’s still such a nascent industry, and there’s still so much whitespace out there to grab that, invariably, you’re going to find that you’re working together with somebody one day, and you’re competing with them the next in a different area. And people I think, embrace that, and nobody takes it personally, everybody gets the joke, so to speak. You know, we’re somebody, you know, we’re, we’re bidding against somebody on a particular deal, maybe in the principal investment space, but on the trading side, they’re a client of the firm. So it’s just a matter of understanding, you know, where you fit in, where the lines are not crossing them. And listen, your reputation matters, right? It’s a small world. And so you can’t, you know, you’re a bad actor, people will find out quickly.

 

 

 

Jeff Malec  21:25

Do you find is it a pretty mentioned small world, but is it like, compared with Goldman and dealing across the Wall Street banks and stuff, like compare it to that kind of sense, like,

 

Jason Urban  21:37

You know, here, the best way to think about it from that perspective, is a Wall Street bank, if you were a vol guy, all the vol guys in say equities knew each other. Right? But you didn’t necessarily know the fic guys. Crypto was a lot of a lot of that, although it’s, it’s as it’s gotten bigger and bigger. You know, in the early days, you know, three, four years ago, everybody knew everyone. Now you’ve got, you know, new things that that weren’t even invented three, four years ago, springing up and people know each other, but it’s still, it’s still pretty interconnected that that space is growing. So it’s more like are all the ball guys know all the ball guys? That’s still a lot of crypto. But it’s it’s gradually becoming more spread out.

 

Jeff Malec  22:28

So tell me about Nova grants. Have you gotten to know him since you joined?

 

Jason Urban  22:34

Yeah, I mean, I hear I’ve worked with, you know, a lot of really smart people over, you know, my 25 years of doing this, obviously, we talked about dying team at DRW to billionaires. You know, in other Goldman, there were, you know, a litany of some of the best and smartest minds in the space. You know, I think Novo is right up there near the top, you know, he’s very, he’s very fast. You know, from a trading perspective, you can look at things two ways, right? As a trader, you say, Who’s faster than me? And who’s smarter than me. And, you know, I think Novo is very fast and connecting trends, seeing things, understanding concepts. And he’s very smart. And then he can work through the implications of, of a situation, connect the dots quickly and make a quick, a quick assessment of, of the risks and make the trade. And I think that’s part of how he’s gotten to where he is. I mean, he’s been a, he’s been an evangelist for crypto for a long time. Well, before it was invoked talk, you know, like a lot of us early days, people took a lot of a lot of flack from, from friends in the traditional the Trad fi space, and said, No, this is actually transformative. And this is going to change the way we all live in and work in finance. And he was one of the first people to do that. You know, so to that end, he’s, you know, he’s definitely, you know, deserves his top billing.

 

Jeff Malec  24:04

Yeah. When did he buy his first crypto? Who knows?

 

Jason Urban  24:07

I’m sure. It’s, I mean, it’s, yeah, early, early, early. I mean, they’re put it this way, there’s stuff on the balance sheet that, you know, is extremely exceedingly early.

 

Jeff Malec  24:21

Yeah. And talk a minute about you mentioned, you’re trying to, you’re kind of like one of these trading firms. But all this defi stuff is kind of trying to disrupt that. So you, you’ve you galaxy as one of the disruptors or someone who could get disrupted. I mean, you’re obviously one of the disruptors versus the traditional banks, but as the biggest in the crypto space, it’s kind of like your got to another target on you know,

 

Jason Urban  24:46

yeah, you know, we are very, we’re very obviously pro crypto, that that is the nature of our firm. We are we think we’re on the bleeding edge of this and so as such you have to be on chain. So thinking about defy is really being on chain, I think that there are challenges with being on chain that we were, we work very hard to balance. And what I mean by that is, you’re there’s regulatory status around that, and making sure that how you’re interacting in that space, you know, checks all the boxes, us being publicly traded, we need to be us being publicly traded, we need to be, you know, holier than Caesar’s wife, so to speak, we can’t make any mistakes. And so we’re very, you know, we’re very thoughtful around regulation. And so that that proposes some challenges. But for the most part, you know, we are I don’t look at d d phi as a disrupter. I look at it as a tool in our arsenal of many tools. We’re truly embracing the space. And whenever today, alone, I’ve had two calls on defi protocols in the derivative space. You know, and how do you how does it work? How do you interact with it? Does it? Does it really solve a problem? Or is it is it something taking advantage of, you know, marketing? And those are questions you always have to ask. I think there are some real defy the FIDE protocols that solve real problems. And they will be disruptors to banks and the current financial system. Because it doesn’t, it doesn’t take three, three rent seekers, for me to post, you know, a gold a gold bar to borrow, you know, $2,000 back, right, like, like a smart contract, that computer can do that. And be very, you know, fair and reasonable amount.

 

Jeff Malec  26:39

Why do you think it’s, these traditional banks and financial players have been so slow to kind of step into this space?

 

Jason Urban  26:47

I think because we don’t have regulatory clarity. And, you know, when I got into crypto, crypto was still a career killer for a lot of people. Like it was like, we would talk to these banks, it’s really interesting, you know, you would talk to these traditional finance people. And they would scoff at you and say, Oh, you’re not, you know, you’re in crypto, I never touched that this is a, this is a Ponzi. It’s, it’s this internet money, whatever it is. And now that it’s, it’s gaining traction, and you think about the demographic shift. And when you really step back and think about trading trends and things that have driven, you know, adoption, its demographics. I mean, the baby boomers for years being told, get a 401 K, put your money in the stock market, do those things, definitely drove that that was something that they’re the previous generation did not do, right. And maybe that was the hangover from the 20s, you know, 29, and so on. It wasn’t until the boomers came in, and they drove that. And that was a major demographic push. Now, you’ve got the younger generations, where 90% of the kids have traded some form of a digital asset, whether it’s a coin that they got on their game, that they traded to somebody else, they’re very comfortable with that. And in a world where you have run away banking, in runaway inflation, potentially, you know, fiscal and monetary policy, like this could be an I believe it is the shift. And so in the early days when you when you got into the space, and why weren’t banks, and it was it was Scott that, and now you’re looking at it, and people are saying very, very, you know, reasonable, like, hey, we have to get into this. And the regulators need to catch up. And I think you’re finally starting to sense that they get that they get that they get the joke, so to speak. Yeah, that they need they need to do it. But now it’s can they do it because of political infighting, and so on and so forth?

 

Jeff Malec  28:44

The two thoughts, they’re the one, it’s the classic innovators cycle, right? Like the big groups are too entrenched. And they can’t risk their current business to go into something new. So that’s where these new players come in and say, Hey, I don’t have that baggage I’m gonna get into. Yeah. And then too, I had an interesting conversation the other day of politicians, all they want to do is get elected, right? So world’s getting younger, if all these young people have all this crypto, the politician is gonna be like, Yeah, I’m right. There’s going to be more and more people running, saying we should make crypto, this crypto that, like it’s going to become part of the narrative, I think just so the politicians can get reelected.

 

Jason Urban  29:27

Well, that and it’s, you know, it’s also becomes a national security issue at some level. Yeah. Because if China comes through with a central bank, digital currency, and that becomes a reserve currency in some capacity, you know, what is our answer to that nobody wants to give up the nobody wants to give up the throne. And as the dollar being the global reserve currency, you know, if you’re looking 50 years down the road, whatever it is, like looking at it through a longer lens, you need to be you need to be at least responsive, and so that’s just going to create the rails that that crypto will will run on because if you’re paying for dollars on a, on a system that’s already put in place to handle a digital currency, it’ll be just as easy to for a shopkeeper to say, hey, I’ll take your Bitcoin I’ll take your ether, I’ll take your Solana your Luna down the line, it’ll be just as easy for them to do that. And so, you know, this phone, every kid who’s my kid, your kid, however you want to think about it? who’s now an adult is going to have that at their fingertips?

 

Jeff Malec  30:28

Yeah. And so you mentioned all those other quick Are you guys right from the outside looking at? It seems like your Bitcoin eath focused only

 

Jason Urban  30:37

We actually are no, we are, I would say we’re probably, you know, while Bitcoin and ether certainly parts of what we’re doing, we’re doing it all, you know, we truly are, you know, we trade 100 names with clients, we trade, you know, 25 of them on platform so electronically you know, we are, we are we are in everything and doing everything you know, in that ecosystem

 

Jeff Malec  31:10

Global Head of training, when what does that mean? What do you do day to day.

 

Jason Urban  31:16

I mean, it’s it truly so if you think back to the earlier part of the conversation with the five groups, one of them is trading, you know, we do everything from spot. So it’s, you know, I want to buy bitcoin I want to buy salon I want to buy, pick your coin, you know, whether that’s electronic or block where guys will come in and look for one time risk pricing, hey, I need to own 50 bucks a Bitcoin right now I need to own 100 bucks of each. And we’ll give we’ll give risk pricing. So that’s one bucket, we then have the derivatives bucket, which has options and you know, puts calls and because we are publicly traded, because there is a visible balance sheet there, we tend to be the bottom of the risk funnel. Because, you know, it’s one thing to have the right bet, it’s another thing to know that you’re gonna be able to cash it on that bet and make money. And so that’s, that’s a big part of us being public is giving that opportunity. So we see a lot of business flow, that way, we have a lending business, because you have to think about digital assets is everything is hard to borrow, because it is a bearer asset. And then we have structured products for people who are looking to borrow, but with overlays, and, you know, all the things that you’re used to seeing in the, in the, you know, traditional world. And that’s more what I would call like the Trad five product offering inside of crypto. And then we have what I’ll call is the on chain or defy type stuff, they kind of get bucketed together. So, you know, we do market making as a service for a lot of these protocols, where they’ll come in and ask us to be liquidity providers to run validator nodes or effectively, you know, helping their clients or the ecosystem stake. And then, you know, obviously defy in and of itself, right, there are things you can do inside of that, that or, you know, when borrow, you know, transact, so on and so forth. So we kind of do a little bit of everything. And some of that is some of that is more for our account. Some of it is for clients accounts, anything that we do for our account, we obviously offer to clients. But some clients aren’t ready or not are not capable or comfortable yet with say doing staking, but they are comfortable with saying hey, I’d love to buy, you know, 100 million dollars with a Bitcoin. And I’d like you guys to, you know, do that for me. And so that’s the kind of that’s the kind of service so it’s a little bit of, you know, our trading business kind of touches, you know, all aspects of things. And our client base is really, you know, you know, people say, Well, what are your clients? Like, it’s very diverse, we have crypto natives, on one end of the spectrum, people that, you know, are very, you know, very, very, very deep into that ecosystem. And on the other hand, on the other side of the equation, you know, we’re dealing with, you know, the big banks that you’ve mentioned previously as well as, as others that you haven’t, and there are people that, you know, don’t want to be known as being in crypto, and we’re in at an early point. And now there are people who are very, you know, very public want to say that they’re in crypto, so it’s a little bit of a, it’s a little bit of everything.

 

Jeff Malec  34:19

I was actually gonna ask that. So like, more institutional than Coinbase say. Yeah, I mean, we always we don’t bigger tickets and whatnot.

 

Jason Urban  34:28

Yeah, we don’t we don’t we don’t deal with the retail side of things. We are institutional only. And so I mean, institutional has a wide label.

 

Jeff Malec  34:39

Yes. You say it’s a weird to say because everyone’s like, once institutional gets involved, this is going to go to the moon. Well, and you tell me, are they involved?

 

Jason Urban  34:49

They are they’re listening. In March of this year, you know, I very, you know, maybe put my foot in my mouth. I was on a podcast right after the bottom of the market. fell out or an interview. And, you know, I said, I think we could still take out the highest by year end. And the next day, I had a great headline and all my friends opinion me, oh, you know, Jason says bitcoins going to 70,000 by the end of the year. At that time, a lot of what was going on, I would say was aspirational people were kicking the tires, how do I get in? You know, what do I do? You know, and there was a lot of education, you know, we went, we weathered the dip in the summer. And then as, as fall came online, those guys started to step into the market a little bit, we now we now are seeing that, you know, the, the faster movers inside of traditional finance are definitely here. The slower movers are getting here. But I think everybody is now recognizing that this is an asset class that, you know, they need to have some portion of in their portfolio. You know, in the early days, it was a career killer. But if you if you got in and you were wrong, now, it’s a career killer if you don’t get in, and you know, inflation continues to roar, and this, you know, this asset class takes off. And so there’s a FOMO on that front. So I do feel it’s this de risk.

 

Jeff Malec  36:11

There’s weird stuff happening, right? We have a private fun that Schwab customers want to invest in. And it has a very small piece of it does Bitcoin futures, so Schwab’s alternative investment, acceptance department automatically reads the PPM and kicks it out because it has cryptocurrency in it? And then you can’t get to a real person to explain like, not really, it’s the futures, there’s no hacking risk all this, but and then at the same time, Schwab on their website is saying, like, trade Bitcoin through us. So it’s just a lot of this, like, red tape that they don’t even know exists inside the ruined firms. That just has to get worked through.

 

Jason Urban  36:51

No, you’re 100, you’re 100%. Right. And there are different people with different risk profiles. And it’s a you know, it’s less polarizing today than it was a year ago or two years ago, still, you know, there’s still a lot of people that that think it’s just funny, fake internet money. And, you know, that that’s not the case. But those people, you know, gradually, I think the, the more informed people are starting to win out the conversation.

 

Jeff Malec  37:20

You’re like, God just put 2% in it, which I’ve always had a problem with, if you just said that about everything. Yeah, you’d have a lot of losses, and maybe not a lot of gains. But and then quickly, you touched on staking, you want to take a stab at explaining how that all works.

 

Jason Urban  37:39

Yeah, I mean, at a very high level to maintain these. To maintain the blockchain, you know, you need to have, you need to have somebody needs to be incentivized to do that, right. So there’s proof of work and proof of stake, Bitcoin is proof of work, you go out and you mined, and you say, Okay, I’m going to solve the equation. And if I solve the equation, I can create the block and therefore maintain that the database staking is similar in that those people who are running those validators are maintaining the database, they are maintaining that ledger that says, you and I transacted and so staking, you know, you’re, you’re required to have a certain amount of asset to prove that you’re part of the network. And so what people will do is they’ll borrow assets from other people, and people will send them to them, the validators will do this, and effectively stake those assets, and then they get rewarded by the by the network to maintain the maintain that blockchain. And so you know, as you kind of work through it, there’s two different ways for you know, there’s no free lunch, the ledger needs to get maintained, right, that’s the only way this works. And so, you know,

 

Jeff Malec  38:55

it seems counter intuitive, right? Like, do Everyone say, No, it’s a smart contract, and it’s all on chain, and it all works. But we’re also saying, Well, somebody’s got to monitor what

 

Jason Urban  39:04

he’s got to do, right? And but it’s done in a decentralized way where you can right now on your computer, stand up a Bitcoin mining, you know, so you can mind something on your computer as we speak, and choose to be part of that ecosystem or not. And the people who are using that ecosystem are going to pay you to do it, because the service that you’re providing, solves a problem somewhere else and they’re making more money by solving that problem putting medical records on the blockchain, so that, you know, people’s health is, you know, transferable with them wherever they go, Well, someone’s got to maintain that and someone’s willing to pay for that service. And somebody is willing to, you know, to provide the service and that’s effectively what this is. It’s just a decentralized way of doing

 

Jeff Malec  39:53

it is that where the gas fees come in? is basically that payment for them maintenance that

 

Jason Urban  39:59

that is yes, that is part of it. Right. So, you know, there’s ways that, you know, everybody, everybody transaction pays. So yes, in terms of gas, that is one of the ways miners get paid.

 

Jeff Malec  40:13

And that to me, I moved some I was gonna buy some NF T’s I moved some from my coin base to rainbow or something. And it was all way too confusing. But, uh, just a move in, I was going to spend like $500 to buy a minute T. Right, it was like prohibitively expensive to move the $500. So I was questioning the validity of that approach.

 

Jason Urban  40:35

Well, and that and that’s precisely the issue. And that’s why you’re seeing these other, you know, layer ones. Become into vogue, right. So Ilana is able to do that, you know, people call them what’s the next Ethereum killer? And is it’s Elana? Is it avalanche? Is it Luna? You know, is it Cosmos, you could start going down these layer ones who also maintain blockchains and maintain databases. And so maintaining that database says, okay, you know, I’ll let you move your salon much cheaper. And, you know, there’s, there’s always a trade off the two trade offs in crypto, are do you want security? Or do you want speed? You know, speed is speed comes with, you know, you’re just not going to be is a safe, right? You know, think about driving your automobile, you’re going 200 miles an hour, you’re not as safe as if you’re going 20. And that’s just the constant trade off that we’re all dealing with.

 

 

 

Jeff Malec  41:32

What’s weird to me is they’re not right, like Facebook, Instagram was a Facebook killer. And so Facebook bought it. But you don’t have that dynamic here, right? Like Ethereum, can’t buy Salona, maybe they could or there’s something weird could happen there. But it seems like it’ll be a kind of a winner take all,

 

Jason Urban  41:51

but I don’t I don’t think we’re in a like here I who knows what the next 10 years is gonna hold. But I think in the near term, what you’re seeing is a lot of, of projects and protocols coming on that actually create interchain operability. So that it’s easy for you to do some Bitco, who was the custodian that we originally recently purchased. I mean, they offer rapid coins. So it’s a way to take Bitcoin and wrap it and put it into the, to the Ethereum ecosystem. And so now you can unlock that value. Like there are ways to do all of this. And so as you kind of work through it, like, the other way to think about this is think about all the brilliant minds and engineers that are working at Facebook and Apple at Microsoft, and how many brilliant engineers, and truly, you know, technological, advanced minds are doing this. And then think about the crypto ecosystem. And the number of engineers that are working on that, that are that are equally smart, dwarfs it, force it by a factor of 100 or 1000. And so when you think about that, they’re always going to find a way to, to make the problem to meet to make it work, right, there are things that are clunky, you know, yield, farming can be clunky, there are things that are, you know, but in time, that will change, but today, you know, and that’s also why there’s the opportunity here, that’s why you can see some of these things, you know, 5x 10x 100x Because if they solve a real meaningful problem they’re worth and that if you can solve your eath problem where you want a movie, then it’s going to cost you $500 to move $500 of eath because the yes at the time, like there people are actively working on solving and eat this actually working on solving that

 

Jeff Malec  43:45

with 2.0. And then they’re like changing that on the fly, right? Like in real time trying to change the plane while it’s flying in the air and change the engines change the wind seems a little scary.

 

Jason Urban  43:57

Well, and that’s why everybody’s watching it with you know, and that’s why it’s a it’s a long very thought out, drawn out process. You know, they’re running that in parallel. Because it is it is complex

 

Jeff Malec  44:17

the options part of the trading just a lot of our stuff on here is talking with options traders and investors. Talk to us a little bit about what that market looks like. I guess we could focus Yeah, point I guess but touch on Ethereum too.

 

Jason Urban  44:30

Yeah, yeah, I mean here I’ll start off by saying that the activity in the option space definitely falls along the lines of market cap. So Bitcoin being number one, Bitcoin being number one, eath number two, and then subsequently the other calls. What that looks like is you have the listed markets or traditional regulated markets. I’ll call them CME. You know, I think you’ll you can look for something coming out of some of the other spaces as well, whether that’s the, you know, Eris X CBOE that no meals got an offering ledger X was a traditional, you know, DCM in the space, those markets are, you know, more comfortable, but they don’t give you appropriate leverage, then you have an I’ll get, I’ll come back to that, then you have what I’ll call the, you know, the crypto centric, you know, they’re a bit calm, there’s a number of, of exchanges that you can trade on. And then you have, what we see a lot of, at least in the institutional space is bilateral trading done under his or long form, we trade under his because it’s safe, having been a victim of, you know, Lehman Brothers, and some of the things that felt fell apart with that. You know, we’re, we’re cognizant of some of the holes in long form trading. So we trade under is the bilaterally, but if you think back like people always ask, why is the CME not gain as much traction. And the issue is, is, you know, being able to get credit for your collateral, if I want to sell a call, to overwrite my position, a very, you know, simple thing. It’s a, you know, it’s something that you can do, but I don’t get credit for having a coin. And so I now need to post margin against what the CME or the FCM views as a short position. When in reality, it’s a very safe positioning some long the asset, I’m sure to call against it, and I’m just overwrite it. So that’s the current limitation. So I think if you have the ability to, you know, I think back, the back option was probably closest to getting there, nobody’s gotten there yet. I think the bit nominal guys might be working on something, but there are a number of people, if you can get to a point where you’re, you’re getting credit for your asset. And you can pledge it into the, into the risk system, that that that’s really the you know, for traditional regulated venue, that’s the most important thing.

 

Jeff Malec  47:09

But that’s the, that’s the tough nut to crack, right? Because they’re saying, hey, I need credit on some centralized system, but it’s a decentralized system. Right? Like,

 

Jason Urban  47:17

it’s not even, it’s just like the CME or the FCM won’t recognize the Bitcoin that I hold as an asset. Yeah. And so and so whether

 

Jeff Malec  47:27

it’s because it’s not in ketosis. Exactly. Yes, exactly. Yeah.

 

Jason Urban  47:30

And they don’t have it isn’t a bank account, there isn’t a, you know, it’s not something that they’re there yet, they’ll get there. And I think you’ll, you’ll gradually see volumes move from some of these crypto native venues to more regulated because that’s just where people feel more comfortable. And there’s a ruleset surrounding it. So you know, as we kind of work through this, that’s going to be the challenge.

 

Jeff Malec  47:55

I don’t know if they’ll get there. But we’re battling with trying to hold physical gold, and have the physical gold holding be counted as an asset and it’s in the warehouse. And the receipt is on the FCM books, and they’re like, it can’t be in your name. It could be in the FCM name. And then but right so it’s, it’s tricky. Um, talk to me a little bit about like, just numbers like, what’s the vol look like on the implied vol on those options? Is it called skewed put skewed?

 

 

Jason Urban  48:24

It’s that here the implied vol is, you know, it could range I mean, it’s been as low as you know, it hasn’t been 40 in a while. But, you know, I’d say it probably hovers in the, you know, when it gets low in the 50s. When it spikes, you know, it’s probably 110 120 When it really spikes. It’s 300. And that’s on, you know, I’ll call it the Bitcoin eath universe. Bitcoin, you know, eath generally trades about, you know, anywhere from seven to seven to $12, higher, richer, more or less, and I’m giving generalities here, the skew is definitely called skew. Part of that is when you take 100 Vol asset, I mean, what does that tell you that says, you know, there’s a two thirds probability that the assets either going to double or be worth zero? Well, if you’re looking at the zero bound is something realistic, do you really want to buy what’s you know, on something that you know, is bounded zero and that zero bound, so your SKU kind of flattens, and so your call skew becomes the, you know, your call skew becomes, you can go you can theoretically go to infinity, right? And so, that’s, that’s a realistic, realistic thing. So you definitely see calls, as a general rule, trade over now, that may change with time, it may change with you know, as more and more traditional people come in and look to protect, you know, that may that may change but right now, it’s generally, you know, your 25 Delta call trades at a higher volume than your 25 million points.

 

Jeff Malec  50:00

But that opens up a lot of cool stuff with all that high right? Like selling covered call. Yeah, that kind of stuff is amazing.

 

Jason Urban  50:08

Yeah, are selling puts as an entry point to get into the asset for people who feel and the Vols that high the yields on that are actually meaningful.

 

Jeff Malec  50:18

So, Citadel says quant a lot of these guys have become no names to the retail universe after the GameStop stuff and right market makers have become in the news. So who are those players in that crypto space? Are you know, is there gamma squeezes all that kind of stuff happening in the crypto space the same as GameStop?

 

Jason Urban  50:40

There are definitely there are definitely squeezes there are definitely, you know, more large trades will push the market around. But they’re there. It’s like any new market, right? Like, generally speaking, things hum along and then all of a sudden, you know, somebody big gets in and tries to do something in the markets will move and they adjust and, you know, it’s a it’s more of like trading in emerging markets than it is like trading, you know, something like s&p where, you know, okay, how many, you know, at some point, there’s enough people that will step in and normalize things, yeah.

 

Jeff Malec  51:24

Let’s get into the greyscale trust. What was the original idea there? How big has it become? I haven’t checked latest.

 

 

Jason Urban  51:34

You know, so. So yeah, so let’s look at let’s look at the trust in general, and talk about that, and then talk about, you know, the general the general impact of market dynamics. So, the, you know, the trust’s and greyscale being the biggest, but there are, there are a number of them, you know, whether it’s three IQ CI, you know, bitwise, there, there are a number, the grayscale, or the trust trade was, there was no easy way for a retail investor to get exposure to digital, without buying the actual Bitcoin, like, there was no traditional plumbing, that I could buy it in my retirement accounts, or I could buy it in my trading account. So the trust, the trust offered that what that did was that force that basically pushed the trust, to a dislocated level. You know, it could be as high as you know, when it first came out, you saw, you know, 5,000% premiums, but gradually, you know, it normalized in the, you know, the 20 to 30% premium range. And that was because there was a retail bid for it, like people, I need to have this in my portfolio, I don’t care that I’m giving up, theoretically 25% I am happy just to get exposure, because I think it’s going to 10x What that did was it created the mechanism for getting into the trust is twofold. There were two, there are two ways to think about the trust there was subbing into the trust directly. And then there was buying the trust on a on a venue, right, buying the trust on a venue, buying the trust on a venue resulted in resulted in, you know, that 20% premium, if you subbed into the trust directly with venue, like, like, like, like, like an OTC or pink sheets or, you know, something like that, but there was still there was still a way to get into your, you know, your chart to use your example into your Charles Schwab account. So people what they were doing was they were taking they were going out and taking Bitcoin, whether they borrowed it or bought it, subscribing into the trust, the trust would lock up for a period of time. In the early days, it was a one year lockup, you know, as they became 48 companies. It was a six month lockup, and in Canada, it was a four month lockup, but you would basically buy or borrow Bitcoin, put it into the trust, wait your four to six months, when an unlocked, you would sell it at a premium, and you would then replace the Bitcoin that you had borrowed. And, you know, and move forward that way. So it was a quick way to make 2020 to 40%, you know, annualized, and that’s cash on cash, rather, I should say. So it was 20 to 40%, which was really 40 to 80% on an annualized basis, just doing that, and that was really a regular, you know, it was a regulatory ARB, it was a retail arm. It was it was, you know, some way to however you wanted to think about it, but that was effectively what was happening.

 

Jeff Malec  54:48

Some of the aforementioned Chicago prop firms were all over them.

 

Jason Urban  54:53

Yeah, yeah. I mean, they’re there a lot everybody was everybody that was in the space was doing it or participating in it. in some form or another, the lenders were lending coin to the prop shops who were subbing in, like everybody was kind of touching that right. And that was simply created because the regulator’s wouldn’t allow for an ETF. That all changed very drastically when Canada allowed for an ETF. And they were the first. And so they rolled out the Canadian Bitcoin ETF and just almost overnight, the premium disappeared as people naturally rotated, because now they could find ways to, to get that ETF into their portfolio. And so you saw the premium, snap to zero. And now because there is no way to know, there is no redemption feature. So the interesting part about the trust was that you could either create trust share, the SEC came out and said you can either create trust shares, or you could redeem trust shares. But you couldn’t do both. So, so you had to pick a lane and say, I’m going to be I’m going to create, which is when the premium was high, because I’m not going to let people redeem. So they were they were locked in the locked into these truss shares. Because if you do both, you’re basically need to get an ETF. Exactly, exactly. So that was their way of saying, we’re not going to let you be an ETF. But we’ll let you pick one lane. So you know, now that, you know, fast forward to today, where you’ve got ETFs that are out there, and you can create redeem regularly. At least in Canada, you’re looking at, you know, the trust is now trapped capital. And so it’s now trading at a significant discount. Because people there hasn’t been a physical ETF approved yet. There’s the futures ETF, but not a physicals ETF and so you’re locking, you’re locking your capital up into a vehicle? That I mean, theoretically, there’s not there’s no guarantee that the SEC is going to allow for these trusts to convert ETFs. And that’s and that’s something that that’s something that people are are cognizant of.

 

Jeff Malec  57:17

But you can sell your ownership in the trust to someone else who wants to buy it. But that’s, that’s what’s created the discount,

 

Jason Urban  57:24

right? Because everybody’s like, Why do I want to buy your trust and come with these terms and conditions that are unknown? When I can just go buy the ETF for as it’s becoming more commonplace? Just go buy the asset itself.

 

Jeff Malec  57:35

As it went from a scarcity premium to a liquidity discount? That’s correct. And that’s on both that’s on there’s a Bitcoin one and eath one, right?

 

Jason Urban  57:49

There’s a lot of them for both, but yes, they’re, they’re all They’re all. And based on their features. So a few of the Canadian ETFs allow for redemption period, there’s a redemption discount if you do it at any time. Or you can do it one time manually. So each one is a little different. They come with a little different twist. And whatever that twist is, is basically it tells you how it’s going to trade. Right? Yeah, if there if you if you can redeem at any point and pay a 5% penalty, you’re never going to drift far from 5% as a discount, right? If it gets to 10% discount, I’m going to buy it redeem and make 5% instantaneously.

 

Jeff Malec  58:27

Yeah. And but the trust owns tons of big what’s it worth a couple billion, right? So it owns then

 

Jason Urban  58:35

it owns billions of Bitcoin. Yeah, it’s Yeah. And they sit there and it’s, it’s, you know, it’s locked away.

 

Jeff Malec  58:41

And there’s no mechanism to do like staking to do some of this stuff to generate a yield on that ownership.

 

Jason Urban  58:50

I mean, I don’t think their Doc’s allow for it. Right. Like it’s in a trust, you know, isn’t it isn’t it isn’t held in on the boats are held, and, you know, effectively St. Dave or however you want to think about,

 

Jeff Malec  59:01

right. And so we touched on the ETF, so let’s all these new ones just came out. What are your thoughts on that? I think you guys, I don’t know how much you can say but you guys, we’re looking at doing a Yeah, around your services and what you’re

 

Jason Urban  59:17

over. Yeah, but generally speaking, the you know, you’ve created the futures ETF. And like any, like any ETF that’s, that’s based on futures that comes with, you know, some conditions, you’re there’s going to be role risk. When the future expires, you’re gonna have to roll to the next term. Can you match that? You know, what’s your tracking error? How much are you allowed to deploy into the futures market versus somewhere else? Like, there becomes a number of, of issues, and I think it’s a trade off. Right. I think that the regulator’s came out and said, We’re comfortable with futures because we’re caught there’s enough liquidity in the futures market today to support this. And that, you know, And is debatable based on where basis is but the, you know, the, the reality is that they came forward and they said this, this seems to check some regulatory boxes for us. And now we’re at a point where I think the demand outstripped what people were expecting initially. And so you’re creating friction points, and you have some unintended consequences. And that’s always like, like anything, when you do it, the first time you’re going to, you’re going to hit some bumps in the road, you’re gonna have to figure it out. And I think that that’s what you’re going to see, you know, with some of these products, and some of these products come with natural, you know, like the role risk, right? It’s very reminiscent of us. Oh, yeah, the GFCI like things that happen, and they, they fix that, but it took some time, and I think you’re gonna see some of the same growing pains in the, you know, in the process. Now, here,

 

Jeff Malec  1:00:51

what, what’s that Futures Curve look like? I should know that but a price that in contango, so you’re rolling to the more expensive

 

Jason Urban  1:01:02

it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s wavy, is the best way. So, you know, it’s, it’s you’re putting a lot of, of cash flow into a market. And so whatever term is the boat term becomes bid, right? That’s the best way to think about it. You know, so I’ll give it when it launched, October traded way over, and then all of a sudden, you know, October traded almost to a 40% annualized premium. Because everybody was trying to get into that, either through the ETF for an anticipation of ETF. And then as, as November came online, you know, I mean, they’re all tradable. But as people started to look at the role, then November traded over October collapse for the last few days, and DS traded under, but it’s, it’s, you know, you have that timing risk. So, you know, over time, you would expect you would expect the cost to roll. But it’s again, a function of how, you know, what’s the general sentiment in the asset, right, when things are going up? The fronts are bad when things are going down, you know, the front’s collapse.

 

 

Jeff Malec  1:02:14

The I just pulled it up. So there Nov is trading 57. Seven. And it is in contango. So these 58 Jan 58, five, fed 59, march 60.

 

Jason Urban  1:02:30

And that, and that is, and that’s what you would naturally expect to see. Yeah, I think when you start to get out to march, you know, there’s a little bit of finger in the air because, you know, six months in crypto or five months in Corinthians is an Eternity

 

Jeff Malec  1:02:46

Eternity. And so if you guys had your way, like a spot ETF is the is the goal or to convert the whole trust into an ETF?

 

Jason Urban  1:02:55

Yeah, I think that, you know, that’s just the healthier, that’s a healthier thing.

 

Jeff Malec  1:03:01

Yeah. What about these, which were way earlier, some of these ETFs that just buy like, companies in and around the space? That’s kind of a different play altogether?

 

Jason Urban  1:03:11

Yeah, no, I think, you know, whether you know, there’s a lot of interesting financial ways to play the space. You know, and as you do that, it’s, uh, you know, it’s it all. It all comes with a little bit of risk, right? You buy, you’re buying companies in the space, you know, it’s different than looking at the technological solution that Ethereum provides, let’s just say, versus, you know, companies that are mining Bitcoin, but yeah, they’re all rising tides going to lift all boats, but you’re not necessarily getting that pure beta.

 

Jeff Malec  1:03:50

Yeah, I said that. Their Own the gold and the gold miners, right. Like, because with management and debt equipment, yeah, you’re

 

Jason Urban  1:03:57

taking a different risk, and you’re and you’re getting a different outcome.

 

Jeff Malec  1:04:01

Any other thoughts on the space in general? Or your guys place in it

 

Jason Urban  1:04:06

before we move? Yeah, I mean, I think that there’s so many, like I said earlier, you know, the smartest minds in the world are working on this. And it’s everything from NF T’s, which, you know, again, another example of something when I looked at it, I thought these are just digital baseball cards. And then somebody you know, explained to me, Well, wait a second, an NF t can be anything, it can be your, your medical records, it can be, you know, yeah. You know, like, it’s a way to monetize, you know, things it’s going to change the way such large portions of the world behave.

 

Jeff Malec  1:04:40

Yeah, I was like, or an artist can every time there’s our sale sells, he gets a piece of those proceeds, right? The end of correct and empty. I’d look at it as like owning a URL, right? Like Jeff mouse. Yeah, calm. Like that is essentially an NFT. Right? It’s a digital asset that I own. Correct, because it has meaning to me. doesn’t have it doesn’t have any meaning to anyone else not really worth anything to anyone else but it’s got worth to me we’ll do some favorites before we go. Favorite Nathan story that’s big enough for this show doesn’t exist.

 

Jason Urban  1:05:23

No, I got a good one. So I played bad. I know Nate from OBEs played basketball. We were in St. Louis, in some tournament as old man like, you know, like his four year old men. And we went out the night before next, we were getting killed. The teams were playing. Like I’ll give an example the game the first game was had Terry Porter was on the other team, like the guy who played for the Portland trailer. Yes, he was like, he was like 60 and crushed us, right? Like, it was like that, that kind of that kind of game where like, the guys were real. And then we were like the,

 

Jeff Malec  1:05:55

and I’m sure he seemed small on TV, but I’m sure in real life. He was never seen.

 

Jason Urban  1:06:00

Yeah, yeah, exactly. So we go out. The next morning, we get up and we have a 7am game and we’re playing the team. That’s the best team then they’re putting the whole tournament from Los Angeles, but they were out till 4am the night before and it’s a 7am game and you know, we’re winning. Nate is shooting from all over the court. We’re down by four. And Nate misses two breakaway layups. And we ended up losing the game like we were at a chance to actually beat the team that one the whole thing and they missed the layup so that’s my favorite Nate’s story because he thinks he’s a great basketball player and you know all this stuff. So until that’s

 

Jeff Malec  1:06:37

when he’s gonna throw it down. Right can’t that wasn’t happening. Now. I always wonder about you. adult men like traveling. You’re on a traveling adult basketball team. It’s impressive.

 

Jason Urban  1:06:51

Oh, it was like a one time tournament but yeah, it’s still it was you know, one of those things that maybe we should have thought twice about.

 

Jeff Malec  1:06:59

Ah, and some quick Chicago favorites favorite Chicago pizza.

 

Jason Urban  1:07:04

Lou Malnati’s

 

Jeff Malec  1:07:07

Favorite Chicago restaurant overall.

 

Jason Urban  1:07:15

I got I got four kids. So it’s always it’s not about which one I liked the best it’s about which one I can convince the four of them to agree at so there are a couple of Italian favorites but I’m not gonna I’m not gonna name any

 

Jeff Malec  1:07:27

a favorite thing to do with the kids in Chicago.

 

Jason Urban  1:07:31

Definitely go to the lake.

 

Jeff Malec  1:07:33

Yeah. On the boat.

 

Jason Urban  1:07:36

On the boat on the beach a little bit, a little bit of everything. Whatever. Whatever. Whatever the weather is conducive for

 

Jeff Malec  1:07:43

love it and then ask all our guests favorite Chicago? Not Chicago. favorite Star Wars character.

 

Jason Urban  1:07:52

I don’t know when sound like a tool Boba Fett.

 

Jeff Malec  1:07:54

No, that’s good. He’s on my Investors Guide to Star Wars like seemed cool. Back in the day now just looks like a guy in a gray sweat suit. But they’re coming out. They’re coming out with the new Boba Fett series on Disney plus. Again, huh? All right. Oh, well, no, that one was Mandalorian now they’re gonna have a new Boba Fett? Oh, really? Okay.

 

Jason Urban  1:08:17

Well, I can I can get it. I get behind that.

 

Jeff Malec  1:08:19

Yeah, exactly. Well, thanks, Jason. This has been fun. And thanks so much for having me. Yeah, let’s get together for real life cocktails soon.

 

Jason Urban  1:08:29

You just pick the time in the place and I’ll be there.

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