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Scaramucci to Make ‘Macro Case‘ for Bitcoin at SALT Conference

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What You Need to Know

  • The venue is New York City, instead of the usual Las Vegas location, Sept. 13-15.
  • The conference will also feature Ark Invest CEO Cathie Wood and will focus on disruptive innovation.
  • Scaramucci's SkyBridge Capital has an application for a Bitcoin ETF pending before the SEC.

More than a year after it canceled its annual conference due to the coronavirus pandemic, SkyBridge Capital is reconvening its multi-day SALT conference on Sept. 13, with some changes.

“Our goal is to make sure the people meet other people, learn something and have some fun, but all of that is secondary to making sure they feel safe and are safe,” says Anthony Scaramucci, founder and managing partner of SkyBridge Capital.

The venue is New York City, not Las Vegas, its usual setting; the locale is the newly expanded Javits Center; and health and safety protocols will be in place for all in-person attendees, whose numbers will be limited due to those protocols. Virtual access is also available.

Between 2,000 and 2,250 attendees — less than half the capacity of the Javits Center — are expected to attend the three-day conference, and all will have to show proof that they are fully vaccinated and have their temperatures taken upon entering. Many of the networking activities, plus a concert by The Chainsmokers, will take place on the roof.

A Focus on Disruptive Innovations, Including Crypto

This year’s SALT conference will focus on disruptive innovation and include panels on blockchain, cryptocurrencies and hedge funds — SkyBridge Capital is an investment firm specializing in funds of hedge funds. There are at least six panels on digital assets. The conference will also include panels on data discovery, U.S. competition and innovation, national security, pandemic prevention and macro and credit outlooks.

Among the notables who will be speaking on panels or in one-on-one interviews are hedge fund managers Daniel Loeb, Steve Cohen and Ray Dalio; private equity manager Thomas H. Lee; Grayscale CEO Michael Sonnenshein; Fortress Investment Group principal and co-CEO Pete Briger; and Ark Invest CEO Cathie Wood, who will take part in a panel on innovation and inclusion.

New York City Democratic mayoral candidate Eric Adams will also be there, as will former Secretary of State John Kerry, according to Scaramucci, along with Jeb Bush, former governor of Florida, and retired four-star Marine General John Kelly, who’s also a former presidential chief of staff; former U.S Army Lieutenant General H. R. McMaster; and Paris Hilton.

“I’m going to be attending all the events,” Scaramucci tells ThinkAdvisor. “It’s important for me to make the macro case for Bitcoin.”

His firm, in partnership with FirstTrust Advisors, is one of about a dozen firms with applications to trade a Bitcoin ETF pending before the Securities and Exchange Commission.

SkyBridge has also launched a Bitcoin trust and an Ethereum trust available only to accredited investors with minimum investments of $50,000 and $25,000 respectively.

Scaramucci says he expects Bitcoin will end the year near $100,000, essentially doubling its current price.

“It really comes down to supply and demand,” says Scaramucci. The supply is limited to 21 million coins, but it can be divided out to eight decimal places, or hundredths of a millionth of a Bitcoin, and demand is growing.

“Every month there is incremental demand from institutions, individuals, product rollouts, applications for Bitcoin ETFs, Bitcoin futures ETFs and other crypto-assets ETFs,” says Scaramucci. “These coins are going to be quite valuable.”

He likens the volatility in Bitcoin to any new asset in an early adoption stage, like Amazon stock. Years later “Amazon is one of the most successful investments in history,” says Scaramucci.

The hedge fund manager, who very briefly served as President Donald Trump’s communications director, says he got into Bitcoin last year at between $8,000 and $10,000 a coin. It’s currently trading just below $50,000, having recovered from a trough just below $30,000 earlier this year after peaking around $65,000.

Asked whether Bitcoin is an investment for the retail public in addition to the growing number of institutions it has attracted, Scaramucci says he tells retail investors, “If you’re going to own it, own only a small piece of it and don’t look at it. You have to have a three- to five-year horizon … [then] you can do very well.”

Scaramucci’s Market Outlook

Scaramucci wouldn’t offer year-end targets for the S&P 500 and 10-year Treasury yield but says his gut tells him that “interest rates will go lower by the end of the year, not higher” and the S&P 500 will be higher “because of all the liquidity” in the market.

Will the coronavirus pandemic continue to impact the economy?  “From a Fed-centric perspective, the more variants, more slowdown and more casualties from the pandemic will push the Fed to do more” which is “one of the reasons why interest rates will go lower,” says Scaramucci.  He doesn’t expect the Federal Reserve will reduce its bond purchases anytime soon.

Another reason for continued low interest rates, according to Scaramucci: the “great economic uncertainty around the world… [which] has a tendency to drive down rates in the U.S., still a safe haven for the rest of the world.”