Cryptocurrencies: A New Kind of Money That's Breaking All the Rules

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On this week's Rule Breakers podcast, Motley Fool co-founder David Gardner takes on a topic that he's never hit before, but that plenty of his listeners want to hear about from him: cryptocurrencies. To answer their questions about bitcoin, Ethereum, blockchain technology, and more, he's enlisted the help of Fool analyst Aaron Bush.

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A full transcript follows the video.

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This video was recorded on Oct. 18, 2017.

David Gardner: Welcome back to Rule Breaker Investing. A delight to have you with me this week. Well, as mentioned on last week's podcast, I've put together a show this week to speak to maybe the No. 1 most requested topic that we haven't yet already done on Rule Breaker Investing, and that's bitcoin, blockchain, Ethereum, cryptocurrencies. I think a number of these phrases pop up big these days on Google search, so I think people are searching for information.

And Aaron, you are one of my favorite analysts here at The Motley Fool. We've worked together a number of years. You're a Rule Breaker at heart, as am I. And you raised your hand and said, "David, I'll come on. Let's do it. You need me." 'Cause you're right. I need you because I don't know that much about this and you're here.

Aaron Bush: Yeah, and thank you for having me, David. I'm really excited to be here. It's been pretty phenomenal. Bitcoin was founded in 2008, and here we are, almost 10 years later. And really it was 2017 that was such a breakout year for all of these big concepts -- blockchain, cryptocurrencies -- the first time that people started becoming really interested in learning more about them. And so I think we've started to see some greater interest and momentum building here, and it's really exciting.

Gardner: So kind of a nine-year overnight success story. Is that what we're saying?

Bush: Yeah, there you go. A little bit.

Gardner: That's awesome. Speaking of nine, let me just briefly, before we proceed forward, mention last week's podcast, which was "9 Foolish Truths That I Hold to Be Self-Evident." Now, regular listeners, you already heard it. You know it. But if you're new to Rule Breaker Investing, last week's podcast is pretty good as an overview for how we think about money and investing in business.

I also want to mention that that's part of my goal, which is to put together kind of a starter package of podcasts. I mentioned this last week. I'm going to mention it now and then again next week. Drop me a note at RBI@Fool.com. If there is a particular podcast we've done in the past, or a recurring story, or something that you think would be great if you were trying to introduce this to a friend or a family member who doesn't know Rule Breaker Investing, let us know. RBI@Fool.com. That would really help us as we put together a package to get started.

Now, returning to the topic at hand. Aaron, it strikes me the best way to start our conversation about blockchain is maybe by you defining blockchain. Raise your hands, Fools everywhere, if you already know what this is. And I'm going to say that only about 30% of us are raising our hand right now. Aaron, what's blockchain?

Bush: I think the easiest way to explain what a blockchain is, is it's like a database, or it's like an accounting ledger you can submit entries to. You can't take an entry away. You can't just remove something. So if you want to make any changes, you have to submit another entry.

What's special about it is that it's distributed. So instead of being hosted on a localized server by some company or a government, it's hosted by many computers around the world, and those computers are the miners, or often the users of whatever the underlying currency or tool is.

Gardner: Data. It's the underlying data in the database. Right?

Bush: Yeah, for the most part. And so what the blockchain is -- another way to explain it, being distributed, global, and decentralized -- it's a way to track the ownership of digital assets in whatever form that may take. It's a way to perfectly track it.

Gardner: And it has an infinite memory. Everything done in that database is captured and held. So, in particular for ownership, property rights, it's really helpful, because you know from the dawn of the data, the first datum that shows up who started, who owns it. That's profound, and we're going to get into that in a sec.

So, blockchain. You've just done a good job laying out what blockchain is. Cryptocurrency is a form of blockchain. There are many cryptocurrencies. Could you briefly define cryptocurrency itself?

Bush: I would say that cryptocurrencies are a new asset class that enable decentralized applications through using blockchains. That's a bit of a wordy definition, and I think it's important to maybe break that down just a little bit more.

It is a new asset class, so it isn't exactly a currency because there's more utility to it. It isn't an equity because there is no cash flow. So it's something new entirely, and it enables decentralized applications because of how the computing is built and hosted all around the world. The code, the centralized code, you could say, creates the rules, but there doesn't need to be an organizer or an intermediary to let the entire network exist. It's self-run by all the different nodes around the world, and that is a breakthrough.

Gardner: And we were talking yesterday about this podcast and you said, "David, maybe it would be helpful to do a bit of storytelling about bitcoin and its founding." So, a prominent new member of this new asset class. Talk about the founding of bitcoin.

Bush: Absolutely. So cryptocurrencies, believe it or not, aren't actually that new of an idea. It was as early as 1981, I believe, that people were trying to solve this problem, but it wasn't until 2008, when the pseudonymous figure or groups of people, Satoshi Nakamoto, invented bitcoin. Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency that enables decentralized payments, wealth transfer, a store of value. This was the first time that the blockchain was ever invented, and so it was the first time that a cryptocurrency could actually work securely and in such a way that it incentivized people to use it and to support it around the world.

Gardner: So part of the founding is that there's a mystery as to who even founded it.

Bush: No one knows. No one knows.

Gardner: It's pseudonymous. It might be a real person or people somewhere hiding, or it might be a completely made-up name. No one knows. That's part of the beauty of this new technology. Now, Aaron, you said you were doing your research. Back in 1981, you said, they were trying to solve this problem. What is the problem that was trying to be solved starting in 1981?

Bush: Sure. So I think the original problem, it's a bit of a libertarian's dream, I guess you could say, to create pieces of society, to create a currency that lives outside of the government so you don't have to live by the rules ...

Gardner: Sovereign nation-states, and borders, and all those things that frankly are a rather new phenomenon -- the last three centuries or so, the idea of a nation-state or sovereign nation. But before that, for hundreds of thousands of years there wasn't that sense of things.

Bush: Absolutely. That's a big piece of it. Privacy is another concern. It really is more that bleeding-edge group of people that wanted those specific need cases met, and bitcoin allowed that to be met for the first time. I think what is exciting about this movement, in general, is that it's starting to expand beyond that core group of people into new, exciting applications and new people joining and being interested.

Gardner: So let's move there next. What is this technology enabling? I think a lot of us think of bitcoin, first and foremost, and I think a lot of the reason that people think about that is because the value of bitcoin over the last couple of years has skyrocketed. There are a finite number of bitcoin, right?

It is a new asset class, but like real estate, there's only so much Earth. So it's defined, and therefore this moving price of the commodity is just how much, within this finite class of a commodity, this new asset class, how much people value it or want it. And roughly, I think, these days, I think it's around $6,000 or something like that, for a bitcoin.

Bush: I think it's about fifty-five...

Gardner: Fifty-five. It's changed $500 since I last looked ...

Bush: ... but still a $93 billion market cap, which is phenomenal.

Gardner: A $93 billion market cap. That's a number I didn't know. Now I'm going to say two years ago, and I'm not looking at a chart right now, Aaron, but bitcoin was maybe worth about one-tenth? I mean, we're talking about a 10-bagger in the last couple of years.

Bush: It might not be quite a 10-bagger, but it's still pretty phenomenal.

Gardner: So a $93 billion value to this asset class. That implies to me, Aaron, that there's some real value here. And even if bitcoin is zooming up and down on a daily basis and is somewhat speculative, there's real value being created out there. In what is that value centered? Why do we care so much? What's happening out there?

Bush: I think this entire movement is really groundbreaking for three or so reasons. The first one, and one significant reason why humans have stood out as a species, is simply because we can organize behavior at a larger and larger scale. In some ways that is the story of our history, our evolution from small tribes to superpowers. And the result of that is more centralization, because as we create more value as a species, we also have to build structures into existence, like governments and multinational corporations, to protect it.

What blockchains and cryptocurrencies bring us are a new way to organize networks of humans in a bigger and sometimes more efficient way, but it completely reverses that trend of centralization for maybe the first time in thousands of years. And I think we're only starting to scratch the surface of what that really means.

Gardner: So that's No. 1.

Bush: That's No. 1.

Gardner: A new way to organize human productivity.

Bush: Absolutely.

Gardner: You and me.

Bush: Second, this movement is transforming the internet of information into an internet of value. This new money, through tokens and coins, literally lives on the internet and, importantly, these currencies hold real utility. They provide access to networks that do real things, and as you mentioned, it's really the supply versus demand of that that gives these currencies, these tokens, value.

And what's a breakthrough about this is that the incentives are actually built into the network. For example, with bitcoin it's the miners who uphold the network that verify the transactions. That create the new coins. Produce the supply. They get paid in bitcoins to make it possible.

When the incentive structures are built into the code, not only does it allow it to be a standalone type of service, but it also encourages people to jump on early, and the early users are the people who sometimes are rewarded the most, unlike other internet applications. Maybe I was an early Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) user, but I didn't gain any monetary incentive from that. So this is a new way to incentivize networks to grow rapidly.

Gardner: We're going to get to No. 3 in a sec, but I want to zoom up high level and then come back to where we are. We started by saying that blockchain is the big technology. That's the life changer. That's what started with bitcoin in 2008 -- the first blockchain.

Within blockchain, one subset is cryptocurrencies ...

Bush: Yes.

Gardner: ... and within that subset are bitcoin. So we can see the big picture. I want to drill down because you just used two terms in that last explanation that I think deserves a little bit more understanding. I've got questions about them. The two terms I'm thinking of are tokens and miners. Now, you referred to both, and you broke down miners a little bit, but can you give us the dictionary definition or the Fool's guide to understanding what a token is and again, what exactly is a miner?

Bush: I'll start with miner, because I think that might be a little bit easier. The miners are simply the people who have installed the software, whether it's bitcoin or Ethereum or another cryptocurrency, and they're the ones who are verifying the transactions. They're the ones who are competing to bring a new block of bitcoin, or whatever the currency is, into existence or whatever the specific currency dictates. So they're the ones that are really making the network work.

Gardner: Aaron, are you a miner?

Bush: I am not a miner, actually.

Gardner: But you or I could become a miner. Inspired by this podcast, we could download the software and we could start helping. Mining and hoping to get value for our mining.

Bush: I think you could. I would say with bitcoin, specifically, it has become increasingly competitive as the number, or as the supply, of bitcoins has grown. The mathematical difficulty in which the computers running the bitcoin software have to calculate, that difficulty has significantly increased. So right now what we're seeing, the people who are competing ...

Gardner: Highly sophisticated.

Bush: Yeah, they're highly sophisticated. They're running a warehouse of supercomputers to compete, to win the next block of bitcoin.

Gardner: So if you and I are going to mine, that's probably not the place to go. It's at the outset of a new idea. A new form of blockchain. A new cryptocurrency where it might be more doable or interesting to actually mine.

Bush: Yeah. And I think what's becoming increasingly interesting is that becoming a user is actually a way to get these tokens, and by joining the network, becoming a user, you have just as much of an opportunity to reap the rewards and the gains of whatever the underlying currency is just by using it, because at the end of the day, these systems are worthless if there aren't people using them. So the early adopters, in this case, are incentivized to help spur that value creation.

Gardner: And now tokens.

Bush: What's important about tokens inside this blockchain revolution is that scarcity is a key determinant in making this work. In a lot of open protocols that exist out there, that's not really a factor, so there isn't a way to retain value without scarcity. Tokens introduce the idea of scarcity. It's sort of baked into the definition.

If you have a service that's worth a certain amount of money, the tokens are what divide the value. So if I were to create, let's just say ...

Gardner: Aaron Bush currency.

Bush: Absolutely. And I wanted to build an Uber competitor that's decentralized. I don't know why I would do that, but just say I was.

Gardner: Right. There's Lyft, there's Uber, and then there's Aaron Bush Taxi ...

Bush: Right.

Gardner: ...with Aaron Bush currency.

Bush: So I would have Aaron tokens, let's say. And what you would do is buy Aaron tokens and then spend them to use in the network. To pay for a ride, essentially.

Gardner: Understood.

Bush: And as the value of the service increases -- and as more people realize, "Oh, if I can join this network and get paid in Aaron tokens, that sounds great, so I'll join" -- then all of a sudden you'll see that these tokens are now worth this amount versus what they were before.

Gardner: Because more people are using them. They're getting away from Uber these days. Getting away from Lyft. And Aaron Bush Taxi, solely driven by one guy, is somehow managing to compete, thanks in part to your own unique tokens that as more people use your business, whatever your business is, they become more real, and scarce, and valuable.

Bush: Absolutely. So there's always going to be a limited supply, or generally there will be a limited supply of these tokens, and as the value of the service increases, more people pour on to the network. The early adopters who have those tokens -- just say you're paying $10 in tokens, so one token was worth $10 to pay for a ride. Maybe that's now worth $100. Now you can pay for 10 rides.

That's sort of what we're seeing. Tokens are really just the vehicle that measures the scarcity that changes over time as the value of the entire system changes.

Gardner: Nice job, Aaron. I realize these are complex topics. It can go really deep and shoot off in different directions, so it's hard to nail it all down. Really, the technology is evolving and changing as we speak, and new things are popping up, so thank you. You did a good job breaking those down.

You were talking about why this is such a big deal. You were giving three reasons. Just to summarize, No. 1 is a new way to organize humanity. Human productivity. Ourselves. And second, you said we're transforming information into value, and we talked some about mining and tokens. What is a third big deal to what's happening with blockchain?

Bush: I would say that this is game changing for open-source projects. Venture capitalist Chris Dixon put this very well. He said that this breakthrough combines the societal benefits of open protocols with the financial and architectural benefits of proprietary networks.

If we think about it, open protocols built the internet. This is things like HTTP and HTTPS. That provides tremendous value for everyone who uses the internet, but it doesn't actually capture any value itself. Instead we see companies like Facebook, Google, and Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) build on top of that protocol layer of the internet, and they are the ones who capture all the value.

What is changing here is that, through allowing value to live on the internet and to create monetary scarcity for some underlying utility, we're now seeing these protocols, now being called fat protocols, be able to capture value themselves. They are the ones that are creating this tremendous value as people start using them more and more, and not necessarily, although sometimes, what is built on top of it.

Bitcoin is a protocol, for example. Ethereum is another protocol. Those are the two big ...

Gardner: Those are the best-known cryptocurrencies. And Aaron, since you just threw out Ethereum, can you briefly explain what Ethereum is and what makes it different from bitcoin and why it's of value to all of us, potentially.

Bush: Bitcoin was built to help transact value and store value. Ethereum was built to contract value. It's programmable money. So Ethereum is a development platform that others can build decentralized applications on top of. What that really means is all the value that is stored in Ethereum, or its token, ether, really is just dependent on what people do with it.

But this is another example of a protocol, or a fat protocol, and what makes it different from the previous version of protocols is that it's allowing value to be created and stored right here on the protocol layer of the internet, and that transformation is going to allow for new digital inventions that just, straight up, were not even possible.

Gardner: So if I pay you with Ethereum, that also involves maybe within that transaction and that currency the contract itself that legally binds us and we both adhere to. And that's baked into the money itself that you and I just exchanged through Ethereum.

Bush: Right. You can create contracts through code, and that's known as a smart contract. It's really just a small piece of everything that's going on here. I could say, "Hey, David, if this podcast reaches X number of downloads, then I will give you this number of ether." And if it does, then it will just automatically execute. There's no taking that away. That could be potentially transformational from a legal standpoint and things you can do with that, maybe even in the financial system, but that's really just scratching the surface.

Gardner: All right, Aaron. I want to ask you about whether bitcoin is something that our members should be buying today or considering. But first, I kind of want to ask you. You used the word "transformational" just before that break. I want to change that word briefly and turn it into "transparency." Transparent. And one thing I'm trying to figure out is, does bitcoin, does Ethereum, do cryptocurrencies create more transparency in the world because of the nature of that ledger you talked about earlier? Blockchain is just a database. It's all out there.

Or I think a lot of us hear stories about how drug dealers in the developing world are using this to trade with each other so they can go around government borders or scrutiny. So I can't quite figure out. Maybe you have, or not. Tell us. Is this leading to more transparency in addition to the transformation?

Bush: I don't think there's a clean-cut answer to that. I think in some cases the answer is no. Part of the reason why something like bitcoin was made in the first place was to avoid that. And when you do that, you do, bad actors do come aboard. But I don't think transparency is the real story here. I think if it is important, then that will be baked into the network, and it will be valued for its transparency. But it really just depends on the application.

Gardner: That makes a lot of sense. So there could be a new cryptocurrency that's all about the transparency of things and has additional fat code laid on top of it that's making things intentionally more transparent in some context, because people value that in that context.

Bush: Yeah. And I do think with the transparency commentary, in and of itself, with something like bitcoin, you might not have transparency on who, exactly, is behind everything, but you will have transparency on every single transaction that has happened in the past. So there might be some trade-offs, but really, again, it ultimately boils down to what the developers put in the code.

Gardner: Aaron, this is an overused word, but I'm going to go with it anyway. There's an ecosystem at play here. And ecosystems are responsive to changes, and those that evolve and survive are effectively responsive. There's an ecosystem happening here that's growing, and I'm wondering whether you have any predictions or thoughts about your expectations for how blockchain will grow.

Bush: I think a couple of things about that. I think blockchain is going to help improve a lot of what exists today, and it's also going to help create new things that we haven't seen before. So as a public investor investing in stocks, I do think that we will see blockchain be used by many of the companies that we invest in.

It may be most prominently in financial circles. I think a lot of banks and financial institutions, exchanges are going to be leveraging this technology. It won't be very transparent or evident, I should say, to the users of the service. It's not going to be on the front lines, but it's going to be the piping.

Gardner: It's under the hood. It's what your financial-services company is using, even though you don't notice, necessarily.

Bush: I think for the most part that is what we're going to see from companies. But as we've seen with Ethereum, with blockchain, with these new inventions coming around, it can be used in new ways as well, and I think we're starting to see that accelerate right now. I do think from an investment standpoint that there is a lot of garbage out there. There is a lot of hype that is probably creating the vast majority of these new tokens coming online that will not really be worth anything.

I think that's OK, because what we are seeing as a result of that is tons of money flowing into the ecosystem. That money is being put to use for development purposes, and it is accelerating the development of this entire ecosystem. I think that that is very telling. Right now, most blockchain applications probably don't need to exist, to be honest with you, but I do think what we will see are a handful or maybe a few handfuls of big trillion-dollar ideas that figure out how to make this work, that transform various systems or ways of working in particular that are incredible.

Gardner: In some ways I think back to e-commerce and say a lot of dot-com, e-commerce start-ups died in order that Amazon could be awesome. A lot of failed social networks have existed, and in some cases still do, but many aren't around in order that Facebook could have reached now 2 billion people.

So in a way, maybe bitcoin, as a first mover, might be unstoppably positioned right now to grow and succeed, and Ethereum may be playing a little Pepsi to its Coke. They're both very much in our minds today. I don't know, and you don't know, 15 years from now, looking back how relevant those names will be. But if we had to bet, we'd probably bet that the early movers that are pioneering and getting big by people tapping into the networks of them probably are here to stay.

Bush: I think for the most part, yes. Obviously there are so many new currencies and blockchain applications coming online every day. As an investor, I do recognize that there are going to be a lot of niche plays, but I'm particularly interested in learning as much as I can now about it, because I do think that some of the biggest transformations are yet to exist. A lot of the most important cryptocurrencies and tokens have yet to even be made.

Probably what's most important is looking for those really big ideas. In bitcoin there is a big idea, and that's peer-to-peer payments and increasingly a store of value. I think that's very real. Ethereum is yet another different application, so I don't know if I would call it the Pepsi to bitcoin's Coke, because it was built to do something that bitcoin cannot, which is to be flexible and allow people to build applications on top of it.

The largest fundraising event in this entire ecosystem, so far, is Filecoin, which is built for storage. Anyone that has excess storage space on their computer can sign up for this and get paid in Filecoin to have people store whatever their files are onto your computer in an encrypted way. So I think looking for those big trillion-dollar ideas is what's most interesting here as an investor.

Gardner: So, there's so many directions I'd like to go from here, and yet time is running out. Here's one thought. Next week on this podcast -- it is the final Wednesday of the month; therefore, it's Mailbag -- I think anybody who's inspired by this topic today and who starts to dig in might have questions for you, for us, Aaron. I would say RBI@Fool.com. You already know that email address. Email us for Mailbag if you want us to talk about bitcoin. Aaron, I'd love to have you back next week if we've got some good stuff on this topic.

But before we go, I'm going to ask you three money questions real fast. At least one of these is probably unfair, but you're used to that from me. Is that right?

Bush: I've gotten used to it.

Gardner: OK, good. My three unfair questions are in no particular order. I'll let you pick the order that you answer them. How about a stock or two that we, as public-market investors, might want to take a hard look at, and it might be something we recommend actively in our services. I know you're working on a report looking at the beneficiaries of this for us public market investors. So that's one.

Unfair question No. 2 is definitely, should we be buying bitcoin today at $5,500 a share looking forward five-plus years? As Foolish investors, is that a good buy in your opinion?

And then question No. 3. If you like initial coin offerings, ICOs are a thing, and you earlier said that this is a new asset class. A lot of us as public market investors know that an IPO, an initial public offering of stock, is a significant event. It's kind of how stocks are born. So if you could, in any combination, for these three unfair questions, maybe mention ICOs and any opinions you have about them as well. Ready, set, take it away, Aaron Bush.

Bush: We'll start at No. 1. I do think there are a lot of companies that are starting to put blockchain to use. I think one particular company that is putting it to use in a more cutting-edge way is Nasdaq. They're trying to let blockchain underlie, become the new piping, for their private-market transactions. That is a really good test, and if it works well, we'll see, probably, blockchain as piping expand to the other pieces of that business for the public-facing transactions. Then we'll see other exchanges hop on board as well.

Another company I'll throw out, just because there are different ways to look at this. Nasdaq is a company putting blockchain to use, but maybe if you're looking for more of a picks-and-shovel play -- I think that NVIDIA is doing some interesting stuff here.

Last quarter, they increased their revenue $150 million solely because of people buying these chips to help with mining. Ethereum mining was a big piece of that. But as more coins go onboard and mining grows in importance in lots of different ways, the computers that have to do the heavy lifting to actually bring these things to life and support the networks, that's going to be  a tremendous way to create value as well.

So I think those two companies are really interesting to look at, also for reasons beyond just blockchain and cryptocurrency, which I think is important.

Gardner: OK, Aaron. Fifty-five hundred bucks here. This asset class has run up quite a bit in the last two years. That means people who believed two years ago have made a lot of money. Five-plus years from now, should I today be buying bitcoin at about $5,500 a coin?

Bush: I'm going to say yes. I think that is actually going to surprise a lot of people, but I think with bitcoin in particular, the most important metric is the number of believers, and right now there are still so many people questioning it. In the end there are going to be about 21 million bitcoins in circulation. This is kind of a pointless comparison, but in the U.S. there are 11 million millionaires, so there won't even be enough for all of them to own two bitcoins.

Obviously we're not going to see it break down like that, but I think there still is enough pent-up demand out there from people who are on the sidelines. So if this actually does prove to be a legitimate store of value, the $93 billion market cap today can go 10x, 20x higher just as people believe in it. It's sort of like gold, but visual gold, as you might hear thrown around.

Gardner: So more Bitcoin is being spun out.

Bush: Yeah. So one key factor in all of this, not to open another can of worms, is forking. So if the development community, or the people who actually own bitcoin, disagree on the way that bitcoin should grow -- and bitcoin isn't a static thing. It's a changing currency. It's improving over time. But if there is a disagreement, there will be what is known as a fork. We've seen one of them. It's like a spin-off, in the sense that what was just bitcoin is now bitcoin but also a separate cryptocurrency, Bitcoin Cash. And the idea is that through spinning them off, maybe you can create more value by having that separately, but it lets each development community start creating them in the way that they prefer.

Gardner: And Aaron, I can't let you get away without briefly talking about initial coin offerings. Not IPOs for stocks. This is ICOs for cryptocurrencies.

Bush: This is a fundraising mechanism to help fund new projects. Traditionally in venture capital, most projects are completely unavailable to the public to invest in. You have to be a very specific group of people with access to generally significant capital to invest in new projects. With the tokenization of cryptocurrencies, we're starting to see that open up a bit, and now any investor can invest in and fundraise for these new products from the very beginning.

Gardner: So your disruptive company where you're challenging Uber and Lyft, which we've created just during this show, this is a potential ICO in the future.

Bush: There you go. Disrupting venture capital a little bit, too.

Gardner: I'm going to keep my eyes peeled. Aaron, the last time I had you on this show, I think you were just simply explaining something like dividend yield.

Bush: Yeah, this is a step up.

Gardner: It's kind of like trying to explain the internet, let's say, to Vikings. There's a lot of steps one has to go through just to think about what we've thought about in this last hour or so together, and there's going to be a lot more discovery ahead. Just looking back at the internet the last 30 years, right, there was AOL the first 10 years as America came online and then the rest of the world. That was the age of AOL.

Then it changed, and Google all of a sudden showed up. Facebook after that, next 10 years. Those things didn't even exist back when AOL started, and now here we are, let's say, in the, well, it's not really the post-Facebook environment. But there's a lot of things happening. This is an example. Blockchain is like decade three of the internet in its own way. But it's obviously impossible for you and me to speculate as to how this will go going forward because it's like trying to explain the internet or think it all through in 1995.

But you've done a great job setting us up with both a lens, in order to look in and see what's happening, and an ardent interest in paying attention, and you've done a great job here at the Fool with that. You help us all here around HQ, and I want to thank you a lot, Aaron, for being with us this week.

Bush: I appreciate it, David.

Gardner: Are you open to coming back next week if we get some bitcoin questions for Mailbag?

Bush: Absolutely. Let's do it!

Gardner: Excellent. And in closing, any resources that we want to mention for people who have more interest here?

Bush: Right. So I think one thing in particular we're doing here at the Fool is we're about to launch a series of special reports about blockchain. About cryptocurrencies. And getting more into the details about how do I actually buy this, how do I store it, how do I secure it? We'll talk about a list of stocks that can benefit from this change. We're about to launch that special series, so if you're interested in that, I would stay tuned to your email or go check Fool.com for more information, because it's going out soon.

Gardner: And you and I also really enjoyed Patrick O'Shaughnessy's work in his podcast, Invest Like the Best, where he put together great -- I think he calls them documentaries. I think of them as podcasts, but they're podcast-umentaries, perhaps.

Bush: There you go.

Gardner: And he has three of them, a series. For people who want more detail than we're going to provide in a given episode of Rule Breaker Investing, where we try to skate across the ice, take a big picture, and get you interested, you can definitely go deep with Patrick and his very motley crew that put together those podcast-umentaries.

Bush: Absolutely. He did a great job.

Gardner: All right. Well, thanks a lot for joining with Aaron and me this week on Rule Breaker Investing. Again, next week is Mailbag. RBI@Fool.com. Get those questions in. You can also tweet us on Twitter @RBIPodcast. For Aaron, I'm David Gardner. Fool on!

As always, people on this program may have interest in the stocks they talk about, and The Motley Fool may have formal recommendations for or against, so don't buy or sell stocks based solely on what you hear. Learn more about Rule Breaker Investing at RBI.Fool.com.

Aaron Bush owns shares of Amazon and Facebook. David Gardner owns shares of Amazon, and Facebook. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Amazon, Facebook, and Nvidia. The Motley Fool recommends PepsiCo. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.