It was nootropics – the early 21st-century Silicon Valley tech worker’s drug class of choice for boosting their productivity – that led hedge fund manager Francisco Gordillo to the crypto world.
Gordillo explains that, as he was researching the potential of the new industry in so-called “smart drugs,” then illegal, he discovered bitcoin (and the blockchain system through which it operates), “a new concept for me… which was used as a means of payment for these illegal substances.”
Then an investment banker who worked on mergers and acquisitions at Banca Rothschild and Credit Suisse, Gordillo says this first encounter with bitcoin was “a kind of epiphany.” He is now co-founder and co-investment director of Malta-based hedge fund Avenue Investment Crypto, serving professional investors with a minimum worth of €100,000 ($105,100). Avenue Investment had a return of 257% in 2021, although it has had a 15.8% drop through March this year.
Gordillo acknowledges that the hyperactive world of cryptocurrencies, of which bitcoin is one of around 18,000, has certainly attracted its critics. “The possibility of making a lot of money very quickly is a kind of drug”, and there are a lot of snake-oil merchants about.
Further, “there is quite a bit of speculation, as in any new market.”
“But I don’t see a bubble,” he continues, saying that crypto overall has a “deep and powerful long-term uptrend,” with speculation and scammers a “logical” by-product of “an innovative concept that confronts the status quo.”
For Gordillo, who is from a well-known family of artists and art dealers in Spain, dealing in cryptocurrencies and using blockchain is not just a technology but an approach to life that is based on principles of decentralized decision-making and the defense of individual sovereignty. He believes that the system will ultimately “help us to build a better world.”
More than making money with cryptocurrencies, Gordillo says he is dedicated to “evangelizing” their benefits. He began by making documentaries “to fight against the misinformation that surrounds this technology,” and is now making a film based on Camila Russo’s book The Infinite Machine: How an Army of Crypto Hackers is Building the Next
Internet with Ethereum (Harper Collins, 2020). Ethereum is an open source platform used for cryptocurrency transactions, which Gordillo says is explained very well in Russo’s book. Both will be executive producers on/of the film.
After convincing Russo to bring the text to the big screen, the two set to work looking for finance. They found a perfect match in Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs), a type of digital asset.
“We put together a group of emerging artists to create a collection of NFTs,” explains Gordillo.
“Some of the money will go to find the film and some will be cashed in by the artists.”
They have already raised $1.5 million in a presale of the digital works.
The next step was to find an industry expert to bring the idea to the screen: “We proposed it to Ridley Scott.”
Scott, says Gordillo, “is the ideal partner,” having put so much on screen related to technology and science fiction.
Scott “liked the project from the beginning,” and will participate as a producer; the creator of Alien also found the team a director in Shyman Madiraju.
For now, Gordillo and the team are adapting the book to script and will then begin casting actors. The film will be called The Infinite Machine, like the book, with release anticipated for the end of 2023.
English version by Ann Deslandes