In this interview we talk about “JesusThatsGreat” first crypto investment, why ICONOMI is so close to his heart, how he feels about going public, and what are his ambitions, strategies. You can check out the Green Machine right away, and read the full interview below.
How did you start your crypto journey and what was your first crypto investment?
I first heard about Bitcoin in 2012, but regrettably didn’t do much research into it. I just knew it was a form of virtual currency, so assumed it was like Linden Dollars (the currency in Second Life – a virtual world). Fast forward a year and I bought my first Bitcoin (in 2013) on localbitcoins once it hit triple digits and I’d researched it properly. With hindsight, it’s easy to say you should have bought more, but I was just out of college so didn’t have the resources, plus I distinctly remember asking myself whether I was just a sucker getting in at this ‘late’ stage. I was also worried about being scammed on localbitcoins, but thankfully I wasn’t. Back then, there weren't many options for buying Bitcoin securely.
From that point on, I was hooked. On the price, on the technology, on the potential, on all discussion around it.
Since then, I’ve watched prices soar and plunge. Regretted not selling tops, regretted not buying bottoms, regretted keeping a small amount on MtGox.
It’s a cliché, but after a while you do just become numb to the volatility and drama when you’ve been on the ride for so long.
I came across Ethereum before the ICO, thanks to a reddit spam bot who private messaged anyone in bitcoin subreddits. And kept doing it. They did it so often with different accounts that I then dismissed Ethereum and didn’t get in at ICO time. Another regret. I did, however, buy some when it hit double digits and it was first listed on Coinbase. Again with hindsight, I regret not buying more.
What convinced me to buy into Ethereum was an interview with Vitalik.
I had no clue what he was talking about, but could tell the guy was a genius and obviously obsessed with the technology, he wasn’t just in it for fortune. I did more research and discovered his links to Bitcoin and the reasons why he wanted to create a new network, as well as the advantages of doing so. It made sense. From that point on, I’ve been a big fan of Ethereum and everything that has come from it.
You are an ICONOMI supporter from its early days, how come the project has become so close to your heart that you even built icnhodler.com, a webpage which is dedicated to the project? Are you also as deeply involved with any other project?
I liked the concept of crypto index funds, and that’s what drew me to ICONOMI.
Once it was clear ICONOMI had a working product and not just an idea on paper (like so many other projects), that’s when I became more interested in the project as an investment, and started tracking the performance of the ICN token privately and anything that may have influenced it.
After a few months, I decided to make a website to present the data, as I knew other people would find it helpful too. As a developer, I’m lucky enough to be able to custom build my own sites, so ICNHodler.com was born and from there I just kept adding new features and focusing more on comparing strategies and individual asset performance. At the minute, I’m working on another overhaul of the site which will again place more emphasis on analysing strategies, asset performance, and the crypto market as a whole.
I follow a few other crypto projects closely, but I’m not nearly as involved in them as I am with ICONOMI.
After having your strategy in private mode for almost nine months, you finally went public. How do you feel about that, and what are your ambitions now that anyone can follow it?
I’m delighted my strategy is now public, and humbled it managed to generate more than $100k AFS in such a short amount of time (in literally just a few days).
Several people had asked me previously to create a fund and/or share a private strategy so they could invest, but I had put it on the back burner as I didn’t want to create yet another strategy that struggled to differentiate itself from others. I wanted a unique value proposition. My goal was and still is to automate rebalances based on a custom set of transparent rules but for the time being I’m still manually rebalancing while I work on that.
Right now my strategy has above average performance and lower than average fees. The goal is to keep it that way. Anything earned will be reinvested in the ICNHodler website, and developing new tools and features – which is another bonus when investing in my strategy.
Performance will always speak for itself over time, but I’ll be analysing it more than anyone in a constant battle to gain an edge whilst balancing risk/reward.
How do you make decisions in such a volatile market?
When rebalancing my strategy, I have a plan A and a plan B. Plan A is to maximise ROI against USD. Plan B is to maximise ROI against Bitcoin. I add, remove, and weight assets with this in mind.
It’s obviously not possible to anticipate every move up or down, but in general the market currently hinges on what Bitcoin does. If Bitcoin moves down quickly overnight for example (before I have the chance to exit to stablecoins), it means that Plan A goes out the window. Often it doesn’t make sense to exit to stablecoins if you feel Bitcoin is at or near a bottom. In which case, I’m then relying on Plan B.
I always try to add assets and increase the weight of assets that are oversold against Bitcoin or that have previously held up very strongly against Bitcoin when it has moved down. At the time of writing for example, my strategy is down 4% over the past month against USD, but up 19% against Bitcoin over that same time period. If you believe that the general trajectory of Bitcoin is up over time and that it will always act as a crypto safe haven, then it’s some consolation to know that even if your fiat value may be dropping slightly in the short term, you’re still seeing a positive ROI against Bitcoin.
Once my strategy is automated, it can of course keep an eye on markets 24/7, which is a huge advantage over manually trading, particularly if the market starts to move down overnight while I’m sleeping.
What are your macro predictions for crypto? Where do you see it in five years, and how do you expect to perform during the global recession?
Bitcoin was created in the midst of the last global recession, specifically to act as an alternative financial system for people who think the current one is flawed. Because Bitcoin is deflationary, it should increase in fiat value over time provided people believe in it as a store of value.
It has been mocked and ridiculed as a store of value in the past due to its extreme volatility, but we’ve already seen instances where it has acted as a safe haven for people living in countries with hyperinflation such as, Venezuela or countries where Banks have collapsed or been in danger of collapse such as Greece.
Just this week, Oil dropped 30% overnight and US market losses triggered circuit breakers, which are designed to prevent markets from total collapse. Suddenly Bitcoin’s volatility doesn’t seem like such a big deal any more.
However, crypto is far more than just Bitcoin these days.
We now have stablecoins, decentralised finance, and tokenised assets. Companies such as Google, Microsoft, & Facebook are all working on various crypto-related projects and protocols. So too are banks. Blockchain technology and smart contracts are here to stay, as more and more people understand the benefits they bring over traditional systems.
With that in mind, crypto will continue to grow in a recession. It’s inevitable.
That doesn’t necessarily mean the price of Bitcoin will grow alongside it, but as more people come to appreciate the value of blockchain technology, it’s likely they’ll start to consider crypto as a serious place to put their money, especially if and when banks collapse or raise fees to the point where it’s costing people money to have their savings sit in bank accounts. Interest on savings in traditional banks are virtually nil these days and won’t increase in a global recession. People will look at crypto seriously and start to question whether their money is better off in stablecoins earning interest rather than in a savings account, possibly losing money.
What are your thoughts when it comes to blockchain in general? What will be the next big thing in your opinion, and what makes you believe that?
Over the coming years, I’d expect blockchain technology to disrupt finance the same way mobile banks and trading apps have disrupted finance. Transferring value between two parties that don’t trust each other is simply faster, cheaper, more transparent, and arguably more secure over blockchains than via traditional systems.
Everyone always wants to save money and make more money therefore it makes sense that disrupting finance will be the next big thing – or rather an ongoing thing.
That is after all, where the money is – quite literally. I think we’ll continue to see exponential growth in blockchain assets used as collateral for loans . . . eventually leading to more and more people bypassing traditional lenders completely for bigger ticket items such as car loans and mortgages. It will be financed by lots of small lenders who’ll be quite happy to receive healthy compounding interest rates on their deposits that would otherwise have gone to a traditional bank.
However, whether it’s supply chain management, intellectual property, real estate, medical records, digital identity, & voting, the immutable nature of blockchains also creates a level of transparency that gives everyone peace of mind as it reduces the possibility of fraud & counterfeiting.
It’s quite possible we’ll see government bodies start to adopt blockchain technology for these reasons too alongside all major corporations.
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