Highlights From “Smart Investing In Crypto” — VegaX Digital Asset Education Series
This edition of the VegaX Holdings Digital Asset Education Series in Partnership with Chinaccelerator features Alex Yamashita, Founder of Peppermint Partners — a platform committed to supporting the builders of the new digitally-native asset class and the next generation of the internet.
Alex provides insight into his background in traditional finance, his entrepreneurial mindset at a young age, how he got into the crypto and blockchain space, NFTs, and his thoughts on how to invest in crypto effectively.
You can revisit and replay the recording of the webinar series by clicking on the link below.
For a summary of the webinar discussion, keep reading!
As always, please reach out to us with questions, comments, and suggestions for topics/speakers for our Digital Asset Education series!
About Alex Yamashita, Founder of Peppermint Partners, a crypto-focused private investment company
Alex started his career in traditional finance around 2007/2008 and did that for about five years and realized it wasn’t the right career for him. He quit and then ended up doing a bunch of seemingly random businesses like health food, gelato shops, restaurants and bars. He thought that was pretty fun and did it for around three years. Then in 2015 he remembered that he had had a fascinating conversation with a 17 year old Austrian kid a few years prior about bitcoin, so he ended up doing a bit of research into bitcoin and the bitcoin whitepaper, and started his crypto journey around 2015/2016.
When speaking about his companies, Alex stated,
“I then co-founded his first crypto firm, TLDR, which was a private investment and advisory company in 2019 the company disbanded. Finally, in 2020 I started Peppermint Partners, a private investment company that just started fundraising at the beginning of 2021.”
Lets talk a bit about the conversation that you had with the 17 year old Austrian kid about bitcoin. It sounds like that was the catalyst for your entry into cryptocurrency, but you have always been a bit of an entrepreneur.
“For me, everything comes back to when I was 7 years old and got into NBA basketball cards. I was fascinated not only by basketball, but there used to be a monthly magazine called Beckett which was like the price index for basketball cards. My friends and I would collect them, and what I liked about it was that these things that I liked had prices on them, and that was something that was very foundational to me.
It kicked off an interest for me into anything that had a market. That interest evolved into a business I had in high school of buying and selling rare sneakers, and that was what made me want to get into finance because I thought it would be similar. I realized that wasn’t the case.
I was living in Japan in 2009/2010 in the early days of bitcoin and had heard about it but it wasn’t until the conversation with the Austrian kid that I became more interested in it. The conversation took place on the ski slope and was a totally random conversation. I said, ‘you are 17, how are you living your life like this’, and he said ‘Oh, I just bought bitcoin and it’s done really well for me’. That basically planted the seed.”
NFTs are probably the hottest topic in crypto right now. What are your thoughts on NFTs, some of the NBA “cards” that are being traded at astronomical prices; what are your thoughts on this market?
“I have no idea what true value is in the market, but what I can say is that i’m very happy that something that the average person cares about has provided a way for the average person to care about crypto. NBA Topshot is the first consumer application that people can interact with through this technology. The plus is that this will increase attention and adoption.”
What are your thoughts, both personally and from Peppermint Partners, and what’s the thesis right now on investing in crypto?
“I think our thesis has three general legs. One leg is the idea of nonsovereign decentralized money which is the macrothesis for bitcoin. The second is DeFi, open finance, non-custodial financial services empowered by blockchain. The third part, which ties into part two as well, is web 3, which is largely decentralized token powered business models that allow users to share in the value capture mechanism of a given product or service.
Then if we go down into more specifics, NFTs etc. The talent, meaning NBA basketball players, other athletes, etc., now wants to own their own brand. For NBA Topshot, I’m pretty sure athletes like Lebron James and Kevin Durant are thinking, ‘Ok so the NBA gets the licensing fees…how do we own this?’ The answer is in social and community tokens. This is one subsector in the space that I am spending a lot of time trying to understand better.”
Not everybody can think zoomed out and realize, oh if I hold this for four years it’s ok. When there’s a 90% drawdown most people are going to freak out and sell their crypto. This is why I always say don’t trade unless you are a professional trader. What are your thoughts on how the market has been evolving with regards to that?
“I think the comment that you just made about not trading unless you are a professional trader is what I end up saying to most people, like when I’m having conversations with friends who aren’t in crypto who are asking me about it. I just say, look, 1. you have to be a god-level trader to do this right and to do this well. 2. Unless you are that god-level trader, more likely than not you’re not going to do as well as just buying something and holding it for a long time.
Me, myself, I don’t trade because I know I’m nowhere near a god level trader. The biggest ally that one can have with a thesis is time. A thesis needs time to play out. The mindset I’ve found helpful is to not trade and to have time on my side.”
If someone wanted to invest in crypto right now, what are some of the tips you would give them?
“I would say don’t try and hit home runs. The most important thing is to stay in the game. Think about your unit of risk and then let it play out. Start with the basics. Just buy some bitcoin. Just don’t blow yourself up, because if you blow yourself up, you can’t play the game.
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As always, please reach out to us with questions, comments, and suggestions for topics/speakers for our Digital Asset Education series! email@example.com
Peppermint Partners: https://peppermint.partners/
Peppermint Partners is a private investment company focused on supporting innovative companies in the crypto space. Peppermint Partners was founded in 2020 and started fundraising in early 2021. The company is committed to supporting the builders of the next generation of the internet and to focusing on the new digitally native asset class.
VegaX Holdings: https://vegaxholdings.com/
VegaX Holdings is the “BlackRock” of the Crypto Asset Industry. We provide investors globally with one-stop access to sophisticated and secure crypto asset management. The asset management industry is the largest in the world representing more than $80 trillion dollars in investments through investment products like ETFs, mutual funds, and indices that outperform investments in individual stocks. VegaX is the first to create similar investment products for Crypto providing investors outperformance versus buying individual cryptocurrencies. On average, investors buying VegaX products make 30% more profit versus just holding Bitcoin.
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