Bitcoin is creating headlines around the world but where does cryptocurrency go from here and what’s an ICO? RISING asked Thomas Bertani, CEO of Eidoo, the app that allows investors to buy, store and trade them…
RISING Bitcoin has rocketed past $17K – I imagine you wouldn’t describe this as a bubble so would you be able to say why this run can continue?
THOMAS BERTANI, CEO ‘John McAffee recently revised his prediction that the price of Bitcoin would reach $500,000 by the end of 2020, to $1Million. Of course this is a prediction, however the conditions are right for a new kind of asset to enter the global financial system at the moment. Supply and demand will dictate a market and there’s a large amount of faith in cryptocurrencies, as well as the obvious questions that are also being asked.’
RISING What is the fundamental appeal of cryptocurrencies and services like your app for investors?
TB ‘Unlike the money we use on a day to day basis, cryptocurrencies are decentralised, which means that central banks do not issue them and also (for now) they are unregulated. Cryptography ensures that the assets are not subject to hacking and they can be converted into regular currency anonymously. Apart from bitcoin, other cryptocurrencies are also making the headlines, including Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin and Dash. They have different characteristics in the way they are generated and used which partly underpins their appeal and valuation.’
‘As with any investment you should never invest what you can't afford to lose’
RISING What does this tell us about traditional investing models?
TB ‘A smart investor will realise the potential behind cryptocurrencies and diversity portfolios accordingly. As with any investment you should never invest what you can't afford to lose, so there is a lot we can learn from traditional investing models and adapt to the crypto world.’
RISING What’s the most exciting thing for you around cryptocurrencies?
TB ‘The speed of market development for me has been impressive and having been in the market for over five years, the current situation is hugely exciting to witness. The fact that cryptocurrencies operate on a totally different system to traditional banking, and are paving a route through financial markets to develop a new world financial model is also exhilarating to be a part of.’
RISING Can you explain how the masses are now able to become involved in Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs)?
TB ’After buying cryptocurrencies on either an exchange like Coinbase, Kraken, Eidoo, or Gemini you can then transfer them into either a digital or hardware ‘wallet’. If you want a digital wallet make sure you have what are called ‘private keys’ and the wallet is secure. Eidoo is a great digital wallet, because from there you can use your cryptocurrencies to participate easily and safely in ICOs [with the usual financial risks]. If you want a hardware wallet there are some great developments on the market such as Ledger Nano. But if you want to participate in an ICO and invest in a blockchain project, you'll still need to transfer your crypto back into a place that allows you to invest in ICOs.’
RISING What tips would you have for someone navigating cryptocurrencies and ICOs for the first time?
TB ‘Never invest what you can't afford to lose. Do your due diligence on the cryptocurrency and any company behind an ICO. Be fraud aware. Transfer your crypto out of an exchange and into a secure wallet. Enjoy the experience!’
RISING What are the top three-five red flags for people to watch out for and walk away from if they see them?
- A business plan that doesn't add up.
- Past security breaches.
- No roadmap or detailed plans for a project.
RISING How do you see the crypto startup market developing over the next five years?
TB ‘It will explode. The blockchain offers the same scope as the internet did back in the late nineties. There is huge room for innovation, development and investment in the area which is only really in its infancy.’
‘If you have an idea, don't be afraid to push it to fruition – speed can be your friend’
RISING Are there new freedoms that this sector can offer investors?
TB ‘This area is always developing and depends on the country you live in. Until recently there was widespread non regulation but now many countries are starting to put plans in place. Just today the UK and EU has decided to crack down and possibly regulate Bitcoin amid fears of tax avoidance and crime. However it is another asset that can diversity an investment portfolio.’
RISING What’s Eidoo’s USP?
TB ‘We want to make the crypto world more accessible to the mainstream investor, so we've built a user-friendly app that has security at its heart. We also let our users do many things from one place, which is a huge advantage and means you can store and manage your cryptocurrencies using only one app rather than bouncing between different services which can prove costly and time consuming.’
RISING What professional lessons have you learned in your journey with the brand?
TB ‘If you have an idea, don't be afraid to push it to fruition. Speed can be your friend when you're developing a product but a well designed and executed project that has the customer at its heart will win. You don't have to be first to be the best!’
WHAT NEXT? Find out more about Eidoo’s ICO engine, which is designed to counter the kind of hack that hit the CoinDash ICO for $7 million, diverting the cash to different URL at the time of collection.
Follow the writer @mattfitnessray