The past year has left society feeling uneasy and precarious about what the future has in store, given the unpredictable nature of Covid-19. Economies, politics, and infrastructures were all at the mercy of the evolving pandemic and the burdensome regulations that came with it. When industries have their foundations shattered, individuals with an entrepreneurial mindset are quick to find opportunities and solutions that deviate from the modern approach. Cryptocurrency was an industry that experienced an exponential rise during such uncertainty, evidenced by the accelerated rise of the price of Bitcoin. Tekin Salimi is a thought leader in crypto, and a general partner at Polychain Capital, a digital asset firm that aims to foster the global adoption of cryptocurrencies. Salimi was a former corporate attorney, and is now a crypto investor, and supporter of the technology that he believes can have a tremendous impact on the world. He lends his insight into all things crypto, and its vast power to disrupt the future of our society.
Salimi says that the main reason he was excited about Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies was the potential for blockchain technologies to disintermediate over 99 percent of the financial services we use today. Even more so, Salimi believes that blockchains have the potential to disrupt many of the peer-to-peer internet services that people use on a daily basis. A big factor why Salimi left the legal world was his belief that the scale of the efficiencies of such technologies, and the impact they could have on financial services was similar to the rise of the internet. Although Salimi was too young to capitalize on the dot com wave of the early 2000s, he didn’t want to miss the opportunity to be a part of the expansion of crypto into the mainstream world.
Bitcoin is the most popular cryptocurrency to date, Salimi believes that its biggest value is the element of secure storage. The secure store of value holds extensive benefits in a world ravaged by Covid-19, as well as the element it presents to hedge against inflation. A disturbing statistic that is imperative to consider is that nearly twenty percent of all USD in existence was created in 2020.
“In the current global macroeconomic setting, I believe that the appeal of Bitcoin will grow precipitously along with other types of crypto”.
Arguably the biggest challenge to get people to use crypto is the difficulties that come with buying Bitcoin, as well as the burdens that come with managing an individuals wallet/private keys securely. Salimi believes that there are several trends to look out for that will reduce friction in the next year to 18 months. New ETF vehicles premiering on public stock exchanges give individuals a direct channel to buying Bitcoin, Ethereaum, and other cryptocurrencies through their brokerage accounts. Also, many financial technology companies are incorporating cryptocurrencies into their platforms, directly facilitating the process of purchasing cryptocurrency. CashApp (US), Revolt(UK), Wealthsimple(Canada), and PayPal (US), just to name a few. These trends should be the source of increasing influx of capital into cryptocurrency.
Salimi believes that education is of paramount importance for those seeking to get into crypto, he implores people to access the vast amount of resources online before they begin investing.
“By starting with research upfront, investors will be in a better position to differentiate the projects with novel technology, real developer communities, and sustainable development roadmaps from the vaporware”
Salimi’s goals for his work in crypto are mainly identifying and investing in underlying protocols and financial primitives that underpin future crypto applications. He believes that because we are in the early infrastructure development era in cryptocurrency, and this is why R&D and education play a significant role in furthering the industry. His company works closely with important players in the field, from institutional investors, governments, policymakers, and other prominent figures in the industry- helping communicate and educate them on the value of blockchain technology. An early contribution Salimi made to the cause was co-founding the Blockchain Association in 2018. The Blockchain Association is a lobbyist group that works with regulators on cryptocurrency industry issues within the U.S.
The crypto industry is constantly evolving, so it is quite the task to ascertain the future of the industry for the next ten years. Salimi says that if there are no radical changes, the plan will be to continue with investment, education, and R&D.
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