Earning on Your Crypto
“The biggest drivers are adoption, size of the asset class, and market sentiment.”
Zac Prince, CEO of BlockFi, joins Raoul Pal, CEO of Real Vision, to talk about the growing financial services ecosystem in the cryptocurrency industry and what could be on the horizon.
Bet Against the Banks – Prince experienced first-hand how far behind the banks were to cryptocurrency when he sought a loan for an investment property in 2017. On his application, he listed his Bitcoin and Ethereum holdings. He quickly found out how hostile they were to crypto.
“They were like, this is worth nothing, we are not valuing it in terms of your assets,” Prince said. “By the way, we are going to put you through some additional compliance checks, because we are worried you might be involved in illicit activities.”
Prince saw this as an opportunity. With banks proving that they were not going to be competition, he saw crypto as a collateral vehicle. As long as cryptocurrencies continued to grow in value, he believed more people would enter and eventually look for ways to earn. That same year, he founded BlockFi.
Barrier to Entry – The financial services industry is quickly undergoing a paradigm shift thanks to the cryptocurrency industry. Traditional products are being re-imagined. Some offer higher interest rates than fiat based products, others are being introduced in decentralized finance and adoption in general is increasing.
Prince recognizes that holding cryptocurrencies is a current barrier to entry for many who are interested but fearful of losing their coins, wallets or backup phrases.
“There are also ways for institutions to get exposure without even having to deal with custody; Bitcoin futures, GBTC,” Prince stated. “It is challenging that we have the menu in the sense that folks might show up, and they hear if you are not self-custodying, then you are not even doing Bitcoin right and you are a moron. I think we have got to tone down some of the aggressive tactics that we have in terms of that messaging, and just talk about it positively.”
The team at BlockFi are looking to make their mark on the low barrier field by introducing a crypto credit card.
“You get 1.5% cashback in Bitcoin on every purchase you make on the card, and then that Bitcoin will flow directly into your BlockFi account where you can do all of the things with it that are available on our platform, earn interest rate, get a loan secured by it,” Prince said.
He is confident that a credit card will help spread Bitcoin adoption.
“Everyone knows how credit card spending works and earning cashback or rewards on your credit card works,” Prince stated. “It is a very low risk way to start getting some Bitcoin.”
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