Crypto Kings and Queens: Emerging Leaders in the World of Digital Assets

Over the past decade, there has been a multitude of pioneers in the crypto space. As new advancements and updates are made each and every day, there is an overload of information to constantly keep up with. As the public looks to further understand the new comings of digital assets, a variety of crypto leaders have emerged as trusted experts in the industry. These people are developers, entrepreneurs, analysts, engineers, investors, and overall emergent leaders that contribute their knowledge, ideas, and expertise to further educate and grow the digital asset community. 

As 2021 has kicked into full swing, several young professionals have embraced the shift from a traditional financial system to one influenced by the power of digital assets. One individual in particular who has been taking the crypto world by storm is Flori Marquez. Since graduating from Cornell, Marquez has gone on to become the co-founder of BlockFi, making her way onto the Forbes 30 under 30 finance list. BlockFi is a very successful and rapidly growing crypto-lending platform that allows clients to open accounts with up to 8.6% APY, with revenues of over $100 million projected for the year ahead. Marquez keeps the public up to date on all things BlockFi, alongside her daily thoughts and opinions via Twitter, where her bio reads, “bridging the worlds of fintech and blockchain”.

While the capabilities of cryptocurrencies are spectacular, they would not be made possible without the engineers behind the protocols that make crypto transactions successful. Amiti Uttarwar is a 28-year-old Nevada native who works as a software engineer and coder of Bitcoin’s protocol in Silicon Valley. She strives to enhance the privacy of wallets in Bitcoin Core by studying the various transactions made on peer-to-peer lending platforms. Her efforts to help to facilitate the process of buying and selling cryptocurrencies will allow for further mass adoption and will aid the everyday utilization of digital assets. 

Another emerging leader who deserves some recognition is Jesse Peltan, he is the co-founder of HODL ranch, a bitcoin mining company located in Texas. Peltan alongside his team works to allocate their resources to lower the cost of bitcoin mining to make bitcoin more profitable overall. His innovative approach to harvesting natural windpower elements and renewable energy sources makes for low costs in Bitcoin mining, as demand for advanced efficiency of networks increases. Mining historically can be difficult with a variety of costs, alongside trials and errors of harvesting energy, distribution, etc, and Peltan works to facilitate that process.

Lastly, a dominant force in the crypto world is Brian Armstrong, CEO, and co-founder of Coinbase. As Co-Founder and CEO, Armstrong has grown Coinbase into the largest crypto-exchange in the United States. He has built Coinbase up to be a secure and compliance-oriented platform in which accredited investors trust. In tandem, the trust that Coinbase has fostered among the community has contributed to the recent institutional adoption we have seen. According to Forbes, “Coinbase is the first principal issuer of debit cards that allow customers to spend their cryptocurrency anywhere Visa is accepted and to withdraw cash from any ATM,” thus making cryptocurrencies much more accessible for everyday use cases. Armstrong has a strong presence on Twitter and social communities as well, voicing his updates, opinions, and other crypto-related discussions for the crypto-curious to see.

These are just a few of the many young individuals who have seen firsthand just how far the blockchain and crypto sector has become and ran with it. Though their own day-to-day hustle and bustle may differ, they uphold a shared belief that the future of finance lies within the capabilities of digital assets and cryptocurrencies powered by blockchain technology. At Sarson Funds, we believe in that same shared idea. To learn more about our investment strategies, visit our YouTube Channel, follow us on social media, or visit our website to learn more about our holistic educational approach to crypto and digital asset investing.

By Abigail Almonte

Crypto Likes the Stock: How Blockchain Empowers WallStreetBets to Trade “Stonks” on Their Own Terms

Wall Street Bets Finds Easy Solution to Censorship in Mirror Finance

Wall Street Bets Finds Easy Solution to Censorship in Mirror Finance

The market revolution surrounding WallStreetBets (WSB), Gamestop (GME), and electronic trading platforms Robinhood and TD Ameritrade is inspiring a renowned cry for financial freedom in traditional finance markets. The overarching realization many investors are experiencing is that the United States’ “free market” is not so free after all, as Robinhood and TD Ameritrade took actions to limit trading on GME and AMC to protect Wall Street hedge funds from collapsing. At the cost of small-scale investors, Wall Street’s vulnerabilities are being protected by the platforms originally designed to empower we the people, and we the people are furious. 

Crypto and blockchain-based solutions have quickly surfaced to quench the modern investor’s need for a censor-free, frictionless financial system. Mirror Finance is bridging the gap between Wall Street, everyday investors, and crypto, as this decentralized financial (DeFi) protocol gives barred investors a pathway toward true financial freedom. Mirror Finance is a DeFi protocol on the Terra blockchain that allows the creation, use and trading of synthetic assets known as Mirrored Assets (mAssets). mAssets are designed to mirror the price behavior of real-world assets on a blockchain, giving traders all over the world 24/7 access to financial markets without actually owning or transacting with real assets.

Crypto synthetic assets are blockchain-based financial instruments that combine derivative products like futures, options and swaps to imitate and track the value of any traditional asset, allowing for crypto integration with traditional finance. These crypto synthetics enable users to trade these mirrored-assets at their real-time value 24/7, 365 days a year regardless of stock market hours. Mirror brings the financial freedom that crypto offers to traditional finance, permitting fractional ownership, open access and freedom from censorship for everyday investors.

WallStreetBets investors looking for more exposure to WSB-pumped stocks that were censored by Robinhood and TD Ameritrade can regain their stance with these assets through synthetic replicas on Mirror’s protocol. 

The collusion between Wall Street and electronic trading platforms is awakening our society to the true need for decentralized finance. Inspired? So are we. We hope the capabilities that Mirror brings to the world will empower the finance community to continue bridging the gaps between traditional and decentralized finance to inspire the next frontier of financial services.

By Liam McDonald

Crypto Basics: How to Buy Bitcoin

Sarson Funds: How to Invest in Bitcoin - Cryptocurrency Financial Advisor

Sarson Funds: How to Invest in Bitcoin - Cryptocurrency Financial Advisor

As Bitcoin and the digital asset ecosystem continue to reach all time highs, investors are being awakened to the true value of crypto assets. As newcomers gain interest, the most frequently asked question has become: how can I buy Bitcoin? This article will provide a step-by-step manual on how to invest in cryptocurrencies and the various elements to consider before investing.

First, every investor should consider how they would like to invest: individually or with a digital asset manager. You should invest individually if you believe you have a firm grasp on the various tokens throughout the ecosystem and would like to diversify your holdings based on your own strategy and methodology. Investing individually would provide you the freedom to invest and own various tokens on your own, versus owning a portion of a larger-scale investment strategy. If you are new to the crypto space and are looking to join in on the fun without knowing much about individual coins, or would rather entrust professional portfolio managers to drive returns for you, then you should choose a digital asset manager and a specific strategy that fits your investing interests.

To invest individually, you must first choose how you’d like to invest. If you are simply looking to own Bitcoin, a very basic entry point would be to invest through a Bitcoin ATM, which are widely available in grocery and convenience stores across the United States. These ATMs allow you to buy Bitcoin with cash, debit and credit cards, and most allow the sale of Bitcoin in return for cash on your card. Purchasing and selling Bitcoin through an ATM will provide you with a paper wallet and a private key password to keep your Bitcoin safe. This paper wallet must be kept safe and secure, as loss of this wallet and the private key would mean a total loss of the assets stored on these until the address and private key are recovered. If you already have a Bitcoin wallet, you can scan the QR code of the wallet or provide its address to send the Bitcoin straight to your pre existing wallet.

If you’d like to actively trade Bitcoin and other digital assets, as well as track their progress and keep up to date with the ecosystem daily, we recommend purchasing Bitcoin through a crypto exchange. First, you must decide what type of investor you are looking to be. If you are simply looking to trade and keep up with crypto whenever you can, we recommend setting up an account with Coinbase, Gemini or Kraken. If you are looking to be a more sophisticated investor, Binance US offers real time analysis and price trends, giving investors the ability to witness active and past trading candles as well as buys/sells coming through the platform. Access to these price trends and real time market activity provides investors insight into where Bitcoin’s price will move in the short term.

Once you have decided which exchange will give you the capabilities you need, it’s time to set up an account. Setting up an account on a crypto exchange requires investors’ information for proper KYC background checks. This will require a government issued ID, a bank account to source money flows, and an onboarding process for account verification. Once your account is set up, you are free to invest on the platform.

Purchasing Bitcoin and other digital assets on crypto exchanges is an easy process. You simply look up the coin you would like to invest in, then select the dollar amount of the coin you would like to purchase (crypto assets can be bought in small parts, so you do not need to buy a whole coin), and confirm the purchase to finalize the transaction.

Once you own your coins, it is crucial to know how to protect them. Keeping your coins on exchanges is the simplest way to consolidate your assets in one place, but if you want true ownership of your tokens, you must own and control the private key to your wallet, which acts as a password to gain access to your coins. When your coins are located on exchanges, you do not truly own them because your private key passwords are stored on the exchange. When your private key is stored by a centralized platform, your coins may risk compromise if the platform is hacked. Thus, to ensure the true security of your tokens, we recommend taking your coins off of crypto exchanges and holding them on cold storage wallets like the Ledger Nano X.

At Sarson Funds, we aim to enable and empower our community to access the new age of financial freedom. To learn how to invest with a digital asset manager, stay tuned for our next segment of Crypto Basics. Until then, do what you came here to do and go buy some Bitcoin. Happy HODLing!

By Liam McDonald

Nexus Mutual: Empowering Investors with Crypto Insurance

Nexus Mutual Provides Crypto Insurance for Investors - Cryptocurrency Financial Advisor

Nexus Mutual Provides Crypto Insurance for Investors - Cryptocurrency Financial Advisor

Weekly Analyst Thoughts

Involvement in the decentralized finance (Defi) space carries the risk of loss through hacks and flash loan attacks. Since these sophisticated flash loan attacks began in March 2020, users have been more reluctant to provide liquidity to Defi platforms that have not undergone a security audit by an independent third party.

Users rely on audits for Defi platforms to protect their funds, while some take their asset protection further with incorporating decentralized smart contract insurance on Nexus Mutual. Users who want to buy smart contract insurance for decentralized platforms like Curve and Balancer can purchase a 1-year insurance plan for 2.6% of their assets staked on the Defi platform. Additionally, Nexus Mutual recently integrated insurance for centralized (Cefi) custodians like Celsius and Blockfi that protects users from withdrawal restrictions and hacking risk commonly seen on centralized crypto platforms. Below, see the insurance offerings of Nexus:

Crypto Insurance by Nexus Mutual Sarson Funds

Source: https://app.nexusmutual.io/cover/buy/select-project

Although users can do their due diligence before investing with Defi and Cefi platforms, hacks do occur and one of the best ways users can protect themselves is by purchasing decentralized insurance coverage on Nexus Mutual.

By Jacob Stelter

Bitcoin Cash: 51% Attack and the Bitcoin Cash Fork

Sarson Funds Bitcoin Cash Fork Cryptocurrency Financial Advisor

Sarson Funds Bitcoin Cash Fork Cryptocurrency Financial Advisor

Weekly Analyst Thoughts

Hashing wars are when miners battle with each other to win control of a blockchain. As hashing wars and hard forks take place, the support for Bitcoin’s consensus algorithm is strengthened. While Bitcoin’s Proof of Work (POW) mining algorithm has garnered undeniable support over the years, one flaw still remains: the 51 % attack – a blockchain attack where a group of miners controls more than 50% of the network’s mining hash rate, giving them the ability to halt and even reverse transactions. Satoshi states on the viability of a 51% attack,

“As long as a majority of CPU power is controlled by nodes that are not cooperating to attack the network, they’ll generate the longest chain and outpace attackers. The network itself requires minimal structure.”

Source: https://bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf

When blockchains experience hashing wars, the underlying assumption that cooperating nodes have more CPU power then an attacker is negated, unfolding a multitude of negative repercussions. For example, on BCHA (a recent fork of Bitcoin Cash), there was an attacking miner who had more CPU power than the rest of the cooperating nodes, allowing him to sow absolute chaos on the BCHA network. This attack included the inability to mine users’ transactions (creating empty blocks), only verifying users’ transactions that had special messages attached to them, reorganizing other miners’ blocks so they no longer received the mining reward for solving a block, and demanding that the lead node implement new code rules via a soft fork to pay 100% of the block reward to Bitcoin ABC, therefore starving other miners of their mining reward. In the history of Bitcoin and POW currencies, 51% attacks have occurred mainly to steal coins, but none quite as brutal or unique as this recent attempt to destroy the BCHA blockchain through mining empty blocks, reorganizations, and using soft forks to change node consensus rules.

By Jacob Stelter

Bancor Network: Stake and Protect with Liquidity Mining

Bancor Network Provides Liquidity for Yield Farmers

Bancor Network Provides Liquidity for Yield Farmers

This week, Bancor Network launched their liquidity mining program. So far, the addition skyrocketed Bancor’s total value locked and has been a positive catalyst for its token price, which is up 50% this week. The goals for the Bancor liquidity mining program are to increase liquidity to its exchange and encourage LP’s to stick around once the mining period ends through incorporating interesting features like single sided liquidity deposits and a stake and protect feature for liquidity providers.

One of the main reasons why I was originally drawn to Bancor Network was because their stake and protect feature seems to be the perfect hedge against risk of impermanent loss. While Bancor provides inherent risk management opportunities, they originally did not have enough liquidity or volume to make it worthwhile to become a liquidity provider on their platform. Bancor’s liquidity mining program solves the original liquidity and volume issues of Bancor. Below, find images of the total value locked in the protocol and the liquidity mining reward APY’s investors can receive if they became an LP on Bancor.

Source: https://defipulse.com/bancor

Source: https://app.bancor.network/eth/data

In summary, if yield farmers are looking for high returns and mitigation of their impermanent loss risk, then Bancor Network is a great platform to provide liquidity.

By Jacob Stelter

Build Your Own Coin: How to Create a Bitcoin Cash SLP Token

Creating Your Own Cryptocurrency - Sarson Funds Cryptocurrency Financial Advisors

Creating Your Own Cryptocurrency - Sarson Funds Cryptocurrency Financial Advisors

Weekly Analyst Thoughts

The mint.bitcoin.com wallet is a premier web wallet for Bitcoin Cash. This wallet is unique because it can create Simple Ledger Protocol Tokens (SLP tokens) for a fraction of a penny without the hassle of dealing with complicated wallet GUIs that are common in cryptocurrency wallets. SLP tokens are tokens built on the Bitcoin Cash blockchain, similar to ERC-20 tokens on Ethereum. Below, see a quick tutorial on how to create an SLP token from the mint.bitcoin.com wallet.

SLP Token Creation Tutorial

  1. Go to mint.bitcoin.com, click “configure,” and then click seed phrase (mnemonic). Write down your seed phrase.

  1. Fund your wallet with a small amount of BCH, so you can create an SLP token (please do not send to this address- use your own mint.bitcoin.com wallet).

  1. Click create and fill out the token information including optional choices on fixed supply, token icon, whitepaper and token website.

  1. Click Create Token.

  1. You are done! You just created an SLP token on the BCH blockchain for a fraction of a penny.

Special Prize: I have sent 2 analyst note tokens to a specific SLP address and paid a BCH dividend of $1.

First person to claim the prize gets the 2 analyst tokens and $1 of BCH since I am attaching the public address and private key below.

Public Address:  qr03tzwdvnh3gyckuuwq0ucunr58em7wz5vctq9emg

Private Key: Ky5ppoE4Xs12pBWAFR4L89ZxTNfKTnv4Dy7A3UeFXmpiEU6PLkNt

By Jacob Stelter

Bitcoin Boom: Financial Advisors Ready Themselves for a Shift to Digital Asset Investing

As the financial services industry shifts towards a more digital and decentralized future, advisors also find themselves approaching one of the greatest wealth transfers of all time. Coined “The Great Wealth Transfer,” millennials are gearing up to inherit $68 trillion from boomers over the next three decades, implying not only a shift in wealth, but also a shift in investing goals and strategies. This wealth transfer will likely spur the universal adoption of digital assets as millennials drive the exponentially increasing capital inflow towards Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

The impending wealth shift towards decentralized finance and digital assets offers an equally lucrative opportunity for financial advisors to align themselves with the future of their clients’ interests. According to Grayscale’s October 2020 Bitcoin Investor Study, Bitcoin’s largest investor group is between the ages of 25 and 34, while more than half of millennials surveyed indicated that they would invest in digital assets if their financial advisors recommended they do so. Thus, advisors must ready themselves for the upcoming shift in wealth and investor interests by building the resources and knowledge base about the crypto ecosystem to support the future needs of their clients. If advisors fail to act, they will miss out on the next frontier of investing.

Additionally, the shift towards personalized digital investing via platforms such as Robinhood and Coinbase, gives everyday folks the opportunity to invest without the need for a financial advisor. As Coindesk reports, 80% of Robinhood’s investors are millennials, indicating that the once niche practice of investing is less viewed as something only professionals and wealthy individuals can engage in. Rather, personal investing platforms are normalizing investing for smaller-scale investors as they are steered towards cheaper fees and more transparent portfolios.

While most traditional investors in the boomer demographic remain invested in the stock and fixed income markets, the upcoming wealth transfer and alternative interests of millennials will likely make way for a significant reallocation of this capital into digital assets. In recognizing this upcoming shift in wealth and strategy, advisors must prepare to provide the necessary advisory services to digital asset investors before their services are nullified by the emergence of personal investing platforms.

While digital asset investing intersects with the new era of personally managed investments, advisors should not shy away from incorporating digital asset investment opportunities into their offerings. Digital asset custodian platforms give advisors the ability to uphold their traditional fee structures when managing their clients’ investments, allowing for easy integration when advisors are ready. As much as the era of personal investing enables the common person to invest on their own, there will always be a need for strategic financial advisory, especially in the maturing crypto space.

By Liam McDonald

Sushiswap: The Yield Farming Platform that Caused Defi-Mania

Weekly Analyst Thoughts

Sushiswap

Last week was Defi mania for crypto. One reason why Defi reached such a frenzy this week was because of the launch of Sushiswap. Sushiswap incentivizes Uniswap liquidity providers to deposit their pool tokens on Sushiswap’s platform to start earning Sushi. Below are some rewards that one could earn if they deposit their Uniswap tokens on Sushi’s platform.

Source: https://sushiswap.org/farms  ***Note: One needs to connect their metamask wallet in order to view these returns on this page ***

As you can see, there are a multitude of opportunities to earn Sushi with different pools and generate outsized returns! Here is a six-step process to start earning Sushi if one wants to dive into Defi mania:

  1. Acquire Ethereum
  2. Go to Uniswap and swap Ethereum for a pool token that is available on Uniswap (Ex: UMA)
  3. Add Liquidity on Uniswap with ETH & UMA (Approve then supply the collateral)
  4. Go to sushiswap.org and unlock your Metamask wallet
  5. Approve and Supply the UMA and ETH LP tokens in the Sushiswap liquidity pool
  6. Harvest the Sushi that you are now farming!

By Jacob Stelter