Interest in cryptocurrencies has spiked significantly over the past few years, with non-traditional investors taking an interest in buying in. Even institutions like Goldman Sachs have offered Bitcoin-based financial solutions to their high-net-worth clientele. However, cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology are still new concepts, and even the most experienced investors may not fully understand the utility behind these tokens. Despite the widespread coverage, investment in these new sectors is volatile and unpredictable. The current bear market has proven that even the most knowledgeable investors struggle with hedge funds like Three Arrows collapsing.
At the Blockchain Futurist Conference, Metaverse Insider had the opportunity to talk to Michael Jones and Gerard Barile of Wave Financial. Wave Financial Group is a digital asset management firm combining venture capital, fund & wealth management competencies. Wave Financial has navigated the bear market relatively well and has positioned its clients in a decent position.
I started my conversation by asking Michael about Wave Financial.
Michael Jones: Wave is an SEC-registered asset manager. So, we have two lines of business, one being an asset management business; we have eight different funds, everything from venture to crypto trading to Defi, that any accredited investor can access and become a part of the family from an LP perspective. And then we also have a treasury line of business, Treasury, Wealth Management. So that’s more of a b2b, really bespoke customized portfolio, we build out for kind of some of the OG crypto whales and some of the layer one protocols themselves, really any person or organization that has a lot of cryptos that they’re sitting on and not doing anything with, we can kind of put that through the intellectual meat grinder and spit out a strategy, customized to the client, whether that’s an organization or a person.
Michael explained the business well. While walking up to meet Michael and Gerard, someone described Wave Financial as the Goldman Sachs of crypto. I asked Michael if that was true as it may help our readers understand the business better.
Michael Jones: I’m probably uniquely positioned to say yes to that because I used to work at Goldman. Okay. So, it’s definitely the approach that we’re trying to take, particularly on that Treasury wealth side, where we’re trying to be that white glove experience for crypto whales, kind of new people entering the space as well as some of the projects, protocols, layer ones, Metaverse, gaming companies, like I said, any of these organizations that are sitting on 10s of millions, hundreds of millions dollar’s worth of crypto looking to manage the risk, maximize the yield, and optimize their balance sheet. We’re a primary partner for a lot of those companies.
I was intrigued to learn that Michael had transitioned from Goldman to Wave, as many might consider a move to this sector as much riskier than working at a place like Goldman. Thus, I asked him about his transition from TradFi to Wave.
Michael Jones: It’s been awesome. I’m sure Gerard could even reflect on this too. But, you know, coming from Goldman to Wave, one of the things that were doing a lot of at Goldman was working with entrepreneurs that were exiting their businesses and looking to manage their assets in the world of finance, going from a position where they had one asset, which was their business. Then now they’re like, Okay, I have $40 million of cash, what do I do now? And I got kind of the entrepreneurial bug from my own clients and wanted to kind of find the crest of the next wave, no pun intended. And you know, crypto and web3 represent that to me. I’m sure Gerrard would agree with that as well.
Gerard Barile: Part of my personal belief is that it’s the future. This specific digital asset class is going to able have the potential to like, actually revolutionize the world. And we’re seeing bits of it happen right now.
Michael and Gerrard had a positive outlook on the Web3/crypto future. Thus, my next question was to ask about the bear market and how Wave has navigated these times.
Gerard Barile: As with anyone, bear markets are difficult. Fortunately, Wave positioned itself well in this market. And we’re able to come out of it really unscathed with a healthy balance sheet and the ability to look at different opportunities within the market and have the capital to be able to deploy. So, we’re really proud of that. And we’re looking at a number of different opportunities that are out there at this moment.
My last question to Gerrard and Michael was to ask for their advice for an inexperienced investor. How can a rookie get involved and invest in crypto?
Gerard Barile: The biggest thing that I tell everyone is, go and learn! Before you invest your money, really spend time understanding what you’re investing in, why you’re investing in this. Develop your own thesis on this space and ensure that as you’re investing that you have conviction in the things that you want to invest into. Blindly investing can work out sometimes for individuals, but you want to ensure that it holds true to the beliefs that you have.
Michael Jones: I agree. We definitely put our money where our mouth is about what Gerrard just talked about. For Wave, a lot of the onboarding process for bringing in new clients is education. We do a lot of Defi as an example. That’s why how we avoided Celcius, we avoided Block5, and we avoided Three Arrows. Because we’re so much more diligent with how we approach kind of Cefi, and we’re much heavier, much more heavily focused on, you know, finding opportunities. But even with corporate crypto native clients of ours, we’re really focused on helping them understand what types of risks are associated with the Defi that are different from what they may be used to.
Metaverse Insider would like to thank Michael and Gerrard for taking out the time during a busy Blockchain Futurist Conference. We wish Michael, Gerrard, and the rest of the team at Wave Financial the best of luck.