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Stephen Moore

Stephen Moore

1 month ago

Adam Neumanns is working to create the future of living in a classic example of a guy failing upward.

More on Entrepreneurship

Antonio Neto

Antonio Neto

2 months ago

Should you skip the minimum viable product?

Are MVPs outdated and have no place in modern product culture?

Frank Robinson coined "MVP" in 2001. In the same year as the Agile Manifesto, the first Scrum experiment began. MVPs are old.

The concept was created to solve the waterfall problem at the time.

The market was still sour from the .com bubble. The tech industry needed a new approach. Product and Agile gained popularity because they weren't waterfall.

More than 20 years later, waterfall is dead as dead can be, but we are still talking about MVPs. Does that make sense?

What is an MVP?

Minimum viable product. You probably know that, so I'll be brief:

[…] The MVP fits your company and customer. It's big enough to cause adoption, satisfaction, and sales, but not bloated and risky. It's the product with the highest ROI/risk. […] — Frank Robinson, SyncDev

MVP is a complete product. It's not a prototype. It's your product's first iteration, which you'll improve. It must drive sales and be user-friendly.

At the MVP stage, you should know your product's core value, audience, and price. We are way deep into early adoption territory.

What about all the things that come before?

Modern product discovery

Eric Ries popularized the term with The Lean Startup in 2011. (Ries would work with the concept since 2008, but wide adoption came after the book was released).

Ries' definition of MVP was similar to Robinson's: "Test the market" before releasing anything. Ries never mentioned money, unlike Jobs. His MVP's goal was learning.

“Remove any feature, process, or effort that doesn't directly contribute to learning” — Eric Ries, The Lean Startup

Product has since become more about "what" to build than building it. What started as a learning tool is now a discovery discipline: fake doors, prototyping, lean inception, value proposition canvas, continuous interview, opportunity tree... These are cheap, effective learning tools.

Over time, companies realized that "maximum ROI divided by risk" started with discovery, not the MVP. MVPs are still considered discovery tools. What is the problem with that?

Time to Market vs Product Market Fit

Waterfall's Time to Market is its biggest flaw. Since projects are sliced horizontally rather than vertically, when there is nothing else to be done, it’s not because the product is ready, it’s because no one cares to buy it anymore.

MVPs were originally conceived as a way to cut corners and speed Time to Market by delivering more customer requests after they paid.

Original product development was waterfall-like.

Time to Market defines an optimal, specific window in which value should be delivered. It's impossible to predict how long or how often this window will be open.

Product Market Fit makes this window a "state." You don’t achieve Product Market Fit, you have it… and you may lose it.

Take, for example, Snapchat. They had a great time to market, but lost product-market fit later. They regained product-market fit in 2018 and have grown since.

An MVP couldn't handle this. What should Snapchat do? Launch Snapchat 2 and see what the market was expecting differently from the last time? MVPs are a snapshot in time that may be wrong in two weeks.

MVPs are mini-projects. Instead of spending a lot of time and money on waterfall, you spend less but are still unsure of the results.


MVPs aren't always wrong. When releasing your first product version, consider an MVP.

Minimum viable product became less of a thing on its own and more interchangeable with Alpha Release or V.1 release over time.

Modern discovery technics are more assertive and predictable than the MVP, but clarity comes only when you reach the market.

MVPs aren't the starting point, but they're the best way to validate your product concept.

Raad Ahmed

Raad Ahmed

4 months ago

How We Just Raised $6M At An $80M Valuation From 100+ Investors Using A Link (Without Pitching)

Lawtrades nearly failed three years ago.

We couldn't raise Series A or enthusiasm from VCs.

We raised $6M (at a $80M valuation) from 100 customers and investors using a link and no pitching.

Step-by-step:

We refocused our business first.

Lawtrades raised $3.7M while Atrium raised $75M. By comparison, we seemed unimportant.

We had to close the company or try something new.

As I've written previously, a pivot saved us. Our initial focus on SMBs attracted many unprofitable customers. SMBs needed one-off legal services, meaning low fees and high turnover.

Tech startups were different. Their General Councels (GCs) needed near-daily support, resulting in higher fees and lower churn than SMBs.

We stopped unprofitable customers and focused on power users. To avoid dilution, we borrowed against receivables. We scaled our revenue 10x, from $70k/mo to $700k/mo.

Then, we reconsidered fundraising (and do it differently)
This time was different. Lawtrades was cash flow positive for most of last year, so we could dictate our own terms. VCs were still wary of legaltech after Atrium's shutdown (though they were thinking about the space).

We neither wanted to rely on VCs nor dilute more than 10% equity. So we didn't compete for in-person pitch meetings.

AngelList Roll-Up Vehicle (RUV). Up to 250 accredited investors can invest in a single RUV. First, we emailed customers the RUV. Why? Because I wanted to help the platform's users.

Imagine if Uber or Airbnb let all drivers or Superhosts invest in an RUV. Humans make the platform, theirs and ours. Giving people a chance to invest increases their loyalty.

We expanded after initial interest.

We created a Journey link, containing everything that would normally go in an investor pitch:

  • Slides
  • Trailer (from me)
  • Testimonials
  • Product demo
  • Financials

We could also link to our AngelList RUV and send the pitch to an unlimited number of people. Instead of 1:1, we had 1:10,000 pitches-to-investors.

We posted Journey's link in RUV Alliance Discord. 600 accredited investors noticed it immediately. Within days, we raised $250,000 from customers-turned-investors.

Stonks, which live-streamed our pitch to thousands of viewers, was interested in our grassroots enthusiasm. We got $1.4M from people I've never met.

These updates on Pump generated more interest. Facebook, Uber, Netflix, and Robinhood executives all wanted to invest. Sahil Lavingia, who had rejected us, gave us $100k.

We closed the round with public support.

Without a single pitch meeting, we'd raised $2.3M. It was a result of natural enthusiasm: taking care of the people who made us who we are, letting them move first, and leveraging their enthusiasm with VCs, who were interested.

We used network effects to raise $3.7M from a founder-turned-VC, bringing the total to $6M at a $80M valuation (which, by the way, I set myself).

What flipping the fundraising script allowed us to do:

We started with private investors instead of 2–3 VCs to show VCs what we were worth. This gave Lawtrades the ability to:

  • Without meetings, share our vision. Many people saw our Journey link. I ended up taking meetings with people who planned to contribute $50k+, but still, the ratio of views-to-meetings was outrageously good for us.
  • Leverage ourselves. Instead of us selling ourselves to VCs, they did. Some people with large checks or late arrivals were turned away.
  • Maintain voting power. No board seats were lost.
  • Utilize viral network effects. People-powered.
  • Preemptively halt churn by turning our users into owners. People are more loyal and respectful to things they own. Our users make us who we are — no matter how good our tech is, we need human beings to use it. They deserve to be owners.

I don't blame founders for being hesitant about this approach. Pump and RUVs are new and scary. But it won’t be that way for long. Our approach redistributed some of the power that normally lies entirely with VCs, putting it into our hands and our network’s hands.

This is the future — another way power is shifting from centralized to decentralized.

Jerry Keszka

Jerry Keszka

8 days ago

10 Crazy Useful Free Websites No One Told You About But You Needed

The internet is a massive information resource. With so much stuff, it's easy to forget about useful websites. Here are five essential websites you may not have known about.

Image from Canva selected by the author. The author assumes responsibility for the copyright

1. Companies.tools

Companies.tools are what successful startups employ. This website offers a curated selection of design, research, coding, support, and feedback resources. Ct has the latest app development platform and greatest client feedback method.

2. Excel Formula Bot

Excel Formula Bot can help if you forget a formula. Formula Bot uses AI to convert text instructions into Excel formulas, so you don't have to remember them.

Just tell the Bot what to do, and it will do it. Excel Formula Bot can calculate sales tax and vacation days. When you're stuck, let the Bot help.

3.TypeLit

TypeLit helps you improve your typing abilities while reading great literature.

TypeLit.io lets you type any book or dozens of preset classics. TypeLit provides real-time feedback on accuracy and speed.

Goals and progress can be tracked. Why not improve your typing and learn great literature with TypeLit?

4. Calm Schedule

Finding a meeting time that works for everyone is difficult. Personal and business calendars might be difficult to coordinate.

Synchronize your two calendars to save time and avoid problems. You may avoid searching through many calendars for conflicts and keep your personal information secret. Having one source of truth for personal and work occasions will help you never miss another appointment.
https://calmcalendar.com/

5. myNoise

myNoise makes the outside world quieter. myNoise is the right noise for a noisy office or busy street.

If you can't locate the right noise, make it. MyNoise unlocks the world. Shut out distractions. Thank your ears.

6. Synthesia

Professional videos require directors, filmmakers, editors, and animators. Now, thanks to AI, you can generate high-quality videos without video editing experience.

AI avatars are crucial. You can design a personalized avatar using a web-based software like synthesia.io. Our avatars can lip-sync in over 60 languages, so you can make worldwide videos. There's an AI avatar for every video goal.

Not free. Amazing service, though.

7. Cleaning-up-images

Have you shot a wonderful photo just to notice something in the background? You may have a beautiful headshot but wish to erase an imperfection.

Cleanup.pictures removes undesirable objects from photos. Our algorithms will eliminate the selected object.

Cleanup.pictures can help you obtain the ideal shot every time. Next time you take images, let Cleanup.pictures fix any flaws.

8. PDF24 Tools

Editing a PDF can be a pain. Most of us don't know Adobe Acrobat's functionalities. Why buy something you'll rarely use? Better options exist.

PDF24 is an online PDF editor that's free and subscription-free. Rotate, merge, split, compress, and convert PDFs in your browser. PDF24 makes document signing easy.

Upload your document, sign it (or generate a digital signature), and download it. It's easy and free. PDF24 is a free alternative to pricey PDF editing software.

9. Class Central

Finding online classes is much easier. Class Central has classes from Harvard, Stanford, Coursera, Udemy, and Google, Amazon, etc. in one spot.

Whether you want to acquire a new skill or increase your knowledge, you'll find something. New courses bring variety.

10. Rome2rio

Foreign travel offers countless transport alternatives. How do you get from A to B? It’s easy!

Rome2rio will show you the best method to get there, including which mode of transport is ideal.

  • Plane

  • Car

  • Train

  • Bus

  • Ferry

  • Driving

  • Shared bikes

  • Walking

Do you know any free, useful websites?

You might also like

Darshak Rana

Darshak Rana

5 months ago

17 Google Secrets 99 Percent of People Don't Know 

What can't Google do?
Seriously, nothing! Google rocks.
Google is a major player in online tools and services. We use it for everything, from research to entertainment.
Did I say entertain yourself?
Yes, with so many features and options, it can be difficult to fully utilize Google.

#1. Drive Google Mad

You can make Google's homepage dance if you want to be silly.
Just type “Google Gravity” into Google.com. Then select I'm lucky.
See the page unstick before your eyes!

#2 Play With Google Image

Google isn't just for work.
Then have fun with it!
You can play games right in your search results. When you need a break, google “Solitaire” or “Tic Tac Toe”. 

#3. Do a Barrel Roll

Need a little more excitement in your life? Want to see Google dance?
Type “Do a barrel roll” into the Google search bar.
Then relax and watch your screen do a 360. 

#4  No Internet?  No issue!

This is a fun trick to use when you have no internet.
If your browser shows a “No Internet” page, simply press Space.
Boom!
We have dinosaurs! Now use arrow keys to save your pixelated T-Rex from extinction.

#5 Google Can Help

Play this Google coin flip game to see if you're lucky.
Enter “Flip a coin” into the search engine.
You'll see a coin flipping animation. If you get heads or tails, click it. 

#6. Think with Google

My favorite Google find so far is the “Think with Google” website.
Think with Google is a website that offers marketing insights, research, and case studies.
I highly recommend it to entrepreneurs, small business owners, and anyone interested in online marketing. 

#7. Google Can Read Images!

This is a cool Google trick that few know about.
You can search for images by keyword or upload your own by clicking the camera icon on Google Images.
Google will then show you all of its similar images.

Caution: You should be fine with your uploaded images being public. 

#8. Modify the Google Logo!

Clicking on the “I'm Feeling Lucky” button on Google.com takes you to a random Google Doodle.
Each year, Google creates a Doodle to commemorate holidays, anniversaries, and other occasions.

#9. What is my IP?

Simply type “What is my IP” into Google to find out.
Your IP address will appear on the results page.

#10. Send a Self-Destructing Email With Gmail, 

Create a new message in Gmail. Find an icon that resembles a lock and a clock near the SEND button. That's where the Confidential Mode is.
By clicking it, you can set an expiration date for your email. Expiring emails are automatically deleted from both your and the recipient's inbox.

#11. Blink, Google Blink!

This is a unique Google trick.
Type “blink HTML” into Google. The words “blink HTML” will appear and then disappear.
The text is displayed for a split second before being deleted.
To make this work, Google reads the HTML code and executes the “blink” command. 

#12. The Answer To Everything

This is for all Douglas Adams fans.
The answer to life, the universe, and everything is 42, according to Google.
An allusion to Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, in which Ford Prefect seeks to understand life, the universe, and everything.

#13. Google in 1998

It's a blast!
Type “Google in 1998” into Google. "I'm feeling lucky"
You'll be taken to an old-school Google homepage.
It's a nostalgic trip for long-time Google users. 

#14. Scholarships and Internships

Google can help you find college funding!
Type “scholarships” or “internships” into Google.
The number of results will surprise you. 

#15. OK, Google. Dice!

To roll a die, simply type “Roll a die” into Google.
On the results page is a virtual dice that you can click to roll. 

#16. Google has secret codes!

Hit the nine squares on the right side of your Google homepage to go to My Account. Then Personal Info.
You can add your favorite language to the “General preferences for the web” tab. 

#17. Google Terminal 

You can feel like a true hacker.
Just type “Google Terminal” into Google.com. "I'm feeling lucky"
Voila~!
You'll be taken to an old-school computer terminal-style page.
You can then type commands to see what happens.

Have you tried any of these activities? Tell me in the comments.

Read full article here

Julie Plavnik

Julie Plavnik

22 days ago

How to Become a Crypto Broker [Complying and Making Money]

Three options exist. The third one is the quickest and most fruitful.

How To Become a Cryptocurrency Broker?

You've mastered crypto trading and want to become a broker.

So you may wonder: Where to begin?

If so, keep reading.

Today I'll compare three different approaches to becoming a cryptocurrency trader.

What are cryptocurrency brokers, and how do they vary from stockbrokers?

A stockbroker implements clients' market orders (retail or institutional ones).

Brokerage firms are regulated, insured, and subject to regulatory monitoring.

Stockbrokers are required between buyers and sellers. They can't trade without a broker. To trade, a trader must open a broker account and deposit money. When a trader shops, he tells his broker what orders to place.

Crypto brokerage is trade intermediation with cryptocurrency.

In crypto trading, however, brokers are optional.

Crypto exchanges offer direct transactions. Open an exchange account (no broker needed) and make a deposit.

Question:

Since crypto allows DIY trading, why use a broker?

Let's compare cryptocurrency exchanges vs. brokers.

Broker versus cryptocurrency exchange

Most existing crypto exchanges are basically brokers.

Examine their primary services:

  • connecting purchasers and suppliers

  • having custody of clients' money (with the exception of decentralized cryptocurrency exchanges),

  • clearance of transactions.

Brokerage is comparable, don't you think?

There are exceptions. I mean a few large crypto exchanges that follow the stock exchange paradigm. They outsource brokerage, custody, and clearing operations. Classic exchange setups are rare in today's bitcoin industry.

Back to our favorite “standard” crypto exchanges. All-in-one exchanges and brokers. And usually, they operate under a broker or a broker-dealer license, save for the exchanges registered somewhere in a free-trade offshore paradise. Those don’t bother with any licensing.

What’s the sense of having two brokers at a time?

Better liquidity and trading convenience.

The crypto business is compartmentalized.

We have CEXs, DEXs, hybrid exchanges, and semi-exchanges (those that aggregate liquidity but do not execute orders on their sides). All have unique regulations and act as sovereign states.

There are about 18k coins and hundreds of blockchain protocols, most of which are heterogeneous (i.e., different in design and not interoperable).

A trader must register many accounts on different exchanges, deposit funds, and manage them all concurrently to access global crypto liquidity.

It’s extremely inconvenient.

Crypto liquidity fragmentation is the largest obstacle and bottleneck blocking crypto from mass adoption.

Crypto brokers help clients solve this challenge by providing one-gate access to deep and diverse crypto liquidity from numerous exchanges and suppliers. Professionals and institutions need it.

Another killer feature of a brokerage may be allowing clients to trade crypto with fiat funds exclusively, without fiat/crypto conversion. It is essential for professional and institutional traders.

Who may work as a cryptocurrency broker?

Apparently, not anyone. Brokerage requires high-powered specialists because it involves other people's money.

Here's the essentials:

  • excellent knowledge, skills, and years of trading experience

  • high-quality, quick, and secure infrastructure

  • highly developed team

  • outstanding trading capital

  • High-ROI network: long-standing, trustworthy connections with customers, exchanges, liquidity providers, payment gates, and similar entities

  • outstanding marketing and commercial development skills.

What about a license for a cryptocurrency broker? Is it necessary?

Complex question.

If you plan to play in white-glove jurisdictions, you may need a license. For example, in the US, as a “money transmitter” or as a CASSP (crypto asset secondary services provider) in Australia.

Even in these jurisdictions, there are no clear, holistic crypto brokerage and licensing policies.

Your lawyer will help you decide if your crypto brokerage needs a license.

Getting a license isn't quick. Two years of patience are needed.

How can you turn into a cryptocurrency broker?

Finally, we got there! 🎉

Three actionable ways exist:

  1. To kickstart a regulated stand-alone crypto broker

  2. To get a crypto broker franchise, and

  3. To become a liquidity network broker.

Let's examine each.

1. Opening a regulated cryptocurrency broker

It's difficult. Especially If you're targeting first-world users.

You must comply with many regulatory, technical, financial, HR, and reporting obligations to keep your organization running. Some are mentioned above.

The licensing process depends on the products you want to offer (spots or derivatives) and the geographic areas you plan to service. There are no general rules for that.

In an overgeneralized way, here are the boxes you will have to check:

  • capital availability (usually a large amount of capital c is required)

  • You will have to move some of your team members to the nation providing the license in order to establish an office presence there.

  • the core team with the necessary professional training (especially applies to CEO, Head of Trading, Assistant to Head of Trading, etc.)

  • insurance

  • infrastructure that is trustworthy and secure

  • adopted proper AML/KYC/financial monitoring policies, etc.

Assuming you passed, what's next?

I bet it won’t be mind-blowing for you that the license is just a part of the deal. It won't attract clients or revenue.

To bring in high-dollar clientele, you must be a killer marketer and seller. It's not easy to convince people to give you money.

You'll need to be a great business developer to form successful, long-term agreements with exchanges (ideally for no fees), liquidity providers, banks, payment gates, etc. Persuade clients.

It's a tough job, isn't it?

I expect a Quora-type question here:

Can I start an unlicensed crypto broker?

Well, there is always a workaround with crypto!

You can register your broker in a free-trade zone like Seychelles to avoid US and other markets with strong watchdogs.

This is neither wise nor sustainable.

First, such experiments are illegal.

Second, you'll have trouble attracting clients and strategic partners.

A license equals trust. That’s it.

Even a pseudo-license from Mauritius matters.

Here are this method's benefits and downsides.

Cons first.

  • As you navigate this difficult and expensive legal process, you run the risk of missing out on business prospects. It's quite simple to become excellent compliance yet unable to work. Because your competitors are already courting potential customers while you are focusing all of your effort on paperwork.

  • Only God knows how long it will take you to pass the break-even point when everything with the license has been completed.

  • It is a money-burning business, especially in the beginning when the majority of your expenses will go toward marketing, sales, and maintaining license requirements. Make sure you have the fortitude and resources necessary to face such a difficult challenge.

Pros

  • It may eventually develop into a tool for making money. Because big guys who are professionals at trading require a white-glove regulated brokerage. You have every possibility if you work hard in the areas of sales, marketing, business development, and wealth. Simply put, everything must align.

Launching a regulated crypto broker is analogous to launching a crypto exchange. It's ROUGH. Sure you can take it?

2. Franchise for Crypto Broker (Crypto Sub-Brokerage)

A broker franchise is easier and faster than becoming a regulated crypto broker. Not a traditional brokerage.

A broker franchisee, often termed a sub-broker, joins with a broker (a franchisor) to bring them new clients. Sub-brokers market a broker's products and services to clients.

Sub-brokers are the middlemen between a broker and an investor.

Why is sub-brokering easier?

  • less demanding qualifications and legal complexity. All you need to do is keep a few certificates on hand (each time depends on the jurisdiction).

  • No significant investment is required

  • there is no demand that you be a trading member of an exchange, etc.

As a sub-broker, you can do identical duties without as many rights and certifications.

What about the crypto broker franchise?

Sub-brokers aren't common in crypto.

In most existing examples (PayBito, PCEX, etc.), franchises are offered by crypto exchanges, not brokers. Though we remember that crypto exchanges are, in fact, brokers, do we?

Similarly:

  • For a commission, a franchiser crypto broker receives new leads from a crypto sub-broker.

See above for why enrolling is easy.

Finding clients is difficult. Most crypto traders prefer to buy-sell on their own or through brokers over sub-broker franchises.

3. Broker of the Crypto Trading Network (or a Network Broker)

It's the greatest approach to execute crypto brokerage, based on effort/return.

Network broker isn't an established word. I wrote it for clarity.

Remember how we called crypto liquidity fragmentation the current crypto finance paradigm's main bottleneck?

Where there's a challenge, there's progress.

Several well-funded projects are aiming to fix crypto liquidity fragmentation. Instead of launching another crypto exchange with siloed trading, the greatest minds create trading networks that aggregate crypto liquidity from desynchronized sources and enable quick, safe, and affordable cross-blockchain transactions. Each project offers a distinct option for users.

Crypto liquidity implies:

  • One-account access to cryptocurrency liquidity pooled from network participants' exchanges and other liquidity sources

  • compiled price feeds

  • Cross-chain transactions that are quick and inexpensive, even for HFTs

  • link between participants of all kinds, and

  • interoperability among diverse blockchains

Fast, diversified, and cheap global crypto trading from one account.

How does a trading network help cryptocurrency brokers?

I’ll explain it, taking Yellow Network as an example.

Yellow provides decentralized Layer-3 peer-to-peer trading.

  • trade across chains globally with real-time settlement and

  • Between cryptocurrency exchanges, brokers, trading companies, and other sorts of network members, there is communication and the exchange of financial information.

Have you ever heard about ECN (electronic communication network)? If not, it's an automated system that automatically matches buy and sell orders. Yellow is a decentralized digital asset ECN.

Brokers can:

  • Start trading right now without having to meet stringent requirements; all you need to do is integrate with Yellow Protocol and successfully complete some KYC verification.

  • Access global aggregated crypto liquidity through a single point.

  • B2B (Broker to Broker) liquidity channels that provide peer liquidity from other brokers. Orders from the other broker will appear in the order book of a broker who is peering with another broker on the market. It will enable a broker to broaden his offer and raise the total amount of liquidity that is available to his clients.

  • Select a custodian or use non-custodial practices.

Comparing network crypto brokerage to other types:

  • A licensed stand-alone brokerage business is much more difficult and time-consuming to launch than network brokerage, and

  • Network brokerage, in contrast to crypto sub-brokerage, is scalable, independent, and offers limitless possibilities for revenue generation.

Yellow Network Whitepaper. has more details on how to start a brokerage business and what rewards you'll obtain.

Final thoughts

There are three ways to become a cryptocurrency broker, including the non-conventional liquidity network brokerage. The last option appears time/cost-effective.

Crypto brokerage isn't crowded yet. Act quickly to find your right place in this market.

Choose the way that works for you best and see you in crypto trading.

Discover Web3 & DeFi with Yellow Network!

Yellow, powered by Openware, is developing a cross-chain P2P liquidity aggregator to unite the crypto sector and provide global remittance services that aid people.

Join the Yellow Community and plunge into this decade's biggest product-oriented crypto project.

  • Observe Yellow Twitter

  • Enroll in Yellow Telegram

  • Visit Yellow Discord.

  • On Hacker Noon, look us up.

Yellow Network will expose development, technology, developer tools, crypto brokerage nodes software, and community liquidity mining.

ANDREW SINGER

ANDREW SINGER

5 months ago

Crypto seen as the ‘future of money’ in inflation-mired countries

Crypto as the ‘future of money' in inflation-stricken nations

Citizens of devalued currencies “need” crypto. “Nice to have” in the developed world.

According to Gemini's 2022 Global State of Crypto report, cryptocurrencies “evolved from what many considered a niche investment into an established asset class” last year.

More than half of crypto owners in Brazil (51%), Hong Kong (51%), and India (54%), according to the report, bought cryptocurrency for the first time in 2021.

The study found that inflation and currency devaluation are powerful drivers of crypto adoption, especially in emerging market (EM) countries:

“Respondents in countries that have seen a 50% or greater devaluation of their currency against the USD over the last decade were more than 5 times as likely to plan to purchase crypto in the coming year.”

Between 2011 and 2021, the real lost 218 percent of its value against the dollar, and 45 percent of Brazilians surveyed by Gemini said they planned to buy crypto in 2019.

The rand (South Africa's currency) has fallen 103 percent in value over the last decade, second only to the Brazilian real, and 32 percent of South Africans expect to own crypto in the coming year. Mexico and India, the third and fourth highest devaluation countries, followed suit.

Compared to the US dollar, Hong Kong and the UK currencies have not devalued in the last decade. Meanwhile, only 5% and 8% of those surveyed in those countries expressed interest in buying crypto.

What can be concluded? Noah Perlman, COO of Gemini, sees various crypto use cases depending on one's location. 

‘Need to have' investment in countries where the local currency has devalued against the dollar, whereas in the developed world it is still seen as a ‘nice to have'.

Crypto as money substitute

As an adjunct professor at New York University School of Law, Winston Ma distinguishes between an asset used as an inflation hedge and one used as a currency replacement.

Unlike gold, he believes Bitcoin (BTC) is not a “inflation hedge”. They acted more like growth stocks in 2022. “Bitcoin correlated more closely with the S&P 500 index — and Ether with the NASDAQ — than gold,” he told Cointelegraph. But in the developing world, things are different:

“Inflation may be a primary driver of cryptocurrency adoption in emerging markets like Brazil, India, and Mexico.”

According to Justin d'Anethan, institutional sales director at the Amber Group, a Singapore-based digital asset firm, early adoption was driven by countries where currency stability and/or access to proper banking services were issues. Simply put, he said, developing countries want alternatives to easily debased fiat currencies.

“The larger flows may still come from institutions and developed countries, but the actual users may come from places like Lebanon, Turkey, Venezuela, and Indonesia.”

“Inflation is one of the factors that has and continues to drive adoption of Bitcoin and other crypto assets globally,” said Sean Stein Smith, assistant professor of economics and business at Lehman College.

But it's only one factor, and different regions have different factors, says Stein Smith. As a “instantaneously accessible, traceable, and cost-effective transaction option,” investors and entrepreneurs increasingly recognize the benefits of crypto assets. Other places promote crypto adoption due to “potential capital gains and returns”.

According to the report, “legal uncertainty around cryptocurrency,” tax questions, and a general education deficit could hinder adoption in Asia Pacific and Latin America. In Africa, 56% of respondents said more educational resources were needed to explain cryptocurrencies.

Not only inflation, but empowering our youth to live better than their parents without fear of failure or allegiance to legacy financial markets or products, said Monica Singer, ConsenSys South Africa lead. Also, “the issue of cash and remittances is huge in Africa, as is the issue of social grants.”

Money's future?

The survey found that Brazil and Indonesia had the most cryptocurrency ownership. In each country, 41% of those polled said they owned crypto. Only 20% of Americans surveyed said they owned cryptocurrency.

These markets are more likely to see cryptocurrencies as the future of money. The survey found:

“The majority of respondents in Latin America (59%) and Africa (58%) say crypto is the future of money.”
Brazil (66%), Nigeria (63%), Indonesia (61%), and South Africa (57%). Europe and Australia had the fewest believers, with Denmark at 12%, Norway at 15%, and Australia at 17%.

Will the Ukraine conflict impact adoption?

The poll was taken before the war. Will the devastating conflict slow global crypto adoption growth?

With over $100 million in crypto donations directly requested by the Ukrainian government since the war began, Stein Smith says the war has certainly brought crypto into the mainstream conversation.

“This real-world demonstration of decentralized money's power could spur wider adoption, policy debate, and increased use of crypto as a medium of exchange.”
But the war may not affect all developing nations. “The Ukraine war has no impact on African demand for crypto,” Others loom larger. “Yes, inflation, but also a lack of trust in government in many African countries, and a young demographic very familiar with mobile phones and the internet.”

A major success story like Mpesa in Kenya has influenced the continent and may help accelerate crypto adoption. Creating a plan when everyone you trust fails you is directly related to the African spirit, she said.

On the other hand, Ma views the Ukraine conflict as a sort of crisis check for cryptocurrencies. For those in emerging markets, the Ukraine-Russia war has served as a “stress test” for the cryptocurrency payment rail, he told Cointelegraph.

“These emerging markets may see the greatest future gains in crypto adoption.”
Inflation and currency devaluation are persistent global concerns. In such places, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are now seen as the “future of money.” Not in the developed world, but that could change with better regulation and education. Inflation and its impact on cash holdings are waking up even Western nations.

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