The Crypto Investor and Influencers Dilemma
How I'm navigating making investments and sharing my best findings with my audience.
My goal is to be true to my values and transparent with my process as I deeply value and respect you guys for your support. Of course, I’m looking for your feedback and any ways I can improve my process so be sure to leave your thoughts in a comment below.
Since I’ve been creating content on YouTube my channel has grown pretty quickly. That said, I’m still a very small content creator. Nevertheless, I get hit up on a daily basis from crypto projects, or NFTs that want to promote their coin.
I’ll literally get an email that blatantly asks me how much for a collaboration. I always respond the same way, which is that I’ve never done a single paid promotion on my channel to shill a shit coin. I ask them to send me the project and I’ll take a look. If I absolutely love it and most likely end up investing in it myself, I’ll make a video about it.
Sometimes for the projects I really like and believe I can provide value to, I then end up consulting with them about their tokenomics, incentives and marketing strategy. I’m very picky, and believe most things are trash or cash grabs and so, more than 9 times out of 10, I don’t like the project and end up passing.
This doesn’t mean I won’t accept a paid promotion in the future, but I can promise you it won’t be unless I believe in it myself. I’ll always let you know that if a video is sponsored, so if you don’t hear it from me you can rest assured, I’m making the video by my own willingness to do so.
Also, if I’m an advisor or consultant for a project, that doesn’t mean they sponsored me to do the video. I consider my intellectual talent much different from my personal endorsement of a project.
I’m working hard on two goals simultaneously, making profitable, asymmetric bets in crypto, and building my brand as a forward-looking thinker in the space.
Sometimes these aims are at odds with one another. For example, whenever I find a noteworthy project or investment, I’m immediately compelled to share it with my audience. Things move fast in crypto and sometimes the opportunity fades as fast as it arises. Providing the most value to my audience sometimes requires me to drop everything and begin a full write up, which I then must turn around and publish.
Naturally, being a content creator takes my focus away from being a player as I leave the trenches to share what I’ve discovered. In doing so, I miss opportunities. Furthermore, I saturate the market by onboarding other investors to chase the same things that I’m exploiting.
For example, in my first newsletter I wrote ‘The Ultimate Guide to Frakt Staking’ and mathematically proved which investments were the best to make within their ecosystem. The tweet which contained the article has been retweeted by Frakt, shared in their Discord, and received thousands of impressions. This led more people to compete for my favorite FRAKT NFTs, and the opportunity to buy them at under market value has become more competitive.
Of course, I bought everything available before making the post (referred to as ‘sweeping the floor’, but had more misplaced NFTs appeared on the market, I would have scooped them up too. Now more are scouring for the same opportunities, making it harder for me to get them. (Note: I’ve sold since then too).
Don’t feel sorry for me. This isn’t pure altruism. I’m benefitting by exchanging one currency (in this case, Solana) for another, attention. I’ve spoke before about the multiple currencies that exist in one’s life, and each of us must decide which they value most.
I’m struggling to find balance, as I deeply enjoy and financially benefit from arbitraging in the crypto space, yet at the same time I have great ambitions to grow my influence as a crypto expert and leverage the relationships and opportunities that arise from it.
I’m okay with making less money in exchange for helping others on their journey and giving back to my audience. I take the long view that it will pay off in the end. If it doesn’t, I still win because I love the process of sharing and am passionate about growing awareness in the space.
I’ve done the same thing in poker, helping to improve others and advance the collective strategy of the niche, but it’s opened a wide array of opportunities for me, such as the opportunity to build a business teaching the game, various speaking engagements, and meeting interesting people.
Just like in crypto, I had to juggle deciding what to share along my poker journey. For example, while living in Macau, I waited years before making others aware of the incredible gold rush there, as I wanted to exploit the games myself before they dried up. Over time, as I accomplished what I wanted as a player, I began to share more.
My crypto journey is unique, as I’m at a different place in my life, and therefore intend to focus at much attention on my brand as I do my investments. Contrast this with poker, where I was focused almost exclusively on being a player for the first decade of my career.
I want to be fully transparent with my work, so know that most of the time I shed light on a project, it’s because I have a stake in it. I’m not writing about it to pump the price so I can dump on my holders – I tend to have diamond hands and a low time preference – but because I genuinely believe these projects are worth your time and attention. After all, I’m putting my money where my mouth is. That said, I am to be ruthlessly efficient with my capital. I’ll sell something if I feel it’s over valued, even if I believe in it long term. I can always buy in lower :)
I share more about my thoughts in this Twitter thread.
Many projects I share are pre launch, which means that anyone can get white listed and buy in at the same price. I talked about many projects like this, but recent ones are Trillionaire Thugs NFT, (which by the way has nearly 10x in less than a week since I mentioned it), as well as Riot Racers and Diatom DAO.
Other projects I mention are freely tradable like Crypto Chicks NFT, which was selling for 0.1 ETH and now has a floor of nearly 3 ETH.
Did I sell some along the way as they pumped up? Absolutely. I’ll always sell something if I believe it’s overpriced, even if I love it. This is a game to me and my goal is to play it as well as possible. But if you diamonded handed these when I sold at 1.5 ETH, you’d have out performed me anyway!
But I’m being transparent with my process and telling you my strategy ahead of time. Nothing I say is financial advice, but merely for educational purpose and I share what I’m betting on. My audience is very small and I’m not going to move the market. Most videos I produce get 100 views, and some of the projects I’m talking about, like Olympus DAO for example, the video which took me literally 40 hours of research and time to produce, had a market cap of 4 billion dollars. You do the math.
As I grow, my videos and content may move the price of a project I discuss. That’s part of the game, but I’m open to hearing ideas on how I can better navigate this challenge. I follow Alex Becker for example, and he seems to do a good job of this. I see sharing a project that a popular influencer believes in as the less of two evils.
Sure, he may pump the price if he talks about a micro cap coin, and yes he may also benefit from it, but what’s the alternative? He just doesn’t share it? Or he puts up a pay wall and only shares his alpha with a select group of people first?
Everything is fair game, but as it stands I currently am not monetizing my audience at all, put extensive work and research into finding great projects, and then share them for free with everyone. If there’s a better way to go about helping raise awareness about things I love in the crypto space, I’m all ears. Please leave your thoughts in a comment below.
I believe it’s better this way. Personally, I wouldn’t want to take recommendations from someone who didn’t have skin in the game.
While I’ll always mention during each write up if I’m a HODLer or endorsed by them, the fact that I’m also betting on each and every project I recommend is the safest way to know I truly believe in it.
To screen for my own biases and ensure I maintain my integrity, I plan to invest additional money into projects which sponsor or pay me, as I always want to have my own skin in the game.
This ensures I have aligned my incentives with my audience and can genuinely do what’s in both of our best interest. WAGMI.
My audience isn't the size where I can move markets, but some day it will be.
When it does I may have to adjust how I navigate sharing content. There's no easy way, but people like Alex Becker seem to do a great job.
As always, I'm open to ideas and would love your feedback
In short, and in full transparency, I plan to make my investments, then share the details of a project publicly for free. Like crypto, I move fast, and this entire process happens within a week.
I will be vigilant about doing what is best for my audience. I know that trust and attention are the ultimate currencies, and the lifeblood of any content creator. I hope to provide immense value, help you better navigate the crypto space, and do so in an honest way.
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Thanks for letting me share my thoughts on this subject, and your continued support.