Spock | Crypto Hedge Fund | 2020 Year in Review

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January 8, 2021 — Every person you ask will say the same thing: 2020 is unlike any other year. 

The cryptocurrency industry felt the full brunt of the pandemic, as evidenced by the March 2020 crash. Nine months, one Bitcoin halving and a couple of institutions later, the industry sees a resurgence in interest brought about by Bitcoin hitting and breaking the psychological all-time high at $20,000 and reaching a new one of $37,000.

What is the 2020 Year in Review?

BitPinas sought the opinion of key crypto and blockchain leaders/influencers in the Philippines and abroad on what they think about 2020 in general and what they look forward to in 2019.

Spock, obviously not his real name, works at a crypto hedge fund. In this Year in Review, he talks about DeFi, Fair Launch, Yield Farming, and Generational Wealth.

Possibly one of the most insightful articles you can read on BitPinas. If you have time, please do check it out.

What does your organization do and what is your role in it?

Spock: My organization is a multi-strategy crypto hedge fund. We do both Quant Trading (short-medium timescales, market neutral: options & arb) and Investing (medium-long term holding of liquid/semi-liquid tokens, venture). I handle the Investing side with my team.

We’ve been active since mid-2018 and scaled up a lot in 2020. This year, 2021, we will be opening up to external accredited/qualified investors and finalize our branding. We’re currently in the middle of setting up with our new Fund Administrator, Vauban, in the British Virgin Islands, with a new structure that will allow us to more effectively and efficiently invest the money of our LPs, in a way that is regulatory compliant, transparent, and uses the proper accounting standards. 

When all of this is done, I’d gladly say more about our Fund.

Why Anon?

I try to be anon because I value my privacy and so that I can be very frank in my engagements on CT (Crypto Twitter), but a few people in the space _do_ know who I am, such as the FTX Team. Being anon on social media allows you to be objective, and really pick at the thoughts of other people without risking any backlash spilling to your personal life, especially for me who shitposts a lot for the sake of psyops. 

Being anon also allows for way better infosec/opsec. Just recently, Nexus Mutual’s CEO has been the victim of a targeted hack. Being anon kinda protects you from that risk as long as you have extreme wallet hygiene and device security. 

Please share a personal highlight for you and/or your organization this year in the crypto and blockchain space.

Personal Highlight: Earning retroactive-airdrops from various decentralized finance projects such as Uniswap and 1inch Exchange. I think I’m one of the largest individual liquidity providers in #CryptoPH and it was such a blessing to be rewarded by these protocols. Although I have sold some of it (nothing wrong with spending something for yourself right?), I used most of the remaining tokens to provide liquidity in their respective pools to further support their markets and earn swap fees in return. 

For those that are unfamiliar with Uniswap and providing liquidity to decentralized exchanges/AMMs, it is a pretty straightforward endeavor. Let’s say you’re holding WBTC and ETH, and you’re equally bullish on the two. Instead of idly holding them in your wallet, you can pair both assets and provide them as liquidity in https://app.uniswap.org/#/pool and earn the swap fees of the Exchange. You have to pair the two in equal dollar amounts when providing liquidity and there is also the risk where you might not get the same amount of tokens when you’re withdrawing as a liquidity provider aka Impermanent Loss (you sometimes get more of one than the other).

To learn more about Uniswap’s automated market maker (AMM) design and the returns and risks of being a liquidity provider, please read: 

https://pintail.medium.com/uniswap-a-good-deal-for-liquidity-providers-104c0b6816f2

and 

https://pintail.medium.com/understanding-uniswap-returns-cc593f3499ef

For our Fund: I think the main highlight is we were able to do a 7.5x return on our portfolio NAV, outperforming bitcoin.

What do you think is the most important blockchain/crypto development in the Philippines and globally in 2020?

Tough question because I think everything that has been happening are all super important, even the smallest things, so allow me to give a longer answer for this.

Globally (I’ve thought a few):

Fair Launch:

Gone are the days of VCs being able to buy pre-launched tokens at a 99% discount from exchange listing price. This levels the playing field for everyone, removing that super early entry advantage from funds. This has affected us because we are a Fund that likes the 99% discount advantage, but this hasn’t prevented us from making 7.5x of our NAV in 2020. With fair launch, as long as you can afford the Gas, you can get your hands on promising tokens at the same time as everybody else. Everyone can make money as long as they do proper research and due diligence. 

Yield Farming/Liquidity Mining Boom:

This is how Fair Launch happens. Gone are the days when teams release a whitepaper, ask you for investment, with no product. Last year, what happened was they released the products first, with all the documentation and even seed liquidity. If you want to get your hands your tokens, you use their product or provide liquidity to make said product usable for others. That’s liquidity mining, getting paid the tokens of the dapp for using them or supporting them. Imagine Uber paying you their shares for using their app? It’s pretty amazing growth-hacking and whether you’re a user, a liquidity provider, a fund, whatever, the opportunity is equal for everyone, anybody can earn the same yields from these (coingecko.com/en/yield-farming). 

Yields earned this way might be life changing, but they are also hyper risky (just like everything in crypto). Please do research and due diligence before dipping your toes in this or anything in Decentralized Finance.

Gaming: 

If you’ve watched the movie “”Ready Player One””, the foundations of that meta-verse reality is being built right now on crypto. What’s better is that it is being built in a decentralized ecosystem rather than in the centralized corporate sandbox where your data can be abused. I’ve always believed that after Bitcoin and Centralized Exchanges with fiat onramps, Decentralized Finance and Crypto-Gaming are the next two sectors that will have product market fit, and 2020 kinda validated that. 

Obviously I’m a huge fan of Axie Infinity, to the point that I got Galadriel tattooed to my arm:

I’m an avid gamer myself, and the amount of fiat I’ve spent on games is irresponsible. Web2 gaming economies are a cash dump, money goes in but the players can’t pull any of the money out, you can only benefit from your spending in-game, and most of the time, what we buy in-game has no utility whatsoever apart from aesthetics (SKINS). Crypto-Gaming though is where in-game economies and the real world economy are connected. Imagine earning higher than our minimum wage just by playing! This is life-changing, and I’m very happy to see that #CryptoPH is right at the forefront of it.

Apart from Axie, I’m sure there will be other great games that will gain huge followings and a massive player base, what’s awesome is that what we’ll have is a crypto-gaming meta-verse where maybe items/characters/currency from one game is also usable in another game. There will be a lot of collaborations that aren’t just marketing gimmicks, but rather fusions of in-game economies. Ape together strong. These are very exciting times. 

If you want exposure to the crypto-gaming boom: PLAY TO EARN.

ETH 2.0 Progress and BTC ATH: 

I think it’s pretty obvious why this is important.

How did the pandemic change how your organization operates? Or how you’ve changed your approach?

Since March we have been working from home, but surprisingly this hasn’t affected overall productivity. To be honest, I think it actually boosted productivity as now we cannot separate work from life. Now when I’m talking with my teammates, I always tell them to take a break, catch up on sleep, exercise, do other things apart from crypto. When we were in the office, the mantra is “”Let this day be productive””, now at home, the mantra is “”Don’t go crazy being too productive””. It’s a super weird scenario. 

I pray this pandemic ends soon, it’s not only the physical health that is being affected but also the mental health of the people living in fear of the virus, burning out working from home, people living isolated without any human contact. These are trying times, but this will all end soon. Let’s just all be socially responsible and follow the proper protocols to keep us safe from the virus.

What is your fearless 2021 crypto prediction or forecast?

As seen on my Twitter w/ some edits. My 2021 Predictions:

  1. Will make a lot, lose some.
  2. Coinbase shares would be a good “”tech”” play.
  3. DeFi bull market that will be able to hold its ground vs. bitcoin.
  4. 55K $BTC.
  5. Covid vaccine mutations.
  6. App layer > protocol level.
  7. Cryptogaming boom, where #CryptoPH makes a mark.

What do you personally look forward to in this space?

I believe that 2021 will be one of those years where you can make generational wealth in crypto, regardless of whether you are an investor, builder, or user. There will be plenty of opportunities for everyone, it is now a level playing field, so I look forward to going to the moon with all of you.

As our fund is opening up to external investors (they’re ready) we look forward to investing and supporting more projects, deploying more capital in the space. We are activists investors, we’re not simply here to buy low sell high your project’s tokens, we will support you across your stack. We will hold your tokens, stake them, provide liquidity to your markets, be active in your governance, share with you our insights and thoughtful criticisms freely but never 2nd guess or doubt you without need or cause. We will even help you mod your communities in discord. We go that deep.

And also I really look forward to the end of this pandemic.

Follow Spock on Twitter.

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Michael Mislos

A business ad graduate from the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila, Mike is the website manager of Bitpinas.com. He is responsible for almost every content you see on the site, from topic/news selection to editing of articles. Mike believes correct information about blockchain and cryptocurrency can empower people to make accurate decisions about the industry, which, in turn, should deter bad actors from taking advantage of crypto & blockchain. [Telegram @mikemislos]

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