fintechview sat down with Styliana Charalambous, the Head of Investments & Research at PureFintech, and crypto enthusiast to get insights on crypto investing and the research field.

With its decentralized finance DeFi system and blockchain technology, crypto has become an attractive career path for those interested in technology and finance. What’s your view and how you started your career in the sector?

Indeed, crypto is an attractive career path for people who believe in the wide adoption of blockchain technology and the benefits of Decentralized Finance development. Moreover, since this is a relatively new industry I have noticed that many people are hesitant to leave their traditional finance jobs for a career in crypto as they are not confident that this industry is viable.

Personally, I strongly believe that Decentralized finance, blockchain and crypto are the future because the world ‘demands’ and needs the freedom that this new technology has to offer. The traditional finance system has lost it’s trust among people and especially young people.

People hand over their traditional money to the control of banks and governments. In times of crisis, some governments had already frozen citizens’ bank accounts or confiscated their savings. In the case of cryptocurrencies, when you store your crypto in a cold wallet or ledger, only you can access and use your money.

 One of the most unfortunate events that can support the above statement is the ‘haircut’ that happened in Cyprus on March 2013, where thousands of depositors in the now defunct Laiki Bank discovered they have lost all of their savings over 100.000 overnight. This event raised concerns as to whether the money you deposit to the bank as really yours if someone can easily take it away from you.

I started my career as a financial analyst two years ago when I discovered my passion about the financial markets. I used to be an auditor in a big 4 firm, but I have decided to take the risk and do what I love. Back then I used to study how the financial markets work, after finishing my 9-5 work, for at lease 2-3 hours a day.  I was amazed by the opportunities and the financial freedom someone can get from investing. I firstly created my own stocks and crypto portfolio and then I accepted a job offer to work in this sector.

Why is crypto so popular and how the crypto crisis affected the sector the last months?

Crypto’s popularity has been growing a lot in the recent years. What was formerly an alternative investment solely in the domain of speculators is now being openly discussed as a viable option for a portion of any investor’s portfolio, even in their retirement plans.

In my opinion one of the main reasons that led to the spike of crypto popularity is the rise of blockchain and the need for decentralization. Decentralization has the potential to eliminate the Role of Banks. When transferring traditional money, the bank charges you fees as an intermediary. In the case of cryptocurrencies, the network members themselves in the blockchain act as an intermediary, and their compensation is minimal.

In addition, crypto can give accessibility to people who couldn’t have access to the traditional finance institutions. Therefore anyone with a mobile phone can use crypto to make payments without the need to create a bank account and pay the respective fees attached.

Another reason responsible for the rise of popularity of crypto is the fact that more brokers now offer cryptocurrency and more Merchants Are Accepting Payments. The more access investors have to an asset class, the more popular it will become.

Regarding the crypto crisis, in the last couple of years, we came across unprecedented times and events that negatively affected the economy. The financial markets and especially high-risk investments like stocks and crypto are dealing with increased volatility and even what we call a ‘Bear Market’.

 For the investors who truly believe in the long-term potential of cryptocurrency, this can also be seen as an opportunity to buy more of their favorite cryptocurrencies in lower prices.

What causes rise and fall of crypto?

The combination of supply, demand, production costs, competition, regulatory developments, and the media coverage that follows influences investor outlook, which is one of the most significant factors affecting cryptocurrency prices.

The supply mechanism of a cryptocurrency is always known; each crypto publishes its token minting and burning plans. Some, such as Bitcoin, have a fixed maximum supply; we know that there will only ever be 21 million Bitcoins.

Demand can increase as a project gains awareness or as utility increases. Broader adoption of a cryptocurrency as an investment also increases demand while effectively limiting the circulating supply. For example, when institutional investors started buying and holding Bitcoin in early 2021, the price of Bitcoin increased significantly as demand outstripped the pace at which new coins were created, effectively decreasing the total available supply of Bitcoin.

We should also consider the external factors that contribute to the rise or fall of the crypto prices. Cryptocurrency and stock prices are somewhat correlated after accounting for cryptocurrency’s volatility. Many of the factors that affect stock prices also affect cryptocurrency prices. Investors and traders treat cryptocurrency the same way they treat stocks, so prices tend to trend the same.

What would you suggest to young investors who are interested to invest in crypto?

One thing that I suggest to people who contact me in order to guide them on how to start investing in cryptocurrency is to obtain the necessary knowledge before investing their hard-earned money. This applies to all investments, in every sector.

For example, if you want to invest in Real Estate you first need to gather essential information like: the trends in the prices and the trend of the market: Is it a seller’s or a buyer’s market? Is a bubble forming? Some people invest in real estate in order to follow the trend — because people around them have started to invest.

Then, before you start investing, you need to have a proper risk management plan in place, according to your risk appetite and timeframe. It is important that you don’t invest more than you can afford to lose.

Finally, diversification ensures that you are effectively spreading out your risk. This way, when the crypto market does experience some volatility, you have more opportunities to have other pieces of your portfolio make money to offset any loss.

How do you differentiate yourself amongst competition, research analysts and how to you ensure engagement with your audience?

If I could say one thing, it would be my passion about financial markets. This is not just a job for me, it is something that I genuinely care about and I enjoy doing.

As a research analyst and finance influencer my main aim is to identify the target audience and understand which problems, they might need help with solving. From there, I  create a content plan that speaks to those needs and build following across different social media platforms. For example, in order to reach the younger generation, I used platforms like Tik Tok, Instagram and YouTube.

The first step when creating an educational or informative video is to gather all necessary information and then present it in a more approachable-and sometimes fun-way to the audience, having as a goal to educate and entertain them in the same time, which is not always an easy task.  It takes someone to have both the knowledge and creativity to achieve that. I believe that what can make a professional research ananlyst to differ amongst competition is authenticity and honesty.

Tell us few things about Pure and its vision

Pure is not a simple crypto wallet. For us crypto is a vehicle for all the rest of the services that we provide.

We keep our client’s money safe as the funds deposited are protected by the Central Bank of Lithuania. All the assets are always available, and client’s can easily transfer them to their trading, cryptocurrency or investment account to use. pure functionality to the fullest.

Also, Pure multi-currency account allows client’s to shop online and transfer money across multiple countries with no exchange fees. In addition, we guarantee quick 1-day Europe-wide transfers, no fee upon receipt, and the highest standards of SWIFT payment security.

We are excited to announce that we are in the process to offer banking, trading and other investment services through our platform. We aim to be the platform that will be used by the financial advisors and family bankers to manage their client’s wealth or to give the possibility to retail clients to invest in products that are not accessible otherwise.

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