One night back in 2013 I found myself surfing the dark web. Like most other internet geeks at the time, I read all about this new underground internet and certainly couldn’t curtail my curiosity.
It was then, during some of my earliest excursions on the dark web, that I first stumbled across ‘Bitcoin.’ The word that now sounds so familiar to me, almost as natural as saying ‘money’ or ‘Euro,’ seemed so foreign at first glance on my computer monitor.
“What is Bitcoin?” I wondered.
“What is Bitcoin?” I wondered.
Like most of my other professional endeavors, my original inspiration was sparked by my innate curiosity and desire to participate in designing the future’s architecture. While researching and reading more and more about this new-fangled Bitcoin back in 2014, I became convinced on a very philosophical level that this thing could have a massive impact on the world. It had the potential to change everything, similar to the first car or the earliest computers.
Even then I saw it as the key to liberating us from the global financial system, especially for developing countries. Growing up in China, I maintain a strong understanding of what it means to stand outside of larger banking and financial systems. An alternative universal digital currency could allow equal footing for everyone to participate as a player in the global marketplace.
Photo by Ross Findon on Unsplash
This would be huge, and I knew I had to be a part of it.
As an analytically minded person who studied at the School of Economics in Helsinki for my masters in Finance, my immediate reaction to discovering Bitcoin was to start running various valuation models. I spent several years to follow running these models in an effort to deduce what could be a fair price for the cryptocurrency. This research period was filled with a lot of trials and even more error — nothing worked. I was searching and searching for a way to hedge my bets on cryptocurrency while still carefully managing financial risk. As someone ruled by rationality, while I desperately wanted a piece of the action, I also didn’t want to sink my hard-earned money into cryptocurrency. It seemed too risky.
Spoiler alert: this is not how Bitcoin works. 🙂
Finally, after a continuous and careful review of different models, I found a solution — margin funding on exchanges. It was the sole investment option that made sense to me in terms of basic risks and returns. So, I sent several grand to Bitfinex cryptocurrency exchange, stuck together a bunch of code to run in a server, and stowed it all away in my basement. Almost immediately I began to see pretty shocking results. To my surprise, the returns on my USD and BTC portfolio were incredibly high despite the risks I was taking (30% and 15% respectively for 2017 and 2018 YTD). Once again, things weren’t quite adding up.
Determined to get to the bottom of my portfolio’s sudden success, I went to my finance professors at the university looking for answers, but they had not a single textbook explanation. Meanwhile, my friends and family started to line up asking me to help them do margin funding for their own cryptocurrency. They wanted to earn more Bitcoin while HODLing the same as I had. It made me realize that while it was only a server in my basement at the time, what I had invented was actually an incredibly valuable financial service product.
Still trying to figure out the secret to my own success, I sent some cold emails to CEOs of well-known asset managers in town and reached out to one of the longest-running quantitative hedge funds in Helsinki. I turned to these financial experts and asked them the same question I had asked my university professors: “How are the returns this high?”
To my surprise, they asked to meet with me.
One meeting with the CEOs soon led to many more meetings. These finance veterans were eager to discuss my findings as they had yet to see digital asset margin funding executed on an exchange. They were able to see the value in bringing traditional asset management strategies to cryptocurrency, and together with a well-known venture capitalist firm, the two CEOs offered up the capital to take the idea global to create what is now known as WhaleLend. After careful consideration, my co-founder, Chris Whellams, and I quit our cushiony corporate jobs and embarked on the adventure of a lifetime.
We started WhaleLend in 2017 and never looked back.
Our Whalelend Founding Team
Now fast forward to the present day, here we are, with a growing community of users benefitting our low-risk investment program. After years of questions, we invented our own answer to pave the way for cryptocurrency investment products that create equality and help to disrupt global, centralized financial systems. We have found a way to earn a secure and passive interest income on crypto holdings, irrespective of the price movement of the cryptocurrency itself.
We could have just created an institutional investment tool and stopped right there. Instead, we have decided to extend our innovation to open up the doors to passive cryptocurrency investing to people from all backgrounds, all over the world. While it wasn’t always easy, it has been worth it. Now, whether you have .001 BTC or 1000 BTC, you can use your cryptocurrency to execute sophisticated low-risk investment strategies with a gentle nudge from Whalelend.