We ask the buidlers in the blockchain and cryptocurrency sector for their thoughts on the industry… and we throw in a few random zingers to keep them on their toes!
This week, our 6 Questions go to Yoni Assia, the co-founder and CEO of eToro.
Yoni Assia is the co-founder and CEO of eToro, the social investing network with over 23 million registered users from more than 100 countries. Yoni is widely acknowledged as a crypto pioneer, having co-written the Colored Coins white paper with Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin in 2013. In 2018, Yoni founded GoodDollar, a nonprofit initiative created to develop a sustainable and scalable framework for bringing a digital, universal basic income to the world via new crypto asset technologies. He has long been a champion of different approaches to wealth and capital distribution, initially introducing the GoodDollar concept in a white paper called The Visible Hand in 2008. Yoni holds a BA in Management and Computer Science, and an MSc in Computer Science from the Reichman University (IDC Herzliya), Israel.
1 — What kind of consolidation do you expect to see in the crypto industry in 2021?
We’re nearly at the end of 2021, and what a year it has been for crypto, with many coins reaching new all-time highs, the launch of a Bitcoin ETF in the United States, and growing demand for crypto from both retail and institutional investors. We’ve seen more and more traditional companies embrace crypto and the blockchain technology that underpins it, and this will only continue.
This year has been about continued growth and the mainstreaming of crypto, but as the industry matures, we will see consolidation. Ultimately, I am hugely optimistic about the outlook for crypto — blockchain technology will revolutionize finance.
2 — Which is sillier: $500,000 Bitcoin or $0 Bitcoin? Why?
$0 Bitcoin, easily. I bought my first Bitcoin in 2010, and 11 years later I’m still investing in Bitcoin and running a company that makes it easier for others to do so too. Crypto is still a nascent asset class, and Bitcoin — the first and largest crypto — is only 12 years old. It may take some time to hit $500,000, but the future is bright for BTC and crypto more broadly.
3 — Which people do you find most inspiring, most interesting and most fun in this space?
I have to mention my eToro team. I’m lucky enough to work with some of the smartest, most dedicated and inspiring people in the industry.
Looking beyond eToro, I recently attended the Milken Institute Global Conference. The event brought together many of the brightest, most influential minds in the world to discuss the most urgent challenges facing us globally. Entitled “Charting a New Course,” the conference focused on how recent disruptions can be “reframed” for a “thriving future.” I left feeling deeply inspired and even more determined to push forward with GoodDollar — a digital blockchain project that aims to make universal income a reality on a global scale. The income gap is a crisis of global proportions, and GoodDollar’s goal is to onboard the next 100 million people into the digital economy.
4 — What’s the most interesting place you’ve ever visited?
In 2020, I was fortunate enough to have dinner with Warren Buffett in Omaha, Nebraska. It was an honor to meet one of my heroes and a life-changing moment for me. The two key takeaways for me were:
- Investing can be simple when you invest in businesses you understand and believe in. If you follow the rules of value investing over a long period of time, you can succeed as an investor.
- The most important investment you can make is in yourself.
5 — Which two superpowers would you most want to have, and how would you combine them for good… or evil?
I’m going to cheat and name three. I’ve always said I would want to be able to teleport, heal and have the ability to shake someone’s hand and know everything they know. I’m all about using power for good.
6 — Choose the single most memorable moment from your favorite movie.
For me, it would be the scene from The Matrix, directed by the Wachowskis, when the main character, Neo, has to choose between a red pill and a blue pill.