Modern Finance
May 11, 2021

How Safe Is My Crypto Yield? with Zac Prince (CEO, BlockFi) and Matt Ballensweig (Genesis)


Earning interest on your crypto? Kevin sits down with Zac Prince from BlockFi and Matt Ballensweig of Genesis to discuss which option will serve you better.

Zac Prince (@BlockFiZac) is the CEO and founder of BlockFi, a bank-like platform that allows users to buy, borrow, and earn interest on crypto. Matthew Ballensweig (@mattballen4791) serves as the Head of Business Development of Genesis, a full-service digital currency prime broker.

 

SELECTED LINKS FROM THE EPISODE

SHOW NOTES

  • The question we're trying to answer with this episode: what's the safest and smartest way to earn interest on cryptocurrency? [00:31]
  • What gave Zac the idea for BlockFi, and what happens on the backend that allows for returns of up to 8.6 percent APY? [03:35]
  • How is risk managed at BlockFi? [08:18]
  • An overview of how BlockFi loans work. [10:45]
  • How diversified is the lending from interest-earning crypto accounts? What level of risk is the customer taking if security is breached? [14:50]
  • Is BlockFi currently using DeFi? [17:15]
  • Does BlockFi disclose who holds custody of crypto assets on transfer? [17:52]
  • How long is the waiting list for BlockFi's Bitcoin rewards credit card, and how much work is involved in even launching such a thing? [18:17]
  • What additional benefits will be offered to cardholders? [20:26]
  • Why Zac considers customers eager to operate in the Bitcoin ecosystem to be "the most valuable consumer segment," and what he's hoping BlockFi can offer them soon. [22:13]
  • How often will customers be rewarded for making purchases with the BlockFi credit card, and what crypto fees will they be charged for? [23:22]
  • What does all of this financial activity look like around tax time for the average consumer, and what is BlockFi doing to make it as painless as possible? [24:17]
  • How big is BlockFi as a company now, and how was its growth affected by the pandemic? [26:30]
  • What is Matt's role at Genesis, and how did he find his way there? [28:33]
  • As much business as Genesis does, it still seems to fly under the radar in the collective crypto consciousness. Is this by design? [29:53]
  • Genesis is the liquidity provider for Square. What does this look like, and what does this mean to the average consumer? [31:46]
  • How does Gemini Earn work? What happens to a customer's crypto assets as they're earning interest on them, and what security measures are in place to ensure peace of mind? [32:56]
  • What factors into how much interest can be paid to the consumer? How speculatively are their assets used? [39:11]
  • To what extent does Genesis finance crypto miners? [44:22]
  • Does Genesis place cryptocurrencies into smart contracts to generate higher yields, or is it better to default to lower, safer yields that allow customers to sleep peacefully at night? Might options change in the future for Genesis customers who are more comfortable with risk? [46:27]
  • How can an individual consumer take advantage of the services that Genesis offers, and how often is interest calculated? [49:29]
  • Who are Matt's favorite players in the crypto space at the moment, and what does he see for the future of Bitcoin in particular? [52:00]
  • My analysis of who benefits most from BlockFi, and who will have better results through Genesis/Gemini Earn. [55:05]

PEOPLE MENTIONED