We had the pleasure of interviewing Tone Vays, a prominent trader who is a former analyst at JP Morgan and a well-known Bitcoin maximalist. In our first interview, he talked about why he got into Bitcoin from Wall Street and the appeal of this cryptocurrency.
Interview Date : 14th July 2020
My name is Tone Vays. I have been in the crypto space for over 6 years now, and it’s like time just flies by. Before that, I was working on Wall Street for about 10 years mostly building risk models. I have lots of experience as a trader, as I started trading in the early 2000s, and have continued until this day. I am just a little too busy for active trading at the moment because I travel the world to speak about Bitcoin at conferences a lot. I also organize conferences. I run a Youtube channel, and educate people about trading on the side with webinars and masterclasses.
Into Wall Street for a Better Living
I got into Wall Street ten years before getting into the crypto space. What got me into Wall Street was a slightly different motivation than Bitcoin. Honestly, it was money. I got my degree from an undergraduate university and became a high school teacher. I did not like my job, because you don’t get paid very well as a teacher, and I wanted to do something different. I had a lot of friends that were in university with me who went on to work in finance in the very early 2000s. They were very happy with their jobs and how they were doing. So I went and got a master’s degree in financial engineering, and got a job at a company called Bear Stearns. A few years later, the company went down due to the financial crisis, but I did not have any problem finding a new job in the Wall Street space.
Confiscation Crises Lead me into Bitcoin
I entered the crypto space around the same time I quit my job to start my career as a full-time trader. I always wanted to be a full-time trader. I was only a part-time trader while I was working on Wall Street, but I was enjoying following up with the crypto space. I had heard about Bitcoin 2 years before I got into the crypto space. However, it did not resonate with me until the Cyprus banking confiscation crisis hit. The people of Cyprus lost their savings in the banks beyond thousands of Euros, and that really scared me. It made me think it could happen to my savings in the banks as well. That is how I realized Bitcoin is the first unconfiscatable asset we have ever owned, and that got me into it. I was following up with the crypto space in 2013, quit my job in very early 2015, and started writing articles about Bitcoin. I also started being interviewed about Bitcoin because of the articles I wrote. I continued with public speaking, and all that as I was a full-time trader. Now, the situation has turned around. I am back to being a part-time trader, but have evolved to become a full-time Bitcoin “evangelist”.
Even Gold is Confiscatable
There is no other asset that we currently have besides Bitcoin, which is unconfiscatable. A long time ago, gold was an unconfiscatable asset because you could hide your gold, and no one could know you owned any. People still think that you can hide your gold today, but with modern technology like metal detectors, and radar and solar technologies, it has become impossible. Even if you bury your gold in the backyard, it can be found without digging and identifying where it physically is. It is also problematic to travel with gold. Back in the day, you could put your gold in a bag and hire a couple of bodyguards, and go to another country. Today, it is very challenging to get your gold from one location to another. You can certainly try to drive it in a car from one country to another, but when getting on a plane, metal detectors and X-ray machines will detect it. Therefore, if you have a valuable asset you want to protect, you really do not have many options. However, you can store Bitcoin, and that is incredible.
Wealth is Being Demonized
People have not realized the most important property of Bitcoin yet. Throughout history, it has always been “one nation conquers another nation” or “one country devaluing their currency” or “taxes going up”. It was all about confiscation. Even today, communists are taking over, and wealth is being demonized. The majority of innovation that you get are from innovative individuals. Indisputably, anyone can try to innovate, but it is hard to bring that innovation into the market without some wealth and measures. You can argue saying “Satoshi created Bitcoin”, but you do not know if he was rich or not. Satoshi clearly had the means to work on Bitcoin for years, which takes time. If you are poor and you have to work for a living, when are you going to find the time to be able to put in the effort to innovate? Once you realize this, you see how much wealth and social class disparity there already is.
If we take a look at one of our best innovators right now, Elon Musk, we will quickly find out he was a very wealthy man right from the start. With two prior companies that he established himself, he is now innovating with Tesla. I believe that some of the best innovators are people with some financial resources, and they can invent amazing things that help everyone become wealthier as well. If a person is not able to protect the life savings that you spend long years working for, the whole situation will become helpless for the majority of people. Imagine, you saved a lot of money, and now have the resources and the time to innovate something. What if those resources are taken away from you by someone with a bigger gun? That would be devastating for the person and the community’s development. This is why Bitcoin is so important, and why I have a conference called unconfiscatable.
Bitcoin Still Relevant in 10 Years
Bitcoin is a lot more than an investment for me. When I first bought into Bitcoin, I knew that Bitcoin was going to rise, but I was more intrigued by ideological reasons more than financial reasons. I saw it as an investment that would go up, but more importantly, I wanted to support what Bitcoin represented. Unfortunately, the problem with today’s investors in the crypto space is that since Bitcoin was created, everyone has been trying to print their own digital money. When I look at all other Altcoins and all the other projects in the crypto space, they do not seem fundamentally sound at all to me. The only reason why anyone would buy into them is, not to use the product but to try to get rich. A few people will get rich, but the majority of the people will be left with less than what they had, in the beginning.
Every year more and more of the altcoins collapse, and very new few rise to the top. I don’t believe any other currency besides Bitcoin is going to be relevant 10 years from now. There will be some new ones, but I think all of them will trend towards 0. A person coming into this space today might come with different expectations. If the only intention why you are here is to get rich, then you will realize you will be quite disappointed. That is regardless of whether you are here to buy Bitcoin, which is what I recommend, or to buy into other cryptocurrencies. People will get disappointed because they might buy at the wrong time, or the price does not go up fast enough, etc. I expect Bitcoin to rise, but I set realistic expectations. The struggle in your Bitcoin world is going to be a lot more challenging.
Interviewer , Editor : Lina Kamada
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