From DJ to Crypto Trader : Interview with Scott Melker ①

Scott Melker is the Wolf of All Streets. He is a trader and investor both privately and at TexasWest Capital. He is the host of the popular “The Wolf Of All Streets Podcast,” the author of “The Wolf Den” newsletter, and a prolific writer and thought leader in the crypto space. He is also an advisor to a number of blockchain-based projects and has been featured in many big magazines like the New York Times, Forbes, Businessweek, The Wall Street Journal, and many more.”

Interview Date : 30th September 2020

My name is Scott Melker, but I am better known as “The Wolf of all streets” on Twitter. That moniker started as a joke, but people started calling me that name, and so I kept it. I have been interested in trading and the financial market for as long as I can remember. During my career as a DJ and musician, I spent quite a bit of time in Japan. I had the role of the DJ and percussionist in the band of a very famous Japanese singer, Toshinobu Kubota. Thanks to that opportunity, I was able to visit over 35 cities in Japan in 2006.  After that, I visited Japan again in 2017 for an MTV show. Japan is one of my favorite places in the world, and it is a place I have fallen in love with over time.

How did you become a Crypto Trader?

I found interest in the crypto space after I started trading. This was when I retired from DJ-ing in late 2016. Like many, I was drawn to it because the trading was so appealing, and because “mythical coins” would take you to the moon. Later on, I became a believer in the use-case and the importance of crypto. Certainly, all the global issues that we are seeing now amplify that importance.

Who should be investing?

I think that 99.9 % of the people on the planet should be investing. When investing, one should not think about their investment constantly. Investments should be checked a couple of times every year to make sure if re-balancing is needed or not. Investors have become insanely wealthy since the beginning of markets. That is how people accumulate wealth; the way to get rich is through putting away money early. In other words, put away the money you do not need when young, and do not touch it until the last possible moment. I only trade with about only 15 % of my portfolio. I have 70% in investments, 15 % in cash, and 15 % in trading. I think some of the best traders in the world are probably trading with only a small part of their total capital. Nobody should trade with their entire portfolio on a day-to-day basis. If you do, you are guaranteed to lose all your money.

How hard is trading?

After years of trading, one will have tried every indicator and “technique”. My charts in my early days as a trader had so many lines, it was hard to decipher. I think most people who start trading get caught up, and do over-analysis paralysis. You analyze so many things, and have too many indicators telling you opposite things, it becomes perplexing. However, as you become more experienced, you can look at a chart and see through it eventually. The price action in volume and simple support and resistance is what truly matters, I think. Today, I am able to look at a chart for some minutes, draw the lines I want, and set a stop-loss on the lines I think are important. I usually don’t look at the chart again until the price hits one of my alarm areas.

What was your first interaction with Bitcoin?

Someone tried to pay in Bitcoin for a DJ gig in 2012, and that was the first time I heard about it. I rejected the offer because I didn’t know what it was. I thought that they were scamming me. That is probably the biggest regret of my life. In 2017, I got entangled in the crazy game of crypto till the bubble popped. Nevertheless, I stuck with it throughout the whole time even though it was brutal. I sold a lot, but I was still trying to trade this futile market.

During the 2017 crypto winter bear market, a lot of people stopped trading and started to read about this market. The more you learned about the federal government and monetary policy, the more important and clearer Bitcoin became. Today I know that is hard money, a superior form of store-of-value to anything else we have today. This realization led me to further research all the problems with central banks and governments. Bitcoin has sculpted and changed my view on what money is, the disparity between rich and poor, and how that is perpetuated by monetary and government policies.

How did you Plan your Podcast career?

Becoming a podcaster was not part of the plan. Nothing has gone by any plan I have done so far, none of that is gone by any plan. I was just a guy interested in music who one day stopped caring about music and started tweeting about crypto. Half of the people following me unfollowed me saying, “who is this nut and why is he talking about digital internet”. After that, my following slowly built back up, and it got to a point where I had so much fun talking about crypto that I thought Twitter was not enough. Thus, I started writing a free newsletter and the content writer within me flourished. I put all the thoughts and ideas I had down on paper circulating in my, and all ideas on paper. As the newsletter gained popularity, I was contacted by a company called Blockwork, the company that produces Anthony Pompliano’s podcast as well as Charlie Shrem, Luke Martin, and Meltem Demirors. These were people who are known figures and faces in the crypto world. Ever since I started, I have enjoyed it, and things have snowballed from there. Today, I feel like I have gone back to college in my 40’s thanks to the podcast. I have the opportunity to learn about crypto-related from insanely passionate and knowledgeable people from the space.

Podcast Journey During COVID

I started recording some of the first shows 2 or 3 weeks before COVID-19 hit. The world was a very different place when I started the podcast. The concept was “ interview anyone who has an interest in crypto”. I wanted to hear stories from interesting crypto people. Suddenly, the world situation becomes serious due to the pandemic, and you could not put out a podcast that was not serious. So, I started to have epidemiologists and world leaders come on the show to have serious conversations about the situation. After a while, people become used to the COVID, and I was sick of being depressed of listening to how horrible everything in the world is. I went back to my original mission, and so far, have had most of the big names in crypto like Anthony Pompliano and Samson Mow on the show. I have also reached out to individuals from different fields, including DJs. Justin Blow has also been the only show, and we were talking about the NFT space as both of us are interested in digital art. I also had Micah Johnson, former Dodgers baseball player who is a crypto artist today.  I discussed general finance together with Jeff Booth, who wrote an incredible book about believing in deflation and avoiding inflation. Interactions with such brilliant people who tell their stories have become the core concept of the show.

How was your childhood?

My parents used to say that I would sing and dance as a baby. Back then, Fleetwood Mac was my favorite music, and it still is. I started playing the piano when I was 5 years old. I played classical piano competitively as a child but burned out from it around the age of 15-16. I wanted to be an ordinary teenager and play sports like everyone else. I picked up the saxophone along the way, did some singing, and ended up trying a little bit of everything in music. I picked up DJ-ing in college doing college parties and eventually moved downtown to Philadelphia.

What kind of music did you compose?

I produced music for a very long time. Everything I compose is mainly done on the piano. I have done many DJ gigs and played with Kanye West, Rihanna, and many more. Most of the time, I would be the DJ playing before they came to the stage. I have done work with most rappers, but I have played with Sheryl Crow, Crosby Stills, Nash, etc., all the crazy 70’s bands as well. Because my style was mashed up and based on classical music, I can play any genre. Thus, I ended up with crazy jobs doing shows with people from rappers to folk music my parents listen to. So, I have worked with a lot of different known people.

How do you balance family and work?

I have a 5-year-old and a 16-month-old, so I am spending my days parenting. The rest of the time, I am immersed in crypto. I am the type who fully dives into something once I get interested. I don’t spend much time doing music anymore unless I am playing on the piano for fun. I have a newsletter that releases 2 days a week, and I have a podcast that comes out twice a week so I am recording at least 2 podcast episodes a week. On top of that, I have an advisory role with a few companies, hence I am always on endless phone calls. Doing all of that takes a lot of work, but the remaining time that is left, I spend on trading.

What kind of student were you?

I was a very good but bored student with ADHD. I always had behavior problems in class. I was the kid who would scream answers and never raise my hand. Therefore, I was constantly in trouble for being loud or obnoxious. Despite that, my grades were good and I never found a school that challenging. I went to the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and I got the opportunity to take business classes at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Yet, I was more interested in my social life and DJ-ing, partying, etc. in college than I was interested in my classes. Like the old saying goes “education is wasted on the young”, which was true for me too. At that time, I did as little as I could to get by with school so I could do things I wanted to do. All that time I spent on DJ-ing, I realized I am a social person with an entrepreneurial spirit. With this combination, I was never the kind of person who would work for someone else. For example, during my DJ years, I started a website with three friends from college in 1999. It was a nightlife portal with a list of all the restaurants and bars in the city. It was very early for such websites, but I always tried to create things to forge my path.

Interviewer , Editor : Lina Kamada


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