Welcome to our comprehensive interview series – Humans of Blockchain™ where we get the best in the business to answer diverse questions.
This series will clear the air of doubt in the blockchain space today by focusing on bringing more transparency to the readers.
Our guest, today, is the Co-founder of Investors of Crypto. Experienced leader with a demonstrated history of success in the technology industry. Skilled in customer service leadership, continuous improvement, technology transformation, and operational strategies.
Not wasting much time, let’s hear it out from Kyle Headley himself.
1. We would love to know more about you Kyle. Your journey and how you entered the blockchain space?
Well the very first time I heard about bitcoin was in 2011, I remember it clearly even now. I was at a Christmas meal with a customer at the time and their CTO along with a technical project manager tried to convince me to start mining digital currency as they had been for weeks. They were making a lot of money but it all sounded crazy to me at the time, I didn’t understand the technology nor did I give it the time it deserved.
Needless to say I wish I spent a bit more time investigating it back then. Skip forward to mid 2017 and you would find me entering the blockchain space in ernest. I began actively investing in Cryptocurrency and was in time to catch the big boom. Early 2018 as the market began to fall I found myself amazed that money was hemorrhaging out of the industry and I decided it was a great opportunity to start helping quality project succeed in a more challenging landscape. In March 2018, I started my first consulting role with project specializing in operational strategy which is where my experience lies.
2. Can you tell us more about Investors of Crypto?
Investors of Crypto is the start of a blockchain institution with the hope of achieving three primary outcomes:
• Provide free education covering Blockchain, Cryptocurrency and Investment Strategies to anyone, anywhere.
• Build accessible investment instruments to retail investors worldwide, regardless of income or wealth.
• Assist the very best tech startups during their infancy.
We will provide consultancy in Marketing, Operations, Technology and if appropriate terms are met, funding. To this end our initial three business divisions shall be the IOC Learning Academy, the IOC Funds and the IOC LaunchPad. All of which shall be possible with the appropriate licences and in line with USA securities laws (as a Texas based LLC). We have an all star team of professionals with decades of experience across our various specialisms, all of which having been involved in the blockchain space for some time.
We achieved audited figures for Q3 of 2018 were over 11% ROI in our IOD Funds which was pretty exciting. My partner and the CEO Dan Neves has developed a great working relationship with the Texas Securities Board and actively helps to cut down fraud in the Blockchain space. Our STO private sale is now live and we plan to ramp up our marketing and public footprint as we move into 2019.
You can find out more at https://www.investorsofcrypto.io/
3. Are you advising any blockchain startups presently? What do you look for in a startup before accepting the advisory role?
I’m still consulting with a number of projects across the blockchain space which I plan to see through to launch. These range across sectors from Retail to Pharmaceutical, Banking to Social Media, Mining to Augmented Reality and a number of other projects in between. That said I have already made it fairly well known I won’t be taking on any more projects moving forward and all my focus will be on Investors of Crypto activities.
Worthy projects can still benefit from my expertise and that of the whole IOC team by engaging with us through the IOC LaunchPad. When looking at projects previously it was always a case of believe in the product first and foremost. Can I see the product being a success? I turned down many businesses over the last year simply because they were trying to copy an existing idea or the product had no use case. Second to product is team i.e. Can this team actually pull it off? Do they have the experience to launch a startup? To be credible to investors? To handle the challenges of project infancy? Again I always take a team into consideration when accepting any role and this is often just as hard to get right as the product decision.
4. There was a recent crash in the crypto market. What are your views about that?
Honestly I don’t see the current situation as a crash, more of a correction to what it should be. Towards the end of 2017 and start of 2018 we were not in a bull market but complete mania. Projects had to do little more than say they were offering a cryptocurrency and they were fully funded within weeks, sometimes days. Where are most of these projects now? Nowhere. No, the decline of the overall market was the departure of hundreds of billions of dollars of wealth being wasted in my opinion.
The lack of actual business success across the majority of funded projects has meant little demand for tokens and a gradual bleeding of the markets. Ultimately this is a case of too much money coming into the hands of the wrong people.’ ‘That said, the market isn’t dead. Will all 10,000+ projects be around 5 years from now? No. Will the best of projects be a success? Yes of course. Once the front runners start generating real revenue models based on business success and not token trading, then we will be at the start of the blockchain revolution. Right now you, me, everyone else, we are all just picking our sides, backing our favorites and preparing for what’s to come
5. How do you envision 2019 for the blockchain startups?
Positively. 2019 will be the return to business model based investment.
Does blockchain technology support your business model?
Does your business model have a high likelihood of profitable revenue in 3-5 years?
Is there a low risk of legal, reputational or ethical collateral?
If the answer to all of that is yes then you deserve to and likely will get funded
6. What are the hindrances to adoption of blockchain technology presently? What should be done to overcome them?
In a word I’d say proliferation. There are so many different projects all trying to do the same thing. Competition is healthy but there is a limit. Projects using tokens for no real purpose is not particularly useful either.’ ‘Then to compound that look at the likes of Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, EOS, Dragon Chain, RChain, Zilliqua etc all of them are developing environments for projects to build upon.
I hear a lot of different comparisons to the .com bubble, well imagine the .com bubble if there were dozens of different internets to work from. Until there is either a single public blockchain or a way of bridging them then we will struggle to see solid traction. That could take years but it will come.
7. What will be the major factors influencing fundraising for startups in 2019? Has the market matured now?
Moving into 2019 I don’t think there will be a great deal of difference between a blockchain startup or any other kind of start up. Investors now will be looking for business models, credible teams, risk profiles and ultimately market saturation.’ ‘I suspect ICO’s will decrease in number and we will begin to see more community coins or STO’s. Regulation should support that moving forward not hinder it and therefore I’d also like to see a bit of clarity from governments in the near future.’ ‘Legalisation of digital asset ETF’s and other investment instruments should help in the case of Bitcoin but I don’t particularly think we will see the same 2017 mania I discussed early in the interview.
8. What shortcomings do you feel are present in the blockchain space currently? What should be done to overcome them?
There are still too many people looking at crypto as a way of getting rich quick. They are taking investors money and never returning it, either through incompetence or more malicious intents they are damaging the industry.’ ‘In addition to that I feel many people think the industry is further forward than it actually is. We still have a long way to go before blockchain products become embedded across the dozens of different sectors we are seeing use cases for. Critics need to stop considering it a failure and give it time to mature.
9. What are your views about the rising security token markets?
I welcome them entirely. At Investors of Crypto we are launching our own security token. It removes the ambiguity attached to the whole ‘Utility Token’ model. Investors can have confidence they are purchasing something that is specifically designed (not guaranteed) to produce a positive return. In addition to that Security tokens by their very nature need to comply with government regulations and therefore should become more consistent in their execution, giving people a bit of familiarity with what they are used to seeing.
10. Any last words of motivation from your end Kyle for the audience?