Several years ago, I had the opportunity to meet Ilya Volkov, the founder and CEO of YouHodler, a crypto-backed lending platform. As a talented financier, Ilya left a notable imprint on me. Last week, I was happy to get the YouHodler CEO’s perspective on the current state of the cryptocurrency market, COVID-19, and the future of YouHodler.
Ivan Kv: What does the current crypto market look like to you? How is the market affected by the COVID-19 pandemic? Do you believe that there will be a large upcoming global recession as a result of the virus? If so, how will the recession affect crypto?
Ilya Volkov: In simple terms, the crypto market looks inspiring to me, even with this pandemic. Personally, and for YouHodler, not much has changed, and I believe that is relatively true for the rest of the industry. We have been very fortunate to have avoided any kind of large financial loss from the COVID-19 pandemic, and we have, in fact, actually obtained more customers. I attribute this to our working situation before the pandemic occurred.
Our team was already well-accustomed to working remotely and working globally. Hence, in terms of company operations here at YouHodler, there have been no major changes. Actually, I can say that it’s brought us closer together as a team and made us more productive. We are far busier now than ever before. YouHodler is very much a 24/7 operation at the moment. I attribute this to a couple of reasons.
The most obvious reason is that we save a lot of time that we would have spent on traveling. This means that we have more free time to improve upon our platform and communicate with each other and our community members. The other reason is that crypto enthusiasts also have more free time at home. Therefore, they are starting to research innovative new financial instruments during this pandemic recession. We’ve seen a large influx of beginner-level crypto enthusiasts coming to our platform and asking many questions about the industry and our platform. Of course, we are always happy to help them, but it’s definitely added more work for us.
As for a large upcoming global recession, I think that it’s inevitable. Countries all around the world have shut down their economies for months at a time, and central banks are printing money at alarming rates. Jobs are being lost, and inflation is increasing. We still have yet to see the negative results of this, but I think that we will soon, and, ultimately, this will help the crypto industry. As I said, fresh eyes are looking into alternative currencies in light of this recession, and Bitcoin is more stable than ever, living up to its “digital gold” moniker. As more people start using Bitcoin and stable coins as a hedging mechanism, we’ll look back at this time as one of the largest onramps for mass adoption in history.
Ivan Kv: We are seeing crypto prices mirror the moves of the stock market. Do you believe in Tim Draper’s theory that the Bitcoin price will hit $200,000+ by 2022? As a FinTech expert, how would you rate the current performance of cryptocurrencies?
Ilya Volkov: As for crypto prices mirroring the stock market, yes, this is true at the moment, but I don’t think it will stay this way for long, and that’s due to the nature of the assets. For example, if we compare prices of stocks from the S&P 500, Dow Jones, etc., we’ll see that they all have something in common and that the charts resemble each other. There are minor differences when comparing companies, but, more or less, the nature and behavior of stocks are very similar.
Right now, crypto is mirroring the stock market because there is a lot of cross-pollination of people in both stocks and crypto trading between the markets. In the future, this correlation will decrease because the nature of crypto assets varies more than stocks. If you compare the nature of Bitcoin to some altcoins, they are also completely different. Bitcoin is an independent cryptocurrency that will likely become some sort of digital gold for many people instead of a currency that people use every day. On the other hand, we have gold-backed stablecoins like Pax Gold (PAXG). While this is based on the blockchain, it has absolutely nothing in common with Bitcoin and completely different values and pricing.
Another example that we can look at is the LINK token from Chainlink. Chainlink is a terrific example of a highly valuable project backed by innovative technology with a purpose. Unlike some other cryptos, the community is not the only thing helping LINK’s price, but moreover, the technology behind it is the main driving force. As we saw this week, BTC and LINK are behaving in completely different ways. In my opinion, this is a glimpse into what the future of cryptocurrencies will look like – independent assets fluctuating individually.
Actually, Bitcoin has been behaving very strangely recently. It’s evolved into a stable asset, while the stocks/indexes are becoming more volatile. This could very well be the “new normal” for lack of a better term.
Now, let’s talk about Tim Draper. Do I believe in his claims that Bitcoin will soon be $200,000? Well, I would believe him if he actually backed up his claims. If Tim Draper really invested in the adoption of Bitcoin and helped to promote the usage of Bitcoin, then I would be more optimistic. Instead, I’ve only seen him make these outrageous predictions about Bitcoin for many years without really taking action. There are several big names like him in the market that seem to have a big Bitcoin portfolio and are only interested in inflating its price so that they can exit at the next all-time high. They constantly say that Bitcoin will go up but never do anything to back up their predictions.
As someone who’s been in FinTech for many years, I do agree with Draper that there is great potential for the market, though. Simply google the number of new crypto users each year, and that will tell you all you need to know. As mentioned earlier, YouHodler sees newcomers to crypto every single day. No longer is it just a fringe-technology that a few thousand people on Reddit are talking about. Everyone from teenaged TikTok users to retired adults is getting into crypto now, and it’s a great thing.
I see a future where at least 30% of the world could be crypto users, and we’ll see the market cap increase greatly because of this. We’re going in the right direction, but we still have many tasks to focus on first. Adoption is the main hurdle to jump over right now. We need real use cases backed by intelligent technology and easy onramps. That’s why YouHodler focuses on user-friendly interfaces, easy-to-use products, and great customer service. We want newcomers to come to us and not be scared away while simultaneously offering advanced technology for crypto pros to enjoy.
Ivan Kv: What are the most recent changes in the cryptocurrency-backed lending field? Are there any cool features that you have introduced on YouHodler lately?
Ilya Volkov: The core concept of cryptocurrency-backed lending has not really changed, but I think that people’s perception definitely has. Previously, the word “loan” had a negative connotation to it, but now, people are realizing that crypto lending solutions are very useful for their HODLing strategies. Gone are the days when you need to sell crypto for cash and miss out on future bull runs. As a result of this crypto-lending awakening, we’ve seen stable user flow and stable demand for loans as people start to realize all the creative things they can do with these loans.
Over the past couple of years, though, YouHodler has truly evolved beyond a simple crypto lending platform. We’ve introduced several new features that help transform people from “passive HODLers” to “active HODLers.” A Multi HODL feature, for example, is powered by crypto loans to help users buy or sell more crypto, depending on market conditions. Users can take funds from their wallet or savings account and multiply these funds via the volatility of other digital assets like BTC, ETH, LINK, BCH, etc.
I see every single movement of the crypto market as an opportunity to profit, and with Multi HODL, users can take advantage of both bullish and bearish scenarios to earn more and activate their portfolios. Furthermore, this is a 100% automated process. Instead of going to other exchanges and taking loans manually to buy more and sell more crypto, we’ve compacted the entire process into Multi HODL so that the user can get the same results with just a few clicks of a button. This saves time and money since we do not charge any hourly, daily, or monthly fees on open positions like some other margin trading platforms do. Our top interest is seeing our users profit.
In the future, we will expand Multi HODL to give users more control over their positions, in addition to updated charts, more cryptocurrencies, and other improvements. So, if you’re reading this, follow our social media channels to stay up-to-date on all the latest news.