Ishan Pandey: Hi Benjamin, welcome to our series “Behind the Startup.” Please tell us about yourself and the story behind Naga?
Benjamin Bilski: Hi, I'm a former German professional swimmer and the CEO of NAGA. Back in 2015, I co-founded The Naga Group AG with a goal to make the investing process more beginner-friendly than it was on most of the trading platforms back then. Since then, we've expanded heavily, both in terms of the team size, but mainly in terms of the products and experiences, NAGA offers, for example, automated social trading, a debit card linked to a trading account, real crypto holding, and CFD trading, highest quality trading education - all in one place. We also invest heavily in various sponsorships.
Ishan Pandey: Can you please share some tips for beginners in crypto trading. Also, what are some of the risks of participating in this activity, especially for novice traders, and how can they be avoided?
Benjamin Bilski: One challenge for beginners that applies to any asset class might be not understanding how to control emotions, namely fear and greed, and when it might be wise to take profit/cut losses. Aside from that, I'd suggest not looking at crypto coins as lottery tickets, but instead research before investing in any coin - if there's a real team behind it, is there some use case for it, etc. to lower the chance of investing in a scam or pump and dump scheme.
Ishan Pandey: Please tell us a little bit about the platform and its underlying vision and technology which promotes social investing?
Benjamin Bilski: Our protocol is like Facebook in the trading industry. We aim to cover a wide range of investors' needs in one place so they don't need to operate on several platforms at once. You open just one account, and you can communicate with 1+ million users, copy their strategies, hold real stocks and crypto, pay for anything around the world with a NAGA Card, participate in fun events and educational seminars, get free education, and win awesome prizes in trading challenges and giveaways. We believe the social aspect just makes trading so much better.
Ishan Pandey: According to you, why should retail investors explore social trading?
Benjamin Bilski: For most people, trading might take years to master, so social trading is a great way to not miss out on earnings during those years while still learning. In short, it means having your own group of chosen and trusted experts whose trades you copy automatically while you carry on with your life. The best part of this all - trading beginners can benefit from the knowledge of experienced traders and copy their trades in a click, while the “master traders” gain copy bonuses from their copiers!
Ishan Pandey: A lot of retail investors look for trading and investment advice on Reddit, TikTok, and Youtube. What are your views on this phenomenon? Whether it is good or should be regulated?
Benjamin Bilski: While there are some wise investment influencers with a proven track record, any financial advice you can get online should be taken with caution. Nowadays, anyone can record a video saying some asset will go to the moon, without taking any responsibility. So, there are certain risks of being misled about an investment opportunity and losing money because of it. But on the other hand, social media is sometimes good to determine the market sentiment and what most people are talking about. Hence, it can help predict what could surge next because we live in an economy where fundamentals are often secondary behind people's thoughts of the asset.
Ishan Pandey: What are your views on regulations regarding copy and/or social trading?
Benjamin Bilski: I'm certainly open to it because security is a must for people just starting out. Regulation would push every copy trading platform to create the best experience for its users and to help them avoid mistakes such as entering too big amounts relative to their account size etc. As our company is public and regulated, we continue supporting any further developments in regulation to provide a safe and fair trading experience for 1M+ traders around the world.
Ishan Pandey: The rise in popularity of non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, has had a significant impact on the betting industry allowing for secondary markets and engaging gamification. In your opinion, what has led to this shift in the industry from the traditional ecosystem towards a more DeFi approach?
Benjamin Bilski: While the correct answer would be technology, I'd say this industry has grown so rapidly simply because it opens an opportunity for people to earn money with art like nowhere else. With the mass expansion of unregulated digital assets, traders and investors are looking for decentralized financial assets and playgrounds where they’re able to feel the “freedom”, unlike in the case of traditional retail investing.
Ishan Pandey: According to you, what are the solutions to Bitcoin’s various hazards and its untapped potential and how can we effectively eliminate the many risks associated with the cryptocurrency?
Benjamin Bilski: If we talk about Bitcoin, it seems the bigger it gets, the more stable it becomes. Currently, already 90% of it has been mined and ¾ of it is being held and illiquid. The first Bitcoin fund has also been launched in the USA. I believe it will become less and less volatile, hence less risky to own because of the size of the network it has support from. And the highest risk will probably stay in micro-projects and new crypto innovations, like it always has been. I think increasing the general understanding of cryptocurrencies among the public could be the way to minimize risks - in other words, not let risky scams get attention and let good projects prosper and bring value to people around the world.
Ishan Pandey: What new trends are we going to witness within the crypto ecosystem especially in the post-covid-19 era?
Benjamin Bilski: I believe that more and more cryptocurrencies will actually be adapted to some use cases, not only plain hype and marketing. For example, at NAGA, we've created our own coin NGC that lets investors save 50% of their fees if they pay them with our coin not e.g. Euro or USD. So, I think many more platforms and games will do similar adaptations too.
Disclaimer: The purpose of this article is to remove informational asymmetry existing today in our digital markets by performing due diligence, asking the right questions, and equipping readers with better opinions to make informed decisions.