Hey Hackers! I’m Mark Helfman, the guy who publishes the Crypto is Easy
First of all, a huge thank you to the HackerNoon community and staff for nominating me for these 2021 Noonies awards! I’ve been nominated in the following categories. Please do check out these award pages and vote (soon!):
- Altcoin Champion of 2021: https://noonies.tech/award/2021-hackernoons-altcoin-champion-of-2021
- Contributor of the Year - Money: https://noonies.tech/award/2021-hackernoon-contributor-of-the-year-money
- Best Crypto Journalist: https://noonies.tech/award/2021-best-crypto-journalist-in-2021
As a someone in the crypto industry, I believe that the most exciting technology of the present is cryptocurrency because it gives everybody access to the same wealth-building and opportunity-enabling financial products and services that used to be reserved for only the wealthy or well-connected. Learn more about my thoughts and opinions on crypto and my journey in the tech industry via the interview below.
1. What do you do and why do you do it? Tell us your story!
I provide perspective and analysis that helps people understand the crypto market and make better decisions with their time and money.
When I found crypto in 2017, all of the content revolved around three topics: dense technical material, economic or political treatises, or trading advice. I thought crypto could benefit from a more general, simpler discussion of the technology, its potential, and the trends surrounding the space.
Not only was it the kind of information I wanted, but I also didn’t see anybody else providing it. Still don’t, though that’s changed a bit over the past few years. Crypto is crazy, complicated, and sometimes overwhelming - but it doesn’t have to be. I found more people interested in the markets and the movement of the markets. My content presented an alternative to the content you usually find on Twitter and YouTube.
2. Tell us more about the things you create / write / manage / build!
I mostly focus on the Crypto is Easy
newsletter. It’s market analysis but aimed at the big picture, macro trends that frame the decisions people make when deciding how to spend their time, money, and emotional energy. As part of that, I have my plan for bitcoin’s bull market
Some people find it therapeutic. I’m just happy to provide context that combines basic chart analysis, macroeconomic risk assessment, investor behaviors, and on-chain metrics. When you can see the big picture, you can set realistic expectations and get some peace of mind about how you’re navigating this volatile, complicated market.
I also run a research service, Altcoin Insights
, that helps average people beat the crypto market by finding prime investment opportunities in new crypto projects that haven’t yet gotten the exposure they deserve.
I also love thinking about the social, political, and economic changes that will come from cryptocurrency. Hence my three books, Consensusland, Bitcoin or Bust: Wall Street’s Entry Into Cryptocurrency, and From Bust to Boom. All of those books explore the risks and opportunities that come from this technology, each in a different way. Consensusland follows an entrepreneur who visits a country built on cryptocurrency. Bitcoin or Bust talks about how traditional finance will change crypto (or how crypto will change traditional finance). From Bust to Boom documents the massive 2020 zoom from dead asset to its new all-time high.
3. How did you end up on your current career path? Do you like it?
In my past life, I worked in Congressional politics and lobbying. I soon discovered I hated politics and wasn’t very good at it, so I took a job as a civil servant with the federal government and still work that job today. I work on the books, newsletter, and articles from 10p - 2a. At some point, I would like to work on my newsletter and related business opportunities full-time.
I spent the last four years learning about crypto and the past 12 years learning how to invest and build a financial portfolio. Now I get to share that knowledge and perspective with people who appreciate it.
4. What tech are you most excited or passionate about right now and why?
I’m most excited about Web 3.0, a new vision of the internet where creators control their works and the distribution of those works. Our legacy institutions aggregate human ingenuity and expression in return for distribution. Ideas and innovations pass through various levels of gatekeepers and patrons before they can reach an audience at scale. With Web 3.0, you can eliminate those institutions, gatekeepers, and patrons.
NFTs secure your rights, blockchains ensure everybody can connect with your creations, DeFi lets you tap into deep pools of capital, and cryptocurrency gives you a way to monetize your labor. To paraphrase Kanye, in the legacy system, “a white man get paid off of all of that.” With Web 3.0, “all of that” stays between you and those who benefit from your work.
5. What tech are you most worried about right now and why?
Quantum anything. Call me in 20 years, I may change my mind.
6. If we gave you 10 million dollars to invest in something today, what would you invest in and why?
I would buy USD stablecoins on savings platforms
until the crypto market gives me a good opportunity to buy again. That’ll earn me $700,000 to $2 million each year with relatively little risk.
That’s enough cash flow to support my lifestyle and tuck some money into tax-advantaged accounts and financial products, as well as other assets like crypto when my plan tells me to buy.
7. What are you currently learning?
Home building. I’m in the middle of a remodeling project. Maybe I’ll use some of that $10 million to buy an old house for demo and reconstruction.
8. What’s the best advice you’ve ever given someone?
Don’t work for money. Do what you love and the money will come.
9. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Everything in the books Rich Dad, Poor Dad and How to Win Friends and Influence People. Still working on putting that advice to good use.
10. Please give us the links to all your relevant social media profiles so we can use them to promote this interview! (Twitter and LinkedIn would be a huge plus)
The annual Noonie Awards celebrate the best and brightest of the tech industry, bringing together all who are making the Internet and the world of tech what it is today. Please be sure to check out our award categories
, nominate, and vote for the people and companies who you think are making the biggest impact on the tech industry today.
The 2021 Noonies are sponsored by: bybit
, Dottech Domains
, and Avast
. Thank you so much to these sponsors who are helping us celebrate the accomplishments of all our nominees.