While Wall Street institutions continue debating the move into cryptocurrencies many of its young talents have already made enough through personal investments in the space to walk away from the promise of a lifelong safety net to pursue alternative ventures on their own coin.
Millennials Eschew Wall Street in Favor of Personal Investing
Bloomberg recently profiled several up and coming executives who left some of the financial world’s most storied names to go out on their own backed with money made in their off times trading in cryptocurrency. Adrian Xinli Zhang left Deutsche Bank at 29 the same month he was promoted to director while Goldman Sachs lost three front office employees aging from 28 to 36 who have done the same.
Asim Ahmad who advised on pension funds and alternative investment at BlockRock Inc. walked away from what many with his background would consider a dream job with the profits he made investing in Ethereum. “I’m in a position where it doesn’t make sense to work at BlackRock anymore,” Amad said when discussing how he put all of his savings into Ether in 2016 when it was trading at about $10.
Ether trades today at $565 according to coinmarketcap but had been as high as $1,400 earlier this year.
“If you enjoyed the volatility on the way up you have to accept it falls as hard if not harder at times,” Ahmed said about the fluctuations inherent in the crypto market before adding. “If you start mentally spending this money it will hurt you when it falls,”
Young Investors put their Profits Back into Crypto
Instead of heading off to live in the paradise of a tropical isle or squandering their wealth on mansions and adult toys many of these millennial investors have decided to bring their money back into the space. Ahmed now contributes to a venture capital fund that invests in blockchain start ups that will positively contribute either environmentally or socially.
While blockchain technology is more or less universally considered a good bet, Wall Street institutions are still on the fence when it comes to investing in cryptocurrencies despite watching their young acolytes walking away with pockets full of digitally got wealth. Former BlackRock fixed-income specialist and co-founder of Prime Factor Capital a London based crypto hedge fund talked about the generational schism on Wall Street saying;
“The youngsters may have less intellectual baggage and may be more open-minded, but they also have less responsibility for managing risk and working out the practicalities of bolting on crypto to the existing business.”