We sat down with Evan Luthra, serial innovator and angel investor to learn about his work as an investor in digital assets. His work in the Blockchain space primarily revolves around working with and investing in equities of leading companies such as Ripple, Hashgraph, HYGH.tech, and tokens of dozens of more blockchain companies. He has been regarded as a Blockchain expert and pioneer by world-leading organizations and publications.
Besides crypto, DeFi and blockchain investments, Evan believes in using technology to disrupt existing industries and has companies in a diverse set of industries from FoodTech, FinTech, Marijuana, Travel, Nightlife, Food and Beverage, Lifestyle, Social, AI, Augmented, Virtual, Mixed Reality, Entertainment, Fashion and more.
Altcoin Buzz: Evan, how did you first start investing in crypto?
Evan Luthra: To really understand how I got started in crypto, you have to go a little bit back. Back to my journey into tech.
I got into tech pretty early.
I was 12 years old and had a blog where I was writing about trending technologies. The blog had a quarter of a million readers and was the most read blog on the Lingus blogging platform Pulse. Apple announced they were coming out with an app store and I decided I was gonna have an app for my blog.
I was one of the first 100 guys to make apps for the App Store. I built the first app of Delhi Metro, Dubai Metro, and even the ICC Cricket World Cup in 2011. The app had millions of downloads and was the number one app in multiple countries around the world. And around that time, I was in San Francisco for a bit. I didn’t go to university, so I was just living in California, Silicon Valley. Then I came across interesting technologies like blockchain.
I got into blockchain first, actually, because of my friend. We were trying to earn some free money and Coinbase was running a promotion that said, refer friends and win $5 so we basically got all our friends to sign up and we got five bucks on Coinbase and Bitcoin. It’s actually worth $350 today, just so you know.
$350 just to refer one friend.
So anybody who’s reading this should probably also think about referring people to crypto platforms because the returns can be humongous in the long run.
I bought my first Bitcoin in 2012. I also had a plethora of companies that I had invested in and they started reaching out to me to help them with blockchain. That’s how I got into Cryptocurrency.
I am very proud of the technical resources that we have and one of my biggest assets is my staff and my team behind me.
Yeah, so that’s how I got into Bitcoin and crypto.
But then I didn’t really put in too much time. I invested a bit of money, but I never knew it was going to go the way it went. Right? You can only connect the dots when you look back.
From there on, I started building and investing in technology companies. I had a pretty good run rate and was doing really well. I enjoyed it. It was my passion, so it was great. But then, around 2017 was when I really got involved in crypto.
We also invested in companies like (ECOMI) OMI in the first round-in and it is today one of the most popping NFT companies. And then, I was an equity investor in companies like Hashgraph. I was also an equity investor in companies like Ripple and then did a bunch of other investments. I mean, I’ve over 100 different equity investments and about 100 different coins that I’m invested in at any given point in time.
Well, there you have it, that’s how I got interested in crypto. I took multiple products to market and had a very good run at it. Raised tens of millions of dollars. Delivered 1,000%+ returns for investors in the first few months of launch and it was great. I even dabbled in assisting multiple STO projects to reach the market.
So yeah, that was how I got early on into crypto and had a pretty good time. And I’ve been in it since then, I’ve never really stopped. I have spoken at 100+ blockchain-focused events in person around the world!
I’ve been investing in a bunch of companies. I make an investment pretty much every second day these days into crypto companies or crypto tokens. Right now, it’s just the best asset class by far. So I have a lot of private equity investments, but I am just focused on crypto most of the time.
Altcoin Buzz: What do you think of the current DeFi and NFT frenzy? Why did it happen at this specific time in history? How long will it last?
Evan Luthra: There’s no better way to look at it than its technology and technological progress are inevitable. Like it’s going to happen and you cannot stop it. The only option you have is to adapt to it, right. It’s like a moving train and it’s best you get on now while it’s still taking off.
So DeFi (Decentralized Finance) is the future because the current model of finance is broken, the system is broken. Traditional banking has always had loopholes that the average man always suffered from, but decentralized finance is fixing this. There’s no central government, nobody to give you conditions because you want to save money.
Your money and investments do multiple increases in a really short time. This is something you won’t get when you save your money in banks. With banks you have to pay money to save your money, you don’t have control over your money as the government could come with some crazy policy and your money gets locked and you start to go through the grueling bureaucratic processes just to get access to YOUR money. The banks can block your money at any time. I mean, it’s crazy when you think about it. You hear things like It’s not your money. It’s fiat money, it’s trash. There’s no limit to how much they can print it.
My point is at the end of the day, I think decentralized finance is the future.
It has all of the solutions to the problems centralized finance has failed to solve over the years. I believe in it, I love it and I think it’s far more efficient because technology makes things efficient. That’s what it does. DeFi is instant, it’s safe, it’s transparent, it doesn’t discriminate or select people it would rather serve or not serve.
The same thing goes for Non-fungible Tokens (NFTs). They are making the process of buying and selling art more efficient. Making value transfer more efficient and making a better creative model. Artists and creators who see the immense opportunity in NFTs stand to gain the most if they do something with the technology.
I mean, it’s all very interesting. It’s good to remember that traditional finance has been out there for centuries. Banks and governments have been out there for 300 years or more than that but Bitcoin blockchain has only been here for about 12 years properly.
So we’re going to give it time. It’s happening now because this is the right time. If you ask me, I think the technology is still in the infancy stage and people should get in now that it’s not too late. And it’s not about how long it will last, it’s about how much more upgrades are going to happen because it takes time to go from a centralized to a decentralized world, right?
You’ve got to go from centralization, to semi-centralization, then to decentralization. That’s how you move and it takes time, but it’s happening and I think it’s only going to get better and better as technology comes and makes systems far more efficient.
Altcoin Buzz: How does investing in Defi and NFT work for a retail investor? Can anyone invest?
Evan Luthra: DeFi (Decentralized finance) refers to digital, peer-to-peer financial services technology that supports crypto trading, borrowing, and lending of loans, interest accounts, and other services. DeFi is reliant on public blockchains like Ethereum and Polkadot and more.
So basically, you need a Cryptocurrency account that you control and is not a centralized exchange.
Take out some time to learn about the crypto projects listed on your preferred exchange and do your research. See if, at the end of your analysis, a project has the capability to yield you returns over time.
Also, learn to trade in DeFi. Don’t be in a hurry but be smart about your investments.
There are tons of opportunities for retail investors in the DeFi space, especially for creating passive income and the same thing goes for NFTs.
NFTs are digital files like art, video, audio, and other files that are stored on the Blockchain. If you didn’t already know, Blockchain is the digital ledger technology that powers cryptocurrencies.
The unique thing about NFTs is they are not interchangeable. They are not fungible unlike a unit of currency like the dollar for example.
As a potential investor, if you’re able to buy a unique NFT and then sell it for more than what you paid for, you could make a really good profit, thereby making gains on your initial investment.
Retail investors should make sure to learn everything about NFTs. From how to go about storing it to keeping it safe, preferably on a hardware wallet device before going into it.
And yes, anyone can invest in both DeFi and NFT projects. It isn’t just a party only funds have the invite to, you too can play where the big boys are playing.
Altcoin Buzz: In which crypto companies did you invest and why did you choose them?
Evan Luthra: I don’t like to really mention names of a lot of companies because I’m in a lot of companies for a lot of different reasons and a lot of different ways. So I think it’s better I just say I’m in a lot of different companies and I’m actively investing in new crypto companies all the time. Just in the last 2 weeks, I have invested in GAINS, DPR, SHOPX, GDT, and more.
I mean, the idea is if you’re reading this and you’re not into crypto, you should just get directly into crypto. You would have doubled your investment in three months, with just whatever you have. It is that amazing. This is something no traditional bank can give to you. You can’t put $10,000 in a bank today and expect to get back $20,000 in three months. Honestly, with the banks, it’s a laughable idea but you can get that and maybe even more with Cryptocurrencies. That’s because the whole crypto market cap doubled in the last 3 months.
Why I choose companies?
Well, I have a startup studio incubator fund where we work with non-tech entrepreneurs about all ideas and we build companies with them from the ground up. We come in, we invest money and not just money. We also invest technical resources to help build more ideas and help build a company with them from the ground up. The most important thing here is that we look for a team.
The reason for all of these? You may ask.
It’s all about big ideas.
The bigger the goal, the better it is. We do not like to dream small and also past successes always matter to us. Like I always say, it’s all of those results that matter. Nothing else you say matters as far as you don’t have results to prove it. Investors are sold on results. They want to see what you’ve already done in your space and see if you’ve had relative successes. If you have results, you don’t need to say too much.
Altcoin Buzz: How do you help your portfolio companies? What is the value add you provide besides capital?
Evan Luthra: I think I just answered this but I’m going to go into detail here. So in my incubator, the companies that we’re invested in have a combined market cap of over $10 billion, with tens of millions of users across dozens of countries. Up until now, we’ve built over 45 companies ourselves and like to be involved in them. We have built processes and systems that work great.
I mean, I have a million followers on various social networks, been to 60 countries, spoken at hundreds of events that are mainly blockchain-focused. And I’m not even counting talks in places like the United Nations, Google, big brands, big companies, big universities. I’ve done over half a dozen TEDx talk shows. Yeah, so all of these come in and add value to the companies.
It gives companies I’m invested in a good amount of positive exposure in the industry and this can only help them in the long run. I’m an active investor like I’m actually an entrepreneur first and an investor later, so I understand what it means to run companies and what those companies need to survive and beat their competitors.
I like to call myself a parallel entrepreneur if that’s okay.
Altcoin Buzz: Where do you suggest the readers who have not invested in crypto yet to start? How can they invest in tokens before tokens are publicly traded?
Evan Luthra: There are hundreds of interesting projects that are being prepared for launch.
You can do simple research to know about them before they launch and get into their communities. These projects always have communities and these are where you can get freebies like Airdrops. I did tell you how I got free $5 from Coinbase and today it’s worth $350 right?
The same thing applies to airdrops. Crypto projects give out airdrops and if you’re lucky to receive these airdrops, you can begin your career in crypto with almost no capital coming from your pocket.
Also, you’ve got to be able to add value. You can approach some of those projects and tell them where you can help them if you’ve got a skill. Take me for example, I write for CoinTelegraph, Forbes, and a bunch of other companies in the Crypto space.
That’s how I add value to these companies. I have huge followership.
An amazing new platform that just came out as a social network out of the crypto space is called Bitclout. That’s Bitclout.com, where you can actually sign up and everybody gets their own coin and you can buy and sell coins.
For a newbie looking to fast track their growth and success in the industry, I think this platform is one they should look at.
It’s very interesting as you can bet on people. Like who’s going to go up and who’s not going to go up. So you need a lot of social capital. It’s literally like a stock market for individuals but it’s all crypto so you’ve got to have some Bitcoin to actually get started or you can just get some little bit of free money if you just sign up with your phone number.
You can basically buy bitcoin on the exchanges I mentioned earlier. You can go buy bitcoins there and then load your Bitclout account with it and try to play your hand.
Again, It’s basically betting on your friends and your friends betting on you.
My coin I put out went up 1,000% in just 10 days but I have a huge audience. Basically, all social networks today are ad networks and are ad-based but this Bitclout is interesting because there are no ads. Because of this, every post somebody makes is like an ad for themselves and this makes it very quality-focused. You’ve got to have quality on this platform to make sure your coin goes up and nobody likes to see their coin going down. So it becomes really interesting.
It’s like everything Twitter has, I think it’s gonna kill Twitter in less than two years. It’s the fastest-growing protocol company I’ve ever seen in a long time and I’ve seen a lot of companies, so I think it’s really amazing. I recommend people to get into it and see how it goes. I think it would be interesting for sure. Also, just get some Bitcoin but really, go into understanding what you’re investing in.
So to get started in crypto and invest in projects that haven’t been launched yet, I’ll advise you to take getting free airdrops seriously as they have the potential to change your life.
Look up projects that are being prepared for launch and join their communities. This is where you get first-hand information on how to get in.
Understand what DeFi is.
A lot of people ask me what they can do because they don’t have a job or something and I always tell them, do what you love first, find your passion.
If you don’t have that, if you can’t find your passion and your goal is to make a lot of money get into DeFi. That’s because DeFi is by far the best and fastest growing industry ever. DeFi is going to change the world of finance and you’re going to see it happen very very fast.