Introducing the Hodl Team: Jess Muntenaar


Over the past three years, Hodl has grown significantly as a brand and correspondingly, our team has also considerably expanded. The team of Hodl consists of 25+ team members with all different backgrounds and experiences, all story worthy, however, we want to highlight a few key members who made Hodl as we know Hodl today.

The first in this series is Jess Muntenaar, our Head of Trading, who joined the cryptocurrency market and Hodl in its early stages. We have created a series of questions to better understand his journey in the market and his vision for the future.

Interview with our Head of Trading: Jess Munternaar

What drew you to the cryptocurrency market and what caused you to stay?

Six years ago, I stumbled upon a video of a bank showing a man trading cryptocurrency. I was fascinated by his thoughts on cryptocurrency, which he argued could counterbalance the current monetary system. This thought resonated with me and cryptocurrency quickly became part of my daily routine. I was finishing school and started reading, learning and understanding more about the current traditional monetary system. The more I read, the more the idea and philosophy behind cryptocurrency started to be consolidated in me.

Over the last decades, we have seen on numerous occasions that fraudulent activities took place within the traditional and centralized system and at the end of the day, the general public pays the price. On top of this, rising inflation is a recurring problem of FIAT, money that isn’t backed by a commodity but by trust in the issuing party, which can be countered by cryptocurrency instead.

All these negative events have caused trust in the financial system to drop, but why trust when you can verify everything that’s happening? This is where blockchain has an advantage over the traditional system, everything is public and verified, and there is no trust needed as everything is mathematically proven on the blockchain.

Due to the ability of proving everything mathematically on the blockchain, trust can be eliminated

Cryptocurrency is for the people and we as a community of investors, traders and crypto enthusiasts can make a difference to improve the financial landscape and society as a whole. While I do not think that crypto will replace the entire financial system, it will act as a refuge and tool to democratize certain parts of the system. I believe in this vision and foresee a large role for cryptocurrency and want to be part of this history.

Which opportunities are you most excited about for the future of crypto?

When looking at this from an investment perspective, it’s quite difficult to pinpoint certain opportunities as we can't know what the future will bring. However, the cryptocurrency market tends to operate in a very fast-paced environment which causes rapid upward and downward movements. A nice example can be seen with gaming projects. When these projects were first introduced, hype quickly developed, resulting in a lot of capital and attention being attracted to these projects.

This resulted in exponential rallies but these eventually died out and then the underlying negative aspects of the projects came to light. Many of these didn’t have solid foundations and are instead driven by the current hype. These projects are quickly flushed out and this provides opportunities.

In this case, it is very important to focus on the vision and mission that the different projects embrace and to dive deeper into how they are aiming to achieve this with their solution. Projects that have a solid foundation and a thought-out business model will survive periods of downward-moving markets or when the sudden hype ends. In my opinion, opportunities mainly lie in categories that experienced a sudden hype, have gone down, and then filter the projects which have a solid foundation.

What opportunities can cryptocurrencies offer the world?

I find it beautiful how web3 can democratize being altruistic and thoughtful toward society. A great example of this can be seen in Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs). Take a foundation or an NGO, for instance, but switch the decisional power from a limited group of people to a community.

As a result, you will have an organization capable of helping society without incurring common risks such as a centralized decision maker using the capital for operational activities that aren’t aligned with the whole organization's interest. Additionally, DAOs allow for transparency, as every single transaction will be on-chain and the involvement of the members will decide the direction to be followed.

How did you experience the past year during the bear market and how did you act during that time?

Unfortunately, bear markets occur quite frequently and almost cyclically in financial markets. The cryptocurrency market is no exception. These periods can be quite harsh on market participants and as cryptocurrency is a relatively young and small market, prices tend to decrease at a faster pace.

However, bear markets can be seen as an opportunity to build. At Hodl, we decided to invest in new resources in the past year, to increase our in-house capabilities to better position ourselves in the market. These periods are the best to expand, since the hype for the industry is generally lower, thus enabling us to find new employees who truly believe in our vision. Trading-wise, bear markets create good moments to research new projects and acquire positions to gain momentum for an upward trend. In my opinion, at Hodl we implemented this strategy quite well in the past year, focusing on high-quality or fundamental projects. As the market slowly starts to reverse, we will start to review our positions to take profits.

Quote Jess Muntenaar

When I look back to the last bear market from a fundamental, long-only perspective I think we did a great job in outperforming Bitcoin with a relative percentage of 16.8%. Nonetheless, we always tend to improve our performance and strategies. We maintained full crypto exposure but still performed better than the benchmark.

From a trading perspective, we could have done better and that is why we are developing a strategy to allocate more to stablecoins and fiat during the bear market so that we can preserve the capital of our clients even better in comparison to the benchmark: Bitcoin.

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