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Introducing the Hodl Team: Maurice Mureau

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Over the past four 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 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 eighth individual in this series is our chief executive officer (CEO): Maurice Mureau

Before entering the digital assets industry, Maurice built a robust career in traditional finance, working as an asset, wealth, and fund manager at notable firms such as Merit Capital, Keijser Capital, and AFS Capital Management. He also operated independently, focusing on stocks, bonds, fund management, and investment committee work.

While attending a FinTech course at Oxford Business School, Maurice was introduced to cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. Fascinated by this emerging field, he decided it was the perfect time to transition into the rapidly growing digital assets space. This pivotal decision led him to co-found Hodl and establish our investment funds.

Interview with our CEO, Maurice Mureau

What attracted you to the digital assets industry and what did you find the most fascinating?

My journey into the digital assets industry began with a FinTech course at Oxford Business School. The course highlighted the increasing role of technology in finance, prompting me to delve deeper into this area. Although I was already aware of blockchain and cryptocurrency, the course provided me with a profound understanding of why these technologies are revolutionary.

As I explored further, I recognized the vast opportunities within the data and internet space, where a new financial system was emerging. It felt like the perfect moment to transition into this rapidly evolving field. The parallels with the internet’s rise during the dot-com era were striking, presenting an unmissable opportunity to help integrate traditional financial values into this new techno-financial system.

What I find most fascinating about the digital assets industry is its decentralized nature. It operates globally, free from governmental control, creating a truly inclusive system. Whether you are a large corporation or an individual, everyone stands to benefit from digital assets. This democratization of finance is what makes the industry so compelling to me.

As you have been active in both industries, how would you compare the two and was the switch difficult?

When comparing the two sectors, there are many similarities, except that one is technology-driven while the other is less so. Both operate in comparable ways, but decentralized finance (DeFi) introduces a significant change. Everything available in traditional finance is, or will be, available in DeFi. The crucial difference lies in DeFi’s peer-to-peer nature, which eliminates middlemen, such as banks or centralized exchanges. This decentralization results in financial transactions that are faster, cheaper, and accessible to a broader audience.

Maurice Mureau states that Traditional Finance and digital assets can co exist

From a personal perspective, the biggest challenge was transitioning from being an employee to becoming an employer. Suddenly, I had to manage responsibilities and tasks that I was previously aware of but did not have to handle directly. From a business standpoint, a major adjustment was valuing cryptocurrencies compared to traditional assets like companies, commodities, or real estate. Traditional assets have well-established methods of price comparison, whereas in digital assets, value often depends on usage, community adoption, and other less tangible factors. Additionally, this type of research, such as on-chain analysis, requires a significant amount of time and is a specialty that few possess.

Despite the differences in valuation methods, traditional models can still be applied to digital assets in areas like fund management. Ultimately, the goal is to identify assets with long-term growth potential while mitigating risks. We have successfully implemented these models in our funds, which has proven to be very beneficial.

What are the biggest challenges digital assets must overcome before they become mainstream?

The biggest challenges facing digital assets are political and regulatory. Politically, many politicians still perceive digital assets as a threat to the traditional financial system. While there is some truth to this, I believe both systems can coexist harmoniously. This political challenge is closely tied to regulatory challenges.

For the industry to advance, it’s clear that we need more regulations to ensure the space is safer and more secure for investors. Although there have been improvements, the presence of too many “cowboys” in the industry remains a problem. These individuals often draw the most attention from traditional media, overshadowing the many positive developments within the sector. Overcoming these challenges is crucial for digital assets to become mainstream.

Maurice Mureau quotes on the maturity of the digital assets market

Nevertheless, we are pleased to see that, slowly but surely, politicians and regulators are beginning to accept that this asset class is here to stay. For example, in Europe, we will finally see the implementation of the Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) regulation, providing players like us with the much-needed clarity to move forward. However, the regulatory process remains slow, and it will take time for mainstream adoption to occur and for asset managers and banks to offer these products themselves. Fortunately, we are also witnessing a political shift in the United States, where for the first time, cryptocurrency has become a topic in the presidential election. This recognition means that digital assets are now considered a legitimate asset class that cannot be ignored.

As digital assets are slowly integrated into the traditional financial system, will we experience similar boom and bust cycles as in the past, or will it stabilize?

I believe we will continue to experience boom and bust cycles, as every asset class goes through these phases. The magnitude of these cycles will depend on the global economic environment and timing, ranging from severe boom-bust scenarios to minor fluctuations. These cycles are inevitable because human emotions and behaviors, which drive them, have remained unchanged over the centuries. The increasing role of machines in trading could potentially stabilize or amplify these cycles, as automated trading can create strong trends in either direction. Ultimately, the cycles in digital assets will likely mirror those in traditional assets, influenced by global economic factors.

However, when observing Bitcoin’s volatility, we can see a decreasing trend. This decrease is attributed to more investors holding the asset long-term. Investors have started to view the asset differently, indicating its maturation. Furthermore, in the past, digital asset investors rarely considered economic data such as the Consumer Price Index when making investment decisions. Now, we observe that these assets are impacted by such data, indicating that more professional investors are entering the market. While we will continue to witness cycles, the highly speculative ones of the past are becoming less likely, as a more fundamental approach to these assets is taking hold.

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