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Introducing the Hodl Team: Rémond Timmerman

Hodl Team
Hodl Team
6 May 2024

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 seventh individual in this series is our Head of Investor Relations: Rémond Timmerman

Before entering the digital asset space, Rémond worked in the traditional finance industry at Dutch banks ING and ABN-AMRO. At these institutions, Rémond worked as a trader and portfolio manager for affluent clients. Furthermore, at SME exchange NPEX he has aided in the facilitation of stock and bond issuances and listings and helped in setting up the investor relations desk.

After investing in cryptocurrencies for several years, Rémond entered the industry full-time by joining Dutch crypto-broker BTC Direct as a senior business developer. After two years of forging partnerships with exchanges and wallet providers, Rémond decided to join Hodl as Head of Investor Relations.

Interview with our Head of Investor Relations, Rémond Timmerman

Before you joined Hodl you worked in traditional finance, what brought you to the digital assets industry and what is the most exciting and the biggest difference?

The main reason that drew me into the digital assets market is that I like to keep developing myself, something I missed in traditional finance. At that time, I had invested and explored cryptocurrencies for a while, it felt like an exciting new world full of opportunities. The sheer pace of innovation and changing dynamics intrigued me, it was for me the logical move to make!

When comparing the two industries, I believe that the biggest difference is the culture of innovation, where developers collaborate using open-source code, creating an environment that thrives on continuous development. Conversely, TradFi has a noticeable lack of innovation. For example, outdated computer systems are still being used and regulatory constraints make innovation incredibly difficult. While I acknowledge the importance of regulations, they often stifle innovation, creating a gap between the two industries.

Another big difference is the overall efficiency of the industry. In crypto, users enjoy 24/7 access to their funds, almost instant finality and all at a fraction of the cost. Conversely, a dollar payment from the Netherlands to the Middle East may take over 2-3 business days, with the possible risk of a transaction being rejected. The features of digital assets such as speed, accessibility and cost-effectiveness just outshine conventional systems.

The industry has come a long way, have you noticed a shift in sentiment among investors and are digital assets becoming a part of a modern portfolio?

Oh, there is a significant shift underway. Five years ago, several of my colleagues were incredibly concerned about people investing in digital assets. They were convinced it was a speculative bubble and firmly believed that the market would drop to zero, if not now then later. I believe this sentiment was caused by the lack of understanding of the technology. Back then, people merely heard about the rising prices, and only a few understood its potential.

Quote Rémond Timmerman about Bitcoin adoption through ETFs

During the past five years, we witnessed various institutional custodians such as the Bank of New York Mellon enter the market and other institutions slowly dipping their toes. However, the biggest shift was in 2023 when we witnessed the biggest asset managers applying for a Bitcoin spot exchange-traded fund (ETF) and with the approval and successful adoption, this shift will gain more traction. The smart investors are starting to understand that digital assets are here to stay, which is also what the IMF stated in their latest digital money conference.

If we look at the conventional portfolio structure, where diversification of assets with low/negative correlation is crucial, digital assets provide significant advantages. Integrating digital assets into the traditional portfolio of equities and bonds enhances the risk/reward ratio of the overall investment portfolio. This is attributed to their low correlations with stocks and bonds, coupled with the remarkable risk/reward ratio that digital assets offer.

In your opinion, what should investors focus on when investing in digital assets and what are common mistakes made?

Well, just as with other asset classes, investing in digital assets is complex. For a beginner, it is hard to understand the opportunities, risks and inner workings of the asset class. Furthermore, finding reliable information sources and having a good strategy and selection process is crucial. While digital assets may present the opportunity of a lifetime, many risks are involved.

In investing, it is crucial to understand the risk/reward profile of your investments and to mitigate as many risks as possible. Most mistakes are made because of a lack of time for research, a lack of understanding of the basics of investing, little understanding of blockchains and risks involved in investing in digital assets, and getting information from unreliable sources. That translates into timing the market wrong and letting emotions get the upper hand.

With wrong timing, I mean that most people get confident after seeing prices rise for a long time and they buy close to the top. This confidence disappears quickly when prices move in the other direction, causing investors to panic sell. This also happens in traditional markets but crypto fluctuates more heavily, most people are not used to this kind of volatility. So the lesson here is that you need to be aware of and control your emotions and work counterintuitively.

Quote Remond Timmerman about investing in digital assets

What are your expectations as the two industries slowly intertwine?

As I said before, digital assets are becoming mainstream and I strongly believe that these investments will become a crucial element in achieving a well-rounded and diversified portfolio. Furthermore, I think that portfolio managers that integrate digital assets will start outperforming other portfolio managers.

The strongest intertwining will occur when tokenization gets more momentum. We already have witnessed institutions such as BlackRock, Société Générale, JPMorgan, and ABN AMRO tokenizing traditional assets like bonds and it's just a matter of time before all traditional institutions start tokenizing traditional securities and investments. This has various advantages such as increased transparency, reduced operation costs, and increased liquidity. For example, illiquid assets such as real estate will become more liquid as investors/traders can start investing smaller portions of the asset, making it easier to enter or exit investments.

Additionally, the payments industry is on the verge of a revolutionary change. Visa, for instance, is currently exploring settling payments through stablecoins over the Ethereum and Solana blockchains. This shift is noteworthy as it allows seamless integration, with customers often unaware they are leveraging blockchain technology. This integration of blockchain technology is a strategic approach to drive adoption, making it effortlessly accessible for customers.

As we witness these significant shifts, it's clear that we are experiencing a once-in-a-lifetime change and that it's simply just the beginning. Over time, the complexities of blockchain technology will be solved, eventually reaching a point where using blockchains becomes as simple as sending an email.

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