Q&A: Markus Thielen, head of research and strategy, Asia’s largest digital asset service provider Matrixport

May 10, 2023

By Tsering Namgyal

Markus Thielen is head of research and strategy at Matrixport which is one of the world’s largest and most trusted digital assets ecosystem providing one-stop crypto financial services. With USD4B in actively managed digital assets, Matrixport achieved pre-money unicorn valuation in 2021 and was named by CB Insights as the 50 most promising blockchain companies in the world in 2022. Prior to Matrixport, Thielen was the chief investment officer of digital asset management at IDEG Asset Management. NFTMetta editor Tsering Namgyal spoke to him about his role, the future of cryptocurrency and most importantly about his new book on the global crypto industry – Crypto Titans: How trillions were made and billions were lost in the crypto markets.

Q. Please tell us briefly about Matrixport and your role as their strategist?

A: Matrixport is an all-in-one financial solutions platform for digital assets. Industry veterans started the firm and Matrixport serves around 500 institutional clients. As a strategist, I monitor the markets and provide investment advice and insights through research reports about industry trends and investment opportunities.

Q. Could you tell us how you transitioned from traditional asset management to crypto industry and why you made the jump and challenges you faced?

A: We all must evolve and adapt to the changing environment. While I have been personally involved in crypto for many years, I started trading crypto as part of a macro portfolio while I worked in proprietary trading for a bank. From there, I became the Chief Investment Officer for a crypto conglomerate and then moved on to research. My crypto investment style utilizes the skill set from my previous role and successfully deploys it in this crypto space. Investments are all driven by narratives, valuations and momentum – there is no difference between crypto or tradeFi.

Q. Your book Crypto Titans: How trillions were made and billions were lost in the crypto markets is set to be released soon? Can you share us the gist of this book and what does it include?

A: The book explains, how the crypto industry started and evolved, and how everything in crypto is ultimately connected. It shows the players behind the $3 trillion industry (at its peak) and how billions of dollars were lost. The book also explains how the four crypto bull markets of 2011, 2013, 2017, and 2021 unfolded, the drivers behind them, and what caused prices to correct violently during bear markets. I also write about the players involved, and how they have made money-while others have lost large sums.

Q: What are the challenges and opportunities for the crypto industry?

A: Crypto is still struggling with adoption levels and real use cases. Similarly, as with every industry, lower costs could drive adoption and help business models to become viable. Ten years ago, Netflix was a relatively small company as streaming costs were high and slow but once that was fixed, streaming become part of our daily lives. The Ethereum upgrades are trying to solve this with a major cost reduction upgrade likely coming end of this year.

Q: Finally, you write quite extensively on crypto industry in your briefings. Can you share your predictions on the future of Bitcoin and where it is headed?

A: A year ago, I was cautious for two reasons: the mid-cycle Bitcoin halving slowdown which predicted that prices would bottom 15 months before the next halving (April 2024) and the sharp decline in revenues as onchain activity dramatically slowed down after the 2021 NFT hype. Since December 2022, I have been very constructive as the macro tailwind of lower inflation is lifting risk assets. The banking crisis in the U.S. is driving up gold prices to new all-time highs and Bitcoin also benefits from this flight to safety. In 5 out of the last six times when Bitcoin was up in January, prices continued to rally until year-end. In fact, Bitcoin was up +100% on average during the last two years when January was positive, which projects a year-end target of 45,000.

About the author

Tsering Namgyal is the chief content officer of NFTMetta.com.

Translate Now