Demystifying Crypto and Blockchain with Ashley WrightApr 20, 2022
Join me in this week's conversation with my friend Ashley Wright, an entrepreneur, motivational speaker, and marketing strategist.
Q. How did you get into the crypto space?
I got started in cryptocurrency back in 2016. I heard about it from my parents who are entrepreneurs and back then, I thought they were crazy to talk about investing in digital currency. Somewhere along the way though, I decided to give it a go and I invested $300 then totally forgot about it for months. One day I remembered to check on it, so I opened my crypto wallet and saw that it had grown to almost $900. I didn’t know what in the world I did, but I knew I needed to do it again.
I decided to become a student of the crypto space and attended conferences and I got a couple of mentors and I learned how to make money in the space. After that, I created Crypto academy and began a movement of women in crypto to get more women in the space as well.
Q. What did you think you would be doing with your life? What’s the passion behind your vision to do more than just invest in the crypto space?
Before this, I had no interest in tech or finance. Believe it or not, I really wanted to be a fashion designer and I went to school for Human Resources (HR). I definitely wasn’t on this path before, but I always knew I was meant to do more in life and I knew that my purpose was to help people. I wasn’t sure of the capacity or what that would look like, but I knew I loved helping and working with people. So when I really got into crypto currency and got to the point where a lot pf people were asking me for help on how to get in, how to start investing, which platforms to use, I had a lightbulb moment where I said, ‘You know what? I could turn this into a business’. In doing that, I realized that not only am I helping people with their crypto currency and their journey, but I’m also helping them with their mindset around creating wealth. Letting them know that they deserve wealth and that it’s ok to pursue it.
Q. So you ended up in the crypto space, what is the work that you’re doing now? What are the biggest pieces to move this work forward for you?
One of the biggest pieces is helping other women get into the space. One of my good friends and business partners and I created Crypto babes, which is literally a community for women that are in the crypto space and are excited to connect with other women, resources, be educated as well as be empowered. We just has our very first in-person event in Miami last week and it was so amazing! We had about 300 people come out and it just shows the need for women in tech and crypto.
The second biggest piece is the youth! A lot of youth and community organizations are reaching out to get their youth more engaged and knowledgeable about crypto. They’re so knowledgeable and excited about it! I did a high school workshop about two weeks ago and they’ve all been introduced to it, even if they don’t fully understand what it is yet.
Q. Going to the very basics, what is cryptocurrency and why is it relevant?
Cryptocurrency is a digital currency. When you think about the way we do banking today, the majority of our banking is online and available via an app. It’s basically the same concept, but the main difference is that cryptocurrency isn’t tangible. The other piece is decentralization where there aren’t as many regulations and rules when it comes to crypto currency. It almost gives you the opportunity to be your own bank and you get to decide where you want to keep and spend your funds. The normal bank decides how much you can spend per week and has rules around where and who you can send it to. The benefit of Crypto is that as long as someone has access to the internet, they can have access to financial services.
Now instead of it being one organization that dominates the financial sector, those opportunities and that power is available to everybody. That’s what crypto is really about.
Q. What does adoption look like for that space and how do we know that this is something that’s going to be viable long term?
You said something that is so key: Value is really dictated by the people. When we think about Bitcoin and what’s unique about it, is the fact that there’s a limited supply. When we think about the U.S. and Canadian dollar, they have the ability to print more and more money, which devalues our dollar. Now there are other countries that see the value of crypto currency and are accepting Bitcoin and there are businesses that accept Bitcoin as payment as well. The fact that there’s a limited supply of 21 million, that value continues to grow as we see more and more demand for Bitcoin as the supply goes down.
- Getting started in this space, where and how does someone get started?
The first thing I’m doing with someone is having them define their crypto strategy, which is basically helping them understand the type of investor they are. How are they going to get into the market? How are they going to grow their investments? And how are they going to exit them? A lot of people focus on putting their money in, but they don’t even think about taking money out. When the market drops significantly, you need to have a game plan. You should write down how much you can actually invest, what your crypto or financial goals are. You should map out what your timeline is, and how much risk you want to take.
In terms of monetizing the space, I like to break it down into three income streams:
- Investing in cryptocurrency: buying and holding, which is more of a long term investment. (This is the best strategy for those just starting out)
- Trading cryptocurrency: buying and selling continually on a short term basis.
- Earning cryptocurrency or getting paid in crypto.
When you’re buying crypto, you want to make sure you’re using the right wallets and make sure it’s secured properly. Once you’ve created a nice portfolio, then you can get started looking into NFTs and other crypto.
Q. What are some of the major do’s and don'ts of getting started?
I have a four step system, the BSDG system:
B stands for Buy, which means get your hands on some crypto. This is where you’ll turn to platforms like Binance, Coinbase, Crypto.com. Go on the platform/site and create a profile so you can make your first purchase. A lot of times you’re able to use your credit card or make direct bank transfers.
Stay Away from buying on platforms like Robinhood, where they allow you to buy the currency, but you don’t actually own them.
S stands for Secure. Yes you want to buy crypto from these platforms, but you don’t want to leave it there. Sometimes, these platforms shut down or disappear and if you haven’t moved it to a secure decentralized wallet, your funds are going to be lost along with theirs. By moving these funds to the decentralized wallet, you are now your own bank and it is your job to keep your money safe because it is presently not insured or backed by anything tangible, etc.
D is for Diversify. There are a lot of different categories of cryptocurrency at different price points and risk levels. You may want to start focusing on the areas that you’re passionate about and look at the cryptocurrencies that are in that space. For example, I’m really into sports and there are a lot of cryptocurrencies in the sports space. The same thing goes for NFTs, you can look into the areas that you’re interested in versus just going to the most popular ones.
I always tell my students that they want to have some bitcoin and some Ethereum. Those are the top two crypto currencies.
G is for Grow. Grow your investment! Make a concise plan to not only invest once, but to invest on an ongoing basis and use different strategies to enhance your investments as a whole.
What does blockchain mean at its core and why is it shaping the way things are being done moving forward?
To keep blockchain as simple as possible, I like to think of the technology as a chain of blocks that we think about individually. They all keep our transactions almost like a public ledger. Everything that’s happening now is secure and valid information. One of the reasons people love to incorporate blockchain technology is because it is the technology that is used for cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrency is merely one application of blockchain use and these transactions are permanent. So when you send funds or crypto, it’s secure, permanent and the information can’t be altered.
Blockchain can be used in so many other ways, like the real estate space. It’s the concept of taking physical assets and turning them into digital assets and owning them in both spaces. And when you own a digit asset, you don’t need to own the whole thing, you can divide it up and have fractional ownership. This is how people get into real estate for less than $100, because of blockchain technology.
Q. NFTs are all the rage right now, so break that down for us, would you?
NFTs means Non fungible tokens. It is a digital asset that is unique. So let’s say there’s two items, like water bottles. Even though they may look identical, they’re still different. One was created first and so on and so forth, but they all have their own unique value. The most popular use right now is in the art space; digital collectibles. I mentioned sports earlier, and the NBA has their own now that are going for millions of dollars.
Q. What are your thoughts on the ways that Crypto, blockchain, and NFTs can and probably will shape the future of technology?
People are already starting to realize that NFTs are bigger than just pictures. It’s bigger than just investing and it’s changing the game. That’s why I say blockchain is bigger than crypto. It’s game changing and creating a real impact on things.
Q. What do you see as the next wave in this industry?
I’ve noticed that with crypto, there’s always new trends happening. I think we’re gonna continue to see more development in the NFT space as people start to learn about the different applications and as companies and organizations find the pieces to create those projects and ideas that incorporate NFTs. I think we’re also going to see a rise in the decentralized finance space. A lot of people are losing faith in their local currency and they’re looking for other ways to hedge against inflation.
Cryptocurrency allows people to get loans in ways that standard banks don’t. When we look at Bitcoin, it’s healthy to see those dips and drops because it means people are cashing out and taking advantage of their money. The best way to sustain it’s value is for there to be those ups and downs in the market.
Q. What in the world is the Metaverse space? Why is it? What are some of the potential opportunities in that space?
It’s really like a digital reality, which isn’t exactly a new concept, but now we’re tying it with that sense of ownership. We now have a space where organizations can create their own avatar, go into these digital spaces and still prove ownership of different items. You’re now able to take these NFTs that you’re purchasing or that you already own and bring them into this digital space and interact with them and still prove that you own them.
From a business perspective, there are already companies that are advertising in the metaverse and holding events in the metaverse. It’s basically being able to interact in a totally different way; a digital way. It’s definitely different, but it’s also the future, so if you can get behind it, you’re ahead of the curve already.
Q. A lot of people aren’t open to getting behind the metaverse and fully immersing themselves, but I believe we already have a digital version (avatar) of ourselves that we present to the world in exchange for some type of value. What do you think?
I think you broke it down perfectly! All we’re really doing is changing the form of what our digital identity looks like. We’re making it to be more interactive and a little bit more engaging. It’s the same concept of what we’ve been doing, but we’re now changing the overall form and it may look a bit different from what we expected.
Q. Tell us about your book.
So I have quite a bit going on. The most popular course is the Crypto Strategy Academy. It’s a group coaching program that teaches individuals how to start investing, trading, and earning crypto in just 7 weeks. I also recently launched the Crypto Strategy Academy for youth. I created both a hardcopy and ebook version for them as well. I do all this in live sessions because it’s important to interact and get that live feedback and answer their questions on the spot.
Q. What would you say is the undercurrent trend? What would be the practical first step after a call with you?
The first step would be to get educated. There are far too many people aimlessly investing hoping that something good will happen with their money. With success and wealth, you have to be intentional and organized with your thoughts and strategies.
The second would be investing and actually buying crypto. Diversify and be strategic in terms of the type of investor that you are. Crypto is going to continue to grow, so you want to get in as soon as possible and if you have kids, help get them set up too.
Q. How do people get in touch with you?
I’m literally everywhere. You can reach me on Instagram, Twitter, Clubhouse, and YouTube @thewrightsuccess and Www.thewrightsuccess.com
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