Crypto has gone mainstream.
Once an esoteric investment held by a select group of people on the internet, it is now something that many investors hold in their portfolios. The global cryptocurrency market size was estimated at $1.7 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach $32.4 billion by 2027 according to some experts estimates. crypto startups behaved $9.2 billion across 461 stock transactions in the first quarter, up 155% year over year.
Part of this movement towards crypto has been fueled by the involvement of young people in space. Almost a quarter of GenZ survey takers said they hold crypto, compared to 6% of baby boomers.
To learn more about the interest of younger generations, I reached out to a few GenZ investors who are part of the young investor group I founded, the Network for young investorsas well as will hurrythe founder of the GenZ crypto investment app stack.
Given the recent decline in crypto valuesI had to ask Rush for his opinion on current market conditions.
“If you believe that digital assets are the future of financial technology, know that this is another opportunity to break free from the bad and focus on the good,” he said. “A lot of the most talented people I know have migrated to Web3, so we have some of the brightest minds working on the next upswing.”
Why are young people getting involved in crypto?
A common trend I heard was that they saw the price of the cryptocurrency skyrocket and wanted a share of the profits.
Rush got involved in 2014 after seeing Bitcoin’s price making big moves and he started experimenting with different brokers.
Most of the Young Investors Network GenZ members who have been involved in this space have been watching a lot of content about crypto on TikTok during the COVID-19 lockdowns, and many of them first engaged with the Dogecoin craze and then are transitioned to other more reputable coins.
A poll by GOBankingRates found that more than 34% of GenZ learn about personal finance via TikTok and Youtube. This speaks to the importance of social media in the investment world. Everyone I spoke to mentioned how important platforms like TikTok and Reddit were to their overall understanding of crypto and investing.
What tips do young people have for their peers?
Working with many young investors, I have found that too many young people make investment decisions without knowing what they are getting into and without doing the right research.
The GenZers I spoke to spoke about the importance of first understanding what you are investing in and mentioned some of their favorite YouTubers and crypto sites, including crypto banter and Coinpedia.
Rush approached it from a different perspective. Although you should do some research before making any investment, if you just put some money into the crypto markets, over 60% of investors will do nothing, he said.
He also explained the importance of not just following the crowd, using the Wall Street bets fiasco as an analogy. Although some people made money, he said, the vast majority of people got in at the top and lost big. Those were the people you don’t hear from, he said.
What about careers in crypto?
In terms of careers, crypto is becoming a path that many young people want to get involved in and finding a job in crypto was one of the most requested event topics on the Young Investors Network.
Both young people I spoke to said they are considering a career in the industry. They initially wanted to work as an investment banker, but after seeing the amount of money and popularity of crypto, they started considering it as a possible career.
They were also interested in building in this space after seeing how well many people had done in a short amount of time after creating their own projects and thought it might be a good place to experiment. Actually seen a jump of 118% of job openings in the crypto industry in 2021 compared to 2020.
Rush said something I definitely saw through my work with YIN: young people are very entrepreneurial now and a lot of them have crypto on their minds. He believes that as young people grow into entrepreneurs, more and more young people will find themselves in the crypto space.
How to break into the crypto space?
Rush’s number one piece of advice is to engage with the crypto content out there. Whether it’s watching ads (don’t skip them, he said, no matter how many times you want to watch the funny cat video) or scouting for interesting new brokers or projects, it’s important to understand what’s out there, he said. Rush said it’s important to get career advice from reputable sources and talk to people who’ve done what you want to do — not social media stars who claim to know the next big thing.