- Robert Materazzi heads up Lukka, a crypto data and software specialist.
- He said he is closely watching 7 altcoins right now, including ether, solana, and cardano’s ada token.
- Materazzi shared the crypto investing tips he gave his parents and relatives.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Robert Materazzi remembers the moment last fall when he realized traditional investors were starting to put their money into cryptocurrencies.
“I always joke around that when my mom bought crypto I knew it had hit the mainstream,” he told Insider. “Now, both my parents and all my relatives own it.”
Materazzi is the chief executive of Lukka, a data and software provider that works with over 200 crypto funds, as well as S&P Dow Jones, Deloitte, and Third Point. He joined in 2018 from the accountancy firm PwC.
“It was probably a little bit uncomfortable at first, but I mean that in a good way,” Materazzi said, when asked about his move from a traditional financial institution to a start-up. “There’s so much uncertainty, but it’s very rewarding to be part of an organization that’s growing as rapidly as Lukka is.”
Lukka helps traditional financiers and native firms to accurately price and report their crypto holdings. That means they support over 9,000 crypto assets – including a significant number of surging altcoins.
Materazzi said altcoins – digital currencies that aren’t bitcoin – could benefit from growing institutional investment in crypto, and shrugged off concerns about the early-summer price dip.
“I think the dip was really based on social media,” he said. “There’s a huge learning curve to get into crypto, and investors are making decisions in very untraditional ways.”
“We’re now seeing a correction back up to where prices were moving to anyway,” he added.
Like many in the crypto world, Materazzi is bullish on ether. He said ethereum’s coin would benefit from recent improvement protocols, as prices climb above $3,000 for the second time.
“18 months ago, ether was $128, now it’s at $3,000,” he said. “Compared to traditional markets, those long-term numbers speak for themselves.”
Materazzi pointed to solana and cardano’s ada token as two other altcoins that have enjoyed recent success. Both have soared over the past month, with solana moving from $38 to an all-time high of $116, and ada recently topping $3 for the first time.
He said he also keeps an eye on phantom, chainlink, and graphQL, due to these platform-based coins’ similarities with ether and their role in DeFi.
“The coins that support decentralized finance are the ones I’m watching the most,” he said. “Phantom, chainlink, and graphQL all have more interesting use cases than just storing value.”
Materazzi is also interested in stablecoins, particularly USD Coin. A stablecoin is a cryptocurrency that uses a reserve asset to offer greater price stability. For example, USD Coin is pegged to the dollar.
“USD Coin really strikes me as a company that’s doing something responsibly even when there’s a lack of guidance and rules in some areas,” Materazzi said. “That’s helping to legitimize a stablecoin that will drive a ton of momentum amongst both individual and institutional investors.”
“Stablecoins aren’t as exciting, but the yields people get off them are pretty attractive.”
Materazzi also passed on the 3 tips he gave his parents and relatives when they were first thinking about investing in crypto.
“The first thing I’d tell them to do is buy a password manager and get familiar with using it,” he said. “It’s horrible when any new investor underestimates the technical processes around cryptography – a chain is only as strong as its weakest link.”
With that equipment purchased, Materazzi said retail investors should then look to familiarize themselves with crypto exchanges.
“Sign up for one of the more straightforward exchanges like Kraken, it’s very easy to sign up,” he said. “Play around with an amount that you’re OK losing, so you can experience some of the decentralized exchanges.”
Lastly, Materazzi said investors need to figure out for themselves what level of risk they are comfortable with.
“I tell my parents not to go crazy, buy some safe assets with the majority of their portfolio and just hold them,” he said. “This is definitely a long strategy.”
“With an amount you’re willing to lose, you can go dabble with some of the other coins – but count on potentially losing that money,” he added.