After ending the self-proclaimed “And Others Capital” in the early days (generally, when the media in the crypto space re-reports financing news, they like to list only well-known VCs, while omitting unknown institutions and abbreviating them as “among other investors” ”), Zee Prime Capital stood out in the middle and late stages of the crypto market cycle of 2020-2022, and has now established a comprehensive investment in many fields such as a public chain, infrastructure, DeFi and game applications. territory.
The rise of Zee Prime is largely due to the establishment of the influence of one of their founding partners, Fiskantes. The mysterious figure, who calls himself a “risk communist,” takes to Twitter with cool words about the market and social phenomena, and throws out some pretty brilliant points. Based on a paradox of energy consumption that was proposed 200 years ago, he correctly predicted that the high-throughput blockchain would eventually be blocked, and predicted the outbreak of the NFT track, which became the key to the continued success of Zee Prime. The firm now manages multiple funds at the same time, including its flagship Zee Prime II fund, which just raised $35 million this year.
However, Fiskantes’ journey has not been smooth sailing. He was a table-obsessed poker player and an unsuccessful cheese merchant who was on the verge of bankruptcy due to a failed business, but has since rebuilt some assets through real estate investments and eventually made his mark in the cryptocurrency space. quite impressive results.
During the interview, we learned that Fiskantes’ considerable knowledge base is largely derived from his long-term reading and self-study habits, and Zee Prime is the owner of a very well-known Smart Money wallet monitored by Nansen, and To be successful in investing in the cryptocurrency market, you must learn to control your emotions.
The following is the interview transcript:
Nansen: How did you start investing? Have you received relevant training?
Fiskantes: I remember in college, I was trying to save as much money as possible to do summer jobs like security at events. I used to work in an IKEA warehouse. I am also reading some books on how to achieve financial freedom. Studying law became so boring for me that I started to feel like I needed to do something else.
I’ve found a challenge from some stockbrokers who, in order to promote their services in college, will give you a demo account with $100,000 in demo funds to trade, and the highest-performing participation in a given time period can win some prizes.
You know I’m from a very small town in a very small country so I didn’t know anything about the stock market before going to that event, I just bought some random stocks by luck and ended up with good results by accident knowing that At the time I didn’t actually have any in-depth knowledge of the market, but after I found out that I could make money, I made up my mind to save up and start investing in finance.
At the time I read a lot about investing, one of which was a PR from PokerStrategy.com on how to become a poker pro and make money online. I later learned that the article was written by one of my current business partners, Pavel, which of course was not the point of the story. After reading this article, I flew directly to Gibraltar to ask them for advice. Since then, I have embarked on the road of saving money by playing poker. After playing professional games for about five or six years, I have accumulated a large amount of money. Investing while saving money.
By around 2011 I started researching value investing, which is very different from most cryptocurrencies or stocks that have produced huge returns over the past 12 years. At the time the PokerStrategy.com team built another project called Tradimo for trading and investing. I wasn’t deeply involved, but I helped build the community early on.
Back then they were talking about the prospect of Facebook’s IPO and a similar bunch of growth tech stocks. I’m the one trying to push more value investing method content, but no one really cares about that. Everyone wanted to chase tech stocks, which in retrospect was a better strategy. After all, the returns from tech stocks since the bubble burst have far outstripped the returns on most value investments that Buffett espouses.
In Tradimo’s team, a guy from the Netherlands bought bitcoin and that was my first exposure to bitcoin. He said, “This is something new, we should pay attention to it, we should write something about it.” I wasn’t really a decision maker on the platform at the time, but I said it was stupid. Let’s focus on some serious stuff, shall we? So after my first encounter with Bitcoin, I ignored it for three years.
It wasn’t until later that I played some games at online poker rooms that accepted bitcoin that I slowly started getting into the world of cryptocurrencies. It was a very interesting transition from being a big skeptic who was pessimistic about everything until I met some hackers from these crypto-anarchist movements, and after talking to them, I arrived in 2016 The way this was judged around 2017 became very consciously oriented, and to me, the value of cryptocurrencies at that time was more about ideological change than making money.
Nansen: It sounds like you’re learning multiple skills in multiple different areas at the same time. Do you think this has helped you grow? How does it all come together?
Fiskantes: Actually, sometimes I feel anxious just because I know I don’t have enough time in my life to learn all the things I want to learn. In terms of learning, my preferences are very broad, but I really don’t specialize in one point because I don’t feel like I can really spend a lot of time learning just one thing.
Compare that to let’s say I have friends in the poker world who are all very deeply into just playing poker, almost like autistic people who know everything that can happen in poker, but other things in life Aspects may be like an “idiot” and they may even go to IKEA to buy a chair and get lost.
So for these people, when poker is no longer making money, they basically don’t have much opportunity to move to other areas other than cryptocurrencies. Many of them are now in the cryptocurrency space because it is also a very interesting game. I always want to do more. I always wanted to do business. I always want to get out of the house and try something more, maybe something more rewarding than playing poker.
After I gave up legal studies, I studied applied psychology for three years because I wanted to have a college degree. Plus, it’s been really fun for me to figure out how the human mind works, especially when I’m playing poker under pressure, a stock of knowledge in this area would help me.
So for me, it’s imperative to learn as much as possible about different things and find my own way in life. I think in order to have an edge, you have to be very knowledgeable. For example, if you invest in real estate, if you invest in some place that you are very familiar with, you know the price, you know how the space will develop further, of course it is very helpful, if you can’t do that, you can only invest in some super New, poorly planned frontiers.
I spent quite a bit of time trying to figure out Virtual Reality (VR), a technology that had a small bull run or hype cycle in 2016, but to me it wasn’t really Actionable stuff. It’s just a fun hobby, I tried a lot of things during that time, but after I got into cryptocurrencies, I put most of the money I invested in and the money I made from poker, pretty much all I had Bank deposits, invested in a company that may sound “weird” to you.
It’s a story I’ve probably never shared, but it’s super fun. At that time, there was a company in Eastern Europe, which basically focused on the cheese market, and would produce aged cheeses like Gouda, which would make a considerable profit by exporting them after a few months of aging. It seemed to me at the time that all you needed was some sort of infrastructure for safe storage, and then you just distributed it, sold it to supermarkets, wine shops, etc. and made a fortune.
The company’s numbers look pretty good on paper. I invested a lot of money in it. I know the founder, of course I probably don’t know him that well because it turns out he did a lot of shady things on the side, he had a huge debt that he never disclosed to anyone, and the business was basically bankrupt , I lost a lot because of it.
Around 2016, as I became more and more fond of cryptocurrencies, I was no longer just a poker player using bitcoin for chips, but also went to read the bitcoin white paper and did some cryptocurrency trading. Looking back, trying to invest in a brick-and-mortar or real-world business, really trying to do something in the food industry, is crazy to me now. This is hard to imagine, because these physical industries represented by food are difficult to penetrate.
That cheese company went out of business pretty quickly, and when I was starting to learn about cryptocurrencies, of course I didn’t think it was going to keep growing fast. However, orienting in this space is still far more convenient than doing things in the real world.
Nansen: What do you think you gained from investing in cheese companies and being scammed?
Fiskantes: The biggest lesson is of course risk management, and while I’ve had some lessons before, this one is more “thorough”. Another is that there is a huge discrepancy between ideas and numbers on paper and actual execution.
I’m pretty sure that if this business were run by someone else, maybe with more resources, a better distribution network, and a better organization, I think it would make a lot of money fairly quickly, even rivaling some of the tech industry. But, it’s all about the team and the execution, if I had more experience with people and talking about the business with the team that I’m trying to build, I could have found this out earlier, but I didn’t, it’s not the same as investing in stocks or playing poker very different.
Nansen: It looks like your early experience was the perfect course to get into cryptocurrency. You study psychology, you study gambling strategy and the psychological aspects of poker, you study the market. You entered the cryptocurrency space with the exact skills you wanted others to have.
Fiskantes: In a way, I think I’m much better prepared than some people I know who are lawyers or do something and then try to buy some cryptocurrency investments as a side business. However, cryptocurrency was still a tough beast to tame in its early days, and I made a lot of mistakes.
Of course, after the cheese business failure, I never made a critical mistake again. I’ve never used leverage or hurt my ass by investing too much in a project. But I’ve also been through the ICO craze, and I’ve been attracted to projects that are packaged very well, and I’ve invested in them, but in the end most of them fail.
Yes, I think I definitely have a better stock of knowledge to participate in the cryptocurrency market than most people, even from a mindset or psychology point of view. I really don’t mind volatility, I don’t mind losing money. For me, this is normal. I don’t spend too much time glued to the price charts, obsessing over where Bitcoin is going next. This is also an advantage.
Nansen: We talked about early failures and lessons learned from them. So are there any successful experiences worth sharing?
Fiskantes: My equity value investing strategy was fine, but it never really produced any excess returns, so I basically gave up and went into the passive ETF camp. So even if it did well, I wouldn’t say how successful my stock investment was. One investment that really made the right choice, though, was that I bought a condo in 2014.
Buying an apartment was a very big investment for me at the time, and I paid 50% of the price on the mortgage. For me, I’m thinking, well, this is probably the biggest investment of my life, so I need to really make it matter and focus on it. Now, that’s not a huge number compared to what I have now, but at the time, it was a huge amount of money.
In fact, I spent a lot of time using my advisors to do due diligence. I hired a consultant who was a building inspection agency to do private inspections for those who wanted to buy real estate. So he would pay him to accompany me when I went on a field trip, he would take his tools, measure the humidity of the walls, check the windows for good sound insulation and all that stuff, and give me advice, tell me what to do How much to negotiate. He was instrumental in the process, I looked at at least 30+ apartments, and then I bought one that seemed pretty scary at first.
The location of the apartment was fantastic, but the house was in very bad condition at the time. If you were someone who made decisions based on emotions or how things felt and looked, you wouldn’t buy it. And this guy told me that this is the best place we’ve seen so far. I know it looks horrible, but it will be very easy to rebuild and everything will be fine structurally. The location, community amenities and price of this apartment are great, you should buy it right away. So I did just that.
Then I started rebuilding and sold it five years later for a much larger increase than the average housing market return for that time. The whole refurbishment and rebuilding process made me very comfortable, and at that time I thought maybe I could do more real estate investing this way. But then cryptocurrency skyrocketed and I gave up on that idea, but it was probably my biggest non-crypto investment win, and it wasn’t just luck, it was actually a reward for doing a lot of upfront research and preparation.
Nansen: I found that in several of the stories above, you enjoyed finding an expert in the field to communicate directly. When you first got into poker, you went to Gibraltar. When buying a house, I found a consultant. Are you still doing this now? Do you invite experts in the field before making an investment in Zee Prime? How are you doing this due diligence now?
Fiskantes: Cryptocurrency is a new and fast-moving industry, and you don’t really have the kind of experts you have in other industries. However, last year we started focusing on games. Mainly because of some of our partners, especially Pavel, the guy I just mentioned, this poker company from Gibraltar, and he’s built a huge gaming company that includes not only poker games, but also some other games. He’s been a gaming expert for 11 years, so he understands games and how to make them fun and profitable more than the vast majority of VCs investing in cryptocurrency games today. It was a lucky coincidence that we managed to recruit him and use his connections to hire more professionals in the field.
To that end, we built our own small team and are now focusing on the game track. On top of that, we’re hiring those I wouldn’t say experts, but we’re hiring pretty smart, young and hungry brains from traditional finance who are now analyzing some of the DeFi opportunities. The team was more like a bunch of people from different backgrounds getting together in the early days, but now as we’ve grown we’re trying to methodically build dedicated teams that are directionally focused on each of the areas we’re investing in.
Maybe we’re lucky and we’re earning massive returns. In the future, we may expand our investments to other areas we believe are necessary to advance human civilization. So we might hire some outside experts and advisors to help us invest, maybe more passively, not as hands-on as we do with cryptocurrencies, but maybe in the next three to seven years, we’ll think about it… About I don’t want to reveal too much about this because it’s just our internal brainstorming. But we are seriously discussing this matter. With enough funding, we can help realize some dreams that now seem out of reach. Having said that, we are not experts on this and we never will be. So we may need some outside help and do more passive investing.
Nansen: That’s something you’ve mentioned several times in this interview, and I’ve seen you talk about it on Twitter as well. Investing with higher goals seems to be a motivator for you.
Fiskantes: Yeah, I mean, flipping coins is fun, and I do what I do, especially NFTs. It’s fun, but it’s never the main motivator. After a while, you realize that if you bought a bigger yacht, you wouldn’t be happier if you had a bigger number on your screen. I don’t know what other people are going to do with their money, but what you can do is either stop being so focused on your career and investing and start doing other things like focusing on your health, or at least some higher Goal, why you accumulated all these numbers and what to do with them in the future.
I’m kind of trying to do both. Both my partners and I feel that we need to give back, or identify areas that can really advance human progress, that may be underdeveloped, or that capital is misallocated in some way, or there is some inefficiency, we Will try to figure out how to think about them differently, how to move them to something that might be better for us all.
It sounds corny, but I kind of feel like, at the end of the day, it’s the purest form of motivation. You have to dream bigger than you already have and try to help something that might be beyond you.
And that’s exactly what cryptocurrencies are doing. It’s interesting that so many people become very wealthy early in life without having to wait 20 years or more after building a company. We don’t want to see the world destroyed in our old age. So I think it makes a lot more sense to switch from a purely ‘how much do we get our assets up’ mindset to, let’s say, let’s live in a greener, happier world.
Nansen: There are a lot of “prodigies” in the crypto world. Do you think there are some people who are naturally suited to trading? Is this something that can be learned? Is it a skill that can be developed through training?
Fiskantes: I think you need some knowledge to do that. Of course, a lot of this requires training. If people are not, trained from an early age, or are not used to taking a lot of risks, it will be difficult to build wealth quickly in the crypto space.
Especially for trading, where you’re literally glued to a screen and trying to make quick decisions on a lot of money very quickly in a noise-filled environment. You need to have a certain quality…I don’t know how to describe it, but I think you need to let something “die” deep within you.
Nansen: What exactly do you want to “die”?
Fiskantes: You need to have something dead inside of you, or in other words, you need to keep yourself calm about something. You know, some people get really excited at the thought of money. We have a game with poker players where we go to a bar, have some drinks, and we’ll offer the bartender a coin toss. If we lose, we pay triple the price. Or if we win, we pay nothing and he needs to pay with his own money.
For the bartender, although this is obviously a value-add strategy since you are risking a 1 to win a 50-50 chance of a 3, the truth is that the average bartender will not accept this condition.
Most people are very risk averse, and the concept of loss is more painful to them than the vision of winning more money. So I feel like you need to be someone who maybe doesn’t feel like it’s too risky, but at the same time, you shouldn’t be addicted to gambling. After all, there are indeed many people who are addicted to the dopamine boost that comes with the frantic rise and fall of numbers.
So to me the numbers are not that interesting. I remember playing poker, it was just a grind. I just sit there and play for a few hours a day and then happily do other things. And some people are so addicted they can’t leave the table at all.
Nansen: What is pain for you? In trading, there must be something that really “ripped” your heart out. What is pain?
Fiskantes: Let’s say I missed a successful project because I was sloppy, or I missed something because I was sloppy. I feel a little overwhelmed by these opportunities when everything is rising fast. And, yes, making sloppy mistakes is painful, even if I didn’t actually lose money for it.
But the other thing, this is more from an investment perspective, the other painful thing I see is that I empathize with builders who are under a lot of pressure. They’re the ones who are tasked with actually creating something important, interesting and innovative. And these people get so much hate and so much pressure. I feel like these people are working hard for it, very hard. And our idea is just to sell their tokens for profit, that’s all.
So I think it’s a bit of a pain when I see really good projects and really good, well-meaning teams that are struggling just because the token stuff is down because of timing and the community is putting When problems pile up on them, it can be frustrating. Every time I want to get out of the field or have a long vacation, it’s usually related to something like this.
We’d love to support founders or developers who, despite their quirky personalities or flawed designs, should probably be more proactive in addressing this. But I’ve always been partial to people who can make a sound in some innovative area, and sometimes even if something doesn’t work out, it’s getting a lot of attention and I feel like the world is moving forward.
Nansen: I found that there are very few Zee Prime wallets flagged by Nansen, is this for security reasons?
Fiskantes: Speaking of OPSEC, because I’m probably the most regularly exposed figure on our team, I personally don’t control any funds other than my own. Sometimes I may test some new projects and buy some NFTs. I am also a backup of some multi-signature wallets, but I never actively do any signing operations, and I am very careful about this.
Nansen: Let’s talk about NFTs, I looked through the on-chain interaction records of your personal account, and there was a huge peak of activity around October 21st, which is when you started playing NFT games. Is there anything in particular about this market that appeals to you?
Fiskantes personal account on-chain activity record
Fiskantes: To be honest, in our team, my judgment on NFT assets has always been independent. Almost everyone says it’s an inexplicable fashion trend, but I’ve always asked them to dig deeper and dig into this field to find opportunities.
When I was still playing poker, there was a proprietary trading platform in Eastern Europe that was recruiting traders who would do high-frequency trading on small exchanges like the Warsaw Stock Exchange and the Vienna Stock Exchange where stocks were illiquid. . You can manually implement what market maker algorithms do automatically now, and you can make a lot of money in a very fool-proof way. In the process I learned a few tricks about how to “play” the order book.
I was there for three weeks, I realized I didn’t want to go to the office every day in a shirt and tie, and I quit, but I learned a few tricks. So I actually found out last year that you can implement something similar in NFTs because these markets are so illiquid, they’re hard to automate. So I’m doing this, but I’m also really just trying to buy some lottery tickets and see if anything pops up.
The order book strategy is actually not complicated. By the way, you can also do this on Kraken in early 2017 or late 2016. Basically what you do is you see a big spread between buying and selling some assets.
Fiskantes has achieved a track record of revenue
I don’t do this very often, but I just figured out that it’s a viable strategy, and if it weren’t for the exorbitant Ethereum fees, it’s probably the best place to learn how to do this kind of transaction, but also because So it’s not for everyone.
Also, when someone accidentally lists a very rare NFT, you should buy it quickly. I do that too, and if I really focus on it, I think I can get pretty good returns on this activity. But at the time, we were already running our fund, and I wasn’t interested in just “hunting for leaks” all day, and that’s what I’ve been playing poker for five years, so it shouldn’t be something I’ve been doing for the rest of my life.
Now, I feel that the NFT market is saturated. The market is full of knockoffs, not as exciting as when I used to play. Now I no longer recommend that you buy NFTs directly, but should study more NFT game applications or NFT infrastructure projects.
Nansen: In the cryptocurrency market, people often say that powerful market players like you are behind the scenes in controlling the movement of the entire industry. What do you think of this view?
Fiskantes: I’m not one of the so-called industry insiders that would show up in a lot of private groups. If there were any chat groups that were so important that they would drive the market, I would definitely not join. But the truth is that behind-the-scenes deals and insider information are inevitable. I don’t think it’s different from other industries, it’s just that the crypto market is so new and growing fast that those little information asymmetries are much more valuable in this market.
Now I’m a little tired of it, and I’m not as starry and innocent as I was four or five years ago. At the time I was more inclined to believe that all cryptocurrencies were about equalizing opportunity, making everything more decentralized and more democratic.
In some ways, though, it’s still moving in that direction. Everyone, anywhere in the world can be connected intelligently, which is an equal opportunity for everyone. Then, the common ground is just pure art of figuring out how to play the DeFi/MEV game better than anyone else without any background. And if the game is global, it can be anywhere. You just need your computer, and suddenly you’re in it. You can even make ten figures from your mom’s basement in Pakistan.
As part of the interview, Fiskantes shared some of Zee Primes’ most successful investments, including early bets on Synthetix and Solana, and a $1 buy into Luna. Fiskantes also revealed that Zee Prime is growing rapidly, with multiple other entities operating under the same roof. This includes Sigil, a DeFi-focused liquidity staking tool, and a new addition to the family: Devmons.gg.
Devmons may be a familiar name to active NFT traders, the ENS address name for a very active GameFi and NFT player.
Devmons.eth has achieved a record of revenue
Devmons has a Parallel card collection of over 1600 cards and has been a hit with hype in series like Goblintown and Forgotten Runes Wizards Cult.
Their current portfolio is dominated by Parallel, but also holds a large number of Forgotten Runes Wizards Cult spinoffs, Loot and Pudgy Penguins.
Devmons.eth NFT Portfolio
In recent months, the address has been focusing on increasing the number of Loot holdings and has tried many cutting-edge game projects. In addition, Devmons is also an “airdrop professional” and has successfully harvested a large number of tokens in multiple token airdrops. They have received more than 20 NFTs from the Forgotten Runes Warriors Guild project, worth more than 5.5 Ethereum. .
Posted by:CoinYuppie，Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/interview-with-the-founding-partner-of-zee-prime-capital-demystifying-the-number-one-player-in-the-crypto-world/
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