- NFX’s Morgan Beller has spent years thinking about how to bring newbies to the crypto market.
- She says startups such as Gelt and Rocket Dollar, and even Visa, are lowering the barrier to entry.
- This article is part of “Master your crypto,“a series of Insiders helping investors improve their cryptocurrency skills and knowledge.
The downturn sent the price of cryptocurrencies plummeting, wiping over $2 trillion from the market in just eight months. But for people new to crypto, the crash gives them a window into the market. They see a chance to buy digital assets when prices are low, anticipating that the long-term value of their investments will increase.
Morgan Beller, an avid crypto investor and general partner at venture capital firm NFX, has spent years thinking about how to make the crypto market a warm and welcoming place for newbies.
Before getting into startup investing, Beller was the driving force behind Facebook’s push into cryptocurrency. She was hired after throw a business executive his idea to integrate blockchain technology in social network. At 26, she was leading the strategy for Facebook’s own digital currency, called Libra, and a virtual wallet to store it.
“Part of what got me out of bed every morning was lowering the barrier to entry for newbies,” Beller told Insider.
While she left the project after a series of setback, Beller didn’t venture far from crypto on her upcoming gig. In 2020, she became general partner at NFX, an early-stage company known for its savvy bets on Lyft, DoorDash, and Trulia. Now the 29-year-old investor is ranking high in crypto rising star traders, with investments in Ramp, Radicle and Celestia.
In an interview with Insider, Beller shared five companies that are helping people dip their toes into crypto investing.
Dollar Rocket is a fintech that allows anyone to invest their retirement savings in alternative assets like crypto and real estate. After creating and accumulating money in a self-directed retirement account or 401(k) account, users can diversify their portfolios with digital currency investments, digital asset funds, and even blockchain startups. The company charges a $360 registration fee and a $15 monthly fee to maintain the account’s tax-compliant status.
The startup, Beller said, “solves a huge need for people to save crypto in tax-advantaged retirement accounts.”
Total venture capital funding: $13.5 million
It’s no secret that crypto investing can be complicated. But ZenLedger helps people quickly prepare their tax returns by analyzing thousands of transactions on different digital wallets, exchanges and digital asset marketplaces. It’s “essentially TurboTax for DeFi,” Beller said. The company even contracts with the civil and criminal investigation units of the IRS, making it the agency “preferred supplierof forensic accounting and tax software for cryptocurrency.
ZenLedger is an essential service, Beller said, “since crypto is always on the periphery of the financial system.”
Total venture capital funding: $27.3 million
gelte wants to make blockchain savings accounts easy to use for people unfamiliar with DeFi from WiFi. The startup offers savings accounts that convert people’s money into USD Coin, a popular stablecoin, which is a type of digital currency whose value is tied to a reserve asset like fiat currency or gold. (In May, thousands of consumers saw their investments in stablecoins like Terra and Luna evaporate after losing their peg to the US dollar.) But Gelt says it insures deposits up to $100,000 through a partnership with crypto insurance company Nexus Mutual.
Earlier this year, Beller led his company’s investment in Gelt because she said she had the potential to make decentralized finance accessible to the masses. People have different risk tolerances for engaging in the crypto market, with some people preferring “hard drugs” like making direct investments in crypto, Beller said. Gelt gives them a “beer” option.
Total venture capital funding: $4.4 million
While Visa is known for its traditional credit cards, the payment company has planted a crypto stake in a big way. It offers several debit and credit cards, thanks to partnerships with Coinbase and BlockFi, which allow consumers to use crypto to make everyday purchases, from food to clothes to plane tickets, and earn crypto rewards. For now, Visa relies on third-party providers like Coinbase to convert crypto to local currencies to transact, but the company said he is working towards a future where he manages the mechanics of crypto payments.
Beller described Visa as “the smartest big company I know on the subject of crypto.”
Zeroion makes a digital wallet with a social angle. The app allows users to monitor their investments across multiple blockchains and exchanges and even execute trades without leaving the app. But what sets Zerion apart from other digital wallets, Beller said, is the ability to share a wallet address with friends and follow people to see what they’re investing in. It is also useful for “whale watching“, the practice of tracking how deep-pocketed crypto traders invest.
Total venture capital funding: $10.2 million
This article is intended to provide general information designed to educate a broad segment of the public; it does not provide personalized investment, legal or other business and professional advice. Before taking any action, you should always consult your own financial, legal, tax, investment or other professional for advice on matters affecting you and/or your business.