In 2021, the crypto market cap hit almost $3T USD, and Venture Capital investment in crypto and blockchain startups exceeded $30B. While Bitcoin has been around for nearly 15 years, it wasn’t until the late 2010s that its popularity (and valuation) skyrocketed.
Over the next few years, other major coins like Ethereum and a score of altcoins emerged in popular culture. The public began to voice their interest in crypto, where a survey of non-investors saw nearly half of respondents identify as “crypto-curious.” What followed, despite the industry’s lack of federal regulations, was an explosion of crypto trading platforms, making it possible for all of the crypto-curious to buy and sell coins.
As cryptocurrency moved from the margins to a household term, major banks and governments began to take notice. But aside from financial experts beginning to refer to it as an established asset class and governments discussing potential crypto policy, there’s been little to aid crypto investors (and would-be investors) make informed decisions when it comes to their crypto portfolio.
The recent dip in the market only validated that crypto is a volatile asset class, and access to effective, engaging education is needed.
Attitudes on Crypto Investing
While the majority of adults say they’re interested in crypto, there are some significant gaps when it comes to who’s investing in it — and who isn’t. Women, visible minorities, and members of the LGBTQIA+ community are far less likely to be crypto investors. Most people who haven’t invested in crypto say they lack the educational resources to make strategic decisions, though concerns about market volatility, security, and trustworthiness ranks high, too.
For many interested in investing with crypto, there are also concerns about a lack of credible information. Social media, for instance — especially Reddit and Discord — are often used to circulate trending coins and news, but the information shared in these communities is crowd-sourced, and readers are left to evaluate the quality of the tips they’re getting. This includes misleading information about fake coins and crypto scams, as well as crypto investing “tips” that aren’t based on solid, credible data.
Crypto scams aren’t a minor issue, either. According to the FTC, between January 2021 and March 2022, nearly 50,000 people reported being affected by crypto scams, amounting to over $1B in assets stolen or lost due to fraud.
And there’s even more at play when it comes to cryptocurrencies, and that’s the impact we might be having on valuations. As the crypto community likely knows well, mentions on social media platforms are highly correlated to increasing prices in certain stocks and coins. When we look at the data over a five-year period for Reddit mentions of Bitcoin compared to its price, it becomes evident that there’s a tight link between the two.
Crypto Education in Short-Form
It’s for these reasons that Qi, founder of StockPick, wanted to build an app that was entirely video-based. “People today prefer to learn through video, and that is only becoming more true,” he says. “But it’s not enough to deliver content in a format that people want. It’s equally important for that information to be trustworthy.”
To bridge that gap, Qi noted two key features of the app. First, users can select their interests and knowledge level, so their curated feed shows them videos that they’ll like and understand. Second, Qi’s team baked-in features to improve the credibility of the content. Creators with proven track records are verified, for one, with their professional experience and history publicly shared on their profile. And each video is linked directly to the crypto “ticker,” so users know exactly what coin a creator is talking about.
Caption: StockPick’s key differentiator is that verified crypto and stock market investors create the content through short-form videos for digestible, trustworthy insights
A user’s video feed will become more tailored over time based on their engagement history — like watch time, likes, and shares — as well as any updates they make to their interests. Because crypto is such a complex space, Qi’s main focus was to make the app user-friendly.
“A product is only as valuable as it is usable. If we build StockPick to be intuitive and easy to use, that will translate to more people getting better crypto education,” says Qi.
Qi was motivated to create an app for investors interested in the stock market and crypto based on his professional and personal experiences. He spent 11 years as an investment analyst, working on the trading floor of a major Canadian bank. Throughout his career, he noticed that the bank’s approach to trading was methodical and structured — but that wasn’t always the case outside of the banking sphere.
“Because of its massive price volatility and complex technology, crypto is difficult to invest in. Friends of mine who have invested in crypto have either made a lot of money or lost a lot,” Qi remarks. “But crypto is an important asset class: its overall market size multiplies every few years, and some of silicon valley’s top minds are vocal supporters. We need more educational content on crypto to increase participation and improve everyone’s investment outcomes.”
Qi’s hope is that StockPick’s accessible, user-friendly format will encourage people who are crypto-curious to learn more about it and maybe even engage in the market. “Financial literacy is hard for people to gain on their own,” explains Qi, noting a lack of resources as well as little to no focus on investing and personal finance in the educational system.
Because cryptocurrencies and stocks are largely not taught in school, people who want to gain the benefits of the crypto market have to seek out education on their own. Right now, that’s pretty hard to do.
Nevertheless, Qi hopes that StockPick will help demystify cryptocurrency for the majority of people, providing access to expert information. It’s been a long-held goal of Qi’s to create a path to financial literacy for many and to share his love of all types of investing with the world.
“Many people are intimidated by the idea of cryptocurrency,” says Qi. “But by diversifying the mediums in which good content is shared, we can hopefully inspire people to achieve financial literacy.”