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Exclusive: Lunar Strategy CEO says ‘institutional investors coming back’ to crypto

Lunar Strategy CEO interview 'Institutional investors coming back' to crypto

In an exclusive interview with Finbold, Tim Haldorsson, the CEO of crypto and Web3 marketing agency Lunar Strategy, shared his views on institutional interest in the digital asset space. He emphasized the motivations behind the renewed institutional interest in crypto, particularly through the application of various exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

At the same time, while anticipating the upcoming Bitcoin halving, Haldorsson provided insights into what to expect in terms of price movement, basing his predictions on historical price movements. In this context, the executive also discussed how altcoins are likely to be affected. Additionally, he addressed the potential impact of current global issues, such as macroeconomic factors and geopolitical tensions, on Bitcoin.

Additionally, during ongoing discussions about crypto regulations, Haldorsson noted how laws in various jurisdictions influence the sector. Intriguingly, he pointed out potential outcomes in regions where cryptocurrencies are less regulated.

As the CEO of Lunar Strategy, could you share the vision and mission that drive your company? What sets your marketing agency apart from others in the industry?

“When we first started with crypto marketing back in 2019, almost all agencies in the industry had anonymous profile pictures, joining video calls without video and sharing their names, etc on the website.

Even today, it’s a large part of the ecosystem that is trying to hide themselves and not show their faces, etc on their website.

We decided to go all in on transparency and showing ourselves because we are proud of our work in the industry and want to make sure that we work with companies that we are proud to work with.

This is still our mission to drive web3 into the mainstream where it can improve life quality for hundreds of millions of people within finance (DeFi) gaming (gamefi) and art/collectibles as NFT.”

Lunar Strategy has an impressive portfolio, including clients like OKX and Bitmex. Could you share a success story or case study highlighting your crypto marketing approach?

“When it comes to marketing in the crypto space, then in a bull market we had a playbook focused on top-tier publishing, collaborating with top key opinion leaders within a certain ecosystem like BNB, Polygon, and Solana. Creating a strong compelling narrative around the crypto coin, then amplifying it within just one ecosystem for the most viral effect.

Then when it comes to the bear market, it has been more to focus on long-term building and attracting developers and projects to different ecosystems. This has required a more local approach that has been more focused on reaching certain key parts of the ecosystem like Developers, VCs, builders, and more. Instead of just focusing the marketing on investors.”

Reflecting on your insights about crypto marketing, your company has recently offered valuable resources like the 45-page guide on mastering X (formerly Twitter) for marketing in the crypto space. What are the core lessons from this guide, and in your view, why is X an essential platform for cryptocurrency marketing success?

“When it comes to X, then this has become the new hub for announcing news, updates and directly speaking with your community with having media/news sites as the intermediary that filtered what they deemed newsworthy. This has allowed X to become the place where people can learn about the latest news/developments from crypto projects.

This also made X into a research playground where key opinion leaders started to share “alpha” and content in short form about various projects and topics, these lead to traders buying and investing in new projects.

All these factors combined have made X a very valuable platform for projects to announce news and for traders, investors, projects to find news and more on.”

From your vantage point, do you anticipate more institutional investors jumping onto the Bitcoin train in the near future? What indicators in the market or marketing sector suggest this trend?

“Right now we are seeing 10+ of the world’s largest funds applying for Bitcoin ETF, these funds are in the business of making money and they would not apply if they didn’t see a demand from investors but also an opportunity in the market.

This is showing strong signs of institutional investors coming back and are looking for higher yields and looking to deploy some of their capital.

From my personal perspective, we have this year alone worked with almost 75 crypto projects. During last year, the client budgets were limited and focused on smaller activities, in the last 3-6 months however, we have started to see our clients investors putting more capital and funding towards marketing and growth. Some of our clients can now even double or triple their marketing investments.”

In the context of the current global economic landscape, how do you see cryptocurrencies, particularly Bitcoin, responding to ongoing challenges such as inflation, interest rate changes, and geopolitical tensions?

“Bitcoin’s role as a potential hedge against inflation is a topic of ongoing debate. Its fixed supply suggests it could be a safeguard against inflation, but its price volatility often undermines this potential. This volatility is a critical factor in its response to economic shifts.

Interest rate changes further complicate Bitcoin’s position in the investment landscape. As you noted, higher interest rates tend to make traditional investments more appealing, potentially drawing capital away from Bitcoin and similar assets. Conversely, in a low-interest environment, Bitcoin’s potential for higher returns can attract more investment, although this comes with increased risk.

When we were living in the zero-interest world, people were looking for yields/investments into more risky assets like crypto, SaaS, and tech.

However when interest increased to 5-10% then the risk appetite from these investments fully disappeared, this made crypto crash 80-90%, SaaS & tech was hammered in the market and many tech unicorns lost 90% of their valuations.

What we have seen this year is that many of the same assets, e.g. Bitcoin price have increased 150% in 2023 alone, and many other assets are also up by 100-300%. Many people are watching and starting to deploy their capital into these areas because the risk/reward ratio is looking better again.”

Switching gears to a broader industry perspective, in your recent CoinDesk article, you discussed the critical role of crypto grants in the blockchain ecosystem. Can you elaborate on why these grants are particularly vital during times of financial constraints in the crypto market?

“Crypto grants are a great way to encourage growth within your own ecosystem. This means that the foundations, the main contributors to the ecosystem can use treasuries to invest in growing the community.

Some projects like DFINITY are launching local hubs, Solana launching Super Teams, and various protocols having large conferences, developer grants, and marketing grants for people contributing to growing the ecosystem.

In a bear market, due to the limited funding and many bad ideas/projects going bankrupt, this opens opportunities to fund and get a strong return for your treasury investment into the market. This is also because the community & investors will remember who was here supporting the ecosystem in bad times.

So will relatively small investments, you can actually help develop and increase your ecosystem to get ready for changes in the market.”

How do you view the role of regulatory frameworks and globalization in shaping the future of the crypto industry? Specifically, how can regulation and global collaboration foster more equitable and sustainable growth within the blockchain ecosystem?

“We see right now that the regulatory machinery is hammering down on companies that have tried to play outside the current framework. Paying hefty fines, and settlements with the SEC and other regulators.

We always have to balance the regulation with the adoption, in certain developing countries, crypto was adopted because of how easy it was to download a non-custodial wallet and just start using Stablecoins and crypto. In Asia and Africa, crypto without any regulations has flourished and will continue to do so.

However within b2b in Europe, we have to play within the rules and make sure that we can still maximize the value of web3 to the market.

Since the foundation of our company has been focused on following the rules and regulations within the framework we work and live within. In Portugal, we were early on with adopting KYC/AML requirements for all our clients, this to make sure that we could operate and grow as a business.”

Considering the importance of ethics and transparency, how does Lunar Strategy uphold the highest standards of integrity and trust, ensuring that its marketing campaigns adhere to ethical guidelines, especially in an industry facing criticism for lack of transparency?

“What is a company without values or ethics? Can it even survive in the long term?

Crypto has been a market filled with non-trustworthy players and companies, since our start we have been careful with vetting companies to collaborate & put our name behind, with internal guidelines and in consultation with our lawyers.

We have as a base principle to ask ourselves the question “would I invest in this crypto?” And “does this project actually solve a problem that needs solving?”

Then when it comes to campaigns and PR, we follow tech and finance editorial guidelines to make sure that we make claims that we can back up and put our name behind.”

Given the historical context of Bitcoin’s price movements surrounding its halving events, as evidenced by the bullish momentum and price surges post-halving in previous cycles, how do you speculate the next halving event in April 2024 might influence Bitcoin’s price? Additionally, based on your expertise in crypto marketing, what kind of market trends or investor behaviors do you anticipate leading up to and following this event?

“Since I joined the crypto space in 2017, I have been in multiple crypto roller coasters and follow similar trends.

When the halving is happening, then based on historical data, this has triggered a demand/supply shock, because each block adds less sales pressure to the market.

Then in anticipation, many traders are investing leading up to this which causes the bitcoin price to go up, when this happens then other people speculate into more risky altcoins often with the mindset “If I want to make 100x my money I cannot invest into bitcoin” which triggers a so-called altcoin bull market.

This is great for market firms like ours because it means more entrepreneurs, projects are launching and are looking for marketing support.”

Looking towards the future, what are your aspirations for Lunar Strategy? How do you envision the agency evolving and contributing to the growth and development of the crypto ecosystem?

“During the bear market our team has doubled down in preparation, we have forged partnerships with VCs, launch pads, and agencies to improve our services.

We have launched a full marketing academy to quickly onboard new team members when demand flies back.

Internally, we have once again doubled down on standardized offers, and focused our marketing campaigns around X, PR, and influencers which is a strong offering where we stand out in the marketplace.

We are looking forward to onboarding and collaborating with many more top and industry-leading projects.”

Read more interviews here.

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