The chairman of Belobaba, a crypto native hedge fund with a regulated security token, believes that Banks will become Dapps, and that this was the year of building crypto not a bearish year.

Five year old, Belobaba utilizes big data and AI in its investment decisions… The company is currently setting up its headquarters in the UAE as it seeks to get regulated in GCC region. The hedge fund is already regulated by the Gibraltar Financial services commission and operating legally in the USA, as well as in Spain and Estonia.

Lluís Mas, chairman at BELOBABA spoke to LaraontheBlock expressing his views on the crypto market,the banking sector and why they are setting up their headquarters in UAE.

The hedge fund which currently has just $5 million under management is seeking to grow and expand. According to Mas, “I don’t consider it a bad year for crypto and I wouldn’t call it a bullish or bearish market, because just remember in the bearish markets of 2017-2019 Uniswap was created as were NFTs. For me this year is a building year as we see Ethereum merge and global regulations pick up.  Companies like Black Rock are entering the crypto space and financial actors such as Coinbase are offering crypto products to institutional investors. So for me it is definitely a building year.”

He also states that it is absolutely unfair to talk about a crash of Bitcoin. He says, “Bitcoin is at $20,000 today, it is a far cry from where it started out. We also see billions of dollars being invested in esports, DeFi and blockchain with many projects performing well.”

While he doesn’t foresee any significant changes in the crypto market in the next few months, he does see a pick-up in the middle of 2023.  Mas states, “While I don’t see much change in the crypto scene today, what I do know is that Ethereum is super cheap, and things should start to pick up in mid-2023.”

When touching on the topic of banking and its evolution, Mas mentions a well-known phrase in the crypto community, “ Banks are necessary but bankers not” As he explains, for some time bankers have not been taking care of their customers, which has led to the rise of neo banks. For him the future of banks is Dapps. He explains, “ Banks will slowly become dapps first they have the money and collateral, secondly they are working hand in hand with regulators, so in the next few years they will move to decentralized applications. Bitcoin is not here to destroy, but to make things more efficient and more user friendly. This is unstoppable and our role is to educate as many people as possible.” 

According to Belobaba chairman Dapps stand as the new paradigm and DeFi represents a change in the business model of traditional banking giving the opportunity to put the user at the centre of the value model. 

He notes that the banks of the future will not be huge with 1000 employees, but might be as small and nimble as entities such as Uniswap which has just a dozen or so employees. 

While Belobaba seeks to build one day a crypto bank, the company is also bullish on NFT gaming industry which will reach $800 billion by 2024. Belobaba also sees Security token offerings as a huge opportunity given it has grown by 84 percent. As for crypto, it is expected to become a $24 trillion market by 2030.

In terms of expansion, Belobaba is moving its headquarters to Dubai UAE, and are in the process of seeking a license. Mas says, “We are working with local partners to move our headquarters here. There are two reasons for our move; first given we are originally from Spain, the GCC as a geographic region is a comfort zone. In Gibraltar we are accustomed to the Commonwealth laws, as is the situation in UAE.”

He adds that the region is connected to Asia and other continents, and most in the region are open to investing.

While it might not be easy to get a license says Mas, he is confident that given their track record and strong partnerships such as that with RSM their efforts will be fruitful. He explains, “We are actively looking into Abu Dhabi regulatory ADGM, VARA in Dubai and Bahrain.  RSM is a global network of audit, tax and consulting experts that help us ensure our investors are protected.”

Recently Belobaba invested 1 million Euros in Team Queso, a leading esports club in mobile gaming.