Meet MELD — Gediminas Kiveris
Chief Investment Officer 📈
Welcome to Meet MELD
This is a series to provide some insight and understanding of the faces behind the MELD team. We have a vast range of engineers, designers, economists, advisors, and researchers from all parts of the world including the United States, Norway, Sweden, Vietnam, Japan, and Canada, and with more partnerships, new team members, and advisors joining the MELD team, this list just keeps on expanding and getting better!
Continue reading to find out about Gediminas’ role with MELD…
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❓ Questions and answers…
Gediminas Kiveris — LinkedIn Profile
I have 10 years of experience in London and Hong Kong in the Rates Trading and Treasury function and more recently fintech experience working as a Treasurer to expand Revolut’s European business in a post-Brexit world and operationalize its first banking license. I have MSc from the London School of Economics in Quantitative Finance and I have also obtained a CFA charter holder.
What’s your job position at MELD + what do you do for MELD?
My Job title is Chief Investment Officer. I’ll be helping MELD set up treasury and investment functions at a Group level and the Neobank. Before we have a bank, we first want to use our capital (private sale and ISPO funds) efficiently and we aim to be smart in how we manage our currency exposures across fiat and crypto, and hedge for future capital and operational expenses.
On the fiat side, we employ traditional financial instruments such as money market funds, and on the crypto side, we are mostly looking at DeFi opportunities across reliable protocols and strategies. Our function is not to become a hedge fund nevertheless have our cash used efficiently.
When we have our own Neobank under an EMI license treasury management of client funds under relevant regulations and across different products will become much more involved.
What did you do before working with MELD?
My academic background is in Financial Mathematics, I did my Master’s at the London School of Economics and then spent 10 years in London and Hong Kong on a trading floor of investment banks. I think it’s best to understand me as an ex-Quant/Trader/Treasurer.
My most recent position was to help Revolut build up its European treasury function, and I helped them operationalize their EMI and banking licenses in their Brexit transition journey. Brexit created opportunities for many other European countries, including the Netherlands, Ireland, and Lithuania.
“What sort of opportunities?”
Europe’s main financial hub was London, but after Brexit, many financial companies had to find new homes to do European business. My home country Lithuania, in particular, became one of the largest fintech hubs as they had a speedy and flexible regulator to work with. So, for me personally, it created more interesting job opportunities closer to my home and in the end, it helped me come back to the place where I grew up and do interesting stuff!
As did Revolut, so does MELD considers Lithuania, for its EMI and crypto exchange licenses, and that is where I can bring valuable experiences and connections.
It was fascinating to see my home country develop a great ecosystem of fintech companies and services in those years while I was away! You can find reliable partners in lots of different parts of the industry from branding and marketing to crypto exchange and payment solutions.
Some of the potential partners are local and it is great to see them face-to-face. Part of the team came to the Web3 summit in Vilnius, the event that Meld has also sponsored, and we had a great time last week!
When did you first get involved in crypto?
The first time was in 2017 during the first massive bull run of Bitcoin when it went up to $20k. I was in Hong Kong back then and it felt really big excitement in Asia — i.e Japanese and Koreans dominated in crypto markets. It’s really the time when Bitcoin hit Bloomberg and was all across the main media and TV streams.
Soon after however the bubble burst and a crypto winter emerged for another year and a half. I started looking at crypto in the middle of the next bull run. I got interested in DeFi and I wanted to try all the bits and pieces. Such as staking, farming, bridging, using wallets, and DeFi protocols to make transactions. I found it interesting and eye-opening how everything works, and what opportunities exist. Opportunities in the future for the world but also opportunities to make smart money in inefficient markets which were natural for me as an ex-options trader.
My most popular strategy was to deposit coins with high yields in reliable DeFi protocols, at the same time shorting those coins in futures markets where possible, to receive high yields without taking much price risk on highly volatile coins!
What do you like the most about crypto?
Blockchain technology. Decentralization, speed, and flexibility.
The guy Satoshi who created Bitcoin wanted to create this perfect decentralized financial ecosystem bringing value back to society but what happened was most people gave their decentralized currencies to centralized financial institutions (CeFi).
It’s a good time to think about why we all started this journey and what DeFi is all about and how we can make DeFi work in our daily life. It’s also a good time to build now. The best startups were born in the crypto winters!
Some of the things in the culture will have to change, and I think it will change in a good way. I love the energy, ambition, creative force, and entrepreneurial mindset of people in the crypto industry. Having said that, people sometimes get too greedy and some sort of regulation may not be a bad thing. We just need to clean up all the bad things we’ve been through.
Do you have any predictions on where crypto will be 5 years from now?
I think crypto is in the stage of infrastructure, where we are trying to find the best blockchain that’s reliable, flexible, and fast. I think in 5 years we’ll move much more into the application stage. I mean, more real-life applications. The technology behind blockchains is super promising and can improve our daily life but it’s hard to jump there without getting the basic fundamental infrastructure right.
In the interim, I strongly believe CeDeFi institutions providing a seamless link between Defi and Traditional Finance should fill the gap in the next few years.
Crypto winter is a good time for new promising fintech to be born and the genuinely good projects will make it through.
What do you like doing outside of crypto and MELD?
Winters skiing and indoor tennis, summers hiking, outdoor tennis and basketball — the latter extremely popular in Lithuania that calls it a second religion. I like active traveling.
👉 Meet MELD — Nehal Khushal
👉 Meet MELD — Christian Katz
MELD — Be Your Own Bank
We think it’s essential for everyone to gain control of their financial lives and have equal access to financial instruments used by professionals, not just centralized institutions, governments, or the 1%. We want to provide financial freedom and control to the masses, including the unbanked.
We have a long-term goal to enable the $15 trillion that is currently locked out of the global economy, including 2 billion individuals worldwide that are either underbanked or have no access to banking services whatsoever, access to these tools. These are the people that are paying the highest fees, and getting the worst customer service, and they are the ones that are having the most problems.
Our vision is to create an ecosystem that empowers individuals to regain financial control by providing them with the tools and services they need to manage their money on their terms. Whether that be creating a collateralized debt position (CDP) with cryptocurrency, earning an interest return for lending fiat to borrowers, or even participating in reward incentive programs, we strive to provide our users with the functions they need to manage their own financial lives.
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