- Armando Aguilar is a digital asset strategist at research boutique Fundstrat Global Advisors.
- Aguilar, who started trading crypto in 2014, shares two sectors of altcoins that he is bullish on.
- He also explains how he mines HNT tokens of the Helium network with a $429 high-efficiency hotspot.
Like many early bitcoin investors, Armando Aguilar saw the potential for cryptocurrencies to solve real-world problems.
Born and raised in Mexico, Aguilar moved to the United States for college before working for two French investment banks.
“I had to do remittances for my parents back in the day,” he recalled in an interview. “It used to be extremely costly, I had to go through a lot of paperwork, and there were always problems with the ACH wire transfer system delays.”
When he heard about bitcoin, he decided to give it a try.
“It was super fast, they were able to receive it and move it into an off-ramp deposit into the bank account and into fiat,” he said. “From that point, it was just like a light bulb going off.”
In 2014, cryptocurrencies were still nascent assets operating at the fringe of financial markets. Aguilar knew he needed to invest in the space early. He had such a high conviction that he took out a personal loan of more than $50,000 to purchase bitcoin for between $1,500 and $1,700 and ethereum for between $150 and $180.
Despite crypto’s wild fluctuations in the ensuing years, Aguilar still holds all of his initial positions. He also made a personal promise to never look at or touch his holdings until 2025.
“There is no significance whatsoever with the year 2025, but I haven’t checked my wallet once since I bought all these positions,” he said. “Whatever happens along the way, I just keep buying and averaging down.”
From YOLO trader to deep due diligence on altcoins
Aguilar started out as what he calls a YOLO trader in the crypto space, exploring new protocols and participating in the 2017 initial coin offering craze. He scooped up Litecoin (LTC) at around $10 to $12 and Cardano (ADA) at between four to six cents.
Now serving as the vice president of digital asset strategy at Fundstrat Global Advisors, he analyzes altcoins with deep due diligence, which encompasses reading white papers, delving into communities via social channels, and dissecting the risk and reward of new projects.
He also takes a sector-based approach towards picking altcoins that could notch substantial gains ahead.
One promising sector is metaverse altcoins, which include the blockchain-based music-streaming platform Audius (AUDIO), non-fungible token games such as Axie Infinity (AXS), Gala Games (GALA), Yield Guild Games (YGG), and Star Atlas (ATLAS).
Another sector generating huge interest among investors is the layer-one protocols, which include Solana (SOL), Avalanche (AVAX), and Cardano (ADA), etc. The tokens of these smart contract platforms have surged in recent weeks despite last week’s sudden crash that knocked almost $10,000 off of bitcoin.
Mining Helium with a $429 hotspot
The Helium blockchain, which dubs itself the “people’s network,” is a peer-to-peer wireless network that provides “a secure and cost-effective way for low-power Internet of Things devices to send data to and from the internet.”
The HNT tokens, which have surged a whopping 1,629% in the past year, are earned when hotspots provide and validate wireless coverage and transfer device data over the network, according to Helium’s website. The HNT tokens were trading at $19.73 early on Monday.
Unlike bitcoin mining which can be energy-intensive, noisy, and cumbersome, helium mining is an easier but still potentially profitable form of crypto mining. Miners can exchange HNT tokens for bitcoin or other altcoins or stake them to generate a high annual percentage yield. Using hotspots such as the Bobcat miner is not only energy-efficient but also cost-effective and noise-free, Aguilar said.
“Imagine having an internet router plugged into your outlet and putting it close to a window, just leaving it there mining away helium and connecting the world, one device at a time,” he added.