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5 Questions With… David Grider

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We are excited to welcome David Grider to team Grayscale as our new Director, Head of Research. David joins us from Fundstrat, where he was the head of crypto research, and will be helping to lead Grayscale’s research and insights function. Get to know David in our next edition of “5 Questions With…” below.

 

Q: Welcome to the Grayscale team! To start, can you walk us through the highlights of your professional career that led you to this moment, as Grayscale’s new Director of Research?

 

A: Prior to joining Grayscale, I was Head of Digital Asset Research at a leading Wall Street firm, Fundstrat Global Advisors, where I was one of the first sell-side analysts on the street covering crypto assets. My career in crypto started in 2017 when I co-founded a crypto hedge fund and broker-dealer as part of the first wave of institutional financial start-ups entering the industry. Before making the jump from traditional finance in 2015, I was in the Financial Instruments, Structured Products & Real Estate group at PwC doing valuation, transaction and blockchain consulting work for large institutions. I started my career on Wall Street in 2012, where I was eventually a VP of Equity Capital Markets at a technology-focused investment bank after doing Equity Research covering Tech, Media & Telecom stocks.

 

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Q: How did you “get into” crypto? What piqued your interest in the asset class?

 

A: As with most people, the first time I heard about crypto I ignored it, but once I looked deeper, I realized its potential and have been all-in ever since. 

 

When I first started on Wall Street in 2012, I interned in Equity Research covering digital media, newspapers, and TV & radio broadcast stocks, which gave me a first-hand look at the technology disruption the internet was having on legacy media. That said, I first heard about Bitcoin about a year later from my college best friend, who had started mining in his dorm room; though, my traditional finance background taught me to dismiss it as speculative. 

 

Crypto fell off my radar until 2015, when I heard Chamath Palihapitiya, a VC I highly respected, talking about its potential, which inspired me to do more research. At the time, I was at PwC working with nearly every type of financial instrument at nearly every type of institution. Once I understood blockchain technology, it clicked that the disruption I saw in the internet media space was going to happen again in finance with crypto and decentralized finance. 

 

That gave me enough conviction in the thesis to invest, but I was still uncomfortable with the security risks of holding crypto, which led me to Grayscale. Grayscale allowed me to easily gain exposure to Bitcoin at around $600, through symbol: GBTC. Without that seamless, secure investment experience, I may not be working in crypto today.

 

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Q: Keeping this next question simple: why Grayscale?

 

A: Grayscale is the world’s largest crypto asset manager, and its parent, DCG, is at the center of the crypto ecosystem across many verticals. Having come from Wall Street, I am confident in the role that Grayscale products offer mainstream investors, acting as a catalyst for further adoption. Grayscale’s platform also provides many opportunities to help educate clients and the broader community about investing in crypto assets, and that’s really exciting.

 

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Q: How do you think about crypto-related research, broadly, and the opportunity that Grayscale has to build its research and insights capabilities?

 

A: My goal has always been to be the bridge between crypto and Wall Street. On one hand, there are a lot of smart folks on Wall Street who are in the “blockchain not Bitcoin” camp, which means they don’t appreciate the inextricable tie between them. On the other hand, there’s a lot of great folks in crypto who really “get it” but don’t convey the message in a way that investors can easily understand which causes them to overlook crypto in the context of broader markets. I believe striking a balance — or a bridge — between these two camps is an important perspective and a real opportunity. 

 

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Q: What is something you know now that you wish you knew at the start of your career?

 

A: We’re usually taught to go after prestigious careers in life – things that are valued highly by mainstream society today. But I’ve learned that’s where all the competition is, and have found that it’s better to find the thing that no one is doing yet, maybe something that everyone thinks is crazy, but if you have conviction, the means, and a vision – to pursue that with vigor.

 

For example, I thought working at prestigious finance firms on Wall Street was the gold standard. Making the jump from Wall Street to crypto was perceived as a “career risk.” Today, it seems like that perception has undergone a meaningful shift and I’m grateful for the opportunities that working and learning in the crypto industry has afforded me personally and professionally.

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