Here at American Institute for Crypto Investors, we’ve put together a top team of experts to guide you on your alternative investing journey.

We searched far and wide to find the absolute best people, which is how São Paolo, Brazil native Helena Margarido came to be the latest addition to our American Institute for Crypto Investors Advisory Board.

As someone who will be guiding you on your path to profits, I wanted to make sure you have the chance to get to know Helena and what makes her so qualified to join our esteemed panel of experts.

She recently joined me for an in-depth interview where we spoke via Zoom from her São Paolo office.

Not only did she give a fascinating glimpse into how she got involved in cryptocurrency, but she revealed which crypto trends – and which coins – are at the top of her moneymaking watchlist for 2022…

A Lawyer with a Love for Economics

Helena Margarido

Helena was born in São Paolo and still lives there today. After completing her regular schooling, she started law school and earned her degree at the impressive age of 21.

To get her LLM (a master’s degree in law), she decided to go abroad. She chose Portugal because it allowed her to have a law degree that would also be valid in the United States. After completing law classes in Portugal, she attended a semester at the University of Illinois in 2009.

While at the University of Illinois, Helena took advantage of the wider variety of classes available to her, concentrating not just on law but on economics as well.

“I took antitrust. I took M&A classes. I took law in economics itself, business strategy, and everything that I could,” Helena told me. “I was always fascinated by economics and I studied as much as I could.”

That included a subfield of economics known as game theory, which was destined to play a large role in her involvement in Bitcoin (BTC) and cryptocurrencies.

By 2012, Helena was back in São Paolo and practicing law, but with a focus on new technologies and startups.

That’s when a client came back from a visit from Silicon Valley and, well, changed her life.

Just not right away.

“He said, ‘Helena, have you ever heard of Bitcoin?’ And I said ‘no.’ Then he said, OK, take a look at this website. And then he said, ‘You send your money to this website. Then you can convert your money to Bitcoins, which is a type of electronic cash.’ He tried to explain it to me and I was like, ‘you’re crazy, man’.”

But she couldn’t forget about it.

“This client of mine was really, really, really smart,” she said.

Hooked on Bitcoin

Coincidentally, Helena at that time was pregnant with her daughter.

“I’m not sure if this happens to everybody, but I started to have insomnia, because I was really, really, really worried about the future, about my daughter to be, et cetera,” Helena said.

On one of those long sleepless nights, she was drawn back to that Bitcoin website her client had shown her.

“I said, OK, let’s take a look at this Bitcoin thing. And then I started researching. Then I saw Satoshi’s whitepaper and I absolutely fell in love with it because I had been studying game theory for a while,” she said. “It was a type of implementation using game theory. That made sense to me.”

Helena was especially impressed by the miners and users running full nodes to maintain and secure the Bitcoin network.

“So they’re able to do that through consensus,” she recalled thinking as she read the whitepaper. “And then it snapped. You know, I was just, I was hooked. I’m still hooked.”

She jumped in with both feet and started doing in-depth research of Bitcoin. She started going to Bitcoin conferences and summits. And she became knowledgeable enough to start giving lectures and participating in panels at Bitcoin events all over the world, from China to Austin, Texas.

“We were building an ecosystem of enthusiasts,” Helena said. “We were among the first people speaking about it and trying to find out what other people were saying, what other people were doing, and how we could take this to the masses and explain to people that crypto could change like things for the better.”

The deeper she went, the more she realized just how much Bitcoin could mean to the world – even in the dark days in 2014 when the Mt. Gox exchange collapsed and the Bitcoin price plummeted.

“If you think about it, you’ll see that it’s not only a financial revolution, not only an economic revolution but also a social revolution taking place right now,” she said.

From “Hobby” to Career

Meanwhile, back in Brazil, Helena was running a law firm. At that point, she still considered a crypto a “hobby,” albeit one she spent a lot of time on.

As the years went by, her crypto hobby took up more and more time, much of it spent doing research and analysis. Last July, she gave up law entirely to focus on crypto full time at a financial research company, Monett.

“I really wanted my job to be 100% focused on crypto. That’s why me and some other founders joined together to create Monett,” Helena said. She is the head of cryptoanalysis and research at the firm.

Monett isn’t crypto-exclusive; it offers analysis and investing advice for stocks and other investments as well. But Helena is understandably very proud of the firm’s crypto services.

“It’s really hard for people to find information, like good information on crypto, even these days. So it’s really hard for them to see a full analysis of, I don’t know, Chainlink (LINK), for instance. What is Chainlink 2.0, what is it supposed to deliver? And they have a huge whitepaper of 160 pages or so. So how are people supposed to understand it? So that’s our job,” she said.

Monett emphasizes not just analyzing cryptocurrencies but educating clients so they can better understand the space – a goal shared here at American Institute for Crypto Investors.

“We try to bring not just the best crypto investments to people, but also all the materials that they need to be a crypto investor,” she said. “So tutorials and videos explaining what Bitcoin is, what a blockchain is, how to keep crypto in a MetaMask wallet, how to stake, how to purchase on Uniswap – all those types of things.”

“Not for People with Cardiac Problems”

With Helena on the American Institute for Crypto Investors Advisory Board, I also wanted to talk with her about her perspectives on crypto – why she thinks it matters, her views on the current state of crypto, and more.

I started by asking her why she thinks anyone should be invested in crypto.

“Inflation is happening. It is happening and crypto, especially Bitcoin, can be used to protect your assets from inflation. And that’s one reason,” she said. “Another reason is to have a little more exposure to riskier investments. When you’re talking about traditional investments, you are not going to see the types of returns that crypto can offer you. When you’re investing in crypto, you’re investing in early stage technology. So maybe having at least a tiny bit of your total portfolio in crypto can give you access to those types of increases. So I think those are the two main reasons.”

Helena said this argument tend to be stronger outside the U.S., as inflation is much higher in many other nations. Last year inflation in Brazil exploded from under 5% in January to nearly 11% by November. Globally, more than two dozen countries are living with double-digit inflation right now.

“We have kind of a double layer on inflation. We have inflation plus our local currencies being devaluated. And because of that, crypto has grown a lot in these countries,” she said. Brazil’s largest crypto exchange, Mercado Bitcoin, has almost as many customers (3.2 million) as the county’s largest stock exchange (3.8 million).

Still, Helena said Monett tells its clients not to go overboard.

“We advise to people to not have more than 5% to 10% invested in crypto because the market fluctuates so heavily. It’s not for people who have cardiac problems,” she said.

Helena sees Bitcoin as the predominant cryptocurrency due to its complete decentralization – it’s not run by any central bank, government, or company. It doesn’t even have a leader or central figure since the true identity of its creator, Satoshi Nakamoto, remains unknown.

But that said, she sees much potential in many of the other top cryptocurrencies…

Sizing up the Crypto Landscape

“I do believe that there are some really great crypto initiatives in the market, not to mention disruptive as well. If you take a look at Ethereum (ETH), it delivers things that Bitcoin doesn’t. So that’s why it matters. Cardano (ADA) has a roadmap which is really aggressive. And it’s a great tech initiative,” she said.

Cardano tops Chief Crypto Strategist Nick Black‘s list of the first six starter cryptos any investor should buy. But if you’re new to the space and sitting on a loss, you might be worried… Here’s why you shouldn’t be.


Helena also pushed back on the idea often voiced among crypto enthusiasts that one coin will eventually kill off the others to be the one dominant coin.

“If you take a look at these strong crypto projects, then you will realize there is much space for Bitcoin, for Ethereum, for Cardano, for Solana (SOL). They don’t necessarily need to be a killer of each other,” she said. “And I don’t think this market is about finding the one perfect solution to rule them all.”

Helena also cautioned against a mindset that tends to go hand-in-hand with the tribalism so common among crypto investors: That is, once people buy a crypto, they often get emotionally attached to it.

“You should not be rooting. You should not be cheering, ‘Oh, let’s go.’ It doesn’t matter. Of course you want your portfolio to get bigger. But if you do not understand why you’re investing in something, if you’re just rooting for it, then you may be wrong,” she said.

This sort of thinking is at its most dangerous when the coin in question is a project with little or no merit – which, according to Helena, is most of them.

“I think, amongst the 15,000 cryptos out there, 95% is trash – like Baby Doge (BABYDOGE), or Dogecoin (DOGE), or Shiba Inu (SHIB). Those are just trash, you know, people will eventually realize that,” she said.

Looking Ahead

Finally, I asked Helena what sort of major trends she sees for crypto in 2022 and beyond.

One thing she sees is the growth of the metaverse, partly because of the attention that Meta Platforms Inc. (FB) has brought to the space.

“You see Bill Gates saying that everybody will be at the metaverse within three years. And it’s hard to ignore, even if you’re not a really big enthusiast of it. So I do have some metaverse-based cryptos among my recommendations,” she said. “These cryptos can deliver whatever Facebook will struggle a lot to deliver, which is payments plus the social interaction.”

One of the biggest crypto plays here, she says, is Decentraland (MANA), because it has a four-year head start.

Another big trend Helena sees is gaming.

“Crypto games are here to stay. Those are my biggest bets, even bigger than the metaverse,” she said. “Whoever created play-to-earn was a genius because there was nothing like this before, and it’s totally blockchain-enabled.”

Helena said the best bet in crypto gaming right now is Axie Infinity (AXS).

Other than that, she sees several structural trends playing out in 2022, in particular the “platform wars” between Ethereum, Polkadot (DOT), Solana, and Cardano.

Ready for more? You can find out which cryptos are on Chief Crypto Strategist Nick Black‘s moneymaking watchlist for 2022 and get price predictions for several of the coins Helena mentioned right here.

Take care,

David Zeiler
Advisory Board Member, American Institute for Crypto Investors


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