Avi Felman of Blocktower: Crypto is mid-cycle

In this episode of UpOnly, Avi Felman of Blocktower capital joins us to talk about his belief that the lows are in and we are mid cycle. We talk bitcoin demand, defi, NFTs, retail trends, and more.

Audio Version


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This episode is presented by FTX (formerly Blockfolio). Trade on an awesome mobile interface fee-free, and still get all the great portfolio tracking features you know and love: https://uponly.tv/ftx

Show Notes

*Cobie is coping HARD today, very hungover and may leave at any time to be sick


– Co-PM of BlockTower investment fund along with Ari Paul

– Anything in crypto they’ll touch it or flip it if it can make money

– Providing access to the crypto space for investors

– Cobie: “So you provide punks for institutions”

– Avi: “No comment.” lmao SER WE KNOW U DO

Avi Background

– Worked at a bank for 6 months before realizing he needed to get out. Brought up crypto to them, they literally said in a decade..

– Started out in 2017, then ran his own fund for a while, then another crypto company (check this again), then on to BlockTower

– Ari trades over longer periods with conviction. Avi changes his mind every few minutes. Was hard to find a balance for such different trading approaches

– Unlikely to trade meme coins over 5% of portfolio but they do trade them! Need to be willing to be flexible

– Currently watching Grayscale, thinks we need premium to go positive again for BTC to go to 6 figures

– Reasonable that it will go positive again, no shares created since it was locked down in March so should get pushed to at least par

Learning Options

– Cobie: “What learning tools or process would you recommend for learning options?”

– Avi: Gap between retail and professional options traders. Not really worth it for retail to learn, but get comfortable with the idea of implied and realized volatility. Beyond that in this market there’s not much needed because things are frequently mispriced

– A lot of people over-estimate the effects of gamma on the options market

– It exists but it takes a lot more money to move this market than most people imagine – you could buy $100M with only a few hundred dollars of slippage over an hour or two

– Right now the most edge on large moves is trying to monitor option flows

– Book rec: Option Volatility & Pricing by Sheldon Natenberg

NFT Boom

– Avi: “I’ll preface this as I know very little about NFTs in general”

– “This is the one area of crypto that all of my friends that aren’t in crypto are hitting me up about”

– Just super easy to understand

– CL was right!

– “I would assume that 98% of these collectibles go to zero at some point”

– Cobie: “NFTs are just like DOGE coin where its a meme and people just ponzi it up”

– Super illiquid but that also means they can just skyrocket

– Avi: “They’re probably not securities too”

Complacency Bounce?

– Avi: “I think they bottom has been printed”

– This is a completely different set of market participants

– There are $100M checks being written for crypto every week now

– Avi: “From my perspective $30k will be the bottom”

– “The patient buyers waiting to buy $35k will become very impatient if we don’t trade there for 2 weeks”

– No one knows where to park their money – Bitcoin and crypto is a great place to park your money

– You wanna bet asset prices are going up and you wanna bet on the fastest horse

BTC vs. Shitcoins

– Ethereum is gaining market share in peoples minds

– Once people are in, they start moving down the risk curve


– People are still trying to bet directly on BTC

– They (huge institutions) aren’t really trying to bet on other cryptos

– MSTR == BTC, so people use MSTR as equities crypto exposure

– People might start to park in COIN on a longer timeline

– Even based trading is the last horizon of alpha in the crypto industry

– Pick 15-20 DeFi assets, read their medium posts and just play their events

– Wow it really is that easy

New Retail

– Retail this time got onboarded through like TikTok straight to BSC

– If stuff comes back, do you think they choose value? or same as last time?

– Avi wants to make sure we know – he is the most bullest bull

– We are going to 144k


– Avi: “I think it’ll outperform a little bit”

– The large caps likely won’t return huge huge multiples

– DeFi actually has cashflows… which is a detriment LOL

– You can actually value these things, prevents mega moon pumps

– There are other shitcoins which will 15-20x, DeFi just likely won’t

– DeFi will be a huge industry that will morph a ton in ways that we probably don’t understand yet

– But if you want to trade euphoria, you want to trade this market… its other assets

– In the next 3-4 months, we’re going to see a huge battle between a multi-chain universe and a single chain universe


– Lido is something that could get stupid euphoria


– From Ted Lasso – “Have the memory of a goldfish” lmao lfg

– If something goes wrong, don’t dwell on your mistakes

Notes by Kevin

Music by GiovanniPickle