Last week, I spoke with David Gokhshtein, a crypto influencer and founder of Gokhshtein Media. He shared his thoughts on the most hyped cryptocurrencies and revealed his crypto wallet’s contents. Don’t miss this piece!
U.Today: Tell us about your background. What led you to the crypto space?
David Gokhshtein: One of my friends was persistent in trying to get me to look into Bitcoin and continued to talk to me about blockchain technology. I've always been into tech, so I found it kind of interesting, but at the same time, at first it sounded to me like World of Warcraft, like it’s this video game or whatnot. I was like, “Okay, this sounds cool, but it also sounds silly at the same time, so I'm going to back away from it.”
But I'm an overthinker, so I thought about it, and he happened to call me and say, “You gotta get in. You gotta get in.” I looked into it, and the rest is history. I got in very early. I fell in love with the concept of Bitcoin and what it can do for the monetary system, but I also fell in love with the technology and what this space could be. It fascinated me.
U.Today: What did you do before?
David Gokhshtein: I worked in the automotive industry as a finance director for over 15 years. I was in sales and marketing. I just had a lot of fun, but there came a point where I said I wanted to dive deep into the world of cryptocurrency full time. I don't want to just do it part-time. I also want to help people get into the space the same way that I was helped into this space. So there were a lot of things that just clicked and I said this is the right time to get in and make some great things happen.
U.Today: When was that?
David Gokhshtein: I've been here 10+ years about, so I'm an old timer, I think. I'm a veteran. But I've seen everything here. I've seen our space go from being, you know, super punkish and kind of immature to now institutional money corporations. It's evolved; it's been great to see. We're going to continue to mature, and this space is going to be phenomenal with the amount of talent that's coming in, and hopefully the regulations will be friendlier for cryptocurrency, and there will be a lot more clarity moving forward.
U.Today: You also saw the whole history of Ripple, I guess. You seem to be a big fan of this company and the XRP cryptocurrency. Why are you so bullish on it?
David Gokhshtein: I like what Ripple is doing for the banking system. I like what they're trying to do for the banking system because there will still be people that do not go into cryptocurrency. Let's say there are 20% of people that don't go into cryptocurrency. There are still people who don't use email or the internet. They still go to the post office. So you still have those people out there. If those people decide that cryptocurrency is not for them, and they want to stick with the current system, that's fine. Ripple has a solution for the banking system that SWIFT doesn't. SWIFT is an outdated system, which is slow as hell and costs a lot, and it's not efficient.
Ripple has the product to make the banking system transact within seconds. So, why not? Bitcoin was never for the banks. If you grew up in Bitcoin, we never said we want the banks to be part of this system. No, no, no. Let Ripple take that on. I don't see the conflict, so that's why I'm big on XRP, among other things. I think XRPL is a very underrated tool. Many people are now seeing it and are using it and building on it. I’m very excited to see the future progress of that.
U.Today: David, do you consider yourself a crypto trader? Some of your tweets imply that you are interested in pretty risky operations, like Terra Luna Classic, for example. Did you manage to make some profits on this?
David Gokhshtein: I would not consider myself a trader. Even though I know how to trade, I'm not a trader. I'm more of a dollar-cost-average type of a guy. I'll buy a 40, I'll buy a 20, I'll buy a 30, it doesn't matter. It's my personal conviction because I believe that, 10 years down the line, Bitcoin will assert itself to be that store of value that fixes the current monetary systems that are broken. As for Terra Luna or Terra Classic, I will say this: that community's phenomenal. They're crazy. The Lunatics have always been crazy. From Luna to now—Luna Classic—they've been crazy. I like them. All I want is to see utility. I want to see utility, and I want to see those projects that were building on Terra actually come back and use Terra Classic. Once they do that, I'll be super bullish and I'll go and buy as much Terra Classic as possible. But I'm very stubborn. Like, some people just go in and they take the chance. For me, it needs to make sense. It just needs to make sense.
U.Today: Do you like the concept around Shiba Inu, if you’re familiar with it?
David Gokhshtein: When it first came out, I wasn't interested, cause I'm like, “We already have Dogecoin, and Dogecoin effectively did a great job at that point, in 2021 with the whole meme economy.” People were going to Robinhood and saying, “Oh, I'll get into Dogecoin.” We had a lot of people come to Robinhood through Dogecoin. And two, three weeks later, they were educated by the community to get into other things like Bitcoin, Ethereum and stuff like that.
Then SHIB comes and people were sending me DMs like, “Hey David, you should look at Shiba Inu.” And I'm like, “What is that?” And then I see Dogecoin killer, and I'm like, “Nah, I can't do that.” I'm not able to do it. But they're like, “You have to just put in $500, and you can make millions of dollars.” And they were right! If you would've put in $500, you would've probably made a few million dollars. I didn't go in; I was a purist and wasn’t open-minded, but then I became open-minded.
I think the Shiba dev team has done a great job building. And I think that, on the next run, everything that they've built during this bearish market will be seen by everybody within the space. I’m very bullish on SHIB. I hold SHIB by the way, but I'm very, very bullish on it. I like the community. They're tough, a tough bunch of people. They went in, obviously, to make money, but they stayed because they're in love with the ecosystem.
U.Today: So, you think it's not just about the money?
David Gokhshtein: It's not, at this point. It's not just about money for them. Nobody's here just for the tech. I'm here for the tech, but we're also here for generational wealth. It's both. But I think that once you get the generational wealth, some people, 50% to 60% stay here because they believe in the project. They already acquired the asset, but now they really believe in the project.
U.Today: What about other meme coins?
David Gokhshtein: I'll say that meme tokens are not bad. When I sat back and thought about it, I decided meme tokens aren't bad because it's a good way to build a community if you're building a real use case. Like Geico. Geico is a meme, right? Geico insurance, they have a gecko talking — that’s a meme. Flo from Progressive Insurance, she's a meme. I mean, these things build a crowd, they make you remember, and then you get into it eventually. I think of meme tokens the same way. I respect the meme tokens that are actually building, the ones that have the long-term vision to actually write out their whole roadmap. I support them, and I hope that they win. The ones that just come up with some random name like “Toilet Paper Inu,” I couldn’t care less about them.
U.Today: What are your thoughts on NFTs? I think you used to have some; do you have any now?
David Gokhshtein: I have plenty of NFTs. I have Tier 1s and then I have Tier “Garbage.” I spoke about this at the last NFT NYC conference. What we see now is art, right? Art is all over the place with NFTs, but we really haven't dived deep into the technology. When I was talking about it in 2017, I said that the art part of it is great, but the future of NFTs will be in real estate and tokenization. Imagine yourself – you can create your own NFT project and build an ecosystem so people can go ahead and contact you. You can build, first of all, a fan base, where they can connect with you, and then you can further build out your fan base and own your brand and likeness. That's the greatest thing in the world is that you own your brand and likeness. We have some athletes who signed onto Gokhshtein Media. You know what? They get to own their brand and likeness. They get 95% of the revenue instead of getting 5% and 95% going elsewhere to people who have done nothing to help them build out their own platform.
So I really believe NFTs are going to be a huge factor. It's its own industry. I say this all the time, that I think you have cryptocurrency and then you have NFTs and it's its own little industry. It’s going to be, I believe, its own trillion-dollar industry. You see Adidas, Nike, Puma, Louis Vuitton—everybody's getting into it because they see how the brand can get more revenue and connect with more people.
U.Today: What's in your crypto portfolio? Can you name for us at least 3-5 positions?
David Gokhshtein: Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP, I can say SHIB, what else do I have? XLM, VeChain. I have like 44 assets, so I can keep going, but I'm very diversified in my positions. I obviously hold more Bitcoin and Ethereum than I do of the other things that I did name. I feel like it's always good to be diversified. You never know who's going to come out on top. You know, we all thought AOL was going to be the king of social media, but then it was Myspace, and then it was Facebook, and now it seems like it's Twitter, so we don't know who's going to be on top. So it's always good to diversify yourself. I always say this, if “Poop coin” becomes the global currency of the whole world, I will use “Poop coin,” as long as it's cryptocurrency made by the people.
U.Today: Which one are you most bullish on?
David Gokhshtein: The most bullish? I would say Ethereum. I'm bullish on Ethereum because Ethereum has created an amazing ecosystem, which is necessary. I love Bitcoin. I love Bitcoin to death. I think it's a store of value. I just think that Ethereum also moving from PoW to PoS is a great move, and I just want to see how it all works out. But they have the audience and you have institutions that are building on Ethereum to make you super bullish about its future. And Vitalik, he's a machine. I mean, I think he's an alien.
U.Today: This leads us to the next question. Who in the crypto space do you respect the most? Is it Vitalik?
David Gokhshtein: I swear, I respect a lot of people. Vitalik is somebody whom I respect. I respect CZ in the space. I think CZ's done a lot, providing the Binance platform to make you feel safe. If you do trade, that's a huge thing. I'm probably forgetting a lot of people, and they’re probably going to hate me. But those two come to mind. When you think about building specific platforms, there’s Satoshi. I mean, I don't know who he, she or they is. But if I had a chance, I think Satoshi started a movement unlike we've ever seen. I would love to meet him or her. Actually, I hope they never come out.
U.Today: Yeah, us too. What is the weakest spot in the crypto space right now, in your opinion?
David Gokhshtein: The weakest spot? I would say that people lack the ability to educate themselves and listen, with two ears and one mouth. A lot of people don't do that. They don’t sit back and listen and learn economics and finance, because if they did, they would have a different understanding about this entire space. I think most people run in here thinking that they can make millions of dollars in three days off of $50. That's the weak spot. When it doesn't happen, they tend to leave the space and then say that the space is crap. I wish that would change. Obviously, we have people that rug pull people and leave people with a bad taste in their mouth. They leave the space and tell everybody, “Oh, this is a space full of criminals,” when it's not. The problems only make up 1% of the entire space.
The other projects that do fail, they fail because they are first-time small business owners; they don't fail because they were trying to do something malicious. They just failed because it's their first time trying to create something. They don't know marketing. They don't know how to brand.
Then they spend money trying to market with some person who's going to say “just buy it,” and their entire platform tanks. We're still maturing in this space. We still have a lot of time to go. But that's the weak part, the education part.
U.Today: The last question: you said that you didn't believe Bitcoin could hit 100K by the end of the year. What is your vision for the price, then?
David Gokhshtein: You're talking about trillions of dollars being poured in in order to hit 100,000. So when we hit 69K, we were at about $3.5 trillion. That means that right now you're asking for about $900 billion. So, you're asking for at least $5 trillion to be poured in. I don't see that happening this year. It isn’t bad if it does happen. But when Bitcoin was $3,500, I said it was going to go to 100,000. It hit 69. So I didn't do that bad. But unfortunately, the way the economy's structured right now, people are so scared that they're holding money in the ultimate shitcoin. That’s the U.S. dollar. If anybody wants to call anything a shitcoin, well, everybody's in the U.S. dollar, and they're scared and they're waiting and they're holding.
I think once the CPI levels that came out go down, then I can see that the BlackRocks, the Citadels, the Fidelities have trillions of dollars. They start pushing their way in, and we can see Bitcoin finally at least go to $40K or $50K, and $100,000, I think it happens next year, probably in quarter three or four. I think we can really see that happen. But who knows, maybe it happens faster. I don't know.
I don't think we're in a two-year bear cycle. I think we're in a kind of cleaning season where, for the next few months we clean up, get rid of the tourists, and then we start moving forward. I think today we bounced, just now we hit $18,500. I think we bounced. That's my personal opinion, not financial advice, but I think we bounced.
U.Today: I hope you're right. David, thank you so much for your time.