Today our People Fundamentals interview is with Nadejda Petrova, our Head of Institutional Client Management. She’s one of the prominent female leaders at Nexo, and she took the time to share her thoughts on what led her to become “a bit of a Bitcoin maximalist”, why family and a career are not mutually exclusive, as well as some interesting ideas about how NFTs can solve critical problems in our current reality. Check it out 👇
Nadejda Petrova – Crypto Enthusiast, Central Bank Skeptic & Mom All Rolled Into One
1) Who are you? Describe yourself in a few words.
Mom, crypto enthusiast, central bank skeptic, non-fiction lover.
2) How would you describe your digital personality #Meta-Identity? (Ex. Internet Aficionado, Social Recluse, Digital Doggo Freak)?
I hardly use social media. Privacy is one of the most important resources someone could possess, so I’m trying to preserve mine as much as possible.
3) You have all the resources you need. What would you create?
I have recently become fascinated with non-fungible tokens and their applications. I’m not an art geek, but I can see the multivariate use the technology could have on sectors that have addressable gaps in service. Therefore, if I were to create something of my own, it would probably be a firm that allows real estate to be tokenized and sold via smart contracts. This particular sector is deeply flawed from a processes perspective because, if you think about it, transactions have hardly changed over the years: brokers have a lot of control over the sale of real estate without necessarily having any party’s best interest at heart. Real estate agents profit if a sale goes through and profit double if they represent both parties, which can’t make for a great negotiation opportunity. Eliminating the middleman would create a more transparent, fair marketplace and save both buyers and sellers thousands from commission fees.
Another pain point of the industry would be the fact that in cities like London, real estate prices have made it impossible for young adults to purchase a home, and they end up paying thousands in rent, a sunk cost. As a result, there are government schemes in the UK like Help to Buy, but they end up inflating property prices without necessarily leaving purchasers better off than renting. Partial NFT ownership of real estate with the optionality to purchase more portions of the property over time overlaps with many of the concepts the government had in mind with this scheme but eliminates the ability for developers to abuse the system.
4) How did you get into crypto? What’s your Nexo story?
Two years ago, I was working as a trader at a traditional bank in London. When the pandemic hit in March 2020, I was actively trading on the floor and had a chance to see it all unfold first-hand. My beliefs seemed to be misaligned with central bank actions at the time, and I couldn’t comprehend the long-term benefits of pouring imaginary money into the world economy when nothing was being produced nor earned. In general, I had been disenchanted for a while with central bank actions because artificial economic support doesn’t benefit the average consumer. As a result of quantitative easing in 2020, we ended up in a situation where there was an artificially created stock market rally and executives cashed in on profits they didn’t generate. Now, the average consumer has been left holding the bag and suffering from double-digit inflation.
I never really liked how much power central banks have had since the 2008 crisis, given their historical role has been much more passive. I started reading into alternatives and found bitcoin. That’s how I started investing in digital assets.
I had already left my old job and was looking to do something interesting, as I put it to myself when I messaged Kosta on LinkedIn. He connected me to the Sales team at Nexo and the rest is history.
5) What is your biggest challenge?
I have had to learn that perfection, when balancing a career and a family, is an unattainable goal, and being present in the moment goes a long way. It was a hard one to give up because I like being in control.
6) What is your biggest failure?
That’s an interesting question. Looking back, most of my so-called fuck-ups ended up as huge achievements. I had a terrible internship several years ago at the start of my career, for example. When I didn’t get a full-time offer, I thought I had royally failed and that no one would give me a job in finance. Needless to say, I was wrong. Additionally, it turned out I had an awful experience because that firm was just not great overall, so I was a lot better at my next role where I was given the tools to succeed.
7) How many hours do you sleep?
Between seven and eight, otherwise, I can’t function properly. Sleep is a precious commodity, and its value for productivity should not be underestimated.
8) What’s in your crypto survival kit?
9) What coin are you most curious about?
There are so many fascinating concepts in the space, but I pride myself on being a bit of a Bitcoin maximalist. From a professional standpoint, servicing institutions has given me an insight into where the next big shift will come from, and for me, Bitcoin is a separate asset class within digital assets. No other network carries the same clout within traditional finance circles. I believe BTC has cemented itself as ‘The’ cryptocurrency, and reputationally, there is a lot more trust from institutions when it comes to the validation mechanisms and overall setup of its network.
10) Who’s on your must-follow list on Twitter?
11) Who are you outside of work?
Exactly who I am at work. One of the great things about Nexo is that the environment encourages you to be your most authentic self, and I really enjoy it since I believe a consistent identity is a strong identity. In other words, I have gotten to a point in my career where if I had to pretend in a job, I simply wouldn’t do it.
To me crypto and blockchain are … a new way for really smart people to try and fix the problems they created with the modern financial system and the internet and invent an entirely new set of problems.
Next Week on People Fundamentals
It’s another DeFi one, guys. Kiril Nikolov from our DeFi Strategy team will take you on a guided tour through how he ended up at Nexo through to the innovative and sometimes even crazy ideas that go through his head and ultimately shape the company's most curious decentralized initiatives.