Crypto Searches Are Surging on Alternative Investment Index Vincent3 min read
Vincent, a search index for alternative investment opportunities, launched in November and bills itself as a Zillow or Kayak for investing in everything from real estate to art to sneakers to trading cards.
And searches on Vincent for cryptocurrency investing are surging.
According to Vincent’s February report, first shared with Decrypt, crypto saw the largest search growth of any sector (up 44%) and was the hottest sector-specific search on the site for the second straight month. (Real estate remains the biggest investment area on Vincent by dollars.) The site has 20,000 users so far, and the average user has viewed three investment opportunities.
Vincent is open to both accredited investors ($200,000 in annual income for the past two years or $1 million in net worth) and unaccredited investors, and in February, the specific search of crypto investment opportunities for less than $1,000″ broke into the top five searches on the site by unaccredited investors for the first time.
“One of the hottest sectors on our platform”
“It’s no surprise that it’s one of the hottest sectors on our platform,” told Vincent cofounder Slava Rubin, who previously cofounded Indiegogo. “We’re seeing everything from basic wanting to get exposure to Bitcoin, potentially directly through Coinbase, we’re seeing folks who want to get exposure to Grayscale, so more of a managed product, we’re seeing folks interested in blockchain- and crypto-oriented venture companies, and most recently we’re seeing NFTs, people interested in NBA Top Shot and Sorare.”
Vincent is an aggregator, so many of the opportunities listed on Vincent come from other category-specific investing platforms such as Rally Rd. (sports collectibles), Otis (sneakers), or Republic (crowdfunding in early-stage startups). The investments shown can take the form of an artwork open to fractional ownership, or a startup looking for investors in a fundraising round or, in some cases, simply an ad for Coinbase.
If you know you want to buy some Bitcoin outright from an exchange, Vincent isn’t for you. The site’s pitch is to people, Rubin says, who have “an extra $500 or $50,000 you’re trying to decide what to do with, and you want to discover, you want to see your options and explore a little bit… You might even go down the rabbit hole, like I had no idea I could fund litigation finance, I had no idea I could invest in wine.” The site’s launch was well-timed amid the retail investor revolution that accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic; Rubin says many of Vincent’s early users overlap with Robinhood users.
The explosion of interest in NFTs or non-fungible tokens, digital collectibles on blockchain that are verifiably unique, is an almost perfect representation of the multiple trends that led Rubin to launch Vincent. NFTs are “really at the convergence between blockchain, crypto, and collectibles,” Rubin said. “Add in fractional ownership and validation of authenticity, and I think it’s very very interesting. Are we in a bubble? Yes, some people are going to pay too much for something that probably isn’t worth it. But are some people are going to invest in something today that, ten years from now, might be worth 1,000 times that? Absolutely.”