Happy new year, albeit a bit early! In case you haven’t noticed yet, the last day of this year is 123, 123 and we’ll be counting down 3, 2, 1 when the potato drops in Boise at midnight. Neat! While time is relative to the genesis block in crypto, you can always bet that this is Colton from Hedgehog, the premier way to manage baskets of digital assets and quickly buy exposure to the greater crypto sector.
Time keeps marching on and every blockchain keeps getting heavier, but we feel a lot lighter after this crazy year in crypto, and we’re looking forward to 2024. Let’s recap:
A rocky start
Our year began with a doozy: the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency all issued a joint statement on crypto-asset firms telling banks not to do business even with compliant companies like ours. This was a real gut punch because our previous bank called us and said they wouldn’t host accounts with us anymore, so we had to go back to the drawing board.
Of course, this was right before Silicon Valley Bank, Silvergate Bank, Signature Bank, and First Republic Bank all went belly up after leaning too heavily on relatively “safe” portfolios of long-term government bonds. It was a fearful time, but we fortunately kept our heads down and kept working on alternatives to these providers so we could comply with the powers that be and provide portfolio management services at a price that makes sense.
The SEC is the one who knocks
It was a good thing too, because the SEC had finally gotten their act together after last year’s dumpster fires that included firms like 3 Arrows Capital, Celsius, Terraform Labs, and, unforgettably, FTX; so now they were looking at Hedgehog to see if our program stood up to closer scrutiny. Normally they come to examine your program within 12 months of registration, but we had to wait almost 2 years.
We had a few meetings and some correspondence with our examiner between March and May, and we kept testing the mobile app to make sure everything was in order.
Now, the SEC doesn’t ever give anyone a pass per se (just ask Kraken CEO, Jesse Powell), they just tell you that they are not choosing to enforce any actions at this time. That being said, we responded in detail to their concerns and they didn’t slap us with an enforcement action. We like to chalk that one up as a victory!
The big launch
With that feedback from the SEC incorporated into the app, we quickly turned around a launch in June, and started migrating our old version 1 accounts to the new infrastructure. It was immensely gratifying to see all the work we had put in over the previous 18 months come to life, and to start helping real people with the beginning of their crypto journey. If you haven’t migrated yet, make sure to do so!
Shortly thereafter, we also struck up deals with CoinDesk Indices and the London Stock Exchange Group’s FTSE Russell to offer their indices in the Hedgehog app. We had become one of the first apps enabling this customizable, broad-based exposure to index products constructed by trusted names.
Over the rest of this year we’ve been hard at work on three major product offerings:
- Trading traditional assets alongside digital assets in tax-advantaged accounts
- Executing on-chain strategies with multi-party computation wallets enabling Hedgehog to transact on your behalf
- Offering a full-featured web portal for institutional clients and independent professionals
Our new year's resolutions are to really solve the problems of getting started with crypto, and abstract away the complexities of holding your own funds in a wallet only you control.
We couldn’t be more excited to bring in 2024 on the tails of such an intense and fulfilling year. Based on the recent performance of BTC, ETH, and SOL we think that things are only about to get more exciting. Of course, past performance is no guarantee of future returns ;).
Thank you all for joining us for the ride, we truly do everything for you, our most esteemed and appreciated clients. Don’t be shy if you want to drop us a line and let us know your 2024 goals.