Amir Ness has a long resume dotted with major companies from the financial industry. A graduate of the University of California, Ness found his calling on Wall Street working for companies such as Merrill Lynch and T3 Trading. However, the entrepreneur and visionary saw the future of finance changing; and he parlayed his experience into the new financial arena.
Ness took his knowledge of the markets and Wall Street, and began to put his energy in the blockchain and digital currencies. Now, a trusted educator and speaker on the subject, Ness has also become a leader in blockchain investments.
Ness founded the Elevate Group in 2018, and in just a short time, he has taken his knowledge of the blockchain to greater heights. The digital currency expert also helped many, from individuals to large companies, know more about investing in the computer program.
Amir, you have had a long history working in the financial sector. What led you to work in finances?
Financial markets are the intersection of human emotions and money, all expressed in terms of price. I’ve always been good with people, sensitive to the nuances of how we operate as humans and I love trading or price discovery, so the markets were a natural progression for me. I think I have a good “mercantile mind” that comes natural to me.
Your resume is littered with positions working for major players in finance from Merrill Lynch to T3 Trading. Can you tell me about your experience working for those companies and how has it influenced your decision to start your recent project Elevate Group?
My time on Wall Street was really fun. When I was a financial advisor, my main role was raising capital, but I always found myself more interested in participating in the market; that’s what led me to get into trading. After many years of that, I grew disillusioned by the market. It became a very rigged set up with all the algo’s and big players. I slowly lost the passion for that. That’s when I learned about the blockchain. I decided to focus 100% on it, because like everything else I do, I’m either all in or not at all. The Elevate Group is about opening opportunities for people who want to get involved in the blockchain. Right now, the general public still doesn’t understand how impactful this technology will be, so we’re laying the foundation for what I believe will be the greatest transfer of wealth in our lifetime.
Previously, you worked with financial companies and fiat currencies. However, now you are focusing on blockchain and marketing. What led to this new direction?
Well, the problem with fiat currencies is that they’re controlled by central banks and large financial institutions. Markets as a whole are controlled by the same groups. With the blockchain, the decentralized nature of it makes it a much more authentic marketplace. Also, the blockchain actually solves a very specific computer science problem known as the double spend problem, this provides intrinsic value. Fiat currencies no longer have much intrinsic value, although people still don’t realize that yet; because there was no alternative up until now. Bitcoin is an alternative currency, and I believe in time, people will see it as a better one.
In 2018, Ness founded the Elevate Group. His decision to start the company came from a desire to help those who want to invest, but are unable to do so for various reasons. Although the Elevate Group is happy to work with the 1% of society that are wealthy, Ness’s team focuses on those who just want to get involved with investing. The Elevate Group acts as the conduit for those interested in investing in the blockchain to get their feet wet and experience real financial trading.
Let’s talk about Elevate Group. The company is working on digital currency commercial mining. How did the company begin and what do you see its niche in the world of digital currencies to be?
So, Elevate Group is about creating investment opportunities for people who wouldn’t otherwise have access. That’s the core value we provide. For example, we have a bitcoin mine in Siberia, where power is cheap and the facility was fitted with 10 megawatts of power and ready to go. It’s one thing to find that online, it’s another to go out there and secure the property, do the due diligence and package the investment. By doing that, we’re able to offer investors something they can’t really get to on their own. If you’re a big player, then yes, you could do it; but what about everyone else who wants to be involved? We’re about them, not the 1%. Not that we have anything against the 1%, they can invest too.
In terms of mining, I think that’s just the most stable and conservative way to play bitcoin, if you believe in the blockchain – and indirectly bitcoin – then you can see the case for much higher bitcoin prices in the coming years, so getting into mining gives you a way to generate passive income and secure a consistent source of bitcoin every month. Who doesn’t like passive income with ROIs of 100% per year?
There are investors looking to get into the world of digital currencies and blockchain, but don’t know the first thing about it. Why should they partner with Elevate Group and what benefits would they receive?
Again, that was the whole premise behind Elevate Group. We give people a way to play bitcoin and the blockchain. With my speaking engagements and publicity, I now get deals coming to me, so we vet them and choose the ones we believe in, then we share them with our clients. It just works.
One of the biggest problems with investing in the blockchain today is transparency. Numerous ventures pop up overnight with the promise of big returns for investment in a new digital currency. Yet, these startups are short on facts when probed by investors and potential clients. Ness and his team hope to eliminate the cloak and dagger operations they have seen other companies use on the Internet.
One item that truly stands out on Elevate Group’s website is the fact that it states the company is “transparent”. How do you achieve this, and is it one of the biggest problems with the blockchain today? Are investors putting their money into non-transparent companies when they shouldn’t be?
Yeah, the blockchain is all about transparency and giving people the information they need to decide for themselves. I think one of the problems today is that while the blockchain can make things transparent, people aren’t always doing that. Of course, many are. But unless you know what you’re doing, there’s still a lot of misinformation out there. So again, part of our value is that we use our knowledge and contacts within the space to clear the clutter, so to speak, and give people choices that save them from doing a lot of due diligence and homework. Because we usually are able to get better deal terms than any individual investor would, we can also deliver our investments on very attractive terms. We don’t eat into investors margins, and the margins we provide are much better than traditional capital markets.
Can you talk about the executive team you have assembled at Elevate Group? What does each member bring to the table and how does their experience mesh with each other?
The people behind Elevate Group are essentially the executives from the companies we do deals with. We usually bring them into the fold, so as to develop long-term relationships. Another side of our business is about building alliances to promote the betterment of the business practices on the blockchain. We want to raise the standards here. The blockchain is far more powerful than equity markets as a whole, and those markets are controlled or managed by a select few. The blockchain is meant for the people, but like all things, there are good actors and bad actors. We want to help people find the good actors.
Ness believes the early investors in the blockchain will experience major returns on their investments. With the system still in its early stages, those investing fiat currencies into the computer program are on the ground floor and it can be lucrative. Banks and fiat currencies now have to contend with the rise of digital currencies and the blockchain, and it could mean the former becomes obsolete in the future.
Numerous headlines around the world are devoted to blockchain and bitcoin these days. It seems every day there are stories of why to or not to invest in digital currency. In your opinion, why should people be investing in bitcoin right now?
Bitcoin is the Big Kahuna of the blockchain. In terms of currencies, you can look at bitcoin as the reserve currency of the blockchain. Now, the blockchain itself solves a very big computer science problem that up until now has not been solved, that’s the double spend problem. Because of that innovation, the blockchain gave way to decentralization. Decentralization means any form of central power, be it a bank, a credit bureau, or even something like Facebook could be disintermediated. That’s why the banks don’t like bitcoin, it takes them out of the picture. And like Andreas Antonopolous said, you don’t go to an 800 trillion dollar industry and say “hey, we’re here to disrupt you” and expect them to just fall over. So, there’s a long way to go here, but that’s also why it will be so lucrative for early investors. The blockchain will change the face of money. People who understand that are building big positions in bitcoin and other blockchain assets.
How will blockchain change the world in the future, and what is the holding it back currently from being bigger than it already is?
Wow, that’s a long answer. To sum it up, the blockchain is going to take the big players who controlled so many things, and decentralize their power. Meaning those big organizations are now vulnerable in terms of their roles. For example, you want to buy a property. Well, there are several intermediaries: the escrow company, lawyers, etc. The blockchain comes along and makes property transfers much cheaper and more secure all at the same time. So, you’re not giving anything up, and gaining more. Everyone wants the blockchain, everyone except for the centralized powers who control industries. In terms of why isn’t bigger, I think that has to do with human nature. How does the saying go? First, they fight you, then they hate you, then you win. We tend not to believe in paradigm shifts until they already happen, the visionaries are the ones who can see past the disruptive period and can imagine a world that’s better. As that process unfolds, more people will get in, that’s when things really expand. We’re still in the second or third round.
Since graduating from the University of California, you have had a hand in building up companies and startups. Some might say you are a serial entrepreneur. What has led to your desire to develop new businesses?
This one really boils down to one thing, I don’t like working for someone else and I always think I can do it better. Usually, I’m right. It has not always been easy, and like many others who take their own path, I’ve had my share of bruises, but I’ve learned from them and that education goes a long way for me now. The way I see it, I’m really working for my investors, they’re the ones I owe something to.
Elevate Group is still in its infancy, it only opened in early 2018, but what can investors expect from the company in the near future?
The Elevate Group is about empowering people to make their own investment decisions and providing a platform to do that. With all the transparency we provide, almost anyone can learn, do their homework, and invest based on their own tolerance. Do we really need investment managers to take our money and buy a few diversified mutual funds? I think people are going to start taking control of their own money, and making their own investment decisions. We already see that happening in the blockchain. On another note, we’re about creating an ecosystem of people who cherish this new capital market called the blockchain and want to preserve its integrity and value. This is a new industrial revolution coming, what a time to be an investor. We’re not just an investment group, we’re about changing the status quo that’s been with us for so long. People are sick of the old systems of power, I knew that when I started this group, and I want others who long for something new to have an alternative.
Ness is confident the blockchain and digital currencies will change the world for the better. His confidence is contagious and that is why he works as an educator and speaker on the subject matter.
Ness has been at the forefront of the digital revolution from the beginning. However, his work is unlike many other companies in the sphere. Ness wants to help those underrepresented to have an opportunity to invest and grow their finances.
Elevate Group may have just been founded in 2018, but the company’s founder and team have been rooted in finances for years. Their hopes is to help make the blockchain bigger, and more available to those wanting more of a financial voice.