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Deep Dive with Chris Slaughter, CEO of Samsa

Chris will be answering questions live at 11:30am PST

posted 1 year ago

with or if you'd like to join the discussion.
Soona Amhaz
Hi Chris, on a high level what problem is Samsa solving?
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Chris Slaughter
@soonaorlater On a high level, Samsa is transforming crypto investing from single coin investments to diversified strategies. The majority of funds in the traditional markets are invested in index funds such as Vanguard products, and it should be the same in crypto. By using Samsa, you can easily make a custom index of many coins, or use one of our custom made indexes. This should take an average investor from investing in just Bitcoin and Ethereum to investing in 20 or 40 coins.
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Ben Tossell
What are your thoughts on the Coinbase Index announcement?

Is it really a big deal?

Only accredited investors, you can already buy the assets on Coinbase easily and not v liquid.
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Chris Slaughter
@bentossell We think it's a big deal in the long term. Indexes are a proven strategy for diversifying investments, and they're even more important in crypto which has both market and technical volatility. Currently, many investors have single asset exposure, meaning all their funds are in one coin such as BTC or ETH. These investors are at significant risk of an event like BCH price dramatically increasing relative to BTC. Market-weighted indexes help solve this problem.

It's true that Coinbase's index fund is only available to accredited investors. Because Samsa is technically a robo-advisor that works directly with users' own exchange accounts, we don't have an investment minimum, and anyone can use our platform. Furthermore, since it's non custodial, users can deposit and withdrawal funds from their exchange account and the bot will reflect that to Samsa.
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Blain Rethmeier
How do your index strategies work? And what are the different strategies?
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Chris Slaughter
@BlainR Our index strategies are tailor made to provide different levels of exposure to various aspects of the crypto ecosystem. We have dozens of index strategies ranging from Market 12 (top 12 coins weighted by market cap) to Protocol 5 (Cardano, EOS, Ethereum, NEO, Stellar), to many more. This enables you to split your investment between broad market indexes like Market 12 to specific verticals such as protocols, or privacy coins, or data storage, all without having to research the best underlying coins in each.
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Calvin Chu
Really neat platform! Am going to sign up - happen to have a referral code? xD
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Chris Slaughter
@calchulus www.samsa.ai/create?referrer=3547B95
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Soham Bhatia
@calchulus @ybchri_ really cool idea, however your create account page isnt working, desktop or mobile. clicking on the create button takes you nowhere after filling out info
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Ben Tossell
How did you get into crypto?
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Chris Slaughter
@bentossell I got into crypto in January 2017 as a casual investor. By March, it had appreciated so much I had a feeling that this space was going to rapidly expand. I started a crypto hedge fund called Paladar Capital with my partner Ari Stiegler and we took on LP capital. In September of that year, we began working on Samsa because we had so many individuals who wanted to invest in Paladar but they didn't meet our minimums. Our idea was that we needed an end-to-end platform that could facilitate crypto investments in a diversified manner, and that's what Samsa is today.
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Ben Tossell
Walk us through the inspiration for Samsa and what you are trying to achieve
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Chris Slaughter
@bentossell We were inspired to create Samsa when we were running our hedge fund, Paladar Capital. A surprising amount of individual investors were interested in investing with us. Unfortunately, about 85% of them didn't meet the accredited investor standard or had less than our institutional minimum. We wanted to create a way for this majority to have similar benefits as our hedge fund investors, mainly through rebalanced index strategies.
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Ben Tossell
What are the top index funds out there at the moment?
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Chris Slaughter
@bentossell In finance, Vanguard is the king. In crypto, the index funds are young, but Bitwise Investments and Coinbase Index are the big names today. There are also some decentralized implementations such as PRISM. Our view is that a fund is not the only solution to providing indexes in crypto. Unlike conventional financial markets where funds are necessary to pool capital and gain access to exchanges through a broker, in crypto anyone can make an account on an exchange or trade on a DEX. It's sort of like if every American could have a "NASDAQ account" and trade securities directly without a broker. With this open access, the fund structure is extraneous because strategies can be applied directly on client accounts via algorithms we call Exchange Traded Strategies (ETS). We think this model promotes more access, liquidity, and transparency and it is where the market will head long term.
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Blain Rethmeier
How do your algorithms react real world events?
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Chris Slaughter
@BlainR All our indexes are weighted by the face value of the assets in USD. We offer indexes that are further weighted by market capitalization. These capitalization-weighted indexes tend to buy coins that are performing well and exit coins that aren't. Furthermore, we execute limit orders based on the market price, which is updated every second. This prevents market slippage in periods of high volatility. Like Vanguard, we take an approach focused on a principled investment thesis and don't try to "day trade" for our users.
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grahammcbain
What's the number on misconception you still run into around crypto
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Chris Slaughter
@Graham-McBain The number one misconception amongst mainstream investors is that crypto IS Bitcoin. The crypto market has hundreds of competing and compelling currencies/tokens. These assets can be grouped into themes such as emerging protocols and alternative payment methods without requiring investors to understand every underlying asset. While it may be impractical for the mainstream media to cover the hundreds of coins that make up the crypto ecosystem, we hope there is enhanced coverage of these themes and indexes to open up more mainstream investment in these promising emerging coins.
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Neil Deramchi
What kind of people are you hoping will benefit most from this?
How easy is it for someone with no very little understanding of trading to use (and learn with) Samsa?
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Chris Slaughter
@NeilDeramchi Ultimately, we want Samsa to allow anyone to invest in crypto so no one gets left behind in this new system of finance. That means over the next several years, we will try to help people that aren't invested in crypto yet (70% of the market) get invested.

Exchanges are complicated. You have to learn the individual assets, price them, figure out a strategy, and execute market orders all day to hit your target. For early adopters, this is thrilling, but for everyone else, it's intimidating. Samsa is the easiest way to trade for everyone else. Adding a strategy on Samsa happens in one click. Adjusting the funds allocated to strategies happens with a simple slider. All of this is made possible because we have a sophisticated bot running behind the scenes that trades every 7 seconds, doing all the work people do today by hand.
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Soumya Jain
How are you converting the non-crypto traders to use your platform?
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Chris Slaughter
@miajain Great question. Samsa makes it easy for people that don't understand the technical aspects of crypto to invest in easy-to-understand indexes and model accounts. For example, we offer a Protocols index on Binance that allows people to invest in things "like Ethereum" with understanding what EOS or Cardano are specifically. We also make it easy to link up an exchange account in less than two minutes and are adding educational content around creating those accounts. Longer term, we'd also like to allow people to create accounts right from Samsa. The mission is to solve problems for the next 70% of the market that isn't in crypto yet!
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Calvin Chu
@miajain @ybchri_ This is a super neat idea!
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Soumya Jain
@miajain @ybchri_ Thank you!! Excited to see how Samsa and you shape the future and get everyone on board with crypto-investing
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Chris Slaughter
@miajain @calchulus Thank you!
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