The visionary entrepreneur, Eyo Ekpo. A dynamic force in the world of business, Eyo’s journey is a symphony of innovation, data-driven insights, and a deep commitment to societal betterment. As the leader of Blockstone Capital, he has not only harnessed the power of trends and data analytics but has also orchestrated high-performing teams to deliver world-class customer service in the ever-evolving landscape of digital assets. Beyond boardrooms and profit margins, Eyo’s vision touches the lives of those in need, with a profound focus on childhood development, education, and ensuring basic life necessities for the underserved. Let’s explore Eyo’s unique perspective, exploring the intersection of his diverse educational background, entrepreneurial endeavors, and the future he envisions in the rapidly evolving world of finance and technology.
Your journey spans diverse industries, from AI to Economics, Hospitality, Media, and Web3. How has your educational background contributed to your ability to excel in these varied areas?
I studied business as a university student, with majors in both Entrepreneurship and Finance. The combination of all of my learnings along with being in the right place at the right time created a perfect opportunity for me to maximize my contributions across industries. Bitcoin was first mined during my freshman year and as an entrepreneur, you are always looking for the latest and greatest technologies. In particular, with Bitcoin being a new sort of internet money or financial instrument, I was particularly intrigued. All in all, Web3 is still developing, but we have already seen major advancements in the decentralized finance space as a result.
How has it equipped you to bridge the gap between seemingly distinct domains, like finance and technology?
I can not think of any other area of our life that has been more impacted by technology other than finance. Over the past decades we have seen money transition from credit cards, digital banking, enhancements in stock trading, an explosion of cryptocurrencies, peer to peer payments and ApplePay. Any way we want to look at it technology has widened our financial opportunities, efficiencies and made finance almost borderless. I think the two, finance and technology, will forever be positively correlated.
As the leader of Blockstone Capital, you’ve demonstrated the ability to orchestrate high-performing teams. Can you share a specific instance where team collaboration drove business growth and innovation?
Leadership is something that is both natural and a developed skill. I take pride in having an impact and like the pressure one sometimes feels when you carry responsibility. However, at the end of the day, there are very few independent great leaders. The greatest leaders are amongst the greatest teams. Specifically for me, our team at BlockStone Capital launched at a perfect time amid the craze of ICOs and the building on the backbone of Ethereum. One of our greatest accomplishments was to trust our instincts on this new technology, take time to try to understand it as best as possible, and do our best to evangelize across our network to find opportunities for ourselves and others. By doing so, we were able to create some outsized returns compared to traditional finance and spearheaded our position in the crypto space through a tremendous network.
Strategic investments in early-stage blockchain projects distinguish Blockstone Capital. How do these investments align with your growth objectives, and could you provide a success story highlighting their impact?
Blockstone Capital aims to capitalize on the cutting-edge developments of the blockchain space and provide generational opportunities to make life changing investments. As it is commonly said, “with big risks, come big rewards”. We know and firmly believe that early-stage blockchain projects are the backbone of the space and what will continue to push cryptocurrencies towards the more mainstream environments. It is important to note that at one point, both Bitcoin and Ethereum themselves were early-stage blockchain projects. Today, we continue to look at cross-chain projects and projects that can help scale the efficiency and speed of the amazing networks that already exist. We are still so much in the infancy stage of this space and some of the biggest innovations are yet to come. The latest Ethereum hard fork can lead to tremendous advancements that we cannot even fathom today.
Your commitment to childhood development and education is inspiring. Were there mentors during your own childhood who influenced your values and aspirations in this regard?
I strongly believe and am forever grateful for the numerous mentors I have had throughout my upbringing and professional career. There are too many people to name that have been significantly impactful to where I am and who I am today. For these reasons, I feel a sense of indebtedness and need to support children with similar backgrounds so that they can achieve and surpass any of my achievements.
Blockstone Capital’s services bridge traditional investment strategies and the dynamic world of cryptocurrencies. How do you balance the need for education and awareness about digital assets while driving business growth?
Balance is key on this front, especially in a market that is so dynamic and moves quickly. Education is key and is a pivotal way we are able to build trust with our clients. Additionally, we – ourselves – are constantly in need of having to educate and adapt to the markets. All being said, our primary fiduciary duty is to aim to maximize returns for our clients that have entrusted their capital with us. As we do so, we all mutually benefit and educate ourselves.
With a focus on societal betterment, could you tell us about a specific charitable cause that profoundly impacted your personal growth as a leader?
Within the realm of social betterment, childhood development and support are at the forefront of my charitable focuses. During my tenure in university, I had opportunities to spend time and lend my treasures or talents to numerous non-profit organizations. I believe the smaller and local organizations had some of the most immediately noticeable impacts. On a larger scale, the two organizations that stand out to me personally are Big Brothers Big Sisters and St. Jude’s Children Research Hospital
The emergence of fintech challenges traditional investment methods. How do you assure investors that Blockstone Capital’s value proposition remains relevant amid evolving technologies?
We prioritize the relationships and trust we have with our clients ahead of profits. For that exact reason, we make it clear that we are not able to assure anything. What we can assure is that we believe that this market will be pivotal to future growth and opportunities and as a result it is something that they should trust us in enabling them to diversify their portfolio. Using historical data and current trends we can point to the fact that the cryptocurrency and blockchain space is undoubtedly going to be volatile but has shown to provide outsized returns consistently – over time. Our value proposition is simple – trust us to help navigate an ever changing market and industry that can spread out your current risks while increasing the potential for positive returns in the long term.
Your journey led you to helm Blockstone Capital, focused on digital currencies and blockchain. What pivotal moment inspired you to venture into this niche within the financial landscape?
It is difficult for me to pinpoint one exact moment. I would say I am even more passionate and firm in my beliefs for this market due to the repeated signals that all lead to seeing the need and opportunity in this space. Starting with my coming of age as an adult during the Great Recession, the advancements of mobile technologies, fintech, the digitalization of almost everything around us, and witnessing some of the smartest minds I know building some of the most exciting projects on the blockchain at a rapid pace. It truly is an exciting time; maybe even a generational paradigm shift.
The tech landscape evolves rapidly. How do you reconcile your forward-looking approach with the unpredictable nature of innovation?
We are able to reconcile by believing in our approach, knowing that we are not always going to get it right, but as long as we are more right than wrong and chase consistency we will more or less reach our destination. In the end, history always repeats itself and we are all animals of habits and instincts. We continue to trust our instincts and study trends and historical data – which have continued to support the developments and trajectory in this space. As with anything new, there are going to be major winners, losers, and setbacks but over time the dust settles and if you keep yourself in the game, you will more clearly be able to pinpoint the next and best moves. We just know we will continue to keep ourselves in the game.
Continuous learning is vital. How do you stay ahead of trends and technologies, and what strategies contribute to your ongoing personal growth?
Networks and news. Things move and develop so quickly that in order to even stay somewhat up to speed we are frequently in touch with our networks, looking to grow our networks and following all the available news outlets available. We believe in a top down approach and casting a wide net with our sources and people so that we can funnel down to knowing who and what levers are best suited for specific situations.
Obstacles are part of entrepreneurial journeys. Can you share a notable setback Blockstone Capital faced during growth, along with lessons learned that boosted resilience?
Over the years of investing and following the crypto space, we have gone through numerous cycles. Obviously the bull cycles have been the most fun and enjoyable but we have seen that the “crypto winters” have been the most impactful. This is when some of the biggest and brightest projects have been created or been able to find new ways to pivot to the strategy needed to take them to the next level, excel in the next bull cycle and withstand future roadblocks. Blockstone and our team have done the same during those periods. Sometimes the best moves during times of tribulations are to strategically make no moves at all and wait out the storm. Regardless of the circumstances, when times are the most difficult and backs are against the wall, we have seen time and time again that some tremendous risks have been successfully executed.
Some critics question the effectiveness of your strategic investments in early-stage blockchain projects, calling them speculative. How do you address doubts about the calculated nature of your investment strategies?
Deep down I think all investments are speculative. There are few things in life that are guaranteed and in order to get different results we all must do different things. Some speculations are better or safer than others but at the end of the day no one can yet see the future. As long as there is sound reasoning, or analysis I am a strong supporter of speculation either personally or professionally. We should all seek positive speculation and invest in our health, education, communities, environment and financial security.
Looking ahead in the digital asset world, what upcoming strategies or expansions do you foresee for Blockstone Capital, and how will your leadership and expertise drive sustained growth in this dynamic industry?
With all the developments and the outlay of roadmaps like the Ethereum project, I believe traditional institutions will continue to test or expand their interest in the space. With these developments, we should see more familiar investment strategies and vehicles, (along with some new ones) such as options and other derivative tools. I also think that staking and DAOs will become more widespread and common.
How can people find out more about Blockstone Capital and connect with you?
I am widely accessible primarily through LinkedIn or happy to connect with others through email or phone chat.