Esteemed financial adviser Terry Vogiatzis has joined NFT gaming platform Balthazar, as Chief Investment Officer, leading the organisation’s investment strategy.
Vogiatzis was formerly one of the youngest Associate Partners at investment management firm Findex, responsible for $100 million in funds under management. His passion for building wealth through innovative strategies led him to explore, and now join, the cryptocurrency industry.
“I’m excited to apply learnings and principles of traditional finance and markets to the cryptocurrency space, and help build a cryptocurrency and DAO (Decentralised Autonomous Organisation) from the ground-up,” said Vogiatzis.
“I’m also excited to manage Balthazar’s internal treasury, implementing cryptocurrency strategies which are already proving successful.”
Built for the NFT gaming community
Balthazar’s mission is to empower the biggest gaming community to create a self-sustaining, wealth-building ecosystem. Through its scholarship program, Balthazar invests in NFT gaming assets for players to use to earn in-game reward tokens. The yields from these NFTs are shared between Balthazar and the players – known as “scholars”, or as Balthazar terms its “Wizards”.
Balthazar is innovating further than a traditional gaming guild, developing technology to gain a competitive advantage. This includes a platform for NFT asset holders to lend their NFTs to Balthazar and earn a yield, and a launchpad for gaming developers to access the Balthazar community.
Following its launch in September 2021, Balthazar has seen rapid growth with over 70,000 people in its Discord community and over 35,000 people on its waitlist for its scholarship program.
Last month, Balthazar closed its first token sale of US$3 million led by Animoca Brands. It is soon to close a Private Token Sale round of US$8 million with a valuation of US$150 million.
“We are thrilled to have Terry on board,” said John Stefanidis, Balthazar CEO. “With his experience and background in traditional finance, coupled with a deep understanding of the cryptocurrency market, Terry brings a unique and highly valuable strength to Balthazar.”
Following Terry’s appointment, Balthazar recorded a 90% return (US$300,000 profit) in one month from a combination of investing in Pegaxy governance tokens (PGX) and in-game rewards (yields). Pegaxy is a blockchain-based digital horse racing game.
The explosive NFT gaming space
The play-to-earn market has seen explosive growth over the past year. In fact, the most popular NFT game, Axie Infinity, generated over US$1.3 billion in revenue, more than any other dapp/blockchain behind ethereum, according to Token Terminal.
Other gaming guilds such as Yield Guild Games, Merit Circle and Crypto Gaming United, all hold fully diluted valuations of more than US$2 billion.
Strength in Balthazar’s financial expertise
In his new role, Vogiatzis will be responsible for developing Balthazar’s internal investment strategy and tokenomics.
“Launching a cryptocurrency requires far more thought than one may think, especially when trying to parallel fundamentals to traditional investments,” said Vogiatzis. “For example, the most difficult thing about monetising on fully diluted valuations is building liquidity and market depth, as the majority of tokens adding to this valuation have not yet vested. Various strategies need to be considered when incentivising liquidity such as offering “staking rewards” for investors that provide liquidity to the market, and tying this into the gradual vesting of investor tokens.”
Vogiatzis will also conduct regular virtual workshops, teaching the Balthazar community about financial literacy.
“I’m humbled to have the opportunity to make a difference in our community by helping people learn not just about the benefits of cryptocurrency strategies but also the risks involved and the importance of diversifying into other asset classes,” said Vogiatzis. “I believe NFT gaming will make a positive impact for many people, particularly in developing countries.”
Balthazar’s management team includes six other highly accomplished executives:
John Stefanidis, CEO: one of Australia’s leading digital marketing and ecommerce experts, he has developed and scaled several businesses including digital marketing agency, Covert.
Hairul Lutfi, CFO: Over 15 years experience in accounting and compliance, specialising in fintech and fast growth startups.
Bijan Abdollahi, COO: Skills and qualifications in engineering, business, and complex project development.
Kristian Bortnik, CTO: Deep information architecture (IA) and tech strategy skills, having managed large teams across multinational clients.
Peter Nay, CMO: Experienced in brand building, marketing and scaling e-commerce brands.
Michelle Hutchison, CCO: Over 16 years experience in international media and communications, including digital marketing, cryptocurrency compliance and fintech.
Nicholas Korsgård, CGO: Game Strategy E-Sports coaching phenomenon. Professional gamer at the highest level for both LoL and Starcraft.