Ibrahim appears in the Top 100
Innovators & Entrepreneurs and The Top 100 People in Finance magazines.
How Ibrahim turned $2k into a multimillion-dollar business by 25
When Ibrahim Alkurd was growing up, he looked up to the Mark Zuckerbergs and Bill Gates of the world. At the time, he could not have predicted that by the age of 25, he’d be well on his way to emulating huge entrepreneurial success. Nor could he have foreseen the serendipitous train ride that would take him from a medical student to the founder of two multimillion-dollar businesses.
Today, Ibrahim is a firmly planted leader in the digital asset space and the owner of a pair of thriving companies—New Mine, an international service provider for digital-asset mining, and Lavaliere Capital Management, a digital asset investment company with two funds and over $50 million in assets under management. Founded in 2016 and 2018 respectively, New Mine closed $2 million in sales in its inaugural year and Lavaliere Capital Management’s flagship fund was named the top-performing fund in its industry for two years running.
The narrative of Ibrahim’s success is not hyperbolic. After all, just a year prior to launching New Mine, he’d never heard the term “bitcoin.” Ibrahim recalls that fateful railway journey that changed everything. “I knew nothing about bitcoin when my friend told me about it that day on the train, so I understood the initial hesitation from people when it first emerged, because they didn’t understand it, and neither did I—but I quickly became fascinated by it.” After that conversation, Ibrahim took a job at a call center and saved $2,000 while learning everything he could about bitcoin. A few months later, in 2015, he began arbitrage trading, turning that $2k into $13k in just three months. After seeing an unmet need for reliable mining services, he launched New Mine a year later to fill the gap. The demand for services was so great—30x what they could provide—they were turning clients away. At the same time, people were asking Ibrahim to manage their digital assets. In response, he co-founded a digital asset fund that grew to $50 million in assets under management. In 2021, the company returned an astounding 1,128% in profits to its clients.
We spoke with Ibrahim to learn more about the growing popularity of bitcoin and digital assets, what he sees for the future, and what drives him to continue to innovate as a leader in this dynamic space.
Ibrahim, for those who are unfamiliar with bitcoin, will you give us a brief primer of what it is and how it can be used in our everyday lives?
Bitcoin was created in 2009 by a pseudonymous inventor known as Satoshi Nakamoto. Its purpose was to be an electronic peer-to-peer cash system, but it has also attracted investors as a store-of-value currency, comparable to gold. Satoshi detailed bitcoin’s ground-breaking technology in a nine-page document that laid the foundations of electronic peer-to-peer cash and its underlying blockchain technology. Since bitcoin’s creation, thousands of digital assets have emerged, and an entire industry has been born. In my view, the best use case of bitcoin is as a store-of value.
To what would you attribute the growing popularity of digital assets?
The global digital asset market has become the fastest growing market we have seen in our lifetime. In recent years, much of the popularity growth in digital assets can be attributed simply to accessibility. Digital asset trading used to be available only in a few online platforms, while today, numerous brokers offer it. This sector is seen by many as the future evolution of finance and people are keen to get in on it. Blockchain technology has the potential to change the world in many ways and can have a profound impact on our financial sector.
What does the future look like for digital assets?
In the short term, the digital asset sector will continue to be volatile and have its ups and downs. As this market matures, we will see the emergence of the Googles and Facebooks of this space. The best application of blockchain technology has been in digital assets and the best application of digital assets has been in decentralized finance, also known as DeFi. Decentralized finance is a sector of this market that offers financial instruments without relying on intermediaries such as brokerages, exchanges, or banks by using smart contracts on the blockchain. DeFi has grown to the billions, and I expect it to grow to the trillions in the coming years.
Let’s end with a personal question. What do you enjoy most about your work, or what drives you?
I enjoy the challenge of entrepreneurship and the unpredictability of it. I love the fact that I’ve created these companies from nothing, and I think that is very powerful. Entrepreneurship allows me the ability to solve a problem and provide value to people. Obviously, a business has to be profitable, but your focus should be on fixing a problem, and then the income will come.