Tag Archives: Cryptocurrency

Matt Yemma Moves Into Crypto PR

Dr. Gerry Kuroghlian and Tod Kalif taught Matt Yemma to write.

Nearly 2 decades after his 2002 graduation from Staples High School, he remembers the educators’ criticisms, encouragement and impact.

A few years after Yemma graduated from the University of Redlands — where he majored in English — Kuroghlian reached out on Facebook, with more words of support. Once a teacher, always a teacher.

Yemma had planned to go into public relations. His parents worked in PR and journalism, and — as a news junkie — he cherished the media’s role in society.

But before graduation, the 2006 midterm elections loomed. “I thought the world was like the TV show ‘West Wing,'” he recalls. “So before I jumped into the corporate world, I wanted to try politics.”

As an intern for the Nevada Democratic National Committee, he worked on campaigns from city council to Harry Reid’s re-election bid. Then came stints as press assistant for the Nevada State Assembly speaker and, 2 years later, Nevada deputy press secretary for Obama for America.

But corporate America called. Yemma headed to New York, where he worked in financial services PR just as the financial crisis deepened. It was trial by fire.

Matt Yemma

After a few years — including stints when Detroit went into bankruptcy, and lobbying on behalf of Obamacare —  Yemma headed back to school. While earning a master’s in public affairs, he freelanced.

He started his own business, and in 2017 merged with another. Yemma has built up that business — Peaks Strategies —  ever since. It’s a successful boutique firm, with many clients. They include asset managers, private equity firms, technology, ESG and impact investing, biotech and healthcare, and a company advocating for carbon capture and a common sense approach to the NetZero challenge.

And, now, cryptocurrency and blockchain companies too. Yemma works with major players in the NFt, digital security and crypto spaces.

“A lot of PR is being on the forefront of frontier markets,” Yemma says. Though crypto and blockchain have been around for a while, suddenly the public is paying attention.

“Some countries don’t have real banking systems,” Yemma explains. “Digital is the way to go, everywhere in the world.”

His PR work extends from mainstream publications like the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg, to trade publications. In his work, he meets many Westporters also involved in these “frontier markets.”

Working with a client who is big into SPACs.

But as exciting as all that is, Yemma may not always work in the fintech field. Next month, he and Weston High School graduate Elodie Kremer will marry. She’s an equestrian; he loves dog training.

Some day, they hope to buy a farm.

Perhaps with cryptocurrency. As he and his clients often say: It’s the next frontier.

And For Just A Few Bitcoins More, We’ll Throw In the Chandelier

Last May, I published a real estate listing.

It wasn’t my new side gig. What made the 5 Ridgewood Road property “06880”-worthy was the price.

You could snag the 5-bedroom, 4 1/2-bath, 4200-square foot home off North Kings Highway for just 250BTC. Or 3,030ETH.

Those aren’t typos. That was the cryptocurrency price.

“Be the first to make a Blockchain Home purchase,” the New York Times said.

5 Ridgewood Lane is off North Kings Highway, between Wilton Road and Old Hill.

This week, the house finally sold.

The buyer paid $1,510,000. The listing price — once it was changed to dollars — was $1,588,000.

Alert “06880” reader David Loffredo notes that when the home was first marketed at 250 bitcoin, BTC was $8,333. That equated to a little over $2 million.

Today, David says, BTC is $3,752. So the owner would have less than $1 million of it in the bank, had he or she accepted the cryptocurrency and held onto it.

Which, he adds, “so many of them do. They remember when it was closer to $20K.”

The moral of the story?

All that glitters is not gold.

Today, Westport’s Real Estate Market Changed. Forever.

It’s a typical Westport real estate listing:

“5 beds, 4.5 baths in 4200 sq ft on a quiet cul de sac street close to train, shopping, restaurants in a town that offers a progressive lifestyle.”

5 Ridgewood Lane is off North Kings Highway, between Wilton Road and Old Hill.

But the rest of the write-up for the 5 Ridgewood Lane home is unlike anything you’ve ever read:

Currently accepting CRYPTOCURRENCY. Climb into your very own Crypto Cryb in NYC’s backyard and diversify your portfolio. Blockchain Homes presents its first residential property to be offered for purchase in cryptocurrency. Bring your Bit Coin or Etherum to the one and only Westport, Connecticut modern farmhouse designed and inspired by the crypto climate of a cutting edge lifestyle…. Be the first to make a Blockchain Home purchase.

So how much does it cost?

“250BTC or 3,030ETH.”

That sound you just heard is thousands of local realtors going, “Oh. My. God.”

(Click here for the full New York Times listing. Hat tip: Peter Blau)