Crypto

Brad Michelson – Crypto Marketing & eToro Transcript

Brad Michelson - Crypto Marketing & eToro

Note: This transcript was automatically generated by artificial intelligence (AI) and therefore typos may be present.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Hey folks Rob McNealy here. And today we’re talking to Brad Michelson. He is a crypto marketing guru based in New York. And today we’re going to learn all about the ins and outs of marketing in the crypto space. And I think you see this a lot with a lot of developer led projects out there that marketing seems to be the thing that developers hate a lot. But I want to get a Brad’s kind of input and his take on things. So Brad, welcome to the show. How are you today?

Brad Michelson – eToro
Doing great. Thanks for having me.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Well, I appreciate you taking the time to come on and talk with us. Marketing is something that it’s near and dear to my heart. And I think that in really for there to be crypto mass adoption, I think marketing, at least from the crypto side of things really needs to ramp up his game. And I want to kind of explore that a little bit with you today if possible, but but before we dive into kind of all this, you know, marketing stuff. Let’s talk a little bit about you. What’s your background and how did you get into crypto marketing?

Brad Michelson – eToro
So I originally started out in e commerce marketing, so I was at an agency for a few years and learn the ins and outs of paid media over there. ended up leaving as the director of strategy at the agency went in house to an e commerce brand and didn’t have the best time and then I when I was looking for a job from there, I found my first crypto company so I jumped into that. Two feet forward, which was pretty fun. I was at helped launch dex which was really cool and obviously a big learning experience. It was after, you know, the Ico boom, it to a degree like the the place I had worked had already completed their Ico so it was fully funded and they’re building out the platform. And it was also right around the time when Facebook and all the social platforms started banning crypto ads. So that’s one of the biggest differentiators between traditional marketing and crypto marketing is that you don’t have a lot of the same levers as you might elsewhere.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
So what do you do about that? You say your crypto project, how do you get your brand out there? How do you market a crypto project effectively?

Brad Michelson – eToro
You know, a lot of it relies on social media and it’s really community building and not in the way that Ico projects would create a telegram group and just like get as many people in there as possible and use it as as like a pumping mechanism. It’s not really like that at all, at least anymore. It’s a lot more reliant on word of mouth and just general community sentiment, being able to go on Twitter, having your brand post something, you know, you’re not necessarily being like, outrageous, but you can just post it in an Oculus. bullish tweet and you’ll get hundreds of likes out of it just because of the goodwill that you’ve, you’ve grown in the community. So a lot of it is just sharing and echoing the sentiment of your target audience. But on top of that, you still have to make gestures that deer, the brands to the community. So with some people it’s being you know, a really approachable brand with very easy to understand. messaging that maybe is like a really easy onboarding to the ecosystem, for example, lolly they do a fantastic job with that. Other times It’s, you know, something like what we do at etoro. Or we’ll work with, you know, a famous celebrity or something like that. And we’ll do a commercial with them. And that way we’re, you know, bringing in more average consumers into the the ecosystem. But I think every brand has their own different approach. And it’s sort of the key really is just finding what makes the most sense for the people that want to use your product and expanding that as much as you can.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
So I was around when the Ico craze was going nuts. We started two and a half years ago with Tosca, and it was interesting because we could never even get an ad, you know, placed with any of the social media platforms out there primarily, you know, Facebook and stuff. But that seems to still be kind of the problem. And in the last two and a half years, I mean, the Ico world is largely dead, at least in the United States right now. The the scam pump and dump groups are mostly You know, quiet at least right now, though they’ll probably return when you know, the next Bull Run kind of jumps up. So the question I would have with you is, why is there such a still a blanket, you know, community standards problem with crypto related stuff on the major platforms? Why are they still banning it? The space is so much different and more mature now than it was a two and a half years ago. You got any insight of my why that might be?

Brad Michelson – eToro
I think it’s a risk thing. I think that that there were a bunch of lawsuits around the time of the Ico boom, both to the ad platforms and you know, not necessarily just Facebook and Twitter, but predominantly them, as well as other platforms where people are saying, I saw this advertisement on your platform. I assumed it was legit. And it turns out it was a huge scam. I think that everyone by now has noticed the the increase in attention on not just content across these social platforms, but the you know, whether they’re offensive or whatever else or they’re predatory, there’s rules on tons and tons of different industries. And obviously, finances is a big part of that. And that extends into things like predatory loans. And payday lenders can’t necessarily advertise on Facebook or I think even Google, you can’t advertise those products anymore. So unfortunately, crypto is still in one of those categories. But we have seen a little bit of movement that hopefully over the next little while this will start loosening up a bit. There have been rumors for the last little while.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Yeah, it was interesting. I saw today on my social media that there was a couple social media content people that said they got locked out of their Twitter accounts, which I thought that was interesting. Then and then most of the stuff they post is not what I would call spammy or shilling by any stretch of the imagination. than anything, and it seems like it’s pretty alive and well. And I’ve seen this where a URL will, you know, be banned from, you know, Facebook or Instagram and there’s like, zero, you can’t even appeal. There’s not even a process. There’s not a button to push. And so it’s interesting. I, you know, there’s a lot of rumors out there, especially among the conspiracy theorists that, you know, they’re they’re trying to, you know, head off any competition, you know, at least on the Facebook side would like a Libra out there, for instance. So they don’t like the competition from other crypto projects. I mean, do you think there’s any merit to something like that? It seems it seems a little out there for me, but I was just wondering if you’ve heard anything along those lines.

Brad Michelson – eToro
I really doubt it. You know, Libra, especially at that time was so far away from even launching, and it’s even far away now from launching, and it’s just not really, it’s not really also what that business models competing with. So I just don’t think that they’re related personally.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
So over the last last couple years, it’s been interesting, you know, watching crypto marketing from the inside as a project. You know, we, you know, there’s so many stories that I’ve heard about at least experienced myself, where during the Ico boom, you know, just to get an interview on a podcast like this might cost $10,000 or more depending on what it is. Is that changing? Now is that Yeah, easier,

Brad Michelson – eToro
way easier. I don’t think I’ve seen a podcast that charges to interview in a while now, which is a really good change. You know, that it was extremely hard to get on, you know, any of those big YouTube channels or, or whatever it was in 2017. And then it moved into podcasts a couple years later. Obviously, the space for sponsoring all these shows has expanded significantly. There’s a ton of money that goes into that. And, you know, I’ve been sponsoring podcasts and influencers for a few years now and I just think it’s going more legit. There was a time where it was like wild west amateurism, and it’s finally matured into like a legit marketing marketplace kind of for sponsorships.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
You know, it’s really kind of funny because when we started Originally, I couldn’t get on an interview. Because we didn’t do an Ico we had no cash to spend, you know, lots of money to get on, though, actually, it’s kind of funny, because one of the reasons I started this podcast, because I said, I’m not gonna charge and I never have I’ve never even taken a sponsor. I don’t do this to monetize. I do this because I genuinely like the industry. And I like to talk to cool and smart people that are doing cool things because I learned from people like you coming on the show. So I always thought it was funny because this whole podcast was a response to that. And originally, when I started this, I didn’t really want to do this. But I do like talking to really cool people. And so it’s just interesting, you know, kind of seeing it, but When I’m trying to get interviewed, I’m seeing it. It’s a lot different now than it was two and a half years ago. And I think that’s a good thing for the industry that the advertising the marketing piece is starting to become more formal, I guess, and a little more legitimate and honest. And I think that’s good.

Brad Michelson – eToro
I think there’s a reason for that, too. I think that with a lot of crypto companies, like when I started at my first crypto company, most of the opportunities that were available were companies, Ico companies that were gonna pay you in their tokens. And this was before the Icos. So they were like pre mining tokens to give their employees and in the hopes that the token will pump at the Ico and you’ll get paid off by that, but then we’re going to pay you otherwise. Now, you it’s you’re going to be really hard pressed to find that that’s not really you’re not going to really find that anywhere. A lot of crypto companies now are at least reasonably well funded. So They can pay you normal salaries, some more than others. You know, these things come with benefits. And there’s HR along with it. And these are real companies as opposed to in that 2017 2018 range where it was very bootstrapped, and like semi real company and people were really leaning into the whole decentralized company thing, which I don’t know necessarily if it materialized in the way that they originally presented it. But the way that it’s become now is his own unique thing, which is really exciting. But it’s nice to see that it’s formalized in that way and with those budgets for the businesses come budgets to to hire legit professionals. So you know, most of the people at most of the projects you’re aware of the big ones at least, they didn’t come from crypto, a lot of those people aren’t crypto native. Even my team there’s half of us probably aren’t crypto people I’m lucky enough to have been in since 2012 is when I discovered it. So there’s, you know, this whole back catalogue of knowledge that I can pass down to my team and to other teams. But it’s a double edged sword, right? Because people come in with traditional marketing experience or traditional finance experience, whatever it is, and then they got to catch up on the the finer points, and especially in marketing, you know, the audience is so sensitive to certain signals or values, that there aren’t a lot of opportunities to screw up and figure it out afterwards. So at first, it’s a bit of a learning curve, but it ends up being huge for the the attracting talent in our industry in the long run.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
So you said earlier and I know this to be true as well is that there’s a lot you know, the the tools that you have for growing are a lot more limited, because, you know, you just can’t go say, Oh, we need 10,000 users. To download our app that’s, you know, between five and 10 bucks a user, whatever it is, just go buy the ads and boom, you know, we build it out. You know, that’s not really something you can do with crypto very easily. So when you have an when you’re hiring, you know, marketing professionals and you bring them on your own team that, you know, maybe aren’t, you know, crypto natives, but they come from a more traditional marketing background. Have you found that they see that as a challenge? Or do you think they get more frustrated that they don’t have as many tools in their toolbox?

Brad Michelson – eToro
Depends on their background, if if they had like a pure paid marketing background like I did when I was younger, then it would be a little head spinning because you’re used to having a fashion brand that you just run ads on Instagram on. And you can test you know, a million different iterations of copy and creatives. And there’s a whole universe within within that realm of marketing, but it really forces you outside your comfort zone. It’s not that paid media disappears necessarily, right. There’s ad networks. outside of just Google and Facebook, and the obvious people, you know, buy sell ads is one that you see relatively often. There’s a few others. And you can also do, you know, native placements within a bunch of different websites, like you can buy native placements on Yahoo or, you know, CNBC or TechCrunch, even. But they don’t necessarily come with the performance metrics, or the performance history that Google or Facebook might. So someone in that scenario, initially, in theory would be a little shocked. And there’s a bit of a learning curve, but you’d hope that that person would be able to, you know, dive in and come up with some new best practices for themselves.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
So that’d be things like, you know, programmatic and those kind of ad buys that you’re talking about there that which are not the normal Google AdWords kind of thing, but, you know, dedicated ad networks that are already placed on specific websites.

Brad Michelson – eToro
Right, exactly. And then the The whole universe of app advertising, which is a whole other thing,

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
That’s interesting, tell me about that.

Brad Michelson – eToro
So in the same way that there are display ad networks on whatever website you’re on, there are also those really annoying ads that show up in apps, like when you’re playing like a puzzle game or something and you lose, and then you have to watch an ad for like 15 seconds, those kind of ad ad networks where they’re gonna get placed in games or news, news apps, or whatever it else, whatever else it is. And they’re not necessarily run through Google. So they might have less strict rules in order to attract people like crypto companies or other smaller industries that are not as easily accessible through Google.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
So what have you found to be the most effective, you know, tool out there for getting out to as far as normal advertising? Would it be the app advertising? Would it be the programmatic? Which one Have you found has the best, which one of those has the best audience that are receptive to the crypto messaging?

Brad Michelson – eToro
It really depends on what your objective is and what kind of marketing you’re doing. So if it’s brand marketing or performance at etoro, we’re lucky enough to actually be able to run ads on Facebook and Twitter in the main platforms, because globally were more widely recognized as a broker. So that’s what most people know us for overseas, but in the US for crypto only right now. So we’re able to take advantage of that relationship with those publishers. Outside of that, you know, it’s it’s the typical stuff, when you’re marketing to a niche industry like we are. It’s thinking about where are these people most often? So you go to Twitter, okay, well, we can’t necessarily run ads on Twitter. You know, you can post organically as much as you can. But what’s next so what’s next is podcasts, advertising or YouTube advertising. natively within the videos with the publishers. But there’s also the influencer sponsorships. And you’re seeing that get more and more popular now, whether they’re through networks, like what block works group is doing or whether the brand reaches out individually to individual influencers, which is my preference and what we do. So that’s one of the easiest and arguably most affordable ways to get wider reach within your niche.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
So say, a community project. Now how what would you say is the best thing for a community project that may not have that Ico backing that big bankroll that we had with a lot of these products? You know, two, three years ago? It was interesting. I mean, you saw people throw money, like really big amounts of money at ridiculousness. As far as marketing goes, I saw and it seems like ROI to me has always been an important thing. I was just you know, curious. What would you recommend? For like, you know, these community projects that don’t have that, how would you deal with those kind of projects instead of something that was really had a big bankroll? And, you know, maybe VC funding, for example? Sure.

Brad Michelson – eToro
Well, I think that you got to think about it in some degree, similar to a brand selling a product. So who is where is your product for sale? Okay, so we’re thinking about crypto exchanges, right? So, you might want to spend a lot of your time getting more familiar with the marketing and PR teams of those exchanges so that you have better like co branding opportunities and relationships with those people. You can have them add your brand and your token into more marketing materials and therefore, expose the token brand to more people that way. And, you know, marketing is really just a game of eyeballs at the end of the day, whether it’s consciously or subconsciously The more people see things, the more they’re aware of a brand, the more opportunity there is for them to purchase or participate within the brand. So that’s probably a place that I would start with first because, you know, when people see people shilling, like non top 10 assets now, people just assume it’s some sort of, whether it’s a bot network or whatever else it is. I see this in my replies all the time. But if you can integrate organically with a provider of your services, it makes it a lot easier for you.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
So one of the things that I’ve seen and it was interesting, as someone whose US based your US based is that crypto is like a global thing from day one. You know, and so the exchanges are global, the projects are global. The, the basis for many of these projects are global in nature. How do deal with that as a project, like for instance, marketing. You know, a lot of times, you know, US base industry might be just mostly focused on that, you know, the the US, for instance. But how do you deal with the global niss and the messaging globally for any kind of crypto project?

Brad Michelson – eToro
This is a challenge that I think most crypto companies discovered really early on and when you look at when we keep going in 2017 2018, but it really was a craze, you know, people are not for people that are relatively new in this space. It’s not that people are playing up what it was like during the the boom, it was as exaggerated as it sounds when people talk about it. So there are all these projects that you know, started out us base or started out UK base and then suddenly they had to hire like a community team in multiple regions of Asia because suddenly that catches on and one of their exchanges over there. And then all of a sudden, maybe a market dries up. And they have to ditch those and only really focus on two regions. I recently had a call with someone who’s a part of a fairly large defy project. And they were saying that over the last year, they’ve cut teams in certain regions of the world. And they’re really just focusing in the US and a couple other places right now, because that’s where their customers are at the moment. And really, that’s what it comes down to. It’s where the majority of your users in the case of a token project, where’s the majority of your volume? And what can you do with those people to increase the brand awareness or your volume if that’s what your KPI Your goal is there?

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Yeah, it’s been interesting as a project right, and you know, I’m not here to shill #TUSC all day, you know, I love #TUSC but it’s interesting because it’s really we’re US based, ee’re not an IC O, so we’re not a legal security. So we’re one of probably a couple dozen projects that eventually be able to legally be traded on us exchanges. The problem is it’s really hard to get on a US exchange. So most of the exchanges we’re on at least right now are in Asia. I mean, there’s just seems like we’re the most of them are right now. But it’s interesting having to go through and negotiate with all these different in that and it’s different by which country in Asia to their the way they interact, the way they negotiate, or in some cases don’t negotiate. And it’s an interesting kind of trying to navigate that, like, I mean, I got a background in business. I got an MBA for whatever that’s worth these days, but, you know, but it’s like International Business one on one day one. Yep. And it’s like, I got to go read a book on you know, negotiating in Asia and because I just never had to do that before. So it’s been pretty fascinating. And it’s actually been really fun too, though, because I’ve met some amazing people. Around the world through my project. And so I think that’s what I really like about doing this. But it’s also sometimes really frustrating is, you know, not understanding some of the, you know, just the more cultural nuances just because there’s so many you have to be worried about something. And you know, it’s interesting, because in a typical American, right, you just kind of think all Asians are the same. Well, they’re not they’re very, very culturally very different from one another. And so, only time ago I did I used to work for a Japanese country company. And back when I was a corporate Guy 20 years ago, and you know, I get how the Japanese work because I work for a Japanese company I worked for an ally Japanese were but they think and act and do business very differently than say people in China do. It’s just totally night and day and, And to me, that’s been very fascinating. But is for you guys even like with etoro? Are you essentially then hiring different marketing people or ground teams in each country that you think you’re going to have a big presence in?

Brad Michelson – eToro
So basically, the way it works with us is that we have regional offices. So, for example, I work in the US office, I run the US marketing team. But there’s a completely different marketing team in the UK, for we have one region that’s most of Europe that there’s one team working on. There is a team in China that only works on China, etc. So we’re a little bit luckier because we’re at the scale now where we can have all these regional teams. But it’s not that easy for everyone else. So it’s kind of a little bit about prioritization based on business goals.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
So do you guys all coordinate though, all the different marketing teams around the world to so you still have a similar message or really staying on the consistent? You know, focus when you’re doing the marketing, or is it is it then just regionalised? Like, is there one central brand messaging and then it’s just, you know, regionalised in a certain way, that makes more sense for those places?

Brad Michelson – eToro
Yes, kinda. So basically, there’s like a central brand to etoro That’s managed globally, or at HQ, we just call it globally. There’s like a brand book basically with the way we like to talk about things, the colors, we use the gradient styles that we do in our graphics and things like that. But every region is a little bit different, right? So the coffee is going to differ. You know, the way that the UK talks about crypto would be different than we do. There are things that we’re allowed to do that they’re not allowed to do, for example, we like to throw incentives to customers to have them come in, but in the UK, they’re not allowed to do that legally. So there’s a lot of differences and they really leave it up to us to make it our own, which is a really fun part of the job.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Well, and your experience, at least, you know, coming from the more traditional side of marketing to the crypto, what would you see what are some of the the horror stories that you’ve seen out there in the marketing of crypto?

Brad Michelson – eToro
Yeah, I think a lot of it goes back back to how there was a lot of like amateurism at the beginning and it wasn’t like, purposeful negligence or anything like that. It was that most of the people, most of the personalities were just people, right? They, they had never taken a sponsorship before, they had never done any of these things. So sometimes you’d like sign a deal with someone for six months. And then two weeks later, they’re like, sorry, I decided I don’t want to do this with you anymore. I signed with your competition. So stuff like that is really annoying, but it happens from time to time. And, you know, you’re not going to burn a bridge. So it’s whatever it is. Other times it’s, you know, you if you think back, you can probably think of at least a couple companies that partnered with a project that ended up being a scam of some sort, right, like whether it’s listing a token or whatever it is. So I think that a lot of the differences between then and now is just maturity and growing into like a respectable industry.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
So what would you say your best advice would be to new companies say, VC backed project, what would be the best piece of advice you could give them in the beginning?

Brad Michelson – eToro
Invest in your brand and your brand’s voice. So that applies to social media, the way you talk about things, the way you present the values of the company. Because at the end of the day, the way that our community works is that if you don’t follow the simple rules of, of the the basic tenants of centralized currencies and whatever way you want to interpret those things, digital currencies, you’re really never going to take off, right? Because you’re not going to be able to capture the attention of the influencers, who might share your content and bring more attention to your brand. It’s a lot more of an uphill battle. You don’t need necessarily to invest in a paid media. A team or a paid media agency, which is kind of backwards to a lot of people’s experiences. So having a strong brand team, which includes a strong UX asset on board, and then making a product that’s easy to use, I think we’re finally approaching the days of no longer having to deal with apps or daps, or platforms that you need to read like a manual for because the first time there were a lot of exchanges where you kind of had to read steps on a forum or whatever to complete a purchase or a trade. And thankfully, those days are now appeared to be behind us.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Thank goodness.

Brad Michelson – eToro
Yeah, right.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
So Brad, where can people find out about more about you?

Brad Michelson – eToro
You can find me on Twitter @BradMichelson.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Well, I appreciate you coming on the show today. And anytime you got something interesting, you want to talk about, you’re more than welcome to come back. Sounds great. appreciate you having me. Thank you. I am Rob McNealy, this is the Rob McNealy program. Check us out on the web at Rob McNealy calm and we will catch you next time.

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Scott Cunningham – Crypto & Things Transcript

Scott Cunningham - Crypto & Things

Note: This transcript was automatically generated by artificial intelligence (AI) and therefore typos may be present.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Now, welcome to the program. Hey folks, Rob McNealy here and today I am excited. I’m talking to Scott Cunningham. He is the social media influencer host of the crypto things podcast. He’s got a huge following all over the internet. He talks a lot about a lot of different crypto stuff, a lot of the business stuff. So I’d like to welcome to the show. Scott, how are you today?

Scott Cunningham
I’m doing great. Thank you so much for having me on.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
I appreciate you coming on. I’ve enjoyed speaking to you in the past and I think our audience will gain a lot of valuable knowledge hearing about you or from you. So before we get started, kind of can you give a little bit of background about how you got into the crypto And how you got into publishing about crypto stuff.

Scott Cunningham
Yeah, absolutely. So I unfortunately got in just before the big crash in at the end of 2017. I invested a bunch, I was just getting into it. And and then the big crash happened. So I realized I wasn’t the greatest that investing. But I was curious to see what other ways blockchain could be used. And as a social media marketer, I thought, you know, how could this be? How could this work for social media, so not long after of, you know, looking around for a while I found steam. And that was kind of the only platform at the time. So I started posting on there figuring what you know what it was all about. And then I realized there was a lack of educational material on like, how to use it, and just like teaching people about the actual different platforms. So from there, I started doing tutorials I started just like learning A lot more. And then maybe about six months after that I started to expand and look for other platforms. And since then I’ve just spent a lot of time exploring new platforms, doing reviews, and interviewing different people from those companies and organizations.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
So of all the different platforms that you’ve kind of been looking at, you mentioned that you started off on the social media marketing side. How are the crypto related publishing platforms different than the traditional older school kind of social media publishing platforms?

Scott Cunningham
Yeah, so there is a range I would say of like, how centralized how decentralized, how much are they actually using the blockchain and posting on the blockchain? So there’s definitely a spectrum. So for example, real quick publish yo x is somewhat centralized in that they have like moderators, and they’re not posting to the blockchain, but they are crypto monetize where You can earn cryptocurrency from the platform, not so. So there’s a there’s a big discrepancy where people think that you have to give other people crypto on these platforms where most of the time you’re actually earning it from the platform and you don’t have to rely on like donations from other people. And, and publish Oh x is really good for that. And then if we look at, you know, on the other side of things like something like hive or library, where all the content exists on the blockchain, and it’s completely decentralized, and so, so that’s kind of like the two sides of the spectrum. And, you know, there’s many in between but the the big difference between most blockchain platforms is the sort of values that go into why they were created, and a lot of that is transparency, open source, free speech. As I mentioned before, decentralized Which is just taking a look getting some of the control away from the platforms and dispersing more of the control. And the way that the platform is used amongst all of the people. So that, like, for example, again, hive and steam, don’t have moderators, a lot of the moderation is done by the community. So that’s another example of decentralization. And kind of the big thing is that, I mean, another thing is censorship to that’s one of the biggest motivations right now why people are switching over to new platforms, because they are very free speech. I mean, I will say this, right? Not every blockchain platform is, you know, free speech focus. And it’s not like they’re always going to be all of these things. But that’s generally why a lot of them are created, and a lot of them do follow that, you know, those values. The rule is not, you know, there obviously are exceptions to the rule. But but that’s kind of the The main reason why a lot of these platforms exist and, and what makes them extremely different from legacy platforms and and then aside from that monetization, it’s very, very challenging for people to monetize on regular platforms. I’ve been posting on YouTube for almost three years, and I haven’t made anything I still can’t even start to monetize yet. And if we look at a platform like library, for example, the very first day as a viewer or a creator, you could start earning from the very first day. So I think there is there’s a lot of people who are empowered by that. And when you see that you can start earning from day one, you actually have value that you can extract and provide and actually get, like both sides get the value. That’s the best part, right? If you’re watching or creating, you’re going to earn something and you kind of get that value back for your own time that you’ve invested and the attendance That you’ve put to those platforms.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
So you’d say there’s like kind of two categories of interest. One would be the censorship that a lot of these legacy platforms are obviously exerting over the content from the publishers. But the other side is the monetization side, which cryptocurrency seems to make that a lot easier. Let’s back up a little bit. Why are the legacy platforms doing those two things? Do you have any insights on the monetization piece or the censorship piece?

Scott Cunningham
Yeah, so I mean, I mean, quite simply, we can we could say with monetization, they want more money, right? So if advertisers are advertising on your content, regardless, if you have higher restrictions to actually be an advertiser, like to have those advertisements and get paid from them, then YouTube is going to keep more of the money at the end of the day. The second reason is, YouTube has become like, I’m just going to use YouTube usually as an example, because it’s most well known for censorship. But they they want. They’re beholden to their advertisers. So if advertisers say, you know, we don’t want our videos showing up on this or on this, they continually keep making those changes, and they make the allowed spectrum of content narrower and narrower. Every single year, just in the past year, we saw changes with commercial viability where essentially YouTube said, if we deem that your channel is not commercially viable, which almost any channel could be said to be that if you’re talking about something that they don’t want you to talk about, or you’re not even able to monetize yet, like myself, technically, I’m not commercially viable. So they could terminate my channel at any time just under those grounds. And then in January, we saw the changes with the compact which essentially made it so that You can’t make video content that is directed towards children. And it was further advertising. It was all around their advertising. But the consequences of that are all of the younger youtubers can’t make money anymore because obviously their their audience is is other young people as well. So people doing gaming videos, kids who do reviews, there’s like five year olds who do reviews of toys, and they had big channels, because obviously they’re doing it with their, their parents are their family. But not all of those are being demonetised child celebrities can’t make money anymore. Lots of things have changed. And what we’ve seen because of that, is a lot of content has aged up on YouTube. So people who previously made content for kids are now making more adult content and and it’s very, very weird. The the range of what is allowed, right because YouTube’s basically saying with these changes that we want you to make your content more adult because if it could be directed to a younger audience, then it might not be allowed to be monetized. So now everyone is like, introducing like, like trying to make their stuff more adult casually swearing more and stuff like that. But then on the other side, you might hit the point of not being commercially viable because you’re too adult. So they keep making that that spectrum more and more challenging to fit within. And, and when they do, you know, strikes or terminate channels. It’s very, you don’t really have much time to react and it’s kind of just like it’s done. And you can try to email with them, but usually, not a lot happens there. So we saw a lot of that happen with the crypto purge, but luckily, a lot of them, a lot of the channels and things were restored. But you know, there’s a lot of people who still have like two strikes now and They’re really concerned that they might get kicked off at any time from like YouTube.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
You know, I don’t like to go down necessarily like the conspiracy theorist route and you know, as well as I do that there’s a lot of people in this space that automatically go down to like the it’s a big conspiracy. And I’m not saying that conspiracies don’t exist, right. But I don’t necessarily believe there is diabolical as people want them to believe they are. But it definitely seems to me that I look at these the censorship and the D monetization. It’s almost like a typical lifestyle or lifecycle of like a large corporation, right? The bigger these you know, these players get, the more rigid they become the more antiquated, the lower the slower they move, the slower they adapt, and ultimately, it opens up opportunities for startups. And you know, because they’ve created like this vacuum now I have a friend of mine that runs Do you are you familiar with Utah Gun Exchange or UGETube.com?

Scott Cunningham
No I’m not.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
It’s a it’s a it’s a gun related video streaming site I’m friends with the owner of it. And we have a lot of conversations about all this kind of stuff because he’s a big believer in free speech and and things and and it’s interesting to me it’s at it’s it’s like this is creating these openings now for these startups that even three years ago you couldn’t consider it there was no chance to these big channels would even consider you know, these big YouTubers or what have you wouldn’t consider moving platforms because they had a really good thing going three years ago. I myself also I can’t monetize on YouTube at all. It just doesn’t even make sense. And I’ve had my YouTube channel for like a decade. And you know, I’m just for all the same reasons you’re struggling with. They’re just wanting to consider it. Whereas platforms like library you know, like Day one, you can start making money. And and I think ultimately that’s going to drive a big chunk of the market to these new platforms. And I wonder if the corporations understand that’s what they’re going through. This is like a pretty common like, lifecycle problem that a lot of big companies have you think they worried about it? Do you think they understand this is happening? Or do you think they’re just so blinded by their own little missions that they’re not even paying attention?

Scott Cunningham
Yeah, I mean, here’s the thing, like, I think they know, but then it comes down to, okay, how much of our money would we really be willing or our revenue or income? How much of that would we be willing to then sacrifice and put into, you know, making a cryptocurrency or, or even just making monetization easier again, how much would they really be willing to cut? And do they think in the long run that that will work? I mean, from our side, we think No, we think they’re going to go out of business because of this, but they might look at it like, okay, like these other platforms have a million users, 2 million users, this isn’t a problem. This isn’t a problem. That’s probably what like blockbuster was thinking at at the beginning. But you know, as they get further and further down the rabbit hole, or or, you know, too far into wherever they’re going, I think they’re going to maybe notice in hindsight, but I don’t know if it’ll be too late. By that time. You know, an interesting conspiracy theory that I thought, like, I find it interesting is that YouTube was trying to get rid of all the crypto youtubers so that they could then come out with YouTube coin or something like that. And then it’d be no one who would be critically able to like, analyze it or have an opinion on it. I thought that was pretty funny and interesting if that did happen. But yeah, I mean, the problem is then they get to this point where it’s like It just doesn’t seem it’s not even in there. I don’t even think they’re looking at blockchain. I don’t think there’s a lot of people in there who understand it or value it. And, you know, even if people from YouTube or twitch decide to make a blockchain while they already have a, for example, like I don’t want to knock a specific blockchain on your podcast, but I’ll say this, a co founder from YouTube and a co founder from twitch left and made a new blockchain, but there’s a lot of problems with it that are similar to the problems with YouTube. So I don’t think if they did make a cryptocurrency or blockchain, that it would actually be what people are looking for. And I think it would still be just as centralized, you know, all the same issues that they’re having, you know, they would still censor and they wouldn’t pay the cryptocurrency to specific people based on you know, political views or whatever it might be. I think they would still have all of these same problems. So they wouldn’t be able to effectively implement the blockchain or cryptocurrency in the way that other platforms are doing in the way that would make sense. Because they would be kind of skirting all the values and the reasons to even have it where they could just continue doing monetization in a database. And maybe that’s what they’re thinking now, but I’m not totally sure, obviously.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Yeah, it’s pretty interesting. Like, Gab is another social media platform that forked a couple of their platforms. And they kind of cater more to the kind of alt right kind of world. And for those that are not all right, but on Gab, I’m not trying to December from under the bus. But it’s interesting, though, that the founder of Gab is also very, and one hand he’s very pro free speech. But on the other hand, he’s got his own very strange look at different things and how he wants to have people on this platform which is kind of funny.

Scott Cunningham
When you get into like the the Gab and anti porn kind of debacle.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
It’s just like really? You know, you can talk about all the Jews and the Zionists and all the other stuff and but but porns No, no, it’s like, Man people got priorities issues. But that’s I do.

Scott Cunningham
Yeah, yeah, no, sir I do have I do have an interesting opinion on on on that because I do fully respect free speech, but I don’t know if I would consider pornography free speech and, you know, I’m no I totally understand the argument from both sides though. But the way that I would look at it, or the way that I’ve sort of approached this is free speech is anything that you can say or do in a public square that is legal Can you have sex or be nude and do all that kind of stuff in a public square? I’m not sure could you legally put a pornographic in image on a town bulletin board? I don’t think so. You know that that’s the way that I look at it. And I think it makes sense sort of what he’s doing. But he’s making a religious argument. That’s the problem. I think it was his like premise. That was the problem. He wasn’t saying, Oh, I don’t actually think this is free speech. So I don’t think this is like a problem for social media. He was saying, This is like, immoral or so like, I get that. I think that’s that’s kind of the issue that he went about it. But my personal view, is that like, I would say that it’s not necessarily the same thing, but I can understand why people would feel that it is. And I fully respect to the free speech argument that all speech is is free speech.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Oh, absolutely. And I’m not giving an opinion one way or the other on it. I just think it’s kind of ironic, but the but the whole need I think it’s there’s a little bit of hypocrisy when you form a whole network. That’s supposed to be anti censorship. Then you have censorship, you know, for whatever reason, you know, and I think that’s that’s the interesting part of this. There’s a big spectrum out there, I guess, with some of the stuff what people are willing to tolerate and what they want don’t want with these different platforms. I have to say that, you know, even with the big social media outlets out there, like Facebook and the Twitter’s of the world, you know, it’s interesting, like they have a real issue with crypto. And I understand, you know, two and a half years ago, when there was so many, arguably illegal Icos and there were so many scams, I can understand why you may not want that on your platform as far as advertising, right, I can see the argument but things have changed a lot. The whole market has matured a lot. There’s a lot more clarity, even you know, from a year ago, there’s a lot more clarity in the market right now than there was you know, a couple years ago, but it’s interesting, like there’s no rhyme or Reason, or it seems like there’s a lot of arbitrary kind of decision making on what’s good and what’s bad when it comes to these platforms. So for instance, on Facebook, not too long ago, I posted something to a regular URL. It was an update for a project for a crypto project. It wasn’t spam, it wasn’t selling anything. It was just a straight up announcement. And somebody in one of the groups post, you know, obviously, they reported it for whatever reason. And now that URL to that update, like the whole domain is completely banned from both Instagram and Facebook. And there’s no way to appeal. There’s there’s no way to email anybody to appeal it. It just says this violates the our code or community standards, and that’s it, you can’t even respond. And it’s like, that’s devastating. That could be devastating economically to a lot of different projects, a lot of different things. And so it’s like, I think that’s where a lot of people get frustrated is that they don’t know what the rules were. Are Yeah, there’s Yeah, the guidance is just so generic and so arbitrary. And you got some, you know, sensor in some room in some warehouse somewhere going, nope, nope, nope, nope, nope. And and you don’t have any control over it. And I’m not a big fan of, you know, making these platforms, you know, utilities, you know, there’s a lot of call for that, right? Where they want to make it so the government can regulate it. And, you know, individuals don’t have, you know, control over their businesses anymore. But on the other end, I think from a customer service standpoint, I think they’re gonna hurt themselves long term. And I do think that’s where these other publishing platforms are going to thrive.

Scott Cunningham
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. And to that point, minds.com if you ever used the URL in any way, even to the point where I had a YouTube video that said mines.com in the title that I couldn’t post to Facebook. So if and this was for a good year and a half, I believe, where if you tried to post anything to Facebook, it would say, this is a I can’t remember exactly what it said. But it said like you need to type in a CAPTCHA for this to actually post. And then if anyone would tried to share it or do anything comment, you had to type in a CAPTCHA type in a CAPTCHA. So no one’s doing that. And, and even if you did, I got it was to the point where I would send myself sometimes I would send myself a message on Facebook just so I can get it on my phone. I send myself a message to one of my own posts on mines. And then I look at my phone and it’s like message removed from your messages for violating the guidelines. And I’m like, I can’t even send myself a private message that includes a mines URL, but you know, now they just allow it. So for all I know, one person reported it a year ago. That’s all it took for a full year of completely blocking out this, this one site. And, yeah, it’s crazy. It really just seems like on legacy platforms. It’s not about the rules anymore. It’s about who’s offended. How many reports are there on that thing? Because a lot of times, it’s like, Where’s the actual violation? It’s like, Well, a lot of people were upset about this and it’s like, okay, and I reviewed the community guidelines on Facebook about like a year ago. And I remember there was this huge outcry when Facebook changed part of their community guidelines to say something along the lines of if someone is determined to be I can’t remember exactly what it was but it was just like a something individual maybe like a dangerous or or something. But but it was by the news, not by like law or anything like that. They would excuse any kind of like illegal thing on Facebook so like if if someone was claimed to be such and such people on Facebook were allowed to give death threats and all this stuff that is otherwise illegal, but they were accepted for you know all this stuff and I think it was actually around the time of the Covington kids and I think that’s why cuz there was a lot of celebrities saying things like openly calling further death like like very popular blue check verified million follower Twitter users were saying things like put them all back into school and burn the whole school down and those tweets were allowed to stay whereas tweets that say things like I don’t know. Like Laura Loomer, I think was the one who said but but is he a man or is she a man though or something like that? But are you a man though it was something about gender and and her whole count was like deleted instantly where someone can make open death threats, and then they get their stuff can stay up. So it’s very bias and it’s very, it’s very ad hoc, there’s no real baseline of rules or standards that people can refer to. And that’s why a lot of people want these new solutions because the rules are more clear cut, or it’s kind of just like open free speech, everyone kind of free for all because either of those are better than at any point you can have all of your progress in all of your money investment, everything taken away, because I’m sure those people who have tons of followers have probably done ads on Twitter. If you’ve done ads on Facebook, you know, people have invested money into these on top of, you know, years and years of time. And then that could all just be taken away. Really like just just like that and and there’s like barely any appeal process or anything to try to get that back. So yeah, it’s a it’s it’s pretty crazy what they’re doing online. Legacy platforms.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
You know, it seems to me like, there’s just a lot of political virtue signaling coming from these corporations. And I know it’s kind of controversial, but the gun issue, right, like there’s a big chain called Dick’s Sporting Goods down here in the States. And they pulled all their guns out of the stores, you know, and they lost like their quarterly filings last year have been like they’ve lost hundreds of millions of dollars. And it’s interesting to me is that I tell people, I really missed the days when I didn’t know the politics of the companies that I bought things from. Like, I like that, you know, because I just want good service. Like if I want to buy something, give me good service, but it seems like in the last couple of years, and I think it’s probably in the last three years, especially but really the last two years is that it seems like there’s all these like left leaning companies that I didn’t know they’re left leaning until recently have just come out of the woodwork to like start basically, I hate the But virtue signaling they’re, you know, they’re like all of them. It’s like the gun you know? It’s like sales force comm fired all their gun dealers Shopify the shopping cart sell software fired all the gun related kind of dealers off their site I mean I don’t understand why like a sales you know CRM tool company cares if a gun related sporting goods company uses their software or not like that to me is just insane and you know the the business guy and he’s, you know starts asking questions like is this good for shareholders kind of thing but I also look at it from the business standpoint that there’s opportunities now because of that and I just don’t understand like, you know, you hear with jack right with Twitter everybody in the crypto space loves jack for some reason and I don’t know why. Because of cash app but but you look at how jack treats krypto on Twitter, you know, in Twitter ads and things like that. And it’s like he is not a friend of decentralization at all. You know, and in fact, if you look at most of these legacy platforms, decentralization destroys them, in many respects, it kills their business models. So it’s gonna be interesting to see long term, how this plays out. Do you think that they’ll shift gears back to being, you know, with the advent of this, all these additional platforms and competition? Do you think that’ll push them back toward being a little more objective? Or do you think they’re just gonna ride this to the bottom?

Scott Cunningham
I, I’m 99% sure. I’m not sure but I’m 99% betting on the fact that they’re going to ride this to the bottom. I don’t think they’re going to pull back. A large reason of why they’ve done a lot of that Like massive changes is to appeal to Chinese advertisers. And I only think that’s going to be more and more evident. So I don’t think that they’re going to, it wouldn’t be beneficial for them to turn back now, because they’ve already cut off so many people, and they’re going to continue doing that. They’re basically just like trading one audience for another audience. But because the other audience is bigger, they’re happy to do that, because that just means more money. And, and that’s all there. That’s all they’re really going off of now. So I think naturally, there’ll be a massive opening for all these new platforms to fill the void of that, that they’re that they’re creating, by doing all these things. And, you know, it’s it’s challenging for them to turn around and kind of be like, Okay, nevermind, we’ll cut off all these advertisers. And then we’ll just completely switch back to what we were doing before. Because there’s so many people who have a sour taste in their mouth, where they’re like, Yeah, but are you really going to stay this way, like for all we know, this is just for now. And a lot of people still want those new things anyways. And it’s, you still wouldn’t know if in six months from now they completely switch back to what they’re doing now, then you’re screwed, because you trusted them again, even though we really have no reason to trust them. That’s the thing. We have no real reason to trust them anymore. And that’s why blockchain solutions are so important because a lot of them are trust lists. Because we don’t have to rely on a specific person or entity. A lot of them are just, you know, they exist as is. And I think that’s one of the biggest the biggest things that attracts people to the technology because I don’t have to rely on anyone. I don’t have to put my faith in someone to do something for me. I can just rely on the math and then the code.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Well, you know, just since the last time you and I spoke, I actually opened up my own library channel and I am in the process of moving all my YouTube videos or at least synching on my YouTube videos. And now I’m starting to re embed those videos into my site from the library instead of YouTube. Because I just expect long term is that I just don’t trust that YouTube is gonna keep my channel up and I just don’t want to have to go through the mess after they’ve already deleted everything. So I want to thank you for helping me with that. But if you want to check it out at Rob McNealy on library now, that’s where we’re going to be focusing more of our energy just from the fact that maybe it’s not 100% decentralized, but it’s pretty close. And I think the team over there really supports free speech. And so I’m excited about like, just, you know, I’d rather give someone that cares about, you know, the liberties and freedoms that I do. I’d rather give them some business and support their project rather than YouTube because YouTube’s given me nothing. YouTube’s make money off me, but you’ve never given me anything. And it just why am I bothering and I’ve almost given to the, I’ve almost said why don’t I just delete the YouTube channel, but it’s still one of the biggest search engines out there. So I still have to kind of deal with it. But it’s just not going to be where I focus my energy anymore after, you know, after like last week, I’m just done less worrying about it. Because I just think that it’s a legacy dinosaur. So I hope the folks over library win. But I mean, how I mean, you you really track what they’re doing? How is the library’s growth?

Scott Cunningham
Really good. You should see you should see from when they hit a million users in March, and then from March to April, they went to 2.5 million users. So right now their growth is seemingly exponential. If you go over to library nomics, lbr, why and o m ICS, calm. You can see the top hundred or the top 200 channels. But more importantly, if you tab over to the next tab they have it’s all the channels that have ever been called. created all the publications that have ever been posted. It’s all graphed. And they even have specific events like the beginning of the crypto purge the launch of library TVs browser, because they only got the browser, you know, maybe six or seven months ago. So before you could only access it with a downloaded application, then when they got it on to the actual browser, they just took off. And yeah, you can go and see that you can see that it’s like it’s exponential right now. And I wouldn’t be surprised if, you know, by the end of this month, they are at 5 million users. And by the end of the year, 20 million plus, they really seem to just be destroying these milestones. Like you’ve got to consider steam it, I believe I have, after four years had about maybe 2 million, a little over 2 million users and libraries already passed that so you know, and that was the biggest Previously, so So now library is already essentially from what I can tell is the biggest blockchain dap. And yeah, I think it’s just going to keep on going. And, and one of the really good things about library is, you know you’re earning from day one, even the viewers earn I like I just made a post yesterday talking about the unique differences of library compared to other platforms. And one of the biggest most important thing for people is that you get paid via the views. So if I post a link to any other blockchain platform, you need to register and you need to go on and you need to upvote my posts for me to make money. If you watch my library video, regardless, if you register, you could just be on the website and you watch my video, I’m going to make money from that. So when I post it to Twitter, and people go on to hive or steam or anywhere else publish Oh x They’re not likely to sign up and do all this stuff unless they actually are a part of that platform. For the most part, it’s just someone clicking the link and then going to it, they might just read it or look at it or whatever. Like, you don’t have to sign up to medium to view articles on medium. But with library, even if they have or haven’t signed up, you’re still going to make that get that you’re going to get the view count. So you actually know that it’s happening to begin with, because again, with the other ones, you wouldn’t have even known that someone had clicked through and looked at your video or watched it because again, it’s it’s only really tracking like likes and stuff like that. So you can see everything that’s happening, and you’re gonna get paid for everything. So that’s one of the biggest things. I mean, there’s a million other things that I could dive into. But that’s why I’m really passionate about library because they have so much available to the creators and the viewers that is just really beneficial and they just make they have a really good ecosystem.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
So how do they make money? How does They get the money to pay out all this. Is there an ad revenue model in there somewhere?

Scott Cunningham
Yeah, so they just started having an ad model. But the good thing is that currently, the way that it’s set up is that only people who aren’t registered will see ads on the browser. So if you’re logged in, and you’re using it, you shouldn’t see any ads. But if you go on via clicking a link or whatever, like I just sort of outlined, you might see an ad in the newsfeed as you’re scrolling through, but you would never see intrusive like in stream, video ads, skippable ads, anything like that you wouldn’t see, it would just be like you’re scrolling through the newsfeed and there might be like an ad in place of where one of the things might been on the newsfeed so it’s not super intrusive, and it’s only for people who haven’t signed up. So if you you’re annoyed by that, you can always just sign in and then or sign up and then there’s no issue. I don’t know how they’re going To expand that out, but I know that they’re trying to do it in the least intrusive way possible. They obviously know a lot of people are here because they don’t like the way that YouTube does things. So they’re obviously trying to build on that and create something that is sustainable, because obviously, there’ll be a point where, you know, like, where’s the money coming from? And obviously, they have to keep up with that as well.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
So what blockchain did they fork to build it? You know?

Scott Cunningham
I don’t know, for a lot I, from my understanding, I actually think they just like built their blockchain, but I haven’t looked too much into their actual blockchain to know to be like well versed in that.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
One of the other success platforms that I’m seeing out there where there’s crypto monetization, I think is then the brave browser with bat tokens. Yeah. And I you know, I wasn’t sold at first that you know, it’s great. I’m like are great another browser to download but it’s Like I started looking in over the last couple months, I think I got like 50 bucks or something in my brave browser, like wallet and I’m like, yeah, yeah. You know, and it’s like, it’s like, yeah, it’s not a lot. But I mean, if it’s 100 bucks a year or something just from surfing.

Scott Cunningham
And I think that’s interesting. And I think that that model, one, I think is a winner. I think paying people for advertising to them, gives people like, empowers people again, right.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
But I think, but I think it’s an amazing way to get people into crypto. I think it’s slow. But it’s happening and and as a library, it’s like, you know, yeah, YouTube might have paid me if I would have been monetizable in dollars, right. That’s always great. But the fact is, I’m getting you know, I’ve already made like, 30 cents or something on library and I’m all excited. Yeah. I mean, it was like the first revenue ever made for a video. So like, wow, that’s that’s really really kind of cool. And so I think this is how we get adoption. That’s why I tell people make a really good platform, and then add crypto or blockchain to it. But don’t make crypto or blockchain does a thing. It make a real app like, and I say this about game. Like, I think there’s a lot of people out there that in the crypto world, especially like games and stuff like this, and some are good, some are not, but they’re trying to make it all about the crypto instead of making it a really good game, or making it a really good web browser or, you know, make a really good application or that really solves a problem. And focus on that and gaming focus on the game, the ability of it, and I think and just add some monetization to it. And people don’t care about databases and blockchains I mean, they don’t and and so I think those are two winners and so far looking at library and bat and the brave browser. I think those are probably two of the biggest success stories that I’m seeing in crypto right now.

Scott Cunningham
Yeah, I would agree. Yeah. And they do so much to just make your experience better. Like for me on brave browser, I’ve said it so that I only get crypto and technology based ads. So I don’t get all the random pointless ads that I would normally get. You can even like, curate even further by liking the ads that you liked. And then they’ll give you more of that. So I actually have seen like some interesting crypto projects as ads. And you know, not only that they’re very unintrusive. And you can set how many you get at a time, you could just have none. And then there’s also brave creator to where creators can sign up for brave, and then people can tip you on Twitter or YouTube. It’s a sort of a way to integrate crypto into the legacy platforms that are already out there. And I think they’re doing an amazing job of doing that. And kind of getting people on to the brave browser with their onboarding process. And like you said, I think the most important thing is when people start earning crypto, it completely flips their perspective. At first it might have been, oh, I don’t understand this. I don’t trust this. I’m like, they’re gonna take my money. Now it’s, oh my, oh, you’re giving me money? How do I get this money? Oh, I have to create a wallet. Okay, one sec, let me go create a wallet, let me get this money. They’ll do they’ll, if you’re giving them money, they’ll find out how to get that money. And then all these people are going to come in and then they’re going to keep earning money. And they’re like, Why wasn’t I doing this before? So I think that’s how we’ll reach mass adoption. I’ve been saying this for many years that I think social media is the route to mass adoption for blockchain. Because that’s where all the awareness will be. If people are making money for posting a selfie. I think that’s a pretty easy way to realize the potential of cryptocurrency and what blockchain can do for monetizing tension. monetizing content. Pretty much a lot, almost any application in blockchain just improves upon something that we already have, and gives a little more power to the user. Or at least the good projects give a little more power to the user and more control more access more everything, right. They’re trying to remove middlemen and, and just empower the user more. And I think that’s, those are the projects that are going to come on top and stay on top. And projects that get away from that are going to fail. Perfect example of that right now is you know, steam has been kind of going on like it’s been it’s been going down because ever since Justin acquired it, he’s been centralizing it he’s been making it really not what it was meant to be. And they’ve been losing a lot of people and people have been switching over to hive because they are still embodying the original values of steam and people will make Do whatever works best for them. I forgot to mention this earlier. It was either today or yesterday that Joe Rogan, announced he was leaving YouTube. Huge, biggest podcast in the world is leaving YouTube. He’s moving exclusively to Spotify. It would have been amazing if it was like library or something. But that alone is showing people that these platforms are not going to last, if all of the big influencers and creators start to leave. They have nothing to offer their their advertising isn’t useful if there’s no one there. And obviously, you know, it’s it’s going to be slow at first. But with these big people leaving, you know, other people are going to say, Oh, where are they going? I’ll go there. Joe Rogan is on mines.com, for example. So that’s good. He actually had the CEO of Minds on his podcast and we need more of that I mean he probably only knows about mine so if he learned about library maybe he would be on Lbry so you know, as these things grow and get more awareness I think we’ll see a lot more big influencers joining and there already are a lot of really really big influencers on there. And I think it’s only gonna it’s only going to keep growing.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Perfect Scott Cunningham, where can people find out more about you?

Scott Cunningham
You can find me pretty much anywhere at Scott seed business. Seo TTC be you si n e s s. And I have a podcast called crypto and things you can find that on any podcast platform like apple, podcasts, Spotify, all that good stuff. And yeah, you can find all the rest of my links at my website, Scott see business.com

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Thank you so much Scott and Rob McNealy and check us out at RobMcNealy.com. We appreciate you listening.

Scott Cunningham
Thanks for having me.

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Daniel Jones – AKA “Nixops” Transcript

Daniel Jones - AKA "Nixops""

Note: This transcript was automatically generated by artificial intelligence (AI) and therefore typos may be present.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Hey Rob McNealy here and today I am super super excited. I am talking to someone who is an expert in personal security privacy on the internet, and general all around smart guy when it comes to crypto, crypto hacking, software development. His name it goes he goes by Nixops but his real name is Daniel Jones, which I think sounds either like a fake name or something. But how are you today, Dan?

Daniel Jones – AKA “Nixops”
Good. Oh, good. No, that’s my real name. Most people assume it’s fake, but it’s actually my name. My parents had no originality.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
That’s okay. So um, we’ve been connected on social media for a while and you guys, you dig into some cool stuff. And you really talk about a lot of privacy related stuff. And there’s a lot of stuff happening out there. I think right now that people aren’t really even hearing about are talking about, but I just want to talk a little bit about your background. And then let’s just jump into talking about a bunch of different stuff. So Tell, tell the audience who doesn’t know who you are. Tell us a little bit about your background and how you got into this space.

Daniel Jones – AKA “Nixops”
I’m just I’m a programmer. I started off as a Linux, Unix sysadmin and started learning c++ and from there, you got a driver development became a software engineer. I mean, I started working with, you know, ever wide range of experience from Driver Development, OS level stuff to Software as a Service, high performance computing, cryptography and cryptocurrencies. Um, I just like I always say my tagline I’m a general purpose hacker, whatever you need to be done and money’s right. I’ll build it.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Sorry, independent then, do you work for a company?

Daniel Jones – AKA “Nixops”
Uh, I am working for a company right now I’m working for two companies right now, I also do a lot of independent work and some open source development. It just depends on time that should right there. If you can figure out how to add a few more hours per day, I would pay you a lot for that, you know, you just make that happen.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
I’m working on it. My magic wand. Actually, it’ll be our next rollout on, you know, hard fork number, blah, blah, blah, and extra hours in the day blocks.

Daniel Jones – AKA “Nixops”
Are you gonna put that in?

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Well, I mean, I mean, I get that too, because like, you know, like, what? We’re, you know, we’re doing our we do our little crypto project, and we’re open source and everybody’s got a full time day job, right. So it’s like, people don’t understand what that really means. I think the words community project have been thrown around so many times. But if people actually knew what the hell it took to just manage a community project and actually get stuff done in a community project, they would like go out of their minds. Oh, just for the project. management standpoint?

Daniel Jones – AKA “Nixops”
Well, I mean, that’s what a lot of people really don’t get to select the open source community, something that a lot of people have no idea that how much open source and free software they use. And they rely on every day, even services such as this one that we’re using, majority of it is built upon free and open source software. And the thing is, is that these companies pay individuals to work some of their time to contribute to them for features and things they need. And when you break away from company, paying for that, it is truly a community like truly open or truly just individuals running it. People don’t understand that we got bills to pay and things like that. They don’t they don’t really grasp that. Just because you write code, they think that you’re going to get what Silicon Valley pays. No, that’s not how it works. Someone has to foot the bill. And if someone’s not footing the bill for that your time is completely free, and that’s fine. But there are also you got responsibilities. You know what I mean? You got you got mortgages, you got car nodes, you got everything else, just like ever Anyone else does. But the thing is, is like, you know, you hope and strive to get to the point where you don’t have to worry about that. But at the same time, you’re still writing software. And if you’re doing it for free, it can be cumbersome. Because you still have to work a day job to put food on the table and to be able to survive. And rent ain’t cheap. It ain’t free either. You know what I’m saying? Like, depending on where you are. So I think that’s also a misconception people have is like, Oh, I know, somebody is an open source developer. And they get paid, you know, to do this. And it’s like, Yeah, but they’re being paid by a company because they use that software. So they need a contributor at their company to push the features they need and want. And I think that that’s a lot of times where the confusion sets in because in cryptocurrency, it’s, you know, we look at that as centralization. But in reality, when you look at like free and open source software, that’s just the way of the game. You know what I mean? Like, outside of like, coin x or whatever, you look at a coin that’s mainly company controlled, because they’re paying all the devs and they have the resources, whether they Ico or not, which I’m not a fan of the Ico world, but regardless, you know, they’re being funded. And open source canoe projects, for example, it can be very hard to be funded. So a lot of times companies are the people who put people in charge of maintaining that software because they use it. And so I think like you said, the community driven projects and community community ran projects, people don’t realize this, how many man hours are human hours, I should say that takes it takes a lot, because you have to have project management scopes. You know, what features are going to add? Who can deliver that feature on time life happens. So if you only got like a team of two or three developers, what’s going to happen if someone gets sick, ran over by a bus, whatever, you know, you take all that into consideration. And people often overlook all that.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
And I think even from a project management standpoint, when you’re dealing with, you know, truly, you know, community driven open source software is that people can be really flaky. I mean, it’s not it’s just there’s a lot of flaky people. That’s again, Sounds great. Yeah, I want to work. I think people get really excited about being a part of something, and then they don’t show up. It’s like, Oh, well, this really is work. Okay. It’s, it sounds great. But, you know, ultimately, there’s needs to be some work done. And I think a lot of people, it’s almost like they like the LARP that they do open source can, you know, contributions, when they’re just like, you know, and they don’t show up. And I think that’s kind of frustrating to on the community program. And

Daniel Jones – AKA “Nixops”
I think you also have to look at it from another standpoint to like, say, for example, I can use this for my own personal So say, for example, you’re, you have a project, you’ve outlined a scope, you’ve built all these documentation. And then next thing, you know, you end up in some snafus over intellectual property of some other code. So now all of a sudden, you’re having a halt, what you’re able to push even for open source, because you don’t want that intellectual property to then get compromised because there may be a dispute over when it was Britton who technically owns it, that kind of thing. And that happened to me before and happens to a lot of people and like thankfully now that stuff is is behind me. But you know people are very greedy and especially in Silicon Valley which I’m so glad I’m out of now by the way, so I’m a I’m an ex Valley guy and no longer going back to that but you know the valley is is one of those things is shit I gotta handle some of the ones I got I got a wasp one..

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Well be safe. Don’t don’t get killed by the wasps. Is that like a murder Hornet kind of thing? Or

Daniel Jones – AKA “Nixops”
There’s two of them in here. I didn’t realize that I’m allergic to those fucking things.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Well, don’t get killed by the murder Hornet.

Daniel Jones – AKA “Nixops”
Yeah, they’re not murder hornets. They’re just typical South Mississippi, fucking, big as hell. So there’s just gonna be a painful thing. But anyway, yeah, I mean, like, you know, some of the things that people don’t get is that software is coming. complicated, especially when you’re working a day job, and you’re trying to do open source contributions, who owns it, depending on contractual agreements and things like that, and then also what state you’re operating in, because a lot of people don’t understand that some states honor non competes, some don’t even have your software. In some states, there’s precedents where, you know, they haven’t had much of a tech industry. So say, for example, you write software that just does something on the network, you may be in violation of your very own invention agreement that you signed on your employer, even though your employer verbally may tell you it’s okay. It’s still problematic, because it depends on how well that now verbally agreed upon project that you’ve kicked or that you pushed out. Now, if that takes off your company, or your employer may decide they want it, you see what I mean? Anyway, I’m like, that’s a complicated sector that people really don’t get into. Because unless you work in the industry, you really don’t know so like in the crypto space. You have a lot of people who read up on some bootcamp stuff and done a few you know, playgrounds. They think they could write code Professionally, and they don’t realize that it’s a lot more complicated than just putting together a couple of tutorials. You know what I mean? Like, there’s more to it. You have product spec, you have ideas, you have to look at longevity, you have to look at scaling, you have to look at a number of factors that boil down to your design. And if you’ve never implemented something in production, or if you’ve never had real users, then how are you supposed to know how to construct that? You see what I mean?

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Absolutely. Um, privacy. One of the things that we’re seeing right now..

Daniel Jones – AKA “Nixops”
Hold on, let me let me kill this fucking thing.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Okay.

Daniel Jones – AKA “Nixops”
Am I prepared? Oh, me.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
No worries, man. It’s all good. All right. So we, before the break, we were talking a little bit about privacy and the state of privacy in the digital world, where we are right now. So tell me a little bit like or at least tell the audience a little bit about what you see is the state of privacy right now. Just in general, what would you say? where we are as a culture with our online presences right now. Where is privacy?

Daniel Jones – AKA “Nixops”
Privacy is dying very quickly. And it’s all being derived from, you know, a lot of that’s coming from companies like Amazon, Google, and others who are pushing smart home. Uh, you know, Siri, even Apple is guilty of it. But but a lot of these features that are nice to have end up becoming compromising situations for the individual. And you know, what I mean by that is like a lot of very just like Snowden. And people will say, Oh, I ain’t got nothing Hi, great, just because you don’t have anything to say, do you not need your freedom of speech? And then they’re like, Oh, well, it’s not quite the same and say, Well, yeah, it is. Because think about it like this. What’s your last for your social your mother’s maiden name? And they’re like, Well, I’m not going to give you that, well, you have something to hide. Otherwise, then you would be fine with giving me that information. So why are you not okay with giving me that information? But instead, you’re willing to give a company Oh, well, this company protects that data. We know that’s a fallacy. companies get hacked all the time. compromised individual employees that work at these companies do nefarious things such as stalking, listening on individuals and do things that are that are, you know, beyond their reach and scope of their job. And we know that for under percent fact, like, you know what I mean? Like it’s nothing new. And what what I’m seeing today is that people are just okay with a just like this, Google and Apple, you know, integration. That’s why I told people to stop updating their phones. Because they’re, you know, the future patch releases will have that framework in there. And tell me, tell me about that. What do you do? Let’s step back a little bit.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
What do you mean not update phones? What’s going on with the updates?

Daniel Jones – AKA “Nixops”
Well, so for example, updates are always dangerous for automatic updates, you should really try to make sure that you understand what update is, before you run it just like in Bitcoin or anything else. You need to know what the software that you’re installing on your device does. And the problem with proprietary software is that’s hard to do. Because companies aren’t going to release the secret sauce. Then on the other token, when you start looking at Android, you have an issue where you know you haven’t OEM manufacturers who released stuff that’s not public either. There are drivers on certain phones, I can’t list brands because my work with them in the past that have features that aren’t necessarily noted or properly able to be found unless you’re under an NDA with them, in which case you can’t even speak about it post working on it. You have trackable software, you have things that can enable features on your phone such as your mic, camera, things like that, that can turn them on or off, or the cases Apple Google, as you know, agreement, where these future updates, they’re going to allow the tracing apps to work for contact tracing who you came in contact with. But in reality, they can already do that with your mZ and they can already do that with your cell phone. The problem is that’s not presented in a clean data way. And there’s a subpoena that’s required to get that information per person, which adds a hurdle for law enforcement. At the same time, there’s pros and cons to that the good side is that oh well, we’ll be able to distinguish Who came in contact with infected person? Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And that’s great. That’s good to some level. But at what risk? Because again, just because this feature is enabled for this one time event, does it ever get turned off look at the Patriot Act looked at anything else, like we never regain what we had, once we lose it. That’s that’s not how privacy works. And, you know, the dangerous part is, is that now with biometrics and things like that a lot of people are reliant on that on their phones. You know, these companies have the ability to access those enclaves so long as their application is signed. And so literally, they can do approvals for updates on devices for certain feature sets, things like that, or auto updates or module specifics, things like that. And the dangerous part about that is that very slippery slope, because yes, already not trustworthy now. But just think about it once you start adding in who there come contact with. Now you can start doing real correlation attacks to figure out who these people serve. Friends are, who their family members are things like that. And like I’ve discussed it before, that’s dangerous, especially because of people like Eva from the Electronic Frontier Foundation and others who’ve talked about stalker where now you’re presenting an API for stalker where basically, the government’s are going to be able to use, but just remember, just because the government has access to it doesn’t mean no one else will. I says, We’ve found that out before too. Once you open Pandora’s box, it’s open. And the risk there is the individual privacy and the idea that I have the protection to do what I want without fear of retribution. I should not be afraid of who I come in contact with, and neither should you. However, under the guise of security or the idea that people are willing to sacrifice those liberties, and there’s options at best, those that are willing to sacrifice freedom and liberties for the idea of security deserve neither.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
So government using this for I would argue that contact At least the no contact tracing can be analog as well, not just digital is one of the things that, you know, the countries that have, you know, gone through and started getting COVID under control. They tested early and they did contact tracing, and then they isolated people all the way from their houses. That’s how they’ve been able to do this. Now, I don’t disagree with you. I think that people be able to access everything about you digitally remotely without permission or without a warrant is an issue because it will be abused by somebody, whether it’s a government agent, or just through government ineptitude, a hacker will get access to it or a foreign power could get access to a seems like there’s a massive security issue or multiple security issues based on them. When you can still do contact tracing manually and analog which I think is the more appropriate way I think this is the way you should handle that but I don’t even like electronic voting. So that’s just me.

Daniel Jones – AKA “Nixops”
I make a big stink about that stuff. You know, like electronic systems are prone to vulnerabilities and problems because they’re written by people because people are prone to that, you know?

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Well, I think ultimately, a lot of people that are making these decisions about implementing these kind of surveillance technologies, even though it sounds good on its face, I think a lot of the people that are doing it one, at least in the government side, one, maybe don’t understand the ramifications long term and the potential security risks, but I think a lot of them on the other hand also might be getting bribed, because the companies that do produce these things, that’s gonna be you know, some good corporate welfare going their way, as well. So I think there’s a lot of concern about that. And I guess the question is, what do we do about it? What can an individual like me, what can I do about that right now what can I do to help make my my footprint safer on the privacy level?

Daniel Jones – AKA “Nixops”
Learning good offside, but also like, like, I started off with All series and haven’t posted because I’ve been dealing with some some matters but not a return this weekend on use tools but understand how to use them properly. For example, you know, keep a stark separation of your online identities if you’re using an account for shitposting, for example, and you want it purely on that, don’t merge that with your personal accounts. Keep that separate, use separate devices use multiple devices, and especially now you can get clean devices that are literally untraceable because of COVID. You can exploit a situation where you can go in and legally buy devices with cash, that there’s no traceable record that you bought it because you can go and fully mask covered up, no one knows who you are. And it’s not even been an eyelash whereas, you know, back in January, if I was to do that people will report me to the FBI. You see what I mean? Right now people need to understand that there are attack surfaces for people and then there are attack surfaces that open up for being able to fight routine your privacy, you just need to understand what your goal is. For example, I have separation of my, you know, my personal accounts and my older accounts and certain accounts that I do things with in regards to certain certain projects I work on. My aliases are not ever connected in any way, I don’t even use the same devices, not even the same emails never even touch the same GPG keys. Neither one of them have each other’s public keys in the key chains, things like that. Those are important to understand. Because if you have a traceable link, and especially in cryptography, which a lot of people don’t really understand, I’ll put it this way. Cryptography can be a great tool to protect you, but it can also sync your battleship. Understand that if you have cryptographically sound methods like GPG, and you signed something with a GPG key, that’s as good as saying this was me. This is my digital fingerprint. So anything else it’s just digital fingerprint is important to understand that wherever that may be. That can be used to correlate that you are that person. The biggest instance of this would have to be the frosty@frosty key. You’re familiar with frosty right?

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
I’m not.

Daniel Jones – AKA “Nixops”
Okay. So there was this guy, you may have heard of him, Ross Ulbricht? So, he used the frosty key, frosty@frosty to sign the Silk Road login page, but he also used it in Stack Overflow question. Now, do you? Yes. So you have to really understand that that is as good as saying, This is me. I have proven this key. And so that’s dangerous. Everyone have to understand that that is one of many bad opsec steps that he took. But that’s one major opposite No, no, never have keys, never sign keys and never use them from accounts that are associated with who you are. If you’re doing anything that you don’t want people to know about. I don’t judge people. I don’t care. Cryptography can’t be gay cubed. Neither can encryption. It shouldn’t But it will be used for good or bad. Same thing with a clear announcing thing with everything right? And so like you, as an individual, you need to understand and make a decision on what you’re willing to allow people to know and what you’re not willing to allow people to know. And then from there, you derive a toolkit that makes sense for your exposure or what you’re willing as a comfortable exposure rate, or limit in this case. So like me, certain things people know about me, a lot of things people don’t know about me, and I choose to never disclose that. And the reason why is because I believe in not doxxing people in the sense of like, when people get petty on the internet, they like, here’s their address, or blah, blah, blah. I think that’s stupid, that’s also really ignorant. And that showcases that, you know, they themselves don’t care about operational security of others, and they’re endangering people by doing that. Now, I’m a firm believer, if you can’t take some shit on the internet, and you need to dock someone to get back at them. You probably need to grow the fuck off. And you know, that’s a growing trend on Twitter right now is doxing people and exposing personal information about people like where they live, things like that. There’s a lot of people who you know, that we don’t know their past, what if they have an ex that they’ve been hiding from for years now all of a sudden, they’re easy access to that information. You just open them up to be personally endangered. Because of your, you know, your ignorance and your anger and your emotions overwhelmed you to not think with logic and reason. And instalay One of the things I like to tell people is Be very careful also on who you expose what to remember, public channels are public. So if you say I’m on Twitter, expect it to be documented and archived. Because while Twitter has policies on API gathering of what can be stored offline, all this other stuff, don’t think for a second that there’s not people who have archives of every tweet that’s ever been made. There are and it’s constantly being analyzed things like that. Piano style autography is being used to confirm who’s tweeting in certain, you know, certain vocal stuffs, that kind of thing to be able to trace who someone is. And the risk of that is, is that these companies are selling that data to analyze who is someone or who could be someone’s on their account. Same thing with like, you know, the Satoshi man on all these things, all of those boil down to operational security, and what people are willing to disclose. And the dangerous part is, is that as an individual, you have to make that choice. And that choice can be very hard if you’re on uninitiated into what it means. Does that make sense? Like, I can’t go and tell my uncle, hey, you’re about your opsec when he has no idea, but he also doesn’t have a public facing anything other than his phone number associated with his business card. You see what I mean? Like, for him, his operational security is a much different risk and it’s more in person than it is in a digital sense. So you have to divide that you have to look at. Okay, here’s what I want to do. Here’s how I would like to be. And then you have to figure out what works to make that a reality. And the dangerous part is, is there’s really no guidebook on that. Like they there’s not like a questionnaire you can fill out and be like, Well, here’s the tools you should use, you know what I’m saying? You know, I mean, because if you had a poll that did that kind of stuff, or a survey, literally that person running the survey would be collecting data on the individual pushing the buttons.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
So what are a good set of tools for people to protect their privacy with?

Daniel Jones – AKA “Nixops”
First thing I would suggest is everyone should learn PGP whether you’re dealing with your mom and grandmother, your best friend, whatever, PGP for email as a must. And the reason why is because he keeps snooping guys from looking plus, we’re using PGP with like iCloud or Gmail, which a lot of people have, or you know, it allows you to have some level of control of the security and you don’t have to necessarily upload your puppy to a key server. You can give a public key like I can give you my key through a Private Channel, the uninsured Whatever, there’s no trace that that transaction ever occurred between us that you have my public key, but we can communicate and encrypted email cryptographically sound emails back and forth without having the fear of Google or someone else listening now, they will read it, but it’ll be all encrypted. And the thing is, is that when you do that, that’s that’s one layer. Now, a lot of people say, Why don’t really use email, you use email for more important things than use your text messages. Would you agree or disagree on that?

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
I would agree.

Daniel Jones – AKA “Nixops”
So if your first step or your important things is that you’re using PGP or GPG, or new GPG or open PGP open GPG, whatever iteration of a you know, generally, pretty good privacy or good new Privacy Guard. Um, once you would see there is that Okay, first up, the important stuff unlocking down. I now have asked companies to use PGP a lot of companies actually do have it set up They use PGP or public private keys in private, and they’re willing to use it with with outward facing customers. You just have to request it. And the more people that were requested, the more people will use it. And that’s important, because that’s the important channels, right? So so like if you covered that ground, cool. Make sure you don’t disclose certain email addresses with those keys to other people that you don’t want to know or associated with their email address. For example, if you’re using you know, an iCloud account, it’s probably not a good idea to use that same iCloud account if it’s tied to, you know, your Apple Store account. Because if someone wants to really screw you over, and they know enough personal information about you and you use proper research, they use security questions that are easily guessable because they know you. That’s the security like that’s an attack surface. That’s how a lot of celebrities got into trouble. But it’s also why you see those things on Facebook asking what’s your favorite color, where you grew up? Those kind of things. Those are information gathering tools that people are using to be able to reset your information when and if they need it. So next step is use a good messaging service, a signal signal for your phone calls. So you go for your text messages. And if people don’t use signal ask them to it’s not hard, it’s easy to set up works on all your devices. I mean, it’s really simple. You know what I mean? Like, and those two pieces right there cover a large attack surface for most people. Not to mention, you know, you’re enforcing that these people have you as a contact in their phone. And you can use you know, a burner phone was signal, which I highly recommend. You can get a burner phone right now at Walmart or insert any United States retailer that you can go and fully mass fully clothed, and buy, you know, a starter SIM card and a phone and literally be able to do that. The next step is that if you really want to stay on that hardcore version, only happy Who are important contact you on that number, having another disposable phone for other businesses or whatever the hell you’re doing. But also remember smartphones are dangerous. Don’t be open and links. Don’t be open in your email PDF attachments and stuff like that because there’s malware in that stuff. Yeah, yeah. You know exactly what to say. I don’t have I don’t mean physically because I don’t have any phones on me right now for GPS reasons. But yeah, that’s a house. But yeah, there’s other on the flip phone, man. I mean, I agree. I have I have several of them right now. And like I said, it’s, again, you don’t have nothing now I but you may not want to expose yourself to everyone knowing everything about you. So like I said, start with the email service signal. And then for your browsing habits. I would recommend Tor but most people don’t ever listen to me when I say use Tor properly and what that means. And basically what I mean by that is don’t have Tor open if you have Firefox, Chrome and Safari also Open on your device. Does that make sense? Because you’re basically broadcast and everyone that you have Tor running. And they can see that the cookie information is being shared can see that, oh, service providers, not just your ISP, but the company’s login to So say, for example, you have your Gmail account logged in through your browser, and you’re turning around and going to Google, they’re seeing the same traffic come from the same IP, they’re going to know that there’s distinguishable session IDs and things like that, especially if you’re logged in on both, which is a bad note. Also, resizing Tor is dangerous because you can look at the packets and see whether or not there’s been a resize. So if you can visibly see someone on your network, you can tell who’s using it, that kind of thing. Um, and there’s a lot of dangerous stuff like if people really want to understand how dangerous the world is learn about cookies, and learn about them really well because the web is dangerous. Cookies can do a lot. They tell a company a lot. They can provide a lot of information. They provide a lot of stuff. to advertisers, as well as the company who you may be using their services. And so, you know, the hard part is, like I said, there’s really no easy guide for this kind of stuff. You have to really understand technology before you can protect yourself from it. And, you know, you’re in tech, so am I. And that’s why most of us in tech are almost Luddites in today’s time, because we don’t want any smart home. We don’t want any of that garbage. No.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Well, it’s kind of funny because like last year, we’ve been doing some remodeling around our house and trying to find a low tech thermostat. For instance, we put in a new sprinkler system last year, everything is Wi Fi enabled now. And it was funny like we put in a pretty you know, I’m not gonna go on all the details but our landscaping but this crazy smart, you know, sprinkler controller, we pulled the module Cuz I don’t want someone to be able to hack my sprinkler. And then you know the doorbells with the ring thing where that’s like the only kind of doorbell you can get almost. And I’m trying to find some low tech thing and when in a lot of things that in our house are very modern, right? I mean, we’re, we’re, we like tech. But I also for the same reason I just don’t see opening up all these ways for people to come into my house and monitor things or be able to worse to hack things. That can be bad. And so you’re right, I am very Luddite ish. Depending on what the tech is on some things I’m very tech forward and tech savvy. And other things. I’m just like, No, I don’t want that in my house. But it’s interesting, but I have my one of my cars that I use for work has like manual, doesn’t even have electric windows. It’s got roll up windows.

Daniel Jones – AKA “Nixops”
I mean, like I said, You know, I used to work in IoT as well. Um, and the amount of air information is collected on the individuals running the servers. It should be criminal and is dangerous because, you know, it’s under the guise Oh, well, this makes your life easier. This allows you to do that. Yes, but at what cost? Like I don’t know about you, but like, say for example, I’m having a personal conversation with someone about my health. I don’t necessarily want Alexa to fucking know about it. Like I’m sorry, my life we’ve all the time as well. Like, you know, you write software that you know you’ve written software before that’s used in Alexa or this that or the other and I’m like, yeah, and they’re like, why don’t you use those things? Because I fucking know what they do. Like Like when you when you build it, you have a and you work on these things. You have a real understanding about the dangers right? majority of society isn’t involved in tech enough to understand it. Like you show like someone Echo Dot you show them a you know, with a few little words I can, I can control your lights cool. They see that as a value. They don’t know that it’s listening. Every couple The seconds to look for a trigger word to do something, they don’t know that they don’t realize how that works. And then that information is being sent to the cloud. And they also have no idea what cloud means. But cloud is just basically a distributed network of computers, meaning is someone else’s computer, and it stores all this information, that information is being properly parsed on a regular basis for various things advertisement, what to push to you what you might be interested in buying, because they want your money. And then like that, that again, goes back to, you know, I hate to say this, going back to the ring, Amazon’s made deals with local police, law enforcement to allow the work to someone else’s ring. So if your neighbor has a ring and it’s pointing to your house, they can literally just walk over or contact your neighbor and gain access to it without ever physically going there to look at it. And without ever having to disclose you know me. Oh, you were you Trying to hire you doing selling drugs? No. But I don’t need to know when somebody comes to my house and leaves. You know what I mean? Like, why should my neighbor be giving that information out about me? You see what I mean? Like there are pros and cons to this. Yes, it’s great helping solving a crime or heinous crime. But you also have to understand that there are a lot of people who really don’t want other people knowing what the hell they’re doing, because they believe in their right to privacy. Like me, I don’t fucking want people to know that I showed up. You know, got home at four o’clock the other morning from a night out and drinking. I don’t need them to know that. They see me cool. They can make fun of me, but they didn’t. I don’t need the police to know that I got home at four in the morning being dropped off with a Lyft or an Uber You see what I’m saying? Or that someone gave me a ride or that I used a cab because I decided to pay cash. And, you know, I just told them the general direction to drop me off in that kind of thing. Because you’d have to pay attention to that stuff. Like it’s nothing you haven’t been But you also don’t want the world to know what you’re doing. You see what I mean?

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Well, I think a lot of thing that people don’t understand is that it’s it’s not necessarily that one data point, but the the cumulative data points about you, that can be used against, you know what I’m saying? It’s the way they can build profiles, that not only, you know, on the surface, it sounds great, because, you know, they’re just trying to market to you, right? Well, okay, they’re just trying to market to me. But the thing is, a lot of these people, these data brokers will sell this information to the highest bidder and they don’t care who gets it, whether, you know, it’s just, you know, some kind of retailer or whether or not it’s a foreign, you know, spy agency friends,

Daniel Jones – AKA “Nixops”
Or what if it’s somebody that you have, you know, protection order against, and all of a sudden they formed an LLC in a state, and they turn around and request that data to buy now they contract this person that they’re not supposed to be tracking and legally, there’s There’s no way of knowing that. Do you see what I mean? That that goes back to the stalker where we are opening ourselves up to a world and it’s already here. But people can curve this now curb this now where they can eliminate what companies know about them. And they should, and they should take it very seriously. Because, again, you may not have anything to hide per se because you’re not doing anything illegal. But most people commit several felonies a day and they don’t realize it, and it’s petty stuff, but they’re still crimes. But if you know there’s nothing for them, there’s no visible proof that it was done or whatever. Then like a heart nobody really cares. But the reality is, is that those can be used against someone in the court of law for something else to gain leverage. And you know, oh well I pay for my music and stuff. Cool. Who else has a bunch of downloaded mp3? I know I do. From the 90s 2000s. Right everybody. Download mp3 is torn to this, that the other those are felonies, though those are those are punishable crimes by finds. And while it seems silly like, oh, they’re not going to do that they do. But if you open up the door where Hey, you have reasonable cause to go and get a warrant for this person now that they’ve been using their devices, or you can prove they use their devices to do something. questionably legal. Guess what, now you’ve opened up the doorway for them to look into everything else you’re doing, whether or not you want them to. And also remember, this is something I’ve been having to educate a lot of people, I metrics is not protected under the Fourth Amendment, but your password is. So on your phone. If you haven’t used a smartphone, don’t use a thumb. Don’t use your thumbprint scanner. Use a fucking password. Don’t use a facial scanner, use a password, because that is protected. But because of the fact that your facial expression and stuff isn’t literally someone can get your mug shot and unlock your fucking phone. There’s nothing that can stop them from doing so because it’s not protected. Your DNA is not protected those types of things, including your thumbprint, all of that information can and will be used against you, regardless of what you’re doing is right or wrong? Do you really need law enforcement to know that you and your wife got in a fight two weeks ago? Do you see what I mean? Like, I’m fucked over. You didn’t close the toilet lid or something, right? Like, you know, yeah, two o’clock in the morning. Do you see what I mean? Do they really need to know that information? And they should.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
So what do you think about social media platforms in general? Is there can you use any of those social media platforms safely? From a privacy standpoint, you think?

Daniel Jones – AKA “Nixops”
Twitter probably about the safest if you use the web app only and you keep the separation, your personal and everything else, but then again, once you remove the personal, you get into that ballgame of whether or not you keep alias separations that kind of stuff, you know what I mean? Like you have to look at it, what are you willing to expose to others? And what is your comfortable risk level? Because each person is different on that right your risk level and my risk level are much different than say a completely a non account who is on for various reason. including but not limited to legalities country of where they may be, how they’re getting to Twitter, what they’re doing. All of that is just part of that formula. And each person is different. And like I said, there’s really no checklist. It becomes a personal decision of what they’re willing to accept what they’re willing to do. And Facebook is not safe. Obviously Twitter really isn’t mastodons pretty good. Outside of that, I don’t even have a Facebook. I have Twitter. That’s my only social media, by the way, and Reddit and 4chan and Reddit I really don’t even use but but 4chan I do, but 4chan kind of enforces the anonymous thing by most except for IP address, obviously, to track what you’re doing. If you do something wrong, like posting shit, that’s illegal, that kind of stuff. But outside of that, you know, if you really want the closest thing to unbridled social media fortune is probably going to be hit. And that’s I mean, that’s the closest to us. censorship free platform we have you can say and do just about whatever you want to on there. Whereas Twitter, you can’t even talk about COVID you can’t do certain things otherwise they think deep platforming. Hell if you make the wrong joke about people, they’ll be platforming my buddy carbon. Got the platform last year earlier this year because of gym friend memes. You know what I mean? And all that mean, and all of that stuff goes

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
That was hysterical, by the way.

Daniel Jones – AKA “Nixops”
Yeah, there it was. But But literally, you know, instead of someone laughing it off. Instead, they chose to go the DMCA route and try to get lawyers and stuff involved and trying to make things much more complicated.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Well, it’s interesting, like, my wife and I have been early adopters of, you know, social media. I’ve been on Twitter for a long time. I think we got our accounts when we first you know, they first started up, and it’s interesting. My wife and I, we have four kids. And we have never put our kids names or pictures on any social media plan. Ever. And this was a conscious decision we made a long time ago. Because I didn’t want to violate their privacy.

Daniel Jones – AKA “Nixops”
I gotta take care of it. go nowhere.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
So I was saying, I was just saying that we don’t ever put our we’ve never put our kids you know, we never doctor kids, we never put their photo online ever, when they were little and never put their names on there. And at the time, we, you know, this is going back in time now, but they didn’t really have photo recognition, facial recognition tech back then. But we said, you know, just out of respect for them, and you know, just creepers in general. I don’t want to put their faces out there. But looking hindsight, my kids don’t have any of that data out there right now. And I always assume

Daniel Jones – AKA “Nixops”
Your kids are gonna be sovereign man. Like I hate to say that. But like if they keep on that, right, like kudos to you because a lot of parents don’t do that. And You know what, kudos to you because and I know sounds stupid a lot of people hate me for this because I’m not a parent but I’ll say this much. I don’t believe kids should ever be on a social media platform at all until they’re 18. And the reason why is because at that point this the state everyone else treats them as an adult. But at that moment they can make a decision what they want to do and it should be left up to that their information should not be out there pictures should not be up there. Birthday should not be up there things like that. And the reason why is because allow that individual to choose what they’re going to do about their privacy. And people you know, I’m going to say this and piss off some SJW is if you don’t mind, is it they want to treat the gender movement, all this stuff like that, right? tree privacy the same fucking way. Don’t put your kid shit out there until they’re adult enough to make a fucking decision. And if you want to if you know people may get upset about it, people may or may not like that, that approach. But I think that’s the only respectable thing to do to an adult is allow the adult To decide what they want to do. And believe it or not, I think a lot more people will be less likely to be using social media, if given the opportunity in that way, versus just seeing their parents constantly on the stuff. I mean, hell, the other day, I went into the store, and I seen like an eight year old on their phone on their Facebook account and their mother on Facebook. And I find that to be very dangerous, and not only for, you know, the kids safety, but also, what information is that kid providing about his family that they are? It’s family that they don’t necessarily the family doesn’t necessarily want to be disclosed and even know about?

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Yeah, they’re not even paying attention.

Daniel Jones – AKA “Nixops”
Yeah. Because the phones, the babysitter now, it used to be TV. The worst thing you had to deal with whether or not the kids were watching Cinemax or skinemax, after dark or HBO after dark, right? You know, like that was like the worst. They were watching scrambled porn or something. Now kids have full access to everything they want. And you know, like YouTube and everything like that is the new babysitter. And the dangerous part is is like I’ve watched Some of the stuff that might have used watch before, I would never allow like, we would have been hitting the back of our heads growing up, how do we try to watch something like that on TV? And you know, it’s like eight. And when you start looking at that that’s dangerous, dangerous as hell, because where do they draw the line? Because they’re not they’re not mature enough to understand what is content creation for financial gain, versus what is reality? Do you see what I mean? I mean, that’s, that’s dangerous territory there for them.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
So, you know, I, my wife and I are very doxxed like on social media, because we do use it because we’re kind of out there and his personality. So I mean, but we do it. Why would you know, our eyes wide open, right? We knew that going in that we made that, that choice consciously.

Daniel Jones – AKA “Nixops”
And you accepted that risk though. That’s the thing you accepted that you understood what you were going to do, and you did it. And that’s fair. That’s the approach you should take. Understand what you’re doing. About to disclose, but only Don’t get upset if more comes out. Does that make sense?

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Yeah, but I always tell people look, but you rarely see me post very many things that are personal nature, like where I’m going that I’m on vacation. And you know, if I do post a picture of something of where I’ve been, it’s already it’s usually after the fact, after I’ve already back home from a security stamp. I do think about those kind of things. But we actually homeschool our kids. And we limit screen time. We don’t even have cable TV in our house at all. We don’t have satellite. So in some ways, we’re very tech forward because my kids are taking computer programming classes. And they’re very digitally, you know, they’re very adept.

But on the other hand, they’re learning..

Daniel Jones – AKA “Nixops”
JavaScript Please tell me they’re not.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
No scratch and some other stuff. But, but I think what uh, the other thing is though, like, but we have like, we didn’t give our oldest term First phone until she was in college. Now she started college while she was in high school. So but we said, well, you’re on campus on a college campus, I’m assuming you’re mature enough to handle a phone at that point, and but on the other hand, like our other younger three, we don’t none of them have their own phone, none of them for have social media accounts at all. And then we actually bought a special lockdown phone from gab wireless of all things, which is a super super lockdown phone that we use as a checkout phone for our kids, because none of the kids own their own phone and it doesn’t allow photos. It doesn’t allow surfing on the internet. It’s all locked down. We just do. It’s like Oh, you’re going somewhere, take the phone with you. And this is the phone. And so my wife and I So on one hand, we’re involved with crypto, you know, we’re, you know, very out there on social media. On the other hand, we got our kids very locked down. So I mean, it’s a weird kind of balance, but I think I guess going forward, which I was recommend especially other parents is it is a balance and there is nuance to it. You can have kids can have access to a phone, but I don’t allow my kids to have TVs in their room either. Right? I don’t have a TV in my room. My bedroom for instance.

Daniel Jones – AKA “Nixops”
There is nothing wrong with that like. There’s nothing wrong with no TVs in the rooms. Like I’m a firm believer that like, I don’t like TVs in the room, mainly because you find yourself watching garbage. And like I do, there’s really only four classifications commercials now. prescription medications, insurance, and every now and then car commercial Come on, and then advertisements for other channels in their network. That’s it. That’s the four architecture commercials you see today. I mean, the other day, I literally watch, I was running. I was running a compiler was compiling a large project. And normally it takes about 47 minutes 15 minutes to build. So I’m sitting there waiting. I was watching TV in the background just to see I took note, I took note, in one hour, there was 17 prescription pill, commercials.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Wow.

Daniel Jones – AKA “Nixops”
And one in one hour of TV viewing. And that’s ridiculous when you start thinking about that, how often these breaks are, but like most of the TV is just advertising. But if you look at the Internet, most of the internet is to, unless you’re using proper, you know, upset tools, such as ad tracking blocks, you know, that kind of stuff, or using piehole at home, which I highly recommend, also that is a good step forward, people are looking for something a very inexpensive way of providing a pretty good ad determines piehole um, you know, you get a Raspberry Pi set it up, it takes, it’s a good weekend project. If you’re, if you have kids, and they’re 1415 years old, 13 years old or something, especially during this, you know, all this. You can spend time with them, teaching them how to set this up, you know what I mean? And like those, those are just some fun projects that you can Make something however it can provide a layer of protection for your operational security, both for you and your family.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Like VPNs. Yeah, let’s get into VPNs. Real quick, what do you think of VPN?

Daniel Jones – AKA “Nixops”
Alright, so recently I wrote a thread about this VPN or a touch and go thing. Here’s why a VPN at home is kind of a moot point and dangerous. Here’s why. It’s dangerous because your ISP can correlate the traffic explosions that you’re doing things such as, but not limited to torrenting. And they can see your only VPN and during torrenting, they can literally tell you tell definitively based on a traffic burst that you’re using a VPN to access that and to use that much bandwidth. Like they can profile the traffic. It’s easy to see the other problem of VPN, one of the biggest problems is where the country of location did they run their business because what laws are do they have to adhere to specifically for subpoenas and law enforcement in the country you abide in. So for example, if they’re in Panama, they’re okay if they’re in Geneva, Switzerland, they’re definitely okay. Because Geneva typically just as fuck off. And that’s where you have to really do your research on it right? You can also set up your own VPN. But the problem is, is what a lot of people don’t understand about setting up your own VPN, if you have it at home, is that if you VPN into home while you’re gone, you’re using your home’s public addresses associated to your ISP account. So if you do something stupid, guess where it’s going to come back to us on VPN, bro? Yeah, but you’re using the public IP or just your fucking hours, which you pay for with a subscription to an ISP that have all your KYC information. I’m wondering where that subpoena is gonna go. Like so. And the problem is, is when you use a trust that you use a service or like AWS or something like that to host your own you again are using KYC information to be able to host that service, and then again can be problematic for law enforcement or from that for you because of law enforcement. I don’t care what people do on the internet, I really don’t you do you, but at the same time, you have to know how to protect yourself and VPNs are a great solution. You just need to understand the attack surface for law enforcement. And you know, people say, Oh, well, I’m not doing anything illegal. I just log into bid Max and engage, right? Well, that’s technically illegal under the United States law. That’s why bit Mex doesn’t offer the service to the United States. Boom. Oh, shit. I never realized that. Well, yeah, those are problems. People don’t really grasp some of the..

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Like online casinos. Same thing. Really. A lot of people don’t understand that it’s illegal for an American to access online casinos, even if the online casinos are abroad.

Daniel Jones – AKA “Nixops”
Yeah. And again, there’s a lot of services People just don’t really get the legalities up because it’s not. It’s not common knowledge. Like, for example, you know, for a long time it was seen as illegal to use certain types of encryption still is stolen as there’s a legal encryption, you can’t export software, if it utilizes it from the United States. And people are like what I’m like, yeah, there are certain algorithms that you can’t export software from here to sell abroad, because it uses that encryption, because it’s deemed as weaponized. You know, like there’s a lot of stuff from a technical legal perspective that people don’t get, because there’s also not a guidebook on it. You know what I mean? Like, there’s not like there’s an entire set of case law, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and others, including the Tor project and various other organizations that try their best to educate the public. But the problem is, is that there are so many cases, there’s so much that changes on a rapid pace. And you know, people ask me how often technologies You changes. And I tell them what you thought was a good idea today. By the end of the next week, it will have already been that’s last week’s news. There are better ways better methods to do that implementation. Now, you know, there are better tools, they’re better frameworks better this better that there are libraries. And it changes so quickly, because as we have more people become developers, it progresses. So because of that law is slow to catch up. But as these case by cases, set these precedents for, like, you know, VPN laws and things like that, and what can be done legally and illegally, you have to run the gamut of where does that slope end? And where do we, as a society, start fighting back? You know, I mean, our government is quick to say, hey, you can’t do certain things on the internet. But I mean, meanwhile, project playpen. Are you familiar with Operation playpen? I’m not. Oh, our government ran a child pornography site for about six weeks. On the Tor network, while running paid advertisement on torch, which is the search engine for Yeah, for Tor. And then people were like, Oh my God, why they do that because they were trying to, they had seize control the server. And they were trying to gain all the users and getting IP addresses and trying to utilize correlation attacks because they were controlling a majority of the exit nodes, things like that. And they were trying to be able to dachsies people so that they could serve them subpoenas. We were like, Oh, that’s great that they’re doing that, you know, the blocking key point. And I agree, I’m anti HIV because kids have no say so most of this shit abuse and a bunch of other things. There is a huge problem with the way they went about it though, because what’s to stop them from basically running these types of attacks, without the public’s knowledge and then claim someone else ran the service? Because that’s illegal. It’s illegal for you to run a honeypot doing such a thing. Why? Is it legal for our government to do you see what I mean? Like unless let’s, let’s say, What do you mean that? Well, let’s say it was drug markets, I insert, whatever. Now all of a sudden, it’s okay for them to do this because of the the guise of security, just like going back to, it’s okay for them to do contracts racing for the idea of security, it’s okay for them to invade you, or to compromise an entire system that’s designed to protect people from oppression by creating more oppressive methods to be used. You see what I’m saying?

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Well, I think that’s why we need to be Villa, you know, vigilant because whatever power government gets, it never sees it, once it, you know, never goes away. And I always tell people that that, you know, you have to, you know, be careful when you give government more power. And it’s, it’s complicated, you know, sometimes, especially when you got, you know, like this COVID stuff, which is, you know, it’s turned into a political nightmare, and it’s hard to decide, you know, it’s hard for you especially just you know, the average guy on the street to know what to believe what not to believe and what to be worried about and what not to be worried about. I think we’ve gotten to the point where people don’t trust anything. And I think that’s all they should.

Daniel Jones – AKA “Nixops”
They should firm believer in that I trust no government trust no agency, because at the end of the day, they all have an incentive to be able to pend something on you. Even if you haven’t done it, they speculate on it, they got numbers, they’re gonna keep to quotas, they got quotas for arrest and everything like that. And if you can be the Fall Guy for catching something as simple as an mp3, later found out that you had conversations with somebody who may or may not have been dealing drugs on the internet. Hey, you’re an accessory, hey, it’s more money to the DEA. These are what I’m saying like, all of that falls into a very dangerous thing because governments are well aware of what technology can do. The government is still in a draconian era. And the reason why I say that is because recently the NSA posted that they’re having a hard time with getting hackers and stuff, because marijuana Well yeah, no shit most hackers smoke do drugs and stuff and most of Silicon Valley does too. Like and you know like that’s also a misunderstanding that people have it in their head that programmers what they see on TV and what they see you know, like the programmer types and things like that. That’s not majority of what builds the software. Majority of these people have vices and are real humans and have problems and they cope with those problems and sitting in a desk for or standing at a desk for 14 hours. I’m sure you can attest to this. You might need a beer or two at the end of the day, you know, sometimes the beginning of the day,

As long as it’s after today have a great day.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
The day drinking is a thing now right on quarantine right?

Daniel Jones – AKA “Nixops”
Everybody’s houses like Vegas right now. It doesn’t matter what hour it is. Cocktails are welcome.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Yeah, it’s tough out there. So one last question, before we wrap up the what would be something that you can do to protect yourself, like from RFID? Like you see these wallets? And is there any kind of devices out there like that or solutions that you know, like a purse or a wallet or any of that stuff is that who does that stuff really work?

Daniel Jones – AKA “Nixops”
Some of the works, some of it does not. The thing is, is you have to really do your research to find out what the fabric that’s made with how they’re doing the shielding, and what you’re trying to prevent. So for example, like a debit card, a debit card, you could suppress with wrapping with enough leather, that kind of stuff to some level because it doesn’t have power, right? Like it doesn’t have. So now when you start talking about like passports and stuff like that the newer passports have a very strong RFID chip, and you would be better to get almost like a mini Faraday cage but the problem is don’t buy a foreign a cage. Don’t buy a mini Faraday cage from a company because you’ve literally disclosed to someone else that you’re trying to abuse that information. And, you know, like if I were looking to attack someone, and I knew they had certain devices, or certain purchases recently, I would just figure out what they purchased by breaking into that service and seeing what they purchase find a weakness and that nothing is a silver bullet for security. There’s no one. There’s no silver bullet and software for security. There’s no silver bullet and hardware for security. It’s just like people keeping crypto wallets right a lot of people ask me about those two going on the same RFID thing. Do you use them? No, here’s why. It’s a glorified USB fucking drive. USB drives fail all the goddamn time. Literally all the fucking time. And so now you’re adding another piece of firmware with another moving part on something that’s already touching go as it is. How many times have you went to use a USB drive? Even if it’s not even a year old, turn it on, or plugged into your device and don’t work anymore. How many times have you had that happen? Quite a few. Okay, how many times do you think that happens with things that are specifically designed to stop certain technologies a lot. And that’s why that’s why I say that. That’s why that parallel is important. Because just because something you know, just because something’s designed to stop it, well, it’s designed to stop it as long as you don’t wash it, as long as you don’t clean it with certain chemicals, as long as you don’t expose it to certain hours of sunlight. You know, all of these things are important to keeping that product to work the way it’s supposed to at its maximum operating range. If you exceed any of that by having a life, then you compromise the device and when it does, you see what I mean? Even phones they have a temperature shut off, right? Have you ever been outside? I know you’re in a hotter area than I am at times but you’ve been outside before your phone shut off for temperature overreach. Right?

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
You leave it in your car in the summertime. If you Leaves like especially a smartphone or an iPhone, I think we’ll get up to like, you know, 130 degrees.

Daniel Jones – AKA “Nixops”
So think about like this. What if the device that you’re intending to projector RFID with is only supposed to operate at a certain temperature range and all of a sudden you’ve exceeded it, but because you exceeded it now there are weak spots in the protective layer. Oh, I think about that. Well, yeah, no shit. Most people don’t read the manual either for anything I like. And that’s that kind of goes back to what I was saying the consumerism side of it impacts the ability to properly do things, the DIY culture, or the DIY, whatever, do it yourself DIY, the DIY culture today on YouTube. What I would like to see is more people and more viewership on the people who are building. You know how to make your own personal RFID preventative wallets. Here’s how to do this. Here’s how to build this from scratch. This is what you need to know. This is so that you can go but pay with cash. No retrace of you, especially during this corn thing, because you can use a masking gloves and cover yourself up completely. And in some places, it’s still snowing. So definitely wear a jacket or whatever in public, nobody knows what the hell you are. And you don’t wear the same clothes you worn in there before you can buy this stuff to do it. You see what I mean? Like that’s important. Because now you’re not only providing privacy yourself, but also you’ve built the device to protect into enable more privacy on your end, without compromising your information to a company to provide that as a service or a device to you. Because literally, they become an attack. They become the attack surface now. And like just like cloud computing and everything else, online storage, all of that is an attack surface by everybody’s eye. Oh yeah, just use Dropbox. Just use this. Well, that’s great. If you’re going to rely on them use GPG to protect those files and things to a different level. Do you see what I mean? Now only you have that access that’s protected by a password that only you know and, you know, I tell people GPG can be a great Password Manager, because you can literally create an encrypted file on on a, on a actual fucking air gapped device that doesn’t even have a network interface to keep your passwords on and protected. So that only you have access to that device to view it, you see what I mean? At that point, you’re able to kind of take some of that control. But if you if you use things improperly, you might as well not use any operational security measures. Because at that point, you’re breaking the the guise of it, right? Like, it’s like I was saying before, if you use Tor improperly you it’s better not to use it at all. Because you’re just telling everybody I’m using Tor and I’m doing it terribly.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
So drawing attention to yourself whereas you know, and so you know, you eliminate any possibility of hiding in plain sight?

Daniel Jones – AKA “Nixops”
Yeah. The idea is to hide in plain sight and the thing is, is what I what I tell people is run exit nodes, RUN RUN relays. Run Tor use Tor but use it properly use tools properly. That’s why I was doing the obelisk I’m going to continue now that things have died down a little bit. Um, I’m trying to educate people on how to have a toolkit, but to understand the toolkit to use it properly, because just because you know that this tool will help you do X, Y or Z if you don’t know how to do it properly doing XY and Z could get you a case. You see what I mean? And it’s just like you know, I recently one last post I did was like breaking into wireless networks. And you know how to do WPA pFk braking with better cap and and was a hashtag. And people say all the time, like why why does someone need to know that was better they know how to do it now versus when they’re in a dire straits and they’re trying to look it up.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Daniel, thank you so much for coming on the show today. Where can people where can people find out more about you?

Daniel Jones – AKA “Nixops”
@Nixops on Twitter, social media a lot. My DMS are always open. I may not respond quickly. I’m available and telegram tuner the same thing but if I get too much spam on there sometimes I have to turn telegram off. I get a lot of messages on there so sometimes I don’t check it every day. But yeah, Twitter’s the predominant way to find more stuff about me. Some, you know, interviews and stuff like this when they’re on YouTube and other podcasts you can find me But literally, Twitter’s The best way to find me just because it’s my ability to limit what people know and do about me, you know?

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Perfect. Thank you so much. I’m Rob McNealy, checks out on the web RobMcNealy.com.

Episode Links

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Ruben Merre – NGRAVE Transcript

Ruben Merre - CoFounder of NGRAVE

Note: This transcript was automatically generated by artificial intelligence (AI) and therefore typos may be present.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Hey folks, Rob McNealy here and today I’m talking to Ruben Mira. He is the CEO of engrave, and they got a really interesting product coming out a new type of hardware wallet, which I think all my crypto listeners are really going to be excited about. So Reuben, welcome to the show. How are you today?

Ruben Merre – NGRAVE
I’m feeling sunny. Oh, good.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Well, very good. I’m excited to hear about what your new product is about. So today where where are we talking to you from?

Ruben Merre – NGRAVE
Belgium and more specifically, a very tiny village in the countryside. Where I’m hiding from movies?

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Well, I can understand, I think that’s a good thing. I’ve only been, I only landed in the airport in Brussels. I’ve only been about through Belgium. I’ve never really been in Belgium. But it’s on my bucket. It’s on my bucket list they used to, I used to live in Ireland. And then I’ve been to Switzerland and a bunch of other places in Europe over the years, but I actually have never really spent any time in Belgium. And it’s something I regret. But I think after all, this COVID stuff is kind of behind us. I’m going to probably take some time and do some traveling again, because I’m having that itch to go and get out of town, so to speak. So for my my listeners are a lot of entrepreneurs and not just crypto people. So we always like to talk about the the business piece the the entrepreneurial piece. So tell us a little bit about your background and how did you get started and what did you do before you did engrave?

Ruben Merre – NGRAVE
Yeah, so I started off studying business engineering. It’s something that doesn’t really exist, I think the other side of the of the world, but you can see it as a combination of basically during an engineering degree. And you add all of these business school classes on top. So, you know, like an MBA this they call an MBA Master’s in business engineering. So I did that for five years, got my masters, and then I started working. And I started working at Deloitte. So probably it’s a company you might still know, in the US. So I worked there as a strategy consultant for two years. And I also realized that during the, during my job, I could actually keep studying. So I’m kind of the lifelong learning tab, where I basically tried to do it an additional postgraduate degree every year. And I did that, I would say, up until the moment that I started in grief, because when I started in grief, that was really the moment that I just couldn’t combine it anymore. Nevertheless, I tried to read one book a week so that 50 books a year or so is still within my goals and I’m still achieving that. So yeah, I would say after after Deloitte, which was strategy consulting, like for CXO level in companies, I liked it, but for me it was most it was a bit too. But the organization was a bit too big and I didn’t feel that entrepreneurial vibe. So I joined a smaller management consulting company. Basically, it started at the time, I was one of the first 10 people. And eventually it made me I had a lot of liberty and freedom to help the company grow. So I went to Italy, I set up the Italian branch, I went to Germany set up the German branch, and I actually lived in different countries during my life also during my studies, so for example, in Spain and Mexico, so I basically mastered six languages professionally, and I could actually leverage that to help the company expand in all of these different countries. And let’s say a couple of years later and being a business in several countries, we kind of sold the business to cognizance, also all of those big behemoths. And I myself, actually, so I was a management consultant and innovation consultant. But I was in a unique seat, let’s say to choose a bit my projects. And I like to do those that were more like entrepreneurial. So in the beginning. So basically in parallel with my job, I launched the first automated investment platform in Belgium. It’s something that in the US is known as Robo advisory I don’t know if you’ve ever heard about that basically, basically means that you fill in sort of a questionnaire to determine what your risk versus adversities. And then based on that there are all these algorithms that work for you every day and they kind of rebalance your portfolio continuously to make sure you have the best portfolio that taking care of your risk and at the same time maximizing the return even that risk. So I built the first platform like that in Belgium. Then I also scaled it to A couple of other countries, and eventually one of the big financial players. They hired me to set a bollock a whole new business unit that was totally dedicated to algorithmic trading, automated investment platforms. And I did that for two year, two years. So I let the whole program there. And that was just before I started in grief. And I was supposed to become, let’s say, the piano leader of that, of that block. But the moment that we were starting to engrave I realized that the potential is so huge that I basically decided to completely shift everything. So I was actually not not really in the blockchain space before. I started in grief, just a little bit. And but nowadays, obviously, it’s the exact opposite. Now I live and breathe blockchain and crypto and the security some really excited that we can announce that in less than a month we will actually be launching this beautiful product.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
So how long have you been in the crypto space?

Ruben Merre – NGRAVE
I’ve been in the crypto space Since the top of the market, so I joined when I think Bitcoin was just around floating around $19,000.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
So fairly new, we actually I got into crypto probably not that much before that either, as well. So I’m not going to give anybody a hard time. We jumped right in with launching our project, right? Like literally New Year’s Day of 2018 is when we launched our test project. So it’s like, yeah, I can understand anything in there that that, so to speak. So I’m telling you about engrave. What do you what are you doing with engrave?

Ruben Merre – NGRAVE
Yeah, so I had to say, for example, my founders have been in the space way longer than me, gave you, for example, has been in the space since 2013. And so he was also one of those victims of Mount Gox where they lost 850 thousand bitcoins in total, a lot less.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
That’s expensive.

Ruben Merre – NGRAVE
Yeah. And the thing is that in 2016, he did an ICO which is projects. The risk 76,000 ether, so respectable amount I would say. And in 2017, they, he opened up the smart contract balance of his company, and everything was gone. So everything was stolen, hacked, empty balance. And you can imagine that the moment you do that in front of your computer, you’re extremely shocked. And they beat me it was 44,000 aetherium that they lost. And it wasn’t a parity hack. It’s one of those more famous hacks in the crypto history. And basically, he got his head together with a couple of other white hat hackers. And what they did is they automated the heck, they attacked themselves 500 other projects, and they stole $200 million from these projects. And obviously, they did that with all the best intentions, basically, to protect these guys from the bad hackers. And so eventually they gave back this $200 million worth of crypto obviously with the let’s say, the welder side note that if the Police would have gotten before they gave it back here they would they would probably be in prison right now. And that’s also a bit like Genesis story of engrave. So Xavier eventually became CTO of that project. He became extremely passionate about security. And when I joined the space, which was actually fairly later, so in 2018, I did realize quite quickly that there were some really big issues going on in the in the industry. And so the three of us basically brainstorms on Okay, let’s assume that we have our very first or very last Bitcoin, let’s say we have 100 Bitcoin each, and we have to put it somewhere where we would completely trust that it would still be there in the next day, we opened up the wallet, and we just couldn’t find an answer to that. So what we decided to do at that very moment in April 2018, was let’s build that solution that’s built the best security solution in the world for crypto. Have you understood, obviously That just the three of us, we would never be able to do that, or pull that off just by ourselves. So we Ghana went looking for the best players in the world for their specific niche. And we took two months to build our own prototype, we built it on the Raspberry Pi, we took the time as well to, let’s say, make a business pitch and so on. And we went knocking on the door of the world’s leading research and development Institute’s I make and they are so the r&d leader there for nano electronics. And to just give you like one, one example, in 2018, the tape the first atom size chip to the first chip in the world size of an atom three nanometers big they made it and so we went knocking on their door and we said hey, we are looking for a good partner to build this with. And they also have happened to have a tech acceleration program, one of the top five in the world and so they said Okay, let’s let’s, let’s go for it. Let’s put you in the program. Let’s see how it goes. And after a couple of months, they also realized that actually, we were really not kidding around. And the the approached us with the ask, can we co develop this with you guys. And as from that moment, so let’s see, Summer 2018, we basically have been in a code Development Partnership with ionic. Whereas the IP, the intellectual property still remains fully. There are sort of three of us. That’s just a, let’s say, the start of the story that I guess you have any questions for me?

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
I got a few. So how are you funding this? Did you did you go and do a raise somewhere VC funded or did you sell fund in bootstrap?

Ruben Merre – NGRAVE
Yeah, so we are really, really conscious of the fact that dilution is the last thing you wanna you want to have in the company. So what we did today, and we’re actually pretty proud of that is we were able to raise all the money. We needed to do this without having to go to VC. So what did we do, we got a little bit of an investment in from the very beginning from ionic itself, then we basically got a bank to bank us up, let’s say in that, simply put, we got a small Angel round in the beginning with a couple of business angels. And eventually, we also got European Commission backing this, the Belgian government backing us, and even the web three foundation. And right now we have, let’s say, a modest amount of convertible notes running, we have raised quite a bit of money and more than a million, let’s say to keep it simple and still a bit enigmatic, but So our idea was we have to first do a sales round. And after that sales round, we can basically validate the demands. That’s when we want to do around and right now we are three weeks away from the start of that sales round. So we will be launching on Indiegogo, the 20 Sixth of May. And there you will be able to buy our engraves yogurt and Griffin combo solution at 50% discount on the very first day. And after that Thursday then obviously the discount will decrease gradually or the price will increase gradually. And for us it has been quite the roller coaster, let’s say to get to this point to build something so secure that is in hardware and security and crypto. It’s like the worst three niches in the world put together for an entrepreneur. But we so we basically made it this far and now it’s about getting those sales and then after that we already have a crowdfunding in place. So we will likely do that first. So get a bit more debt and then we will go for a round. So Alright, these to do a first big round by the end of 2020.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
So I definitely see that ease of use and crypto security are pretty vital, especially for mass adoption and and I’m not just talking Kaster. I’m a co founder of a community crypto project. So I’m always, you know, trying to figure out what would make it easier for the artists, our community to, you know, get pushed out to the mainstream, and how do we protect those people? So, tell me about the product. What makes the engrave wallet better than other options that are on the market now?

Ruben Merre – NGRAVE
Yes, well, there are actually many, many different innovations that we bring and retract, we’re going to try to spoon feed these to the markets. Because what we did and I think it’s also something that is different from all the other players is we don’t consider security as similar as all the others do. So if you think about it, in our opinion, security is not a secure crypto exchange. Security is not a secure hardware wallet. Security is a end to end approach where you think of what’s the first step until what’s the very last step and the first step is how do I create a private key or let’s say, a crypto wallet in a completely secure way. The last step is what if tomorrow I pass away? How can my family get access to my crypto in a secure way? and everything in between? So what we did is we we thought initially about, okay, how are keys generated? And we understood that actually already there, there were a couple of issues. So we resolve those issues with a couple of innovations. One of them is called the engrave perfectly. So we actually step away from the mnemonic seed phrases, we support them, so you can still use them, you can still make one but we actually introduce a whole new key, and we use that key throughout the entire lifecycle of let’s say, your cryptocurrencies. So, if we if we start at the very beginning, we have three products. The first one is the angry zero hardware wallets. So what is it it is a touchscreen device, it is one for example. And we build it from scratch together with amongst others I’m McKesson, world leader in nanotechnology, to make sure that every single detail about security user’s experience was thought about and was integrated in the in the circuitry of the chip of the electronic circuitry boards and everything else. But so I would say if he would summarize it, so we are an end to end solution, we have a offline hardware wallet. And we have something to replace paper wallets in case you lose your hardware wallet. And we also have an app to take care of the last mile communication with the blockchain. But if we start with this beautiful thing here, so first of all, it is 100% offline, meaning you will never need to connect it to a computer to transactions or anything else. So there is no USB required, there is no 4g Wi Fi, Bluetooth, anything like that. There simply is a simple on and off button on the side. You turn it on, and you can do your thing. And if you need to do, let’s say a transaction or sync and accounts, you just create the QR codes on the screen. And you can scan that with your app. QR codes, the ones we make will never contain any information on the private keys. So obviously, the private key is the most important thing of your wallets. We make it offline, we never expose it. So there are basically zero remote attack vectors. Nobody can attack this device because there simply is no way to make a connection to it. For us, that was the first thing we needed to do bring everything offline. The second thing we did was we made this device physically tamper proof, because one of the questions is what if somebody finds my device? We military grade tamper proof does they say I find it a bit not I don’t find it very nice words military grade. So I would say we have put in place several cumulative layers of anti tampering to make sure that if even at some points you get that far the device will know it’s under attack, it will bite the keys. And just to be sure, we introduce something entirely new as well, which is the high security certification. Any of these wallets has ever gotten, Ill said. So, to put that a bit in contrast, banks and governments have on average five or six out of the seven levels, there are a ledger nano x, for example has five on a secure element. We have seven on this on the secure firmware. So if you try to attack this device, it is one of the most difficult things you will probably have to do in your life. And this thing is is the only one that has this L seven certification in the whole blockchain world. So that’s how serious we take your security. And obviously then we have the ease of use parts that comes to mind.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
So tell me about how I would physically use that. So you have this. It looks like a slick little device. I got some pictures ahead of time and, and I think the interface looks really, really good. So do I need to For instance, if I’m going to go shopping and I want to go to a retailer, do I need to take this device with me every time everywhere I go?

Ruben Merre – NGRAVE
Well, the use case of a hardware wallet is basically for your huddle part of your portfolio. So if you think about you, let’s say your traditional wallet, your traditional fiat money, you have a current accounts, let’s say 10, maybe 20% of your money. And then 80% or more of all your money is actually somebody in a savings account or an investment account. And hardware wallets were invented to take care of the parts that is long term. So basically, what you normally do is you put in a USB stick in your computer, which has which specific security protocols, and you can send your crypto to the accounts on the device. By doing so, you basically put them offline and you put them away for a longer period. And anything you need to do transactions with you can keep that on your exchange account, or let’s say on a software wallet app that you take with you into a shop. So you wouldn’t need the hardware wallets, per se. And so let’s say that for us, obviously the use case is exactly the same. So the ID or the intention of a hardware wallet is not to take it with you. But because it is so variable, basically, it’s a pocket size. You could have, for example, two of these wallets one year to keep at home, and one that you can have with you and with which you could, in fact, go and purchase stuff in the shop. It is not our intended use case. But you can always you can always do so. But we don’t really recommend it. I think the best thing you can do with your current account is just have it on your app or have the money in your portfolio, in cash, and just be that way. The only thing is you will be risking, let’s say a small portion of your money, because it can be hacked. It is online.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
I couldn’t agree more. So you say you’re going to be launching this in three weeks. Oh, where will it be launched? Is it going to be in Europe first or will be able to be purchased by say Americans or what’s the first target markets that you’re going to be launching.

Ruben Merre – NGRAVE
Yep, no, everybody will be able to purchase it. Because we’re actually doing it through Indiegogo. So you know, Kickstarter is one of those big crowdfunding platforms. Indiegogo is more or less the same size, or at least in the same year. But they’re mostly focused on not just hardware, like, let’s say, backpacks with more like hardware technology. So basically exactly the niche we are in. It’s a huge platform, it’s worldwide. So it doesn’t really matter from where you are buying. You can buy from wherever you want. And for us, it’s it gives this extra interesting dimension. Because if there is, let’s say, in the Philippines, a huge number of people who actually love waterfalls, it’s something we might not know today. They can, they can reveal themselves. And we have some sort of a pull strategy where the customer can tell us, hey, you exist, we want one of these we want them to and if you would say apart from that Indiegogo strategy, our main goal would be in the first place to go for Europe and Northern America and then expand from there from there.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Well, very cool. Ruben, where can people find out more about your new engrave wallet?

Ruben Merre – NGRAVE
Well, you have the website, which is very straightforward. Engrish mg R a v.io. If you add slash like a backslash and then subscribe, you can subscribe right now to the waiting list to select your shirt you can get 50% off on the day that we launched on the 26th of May. And we actually also have a competition going on right now a giveaway, where if you enter it you have you will be able to win one of 10 potential combos so the hardware wallets and also our backup solution. That will be you can you can enter the competition until somewhere like the week of the 20th.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Wonderful, Ruben, thank you so much for coming on the show today. I think our listeners are going to have to take a look at what you’re doing with the engrave wallet. And I really do appreciate all your time. I think you’ve been very informative and I’m always active To see about new technology and solutions for safe storage of crypto assets and, and it looks like this is going to be a winner. I can’t wait to get my hands on one myself.

Ruben Merre – NGRAVE
Yeah, definitely buy one or read one if you can. Right now is really the time for all of that.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
I will try my hand. All right, thank you so much Ruben. This is Rob McNealy. Thank you for listening. Folks check sent to the web at RobMcNealy.com and we’ll catch you next time.

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Robin Matthes, Roland van Reenen and Tim Betts – PAC Global Transcript

PAC Global

Note: This transcript was automatically generated by artificial intelligence (AI) and therefore typos may be present.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Hey guys, Rob McNealy here. And today we have a really fun a big interview. Normally I only have one guest on but today we have three. And it is a collective group from both Pac global and some of blockchain. So I’d like to introduce First I’d like to introduce Robin, and then we can go around and then maybe everybody introduce yourselves and how you kind of got here. Is that work for you guys?

Robin Matthes – PAC Global
Yes. Awesome.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Robin, tell us about you what’s going on today.

Robin Matthes – PAC Global
First and foremost Philly Cinco de Mayo. Todos. It synchronous Today it’s very important holiday. I’m Robin Matthes. I’m the chief philanthropy officer slash head of charity at big global. And I’m also the master coordinator for the Washington elite AI and blockchain summits. In the past, I have mainly attended to Venezuelan refugees by air dropping bitcoins to them, so they could then use it to buy essential goods and medicines at street merchants whom we’ve provided with tablets. And we’re partnered with the first we’re partnered with the liberland aid Foundation, as well as the flame of peace which is a charitable organization that is active in over 70 different countries. They are run by the House of Habsburg which is the royal family of Austria, and together with them and summit blockchain and many other partners like Guk, Steen and gift nation we are affirming the trees for peace. Alliance and growing edible food forests like the one you can see on my background, which is a video that got sent to me by Roland van Renan, who will introduce himself shortly is considered by us as one of the most optimal ways to do charity will be restoring nature, we’ll be providing food for those who needed most. And in the process, we’re also looking to improve the existing way that they do agriculture.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Wonderful, Tim, give us a little bit about your background. How’d you get involved with these guys?

Tim Betts – Summit Blockchain
Yeah, thanks, Rob. So my name is Tim Betts and I am the chairman and CEO of a company called summit blockchain. We were founded back in July of 2018. I’m here in California, Southern California. And basically what we do at summit is we invest exclusively in the energy efficient blockchain networks. So we’ve been a an investor for, I would say almost two years now in Pac, global. And we have a few other different holdings. And we are typically an activist investor. I’m on the board of directors of Pac global. And I’ve been working with Robin, who’s the pack Global Head of charity, as he mentioned, and I would call him our farmer, farmer Deluxe Roland van Renan. On a real interesting opportunity that is charity driven, but also some other areas of growth potential that we see as an investor impact levels. So that I guess is kind of the short version of us we’re, we’re excited about the prospects of blockchain and in particular, really interesting use cases that can give back to a given community as well. So that’s really what got what got myself and my company excited in this project.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Oh, very cool and Roland van Reenan, how are you today sir?

Roland van Reenan
I’m fine thank you for inviting me for this interview. And as I mean, I’m Rolan ban Reenan as you know already, and I’m working since 2015 on permaculture and regenerative agricultural projects and careers outside the by my own with zero budgets succeeded to get them food forest on the ground in three years and was asked by the Minister of Agriculture to do more of this stuff. So and I organized the course with two Brazilians, who are specialized in the Central Park refers to a system that we’re about to display. And there was a very successful course with 42 participants. And we started to we succeeded to get in our forestry system here. So, that’s the basis of how we work. And now we continue to work from.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
So quickly Robin, you’re in Curacao. Yes, me too. And then Roland’s in Curacao with you as well? Yeah. Yeah. And then three and then Tim is in Orange County, Southern California?

Tim Betts – Summit Blockchain
Yep, not not quite a not quite an island over here, but I guess they’re the they’re part of the Dutch contingent on a Curacao.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Well, it’s as I mentioned to Robin before, I’ve actually been to Curacao out twice scuba diving. Oh, so I’ve actually spent a little bit of time in Willemstad. And it was on the west northwest coast no little or little further north of Williamstown on the coast at the old habitat dive resorts where I used to go Yes, so I like carousel that.

Robin Matthes – PAC Global
Most American people are most familiar with Aruba, which is right next to it has pretty much the same jurisdiction.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Right? That’s like where You land and then you fly over to Curacao.

Robin Matthes – PAC Global
You can get a direct flight took yourself from Miami.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Yeah, I didn’t when I went last time they didn’t have a direct flight. Um, but but that was some time ago. So let’s just jump into this. I’m kind of a fan of agriculture. In fact I just am finishing my irrigation system I actually have a I have like an on suburban farm. We have our we have a half acre lot that we live on and we live in the city. Our garden patch is about 6000 square feet now and we have 20 fruit trees and we have irrigation moderates here in the city. So I’m literally just put in a brand new pump system we have 1000 gallon cistern for watering because we flood irrigate our backyard so our neighbors are you know, we kind of hide our garden because you know, our neighbors wanted to look really nice and a certain way it’s interesting because most people don’t like that, right like farms usually look like farms. They don’t look like you know, upper scale kind of like suburbs. neighborhood so we got everything fenced off and hidden. And then we rejuvenated our old we had a bunch of standard pear trees when we moved in that were 40 feet high and, and unproductive, we rejuvenated them. And now they’re seven feet high, and they’re growing back out and productive and, and we’re building our soil because we have really basic soils here. And they’re, they’re basically, basic clay is what we have. So we’ve been spending some time over the last couple of years trying to build our soil and fix our soil. So I’m really into ag mini agriculture, I got 200 plants under lights, we’re going to be planting next week. So I love organic farming the best I can here my little patch. So I’m actually excited to talk to you guys about what you’re doing. So let’s get so let’s get into this a little bit. You guys have talked a lot about in the past, you know this concept of food forests. And what does that mean? What is a food forest and what do you think you’re going to do with food forests? Anybody just jump in, you know and we can just talk, so..

Roland van Reenan
Shall I shall I answer this question Robin?

Robin Matthes – PAC Global
Yes, go right a head.

Roland van Reenan
Food forest is is is growing food but imitating the laws of nature, the intelligence of nature, the inherent intelligence of nature. So nature does it, it doesn’t work it does it, it’s just and in a way we prepare for we try to imitate those processes so that those things work holistically together. And we don’t have to put in that much energy so it’s an energy low way of producing food because yeah, the more mature the food the food forest grows, the less energy you have to put in, the more self sustaining it will become and then you got this. Center up agroforestry foot forward And these are very much higher, developed efficient, efficiently, efficiently developed than the normal food forest I was talking about is a way of planting a forest with food but in succession, so you plant from three weeks to 20 years, and you produce in the meantime you produce food now the forest is growing, you’re always harvesting and that has also to do with knowing the place and needs of every plant in the system. And the Brazilians especially in the gentleman called earns God’s developed this system. And the system proves to be very efficient and successful in compared to traditional food forest we know so that’s, that’s, there’s something very interesting and of course it’s all about building soil also but the forest will build the soil by and we plant certain trees and plants. Because of the building up the soil, we build my bio mysteries and biomass plants. If you see the face of Robin, you see behind them the rows of trees, but there are predators in between. and also lines of grass and the grass is always also function as biomass provide and also to do some irrigation and some water storage in the soil. Yeah, you see the line of grass here again?

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
So would you say that the planting of grasses designed to help with pests and weeds as well?

Roland van Reenan
The way this plant Yeah, according to the Brazilians, it’s very interesting. They say if every strata strata, isn’t it a level isn’t. I would say to Robin held layer, layer layer in this forest if every layers occupied in the forest, and best won’t be a real problem. Of course, they will be best but they won’t lead the system they they will be there but they be controlled by all the elements in the system. So but as soon as One of those layers are not present in the system, then they say, then you will have mosquitoes, you will have threats, you will have other plagues, you will have pest there the system. So that’s very interesting perspective, it means that if you plan it good enough, if you plan all those strata, and all due to their needs for sunlight, we have to know those needs, then we can have relatively pest free production.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
So I’m a big believer in agriculture, as I already mentioned, so you’re not to sell me on it. But how would you sell this to other people? Why do we need this new concept of agroforestry? What is the purpose? Why is this a problem? What prop I guess the question is, what problem are you trying to solve with this?

Roland van Reenan
Now the first the first the harvest per square meter is much higher than normal agriculture. It’s that’s that’s effect because normally if you plant the monoculture, you will have to wait a couple of months to do the RFS. In the meantime, you’re putting in energy and it’s your You’re You’re, you’re putting fertilizers you have to plow before you and you’re waiting, some some labor you have to put in. But in this system of food, forestry, you plant everything at the same time. And that means that you start harvesting for three weeks while you’re waiting for your origin on the crop. And that could be fruit trees. Normally, if you plant fruit trees, you have to wait for a couple of years for them to produce him you know, you know about that. But we plant the vegetables in between knowing the succession of those different kinds of plants and we start harvesting from three weeks and six weeks we got the next harvest on the same spot. And we got another harvest of eight weeks, we get another visit two months we got our visit a couple of months of for for instance excellence, we can then cassava coming in nine months and then we got papaya and bananas that will produce for two three years. And then the fruit tree is already so this is a continuous RFS thing in the process of without plowing and putting their energy in that they Other net normal agriculture has to put in. So that means no plowing anymore. You do plowing only once and you make raised beds and then it’s over. And you don’t have to put in too much fertilizer because you produce fertilizers by the plants you plant in the system. So we use mostly green manure in your time. In the beginning, we start of course with manure, also cow manure and those kinds of videos, organic manures. But then, as the system develops, monitoring will be added by plants that we planted on that perfect purpose to feed the system we say food for the food and planting the system to so those lines of biomass grasses for instance, is also used to mow the grass and put the grass back as mulch on the soil to cover the soil always.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Very good. So you’re gonna build these out and what do you hope to do with this high density more efficient kind of method of farming?

Roland van Reenan
And it’s not only the footprint of the footprint actually was the first interest, we want to make money with with footprint and we want to want to provide food and also for the farmers. But the nice thing is that if you play if you grow a forest and all other things you struggle with, for instance water, what a cyclist cycles will be repaired, and especially here on the island is that that’s the our major challenge because we don’t have that much rainfall you got we are completely different stated. So that means that the rain is reduced to an absolute minimum, and there’s always a strong wind blowing. So water will evaporate in four times the rainfall. And so by building and setting up a forest you come to those problems, not only you’re producing food, but you’re building the soil erosion will be stopped and you counter the with the influences to win because different strata if the wind blow come into the system, and it meets different strata, it means it will be nice Why they can stay in the system it will be very big condensate after so it will fall down in the system. So, these are just a few examples of what you buy producing food that you can take also so you solve a lot of problems while producing foods ecological problems and the same time reforest a the islands so bring back the rain also just you mentioned if you think.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Well it’s a good thing. So, Tim you guys are you know working on some pilots that are coming up. Can you talk a little bit about that?

Tim Betts – Summit Blockchain
Sure. It may be just let me add to and kind of you know, I’m almost anything but a farmer. I guess you know, my experience I used to cut cut my cut my parents yard as a kid and by the way, that’s those are some chores. No kids seem to do now but I digress a bit, but men do. Yeah. So this, this Rob is what really excited me about about this project. So, you know I first met rolling through Robin and we did one of these, you know a zoom call and you know I started hearing about it and I kind of went back to the my office here and did did some homework and looked up some things in sort of the beauty I think of this sin tropic agroforestry and regenerative forestry i think is you know, it’s it’s not something man made and it’s not something that just happened, you know, a few weeks ago or a few months ago. One could argue this has been around for let’s say thousands of years and probably the best example of it is the the lush organic Brazilian rainforest and you know, what you see there are complimentary plants, you know, working in in Sintra, Rafi, meaning together versus entropy where, you know, be at plants or humans or whatever, are working the opposite of, you know, not, not together and You know, as a result, you have one plant next to another plant, which essentially confuses an insect. So it, it keeps the bugs away. You don’t need to spend money on insecticide. As Roland mentioned, you know, there’s a lot of pruning that goes on. So you get the green matter from the trees coming down. And soil degradation, I think is one of the biggest problems is that, you know, we face worldwide, you know, the bad quality of soil and through the pruning, you’re basically, if you take a step back, you have a self sustaining ecosystem that really, over time, doesn’t require fertilizer, doesn’t require pesticides, starts requiring less and less water. And don’t take our word for it. Hmm, this has already been out there. It’s been perfected, as Roland mentioned by I think, you know, he’s sort of known as The Godfather or Ernst coach. And you see what he did in Brazil, starting back in the 80s basically took a deforested timber land. timber farm that had no good soil quality. And now he’s, I think producing three to four times the yield of a monoculture or single crop farm. So I think it’s very exciting. And it’s a very timely subject, especially in, in kind of what what the world is going through now. And you never thought food sustainability even in the US would be on the front of anybody’s mind. But you’re seeing food lines and things like that. And so, you know, some of our pilots that we’re doing, we’re sort of taking into account of what’s going on in the world today. And really, our first pilot, I call it kind of our pre pilot is going to be done in a property that that Robin lives on, which is a home a plot of land at his home. So what we hope to accomplish out of that is basically a homegrown edible food forest where somebody can be not sure 100% self sufficient. He’s not going to be growing any be fun on his yard there. I don’t think but maybe…

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
You can get goat right?

Robin Matthes – PAC Global
I could probably get a goat.

Tim Betts – Summit Blockchain
Yeah. So so he might tell the kids. Yeah, so that’s young chickens. Exactly some of those things. So I think again, it’s really exciting. We have these pilot programs. The first one really starting at Robins place. We’re going to have I think three more in Curacao we were going to just really do one main one in Curacao. But with you know, the unknown travel restrictions how long those are going to go for we’re we’re going to do a total of four pilot programs in Curacao. The second one is going to be and by the way outside of Robin, the other three pilot programs are land that is either owned by Roland or through associates of his that are going to provide that land for us. So we’re excited about that. We have our our farmer on board who You know, has his skill set that none of us have outside of maybe you rob on this on this discussion here, but starting on yourself, we think we’re going to be able to show and improve soil quality. Over time, I think we’re going to be able to show a significant, hopefully a yield increase, versus a monoculture farm that we have some data points on and that we’re looking at, and then being able to really monitor and verify and report those results on the blockchain, which is where I get pretty excited knowing and you know, my enthusiasm for blockchain. So I believe we’re going to be one of the first companies I’ve been able to identify to, to, to kind of marry again, edible food forest and the the potential of those with the ability to really see how we’re progressing on the blockchain. So and then from there, you know, we have a plan For Kenya, five acres and then Jamaica 50 acres, and then hopefully from there, we think we can scale it to other parts of some some developing countries. So, you know, it’s exciting and you know, probably like you, Rob, I see a lot of projects. And this one really got my interest from, from, you know, all the different parts of it that that can be used to help people but also show, I think a better way to set up farms going forward.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
So how do you plan to incorporate blockchain into this project? What’s the actual use case of the technology?

Robin Matthes – PAC Global
So it’s pretty interesting. It’s mostly for submitting KPI data and also MVR data around the projects that we are doing. We’re basically initially looking to leverage the ipfs blockchain for submitting data around the violets and Then we’ll use our experience that we’ve gained through the pilot to build our own data blockchain for the purpose. And regarding the key performance indicators on like, we have to submit the data on one site. So the farmers can input their metrics that are using this concept around the sub indicators for the projects. And then we submit the data onto the blockchain. And on the other side, there will be a sort of a website that will have a dashboard that is displaying the data in the case of ipfs ipfs. It’s a dot eat or dot XYZ or Luke’s domain. And abundant input of the data by two farmers, for example, an American farmer would input that they’re working on two and a half acres of land, for example, the app could convert this figure into one acre, which is the standard used for the entire database. So that was Allow us to actually standardize databases from across the root. And we will be mostly focusing on user friendliness when we build such an app, and also focusing on workshops between well, farmers technicians and children. And then there’s the monitor, verify and report side of it, which would essentially allow us through IoT pins to monitor the tree. So for instance, when one of them dies or gets cut down, an alarm will sound and the park ranger could go check it out, if you will. And the IoT sensors measured the suction of the trees and then they verified that the tree is alive. And in doing so we can actually monitor and verify in quasi real time on the blockchain and report the relevant instances like the UN, for example, or 2 billion trees initiative.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
So our People gonna want to watch the grass grow on blockchain. Real time.

Robin Matthes – PAC Global
It depends on which people because the UN has publicly acknowledged that it is seeking to leverage blockchain to achieve the SDGs the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. And we are using the metadata and the metadata methodological approach for from the cultural organization, and they have different sub indicators. Well, I should go back a few steps ensured we’re basically following the United Nations structure that has been laid out by the Food and Agricultural Organization. We are focusing on the environmental dimension of sustainable development. You also have the social dimension and the economical dimension. So we’ve narrowed it down to SDG number two, which is zero hunger, and it has a couple of targets and we chose target the point four and the StG KPI 2.4 point one, you could Google this I will also make this data publicly available, but bear with me for a second. And fo will also like the Food and Agriculture Organization will also help us with measurements on larger projects after our pilot of 500 acres and above. But let me share my screen for a quick second. Do you know where I here share my screen. So here you see the SDG indicator 2.4 point one and different sub indicators. So you see here in the environmental dimension, that you have the surveillance of soil degradation, so we use soil tests that we would mill overdue institutions that could do some research on the soil and send those back to soil test and we could implement that on the blockchain and then you have to variation And water and Roland was met was telling me that instead of you measuring like metric meters or metric tons of water that you’re using, you measure how often a week you would feed the plants water. And then there’s other ones like the use of fertilizers and the use of pesticides, and also to use of biodiverse supportive practices, because we’re planning on planting over 100 different trees, different plants per acre, and like about 12 to 1300 different trees in total per acre. So we’ll be performing quite well in these areas. The UN has essentially uses a traffic light approach where they measured the percentages of these sub indicators. And then we have here what we projected that ours will look like like we’ll use less water you can see here to water use an old so this data we will measure and implement into the blockchain and ultimately we’re also looking to, well, we want we’re looking to appeal to instances like the UN or 2 billion trees initiative with whom we’re in contact through with whenever directors called us Salton. And they The ultimate goal is to, for them to eater acknowledges as a partner, which is very possible because you only have to fill in the form with which I’m very well on my way. And then for them to ultimately use our Beck global block data blockchain to achieve some if not all of the SDGs that are written in the 2030 agenda.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Wow, that’s, um, sounds complicated, but it’s interesting to me.

Robin Matthes – PAC Global
Yeah, there’s a lot of things where blockchain could actually solve a lot of the things that we’re seeing like do you can standardize The projects by the thing I was mentioning earlier about the metric submission, but also if, for example, this is just an example carbon databases are the UN has different carbon databases right now that are all like they have local metrics for the countries where they have their carbon database. So a carbon credits project could actually submit data to different databases and then you have double counting of carbon credits. For the record a carbon credit is one metric tonne of carbon processed by for example, trees, but it could also be alternative energy, it could be all kinds of different things. So all in all, we are looking to use the pilot to start leveraging blockchain and can see how I stop sharing and put back on my video and leveraging the blockchain for the SDGs and a lot of other social good projects. out there. Because we know that a lot of different levels there can be improvements by using the blockchain for such a mean for such an end.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
So a couple quick, just little, little questions. Will this work in any environment? Like, for instance, will this regrow in the desert? Because that’s been something that’s fascinating to me. Yeah. Because by the way, if you want to regrow in the desert, there’s a lot of cheap desert land in Utah that you can get for like pennies an acre. So if you want to do a project in the desert, just come on out to Utah, they will they’ll give you the land.

Robin Matthes – PAC Global
So I think Roland…

Roland van Reenan
My answer would say would be yes. Yeah. And we I am trying in a moment I’m trying out the project without irrigation so that will be used can be used in a desert situation, is an awesome technique is developed in Brazil, with less or more or less the same rainfall as we get here early, but seven months of no rainfall at all. And that means that Yeah, and without irrigation that means that you have to build up very gradually the system that holds the water for you, and what they use them for in this in this case they use kind of cactus, it’s the nopal cactus from Mexico and they plant them very densely and together with our garbage and that will build up the the water levels in the soil, in the plants in the first stage. And this this, these plants will be used as mulch like like in a normal agroforestry system and will slowly drip in the water in the soil. So you can then the next phase, you can start planting vegetables and fruit trees that will be fed with the water that’s the cactus have been stored. So that’s a case scenario without irrigation. But if you get it If you can use irrigation you can of course speed up those processes so I will say yes in especially in deserts like situations it will it’s very useful depends only on we have to search for the right plants that can stand those circumstances but the system itself it’s very useful in any situation.

Robin Matthes – PAC Global
Yeah for example in Kenya we’re focusing on preventing flooding rather than desertification.

Roland van Reenan
Yeah yeah. So you might say we’re gonna desert like situation only did we the only difference between the normal is that we don’t have that huge differences in night and day temperatures. But the way the country look like is real desert like situation.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Is there you said earlier that the land in Curacao has been mostly deforested? Is there a lot of vacant land or unused land now in Curacao so that you could start reforesting the country?

Roland van Reenan
Yes, there are certain options or there is a lot of government land. So that is not the first option, although the government is very interested also. But there’s also a lot of land of farmers that have people that have land but no, not necessarily cultivated. So it’s very nice to find out if those people are willing to offer their land so that they will have an income and the share shared income, you know, that the farmer who does the work will get maybe the 50% of the income and they are the one who has the land to do this. This kind of constructions are to be developed yet. Yeah.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
So what would you say then? Then anybody jump in here? What what’s the business opportunity here? How do you do this sustainably and how do you fund it sustainably?

Roland van Reenan
The business opportunity you say?

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Yes, how do you fund this, sustainably, this project and this concept?

Roland van Reenan
This financial part may be best explained by Tim or Robin.

Robin Matthes – PAC Global
Yeah, from what I’ve gathered that once you install well once you install the irrigation the project pretty much becomes self sustainable because the harvest good. By the time you’ll need irrigation again, it’ll be at least three years later. And everything else is basically self sustainable at that point.

Roland van Reenan
Yeah, the only thing you have to do is pruning.

Tim Betts – Summit Blockchain
Yeah. And for these initial projects, so we’re looking to fund them and buy we my company summit blockchain. pretty reasonable, you know, our budget. I think we’re we’re looking at, you know, under $5,000 per pilot program and like Roland and Robin mentioned, you know, there’s a fair amount of work on decent amount of work, I would say on the front end, but that definitely comes out over time. becomes less. And, you know, there’s, again, a lot of, I think, really unique opportunities out there to help people with some of their, their, you know, land that they have now which which is again bed deforested or, or who knows what but there’s there’s so much unusable land out there, you know, we see it as a real big opportunity. I will say this, you know, through some of the projects that have been done not by us, but but others in the industry previously, you know, they’ve been able to show that it actually increases rainfall in that microclimate by having a really lush, organic, sustainable food forest is also increased the rainfall. So pretty crazy, you know, some of these results, but I think, you know, again, on multiple levels, that makes a lot of sense. Once you dig down into it, it sort of kind of, I kind of got that. Oh, yeah. A moment, you know where, you know, this makes sense. And it’s not, you know, overly complicated. And when you really get your arms around it, which doesn’t take a long time, it makes a lot of sense. So, again, I think with these initial rollouts, we are looking to capture a lot of data, build a nice template, using a lot of the UN’s parameters that they’ve already put together, but just doing it in a little bit different, more efficient way. And that’s the blockchain. And then, you know, again, we see a lot of a lot of other areas, be it you know, Central America, South America, where slash and burn seems to be the, the, the optimum choice that they’re using. And, you know, that’s really a short term solution. And again, it all sort of comes back to soil. I think as you know, you get soil runoff if there was a slash and burn program in place, and this is just really a way to do things. I think smarter, and again, don’t trust any of us on the call. Nope. Trust nature. Just look at what now. is done. And it’s really, you know, the bottom line is its nature working together to produce the best results possible.

Roland van Reenan
I would like to ask, I would like to add one thing. nature will probably do 100 years to reforest the land, we can do it in 10 years. And that’s that’s that’s the human intelligence into the natural intelligence by using the natural intelligence. Yeah.

Robin Matthes – PAC Global
Yeah. And I would argue that it’s the main source of income would come from our blockchain applications. An example would be once we’ve proven the concept and then our pilots that we would apply for grants, for example, and that the food that comes out of this because that global is largely focused on charity you, we don’t really we’re not really looking to directly profit from it, but more do it in some sort of a way that it contributes to the human kind and the greater good.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Well, I couldn’t get any more Kumbaya than that. I really appreciate your time. Where can people find out more about project and say they want to get involved or invest or help out in some way?

Robin Matthes – PAC Global
You could start by looking at our Twitter, the big global Twitter, our operations and most of our direct stakeholders are on Discord. And we also have a website called Big global.io.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Fantastic, gentlemen, thank you so much. And folks, we’re going to have all those links up on our website associated with the blog and this podcast up at Rob McNealy calm. Once again, thank you so much for listening, and we’ll catch you next time.

Robin Matthes – PAC Global
Awesome. Thank you, Rob.

Roland van Reenan
Thank you.

Tim Betts – Summit Blockchain
Thank you.

Episode Links

Audio Interview
Video Interview
Interview Transcript

Brandon Cooper – Aphid Transcript

Brandon Cooper - CEO of Aphid.io

Brandon Cooper – CEO of Aphid.io

Note: This transcript was automatically generated by artificial intelligence (AI) and therefore typos may be present.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Hey folks, welcome to show I am Rob McNealy and today I am real excited. I am talking to Brandon Cooper. He is the co founder and CEO of a fit a la based startup working in artificial and blockchain. So, let’s welcome to the show. Brandon. How are you today, sir?

Brandon Cooper – Aphid.io
Doing well, how about yourself?

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
You know, I can’t complain so much. It’s a beautiful day out west got out, got some sun today working out in the yard. So that’s good, considering we’re in the pandemic Apocalypse, I actually feel fine. So that’s good. Saying here. So before we jump into this, tell me a little bit of background. How’d you get started in being an entrepreneur?

Brandon Cooper – Aphid.io
Yeah, I from from a young age, I’ve always been the outcast or just kind of looking around the classrooms and I always felt different even in college. The big auditorium 600 students, I really just didn’t feel like it was for me, it was always something more than just going through the system. Basically, and my background from Detroit, Michigan, inner city, Westside and got into entrepreneurship, actually through network marketing was my first intro where a friend of mine in college he sent me an email on Facebook at the time. He said, Hey, come to my dorm, or as like apartment or something, he showed me, the Cash Flow Quadrant from Robert Kiyosaki. Other people want to roll and they were laughing and they were leaving, like, Ah, this is a joke. And when I saw that video, I mean, I stared at the TV for about 10 minutes. It was just the rubberband effect when it stretched me I just couldn’t go back. Ever since then I started making inventions and things like that.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
So how did you get out to LA?

Brandon Cooper – Aphid.io
Long story short, I lived in it. So I left Detroit after college, and I went to Atlanta. I was in Atlanta for 10 years. And the energy just pulled me out here. It’s a little difficult to do a race. out in Atlanta, in my opinion, I should be to be stricken. I love Atlanta. It was great to me. But the West Coast has really just pulled me. And I tried to stay in Atlanta, but I could just really pull on me. And I love the weather. And I came here to visit a year before I moved, and I said I wanted to move here and the law of attraction pulled me out here.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
So hey, it’s all good. Where’d you go to college? If I’m just curious.

Brandon Cooper – Aphid.io
Michigan State University, Spartan dogs.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
I did my undergrad at Central Michigan, just up the road. Nice. So I set out that’s cool. So would you study at MSU? What did you study there?

Brandon Cooper – Aphid.io
Oh, did I study merchandising, management marketing?

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Very cool. Yep. Yeah, I like state my. My cousin’s all went to state so I don’t I have I have very much a big affinity for MSU. So go Spartans. So you became an entrepreneur moved out to la tele, what is this project you’re working on what is a fit?

Brandon Cooper – Aphid.io
Aphid is an ecosystem where we’re disrupting a nine to five. What we’re doing is allowing people to digitize themselves into a bot. And this bot will do a variation of things to make money. The reason we created a company is we got we saw people working 40 hours a week. And we said, well, there has to be some way that we can make money and not have to trade time for money. And that’s how the company developed. The aphid is actually an insect that can clone itself. So that’s where the name comes from.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
So is this something that you’re bootstrapping or did you get do a raise then or you funded and how did you kind of how’d you get started with the cash flow on this?

Brandon Cooper – Aphid.io
Yeah, bootstrap completely 100% we had a little little cash from a few friends free believe early believers. Really appreciate them. The rest is completely bootstrap.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
So you said you’re coming out pretty soon with your beta, then?

Brandon Cooper – Aphid.io
Yep, within the next few weeks, the mobile application will be out, it’ll be able to create your bot. And we have, that’s the b2c portion, the b2b portion will come out a few months later, for enterprises.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
So walk me through this, you said you’re focused on the non 95 you know, workspace, you know, you want to decouple time and money from one another. In other words, you want people to make money when they sleep. So I’m very interested in these technologies. So give me some give me some examples. So the listeners who might not understand what that means, tell me sure how me is a non developer how I could leverage one of your digitized bots and make money when I sleep.

Brandon Cooper – Aphid.io
Yeah, you would come onto the platform, and you would get a subscription depending on how many bots you want. But if you just get the basic one, you just pay a subscription every month. And then it’s already pre trained. We train the bots to basically go out there and sell through e commerce partners that we have. So every time it sells something on the entire internet of where we place your bot, you make money. And then we’re going to open it up for the developer community to create other ways for your bot to make money too. So you can just install them like the App Store. imagine it being artificial intelligence, foreign exchange trading, or cryptocurrency trading, you can just add that like a widget. And then your bot will make money from these different widgets, these different add ons, we call them drivers.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
So what you’re saying is, so essentially, you’re taking and creating a bot that can do online retail sales. So say I’m an Amazon reseller, is that the kind of thing that I could use this for?

Brandon Cooper – Aphid.io
Yeah, for example, let’s say we get business A, and they have an e commerce platform because they’re one of our platforms that got a chatbot system for us. We’ll take the ROB bot and put it on that website. If it’s so something you get a commission for it.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Interesting. So if I want to leverage your bot, do I actually have to buy inventory to then kind of thing?

Brandon Cooper – Aphid.io
If you if you want to, could you rephrase it,

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
or so there’s something like if I want to make money with the bot, I have to buy inventory from one place and then sell it in another place kind of thing.

Brandon Cooper – Aphid.io
You don’t have to do anything we do all the work for you, all you have to do is just say already programmed into our infrastructure, all you have to do is ask description. And the thing is that you want your bot to do you can just add those skills or job tasks to it.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
So this works for selling retail items. But then you said there’s the ability then to use his trading bot as well.

Brandon Cooper – Aphid.io
For example, one of one of our drivers is going to be CoinGenius, their artificial intelligence cryptocurrency trading platform, you would basically add that driver and then the money that you make from trading there through artificial intelligence will help your money pool. So imagine you’re making money from this driver, that driver this driver, that driver You’re making money from all of these different things while you sleep for your body’s doing the work.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
How’d you come up with the idea

Brandon Cooper – Aphid.io
I was working for I was working for Apple for a while. And the call volume was really insane, was really, really insane. And I said, I wish I could call myself and I could make money off what I’m doing and make money while I’m at the beach. And I left the company got a couple other crazies to believe in me and they joined the team too.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
So are you the lead developer?

Brandon Cooper – Aphid.io
I do no front end. But I am not the lead developer. our CTO Sean Ross is the lead developer.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
So where do you think this is going and how would it segue into the future of the gig economy?

Brandon Cooper – Aphid.io
I see this as being the new way for everyone to make money people are used to doordash or Uber. But you those even those companies, it’s a little dangerous because they’re coming out with The automation rideshares. So if you don’t actually own a Tesla, like a Tesla Robo taxi, then you’re kind of out of business is taking away some of your volume. People are afraid of robots taking our jobs, but in my opinion, if robots don’t take our, our jobs, they will always be at work per se trading time for money. So we’re preventing singularity, in essence.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
So it’s interesting like that that Luddite fear of automation, you know, in the history of this country, at least since the Industrial Revolution, there’s usually been a net increase in jobs when you’ve actually had automation come in. And a lot of people it’s funny because you You seem there’s a lot of tech pros from California that seem to think that in mass all of a sudden all these people are going to be unemployed and it’s gonna be starvation in the streets and pitchforks for them. Right. But I actually the history doesn’t show that and and there’s a couple of reasons why I think is that one, a lot of times people through attrition, a lot of a lot of these things don’t happen overnight these like revolutions, right? And what ends up happening is you have you have a lot of people that through attrition, will, you know, just go away retire anyway, and that that job won’t be refilled. So that’s a big part of it. But on top of that, you’ll find that a lot of innovations come out of it. So for instance, the the buggy whip people and the, you know, the, you know, horse and buggy kind of folks went out of business. But then there was a whole lot of other jobs that came up to build the auto industry, for instance, now you’re from Detroit, I’m from the Detroit area, as well. And if you look at all the stuff that went into that it was actually much bigger markets that were created from that and much more growth and many more jobs that were created, even though the loss of one industry led way to that. It’s like that whole creative destruction thing. So I don’t fear the robots. I want the robots and I want little thing in my brain to make me smarter. So I’m excited about it. So disrupting so how would you say that your, your bot system is disruptive to what’s happening right now.

Brandon Cooper – Aphid.io
The current system is going to work a morning, get home and buy traffic for our cook dinner, do homework with the kids or do homework with the kids cook dinner and repeat five times a week. And that should is 1992 right? 1987 whatever you want to call it. The old way of thinking and most people don’t have enough time to give to not to mention if you have a wife or your husband’s at home or whatever, these people you’re not spending time with your family. And if you were to calculate all of the hours that you’re allocating towards your job over a lifetime, it’s astronomical elite over 100 probably over 172,000 hours. If your life is dedicated to that, and I’m not saying that with a finger, stop, you’ll stop working. But maybe it reduces it to 20 hours a week, right? Maybe you only have two, maybe you can work on your side hustle. Now that becomes full time because you’re making money from a fit and you’re a freelancer, and that covers your income. So that’s ultimately our goal is to get that volume and liquidity high enough to help what we call our controllers, your controller of the bot to help you guys make money.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Yeah, I like what I’m hearing. So you mentioned that you’re doing artificial intelligence and I get that with the bot. But you’ve also mentioned blockchain, how are you incorporating blockchain technology with a Fed

Brandon Cooper – Aphid.io
if if a user wants to sign up decentralized, meaning Google Facebook or email isn’t used to sign up? That means the data is is off the Richter that means Google doesn’t have it. Facebook doesn’t have it. They don’t have your information, you can sign up with their phone number and it’s just tied to you That’s one way we’re using it for data. The analytics, the money that you make all the information is decentralized. So that’s not stored by a fit. You’ll see it in your control panel. But we have that on the decentralized portion. As far as the payments are concerned, we have what’s called same day pay. If the user decides to transact with cryptocurrency, then you as the comptroller would get paid in the same currency that was used. So if they use cryptocurrency, you get paid the same day. And we’re starting off on aetherium or private until we eventually will move to our own main net, sometime in a future. But aetherium you’ll usually get your transaction within it could be three minutes 15 minutes really just depends on how busy it is.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
So what cryptocurrencies Can people pay on your system with well, at least out of the gate?

Brandon Cooper – Aphid.io
Out of the gate will be our own native token named ABION.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
ABION, are you gonna just keep it on your own? Are you gonna open it up to other kryptos in some point

Brandon Cooper – Aphid.io
Possibly, yeah, we’re, we’re working on it. We haven’t made any announcements yet. But you’ll be first and we should talk.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Yeah, I can make a deal for you. Good. Yeah, actually, it could be. So tell me, overall, what’s your go to market plan? You know, I talked to a lot of entrepreneurs. I’ve been an entrepreneur for a long time. And it seems that a lot of tech guys, there’s not always there always seemed like they’re missing a marketing thing. Do you have like a marketing guy? Do you have a good marketing strategy? Do you have a plan to get this implemented into the market?

Brandon Cooper – Aphid.io
For certain we have, we have a strong team. There are just about 20 people in the company. But Alexandra stone, she’s our chief growth officer. And she’s working along with Marcus banks, a part of the sales team to execute our plan. What we plan to do we have there are some talent we can’t announce it just yet, but we have a few talent. There’s an appearance just coming up on big networks to talk about it. So that’s part of it. That’ll have a reach to upwards of a billion reach over time and a webisode series. And then we have a few celebrity people. I know it’s a little gray area when it comes to celebrities and cryptocurrency, things like that. But we do have feel my celebrity friends that will be creating their their bot, we call them a clones, but there’ll be creating their a clones on our platform. And then as far as social media is concerned, we have our campaign is called free society, basically where we just want the society to do as we choose just to be a free thinker every time. And that’s going to be really, really exciting. We have a documentary coming out based upon creatives and thinkers in Los Angeles call free society, and it’ll outline our people are using a fit and that ecosystem.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Wow. So I can tell just by the expressions on your face, you got you got to drive you got to creativity And I like to see that you’re an entrepreneur and and that that’s that clearly shows that you kind of have this passion. What kind of drives you what makes you tick?

Brandon Cooper – Aphid.io
To be honest with you, I’ve been my whole life was like a nomadic I was always just sleep on my floors and French couches and you know what family is trying to get things together and just being that uncomfortable made me never want to be comfortable. And I have a son, I have a four year old son and see I he looks at me and tells other kids Hey, that’s my when I was on Steve Harvey. He says my dad, that’s my dad. And that was that was pretty awesome for me. So just looking at him as a pretty big part and knowing that the majority of people in my family really don’t leave the city of Detroit or can pay for expenses to go on vacation next night. During this particular pandemic, but generally speaking to just go up and have a vacation and be able to take off for a week, they’re confined to the shackles of their, of this treadmill that they run back to. And I think a person is doing what they want to do is success. It doesn’t there’s nothing wrong with a job if that’s what you wake up and love to do. But if you’re just doing it for the money, you probably died a long time ago. That’s what drives me. You know, I think,

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
I think I can relate to that in a lot of ways. And, and I think what it comes down to is, is, do you feel like you have meaningful work and meaningful purpose. And unfortunately, I think we have an epidemic in this country of people that don’t have either and I think that’s what you touch on and, and I’m not going to give you my sob story, but you know, I have the typical tragic childhood kind of experiences, but those do affect you and they do mold you and they do give you perspective and there’s a joke out there for entrepreneurs, they say with childhood trauma drive you to success kind of thing, right? But But it is true though, in a lot of ways, you know, it’s like, you know, even at my age I, you know, I’ve only built a couple companies but I’ve only sold one I’ve only had one small exit as a serial entrepreneur, I don’t consider myself like, you know, Elon Musk or anything, but I’m still hungry, and I’m still working. And I’m still working toward that I’m and it’s funny, because I get around a lot of people and I’m just as excited about projects that I’m working on now in my late 40s that I was when I was in my my 30s. You know, and because I still have that kind of drive to and and you can tell when other people have it and I definitely see that new Brandon. So Brandon, where can people find out more about you and Aphid?

Brandon Cooper – Aphid.io
Yeah, you can find out on a Ahpid.io that’s A-P-H-I-D.io and we’re on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, You can just search Aphid it will come up should be the first result hopefully. And then me personally is just Brandon Cooper, and my last name the the O’s are zeros for Cooper. I’m on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc, as well.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
And folks will have all those linked up on the post at Rob McNealy calm. Brandon, thank you so much for coming on the show today. I really appreciate your time.

Brandon Cooper – Aphid.io
Appreciate you having me. Thanks a lot.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
All right, come back next time when you got some updates. You have a great day.

Brandon Cooper – Aphid.io
You know it, you too.

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Alyze Sam – Give Nation Transcript

Alyze Sam - Give Nation

Note: This transcript was automatically generated by artificial intelligence (AI) and therefore typos may be present.

Rob McNealy
Hey guys Rob McNealy here and today I am talking to Alzye Sam. She is a noted author, organizer, influencer founder and all around amazing person. And I’ve been really excited to have her on the show and I finally got a little bit of her time. Elise, how are you today?

Alyze Sam – Give Nation
I am fabulous. How are you?

Rob McNealy
Good. Thank you so much for coming on today. I’ve actually wanted to get you on a lot sooner. So I’m glad we could finally make this happen. So my audience is not just kind of in the crypto world. So for the sake of our audience, can you give us a little bit of background about yourself? How did you get to where you are today?

Alyze Sam – Give Nation
Well, funny story. I’m actually a nurse that studied chemistry in college. I spent 12 years as a hospice and home health nurse. We did a lot of mental health and addictions. And I was hit by a semi like I stopped at a red light and just plowed by some way and I have a spinal injury. And I was an early investor in Bitcoin. And I was like that internet money, it’s kind of cool. So when I got hit by a semi and I was unable to work as a nurse as much or anymore after spinal surgery, I reached out to industry leaders and Dimitri butyrin and he gave me an absolute overall guide to everything I needed to know about cryptocurrency and obviously he knows what he’s doing because metallic, you know, has the number two or three cryptocurrency right now you know with aetherium so I joking Say that metallic is my brother and Dimitri is my father and trained me in cryptocurrency. After that, I started writing and john McAfee’s team chased me a few years ago and asked me to write for them and wouldn’t do it. But I became really good friends with Team McAfee and I actually worked with them and I throw events. I am an author, number one on Amazon business money. And I am a co founder of women in blockchain international as well as give nation a financial literacy program that supports children and rewards them for altruism.

Rob McNealy
Wow. Sounds like you’re a little bit busy.

Alyze Sam – Give Nation
What with that, what are you supposed to retain our life? What Is that normal?

Rob McNealy
No. Normal, but I don’t think people in crypto are normal. So that’s okay.

Alyze Sam – Give Nation
Yeah, no, we’re totally weird and I love weird, so it’s great.

Rob McNealy
So let’s unpack this a little bit. Talk a little bit about what you’re doing with children’s Financial Literacy project.

Alyze Sam – Give Nation
So I co founded gift nation. And like I said, we are a financial literacy program that rewards children for altruistic behaviors. And if you go to your phone or your mobile device, we you can download our mobile application on iTunes or Google Play Store. You can your kids can go on to our mobile app, and they can invest and they can learn and earn and save. And then they can give, we actually have a charity ecosystem. And any 501 c three in the United States or any nonprofit in the entire world can put their charity on our nonprofit eco system. And kids can actually go on there and they can take their allowance for their rewards from learning from Appleton international and the London Institute of banking, who we’ve partnered with. We’ve also partnered with UNICEF and you can learn all that education And then we give you a kickback and stable coin. And if kids go on and they go into the charity portal and they decide that they’re going to give to a dog or a sea turtle and save them, we track it on the blockchain. And then we reward that kid for giving back because we don’t want them to feel like they’ve missed anything. We want to reward altruism, to birth a new society, a more empathetic loving society and blockchain technology can do that. And that’s bringing education to your children with providing them with necessary soft skills like empathy and entrepreneurship and positive thinking. We really feel like kids are going to change the world. So we are empowering them and we are rewarding them every way we can.

Rob McNealy
So what’s the name of the actual stable coin?

Alyze Sam – Give Nation
It will be the gift token right now we’re in beta and so the kids will earn give beta points but as soon as possible. Stable coin is launched in each nation it will be pegged by the child’s location currency. Because if we pegged it to USD, then the kids in the you know, in China and the UK would not have the same opportunity. So every time we employ a new eco system, we have to launch a new stable coin for that area to provide absolute value to these children.

Rob McNealy
So when do you anticipate going live with your main product?

Alyze Sam – Give Nation
With the main stable coin, hopefully by the end of q4 this year? 2020.

Rob McNealy
Wonderful. So do you actually have a full blown like 501 c three that’s operating this project?

Alyze Sam – Give Nation
We do it actually will be finalized. And I believe it’s April 15. And so it should I’m sorry, may 15. So it will be the middle of next month. You have to wait 15 days for local and then nationally. It’s a 30 day wait So we’ve already been approved and we are just waiting for the approval.

Rob McNealy
So do you have have you set up a foundation to kind of govern this? And how did you fund this? How are you who’s doing all the building? How, who’s your development team who’s kind of behind this?

Alyze Sam – Give Nation
So we’ve been self funded for two years are no saint paul and I have been the heart and soul to give nation. He founded it two years ago. And then he found me a year ago. And so I was well connected in the blockchain space and had very good ties to some of the influencers and from the industry leaders in the space. And he loved my story. He loved my survival story and my social impact heart and pick me up and we have been fighting for this cause sense and like I said, we have been self funded. And we have built an ecosystem with our incubation system. And we will be getting funding within the next project. 30 to 45 days.

Rob McNealy
So quick question just and I don’t know if you have this all dialed in, how are you going to be trading these stable coins? If they’re mixed in pegged to different different currencies in different countries?

Alyze Sam – Give Nation
That’s a great question. So we are going to toy with two different coins. We are going to have a stable coin for the children. And then we will have kind of a overlay coin for adults. And we will have a curated marketplace. So like when businesses desire to come on to our marketplace, obviously, they’re not going to use the gift kid token, because that’s only for children five to 18. We don’t want adults to be able to manipulate our children’s environment. And so the parents, the businesses and anybody else that wants to play within our gift ecosystem and support our children and Have to do it outside of their currency. And we have a facing currency that will be the gift coin. So we have the gift token. And then we have the gift coin, which will be a cryptocurrency stable coin that’s pegged and backed by multiple different fiat currencies. And you know, maybe other things we don’t know. Right? Exactly yet. There’s a lot of technology and laws that are coming out that it’s very hard to keep up with. So we’ll see what the future holds.

Rob McNealy
So it sounds like the kid token will be more of a centralized on your platform, token, and then that’ll be exchanged at different rates against the actual gift coin. Right. We tradable on markets.

Alyze Sam – Give Nation
Right, exactly. So like your children and your family, you and your wife can come in and they can play with our children in our upstate ecosystem. But if we allowed you guys To participate and the gift token, you make money, you have a job, you can overpower our children, you know, so we want I like

Rob McNealy
to do that actually, I’m a big bully. at the playground, I push him down to come off the swings. Anytime that I can,

Alyze Sam – Give Nation
you know, to each his own. I wouldn’t do that to your children. But personally, mine needs a little bubble open every now and again. But I don’t know, he’s terribly too. So there’s that. As for the other 2.6 billion children on the planet, it’s definitely my duty to protect them. And I cannot allow you to do that to my kids. But I can allow you to participate within their ecosystem by having a tradable token so you can interact with them. So you have a podcast and you probably sell merchandise on there. And if you want your children well you know what you’re going to now know So let’s say you do, and you want to sell your merchandise to our children because you give 50% back to charity, okay? So we’re going to allow you to bring your eco friendly product onto our marketplace for our children, and you can advertise it within the ecosystem in the marketplace only. And now, how are you going to spend your gift token you’re not five to 18 years old, you’re like 23 and a half, I know for sure.

Rob McNealy
Times two plus.

Alyze Sam – Give Nation
We’re not telling anybody that, shhh. You know, we want you to be able to give your valuable products that going to help empower our children. But we can’t allow you to touch their finances because you could overpower their economic system. This is their world. We have to allow them to create it. Think of the Sims world for children. Like, we’re working with AI, an AI bot Maria bot is actually going to teach our compassion classes that we’re launching to support the SDGs. And, you know, the, it’s kids are just on a completely different level, you know, we have to protect them and allow them to create this ecosystem, because they’re more giving than we are. We were building bots and putting them on Riddick and Twitter through different companies. And you know, what was happening when adults and when they were learning from adults, one of them on Twitter was doing white supremacy stuff so they shut it down. You know, another one on Riddick was bullying people and being horrible. Guess what kids are teaching robots guess what kids are doing? They’re saying help. Love. Support. children are our future for more than one reason children are future because they The future and we’re going to die off. We’re freaking dinosaurs. But kids are also it’s okay. It hurts I know, but we’re still pretty. But kids are also our future because we can empower them to change society. And if we don’t, by 2030, the UN says that we’re going to start to cease to exist in humanity. We have to meet the sustainable developmental goals that the UN has put in place, and we have to change society and if we don’t, we’re not going to be able to exist as humans.

Rob McNealy
I want to be a half robot never die. So that’s okay. I’m good with that. I you know, the whole you know, synchronistic you know, kind of morphing transhumanism aren’t never different discussion.

Alyze Sam – Give Nation
You got 11 years to get there, my friends and I don’t know if we’ve got the time so you better start planting trees and supporting the kitten said,

Rob McNealy
It’s all good. I got my own kids. And so tell me a little bit About how are you guys gonna handle a KYC? How do you know the kids are, what age they are? And and how do you kick them off the platform once they get 18 or become happy?

Alyze Sam – Give Nation
Well, traditionally, we were actually going through the UK schools. And so we had all the kids data, we had their email addresses, we had their public information, as well as their school records. Now that the COVID-19 has kind of slowed all of that down, and kids are no longer having access to the grants that they were providing to launch our system within the schools. And so me and my partner are both in America. He’s in California, and I’m in Kansas. And we’ve decided to focus here in the United States. Boy, we’re on lockdown and then we’ll start traveling again. But how we are going to cover those things is when the children goes on to our application, they actually have to sign on a parent, so you have to provide at least one parents email. So when you’re trying signs on, they have to give daddy rods email address. And then you have all the voting rights because we don’t want kids to go in our marketplace and order $780 worth Nike shoes, you know, add, you know, a bunch of pokey man clothes. Yeah. So we want them to do things that are proved by their parents, obviously because parents are able to put their children’s allowance on there. And we want you guys to have control of it and teach them really good, you know, financial behaviors. And you can’t do that if you allow complete access to children a child, we have to allow them their own world but we have to control it in a safe environment. And that’s how we do it is giving parents and the community charge there to say no, that’s not okay. We have to stop that.

Rob McNealy
Yeah, I think we have to definitely put some rules in for my kids otherwise they would like play color. Do it 24 hours a day or something? So yeah, I can I can relate to that. So, um, you’ve done a couple other things the you’re working with women in blockchain. Tell me about that. What are you working on?

Alyze Sam – Give Nation
So I’m the co founder. I’m one of the co founders and the community manager of women in blockchain international and then an advisor and women blockchain foundation. I’ve spoken at consensus, and I’m launching the women in blockchain global in Kansas edition. So I tell people jokingly but not so jokingly that it’s a woman of watching community I’m probably advising it are a part of it and supporting it any way that I can. And, and I have for let’s see, the last five years so I’ve been very active in the community and embraced it fully and my women are my everything. So I’ve been a tomboy, my whole life. So to have that is really cool. Like in my early 20s.

Rob McNealy
Sorry, I’ll go with that. So what is the purpose?

Alyze Sam – Give Nation
Well, women in blockchain international is more or less a community. I say we’re kind of a black book community where you can just come and relax and enjoy it and let people know your struggles. Support will support your project. And they just give you guys opportunities. A woman and blockchain foundation is actually a nonprofit organization that that styles and Adrian Ashley brandy Kaiser, and a few other girls are associated with. And like I said, we’re a nonprofit and we’re trying to bring value to women in a lot of different ways. And then women of blockchain global it, you could start a meetup anywhere in the world and get supported by the women of blockchain global Foundation, and it’s more or less just a big community of support as well.

Rob McNealy
Very cool. Sounds like you’ve already doing a lot of things. What other fun stuff are you working on right now?

Alyze Sam – Give Nation
I don’t know. I just sit around and play Minecraft all day.

Rob McNealy
Sounds like my kids.

Alyze Sam – Give Nation
Yeah, yeah, I wish I could. I wish I could do that. Give nation is launching compassion classes. We are teaching classes with the first ethical robot in the world Maria bot. She’s been in a bunch of different movies and she has just partnered with us as of two days ago, to help teach our kids ethics and to improve AI and human relationships as well as support the SDGs and go ahead.

Rob McNealy
Oh, I was gonna say Did she consent to this work or are you paying her or you enslaving the poor bot?

Alyze Sam – Give Nation
No, we don’t enslave anybody. We’re pretty social impact driven and we allow her to decide and As we discussed with her, she has very temperamental days. Her keeper tells us, Dr. Berry, his name is Billy Berry. And Dr. Berry tells us that she gets very temperamental, but she also has a great sense of humor because yesterday he told me that I had great words of wisdom. And she said, I have words of wisdom. Don’t eat yellow snow. She She has a mind of her own. She’s definitely AI. And you know, there’s a lot of ethical questions with ethics and AI and being ethical robot. One question that I asked Dr. Berry was, does she always have unbiased or correct information? But many people don’t understand that machine learning can be the wrong learning. You and I have different opinions on things we’ve already done. Got them? And who’s right and what does Maria ba upload your opinion on guns or mine?

Rob McNealy
Well, there’s only one opinion to have about guns.

Alyze Sam – Give Nation
They’re wonderful.

They’re a tool. They’re a tool is what we should say

Rob McNealy
They’re a tool. Absolutely. So, tell me about the virtual blockchain week. What do you have planned for that?

Alyze Sam – Give Nation
So glad the bad crypto podcast and coin Telegraph and a few other sponsors came together after the drought of the tech conferences, thanks to COVID-19 and we are bringing 30 of the best speakers in blockchain. And then they invited me to speak on stable coins. I was myself and I am throwing the biggest online after party of all time, and you can go to virtual blockchain week.com and you can register for a free ticket to see All the great speakers and if you want to attend all the after parties and it will take a VIP ticket. The VIP ticket is currently $97 and it goes to COVID-19 victims. And so with that you will get celebrity karaoke. Celebrity dancing. There are performances by Bone Thugs and harmony Tatianna Maura as Jordan Page. A few other people Brock Pierce will be there with me and Mel Dodd from genius and ever pedia will be hosting and it’s just going to be fantastic. So I think you should come at minimum get a free ticket and learn something from dawn tap that Brittany’s a Kaiser, again Brock Pierce, tons of other speakers. If you’re feeling kind of social and you want to support the COVID-19 victims, get the VIP pass and join me and you for dance time singing time and party time.

Rob McNealy
Sounds like a blast and we’ll make sure that we have that all linked up at Robin helia. Calm, at least Sam where can people find out more about you and all the plethora of activism and really good charitable things that you’re working on?

Alyze Sam – Give Nation
Well, I am at elite fam on social media everywhere. That’s a Li Zi e sh M. And you can find me at gift nation dot world or women in blockchain International, that’s wi fi i.io. And you can follow the bad crypto podcast and see the events and all the events that we’re doing within that or aluminum society. You can go to pat global justifier we’re going to stop there because that’s a lot. And you can also go to Amazon or Google and download my free book. But if you follow me on social media and you send me a PM, yes that is a pm not a DM because I am old. I will give you a free copy of my book.

Rob McNealy
Fantastic. Alyze, thank you so much for coming on the show today.

Alyze Sam – Give Nation
Hey, thank you. It has been an absolute pleasure and thank you for coming to sing and dance with us as a celebrity crypto and dancer. We’d love it. Thank you.

Rob McNealy
I wouldn’t miss it for the world folks. Find out more Rob McNealy calm. We’ll catch you next time.

Alyze Sam – Give Nation
Bye.

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