Crypto

Joe McGill CyChain Interview Transcript

Joe McGill of CyChain Joe Mcgill on CyChain Digital Currency Risk & Advisory

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

Rob McNealy
Hey, today we are talking to Joe McGill. He is the CEO of side chain, which is a consulting company focused on the crypto space. So I’d like to welcome to the show. I’m real excited about this interview. How are you today? Joe?

Joe McGill
I’m good. Thanks for having me.

Rob McNealy
Well, you know, we met kind of on social media, and seems like all this stuff meets these days. But I really wanted to have you on the show, because I really like kind of where you’re focused. And I think this is the security side of crypto, I think is one of those things, and that in a lot of places gets over looked. And I’m not talking about necessarily the technological security, but the physical security, how do people protect themselves, that kind of thing? And it seems like that’s something you guys are focused on. Tell me a little bit about your background and how you, you know, got into starting this company.

Joe McGill
Yeah, so I’ve worked for the US government for the last I guess so 12 years in various capacities from counterterrorism to working cyber criminal cases. And about five years ago with the Secret Service, I first became exposed to crypto currencies and Bitcoin and how criminals were using that to launder funds. by most people, I was skeptical. But as I learned more about the technology actually became an advocate for it, and started reading as much as I could about it. And it’s interesting, you know, when you think of federal law enforcement, you always hear about the horror stories about how agencies are targeting the coins and not necessarily the people using it for nefarious purposes. But it’s actually not like that at all. From a much broader perspective. There’s actually a lot of pro crypto in the federal government and in law enforcement and a lot of people just want to see the the people that are using it to exploit innocent people and and using it to evade detection from law enforcement that are committing crime. That’s that’s typical. The focus. That’s how I got into it about four or five years ago.

Rob McNealy
So what are you doing with CyChain? What kind of is your area focus and from the least the consulting side who Guess who’s your customer.

Joe McGill
So we actually have a few different products that we’re coming out with. And we have a consulting risk and advisory side where we do everything from operational security, where we take a holistic approach to your online footprint will do social media pin test, we do physical security assessments of your company and your location to develop plans and procedures, and the invest something happens we’re also to make sure that your infrastructure is secure. We also have a blockchain analytics app that’s coming out next Friday. And that’s geared towards the everyday consumer. And we’re going to be one of the first to market in that space, because the big guys right now are focusing on enterprise type customers and making sure banks can stay compliant. And our app is going to focus on China. Find ways where users can find out if an address is a scam, receive alerts, fall reports. And so they’re going to be able to interact directly with the sidechain team through the app. And so that’s our other aspect is we do investigations, from due diligence to recovery. And we hope this app will help users identify scams before they send money to the wrong place.

Rob McNealy
I think that’s probably very useful. You know, as is I go out there and I’m talking to people what about our project Tusk? The one thing that I’ve noticed is that there’s not a lack of knowledge of Bitcoin In fact, I see right now, almost every single person that I talked to just out in the wild has heard the word Bitcoin they got a general idea that it’s a digital kind of money thing. But almost every one of those people have a negative stigma attached to Bitcoin. When you say Bitcoin, they’ll say, Oh, that’s that digital funny money. It’s a scam. I mean, have you have us come across that too. Because I think your app might will help, you know, dispel some of that that fear and concern that people have out there about.

Joe McGill
Yeah, that’s definitely interesting. You know, when you think about the left coast and in the East Coast, California Silicon Valley, there’s a lot of people there that know about Bitcoin and cryptocurrency and as you shift sometimes to the south, it’s it’s, you know, a bit pain, Atlanta. So you have a lot of people that are starting to get exposed to the cryptocurrency. There are a lot of skeptics out there. They only hear about the horror stories on TV and documentaries, or people getting hacked. But you know, I think the report came out today. I don’t know if you saw it. I remember what it was called. It basically talks about how there’s a working group together that identified only point 4% of  transactions were fraudulent. I read that this morning as a matter of fact.

Joe McGill
Yes. And so I think there’s probably a lot of people that read that. They get nervous about how wall forcement exchanges are tracking this but I look at it as a good Because it helps the industry. People that are skeptical say, Well, look, we took a we analyze all these transactions, we looked at a lot of different information. And we found that only point four 9% of transactions are associated with criminal activity. I think that’s good. I see that it’s positive for the industry versus being concerned about being tracked. So I think stuff like that, that continues to come out that shows it’s not all for the various purposes and hopefully pushing out our app will help show people that it’s not it’s not all for criminals. There’s, there’s everyday use that helps meet technology issues that some customers are facing that being unbanked and you know, remittance there’s all types of things that I think customers will be exposed to.

Rob McNealy
So when you’re working with the Secret Service D, is there a general percentage of transactions done with cash dollars that they know are fraudulent or illicit?

Joe McGill
Yeah, what’s entering with the Secret Service you think of protection, protecting presidents and then you think of counterfeit currency. So when I think of cash, I always think of counterfeit, and how criminals are using fake money to pass it in. And lot using that to launder money and carry out crimes. But in the crypto side, we really didn’t see too much cash transactions unless it was what you call BTC to plastic to where criminals will launder their money and then set up cash out networks across the globe and ATM. But that’s kind of looking back at the old school carding side on the dark web. That’s how they operate. And these will organize teams and every now and then we would see a crypto to cash type transaction as a way to monetize OR gates.

Rob McNealy
Well, I was saying just as far as comparing crypto versus Fiat, how much of US dollars like what percentage of US dollars are used for illicit activity? You know, if we know it’s point of four, nine or whatever, and crypto what is it what dollars right now?

Joe McGill
I would say it’s much more significant. I mean, the US dollar is the most laundered piece of currency. See across the globe, it’s also my opinion, it’s much harder to track crypto currencies very transparent. And only a small percentage if you take a holistic approach is being used for criminal activity.

Rob McNealy
So I heard, you know, way back in the day that pretty much all the Fiat paper money dollars in circulation are generally contaminated with some sort of drug residue. Is that kind of like an urban legend, or is that a is that a factual kind of statement?

Joe McGill
I’m not sure about that. I haven’t heard that. But, you know, I wouldn’t be surprised as much. You think about how much some of the dollars been passed around. And, you know, I think that’s certainly possible.

Rob McNealy
You know, I, at one point, as an entrepreneur, my wife and I actually owned a retail store in an urban setting in Denver. And it was one of the grossest jobs touching that currency every day. And it was ironic that, I think two or three occasions we actually had fake bills come through that We lost like, we took it to the bank like, this is fake. Screw you. And I’m like what? You know. And so I think it’s interesting just in our little, our little store, this little neighborhood store that we owned, you know that we just had that level where, you know, dealing with fake dollars, you know, kind of thing. And to me, that must mean that a huge chunk of fake currency must be circulating out there, among the real stuff and figure out what do you mean, what do you have any knowledge of what that looks like? Does the government release that kind of information or is it really bad?

Joe McGill
I don’t know off the top of my head, the statistics of it, but I do know that counterfeit currency from my experience of Secret Service is still being circulated. But the Secret Service I’m obviously biased because I used to work there, but they do a very good job in tracking counterfeit currency. And these networks that use it to launder money across the United States, but it’s still it’s still going on. You don’t really hear about it much because it’s more of an old school type investigation and Most people nowadays like to hear about the big cyber cases and ransomware. But counterfeit touches narcotics, and it hits about every type of old school car you can think of. And it’s still being actively used.

Rob McNealy
Yeah, but we don’t we don’t hear the politicians bad mouthing dollars. Do we now? You know, that’s that’s a very good point.

So here’s the question. I guess the big thing is, you know, what are the biggest security threats that you’ve seen with crypto currency?

Joe McGill
Well, I think if we just take a step back, and we look at how much data is being used, and how much data has been shared on users of social media, I think data is the biggest threat to cryptocurrency users. There’s been so many leaks over the last even just year, five years of personal information being put out there that you’re exposed online footprint i think is your biggest threat. And that’s mostly because the data that’s out there can be used to sim swap your phone it can be used to compromise your Bitcoin exchange accounts. There’s all different types of crimes that can be used to compromise your data. So I

Rob McNealy
have always told people that and this is something that we’ve talked about at our off chain conference last this last year in our last March, and we’re going to probably address it again and next year. But, you know, with crypto, what we’re asking is we’re asking the average person, right, if the adoption, mass adoption to happen to now be responsible for not only you know, what, maybe only a couple grand in cash at their bank holds, we’re now asking people in in some instances to basically physically be responsible now for their entire life savings for their equivalent of 401k value. But yet, I don’t really see a lot of knowledge and education to people at least from the crypto community talking about what that really does for people, you know, as far as you know, Making them a bigger target for, you know, the level of security they need to upgrade. What’s your take on that? Because the risk to me seem huge. From you know, not only physical security but losing keys and things like that. Why is the crypto community not really talking about this? Like, to me, this is the biggest, biggest scary thing about the whole thing.

Joe McGill
Yeah, you’re absolutely right. And my personal experience on the law enforcement side first getting into crypto was when I was running accounts where I needed to make transactions for undercover type purchases. Me purchasing crypto, even though it wasn’t my money. I was terrified. The very first time I did it. I was terrified about transferring it to another wallet. I was terrified about pulling it off an exchange and then even putting on an external device. But you’re right. I think the reality is that a lot of people are not yet comfortable with being their own bank. And it sounds great to not to say hey everybody use a physical device. Never keep your keys or your money on exchange but Reality is, in my experience that there’s a lot more people that keep their funds on an exchange than they care to admit, because it’s popular right now to say, yeah, it’s not your keys, not your coins, but not everyone’s doing that. And so, I like to teach people Hey, look, let’s let’s be realistic, if you’re not gonna, you’re not going to use an external device, which in my opinion, I think you should, you’ve got to implement a lot of basic security steps, you’re going to lose your money, and you know, the unbanked and the people that crypto is targeting, there’s got to be a lot more education out there. So they understand the risk of being their own bank and make it more practical.

Rob McNealy
Well, I would say just from a simplistic standpoint, right, and I’m a former you know, EMT and a former firefighter and things like that so I always you know, I always look at things from the the worst case scenario right, your house burns down, and your hardware wallet is in your your house. Okay, so your house burns down, and now your 401k is gone. So what Would so what do you do to mitigate that, you know, kind of thing. And so for instance, you know, what if your house burned down, and you had your hardware wallet in a safe, but the safe was in the basement and the firefighters put two feet of water now in your basement, you know, how do you deal with that? And these are the things that I get concerned about, even with my own stuff, right? That’s not just about everybody else. But to me, these are those there needs to be more solutions and more discussion about this because we got to get ahead of this because as mass adoption happens, you’re going to have more people in that situation. I don’t know if you saw last year but there was a couple reports. I think they’re mostly in like Europe or Eastern Europe, where literally some guy was flashing their wealth on social media and guys like broke into their house and bought a gun to their head and you know, got the Bitcoin right. Have you heard of any other cases like that? That’s happening right now.

Joe McGill
Yes, within the last year, I’ve heard of the few just the law enforcement channels of ransom type cases happening, where people on social media saying, Hey, I’m traveling to this city, let’s do a meetup. And then the next thing you know, because of where they’re operating at some criminals take advantage of that. And so I think that’s one thing that a lot of people do not realize, especially in the influencer space, advertising where you’re traveling before you get there is a risk. So I always say tell people, you’re there after you’re there. But the physical threat is huge.

Rob McNealy
I did that this morning. As a matter of fact, and I normally don’t. But I wanted to promote this event, but that is something that I can I definitely think about. But on the other hand, I’m driving and I’m always armed when I’m traveling when I’m driving, so I’m not as worried about it because it’s driving from Salt Lake to Vegas isn’t a big deal, but I’m always armed. So you know, but that but I am very welcome. Aware and concerned about my physical security most of the time, and very, whereas most of the influence I see out there don’t, they’re just not that kind of mindset, you know, and, and I and I get concerned about it, because I’m trying to look at the future of 345 years from now, what are going to be the problems that, you know, are kind of going to impede adoption? You know, I think there’s two main ones, I think the physical security thing is a problem for the average person. And I think the other thing is the how the IRS handles crypto transactions, I think those two things are going to be the biggest impediments for adoption. And yet those two things are where people aren’t even really talking about yet. And I don’t think they’re talking about the IRS very much because people aren’t really using crypto for buying and selling goods and services to any great degree right now. But I know as a former retailer, myself, that’s going to be probably one of the biggest things that that’ll be the biggest complaint of retailers is how to deal with the transactions and the accounting piece. But I think the These are things that we need to deal with as a community if we want this technology to move forward, and I think that there’s just not enough time and attention being brought to this. So, scams, I mean, you know, as a project now, we’ve been a project for almost two years. And I can tell you that as a project, we’ve almost been scammed multiple times. We’ve never have been, but there’s been multiple attempts as a project or people that are in you know, public about being involved with the project. People try to scam us all the time. What are you seeing out there as far as the scams that are pretty common, you know, around crypto,

Joe McGill
Right, well, phishing still dominates right now the crypto space where attackers now have shifted. Let’s take a look back two years to 2017, the big Ico craze. I know law enforcement, social media cannot keep up with the amount of scams and most of them were driven by phishing just fake websites. And I’m still seeing that a lot just talking to former college exit from the Secret Service, they’re still seeing a lot of phishing links where attackers are now pivoted though. They have these nice, nice web pages that actually looked very sophisticated. In some cases, they look better than some current websites that are up there right now. I know there’s a scam right now that my crypto is tracking. They’re very good, very good security conscious company, but they’re tracking a scam that I think is is targeting about seven or eight different phishing websites and couldn’t be more than that by now. But it’s definitely I think one of the greatest risk for crypto users.

Rob McNealy
So if someone does become the victim of a scam, what can they do? Is there any resource for them right now?

Joe McGill
There is and a lot of it’s tough because a lot of it depends on where they’re based at if we talked about the United States, it depends on their geographical location, the amount of theft they’ve lost and the type of exposure from a federal perspective to get a case taken federally, typically the last amount has to be pretty significant. So you know your depend on working with If your local law enforcement department and they usually have very good investigators, and so the first thing you can do when you’re scammed is make sure you just save all the information, take screenshots of the scams, record all your IP addresses and try to have as much information as possible to provide the law enforcement and my experience of the Secret Service. You know, we were very successful. I was a recovering stolen money from attackers, but it’s a very long process, it can’t happen. But the people that are out there that are probably still waiting to get their money, know that it’s not just something that happens overnight, you have to be prepared for, you know, several months to a year, sometimes you get the money back.

Rob McNealy
So how can you get the money back is that, you know, require the, you know, cooperation of the exchanges somehow or are they able to, I guess it would be dependent on the chains, but what would actually that look like how do they get the money back from a scammer?

Joe McGill
Yeah, so, it’s interesting. A lot of exchanges have to make a business decision and if they’re working with individual customer that provides information They could have the discretion if they wanted to assume to provide the money back. But typically, you know, in my experience exchanges like to work with law enforcement to make sure there’s a legal legal record. So a lot of it is done by issuing legal records such as warrants to recover the money for the individuals. So the exchanges will send it to law enforcement, the law enforcement will give it back to the the people who lost her funds.

Rob McNealy
So would you know, pivoting to like the privacy concept, one of the main benefits of crypto at least is how was originally reported was that the anonymity or pseudo anonymity that using crypto for payments allows. Now that seems to be you know, completely at odds with what most governments want with OFAC and funding of terrorism and things of that nature, sanctions, that kind of thing. What do you see the future of privacy coins look like?

Joe McGill
Yeah, so first of all, this isn’t me endorsing a specific privacy coin. But I think the challenge we see out there right now is you look at coins, like z cash. I know they’re very regulator friendly, because you have the shielded transactions and the non shielded transactions. And so I think if from a government perspective, speaking generally that if they can look at a privacy coin and say, well, they’re there is the opportunity to look at transactions that are transparent, then they can also have privacy mechanisms. I think that’s a plus. But there are coins out there that offer 100% privacy, which, you know, I’m torn. I think that’s a good thing. Because if for you as a merchant, it’s none of my business how much money you’re making per year, or what type of transactions you’re doing, and I shouldn’t have free access to that without the proper legal disclosures. And so, I think there has to be a balance and I’m not exactly sure what that answer is, but I do know privacy coins are probably going to continue to see some, some interest from the government because of their use for criminal activity. But I think we also need to remember that there’s a lot of pro reasons for using privacy coins. If we’re going to have mass adoption, we have to have something beyond pseudo. pseudo privacy, it has to be complete privacy. You know, a big bank, like Bank of America is not gonna work. If they switch to crypto for some reason, the next few years, you know, they’re not going to want their competitors to know what their daily remittance looks like, or how much money they’re sending back and forth. And so I think a privacy layer is necessary. I just don’t I just don’t know what that answer is. But it’s it’s definitely of interest to the government, I’m sure.

Rob McNealy
Well, you know, as a project, that’s something that we are concerned about, you know, same deal. Like and I think because and this is my opinion that we’re so early in mass adoption hasn’t happened, that these big valid concerns really aren’t being super talked about right now. You know, it’s all about theory, right? But To me, I always kind of put myself you know, I put my mindset is a former retailer and someone who is concerned about privacy, there’s real security risks. If someone like for instance, if you can try to trace back every transaction to someone’s basically 401k one, you can figure out how much money your neighbor has conceivably you know, if they if your neighbor now has you know, a million dollars in their quote unquote hard, you know, their wallet somewhere. Now, you as a sophisticated criminal or burglar might not know that they keep that off site at a bank deposit box and cold storage, you might think and hope that it’s at their house, and you could plan you know, a home invasion based on that information. And I think the same thing with you know, retailers, you know, you there’s strategic competitive reasons why you wouldn’t want to know what your you wouldn’t want the public to know what your daily sales are, for instance, and so to me, there, there needs there are very absolute safety concerns and security concerns around that privacy piece. Because if you can trace back these purchases back to one hardware or one wallet, you kind of can unravel, you know, all the all the main transactions. And to me, it seems that there, you know, as from a retailer standpoint and our project today, we’re really focused on retailer adoption, that’s kind of our thing. And so we’re concerned and we’re trying to figure out on one hand, the government’s been pretty clear, they really don’t like Mineiro. And they really have concerns about privacy coins, and I we’re already seeing the moves with, you know, exchanges that want to deal with the American, you know, banking system that they’re starting to delist privacy related coins. But on the other hand, what do you do at that situation? And so this is something I’m really, you know, I’m interested in, you know, as a project, you know, we want to be able to implement those kind of features later on. Because we think there’s a real security risk around, you know, not having privacy, but on the other hand, we’re trying to balance Figure out what will the government allow? For instance, we don’t want to, you know, get in trouble for violating sanctions, for instance, if someone does, you know, use our crypto in some manner. So these are those things that we need people like you to tell me what to do. So that’s an interesting con, you know, thing I know that recently you’ve been, you know, posting about that theory and developer, Virgil Griffith, what’s your take on that?

Joe McGill
situation? You know, so obviously, you know, I think it’s important to take a step back and say, Look, I’m also very supportive of your innocent until proven guilty, but just looking at what was in the actual criminal complaint. You know, if that stuff is true, it’s definitely pretty dangerous for someone to do that type of thing. I know it’s not popular to say that teaching someone to evade sanctions is not is not popular right now. But the reality is teaching Someone about blockchain is very different than teaching someone about how to launder money, especially when you’re talking about a rogue rogue regime. That’s a threat everywhere, not just United States, but South Korea across the border. There’s many countries that are threatened with this rogue regime. And so if you’re going out and you’re teaching people how to launder money, using crypto currency, I would strongly advise against that it’s different than educating people on the benefits of Bitcoin and other kryptos but sanction evasion is not a not a good look.

Rob McNealy
Well, My take is this and I’m someone who’s, I’m Can I can be pretty anti government, my own political views because I think government does a lot of dumb stuff. But I also realize there’s a spectrum here, right? You know, I’m in crypto because I actually believe in that concept of decentralization. But on the other hand, if you’re going to be out there and saying, Hey, this is just you know, free speech and you know, I’m gonna Help a government get involved with crypto. To me, I think helping that particular government is not the key. You know, I don’t want any government getting into crypto Personally, I’m just kind of like to me, I just don’t think government manages things very well. Let’s just start there. It’s not a good steward of the money that they have. And they’re not and regulations can often be counterproductive. But in the case of that, the Virgil Griffith I, I’ve been very outspoken about this, that he’s like these. This is like one of arguably one of the worst governments on the planet. Now, I’m not a fan of government at any level, and I got lots of criticisms of the American government for sure. But Kim Jong Hoon is not a nice guy, and he’s not very nice to his people. And in anything you do to help that guy is not going to, in my opinion, it’s probably not going to filter down and trickle down to the people gaining freedom this might take With blockchain technology cryptocurrency, any communist regime especially that embraces, quote, unquote, you know, celebrates, you know, blockchain and crypto, they are not doing so because they believe in the decentralization aspect of it. They’re weaponizing it, and they will use it in a way that keeps them in power and probably keep subjecting their own people in a more efficient manner. And that Griffith guy, you know, I didn’t know who he was, you know, I but I did do some reading on him. And I guess he did some things with Saudi Arabia few years ago, too. So this guy’s got some interesting you know, if you’re a big believer in decentralization, he sure got some interesting ideas on who he wants to work with that space. And, you know, Saudi Arabia, even though they’re an ally of the United States, I would contend that they’re not a very good country and their government doesn’t treat their people very well. But I digress. So we’re getting close on time. But I wanted to see what would be the main tips that you could offer from a security standpoint for the average person getting into crypto would be the main things that you’d recommend that they do as a way to protect themselves.

Joe McGill
Very first thing I would do and would be to disable SMS verification from all of your devices, you need to use Google Authenticator. Step number one, if if Uber has to FA which they do enable on Uber, you know your to FA you should be able to scroll through Google Authenticator because we have so many apps that are using that. Don’t take any any app for granted use it for everything. The second thing if you store your your crypto on an exchange, if you must whitelist all of your addresses make it a requirement to send money outside of exchange there has to be a delay period of at least 48 hours. The third thing if you have a storage device, an external key use it because it’s very important. If you’re going to be your Be your own bank and you have a lot of money you need to make sure you have a good plan in place and and make sure that you’re using the proper procedures in store that don’t just keep it in Houma, Georgia. Keep it in a fireproof safe, keeping a safety deposit box. Make sure you’re just being responsible.

Rob McNealy
Joe, where can people find out more about CyChain

Joe McGill
CyChain.com.

Rob McNealy
Joe, thank you so much. You can get really good information. And you know, if you’re open, I’d love to have you come back on the show in the future and keep us up to date on what’s going on out there.

Joe McGill
Yeah, that’d be great. Thanks for the opportunity. Thanks a lot.

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Jason Fishman – Digital Niche Agency Transcript

Jason Fishman - CoFounder of Digital Niche Agency (DNA)

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

Rob McNealy
Today I am excited because I am talking to Jason Fishman. He is with a digital niche agency, a digital marketing agency based out of California specializing in the blockchain space. We met a few weeks ago at World crypto con, and I had a really good time hanging out with them. So welcome to the show. Jason, how are you?

Jason Fishman
Good. Thanks for having me. Rob. Excited to be on and chatting in front of your audience.

Rob McNealy
Well, I appreciate it. So what’s been going on? What are you been working on lately?

Jason Fishman
Sure. Sure. is in the conference schedule. Going to Australia in a couple weeks right before I saw in Vegas, was at Paris blockchain summit on a marketing channel and CC forum London on an investor panel. So always busy with Thought Leadership type activations, have a article come out in Forbes tomorrow, excited to be on the podcast today. That’s where a lot of the focuses are during this time of year. In the same breath, I could go into my history. also working on some private rounds campaigns as well as blockchain user acquisition campaigns. So you know, I always say, if I’m not busy, something feels off. I like balance. We’re running an agency. We’re working on 15 to 30 projects at a time. So gives you a lot of different things to be creative about, and anything less than that. Yeah, feels like under you there.

Rob McNealy
So what’s your background? How did you get into the marketing world?

Jason Fishman
Sure, sure. So, to go all the way back. About 12 years ago, I started in marketing as an action sports consultant. I grew up snowboarding skiing, Surfing here in California, have a lot of friends in those industries and started as an agency working on some of the biggest brands for their accounts, and getting into the world of top, specifically around video sharing platforms. One of my projects was then acquired based on the success in marketing launches, and I quickly started building my portfolio with accounts and other verticals including music, fashion, telecom travel, eventually moved over to a different agency and led the new business team and being part of the whole pitch process and coming up with these creative ideas before going in house and played a role at a social gaming company here in Santa Monica, raised 3 million in seed capital. And as part of that initiative from the timeline is an idea on a whiteboard all the way through funding into branded licensed entertainment games. That’s where I really learned user acquisition models. average revenue per user, essentially arbitrage traffic and buying traffic lower than the cost that you’re selling it really ins and outs of the whole digital marketing landscape before getting into the world of ad tech. And that was through a partnership that we had at the social gaming company was able to work with a lot of top 100 advertisers in that period of time, and oversaw Product Marketing, as well as sales. So I got to sit with publishers figure out the best ways to engage and monetize their audience, to then take those ad units over to advertisers and find rollouts for these different pieces of inventory that we’re going to hit their goals hit their deliverables. My overall focus has always been business growth, being able to leverage marketing, to do so and algorithmically at that was very exciting to me with that, at this point in depth, record and success without the partner in this company, digital media agency DNA marketing DNA since January of 2014, since we’ve worked with over 300 clients, startups to product launches of larger brands as well too, but generally building a community and pushing them through a funnel to hit initial milestones, and then scaling from it. In doing so, working with startups, we found fundraising to be a common theme, a common initiative, whether it was working on pitch materials for enrolling investor meetings, working on the marketing sections and business plan or even more so the revenue sections of a business plan to show which channels we’re going to drive each different metric in their projections, eventually into equity crowdfunding and still in 2014. Here, I was bringing third party data of accredited investors, user investors with over a million dollars net worth outside of their primary home or significant income over the past three years. And bringing them to offering cages using third party data we were hitting surpassing some of the biggest agencies in the industry. And therefore we’re getting a lot of calls from portals from platforms. And we’re running these type of campaigns from websites. Think of it as an exchange, but just around the sale and purchasing of that private equity, not in the trade of it quite yet. But when the industry is limited at that point, and the laws opened up more in 2016, as acknowledged by the SEC for us to use different filings, and raised from both accredited and unaccredited investors. That’s when this really became the biggest part of our client list. We saw those type of inquiries change to initial coin offerings in 2017. And particularly with the momentum in that year that became our sole focus. So you know whether they were international or equity crowdfunding campaigns with a token offerings with a token component to it. Some cases being voted to tokens. We were working on investor acquisition. And we invested into the development of our own first party data. So data that we then tested out for our clients and soft performance, and at this point have records of investors who participate in private sale investors which participate in public sales on the equity crowdfunding side to throw a bunch of acronyms but reg, CF reg, a reg D, all the different filings we have investors specific to those restrictions, have it broken down by geo targets to markets, essentially records of millions of investors and we then find audiences to a B and D test against each other for these campaigns, and can measure depending on how we’re tracking and depending on the actual campaign setup, the cost per acquisition of each and every 30 return on adspend and essentially provide opportunities for our clients to scale. Beyond fundraising, as mentioned, as well, as we’ve seen, things evolved from my field as to some ideas this year. We’re also doing a lot of blockchain user acquisition campaigns, whether that’s wallets or different types of apps or software, even some projects on the business to business side of things, finding ways to provide company’s value and, you know, continue to build up their user base.

Rob McNealy
So of all the different projects that you’ve helped, you know, do raises What was your biggest success story look like?

Jason Fishman
Sure. So we have published case studies, and I could speak to a few of those. We also have white label relationships were more in the background and more restricted contracts, where we’re bar in the background so longer than I can’t share, but I What I plan, there is a $50 million raise project for a hybrid exchange that we worked out a few years back. Some of the team members were very public figures. They’ve since been acquired and shaded. But hybrid block was a campaign where we had worked on user acquisition for their telegram, community audience most focused on their their public sale. So yeah, it’s in very large metrics there. Beyond that have worked on over 100 fundraising projects, majority of which blockchain and in a full spectrum from, you know, green energy to mining to exchanges, to various markets, specific currencies. Again, really a full spectrum of different projects. And you can buy them even more than the ones that we activate directly to.

Rob McNealy
So what do you see yourself The challenges of fundraising for you know, these different types of crowdsource, you know, kind of projects. What do you see is not only what are some of the challenges, but do you see the biggest mistakes people are making when they’re trying to raise money?

Jason Fishman
Sure, sure. So raise money can be very broad. You know, we’ve seen companies raise money by having a few conversations with people in their network and be able to close everything out from there. We’ve then been part of very visible public sale campaigns with high volumes of investors. So and everything in between, of course, so there can be a lot of different variables for any of those. timeline is something that I often see projected off by projects where they think they’re going to be able to raise funds very quickly. channels in which they’re going to do so whether it’s their personal network, whether that’s through specific capital groups will keep it product capital groups, but through specific Venture Partners, broker dealers, in regards to marketing, we’ve seen groups think that they’re going to place a token sale page, do a couple paid article placements, and you have a telegram channel have some type of community channel, given the point in time that they’re out, and they’re just going to be able to, you know, close out the round very quickly. I’ve certainly seen that happen. We’ve certainly been part of that happening, and oftentimes reflecting market conditions. But for me, it’s all about creating a well oiled machine of a marketing funnel. And to take it back even further than that, to have a resorting an algorithmic strategy, where it’s showing me exactly which channels are going to use what you’re anticipating the channels can produce in terms of its digital impressions, clicks and conversions, and some offline metrics for direct outreach, such as responses meetings, and you know, different types of written verification that you want to track all the way through to complete it investment, the only way to measure anything is with numbers. So without having that type of strategy, without having that type of plan, there’s no way in which that you’re gonna be able to tell what’s really working, what’s not working, or to be able to effectively optimize if if the channels not working for you. Again, if that’s a broker dealer relationship, or if that’s paid advertising, you won’t be able to tell where in that algorithm, you’re not getting the right traction, and therefore to be able to focus on improving things there. And you can say statements like, oh, broker dealers didn’t work for us. Advertising didn’t work for us, you can completely missed the mark on these tools that are stepped into other groups.

Rob McNealy
So speaking of tools, you know, kind of being in the crypto space it you know, a lot of the normal channels that, you know, a company or a project might use to market would be things like Facebook and Google and Twitter. And a lot of these platforms have, you know, outright ban crypto related kind of content and advertising. What kind of challenge does that pose to you and how do you deal with it?

Jason Fishman
Sure, sure. So, we get blanket statements all the time, such as, Hey, I heard we can’t advertise on Facebook. I heard we can’t do anything on Google. And when I look at how I grade A good marketer, I’m looking at their problem solving abilities. Anyone can set up a marketing campaign, as followed by a template or an approach. Anyone can use creative that’s been supplied by the clients or Very basic creative that is reflecting competitors. But simply seeing success out of the gate doesn’t make a marketer effective. What I like to see is their problem solving abilities, what do they do when things are not working. And now that’s where you can gauge true tower. Because campaigns are going to fluctuate, it could be the biggest brand in the world or a new startup, you will not see the same level of success day in day out year after year. It just doesn’t occur like that you have to be able to effectively optimize. So when I look at any of these channels and the restrictions, the same thing for me, it’s how do we problem solve here? How do we get something approved? When speaking was reps at these platforms? and ask them how do we do this compliantly they tell us what gets campaigns blocked certain rewards can ticker currency can’t say Ico. However, you can say distributed ledger technology, you can talk about the function of the technology, you can give out info that serves an educational purpose without using those words. And therefore taking audience down a funnel, where eventually they have an opportunity to directly participate in a security token offering as an example. So it’s all about how you use these channels. You can create a Facebook page, advertisements, a landing page, or mentioned URL and that landing page as well to that all do not use bands, trigger words. But meanwhile, speak to your target audience and convey the value of your offering. And after that next landing page, be able to take them down a funnel that would be tougher to get approved. This is true was very categories. A few other examples, go all the way to financial advising supplements, but include CBD, firearms, various types of verticals, where if you bring an audience in to more of a homepage, or something that can get approved and doesn’t talk about anything that’s a little more gray. You know, use the sporting goods store example and a firearms are sold at that sporting goods store and someone clicks through to it, it’s not going to be banned. If it’s not mentioned in the advertisement in the land engage yet audiences could store and purchase purchasing an item or participating let’s say an investment deal that if it was blatantly listed in the advertisement or landing page could be looked at as restricted. So by building funnels, we’ve been able to leverage this challenge and we’ve had to do so because those channels perform Over 40 million cryptocurrency and fuzziness that I can access with Facebook’s third party data. It’s a combination of their first party and third party data support pages that they like and data partners that they have that have identified audiences with an affinity for digital assets. And bye bye by looking at their ad placement by looking at the click through rates, which are about 10 times higher than a standard banner ad click through rate by looking at the sheer conversion nature with by catching someone in their social advertising in their social media experience. It’s something that can’t be ignored, even if it’s nothing else than the targeting. And they have Facebook, Instagram, the audience network, the audience network hasover it has a high volume of top tier sites, we can continue to retarget you can continue to reach a user again and again and again. So I wouldn’t look at these platforms and say look them Or blanket statements such as my audience isn’t on Google, they’re not on facebook, facebook has over a billion users a day. And again, through their their reach new can touch people essentially everywhere they go online, I would look at how I can use them. And then my whole philosophy towards marketing as a whole, which again, is a utility for business growth beyond just created my whole summary. My tagline, if you will, for marketing is summarized in three words, test, optimize scale. So I’m not saying use all of these channels, new them forever. More importantly, find some channels to test figure out as I mentioned, in regards to the plan, what audiences you want to go after their what creative that you want to use their the projections for full algorithm of performance metrics all the way through, and then optimize to improve performance and then scale the channels that are working best. That that’s been my approach to it. It’s been different in terms of the top dragging channel campaign to campaign. But there’s definitely ways to leverage these platforms for what you’re trying to do.

Rob McNealy
So a lot of the crypto world says, you know, rightfully drawn arrows from pay to play problem, you know, a lot of influencer marketing, advertising that comes off as journalism, but it’s actually advertising. It’s all paid for. I know, that was really important back, you know, a year and a half, two years ago. Is that still important now? Is it is there a really an ROI on doing those types of, you know, paid campaigns, um, you know, when we were initially, you know, launching our token two years ago, I had people that had like, 1000 people or 1000 subscribers on their YouTube channel, and they wanted $10,000 you know, in some cases to come and just get an interview. So, yeah, and, and I always looked at it like, I just don’t see how the There’s a return on that investment, you know, from the marketing side of it. What’s your take on that?

Jason Fishman
Question? You know, the overarching statement would still be test, optimize scale, look at the ones you want to test out. But I’ll tell you why it matters why it’s still good to consider these opportunities. Not just roll them out. People don’t trust what they see online. Social Proof third party validation is a big part of a successful marketing campaign. And if you’re able to leverage the right media publishers, the right influencers, the right communities, the right you know, organizations of various types to validate what you’re doing, refer them to your your pages to your assets. It can really go a long way. They can make the entire difference. It’s hit or miss. We’ve seen anything answers with very large audiences perform marginally at best we’ve seen them perform in zero metrics that we could measure. We’ve then seen influencers with you know, under 10,000 or 1000. In some cases, that the moment they talked about a campaign everything you know, Spike. So you know, it is a matter of testing it out. We still do straight influencer marketing campaigns now we call them outreach because of the way the influencer world has changed and the ways to interact with influencers. But essentially, when you’re running an influencer campaign, you’d want to test 310 30 different influencers depending on their size, and all in slightly different disciplines, slightly different audiences is a good way to look at it. You don’t want to put all of your eggs in one basket, going back to some of the shortcomings, I’ve seen groups hit in the past. And I thought, Hey, we’re going to have this one guy posts about us. And we’re going to close that around in a few hours. And since he didn’t occur like that, I going to have seen ones that that has happened. But best practices would be more to diversify. So let’s try a few different publishers. Let’s try a few different influencers, if it’s paid advertising, which could speak at length about as well here too. Let’s try a few different ad placements, few different data sets, and different creatives, you want to have something to compare something to again, a and b test. But yes, it still plays a role. The pay to play sponsored content prices are going down. There was a point there in 2017, first half 2018 where everything was expensive and everyone wanted to be opportunistic, regardless of the effectiveness of their their media and More speaking to their own revenue model and what they thought that it should it should be valued at. So, you know, there’s a lot of ways you can work with an agency or third party, even over a phone call not even a formal engagement, where they can give you a few tips on how to structure these conversations. with publishers, with influencers with any type of paid opportunity, there tends to always be some level of wiggle room. If you’re speaking, managed service. If you’re talking to another human. I can give you a few ideas on how to do it if it doesn’t seem like that avenues available. But I would definitely evaluate them. They definitely still serve a purpose. And we’ve seen it be very effective for clients.

Rob McNealy
How do you see marketing in the crypto space changing over the next year to three years?

Jason Fishman
Yeah, yeah. So I want to want to be able to have a strong prediction here. So marketing is obviously changed as the industry has over the past two years. past two months, you know, campaigns in September of 2019 look different from December. We’re planning and activating this week in in 2019. And when it comes to investment opportunities, we’re seeing a lot more attention around private rounds, which means longer sales cycles, smaller investment amounts, and, in many cases, offline touch points in person meetings with investors, which groups projects looked at as not as necessary, two years ago, marketing plays a large role in that. When we’re looking at digital marketing, seven touch points are more on average are required for conversion. And if we’re Reaching that audience with the same creative, same messaging, same channel every time, it’s going to have that fatigue, where if we’re building a content marketing funnel, and showcasing momentum, giving investors the feel that, hey, this is moving shifts going in this direction. And I want to be part of that. It’s much different than if it’s a stagnant conversation with a lot of repetition. So, you know, being able to have more good fundamental marketing, best practices implemented into these types of campaigns, which again, groups did with very little digital marketing couple years back. Now I’m going to go out and say that’s going to be more of a best practice of having more of that. I don’t want to say corporate, the more professional look and feel of a larger organization, I think is going to be true for brands and if nothing else, to convey trust. And seeing the groups who have surpassed the crypto winter and overall thinning of groups in the industry, the groups that are surviving that are structured well. And they have, you know, good operating procedures and all air in many areas of the business, including marketing. So going more to what does a brand look like? How should a company be operating? How should the decentralized organization be operating and what should look and feel be both on the platform and marketing off to attract more mass adoption? I think mass adoption is really the game moving forward here. And some of the biggest thought leaders speakers in the space I’ve seen moved from pointing at smaller projects to change the world to even saying things like, hey, it’s gonna be the enterprise level businesses that are going to change the world. Going to be them that are going to drive mass adoption of cryptocurrency mass adoption of blockchain. Massive name any group specifically because I’m still filling things out in the direction of where those organizations, sure initiatives. At the same time, when you look at groups of over a billion users and how they can bring that type of adoption to this technology, very exciting. And what’s the follow through Maryland, you know, look at the chess game. And you know, strategies were five moves deep, where the audience is going to be a lot of possibilities open up. So even if it’s not enterprise appearing enterprise is going to be a big part of marketing strategies moving forward, I believe.

Rob McNealy
So last question, what does your ideal client look like?

Jason Fishman
So our values as an agency is being able to work with Which means not limited to just one client, communicate early and answer with algorithms. It’s how we approach this. I say it because it’s important and marketing conversations, regardless of the dynamic, and, you know, to that extent and so for we are we look for situations we could provide value. In some cases, it’s a quick advertising engagement or at the last part of their campaigns, bringing traffic from our audiences and showing the very strong return. You know, more of our standard models, starting with the marketing strategy, getting into the content marketing stages, driving traffic into that funnel, paid ads, while doing direct outreach to those four areas. But for me, it’s looking to align with projects that can have a you know, I don’t say disruption or anything like that, but a very measurable impact in their vertical To be able to align ourselves with projects that could leave that type of positive change, to be able to have case studies that showcased numerical results for those launches and how we play the role and we’re part of it was working while it wasn’t being able to scale from there is our ultimate goal. So anything that’s new or different, I like talking with them. I work with a welcome to warm marketing conversation anytime. And, you know, I’ve seen so many amazing ideas over the years and dating back to, you know, the first agencies and telecom projects have gotten, you know, just amazing technology that never saw the light of day, or that, you know, had a very, very low awareness level. Marketing for me is the answer. That’s why I focus on this I can get millions of people, all types of top groups, or in some cases, it’s very specific individuals to look at our clients, what they’re doing the ultimate goal that they have around it. And the effect is going to have on all of their users and how that translates out not to sound too idealistic, the killer world. That that’s really what’s exciting about we do about what we do. So anywhere where we can really serve in that type of role to amplify and scale the right problems.

Rob McNealy
You know, that’s actually good answer. Jason, where can people find out more?

Jason Fishman
Sure. So I’m accessible through LinkedIn. Jason Fishman. Our website Digital Niche Agency. So DNA stands for DigitalNicheAgency.com. And like I mentioned, I was happy to provide insights, packages recommendations for ya, whether we have the opportunity to collaborate or not. So yeah, feel free to reach out Listen company, feel free to reach out to me individually. always like to connect.

Rob McNealy
Jason, thanks so much for being on the show.

Jason Fishman
All right. Thanks for having me, Rob.

Episode Links

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Interview Transcript

Landon Ainge – Gabb Wireless Transcript

Landon Ainge. Senior Vice President Gabb Wireless

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

Rob McNealy
Today I’m talking to Landon. And he is the Senior Vice President of gab wireless, which is a new type of phone company. And they’re doing some really interesting stuff. So I’d like to welcome the show. And Landon, how are you today?

Landon Ainge
Doing great. Thank you so much for having me.

Rob McNealy
So where are we talking to you from today?

Landon Ainge
I am actually surprisingly, in my house today, just at home. Yeah, normally I’m in the WeWork working in the office there but caught me in between investor meetings. And now I’m at home and going all the way WeWork.

Rob McNealy
And you guys are based in Utah. Right?

Landon Ainge
We are based in Utah, yeah.

Rob McNealy
So tell me a little bit about..

Landon Ainge
The founders are based in Palo Alto.

Rob McNealy
Well, we won’t hold that against the company. You know, it’s interesting. There seems to be a lot of divide coming out of At least on the political side when it comes to like, you know, more like, you know, West Coast tech people and even you know, I think even in Utah because it’s interesting because Utah tends not to be so left leaning, but still tech centric. Yeah. I don’t know. I used to I always tell people I used to like it when I didn’t know the political ideologies of companies that we’re doing business with or buying their products from, but now it seems like everything out of Silicon Valley is all about talking about politics, which I don’t think is always that great. To be honest. When I was a kid, when I was getting my MBA, they always said, you know, you know, the best thing is don’t bring up politics might alienate your customers. And now it’s like everybody’s trying to alienate their customers. And I guess I they went to a different business school, but I did. What do you think about all that?

Landon Ainge
I think with marketing, it’s changed a little bit to where in reality, it’s important in marketing, you actually want to address who your customers are not. But a lot of that is a choice. So the company of who their customers should be. And so by doing those aspects, I think it’s interesting that they’re basically saying, we are choosing that we want customers that are like this.

Rob McNealy
Oh, I get it. And you know, and the thing is, it’s interesting to me, at least with a publicly held company with a private company. I don’t have any issue with that, right? I mean, I mean, basic marketing, you start off with micro, you know, market segmentation, and you figure out who exactly your customer looks like, but generally, you want to get as many of those as you possibly can. And but now, it’s like, was certain, you know, companies, it’s like, they’re choosing deliberately to alienate potential customers. Yeah. Because they don’t agree with them. And that to me, I mean, I’m 47. So I’m a little older than you. And, and that’s new. That’s, that’s very new. That’s five years last five years. It’s totally something I’m just shocked by. But it’ll be interesting to see how it plays out and you know, ultimately comes down to, you know, making money and, and being successful and providing the products and service my mic. And my only thing about that is when you’re a public company, you know, do you have the luxury as a public company technically being a fiduciary to make those decisions? And I’m not and I’m not sure about that, you know, if that’s right or wrong. But to me, it’s like I, you know, to me, I want customers and and I don’t want to alienate them unless it’s something specific, like, you know, what I’m doing with our project. It’s very much a polarizing topic, so I can actually understand why I have to be political on some issues, but other issues I’m not so I don’t know. It’s interesting to see but it’s not about me today. It’s about you, and it’s about gab wireless. So tell me about you and your background. How did you you know, how did you get here and at such a young age because you definitely look younger than me. How did you get into such an executive position already?

Landon Ainge
Well, first off titles in startups mean nothing. So let’s just throw that out there. I think that’s important. Everyone needs to understand that. But second, I think, for me, my journey kind of went through switching back and forth from the investment side of things to operations back to investment backed operations. I think. For me, I went worked at Goldman for a little while then I went and did mergers and acquisitions that I wouldn’t operated in e commerce overstock.com. And to venture capital world. I think it’s a great experience. I think not being tied to one industry is really helpful. And that’s what’s helped me be able to recognize patterns across different industries. That’s truly I think, been the biggest education I’ve ever gotten. And kind of helped me get to where I’m at, to where I’m now at God wireless and I’m a well openly I’m a I’m a dad of two little beautiful girls, and And that kind of what sparked a little bit of me joining gab. gab wireless is a cell phone network company for dedicated and priority providing age appropriate devices. So we’re trying to protect kids by putting giving them devices that are the right way to introduce a phone. We’re trying to delay the introduction of smartphone because of the impact it has on kids when we introduce it to them.

Rob McNealy
Well, I have four children, and two of them are teenagers, and two of them will be teenagers soon enough. And, you know, we homeschool our kids. I don’t know, you know, if I’ve ever talked to you very much about my personal life, but actually we homeschool our kids and my oldest will be 17 and a few weeks and she’s just finishing up her sophomore year college and she’s a full time college student. She started when she was 14 part time, and she didn’t get her first cell phone until she was already a full time college student. Now, definitely she’s younger. And because we were very concerned about, you know, social media and things of that nature. And in fact, with our other children, we have a checkout phone, that we allow what they have to check it back into us. So we’re pretty strict. We don’t allow social media and none of our kids only our oldest right now has even has an email address. So and we definitely, you know, you know, kind of lockdown screentime and limit that. Some people say we’re horrible parents in mean and restrictive and controlling. But I also remember how I was growing up, and I had no parental controls on my life. And I definitely say that I grew up way too early. So what is gab doing to address? I guess, these kind of concerns that I might have, and must back up, what are the concerns that people have? What are the threats that parents are facing with kids having access to a smartphone?

Landon Ainge
Yeah, I think we’ve talked about 20,000 parents. So talk to a ton of parents are going through getting their feedback on what what their concerns are with technology, why? I don’t want to go too deep into specifically what their fears are. But I want to more focus on what the impacts of that technology are. Because the list of impacts I think, are way worse than what people’s fears are. People have lots of fears about like, kids going down dark corners and doing things that they shouldn’t be doing. But really, the concerns are in five categories. You’ve got just sleep deprivation being the biggest, when you have a device with a lot of stimulation that hits a point in kids brains, that keeps them everlean gauge that they don’t sleep, because they want to constantly have more of that. And if there’s one thing I can point to it’s sleep deprivation that’s changing kids and it’s hurting kids and It changes the word academic performance, their ability to communicate, it changes their emotional roller coaster that they’re already going on. But then you can point to kind of the social anxiety involved with social media. Social media is not bad. It’s just at an early age, it can destroy kids, they’re not ready to even communicate in person, let alone understand the complexity in the context of conversations and, and the lack of empathy that it develops with kids at an early age. And then kind of you can point to cyber bullying, pornographic content, addicted to gaming, there’s a lot of anything that does anything to isolate kids for very long periods of time. Pretty much that we can just all agree. I don’t get into politics, but this is parenting, it’s, but we just need them to be a little more careful. We’ve got this thing called technology and we say it’s great. And then we give it to everyone and I think we’re learning that Maybe not great for everyone, and maybe it needs to be a little bit more staged is all and openly, you’re really you’re really like protected, right? That’s who you are as a parent. But we’re trying to listen to all parents to say, We don’t care who you are, we’re going to provide a solution that you to figure out what age you think the solution is best for, you know, your child best, you know, their abilities, you know, their habits, what, what will do it and our way of doing that is pretty unique. And we can talk about that, because I’m so excited about it.

Rob McNealy
And we should do that. I think it’s important. So you touched on a little bit about, you know, the things that you’re providing a solution and all those different, you know, five categories of problems that people are dealing with. What do you say when maybe PE parents might come back and say, well, it’s just a parenting issue. You know, why can’t just let parents you know, be parents kind of thing or, you know, Maybe Do you get any pushback like that?

Landon Ainge
Yeah, I mean, parents are saying, hey, look, we don’t need any restrictions. And I would say, Okay, then you’re not our customer, like I talked to we talked about at the beginning, right? Like, then, if you don’t feel like any controls are necessary, and that’s great. I think what we’re learning now is that we’re taking an adult device and giving it to kids and telling them to regulate themselves, and we’re learning that their ability to do so is not and that we’re just providing options. There aren’t enough options out there. You have a flip phone, and you have a smartphone, and very little in between.

Rob McNealy
You know, I’m not convinced that a lot of parents and adults pivot in and figured out how to like control themselves either. So

Landon Ainge
I have my own issues with that, right? Like I need to, you know, the amount of time that I spend doing work on my phone when you know, maybe I should be more concentrated on with my girls like that’s, I struggle with that dailies right so In a startup world, that’s your life, you kind of, unfortunately, tends to consume. So I think we’re all struggling with that.

Rob McNealy
Well, you know, I think that it’s important to recognize that I think the first you know, thing that you need to do if you’re going to try to change or improve is to recognize there’s a problem. I think a lot. Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t even see there’s a problem. So tell me a little bit about what you guys are doing. What is your solution?

Landon Ainge
Yeah. So what we’ve done is we’re providing a network provides this age appropriate devices. And we’ve launched our first device on our first device. It’s a looks like smartphone, it feels and acts just like a smartphone and hold it up right here. There’s a device so it looks and feels got a touch screen. And so you, your kids get to play on it and they get to do what they want. But that being said, it’s a tool. It’s a functional tool, as a phone as an alarm clock has a calendar as texting even as a camera, but what it what it limits is External outreach or external entertainment. So there’s no App Store. So you’re not going to download any social media or games or any of that aspect. There’s no browser. And then our first phone doesn’t allow you to send group or picture messages. Now why, why that’s important is it truly is just a functional device then. And it’s meant to communicate and help connect people, and adds the benefits of having a touchscreen phone with applications that add function. But our role is to help them maintain a life outside the screen. So parents reason for getting kids fun is to communicate with them. And so their kids can communicate with their, with their parents and with their friends.

Rob McNealy
So why so if you’re just limiting the lot of the Smart App kind of things, why not just use like kind of a flip phone?

Landon Ainge
Well, that’s a good question. Ask your kids openly it’s more it’s a really important thing for kids to understand. For them, it’s their social acceptance foot on some connotation That is really negative. It’s a cause for being made fun of. and appearance is really important to kids young age. And there’s a reason they’re wearing their fake Ray Bans and looking really good and why they look at certain types of clothing, its appearance is really important. And we’ve learned that from past companies that have tried to make kid devices that they made them to Kitty, and that’s the reason why it didn’t work. They don’t want to stick out from a parent’s perspective, even if they don’t necessarily want it. We’ve had teenagers come to us and say, I don’t want social media. I don’t want any of that stuff. And but because I have it on my phone, that’s a path of least resistance to where I just go there. But you know, but that appearance really is important.

Rob McNealy
So is your device capable of adding those functionalities say as a kid grows on Older? So for instance, you can, isn’t it there are options to add in functionality at some point or is it just permanently locked down.

Landon Ainge
So our goal is to provide a stepwise function to kind of help kids graduate. Our first device here, does what it does. And it’s $100 device. So it’s like really easy, really palatable for parents, it’s a month to month contract, introduce it when you want. And then when they’re ready, they’ll graduate to either that next device that we introduce or to the family plan on a smartphone, when they’re ready for that type of behavior will start to introduce those we won’t be doing, you know, we won’t be introducing kind of a, that they’ll have YouTube on this, or they’ll have other entertainment apps on there. It’s really a we will add more functionality and more functional apps but, but none of the entertainment aspects until they’re ready. And once they’re ready for that entertainment. We recommend parental controls on on a smartphone.

Rob McNealy
So what kind of time Technology is this what kind of hardware software? is this? Is it a Linux based unit? What kind of oS? Is it running?

Landon Ainge
Yeah, so it’s a custom binary operating system. It’s actually exclusive to Gabb. But it’s based off of the Google Android system. Because of the unique nature of what we’ve done. It is exclusively to ours. And we work closely with one of the top phone manufacturers in the world zt to co develop that exclusively for our network.

Rob McNealy
I was just thinking, because, you know, it’s amazing and how smart kids are when they’re trying to get access to something. Technologically, I’ve been surprised with my own kids at how young they will, they’ll work really hard to get into things that they’re not supposed to. And I was just worried. I was wondering, you know, How hard would it be to like, you know, you know, crack it or, you know, jailbreak it or something like that.

Landon Ainge
A really good question. It’s pretty hard because it’s done at the manufacturing level. That’s the reason we did it. because it provides greater security and stabilization there, that even to kind of factory resets and other things that they try to do. It maintains it. But that being said, you know, not every nothing is in penetrable in my mind, at least from what I’ve experienced in technology. So I think that someone, I, someone someday, I think will definitely do that. But for most of the children and most kids that we’re doing, dealing with, concerned about.

Rob McNealy
So for the smart kids in there that, you know, they’ll try to do you know, they can still get in trouble with texting, right, because it still allows, you know, you know, Ms. You know, SMS messages, that kind of thing.

Landon Ainge
Yeah, so for the smart kids, but he, I guess my you’re saying people can get into trouble. Yeah, I mean, right. What we’re trying to do is we’re not trying to remove parental involvement for those parents and say, Look, it’s printing problem or parental question. That’s kind of true. This we are here to provide a technology solution that makes it a little bit easier. But a parents still should be involved in introducing a phone that here’s this new responsibility. This is what’s appropriate to text and call and this is what we shouldn’t shouldn’t do. But that’s an easy conversation compared to here’s a supercomputer. Right? Like, yeah, so the question I would have, is there a lockout? Can the kid lock the parents out from seeing what they’re texting? Or is there a way for the parent to have like a super password to kind of monitor that piece? Yeah, so we don’t have monitoring right now and really talking to kids. What they like about phone is look that has a camera and their ability to talk to friends, and then it doesn’t have spyware. Really, we’ve tried to say, okay, what’s appropriate, let’s, let’s drive that conversation. And when your kid is ready to have that responsibility, that’s when they should get a phone now We should get them a phone and then we should try to monitor everything they’re doing on it. Let’s change that conversation and say, is my child ready for a phone? And if so, how do I have those conversations to make sure they are, and that we indicate to go through those aspects. So there’s no monitoring, there’s ability to lock it. We always give out kind of a, we try to recommend a family contract when you give a kid a phone of these are what the expectations are to have a phone. This is what we do. You always share the password mostly because kids forget and lose their password. That’s First of all, but also because it’s important for parents to do it. We recommend centralized charging stations so kids shouldn’t have their phones when they go to their rooms. Just if you don’t want to get your kid into trouble just let’s just say everyone in the family charges their phones in one place that will help adults and kids in our habits that maybe need to improve.

Rob McNealy
I think that’s pretty wise actually. So Gabb Wireless you know starting a phone company it sounds like a lot of work and a lot of money. How are you guys funded?

Landon Ainge
Um, we we ran an Indiegogo actually to get started. So that was really cool. It’s kind of cool as they were telecom real nationwide telecom company right now and we started on Indiegogo. Once we got customers and we got pre orders, we were able to close kind of a Angel round and right now we’re closing our seed round to prepare and we’re about to scale pretty large for Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Rob McNealy
So you guys are already out then so I could buy one of these for my kids right now.

Landon Ainge
Get in three days. Free shipping.

Rob McNealy
Are you where are you saw you sold in retail stores or online? Only Amazon? Where can people where do people get it?

Landon Ainge
GabbWireless com. That’s pretty easy. There’s one phone and one plan Choose to take it and we ship it directly to you. You have a account you create month a month. And like I said, flexibility we’re not like, or not like most telecom providers, we’re here to say we’re here to provide a solution and make it easy. And whatever we can do to make your life easier, apparently easier just in a little bit makes a big difference.

Rob McNealy
So you said that the phone itself is about 100 bucks. What are the payment options? What are the payment plans look like?

Landon Ainge
Yes, it’s $19.99. Talks, unlimited talking text with cover policy there. So it’s pretty simple. Just one bucks a month. Here you go. month a month you decided when you introduce.

Rob McNealy
So we’re so we’re coming into that holiday week and I don’t even like to call the day. The day that will be named what the one that’s right after Thanksgiving. Black Friday, so you guys got anything coming up for Black Friday?

Landon Ainge
Yeah, some pretty amazing stuff coming Black Friday. So much. So that like Can’t even up. It’s good. So anyone that is interested in guy was just either follow us on Instagram or Facebook. And we will tell you when it goes live and pretty much if you’re thinking about buying iPhone, you’ll want to buy a whole nother

Rob McNealy
Landon, where can people find out more?

Landon Ainge
GabbWireless.com

Rob McNealy
Landon, thank you so much for coming on the show today and I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Landon Ainge
Thank you. You too. Have a great weekend.

Episode Links

Audio Interview
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Interview Transcript

Truth Raider Bitcoin Interview Transcript

Truth Raider, Bitcoin Community Influencer

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

Rob McNealy
Today I have the excitement because I’m talking to truth Raider. He is a pretty big Bitcoin advocate and influencer in the crypto space. So I’d like to welcome to the show. How are you today? Truth Raider?

Truth Raider
Hey, doing pretty good, Rob.

Rob McNealy
Well, good. Well, I really do appreciate your time and coming out with us. I know you’re really busy. I was having some illness this week. So it kind of was a little hard to get everything scheduled out. But so. So for some of our audience, which is not 100% crypto focused. Tell us a little bit about your background and how you kind of came into the crypto space.

Truth Raider
So I’ve been in I’ve only been in Bitcoin and crypto for about three years. I’ve kind of followed the evolution of it although with the dark web and deep web and I’ve followed peer to peer networks. Everything from back in the day with Napster and limewire for us wire I mean, peer to peer is something that’s not new. And I think a lot of people that have been kind of messing around with this technology Bitcoin was kind of a natural evolution. And so that’s kind of how I I knew about Bitcoin since its inception but really never got into it till about 2017 and now I’m here for the ride.

Rob McNealy
Well, it’s kind of funny you must be close to my age when you start using words like Napster I think a lot of these young guys at a millennial type so talking but I do so just you don’t have to doctor yourself or whatever but what what can what’s your your main type of occupation?

Truth Raider
So right now working on a basically, I’m working with a company here at a mining store. It may not have it’s a Bitcoin mining company, based out of Houston, Texas, and then we’re basically partnered with them, and our company based out of Pittsburgh. And right now our big focus area is we’re working on bringing foreign miners into the states, essentially, that’s kind of mine and my partner’s big play right now is trying to get a lot of the foreign mining into the United States, because right now our we only have about 5% of that entire market in the world. So it’s, it’s kind of that’s kind of the focus for me and the company I work for, essentially.

Rob McNealy
So, how is a minor? Say, I’m a minor and I’m in a foreign country, why would I want to come to the United States to mine? You know, from what I understand, it seems like, you know, other places like China, it’s a lot cheaper to get the electricity. What would be the appeal of being a minor in the United States?

Truth Raider
So there’s a lot of reasons why. It kind of covers the gamut. So you’ve got regulations are becoming more friendly. Because of the so you, you kind of got like this, this merging of. So the reason why Texas makes so much sense is because of the oil and natural gas industry. So you’ve already got this infrastructure in place, and certain places like Texas or Pennsylvania, where we’re at more New York, Washington state, where you’ve got everything from hydro electricity to natural gas to existing factories that can scale and do industrial scale Bitcoin mining. Solar is becoming a new play, a wind is becoming a play. And so you have you already have the companies that basically can go from doing what they do naturally, and just saying, hey, we’ll also do Bitcoin mining, or will do or will provide energy for your Bitcoin miners, so it’s kind Like it’s almost like a natural transition for a lot of these energy companies and US based companies to just say, Hey, we’re open to providing you lower costs, and using our infrastructure to just mine. So that’s why you’re seeing like, right now, you’re not seeing a lot of it in the news. But for example, yesterday, it was in the news of a one gigawatt facilities opening in Texas. You know, it’s going to be the largest one in North America. It’s opening, you know, they just started literally 24 hours ago. And then you’ve got company. Yeah, one gigawatt, which is massive, you know.

Rob McNealy
Like a nuclear power plant?

Truth Raider
Yeah, it’s essentially this scale. That’s why basically they took over an old plant that was already being used for within the oil and natural gas industry and just are converting it essentially to new Bitcoin mining, you know, and that’s, that’s one way that it’s going to scale in the US. But additionally, you’ve got companies moving into Texas and Arizona and different places in California even, they’re going to do solar and wind. And then hydro is also going to start growing. So people think that energy is really expensive in the United States, but it really isn’t. When you think about the fact that we already have the infrastructure, it’s just a matter of the old school miner, or the old school energy guys saying, Yeah, we’ll do Bitcoin too. And that’s slowly starting to happen. It’s kind of an education thing.

Rob McNealy
You know, have you looked at anything up in like, Gillette, Wyoming, and, you know, wyotech mines that are up there, by chance as a possible location. I think Peabody Energy is one of the big energy companies up there.

Truth Raider
Not Wyoming. We’ve got a couple places in Iowa, North Dakota. Like I mentioned, Pennsylvania, Maine, New York. There’s A few places that we’re looking to set up shop. But right now, those are usually a little bit smaller in scale, whereas in Texas you have the access, potentially to an unbelievable amount of energy to produce, you know, for these for these foreign miners and so most people just they’re not paying most people right now, like if you look at the Bitcoin or crypto space, what is everybody looking at today? On November, whatever Today is November 21. What do people give a shit about right now today? know the price of bitcoin? That’s it. That’s it, right? Like I’d say 99% of the people in the space. All they do is follow charts and pay attention to what the price is doing. You know, meanwhile, the 1% which is the people like the article I mentioned today, which was, you know, companies dropping 150 million dollar investment into Texas to build a warranty. gigawatt a Bitcoin mining farm, you know, so on on a day where the or the bitcoin price dumped? I don’t even know what it dumped 5% 6% Today, I’m not sure but it wasn’t a good day. However, people that have basically vision are saying, you know, what, who cares about short term price points, let’s let’s look at this as an industry and, and I think most of the crypto space is missing the big moves, you know.

Rob McNealy
So the, you know, when it comes down to mining with a six the two bottlenecks that you know, keep a lot of people out or, you know, one access to, you know, affordable energy that make it, you know, profitable but the other part is the hardware of the miners. And it seems like right now, that so much of the that equipment is just, you know, kind of, you know, made by, you know, one or two companies. What do you think that effect is on the mining industry Do you think that’s going to like There’s gonna be more opportunities for manufacturers to, you know, create more competition to bring the price those basic type processors down.

Truth Raider
So I don’t. So what you’re going to have right now, what’s going on right now and the mining equipment sphere is so everybody in the United States essentially is using at minor s nines, you know, so that that’s kind of what the big, you know, the the most popular minor out there. But once the happening happens and kind of what’s happening right now, is everybody’s transitioning from the s nine to the 17th or Canaan’s got some new ones coming out or what’s minor, where you’re talking anywhere from 50 6070. Tara hash, you know, which is just dwarfs the S nine. So what you’re going to end up seeing is you’re going to see an unbelievable amount of s nines on the market that are basically not even useful to mind with. And so the basically the moral of this story is 2019 and early 2022, mid 2020 is going to wash out most of the the private personal miners. Most of these guys are going to get washed out because of energy prices as well as hash rate increases with the within these pools. And so profits are going to go down. So really what you’re going to see is like, like what I just told you, a one gigawatt mining farm opening with an ungodly amount of miners, you know, that are going to go into that facility. You’re going to see more of that in the States, you’re going to probably every couple weeks, or if not every month or so you’re going to see a story that says, hey, we just built a 500 megawatt facility. Here’s a gigawatt facility. You know, here’s some major companies that are coming in. So what you’re saying is all These small scale miners are going to get washed out. And it’s going to be an into institutional and a corporate play when it comes to Bitcoin mining. I think that’s what I see.

Rob McNealy
Do you think that’s a good thing for Bitcoin? I think, from a centralization kind of point of view,

Truth Raider
I think it. I mean, if you’re talking, I think it is potentially, if the you if us in North American companies, get on board, you know, if it’s just Chinese miners moving to the United States, then it’s really it’s a centralized play, you know, because what they’re doing is just gaining more access to cheap energy. But if you start seeing European and American companies and North American companies saying, Hey, this is a smart idea, why don’t we set up shop and do our own thing? Then I think it’s a good thing in a decentralizes the mining space, but there’s a The problem is that China makes 100% of hardware right now. Right? That’s, that’s the, that’s the issue that the overarching issue is, we really need like a Germany or somebody who’s really good at technical manufacturing, you know, at an industrial scale, we need like a Germany to come online and makes a version of a six miners or, you know, or or some other country to make hardware. That’s what we need.

Rob McNealy
You know, that’s one thing I haven’t figured out is, is, you know, I can see, you know, power plants would that have excess capacity and things, you know, you go talk to the guys with the tall hats and and you just give them a spreadsheet and the chart and they can they can make the they can make the connections right and see the opportunity. It doesn’t make sense to me. Yes. I don’t understand enough about chip manufacturing. It seems like there should be a lot of opportunity in the hardware space that other companies popped up to do that. And you know, is it just that the the chip manufacturers that there’s no is there nobody in the United States can even make a chip? Is that kind of the issue with that right now?

Truth Raider
I think it’s, um, it’s a matter of scale. So there’s a city in China called shins in. And I probably put I probably butchered the name

Rob McNealy
sounds good to me.

Truth Raider
So, basically, this city is a very good example of the way China does business is they’re just they’re out to just mass produce everything. In at scale, so for example, bit main is like everybody knows bit means like, big player, right? Well, I’m a competitor that’s up and coming is a company called Canaan, right? Who they just did an IPO for like 100 plus million dollars in the States. But they’re going to compete very, very heavily with bit main, but the thing is, Kanan has the Same business model is bit me. It’s just mass produce just mass produced in mass mind, Bitcoin. It’s a very simple model. It’s not a very innovative model, as far as the industry goes, but that’s why you don’t see American or European companies competing with them is, for example, like, like I said, with the ant miners, you know, like they had the S nine. Now they’re going to have the 17. They’re just looking for new ways to increase the hash rate for mining. And basically what it does is they’re able to mass produce those devices, those that hardware, and no American or European company can keep up with the pace. That’s that’s the overarching issue. And I don’t see it changing. To be perfectly honest, you know, on the hardware front, on the mining front, I think we can catch up. Or we can bridge the gap. We can’t catch up but we can we can We can close the gap.

Rob McNealy
For that you that location down in Texas, how many you know how many actual miners are going to be running in a facility like that with a gigawatt of power?

Truth Raider
I’m not sure like, I mean, you look at, for example, we’re working with a company that’s trying to they’re trying to fulfill its I think it’s 4000 t 17 miners, and that’s about 10 megawatts, you know, so for about 4000. So, I mean, we’ll do the math on, you know, on what it takes to get you to a gigawatt. It’s a shitload of miners, you know, like, it’s a lot so.

Rob McNealy
So, I was at World Crypto Con in Vegas a couple weeks ago and they had, you know, the whole mining area down there and there’s some innovating stuff, innovative stuff from the standpoint of cooling and and, you know, keeping the, you know, the packs of miners, the racks like really more tight together. So they figured out different ways of cooling and there’s Seems to be there are some interesting efficiencies that they could probably gain, you know, with the cooling side of things as well. So the question I have the havening that, you know, you’re hearing about this a lot, and, you know, everybody’s got a different opinion about it, what it’s going to do to the price. And my concern is Ben, you know, you know, you can’t necessarily say that Bitcoin is going to do what it did four years ago because the entire crypto universe is very, very different now. The markets very different now. regulations are very different now. There’s thousands of new projects that came and went and are still in operation now. So you know, past performance is not always indicative of future you know, results but the question is, a lot of people do think that bitcoins gonna pump and everybody’s going to get excited about the halvening I mean, what’s your take on that? Do you think people are gonna is it gonna pump or do you think it’s just gonna happen?

Truth Raider
I’ve my personal opinion is that I talked to a lot of people on Twitter just going back and forth on predictions and stuff. So, like, for me, I, I think Bitcoin at $10,000 is an amazing price. Like it’s a it’s a stable price, whether it goes from 10,000 to 100,000, or 50, or whatever the number is 10,000 is a psychological number. When people you know, that are out there in the space, say, you know, how much is Bitcoin, right? And you tell them it’s 10 K, they’re just like, what? It just it blows their mind they don’t understand that like it because what’s the price of a physical, you know, of gold, the gold spot price, you know, it’s it’s nothing. So I think it’s a it’s a psychological game. So when the when the block happening, happens and it goes down to 6.25. Essentially, I don’t think that’s going to create a bull run. I think we’re still going to be in a bear market until probably the end of 2020 2021 maybe somewhere in there. I mean, We may go up, you know, we made two or three x the price, but I don’t think the real I personally don’t think the real bull market starts until you have things like ETFs that are that are open, you know, like, you’ve got a multiple ETFs out there, you’ve got multiple institutions that are trading. They’re using Bitcoin openly. And I think that I think we’re still we’re still like two years away from even the beginning of that, from my opinion. So that’s why I think end of 2021 probably is more realistic for a lot of these companies to onboard into bitcoin right now, nobody knows about Bitcoin, you ask 10 people, if you go in the street or to university and you ask 10 people what is Bitcoin? What does it do? You’re going to get 10 probably nine out of 10 people are going to stare at you like you’re crazy.

Rob McNealy
You know, play that game, actually. And my results have been very different. Everybody I asked has heard the word Bitcoin They don’t get it. Like what it is they think that they understand internet money. And that’s about where the extent of it, but the name recognition I find is pretty, pretty prevalent among the people that I talked to. Now their opinion of it is they don’t understand it. Or there’s a negative connotation with the being scammy or rip off. That’s kind of what I’m seeing out there.

Truth Raider
I agree with you. I agree with you that they all have heard of it. But there’s a difference, I think between like I play poker with 12, my buddies, you know, I brought as an experiment, I asked him that question. Hey, guys, you guys know about Bitcoin? Like, yeah, we all heard about it, you know, we saw it on TV, you know, that’s a huge difference from I understand what it does, what the functionality of Bitcoin is, as well as how do you physically use it? Like, that is a huge educational gap for probably 95% of the people in the US. You know, I would say

Rob McNealy
Try explaining a decentralized organization to someone on the street that’s a little more complicated.

Truth Raider
Or even not even trying to explain the the core about Bitcoin, but just how do you physically use it? How do you physically transfer Bitcoin? Most people will look at you like you’re crazy. Just even if you just said what I just said, How do you transfer Bitcoin from one person to the next? Show me how to do it.

Rob McNealy
What I kind of tell people, you know, when it comes to crypto, I always kind of put myself in, you know, in the person’s mind, right? And with our project, I actually am out there talking and doing sales already with our project. And I’m in retail stores talking to retailers. In fact, we started talking to retailers before we coated anything because we built it for a purpose. And what I explain when it comes to crypto is like, it’s like it’s like cash app or Venmo. But it doesn’t use dollars as the underlying value. And they’re like, Oh, I get that. And then in them when I say, you know, there’s no Corporation. It’s the Z centralized project. What I have found is that if you say it’s kind of like a nonprofit that’s built to run this project, you know, project and people seem to could they can wrap their head around that. You know, now I don’t I know it’s not technically a nonprofit, because that’s a corporation too. But, but when if you say it like that, you know that there’s no Corporation, but it’s more like a nonprofit group that runs this. People can make they can make sense of that, I think. And that’s seems to work pretty well, when I talk to people.

Truth Raider
Well, if you try to break it down in its core, right, Bitcoin is software. Like if you just said, If you and how do you explain the fact that Bitcoin is software like that, literally, that’s what it is. I mean, it’s only money because we’ve monetized it. But essentially, is just a software that’s constantly running. And so nobody’s ever going to understand that, you know, like you because then you start getting deeper and deeper into how does it work, you know, and then you start talking about blocks. I mean, try explaining blocks to somebody on the street.

Rob McNealy
You know, I don’t know if I can explain to them myself half the time. But here’s the thing is that try to explain how settlement happens on swift with debit cards, nobody knows. They use the debit card, they know how it works, they know that it works, they trust that it works, they have faith that it will work. You know, I don’t think the average person you know, this is I think we’re you know, engineers kind of ruined everything you know, is that engineers the build it they will come mindset doesn’t work. And I’m not picking on engineer that worked around engineers my entire professional life. So I love engineers, but you don’t want the engineer in charge of marketing neither. But what you find is that people you know, engineer types really want to get their really excited and geek out about the technology or the features, you know, that kind of thing. Whereas people don’t care about features as much as they do about benefits. You know, if this solves a problem for me, show me how it solves my problem. And that’s all they care about, you know, when I started talking to retailers, and that’s my focus is talking to retailers and getting them on boarded into crypto, you know, they want to know, how do I deal with taxes? How does it integrate with my point of sale? And how easy is it to work? And is it safe? That’s what they want to know. They don’t care about servers and miners and block producers and whatever else, they don’t give a shit. And one day anymore? No, because it doesn’t matter to them. They want to know that they can cash out is there you know how valid they are. You know, a lot of the retailers I talked to they are concerned about volatility. Well, it goes up and down. Well, when you cash out quick, you just don’t sit on it if you don’t want. But I think that’s the thing. People get lost, they get lost in the technology and the average person, if you’re trying to say adoption won’t happen till the average person understands finance, economics, the Federal Reserve System, inflation and fiat money, and you have to educate the entire planet on those things. And that’s what adoption you’re never going to get Adoption will never happen. One, most people don’t give a shit. And people don’t give a shit until they have a problem, you know, a recognized problem. And I think that’s where that’s why I think like a lot of people, they’re struggling to get adoption because they still think like, oh, people need to come up in this level of knowledge. And I don’t think they do. I don’t think they need to come up with that for there to be adoption of crypto. I’m sorry.

Truth Raider
No, I agree completely. You’re 100% right. I mean, the problem that a lot of us get sucked into myself included is, you know, because the more I research it, Bitcoin, the more I study it the more I try to educate myself, you fall into a trap of over explaining the simplicity of it. It’s, it’s a natural thing, because you’re so interested in how it works. So you, you tend to oversee, you know, so here’s, I think, the way it works in a very simple manner is like to try to explain to somebody is I guess it’s like Western Union. PayPal without the third party involved. So you’re sending, you’re sending, you’re sending your currency to another person without the third party, but it’s very similar to PayPal, except for you don’t need a bank to settle the payment. It’s just a direct payment between you and another human being, you know, without that third party, and I think, because people know how PayPal works, you know, you got your email you sent to somebody else’s email. And somehow magically, the banking system settles, right. It’s the same as PayPal without the banking system, essentially.

Rob McNealy
And I think even going that deep is probably unnecessary. Interesting story. So my day job a long time ago, I used to be a contractor. And I don’t hide this, you know, I’m very public about my, my, you know, I have a real day job. I’m an entrepreneur and I have a day job and I have our crypto projects so i don’t i don’t hide it on my LinkedIn, whatever. I’m totally docs, but you know, I found when I was this is probably 15 years ago when I thought started getting into sales of I my business. I would try to educate my clients and everything they needed to know to make the best buying decision and my average sales time with these people are 45 minutes to an hour. And I call people back like a week later and they’re like all I want with somebody else but thank you I loved your presentation. What do you mean why didn’t you go with Well, they were cheaper than you. And what I found and and i over I was over explaining what I was doing. It was I was giving me I was doing my job and giving them everything they needed to know to make a really informed decision and be really smart about it because I wanted them to be smart. And what ended up happening is I wasn’t closing sales. So what I ended up doing I found out is I cut my sales pitch by pitch to half the time to a half hour and I doubled my sales in true story, true story and and it was hard for me to wrap my head around it because I was trying To educate people in a way that I wanted to be sold, right? Yeah, the problem is, most you know, and I find this, especially with guys like that are smart. And most the people that I know that are in crypto are smart. Okay. You know, they’re curious, they’re smart. They’re questioning, you know, I haven’t run into too many stupid people in crypto, at least that are working in crypto. And, and so, as smart people, we want to have respect for other people’s intelligence, I think where we’re like, Hey, I think you’re a good person. And I want to treat you with respect, and I want to value your intelligence. So You two must want to have this knowledge. But I don’t think the average person does. I think you lose them. I think it gets complicated. And I think if you know, you have to recognize that there are different people have different you know, they kind of perceive the world differently. They have the world and the average person has an average IQ. So right I mean, that’s not mean Yeah, it’s not mean. But that means but in the United States, right? The average IQ in the US is about 100. Okay, yeah, that means half the people you run into at Walmart or at the mall or at the bank, have below average IQ. That’s how averages work, you know? So you got to just You got it. I don’t mean to dumb it down, but you gotta, you gotta explain things in a way that makes sense to them. And you gotta always have it I always say, you know, you have to sell people in a way that they want to be sold. Don’t sell people on how you think you should be sold. And I found that that made a big difference in my success in business is that you just have to kind of evaluate who you’re dealing with and and make it make sense for them. And and that’s not insulting is just, you know, if you try anything with this way, right, you’re I can tell you’re a smart guy, and I read your Twitter so I know you’re a pretty smart guy. You know if you go in as a smart guy to Someone who maybe is just average. And you try to explain all this technical engineering kind of mumbo jumbo. How they might take that as you think you know it all right? I mean, that happens or if they’re a woman, maybe now you’re mansplaining. You know, there’s all these kind of an end as a smart guy, you’re like, No, I just I don’t think like that. I’m not mansplaining and I don’t think I’m the smartest guy in the room. I just know excited about this. And, and I think that’s where a lot of guys in crypto miss it, because they don’t have a hard time with that. And they do. I have a hard time with it too. But I think that, you know, as we’re trying to get adoption, we just need to be cognizant of the world is not who we are typically, you know, and we’re thought you know, with we’re pioneers right now, people like our thought leaders, they’re, they’re early adopters, early adopters are different than average people. Most people don’t early adopters are the early adopters won’t be a thing. Right?

Truth Raider
And I agree with everything you’re saying, Man, and like it’s hard for me. Like I said, I got it in 20 17 so it’s really hard for me to look at myself as an early adopter per se. I mean, because I’m, I came in years and years after all these guys. But then, like you said, like, I’m not an early adopter, but I got into it fairly early, you know, essentially, because when you talked to people about Bitcoin, they’re so lost, and just the basics of it. So yeah, I’m very new. I’ve only been at for three years, I’m fairly new. However, there’s a huge knowledge gap between somebody that’s never touched Bitcoin, and somebody that has been using it for a while. So when I was I was in Malta a couple of weeks ago, and I was doing I was on a panel for talking about Libra and lightning and da O’s and stuff. And I basically was defending lightning. And so I was looking back at some of the clips of when I was talking, and I was like, probably in that room in that conference room. There was probably like six dudes that understood what the hell I was talking about. The rest of them were all just like, yeah, lightning sounds like it’s a good thing. Because I was I was basically defending lightning because I’m a huge fan of lightning essentially. And, but at the end of the day, like you said, people just want to know that lightning either works, or it doesn’t work. That’s really the that’s the crux of it. And so, I think sometimes people like me and other people that really want to defend it. We get so caught up in the logistics of it all, you know, so.

Rob McNealy
Well, well, it’s interesting because, you know, I and I’m not here just push on what I’m doing. But you know, I’m not I’m working on a crypto project. That’s not Bitcoin. Yeah, and a lot of maximalists and I’m not a maxi though, just so for all transparency. Of the four main projects that I have personal investments in our Bitcoin, a theorem, Raven, and Tusk, which is my project, so I am an investor in all those projects. So understand I’m not here hating on anybody. But, you know, when we started our project two years ago, I mean, lightning was still you much earlier on. And you know, everybody’s like, because I get, I mean, as a project, I mean, you’re in the mining side, but you know, I’ve been in this project for a couple years, almost and you wouldn’t believe the hate that you get for being a project from the Maxis and the different communities it’s pretty awful at times. And one of the person said, Why don’t you just do what you’re doing on Bitcoin? And I said, well, bitcoins not designed for retail never was intended to block work.

Truth Raider
And I agree, I agree the current format your.

Rob McNealy
You know, Bitcoin Cash, and again, I am not political, I’m not in any of those communities at all. But Bitcoin cash is actually more would be better for a retail environment than Bitcoin to court, just what is just not there. And so, but I said this, and someone said, What about lightning? And I said, well, and this is about eight weeks ago on the lightning Twitter long timeline, and this is just like eight weeks ago from now, right? They posted on on the lightning network Twitter, do not or I’m sorry, timeline on Twitter, do not put any more money into the lightning network and still software could be buggy and don’t put any more money into the lightning network that you’re not willing to lose. And that was on their own Twitter account. It’s still there. And, and and I pointed out to this guy, I go, Okay, well, if I’m going in and talking to a retailer and I’m trying to solve a problem with crypto, whether it’s mine or someone else’s, I certainly can’t go and tell them to do Lightning when that’s what’s on Lightning’s Twitter timeline just a few weeks ago, that tells me that it’s not ready for it’s not ready for prime time even yet.

Truth Raider
And that was my argument in Malta. And I’ve never I argue this that that what you just said it’s still in beta, you know, it’s like it’s like an ever I argue that it’s that it can it can be something amazing. I don’t argue that it that it is exactly success experiments experimental right now,

Rob McNealy
You know, once you know crypto is experimental, and this is what I tell people, you know, and and, and I’m kind of agnostic. I know I I it’s funny because with this with even with my, you know, podcast here I interview all sorts of projects in crypto. And then it’s not even though I’m I got my own project, you know, I’m here I want to talk to other people because I, I’m excited about the space and in my happy world, I don’t believe there will be nor should there be just one crypto for the planet. I think that’s actually dangerous inherently centralizing. And to me, it’s like, there will be multiple kryptos and in fact, I would rather there be 200 dozen my own, you know, ideal place. There’s 200 really, really well designed communities around 200 different block chains that all seamlessly coexist and atomic swap between one another. To me, I think that’s actually much safer than having like, you know, fewer and fewer crypto projects that are more and more centralized behind them. And to me, I think that long term that would actually be better for society, because of the beauty of what I see as crypto is that You know, we talked about the honesty and the transparency and the scarcity and, you know, and inflation rates that are known in the open source nature of crypto makes them superior to Fiat. Right. They’re not necessarily subject to governments, politicians whims. But what I see is that the other benefit of kryptos is that you can tailor them and program them for specific purposes, regions, industries, companies, and we don’t talk about that enough that there could be a know maybe there should be a crypto for the shipping industry. Maybe there should be a crypto and you’re starting to see more of that. But I don’t think we talked about that enough. And because there’s so I think, I mean, you’re out there probably more than I am, but it seems like a lot of these projects are really trying to like, oh, our project is the greatest and you know, we hate that community over there and they fight and it’s all stupid, and I’m like, Look, there’s no reason why Bitcoin can’t do one be one thing and This other crypto projects do this other one thing, and they could work together on that. And to me, the ultimate goal is to decentralize and free people from the state as much as possible. What do you think about you know, the idea of that, you know, there can be kryptos for specific purposes and industries.

Truth Raider
Oh, I mean, I’m very extremely libertarian. So I mean, I’m all about the, the decentralized approach, but I don’t disagree and and I’m not a Bitcoin maximalist. I’m a Bitcoin realist. Like I in the fact that I’m a firm supporter of Bitcoin, I will be now and I’ll probably be 20 years from now just because it has its place. However, I agree with you as a realist. Let’s say lightning becomes amazing. It’s the greatest thing ever. Okay, well, that probably only let’s say, let’s say it does just as a use case, that only that would only solve a problem of speed, right? Because what lightning promises millions if not billions of transactions and capability, okay? Let’s say that happens. Well, I guarantee if lightning can do that there will be 100 other kryptos that figure out how to do the exact same thing and to move really quick and move really secure. So I agree with you, there will probably a blockchain project that that does really well in the medical arena. You know, that’s really good with medical blockchain and a shipping blockchain and aviation blockchain. And a I mean, you name it, there’s probably going to be another blockchain That’s better. Even if lightning succeeds or fails, there will be something better that does a specific task retail manufacturing. In real estate, I mean, there’s probably going to be like you said, hundreds of them that are really good at doing something that’s very specified. And meanwhile, bitcoins going to be sitting on the shelf just saying, Hey, keep it out. Guys. Keep going, you know as a store of value and pop Possibly a transactional crypto with lightning. But I think even if lightning succeeds, we’re going to have everything you just mentioned, hundreds of blockchains with a purpose, you know?

Rob McNealy
And we really we already have an analogue for that. Right? If you think about it, I mean, pretty much every government has in the, in the world, every country, every government has its own fee, there’s 150, or whatever, how many countries there are. And they technically seamlessly swap between, you know, between one and are we already have an analogue for that. Yeah. And if you think about it, that makes sense, right? People are no, well, you know, so you can say, look, well, you know, the United States has a coin, right? Switzerland has their coin, or currency, and then they trade and you can go with any airport and swap between one now and you explain, oh, well, can that make sense? So I mean, there’s lots of ways that you know, when you’re talking to the average person, you can explain these concepts went away that they might be familiar with, you know, and say, Look, there’s you know, hundreds of currencies around the world. You know, and they all talk to each other, and really kryptos like that, but just more in the digital format. And you take out the middleman and like, oh, and, you know, and, and I think that that makes a lot of sense. And I like that future better. I think that, I think a lot of maximalists and, you know, especially the old school guys, and you know, I used to be very active, actual big l libertarian politics. And one of the things that I find with being an ancap or being a libertarian is that whenever you get around activists of any hilke they tend to be the roughest around the edges, you know, what I’m saying is the earliest activists, the ones that really are the ones that spend years getting the ball rolling and making stuff happen and promoting it. Those guys do necessary work, right? That’s that’s how they start. But is like as these movements change and get more mature, different people come in, and in some ways usually take over the ones that have better social skills. They They have the ability to see things through. And I think maximalists and a lot of cases tend to be those guys, the earliest activists. So, you know, there’s a, there’s a saying that I’ve heard that I like that says, you know, pioneers, take the arrows and settlers take the land you know? Yeah. And I think that’s, I think that’s pretty true with you know, all these, you know, you know, the cannabis industry is like that, too. It’s like I was, you know, I’m pretty, you know, involved in politics in Colorado, especially during, you know, 10 years ago when they were, you know, getting it law medical and then legal for recreational use. And it’s interesting because the earliest people that were pushing it were literally the stereotypical hippies dude all the free the weed those kind of guys. And now you go to Colorado and in that industry, and it’s funny, because the regulations and a lot of ways pushed all those guys out to anyways, you know, one of the interesting things in Colorado with that is that you couldn’t get a license to work in any marijuana or cannabis related business. If you’ve ever been busted for Drugs.

Truth Raider
Seriously?

Rob McNealy
Yeah. And so think about that, right. Everybody who was in that industry was busted for drugs. That’s why they’re in the industry.

Truth Raider
Yeah, that they got into it because they wanted to try to find a way to get legal after all the drama.

Rob McNealy
And so so it’s interesting but if you go to Colorado now it’s it’s it’s there’s it’s still kind of an edgy industry but it’s very it’s very much corporate that it’s gotten a lot more mature and you know, you’re dealing you know, you still edgy like coat you know, crypto still edgy even the guys that are corporate II, you know, that came out of you know, traditional finance, there’s still the edge lords of traditional finance that are kind of showing up at the conferences, right. You know, they’re the ones that are like, I’ll still wear suit, but I can not wear a tie that’s edgy for them. But, but I think that’s the good I think that’s going to happen in crypto too. And I think eventually, five years 10 years from now the no one’s gonna know who most of the maximalists are, they won’t remember them because they’re going to be so I this is just because I see this with other political other people. Political and in paradigm movements is that those early activist and generally get washed out in the noise once things take off. And so I try not to take those guys too seriously. But I think they still performed a really important thing. And I totally have kudos and shout outs and respects to those guys because they did something important. But they also can be their own worst enemy as well. You know, I always say, say your retail, and I always kind of looking at it from the retailer standpoint, and I own a retail store before so I know a lot about retail. And, you know, say, I want to accept Bitcoin into my, my business. Where do you start? crypto Twitter right? Now, if you’re, you know, the business owner, you’re not maybe super technical, but you want to try something new. you’re frustrated with, you know, VESA screw, and you’re over whatever. And you go land on crypto Twitter, or Bitcoin talk or somewhere else and you run into maximalists. And you have a question about all this. Ch looks interesting. It’s faster than Bitcoin Core or what do you think about that? What do you think the responses to that poor retailer trying to learn? And put all those questions and and they’re going to run away.

Truth Raider
They’re gonna get nuked by 100 trolls getting all this stuff that they’re talking about it, you know,

Rob McNealy
Yeah and and so, to me that is actually an in my opinion one of the impediments right now of crypto is that I think in some ways it’s its own worst enemy and, and I and the bums me out because I mean I sought to up and people like oh you’re gonna do this project I’m like, oh, you’re a scam? What? I didn’t sell anything I didn’t nicey Oh, how am I a scam? You know? I don’t hide who I am. But it’s pretty funny. So, you know you I follow your Twitter and that’s how I actually found out about you originally. And you got a pretty big following on Twitter. What do you How did you get such a big following?

Truth Raider
Would you do so I started doing Lot of like I said, I used to be big into libertarian type conversation. Back in the day and my account I started my account 2015 I used to do more libertarian political type, like I’m pro I’m a pro gun guy. I got a shitload of guns I used to I used to be an ffl dealer back in the day. Nice. So like I’ve, I, I kind of was on that, you know, on the, to a spectrum libertarian guy. That whole, you know, area in it kind of has his place in Twitter, and then it kind of 10 you know, that I kind of just moved into crypto because it was a natural progression. You know, I think there’s a lot of people like me in that in that way. You know, libertarian guys that were looking for something that it was part of that you know, it was I don’t know, it’s it’s, it fits into the mold, really well. The whole decentralized decentralization and libertarian kind of, if you believe in both of those, it kind of go together a little bit. I would say,

Rob McNealy
I it’s funny, they bring up the gun thing. So that’s our, I don’t know if you know what we’re doing with TUSC, but we are focused on the gun industry with our project and then so it’s funny because I, you know, I go I spend more time in gun related conferences than crypto conferences. And I’m the only guy there talking about crypto, because there’s no one from the Bitcoin company or the Bitcoin project at gun things. It’s kind of funny, but you would be surprised, you know, because the gun industry has a really big problem with payments. really recognize problem and I always say this is that for adoption to happen, you need to focus on industries that have recognized problems. If you try to tell Grandma that she needs to go use Bitcoin to buy something at JoAnn Fabrics. And then by the way, it’s going to take maybe an hour or two for that to confirm. Oh, by the way, it’s really complicated. Oh, it’s expensive to that makes zero sense that for Grandma to do that you’re creating a lot more work and trouble and you’re going to stress to your poor grandmother out. But on the other hand, if you go talk to a gun retailer who the fact is they’re completely barred because of politics from using PayPal Venmo cash app, coin payments, token pay bit payments, or any of the other type of digital payment processing things and you talk about crypto, you would be surprised at how open they are to that concept of not getting their business shut down and being able to conduct business online. You know, and to me, there’s seven industries that have a recognized problem in the United States right now with traditional payments, and they’re all distasteful to somebody. And I have to point that out. So but and those are things like cannabis and guns and pornography and prostitution and gambling and pawn shops and refugees and immigrants. And those are the industries right now that have a problem. And to me, if you’re focused is on payments, which is what our focus is. You need to focus on those industries, because those are the places that actually have an issue that and they have a problem that needs to be solved that crypto does solve. And so far, we’ve had amazing response going and educating retailers. In fact, we got 15 retailers now that have already given us a verbal soon as our first payment gateways, that they’re going to accept us for payments. So we’re already real excited about this industry and 2020 is gonna be a really big year for us. So we’re pretty, pretty stoked. But you know, even if you’re in another project, you know, the main thing is, if it doesn’t matter, I mean, you need to focus if you’re trying to sell something to somebody, you need to sell somebody sell something to somebody, whether it’s script or anything else that has a problem and solve their problem. And I think a lot of these guys are like trying, especially engineers tend to fall into this building, they will come mindset, and that’s a myth building, they will not and you know, it’s great if you have an idea that You know, technologically might be amazing. But if you don’t have a plan, and way to put that solution to someone’s problem in front of the people who have that problem, I don’t think you’re going to get very far. And I think that’s what a lot of crypto people run into. But then again, most of the crypto people, I’ve Think about it, most of the crypto projects are led by developers. And there’s a huge least what I’ve seen with developers in general, is is a huge bias against sales and marketing people in general, they just don’t like sales, marketing. And I think that’s part of the culture. Developers are often introverted, and, you know, it’s not a bad thing. Our teams like the same way. I’m like, I’m the guy with the big mouth. So yeah, but it’s, but I think if people started opening their mind a little bit about what they’re trying to accomplish as far as getting adoption, if adoption is, you know, on the horizon, you know, you got to focus on solving people’s problems, and then you got to figure out a way how to get that problem, you know, solve for those people and put that in front of them. And that’s how you win and If you’re not doing that, then I don’t know how why it makes sense to me that there’s not a lot of adoption yet, is because people aren’t really doing that. You go look at the big projects out there and go look at their team pages, ones that actually have teams. And you will see, like, you might see a bunch of developers, but you really don’t see a whole lot in the way of the sales and marketing piece. Especially when you’re talking global projects where you might need, you know, you might need a sales leader for every country, you know, if you’re really trying to get adoption, I mean, that’s what it might take. But you don’t really see that being built out that way. So, where do you think the future is going to be if, say, I’m new, I’m coming into crypto, I want to get excited. I want to be a part of it. How would you recommend the average person who’s new to crypto to kind of get started and get their feet wet with this kind of industry?

Truth Raider
I would say if you don’t know anything about it, just go to go to Robinhood or coin base or an ATM. Just buy some Bitcoin and just try it out. Just test I mean, that’s, I think that’s step one is most people don’t know about that. Most people think it’s really complicated to to access Bitcoin. So I would say step one is if you know somebody that knows about it, just go get some. And that kind of thing that creates like a spark. So like my first the first Bitcoin I ever got was in Jacksonville, Florida at a Charlie shrem ATM and a gas station. I was like that was that that was my first gateway. And it was, it was because I just finished doing a shitload of research. I watch a lot of documentaries. I love documentaries. And I was just going through tons of them. And it just it kept popping up as a theme. So I was like, you know, I’ll go try this out. Let me just see what this this thing’s all about. You know, like I knew what it was. I knew it was used in the dark web with Silk Road. I know. I knew. I’d seen it on the dark web and the deep web. I’d seen you know people buying stuff and I never used it specifically. But I was super curious. And so finally I was like, You know what, let me just go to an ATM and buy it and I did. And and then it kind of you kind of go down a rabbit hole like you You started a project, you start you started the company started a project based on just that initial like, Hey, I think we have something here, you know, with with crypto. And I think that’s kind of what all of us we kind of went down that rabbit hole, you know, and and now we’re here and it’s an interesting ride because it it makes sense. At least to me, it really does. You know,

Rob McNealy
It made sense to me too. And that’s why I tell people I’m more I’m more bullish on crypto now than I was even two years ago when you know during the height of that craziness because but I agree with you and you know, I I’m real excited that you came on here I mean, this was a good conversation and and I’m happy to have you on anytime if you got something interest You want to share with my audience? Where can people find out more about you?

Truth Raider
I think the easiest way is just to go to either Truthraider.com I got a website just kind of shows the stuff I’m working on. Or just go to Twitter. At @TruthRaiderHQ is where I’m the most active. Thank you so much. I enjoyed this conversation immensely.

Rob McNealy
I appreciate it. Rob.

Episode Links

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Interview Transcript

Jonathan Keim CryptoCurrencyWire Video

Jonathan Keim CryptoCurrencyWire Transcript

Jonathan Keim, Communications Director CryptoCurrencyWire (CCW)

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

Rob McNealy
Today we’re talking to Jonathan Keim of CryptoCurrencyWire. And this is going to be one of my fun topics because I love talking about marketing. So let’s welcome the show. Jonathan, how are you today?

Jonathan Keim
I’m doing super good. So glad to be here.

Rob McNealy
Well, I appreciate you coming on the show today. So let’s get into this. So tell me a little bit about you. How did you get into working in this space?

Jonathan Keim
So it started with a love for the under Technology and when I realized that our larger investor brand network was really an ideal bridge to connect a very large segment of the mainstream audiences, to crypto and all the different things that allows us not been allowed before, whether it’s through technological challenges or you know, just orders whatever form they may take.

Rob McNealy
So, what would you What were you doing before this? How did you kind of get into the space in general, not just crypto, but you know, on the communication side of things, what was your background?

Jonathan Keim
So personally, it was actually computer repair. So working with technology was normal thing and I was studying to go to university or I was planning to I depends on how I guess I tell the story. There’s so much that went on in that year, but essentially, I decided Did not to go to the university because I was promoted to communications director. It was something that just kind of fell in my lap, but not because seeds weren’t planted. I’ve been trading stocks since I was 15 and a half. And I reached out to an organization with plans to sell some data. But instead, they offered me a job and things just took off so fast. And so in a way, with so many different similarities between crypto and equities market, it’s really meshing that previous background with what I do and communications, Investor Relations and public relations.

Rob McNealy
Well, you know, it’s interesting that you point out that, and I think this is something that’s changing, at least from you know, when I was your age, is that you know, used to be when I was growing up, is that people used to say how to go to college to get a good job. And that mantra was beat into me, you know, in the 80s and 90s when I was, you know, a student and I think a lot Lot of people get stuck in that. And then when I was growing up, there was actually a stigma about, you know, doing anything that if you can’t basically you couldn’t be successful if you didn’t have that little piece of paper. And it’s interesting as I got older is I find that so there’s so many success stories. And in fact, I find a lot more success stories don’t come out of that typical academic route. And that’s what I like hearing stories about, like what you’re doing and your path a little bit is that, you know, the quote, unquote, former traditional way to success really never was, and it’s interesting to me, just the more and more people I talked to, is that no, that’s not the path I took, and it’s worked out really well. So I’m glad we’re starting to break that kind of stereotype down. So tell me a little bit about your project. What do you what do you guys do?

Jonathan Keim
Sure. So cryptocurrency wire is just one out of 40 plus brands, and depending on who are servicing, we do different things. So I guess that’s always a difficult question to answer, I usually find out a little bit about who’s asking and then kind of go from there. But for the benefit of the show, it’s probably be a good idea to give a pretty broad overview. So starting with cryptocurrency wire, but we really do is allow crypto and blockchain brands to reach a lot of people without the challenges that you have faced with traditional marketing like Facebook ads. A lot of those gets shut down. With our underlying network wire. We can take a story and get it out on USA Today. Market Watch Dow Jones Factiva, lots of financial portals, but also lots of more consumer oriented news portals like Apple news. So you’re getting that direct reach to a very broad audience. But then on the crypto side, we have a very large following where the official Newswire of many of the largest conferences in the US and Canada and even in some of the International ones. So when we go to these conferences, if we’re not helping the enthusiasts, through help, I don’t know, again, it’s so hard to explain everything that we do. But for those that want the latest news and don’t want to depend on a reporter or get it, no second hand relate, and we’re great for getting that information to him very quickly, directly from those who are putting out the news. So it’s word for word accurate. But then also, for the innovators that have a message that they need to get out. They need that awareness to make sure that technology matters. We can put it in the hands of those crypto enthusiasts that will care about it, and then also inform the broader public as many of these technologies will affect them as well.

Rob McNealy
So it sounds like you perform a pretty standard, you know, public relations role. Do you think that you are a PR firm or do you think you are in lieu of a PR firm, so say I was a crypto project. Would you say that I would work with you if I wanted to do my own PR? Or would you say that I would tell my PR company to go use you guys?

Jonathan Keim
Yeah, the PR company would use us. The term that I’ve come up with is syndicated communications. So in addition to putting out the article in one place, it would go out to over 5000 different destinations. It’s syndicated. We don’t focus so much on earned media, although we do have about 400 crypto friendly journalists and reporters that we distribute the news to they could cover it. It’s not really that calculated effort with lots of personal relationships. And, you know, personally, that makes me feel a lot better. Because when you’re selling a service without guaranteed results, traditionally have, you know, a segment of unhappy customers because the story won’t take hold. Particularly in crypto, it’s getting harder and harder to get your story across. But since we have pre existing relationships with USA Today, Apple news and those other organizations that I mentioned, it’ll automatically post, not just when you have an announcement, but also in between your press releases, we can put out articles and editorial content to keep engagement and steady awareness in those different channels.

Rob McNealy
You mentioned earlier that you know, a lot of crypto projects and blockchain projects have a hard time getting the word out through things like Facebook. Can you elaborate a little bit on that? What do you mean when you say that?

Jonathan Keim
Yeah, so Google Facebook, many of them have outright crypto bands, or it’s very tough to get approved for any kind of marketing, surrounding you know, one of those keywords. As soon as you add that to your ad, it trips off of filter, and it may never go up.

Rob McNealy
Do you think they’re going to change that? Or do you think that’s just going to be a permanent thing? It’s kind of it’s kind of kind of interesting. To me with, you know, Libra and all that that on one side, they’re talking about building their own blockchain project, but then they’re banning advertisement from other blockchain projects. It’s almost kind of hypocritical. But that’s just me. Do you think that’s going to change? Do you have any insights on that?

Jonathan Keim
Well, I can only speculate like everyone else, but I feel for them, because a government is putting so much pressure on them to moderate the ads that they approve. And it’s almost easier just not to prove anyone than to really dig in and figure out because at the end of the day, they have employees that are tasked with the vetting process. And you know, humans make mistakes. There’s many that are new to their jobs. And it really creates a big liability for them. So I don’t really see that changing anytime soon.

Rob McNealy
So what you’re offering is really instead of trying to, you know, beat your head against the wall and try to trick or you know, persuade the the major social platforms out there to approve as you’re just saying they just don’t even bother go around and use the different network altogether that will actually get you in front of the people you want to be in front of.

Jonathan Keim
Yeah, that’s right. And I always go back to you know, why are we doing digital marketing and that is to create engagement. Now, we are very careful as far as Ico projects and other things, we don’t just let anything come through the door. So I you know, I always like to mention that, but to I forget what I was going to say, I just saw a phone call came in.

Rob McNealy
Okay, you know, it’s like, you know, Ico projects and vetting and things like that. Do you think that kind of world is dead? Are you guys still getting a lot of people you know, trying to do Icos and market them.

Jonathan Keim
We still get steady requests. We’re very well known because of all the different conferences we go to. And that signage continues in a bunch of different forms, even if you were to search For the conferences name, we would pop up. And so it’s just a steady stream of people finding out about us and wondering if we’ll work with them.

Rob McNealy
So conferences so I, you know, I organize little conferences Well, so what do you recommend for people not blockchain project for conferences? How do you suggest they market?

Jonathan Keim
So with conferences, you know, obviously, it’s going to be easier to get a crypto enthusiasts there. But you have to think beyond that if you really want to put on a strong show, especially because so many crypto and blockchain oriented conferences are going after the same target audience. And I guess that kind of reminds me with what I was going to say with digital marketing, you know, to really be successful, you have to be in front of the same people over and over and over again, and ideally in a credible way. And you know, we have a lot of different credible news organizations that are very well known, that help with making people feel comfortable. So when you stretch out beyond your target market, and they’ve never heard of you before. It sure helps a lot when they’re discovering you on sites that they are familiar with and they trust.

Rob McNealy
So instead of like crypto back alley.com, it’s not quite as authoritative I would guess, right?

Jonathan Keim
That’s exactly what I’m saying. Yes.

Rob McNealy
So what would you say, you know, a new crypto project, what would you recommend that they do first and foremost, to get the word out?

Jonathan Keim
So, we talked about this on the panel at World crypto con just a little bit. And I know that I’m going to circle the question just a little bit, but I think it’s important to have the right mindset before you even start. So I’m always looking at the restaurant that’s coming to town. You know, they do a lot of marketing before the ribbon gets cut. You know, you want to build up some You want people to be intrigued, okay, what what restaurants about to open, they should get coupons in advance, you know, all that stuff. And preparation should be done really well. And then of course, when they come, you don’t want your website to be halfway made, you don’t want coming soon sections. I understand that people want to look bigger than they are. And there are a lot of better ways of doing that, then, you know, having a bunch of curtains hanging everywhere. And and, you know, saying coming soon, but what you really want is a coordinated effort. You want to reach the same people over and over again, but in different ways. You know, if you’re always calling them, you know, that gets old, real quick, if you’re always emailing them that gets old real quick. But what you really want to do is create a system of self discovery and ongoing engagement to get the best results.

Rob McNealy
So, going forward, you know, you said that you No, like a PR firm might use you guys. So if someone comes to you and find you first before the PR firm, do you recommend a PR firm to them? Or you just say, Well, if you don’t have one you found us. That’s good. And we’ll work with you directly or do you prefer that a project might use a PR firm and act as it or you know, digital marketing agency act as kind of an intermediary between you and them?

Jonathan Keim
Great question. So, we do work with a lot of PR firms. Like I said, we don’t generally give recommendations unless we’re asked, a lot of our clients prefer us because we don’t have a long term contract. And the fees are quite low in comparison. So if you wanted to test something out, and this is one of the best things about cryptocurrency wire used to be with our other brands, it costs 25,000 a quarter just to get admission to the ball field. And most of our clients came through referrals and repeat business so it really wasn’t that difficult. expanding into the crypto currency market and not working with a lot of those that do have lots and lots of funds. Just because we want to see a few things shake out first, get better direction from the US government. You know, we’re generally more cautious. Obviously everybody takes risks with their business. But when it comes down to, you know, us versus a PR firm with us, you’re going to get that direct reach. We’re not begging journalists, we’re not depending on anyone to get that message out there. So a lot of times they just stick with our programs, you know, they’re putting out announcements whenever they want to reach beyond the choir. And you know, if they want to do more than that, we do have syndicated articles and other things. That’s generally where we start the discussion.

Rob McNealy
So you mentioned earlier talking about, you know, when you do work was, you know, earned media that there’s no guarantees, you know, typically, and what that means to people who don’t understand marketing speak is that In a traditional situation where you’re doing public relations, you’ll hire a PR firm and they’ll do pitches. And you pay these PR firms retainer on a monthly basis, but there’s generally no guarantee, you know, and unfortunately, sometimes the PR firms get no hits, and you’re out whatever that five or 10 grand a month or whatever they’re charging you and and that’s, that’s that’s a challenge and it’s frustrating and I think you kind of you know, mentioned this earlier that sometimes you get disappointed clients when they’re not getting any play into spending a lot of money. So with you guys with cryptocurrency wire here, what can you guys offer? Is there an actual guarantee that they’re gonna get some hits?

Jonathan Keim
Sure. So, you know, whenever we’re talking guarantees, I’m always hesitant because I always want to be telling the truth. And at the end of the day, if we’re depending on Yahoo Finance for one of our downstream partners, post news, we can’t really guarantee anything because we don’t own them. However, I can For the last thousand releases we’ve done where they posted it, odds are, they’re going to post yours too, you know, unless the system goes down or this or that I don’t see any reason why they wouldn’t. So I always point back to historical results as to what to expect in the future. managing expectations is part of keeping your clients especially when you’re doing your first blast. But just to kind of step through it. What happens first is the release goes out through their voice. Then we do a crypto news break, which is coming from our voice as a third party, or simply recapping their story. We’re doing a really short version of it with a link back to their release. That goes out to our thousands of syndication partners after it goes out to the other group of partners. And then we have our social media audiences that we continue to grow through the different conferences, and we have those 400 or so crypto friendly journalists that will also send it to which can just lead into further coverage after that for the next few days.

Rob McNealy
So the is always the big question with people working in the crypto world. Do you only take fiat? Or do you take crypto?

Jonathan Keim
We must certainly take crypto all the major one coin basis, the platform that we use to do so, what we don’t do is accept crypto and the project that we’re working with.

Rob McNealy
That’s kind of tricky. Yes. So I could go either way. I think if you go and think about it, right, you like, well, we’ll work with you, but we don’t like you your project. Give us someone else’s stuff. So let’s think about that one.

Jonathan Keim
Okay, well, one thing I would say just to add some context to it, you know, we work with a lot of publicly traded companies and some of them offer stock. And it really creates a we’re just gonna say conflict of interest. But yeah, introduces multiple different challenges. And of course, if you accept it at some point You’re gonna sell it. I mean, even if it’s 20 years from now, at some point, you’re going to sell it and it just adds a lot of complications to the taxes and on and on and on.

Rob McNealy
Oh, no, I’m just giving you a hard time I remember the Ico, you know, hysteria when a project would get in there, a cerium, or whatever, for the Ico and the few projects that were smart and actually cashed out to be out before the crash actually are doing really well. And those people, those projects that did that were actually given a really hard time by the community saying, Oh, you don’t believe in crypto and blah, blah, blah. But yet all the major projects that held they hold all their crypto from their Icos lost 90% of their value. So, you know, I always just kind of think back to that when the community gets, you know, gets people you know, in a bind. So, anyways, Jonathan, where can people find out more about working with you?

Jonathan Keim
Well, probably the website would be best cryptocurrency wired.com if you want to check out the other brands and How we connect projects with investors, go to investor brand network. com. And if you’re just looking for the latest news, Twitter is my favorite. You can find us at crypto. net, wire all one word.

Rob McNealy
Jonathan, thank you so much for coming on the show today. I really do appreciate your time. And I hope you have a great holiday.

Jonathan Keim
Well, thank you so much Rob. You too.

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