Scott Sibley – SHAmory Card Bitcoin Card Game Transcript

Scott Sibley - SHAmory Bitcoin Card Game

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

Rob McNealy – 0:01
Hey folks Rob McNealy here. And today I’m pretty excited because we are talking to Scott Sibley. He is the creator of a new Bitcoin game called shomrei. And it’s a stem game. And one of the things as a lot of people here don’t know that I actually homeschool my kids and we homeschool our kids because we believe that STEM education is vitally important, not only for giving our kids lots of options, but we believe that the United States is long term losing its edge competitively in the world because we are so weak on STEM. And so when I heard Scott was building out this cool game, and you know, not only to talk about STEM, but it’s a Bitcoin cryptocurrency kind of game. I wanted to get him on the show. So Scott, welcome to the show. How are you today?

Scott Sibley – SHAmory 0:49
Great, Rob. Thanks for having me. Excited to jump into SHAmory, homeschool, STEM all the fun topics.

Rob McNealy – 0:55
Well, that’s a lot of stuff to dive into. So I think before we jump into it VAT, we got a lot to unpack, I think, who are you? How did you get into crypto? And how did you get into making a game?

Scott Sibley – SHAmory 1:08
Yeah. So my tales kind of all come together in very strange ways, but they at least make sense to me. So I’m out here in San Diego actually originally graduated with a degree in accounting, and worked in public accounting for three years, from 2005 to 2008. So before Bitcoin was ever even a thing, but if I really think hard about it, that’s probably where some of it started to get ingrained, where it was literally my job on a daily basis, to go into these companies, audit their financial records, and make sure that they’re, they’re verified, they’re accurate, and being able to have that traceability back to them. So if I think about it, some of my interest was probably piqued then unknowingly. But from there, I’ve been in the edtech space for the past couple of years. I have a lineage of teachers and my family in various scales, Premier League k 12 or reach Tired, and just a mixture of my interest in both sides of things. And then in 2017 2018, like a lot of other people got sucked in until the bull run. I like to think that unlike a lot of other people to what’s happened since then didn’t push me away, it only kind of made me want to dig deeper into learning about everything that’s going on. And then as I got deeper into that learning aspect of it, I really said, Okay, I want to, I want to try to give back in some way try to create something so that that next generation can have be able to do this and hopefully easier and more fun engaging way for hopefully all at all ages. So the card game while yet kids can play it, adults, teenagers shouldn’t matter on being able to use a tool like this. And that was kind of the jumping start to where the game came from.

Rob McNealy – 2:46
So edtech, tell me a little bit about that. What are you doing in the educational technology space?

Scott Sibley – SHAmory 2:51
Yeah, so currently, and for the past number of years, our company has been focused on a product, it’s called journeys map. It’s literally a mapping for traffic. You’re no different than Google Maps. But instead of using that map to get your driving directions to a restaurant, the other side of town, you’re actually using it to go through your learning continuum from grade school all the way through career. So those become the territories if you will. And then each of those territories, the GPS coordinates are occupations, skills, knowledge, abilities, certifications, and so those, that’s how the driving directions can start to get built. And then each location ultimately has a dashboard component where you can start learning more about whatever it is you’re trying to look at. So it’s a lot of mimicking a typical geographic mapping infrastructure, but putting a lifelong learning continuum in boy and being able to recognize whether it’s a homeschool parent, traditional k 12, student, military in transition, career transition, which obviously is going to be happening more and more given the changing environment around us with the pandemic. Lifelong Learning is something that we’re all going to keep doing. And that’s the purpose between building out a map like this so that it can be used by anyone, anywhere, anytime.

Rob McNealy – 4:04
Did you found that, are you the founder of that company as well?

Scott Sibley – SHAmory 4:07
So my dad actually is the founder of that one. So I work there as well as the director and kind of head up the roadmap side of things, sales marketing. We’re a smaller team right now and kind of that startup phase that’s been spun out of a company that’s been around since 1990.

Rob McNealy – 4:23
That’s really cool. Probably don’t know this, but I was a geography major. So I’m really into cartography and geographic information systems. So my mind thinks visually that way. So I definitely want to check out what you’re doing there. But I think lifelong learning is important. One of the things that I’m concerned about is the future of our country. And what I see is, you know, I think our country’s failing educationally on so many levels. And and I’m not just going to throw a public school under the bus though I certainly do from time to time, but I think ultimately We have something wrong with our culture that doesn’t seem to care about education. And I mean, real education, I mean, real mastery of, you know, basic concepts. I’ve heard recently that, you know, the illiteracy rate in the United States is increasing. You know, we’re we’re losing our edge technologically going forward. And to me, you know, it’s, it’s we don’t foster or at least have a communal value set around education. I mean, what are you seeing out there? I mean, just being crazy and a radical homeschooler. I mean, am I am I really seeing something out there?

Scott Sibley – SHAmory 5:38
No, I, you’re, you’re correct. And, like you said, it’s not to put blame on any one system, whether it’s k 12, higher ed, traditional systems, it’s just a volcano erupting all at once in one way, especially with what’s happened over the past few months with everybody having to find new ways to learn and try to balance that with your typical day to day life of being potentially professional and going to work. But a lot of what we’re seeing also is a recognition of those issues. And then by the organizations, institutions, industry leaders, the ones that are going to really survive this next change are the ones that are saying, Okay, one, we need to come together and do this has one. So that industry professional, let’s say you’re, you’re in the cybersecurity industry, so a booming industry that’s out there. They’re expecting, there’s about 500,000 open cyber positions today, high skilled high wage, that part A that problem is the typical grade school student probably has no idea that cybersecurity is a very valuable industry to take a look at. Because the teachers who are sitting in that environment aren’t used to thinking in that box they’re used to doctor, lawyer, accountant for, for lack of better words. And part of it is the awareness factor of saying those industry leaders need to bring Have that awareness back down to the K 12. Teachers, the homeschool parents, however, that’s happening so that the five year old today can know that cyber AI advanced manufacturing or pathways that in the future are going to be there for cyber there. They’re expecting in 2020 to 3.3 million open positions. Just look at that growth and think about the possibilities that are there is one easy example.

Rob McNealy – 7:26
Well, it’s interesting because you know, my wife and I both have advanced degrees. I got an MBA, my wife was an MD. And it’s interesting, like I take my hobbies very seriously. And last summer, I graduated from a full time year and a half long welding program. I went to the back to community college. So I joke around in my Twitter that I’m an MBA welder. I don’t do welding for a living. I do like I like to make stuff. Yeah. So but I really wanted to learn to make stuff really well. So I went through this welding program, and even in there like, one we don’t you know, we don’t teach Or even Foster, you know, blue collar kind of jobs or trade skills and things like that. And we’re losing out. I grew up in the 80s and 90s, in Detroit during the time that the auto industry was starting to offshore, like, especially during the 80s. And it was interesting is that, you know, so I grew up around people that worked in shops and had skilled but those those jobs are dying. And it was interesting. So I went through this program and I literally was older than my instructors. I was the oldest guy in my class at the welding school. And I’m just like, I’m always looking for opportunities. And I was surprised at you know, the how much money a welder can make. And you know, of course, the instructors who also were not entrepreneurs, or at least thinking like an entrepreneur, they would go through and they would say, Oh, well, you can go be a welder and do this and this and then, and I’m like, but you’re not even talking to these kids about being independent welders, about going out and starting your own shop or, you know, buying your own truck and being a mobile welder. Where you can make literally hundreds of thousands of dollars a year with a little bit of investment and and then I started talking to some of the guys and I’m like I didn’t realize this but there’s a whole well track for being an inspector and then being an expert witness and you know those kind of jobs with you know, 510 15 years experience can make hundred 50 200,000 a year welding and you literally don’t need a college degree. And like so you can start and the cool thing about my program and this was shocking to me Scott, as you know, it was a nighttime program so it was designed for guys that work itself. So within a year and a half and like six grand that you pay along the way you can work a full time day job go to school, and they were poaching students out of the welding program from some of these big corporate manufacturing companies that are desperate for welders. Certain guys offer 20 bucks an hour plus full benefits, full corporate benefits 401k matching, you know boot allowance, you know all the medical options. Everything and I was like, so you’re telling me you you can be 18 years old come out of school with no debt making 40 grand a year when you’re 18 plus full benefits. And and then I go back and I look at what I was told is that you had to go to college to get a good job or you’re a piece of trash, you know, kind of stuff. And so, you know, I don’t know I’m, I’m frightened for the where we are now in the global community. You know, that’s a long rant, but I totally am excited that people like you are out there, also trying to help people sort out, you know, these different tracks that they can take in life.

Scott Sibley – SHAmory 10:37
Yeah, there. It’s all about no two, no two people are going to have the same journey pun intended, and making sure that that awareness is there to say, you know, there’s many ways to drive from point A to point B, there’s many alternative pathways like you just said, and college is not going to always be the one that’s on the top of the list going forward. Especially when you think how much you’re gonna spend. Okay, I could spend, you know, the next five years spending 200,000 dollars and come out with a piece of paper that may not be worth anything at the end of the day, because the jobs of the future changed over that time or like you just said, I can go into this welding certificate program, I can start making money right away in theory, potentially, and then make money while I keep growing into those next step of options. Like you said, it’s just kind of those stacks on stacks on stacks. And we had a similar a couple years back, we were working with the Western Regional carpenters union here in San Diego. And we didn’t notice before the going into the call of them, but the carpenters union nationally has a Western has a facility outside of Vegas, that’s a little over a million square feet. And you know, the problem one of the pain points they’re trying to solve is kids today think oh, being a carpenter. I’m just gonna go I’m gonna lay carpet, but no, at that facility, you can go there go through a certificate and apprenticeship program. They pay you 50 grand a year for a two year program. So you’re making money to your point going into debt, and you’re gonna come out of it with the with the ability to go into things like artificial intelligence, and more high tech fields where you know, you could be working on a drone as a carpenter, just like these pathways out there are endless. And part of it is goes back to that awareness factor where, like the carpenters union said, the kids in K 12. They don’t even know that we’re out there. Let’s make sure that that is there.

Rob McNealy – 12:27
Well, you know, when I was growing up, we actually had auto shop class and we had metal shop and wood shop, but so many school districts around the country get rid of those programs, you know, which which is absurd. And I definitely know when I was growing up, you know, the teachers are always basically, you know, Pooh poohing blue collar kind of stuff, to the point where they make you feel guilty if you didn’t want to go down that track. I can tell you as someone you know, who is a strong disbeliever of the student loan trap And seeing what you know how much debt people take on, which for no ROI and, and you know, I mentioned off the air that, you know, my daughter is in college, our oldest and we had a lot of conversations about majors in what mom and dad were willing to pay for what we weren’t willing to pay for. One of the things that we said his parents said, we believe that it’s our responsibility to make it so our kids have enough training to be able to make a living and beyond their own when they’re an adult, right. We feel like we are responsible, that they have skills and education to be you know, you know, self success, self sufficient. And you know, we talked a lot because you know, when I went so, it was really funny. So for one semester, my daughter and I were going to community college together and she would like roll her eyes don’t walk with me, is really kind of funny because she couldn’t drive yet. But it was kind of fun, but i what i found though, it’s like literally for two Your electronics program at that community college you can go through and start off 56,000 a year, just doing like repairs to, you know, high tech equipment, you have a two year degree, they’re hot, and they’re poaching people out of these programs because these, there’s nobody with skills anymore. And I’m like, and I tell my daughter, look, this is a programming go to school at night, two years later, you’re making 50 K a year, you’re not going to have any debt. If not gonna end basically, we said we’re not going to pay for a low ROI bachelor’s degree, and spend, you know, 40 $50,000 on that when you can do two years and make more money. Rather than get this bachelor degree that pays 30 grand a year when you graduate. You know, you can start off in two years, you save a couple years of working or you get to work a couple extra years. So you have to include I think you have to include that opportunity cost of college right. You know, and but you know, we had a lot of discussions. She’s going chem-engineering now. And I fully support that. But you know, it’s interesting, you know where we’re going anymore. And I think part of the problem is you have teachers that don’t really either like, or don’t understand all these other trades, and all these other career options out there.

Scott Sibley – SHAmory 15:16
Yeah, that’s part of I mean, when we think of our map, so sitting here today, there’s a little under 2000 occupations on the map today, doesn’t matter how good of a teacher, guidance counselor, parent, whoever, you don’t know what those 2000s are, let alone You don’t know what the data attached to those 2000 are. So you need systems like journeys map like we’re in, we don’t think of ourselves as the end all be all. But the way we’ve built it out is to be able to say, We want others to both innovate into us and on top of us to be able to really let the system drive itself no different than if you’re calling an Uber. It can be leveraging Google Maps technology, you don’t even know it to know where you’re sitting, or you’re standing on the corner. That’s our same mindset where it’s a learning map, and we’re We’re building that foundation to also let other third parties innovate on top of, because we don’t want people to reinvent the wheel. And hopefully this is going to help. Whether it’s a Rob going back to get his welding degree a 10 year old or a military transition, it doesn’t matter to us, we want to help that lifelong learner.

Rob McNealy – 16:18
Well, I think that’s important. And I think ultimately use a term that a lot of people aren’t familiar with. What is a lifelong learner?

Scott Sibley – SHAmory 16:25
Yeah. So in our eyes, that that goes back to encompassing the fact that wherever the way the world works today, you really are never going to stop learning. And really, it’s about those many journeys along the way that ultimately make up where you are from sitting there at birth through ultimately retirement really into retirement because you’re still learning then probably, and making sure that you’re taking down that barrier to say, you know, I graduated with my high school diploma, and kind of that’s a brick in the wall there and then it’s, it’s over, and then I got my degree and then learning is over. It’s never been gonna stop and tierpoint let’s say go in and I’m a marketing professional today. Well, sure, you may, let’s say you came out of that degree program with the best skills you could have. And you you’re extremely valuable to the company that hired you, you’re not going to be valuable to them 24 months down the line unless you keep learning what the new technology is in that field that you’re falling into. So you need a way to keep retooling yourself. And it goes back down to the skills, knowledge and abilities that are attached to these degrees that are attached to these programs that are attached to the certification that are really the true value add and from our work. The providers whether it’s a four year provider or certification program, that are starting to map their offerings down to the skill level, those are the ones that are going to be on the top of things and this next evolution of things in the in the learning continuum from our perspective.

Rob McNealy – 17:54
I think we need to we need a culture of this kind of curiosity. Yeah. If there’s a way to stimulate that, and you know, I think that’s what you’ve done with Shaun Murray. So let’s talk about shomrei. What is SHAmory?

Scott Sibley – SHAmory 18:09
Sure. So in simple terms SHAmoryis a Bitcoin card game it happens to be like you mentioned the beginning, stem authenticated. So it’s the first Bitcoin card game that’s actually gotten official stem authentication as an educational product from stem org. The cool thing also about that authentication is the way does it is they actually leverage the blockchain to house all their credentials and certifications. So if you go and you can actually look it up on the blockchain that they’re using there, but uh, essentially, it’s a card game that starts bringing awareness and education around Bitcoin, and how mining works to really users of potentially any age. I like to think that you can play the game of memory, you can play the game of shomrei whether you’ve heard of Bitcoin or not, and it kind of walks through the process of how proof of work mining works in a fun, engaging, light hearted way that you can do with your brothers, your sisters, your friends, your family, and kind of a low stakes barrier to entry for kind of onboarding new Bitcoin. Individuals.

Rob McNealy – 19:16
Where’d you come up with the idea for that? What inspired it?

Scott Sibley – SHAmory 19:19
So I think part of it just goes back to my history in education and then I full disclosure I’ve never mind that was never my my thing. But I started learning more about it just out of curiosity and wanting to learn how it worked. And as I started going through that process, along with learning everything else, I don’t want to I want to try to create something to be more involved in the space. And part of at least what I think of as part of my skill set is taking complex things and being able to boil them down into simple, digestible things that almost anybody can understand. So as I started learning more about mining and the way Sha 256 works for work, I boiled it down to the very basics, there are targets, and there are nonces. There are miners that do this work. But at the end of the day, in very basic terms, you want to find that nonce that’s going to bash that target. And once I had that concept down, I said, well, that’s very similar to playing memory, where you’re flipping over one card needs to match the other card. And then we take it one step further, where, well in mining, you know, it’s that hash rate the computer that’s using their, their power to go through and do this process where if you’re using memory, that’s really your power source and using that memory notion, to be able to be that driving factor between how the games play so I started making analogies like that, from there that the game was born.

Rob McNealy – 20:46
Did you see this concept of, you know, making games out of other type of things like maybe just generic AI or generic blockchain? Have you looked at doing other games

Scott Sibley – SHAmory 20:58
I’ve looked at I definitely have it are out other types of games or expansions around how this could potentially work. JOHN Murray just so I watched pre orders in April, and actually just officially started shipping out about two weeks ago in early July. And so right now the focus is getting this, this one out there. And then whether it’s other games, I purposely, for those other Sema cards that kind of made with fun little characters, monsters that are really good for not only young kids, but they’re not to kitty that anybody can find them interesting. But the idea being those characters can also be a subset use case around video content, books, all those different ways that people can engage with these sorts of aspects of Bitcoin mining and that sort of thing is kind of the groundwork for future expansions.

Rob McNealy – 21:53
Did you self publish this game? I mean, are you having it made up yourself and all that or are you working with like a game company to distribute it?

Scott Sibley – SHAmory 22:00
No, so it’s me, myself and I, my wife, why should say me, my wife helps doing a lot of the packing and getting things off and going from there, but I thought of it myself. I did hire a graphic designer. So I walked through kind of the design process with someone to actually create the the characters that I had in my head come to life, but then found a manufacturer which turned out to be a hiccup during the COVID experience that delayed things a little bit, given everything that was going on, but produced it gotta have been shipping ever since.

Rob McNealy – 22:35
Is it hard to do? I mean, now that you look back on it, is this something that anybody could just build their own game like this? Or was it really a difficult journey to get to this point? I’ve never made a game before so but I’m an entrepreneur. So I’m always like, what does it take to make a game and what does it take to make a game?

Scott Sibley – SHAmory 22:54
It’s definitely anybody can do it. I think it probably a similar mindset to when you were talking about your welding I’m sure anybody who are interested enough, go do that program or similar type program, it just takes your motivation. And part of that process was okay. Well, like you said, I had never printed, you know, created a physical product before all my life. I’ve been in that edtech space where we’re recreating these digital projects and going through that QA and production and releases and that sort of structure. So it was learning to me but I was able to kind of go through that process even so I’m not a developer, but I you know, learn more about WordPress created the website myself was able to connect BTC pay to be able to accept both credit card and Bitcoin payments, be able to go through all those processes, the one that probably took the longest, which was the graphic design, where I wanted to ultimately at the beginning, I want to try to find a designer who had some knowledge of Bitcoin blockchain crypto in some way to be able to play off him or her. I wasn’t able to go that route. The end of the day, but I was able to find someone that it worked out to like, everything I dreamed of came to life. So it worked out in the end. But I would say that finding that graphic designer in the physical space was something that was a challenge. And then, given the pandemic, the actual manufacturing did present a challenge just given things in the shutdown and whatnot. But to your to your question, anybody can do it if you put your mind to it.

Rob McNealy – 24:26
You know, I really agree with that with most things. I think that people underestimate their abilities. And you hear like, I mean, I’ve heard a lot from like in the startup space, especially when I was transitioning to my first business like a lot of people who don’t come from like an entrepreneurial kind of background. I think there was a statistic A while ago that I read that the children are entrepreneurs are like 75% more likely to become entrepreneurs, than people that like kids that are born just employees, right. And I think that makes a lot of sense, right? Because they’re used to being around their family. They’re used to seeing, you know, not necessarily having a weekly paycheck, right. They’re seeing, you know, their parents have to deal with, you know, cash flow and things like that. And I think they’re getting more comfortable with that. Whereas people who have never seen that, that scares the heck out of them. Yeah,

Scott Sibley – SHAmory 25:23
Totally. And I think it’s that side of things. Also, at least for me, personally, like I mentioned, so my dad’s were the entrepreneur side comes from him. It was his grandpa, who ran a farm back in Connecticut, growing up. And so it comes from that, that lineage and like you said, seeing it. Also, for me, it helps me see, you know, what, there’s more out there than just being an employee. I want to I want ultimately, to be able to really control my destiny, especially having you know, my wife, we have one daughter who’s one, we want to be able to have freedom and freedom to say, you know, I’m We want to go on this trip right now. Or we want to be able to not have to get up at the crack of dawn to be able to get somebody ready to get out the door to then do it all over again tomorrow. And so it’s that sense of freedom that I want to have for my family as we all keep growing together.

Rob McNealy – 26:18
I tell people that the main reason you know I’m an entrepreneur is because I control my time. And to me, that’s so much more important than anything else. And people who are just used to being in that little rat maze every day of commuting and being in a you know, a little box or a warehouse all day long. That to me is like a death sentence. It’s like It’s like being in prison because I’ve done that right and I was miserable every time. You know, it’s funny because I got my my master’s degree and I worked in the corporate world for a few years and I was miserable, literally, literally depressed the whole time. I didn’t enjoy it didn’t didn’t like it did and it wasn’t that the work was bad. It was just this luck. I’m just sitting there feeling like I’m locked in a cell block all day long. And to me is I just don’t enjoy that I enjoy being able to do different things. And, you know, the beauty of my day job, you know, I have enough flexibility that I can work on our crypto project. And, you know, it’s like, I totally what you just said resonated with me because my wife and I made a decision. I don’t know maybe 10 years ago or so. We said we want to be geography independent for our livelihood. And to us that means that we could live anywhere because we felt that we wanted that that freedom and then homeschooling was part of that. And, you know, we look at homeschooling is just being entrepreneurs, for entrepreneurship for kids. Because really, it is and when I try to explain to people that you know, parents that have to pick up their kids drop their kids off, multiple kids a day multiple schools, multiple schools, events they spend more time doing that than we do on actually schooling our kids Yeah. And we don’t have to get up at six in the morning to do it.

Scott Sibley – SHAmory 28:10
You’re 100% correct.

Rob McNealy – 28:13
But but it’s shocking because you tell people this and they’re like oh I could never do that I’m like yes you could you choosing not to you’re choosing not to explore it or figure it out but you absolutely could do it. You just have to be creative and flexible and a lot of people aren’t creative or flexible.

Scott Sibley – SHAmory 28:29
They like being in their box.

Rob McNealy – 28:32
You know, I think that goes back to education though i think you know, even like when I was like, you know, when I was in welding school right, they only were talking about how you get a job as a welder, not how you start your own business as a welder not how do you become a weld inspector and an expert witness which is also being an entrepreneur consultant. So to me, I saw being a welder is like three four different weld tracks and then I also said, you know, in the welding in industry you could go work for like, you could go work in the industry like work for a welding menu like a weld welder manufacturer like Lincoln or Miller or one of those. And so once I got into that, and I’m pretty good at like jumping into something like crypto and taking a deep dive and learning like all the pieces, all the edges, you know, as I could very quickly and I’ve done this as a serial entrepreneur in multiple industries over the last 20 years and and I’m just like getting more creative, like Wow, I didn’t even know they had that, you know. But it’s interesting because like even now, I think the lifelong learning things important, you know, and I was a contractor during the last housing crash in 2007. And it was rough for a while for us and not because I did anything wrong, but a lot of my customers went out of business owing me a lot of money. A lot of money and I lost a lot of money because of it, not because of a mistake. I did But I learned from that point that I’m going to just do things to make myself more valuable in a variety of ways as fallbacks you know, kind of thing, you know, would have been great if I had a you know, another side hustle during that time period that could I could have easily jump back into. But so even like the welding thing, now, I weld a lot. I was welding for this interview, because I’m making things and I like to make things all the time and I’m getting better at it. And, you know, I could go get a welding job right now. or start a welding business on the side if I wanted to, and, but I also know that if I combine my welding school and welding abilities with my MBA, I could easily go work for a welding company, a big corporation, and do maybe outside sales outside of training. There’s a lot of things I could do now, that I couldn’t do before just because of that training. And it’s nice to me. I’m not scared. Like it gives me more confidence going forward that like, I know I could do this if I had to, or if I wanted to. But I like the other stuff, I’m doing better. And to me being a lifelong learner means just making yourself more valuable to other people.

Scott Sibley – SHAmory 31:11
100% that’s even when I was in college, part of the reason I differentiated myself from going and just getting a traditional business degree and chose to focus on accounting is, especially back then. So I was in college right around Enron and all that stuff. So when audit was you walk out of college with a job six months before you even graduated. And so I saw that I said, Okay, this is gonna get me on a pathway that I know, it’s not my passion. I know it’s not gonna make me it’s not gonna be what I want to do forever. But it’s going to differentiate me myself from the X amount of other people who are just focusing on the broad scope of business. And if I go that one step further, get a CPA license, that’s going to differentiate myself even more, while whether I do deserve it or not, it sets yourself apart from the crowd in different ways, as you keep kind of adding on things like that, and like you said, it can also always be a fallback, because obviously, I’m not using any of those skills today, it would take me a while to beat them back up. But if I needed to, I could.

Rob McNealy – 32:17
But I just say, I probably disagree with that, though. I mean, you know, being an entrepreneur and managing a business, having a really good understanding of the numbers and bookkeeping and accounting are excellent skills. And and so many entrepreneurs don’t know how to do any of that stuff. And especially the tax piece. Now I’m fortunate, you know, as an entrepreneur I’ve been doing well. I’ve had so many LLCs and corporations, and I’ve had a lot of CPAs. But I do all my own bookkeeping, even now. I know enough about I’ve had enough college level accounting classes that I know and I know where to stop and I know when I shouldn’t be, you know, I have a really good CPA firm that word that I’ve been working with for 15 years and they’re amazing and but I still even now I mean to your lifelong learner, right? I, you know, because the crypto there’s a lot of tax nuances in crypto, like pretty deep dive stuff. And since not only am I involved with the crypto project, but I have my own personal crypto investments, you know, I have to understand that so I don’t get in trouble. And I was fortunate that my CPA got up to speed very quickly as well, you know, a couple years back that as well. But, you know, I’ve learned a lot about crypto taxes to the point where I feel pretty comfortable talking to other people and giving advice about you know, taxes, especially for at least newbies about what they need to deal with. I remember, and you probably saw this a couple years ago, remember when everybody’s like in back in 2017? Like, oh, you know, how many times did you hear people say something like, oh, there’s no taxes unless I cash out to Fiat? Yeah. Like, yeah, don’t tell that don’t put that on social media. The IRS will love you. But but that but I wouldn’t know that unless I was a lifelong learner, you know, and I’m just trying to get my And I’ll make myself smarter as much as I can. And I read every day, I listen to multiple books a month, you know, audiobooks, and things like that. And so I think that’s important going forward. Um, so, or about wrapping up here. How are you distributing the game? Where can people get it?

Scott Sibley – SHAmory 34:16
Yeah, so distributing through the website right now. So it’s shomrei comm sh, a, Mr. Y. So that’s the easiest place to go in there and get a get a deck for yourself, I did go ahead and make a promo code for any of your listeners. So you can get 10% off with the code, Rob 10. And that’ll drop that in at the checkout. And you’re welcome to use that. Obviously. So whether it’s the website, Twitter is play or excuse me, play shomrei handle and connect with us there or any other social media and obviously, myself, I’m Scott m de Sibley on Twitter as well but happy to engage throughout that process and where we send them out on daily basis. So Your order comes in. We’ll probably ship the next day, worldwide.

Rob McNealy – 35:04
Well, that’s cool. And Scott, if you have any more updates going forward, feel free to come back on the show and update us. And I will have that, that discount code on the website at Scott, thank you so much for coming on today.

Scott Sibley – SHAmory 35:17
Thanks a bunch. Rob. Enjoy it.

Rob McNealy – 35:19
Okay, folks, this Rob McNealy. Make sure you check us out on the web at Make sure you smash that subscribe button and help share to your friends. You have a great day, folks.

Episode Links

Audio Interview
Video Interview
Interview Transcript

Daniel Polotsky – CoinFlip Bitcoin Transcript

Daniel Polotsky - CoinFlip Bitcoin ATM

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

Rob McNealy – 0:01
Hey folks Rob McNealy here. And today we are talking to the CEO of CoinFlip ATM is named Daniel Polotsky. Daniel, how are you today?

Daniel Polotsky – CoinFlip 0:10
I’m doing great. Thank you so much for having me really quite

Rob McNealy – 0:14
well I’m really glad you have time to come on on the show. I know it’s been really hard to like with your schedule my schedule lately to connect so I’m glad we’re finally able to do it. But I think that’s a lot you know, due to the fact that you guys are growing kind of like weeds right now. out there. So let’s just jump into that. So tell me a little bit about what is CoinFlip ATM.

Daniel Polotsky – CoinFlip 0:36
I mean CoinFlip is I like to say the world’s largest Bitcoin ATM network by volume. We have close to 800 Bitcoin ATM locations we’re growing at you know, we’re trying to put down 20 to 25 ATMs per week. You know, we’re trying to hopefully move into other region like we’re all already in almost all 50 states. There’s a few left to go on. We want to maybe even make it out to like you know other countries as well like more in the distant future and you know we’re kind of also just trying to be an easy way for people to obtain Bitcoin like the easiest possible way you know to get in get out, get your Bitcoin convenient can speak to somebody 24 seven you know kind of like the old fashioned way you know, it’s like very hard to like even like companies like Uber these days, you know, like they don’t have 24 seven customer service where you can like call someone and they can like pick up. So we try to have that we try to make we understand that Bitcoin is hard to understand for a lot of people and we want to make it as easy and friendly as possible. So that’s what we’re about to do. We’re trying to get Bitcoin as many hands as possible. And we also have like, other options do that now to like we do credit cards online, and we also have coin flip preferred, which we recently launched, which is like a wire transfer service, and you get the Bitcoin same day you get to talk to a person in real life and like we’re just really about all about that experience to try to make Bitcoin as friendly as possible.

Rob McNealy – 2:07
So when did you guys launch the company?

Daniel Polotsky – CoinFlip 2:10
On the company’s launched in 2015? Um, so we probably been around Yeah. So five years.

Rob McNealy – 2:19
Did you guys bootstrap or do you guys get investors?

Daniel Polotsky – CoinFlip 2:22
Yeah, I’ve never we’ve never gotten any outside funding. It’s been pretty crazy. So like, Yeah, I don’t know. I didn’t expect that to be the case. But that is how it worked out. Like you know, that obviously was a popular service. I kind of like you know, the beginning you know, just kind of like put down one ATM and then you know, once it made some money, you know, I like put down another like, I didn’t like, swing for the fences immediately. I want to make sure it was something that works. Because like, you know, I’m like, I am like, you know, like a dreamer or whatever, like entrepreneur, but I’m also like, kind of risk averse, even though like, obviously do take risks, but like, you know, it I want to I want to hit singles rather than homeruns put it that way.

Rob McNealy – 3:04
Well, I think that you actually just illustrated something that’s real important about entrepreneurs and I’m an entrepreneur, I’ve been around entrepreneurs for a long time, is that I think there’s this like misinformation out there, right? everybody’s like, Oh, I could never be an entrepreneur because of the risks. And I’m just like, you know, I think you got a backwards I personally think that employees actually have more risk than entrepreneurs do. And it’s kind of I think they got a backwards because when you’re an entrepreneur, right, you will, you really are kind of risk adverse, but what that means is least as far as I see it, is that you’re going out and you’re going to take very determined well thought out risks, not haphazard ones, whereas in and you have all the information whereas I think a lot of like employees, you know, they don’t know what condition the companies in they don’t No, you know if they’re gonna get laid off tomorrow, because we’re patient, right? And me, I think that’s way more risky because you don’t know because then your boss is let’s be honest, right? You know, if you’re going to go under the bosses are going to tell you like last thing

Daniel Polotsky – CoinFlip 4:19
Because they want you to give a family whatever what have you, you need to like, adapt quick like it’s not it’s not a you know, yeah,

Rob McNealy – 4:27
It’s not and and I’ve been an entrepreneur for a long time and and it’s funny because like I’m like people like oh, you must have so much risk and I’m like, it’s not about being risky, right? It’s about yes, we do take risks, but they’re incredibly calculated risks.

Daniel Polotsky – CoinFlip 4:43
And they’re short, you know, like, you don’t have to, like, you don’t have to buy, you know, like, you don’t have to nessus like, for example, in my case, you don’t have to, but you don’t have to necessarily raise $3 million and buy 200 machines only to find out it doesn’t work. Like you know, just like put down one machine Find out this is kind of like not really going anywhere. No one’s really picking up on it, maybe like, stick it out for a bit, obviously don’t quit right away, but like, on a small scale doesn’t work, then you haven’t thrown away, you know, millions of dollars, which I guess is easier in today’s society because there’s like a lot of venture funding available and what have you, but still.

Rob McNealy – 5:21
Oh, well, well, you know that I don’t understand it. Because, you know, I’m old. So I mean, I’m almost 50 now. And I’ve been a self sufficient..

Daniel Polotsky – CoinFlip 5:30
I thought you were 40.

Rob McNealy – 5:32
I’m 48. I just turned 48 a couple of months ago. Yeah. Thanks. It’s, it’s crazy. Yeah, I got married 20 years for kids. So I’m all fart. But I’ve been a self sufficient entrepreneur for 15 years, meaning that I’ve been able to fully make a living as an entrepreneur for 15 years. But I’ve been an entrepreneur probably for 10 years past that, you know, like who are you try something and fail and I find like the same way right you test and I always call doing it. diligence, where I like I as I’m a serial entrepreneur, so it’s like, I get ideas all the time. And I think you probably are like that too. Because most entrepreneurs I know, the longer they’re an entrepreneur, the more ideas and business ideas pop in their head. And I found the hard part is picking the right ones route that there is an idea but that you got to choose and you got to go through…

Daniel Polotsky – CoinFlip 6:23
You gotta follow through with what you’re gonna do.

Rob McNealy – 6:24
Yeah, and that’s what you’re gonna execute on. And to me, it’s like, you know, I’ve looked at probably, of all the things that I’ve done, I’ve probably times that by five gone through, like what I call a diligence process where I’m seriously interested in a business or an idea and I start exploring it and they start look, delving into the market and I had this happen, actually, just before we did started. OCC and TUSC. Our little crypto project is I had this idea in the space. It was like a gig economy kind of thing. And I went down for six months researching the market looking at all the attempts that had failed. And before that, you know, people tried to go into it. And I eventually even I was really excited about it. And I had a team where we went to the point where we’re starting to put a team together. And at the very last minute, I told the guys that go, we shouldn’t do it. Like, yeah. And it was a good idea. Like, don’t get me wrong, the idea was sound, but the markets weren’t there. And, and there was some, you know, we found 12 failures in that space that Ted tried to go in that space and failed 12. And I said, Okay, it’s one thing to find one or two, that’s not bad, necessarily. But when you find 12, then you start looking and then you go, Okay, why didn’t then you start trying to answer because why did they fail? And you can’t be arrogant about it. It’s like, okay, because you got to assume that at least some of these people are pretty smart. And like, you know, their diligence too. And ultimately just figured out there wasn’t enough market for that idea. And we had to pull the plug. And so I think sometimes like, what you’re saying is that you got to take these calculated risks. So why ATMs? What got you into that? Did you have a background in finance or ATMs prior to that?

Daniel Polotsky – CoinFlip 8:09
I do have a background like not like crazy but like I do have a background in finance I would say when I was in college, you know at various internships at like, you know, big financial firms like Morgan Stanley, or Joe Brian Citadel, but then I was also like, you know, I really like Bitcoin as well. That’s kind of like what got me into the whole thing like the rabbit hole, you know, I found Bitcoin I was like, I want to buy some Bitcoin and I actually used to buy the first ever Bitcoin it was in like, 20 2014 I think, yes. 2014 so it was like, 2014 I was trying to buy the Bitcoin and I went, like, back in the day, it was really annoying to like, use like Coinbase I mean, no, it’s still kind of it’s like, you know, getting on boarded for the first time and whatever. Like, it’s still kind of a nightmare like back then it was like, you know, really, really not smooth to get bitcoins honestly I want the easiest way possible so I went to the Bitcoin ATM first ever one in Chicago I didn’t like the features like I didn’t like the bill acceptor It was kind of annoying like it didn’t spit a lot of bills back like the money came back took a while to get the Bitcoin the fees were like crazy I think they’re really over 10% whatever so 1213 maybe even 14 I forgot but they’re really high so I went on local bitcoins calm and I met up with somebody in person to trade had that feature back then. So I just like that. So I bought my Bitcoin but then like, I started thinking of like, you know, the ATM versus like meeting up with someone and how like the ATM is way safer, and how it’s way more scalable. You know, like, it’s a, it’s not like you meeting up with someone you know, and then like having risk of getting shot or whatever it is or like, you know, meeting up or like $20,000 or whatever having to take orders or people having to do it like that’s not very scalable, so you need the ATMs to be put down. So that’s why I’m like, I could probably like even though that ATM that I use specifically was the best, like, I could probably improve on the model, which is also like a good example of like, you know, like you don’t have to necessarily reinvent the wheel like I I knew about these ATM so I liked the concept of them I liked what they were doing it just wasn’t being executed properly but there clearly was a demand because you know, I was especially because I was a customer you know, like I was buying Bitcoin that was someone there have to be some other people like me right? It’s not it’s probably not like complete fluke

Rob McNealy – 10:39
How long did it take you to get from like the idea to do this to like getting a working prototype? What was that kind of process to like, you know, yeah, you manufacturing themselves or you licensing the manufacturing out to somebody else or buying from somebody else? How did they How did you get started with that piece of it?

Daniel Polotsky – CoinFlip 10:54
Yeah, of course. I mean, we just you know, I put down some money for floats, obviously, because we need some float for the Bitcoin. And then we start doing research on like regulations because you know, like, at the time there was like a bunch of there’s like the first ever like case of like, you know, somebody going to jail for whatever for like not being a registered Bitcoin MSP or like violating like MSB, you know, AML KYC regulations. So I’m like, you know, I just don’t know, I want to do things by the book. So I started researching regulations, there was no laws against it. I wrote a letter to the state regulator in Illinois, got the green lights, and you know, like, there’s nothing like you don’t have to register as like a money transmitter. I register with fincen everyone, every, you know, company dealing with big one at the time had to do there was like a mandate out. So I did register with fincen as a money service business, I developed an AML KYC policy and then I started looking for the best ATM. So I was just like, you know, just try and try out different models like not, um, you know, there’s a go to one store, you know, try this One, look online. Yeah, what’s the price this what the features are for this one, and then eventually I settled on general bytes. So general bytes was the best company at the time. So we have like a very close working relationship with general bytes. And we still use their ATMs today. You know, we also try to like, you know, have our own like version of the software that we add on. So it’s like, it’s dope. I think it’s been a great relationship. And I think we’ve done great things together.

Rob McNealy – 12:28
So, are Coinflip ATMs for crypto transactions only, or do you do normal credit card, debit card type or withdrawals as well?

Daniel Polotsky – CoinFlip 12:36
Well, there’s no reason to really do like debit and credit cards, I don’t think because why would anybody ever drive to use that when they could just do it online, right. So we do actually accept credit and debit cards on our website. We try to keep the fees really competitive as well. And I think you get Bitcoin in the hour, so it’s kind of cool. simplex. So we have that option but on the ATM itself for now, it’s just, it’s just cash. We do so 10 different cryptocurrencies.

Rob McNealy – 13:11
Very cool. So, you know, I know a lot of people that have gotten into like vending type industries and typically with that kind of industry, the hard part is finding a good spot, right? Where do you place the units? And what has been your strategy for placing units around the country?

Daniel Polotsky – CoinFlip 13:29
Well, I have a sales background, as well as like a financial background. So I was like a salesperson for vector marketing. I sold knives door to door for Cutco.

Rob McNealy – 13:39
I have a Cutco knife, a Fisherman’s solution.

Daniel Polotsky – CoinFlip 13:43
It’s great. It’s great. Right? It’s a great product so I was very down to push it. I think I sold like $40,000 of knives during that summer. And then I also salesperson, the I finish like 42nd in the country. And then there was like a another time there was like Uber when They were just getting started. I mean, they weren’t just getting started, it was like 2014 2015. Like they were definitely around. But they wanted more college people to get involved. So in college, I was just like, hired to onboard people. So just like, you know, post in Facebook groups, like do all this other like guerilla marketing, get people to sign up for Uber. And so I finished like, think first in the Midwest for that campaign. So I was like, always into sales. You know, I liked sales. So I kind of use my experience, like, how to sell from like, you know, what my managers have previously taught me and I kind of like, molded that my approach to talking to stores. And I don’t think it’s like, obviously, it’s hard. The first one’s always gonna be the hardest one, but like, you make 500 calls a day or whatever, like 100 calls a day. Like eventually there will be somebody who’s down to accept money every month and foot traffic free, you know, free marketing for you know, square foot of space.

Rob McNealy – 14:58
So how are they managed? Somebody has to go put money in, pull money out. How do you handle that?

Daniel Polotsky – CoinFlip 15:06
We have a whole operations department like a whole cash logistics armored operations department that always keeps track of where our cash is. We work with obviously the biggest armored car carriers in the country. And we also have like some smaller ones as well. So we have a whole network of people that pick up the cache and take it to our different vaults across the country. So it’s a whole, like logistical operation now.

Rob McNealy – 15:29
So the question is, you know, I’ve talked to other people who have tried to do the crypto ATM kind of business and they’re either struggling in there I know of a couple of you probably do too, that you know, never got off the ground or, you know, going out of business. What’s what are you doing differently? That’s making you guys more successful you think?

Daniel Polotsky – CoinFlip 15:48
Um, we are working incredibly hard. I think that we’re all a bit younger, so we’re maybe a little bit more forward thinking. We never got any outside funding, so we’re just super efficient and everything we do. So, you know, we’ve been able to like bootstrap. So we have that mindset. So we have like, we don’t really have any, as much fat as maybe some of these other companies. You know, we charge the lowest fees, we just try to do the right thing every day. And we hire incredibly talented people. You know, I just don’t have a lot of my friends from past life for like people I know from like working environments that I know are talented, either from school, from Northwestern, from Deerfield, from other networking events, whatever it is, but like people I know that will do a good job. And I think we’ve been able to bring them in because they like, respect with what we’re doing.

Rob McNealy – 16:36
So what do you look for in a location? Say, when you’re placing one? What kind of requirements do you have for like, say, if you know, a store owner, for instance, what would you want to be like? Do you have like a minimum amount of volume they have to do a month or how does that look?

Daniel Polotsky – CoinFlip 16:51
No, I mean, we are like, the machines do well, pretty much everywhere. I mean, obviously there’ll always be some locations that are worse. Some that are better, but there’s always a demand for them. We’re just mainly looking for, you know, someplace with good parking someplace with good security or a gas station someplace, you know, easily accessible. We look for gas stations, liquor stores, convenience stores, some smaller restaurants. So any place that people are comfortable going to can go and have good security and people can access you know, as often as possible. That’s the spot I’m going for. We also pay anyone who does want to find locations for us, we pay them, we pay them upfront and a residual based on the amount that the machine does. So that’s always an option.

Rob McNealy – 17:44
We need to talk off the air. Yeah, we got an idea. But I think that’s it’s really interesting. And I think that the one of the things is on and off ramps are really hard, especially in the United States right now. And it’s It sucks right now you know and I look at it from being inside the industry to is like you know trying to do things legally in the US is hard I mean it really is yeah and people don’t understand the amount of regulation involved with you know trying to do things the right way you know kind of thing and it’s been pretty nuts so where do you think the the future crypto is gonna be? Do you think it’s Bitcoin Do you think other all coins are going to be leading the way defy I you don’t have I don’t have to hold you to the certainty. I’m just curious. I like to talk to other people and see what they’re what they’re seeing is going on because you’re dealing with real customers. You’re dealing with real people every day and that’s why I think you probably have some unique insights there.

Daniel Polotsky – CoinFlip 18:43
Yeah, on the retail side, Bitcoin is king. By far. I can tell you that lunch for sure. So as of now, I think that Bitcoin has a very bright future ahead of it. Just simply be mean not simply because but a lot partly because of its first mover advantage, I think a lot of these other cool ideas from these other networks, they can kind of like layer on top of like, you know, there’s like whatever the lightning network to make it quicker. So I think that Bitcoin for the foreseeable future, you know, I think will be the king I think it’s kind of like the most slow changing, you know, kind of like most resistant to censorship, most decentralized coin right now, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. That being said, Nothing is forever. So it’s got to be the only thing that’s the caveat is it’s got to be like 10 times better than Bitcoin. Like, it can’t just be something that’s like, you know, 1.1 times better or like, you know, like, just slightly faster slightly. This has to be something that like people really want to, like, switch their infrastructure over to, you know, like, there’s kind of like that network effect like, you see it all the time in businesses to like they all use Windows computers, and they all use Microsoft, and they always Excel and That’s what they use year after year after year, even if it’s not necessarily the best product out there, but that’s how it’s been. That’s how it is. Slowly they change.

Rob McNealy – 20:12
It’s like VHS and beta, right? I always tell people that it’s not the the best product that wins. But generally the best marketed product that wins typically in some of those battles, and, you know, it’s just the way it is, unfortunately, I always tell people, and I get a lot of crap for this. But I say that, you know, the winning grip does whatever winning means, but probably in the future, the most popular kryptos will be the best marketed kryptos going forward. The ones that solve, you know, I call I i dotted this or coined this term, saying closing that last mile of crypto adoption, you know, the ones have figured out how to stimulate the actual demand on the consumer end, and I think whatever those projects are going to be the ones that rise to the top Eventually, the speculation can’t drive everything forever. Eventually. There’s got to be Be a customer involved.

Daniel Polotsky – CoinFlip 21:02

Rob McNealy – 21:02
That’s how I see it. So, Daniel well Cool, well Daniel, where can people find out more about CoinFlip?

Daniel Polotsky – CoinFlip 21:10
I just go to our website There are plenty of opportunities on there you know, you can use our coin flip preferred service get Bitcoin in the same day you can refer other people to this service. You can refer people to rates yams, you can help sell ATMs for us, you know, we have countless ways to engage the community to work together and you know, make money doing it and helping everyone get Bitcoin. So that’s why

Rob McNealy – 21:35
Daniel, thank you so much for coming on the show today. I really appreciate your time.

Daniel Polotsky – CoinFlip 21:39
I appreciate your time.

Episode Links

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Daniel Polotsky – CoinFlip Bitcoin ATM

Daniel Polotsky talks with Rob McNealy about CoinFlip ATMs and the mass adoption of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. 

Brad Michelson – Crypto Marketing & eToro Transcript

Brad Michelson - Crypto Marketing & eToro

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rob McNealy –
Thank goodness.

Brad Michelson – eToro
Yeah, right.

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

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

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

Episode Links

Audio Interview
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Interview Transcript

Brad Michelson – Crypto Marketing & eToro Video

Brad Michelson – Crypto Marketing & eToro

Brad Michelson talks with Rob McNealy about how marketing crypto projects poses a unique set of challenges due to the rules imposed by many social media and traditional marketing channels.

Scott Cunningham – Crypto & Things Transcript

Scott Cunningham - Crypto & Things

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Scott Cunningham
No I’m not.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Scott Cunningham
Thanks for having me.

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