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Ruben Merre – NGRAVE

Ruben Merre, the co-founder and CEO of NGRAVE, talks with Rob McNealy about their new NGRAVE Zero hardware crypto wallet.

Pascal Hügli – Ignore At Your Own Risk Transcript

Pascal Hügli - Ignore At Your Own Risk

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

Rob McNealy
This podcast is sponsored by Tusk, an open source non Ico crypto project powered by community. Check them out on the web at task dot network. That’s TUSC dot network. The Rob McNealy program is the nexus of cryptocurrency blockchain technology and entrepreneurship. Now, welcome to the program. Today, I am talking to Pascoe higly. He is a Swiss author and we’re going to talk a little bit about the book that he put out recently called ignore at your own risk, the new decentralized world of Bitcoin and blockchain. So Pascal, how are you today?

Pascal Hügli-Ignore At Your Own Risk
Well, I’m good. Thanks for being here for taking me on. It’s a great pleasure. And yeah, I’m good despite the virus and the lockdown we have in Switzerland, but everything’s good.

Rob McNealy
So I think your book is actually fairly timely. So before we jump into kind of what you wrote about in the book, tell us a little bit about you. What’s your background?

Pascal Hügli-Ignore At Your Own Risk
Well, yeah, I’m, as I already said, on a scale from Switzerland. I work as a journalist and analyst and also just writer. I do it for a company called financial media. That’s what I work for. And then I also do some research for another company, which is called Schlossberg and co it’s a company where we manage like a portfolio for other people. And yeah, where we especially have a vision for the future, and we want to help people protect for what might be coming along our way. And yeah, I mean, I studied economics and politics at University of Zurich and then quickly at university when I started my master’s I actually came across Bitcoin, you know, which I really liked. And yeah, I found it really interesting, like also theoretical endeavor, you know, to dig ever more deeper into and I did this And then I actually dropped off from from school, you know, because I actually canceled my Masters because I didn’t see any more. Yeah, real value in doing it and it just tried to be I spent my time researching on Bitcoin and other things. So I got evermore deeper into the topic and that’s why I also Then, finally 2019 it was last year when all my friends told me you, you have to write a book on the topic. You know, it’s, you know, so much. And I mean, there’s already lots of literature in English, but not in German, or not that much. And that’s why I was convinced writing the book and yes, so that’s why I did it then. Exactly.

Rob McNealy
So what part of Switzerland do you live in?

Pascal Hügli-Ignore At Your Own Risk
In Zurich. Well, I mean, switch lenses so small, so I don’t live in the city, but I live close to the city. I mean, it’s 20 minutes and then I’m in the center of Zurich, but it’s still not civic anymore. So that shows you like kind of like the proportions of how small Our country is

Rob McNealy
very nice. I’ve been only been to Switzerland once, but I really, really liked it. And back in my past, I worked for a Swiss company for a few years. So kind of an endearing affinity for the Swiss culture. So you wrote a book about Bitcoin when you started researching Bitcoin Did you come at it from the standpoint that you thought you were suspicious of it? Or did you come at it from the point of view that you think it’s a good thing and you want it invested in it?

Pascal Hügli-Ignore At Your Own Risk
Well, I thought it was a good thing, but I didn’t want to invest you know, hey, it was like it was at university maybe because I studied economics you know, was really hit by all the the mainstream economic theory, you know, Keynesianism neoclassical ism, you know, and I found this very interesting, but I still always thought that can’t be the end of the line. You know, there must be more so, back in university I started researching the whole Austrian economics thing you know, that might be familiar with that, you know, because I also lived Indiana For quite some time and there, then I like met like some other people who really are still standing the tradition of all these, you know, real Austrians living from me says hi Eric and like many more that actually lived in Ghana and around Austria as well. So then I kind of familiarized myself with these topics, you know, found it very interesting because I never heard about that university. I also went up to my teacher one time and asked him Do you know who looked big for me? He says, isn’t he didn’t so I was kind of like, Okay, if he doesn’t know, there must be something to it, you know, so I started looking into it. So I already came from this very theoretical background studying Austrian economics because I just found it to be a more realistic way of approaching economics, you know, to see it as a social science, not that much of a of a science where you can get yourself a good job and earn a lot of money. It was literally like trying to understand the real world, you know, and And also the epistemological questions, philosophical questions that these guys really touched on. So I really liked it. And there I kind of then bumped into bitcoin. So for me, it was theoretical, really interesting. Like, then or was really interesting going down this route, but still it was more theoretical. I was like, wow, there’s something happening in the real world. And it really didn’t really came. I didn’t really come to my mind to start investing, you know, I only did this, like two years later, so I got to know Bitcoin back in 2014 and then only invested like, after two years of more research, maybe 2016. So yeah, but it was still okay. Yeah. And then I didn’t have any money anyways, you know,

Rob McNealy
What about now?

Pascal Hügli-Ignore At Your Own Risk
Yeah, I still like mean, yeah, still interested. And, but I mean, I’m not one of these really crypto builders. Aires I have some friends in Switzerland because actually, you might have heard of it the krypto Valley, it’s a space where we kind of we framed it, it’s around Zurich and Zurich, you know, like in, in opposition to Silicon Valley, if you will. And that’s it’s well known actually for being the krypto Valley. And there we have like lots of friends even which are younger or that are my age that actually are really well off now, because they just had some money invested even earlier. And I’m around these people. So it’s kind of cool. But still, I myself I always, yeah, I mean, I I have it with Ludwig von Mises, actually, one time said, or like his wife, he called his wife confronted him and was like, well, you study money so closely, but you probably won’t ever have that much money. And it’s probably the same with me. You know, I’m just too interested in all the theoretical stuff. I forget everything around me and then I don’t even invest but

Rob McNealy
Yeah, sure. Well, in your book, you talked a little bit about how we left the Industrial Revolution. But yet our money is still kind of in the industrial revolution. Can you talk a little bit about that?

Pascal Hügli-Ignore At Your Own Risk
Yeah, sure. I mean, yeah, when I started, like writing the book, or even like really like trying to understand Bitcoin I saw that it’s all about money as well. You know, as with Austrian economics, man watch is about money. And at university I never really studied money because it’s to me money as well as a social phenomenon. So it doesn’t really have to do anything or like also like normal, like mainstream economic economists, they don’t really look at that, you know, because they say everything needs to be in equilibrium. And we’re so many times we’re not there, but the economic or like economies strives towards the equilibrium. So something that’s really a phenomenon that’s that is emerging And that might be out of equilibrium is not something worth to be studied. So that’s why at university you never really studied it, you know? And with Bitcoin I found it really interesting that it not only before, if you want to understand and if you want to understand what money is you have to go into psycho psychology, you know, you have to go into history, you have to go in all these other goal and go down all these other routes, you know, and that’s what I did. And then, especially history was something very interesting for me, you know, where I actually found Well, you can maybe say that you’re you. That’s what my view is, you can try to say that our world is kind of can be divided up into these arrows, you know, and then I kind of found that there might be an era called the Industrial Revolution, you know, or industrial era that started back in the 19th century, going out of Holland and then especially Britain, you know, wherever grew ever bigger. And that’s where also like society as we know it today maybe started to scale up, you know, because we had all these big banks, you know, that started to finance industry and then like railways came along and all these things. And finally, also then European people went over to the United States and built up the same big Empire over there, you know, but there we are, really was the beginning of bigger institutions of corporations. You know, the joint stock Corporation, as you can, might be able to call it and all these institutions we have now also the state maybe then started to really grow and take over more responsibilities. So we’ve all these institutions, and I would argue we are still in this age, you know, that’s what I figured out with the book. And that’s what I tried to write. But now with with the internet that’s been emerging in the last 20 to 30 years, there’s been a new force that’s coming up you know, that can be kind of or can be seen in somehow in in line with This whole thing because like normal economies to state, you know, and like corporations, they also use the internet. But there’s a whole new world that seems to be kind of in juxtaposition to that, you know, and Bitcoin is a new iteration of that, you know, that’s also pushing in another direction, if you will, you know, and that’s what I found really interesting that we might see new institutions enabled through the internet emerge that could be really saw institutions that challenge our older institutions that I would call the industrial age institutions. And as I said, the internet and Bitcoin and maybe blockchain as a institutional technology could really do a lot of in the future, you know, when it comes to changing how our society works, and that’s what I kind of try to expand in the book as well.

Rob McNealy
So how did that so how do you envision the future look as far as money goes, What does The future of money.

Pascal Hügli-Ignore At Your Own Risk
Yeah, the future of money? Well, I would say I mean, there’s so much because again, as I said, money is a social phenomenon. So there’s probably not this one money will be like the thing dominating in the future, you know, but also due to this Industrial Age, or we could call it you know, we had paper money emerge, you know, national stage currencies emerge, and they used to be tied to gold, you know, as we know, because otherwise, states probably couldn’t have really like bootstrap these state national currencies, you know, but as we also know, 1971, like the gold window was closed, like, permanently. And, yeah, I mean, we have these monies, they’re still really prevalent today. But I think with Bitcoin, I mean, we really see that there’s been a new competitor out on the field, you know, and that’s what I find find really interesting, you know, because when when gold was delivered From from the state currencies you actually had like gold competing against national currencies. But gold is money might not be a really good medium of exchange, but it’s still economic economically speaking money. So we always had like, gold competing against national currencies. We always saw it when les crisises were happening or when people didn’t even trust their government anymore people, they would buy up money like gold and silver, you know, and now with Bitcoin, you have a new kid on the block, if you will, you know, that could be a potential competitor, and then also maybe crypto assets in general, you know, that might be spawned out of this whole new phenomenon that Bitcoin actually lived in. So we don’t really know where we’re going there, you know, but in my book, I especially concentrated on Bitcoin, you know, because it’s just the first thing that’s here and that at the moment is also the most prevalent one, you know, but then I think you have this competition, you know, in the future, and I think Think Bitcoin will gain ever more in popularity also because of things that we’re in maybe right now even though when you look at the price in the last two weeks Bitcoin also went down so the people came along and said Bitcoin is no safe haven and you can forget about it again but I mean, I don’t have this really like short timeframe, I look into the future and I say well, this whole crisis that might be upon us now you know, could also bring like markets down we talked about it before you know, it could bring supply chains down and all these things so it will bring the system down and people might then go down the Bitcoin rabbit hole and I’m really excited for also curious how many people will be pushed because of that towards Bitcoin and then they will also go down the rabbit hole. It might not be that many people after all, because the system maybe is going to, you know, somehow stabilize itself again, but I think many others Like a couple of people will try to contemplate things and then maybe adopt Bitcoin for themselves, you know, and the more people will do it, the more interesting it will become. Because Bitcoin I see is really a competitor to national state currencies, not only when it comes to medium of exchange and all these things that we’re still not really in the know where Bitcoin will actually take us but also when it comes to store of value and just have money that’s uncomfy scalable, you know, that you yourself can own that you can as a crypto asset with Bitcoin, you can what I call in the book also you can do crypto secession, you you can crypto succeed, you know if your money. So I find this a very interesting idea, actually.

Rob McNealy
Do you think that crypto currencies will actually undermine the sovereignties of governments in the future?

Pascal Hügli-Ignore At Your Own Risk
Yeah, it’s also very interesting question. I mean when you look at the whole history and how it was designed it’s probably it was designed as an alternative to our day to day system you know, and it was designed the way that you can really get a hold of it and you control it yourself you know you don’t have to put it into an institution again where the institution has the keys and you don’t really own the thing you know with Bitcoin as we always hear you can be your own bank you can be your own bank CEO if you will, because you are in control of the keys and nobody can take it from you even or executor like unless it holds a gun to your head and then he can always force you know, but I mean and states can obviously do this because they have the force the monopoly on force. So there I don’t really know how things are actually really going to develop you know, I would expect that with Bitcoin gaining traction, you know, with the money, like the the old industrial money system, showing everybody cracks you know, and we’re seeing some of it happening right now again with the Khurana thing you know that it might be Corona is really bad thing but it might also be the thing that really pops the, the the bubble, you know, which was like built up way before Corona because the system itself was just really brittle because of like institutionalized money creation, you know, banks that can create money out of thin air central banks that have bloated their like balance sheets and everything always to also, like fight the last recession we had in 2008. And it wasn’t really like a lasting sustainable fight against the recession. He was just papering over old old cracks you know, with with new money and that’s not the goal, you know. So there I think the more our old system will show all these cracks, you know, and those really let people down and fail people, these people then we’ll we’ll we’ll probably move towards something else. And I think I’m not really sure how many people that that will be, you know, will it be a critical mass that he can actually really challenge the money monopoly of the state in its home? Or will it always be a little fringe movement that just takes their own individual sovereignty, which is already something very cool because nowadays, if you run a full node, if you have your own Bitcoin, you can be your individual sovereign, you know, but as a whole, because only a couple of people do this, it might not really challenge the state after all, and I don’t really know which route we’re actually going down, you know, I see that more individuality is happening. I have friends that come up to me, but oftentimes, it’s just because they want to Make Money With Bitcoin, you know, and they’re in to sell it afterwards again, for dollars for Swiss francs for state national currencies. So you see, they’re not really here to challenge the system, you know, so and I mean, Bitcoin as a tool is only as good as We people really use it, you know, if we just use it as a tool to make more national currencies in the end, we’re not really challenging it. But I mean, there is a possibility that people could really long term stay with Bitcoin and stick with Bitcoin because the old system is just letting them down, you know, also speaking of potential pensions crisis in Europe, you know, like, like the population that’s aging ever more, and then all these cracks that the state is kind of try is kind of trying to fight now. And I don’t know how long he can still put up a good fight, and maybe he can’t and that’s what I’m also trying to explore in the book, you know, but I’m really I don’t have a definite answer. Probably nobody has but yeah, we’ll see how it’s all gonna unravel.

Rob McNealy
And as it unravels, which I think you talk a little bit about in your book is what happens or how is the state going to react when it feels threatened by cryptocurrencies,

Pascal Hügli-Ignore At Your Own Risk
huh. Yeah, I mean, we’ve already seen states react against it maybe now not so hostile hostile yet, you know, because they think it’s still this fringe phenomenon that you don’t have to you don’t have to take care of. And well, I think probably, that will be going on like this, like on a global scale a little longer, until maybe crypto is really a force to be reckoned with. And then they will probably try to crack down even harder. But but by die by, by this time, it might already be too late. So, from a crypto perspective or a Bitcoin perspective, you would have to hope that it would be too late, you know, but then at the same time, so I can imagine many people you also see it in states that are called failed governments, you know, Ecuador, Venezuela, all these countries. There you can already see that. I mean, they’re cracking down on things. Sometimes. Even they don’t do it. You know, because many Well, I was told by a friend, even the government tried to like, use use cryptocurrencies, you know, start mining cryptocurrency because they found it to be something interesting they can profit themselves from also when you think that other countries like the US and bigger countries, you know, are trying to sanction states like North Korea and other roof states, you know, and they could have an interest in adopting even though they are themselves challenged by crypto, you know, so you have these really paradoxical situations, you know, where you also I can’t imagine that like world governments could come along and shut it down, you know, because we don’t have a world government. And I don’t think in our geopolitical situation today, all the states would magically gather up together and would unified or have a unified or Woods be a unified force to shut crypto down you know, and as long as you don’t have that I mean Bitcoin and all these crypto assets they are decentralized they can be spawned up somebody somewhere else in the country when they are shut down at some place you know, it’s really hard to kill him you know I got a got an example as time told where people are like they compared Bitcoin and all these currencies to starfish, you know, and I didn’t know that when you cut off a starfish leg, you know, like a new one immediately like grows again and I think it’s really good analogy to say that’s exactly how these crypto things work you know, so I think states will react like hostile and and some will do it some will try it. Some will see it as a benefit also maybe like so far the state of Switzerland, you know, where I think like regulators, they’re really open. You can also talk to them, we do it on a regular basis, you know, that they and they seem to be very open to it. And there’s not going to be like a unified force against these kryptos, at least, so far, I wouldn’t tell and I don’t think they can pull it off because they can’t even combat climate change, if you will. So they won’t be able to come back to crypto as well. So, yeah.

Rob McNealy
So, um, how do you see crypto is empowering individuals?

Pascal Hügli-Ignore At Your Own Risk
Yeah, I mean, as I already said, I find it very interesting thing, you know, that. I mean, there’s so many ways it can empower you, you know, you can, like I have a practical example from my book, you know, we had a person that was proofreading our English book, you know, and I also had a designer that was before the book as well, who did some covers for me, you know, out of Pakistan. So then I sent money to him, you know, I tried to send dollars to the guy in Pakistan and it didn’t work, you know, it just didn’t get there. You know. So then I chose, it was like, okay, Pakistan, it’s a country. I can imagine that things Don’t work because my Swiss banks or my Swiss bank actually don’t might not be liking to touch Pakistani things. So I was kind of okay and then I sent Bitcoin and that all works, you know, but I mean then I also wanted to pay our proofreader out of Canada and I mean Canada is a Western nation as well you know, I would compare it to Switzerland I don’t want to wouldn’t call it a shady state or something, you know, and even there we tried to use like the normal banking system and it didn’t work we paid it and afterwards money came back and it came less came back you know, like $50 was just gone You know, for something that didn’t work. So the customer experience was really bad. So we also opted for Bitcoin and there I saw, that’s really cool. You know, that then with Bitcoin at all, where it empowered me it empowered the proofreader we had, you know, that’s just a practical example of using it as a Like a means of payment and stuff, you know, but then I also find it really interesting to have a non sovereign store of value that I myself can own, you know, on my little hard drive a hard wallet, and nobody can take it from me, you know, especially now with stock markets going down. You know, in the last few days, you heard like stock markets closing or just being terminated for a couple of minutes, you know, you never know maybe they’re going to close stock markets down permanently or like for more than a few days, you know, and also with banks, maybe we already saw it in Greece and Cyprus, you know, where they actually rationed the money and you couldn’t take money off your bank, you know, and there you might be in a really tricky situation and again, you have crypto it empowers you, you might be able to still have it, whether you can use it to buy like bread at your, your Baker I don’t know yet if he’s aware of Bitcoin and if he would even take it But still, like, psychologically It just really helps me to know I have something on my key drive. I even have it maybe memorized you know, the the seed phrase, the words I have memorized it in my in my head, and nobody else knows that I have that money, you know, or that I have that crypto. And that’s something I really like personally because I think financial privacy is still something which is very important. And when I talked to a guy last week, we had a course when I talked to a person who deals with regulation, financial regulation, AML know your customer and all the things and the things she told me it just clearly showed me like financial privacy is that you know, it’s it’s completely dead. And going into the future it will be it won’t get better, I think and Dave, I find it really important that at least we have something like Bitcoin and other kryptos which are maybe even more private You know, but that you yourself can old and that you yourself maybe can see for yourself that you have some financial privacy left. So that’s maybe a couple of ways I see it empowering them individually, you know?

Rob McNealy
So in all your research about Bitcoin, have you drawn any conclusions on why Bitcoin has not been adopted yet?

Pascal Hügli-Ignore At Your Own Risk
Well, yeah, I mean, for one thing, I would argue maybe and it comes back to the point before maybe because I am not so sure whether Bitcoin will well, whether they will be really just hyper Bitcoin ization, and they will really, really challenge the state in a significant way. Maybe Bitcoin wasn’t really made for mass adoption. You know, maybe it was always made for a couple of people who really have problem with the government who maybe have problem that everyone is trying to spy on them. who are maybe some type of people, you know, maybe these so called libertarians, you know, I myself have like, a great sympathy for this way of thinking. So maybe it was made for these kind of people, you know, and this is why at the moment our world I mean, when I talk to my mom and to my friends, especially here in Switzerland, also everything runs smoothly, you know, and they don’t need that, you know, because they say, yeah, the state might be texting me and and things might become more expensive, but still, I can go on vacation. I have enough money all this good, you know, what are you complaining about? You know, and I it might be, from their perspective a little bit too, too. Yeah. Thinking about things that are not so imminent, you know, paranoid, one could call it but still at the same time, I also try to explain these people, you know, you might be one day you might be happy and really Lucky that you have something like Bitcoin, you know, we never know, I just have to stay humble because I don’t know what’s going to be here in 10 years time, you know, maybe the world has completely changed. Maybe we’re leaving the industrial age and we’re leaving into a whole new age of techno panopticon where we all are controlled. We we don’t know, maybe we move into a state where we don’t need crypto either, you know, because it’s still a free and open world. I just don’t know. And I would say I have to own it out of humility. But many people don’t see that argument yet. You know, and also it doesn’t really yeah, it doesn’t resonate with these people, you know, because they don’t, yeah, they have their job all this fine, and they don’t need it. But maybe again, you know, we had it back in 2018. When when we saw this crisis, or this financial repression, you know, with the problem that emerged out of the US, I mean, there many people suddenly started asking questions, you know, and they many of my friends then back then also discovered Austrian economics, you know, back then Bitcoin wasn’t there yet. So they discovered the theoretical thing. They were asking a couple of questions. Some of them read a book, but then took two to three years later, everything was fine again, and nobody knew again now back then I read a book by Mrs. But now Who is he? So there you also saw kind of people actually got they have had a lot of questions when things were imminent. But then when things all were good again, they didn’t ask the questions anymore. And that’s also something maybe with with with a new crisis happening, which states really letting them down because the pension systems doesn’t really work anymore. Also with millennials who are asking themselves the question, will I be able to buy myself a good house over here because in Switzerland, especially housing prices are Huge, you know, maybe in other cities in the US, it’s the same, you know, but in Switzerland, like really especially, I mean, and and many of the millennials seeing Bitcoin also as a revenge, you know, against the boomers and that’s maybe why they will stick to Bitcoin. So it’s just gonna be these, you know, these faiths this these individual faiths that will determine whether Bitcoin will be adopted more and more. And I when I look forward, I see some more potential that Bitcoin will be more adopted. But right now so far, there weren’t really these these reasons, you know, and that’s maybe why it wasn’t really mass adopted yet, you know,

Rob McNealy
I think it makes sense. Pascal. Where can people find out more about you and where can people get your book?

Pascal Hügli-Ignore At Your Own Risk
Well, the book itself is available on Amazon. Yeah, you can find it through Amazon. You can get it there. Yeah, it’s all about as I already said. Money. So we talked about aetherium. You know, the whole smart contract thing. You know, that might be interesting that I, myself are also a little skeptical on, but it was I thought it’s worth exploring and really see where we might be going with this maybe even in a more long term view. And then yeah, I mean, you can find me on Twitter, you know, my Twitter handle is ke H, you eg pa hc. And that’s where I will be at and I love to talk to people. So yeah, sure, hit me up would be great.

Rob McNealy
Thank you so much past cold. I appreciate you coming on the show today, folks. I will have all his information linked up at Rob McNealy calm and make sure you take care yourself out there. Thank you.

Pascal Hügli-Ignore At Your Own Risk
Thank you, man. Bye You too. Bye, guys.

Rob McNealy
Thank you for listening to the Rob McNealy program. Make sure you check us out on the web at Rob McNealy calm and subscribe to our podcast at YouTube, iTunes and on the Google Play Store.

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Joe Vezzani – LunarCRUSH Transcript

Joe Vezzani - Lunar Crush

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

Rob McNealy 0:01
Okay, today we’re talking to Jove a Zani. He is the CEO and founder of lunar crush, which is right now the app that I have the biggest crush on for the crypto world. I’m really, really excited to talk to him about that. So, welcome to the show. Joe, how are you today?

Joe Vezzani – Lunar Crush 0:18
I’m doing well. Rob, thank you so much for having me.

Rob McNealy 0:22
Well, I appreciate taking time. You know, as someone who’s been in the crypto space for a little while, I always like to see the people doing something different in the space. And the other thing that’s really interesting about what I what you’re doing here is that you kind of care about UI and UX, which seems to be the wall in the crypto sphere. So before we jump in, why don’t we just go and you know, let’s learn a little bit about you. How Who are you? How’d you get into this space?

Joe Vezzani – Lunar Crush 0:51
Yeah, for sure. You know, got started pretty similarly. I feel like to a lot of other people that I hear you You know, talk about crypto is, you know, at some point, you know, someone that you know, or, you know, you kind of just run across Bitcoin. And, you know, I was at the time it was, you know, probably like late 2014, early 2015, and my now co founder, john, as he just kind of came up to me and we were working together at the time, he’s like, hey, do you know what Bitcoin is? And I was like, I don’t know. And it was like, his eyes lit up, like he got to tell someone new and learned a little bit about Bitcoin. And, you know, for me, you know, kind of coming out of school with a finance degree, worked in technology and startups before it was kind of this intersection of finance and tech that I was just like, I need to be a part of this somehow. And then, you know, started looking a little bit more at everything else, and you start to kind of go down the ladder a little bit and you’re like, you know, at the time, it was just mostly just Bitcoin. That was some other stuff. But you start to figure out like, what’s this ethereal thing and Litecoin and you start to learn a little bit more and you’re like, Wow, there. There is a lot down this rabbit hole, and I need to learn more about it. And so, at that time, we were just kind of going back and forth. And you know, we were the people that everyone was like, you know, hey, what do I buy? What’s the next hot tip? And what do I do next? And, you know, just kind of got deeper and deeper from there.

Rob McNealy 2:17
Well, I think that’s a lot how a lot of us kind of get started with this. I actually haven’t been in crypto that long. And people always like how long you been in here? Like two years, two and a half years or like, well, how long is your old your project? Two years. So we kind of just like jumped right in. But one of the things that I kind of interesting is your app. And I have been like glued to this thing, like every day, like I used to go to like coin market cap and coin Gecko and keep hitting refresh and refresh. And I don’t even go there anymore. I go to lunar crush. So let’s talk about lunar crash. What is lunar crash and why am I personally so addicted to it?

Joe Vezzani – Lunar Crush 3:01
Well, first off, thank you, that’s a huge compliment. I appreciate that. And you know that, you know, the kind of the addictiveness a little bit is is the way we kind of design this and the way we think about, you know, experience and people coming onto our site and looking at everything is we’re very focused on that design and, and getting people to understand what’s happening very easily, even for people that aren’t into the crypto space yet, but are kind of, you know, like, we’d like to say crypto curious. And they’re starting to dive in, we wanted it to be simple. And inherently the market is our market in this space is very community driven. And a lot of these projects that, you know, especially in the all coin, they’re very, it’s kind of tribal, and people out there posting and they’re talking about what’s happening in the community. And, you know, we capture that, you know, and we’re looking at across the entire market, we’re looking at things like Twitter, Reddit, any sort of news URL that’s out there any link and we’re pulling all that together, and so your You’re really feeling what’s happening in real time when you’re when you’re on our site and you’re in your understanding, not just Bitcoin but everything else and what the community is saying at this exact moment. And so it’s a really amazing kind of feeling to get out there and really kind of see the heart and the pulse of the market. And I think it’s what people have kind of been waiting for it for a while.

Rob McNealy 4:21
Well, I agree with that. And not only do you have like, you know, normal, you know, statistics about and, you know, measurements about what a coin might be doing from a price perspective and things like that. But you’re pulling in all these measurements about in metrics about what the community is saying almost like sentiment and engagement, that kind of monitoring and And to me, that’s pretty fascinating. What what what made you think to do that, no one else is doing it that I’m seeing out there. So yeah, why go there?

Joe Vezzani – Lunar Crush 4:54
Well, you know, we look at when you look at kind of the stock markets, and you look at equities, and you Look at what drives value and the prices of these of these things. It’s it’s really earnings. You know, obviously there’s speculative, you know, you can look at Tesla and what’s happening right now. And, you know, as we record this February 4 2020, it’s kind of parabolic right now, and it’s moving. And that’s, that’s speculation, and it’s, it’s about the future growth of that company. And that’s what’s driving the value. And, but when you’re looking at the broader when we’re talking stock market, its earnings. I mean, it’s literally earnings beats over time is really what pushes these stocks up over time. And that’s why those big companies are so focused on that, where crypto is, is not like that. Its supply and demand driven. What is the social discourse that’s happening? Who’s talking about it? How are the communities being grown, it’s very different. And so you know, when we’re, we wanted to look at what the community is saying we wanted to see it in real time, and we wanted to put it, you know, over time, and you kind of see it on our site as more of a graphical time series representation and so you’re really seen it One place, you know, how is how did the, you know, the tehsils community do over the last two months? Is it growing? Is it shrinking? You know, when you’re looking at maybe some projects that are a little bit smaller that are up and coming, and you get a tip from a friend and you’re like, hey, check this project out, you know, you’re going to know real fast, whether or not that’s kind of a viable project? Or is it kind of the beginning or the end of it? By looking at our site?

Rob McNealy 6:24
So how did you come up with some of these algorithms are the best guests or did you benchmark against something? Because you got some interesting, you know, analysis that you have that, you know, these algorithms that are built into it? Where did that come from?

Joe Vezzani – Lunar Crush 6:38
Which ones are you talking about specifically?

Rob McNealy 6:42
I don’t have it up in front of me now. See, now you’re catching me off guard. I’m gonna have to like look it up. Like…

Joe Vezzani – Lunar Crush 6:48
Like, so we have a couple of proprietary metrics that we’ve designed. One’s called the galaxy score, and the other one’s called vault rank.

Rob McNealy 6:54
That’s it right there. See you called it that was the one I didn’t know the name of it. So yes, that’s The Galaxy score that was it was on the top of my, my, my tongue there.

Joe Vezzani – Lunar Crush 7:05
Yeah, we’ve got a very space themed over here. But so galaxy score I can start with first and, you know, we wanted to kind of create a metric and it’s it’s a real time metric and we’re looking at things that are coming in constantly we’re not, you know, we’re not Moody’s you know, or s&p out here and saying that, you know, it’s a by rating or, you know, it’s a, you know, from a B to A B plus, or whatever it is, and, you know, over the next couple of months, this is what’s going to happen, we, you know, crypto moves too quick for that. And so, with galaxy score, we’re looking at each individual project, and we’re looking at it’s a performance against itself over time. And so we’re looking at things like we’re doing some technical analysis and some price, you know, analysis on each project, but then we’re also incorporating that projects community and the social that has happened around that project and how quickly it’s happening. And so, galaxy score, you know, like, I like to say it’s kind of like coffee. More advanced traders only where, you know, that’s going to move pretty rapidly. And so we’ve got people like, you know, bot traders, and we’ve got, you know, professional traders and people that are using that to look in real time at what’s happening. And so it’s, you know, zero to 100 score and you know, 100 would be the best. And so it means that there’s a lot of kind of social that’s happening at that moment, along with Bryce. And then the other one is called alt rank. And so alt rank is looking at a project’s performance against the rest of the market. And so it’s ranking everything from a one to you know, I think, right now, we’ve got about 1700 that we’re looking at across the entire market. And so we’re pulling in and saying, hey, what is, you know, a theory of price versus something like Bitcoin over time? And is it beating that is it losing against that? And then what is the kind of the social that’s happening at the same time, and so when you kind of put all that in correlate it together, you really get this kind of cool understanding of the market and so at any given time, time if you’re looking at lunar crash and you go to our markets page, and you’re seeing things, you know, ranked one to 25 that means that something’s happening right now. Prices moving, socialist moving, things are happening, volume is high market volume is high. And it’s somewhere as a trader or someone that’s looking at the market, you should really be paying attention to that.

Rob McNealy 9:18
So I’m looking at the you know, I’m bias. I’m looking at the Tusk page on lunar crash. So my Galaxy score for our project went down since yesterday. It was in the 50s yesterday, which said neutral but now it’s down and it says bearish. So what did we do that went from neutral yesterday to bearish today on the galaxy’s score for task.

Joe Vezzani – Lunar Crush 9:38
I’m not looking at it right here. But, you know, my guess would be that, you know, if there was a decline in market volume, or if there was a decline in price, correlated with also some social volume that’s going down then, at least at this moment, you know, in the galaxy scores updating continuously, that it’s a little bit lower now. You know, if there’s some buys that come through at the Some social action that happens if things start to kind of move, that galaxy score is going to jump pretty quickly. And so, you know, a move from something like in the 40s to something in the 80s, per se is gonna, that should be a blip on the radar to say that something’s happening with with Tusk.

Rob McNealy 10:15
Gotcha. So and I know, we didn’t have any volume yesterday, because we’re still new, and we’re only on one exchange, and, but I’m just curious on how, you know, I’m looking at my own stuff. So, but are all drank here says we’re 864 out of 2046. So, it’s got a little trophy thing, what does that mean?

Joe Vezzani – Lunar Crush 10:33
So 864 I mean, you know, again, this is this is looking at test performance against Bitcoin. So if it’s underperforming against something like Bitcoin, and then also, you know, maybe social volume or social engagement is is lower than the alt rank is going to kind of rank there but, you know, hey, 864 to 2000 you know, you’re still better than than 50%. But, you know, if if test starts to outperform bit coin and there starts to be some social that’s happening in real time, then you would see that rank move up really quickly. And, you know, I just want to caveat that we also put we as also assign an alt rank to Bitcoin. And the way that you could kind of look at that, look at that is if Bitcoin is rallying and is the number one all coin, our alt rank and lunar garage, it means that you know, you you might want to be in Bitcoin right now, because there’s rally happening, things are moving.

Rob McNealy 11:27
So there’s another section that says about the task. It’s over on the right side where it’s about the Messari. The Messari section, sorry.

Joe Vezzani – Lunar Crush 11:39
Yep.

Rob McNealy 11:40
So with is that section, we don’t have anything there. How would I get stuff there?

Joe Vezzani – Lunar Crush 11:44
So we, you know, we’re focused at Luna crush on all the social and the real time data, and then we’re partnering and we utilize miscarries data for some of the more about section I think mizar does an amazing job of kind of aggregating kind of the you know, more long Form kind of project oriented data around the why and what’s happening. And so, you know, they we pull in some of their data to kind of showcase on our site, if people want to kind of dive more into the, you know, who are the some of the founders of the project, you know, what is the, you know, what’s the blockchain? Like? What’s the out of their algorithm? Like, how is it working? And so they’re, they’re kind of focused on that. And so we pull in the data from there to, to kind of showcase on our site because they do such a good job.

Rob McNealy 12:27
So we need to get on their radar, if we want that box filled. So it also says here that our social sentiment is 60% of 3.3%, then bullish, so that’s a good thing right? Under the alt right box.

Joe Vezzani – Lunar Crush 12:43
Social sentiment, you’re saying?

Rob McNealy 12:45
Yeah, that’s right under the alt rank box,

Joe Vezzani – Lunar Crush 12:48
Yep. Yep. So social sentiment, anything that is, you know, probably over 50%, we start to kind of categorize as more of a bullish and so we’re looking at some of the some of the data that’s out there, and You know, we’ve actually trained our own machine learning to look at, specifically crypto language out there in the web. And so, you know, when people talk about different projects in our space, you know, they, they speak about it differently, you know, when someone says, whether they’re right or wrong, that you know, monero is going to the moon. That’s a bullish sentiment. But, you know, a traditionally trained library is not going to pick that up. And so we’ve actually gone in and as the data comes in, we’re training it and we’re looking at it specifically and kind of hand tailoring all the data to understand, you know, what is the sentiment across some of this?

Rob McNealy 13:37
So it’s not just hashtags, you’re looking at the whole key words and different terms and how they’re used in conjunction with other maybe adjectives or things like that.

Joe Vezzani – Lunar Crush 13:47
Yeah, I mean, we’re looking at you know, any news that’s out there or any, any social that’s out there, and if there’s links that are posted within that, we’re kind of going in spidering that and looking at the different articles and trying to figure out, you know, was this was this meant to be Something that was a more positive or more as more of a negative occurrence.

Rob McNealy 14:05
So where do you see this would apply to other assets? Perhaps even like So you mentioned earlier with like Tesla, it seems like it’d be really interesting now to see some of the sentiment around Tesla, because everybody seems to be phone via phone going around it right now. Do you think this would apply in the same way to traditional assets like that?

Joe Vezzani – Lunar Crush 14:26
Man, I mean, the FOMO is so high in Tesla, I don’t think you even need ludicrous to identify the sentiment on that one. But yes, I mean, in in a short answer would be that, yes, absolutely. We can take in and pull in kind of traditional asset classes and look at it, our focus has, you know, we’re passionate about the crypto space and we want it to grow and we’re very focused on it. And so our, you know, our roadmap right now, at least for the foreseeable future is focused on cryptocurrency and we want to see this space grow and we want to see the you know, the people and the projects and the company’s growing So we’re completely focused on growing and, and maintain our space here.

Rob McNealy 15:05
So how are you guys funded? How did you guys? Are you bootstrapping this? Or did you get some VC money?

Joe Vezzani – Lunar Crush 15:11
We we originally bootstrapped this thing from the beginning. You know, we were, you know, like, like anyone else you want to build something from scratch and you want it, want it to be yours, and so we bootstrapped it. We did. In 2019. We joined a tech stars program, so I’m not sure if any of your listeners know but tech stars is, you know, one of the you know, best accelerator startup accelerator.

Rob McNealy 15:36
David Cohen.

Joe Vezzani – Lunar Crush 15:37
Yep, absolutely. Yeah. So tech stars. We joined the LA program here and did that from July to October. And then we have, you know, some other some other partnerships with some local venture capitalists here in in Los Angeles. One is Draper Goran home. So they just founded new venture firm called Jake record home, which is Tim Draper, along Goran and Joseph home here who are kind of local, well known kind of entrepreneurs in the blockchain space.

Rob McNealy 16:11
So what is your revenue model? How you gonna make money with this?

Joe Vezzani – Lunar Crush 16:16
Well, right now we’re just growing our business and getting as many people to use it as humanly possible. We’re focused on user growth and and getting this out to the community. Right now. It’s free to get into lunar crash login and kind of see what’s happening on there. We also have an API and and we’re very shortly going to be coming out with a real time API. So anyone that’s, you know, a traitor, anyone that’s a little bit more advanced quant funds that are out there. We’re excited to partner with them and see kind of how they want to utilize some of the data. And so we’re just trying to understand the marketplace right now and kind of be out there and see where we have the where we have the best fit.

Rob McNealy 16:55
I think that’s really good, the way you’re kind of pulling the data together in a very visual way. And I think with crypto, that’s been such a problem. And I think it’s, I think it’s part of the the fact that so much of crypto is just developer LED and which is, you know, a hardcore command line kind of community, right. And so I think a lot of these guys out there and what as far as the developers go, they just don’t really think of UI and graphical user interfaces of things that important sometimes, or at least they, you know, underscore or plug down play. You know how important that is. But the one thing that I like what you’re doing, because I’m a very visual person, but visual representations of data can present patterns, that in trends that you cannot see with just normal tablature type of data scenarios. And I think that’s why you’re going to be successful with this because you’re lightyears ahead on your UI UX, compared to anything else that I’m seeing in crypto right now. And I’m excited It about where this is going. Because to me, this is how you get to adoption in because you’re recognizing, at least it seems like you’re recognizing how the design element is important here.

Joe Vezzani – Lunar Crush 18:12
Appreciate that, yeah, we spend a lot of time and, you know, a lot of thought and strategy and, you know, just going through and trying to put ourselves in our users shoes. And, you know, we, you know, I think it’s like when we went to one of those kind of first block stack summits at like, the Computer History Museum a couple years ago, and, you know, we were looking around at some of the different projects and we just kind of said to ourselves, it was like, you know, we need to focus on design and we need to focus on usability. You know, and it’s such a, you know, a slight usability change in any industry can have a profound effect. You know, look at look at Uber, you know, taxis existed, and, you know, people didn’t take them and it was because they didn’t want to call didn’t know who to call, they didn’t want to pay, they didn’t have cash. And so they felt bad to get into a cab and not pay and they get yelled at. And, you know, the simple, you know, design change of, you know, now I just put my credit card in and it shows up and I can, it’s really cool, I see it coming on this little map. That’s a, that’s an extremely, you know, amazing design disruption. And it’s simple. And so I think with the crypto, it’s the same thing where, you know, you’ve got these, these blockchains, and you’ve got these projects out there. And, you know, I think coin base has done an amazing job, you know, kind of building that first kind of use use case out and that on ramp that she had on ramp especially in the US. And now it’s kind of opening the door to these other tools that are out there and getting people deeper. And now it’s not just a professional trader that’s going to be on here. It’s going to be people that are a little bit more novice that don’t want to be intimidated. And so if you’re not focused on you know, helping people understand very simply how some of this stuff works, then it’s Not gonna it’s not going to work. And, you know, even when we originally started, it was, you know, we had 40 different charts on a page. And it was, you know, infinite scroll, and it just kept going and going, and it wasn’t working. And it’s not until you kind of simplify things and make it make it easy it is to where people start actually using it and understanding.

Rob McNealy 20:19
Well, it’s kind of funny the way even web design has changed over the past, you know, five years, 10 years ago, you’re trying to keep everything above the fold. And then I don’t know what happened because I stopped doing web development A long time ago, and then all of a sudden, now everything’s infinite scroll. And I’m like, didn’t we try to keep everything above the fold for a reason where people didn’t have to scroll for usability. So I don’t know what changed there. But it seems to me that usability is still important and you want to make people have to work the least amount when they’re using your site to get around. And I think you do that and I really do like the fact that you spent so much time in design and I think that is going to make this very Very useful. And it can’t believe that, you know, some of the big players as far as the trackers go, how awful their UI czar or how primitive they are. From the design standpoint, considering how much some of these trackers are bringing in revenue, you think they could bring in some design folks and fix that, but maybe they need to bring you in to fix it for them. Joe, where can people find out more about your project?

Joe Vezzani – Lunar Crush 21:28
Linda crush calm is the easiest way. You can also find us on Twitter, we’re really active on Twitter. It’s just at Luna crush. We’re posting you know, all sorts of insights all day, we have a coin of the day that we post on each day. And that’s kind of our way to get people in and get people understanding the data for free. So that I would say go to Luna crush calm or just follow us at at Luna crush.

Rob McNealy 21:52
So thank you so much. And I do appreciate you coming on the show today. And I wish you all the luck in the future.

Joe Vezzani – Lunar Crush 21:58
And thank you my man. Appreciate it.

Episode Links

Audio Interview
Video Interview
Interview Transcript

Michael Hiles – CEO of 10XTS Transcript

Michael Hiles - 10xts

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

Rob McNealy
Okay, I am excited today. So today I’m talking to Michael Hiles. He is the CEO of 10XTS, which is a company out of Ohio that is in the regulatory FinTech space. And he’s also a second amendment guy. So I’ve been real excited to want to get on the show here so we can talk about some things. So, Michael, how are you today? Hey, how are you?

Michael Hiles – 10XTS
Thanks for having me.

Rob McNealy
Oh, well, I appreciate it. You know, it’s funny when we were kind of connecting on this, I thought it was interesting that you and I have been connected on social media going back to 2011 at this point. So you and I are both old school social media guys way before crypto even existed. And I think that’s kind of cool.

Michael Hiles – 10XTS
Yes, sir. I actually predate the internet. I ran like bulletin boards on dial up modems, some old old dude here. So

Rob McNealy
I wasn’t I didn’t I wasn’t fortunate enough because I didn’t have family that was very technologically savvy. So I didn’t really get into computers much in any way till I was probably in college. Back in the 90s. So yeah, I wasn’t fortunate enough to have exposure to computers at a young age. So I really wish I did at this point, because, you know, I ended up in this space and using it my whole life, but it’s kind of interesting. You know, I’m here now. So that’s all.

Michael Hiles – 10XTS
I was blessed. I got so lucky. My dad worked in sales for a software company in the 70s. So in 79, I started programming on mainframes. I was literally that kid. I was like eight years old.

Rob McNealy
You and Bill Gates,

Michael Hiles – 10XTS
Mmm, yeah, but I don’t have Bill Gates his balance sheet. I made some bad decisions somewhere.

Rob McNealy
I think I think that’s the you didn’t pick the right parents, I think.

Michael Hiles – 10XTS
Yeah, I hear you. So, so.

Rob McNealy
Well, good. Well, good. Tell me about 10XTS. Yes. What do you What are you doing?

Michael Hiles – 10XTS
So, 10XTS is a startup early stage tech company is kind of the product of my background. round my career progression, having been a tech guy my whole life and then seeing the emergence of the technology and from the nascent you know, hobbyist phase like all tech does into, like the enterprise usefulness, that hey, there’s something here I knew, you know, Bitcoin payments, those are all early stage use cases, you know, kind of the pioneer, but being an information architect and a data guy, I recognize the usefulness of being able to use the underlying technology for things like, you know, record keeping notary, you know, other functions that right now require intermediaries and third parties to, you know, give you an assertion that somebody is presenting a claim or a proof and you’ve got some way to validate that from a record standpoint. So my team back before 10 x Ts in the early 2000s we won a Smithsonian laureate award when they were still giving those out for being the first to connect a judicial management system, a case search system, like you go to your county clerk of courts. And we got an award for being the first to connect an old school legacy court clerk system to the web. So being able to go to a browser and do a search. And so I’ve worked with public record for a big chunk of my career and understand the nuances of the workflow of data getting onto the blockchain, which is probably as or more important than the data on the blockchain. So tenex ts really, you know, fast forward. Yeah, we recognize the opportunity to not necessarily be the blockchain, but to be the record keepers that connect real world documents and data to the blockchain for single source of truth efficacy of the data model. So little bit different approach them I’m a crypto guy in the sense that I love cryptocurrency and the emergence and evolution of technology, but we see ways to then, you know, build on top of that core underlying promise. How do we go in? And how do we bring capital efficiency in particular, because our underlying vision is economic inclusion, you know, rising tide lifts all boats. And I think if we can solve a few problems related to that across our population, we can start to break down some of these social barriers and some of these political barriers that has everybody literally ready to, you know, start throwing fast rocks at people from the tree tops, and that’s not going to be the solution.

Rob McNealy
Well, I agree with you. And I think it’s interesting out there, at least in the social media world, when you’re talking about crypto and blockchain kind of things, that people on the left, and I’m not a writer either, but the people on the left seem to be really adamantly opposed to anything that decentralizes yet they still complain that the political process is really corrupt. And so to me, it’s really confusing to me Ultimately why certain that certain kind of politically it’s it’s weird because it comes down to I think that ultimately certain individuals do want the control of government over certain things they absolutely want to control you. And when you say we want to cut government out of this to get get rid of political corruption and corporate corruption, they can’t understand the connection between the two. And they don’t understand the fact that technology can enslave or liberate depending on who’s running it and who, how its applied. And, you know, it’s interesting, I thought of all things that the people on the left would be the ones that would embrace this type of technology that is decentralization, enabling and what..

Michael Hiles – 10XTS
I don’t understand it, I you know, I, so I’m in Ohio 8 district so I’m fortunate to have congressman Warren Davidson is my congressman. And so Warren has led some of the charge in DC with the finance Services Committee. And in fact, I’ve been to DC I’ve, you know, testified and participated in congressional roundtable from a policy standpoint on all of this. And, you know, David and I, we’ve talked back and forth about, you know, just the function of automating government, you know, the blockchain out of it, but just, you know, how do you automate things that are human powered processes today? In the past, I’ve had left elected officials, Democrats Tell me, because I actually talked to them, you know, like, I’m not like so polarizing. It’s like, gosh, I probably got as many democrat friends as a Republican friends, it’s like, but in terms of the discussion around the function of government, I’ve had elected officials tell me in the past that government as a social function employs a segment of the population that would deem to be otherwise functionally unemployable. I don’t know if that’s true. I mean, I get it, it’s like, well, if you’re going to give them things, at least make them productive in some capacity from a community standpoint. Now, I don’t know if other of my many government employee friends would agree with that. But I’m sure you know, they would be fairly incensed by it. Because I know on the other side of the equation, PhDs and really brilliant people that are also part of the government and work for the government or have government contracts. And so I don’t know what that dividing line is. Rob, I really don’t. It’s certainly interesting when it comes really down to transparency. I think that’s the big threshold of well, we can get away with things the way it works. Now. We won’t necessarily be able to do that if we’re subject to some other reporting and transparency regime.

Rob McNealy
I think people are very libertarian, when it comes to themselves, and very statist when it comes to other people.

Michael Hiles – 10XTS
Do as I say, not as I do.

Rob McNealy
Yeah, I kind of think that’s how people are. I think they’re wired that way. I think that they want the maximum amount of freedom for themselves, but they certainly want to create rules for other people. Maybe as a form of self defense. Maybe that’s why that is that way.

Michael Hiles – 10XTS
Emotional intelligence? I mean, I don’t know. I don’t know what it is safety in numbers? Fight or flight?

Rob McNealy
I don’t know cuz I, I don’t want to control other people. So honestly, I know, I don’t want the response of I don’t want the responsibility to control other people. But there’s a lot of people that do think not only that they should do that, but they’re entitled to tell other people what to do. My mother is a great example of that. She cared. Yeah, my mom would totally be a Karen totally. You know, it’s all about the rules and you know.

My parents. It’s funny because my parents, I grew up in the Detroit area, and we were, my dad was a conservative, like they were conservative. So they were huge rule followers. That was their mindset. But they also didn’t understand that a lot of the rules were designed, they didn’t see how rules screwed them. And I remember this one time, and it was one of the first times I kind of had an understanding of that maybe things aren’t always what I thought they were like when I was 10. And I remember maybe nine, and my neighbor’s dad, across the street, ran a construction company and my dad needed a load of dirt. He had a dump truck kind of thing in the neighborhood. And my dad, and I was really good friends with the sun. And my dad says, one day, you know, your buddy’s dad’s a tax cheat. And I’m like, What are you talking about? He’s like, well, he made me pay him in cash. He didn’t want me to give him a check. So he doesn’t want to pay taxes on that. I’m like, that sounds like a good deal. I was like, and I’m like, why would you want to be deck? And it was?

Michael Hiles – 10XTS
It’s call “none ya.” None ya business.

Rob McNealy
But I left it. I mean, I’m 48 this year, you know, and I’d like that left an impact on me because I saw like, Well, why should he have to pay taxes on that? Like I was just a kid, right? But my dad who was like this, basically it was a teacher. He was a he was a rule follower. He was locked in there was an employee miserable in his job. And the neighbor was self employed, had his own business. And it was just interesting to me how I remember what I remember about this. My dad was incensed by it. Like he felt it was unfair, that this other guy didn’t want to pay whatever the taxes were, or whatever, you know, and it’s interesting because I remember that to this day, and I left an impact. But I also see you know, my dad, if you ever read the book, Rich Dad, Poor Dad, my dad was the poor daughter had that mindset. It was very, this this mentality that if someone else gets ahead, they’re getting screwed in some way. And but I look back now and even then, when I was growing up, I saw that my My parents made their own decisions that made their own lives miserable. And it’s funny because even as a kid, I remember going into therapy now, but I remember as a kid, you know?

Michael Hiles – 10XTS
We’re Gen X guys, man. I mean, we’re getting to that point, right? We got to confront these things.

Rob McNealy
Dude, no, no crap. But I remember when I was a kid, like I was telling my parents when I was like, in my teens, because I was working, and I was a busboy of all things at one point, making like really good money in a high, you know, high class hotel and stuff. And I was making more money than my mom. Like literally. And I said, Mom, why are you doing this job that makes you miserable? I have security. I’m like, No, you don’t? Yes, I do know you know, you don’t have any security like a fire you tomorrow. You have no control over and I recognize that as a kid. And my and it was interesting how like it made us clash and and so when it comes back around and like, Why do certain people want to control the people and why they reject these kind of decentralized technologies. I always think back to my parents because they’re that quintessential Karen kind of person that wants to do that. And that’s like, Wow, you guys are brainwashed. That’s all I can think of. They’re just brainwashed.

Michael Hiles – 10XTS
Yeah, I mean, it’s a tough thing when you live your whole life with filters and predispositions and social norms. And, you know, it blows my mind though, because and I, you know, I don’t want to get off on the tangent from a boomer versus younger people thing. But you’ve got folks that are like, counterculture in like, the hippie generation, like, we want to change this, we want to construct a new, you know, way of doing things, which Alright, cool. You know, there were certainly problems that were carried over from before. Then now, like, what happened, guys, I mean, it’s so funny, because when I was a teenager, I saw Peter Paul and Marian concert and their very last tour. And so it was like 87 and I’m thinking, hey, it’s hippie stuff. Let’s dress up like hippies. Well, so I got tickets to this concert, not realizing it looks at Memorial Hall, which is very nice upscale, you know, venue in Cincinnati and You know, I go in there and it’s like literally all these yuppies who were, you know, in their 30s at the time, but they’ve got like their sweaters wrapped around their polo shirts. And if you remember when they drink sweaters down their backs kind of a thing and, and here we are me, my girlfriend dress like hippies and it’s like, a something happened. Come on guys. Anyway, sorry. I didn’t mean to digress off into it people.

Rob McNealy
Well, you know, what happened to the hippies is that they were born at a time where the United States was the only manufacturing power left on the planet. And anybody can throw rock and make a ton of money. So and and you know what, at that point, you know, people like well, I really liked the Mad Men house and I really liked the nice cars and having two cars and, and I think that’s what happened ultimately, is that, you know, life was life was pretty good. Let’s just put in perspective, life was pretty good. And they grew up in a time where you didn’t have to even go to college to make good money, and you didn’t even have to Have a college loan and you could still, you know, because there wasn’t student loans like there are now that you could afford to pay for college and not come out as come out of college with no debt and work your way through. They can’t do that anymore. And, and so I think that, you know, they were launched just from the facet of when they were born, they were able to grow up in their young as young adults in a time when the United States very prosperous and, and I definitely think that skewed their vision and I think that’s also the opposite of what’s I think it’s the same opposite effect happening now millennials and Gen Xers. I mean, I was caught in student loan prep, too, because I was given bad advice from boomers. You know, just invest in any major regardless, you’ll it’ll pay off and, you know, you’ll make 10 times the amount of money that you invest in, like, that’s worship. But you know, you learn, live and learn, but I think that definitely is, you know, made some impacts in society on how we’re viewing these kind of things.

Michael Hiles – 10XTS
Yeah. Then I did the inevitable. This is what I look at as an entrepreneur. I’m looking down the road You know, from CEO and my crystal ball lens of having several decades of technology experience and multiple, you know, product life cycles and technology cycles and saying, okay, that regardless of what happens, my entire career was built on how do I make things more efficient? How do I create tools? And how do I, you know, deconstruct the silos that drove power bases inside of corporate organizations, for example, you know, when you look at the baby boomer way of management and operation, you bring up Mad Men, all human powered political process. I call that fixed overhead. And so if you want to be relevant in the current market place, as technology people, and I’ve always viewed technology shifts as the opportunity to do a couple of different things first, you can certainly go in and be the Absolute disrupter be Jeff Bezos right? I mean, be the guy. Of course it fully the magnitude of the disruption didn’t fully materialize for a couple decades for Amazon. But you know, His goal was to just go and slaughter it. Hence the saying your margin is my opportunity. The other side of the coin as well, there’s already entrenched channel partners and people that are in these industries. Will they pay you to catch the wave and become more efficient, more competitive, without you having to become that business? I don’t have to be Whole Foods and be in the grocery business to go and help say Kroger be more efficient. They’re already in the grocery business. I don’t start a new grocery. And so back to the crypto space is one of the things that we’ve looked at. From a blockchain standpoint. Well, you know, we’re good. We’re experts in the technology, software and data. How do we then identify the opportunities to go to existing markets, whereas a lot of people are saying, Oh, no, we want to be Come on broker dealer, we want to become an exchange. I’m like, heck with that, you know, that comes with a lot of regulatory overhead responsibility, compliance things that, you know, that’s not what we do. Right? We could, but I would rather be the guy that says, I’m the expert at the tool. I know your problem, probably better than you know, your problem at the technology level. So you go out there and you’d be the bank, you go out there, you be the broker dealer, but recognize that your model is going to have to shift in order to stay competitive in the marketplace. Because if you don’t buy my stuff, your competitors going to, and it’s just a function of knocking on doors, and it’s a numbers game for me and for my company, to go out and find the use cases that are going to onboard and say, Yep, I get it. I get what you’re trying to do. This is a cost cutting measure opens up new markets.

Rob McNealy
Well, I definitely think that blockchain technology has a lot of interesting uses in business. And I definitely think that you can gain some really interesting efficiencies with blockchain technology that maybe smaller to mid tier companies could use them to take some of that market share away from the big entrenched holders. I’m sorry, you know, companies that are in that space, because the bigger the company, the less risk adverse they are, you know, you know, you know, GM, and you see how it is right now, right, GM and all these companies now are deciding they’re going to go into electric vehicles, like a decade after Elon Musk decided to start, you know, do the innovation and now they’re like, okay, there’s a market. We’re going to go in there and try to crush it now. But I think that this, these technologies, whether it’s just for payments with blockchain stuff, I think there’s amazing opportunity now that business people are starting to look at it. I think what was happening before is that most of these crypto projects were led not even by entrepreneurs, but just straight developers that maybe never even ran like their own business before. But they had an interesting idea of how technology could evolve. They created it but they didn’t really understand how to actually get people to use it. Get it out there absolutely adoption standpoint?

Michael Hiles – 10XTS
Yep, absolutely. I mean, you look at the fact that the iPhone was released a year before the white which is basically around the same time as Bitcoin white paper came out and look at the contrast and adoption between, you know, the first smartphone versus this really nascent weird hobbyist technology that involves all these layers tantamount to you know, having to fire up your modem and change your dialing string and get your command line interpreter to telnet and you know, some other computer network. And then you look at the that transition that inflection point of well, when AOL started putting out CD ROM installers with an awesome user interface in every shrink wrap, plastic bag, partnership deal. You know, they could Steve Case could possibly go and sign up at the time right now, and pushing out millions and millions and millions of this really awesome user experience. So that’s where I think that a lot of the disconnect is at for really any technology but in you know, particularly adoption of blockchain cryptocurrency technologies, nobody wants to see how the sausage is made, just bring me a plate of bratwurst right, I’m ready to eat it. And I think that’s where the technologists get so enamored with their own, you know, source code and their GitHub repos that, you know, they forget that the average person can’t even change the windows settings of their, you know, basic visual device on their laptop, right? We’re not that far along, guys, after all these years.

Rob McNealy
Well, well, I can tell a lot because you know, and I love developers, don’t get me wrong. I’m not anti developer. They just have a very different set of skills and a different view.

Michael Hiles – 10XTS
Oh, of course. Yeah. I lead a bad merry band of developers, you know, I mean, I am a developer. So it’s really interesting. You know, I like in work in development, working with developers as really like managing a rock band. Right. So it really is. It’s the parallels are so you know, you got it somewhere between being your psychologist and, you know, the communicator, the spouse, dad when it’s necessary. It’s this weird dynamic to get true r&d developers, people that know how to create something out of nothing, because it’s all function of motivation. Right is how do I get Stephen King to go into his dungeon and come out with the next best seller? Right? And that’s, that’s really how do you guide that as a CEO of a tech company as it gets interesting.

Rob McNealy
But to use your analogy, right, there is no, no person in their right mind would let the band determine the marketing and promotion strategy for their album either.

Michael Hiles – 10XTS
No, no, no, they have no idea. They’re out there on the street corner, just, you know, doing the, you know, minstrel for free with the hat, you know?

Rob McNealy
Busking in busking in the subway. Right?

Michael Hiles – 10XTS
Exactly.

Rob McNealy
And so that and that’s part of the problem with a lot of developers and engineers. This is just an engineering mindset. I’ve worked in a lot of engineering companies, big companies, and this is pretty consistent is that the build that they will come mindset? Is what it comes down to. And unfortunately build it, they will come doesn’t usually work. That’s right. It’s a myth. And, and it doesn’t matter if you have the best technology. Doesn’t it med the best marketing technologies are the ones that win. And what that means is, even if you have the best technology, if you don’t have a way in a strategy to put that solution in the hands of the people that it solves their problem, it doesn’t matter. It’s not going to get adopted. And and it’s funny because I’ll have this discussion with engineers and a lot of them. They think they’re smarter than everybody else. And that’s okay, because they need to be smart. But if I said, an engineer has to have a certain skill set and intelligence level, and it’s a trained career path, that they’re professional, they would all agree with that. But then I said, you know salespeople and marketers are also a skill set that go through training and experience. Absolutely. And it’s like no, no, that doesn’t matter. Anybody can market I’m like, that’s horseshit. That’s absolutely nonsense.

Michael Hiles – 10XTS
The disconnect that I’ve identified is this magical little thing called empathy. Right? It’s like engineers a very rational construct logic, a plus b equals C. And as we know, human beings are also very emotional. And we all share 11 of the same emotions. And you’ve got the, you know, want to be Spock engineers over here. Well, that just doesn’t make sense. So like, Well, of course, it doesn’t make sense because people don’t make decisions particularly make decisions to buy things based on making sense. No, they’re going to absolutely make an emotional decision. And then when the logic comes into play, it is rationalizing their emotional decision and supporting their confirmation bias that we all have to a massive degree. The older I get, the more I realized that, you know, Hey, you know what I thought about the world. I don’t I’m not the smartest guy in the room. In fact, as a CEO, that’s my mantra is I want to be the dumbest guy. And I want to surround myself by awesome people that are hell smarter than I am. Right? And then how do you be the manager of the band and get them to work together and get over their petty bullshit, because when teams on stage and they’re jamming it out, and you got 70,000 people in the stadium audience cheering, and here’s my money, take my money. That’s when you know that things are actually working out. That’s, that’s my metric.

Rob McNealy
Yeah, I agree. And I can always tell when a developer is in over their head when it comes to understanding how to promote their solution or their project is one. I’ll use the Linux analogy, and they’ll say, look, Linux is great. It’s an amazing software. It’s open source. It’s kind of decentralized in a lot of ways, but Linux never made Any market share never got market share on desktop. And Linux servers, which are amazing, are still are very niche because the only people that care about them are developers. So, so so Linux is never like I’ve had developers literally Michael, tell me that Linux is mass adopted. And I’m like out of your minds, you’re absolutely out of your mind.

Michael Hiles – 10XTS
I mean, you can argue that because it’s embedded in the bowels of the apple lap, you know, the Apple device that, you know, the core OS is a Linux variant. So they’re technically not wrong, but they’re not wrong for all the wrong reasons.

Rob McNealy
Well, you know, I think the I think the block chains that win are going to be the same way no one the average person on the street and by the way, I spend my time as an entrepreneur talking to potential customers, before I ever decide to build a business or code a project now, and and to me, you should have a customer first and then build the solution for that individual customer. That’s how you build a business at least my 20 years of being out entrepreneur, that’s what I’ve come up with at least. And the customers in the world right now do not care about the centralization. And so if your big thing in development is decentralization, most people don’t give a shit about it. People want their problem solved. And if decentralization solves that problem, they still don’t care how the problem is solved. They just want it solved. And and I think that’s where a lot of people miss out. And they don’t understand that. I think a lot of developing lead crypto product teams are out there. And they’re trying to basically want to educate you on why you should be mad and only like decentralization. And I’m like, that doesn’t make any sense because I don’t care. It’s like, you’re not going to get anywhere with that kind of methodology of marketing come up with a solution that makes sense for them and just make it work in the background.

Michael Hiles – 10XTS
That’s right. That’s right. Yeah, I mean, the problem I found that the furthest throughout it, particularly as an entrepreneur, and this is where you cross over into the VC world where you know, who’s crystal ball and what’s the what’s the time horizon of the crystal ball that you’re looking at in terms of market emergence and development, right? You have to sort of be at that point, which means and what’s the old saying that if Henry Ford would have been completely customer lead, that they would ask him for a faster horse or something to that particular effect. And I think that there’s, there’s an interesting balance in technology cycles. As I’ve studied in my whole career right now, I’ve been front and center watching the emergence of, you know, every technology literally since the mainframe, and seeing how it goes from the hobbyist. And, you know, really the guy that wrote the book on its Geoffrey Moore, I don’t know if you ever read Crossing the Chasm, Geoffrey Moore, but I don’t know. I know. I haven’t read it. It’s an amazing read. And if you’re into technology into technology markets and understanding technology businesses, it really is the Zay of the bell curve of the adoption cycle for the stuff. And where do you hit that inflection point, timing the money timing the product, being able to To hit the ground running, that’s our big gamble as entrepreneurs is like, I know all my ideas are good, right? I know that there’s market. It’s a function of living and surviving until you hit that inflection point, right? The cash burn is the cash burn. So, can you stay ahead of the cash burn? Don’t run out of money, right? And then if you’re right there, when the lightning is ready to strike, bam, you know, there comes the bolt. And you know, that’s where the it really is a lightning strike function for a unicorn billion dollar tech company.

Rob McNealy
Well, I think that’s where the entrepreneurs come in. And I and I really think that entrepreneurs are able to see all the pieces like that and but still be able to jump down into the details and the nitty gritty stuff. And I think timing is a hugely important and that’s one factor. We don’t control necessarily when something is ready. But to understand that timing and being able to mitigate the risk and say, Look, I you know, You’re Henry Ford example about trying to listen to, you know, customers and say they’ve come up with a better horse. Well, I think the reality is he’s not right or not wrong there. And I think this is why is that a good entrepreneur can see, okay, I see this new technology, but how to apply that technology to solving a problem. And then figuring out, again, goes back to market segmentation, and then strategy for you know, putting that solution in front of those people. You know, Steve Jobs was amazing at this, like he understood that there was this friction with music distribution, and technology could solve that. Right now, a lot of people went out sit there and complain, oh, a lot, I think in a modern example of music as people would like, I would like, you know, ice cream trucks to have music records going around streets. That would be maybe what people would say would be easier than thinking in terms of digitizing music and distributing music a different way. And I think you’re right. A good entrepreneur, though, will solve that and figure out that thing and tell people look, yeah, your idea might work. But I got a better solution for that problem. And that’s this way, this is the solution. And that’s why i think that i think crypto so far in a lot of ways has been held back by the fact that you haven’t you don’t really have enough entrepreneurs involved with these projects yet. And it’s changing. It’s changed a lot just in the last two years. But so much of it right now has been led by developers who are build it and they will come and I think that that’s changing and..

Michael Hiles – 10XTS
Well the definitely don’t know securities laws because unfortunately fun funding and financing a project on a purely decentralized basis and how it was funded, it certainly run afoul of the regulatory regime and you know, that’s why we just filed a Delaware C Corp and sold equity. Like everybody else’s like guys see how it goes. We’ll get there.

Rob McNealy
Well, it wasn’t that complicated to sort out like when we launched right after the height of the bull run in 2018. Everybody told just do an Ico you can raise money. Money. And that’s why we looked at doing a token project is that we were interested ourselves personally, of doing a startup and we wanted to learn what the Ico process was about. That’s why we were looking at that. And then when we said, hey, let’s launch a project, and we were originally gonna do an Ico because I had an idea for another business. And I thought, wow, as an entrepreneur, the idea that you could raise a whole lot of money. You don’t have to go through VCs and you don’t give away equity as an entrepreneur like hell. Yeah, that’s amazing, right? But through our diligence process realized we realized pretty quick that that’s that’s got to be illegal. What I said, Where did I go? There’s no way we can do this. And we still had lawyers, I was coming and this is ridiculous. I’m not a lawyer, but I worked for a lot of lawyers and my day job. And I was talking to lawyers and like I tell utility took I go, where does the where does the SEC recognize the term utility token they don’t, that’s not even a term that’s just made up. And that’s why we launched Originally the way we did so we’re not a security but it’s interesting like pretty much every IC on the United States was in security. And you and I were talking a little bit about that online about, you know, the securities and the Icos and and where that is right now, what do you think’s going to happen with the Ico world? I mean, going forward, it’s amazing idea that you can raise money this way. But I also think there’s a lot of problems with that, which.

Michael Hiles – 10XTS
There really is, and I’ve been fairly prolific about my opinions. And, you know, it’s created a bit of a barrier between me and the traditional anarcho capitalist crypto guys, because they’re all about, you know, all the way up to and including, you know, disrupting government. You know, they see government as an quote unquote, intermediary, I don’t know that I agree with them. And I don’t want to go there necessarily in this conversation, but, you know, in terms of needing new laws that define things that don’t need be find is problematic. We don’t need To change securities laws, the United States of America already recognizes literally a jelly doughnut as an investment contract based on the way I sell it to you, if I promise you a rate of return, that if you buy this jelly doughnut from me today for 100 bucks and a week from now you can sell it for 1000 get in on it now. FOMO, right, that that, in that instance, created a de facto security that’s a problem for people out there on YouTube with you know, their unregistered broker dealer status of pimping a particular quote unquote, opportunity. Right. And that’s where the SEC very adamant and I agree with it, because when you remove particularly in finance, a certain amount of regulation, the bad actors immediately move in. Yes, he doesn’t care, right. The only thing they care about is protecting the actual individual from fraud and inflammation disparity is what creates fraud. And you know, that that’s the reason we have this robust set of rules that is transformed America’s financial market into probably the most stable equity market in the world, consistently over time. So a certain amount of that regulatory framework is certainly necessary based on case precedent and enforcement, which is driven largely by complaint, not because, you know, sec commissioners are sitting around like, hey, how do we screw with the little guys today? Right? I mean, it’s literally, it’s almost exclusively complaint driven. So I don’t know that we need to change it. And then when you look at the other side of the equation when it comes to regulatory crowdfunding, for example, that’s not been adopted since the title three jobs act of 2012. Right. I don’t even think that regulatory crowdfunding was raised a billion dollars combined since it was enacted. So.

Rob McNealy
I think My take is and having not been originally a securities guy, but when we launched two years ago, I took a deep dive and learned as much as I could about securities offerings and at the state level federal level. I took like a deep dive for six weeks and I felt very comfortable at that point of my own opinion that every Ico was illegal under US law at the time. And what I did, but I do think the the area of regulation that no one’s really talking about so much that I think actually is an impediment to adoption is the IRS treatment of cryptocurrencies as property. I think those regulations do not fit. Currently, I do believe that even if the IRS just decided to elect to treat cryptocurrency for instance, as a foreign currency I think would do a lot to speed up adoption. And I think because I think the the accounting, basically requirements that businesses and even individuals have to do What from the crypto side of things to actually use it as a buying, you know, something that’s being used for buying and selling goods and services? I believe the IRS is going to be the biggest part of it not the SEC rules.

Michael Hiles – 10XTS
Yeah, I mean, right now we pay taxes if we make a profit because we bought, you know, a Beanie Baby at a garage sale and sold it on, you know, eBay for you know, profit margin. Right. Right. We’re supposed to report that as income. It gets really complicated when you get into high volume transactional stuff. And that’s that’s really what the technology enables that the current intermediary status of the market is not prepared to handle right when we change hands for equity ownership. I have a token, for example, that represents shares of stock. There’s no such thing as a bear stock certificate, right? I mean, we, we register our names and our contact information, the DTC handles, the transferor etc. It’s got to be done through a transfer agent. There’s, you know, a very well defined process and be in that’s just simply the validation part of the market right where that trust and those trust layers have had to be abstracted out and human powered process. Once again, this guy says that the sky is a true and valid owner of the stock and he’s truly in validly, you know, transferring it selling it to this other person will write it down and keep the third party record and how the blockchain can do that, right. I mean, but the law is not there yet to support that layer of automation, and it requires somebody to hold a license for whatever reason. It’s like I laugh about custody, you know, everybody argues about custody and custody of digital assets of like, you know, wonderful lights went out. There would be no custody, right? The blockchain has the custody so you banks can go away now, do you need a license to have this particular type of an account to hold something on behalf of somebody else? Because it’s the blend of the existing, you know, laws. I don’t know. I’m not a lawyer. I get invited to lawyer conferences, but you know, it’s like this..

Rob McNealy
This, but I think that’s an interesting thing about the custody piece, right? Everybody’s like, Oh, you should just not your keys, not your crypto and the unforgiving nature, I think of crypto is also problem. And as I said, in our conference last, this last March, we hit we do an annual off chain conference, which is kind of a mix of crypto and prepping and preparedness and self defense and things like that. We’re doing the next one in February. And we talked, we talked a lot about this, because what you know, and I think it’s because the typical anarchist is broke, they don’t understand that, you know, if you take away banks, and third party, or third, you know, trusted parties that are holding your 401k funds and things like that. Now, what you’re, what you’re suggesting is people now have the equivalent of their life savings on a little device in their house. And now before you might have had a bank, supporting that with like armed guards and vaults and, you know, backup generators and all that and and now you’re saying the average person is in charge of all that stuff now to at their house. And man, that’s that’s just that’s a reach for me. I think that you know if crypto is going to be adopted, there absolutely needs to be, you know, third party custodians available, because I don’t think the average person can handle it and maybe I’m maybe I’m a jerk. But I just can’t imagine like, for instance, my Karen type mother, being able to handle like her social security, you know, on a blockchain and crypto and and I just don’t think that’s I don’t think it’s realistic to have that expectation that the average person can manage that at this point without like a big cultural and educational shift.

Michael Hiles – 10XTS
Now, I mean, it gets back to self sovereign identity, which you get a lot of people are working on that particular problem, that particular aspect of connecting to blockchain, right. How do I, how do I assert that the person who’s touching this device that’s conducting this transaction that’s going to be recorded on the blockchain? Because that’s really what I care about is how data gets To the blockchain, not what’s on the blockchain, right? So how do we assert and validate that this particular individual is actually who they say that they are? And so there’s a lot of that self sovereign trust, and how do we create those applications and identity verification? The problem that I see though, is that at scale, it gets pretty draconian pretty quick, because the real ultimate solution is, you know, binding your genome to hash value on a network something that scares the shit out of me.

Rob McNealy
Right? What could possibly could go wrong with that?

Michael Hiles – 10XTS
I saw the movie Gatica. I mean, I am I am clearly about bioethics. And, you know, this is where I, I think that we have to assert that’s true self sovereign part of the status. I don’t know what that means. I don’t know what that means in the future. I’m as equally excited for my kids as I am frightened for my kids. And that’s why I’m out for that’s why I’m trying to do what I do. At least with what I know how to With and, and, you know, hopefully we can push back against, you know, the the Karen’s of the world who want to enslave and entrap and, you know, and subjugate and and I don’t I’m not here to fight and argue over policy ever it’s just a function of, you know, can we create technology solutions to stupid human problems because we’re really only like a couple of levels above chimpanzees don’t crap at each other, you know, the trees.

Rob McNealy
I go like this, you know, I don’t you see this a lot in the crypto world and I think there’s a lot of I think there’s a lot of immaturity out there is that when people are like they cheerlead like China getting involved in embracing blockchain, I’m like, dude, you really don’t understand that a government like that embracing blockchain is going to be absolutely leverage to enslave those people. No, it’s not going to be it’s not going to be used to liberate the I mean, all right, that we got the government of Saudi Arabia, right. They’re still chopping people’s heads off publicly, right. I mean, I mean, Still, like Bronze Age kind of shit, and or like Dark Ages kind of stuff. And now you’re going to give them these tools that can, you know, I think could enslave.

Michael Hiles – 10XTS
Yeah, and the dichotomy with this is that I firmly believe the next global reserve currency will be a programmable digital currency format. Right? You’re basically saying a government accepts the risk of however long of transporting value from point A to point B, using this particular, you know, normalizing thing, you know, whether that’s conch shells, whether that’s the United States dollar or whether that’s, you know, the digital renminbi and, and it’s going to it’s going to happen and it needs to happen because, you know, the, the idea that I can actually carry money in my QuickBooks account, for example, as my actual Treasury or my wallet, that I can just simply pay vendors by transmitting not dollars, but US dollar currency. It’s through a government settlement system. Right. And we know that the US, you know, the Federal Trade. So the Fed is actually working on this, but they claim that their platform is not going to be ready until 2025. So, and I forget the name of the system. I wrote about it in my newsletter a few weeks ago, but they’ve been working on it. But now we got China piloting the digital Yuan, in a couple of provinces. They’re ahead of us, right, from a nation state standpoint. We’re so far behind in the United States. It’s frightening based on where our reserve status of currency is going to go back to France, right. There’s they’re studying it now.

Rob McNealy
Well, I do believe that at some point, the US dollar will no longer be the reserve currency and what that how that plays out for the average American I don’t think it’s going to be positive, to be honest. But, I mean, that brings us into the next phase. Right? We I think you and I both agree that technology is useful, but it can be used for good or bad. I think it’s just it’s just like any tool, right? But just like guns, right guns can be used for events, or they can be used to commit crimes. That doesn’t mean that the tool is bad. It just means that it’s better to have more guns in the hands of good people than in the bad. And I think that’s where we kind of also says, you know, you and I are kind of overlap there politically. So recently, you’ve been leading a little campaign in Ohio, tell me about that.

Michael Hiles – 10XTS
Well, it’s really an accident. So I’ve got political campaign management experience. I’m a marketing guy, you know, how to, you know, organize things. And so it’s carried me in it a lot of interesting places throughout my career. And so I saw what was going on in particular Virginia, but then Kentucky and Pennsylvania and some other states. Around the, you know, this idea of red flag laws and, you know the the ability for the government to suspend your rights without due process and come in and confiscate anything that you own out of your home, particularly one that has been enumerated in the Constitution, United States of America and defended multiple times through multiple Supreme Court cases. And here, we’ve got people, you know, saying, nope, we’re going to come in and we’re going to take away your gun. And I guess that was really a wake up point for me to see how they’re scrambling in Virginia, for example, to solve the problem, and recognizing that when the argument or the claim that the conservatives don’t know how to organize, right, it’s true to a certain degree, right. And if you believe that all Government is local. And you look at the approach that Virginia is taking, you’ve got the states that are these counties in the state of Virginia that said, okay, based on our government structure, we have a way to push back at a local level, we can have our county pass a resolution that essentially D funds enforcement activities of infringing enforcement is what it’s called. That’s directed by the state. Now, I’m not a constitutional scholar by any stretch of the imagination. So I can’t get into the, you know, is this largely just a symbolic thing? You know, there are other things to take into consideration, consideration, I don’t know, but I know that when I go down to my polling precinct to vote on everything, it starts with local, right. I mean, I have local bond issues. I have local candidates that are being elected to county offices and we don’t have the kinds of networks and communication frameworks, particularly in the state of Ohio, to rapidly organize and coordinate across the state teams that are essentially decentralized, right? You’re talking about a decentralization. But how do you get teams of committed volunteers citizens to work in their county? We have 88 counties in Ohio. And how do we get them to coordinate and work together to also pass model resolutions around this particular second amendment issue of red flag laws? Not just for these things, but then also in the future when somebody comes along and says, oh, we’re going to take this other right. How do we organize and structure and construct our our response in particular, and it goes back if you do a little homework in the war for independence, how the colonial You know, the colonials, the in the individual colonies in the cities and the towns and the villages operated for nearly a decade leading up to the actual war, was they created a de facto shadow government coalition of people and they call it a, they call it a community, or I’m sorry, a committee of safety. So there was a committee, there were several iterations of committees, and it was just regular people, regular prominent citizens in the community, that operated in a fashion to be communicators, to network with each other, and then ultimately to take action at the local level when necessary. But then how do I coordinate around with the other folks? Right? And so it’s the same communication distribution model, right? It’s how do you decentralize a organizational structure and target a particular issue in the Case passing red flag model ordinance line or a model resolution language at the county level, and then leaving the framework and in place, and particularly the state of Ohio, we are a state that enjoys the opportunity to put a signature campaign initiative onto a statewide ballot to even modify our constitution as a state, but that requires all the draconian regulations that they put in front of us, you know, we have to gather so many signatures within a certain amount of time and, and have so many counties represented, etc, etc. So, so I started this little group on Sunday, literally five days ago, just a sort of, you know, trial balloon and I created a Facebook group, it’s private, it’s hidden. You have to know somebody so there’s a velvet rope. We don’t take all comers. You have to literally be invited, invited in, and it’s still this phenomenal chaos but we went from zero to like to Well, thousand members of this group in five days, just people blowing this thing up because it really is a hot issue. It’s a big thing.

Rob McNealy
And I think that’s something you definitely need to work on because that’s that’s amazing that people are that concerned. And here in Utah, we are seeing something very similar happening to getting a lot of the gun rights groups are getting out ahead of some of the RPO stuff that’s coming out of our own state legislature. And you would think a state like Utah, which is, you know, definitely conservative in nature. That gun control bills wouldn’t be something that you would come up but I think they’re later I was told that there’s going to be multiple gun control related bills coming on and state legislature at least coming out of committee that, you know, we’re going to have to face here. And I think that’s what’s going to happen. I mean, in this country, we definitely have multiple cultures in this country from the coast. in the Midwest and the mountain states, where literally, people are very anti gun have never seen a gun before, you know, they’ve never actually shot a gun or been around a gun. But they definitely want to tell the other states what they can and can’t do. And I think Unfortunately, that’s going to change because, you know, we are culturally very different. And I think in the future, and I don’t have a crystal ball, but I think in the future, if there’s a time of crisis where say, you know, maybe it’s an economic collapse, or the US dollar, you know, kind of tanks or whatever, I believe the United States will break up, because I think we’re too culturally different. Now. In many parts of the country, what do you think?

Michael Hiles – 10XTS
I mean, I don’t want to see my nation balkanized. Because what that means is, is that the power centers and the resource centers are all going to be concentrated in urban areas. And and I don’t want it to turn into Judge Dredd, right with the mega trop Ulises. And then wasteland in between. If that’s what happens then obviously if we’re in the wasteland in between we are far more suited to take care of ourselves and restore a certain amount of functional self governance and you know community alignment at the localized level. My town has literally my county seat is my town. Now I’m wedged between a couple of bigger bigger metros, but I live north of Cincinnati and my town has 8000 people in a county of like 45,000 right on the border of Ohio and Indiana. And I think that we can probably figure out how to put some seeds in the ground and work together to you know, restore a certain amount of community. But we are at risk we’ve lost a lot of mercantile ability. At the local level, we’ve lost a lot of trade skills that are going to be necessary in order to maintain standard of living and we’ve lost a lot of access to, you know, other knowledge resources. And I don’t want it to be a choice where if you don’t want to live in a mega trop list that you relegated to some sort of feudal, agrarian sort of surf Lord the keep kind of a scenario and I don’t know I just let’s work together Let’s all work together right now to keep these kinds of things from happening. You know, I,

Rob McNealy
I, you know, I agree with you and it’s kind of weird I live it because I even though I have an MBA, last June, I graduated from welding school full year and a half program or two full time school at night for a year and a half just to be a hobby welder, because I wanted to learn an actual skill. And I think that going forward, you know, we’re going to have to go back and be willing to learn things that maybe we forgot, and to be more self sufficient. And I think that’s kind of the ethos of the whole decentralization mantra, but Michael, we’re running out of time here. Yeah, man can people where can people find out more about you?

Michael Hiles – 10XTS
Well, um, so the company side is 10 x Ts one zero x ts.com. We’re pretty narrow. So it’s not very exciting. If you go there, we talked about, you know, like FinTech and reg tech, you know, enterprise stuff. And then of course, I’m on social at Michael Hiles on Twitter. Hit me up on LinkedIn on a professional basis. I’m around a pretty easy to find. I’ve enjoyed it. Great conversation, man. I love Love, love the discussion.

Rob McNealy
Absolutely. And you know what, I’m going to hold you to that because we’re going to have more of these in the future. But Michael, thank you so much con today.

Michael Hiles – 10XTS
Thanks, Rob. I appreciate it. See y’all

Rob McNealy
have a great day.

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Darryll DiPietro – Coincierge.Club

Darryll DiPietro - Coincierge.ClubIn this Episode

Darryll DiPietro – Founder & CEO of Coincierge.Club, talks with Rob McNealy about their hospitality use case for crypto, venture capital, and crypto exchanges.

About Darryll DiPietro

Darryll DiPietro was born in Farmington Connecticut in 1982. His father was a professional fire fighter and his mother worked in the banking industry. In 2002, Darryll enrolled in Gibbs College in Norwalk Connecticut.  While at Gibbs, he took an interest in the Academy of Arts College in San Francisco California. Darryll was accepted and moved out west in August of 2003.

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