crypto

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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Darryll DiPietro – Coincierge.Club Transcript

Darryll DiPietro - Coincierge.Club

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

Rob McNealy
Today I’m talking alright. Today I’m talking to Darryll DiPietro, he is the founder and CEO of Coincierge Club. How are you today, Darrell? doing? Well, Rob, how are you doing? I’m glad we finally got to connect here because we’ve been hanging out for a while now. And it’s glad that you know, I’m glad you’ve taken the time because I’ve been trying to get you on the show for a while now. So before we jump into some of the hot topics of the day, and trust me, I think we got a lot of fun stuff to cover today. For the people who are not familiar with you, which I can’t believe there’s anybody that’s not familiar with you. Who are you? And what are you doing?

Darryll DiPietro – Coincierge Club
I am Darryll DiPietro. I am the founder and CEO of coin Sierra Club, and we built a mobile private key wallet with 30,000 different digital assets on it and a point of sale which allows users to use those assets, very simple to use. And we’re just here to try to help the crypto industry and kind of bring a bunch of different projects together along the way.

Rob McNealy
Wow. Hello. got that down. I guess you’ve been practicing your elevator pitch. So how did you get so good at your elevator pitch

Darryll DiPietro – Coincierge Club
up pitch to at least 200 250 times already. I’ve pitched from, you know, just anybody that wants to hear me talk to some of the biggest VCs in the valley. And they get the same pitch every single time.

Rob McNealy
So the valley, so I know that you’ve been doing a lot of entrepreneurial education kind of stuff. Tell me a little bit about kind of the stuff you’ve been working on to help grow what you’ve been doing.

Darryll DiPietro – Coincierge Club
Yeah. So in about two years ago, we started our journey in Silicon Valley. It started off with a Google event called Startup Grind. They have it in Redwood City. And that’s when we started meeting VCs and finding out that there is a way to get funding if you fit in a certain mold that these venture capitalists are looking for. They want to see revenue, they want to see growth, they want to see percentages, and they want statistics. They don’t care about height. They don’t care who’s backing your project. They only care about the actual fundamentals of the project numbers, employees growth, things like that. So we started this journey. We are You know, ended up going to Martha’s Vineyard did some stuff out there with some other VCs but brought back to the valley for launch 2018. And that’s when we really started to focus on how to build this brand in the way that a venture capitalist wants to see it. We’ve done a bunch of deal clubs. We did a deal club in New York became partners with Rob Charles and Goldfinger, which is a cryptocurrency back deal club on Wall Street. We did got six, seven months in New York, beginning of 2019. And then we came back around to San Francisco through an event at the end of June out there I was moderately successful, but it allowed us to establish a brand up there and then we got into a VC accelerator program in Santa Clara. And that was eight weeks of non stop work. We produced over 80 documents during that time. Things like we just talked about the elevator pitch or hone. Our pitch deck was honed our business plan was honed all these things that we maybe had but no one professional that ever sat down and said hey, you know what? This is okay. But it could be great or this is not okay. But it needs to be great. And so We went through and we developed all these items we develop, you know, fleshed out, our business plan fleshed out our five year, you know, goals, three year goals, HR plans, fundraising goals, where we’re going. And then at the end, they helped us build the perfect pitch deck, which we’ve been able to go out and pitch to a few different VCs in multiple locations, including Silicon Valley. We also pitch to an accelerator out here in Nevada. And so that’s really where we’re at. We’re trying to be that actual crypto company that follows legitimate rules. We’re trying to follow the way that you would build any other type of tech company. Whereas if you had a social media platform that has nothing to do with crypto, if you had the next Airbnb, the next Uber, these guys all went through the exact same programs, the exact same training and got the exact same, you know, feedback and built the same pitch decks just relevant to their own projects. And that’s what we’re lacking in the crypto space right now is you know, in the beginning or right around the time that I got into It, it seemed as if it was anybody with a white paper could raise 510 20 $40 million. And most of those projects have gone to the wayside was a lack of knowledge in the industry. So as we watched this happen, we said, you know what we’ve always wanted to be on the ethical side of everything that we do. So we’re going to follow traditional VC funding, a lot of people don’t believe in it. A lot of people think that we’re dealing with the enemy in you know, the people that have the money shouldn’t have access to the crypto, but in the end, these are the guys that are funding unicorn companies. And I think that that’s everyone’s goal in this space is to have a highly profitable business and we know that that’s the way we need to go. So we’re doing a lot of stuff up there.

Rob McNealy
So why didn’t you do an Ico that and why didn’t you try to fundraise just by selling off your own coins?

Darryll DiPietro – Coincierge Club
Well, it’s interesting. We actually did have a small raise less than $10,000 less than what the SEC would have any concern about and it wasn’t about getting rich, like a lot of these projects did where they just raised a bunch of money and didn’t know what to do with it. We had a set set of goals we needed to be Build a server, we needed to build out our mobile applications. And we needed development funds. And so we did, we raised enough money to build a server to get a static IP and to be able to actually host this application. And we hired my friend Michael hue, who is a subcontractor for the US God to come in and build out these two nearly bulletproof applications. And that’s what we needed the funding for. But we never asked for anything more. We never tried to raise money that you know, we just go into our pockets or pay for lambos or, you know, these expensive parties or some of these crazy things that we saw in late 2017, early 2018.

Rob McNealy
No, so you don’t have a Lambo. So what you’re telling me, I’m kind of bummed. I bummed by that.

Darryll DiPietro – Coincierge Club
I’ve got an Acura. Everybody’s seen it. It’s

Rob McNealy
$200 a month. So what exactly specifically is what problem is your, your product? What are you trying to solve? What are you trying to do with your project?

Darryll DiPietro – Coincierge Club
It’s interesting that you asked me that because if you’d asked me that about a year ago I would have given you a different answer. And the reason for that is the industry has evolved. So currently, right now we’re trying to help liquidate coins that have no value. But the overall idea and what I would have answered a year ago is we’re trying to bring everybody to one wallet. We’re trying to get everybody with all these multiple different chains and multiple different coins in different wallets, with with their own private keys are not only in their own private keys, and we’re trying to get everybody to move towards a mobile private key wallet where users hold their keys. And they have a vendor network where they can spend this crypto, because if you’re not spending crypto, then what the heck is the point? Most of these coins, the values been lost? Most of these projects have dissolved and people hold this value in these one off wallets. Why can’t you spend that at the gas station? Why can you spend that at the grocery store? So we looked at that problem. But the issue we ran into instantly was like I said, there is no value on some of these coins and people aren’t willing to take that hit. So we looked at kind of modifying it into a coupon style liquidation of these all coin values where users get tangible value in tourism. And it seems to be working well, you know, we’ve thrown a bunch of events where people have come in and spent different all coins on different things. You’ve been a few of them, or at least one of them. And so, you know, we’re trying to, we’re trying to evolve with the industry as the industry evolves. But the underlying technology has really not changed in two years. It’s a mobile privacy wallet, a point of sale, users hold our own keys, there’s no information that gets sent to the devices. It’s built by us due to subcontractors. So the security is number one. But again, you know, it’s it’s difficult to stay relevant in this industry. So you constantly have to look for new ways to reinvent your product to stay relevant.

Rob McNealy
So, you’re saying that you’re basically taking existing tokens from dead projects and then recycling them into something that has value?

Darryll DiPietro – Coincierge Club
That’s right.

Rob McNealy
How?

Darryll DiPietro – Coincierge Club
By knowing how they hosp..exactly by knowing hospitality industry works and attacking the soft costs associated with that. So for example, out here in Las Vegas, we get complimentary bottle service that bottle service does not cost us anything the venue comps it out. Why can’t we tip in cryptocurrency? Why can’t we tip the door guy that lets our people in in cryptocurrency Why can’t we pay for that complimentary beer that we get at the bar and cryptocurrency and so a light bulb went off and said wait a minute, this this whole industry of really its cash its cash driven industry right now that is undocumented. There is no you know, record of you throwing the door Guy 100 bucks, or the door Guy $20 or the cocktail server $50. Why can’t they accept crypto?

Rob McNealy
Well, I think they can, I guess the I understand

Unknown Speaker
No, because their venues the venues won’t allow it. And gaming won’t allow it. And so that’s when we come in and we circumvent the gaming laws that prevent them from doing so and allow these users the Your businesses to accept these coins.

Rob McNealy
Right? And I understand I’m gonna I’m gonna play hardball with you because I’m trying I don’t understand it like I understand. If you create your own brand, your own coin that works on your own platform and integrate that that makes those economics I can understand. I don’t understand the economics of taking other people’s dead projects that may not be traded that may not have value, how you using them in some way creates value with them where they’re already considered dead or not really being used. That’s the part I just don’t understand. Why would you Why do you want to take these other coins that are out there are tokens that are dead? Why not just work with your own token?

Darryll DiPietro – Coincierge Club
I’ve got the perfect answer for you. So that is on CMC that has a dead project, like a verge or something like that.

Rob McNealy
Verge actually got a pretty robust community so I wouldn’t say Verge.

Darryll DiPietro – Coincierge Club
I’m just naming names name a coin on there that

Rob McNealy
SALT.

Darryll DiPietro – Coincierge Club
Great SALT

Rob McNealy
SALT, Pac Coin.

Darryll DiPietro – Coincierge Club
Either one doesn’t matter will take SALT because it’s the first one you said. So salt is on CMC and you can see what their market cap is. And you can see what one coin is trading at not having that knowledge in front of me. I’m assuming you’re maybe googling that right now. But let’s just call let’s just say one salt coin goes for $5 a coin. Okay?

Rob McNealy
Six cents.

Darryll DiPietro – Coincierge Club
Okay, even better. Okay, so six cents a coin. So in order to have $6, that’s 100 coins of salt coin. Correct. Correct. So if you take 100 coins and you go to one of our vendors and you buy a $6 beer, you now got $6 worth of that coin. You weren’t able to sell it on an exchange because there really isn’t anybody banging at the door to get salt right now. The vendor who did not pay for that beer gives you that beer and also gets $6 worth of salt, which may or may not be worth something down the road. So are the arbitrage value here is actually reestablishing a value for these dead tokens connected Physical tangible assets that users can hold. So you’d say are you taking their coins and then converting them to your own token and then on your platform, you’re basically doing the trading with your own coin or token, we don’t do any trading for the we don’t do any, we literally have a hands off approach to this. So, the vendors that we work with hold these coins, we can show them how to liquidate them through the waves decks or through other means, but we do not liquidate to feeha we don’t exchange the currency errs. This is simply they they would normally not be getting anything for this competition value. Now they’re getting something that could potentially worth a lot more.

Rob McNealy
So I get so I download your wallet. And I go in there and do I just have to then buy on that on through your wallet. I have to buy whatever the whatever these tokens that I want, or do I just buy

Darryll DiPietro – Coincierge Club
Most of the time users already have the tokens on other platforms and they just migrate them over remember, we have 30,000 digital assets on that platform. So there’s except for the big except for a lot of the ERC 2720 tokens, we can onboard those coins. And if there is a coin that isn’t on boarded or a platform TUSC, we can make that, yeah, we can make that happen in about 15 minutes. So it’s not a hard process. And it doesn’t mean that it’s not like we’re sitting here being like, Oh, you have to buy $20 $100 $200 of our coin to use our platform. You literally don’t, you literally have to have at least one Coincierge Club coin trading at about two cents right now in order to try to do the transaction.

Rob McNealy
It’s interesting, I need to wrap my head about it, to be honest.

Darryll DiPietro – Coincierge Club
Understand we make money off the transactions. That’s how we make our money. We’re very clear about that. We have a premium SAS model for our vendors, which they pay us also monthly. So for the user, it’s exceptionally cheap and it’s just The traditional type of transaction you’re used to sending in crypto, where you pay user generated fee.

Rob McNealy
So how So basically, at this point, then you didn’t do an Ico but you did do a small raise. Where are you on the funding of it right now?

Darryll DiPietro – Coincierge Club
We’ve raised $72,000, traditionally through convertible note, and equity swaps. We started off doing equity, then we incorporated in March of 18. Switch to a convertible note offering. We’re doing a late seed round raise right now, which I don’t think the SEC would like me to say what the amount is or how that is, but if you’re interested in finding out privately reach out to us and have this conversations, we try to make sure that we follow the law. It’s kind of interesting that this space was bred out of the opposite of that, but uh, we try to make sure we follow up.

Rob McNealy
You know, I think that a lot of people got into crypto not because they necessarily wanted to get around the law. I think, well, there’s some people that are just straight up criminals, but I think a lot of people Got into this space because they didn’t like the existing power brokers that are being very centralized. And I think there’s a nuance there, right. Like, I don’t want to break the law. And before we even launched with our own token two years ago, you know, we spent a lot of time talking to attorneys. I personally talked to the SEC attorneys about securities offerings and and understanding that I didn’t want to launch any legal security. And here’s the thing, not that I really care that much about laws and government, everybody who knows me knows I’m pretty, I can be pretty political at times. But the thing is, to me, if you’re launching a project, you know, in the startup, and you understand this, because you’re going through this accelerator stuff this whole, you know, regulatory risk is what it’s called right? To me. If you’re a startup founder, and you’re not out there hardcore, trying to understand what risks your startup faces and then having plans to mitigate those risks and regulatory risk is a huge piece of that, then your friends as a founder, you’re a moron. And you’re probably going to lose people’s money if you don’t care about regulatory risk. Now, you can say you hate the government all you want, that doesn’t mean that they’re still not relevant to what you’re doing. Right?

Darryll DiPietro – Coincierge Club
Exactly. You have to make sure you stay on the correct side of the law. And it’s difficult because like you said, a lot of these people I know, you know, you have a token that is for sorry, coin, that’s for the Second Amendment. And a lot of people will look at that and say, Oh, he must be anti government. No, I mean, the second amendment is part of the government. It actually is one of the like, founding principles of what makes our government work. And so you have to look at stuff like that. You can’t just be this rogue person out there in the space trying to, you know, change. I know, disruption is something that they connect with the centralization and the blockchain, but the FinTech side of it is highly regulated. And if you want to play in this game, I mean, you’re playing with the people that have all the money in the world. For example, you know, I’m sure You saw that we signed with Wilson Sonsini. That’s one of the biggest law firms in Silicon Valley. They handle everything from a pre seed to an IPO. So for our next round of raising like we’re in, we’re in the process of onboarding. We’re going to be moving our cap table over to kartha. We’re going to be doing the things that the Draper’s do, we’re going to be doing the things that Erik Voorhees does, we’re going to be doing the things that the VCs that are in our space are looking for so that we can scale this thing the correct way.

Rob McNealy
So what is the correct way? What is your kind of long term goal for your project?

Darryll DiPietro – Coincierge Club
We’re, we thought we were ready for a series A after going through this accelerator, we realized we weren’t quite there yet. We need to find a product market fit. That’s our next goal. So we have about 600 or so wallets on the system. We saw 14% uptick last month and we’re doing about 1000 transactions a month on the coin. So we just seem to do a lot of AV testing. It’s probably going to take us maybe about another six months of AV testing for product market. Fit To find out how to get this thing to scale. And so that’s why we’re doing the smaller raise of that. And then we’re going to go after a traditional series a raise, we see this thing through, we see this thing growing and scaling through a series C, we’ve talked to a few different firms that have given us, you know, verbal commitments on Series B. So we know what we need to do to get to that point. We have specific, you know, metric intervals that we need to hit. But, you know, there’s, there’s really realistically The sky’s the limit, because there’s not a lot of people that are building multiple chain wallets right now. And there’s a few and we’ve outlined those as competition in our business plan. But realistically, cold people are still trying to figure out how to launch coins on their own wallets. And the ones that are out there that hold multiple chains, hold the users private keys.

Rob McNealy
And you’re doing it without holding their private keys. Correct?

Darryll DiPietro – Coincierge Club
Correct. We never not only do we not see your private key, we can’t even reset your password.

Rob McNealy
Well do the other ones reset your password?

Darryll DiPietro – Coincierge Club
Yeah. I mean, if you look at the competition without trying to throw shade on anybody that’s out there. What will Coinbase for example, Coinbase has how many coins on there that six or seven. I haven’t been a coin base in a minute, but I know they have the GD x as well. And they’ve got a lot of different tokens on there, but they hold your keys if there is a DDoS attack on that platform that’s gone. And people think that’s a wallet. And people have confidence in it. And they say, Oh, I have FDIC insurance. No, you don’t. You have FDIC insurance on your US dollars, not on your Bitcoin that’s in there. A lot of the exchanges that are out there that people are using like a crack in, although we do like those guys who met those guys up and walk out Wyoming. They hold your private keys, these wallets or exchanges, hold your private keys. And anytime a hacker wants to go in there and walk around they can and they can take that money out of your account. And there’s literally nothing you can do about that.

Rob McNealy
You got me kind of stressed out to be honest.

Darryll DiPietro – Coincierge Club
Why is that? Don’t you

Rob McNealy
Now I actually naturally don’t. You would not believe I’m not the one in charge of that though. So the the wife is the she’s the keeper when it comes down to cracking the whip on the detail stuff like that I’m not allowed to touch the money, you know, so, but she’s much smarter than I am. So it’s okay. I don’t even know where the private key actually I know where all the private keys are. But we, we have a workflow per for our own personal finances. And we’re very, I guess you would say where we have a lot of redundancy plans for, you know, it’s really, you know, it will look how many people are dying out there and then they, you know, they don’t need their their spouses don’t even know where their keys are, they lose millions of dollars. I mean, it’s ridiculous. I actually think that’s a problem with crypto that needs to be addressed.

Darryll DiPietro – Coincierge Club
Not only about like, third party custody, I mean, obviously, I was looking into doing something with that children and trying to leave some sort of like, you know, will or some sort of crypto Trust Fund, if you will, and the only thing I could really come up with is low the private key on a USB drive, put the USB drive into a security box at a bank, and then a studio that has access to that. And that’s not the answer.

Rob McNealy
I actually think it absolutely could be an answer. In fact, there’s private safe deposit vaults that are out there that are Safe Haven Vaults is a new franchise. Vegas.

Darryll DiPietro – Coincierge Club
I didn’t think about that until you said it.

Rob McNealy
Yeah. And so like for safe haven, for instance, there’s no AML KYC because they’re not a bank. And they have full biometrics, they don’t know who you are. And unlike a bank, who does know who you are, so there’s a lot of privacy that’s being retained. And then what happens is, you have a customer you have like a next of line, basically data card that you put on top of your box inside their box, so that if you they ever have to drill your box out, your box is still locked, but now they have the person to call Say, Hey, your contents are here. So they got a good solution for that. And I think that’s an excellent, you know, something to look at out there for that besides just normal personal handling, I don’t have an issue if you want to, you know, put information on jump drive, and that’s encrypted, and then someone else has the key for that. But you need to have backups. And I think that you see a lot out there that you know, the husband is the one who does all the finances and there’s no instructions on how to deal with it and he dies and the wife’s you know, the widow was left in the dust and, and that’s a problem. But we have a problem with that now, even with bank accounts and things like that, that’s why there’s 10s of millions of dollars and hundreds of millions of dollars in lost funds that different states hold right because that exact problem they forgot about bank accounts and things like that. But I think that’s that I think that going forward is something that’s going to have to be fixed because the public the I think right now the public isn’t ready for crypto because it’s so because of its unforgiving nature.

Darryll DiPietro – Coincierge Club
Yeah, it’s very, you know, finite When it comes to those keys, I mean, if you do not have them well, on the platforms that would like we’re building and what other you know, our competitors are building. It’s very finite when it comes to that.

Rob McNealy
Well, I will absolutely i mean, i, we’ve even have, you know, we’re an open project that we have lots of volunteer dabs, and we’ve had developers lose their keys. And you’re like, you’re the developer, and you, you know, misplace your keys. Yeah. And we had one of the early developers that was working with us when we were still in ERC 20 token, he put his private keys on a text file on his hard drive, and his hard drive failed, and he couldn’t recover it and lost a lot of money. And there was nothing we could do. There was just nothing we could do about it. And I felt bad but and it led to him leaving the project because he didn’t have any and he didn’t have any skin in the game at that point, which just kind of sucks and to me,

Darryll DiPietro – Coincierge Club
it’s completely cannot recover from that hard drive the totally fried out the hard drive?

Rob McNealy
Yeah, I don’t understand it was a platter failure. Something.

Darryll DiPietro – Coincierge Club
I fried a hard drive on a MacBook and I hired a nerd to come in and he was able to recover everything.

Rob McNealy
Yeah. And I understand that I’m just he said he did everything he couldn’t he couldn’t do it. So I don’t understand that. But I know that it didn’t, his tokens didn’t make the swap. So he didn’t he was not able to recover them before we became a coin and did our swap. Because at this point, it doesn’t matter anymore because we’re not a token anymore. So wherever we have our own coin, on our own chain.

Darryll DiPietro – Coincierge Club
Could you just create those tokens for him, and then I guess, because you guys never recovered the coins that were on his hard drive, you couldn’t issue.

Rob McNealy
What we ended up doing is there was some coins that we knew that were lost that were recovered and they were put back into the worker proposal fund for costs. So the ones that we could valid verify that did not make the swap, because when we swapped we had to create a supply of TUSC to accommodate The supply of OCC.

Darryll DiPietro – Coincierge Club
We’re doing something similar with ERC 20 Coincierge, so..

Rob McNealy
Yeah so so we had to create enough in that when we did the Genesis block for our block chain. We had to create 50 billion coins to match the hundred billion OCC because we swapped it a 2:1 ratio because we brought her we shrunk our supply a little bit. Half you know so we’re up and then when we created the blockchain we had to initially essentially pre mine those 50 billion so..

Darryll DiPietro – Coincierge Club
What happened to my question, excuse me think what happened to my OCC coins that were on? What’s that game you walk around the Pokemon

Rob McNealy
AirCoins?

Darryll DiPietro – Coincierge Club
Yeah. I haven’t even looked.

Rob McNealy
Yep, they are TUSC. So we we work with. So we work with Aircoins on that. So how it worked with air coins was the same way. Because of our swap. Our swap was a manual process. We created a dap where you had to manually move your OCC tokens. You had to create a task account. Yeah, then You had to manually on your own dime, move your OCC tokens to an Omega address, and then a tab, basically attach your account name and then your account credit. And then you had to download your own keys. And then when we launched, essentially, your account was created and credited with the correct number of OCC.

Darryll DiPietro – Coincierge Club
And it worked in the background, or did you automate that process?

Rob McNealy
Or no, it was completely manual process. We made a Dappthat you had to it was a website, essentially.

Darryll DiPietro – Coincierge Club
That’s why I’m asking because we’ve got I

Rob McNealy
We’ll talk I could I’ll tell you everything we did offline. Yeah. Essentially, yes, we did create a system that worked and worked very well. And it was a very slick system, actually, because we researched a lot of swap, right. This isn’t for interoperability, or there’s no OCC.

I really well, I don’t know if it would be the best way to do it ongoing because I’m not a developer. But I know that we spent a lot of time in our dev team spent a lot of time looking at There, you know all the major Icos that did the same thing. Most of them did a really bad job. Some Icos, even some big ones literally had your own private key.

Darryll DiPietro – Coincierge Club
I know and its EOS will never work. And that’s why Ethereum will never work because there’s half of that EOS are part of the EOS network stuck on a theory I’m still and well in that

Rob McNealy
Yeah, so we actually made it so you had to login with meta mask. Okay, so you so you controlled your wall, we didn’t control any of it. And there’s a little trick I’m not going to tell you what they did. But our our guys figured it out. And they figured out a brilliant I’m work with our swap went almost flawlessly. And you guys watch like two days ago, right? Or? Yes, no, not yesterday, like couple days ago, right?

So we did the swap ended in October. So we did the swap in October. And then we just brought the gooey wallet and the gooey block explore online and brought our block producers in this last week. So we went through the whole process this week. So we are now Live real boy. And our first exchange listing will happen within the next couple days. They’re working. He’s working on. Thank you. I’ll tell you his work in the integration as we speak. So we’re it’s been an interesting process, but I’ll tell you, we’ll talk a little bit later about, you know how we did the the swap, but we spent a lot of time trying to figure that out in a way that was secure that we didn’t control keys. And that was a big thing that I said, I don’t want to be responsible for their keys. But I’ll tell you this. So even now, people that went and swap their OCC for Costco have already lost their tuskys it’s unforgiving. And there’s nothing I can do about it. Like we I mean, we put I mean, when we did the swap, we went through and we created a whole lot of videos and instructions and say copy this, copy this, do not lose this, do not lose this blah, blah, blah, you will lose all your access to friends. And we’ve had several people already come into the group and say they lost their keys.

Darryll DiPietro – Coincierge Club
Well, my heated how many times you download somebody else’s wallet at like a conference and they go download our wallet and you’re like, Okay, okay, okay, okay. Okay, and they want you to backup the keys, you know, you’re really getting like $5 with a Bitcoin from them for downloaded the wallets. You’re like, All right, I’m not gonna use this wallet again. I mean, I can only assume that that happens to some people sometimes, but they’re just so excited, or in just such a rush to get through the process of setting up a wallet that they don’t factor in. I’ll never forget this password. It’s my password that I use for everything, or it’s, you know, in a significant thing for me. And then a week later, you’re like, password.

Rob McNealy
Yeah, it’s bad. And I think this is going to be an impediment to adoption. But I think it’s, it’s something that can be fixed. I think it’s something that can be created or corrected and dealt with. But at this point, it’s scary when even the people that are like the developers in this space are having the same problem, right? I’m like, I mean, can you imagine Grandma, who has a little bit dementia has, you know, a million dollars in crypto which is equivalent, her life savings. And then she, you know, delete off her one letter from her private key hash. And now she can’t access that ever. I mean, this if anybody who thinks that system is going to work for mass adoptions insane, right, it’s just not going to work. Something has to be done there needs to be a recoverability things. And and with our project, and maybe with viewers as well, we’re already looking long term, how we’re going to have to correct that and deal with that issue, because I know it’s an issue. And technologically we need to fix that. And so we’re working on some ideas. I’m not gonna save because I can tell you what our secret sauce is yet, but we got some ideas that we’re going to be working on. It just takes time.

Darryll DiPietro – Coincierge Club
Most of that because it’s interesting to see what you guys come up with. I know you guys have a pretty solid team and what you guys have been able to produce so far, it’s been pretty impressive.

Rob McNealy
So well. Well. Thank you. Um, so the latest news we were talking about this the other day, the crypto media purge. Have you been you know, it is

Darryll DiPietro – Coincierge Club
So Christmas came early for me. You know, we’ve seen a lot of people posting online recently that there’s been a crypto purge, especially on YouTube over the past couple of days. And, you know, I think that we share the same sentiment where it’s, you know, a lot of these guys were pushing projects that were shady sketchy, you know, ponzis, multi level marketing, affiliate links, or blatantly taking endorsement money from projects that shouldn’t have been endorsed and seeing this purge. I know it hurts people. I know, it’s the wrong time of the year. I know we should, you know, want everybody to succeed. But some of these guys, they have zero technical skill, zero technical ability, and they’re making money off of projects that myself and yourself and other people in our positions have worked hard, and sometimes they’re making more money off of promoting the projects that we’re making off of the projects. I saw somebody post something about like, Oh, this is a somebody’s like, Oh, this is freedom of speech. And then someone came back to him which I retweeted very similar thing, which was like that’s not freedom of speech. So third party company, you don’t have the right to freedom of speech on YouTube. And then the guy was like, I beg to differ. And then the guy was like, Oh, why don’t you build your own? You have a problem with censorship on social media platforms, build your own, and I was thinking to myself, because this guy has no technical skills, because he has zero technical ability. And you know, if you do have technical ability, and you’re an influencer, like my friend, Kingsley, and Aaron have built float, and I know you just follow me on float, not to give like some random shout out, but here’s the thing. Just give a shout out. Float is a platform for you. Float is a platform that’s not going to censor you. Flow is also been VC backed by Draper. You’re not Draper University, boost VC, which is Adam Draper’s, you know VC fund, and they built something they’ve come out and said, we’re not just content people. We’re not just native In the space that talk about crypto, we’re going to build a platform and they believe they have over 1000 users on there right now. And I can only imagine that they saw a huge uptick over the last couple of days. But if your sole basis of your channel is to interview people to make money off of that off of paid content, or sponsorships, and you’ve got some, you know, robot logo for your, you know, newest wallet promotion, it’s, it’s time for you to go, it’s time for you to you know, just hold your Bitcoin and go to the conferences and be that person, but you don’t need to keep profiting largely off of our hard work.

Rob McNealy
Well, I think one of the I think the two problems that I see here and having been a project in this space for two years now I’ve run into this a few times, right? And you have to I’m going to bet one, there’s a the guys that are being purged right now, are not just any old I’m a nice, honest to goodness Jerry analyst in crypto world YouTuber, these are guys that are pitching scams. These are guys that have been pitching bit Connect. These are guys that I’m pitching, literally full blown ponzis and not really adding a lot of value. By the way, it’s funny, I don’t even know a lot of these people. It’s kind of funny. They’re not even they’re not even as big as they were before. Like, now it’s like, a lot of the crypto guys these people aren’t even that great anymore. But these guys literally were pitching criminal fraudsters and unrepentantly. When these you know, fraudsters are out there. So I think one, this isn’t some wholesale, you know, attack for YouTube. Again, it’s all crypto. That’s nonsense. And I know lots of people that try to do good content out there that aren’t blantant

Darryll DiPietro – Coincierge Club
Did your YouTube channel get purged or not?

Rob McNealy
Not a single Not a single problem, not even a notification. Not even a notification. I haven’t had any problems with crypto or I’m sorry, my crypto related content. In fact, I put out I uploaded a video today and it’s already, you know, ranking in Google and it’s about got crypto in it so so it’s not just all crypto that somehow it’s it’s the scammers are the least. scam enablers, and I don’t and honestly no folks are given, I don’t really care that these guys that are making money off costing people their life savings on the shit they were recommending. They are part of the problem. And if people are getting all defensive like Oh, poor crypto me, dude, and you’re part of the problem too. If you think that those kind of guys getting pulled out of the ecosystem is a bad thing.

Darryll DiPietro – Coincierge Club
It’s like this man. If you’re a sports reporter, are you really part of the sports team? No, and we need to get more. There needs to be more work and more effort done on the projects to kind of regulate this thing. Like we can’t sit here and say say, oh, we’re gonna let you know, we’ll let this guy post about this, let this guy post about that we got to start calling these projects out. And I know you know that I have a whatever with with Nathan Hawkman. But I’m going to say this right now on this put on this podcast, he posted something brilliant. I don’t know if it was yesterday or the day before, but it literally was what we just said it was no fucks given sorry, but not sorry. Like all these guys that all they’re all they do is go out there and talk about other people’s projects. And it’s not about the code. It’s not about the security. It’s about how much money you’re making and shout out to this sponsor and shout out to that sponsor, and he ripped up and I don’t remember verbatim what it was, but I remember reading it and being like, yep, I agree. I didn’t like it because you know, me and him were we had a bit of a falling out but respect to that post. I just had to say it was spot on and it it was the overall sentiment. I kind of cooled off over those two days of Christmas because I was doing the Christmas thing. But today hit it hard and I was like, You know what, it’s time for It’s time for these guys that are crying about their product of crime on their YouTube channels getting censored or crying about their social media getting censored that has zero technical skills that are literally out there just going to the conferences to party and just going around and doing all these crazy videos about nothing to be purged. It doesn’t help guys like you, it doesn’t help guys like me. We’ve had influencers in our circle for a little while we had some of the bigger names wearing our stuff, it doesn’t help our brand. It actually hurts your brand when somebody is wearing a T shirt and then they’re running around Vegas eating mushrooms on video. It’s not good for your company. And so these are the guys that need to see the purge. I don’t know if you’re are you pulling up that tweet?

Rob McNealy
No, I’m not. I’m just I’m just listening because I couldn’t agree more. I’m to be honest.

Darryll DiPietro – Coincierge Club
Well, I mean, yes, it’s going to pull up that tweet because I think it’s worth being mentioned. What do you What were you? What are your thoughts on all that?

Rob McNealy
My thoughts are that there are still a lot of quote unquote influencers in the space that are in violation of US law and are taking commissions to promote people and they’re not disclosing it. And they’re recommending things and I think personally, I think that’s unethical. And and the federal government, you know, established this years ago Not that I care about the fads and not a bootlicker. But the fact is, not only is it unethical, but because you’re misleading or potentially misleading your your audience by your own moral hazard and conflict of influence, or conflict of interest. With some of these recommendations. You’re not telling people you’re being paid. And to me, I have an issue with that. And because you’re not necessarily you’re going to be biased. You’re not evaluating them based on what you really feel you’re you’re evaluating them and promoting them based on how much they’re paying you and you’re not telling your audience this, and to me, it’s disingenuous, and there’s still people around them are still active influencers that still go to world crypto con and, and everything else and they’re not telling people they’re getting paid. And you know, I’ve run into these and I got my own, you know, I’m not going to sit there and bad mouth people necessarily because they, you know, I don’t necessarily have a dog in that fight. But there’s still a bunch of them out there. And until the crypto world comes to terms that this is bad for the industry, and this is bad for mass adoption. I think it’s still going to hurt us as an industry.

Darryll DiPietro – Coincierge Club
You know, that’s what I liked about elevate. There wasn’t any influencers there. There weren’t any, you know, media boosters, like what two, maybe one? I think there was one that was for the event and then one that was like a crypto PR something like that. But realistically, there was some pretty solid projects. There’s some pretty solid names block watch. I’ve seen it for different conferences in the last two months. And that’s what I like but I’m gonna I’m gonna read this tweet because it deserves to be read. In 15 hours ago, he goes I don’t consume media related to cc so cryptocurrency or blockchain, many of you know that I see influencers as an unnecessary byproduct of the lack of advertising platforms. I couldn’t be happier about the YouTube purge, your accumulated viewership is less than many make up in video applications or makeup application vids. I couldn’t agree more. And I know that there’s hundreds of people that have projects that have literally sat there and go, you want what first for a shout out, you want us to pay you how much and that’s, like I said, part of the major problem in this space is that for us, we we took a status, we’ve taken a very interesting approach to sponsorships. And it’s helped and hurt us along the way. And we haven’t gotten as much traction as we could have. Because we didn’t do one thing that these guys all want us to do. And that’s paying us dollars. They all want US dollars. They’re crypto influencers who want to get paid in something that they can liquidate to US dollars or get paid directly in US dollars. And we don’t do that we only pay and our coin from the reserve of the profits that we’ve made off of transactions and You don’t want to do that, then that’s fine. We just don’t work with you. But you know, world crypto con did. We paid him 50 K to speak at their event, Brock Pierce and Justin Wu and Jeremy Gardner did. And that’s how we were able to secure our speaking spot at the NASDAQ, I think was like 25,000 or 30,000 that we paid them. But we paid him in Queens Sierra Club coin. And what does that do? That gets our small little brand exposure on a major stage, it gets our circulation of our coins into the hands of people that are influential. And it gives them a little bit of knowledge about a product that they might not have had any interest in but now their token holders and I can say the spillover from that is I’d be I’d become you know, closer or friends I acquaintances or however you want to put it with Justin. We’ve seen each other at multiple events. we’ve hung out at multiple events. He’s done a panel for us pro bono, and it’s because he sees the hard work and he has a connection to the project and if more people that want to take sponsorship money, or want to take you payment for services started working with projects for their own native currency. And that would actually help the industry. But it’s when you say no, it has to be Can I liquidate that what we your coffers? Well, I remember one conferences like, Oh, I can’t liquidate it. We don’t have room for you. But you were a last minute call for sponsors, meaning you already secured your location, you’ve already paid your people, you, you’ve read paper, I mean, everything’s been paid for it. So week before the conference, why do you need more money from us? That’s liquid. And that’s the problem that I have. And that’s one of the things we stood by.

Rob McNealy
Well, that’s one of the same things with exchanges too. And the more established, you know, more legit exchanges don’t even have a listing fee, because they’re picky about who they have coming on their platform. And they they only allow products on the platform that they believe they will be able to have enough of a community to actually make money on the transactions on their trading on their platform. Most exchanges out there have listing fees and they don’t even take listing fees in your own native token. Virtually either. And those exchanges are also the ones that tend to be the ones that are faking their volume. And it’s because their actual marketing or that sorry, their actual revenue model isn’t transaction fees on their trading because they’re trading volumes fake. It’s the listing fees from the actual projects. And since they themselves don’t even give a crap about your project or have any faith in it, they only want you know, Bitcoin cash or a theorem. And so that’s the that’s kind of the problem you have with, you know, being a project as well. And you know, this as well as I do is that you’re having to deal with this is like, Okay, how do I establish a market value? And how do I get a more legitimate exchange to look at me and take a seriously, and I think that’s a tough one. And, you know, I think you guys are figuring it out. And I think we have a good plan to figure that out as well. But a lot of people out there don’t know that that’s what’s happening. Right? They think, Oh, this this exchange has this big number. It’s tracked by coin market cap and coin Gecko, so they must be a legit exchange and this coins on their exchange and has all this volume. So it must be a legit project. And unfortunately, a lot of that’s all bad. It’s all nonsense. It’s all fraud. And so the end users, the investors out there are the people that are interested in the project. They don’t know how to make good decisions, because they don’t have good information. And then you have all these pimps, I call them pimps, right? You got these crypto pimps out there, going out and pushing these projects. And it’s all fraud. The whole chain is fraud. And that’s why I give a hat off to, you know, Google or YouTube, however you want to look at the hierarchy.

Darryll DiPietro – Coincierge Club
You know, I don’t know if you know this, or maybe you do, I used to take phone calls for the Google Play Store. And I worked on Google operations for the Playstore third party applications and all of the verticals. And so people will call in from all over the place. It will call in from different countries they would call in and I think what We’re seeing right now is people are realizing that, yes, YouTube and Google are US based companies. But these companies follow the law of multiple, multiple nations, there’s a multinational company. And so you have to really kind of realize you’re dealing on a bigger scale than what we know here in the United States, which is, you know, quote, unquote, these quotes because the land of the free, but as we find out more information, how free Are we really and that’s a whole nother conversation. But you know, people need to realize that you’re playing ball with something that isn’t in your backyard. And or it’s like you’re playing chess with somebody via, you know, male, whereas you’re dealing with other rules, other regulations, other cultures, and your videos are viewable in those countries, and they have to be able to follow those guidelines. And you know, one of the biggest things to think of is Where are all the Samsung phones made, are made in, you know, Google is the big Google puts their software and Samsung phones. So if They want to make sure that the manufacturing stays low and on the pixels and and all the other devices on the Android system, of course, they’re going to follow laws that are more relevant to that if we opened up the largest Android manufacturing plant in the world in the United States, then we might see a trend might see a difference. But yeah, it’s it’s interesting, man. These guys are just just sitting back here with my popcorn like, okay, maybe you should have skill.

Rob McNealy
And you know, if it was a complete ban on the word crypto and blockchain Yeah, I can understand that. I mean, and you know, this like, what the focus of our product task is, you know, the, the lawful firearms industry is kind of, you know, our main market that we’re working in, and they’re not allowed to advertise on Twitter, Facebook or Google. Already you and they’ve been completely de platforming and be monetizing the gun industry for over the last year and a half, two years now. And these companies don’t even have the ability to To market other than

Darryll DiPietro – Coincierge Club
NRA is like a dirty word in the United States.

Rob McNealy
Oh, absolutely. Yeah. Especially, you know, in Silicon Valley, and it’s interesting. Instagram just announced in the last week and a half that they’re going to like banned gun influencers off Instagram. And what’s happening there is that because the gun industry didn’t have any they really are locked out of like pay per click and things like that. They’re just not allowed to market that way. What they were doing is they were paying social media influencers to then promote their projects. And now Instagram is going to cut that off. So now the crypto people are like getting all pissy but the fact is, there’s other industries not only just conservatives but the gun industry and some other industries, the cannabis industry, they’ve been completely locked out of these you know, different.

Darryll DiPietro – Coincierge Club
You know, when they did the Facebook blanket ban, it wasn’t actually a blanket ban. We are approved. We have been approved for the last year. half, almost instantly after they made the marks we submitted, we had approved, we had to take a line of code, we had to put it in the header of our website. We have been able to advertise and Chris star, you know, some of them get flagged, but not all of them. We’ve been able to advertise on that platform since. And my business partner, Chris is the one that handles all that. But, you know, it’s interesting, because even when Facebook said no more crypto advertising, if you did the right thing, if you had a legitimate project, if you were able to answer their questions when they asked you, how do you deal with this? How do you deal with that? Then they go, Okay, here you go. Take this line of code, put it in your header, once you do that, come back to our platform, hit a button, if that can ping back and forth. And it’s legitimate. You get the green light, and then you can advertise again on the platform.

Rob McNealy
Yeah, we’re still waiting for our approvals for our conference. from Facebook. We never got it. Conference even though I mean, because it’s because it’s partially crypto, they wouldn’t let us advertise the conference on Facebook. And yeah, So I mean, it’s it’s goofy. I mean, you know how it is. It’s just playing goofy out there.

Darryll DiPietro – Coincierge Club
Well, yeah, I got booted, we got booted off MailChimp, for that exact reason. We had like an 800 person mailing list, we had sent out a happy Thanksgiving outfit, we started to do a collection form, and all of a sudden, it’s like, you are dealing with content that’s not allowed. And then I looked at their CEOs. And their CEOs had like nine things that they didn’t allow. But then at the bottom, there was an asterisk that said any crypto related products, like it wasn’t even part of the list of things like you can’t promote. It was just an add on to their to us.

Rob McNealy
It dropped I have my own issues with the politics out of Silicon Valley and the tech industry.

Darryll DiPietro – Coincierge Club
You said actually hold on. You said that a second ago and I want to kind of touch on this really quick. I just want to make a point as liberal and anti gun. And you know, socialist as California is. Just remember, Silicon Valley. Those guys are capitalist. Those guys are for capital. ism, those guys want money. And so if it makes money, it makes sense in Silicon Valley. And so it’s an anomaly out there because yes, you’ve got snowflake them all up and down the coast. And I’ve been, you know, in the California lifestyle since 2003, you know, on and off and living out there and then traveling back and forth. But then when you start to talk to some of these fund managers, these guys got guns. These guys have branches, these guys have, you know, Jackson Hole retreats, and then if you think about that, that’s another one that’s right near you, you know, and that’s right up there and in gun country. So just, you know, Silicon Valley is part of the bigger part of California, but the people that are investing in these projects, you know, Peter teal, a, you know, big time Trump supporter, you know, so you’ve got these guys that are out there that are labeled one way, but realistically, when you get into the nuts and bolts of it are the complete opposite. And that’s, well no, you know, you know, think about I know somebody that runs an accelerator in Santa Clara and you would think again, liberal socialist. Nope. Got a pot farm with us just on the other side of the valley in Santa Cruz.

Rob McNealy
Nice. Yeah.

Darryll DiPietro – Coincierge Club
That’s that’s venture capitalism right there.

Rob McNealy
Well, people like to make money and definitely, money just definitely makes the people change their politics and their values probably faster than anything else next to alcohol. So, Darryl, this has been really quick. It seems like you and I can jabber on hours and hours and hours. And I can’t wait to talk with you more about wonton soup. Next time we get together. Where can people find out more?

Darryll DiPietro – Coincierge Club
Yeah, so right now, you can go onto Twitter. I’m at Daryl D. We’re really helping out float. So if you want to go to float, backslash Darryl Darryll D. What we did if you have a project or you’re a VC and you want to get deal flow, join our pay channel $5 a month. We’ve already got three or four projects that have launched on there. We’re doing a fun thing where, you know, my being so into the VC world, I’m giving you the Twitter channels to follow. I’m giving you the people that you want to follow. I’m bringing in the right VCs for deal flow. We’ve got, you know, sports analytics companies, and we’ve got fake news aggregator companies, and we’ve got stuff that’s important. That needs to be spotlit in there. And so we’re really focusing on that also quite serious club on YouTube, for any of our up to date pitches. You can see us on This Week in Startups. with Jason Calacanis on there, we’ve done probably probably about 40 videos on there, not a single one that got flagged. But yeah, that’s you know that Daryl D on Twitter, flowed at their LD. Or you can find me on Facebook at Facebook.com/Darryll.LasVegas. Coincierge.Club, website, all that stuff, all that fun stuff. I’m sure you’ll drop a bunch of links in the bottom on post.

Rob McNealy
Yeah, all those links will be up at Rob McNealy calm when we post this and Darryll, thank you so much for coming out today. I do appreciate Your time and we’ll talk to you soon.

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Lea Thompson – Girl Gone Crypto Transcript

Lea Thompson - Girl Gone Crypto

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

Rob McNealy
Today I’m talking to Leah Thompson. And she is also known on the web as a Girl Gone crypto, you know, and every time I say that, I get this vision of Girl Gone Wild, which was those videos back in like the late 90s, early 2000s. And I’m like, I mean, and I said this, my wife, and I said, I’m interviewing That Girl Gone crypto, she’s like, don’t say something stupid. And I’m like, and I said, you know, I’m going to say something stupid. So I’m just going to get out of the way because I’m going to accidentally call her Girl Gone Wild, and then it’s just going to look stupid. So I said, I get that out of the way. So how are you?

Lea Thompson AKA Girl Gone Crypto
I’m good. Thanks so much for having me on Rob. I know it’s kind of a catchy play of words there. You know, that’s kind of what I was going for. But I know I apologize for all the people that trip over my my channel name.

Rob McNealy
Oh, you know, when I was going back through and and I’ve been on Twitter a long time, and people always ask, well, how do you get this following because I’m like, I was like number 62 in the world by followers at my peak, because I came in so early, I came up, I got my Twitter account just after they started. And so it’s like, and I just named it my name. I never like made a handle or you know, and I’m just always stuck with that. And I was like, maybe I need to do something interesting, but it just kind of stuck. And then I got people like, well, you should worry about your personal brand. So I’m like, okay, that’s my personal brand. My name makes it easy. But then there’s like, you know, there’s a Rob McNealy, who’s like this really successful British like motorcycle racer. So like, I have to compete with a British motorcycle racer for SEO on my own name, which is kind of funny.

Lea Thompson AKA Girl Gone Crypto
Which actually that’s kind of part of why I went was something else because SEO on my name Lea Thompson. It’s spelled exactly the same as the Back to the Future actress. And so I was like that is a hopeless case. I am never going to win that SEO battle.

Rob McNealy
But at least you think about that in SEO is a thing. And it seems like crypto people don’t get SEO, and you lots of other things they don’t get as far as marketing. So anyways, I digress. Tell me a little bit about yourself. How did you get into crypto?

Lea Thompson AKA Girl Gone Crypto
Yeah, so my kind of crypto journey I mean, I heard about Bitcoin back. I don’t I don’t know I want to say like 1415 but it’s just more than I’d heard about it. Like some people that I knew were mining it. But I didn’t really ask more questions. I didn’t really look into it too much. But then in kind of early 17, I stumbled across a blogging platform called steam it I don’t know if you are familiar yet okay. Most people in the crypto space are but you know, and I, I hadn’t really made content before. But I was like, well, this looks kind of fun. Maybe I’ll you know, I play some a couple different instruments. And I was like, maybe I’ll just make a little ukulele cover and post that and kind of see, see what happens. And, you know, it made like $100 or something. And I was like, Whoa, what is this?

Rob McNealy
What did you cover with your little ukulele?

Lea Thompson AKA Girl Gone Crypto
My first cover was creep. Actually, so nice. Yeah. And I, oh, gosh, I should dig up the photo. I tried to look creepy in the photo. I thought that’d be funny. So that was just kind of that got me down the rabbit hole because I was like, well, where did this money come from? And how is it created? Like what now? What do I do with it? What is this thing called an exchange and so it just kind of once I started actually contributing regularly on the steam blockchain and, and posting content, often I was like, Okay, I need to actually learn about this stuff. Like how does any of this work? So That’s kind of what you know got me going down the rabbit hole of crypto and just been kind of, I would say growing my knowledge ever since I’ve been on the steam blockchain for a few years now like I said posting content and I kept getting requests to speak at different crypto conferences because people were following me on Steam and even though I wasn’t even making crypto content, I was just doing like ukuleles and random things. I was like, you know, maybe I should actually dig into this a little bit more and start making crypto content. So that’s when gergan crypto was born probably about four or five months ago. So that channel and brand is pretty new, but it’s been just so much fun. I’m so glad that I did. So is crypto and content creation your full time occupation right now or is this just like a side hustle at this point? Right now it’s just a side hustle. I’m kind of intentionally I don’t wanna say growing slow because it’s that’s not necessarily accurate, but I’m trying to be really intentional about how I monetize is what I’m trying to say like, for me, I, I’m like, you know, I can manage doing this on the side, with my day job, I’ve got a great job that I you know that I enjoy. That gives me a lot of flexibility. So I’m like, as long as I can, I kind of feel like when you get desperate for money, that’s when you start making poor choices, you know, in terms of accepting sponsorships or doing things that maybe aren’t totally in line with your audience. And so for me, I would just way rather kind of hold off on not doing that much monetization at first and just kind of build my content and fill out my audience and kind of see, see where things go first. So yeah, just doing this on the side for now. So you don’t have the doctor stop. But what kind of work do you do for your day job? Don’t name the company, but when I would feel there you’re working in? Yeah, so I work in like sales and account management for a tech company. And so yeah, so I manage a lot of our big client relationships and partnerships. And so I’ve been doing that for about seven or eight years.

Rob McNealy
Very cool. So the ukulele saying Do you take requests like do you do? Do you do crypto ukulele songs? Yeah.

Lea Thompson AKA Girl Gone Crypto
You know, I’ve dabbled a little bit here and there and I actually, I’m working on at this moment a little fun Christmas Carol, kind of crypto spoof. So by the time this interview comes out of the past Christmas, you guys be able to go find it on my channel, but I’m actually planning to record it tonight. Well, if you want to say really nice, I’ll make sure I get this edited out by Tuesday. Oh, alright.

Rob McNealy
So you know, I always kind of joke around in that in crypto, there’s a lot of really cringe worthy kind of like crypto songs out there. But I said I was talking to crypto Euclid I don’t know if you know who he is but crypto Euclid and mystical oaks and they do some weird numbers and I said, you know, you haven’t made it as a crypto project until somebody has done like a really cringe worthy crypto song to your chain. So somebody needs to do an elephant themed crypto song at some point and then once we’ve done that then I’ll know that we’ve made it in arrived.

Lea Thompson AKA Girl Gone Crypto
All right, well, I might have to be that person that does it for you guys. We’ll see I’ll make it as cringy as I can I promise.

Rob McNealy
But you have but you have to have elephant special effects in the song if you’re going to do it. So you have to get some kind of like elephant like, I don’t know what do they call it when an elephant makes a noise? It’s not like a roar elephant roar is it? I don’t think elephant roar was a thing.

Lea Thompson AKA Girl Gone Crypto
I’ll look it up and I’ll include it somehow in the song I promise.

Rob McNealy
You make that you know, I’m pretty sure we can get we can put in a worker proposal fund and compensate you can make but i think i think it’s pretty interesting. So content creation and blockchain You know, that’s very interesting. It seems like everybody’s got a podcast now. And I’m wondering if there’s almost too many. Pretty much and with like, what this podcast You know, I’m not just doing crypto, I do small business stuff and I do shooting and gun stuff, baby. Basically, I’m interviewing the people I want to interview, because I find them interesting. And so I’m not just doing, you know, crypto is the one topic because I think it’s being over killed personally. And I think that’s going to change over time. I’m old enough that I went through the whole social media phrase or our phase from 10 years ago. And I used to do a radio show about small business back then and started, you know, podcasting and taking my radio shows that were over the air and putting them through. And so I was actually podcasting 10 years ago, and that that’s originally how I built a lot of my following because I had a radio show and I was always pimping out Twitter because Twitter was so new. So I was like a real early adopter of Twitter and Facebook for that matter of fact, and now and then I stopped because I just got busy actually running my business for a bunch of years. And then when we decided to get into doing crypto a couple years ago, I noticed Well, hold on, that crypto thing is really on Twitter, so maybe I should like unmothball my Twitter account and which that’s what I did. And and like, it’s funny because people like, you got fake followers. I’m like no, no been here a long time been here since you were in junior high, but thanks for playing. But it’s interesting how like, you know, crypto is actually evolved a lot there. And I’m sorry. But Twitter and Social Media have evolved a lot in that time. And there’s all these like little like all these little vertical communities now, like crypto, Twitter’s a thing. My wife’s a trained medical doctor, there’s medical Twitter, there’s lawyer Twitter, it’s just kind of interesting how Twitter has all these little pockets now of little communities inside of them. It’s kind of funny to me. So what do you find? As far as content creation goes, What do you find are some of the things that are being done right in crypto, and what are some of the things that you think are being done incorrectly or poorly in crypto?

Lea Thompson AKA Girl Gone Crypto
Ooh, okay. I think that in terms of content itself, I mean, I think that depends on how you classify content, right? Like, to me a piece of content can be a tweet, it can be a full YouTube video, it can be, you know, a podcast episode, it can be such a variety of different things. One area that I think, is I don’t see a lot of other people doing as much as they could in crypto Twitter specifically, is posting shorter native videos like to me, that is where I get the most amount of engagement. And it’s just really because it is engaging, it’s fun, like I’ll maybe take an interview that I did with someone, and I will clip out, you know, a minute or a minute and a half little section and kind of edited into something that I post on Twitter. And so that kind of helps drive traffic to the full YouTube video. But it also is just a more consumable little piece of content that gives people kind of a little taste of what they might get if they do want to go watch the whole thing. So in terms of something that I think seems to be working well that people could probably do more of is more short kind of native content. And so I guess I kind of answered what’s going well, and what could be better kind of in the same punch? Sure. Yeah. I mean, I think even like an A and another level of like, what’s not going well as I mean, I think that, and I kind of touched on this earlier when I was talking about not wanting to like kind of over show is I feel like that is a real thing that happens in the Twitter or in the crypto content creation space is people kind of like overextending the use of their audience and kind of over shilling and that it can be that can be a really tricky balance, I think of monetizing your content, but then also being like just really authentic and open with your audience about that.

Rob McNealy
You know, I’ve kind of struggled with that myself. And, for instance, as podcasts, you know, the only reason I started podcasting, again, like a year ago, is that when we first launched two years ago it’s changed a lot since then. But we couldn’t get interviewed on any podcasts in the crypto space because we didn’t have the money. And all these influencers, even really small influencers, were literally charging astronomical sums of money to go on a podcast with like, 100 followers or whatever, you know, it was ridiculous. But since we hadn’t we didn’t do an Ico we were literally the this, like the whole stereotypical community project. Everybody’s got a full time day job. And we don’t hide that fact. But we didn’t have the money to pay influencers and I and I told the team I go, I got a pretty decent sized Twitter following. I’m gonna have to like revamp the audience because my audience wasn’t a Twitter audience or I’m sorry, my Twitter. You know, followers weren’t like a crypto like following so I have been going through like a metamorphosis with it, which is interesting, like people a lot of people don’t like the new type of content and lot of insight, get new followers and old followers. It’s leaving all times. It’s interesting to see how they work. Balance. But I think when we started doing this, I said, I almost have to just become a content creator to promote my own project. And so because of that, I don’t charge like even You, you, you can attest, I didn’t say, Hey, come on my show, right. And I interview other projects that some people might even consider potentially a competitor to task. And I said, Look, I’m in here for the space. And I want to talk to interesting people. And you know, there’s a lot of interesting people working on projects that aren’t mine. So I want to talk to those people. And I don’t charge I’ve never charged a dime for anybody and how I monetize, monetize, quote, unquote, the project is I run a commercial for tusken front of the end, I just run an ad for us. And it’s like an in kind. I don’t take money from people. And it’s funny because I hit I’m starting to get people wanting to pay me to come on, which is interesting. I’ve had a couple people say, Hey, can you tweet us out and pimp this and and I’m like, nope, nope. Cash but how they could but I said to one guy, there’s literally two days ago, I said said, Why don’t you just tell me about what you’re doing and asked to come on the show? If it’s something interesting, I’ll shill it, or at least you know, talk to you about it. Because it might be interesting. But if it’s just kind of like, you know, some kind of like weird scamming kind of play, I’m not just gonna pimp for that. But, but I think that’s one of the things that has been interesting. From the content creation side, we got into it out of desperation. I didn’t want to be a podcast. But what I found is that I really started liking talking to people, because I like to talk I like to type to talk to smart people. And I can always learn something and I’ve already learned something from you. You already give me an a new idea, my little brains kind of working on this thing. One of the things that I’ll give you something that I see that I think is a mistake with a lot of crypto products, but one Muslim, don’t do marketing, let’s number one, but the ones that are doing marketing. I do believe that hosting your own content as much as possible is important, because it drives value to your own domain. And unfortunately, when you host all your content and other people’s platforms, you don’t control that and ultimately, you become dependent on them if they decide to change their algorithms or their terms of service or what have you, boom, you’re gone. And so I’ll give a great example of this now I think mediums an interesting platform. And I leverage medium to drive traffic to other I basically like to drive links back to content that’s already on our existing sites. But I don’t like it when people blog on medium only. And I think that’s a mistake. Because you see a lot of people in in crypto where they’re like, dude, WordPress is free. blog and host your content. Even if you’re a decentralized project, if you got a website, you can put a blog on it. Put the content on your blog, so you can control that content, and drive inbound links to your website. And then what you can do is then link to that content on medium to an excerpt. And then you get that traffic push backwards. From medium medium, and I’ve been testing this I like to test things when it comes to content. Medium Google scans Medium about I found about every half hour, it gets updated that quickly. And I don’t know if you know, but you train Google on how basically Google kind of alters their frequency of crawling based on your traffic and your size but medium is such a big site that once you want to if you want to like get content backlinks now they’re not going to do follow links. But if you want still want links back to your site, and you want them quickly, medium is a great way but post back to content from medium let you already have a hosting on your site. So like I like your idea about you know, doing like a little edited short, almost tik tok kind of length video on Twitter to get people to drive traffic to your YouTube. Well, maybe you put that also that little video of that little on medium and then link back to the full version on YouTube. And I think that would be good SEO. But I don’t see anybody doing that. No, I think that’s that’s great. And, man, I like so many things.

Lea Thompson AKA Girl Gone Crypto
I want to say about what you just said. But yeah. Yeah, I mean, in terms of like you said, Oh, you could post it on Twitter and medium like, that’s actually a huge part of my content strategy is putting things on is re utilizing content and taking one piece of content, maybe it’s my YouTube video, and turning it into all of these other pieces of content. So maybe I clip three different short videos, and I put that on Twitter and LinkedIn, and, you know, Instagram and like all these different places. But then maybe I take a quote, and then I turn it into a graphic and I share that out to and so you don’t have to always constantly be coming up with all of these ideas for content. You can take the content you’re already making and piece that out into more micro pieces of content. And it helps you to have a really active social platform at that point. And, and the other thing that I wanted to touch on that you said was about backing up your own content. I think that’s so smart. Because you’re right, what if YouTube all of a sudden is like, Oh, we just deleted that video and you didn’t have a backup of it or the Like you said that blog post I mean, it’s not that hard to back it up. And I, I say that I don’t actually like a my websites just coming live here in a little bit. But I do back things up to the steam blockchain actually, you know I mentioned earlier how that’s how I got started. And so the content even though I don’t personally like own the domain of that it’s on the blockchain and it can’t be deleted. And so I know that that’s going to be there. So that’s been kind of my backup to this point, which probably isn’t quite as good as, you know, having your own website, but it’s another good option as well, I think.

Rob McNealy
Yeah. And I think ultimately, it’s about, you know, driving traffic back to content that you can monetize other ways. So one of the things that I’m going to be doing is I’m going to take all my old audio podcast content, and I started looking it up because I’ve done multiple content. I’ve done multiple podcasts over the years, and I have almost 200 shows almost two hours of content that’s just sitting on my server. It’s not hosted anywhere right now. So what I’ve decided to do is I’m going to actually put them in, I’m going to put all that old content, I’m going to update it all in the SEO and all this and it’s gonna take me six months to do it, I already know what. But it’ll end up driving the size of this podcast. By mid summer, I’ll have probably 300 posts on this on this feed. And, and I make a video out of each one of them. But the thing is, a lot of the people I interviewed are still actually actually way more famous now than when I interviewed them before. So they have their own names have good SEO associated with them. And I think that’s important. And it doesn’t mean I’m going to make my my feed, you know, stale. I’m going to mix it in and I’m going to list it as an archive show or what have you. But it’s about building up the size of you know, the actual the RSS feed the number of videos, and it shows a bigger about it’s a more representative of the body of the work that I’ve done. As a content creator. It’s just I got it. I just Got a package and I got to repackage it. And that’s going to take a long time. Because the way I do pod like, and I don’t mind talking SEO stuff. But what I do with SEO with this podcast, I do three blog posts for every show and a medium post and foremost, and they get cross posted to six different social media sites. And so it’s a lot of work the posting and just cross posting takes a couple hours for every show. It’s not just the show editing. But all that cross linking will turn this it’ll turn it into a pretty big I think it’ll be a pretty big show here in the next couple months. It just takes time, hard card eskie SEO, I mean, it’s an it’s an investment of time. But if you do that correctly, and you have like a central hub where all that SEO and all that all that inbound link juice goes, you then can rank for anything you want to rank for. And then that’s that’s pretty good tool if you want as a content creator. The idea is that you create enough content, but you bring it back I like it. I liken it to like a hub and spoke system. You want that hub and the hub is I like the hub to be something I control. And then all those other extraneous social media platforms, sites, help content go out, but they also link back into your own content which drives up your SEO from the search engines.

Lea Thompson AKA Girl Gone Crypto
Now, that’s amazing. And, you know, SEO is something that I’m, I’m still kind of even learning about because it’s I realized how powerful it is. I’m like, Okay, I gotta dig into this more. But it’s, it’s true, you know, when you actually when you’re not just throwing up content for the sake of content, and you that’s kind of an area where I think a lot of crypto companies maybe go a little bit wrong as they’re like, I don’t know, I need to tweet I guess. So they like throw stuff up. You have more like research behind why you are saying what you’re saying why you’re doing what you’re doing and you’re actually bringing some intention to it. That’s when you can really see some dynamic growth because you’re not just kind of running in circles. You’re actually you you know, the reason why you’re doing certain things.

Rob McNealy
But absolutely. It was interesting like on our main TUSC website, there’s that there was going to be a lot of sub domains for things like our gooey wallet and the block explorer and our forums, we have all that stuff being built out or is built out at this point. And if you put something on a subdomain, it the Google and other search engines treat things on a subdomain as a different website. And so whatever goodwill, as I call it, or our SEO juice that your main website has doesn’t necessarily be pushed down to the sub domain. So we actually move some things that are that we’re going to be in subdomains and we moved him into directories, because it’s much better for SEO and our developers, like why are we spending all this time doing this? A lot of work and I’m like, trust me, it’s going to be a big deal because I know when on the TUSC website will do all the trackers and all the exchanges live link to it. Well, the link to your block, explore the link to your forum, and I go those are going to be the sites that All the big sites in crypto will be linking to those sites. And we want all that inbound link juice going to the main website, not a sub domain. And so that’s somehow I think about SEO is that we we structure our whole project around how some of the SEO stuffs going to work out knowing how these things work. And I think that a lot of crypto project will be better off starting to get some marketers on their team, so they can figure that stuff out too.

Lea Thompson AKA Girl Gone Crypto
Hmm, absolutely. No, it’s so true. And I think that as the as the space continues to evolve, you know, we’ll see more companies have that marketing budget to right because I think that might be part of it. A lot of it is they, they it’s the developers is the people running it or, you know, the the nerds behind the project, right, that actually are building it and making it work. And so they’re going to need that help that marketing that, you know, kind of personal touch that like how, how that stuff works as they continue to grow. But yeah, so I think that maybe that’s just kind of the phases. We’re in as a just in general as a space, you know, as we’re maturing. We’ll see more of that come up, I hope.

Rob McNealy
I think so. It was interesting and our we’re-our project’s focused on the gun industry. And that’s one of the our little niches that we’re we’re just kind of focused on that space. And it’s interesting. You mentioned earlier if the terms of services of these platforms change what so it’s interesting you may not know this, but I don’t you don’t look like a hardcore gun guy. But did you know that in the gun world is one of the biggest communities on Instagram right now?

Lea Thompson AKA Girl Gone Crypto
I did not. That is interesting. And I do own a few guns by the way. So I do shoot sometimes. Yeah.

Rob McNealy
So but, but so it’s interesting because the way the gun world is locked out, not only does the gun world have a lot of problems with payments and financing, they can’t get bank accounts. They can’t use PayPal, square stripe, they can use any of those payment systems. And our our theory and thesis about how we launched TUSC was that if you’re going to get mass adoption, you need to start with people that have industries that have a recognized problem with traditional payment methods. If you’re just trying to sell grandma on crypto, you’re not solving a problem for grandma, you’re creating work for grandma. That’s not a good way to get adoption. So we so we focus we’re focusing on the gun industry. And we used to have a business in that space. So and I’m a gun guy. So it just kind of is awesome. But the but because of marketing, like the gun space is interesting, because not only that problem with payments, but they have problems with marketing on top of that, because they’re not allowed to do pay per click on most major platforms. Google doesn’t allow you can’t sell guns on you can’t sell and market guns on Google. You can’t do any kind you can’t buy it. Facebook and Twitter and most of the social platforms want to live by ads. And now in so what was happening is the gun world has created all these By the way, this could be a good option for you. All the influencers and all you have to do is be a girl and hold a gun and take a picture and then big companies will pay you lots of money for that I didn’t have a ton of those my goodness I miss it out so and but here’s the thing Facebook said two days ago they’re going to fire the gun influencers off their platform. So they’re banning gun influencers now, that just happened. So this we have it has they said in the upcoming weeks that’s gonna it’s gonna go down that road and and I was talking to someone in the gun space who’s very influential the other day and we were talking about it he says it’s going to happen because he He’s the owner of gun industry marketplace and we were talking about this and his name is Owen York, and I just put that out today, I think. But we had a good conversation offline about this and he’s like, they’re gonna go they’re gonna fire those guys too. And he called it he totally nailed it. And and so it’s interesting this goes back to but now if you’re an influencer and you built your business and your income now around being like an Instagram influencer in the gun space, you are now finding yourself you don’t have a job and or you probably won’t have a job pretty soon. And it’s just interesting kind of seeing a now if you’re an influencer and you’re only did Instagram, it’s great, I would say what you should have been doing the whole time is hosting all those pictures on your own website and cross linking them from Instagram. So now you’re still placed so people can go and your content is there because now they don’t have all that link juice if you think about if so if you’ve been building up this following for you know, potentially years right, you know, you’re not you haven’t and you haven’t been driving all this traffic back to your own personal website. Where do you do now? You’ve lost all that time, all that content now maybe scrubbed, maybe you can download it, I think but but all that goodwill and all the time people only know how to get to your main, you know, Instagram account. They probably don’t use probably not even ranking in Google. And so that to me is what as far as I see a lot of these influencers just not understanding that the game can play or change. I’m sorry, if you’re playing the game, it can change very quickly and you have no control over that. So you should always be thinking about in the back of your mind if I’m going to make a living as an influencer. For instance, what if and this has happened a couple times the last few years where Twitter wouldn’t allow crypto ads and Facebook still won’t allow crypto ads, and unless you know somebody, because we’ve tried. And so the question is, what if you’re a crypto influencer and now crypto Twitter decides to call you?

Lea Thompson AKA Girl Gone Crypto
Yeah, that would hurt. It would hurt but if you’re driving all your content back to your own website, and that’s your focus is pushing people to your website that you do control. I think to me, that’s the smarter way to go. And and I don’t know the best way to do it. I mean, obviously, we’re all doing cross platform stuff, and I do a ton of Twitter. I do a ton of all the social media stuff too. But most of what I do is drive people back to my website. For instance, I have a YouTube channel right but I don’t link to my YouTube channel. What I do is I actually embed my YouTube videos in a blog post for every show and and i SEO that blog post it just says so and so interview video so guess what, if I lose my youtube channel I can re upload all that content to another video player and put it back and I maintain the SEO I just need to change the embed I need to start doing that with my YouTube videos I part of like what you’re talking about with not being so dependent on particular platforms is actually why I’m just building a website right now and I’m really close to launching it’s going to be Leah loves crypto calm because gergan crypto.com was apparently taken but it was I think by some guys got in trouble for it but that’s a different. And so but part of it is because I want to start actually building an email list and like you said, building those those backlinks because then I actually have away to contact and connect with people that like my content. If something happens if suddenly, you mean crypto especially crypto is something that I think the market is still kind of figuring out the, you know, governments, these big centralized social media sites are still figuring out what they think about. And like you said, they might be like, Oh, well, we don’t want to see crypto ads anymore. And so that’s certainly a possibility. And so I think it’s super smart what you guys are doing and that’s such a good idea with the YouTube videos and definitely excited to write a blog post to go with my YouTube videos almost any way, you know.

Rob McNealy
Well, you know, and I’m not saying a corporation would ever do anything wrong, but you can’t tell me that. Well, let’s put in perspective right? You You got Twitter with you know, they’re pushing Bitcoin and some of their own little weird social media, things that they’re doing and I don’t trust jack any more than anybody else. But then what happens if Facebook launches Libra? You don’t think they’re not going to do something to drive people to Libra at the expense of other kinds of projects? Absolutely. And how does that look for not only, you know, banning ads, but are they going to add the content to? Are they going to bear? Or maybe they just bury the content? You know, oh, yeah, you can post this button, but we’re going to shadow band so no one can see it. And to me, I expect that to happen. You know, and, you know, and I work backwards from there. Because I don’t trust these guys. I mean, you know, if, if jack wanted to be open and not worry about censorship, he could make that happen time crypto, but he’s like, No, we want to make our own standard. There’s already open social media standards out there, though, you know, it’s, you know, web three stuffs already working on that. You don’t need to create a new consortium board of advisors to tweak Twitter, you could just adopt this standard exist, but they’re not going to do what they they’re not going to do something that they don’t control. And that’s what it comes down to. Because you know, especially with the Silicon Valley the way it is it’s about control to monetize, and there’s power in that and they’re not going to give up that power. Regardless of the stuff they say I don’t trust I don’t trust companies I don’t trust governments just like I and I don’t trust big corporate media guys whenever they talk about free and open anything Devil’s always in the details. Now I sound like a ranting lunatic but it happens from time to time. But so where do you think things are going to be in crypto here in the next year or two? You know, I’m not looking for like a hardcore money prediction. But where do you think it’s going to happen to the content creators in this space?

Lea Thompson AKA Girl Gone Crypto
I think it is going to be a wild ride because and you look at the content creators that were here in 17 before the big bull run, I mean, they got massive followings, really, because they were creating content during that Bull Run. So all of a sudden, all these people are like, googling things and looking things up and trying to find YouTube videos about Bitcoin and they’re on Twitter looking for questions. And so I think that a lot of those creators really kind of like swept up but you know, a big they’re following probably in that, like, you know, however many months period. And so I think that’ll happen again in the next bull run because again, they’ll be people that aren’t usually really consuming a lot of crypto content that are all of a sudden, really interested because maybe they bought a little bit of Bitcoin, like a long time ago, and they’re like, wait, now it’s worth how much What do I do or the you know, get the FOMO? And they’re like, do I need to buy now? What do I do? So I think that, in addition to, you know, kind of media mentions of the news and different people talking about crypto the next time I have a big bull run, you know, I think that just the general population looking for content is going to massively increase than the current amount that we have right now.

Rob McNealy
I think that makes a lot of sense. So I guess I need to get all my content out there for the next Bull Run. So I can ride that wave. Right. But I think you’re right, I think I think crypto is dead right now. And a lot of people I don’t have hope em by the way, I’m not one of those guys. I’m not injecting like, Oh, it’s gonna go to a billion not like now. I’m very cognizant, and I’m a heretic and that’s why I piss people off. But, you know, I mean, I think it’s possible that the price of bitcoin is $7,000 and maybe that’s what the actual market price of it should be. I don’t know that it’s going to go crazy at any one point. And and I’m open to that, because nobody knows everybody’s just guessing right now, but, but I can tell you even dislike the community right now. I mean, we just had to do our swap and, and, you know, it’s interesting, like how many people are diving in like, Oh, you guys swap like, yeah, we swapped three months ago. Thanks for thanks for playing, you know, because and I think that’s what’s happened. I think crypto got boring six months into 2018. For bigger, boring starting about a year and a half ago after the market tanked. People just went away. And it’s funny because even maybe within a you know, a year ago, it’s like the number of scammers just kind of faded away too. It’s like the scammers got bored. Like, they’re like, Oh, I feel bad for you. Okay, I’m a scammer, but I’ll give you some money because you’re down on your lock raid. So I definitely see that I think the market got really quiet and even the community is quiet. And I think I think you’re right. I think when when the numbers start going crazy, whenever that happens, again, I think you know, people get a little excited and start doing the research. So that’s a good note, I think. I think it’s a good time to build. I think even if you’re a content creator in this space, it is an excellent time to build. But I think you need to keep your content and your own stuff too, or at least have that reserve that you’re always kind of building yourself up. I think that’s important. I also notice I and I am I’m a big believer in personal branding now too. And I think that we had a good I went through the social media wave back 10 years ago when social media became a thing. And it’s interesting because all the big people that were big, I’m big Twitter, you know, I’m a social media guru. Kind of It’s like these crypto gurus, right? In fact, there’s a couple big crypto gurus that were social media gurus and now they’re crypto gurus. It’s kind of funny. But I think what happened is if they don’t do something else, besides just kind of try to ride that latest wave and be relevant in this latest wave, but I think people need to go through and build themselves into something. Out of that social media expert guru wave, there was hardly any of them that are relevant today. I think one of the biggest ones that is is Gary Vaynerchuk. I don’t know if he is a love him. Yeah. So I actually interviewed him a while back and Gary. Wow. Yeah. And Gary came out of the social media world, and then he parlayed it into a lot of other things. And I he’s one of the few that cross that chasm when like being a social like social media is just media and everybody does it now. But 10 years ago, no one was doing it. I mean, it was all brand new. And so, but there was all these other people that were trying to, you know, pimp themselves out is the latest, greatest so media marketing guru expert, right? And I kind of liken them to all these like traders, right? These crypto traders, I’m like, you’ve never traded a stock in your life. But now you’re like this excellent super duper trader on crypto and you got like some avatar dog. Yeah, no. But his, but his avatar dog gonna be there in five years? Are they going to be relevant in five years? And I don’t think they will be I just don’t see that. Because they’re not building anything. They’re not building anything back to a real website. They’re not building themselves back into a person, like their personal identity. If you’re if your identity is this random cartoon thing, but you won’t Dr. yourself for whatever reason, I don’t think you’re getting the benefit of all the content you’re really creating. What do you think?

Lea Thompson AKA Girl Gone Crypto
Yeah, no, I totally agree with that. I mean, there’s certain waves that I think are kind of easier to jump on or maybe more profitable jump on than others. And you know, I definitely say that crypto trading tips and kind of daily charting and stuff like that. I’m like, you know, I am not an expert. I’m like, if I really You want on my channel to blow up I would start doing but I know that that’s not necessarily, you know, my kind of my niche, my passion my like where I feel like I kind of find a groove. And so I guess kind of a question I have back to you cuz I’m curious what you were something you were just talking about is like so if that kind of content, you know, is that dog whatever is that going to be around in five years like what kind of crypto content do you think is still going to be relevant five years from now? Or are you more just saying like, build your own personal brand and then you can evolve along with that as things change?

Rob McNealy
I would ask if you went and looked at the the social media world of who is the social media expert on social media, and you probably can’t find that person anymore, or you probably don’t know them as like a household name brand. And and I would say is, it’s one thing to be an expert and using social media as a tool or any kind of marketing as a tool. But if you yourself are the as the content creator, I think you need to make yourself into something that allows flexibility for evolution going forward. So for instance, even name and I think about this even with projects and businesses and when we came up with the name the rebrand for us because we started as OCC in the beginning. And Tosca stands for the universal settlement coin. And, and it’s interesting because we also want to plan the elephant thing, because that’s our thing, right? Little elephant guy. So but TUSC, not to us, K. But what we said is we’re going to start off in this one industry, just kind of like Amazon was a bookstore for a long time. And but we’re not going to pigeonhole our branding around that one industry because that’s too limiting. And if we’re successful in one industry, we should be able to evolve and grow into others. And I think about personal branding the same way. If all you are is a crypto trader. Don’t Okay, make a lot of money. Great. I mean, I’m not dissing that and maybe you’re really good at trading. Thanks. You know, that’s great. But where does that take you? Where what are the options for you to evolve out of that? And ask, the question I would ask is, is how are you prepared to evolve when no one really cares about crypto trading tips anymore? Because at some point, it’s going to change, it’s not going to be as important out there. And what is your plan for evolving? And how does what you do with your brand now affect that in five years? And that’s that’s that’s just the question. I don’t know the you know, maybe I maybe you’re funny. Maybe you have a great personality, maybe you’re really smart about business on top of that. So you could talk about trading, but also business and that’s what I’m doing with this show. I’m not going to limit it to crypto stuff. Because it’s not one it’s not me, because I don’t just eat sleep and breathe crypto from the standpoint that that’s all there is my life. In fact, I have a lot of different interests. And I love small business and startups and I’ve been an entrepreneur for a long time and I’m going to cover that because that’s important to me. And that’s part of who I am. And so to me, I don’t want to limit myself to only talking about this one tiny subject that very few hundred thousand people in the world right now care about. I want to talk about it. Like I had a guy the other day and he pitched me I didn’t even know dinosaurs are fake guy and I love conspiracy theories. I’m not saying it believe them. But I love conspiracy theories and the guy pitch me and I’m like, that’s just funny. I’ve never heard this conspiracy so that you think like there’s a whole group of people out there think dinosaurs are fake. And there’s a big dinosaur industrial complex and museums are in on it. And I’m like, I know people that work in museums, I did not seem like in spirit they do not seem like there’s like a mafia, right. And so I’m like, I had them on the show, because it was interesting to me. And I wanted to learn about it. And so if I was just a strictly a crypto show, I couldn’t have that guy. And that wouldn’t be any fun.

Lea Thompson AKA Girl Gone Crypto
Actually, I saw my list to watch that or listen to that episode. I saw that and I’m like, I need to listen to like seven here and more people talk about the dinosaur conspiracy. I’m like, What is this? I was like I’ve seen Land Before Time. Come on, dude, Don’t try to fool me.

Rob McNealy
Did I fly? No, you fall. My favorite. Yep, yep, yep. Yep.I still have that show on VHS somewhere I think you really do. But I don’t have a way to play it. Because I don’t have a VHS player.

Lea Thompson AKA Girl Gone Crypto
But I think that’s that’s important is that if you’re going to be a content creator, be flexible, be flexible. And make sure you have some method where you can control it and drive that that content that’s somewhere that you can monetize in other ways. And like in just like I, you know, I live this, like, I still have all my old content. And I’m like, you know what, that would be good to build, you know, an extra 200 shows into my feed, and I have a goal I want to do like 100 to 150 interviews this this in 2020. That’s kind of my goal. I’m going to do probably three a week, but then you throw on another couple hundred shows in the mix. You know, by the end of the year, it’ll be a big show. And that’s important and it’s numbers and as inbound links and you know, maybe someone looks at an old show that I did was someone who has a big brand name I interviewed some big people before Like, CEO of Zappos, one of the former CEOs of Starbucks, the former governor of Colorado, I mean, lots of people a lot, I just call people up, like, come on my show, like, okay, that’s fine. But it’s good content and still recognized brand names. Then Gary Vaynerchuk, I interviewed him, you know, I interviewed lots of people. And so why not throw that content out there. And it’s interesting, isn’t it as an archive show, you can see how they’ve changed in time, and where they’re still the same. It’s kind of fun. So that’s what we’re going to be doing with this project. And to me, it’s all about, you know, meeting interesting people in the space. And I think with content creators, you got to be flexible, and you got to think about the future because if this is what you’re trying to do, and I’m not trying to do this as part of my job, or as my job, so and so I just preface this I, I would probably have to do things a little differently if I wanted to do as part of my job, but I’m not but I would say to people that are even you or people that are aspiring to be, you know, content creators for a living How are you leveraging that in back into yourself? And how are you monetizing that? Or what are you building that you can monetize over time. And to me, that would be important. Like, you know, if you’re really good at this, I mean, if you’re really a good brand ambassador, and you can build your own personal brand up by this one topic, I mean, that’s how you get picked up by like, you know, big companies to go around the world and be their brand ambassadors. And if you can generate an audience that way, there’s lots of opportunities there, if that’s something you desire to do, and you just got to be thinking about that the whole time on how do you establish yourself as being good at getting your own brand out there? And then how do you go through and you know, put that as a solution to like, say, a big corporation or something at some point later in life? Let’s just say this industry doesn’t need influencers anymore. What do you think?

Yeah, I know I think that being able to build a personal brand, being a Market understanding how to communicate with people and how to honestly how to be interesting. Does that make sense? Like, you know, to be like how do I’m screwed I’m screwed then. But just how to create things that people find entertaining educational, or in some way make their, their moment their day better when they come across it. I think that if you can kind of capture that skill, then you can translate that into so many different arenas, like you were talking about like and maybe it’s not even in the same industry like it could even be like Hey, so I I’m able to have this kind of engagement or this I have this kind of feeling or vibe with the audience says that I talked to and with my content, it you can take that really anywhere. So I think it’s almost like a good life skill just to kind of learn how to communicate online and how to create content that is interesting and engaging for people. And so in terms of like, you know, if the industry doesn’t need influencers anymore, like I personally think that I don’t really love the word influencer. But you know, I think that that industry is still growing and I think it is going to evolve and change. And honestly, I think that the crypto space is a little behind the game on certain trends and kind of the influencer marketing realm. You know, I think that a lot of people are just looking at your follower numbers and they’re not really looking at engagement and so much where I think in the rest of the world, you know, they’ve kind of moved on to be like, Okay, well, let’s, you know, let’s actually look at what people are really saying and how people are really interacting so I’m kind of excited to see the crypto space hopefully kind of come along that trend cuz I think you get more robust partnerships when you do that sort of thing. And now I’m starting to sound like a rambling fool I’m just going on about sounded great.

So with it, but I think you’re right i think it comes down to if you can build an audience and and a market let’s just say if you can build an audience about yourself and you do that really well. In a compelling way, that’s how you get a TV gig. That’s how you get hired to do other things for other people. So success breeds success. Ultimately, people want to work with people that have done it before. And and that’s how it is. So you got to understand. That’s why I like the personal brand. That’s why I like that’s why I like doing video on top of audio now. Because if you’re just like this crypto dog, or you know, whatever avatar it is out there, people don’t know who you are. It’s hard for them to kind of get a feel for who you are. And I find it’s interesting because with social media, when I used to go to like blog world and the affiliate summits and all these kind of related type of social media conferences back in the day, everybody just kind of used their own real name. So you can like Oh, you’re someone so Hey, nice to meet you. But now you’re like, and I feel like an idiot. Sometimes when I go to crypto conferences like, oh, you’re seeing your death, crypto and analyst or whatever, you know, it’s like oh, I just did it. Feel like a moron saying, Oh, you’re so and so right now. It’s like, I’m like, dude, I can’t take it seriously, I really can’t. It’s like, oh, you’re that taco dog or whatever. I’m just like, I’m just Rob. That’s just me. I am not that cool. I don’t have a cape, though. I probably it maybe that maybe, maybe I need a cape. Chris, should I get a cape? All right. Okay, the wife says, I can get a cape. So maybe I need a cape. That’ll be my thing. Oh, you’re wrong. But I think you’re right. I think people I think it’s important that people build their brand around themselves. And if they’re going to be in this space, and then they can leverage it and market in any way they want. If and I think that would be my thing. Now. You know, maybe these guys have some kind of, I always wonder if someone’s like an anon, I was wondering what they’re hiding. And I that’s what I think about like, right? It’s like, what do you Who are you afraid of? Why don’t you want people to know you’re doing this thing? Okay, and to me, I mean, and that’s, that’s what my own brain and maybe I get it because it’s like, it’s crypto. And I’m like, well, we’re not doing anything illegal. Why do you? Right? If you’re if you’re spending all this time and you’re really serious, like, you know, I just think it’s weird to me. But anyway,

I think kind of just to kind of offer like a little like Connor thought on that, like, I mean, I put my name out there too because I don’t you know, really care but the at least for me anyway, the reason I kind of went with a more like, you know, a curve on crypto, like, you know, more kind of funny, creative name is because I wanted people’s attention spans are about this big for those of you that are listening and not watching. It’s really small. And I think that when people see an account, and it’s like, you know, maybe so and so following this or something, someone retweeted it, if it just says Leah Thompson, then they don’t necessarily know like, oh, is what is that person about? But when they see something, it’s like crypto, they’re like, oh, that might be an account. I’m interested in So like for me, I kind of did that more as like a people can make that split second decision that they want to click on my name and check out my page. So anyway, just that’s kind of at least me where I was coming from.

Rob McNealy
You just need to put the word girl in crypto and then you’re good. You know, it’s funny. I see like these guys, I’m not picking out there’s this a lot of thirsty boys out there. And it’s like, you guys have a huge advantage. I’m you know, and it’s funny because even my wife, I mean, my wife has. She’s got a lot of followers on Twitter to like, 19,000 or something. And it’s funny because even I just mentioned her in there that I’m like, oh, and they’re like, follow, follow, follow. And I have to like, I’m losing followers every day, right? I’m like, I’m just trying to just keep my head above water. But she’s like, Oh, I got more followers. But, dude, you just breathe your girl and you get all right. I’m just picking. So Lea, where can people find out more about you?

Lea Thompson AKA Girl Gone Crypto
Yeah, so you can find me. You know, we’ve talked a lot about Twitter tonight. That’s probably where I Hang out the most online so you can find me Girl Gone Crypto, and also my youtube channel Girl Gone Crypto. I’m also on Instagram, you know, LinkedIn pretty much wherever people hang out. You can probably find me if you just search girl on crypto will thank you so much for coming on and I’ll try to get this edited before the holidays. Awesome. Well, thank you so much Rob is really fun hanging out with you.

Rob McNealy
Thank you so much. I’ll talk to you soon.

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Vinny Riley – Gokhshtein Magazine Transcript

Vinny Riley, Co-Founder & VP of Gokhshtein Magazine

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

Rob McNealy
Today I’m talking to Vinne Riley. He is one of the co founders of Gosh, Time magazine out of New York. Vinnie, how are you today, sir?

Vinny Riley – Gokhshtein Magazine
I’m doing well, man. I’m doing well. It’s, you know, it’s kind of a rainy day here in New York. But you know, it’s it’s a beautiful day, man in crypto always.

Rob McNealy
Yeah, I think people that bought two years ago might disagree with that.

Vinny Riley – Gokhshtein Magazine
I honestly, I was one of the people that bought two years ago. And the guy you’re the guy, I’m one of the guys Honestly, I’m one of the guys that bought two years ago and I’m still here. You know, tail between the legs a little bit, you know, for not selling at the peak. But, you know, that’s, that’s part of its part of my experience man. And you know, I think it’s it’s made me a better overall trader but overall gained so much experience over the last two years as far as when the next bull market comes because inevitably it will come and when it does, I’ll be better prepared for it. At least for me, you know, I’m excited, you know, I bought then I continue to buy and you know, I just dcaa on a weekly basis and you know, I’m just ready for for takeoff man.

Rob McNealy
Well, I I think that’s a really good attitude to have because I know a lot of people just cried and in their milk and laughed and got depressed and started doing a lot of drugs. So hey, you got a really good attitude about it, and it’s good. And you know, I’ll be honest, I don’t consider myself a trader and The only reason I did not like cut my wrists you know and get all depressed is because I actually got some dumb Lux trades at close to the peak and made it all the difference for us. So, you know, I’m not going to be too miserable but I don’t consider myself a trader. I don’t know the first thing about trading.

Vinny Riley – Gokhshtein Magazine
Gotcha. Yeah, I’m not big into it either. Honestly, I have a few close friends and stuff I really listened to as far as their advice, but the end of the day it comes down to like my decision. So I like to compare a few people and if both of them have a similar analysis, you know, I tend to run with it. Um, what I noticed too is well what I like to look at to like for me is I like to look at the percentage versus Long’s versus shorts. And like me, my friend was talking about it earlier today and I think it was like 5% people short game or something and like the rest were all Long’s and we’re like, you know, it’s gonna dumb. It’s gonna dump and, you know, hopefully we could be wrong. We could be wrong, but it’s just, you know, History at least from what I’ve noticed over the last, you know, two three years is it you know, big money always makes money

Rob McNealy
Well, it’s certainly easier to make money if you already have money,

Vinny Riley – Gokhshtein Magazine
you know, any Rob I need some?

Rob McNealy
What do I have money? You know, I I’m just I’m just a middle class guy man. So, you know I’m just kind of out there hustling trying to do my day to day you know if I was some big money guy in crypto I wouldn’t have a still have a day job right. But But the thing is like with our project anyways, everybody’s got a day job. There is no employees of task and there’s no full time developers and you know, we all are truly you know, the personification of what a community project is because we all have day jobs and we all haven’t scrubbed our LinkedIn. Right. So. So tell me a little bit about gosta magazine.

Vinny Riley – Gokhshtein Magazine
It’s a project me and David. You know, we started about a little over a year ago, um, you know, previously, I was working on a different magazine previously to, you know, the creation of Ghajini magazine. And, you know, everything was going great. We had a great product and, you know, majority of the team that, you know, I was working with then we did bring over to gashi magazine. And, you know, our previous experience, you know, the CEO as far as who we were working with it, just it just wasn’t going anywhere. It just wasn’t going anywhere. The CEO was just non existent non around. And, you know, me David been friends for a long time. We’ve been friends for, you know, over three years now. And I was like, yo, hey, D, listen, you know, I got an amazing staff. You know, I’ve been doing this for x amount of time. And I think we can really do something special with this. And he was like, oh, cool, man. He’s like, yeah, I checked you guys out before and he’s like, this is something I want to do and you No I don’t want to just be a magazine I want to build a media company and you know so that’s where it really like the snowball began and then it just started rolling and growing and you know, here we are today we’re about you know, six seven issues in and you know we have another one dropping in about you know less than two weeks it will be up before Christmas time and then it’s just really exciting man as far as all you know, the conferences we got to travel to and you know, all the great people we got to meet I got to meet Charles Hoskinson. I got to meet Charlie Lee, I got to meet you know, Derek capital from you know, token pay. But aside from that, all the great people that come on to our magazine that we got to feature you know, like Justin sun, we interviewed Craig right. You know, previously we just had, you know, Justin sun rock, the lead developer for verge. So it’s, it’s, it’s really interesting. It’s something that we enjoy doing. But also at the same time, it’s like we get to meet passionate people that are doing something for the space at the same time, so it’s kind of Like a win win.

Rob McNealy
So why I’m print magazine you know, everybody in crypto seems to be all about the digital and moving from paper to digital, yet you guys are doing kind of a, you know, a paper thing. Do you think that’s the is that a strategic direction do you think that’s the best direction to go?

Vinny Riley – Gokhshtein Magazine
For right now honestly, the majority of our stuff is all digital. We do offer print solution and the print solution really is only for when we attend like major conferences. So like the previous one, we were at like WCC, and you know, a futurist and stuff like that that’s where we’ll bring some physical copies. But for the majority, you know, we are looking at as far as partnering with another blockchain you know, magazine that has a print solution what it’s so expensive and the logistics behind it it’s just it’s not it’s not even sure if it’ll make financially sense. You know, I like how like Kindle came over. Sounded like, you know, Barnes and Noble like everything when you know, just everything geared towards internet and E reading and everything like that. So and as far as from like a numbers standpoint, you know, the amount of digital downloads that we get as opposed to the amount of like physical hard copies we sell is just outweighs it. But at the end of the day, still people like at a conference or something still like it’s still like, you know, kind of like Sylvania or something that take home. So that’s why we try to bring you know, a little both offer both experiences.

Rob McNealy
What would you say your, your kind of your angle that you approach crypto with with your publication?

Vinny Riley – Gokhshtein Magazine e
The main difference between us and I would say the majority of any other publication is, is everybody else is just geared on just crypto crypto crypto, you know, which is great. That’s why we’re here you know, that’s, that’s our main love. That’s our baby. Yeah, obviously, crypto blockchain adoption. I’m all for it, but I didn’t want to just quarter ourselves into that niche market. You know, like, granted, yes, crypto is, you know, multi billion dollar industry. Sure, no problem. But at the same time, people don’t want to just read about crypto, you know, that’s why we try to incorporate lifestyle. We try to incorporate travel, we try to incorporate art and fashion to as well. So that I don’t see anybody else really doing that, at all. At least from my experience, at least I haven’t noticed it.

Rob McNealy
So beyond the actual magazine publication, you mentioned that you want to develop a full media company, what all is on your roadmap and horizon with your project?

Vinny Riley – Gokhshtein Magazine
Well, for right now, we offer as you know, as encompassing a full media company as opposed to just offering you know, ad solutions as far as within our magazine. We have we’re looking into doing events, hosting events, hosting parties. But also making these events and meetups something different, something unique, you know, from my experience of traveling to all these, you know, crypto events and everything like that. And so very beautiful. Some of them are lavish, and all that is great. But when you get there, you’ll do a walk around, you know, you’ll check out all the booths and everything. And then usually there’s an awesome after party at the end. But while I’m there, like I go ahead and I do my walk around and everything I check out everybody, I get 113 business cards that I put in my pocket, but I’m like, you know what’s next? I’m like, Where’s the bar? You know, because I want to have fun. I want to have fun when I’m there. So like my idea of what I would like to do as far as from like, an event standpoint is like, Listen, you want to come to my event. Yeah, we’re gonna have all that. But you know what, I’m gonna have a bouncy castle over there. You know, I’m going to have face painting over here so you could bring your kids whole bunch of different stuff with We also want to incorporate education to as well. So, you know, a lot of people in the industry at least, you know, what I’ve noticed is everybody wants to be the most intelligent. Nobody wants to look silly. Everybody wants to seem the most brightest and whatnot. But everybody is a little taken aback to say, Hey, listen, I’m not sure what that means. I don’t know what that means. We plan on doing a little bit of education as as opposed if we’re you know, teaching blockchain to a five year old and kind of like dumbing it down but also having you know, big speakers come in like say possibly Justin sort of Tron or something you know speak about Tron like what is Tron? Tron is great we know Tron Tron Tron because Justin, you know, promoted he’s a phenomenal marketer. What going dead Tell me about Tron Tell me what the transactions per second mean? Like what what is this going to do? How is this going to change the game and I think the more knowledge People have about it. And the more it’s broken down and simplified, I think that makes it easier to spread adoption. Because if your normal Joe person comes to their conference, and you know, sometimes it can be overwhelming, but if you’re able to teach them something, and they’re able to leave with more knowledge than they got there with and change their perspective a little bit, they’re going to go home and tell somebody about it. And that’s how that whole ripple wave, you know, starts. That’s how adoption spreads. We need the people to do it. So I’m looking at an angle is where we can make that happen, but also make it fun for everybody.

Rob McNealy
I think that’s a really healthy attitude. So let me talk a little bit about you know, crypto in general, as far as your how your magazine views it. crypto seems to be very tribal. Yeah, Bitcoin maximalists out there and things of that nature and, and a lot of publications are also kind of biased One way or the other? Are you guys more Bitcoin focused in and or do you really look at all coins and the greater blockchain community and all the different types of projects that are out there?

Vinny Riley – Gokhshtein Magazine
No, we try to offer you know, we’re definitely not maximalist. That’s That’s for sure. You know, my opinion, yes, Bitcoin is king will always be king. But I would be naive, in my opinion, to say that, like, that’s it, that’s the end all be all. Like, there’s hundreds and hundreds of great community projects, like for yours example is the wonderful project, you know, I mean, and it’s going to be a great blockchain. But why not give opportunity and shed light to these wonderful community driven projects that deserve exposure? You know, why limit ourselves to just talk about Bitcoin? aetherium Litecoin. Why it makes it makes no sense. At the same time, all of these other these other projects, too, as well. They have the community behind it, you know, sure. Bitcoin everybody loves Bitcoin. But everybody likes to like everybody likes to rock their favorite sporting team to as well and like that’s what I noticed too as well as like how you said like crypto is a bit of tribalism. What it’s become also too is like you rooting for your favorite sports team as far as like your favorite crypto that you’re backing? So we try to give and share the love to everybody.

Rob McNealy
So, you know, I always wonder Then why aren’t people rocking their Visa and MasterCard t shirts?

Vinny Riley – Gokhshtein Magazine
See that? Exactly. I got my Bitcoin t shirt right, my Bitcoin hoodie right here, man.

Rob McNealy
No, I just meant from the standpoint that you don’t see that.

Vinny Riley – Gokhshtein Magazine
You know, you don’t see that at all. Never.

Rob McNealy
So what are the kinds of projects are you associated with besides the magazine itself?

Vinny Riley – Gokhshtein Magazine
Myself personally, I’m also a community manager for Telcoin. What Telcoin is is basically it’s going to be the new Western Union as simplified enough. What tell coin is doing is disrupting the mobile money industry but also the remittance industry at the same exact time. So what is allowing people to do is allowing people from say Point A to Point B to send funds back home to to their loved ones for significant discounted rate for example, I believe the Western Union charges somewhere between five and 10%. Tell coin will be able to do that same exact transaction as opposed to having to have somebody go to a local Western Union require bank account, wait five to 10 days for that transaction. Tell coin aims to do it with about anywhere between one to 2% for the whole transaction. The beautiful thing about it too, as well is it’s instantaneously sentell point two to my art director on the opposite side of the world. I live in New York. He lives in Sydney, Australia. It took about 15 seconds. And I need even need to do it through the Ethereum blockchain, which Yes, tell us a utility token built on. You know, it’s an ERC 20 token. But I didn’t send it through the blockchain. I had the option where if I want to, I can send it through the blockchain. But I sent it right directly to his phone number. So the way they’re they’re doing this, they’re leveraging your mobile network operators. So for instance, United States, the big companies are your Verizon or at&t s and whatnot. But where they’re targeting is, you know, the big populated areas where predominantly the most money is remitted to annually. So that’s where they’re honing in on their business model. And then they’re jumping from, from that big area from A to B to C. What they’re leveraging the moment network operator and I say it twice. I mean to be repetitive, but it’s so important because these people in these other countries like Africa, Singapore, Malaysia, all these places, a lot of these people don’t have smartphones, even though some of them are very up and coming. But a lot of these people still don’t know about cryptocurrency either. And the beautiful thing is, is that they don’t even need to, they don’t need, they won’t even essentially need to know that they’re using tell coin. Because it’s going to be a service that’s offered by say your Verizon you’re at and see somebody you already trust somebody you’ve been paying a bill to, for the last 1015 years. Now they’re going to say, Hey, we have this option, where instead of you going over here and using company X, Y and Z, we can just do it for you and we can save you, you know, 75% of your fees. And then you have the option to either use it for mobile money top ups, or you can have it you know, the agent Integrated a partnership with you know, Jeremiah, which is basically the Amazon of Africa. So they’re building this whole ecosystem. So its utility token made for remittances. But it just doesn’t stop there.

Rob McNealy
It sounds an awful lot like CoinText on the BCH blockchain.

Vinny Riley – Gokhshtein Magazine
I’ve never, never heard of them to be honest. Are they leveraging mobile network operators though?

Rob McNealy
It’s all every it’s all designed to work on dumb phones. And so the phone number becomes the wall. It’s kind of an interesting technology, but it’s Bitcoin Cash based not Ethereum based.

Vinny Riley – Gokhshtein Magazine
Gotcha. And do they have regulations as far as because that’s where I see like tell being being at the forefront of this is they have their MSP their money service business license from Canada. They have their VC from in Singapore so they have the blessing by all these financial sectors and these governments that which allow them to do it, but allow them to operate and do it legally without having to worry about being shut down in a week or so.

Rob McNealy
Very cool. Yeah, I haven’t reached into, you know, how compliant they are aren’t but I know they do serve, you know, all over Europe in the United States. So, but I haven’t dug into what their compliance is not my project. But I just think it’s interesting. And I think that eventually, you know, one of those types of products will be beneficial. I think with like all crypto, there’s lots of great ideas. But we’re seem to be lacking the ability a lot of products seem to be lacking and like I would go to market strategy and marketing strategy in general. So it’s just going to be interesting in my mind to see where these products kind of end you know, where it all kind of shakes out. But I think, you know, I believe in the future that the most successful crypto products will be the best one marketed crypto projects. And right now even if you go to the top hundred coin market cap, very few of them are actually even being marketed. And so I think that I think the future is uncertain. You know, when people say, Bitcoin will always be king, I don’t necessarily agree with that, because we haven’t they don’t have adoption yet. No crypto products have adoption. All these crypto products have investors. But as far as adoption, none of them do. Nobody’s using crypto for buying and selling goods and services at this point pretty much anywhere in any kind of real numbers. And so I think until that actually happens, I think the the opportunities in the field are still wide open.

Vinny Riley – Gokhshtein Magazine
I definitely understand I get that point and it and it makes 100% sense. I guess like when I say like Bitcoin is king. I mean, it’s just it’s just a granddaddy for me as far as what brings every what uh, what brought everything Else to the field? You know? Sure. At the same time, I think it’s like the AOL. It’s a little old, it’s outdated, you know, but without that we wouldn’t have all these, you know, amazing projects, you know, being born today from it.

Rob McNealy
Oh, no doubt, it’s an amazing proof of concept. That’s not what I’m getting at. And I am a holder of Bitcoin. So I’m not anti Bitcoin by any stretch. I just think that as far as if you have to look five years out, and you had to say right now, what are going to be the top kryptos in five years? I don’t think there’s a safe bet to say any of them that are on the top 100 right now, I think that the market could be vastly disrupted in different in five years than it is right now.

Vinny Riley – Gokhshtein Magazine
Absolutely. See it. That brings me to another point. Like I think the most successful projects that will be going forward as you as you say, I do agree with you, the ones that will be most marketed to as well but I believe in the ones that actually We’ll have a real use case to as well. And there are very few projects that are actually being used or piloted are in beta. You know, kind of up until this point, it’s kind of been a little bit of like smoking mirrors a little bit like, and I’m kinda like, you know, waiting for it to clear and like, you know, what’s behind the curtain. And there’s, there’s really not many that I can I can really name that have that use case and you know, and like I can’t share, you know, my experience, you know, you know what’s helpful and has as far as in the making, but aside from that, the only other project that I see that has an actual real working product is is te food. That’s the only other product that I see project that I see that has a real viable working product product. It was a real company before it switched over to blockchain. People probably most people probably haven’t even heard of it, but I believe is the top five blockchains as far as the amount of number of transactions, and if you look at their partnerships, and I’m not trying to show this, but I’m trying more so saying that, hey, you other companies, you guys can talk a big game, but like, at the end of the day, what why p at least for me why I’m going to buy your token or why I’m going to invest in it into it is I need to see application I need I need to have a reason why and not only how am I going to use it, but how is the mess in general public going to be used for

Rob McNealy
I’m kind of a heretic when it comes to crypto in general. And I’m not shy about that. I have a lot of different opinions because I don’t believe in groupthink. And I’m not full of hope Iam, but I don’t think of crypto projects in the same way. As far as the wording people use around them the vocabulary like use case, I can think of all sorts of use cases, meaning that something that crypto can fix or some kind of problem kryptos can solve. But I think looking forward, and which I don’t hear out pretty much anywhere in the spaces, who are the customers? Who are the people that are using these products and services, and are willing to pay for them? And that’s what I always kind of come back to who are the customers for the project? And how do you get your project in front of those customers. And to me, that goes back to just business. And to me, even though kryptos is some of them are decentralized and things of that nature. That doesn’t mean they’re not subject to the laws of the market. And to me, it doesn’t matter how great your technology is, it doesn’t matter how many features your technology even has. What matters is how does your product solve a problem for people People, and how are you as someone on a team putting out a project, whether it’s community based or an actual company? Or it’s a dow or what have you? What is your strategy to get your solution into the hands of the people who have a problem? And when I asked these questions, I get the funniest looks from lots of projects. And and it’s kind of a troll, though, because a lot of Unfortunately, most crypto projects are led by development teams. They’re not led by entrepreneurs or sales or marketing people. And so their worldview isn’t really focused on those things. And and I don’t have an issue with that. I mean, it’s just understanding how engineers think versus how business people think versus how sales and marketing people think. And unfortunately, for a successful project, I believe you need to have all of those attributes kind of combined into the project. And right now, most of the the major projects out there are just led by developers, they don’t have well balanced teams, and most of them don’t actually have Have market segmentation. They don’t have marketing strategy and they don’t really have salespeople. So to me, understanding how business works and having launch products and companies into the market, those are some of the most important things you need think about and when major products don’t even think about those things. That’s why I’m very bearish on a lot of major products that other people are very bullish on. It’s not that I’m anti the product, or the project is just means that they haven’t explained who their customer is, let alone how they’re going to get in front of them. What do you think?

Vinny Riley – Gokhshtein Magazine
I think we were talking about that the other day, like I don’t I’m not sure if I was talking with you, but I was talking about it with somebody else. But like, at the end of the day, like I agree with you, you don’t you mean like I think the most valid point you made was is that okay? We need to find a solution for a problem. That everyday people are facing, but then present them with the solution but then actual, like, there needs to be a benefit. It can’t just be like that, like people need to need to use your product but also solve, be solving a real real problem at the same exact time. You know, I mean, like, we can create something like, like, if there’s a cure for cancer, you know, and we put it on the blockchain, is that really going to do anything? No, like, you know what I mean? Like, that’s what medicines for that’s a whole different thing. But if you can solve like, like what you guys are doing, like, I don’t mean to be bringing it back to you. It’s just this is what I think about is because of the conversations that we had. And as far as when we talked about Tosca and what they were doing, or what you guys are planning to do and as far as how you guys your approach, and as far as how, what you guys are focusing on and how you broke down your business plan. To me was was, I was blown away. I really was. And I noticed that in, like how you were saying all these other projects, all these top top top projects, great. You have the marketing, you have the numbers, you have the market cap, but who’s using it? And why are people going to use it is the question. I still I still haven’t been presented with that answer. You know, so there’s very few maybe, aside from maybe Litecoin that’s the only one that I’ve seen maybe that has adoption, maybe from like the Miami Dolphins and as far as, you know, the use cases where you can use on that new app or whatever it is that that they’re using. I don’t know I’m lost.

Rob McNealy
Well, I appreciate you know, your pimpin, or you know mentioned our project because we have worked really hard to and we’ve worked really hard over the last year and a half to get to where we are and we do think about these things. A lot. But to me, I have a lot of history working with startups, and I’m a serial entrepreneur. And, and the first thing I asked a new entrepreneur, like someone who hasn’t been an entrepreneur, and you can always tell a new entrepreneur, that they’re green, and that they’re going to struggle by asking a few simple questions. And I went through this twice in Las Vegas the other day when I was down there for another conference. And I was introduced some to some new entrepreneurs that are trying to come up with some projects and different in different industries. And the first thing I asked is, who is your market? And they look at me like what do you mean? And I, I’d like to see a very specific answer. And when you ever hear an entrepreneur or someone who wants to be an entrepreneur said, anybody in the world that does this, that and that tells me right off the bat that they probably have no clue who they’re going customer is, and they’re probably not going to be successful. And, and I don’t mean that in a disrespectful way. But yeah, if I said my cryptocurrency could be used by anyone who doesn’t like fiato, or you know, some nonsense, generalized statement like that, that doesn’t tell me that you’ve thought about this, because let’s, you know, I know from a marketing and business standpoint, that Yeah, big markets are great to go after. But unless you even if you have the giant marketing budget, it’s very challenging to go after every single industry on the planet that could use your features and benefits with your project. You need to be focused and you need to be laser focused on where you think you can get the best traction the fastest, and where you have the most success converting people over to using your product or service and you need to be very, very, very, very specific about that, especially in a big market because most people don’t have unlimited marketing budgets or unlimited amounts of time to educate people. And so It’s interesting when you go and talk to engineers and leading certain crypto projects, you get the same kind of responses. Well, anybody who blank, you know, or every person in the world that could, you know, doesn’t like banks or whatever. And you know, that’s nonsense. Those aren’t those aren’t actual people that think about an understand sales and marketing and product launches. Now doesn’t mean that they can’t learn. They certainly can. But if that’s their generic statement, I would tell you that they have a really difficult time. They’re going to have a really difficult time being successful with that. And that’s just my my experience. But what backs me up is how angel investors and VCs ask the same questions and they’ll excoriate a startup entrepreneur who can’t nail down exactly who their customers exactly what their customer looks like, and can articulate a strategy to put their product or service in the hands of that potential user. And unless you can do that very clearly and clearly articulate it. I believe they’re going to struggle with And unfortunately with the crypto space, that’s more, that’s more often than not the cases what I’ve seen.

Vinny Riley – Gokhshtein Magazine
I agree. And I hate circle back, just you brought, you brought up a word as far as like VC and venture capitalism as far as exactly what they look for and whatnot like recently, as far as with telco, and they are, they’re partnered with one of the largest VC firms, East ventures in Asia, and they just double down on telecoil. The reason why is obviously, they see something they’re able to, you know, meet or achieve all those targets they previously had previously, and then hopefully, going forward, they’ve set new ones, you know, they’ve they’ve, they’ve obviously given them a little, you know, bigger piece of the equity or whatnot. But I don’t see other people i don’t i don’t see other people being able to answer those questions, you know, at least the way I don’t I don’t I don’t think anybody would be able to answer it or articulate themselves as well as you just did for nine let me

Rob McNealy
Let me explain another way and I’m not going to pick on anyone project but I will little bit a theorem. Go ahead who is Ethereum’s intended customer? Yeah, we I think we talked about a little bit I go but who’s Ethereum’s customer?

Vinny Riley – Gokhshtein Magazine – Gokhshtein Magazine
Right, but but to me I think of a smart contracts platform in a certain way. Yeah, it does a certain thing. It’s for people that want to have some, you know, utility from a blockchain but don’t want to build their own. To me, that’s what a smart contracts platform more or less is. Now to me, there’s all sorts of potential customers that might be interested in such a product or service. However, if you go and talk to any of the major smart contracts, platforms, teams and ask them Who their customers or their intended market is for their smart contract platform? They can’t give you an answer. They can’t say, Oh, it’s major corporations above $300 million that are focused in this sector, that sector, or maybe it could be large, contract, programming, comm software development companies that want to build semi walled permissionless blockchains for other customers, you know, I would love to hear that kind of response to that question. But you don’t you always get anybody who needs a smart contract, blah, blah, blah, which again, that tells me two things. One, they really haven’t thought about who their customer is, and to they have no plan on how to put their product in the market. Because if you can’t clearly define and clearly articulate who your exact intended customer is, you can’t develop a go to market strategy to get in front of them. Because you don’t know who they are.

It makes all the sense in the world.

Rob McNealy
I’m not picking on Vitalik. I’m not picking on any of these platforms, I’m just saying is, you know, the companies that are out there are the products that have multi billion dollar market caps. Because sure is how hire a couple VP of marketing or marketing consultants to come help sort that stuff out. And they would probably tell vitalik or people from the certain like maybe the theorem Foundation, maybe you need to go to industry conferences. In the space you’re looking at providing services to I don’t believe a decentralized project is immune from the laws of marketing, sales and business development. Even it’s just an ownership difference. I tell people, when I’m talking to non technical non blockchain people, when I’m talking about what a decentralized product project is, I said, and because they don’t get it, they don’t understand the decentralized minimum. People can’t grasp the concept of a know company. Right? They can’t figure it out. It’s just a new thing. It’s really abstract. So you still have to figure out a way to talk to those people and communicate the ideas, even though it’s an abstraction. So, for instance, I’ll tell people, well, we’re decentralized project, it’s kind of like a nonprofit thing. Okay. And technically, you know, a Dao or decentralized project is a nonprofit. But when you say it like that, where the focus of the project isn’t on make, you know, because even tous where focus is not making profit or you know, empowering CEOs and all that kind of stuff. That’s what we’re doing. We’re like a nonprofit. And if you say in an articulated like that, it makes sense to people. Yeah. You know, and you gotta, you gotta communicate with people in a way that makes sense to them. But I think that in right now, until the major projects out there, kind of really focus and doubled down on who they are, and who their customers are, and then figure out a way to get in front of them. I believe that the market is completely wide open from an opportunity standpoint. And I do believe the projects and I’m not saying it’s going to be tossed, but it can be any projects that really have the go to market strategy, the go to market definitions, the market segmentation, and all those ducks lined up and around. And those products once they start getting out there are going to be very, very, very successful in this space because I do absolutely see lots and lots of problems that crypto and blockchain can solve. But I don’t see the folks in the industry actually trying to actually make the connection for end users that way. It seems that too many of the blockchain and crypto products are really just focused on market cap and, you know, improving the the number of people investing in their projects, rather than the number of users using their products. You know, for instance, We’re focused on the gun industry. And I go to lots and lots of gun related events. I talked to lots and lots of influencers and lots of people in the industry, and nobody, and I’ve talked to hundreds of people in this space. No one has ever been in contact with someone from a project in crypto besides us before us. None of them. They’ve heard of Bitcoin. And I haven’t everybody’s heard the word Bitcoin. Yeah, two years ago, the big pump. Everybody’s heard the word Bitcoin, it usually has a negative stigma attached to it. No one really understands what it is and no one’s met anybody from the Bitcoin project. That’s what I see out there. And I go to industry conferences. So I have like one foot in the industry and one foot in the crypto space. And when I go to industry stuff, I’m the only guy out there they’re talking to them. I’m the only one that’s interested in expressing an interest in trying to hold their hand and provide customer support through our project, which is kind of how We’re trying to go to market. And to me, that makes no sense, especially with the massive amount of resources. Some of these, you know, top 10, top 20 crypto foundations have available that at this point, they’re still not putting people in charge of business development and marketing in any routine way.

Vinny Riley – Gokhshtein Magazine
If I had their money, I’d burn money. I’ll put it to you that way. If I had their money, I’d burn mine. But you said how do you have you not put something in place? How do you if you don’t want to do it, you guys have the capital to hire probably some of the best and brightest minds in the world.

Rob McNealy
That’s what I don’t understand. So think of it this way. Even if this is my take, even if there’s no company and you just have a foundation and let’s just say pick, let’s just say Bitcoin, right? Let’s just say Bitcoin doesn’t have a foundation. It doesn’t have a marketing team. But let’s just say you’re a bag holder, a Bitcoin, right? You’re one of these infamous Bitcoin billionaires that are running around right? You’re telling me these guys go pay a couple guys 150 K a year to blow up their project and get out there and really find use cases just out of their own pocket if you’re a billionaire and you’re and you love this this crypto products so much or let’s just say you’re worth a couple hundred million dollars from the investment side of rock Why aren’t you personally just going and hiring salespeople to go and market it?

Vinny Riley – Gokhshtein Magazine – Gokhshtein Magazine
I know I would be because I know if I don’t know once you get past that threshold of where you have that kind of like excuse my language fuck you money like I’m gonna do everything I damn well possibly sure to make sure that investment that nest egg I have just continually grows and in this world you need to spend money to make money. Like why not? I don’t see anybody do doing it. The only person like I made me see doing is maybe like john McAfee. But who else who else Like you don’t even mean like john McAfee was running for president. Like, yeah, it may be a little bit, you know, an ego trip or whatever it is, and his his ploy against, you know, getting back at the US government. But at the end of the day, his promotion is all about adoption. Like, you know, that’s what he wants, because it’s gonna help him, you know, help him in his pockets. But he also knows that if he can get on a bigger, louder stage, he’s going to be able to speak and reach to a bigger audience. And that’s the same thing that David David is trying to that David is doing David’s running for Congress, not because he wants to win. It’s not because of anything like that at all. But it’s to give the people you know, of New York that hadn’t heard of crypto before, you know, it opens their ear. And if he does win, you know, what do you think is it his thing is going to be it’s going to be on regulation, how it was built 75 million years ago and how nothing is change. We’re behind, and how all these products and all these bright and brilliant minds that we have from MIT, these business majors from Stanford and everybody else, they’re leaving to go work on these blockchain projects overseas. Like, why not keep them and let’s work on something where we can create something in the country and let it stay? I don’t know. That’s that’s just that’s just my, my opinion. Sorry for going on a little right there.

Rob McNealy
You know, I think we’re both ranting at this point, but because we’re passionate and, you know, you and I, I think you and I both agree and we see the value in the fact that you know, getting mass adoption is going to require a whole other level of customer support and marketing and sales and product launches and developments and basically some business acumen. Now, and it’s frustrating to least me and probably you that you got the big dogs in the space that want to tell everybody else how to do crypto and you got these maximals telling people How they should do crypto and whether you’re doing it right or wrong, or how what’s a fair launch or what’s pre might, you know, all these different, like laws that they’ve dictated about the industry, yet the same cats and got these massively full bags because they just got in early, won’t open those bags up to actually go and do the little bit of work to make it happen. Yeah. And, and that’s frustrating to a guy like me who really does want to see decentralization, I didn’t have any plan to like start a project. You know, it took it took some time for me to like really understand the space when I started really evaluating the crypto space and started looking at where can I use crypto? How are people and to me, how are people these projects running these products getting in front of people, and you don’t see it happening and we didn’t see it happening? And once we decided to, you know, solve a problem with crypto, we got out there and it’s funny because you get nothing but hate from the maxies out there and you’re saying look, if you were doing this we wouldn’t need to.

Vinny Riley – Gokhshtein Magazine
But it’s so counterproductive it’s mind boggling to me like I like I’m all for it you know be a maximalists everything like you know just Bitcoin Bitcoin Bitcoin but like it goes back to our point like what what how is Bitcoin being used like you like you said it I still believe the doors open for you know a project to come in to be actually use and for transactions and all this like like let’s let’s be real Bitcoin slow, you know it’s slow it’s not going to be that end all be all so why just have that closed mindedness and say this is it this is that’s it like if we’re all praying and preaching for adoption, we should be rooting for everybody you know besides the people that are bleeding of the scammers, but anybody that’s trying to be an entrepreneur in the space or anybody that that wants to do something is helping the overall take a I just don’t get it like, you know, mean, and I don’t like the bullying that I see sometimes to, you know, like, you know, putting people down or it’s like, you know, my sports team is better than yours. So you know what your stinks? Like? No, like, yeah, be passionate about the one you like, but there’s no reason to not give credit where credit’s due or at least applaud people for trying. Like, I don’t know, that’s at least where we’re wellies. Where I come from and that standpoint, um.

Rob McNealy
Well, I think it makes sense, right? I mean, I was kind of joking about it earlier says people aren’t wearing visa shirts and arguing visas better than MasterCard on the street, right? And there’s a reason for that because no one gives a show because they’re just utilitarian kind of payment networks and people don’t get excited or polarized over it. Whereas crypto in many respects is very religious people have wrapped and I think what happens people’s wrap their own Identity around, you know, being an evangelist for a specific product, or project. And they do that for so long that they kind of, from an ego standpoint, kind of sell themselves into a corner. And then if someone says their baby’s ugly, or maybe another project comes along, that’s a little better or a little different, that might be more successful. Instead of saying, Yeah, you’re right, this part of my baby’s kind of ugly, they say, No, your baby’s ugly. And since I was here, first, ours is better than yours. And I think that’s inherently. I think it’s very narrow minded, but I think it holds back crypto. And I use an example of someone recently that says, let’s just say you’re a retailer and you have some interest in accepting a major crypto project. But it’s a decentralized project with no you know, no customer support, no tech team to call no phone number to call if you get a problem, but you still want to Use it. So where do you go? You go on to forums and you go into crypto Twitter? And let’s just say you’re interested in Bitcoin, right? And I like to use Bitcoin because it’s got the biggest communities out there. But now you’re saying, well, I need something that’s fast and I need something that’s, you know, consistent and pretty cheap and, and then they look at, you know, a different fork of Bitcoin. And if they mentioned that, they’ll be excoriated, what do you think that retailers going to do? He’s gonna run away. So and, and to me, I believe that maximalism and toxic maximalists actually are holding back the adoption of crypto for that reason.

Vinny Riley – Gokhshtein Magazine
I agree. I really do. I wanted to close with this. I want to give your audience something I want to share with you guys something that we haven’t shared hasn’t been out on Twitter yet. It’s a partnership that we just landed a few days ago that we’re solidifying or having my graph designer make it up right now currently. But before I get to that I wanted to offer we have we have a partnership with major gaming one of the best, you know, Gears of War teams out there a gaming gaming team. And we are currently about to build three new teams on three different games. Best thing in Europe. I want to offer to whatever it is we offer as far as up to 25% off discount on that 50% off any company interesting looking to offer in our magazine, but also if this YouTube, if this podcast right here gets over 100 retweets, I will randomly pick somebody and they can pick any project they want and we will give them a free interview or a free write up about their whole entire project to as well. Now the partnership that we just struck with is travel by bit. So travel by bit is powered by binance. So travel by It will be our traveling partner. And all funds will be paid via BMB. For Gosh, team, the next event that we’re heading to is we’re heading to the Washington elite down to Miami. And then I’m going to be staying there for the week and going to be attending the North American Bitcoin conference. So I extend the invitation to you, I would love for you to come if it’s possible.

Rob McNealy
I’m already going

Vinny Riley – Gokhshtein Magazine
Are do you? Look, did we just become best friends Damn, and we’re going to meet up down there.

Rob McNealy
It’s going to be a good time. I’m going to all those events as well. So I gotta represent. But hey, you know, what we’ll do is we’ll put all those details in the blog post that accompanies this podcast so people can access it. So if they want to check it out, it just go to Rob McNealy calm and you’ll be able to find all the details about what’s going on with your promo. So, Mr. Riley Vinnie, where can people find out more about all the various things that you’re doing?

Vinny Riley – Gokhshtein Magazine
You can go ahead and follow us on Twitter, @Gokhshtein. You can follow us on our website Gokhshtein.com. You can check us out. We have a Discord. We have a Twitter, we have a telegram. My personal Twitter handle is @RileyVinnie. But that’s really it, man. That’s it.

Rob McNealy
And we not had a really good time today and you are always welcome to come back on the show when you got any updates or some cool stuff happening. So make sure you keep me in the loop on all the stuff you’re doing.

Vinny Riley – Gokhshtein Magazine
Absolutely. Absolutely. Rob, thank you so much for inviting me on it was absolute pleasure speaking with you.

Rob McNealy
Anytime Vinnie. And make sure you hit that subscribe button this Rob McNealy, check us out of the web of RobMcNealy. com.

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