cryptocurrency

Haider Rafique – OKCoin Transcript

Haider Rafique - OKCoin

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

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Hey Rob McNealy here. And today we are talking to Hyder Rafiq, he is the global Chief Marketing Officer of oak a coin, which is an American based cryptocurrency exchange. And you don’t hear a lot about American exchanges too often, because they’re just frankly, aren’t many of them. But I wanted to get his take on the crypto world. And so well, let’s welcome to the show. Hi, there. How are you today?

Haider Rafique – OKCoin
I am. Well, thanks for having me, too.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
I appreciate you coming on the show today. I think based on some of our earlier talks, you got a lot of really, really good insights. And I wanted to share some of those their audience. Before we kind of jump into that though, can you give us a little bit about your background? How did you get into the crypto space? And how did you join the ok coin team.

Haider Rafique – OKCoin
My experience with crypto started when I left Microsoft, I believe it was 2014. And I was playing around with an e commerce idea that we had with a two engineers from Microsoft, we ran into a payments problem. Most of our customers were coming from China, South Korea, India and those markets. And by allowing Bitcoin as a form of payment, we were able to increase the amount of orders we were able to fulfill on on our e commerce platform. So that was my first exposure to crypto and Bitcoin. I ended up working for a few years in enterprise enterprise Product Marketing, b2b product marketing for a software company, only to find myself in 2017, like most of us and the sense of urgency that hey, I should actually go work in crypto, it’s more exciting than than what I’m doing. I got fortunate I ended up becoming the first head of growth@blockchain.com spend two years they’re building out their growth function, their their marketing function, and also their monetization while I was there, and I was hooked, I was in the rabbit hole deep. When I decided to leave blockchain I was looking for the next gig I wanted to take on was something ideally at an exchange. And I came across Okay, coin long with a few others and Okay, coin was fairly unique in what they were trying to build. And, and the leadership was was, you know, one that I really resonated with. So that’s, that’s how I ended up at Ok, coin. There’s a lot of exciting stuff going on here.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
So what would you say differentiates Okay, coin from some of its other competitors, both globally, and you know, domestically?

Haider Rafique – OKCoin
So we are a Global Exchange? A lot, oftentimes, the question I get is, are you guys the US entity of because you’re now headquartered in the US? Are you a US entity? For Okay, coin? Are you similar to say, for example, by Nance us, and we’re not, we’re actually truly a global exchange. And the difference is, we’re actually headquartered in the US, in San Francisco, the way we differentiate ourselves is ultimately at a very macro level. The reality is Rob, we all have a lot of choices. When you think about buying crypto, whether you buy crypto through a wallet product, or you buy through an exchange, there’s just so many brands out there for anyone to choose from, what we try to do differently is we try and ultimately create an experience that is going to be really meaningful for the customers. We’re on that journey. Are we there hundred percent? Not yet. But we’re working really hard towards essentially differentiating on customer experience. So part of that means we’re not going to maliciously charge customers, fees, high fees you’re seeing that happen in the industry. So our fees are very competitive in the industry. We’re about one of the lowest fees exchanges out there. We’re also Fiat based exchange for for retail investors who don’t know that language, it’s essentially the ability for anyone to link their USD account, most say your chase or your Wells Fargo account very easily with the crypto exchange just like you would with any traditional brokerage firm like TD Ameritrade or fidelity, and being able to make a deposit and use that deposit to buy and sell and trade crypto. So in addition to that, we’re constantly adding new high quality projects and assets on our exchange, we’re giving investors and traders exposure to those to those emerging investment opportunities. Generally, when we step back from all of this, I think the ultimate goal for okay coin is to be the best customer service and customer experience. And like I said, we have a we have a long way to go.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
So one of the things that you know, I see is has been a barrier to adoption of cryptocurrency. It has been the difficulty Using crypto the on ramps to user experience user interface, what are some of the things that you’re doing with ok coin that maybe helps that out a little bit and simplifies that for more unsophisticated investors or people that are new to cryptocurrency?

Haider Rafique – OKCoin
Yeah, the relationship I would share with you is when you think back 20 years ago, and there weren’t any digital brokerage products, or if there were very few people used it. Typically an investor with some disposable income and savings, and a portfolio would go through a financial adviser that called him up and say, hey, how should I How should I get exposure to the markets? What should I invest in? You know, that kind of thing. And that financial advisor would tell you how to allocate your you know, how to allocate your your savings, essentially, with digital brokerage firms, that sort of paradigm changed a little bit. People want to believe that they can actually take ownership of their investment decisions. So now you’re seeing this over the last two decades, you’re seeing a wave of retail investors, people with disposable income and savings, signing up for these brokerage platforms, and learning about what are bonds? How do I buy stock really easily? How do I get exposure to x company or that company? How do I read earnings reports, so on and so forth. So the user now the customer now is a lot more savvy than the customers a generation or two ago, they’re more familiar with these financial tools than they were previously. crypto is hard. There are a couple of aspects of crypto that have been really challenging for us onboarding, a big wave of customers with disposable income with an appetite for investment exposure. The reasons are like You teased up. Historically, it’s been really hard because of regulations and compliance and what have you to work with banks that that world has changed a little bit. Now you have products like plaid, you can integrate with and it’s really easy for anyone to use their credit card or their bank account acth rather, to fund their account. This is as simple as, say, downloading the Uber app and linking your your bank account to it. So you can start using that app on a regular basis. So the world looks much easier now than it was say back in 2017, when it was really hard to get get to, you know, purchasing crypto somewhere. And even if you did it, the trust factor wasn’t there. So a lot of people kind of shied away from it. So that has become easier. I think the part that really still needs a lot of work is oftentimes what I see having worked at Now, second, crypto company and advisor view in the middle is we are still using nomenclature and language as if we’re speaking to engineers, as if we’re speaking to people who actually understand crypto already have been in it since since its formation. But what we’re not doing a great job of is rewriting the way we we talk to our customers in a way that they understand. And customer you know their way, okay, coin looks at customers is a couple of different ways. We look at customers as folks who have not had any exposure to crypto, they’ve heard about it at family dinners or to a friend or to their financial advisor. And they’re intrigued. They wanted to sign up for a trusted platform, one that they feel secure, their money’s not just going to evaporate, somebody is going to just you know, get off the radar and their money’s gone. And then there’s another segment of people which, which is, you know, essentially people who’ve actually been trading a little bit here and there. They’re not professional traders, they have a full time job. But they like the aspect of trading. They’re a little more savvy. And even for them. This crypto language that we have, is sort of new and intimidating oftentimes. And then you’ve got the third category, which is like folks that are just day traders. This is what they do and live in breed. And what we’re finding is even those folks, that segment of people who haven’t traded crypto previously come into the crypto ecosystems and they’re kind of lost, they have to spend a lot of time educating themselves on you know, what does defy mean? ledger mean, or what is an explorer, all this kind of stuff. So a lot of the things that we’re trying to do at ok coin are not there yet, is fundamentally create a product create an experience that welcomes everyone. Any investor any trader, not just the crypto traders or investors who’ve been in it, and have high conviction and understand some of these things.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Well, I think one of the things you, I think are kind of alluding to is is the ease of use and that abstraction I agree with you, most of us in the crypto industry, we take for granted that our audience understands, you know, all these weird nuanced things about the technology and the language. But I think if we look at how we can abstract that away, I think that’s important. And I think, you know, crypto projects would be best served if they tried to figure out how not to educate people, I think that’s really difficult, right? To try to educate people on a new technology. People, for instance, don’t know how credit card work, you know, they don’t know all the middlemen, the swift technology and all that kind of stuff. We don’t when people don’t know that, they just know their credit card works. And I think that’s one of the things that I see it been missing from the conversation with dealing with the masses, is, you know, not about how we educate. But I think we need to focus on, you know, how do we abstract all that technical stuff that people really don’t need to know, in order to leverage and use the technology? What do you think?

Haider Rafique – OKCoin
I agree with you, I think a lot of the early projects that start that actually are trying to build or have a great utility or a use case, are often creating the project or the product in a way that captures the network that’s really fully sold in and knee deep in this stuff, because it’s easier for them, to onboard into a product, give them feedback, so on and so forth. So you have these like pockets of networks, and and communities that are being built around each of these protocols or assets or projects. And those folks are not your retail investor. So you keep seeing a shift of like these 3040 50 million, you know, crypto users around the world who go from project to project, what I’m not seeing is this like high velocity of increase in adoption. We have a lot of people in the world, not just 3040 50 million people. And I think that that onboarding new customers and new retail is not happening. My fear, oftentimes, maybe fear is not the right word is competitively speaking, we don’t necessarily focus on competition, we focus on customer experience. But as a marketer, I don’t worry about you know, other exchanges or other wallets and what they’re going to do or what have, you might sometimes oftentimes, my worry is that we’re in crypto, we’re doing all the hard work from an engineering standpoint and technology standpoint. And here comes traditional brokerage firms or consumer apps that have the trust of consumers. And they’re going to come in and turn on the knobs and now offer really easy exposure into crypto. And when majority of the market share that’s there to be had for us in crypto. I think that’s I think that’s the biggest risk to crypto industry is traditional finance and FinTech coming in and reaping the benefits of what crypto engineers have been building over the last 10 years or so.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Well, you know, I think crypto is doing it to itself, though, to be honest. And I’ve been in this space for more than three years now, which is in dog years is a long time. Right? And, but as a project, you know, I I’m always looking at what other projects are doing or not doing, as far as you know, doing outreach to other communities outside of the existing crypto community. And at least with us, we’ve tried to focus on with TUSC to not cannibalize. I’m not trying to steal people’s I’m not trying to steal people from Bitcoin, right? I’m not trying to steal a theory of people into our and bring them in our community. That’s not our focus, our focus is bringing in people that aren’t already not in crypto, and and I think one of the reasons people aren’t doing it is hard. Okay, it’s hard to go and do that marketing. It’s hard to go knock on doors and do traditional sales. And I think I think there’s a couple of reasons for that. I think one of the reasons is developers and engineers hate those activities. They don’t typically like to do business development and sales and marketing. And so they don’t, but I think the other thing is that going out and going out and knocking on doors, kind of goes against the ethos of decentralization, because now you have a centralized sales and marketing function. And a lot of people don’t like doing it. It’s hard. And I think, and I do believe long term, the projects that exist now that start focusing on those activities are going to be the long term winners. And I agree with you, I think is is it’s inevitable that traditional finances coming into the space, the question is, who’s going to be left standing after they do? And I think that those are things that people in the crypto world probably really need to think about.

Haider Rafique – OKCoin
Agree, I absolutely agree with you. I think it’s gonna be an interesting next few years. There’s so much opportunity for all of us, I think, to to get out of our comfort zone and, and, you know, see what we’ve not typically been comfortable with doing. I think there’s this sentiment in Silicon Valley or in tech or even in crypto. If you build they will come. Well, the reality with that that notion is, if you build and they will come takes you to a certain point in your product, then you hit a saturation point, take a look at Uber, they were running marketing campaigns, meaning they were creating flyers and shipping them to people at their homes at a certain period of time. And eventually, Uber was doing out of home billboard ads, they did all kinds of marketing to get to becoming a household brand name. All products do. eBay did it. PayPal has done it. I think I think my hope is that crypto is, you know, not just that, okay, coin, but the entire industry gets out of that comfort zone and realizes that if any of us want to become a household brand name, we’re gonna have to look at the playbooks of previous consumer brands who’ve done it really successfully. And what have they done that were reluctant to do? And, you know, how can we learn from them?

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Well, it’s interesting, I read an article not too long ago, about that exact thing, like what are the top crypto or sorry, what are the top tech companies do to get their first you know, 10,000 users. And it’s pretty interesting to see all the all the little legwork that those guys had to do. And and you wouldn’t even think that those guys were hustling. But every one of those guys hustle, they’d been even watching what Etsy did and Uber and Airbnb and some of these projects, it’s a really good good little historical research project, if you or anybody in the audience has time to look at it. And we have, because we believe that is going to be important. And you have to have a plan to do that. Because I you know, I am like, I’m not a developer. So I think of things a little differently. I’m more of a marketer, like you. And when you go and look at, you know, I view crypto, even a decentralized crypto projects, they’re still a product, right? They’re still a service and used and they’re not somehow above the laws of marketing or supply and demand. And this is where that like, it’s, it’s interesting, because there’s a lot of engineers in Silicon Valley, they get this right, these tech engineers and these tech companies get that. And it seems like there’s it just hasn’t really translated yet to the crypto projects. And I really don’t know why that is yet. But I still think that there’s a lot of opportunity there for the the crypto products that do do that. And I think in the next probably five years or so, I think the projects that do focus on those things are going to be coming out in front after the hype and, and what I was saying earlier is about crypto is doing it to itself is that we’re getting all excited about you know, I would argue a lot of these defy projects and Ico kind of projects, they take away from the attention from the you know, the more legitimate, you know, projects that are doing the dirty work and focusing on just, you know, wheels down kind of stuff, but and I think we we’re cutting our own legs off, so to speak, because we’re focusing on just getting rich quick in these really obnoxious, you know, ROI of yield farming and things like that. And that takes all the excitement away from like, Oh, you guys are actually building something long term. And I don’t know what to do about that. Like, I can’t control that, of course. But I mean, what do you think? I mean, you’re an exchange, I know, you guys have been listing a lot of defy projects lately as well. And is this something that’s gonna be a permanent thing? Or is this just you know, the fact is, you know, we’re writing other hype cycle.

Haider Rafique – OKCoin
It’s a bit of both, I think, but don’t quote me on this, because I’m not an economist. I think the way I look at it is the other day, I got an ad in, in Gmail, my gmail account, which was from Marcus by Goldman Sachs, and it had this interesting message, which was, you know, get the highest yield on your savings, if you deposit to Marcus. And we we offer a yield higher than national average. So I went on their website, and the yield that they were offering on deposits was point 6%, I believe. And, you know, it occurred to me having been deepened, defied now, especially the last like month or so, going through our listing process. We have crazy numbers and defy reality is again, what does defy even mean to a regular person? Do we even need to say that it’s a defy product when we market this stuff? Or do we actually focus on the utility we focus on, hey, if you put x money in, here’s the API you can earn. And here’s why it’s important. You know, we’re in an economic downturn, there’s that really high unemployment rate, people are depleting their savings. You know, the markets sort of really volatile. So people are looking at other instruments in which they can protect their investment and their savings and in dire times, Have an outlet where they’re able to creatively earn, earn money for the lack of better term. We offer and defy their protocols offering 60% APR even more than that, right? And sure, there’s a volatility in that number. But the reality is a way I think about it as a marketer is, this is not about defy, if we go out there, if and when we launch our own earn product. And we go out there and we position our earn products, as Hey, you know, participated in our defi ecosystem or what have you, we’ve failed because again, we’re going after capturing that, that crypto user, not the folks that actually really, really need this stuff that have taken a hit because of COVID, the last six months or so. So if this is true, and how do we position this stuff? Ultimately, the utility is you have exposure to higher API, a ridiculously higher API than what you would find through traditional banks. Mark is being an example. So why don’t we go out there and not include any defy language and just say, subscribe to this or opt into this or put your deposit into this into this product? And you get between this and this percentage API, which is much higher than what you would find in traditional markets? Now, the obvious question, anybody who’s not in crypto among my network asks is, well, what’s the risk? Because crypto has this, you know, the optics and perception that it’s, it’s a, it’s a tulipmania? You know, it’s the Wild West? You know, there’s no regulation, your money can just completely evaporate. I think that world has changed. I think it is a lot more trusted now. For example, okay, coin, all your USD deposits are FDIC insured. So things are things are happening in terms of winning trust from customers, but ultimately, any yield product, high yield product, even if you look at markets, they have this like long, ugly legal disclaimer at the bottom of their landing page of their website, which says something along the lines of this is a really high risk instrument. Be aware. And that’s how we should educate people, retail investors and crypto users about these crypto instruments. Every every crypto asset has its own risk level, I think the best part we can do is a humanize the language focus on our utility, because people largely speaking outside crypto really don’t care about 99.9% of the stuff we talked about. So if I go and tell my mother and father or my uncle or somebody in my family, hey, if you put $10,000 in this instrument, you will you will have the potential to get exposed to 50% plus KPI. Suddenly I have their attention. Okay, great. Now I’ve done the first part. The second part is I need to warn them hey, by the way, this is a high risk instrument, don’t put all your savings in it be responsible, get the right level of exposure, I never go tell my friends, hey, buy bitcoin and just spend everything you have and just buy bitcoin and just keep buying Bitcoin. I don’t say that I what I tell people in my network is if you have a portfolio and you’re building a portfolio, make sure you have exposure to crypto, and I tell them about the high value assets and the thesis behind them. And then it’s up to you and your risk appetite, how much exposure you want. Is it 5%? Is it 10% maybe you have higher conviction, you want to go a little higher, but I think that’s generally how we should all explain this stuff if we really want to attract the broader market.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
I agree and so I you know, personal financial literacy is kind of one of my little you know, pet peeves in the United States and, and when I see people saying I’m all in on crypto that scares me To be honest, because I think that’s how people get really, really wrecked. And, and and definitely I’m very pro crypto. But I also am very pro This is super high risk in a lot of these projects. And and I don’t think a lot of people are good at assessing risk. And I don’t think a lot of projects, kind of point that out. But I think that’s one of the things that I see as a kind of a thread that weaves through the crypto world is that you get a lot of people that are not financially literate, that are investing or mal investing or investing too much in things. And and ultimately, I don’t like seeing people get hurt because of that. And I wish more crypto projects would say what you’re saying is figure out a port, you know, you should have savings outside of crypto In other words, and you should have investments outside of crypto, it’s prudent to do that. And I’m glad to hear that you at least philosophically also agree with that. And I think I think it’s important and I think you’re right. I think we need humanize that language. Um, I know we’re getting close on time but….

Haider Rafique – OKCoin
Banks By the way, are not not doing it any or traditional brokerage firms are also not like the you know, the North Star you want to look at, for example, if you sign up for TD Ameritrade or any of the brokerage firms out there, and you have to see $100,000 deposit in your account and you’re day trading, you’re going in and out of positions. Eventually, very quickly, TD Ameritrade will say, hey, by the way, Rob, you know, we see you have 100,000, how about we give you margin, how about your five for margin, so you can trade more. And I think like, getting it back quickly, and I speak, I say this from experience, there was a time that I had some disposable income. And I started day trading. And it was scary how quickly I started to get that five x 10 x leverage from from one of the brokerage firms that I was trading on. So my point is here, it’s not that crypto needs to take that responsibility. These tools have now become consumerized, you now don’t have the financial advisor or the middleman warning you. Hey, Rob, be careful what you’re doing here. So now you have access to these really complex instruments that typically were, you know, designed for professional traders or investors. Now people like you and I can sign up for it. And within a couple of minutes, we’re off to a start. So I think the responsibilities across the board and finance we all need to do a better job of driving responsible investing behavior.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
You know, I couldn’t agree with you more on that either. I really, I’m really glad to hear you say that. So Hyder, where can people find out more about you? And okay, coin?

Haider Rafique – OKCoin
So, my Twitter is HaiderSF, it’s pretty easy to find me. But I think more importantly, for your audience, I would I would want them to come on. OKCoin and give us a try. We do have the lowest fees. Unlike the challenges that other exchanges are facing in crypto, we have really low downtime, most of our downtime is related to announced maintenances. So what will not happen is the market is hot and you’re trying to place a trade. And suddenly you can claim as I say that worlds are locked and your deposits are locked or you know, the fees are like just ridiculous. We’re we’re trying to build a trusted platform we have a lot of work to do. We have a lot of high quality assets to add. We have a lot to improved in terms of our user experience. But I can assure everyone that we pay attention to every customer. We’re looking at everyone’s experience and we’re trying to make it better. So if you’re ultimately looking for an experience that’s trusted, and you’re gonna you’re going to be heard. I think I would give Okay, quite a trial,

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
either. Thank you so much for coming on the show today. I know you’re busy and I do appreciate your time.

Haider Rafique – OKCoin
Thank you. Thanks for having me. Talk to you soon.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
And folks, I’ll have all those links up at Rob McNealy calm and make sure you hit that subscribe button. We got a lot of other great shows coming up and you’re gonna want to stick around and thank you so much and you have a great day.

Episode Links

Audio Interview
Video Interview
Interview Transcript

Haider Rafique – OKCoin

Haider Rafique, the Chief Marketing Officer of the OKCoin crypto exchange, talks with Rob McNealy about defi & adoption in this transcript.

Richard Carthon – Crypto Current

Richard Carthon talks with Rob McNealy about the state of crypto, entrepreneurship and crypto mass adoption.

Richard Carthon – Crypto Current Transcript

Richard Carthon - Crypto Current

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

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Hey folks Rob McNealy here. And today, I’m excited. I am talking to Richard karsan. He is the founder and host of the crypto currency podcast is a longtime community member in the crypto space. And I really like his take on a lot of different issues. So I think we’re gonna have a really good show today. So, Richard, welcome to the show. How are you today?

Richard Carthon – crypto-current.co
I’m great. appreciate you having me today. Rob, um, man, we had a before getting on this, you know, just various conversations, I think there is plenty of topics that we can cover and, and it’s just, uh, it’s really cool to see all the projects that you have going on and your involvement in the space and really excited to to be sharing some of what I got going on to share with your audience. So looking forward to it.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Well, I appreciate that, you know, I actually like talking to other podcasters. And the main reason that is, is because I talked to a bunch of people and talk to a lot of projects. I’m also involved in a project but then you talk to lots of projects, and we talked to different ones, and then we compare notes. And I think, you know, the cool thing is is and really Why I like doing this program is because I get to speak to lots of really smart people and I like being the dumbest guy in the room, not the smartest guy in the room.

Richard Carthon – crypto-current.co
Yeah, I heard that. I mean, when I look back on when I originally started cryptocurrency, it was to surround myself with thought leaders in the space but then not only just educate myself, it’s educate everyone else right? And I feel that the best way to learn is from people who can break it down for you. So anything new anything, pet causes change, there’s friction and there’s like a resistance to wanting to learn just be like, Oh, that’s too tough or, like, get a good idea. I don’t want I want to talk about this right? And but when when someone sparks your curiosity when someone says something that’s like, Hmm, I haven’t thought about like that. Or Huh, I could do something with that. It just opens the doors to so many possibilities that before a weren’t even on your mind, but then to that just opened themselves in a way that you like, I want to go deeper in this and find a way to get involved. So I agree, man, it’s it’s cool to talk to very intelligent people. passionate people, and and people who really want to go deeper on on what it is that they’re working on. And it’s exciting.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
So how did you get into this space? How did you get into doing the crypto stuff? Not just a podcast, but what got you interested in this area?

Richard Carthon – crypto-current.co
Yeah. So I mean, I’ve been an entrepreneur, basically my entire adult life. And I was working at this artificial intelligence company. And the first day on the job, my boss comes up and says, Hey, what do you know about Bitcoin? I was like, what’s that? Right? And he’s, like, trust me want to look into it. And so I did. And I was like, Oh, my gosh, why did it? Why didn’t I learn about this earlier? So like, I was a late bloomer. I didn’t I first learned about this January 2018. Right. And the first thing that came to me was one, this has been around for almost a decade. Why am I just not hearing about this? So what does that what does that say about my circles that I’m in, but then to even in those circles, who is really active In trying to dive in be a person that can be a reliable source to educate me on this. So when I in 2018, when I first got into and I was trying to educate myself, I went to all the YouTube channels and these web forms and all this stuff and everything was very technical. Everything was very, like, either pie in the sky get rich quick or like super, super technical on here’s how blockchain works. Here’s how hard forking is, here’s this white paper and I was just like, I just want someone to, like, give this to me straight give this to me very simply. And like do it in a really cool and like, compelling way. And I was like, you know, I was like, I just want to talk to these people. I was like, I might as well like create a way to share it. And so that’s when the concept of cryptocurrency came about. And, you know, it’s it’s been amazing to be able to communicate with so many different thought leaders and then like even today, like being able to speak with you like it is such a easy way to talk to very intelligent people who can not only speak to Several different topics that speak very intelligently to them, but then can also like, challenge you in ways to continue to expand your knowledge. And to give you a new perspective on something that you that you might have felt very differently about, you know, I mean,

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Absolutely. And I think, I think part of the problem you just illustrated, like with people, you know, speaking in, you know, Techno ease, right, is, is a function that so many crypto projects are really just developer LED, or super developer heavy. And a lot of times they don’t understand, you know, how to speak to normal people. And I don’t mean that in a bad way, right. You know, would like our test project I’m focused on you know, we’re marketing to, I would say, for the most part a pretty low tech industry. I don’t go in and talk about censorship, resistance and all this, you know, you know, I don’t even talk about I mean, think about that we can get and all that stuff, but here’s the thing that people don’t even understand how How do you explain a decentralized organization to people that don’t understand? And this is how I do it right? I you know, if I’m talking to like a gun retailer about POS, I say this, I don’t say we’re a decentralized project. What I say is we’re like I say, this is how I say it. We’re kind of like a, we’re a, like a nonprofit, kind of a cross between a nonprofit and a co op. Oh, they understand that right away. There’s a connection. In you know, I don’t lead with all this in tech news, I say, half a percent track, you know, half a percent transaction fee, no chargebacks. And you get your coins instantly deposited in your wallet. So you don’t have to wait for an ACH so it improves your cash flow. Guess what? I don’t have retailers say no to that.

Richard Carthon – crypto-current.co
Yeah. And that’s what you need, right? When you’re speaking in, especially with any company that you have, and this is definitely speaking to our entrepreneurial background. But when you’re going to Pitch Anything. The first thought in anyone’s head is no, like, whatever you’re trying to sell me just just know just off the bat, right? Is No. And so how do you break down those guards? The first thing is through effective communication. And it is making sure that whatever you’re trying to explain is very clear. And that it not only just concise but I can understand it, comprehend it and then make an intelligent decision. If I don’t understand anything that you’re saying, My we’re done talking like there’s there’s nothing for me to think about because I can’t even relate to what’s going on and what I think was happening initial in the 2018, Ico boom, and all this money flooding the market and we’re at the top of where Bitcoin was before you know, everything started coming down. And you saw all these projects coming in that were just they weren’t building for the future. They were building for the here and now and how can I make a ton of money really quick. And they’re just putting all this technical, legal jargon in these white papers to sound really cool like is because the hardest thing about anything in any industry when you’re communicating with people is that you want to sound smart and intelligent, but you also like you don’t want to seem like you don’t know what you’re talking about. So if you’re in this crypto blockchain space, you put in all these super technical words in the soup or whatever to make yourself sound like you know what’s going on. But if you can’t break it down to like to me or your normal person or someone that’s fresh in or whatever, we are never going to connect, and we’re never going to be able to get to that next step in moving forward together. And so that was really one of the things that resonated me when I first got into this and I really wanted to just one break that down and like start bridging the gap for all these thought leaders to be able to effectively communicate what they’re working on so that people can understand it and decide if they want to get behind it or at least share that project with other people.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Well, I think you’re touching on a real you know point about communication right? And and I think there’s a couple sayings out there is a D want to be rich or do you want to be right? And in market in the marketing world that’s very common like and and I think this is a problem that smart people often have right? Is that especially when it comes to market Especially tech people. So I see this a lot around technical people that are smart. And I’ve been around a lot of smart tech people so I can I can see it. But what ends up happening is they want to market to people in a way that they feel is respectful. But basically, they want to be marketed in a way that they want to be sold personally. The problem is, is that really, really smart technical people are not the normal buyers out there in the world and, and how they want to be bought and sold is not correct. Or you know, how, you know, they want someone to sell something to them. And I think they make that mistake a lot and it gets them mad, like, I don’t want this, you know, and you hear this a lot like I mean, you’ve been around you’re around tech people all the time, right in your in your day job too. And as an entrepreneur, and and I have been as well. And so what I mean part of the problem is you see a lot of developers, they hate salespeople, they straight up hate them, right? And they’re like, oh, that guy is so full of crap or that guy is just bla bla bla bla bla and guess what some salespeople are full of crap, but but um but you also have Have to get people emotionally excited about your product or service. And sometimes it’s hard, right? tech stuffs not. I mean, if I was going to try to sell you visa, right? how sexy is that? It’s not, it’s just not, you know, and and it’s the same thing with crypto for the most part, crypto is not sexy, it shouldn’t be sexy. If you think about it, it shouldn’t be. It should be utilitarian. And I think that a lot of us miss that. That communication piece. And I think that, you know, hopefully more projects like what we’re doing and podcasts like what you and I are doing will help change that over time.

Richard Carthon – crypto-current.co
No doubt, and it’s been interesting over the, over the years I’ve been doing this as well with some of the earlier guests that I’ve gone on versus some of the newer ones and just understanding also the flow of conversation of sometimes when people come on, they know their product or project and everything extremely well or they know a certain aspect of it. Something like a like defy or stable coins or accounting on the blockchain or what does it mean to do a fork on whatever and like they can go really, really deep and be very, like technical and very knowledgeable on the subject but what people want to hear what people resonate his passion is, is the that human element of like when you speak about a thing? Does it like excite you? Like why should I be excited about when you’re speaking to me about this thing? And what I’ve learned is to try to bring that out of people when they’re speaking because I Can I have that that level of connection with you to where now when we’re speaking I’m locked in like I want to hear what this person has to say next, because I can feel the energy coming from what they’re what they’re talking about, because you can you can listen to very, very, very high in the sky. conversations that you know, like are probably highlight intelligent and are solving a problem. And you’re like, wow, these people are super smart, but like I just have, they’re they’re speaking French. They’re speaking Japanese. I was like, What am I doing here? Because like one of the first conferences I ever went to, like, some of the conversations even on the stages, I was just like, how do I even get involved in this space, like if they’re speaking a foreign language right now. And as you can start peeling back those layers, and and just getting people to break things down at their base, because a lot of projects in these developers as well, they can speak to the technical piece of it, but they can’t at face value. I say, Tell me, like in a 10 second pitch, what is your product product? What do you do? Who’s your ideal customer and a lot of them through our conversations over their head, it’s just like, a they start to freeze because they’ve never just broke it down. So simply and it’s, it’s amazing how when you just simplify things, how much more easily In freely, you can speak about something and get more people to buy in.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
And here’s the downside of that. And I think this is all part of it, the simpler you can refine it, the easier it is to critique. And I think some people fear that, you know, like, let’s just, you know, I could pick apart You know, I pick on defy stuff sometimes. Right. And, and because I think there’s some, I have some concerns about some of the defy stuff, but you’re like, you know, you know, some of these these schemes, you know, like yield farming some of these other things. They’re so complicated, like, in effect, the developers themselves have a hard time explaining what they’re doing. And I’m like, so you created so you created a token out of nothing. Somebody else gives you this token, and you hold it and then they you give them this other token, and they cash it out and just trying to explain you’re like, and then I just come back and like, and and I always I like I said, I like to be the dumb guy. And I have no trust me. There’s I surround myself with dumb or smart people. I’m the dumb guy around everyone. I want to be that guy. And, and I was like, okay, so who in the real world does this? Like outside of crypto? Can you give me examples of where this is? Or this exists this model that you’re creating? Right? And they’re like, Oh, well, you know, no, I don’t explain to me Give me an example. Is there a bank that I do this at? And, and it’s funny the, how quickly some of those, you know, these really complicated schemes break down, when you ask these really basic questions. And I always take that as a red flag, right, because I’m a simple guy. And, and, and, and there’s a fundamental reason for this. The even with language, okay, I’ll divert like a little story. So, you know, authors. If you look at some of the most successful books in the world in history, like in literature in history, what you’ll find is there’s been some studies done on some of the most, some of the most successful books in history, were written at very low levels of education levels, and so meaning that the vote capillary Just think of it this way, the more popular books use smaller words, more common words for things. I saw thing and I it was like Ernest Hemingway’s old man in the sea was written in like a fourth grade level. Yeah. And, and no most people will be offended by that if you say that but there’s a very practical reason for that. The the simpler the the understanding required or the the lower the education level required for someone to enjoy your work as an author as your book. The more people the bigger the market there is for that book. So if you write a book that only people with PhDs in biochemistry can understand your market is limited to people that have an understanding of biochemistry that also want to read your book. It makes the market smaller. And so I always think of I go back to market sizes, okay, I always try to bring things back down how many so help me understand what problem you’re solving and then How many people can you potentially solve that problem for? And then how do you get that solution to those people’s problems in front of them? And you would see a lot of times, even with crypto, a lot of the stuff breaks down. I remember and things are changing in this industry. But I remember when I went to my first, the first Miami blockchain conference I went to a couple years ago, that was like January or February in 2018, right, right. After I got into crypto, I went to that conference. And I was very new to crypto. And I’m still suspicious of crypto but I you know, some of the stuff in crypto but I was going and talking to all these projects. And we’d already had a product started to but I started saying like, well, we’re doing this, this and this and I’m like, so you’re making Uber so basically someone was making a blockchain based Uber, right. And I said, Okay, that’s interesting. What do you do differently? Well, we don’t take as high of a fee. Okay, but what do you But okay, so Uber takes a high fee. Yeah. So explain to me Do you not don’t think Uber offers value to their drivers? Or to their customers? You know, because they wanted to, they basically make a decentralized Uber thing. I’m not gonna say who it was. But and it’s funny because I was talking to the developers on this, and they couldn’t answer basic questions, they had not like thought out the business piece of this, like, they hadn’t talked to their customers, or potential customers for this. And I just said, I don’t understand the market, like what problem you’re trying to solve other than a little lower fee, but you’re also offering a lot less support, and you’re not offering any marketing and, and so and to me, I saw that as a big drawback, and I think this is the problem with a lot of these tech people is that they’re missing that whole understanding what’s happening on the other side.

Richard Carthon – crypto-current.co
And this is what’s interesting about what is going on in this space right now. And where I think this next decade of where we’re headed in the crypto blockchain space is very exciting. So you have a lot of these projects, who basically went through initial boom, and if they’re still around, basically they’re trying to build some To last right and so now you’re starting get these projects are a little bit more funded. And if they’re not a little bit more funded, they have a little bit more well rounded groups and team that is building it and you’re starting to get like more marketing and sales focused people to get in it to figure out the business model of like, how do we become sustainable? And then with that what you’re seeing is more people trying to figure out adoption. So what is the biggest hurdle for any new person coming into crypto and blockchain space, right? The first one is just basic understanding of what is Bitcoin? What drives its value? Like, what are the five pillars? Like what are the what are the things that make it distinct, right? What gives it its value and then blockchain the underlying technology, like, what is it like just give me those two basics right, and after you break that down, and they can understand that at its core, it’s like, Okay, if I’m going to use this in my everyday like life, you don’t necessarily need to know that. You just need to know that it works. So like right now. I don’t like necessarily need to understand like how it all works on the back end, when I go to a gas station and I put my visa in, I get my gas and I dip out I don’t need to know the technology and everything that’s going on the back end. It works. And what I think a lot of projects are finally starting to put their attention towards is, how do I just get this to work without the user having to understand everything that’s going on. And right now that is the absolute hurdle for anybody new in the crypto space is you need someone to hold your hand to get started. Basically point blank period like you, you are going to have to educate yourself a little bit. There’s nothing intuitive about coming into this space right now. Like when you think about Apple and what made them so successful, especially with the iPhone boom and everything else is you can pick up this phone, not know anything about a phone and clearly understand how to use it right? Grandma, you can give grandma an iPhone, she’ll figure out how to communicate and do everything that she needs to with crypto right now. It’s not grandma. It’s not grandma proof. It is not. It is not millennial proof like you’re not going to get someone just My age or younger, that’s gonna come on initially in the crypto space and just know what’s going on. They’re gonna have to watch some videos, listen to some speakers do whatever to get started. And the one of the points that I really want to drive home right now you’re like communicating this to your potential companies or your projects or whatever that whatever you’re working on right in your business, you just need to be able to be thoughtful in your communication and what is your value proposition? And like, how do you get this to more people? And how can anyone come on in use it without you having to hold their hand? Yes, initially, right? Now, you’re gonna have to hold your hand and that’s fine. People understand, like, that’s the friction that’s there right now. But if you can do it a little bit cooler or a little, like you’re a little bit more friendly, or whatever that like, extra, whatever that you do to like, make me feel comfortable and confident when I’m trying your thing. That’s what’s gonna separate you right now. But of course, as this continues to come on, if I hand you this thing, and I can just use it without you having explained anything you’ve won, and I think you The companies that are building that right now, oh my gosh, whenever like mass adoption truly does eventually come, you’re going to just moon because you’ve already built that infrastructure. And so it’s been really interesting to talk to some of the different types of people in this space, who do have that in mind into just how they communicate. It’s just different.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Well, let’s, let’s take it back. Like I liken it to command line interface, right? Like, if you go through and people are like, Oh, well, you know, I always say, you know, I’m sorry, you’re not I this is what I say, and people get pissy, but I say, Look, you’re not gonna get mass adoption without mass marketing. And I’m old enough to remember when the World Wide Web came to being and became popular. And, you know, I’m old enough to remember that AOL was the probably one of the biggest drivers of mass adoption of email on the internet. And that was because they sent out millions and millions and millions of CDs that were easy for people to use and get on for free and there you go. And, and there’s a No analog yet for crypto to do that. And abstraction, what you’re talking about is we need good abstraction. And really, this shouldn’t be complicated. There is some complications from getting apps into the App Store, right? Like, well, the wallets and things like that. But for the most part, it shouldn’t be that complicated. This stuff is not that complicated. It shouldn’t be. But it still is. And, and I, you know, I do appreciate that, for instance, recently that the banks are now allowed to do custody of assets. And I’ve heard a lot of people on the DS that are really pro decentralization get pissy about it. And I said to me, banks being allowed to custody, you know, virtual assets is probably one of the most bullish things I’ve heard. And this is why people I don’t think most people are comfortable with or responsible enough to have their entire 401k savings, life savings and have the keys for that where they could lose their keys and lose that. I don’t think most people want that. And I don’t think most people can handle that responsibility to be honest. And and I’m not picking on people but I I’ve seen developers lose their keys and lose hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of crypto. Just in my own circle. Like I’ve seen I’ve known two developers who lose their keys for wallets one from a technical crash one from just not, you know, trying to play some games and doing some other stupid stuff. And and I just don’t believe I mean, if you think about it, it’s one thing you got a $5 free wallet paper wall from somebody right? And you lose Who cares? But can you think imagine this? Imagine someone who’s worked 30 years and saved up a half million dollars in their 401k or IRA or a million dollars right? And now they’re they moved it all to a self directed IRA, then put it all into crypto and they lose their keys. Think about that. Don’t tell me that’s not going to happen either. Because I’ve seen it happen. I know someone that’s lost over $200,000 because he lost his keys doing something stupid.

Richard Carthon – crypto-current.co
Oh, I’ve heard of a business right now that’s getting like put up and like that’s all they focus on. Right. It’s like custody just to make sure like having like lawyers Stuff put in place to like, and like, what happens if you die like let’s say you set all this up and like you don’t have like a second key that you’ve put in like a peel box somewhere that’s just chillin. So if with certain instructions like on my death, here’s my key go reveal this liquidate immediately give it to so blah, blah blah like some people aren’t even thinking that far ahead and like that’s like to truly like if you’re going to set this up like as a asset that you’re hedging against whatever and like just a long term play. Those are the kinds of like things down the road you got to think about, and I think a lot of people aren’t, and it’s necessary, and we’re not there yet. Right. So from a separate thing that I think is going on in the crypto space that is starting to evolve more is the operational piece of it. And I use this reference multiple multiple times in my pockets, and I’m going to use it here. And for the last 10 years for the first decade. There’s a bunch of violence being built right Island over here. Hey, I’ve had the best stablecoin come play with me. Hey, this one over here. I’m the best blockchain that you can build all your crypto on top of come play with me over here, hey, I have the best defy company ever, you should come over here. And right now what we need aren’t an another island, we need bridges. We need bridges that are here that are connecting all of these really cool projects so that they all play together. So I don’t need to go play on these different islands, I can come to this interface. And just keep on writing the bridge all the way around so that everything works. And from the operational piece, whoever’s able to figure that out and do it in a very, very clean, effective and friendly way. I think they are going to just lead the charge for everything that come right. So like, for example for right now a lot of people that initially come into the crypto space, most of them go through Coinbase like calm it is what it is. A lot of them are going through Coinbase and if Coinbase were to start allowing options, so that with any and everything that you want to do, you can purely do it from that platform. They have their foot in the door and can just blow things open but right now like Like, I’m sure that’s something on their roadmap, but like, there are a ton of other products that are kind of trying to do it. But again, it’s still so early, we are so early, like, everything in this in these opportunities right now is if you can build the groundwork right now, and like have that focus in mind, like you’re looking at the next 10 to 20 years of what you’re trying to build. You can like not just dominate the space but you can make something so powerful, that is international and limitless, right, like and a lot of projects where people build they build it for our country, or they build it for a certain area. This has no limits and like that is what is one quick story what made me like all in what made me come all in to crypto without my turning point. I had a friend who works in oil and gas and he worked in the Philippines. And he when he got paid he was sent his money back to his family in California but when it happened, between trading fees and time He lose 40% from going from the Philippine money to US dollars and then doing the wire transfers and everything else in fees and all that 40% of his money gone just instantly no take I think like seven business days, he didn’t started just switching everything to Bitcoin and sending it and it would take a couple of minutes and it only cost a couple dollars. I was like I’m so that makes so much sense to me that is that that makes you’ll need some anything else like I’m in I need to learn more. And I think as there’s there’s so many use cases like that where people are using cryptocurrency and blockchain applications like it that as it becomes easier to use and see those international use cases, like again, the sky is the limit.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Yeah, I think remittances are really a huge opportunity. But it’s gonna take some time. I mean, I saw this I was living in Europe briefly in the 90s. And it was interesting because we already had while dial up was the you know, the big thing there and we were just Starting to get cable modems, right? It was Ty speed was just limited at that point in the late 90s. And I thought it was interesting though, but cell phones are very less common. But in Europe where I was, they didn’t have landlines. They everyone had a landline. But they didn’t have data lines, but their cell phone usage, their mobile phone usage jumped. They leapfrog the United States. So in the late 90s, you know, everybody had a mobile phone where I was versus in the states they didn’t and I think you’re gonna see that with like blockchain, right? Because blockchain does, again outside of Western countries. I think right now blockchain solves a lot of problems more so for people, you have different regulations, different taxing pieces to it. It does end a lot of friction. And I think, unfortunately, I think the US has hamstringing itself from a regulatory standpoint and and since we don’t have as big of a problem, I think we’re gonna lag in the United States from crypto Animation, which I don’t think is a good thing, overall, but, you know, I can see that and you saw that with, you know, the World Wide Web, too. We were We were early, but other people because of mobile devices, you know, they got some much more advanced on the mobile phone infrastructure than we did. And so I think it’s interesting. And I think the united states need to figure this out. Where do do we want to be? Do we want to be a really competitive player on a global level? Or do we not? And then on the developer side, dude, you know, you got to get out of the mindset of Linux desktop, right, you know, Command Line Interface people, let’s just be honest, you know, Windows one that game for a reason. You know, I like Linux. Don’t get me wrong. I have a Linux laptop. And so I understand command line stuff. But I started on dos. But you know, but they honestly you’re not going to get mass adoption of command line interface. It’s just not going to happen. Right? It’s just too much overhead and baggage. And I don’t think all everybody thinks like that unless pianist command line interface. This is really similar to crypto, right? It’s not forgiving, you make one mistake. So for instance, think of it this way command line interface, right? You make one space wrong, one minus sign wrong one exclamation point wrong, it won’t work. I type in a browser like gibberish, and it pulls up the things that I thought it knew intuitively, what I was looking for, I can’t type for the life of me on these little keyboards. So I’m always got like ABC, gx, you know, whatever. And the abstraction figures out what I was trying to find and gives me, you know, suggestions. You don’t have that command line interface. And until crypto starts thinking like that, and there’s more to it intuitive for the everyday person, you’re not going to get everyday users. And to me, I think you’re right, we have to really work on the abstraction, I know is working on our project. Trust me, I am 100% behind you, but we’ve got to get the developers out right if we got to get more people working and helping us build that because I certainly want that I see it. I don’t have the manpower To build everything I want to build, like right now or yesterday, but I do agree that I think the projects that are really end user focus, they’re not only trying to solve a problem, but they’re trying to solve a problem in a very convenient, easy way for a big market. I think ultimately, you’re right. The projects that do that the crypto projects that end up doing that successfully. I believe one, they’re going to be very successful financially, but I think also they’re going to change the way crypto products are evaluated in the market. Yeah. So you know, a lot of projects that right now in crypto are just speculative assets, right. People are hoping they’re going to land and hoping they’re going to get mass adoption. But I think the ones that do are going to definitely be the first ones that make that happen. I think we’re in I think we’re in an arms race, so to speak.

Richard Carthon – crypto-current.co
Yeah, think about it. even speak to that real quick. Just a quick point. When you first came up with cryptocurrencies Bitcoin was odd, right? But then a theorem came in shook up the whole playing field, right. It’s like oh, like and when I think About like cryptocurrency itself like some cryptocurrencies aren’t cryptocurrencies, they are platforms or there’s something to be built upon, but they are under the umbrella of cryptocurrencies, like at the end of the day most of these quote unquote cryptocurrency projects out there are startups and, and with most startups in anything out there 90% of them fail, period. But that five to 10 that survive, crush it, and not go ahead.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
I’m sorry, I was just coughing a little bit.

Richard Carthon – crypto-current.co
I was just, not only do they like crush it, like, they build something in such a way that changes the dynamic of where the future is headed. So why like a theorem it made a lot of developers come on and understand like, oh, here’s all of these different use cases. Oh, we have smart contracts, things that can be permissionless and do whatever like, oh, like there’s so many use cases. Let me try to go build out this certain aspect of it. Um, when you look at some of the products that are coming on, and I, I do this comparison and I’m sure a lot of others Do the comparison as well as the internet, like initial internet, how it all came out how was all forming and forming it with with crypto and when you look at when the internet first came out, and all of this money just flooded the market and everyone was trying to become a web company. They all didn’t make it. But the ones that did the Amazons, the Google’s the the AOL, like AOL came out and was crushing it. Everybody knew AOL. But AOL didn’t ultimately make it. But because of AOL, you had innovation that was created around it to make everything after it that much better. You have these early movies, the early adopters that built really great infrastructure for that time, and it is great and it works for that moment. But if they’re not constantly innovating and adapting with the times, then they don’t ultimately make it and what I think is happening right now are happening with again, going back to initial Ico boom, a lot of these cryptocurrencies came out that we’re trying to solve a thing for this immediate moment for warrant trying to survive. And I think there’s a lot more products out there that are building to survive. And the ones that do, I think are going to be spectacular. So I just, I just want to like, really harp on the idea that some of these crypto projects that are coming are learning from other mistakes and are saying like, hmm, they did all of these things, right. But here’s something they did wrong, let me make it that much better. And like, here’s, boom, here’s this new project and like, you know, it works and like, are getting to a point now, where the tech is, the technical debt is being paid by a lot of these first movers and you know, that’s just part of the game. But it’s allowing these newer companies that are coming in or even the companies that are there that are are looking at what’s going on around them, and adapting and allowing them to build and move so much faster. And I think you for it for everyone listening your audience. One of the things to always keep in mind and something that I’ve kind of pulled from a lot of the guests that come on my show it’s As you continue to work in build, and you’re listening to your your customer and everything else is, what can I do? or What did they tell me that if I had to go back and show them my product that I shouldn’t have to explain, like, if they asked me a question about these things like I, in my head, this all made sense. And like, I’m surprised they asked me that question, like, think back on your conversations and think, hmm, why do they? Why do they even ask me that question? I thought that was very obvious. And if the answer is Oh, that’s not very obvious. That is where your attention probably needs to be. And I think that’s been like a really cool, just just lesson that I’ve learned over time.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Yeah, I think you’re right. I mean, think about this way. Well, you know, the original way you got on the internet for the most part was dial up, right. And those of us that struggle, you know, back in the dark ages back in the early days in the 90s. We would never want to go back to that. Right and having a Deal with mom picks up the phone and get kicked off the line Mom I’m on blame boo game, you know, stuff like that. But if they’re good stories to tell now but it really it was it was it really was clunky It was hard. I mean if you had to think about like back then like you had to turn on the computer and boot and then you had to open up your, your modem window and then dial the number and make sure your username and password were I mean, now you just turn on the computer works. You don’t even think about that. You don’t even think about the connection. And now you know, we have the wireless you know, everything is wireless now, right and Wi Fi and that was a whole other job like, Oh, I don’t have to sit in my my computer room now to play on the computer. I can sit in the living room and you know, live tweet Netflix or something. Right? I mean, things are very different now, even than it was 2030 years ago. And and you know, I think I try to think about the future as well. And when we’re designing Tosca and working and building this out You know, we’ve heard this a lot of times, for instance, as a project, well, why aren’t you a stable coin? I don’t know if you hear that a lot. And but and I said, we don’t want to be a stable coin. And they and people give me a hard time and I say, look, most stable coins are pegged to a fiat currency. And I can tell you, and we thought this two years ago, and I think it even more Now, can you imagine being attacked, having the value of your project controlled by a fiat currency like the US dollar in 10 years? Tell me what’s going to happen to the dollar in the next 10 years. I don’t know what’s going to happen to the dollar in the next 10 years, but I have a good indication that they’re printing so much money right now. And that rate of printing is just only increasing will eventually drive that fiat currency to oblivion. I’m pretty comfortable in saying that I don’t have a timeline. But I would say there’s a higher it’ll catch up. And and I’m not building something for a week. I’m not building something for a year. I’m building something that Maybe here in 50 years, you know, that’s the goal, right? You don’t build a, you know, who builds a money that’s gonna be gone in 10 years, right? You got to build something’s gonna last hundreds of years, right? I mean, that’s at least in my mind, that’s what I’m trying to

Richard Carthon – crypto-current.co
Build the currency.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
And and so so why would I build something on a foundation one I don’t control two that’s recklessly being printed and devalued debased. And so that’s why I don’t want to be a fiat currency. I want our currency to get dropped out, you know, and I also believe, if you look at what was the point why did why do people build stable coins? Right? Answer that.

Richard Carthon – crypto-current.co
The stable coins to mean volatility to make sure you could hedge against volatility that’s going on to make sure that at that time, if your Bitcoin was $10,000, and Allison’s target was going down, you could at least save that value and you could buy back in at a lower but to maintain value,

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Stability. Exactly. So the question is, how come cryptocurrencies are so volatile Why not solve that problem? And there’s a very simple reason for that. Why is the US dollar not volatile? For the most part, it’s the most stable fiat currency on the planet right now, right? Why is it not volatile? And it’s a simple answer, because people are using it every day for buying and selling. However, if people only use the dollar for speculation, it would be very volatile. So how do you solve the volatility issue? You create utility, and you get adoption. And over time, it will absolutely stabilize itself and be consistent and hold its value. And so if your project or a project that you like that you’re investing in, does not have a strategy to get people to really use it. It will probably always be a speculative asset only. And it’s going to be volatile. So to us, I yeah, we’re going to be volatile probably for the next two or three years as we grow. But we expect that with tops that we knew this, we knew that was a risk. And we are we have some strategies to Deal with at least early on with the retailers that we’re talking to, which involves things like, you know, atomic swaps and, you know, you know, cashing out right away. So you’re not sitting on it if you don’t want to. But we deliberately wanted to stay away from being a stable coin. And and we felt that for the long term, it was a bad strategy short term, it might be fine. Long term, I don’t think it’s a good idea. And so because you don’t control the underlying value at that point, I would much rather are the people in our community or essentially think about are controlling the value? So who’s better if you’re a project right? Who’s Who should be controlling the value some government agent somewhere or someone in a treasury department at some fiat currency or some bank control the value of your asset or should the people that use it control the value of the asset and to me and to our you know, our group and our team we felt that having the market in our community determine the value is probably the safest way long term.

Richard Carthon – crypto-current.co
I mean the the market the people The community who are using it should be driving the value. Like if you think about what makes the stock market, the stock market, it is perceived value it is supply and demand. And it’s very interesting. When you think about like, stable coins and I was having a conversation about this earlier today. It can go one of two ways, right? And right now there’s a lot of demand for it. There’s a lot of money being fed into it. I think it’s basically expanding to like a $10 billion industry right now. And it’s continuing to grow. There’s a lot of liquidity that’s starting to enter that market. However, depending on what that is pegged to. Even your quote, unquote, stable coin eventually could become volatile. Depending on like, what is your underlying thing that it’s that you’re pegging? So, in a lot of ways, yes, there’s utility to it. It’s, it’s practical, it can be useful, but at the same time to, you’re still always going to be at some sort of risk right? And for a lot of these, for example, like with TUSC, and what you have going on, I do think that by just keeping it the the value of what you’re doing, it should be driven by supply demand and everyone who is using it. So yeah, I would just, I agree with that.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Yeah, it’s gonna be definitely interesting to say with, you know, see where things go and in the next couple of years, and, and I think we’re going the right direction with our project, but we’ll see if the market agrees with what we’re doing. And I think, but I think we will be, I’m pretty confident of that. But I think, you know, ultimately, you know, pegging the value of what you’re doing to something else as somebody else control. I just don’t think that’s just doesn’t make sense to me. But, but again, I think a lot of people created those stable coins as a band aid, because and so instead of, you know, creating adoption, and focusing your efforts on truly getting adoption, they spent their time creating a bandaid instead of Solving the underlying problem is that, you know, cryptocurrencies haven’t been adopted yet by the masses. In fact, I would argue they haven’t even been adopted by very many niche markets either. You know, right now, you know, even Bitcoin and i and i own Bitcoin or aetherium. In my own portfolio, I’m not anti any project other than a scam. I don’t like scams, but I’m not anti projects. But I also see limitations in projects. I even see limitations in our own projects. I know where I know where what’s ugly, I know where the words are in our project, too. But if you can’t identify and be open and honest, where there’s a problem or where there’s a, you know, an obstacle that needs to be corrected, or you know, overcome, you’re never going to innovate. And that’s the thing. And I think the problem with a lot of people, especially the Maxis and the different communities, is that they’re so sensitive to any kind of criticism that they feel that their product is above criticism, and then they get really angry about it. But the fact is, if you can’t point out where there’s a problem, how are you ever going to innovate. You know, if you You can identify those issues and I think that and I think that’s natural people get tribal when they wrap their personal identity around something. I think that’s also dangerous. You know? Can you imagine if there were like visa Maxis? You’re like you MasterCard people are bastards visas to real money you know? I mean think about how silly that sounds right? Right. But isn’t that what we’re little sized how, like, Ark..

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
But think about like, like the PayPal guys are like fighting the Venmo guys on the corner right? I mean think about how ridiculous that sounds this little thought exercise, but that’s what they’re doing in crypto right? It’s like everybody’s got their team jersey on and they got to go to Mass on Sunday pray to the Bitcoin gods and and you know, immaculate conception and all this I mean it really does have elements of you know, it’s not only tribal, but it does have elements of religion. You know, and Satoshi we trust and I’m not like I said, I’m, to me, it’s technology. And it’s software and it has bugs and the people involved have personalities and flaws. And ultimately, the most successful ones may not be the best technology. You know, I’m old enough to remember man, I’m really old now, but I’m old enough to remember VHS and Betamax. I’m that old. And you know what the best technology at that time? Didn’t when the best marketed technology one

Richard Carthon – crypto-current.co
Yes, it did. And oh my gosh, I mean, I did case studies on this back in college and it still holds true just posted the the best tech doesn’t win the best marketing does. And again, I’m gonna say this again, the best technology doesn’t win. The best marketing does. If you think about some of the things that we use every day. It has everything to do with marketing and how it was positioned in like why they made you think a certain way, like the whole concept of like buying a diamond ring for somebody that you’re supposed to use a certain fraction Have your salary and like that’s how much you’re supposed to spend was a marketing ploy by company like they put that in our brains like, however use like the fact that smoking like the reason that smoking became very popular was that the the cigarettes company put marketing ploys out there to show how cool it was at all points like everything and just not to go too far into like the whole marketing piece. But again, like podcaster, that talks to a bunch of crypto and blockchain projects all the time and everything going on, learn to think that they a thing or two, and one of them in the importance of communication and put it out there is that marketing and putting your brand in front of as many eyes as possible and making sure that your story is resonating with people the way that you want it to and in a way that is received from your ideal customer is so crucial. And if you’re not spending time on that right now, I want to challenge you right now if you’re listening to this, and you can Like gut check, I’m not doing this, do it like this should be your focus for the next month, like, figure out how you can get that concise story together to communicate that with others, and just test it. But it’s great to build great tech, it is great to build something that is useful. I’m not going to ever take away from that. But if you can’t communicate it, and if you cannot put it in front of a ton of people, and they can understand it, and then not only understand it take action, like if you can’t, even if you’re thinking it’s the greatest thing ever. And you tell someone and they won’t act on it, and you have failed. And like I know that might sound really harsh and like really like who is this guy but like trust me, you could be putting all your effort and energy creating the best thing ever. But if you do not know how to communicate that and do not know how to put that in front of others, you are failing and that needs to be a focus and that is something that you need to Be refiguring out and putting out there and it’s never too late. You can start right now. And I just really want to just emphasize the importance of we are in a new space where everything is hard. Everything is challenging. And any initial conversation that you have with a non crypto blockchain person, like right now, you probably already know this and feel this. You try to talk to anybody that is not in this immediate world and circle. You trying to pitch it is really hard, and they don’t get it. But if you get to a point to where you can talk to anybody on the street and explain what you do, very simply, and they’re like, Oh, that sounds pretty cool. You’ve won. And so if you can’t, like internalize and like can can tell me that. I want to tell you again right now to go focus and figure that out.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
I can’t agree more with you, Richard. I mean, it’s true. And I think the unicorn is the combination right, is that you get both pieces, right? You get the best tech and the best marketing. That’s where your Steve Jobs and Apple come from. That’s where Elan musk and your customers come from. You have really, really good products, really good innovation that people really want. And you have the right amount of hype to grow it, you need both. You could have a Tesla, I used to work in the auto industry in Detroit and from Michigan originally. And there’s plenty of great cars that’ll probably come out to the market that are going to be better than Tesla’s, I guarantee it, they will be. I mean, there’s too many people going into that space. And once the US auto industry and the Japanese auto industries decided they’re going to go into a space they really dive in, they’re not going to come to the market with one line or one model, they’re going to come with 10. And guess what, in a couple of years, they’ll figure it out. Right? they’ll they’ll figure out really good tech, and they’ll figure out a way how to manufacture it cheaper. But the question is, you know, ultimately, you know, Tesla is really good at hype. I mean, the Who do you even know who the CEO CEO of Ford is? Or the, you know, the CEO name of Toyota? No, no, but you know, you know, the CEO of Tesla is right.

Richard Carthon – crypto-current.co
Everybody knows Elon.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Yeah, you know, the CEO of Apple, the old one, even the new one, right? Cook, the old one, you know, jobs, everybody knows them. Right? You don’t have those kind of personalities in those organizations in like the, you know, the other auto industries that have that kind of marketing in that hype, like you do. Tesla’s and and so I think, you know, I think that’s important to understand. And I think that any crypto project or AI project or any emergency or emerging technology project, you have to, you know, you have to have a good product, no doubt. And you have to understand that you have to have a good product, but you also have to be able to have not only the ability to put that in front of people, but you have to have, you know, someone that has a strategy to put it in how are you going to put it in front of people and that has to be thought about just as much if not more so within the technology part of it. And I and that pisses off developers, when You say that, trust me, I’ve gone round and round with them. And trust me, every time I open my mouth and my developers wins. I’m like, Guys, I got an idea. Because I do have a lot of ideas, you know, because I’m out there. You know, our developers typically, you know, our heads down, they’re pretty most of the team is introverted, right. I’m like the guy with the big mouth. And, and, you know, I’m out. But I’m also the one talking to people like you and talking to other projects. That’s the beauty of what I’m doing with my podcast is I get to talk to other projects and see what they’re doing. Right. And I’m like, Oh, that’s a really good idea. We should do that too. Or do it better than what you’re doing. But you have to have both. But Richard, we’re getting pretty close on time. Before we run, can you tell people how they can get a hold of you and hear what you have to say on your show?

Richard Carthon – crypto-current.co
Absolutely. So if you go to crypto-current.co that is our website. That’s CR y PTO, hyphen, current, c u r r e n t.co. Go check out our website. sight. I’ve got plenty of content educational content out there. We have our podcasts that comes out weekly, sometimes bi weekly. We have videos that we have coming out as well. educational videos on there. We have a newsletter that goes out every single day Monday through Friday part of artificial intelligence that’d be really cool to go and get a part of and then on all social media if you just type in cryptocurrency, you’re gonna be able to find this no problem. And we are always looking for it really cool projects and people who are working on cool things I would like to share with the audience. If so, feel free to reach out to me through cryptocurrency or you can also find me on social media on Richard Carlton. I think probably the one of the easier ways is probably my Instagram so Richard underscore carth on that CA, th o n. You can find me there and I’m happy to speak in and I enjoy speaking with people who are passionate and working on something in the crypto and blockchain space that are looking need to make a difference. So if that’s you, please hit me up. I’m happy to follow up with you.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Richard, thank you so much for coming on the show today. I’ve really enjoyed our time today.

Richard Carthon – crypto-current.co
Absolutely appreciate you having me Rob.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Hey, this has been Rob McNealy, and we’re gonna have all his socials and stuff linked up at Rob McNealy calm. Make sure if you haven’t subscribed mass has subscribed by button so you can get more content like this and many more interviews are coming. I am Rob McNealy, do you have a great day. Thank you, folks.

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Scott Cunningham – Crypto & Things Transcript

Scott Cunningham - Crypto & Things

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Scott Cunningham
No I’m not.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Scott Cunningham
Thanks for having me.

Episode Links

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Interview Transcript

 

Scott Cunningham – Crypto & Things

Scott Cunningham talks with Rob McNealy about social media censorship, free speech and content monetization.

Brandon Cooper – Aphid Transcript

Brandon Cooper - CEO of Aphid.io

Brandon Cooper – CEO of Aphid.io

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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