verge currency

Use Cases of Cryptocurrencies with Mark Wittenberg

Mark Wittenberg talks with Rob McNealy about Paycent.com and XcelTrip.com, two concurrency projects with real world use cases.

Interview Transcript of Mark Wittenberg on Cryptocurrencies with Use Cases

Mark Wittenberg

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

Rob McNealy
Hey, today I have to welcome back to the show. Mark Wittenberg How are you today, sir? Awesome. How are you? Good. How is snow Mexico today? Oh my god, I literally washed my car and it’s minus 12 Celsius this morning. It was minus 25 Celsius yesterday? I think so. So you like throwing ice cubes at it? How does that work up there? It’s great. You go through one of these car washes and it has an automatic dryer. So by the time you get out and wherever you gotta go, your car’s dry. It’s great. You know, we just got a couple days of snow here over our Thanksgiving holiday and I one of my little hobbies is that I actually like to rebuild old things and I rebuilt an old tractor and like a garden tractor, but it’s pretty beefy. And I got a giant like four foot wide snow blower PTO driven snow blower, Cashman Ford, and I got to try it out for the first time this season. So I was all excited and my wife’s just like shaking her head cuz she’s like it’s a little overkill for the suburbs had I’m like yeah but I just know blowed like six driveways of our neighbors all in like an hour so it was awesome so

Mark Wittenberg
I’m curious I’m curious to know how how are the neighbors feeling that got the frickin snow blowing yeah there were happy there you know I like to take care of my neighbors i think you know when it gets into like all these like libertarian kind of people they’re like, oh I want to you know I want to just not have government and I’m like yeah but the thing is if you’re going to have that you got to be able to work and support your neighbors and to me it’s not about talk you got to go out there and do work and to me I live that like to me, I my neighbors have helped me is really interesting. Like last year last fall, we put in some sod in our front yard. And like all my neighbors just walked down the street and started helping me put sod and it sounds a hard thing to do. And so to me, if any any way that I can go help my neighbors out the same way, you know, it works out and so I like that’s why I like my neighborhood my neighbors are pretty cool. And so we all kind of help each other out. But you know, it’s interesting like in Salt Lake some winters is like in the valley here where we were like in a valley and you know some winters we don’t get any snow at all. It’s kind of like Denver weather Denver is like this to you might get to maybe two years in a row where like March 65 degrees, but then every, you know, three years you get like four feet of snow. You know, so it’s like you gotta be prepared for either no snow or like a massive blizzard. So anyways, but I actually we have a big lot and I got a lot of sidewalks so I was getting sick of like, my kids were also whining a lot of getting sick of actually having to shovel it. So I got I found this attachment for my tractor and I’m like, yeah, I’m glad I got the attachment because it makes that whole job pretty like you know, a lot if not faster. Yeah. So anyways, what’s going on with Verge, some of the other projects you’ve been working on what’s new?

You know, it’s just same old you know, phone call after phone call after phone call. It’s a lot of work man, I’m not gonna lie to you, it’s a lot of work to, to you know, I’ve got a full time business to take care of as well and and with these other projects I’m involved in it’s it’s a lot of work for sure. But you know, we’re doing it for the right reasons right so I gotta fill the holes Well, you know, this is one of those things that people don’t seem to understand that even decentralized quote unquote community projects, they have a lot of work that needs to be done. And and to me, I still liken them to businesses. You know, even though there’s not the same command and control structures and and you know, legal entities and things like that. You still have to think of them and at least I do is like a business you have to grow it You still have to do the the phone calls you have to do the relationship building the business development and the sales. This is the one part a lot of projects don’t do as the sales part. But you know those things, all those jobs still have to be done. You know, if you’re going to be trying to get people to use your service, your project, if it’s a service, or your crypto as a payment method, you still need to get out there. You still need to do all that work. And it is work and, and and it’s harder as a decentralized project. It’s harder as a community project because you don’t have the ability to just go tell someone to go do something.

Yeah. No, I totally agree. And we talked in the core team about that quite often, you know, I, you know, how I look at it is where we’re still an $80 million project. So whether people say we’re decentralized, we’re not a business. We’re not a business. Listen, we have the same attributes as a business would have for eight an $80 million evaluation or whatever you want to call it market cap at million dollar market cap or 90 million or whatever it is, we still have to operate in the same way an $80 million business would have to operate. We still have those same, you know, the same attributes, people are still going to call on us the same way. The only difference is we don’t throw money at stuff, we can’t just go out there and pay thousands of dollars to market in a magazine. You know, and and of course, we’re colorful, our core team is colorful so we’re all again, like you said, with decentralized we have everybody’s opinions involved, right? So everyone’s gonna have a different opinion. So you know, it’s been decentralized and volunteer we just kind of do our own thing.

Rob McNealy
You know, and and management by committee can be difficult as well. And I think we’ve we’ve struggled with that with just getting our product to where it is today. Yeah, but we’re going to be going to main net very, very soon, hopefully next week. From the time of this recording, we’re really darn close, but holidays, you know, slowed us down a bit. But I definitely, you know, see that, you know, management by, you know, kind of management where you have to get everybody’s buy in, or at least you have to get the majority of the communities buy in for the big decision making. That’s harder, because it’s a lot more persuasion. It’s a lot more politics and, and I think that changes the dynamic, especially for someone who has a background as being an entrepreneur, where you’re just like, this is my baby, we will do it this way. And so that’s, we’re going we’re about to make that leap now. Because once we bring the block producers in and go to mean net, now, the way decisions are made is going to be a lot different. And it’ll be interesting to see how the rest of the team copes with that. Because the process is going to in a lot of ways get less efficient, which is good is because you don’t always want everything to be inefficient, or to be super too efficient either. But it’ll be interesting to see how it plays out.

Mark Wittenberg
So how many how many on your team total?

Rob McNealy
You know, I guess that depends on how you defined “on the team”. If you look at all the contributors that have been here till now you’ve probably about 18 to 20. Regular core contributors half dozen. Yeah. Yeah. So it’s quite a bit to manage for sure. Yeah. And, and so, and I think that’s the problem is that, because we’re all volunteers, we all have day jobs, we all have family commitments, things of that nature. You, you know, you don’t always get the performance that you would want, you know, so, you know, sometimes people can dive in and they can jump in for, you know, a week or two solid and just because they had a vacation or something like that. And then you know, hear from two months because they got busy with other things in life. And, and, and I don’t begrudge anybody that right I mean, that’s just part of part and parcel. But I find because of that, you know, we always have to kind of be in like, we’re recruiting mode, because people come in people fall out people get bored people, you know, lose interest, people lose, you know, have other commitments come up. And I think that’s with kind of with the decentralized project, it’s a little different than if you’re a company. Because if you’re a company, you’re like, Oh, well, these people can work 40 hours a week, and if they don’t work out, we fire them in a month or two, but you still get that, you know, you get a lot more production out of employees than you do out of volunteers. Yeah. And and so to me, it’s just we have to kind of always keep our eye open for someone else to come to the project, just because we know people will fall out and this is one thing I’ve noticed as well is that people are not patient. Right? And and I think what ends up happening a lot of people say they get excited about the idea of working on a new project or you know, bringing a new, you know, crypto or a new thing into the universe. And then they don’t realize that oh, this is actually going to take a year two or three years to really get attraction we want. And and I think people get bored, to be honest, because there’s just a lot of there’s a lot of boring work involved with this. And I think, you know, as far as I can see in the my own self is that there are times when you’re like, why am I doing this? You know, is it ever going to work with it? And then you know, you do that self doubt thing sometimes, like, Oh, is this really worth it? Are we going to get mass adoption? Or are we gonna actually get a launch? You know, things like that. And, you know, we’ll be we’re almost two years old will be two years old in a month. And I tell the guys it’s going to be too and this is what I’ve been telling them for six months is expect that it’s going to take two years after main net to really get traction. I think that’s a realistic expectation. If we don’t manage to get somewhere two years after launch, we’re not going to and when you and I tried to be as realistic and set really good solid expectations. But I think some of the guys that’s that’s hard, you know, they’re like, Well, can we just moon overnight and you know, You know, that’s not gonna work.

Mark Wittenberg
No. Yeah, I do you’ve nailed it man. It’s like I I’m, I’m self admitted one of the I don’t have any patience that’s when I try to get stuff done I I try to move through it fairly quick but you’ve nailed it stuff takes time. Like you know, I look back and with our project when we partnered with mine geek I think it was April of 2018 or something that we partner with mine geek and man, people just ride us on that it’s like these are these partnerships take time to bloom, like you can’t communicate with these guys every single day of their lives. You know, they’re busy, they’re doing their company stuff. They’re they’re trying to scale out or bring on more people, whatever they’re trying to do this. This takes a lot of time. This is and i think i it just shows how immature crypto is right now. When I say mature I don’t mean that as a personality I mean immature as in small, like we’re an immature space. And you know, you don’t see these larger corporations going out there and making these partnerships announcements and saying, hey, by the way, in five months, we’re going to be partnered with this company in five months, we’re doing this. They talk about it behind the scenes, and when it happens, that happens, and that’s when they announce it. So, man, I’m with you. It’s like for your project at two years after main net, it’s like, maybe it might be a little bit longer than that. Who knows how fast crypto grows, but it takes a lot of patience, man, I don’t have patience, but I’m certainly learning it.

Rob McNealy
I’m really impatient too. And that’s really interesting. Cuz my wife Kristie, who is one of our co founders, and she does a lot of the behind the scenes stuff. And she’s like, I can’t believe we’re still involved with this. I go with me. She’s like, you never stick around. And one thing that long effort, and I said I’m actually really excited about this still and to me that that actually has been surprising to me. But I think it’s because I keep you know, I, I’ve really tried to set my own mind to be patient on this. And I keep finding, you know, I think of it like this, we’re building something really, really massive, we’re building the Titanic in my mind. And if you’re going to build a titanic, you can’t expect the Titanic to launch overnight if it takes only 15 I mean, think of it this way, if it only took 15 minutes to build a crypto and put all the pieces together and and do all that stuff, then everybody would do it. Right. And you know, it’s not that easy to do. And there’s there’s a lot of barriers to entry. I think this is why you look at that there’s, you know, thousands and thousands of tokens and coins out there, right but you really don’t see much traction in a lot of them. And and I think part of it is absolutely that people either you know don’t know how to run it or people just get bored in and they fall away from it and they stop trying to grow it and I do believe like what you’re saying about, you know, these partnerships take time, I have a lot of really, really major potential partnerships that we have in the works for us, but I don’t talk about them, because they’re early yet. They’re really, really early, but I’ve already planted those seeds. And I know those some of those seeds will sprout. But what’s going to take is we now as a project have to prove ourselves worthy of those partnerships. Yeah. And I think, especially in this lot of people on our stand with, you know, with partnerships, right, they’re taking a risk on you. And so they want to see that you’re going to do what you say we’re going to do. So, you know, what I’ve done along the way, is, you know, I’ve been talking and building relationships for a year, year and a half with some of these players that I know would be a really good fit. We it’d be a really good mutual partnership. But we need to prove ourselves and and how we do that is we do and actually do what we say we’re going to do and I think, what I’ve seen out there in business and even with crypto is that most people are full of shit. Yeah. And successful people know that most people are full of shit. Lots of people talk. Lots of people spend spin their wheels, most people don’t end up producing. And I’m not trying to bag on people. It’s just a fact most people talk shit, they like the idea of something. But executing is really rare. And making things happen is rare. And so I’ve planted the seeds, and I keep those seeds kind of growing and germinating and keeping those potential partnerships up to date. But we need to prove ourselves and I think part of that will be getting through and main net and then you know, seeing how our marketing starts working and seeing how we start growing. And I think once we start growing, and we can prove to those other partnership people that we’ve been talking to that we are viable, and we are a legit, you know, potential partner for them. I think we’re going to massively accelerate just with any of them. If any other them land. It’ll be huge for us. But we have to prove ourselves. And I think that’ll take another six to nine months after me net just to get really to start showing people what we can do as far as the marketing, the business networking and things that we’re doing. It’s going to take time, but it’s going to happen, but I don’t hype, and I don’t make announcements of announcements, and I don’t sit there and try to, you know, hype. Oh, I talked to so and so, you know, it might be a great partnership, but it’s gonna it’s a two year out partnership. It’s not going to land for two years, because we need to be at a certain size before that will happen. But we’re, we’re laying all that foundation out. And I think that’s the critical piece.

Mark Wittenberg
Yeah, you nailed it, man. It’s partnerships are like, it’s like a marriage, man. Every marriage goes through a honeymoon stage too. But for me, you know, you know, I can be talking to 10 or 15 different people right now on potentially collaborating with us or partnering with us. That just means that i’ve reached out to them. And I’m, I’ve opened up a dialogue with them have opened up a conversation, you got to move through certain phases. And once you become a partner, I’m a big fan of managing those relationships. So if I create a partnership myself for the team, it’s important to me to manage those relationships, you know, every week or every two weeks or every three days, just say hi to them stuff like that and see how they’re doing and see what the next goals are. For them, see how we can assist them in their next phase. It’s not just take a partnership, and oh, yeah, we’re a partner now. And now we’re done and we move on to the next partner. It takes a lot of time and effort to not just put the partnership together but to manage that partnership once it is a partnership like I can’t it you know, people like man, I can’t stand announcements of announcements that it that’s one thing, it’s just like, I had, I ran this I ran into so and so at Starbucks and we shook a hand and now we’re going to partner Sunday. That’s like, yeah, it’s like you run into a million people in your life diamonds and people, man people are like Twitter’s crazy, you know, everybody’s like when this when that and, like, I’m not gonna talk about the, I’m not going to talk about the companies I’m talking to now because it’s, it’s, it’s irrelevant to any kind of conversation until we can shake a hand do a deal and, and make sure it’s going to fit for them and for us, and to be quite honest with you fit for them maybe not fit for us because right now in crypto, you know, I look at it like a side besides so right now in crypto, we’re, we’re the B side, you know, when we’re doing a partnership or looking at a collaboration, somebody, we’re going to be the B side, there’s options out there. We just have to make sure it’s the right fit for that partner and see how see if it’s gonna fit for that partner. So, man, it takes a lot of time to partner build and again, like I said, I can be talking to 10 or 15 different companies right now. And I probably am talking to 10 or 15 different companies right now. But it takes time to work stuff through. You can’t just these guys can’t just integrate something in two days, it doesn’t. Two days, two days, it takes time. And like you said, it takes a lot of time.

Rob McNealy
Well, it was interesting. I know, last April, I talked to very large point of sale company in this in the gun world. And it was kind of interesting, because they seemed interested in first and then they kind of goes to me, and that makes sense, because, you know, that’s, you know, going eight months back and we were a lot further behind where we are now, of course, in our development cycle, but I wanted to open the dialogue with them, because I know that they would be a great partner in the future. But I also know for them to take a risk on us. Remember corporations are really risk adverse Way, way more risk averse than say a startup company would be. That’s why startups are much more nimble, typically, and a lot more groundbreaking and disruptive because they can be, they have nothing to lose. But bigger companies have a lot more to lose. And so they want to be very careful they partner with and, you know, some of the teen, I didn’t even make this public, right. This is just, you know, this was an early guys these strategically thinking, one of the things that I know is I want to partner with, in a general sense strategically with our project, partnering with point of sale, people that already have customers in the space that we’re going into, and there’s about a half dozen of them in the in the US gun world. So, you know, I said I want to start opening the dialogue to introduce myself and put us on their horizon. But I don’t think we’re at but back then. And probably even now for another six months to a year out. We’re not going to be ready for them. We’re not going to be ready. And some of the teams like well, so if you’ve been following up with that guy, I’m like, well, it kind of goes to me a little bit. And they’re like, Are you worried about that? I go now, I think Because I go if I were him right now and it was a C level executive at this company, I would be trying to figure out how I launched my own cryptocurrency Yeah. And and because they the in the gun space is really there’s just there it’s not, they’re not that cutting edge in a lot of respect it’s actually a very low tech industry right now. And I said what will happen is they’re going to go start figuring it out and since they’re big company, their learning curve is going to be slow. It’ll take them six months to figure out that legally speaking, it doesn’t make sense for them to try to do it. And you know, and because I already know what it takes legally to, you know, be drop a current cryptocurrency and I’ll tell and I’ll say this another way for cryptocurrency to be successful, it’s kind of got to be neutral. You know, if you think about it, I think if you want to be adopted by an industry, right, you know, it’s not going to be as easy to adopt by an industry if one of the dogs in that show is running, for instance, if your competitor is running the crypto, you probably aren’t going to be as likely to want to use that crypto because it’s helping your competitor. But what could make sense as a like an independent project, like what we’re doing, like a community project makes a lot more sense, because we’re not, we’re not a competitor, we can work with all those guys. But I said, Look, if I was that, that CEO of that company, I would be trying to figure out how to launch my own cryptocurrency right now. And I’m going to go down that track before I start, you know, engaging with outside projects. And I know that’s what they’re doing. And they’re also going to find that it doesn’t make sense for them to try to launch their own cryptocurrency because the legalities of it and the fact this is not going to work as well. You’re not going to get the adoption that you would want. You might have an internal project but it’s going to be hard to get other products or other people in the industry outside of that. And it’s funny because one of these one of these companies, you know, I’ve been looking at, they’re really not like very well by a lot of people in the industry either so that works against them. So working with a project like us makes a lot more sense. But that’s going to take another six months or nine months or a year after we launched to not only do in show people that we will say we’re going to do X, and then we’re going to execute on x. And it takes that time. And and I think these are those things that a lot of people, especially developer types, or people that are not entrepreneurs even right there’s a lot of a lot of people that hold crypto are not entrepreneurs, so they don’t understand all these, you know, the ideas that you have to do things in a progression, you have to go through baby steps you have to grow. And it’s just like getting on exchanges to write. You know, you have to start on crappy or smaller exchanges. That’s just the nature of the beast, you have to work your way up. It makes no sense to pay, you know, 50,000 bucks or 100,000 bucks to try to get you know, a listing for you to get on a bigger exchange when your project isn’t big enough to really drive any kind of new volume on that bigger exchange, they’ll just the list you. And you know, there’s been you just wasted a lot of money and time and effort. You know, you’ve got to work your way up and grow. And and that takes patience. And a lot of people don’t have that patience, I think. Yeah, I agree.

Mark Wittenberg
Yeah. It’s, like you said, good point with the exchanges, because we often get that from our community to you know, like, we’re, I mean, obviously, I’m part of a couple of projects, but from the verge aspect, I mean, we’re listed on 5060 exchanges already. So, but I get the, you know, when the USD t pairing or when the USD pairing or when’s Coinbase going to add this and when’s binance gonna add more pairings? Listen, at the end of the day, we don’t control that. That’s not we can harass these exchanges like Coinbase or binance. Or Cz, we can harass him on Twitter, all we want is that gonna is that going to get us the end result? Definitely not, the more who you are as a person, the more they’re going to get pushed away. It’s consistency. So the way I look at it is we just do what we’re doing, do it consistently. And try to do the right thing. If they want to add more pairings for us, that’s going to be their business decision. Because let’s face it, they’re a business. So that’s going to be their business decision. If they if they love our community and love our large community and want our large community to help them in some stuff to put some stuff out in the future and stand by them. Then they’re going to do that if they if they don’t see the value in giving us more parents. Hey, that’s up to them. We’re not we can’t control other people’s decisions. We can want what we can want what we want, but they’re going to do what they want to do. And you know, and and I just tell you know, my advice to people is just be as kind as possible and you know, if you want to be a partner with another exchange or have another exchange add you just support them and be consistent in how you’re how you’re addressing them online and how you’re talking to them and have respect for them. You know, people like Cz that guy, I think I tweeted about it tweeted about it the other day about, you know, where guys like cc came from Vancouver worked and I think he worked in fast food or whatever, in Vancouver, BC and then went off to university I think in Ontario or something. He’s got roots too. He’s got a past and he’s going to remember his roots as well. You know, we can hammer people can hammer him all they want to hammer him but at the end of the day, you still need to give respect to somebody like him for building what he’s built. Hammer him all you want, but 99% of us probably would not be here without binance or without Coinbase is probably pretty close to the fact

Rob McNealy
Well, I would say this when it comes to exchanges, and, you know, as far as you know, our long term goal, of course, yeah, you who doesn’t want to be on binance, who doesn’t want to be on the big exchanges, right? But it also needs to make sense, you know, for them. And to me, if you have to, like bother people and bug people and harass people to get your project listed, to me, maybe there’s something lacking in your project, or it’s not big enough. And, you know, at some point, I do believe that the whole exchange world and the way projects are evaluated by the general public and exchanges will change. Right now. It really is about who can pay the listing fees for a lot of these exchanges. They don’t care about your project. They just because their business models are they want listing fees. And, and to me, I think eventually, I think that a lot of the BS in crypto and all the fake volumes and all the crappy projects and the failed Ico is, I think

The markets going to change. And I think the way projects are evaluated will change. And I think how they’re likely going to change is that projects that have real adoption and people and real customers, and have real communities and are really growing, those are the projects that are quality, and all the exchanges are eventually going to want them. And so I tell everybody, even in our community, when they come up with these when moon kind of concepts and you know, you know, and all these comments that we get all the time is like, Look, we don’t need to worry about price. We don’t need to worry about exchanges. We need to focus on building quality, we need to focus on getting users and retailers. And if we do those things and do it correctly, we will not have a problem getting on any exchange that we want to in time. Yeah, yeah, totally agree.

Mark Wittenberg
I totally agree. I you know, I I don’t I’m not out there telling people to go buy verge and invest in Verge. That’s not that’s not what I do. I’m not focused on I’m not focused on telling people to invest in Verge as a as a as a currency, we’re just we should just concentrate on building what we want our use case in our mission to be just constantly do that. And I look kind of look at it like a McDonald’s kind of a thing. McDonald’s started out as a milkshake company now look where they grew to. They didn’t grow to a McDonald’s. Hamburger joint overnight. When they started with milkshakes, it takes a lot of time, but they focused on what they wanted to do. That’s, that’s what they focused on as a currency, and it’s going to be interesting to see what happens in 2020. But if as as us like, even with my other projects, Excel trip patient, if we just focus and concentrate on on what we need to do. People are going to it’s going to open up people’s eyes and they’re going to eventually see it and we’re going to eventually grow. When I say grow, we’re going to grow to two more use case and maybe evaluation will grow too. I’m not I’m not too concerned about these people that want to see 10 cents or 20 cents or five bucks or 10 bucks tomorrow, it’s like, just just concentrate it to hammer exchanges on Twitter and say, when are we going to get this or it’s about time this project gets virge gets USD parent, it takes just as much energy to help up the decentralized project as a volunteer than it would to go on Twitter and ask that question. What’s the point of engaging in a in an antagonistic conversation when you can just turn it to the good and focus on the project instead, but that’s kind of the way I look at it when I’m on Twitter I try to be I try to be on point with my tweets and I try to I try to give respect respect as Do you know, and for us and cryptocurrency we owe everybody else respect at this point.

Rob McNealy
I agree. So, in 2020 what do you see happening in crypto in the new year? Ah, what do I see happening? Or what would I like to happen? That’s a good question. Um, why not both?

Mark Wittenberg
Oh, boy, what would I like to happen? I would like a whole lot of consolidation to happen. Personally, I would like I am the farthest thing away from a money grabber. And I would absolutely love to see that these money grab projects just go away. Just be vaporware go away. And, you know, I feel for the people that again, maybe invested in them, but again, that’s not my problem. But I would like to see it consolidate in a harsh way. And I’d like to see it get really real, what do I think is going to happen? I think we’re still five years old from anywhere from being anywhere serious, but I think at the end of 2020, we’re going to see a major shift I think I think it’s going to consolidate heavily in 2020. And I think it’s where we’ve turned a big corner where it’s going to be use case focused. And I think 2020 we’re going to see, we’re going to see some real use case projects get pushed up for sure.

Rob McNealy
One thing though, where the rubber meets the road is use cases and I always hate customers. Now a lot of people you like to use the word user. I like to think of people as customers, because I think that changes the focus a little bit. To me, you know, a user means that you can be an investor. Well, an investor is not someone who necessarily is going to grow your project and a lot of times it’s the opposite because if you’re into me since we’re also a pure payments, crypto, we want people to spend to us we want people to accept us as money. Right? That’s our focus. And to me, I still think payments is the killer app. And and regardless of the people in Bitcoin, or what have you that are pushed, have moved to this store of value nonsense narrative. And, and to me, I think the Bitcoin community and I’m not bagging on them, but you know, and I own Bitcoin, right? I’m a supporter. But I think that a lot of people in the Bitcoin community moved from peer to peer digital cash to store value because Bitcoin failed at being a peer to peer cash project. And now, people I’ll be, I’ll probably be getting hate emails for this, and that’s fine. But the reality is they they moved the marketing message, they changed the narrative away from the Satoshi white paper. And I’m not going to get into the conflicts with all the different Bitcoin communities now and the splintering and the other projects that came out of the forks and all that, but I agree with you, I think the killer app, it’s about users, it’s about people using your, you know, project. So if people are holding, you know, task or verge or you know, digibytes, or any of these other kind of payment projects. To me that’s counter growing the project, because you want people to spend it, right? And if you incentivize or encourage people to view it as an investment rather than currency, to me, I actually think you’re hindering the growth of your project at that point. You know, just like staking wards. I think if you’re a payments project, and you do staking rewards, you’re you’re like nailing your own self to the cross. It doesn’t make any sense to me. Because these people, if you’re getting interest, you know, on your project, why would you spend it, you’re totally incentivizing the wrong behavior when you do that. And people have asked us, are you going to have staking rewards? And I go, absolutely not. Why would I want that? You know, it sounds great. If you don’t believe in the project, you know, if you don’t believe in the mission in the application in the use case. Yes, thank you more. It sounds great. You know, and I hold a lot of task, you know, but you know, so I would benefit from staking rewards, but it’s going to hinder the growth of our project and to I do believe

That in 2020, we too will see a change moving toward actually use cases of customers, not just users. I don’t believe in I don’t think of investors as users or customers. And a lot of people conflate that they’re like, look how many people are using Bitcoin ago. They’re not using, they invested in it, they’re hotaling Bitcoin, they’re not spending it. And to me, that’s not what you want. You want people to use it, and use it commercially. And, and just think of it as another payment method. That’s what the ideal should be, at least according to the Satoshi white paper, but they’ve moved from that they’re not even trying. The thing is they’re not even trying anymore. So I believe that there’s a vacuum there. And I think projects like you know, verge and task and digibytes that are community driven, that are focused on the mission and the application are the ones that will be successful and I do believe there will be a consolidation now the question is when Will the Emperor not have recognized he’s not wearing any clothes? With so many of these projects? Right? I can, I can tell you I know of at least a couple dozen projects that are in the top two or 300. And I know there’s a lot more, but I know for a fact like, you know, 3040 of these projects are either completely dead or complete scams, but they’re still traded and listed in the top hundred, you know, our top 200 or top 300. And yeah, I’d love to see those go away. Why are you tracking a project that, you know, literally traded at, you know, $21 at its peak, is now trading for eight cents. The people that ran the project are in being indicted for fraud, but yet you’re still trading and it still has a $6 million market cap. Why are you even tracking that? Why are exchanges still involved with that? Yeah, I’d like to see that garbage flush out of the system personally because you know, it’s it does take away attention. From projects that are viable and are legitimate and are growing, yeah, totally agree. I mean, and I’m not bias either way, whether it’s, again, whether it’s verge or Excel trip or pay center, you know, whether whether these projects are involved in that consolidation and they go away then so be it, but I can’t, all we can do is try to work as hard as possible focus as much as possible to try to gain acceptance for sure.

Mark Wittenberg
But I’m with you out of the top 100 or top 200 there’s got to be 30 or 40 that are just going to be gone. And I and I agree with that. 100% I agree with that. But again, these volunteer decentralized projects that are non Ico or whatever, they’re they literally can’t go away. There’s, there’s gonna be a turnstile, right like it’s it’s there’s going to be volunteers on Always coming in and volunteers always going out volunteers coming in and volunteers. We literally, we literally can’t go away. Can we flatline? Absolutely Can you flatline for two, three years, four years, five years, six years, whatever. Absolutely. But you literally won’t go away. Right? Yeah, I think it just comes down to how much inertia you have. And I think what will end up happening is a lot of these non Ico parents are a lot of them what’s happening with these Ico projects, is that you know, a lot of these projects will run Victor would never even run a business before and then they got literally stupid raises through their Ico which a lot of market which which in the United States and pretty much every Ico was illegal. Yeah.

Rob McNealy
And so what ended up happening is, I saw on some projects where they literally hired 100 150 people with their Ico money with no revenue insight, and you’re like, what are they doing with 100 and 150 developers

I mean, that’s insane to me that the so they created all this amazing like overhead, you know, let’s look at in the business, right? They just like went nuts. Yeah and then when the market tanked they didn’t cash out the Ico money and their theory and Bitcoin that they received, you know, drop down 90% from this Ico high. And so they basically just went and burn through all the money. And so a lot of these projects, they’re just they burn through, they fizzled out there, they ran out of money. And I think, you know, projects like task where we have no overhead, we have no debt, we have no full time employees, what many employees and so we don’t, we’re not chasing a burn rate. And I think virgin a lot of these other like digibytes stuff there. We’re not chasing burn rates. We’re not running from going out of business and running out of cash. It’s not even part of the thing. We’re self funded through the network or networks of you know, pays for itself. So it’s sustainable. And I think that That’s part of the problem is that and you can go look at a lot of those socially, the Ico tokens, which are some of the worst. Go look at their socials go to the top two or 300. And I do this every couple of weeks, I’ll go through and just pick a couple projects. And I’ll go look at their websites. I’ll go look at when they last updated. I’ll look at their socials and I haven’t updated in eight months. If you haven’t updated your socials in eight months, you’re probably dead. Right? Yeah. And to me, you know, there’s, I think coin market cap or maybe the exchanges or something, there needs to be something done about that, in my mind, that there’s no development on the project, they probably maybe they didn’t have they didn’t produce what they said they would produce and their tokens were just a method of raising money. And so if there’s not going to be, you know, a project built off that, you know, token Why are they still trading the tokens? And I understand that people lost money. You know, there was a lot of bad male investments in people fell for it. And that’s why the SEC was created in the first place in 1933. And 1934. You know, but you know, I think, yeah, I think there’s going to be some consolidation. There’s gotta be, you know, these products are crap, I think the problem is, is that the exchanges don’t want to let it go. Because these exchanges, you know, most of their fake volume is on these crap projects that, you know, they’re just churning and burning token tokens to pump up their volumes themselves. And if they had to de list all the dead projects, they wouldn’t really have much left.

Yeah, good point. Absolutely. Fair point. For sure. Yeah. And that’s one of the things that it’s frustrating as a project is that I would rather I would rather as a project be listed on more Western exchanges that have third party validated, you know, honest books and honest volume, because I don’t want to be associated with these, you know, Asian exchanges that have fake volume and that are doing dodgy stuff and they’re ethically challenged. But we’re also stuck as a project is that to get on, you know, like the American exchanges are like some of the top but they’re also the pickiest, right. They don’t they too don’t want to take a risk on and brand new projects. So we’re kind of stuck in this catch 22 that you have to kind of deal with some of the crappier exchanges to get some volume to prove yourself worthy enough to be on the more legitimate exchanges. And I don’t like that at all. I wish we don’t have to go through that process. But that’s kind of the way the process is in crypto and, and, you know, people that are not working in a project, they don’t understand all the nonsense we have to kind of deal with. And, you know, it’s a there’s a high risk for as a project of getting ripped off by the exchanges that, you know, have crazy listing fees, but then want, you know, 2% of your supply. Yeah, you know, and then they don’t bring anything to the table themselves. yet. They’re a highly ranked exchange and you have to Be on a highly ranked exchange to get to the next level exchange or and in, you know, that growth process. I know it’s nuts to me, it’s just I wish that we could just be I would rather just be on two or three, you know, really legitimate and well respected exchanges and not worry about it. But that’s just not so easy to do.

Mark Wittenberg
Yeah, I mean, even the western exchanges for older projects are not as easy either. It’s, you know, we’re for verge we’re, what are we five years old, we’re five year old project, and there’s some exchanges in the western Western exchanges that we’re still not on or we don’t have USD parings and, again, so be it. I can’t I don’t control their model, their model is their model, and that’s in there that’s in their brain what they want to do.

Rob McNealy
So it’s, it’ll have to change. Eventually, they’re gonna have to do list, you know, legal securities, if they want to deal with Americans, because the US government’s going to force that. So I think that’s going to I think that’s going to be a big driver. Yeah. In 2020 of that. consolidation is that if you’re, you know, if you want access to American markets in American customers, you’re going to have to D list privacy coins, and you’re going to have to D list any of these illegal securities and and I think that’ll be a good thing to be honest. And that now opens the door for more legitimate projects like ours, where we’re not in the legal security. We’re not an Ico project, we don’t have that stain and stigma around us. So and I think Same thing with verge I think there will be openings for us and legitimately well run projects in 2020. So I’m excited about that. One of the things that gets me excited and motivated doing the little happy gopher dance.

Mark Wittenberg
Yeah, me too. And we get into the privacy coins getting delisted and people you know, it’s a question that’s come up with us to you know, because we’re, you know, we’re looked at as a privacy coin, but we’re privacy by choice. So we’re not, we’re not full on privacy. So that’s kind of, we’re sitting in a nice kind of an area you know, because we’rePrivacy by choice and we are definitely not a security so you know it’s it’s always nice talking to you rob because it’s like maybe some of these projects are going to listen to us or look at us and and see through and go you know what these guys are serious. This Rob guy, this Mark guy these projects that these guys are involved in. They’re serious people we’re not just some fly by night guys that are going to pop up and go away tomorrow kind of a thing. And we need more of this. You know, we need some of these bigger projects, these bigger exchanges to kind of look through and go does that guy sound genuine? Is he genuine? Does he does he well spoken does he come off? Well, is he in business? Yeah, I kind of want to do business with that guy. You know, do business with the people that that are genuine and do business with the people that are that are going to help you don’t do business with just pure money. Some of these exchanges they have they have a lot of money already. Data I don’t think I don’t know.

Yeah, with the securities thing I think you’re right in 2020 we’re going with the securities coming down we’re going to see a lot of these projects just go away. It’s unfortunate but it has to happen. Agreed. So besides you know virgin we talked a lot about verge last time you’re on tell me a little bit about patient and excel trip and some of these other projects you’re working on. So Excel trip. I mean, I just said as an advisor, so I’m not I’m involved. I’m very, I’m a big fan of communication. So I like to communicate to my to the CEOs and the CEOs and the CEOs and the CM whatever OHS and as much as I can, but so Excel trip is it’s a decentralized travel platform, right? So I think you can book over a million hotels 400 Airlines with it now so you can pay in crypto. So, for me, it’s that’s going to be an important project moving forward. It’s going to have it certainly has it’s certainly a spot in crypto for sure. When companies like sell trip, tie into some of these other bigger companies and pull their information, and you can use their platform to pay in crypto, maybe you’re going to Expedia or Priceline or whatever. But if they’re taking those that information on those hotels and flights, putting it into their platform, and you can pay in crypto and get a reward or cash back or whatever you’re going to do to travel. I honestly don’t know why more crypto conventions and more crypto traveling. People don’t use don’t use Excel trip. It’s busy. It’s a busy website. They’re they’re really busy business at hob, the CEO and founder back guy travels like non stop I can’t even like every time I talked to the guys in a different spot. Like I should just put out a map and just pin where he’s going. It’s crazy how much that guy travels but I mean It’s a busy website, but it websites like that are going to get busier and busier and busier. And I really think that these conventions and these conferences and these meetups and stuff like that they really need to take advantage of websites like Excel trip where you can book and get cash back. I mean, man, there you book and pay with crypto and you’re getting some cash back and crypto. So and they’re not gouging, they’re not like some of these other travel platforms that raise the price 20% to say you’re saving 20% It’s not like that. It’s the real deal. It’s very competitive pricing, pay sent. On the other hand, of course, their pay Center is a bridge between Fiat and kryptos. So they’ve got debit cards, and as far as I know, right now, they’re the only worldwide debit card solution, bridging between Fiat and crypto. So you put your crypto on your on your app and then you move it over to your debit card into what they call sipps si p s which is equivalent to one USD and then you just go spend your debit card. They’re the only worldwide solution right now, as far as I know, in the space they they only allow us to. Absolutely, yeah 100% they have over 100,000 cards delivered. That’s huge 100,000 cards. That’s that’s a pretty big market share. It’s a well ran car. It’s a well run company. It is absolutely. A well run company. I whatever people are going to say about this debit card, that debit card, maybe I’m biased because I’m an advisor for them. Maybe. But I’m really not like that as a person. I’m not stepping in as an advisor role to a company that I think is vaporware. That’s not who I am as a person. If I’m going to back something 100% with my name, my name means a lot to me. So I’m going to make sure the company’s legit and I communicate with these guys every day. So I’m following them and

Man, these guys are legit companies Paycent and Xceltrip are straight up legit companies. I mean, straight like no Hab for Xceltrip. He was an early adopter. So you go to his go to his facebook i think that guy’s got like 300,000 followers or something like that the guy was involved in early and a lot of projects. So these guy and patient, Sumida, they know how to build and scale companies and they know exactly what to focus on and know exactly what they need to do so totally legit. Well, to me, those were use cases and that’s, you know, getting now getting crypto and getting on ramps and off ramps in and people using crypto for spending that to me again, you know, it goes back to what’s the killer app. And those are the types of things that you know, we need to see out there and you know, maybe you can connect me with them. I’d love to talk and learn more about those individual projects as well.

Rob McNealy
But we’re getting to the point where we’re almost out of time. So Mark, where can people find out about all the things you’re working on?

Mark Wittenberg
A Vergecurrency.com, Xceltrip.com, and Paycent.com. But pay sense got an app Xceltrip. Yeah Xceltrip calm and you can find me on Twitter at Verge Canada. And yeah, let’s, let’s have some fun out there.

Rob McNealy
Absolutely. Once again, I really enjoyed our conversation and if you haven’t already, folks, make sure you you know, hit that subscribe button on iTunes or follow us on, you know, Twitter Rob McNealy or go to you know, YouTube, we’re everywhere. Thank you so much, and we’ll catch you later.

Mark Wittenberg
Thanks, Rob.

 

 

Mark Wittenberg, Verge Currency Core Marketing Team

Mark Wittenberg, Verge Currency Core Marketing TeamIn This Episode

In this podcast, Rob McNealy interviews Mark Wittenberg of the Verge Currency Core Marketing Team.

About Mark Wittenberg

Mark first became aware of Cryptocurrency in 2010 and has been involved in ongoing research. While researching and being involved amongst the many different projects in the space, he found his core beliefs aligned perfectly with Verge Currency. Mark actively sits as a Verge Currency Core Member, and focuses on business development, contract negotiations/facilitation and vendor relations. He comes to us with an extensive background in sales, Finance/Credit. Mark has been In the automotive industry since 1995 and has extensive background with marketing, Finance, Credit, Privacy Act, and Fair Trading Act. He’s been involved in these industries since 1995 (23 years) and has had success at scaling companies in very short periods of time. He is self employed in Credit and Finance, and advises for many successful companies.

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