Quotes"At this point, there is no way that all of finance isn't going to be torn down and reinvented in the internet's image. It's already started, and it is absolutely impossible to reverse. It's inexorable." ~@JpThieriot, CEO @UpholdInc Click To Tweet "Unlike a bank, people can see the state of our balances in near real-time. Imagine if the banking system did that. You'd never have had a savings & loan crisis. 2008 never would have happened." ~@JpThieriot, CEO @UpholdInc Click To Tweet "It's not us competing with our peers in digital finance & #crypto. It's us competing against the legacy banks, which still hold 99% of the world's money. That's where we should be aimed." ~@JpThieriot, CEO @UpholdInc Click To Tweet
Welcome to this conversation with JP Thieriot, CEO of Uphold, a platform that lets users hold, spend, and instantly exchange assets like cryptocurrencies, fiat, and gold. Uphold also serves as Brave’s default wallet for holding Basic Attention Token or BAT.
Topics Discussed In This Episode
- How growing up in Argentina influenced JP’s views on money and inflation
- Working for one of the first tech-focused Silicon Valley banks
- Parallels between crypto and the early days of the internet
- How JP discovered Bitcoin while searching for a better way to send money internationally
- The story of Bitreserve, the original Uphold
- How regulatory friction frustrates innovation in finance
- Uphold’s commitment to transparency
- Uphold’s multi-asset debit card
- How Uphold’s Apps Center brings added functionality to users
- The benefits of having a gold-denominated bank account
- Managing inflationary risk
- The chances that cryptocurrencies like BAT become major world currencies
- Uphold’s business operations
Links Relevant To This Episode
- Nomics’ Fully Customizable Daily Crypto Newsletter
- Clay Collins
- JP Thieriot
- Bitcoin (BTC)
- Mt. Gox
- Brock Pierce
- Tether (USDT)
- Brendan Eich
- Basic Attention Token (BAT)
- Ripple (XRP)
- SALT Lending
- Unstoppable Domains
- Universal Protocol Alliance
- Wences Casares
Clay: Welcome to Flippening, the first and original podcast for full time, professional, and institutional crypto investors. I’m your host, Clay Collins. Each week, we discuss the cryptocurrency economy, new investment strategies for maximizing returns, and stories from the frontlines of financial disruption. Go to flippening.com to join our newsletter for cryptocurrency investors, and find out just why this podcast is called Flippening.
Clay Collins is the CEO of Nomics. All opinions expressed by Clay and podcast guests are solely their own opinion, [00:00:30] and do not reflect the opinion of Nomics or any other company. This podcast is for informational and entertainment purposes only and should not be relied upon as the basis for investment decisions.
Mike: Hi, this is Mike, producer of the Flippening podcast. I’d like to welcome you to this conversation between Clay Collins and JP Thieriot, CEO of Uphold—a platform that lets users hold, spend, and instantly exchange assets like cryptocurrencies, fiat, and gold. Uphold also serves as Brave’s default [00:01:00] wallet for holding Basic Attention Token or BAT.
In this episode, we discuss how growing up in Argentina influenced JP’s views on money and inflation. How JP discovered Bitcoin while searching for a better way to send money internationally. The origin story of Bitreserve, the original Uphold. How regulatory friction frustrates innovation in finance. Uphold’s commitment to transparency. How Uphold thinks about its product roadmap, services, and business operations. The benefits of having a gold denominated bank account. And managing inflationary risk.
Before we get started, [00:01:30] I should mention that Uphold is one of our sponsors. Without them and folks like them, this show wouldn’t exist. That said, given Uphold’s prominence in the space, we would have asked JP on the show even if Uphold wasn’t a sponsor. At any rate, the following content is the kind of material we like to produce. We feel that the interview stands on its own.
Transcript and show notes for this episode are available at flippening.com/jp. That’s flippening.com/JP.
And now, before we get started, here’s Clay with a word from our friends and sponsors.
Clay: [00:02:00] This episode is brought to you by Nexo, the leading regulated financial institution for digital assets. We use them here at Nomics and enjoy them quite a bit. Here’s a word from them.
Nexo provides the world’s most advanced credit and lending services to both retail and institutional clients. Nexo first built its reputation in the blockchain industry with its Instant Crypto Credit Lines, which let you use digital assets as collateral to get cash in 45 fiat currencies and stablecoins.
Recently, however, Nexo launched its [00:02:30] Earn on Crypto product, which is by far the most convenient lending solution I have come across. Again, we use it here, and what I like about it is simply by holding assets in your wallet, you can earn interest, and that is paid out daily. You don’t have to apply for something. You don’t have to go through a process or a form. Simply by holding assets in your Nexo wallet you get daily interest payouts.
Nexo lets you earn up to 5% annually on BTC, ETH, XRP, XLM, LTC, BCH, EOS, and LINK. You can also park your [00:03:00] stablecoins and even cash to generate a whopping 10% annual return.
Finally, Nexo is also a strategic partner of exchanges, crypto funds, and institutions which deploy capital to earn interest, enter into asset swap agreements, or directly borrow crypto from Nexo.
So if you are looking to borrow, lend, or swap digital assets, Nexo is your go-to partner. Definitely explore nexo.io or reach out to them directly if you an institution at firstname.lastname@example.org.
[00:03:30] Finally, this episode is also brought to you by the Nomics API and CSV Data Export Service. If you need an enterprise-grade crypto market data API for your fund, smart contract, or app, or if you need historical CSV dumps of trading data or crypto market cap data from top exchanges (or even obscure ones), then consider trying out the Nomics API or our historical data export service.
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Mike: Okay, back to our regularly scheduled program. Here’s Clay’s conversation with JP Thieriot, CEO of Uphold. Enjoy. [00:04:30]
Clay: JP, thanks for joining us today. Can you tell us a little about your background prior to Uphold up until when you got involved with Uphold and how that started to form—that whole journey?
JP: Sure, absolutely. Thank you very much for having me. I guess one of the things that contribute [00:05:00] to sitting where I am today is the fact that I was born in Argentina and spent my early childhood there. It was regarded as some of the heavier times in the history of a country. As The Economist put it, we have been on a 100-year decline right. But the ’70s were particularly egregious insofar as hyperinflation.
[00:05:30] The story I’ve told in the past is Argentina, or Buenos Aires, in particular, had these very cool little magazine kiosks on the corners, and lots of the kids’ magazines would always have a plastic toy inside of them. I’d ask for money to go buy one of these things, and what was enough money to buy it when I saw it at 5:00 PM in the afternoon on the prior day, very disappointingly wasn’t enough money to buy it the next morning.
[00:06:00] Maybe that sits somewhere deep, deep in the subconscious. But way more recently, I was very, very lucky. I grew up most of my life in the United States. And right out of university, decided to go work for a small investment bank on the West Coast. That really was the first technology investment bank. It was founded by a guy named Bill Hambrecht, wonderful [00:06:30] Silicon Valley pioneer. He perceived a lot of these companies popping up around.
Stanford was not particularly well served by the East Coast—bulge bracket banks. Before I got there in 1990 or ’91, Hambrecht & Quist had already taken public Apple, Genentech, Adobe, and [00:07:00] others. And after Hambrecht & Quist leave, some other specialist banks also popped up—Robertson Stephens and Montgomery Securities (to name a couple).
But at any rate, I was there for the better part of 10 years, and of course, arriving there in the early ’90s meant arriving there right before anybody had heard the term “World Wide Web.” We took Netscape—the first internet IPO—public. I think we were [00:07:30] lead-left underwriter, or maybe we were on the right. I don’t fully remember.
We were also involved with CNET, which was the third internet IPO. It’s actually the CEO and founder of CNET who is the co-founder of Uphold along with me in 2013. That’s where we met. His trajectory through the internet was an interesting one. [00:08:00]CNET was the first profitable company on the internet. While he was there, he invented something called Story Server, which was the world’s first web publishing engine, which he contributed to a company called Vignette of its own accord.
Clay: I remember Vignette from back in the day. It was like CMS. Wow, that’s crazy it went public and stuff.
JP: It went public, and at its height was worth more than $10 billion (I believe). But at any rate, [00:08:30] he was there for eight years. When he left there to essentially co-found what is today Salesforce, otherwise had a very illustrious career. As I’ve said in some other conversations in the past, the parallels between early internet and (let’s call it) crypto are rather remarkable. Certainly not identical, but [00:09:00] they definitely rhyme.
At any rate, those are the major components that lead to having had antennae that were sensitive to the advent of something like Bitcoin. And also seeing Bitcoin now, crypto now, digital economy, Finance 2.0 (whatever you want to call it)—perceiving lots of parallels that I still think are very much intact vis a vis [00:09:30] how this is likely to unfold in the coming year.
Clay: What do you think are some of the more notable parallels? Certainly, there was the dot-com boom, there was that initial wave, and things ebbed and flowed with a lot of extremes pretty rapidly there. Certainly, the market cap of crypto in aggregate is nowhere near where the dot-com bubble was at its peak, but maybe we’re not even that far along in the space. What do you think are some of the [00:10:00] one or two of the more striking parallels?
JP: I’d definitely say we’re not that far along. I would say Finance 2.0 (for lack of a better term) is probably internet 1994 or something at this point.
Clay: Gopher and stuff.
JP: Yeah, still in diapers.
JP: Yeah. The parallels—[00:10:30] the most direct one—is, of course, the internet has redefined every industry on Earth, including some that nobody would have thought were necessarily intuitive in 1994 like let’s say the taxi industry, which is now completely crushed by ride-sharing and what have you. The obvious ones—newspaper, publishing, [00:11:00] communications, and so forth. Those were the first to fall but the internet has gone on a relentless march. At this point, it looks like it might be sticking the final nail in the coffin of retail for God’s sake.
Through all that, the one industry that resisted that nature of reinvention was, of course, finance, and the reason finance [00:11:30] was able to exist unperturbed is money—unlike other information—has this added dimension, which is essentially value or spendability. And until Bitcoin came along, these posed insurmountable defenses for finance. It didn’t matter that money is 1s and 0s. I think most people at this point know that money isn’t actually [00:12:00] paper wrapped in plastic sitting in volts below banks, it’s 1s and 0s. It’s just crappy old-fashioned 1s and 0s, right?
But the reason those crappy old-fashioned 1s and 0s couldn’t get upgraded to free traveling internet 1s and 0s is again because of this added dimension of value. Of course, Bitcoin comes along and essentially solves that problem in a couple of different ways. It wasn’t just one problem, there [00:12:30] was also cryptography and some other, but the point is this mote around finance is all of a sudden no longer there.
It’s been 10 years since that came into the world, but again, before the internet was anything, it was also many, many years as basically a government thing and a university thing before it started to become a commercial [00:13:00] public thing.
In this case, while those defenses have been removed and there’s been obviously a ton of growth in this ecosystem, it really, really, really is two things. One it’s inexorable, in other words, there is no way that at this point all of finance isn’t also going to be torn down and reinvented in the internet’s image. That is already started, and it is [00:13:30] absolutely impossible to reverse. That’s number one.
And then number two is are the incumbents this time may be better armed than the incumbents through all these other series of internet disruptions? A, are they possibly better protected by the regulatory frameworks, and what money really is today in a geopolitical sense? Maybe. [00:14:00] Maybe that will slow down the onslaught—again, the inexorable. And are they better positioned because having learned the lessons of the internet and what it’s done to all these other industries maybe they’re somehow more intelligent about how to co-opt this oncoming force rather than get run over by it.
And of course, incumbents in finance have lots and lots and lots of money.
Clay: The incumbents [00:14:30] in this case are like the Goldman Sachs, the Fidelity’s, et cetera, not maybe like the FAANG companies, or both those indicative of the incumbents?
JP: Well I’d say the original incumbents are the first to get knocked down by the internet were probably the newspaper companies, right? It went from being these titans to being literally worthless in the span of about 20 years.
Clay: But for finance, our current battle, you’re referring to like traditional banks?
JP: Yeah, absolutely. [00:15:00] Traditional banks are (I would say) the probably far smarter and more sophisticated modern equivalents of the newspaper companies in the early ’90s.
Clay: Let’s move on to Uphold a bit. What (if any) was your founding role at Uphold? Are you a founder? And also, what was the founding thesis of Uphold? When you think about maybe the first pitch that was made for raising capital, there’s probably a deck there, and [00:15:30] a case was being made. What was that case or founding thesis around Uphold at the time of inception?
JP: I was, at the time, in Argentina. After my period at Hambrecht & Quist, I did a small entrepreneurial stint, and that got blown up by—along with everything else that Hambrecht & Quist was involved with nearly—with the collapse of the internet in 2000. And [00:16:00] that was bleak to the point where people were worried, again, a company like Adobe might not survive. What was thriving and frothy became tumbleweed blowing down the streets’ wasteland.
At that point, I decided to go back to Argentina and do something that I’d always wanted to do, but it never seemed like the right moment with so much going on [00:16:30] in Northern California. That was to get involved in agriculture. I had spent a lot of time on farms as a kid, and in lockstep timing with the collapse of the internet, Argentina went through a crisis where it had its seven presidents in 10 days sort of a thing. And the value of land got cut in half.
As much as I lost with the cratering of the internet, so too did land values go down in Argentina. At any rate, long and short of it, I bought a bunch of land and [00:17:00] that did very well. As commodities went into their attractive cycle in the early 2000s. And we ended up growing that, […] it, and doing all the things that somebody who’s gone from fifth gear to first gear going from San Francisco to rural Argentina would probably try to do to amuse themselves.
But that too went into a different type of a difficult period, which is the Kirchners came on board and [00:17:30] started to basically systematically exacerbate the long-running destruction of the country. In this particular case, what ended up happening is despite the fact that we had you know Pricewaterhouse as our auditor, we’d set things up as a trust, and everything was very buttoned up and done correctly, American LPs correctly reading the writing on the wall like, hmm, these Kirchners sound a little scary.
[00:18:00] We’d love to take our money back. And you’d say, okay. Well, absolutely. I know your statement says that your LP interest is $1 million, and if you come down here to Buenos Aires I can actually give you $1 million in cash. I don’t know where you’re going to put it—in a backpack or a briefcase—and what you’re going to do with it from there. But as bizarre as this sounds, [00:18:30] if you want it back in the United States in your bank, you’re actually going to get about $500,000. And people just didn’t understand. They thought we were making this up.
And at one point, in a big board meeting, an appalled American investor has said, I don’t get it. Is your country masochistic? It was a great question. It was like, yeah, I think it is entirely masochistic. But it just is what it is. The nature of currency controls [00:19:00] in Argentina was such that, again, if bizarrely somebody wanted to come and get their money in cash that was perfectly viable. But any other form of payment crossing an international boundary would’ve taken about a 50% tax.
And we tried everything to try to get around this, which is how I discovered Bitcoin. At the time, Bitcoin was so nascent that there was just no way you were going to take [00:19:30] tens of millions of dollars in a fund and say, you know what guys, we’re going to do a local Bitcoin transaction and you guys are going to get this crazy new thing. It would have been literally the best business decision in history, but it was still too high a risk to contemplate at that moment in time.
But at any rate, after getting out of that tricky and unpleasant situation—or in pretty close timing as all that was going on—[00:20:00] the founder of CNET and unwritten co-founder of Salesforce, who himself had gone through an almost Greek myth rise and fall story, called me and we’d kept in touch over the years. He’d been in a bad way, but he said, “I have to come down and speak with [00:20:30] you,” which was very out of character.
I was like, sure, come down. He flew down to Buenos Aires, and we ended up more or less in an apartment for the better part of two or three days. It was him basically telling me that he perceived that this is absolutely the second coming of the internet. It was amazing that the internet happened in our lifetimes, to begin with. [00:21:00] It’s highly unlikely that something like this and the internet happen both in any human being’s lifetime. Suffice it to say, it was enough for me to decide that’s it, I’m selling everything in Argentina. And that’s when we started Bitreserve, which was the original Uphold.
And to the latter part of your question, what new were we bringing to an equation, an industry that already included [00:21:30] (hilariously) Mt. Gox, Coinbase, BitPay and maybe one or two others? What we brought to the equation, which was absolutely proven out, is hey, this thing called Bitcoin is a total revolution, but because it is so volatile, strange, and questionably scalable, really the first order of business [00:22:00] is translating this thing into what people consider money.
What people considered to be money is that thing which does not change in value from one week to the next. So for an American, dollars are money, for a Londoner, pounds sterling is money, and for both of those people, the Japanese Yen is speculation. By definition, [00:22:30] Bitcoin is not money, it is a speculation. Nonetheless, if one goes back and looks, companies like BitPay, Coinbase, and others were thinking of it in a very, very different way.
They were thinking no, no, no, this is money. Let’s go out and start you know payment processors that allow merchants to capture this stuff because people are going to want to spend it like money, and presumably, merchants are going to want to receive it like money. We just thought that’s absolutely crazy. [00:23:00] No merchant is proactively looking to go out and create a layer of FX complexity for themselves.
And presumably, if this thing functions as a speculation, it’s the last thing anybody’s going to want to spend. And then irrespective of those two assumptions, it’s simply so volatile that it’s very impractical to deal with.
What we did is [00:23:30] we were the first people to put Dollars, Pounds, Euros, Yen, et cetera on crypto rails. And this was, remember, long, long, long before the word stablecoin existed. We were actually sort of unpopular in the early Bitcoin ecosystem because of our insistence that the world wasn’t going to jump wholesale from a fiat currency [00:24:00] system into Bitcoin.
Despite this, you would go to conferences at that time, and I think I remember it was the CEO of Blockchain I think it was who said if you believe in this then you’ll do away with your bank accounts. You will pay your employees in Bitcoin, and blah, blah, blah. We were just thinking, wow these guys seem really, really religious about this, and it doesn’t need to be. [00:24:30] In a pure free-market sense it’s going to do just fine. It is the Internet unleashed upon the financial industry, so why the need for all the zealotry and (let’s say) extreme points of view?
That was the first thing we did. Some anecdotes that came out of that period, [00:25:00] which I’m fond of telling and I haven’t got any pushback yet (I’m still waiting), but I’m 90% certain that this is exactly how it happened. We were having one of those cocktail receptions in some large room in a Vegas hotel on […] and expounding on this theory that I’ve just been blabbing about here. Sitting in the corner of the room—[00:25:30] uninvited to my knowledge—was Brock Pierce, who at that point was already a fairly well-known advocate of Bitcoin and a celebrity within the ecosystem.
I noted him sitting there quietly absorbing everything that we were talking about. And amusingly maybe a month or two later, he launched Tether. Tether for us was interesting. [00:26:00] Again, we were putting dollars on crypto rails a year before Tether existed. The only reason we didn’t turn that into a stablecoin—meaning an open-loop version of what we’d created in a closed-loop—was because the lawyers had assured us that people who in the past tried to create private equivalents of the US dollar tended to wind up [00:26:30] in prison. Some guy tried to do it in Hawaii, Joe’s dollar in the slammer.
All the legal precedents suggested that if you created a token that walked like a dollar, quacked like a dollar, and otherwise threatened to usurp the US government seigniorage on something that is a dollar you’d be in prison, so we didn’t do it. Amusingly, when I [00:27:00] go back to those lawyers and I say, hey guys, looks like your […] decision—ultimately, Tether’s worth what, $4 billion today? It looks like you might have cost us a hell of a business opportunity back then.
What they’ll tell you is somehow, in that span of time, regard for stablecoins went form this thing that it was clearly illegal to no, it’s no different than open-loop prepaid credit [00:27:30] i.e. that $50 or $100 Mastercard hanging on a shelf as you’re going to check out of a Walgreens, Home Depot, or wherever those things hang near the checkout.
Anyway, that was the beginnings and some of the anecdotes. Some of the happy outcomes of all that is in creating a seamless platform that allows (at this point), not just Bitcoin, but all kinds of cryptos to seamlessly convert it to [00:28:00] all kinds of fiat currencies, when Brendan Eich conceived of having learned Bitcoin—this futuristic browser that would basically enable payments, but more importantly enable the reorganization of the way money flows between advertisers, publishers, and all of us—the end-users of the Internet.
He launched Brave software, and they did one of the first hot ICOs [00:28:30] with a BAT token. Despite the fact that Bitcoin was the inspiration, he quickly realized the same thing we realized that Bitcoin itself (at that point) was too volatile, too slow, and too strange for publishers and advertisers to want to deal with, so he discovered us. Here’s a company that’s taking all of those capabilities and allowing them to seamlessly translate into whatever form of money is relevant to these various participants. [00:29:00] In his case, in his ecosystem. Users, publishers, and advertisers in hundreds of different countries around the world.
Since then, for the last four years, we have been you know Brave’s intimate partner and driving most of the transactions on their platform, which has been growing hand over fist. And that’s led to other similar relationships with companies that have similar [00:29:30] designs on either native token economies or movements of capital in ways that are not well serviced by the existing financial system.
Clay: That’s really interesting, and that of course is how I came to learn of Uphold was through Brave and that integration there, which I’m sure has been a really nice partnership for you guys.
It would be good now to transition to what I’ll call Chapter One, which is an overview [00:30:00] of your services. I know you have a credit card, you have a way to transact between a variety of really interesting trading pairs that involve national currencies, metals, crypto and it seems like the common rhetorics of that have resulted in just an enormous number of trading pairs. You can go, as you say on your website, from anything to anything.
You’ve got the credit card, you’ve got a wallet, and you have these interesting [00:30:30] ways to store value on crypto rails. Is there anything else that bears mention with regard to your suite of products and services?
JP: There are tons and tons of tons of stuff, right? The analogy I try to think of there is I suppose, most simplistically, we’re trying to be everything in one wallet. Again, going back to that [00:31:00] those earlier days, folks were—you remember PalmPilot? PalmPilot was the thing, right?
Clay: Yeah, Blackberry. That whole thing.
JP: Yeah, and I’m pretty sure that some of the nerds I was hanging out within the San Francisco tech and banking context, I’m pretty sure there were some guys that actually had the Motorola Razr plus the Palm plus the Blackberry. Obviously, [00:31:30] the iPhone comes along and pretty much absorbs what Apple had already created in terms of music and the iPod, but then goes and starts to become everything in one thing. Obviously, those other extraneous devices no longer exist from a hardware perspective, but this thing that was narrowly a telephone now goes way [00:32:00] beyond it.
The reason I bring up that analogy is our idea from day one was we want to create a platform, and that platform has some sort of table stakes inhouse stuff that we allow remittance, conversion, the ability to earn interest, et cetera. But the focus should be on an open API that enables all kinds of third party [00:32:30] digital money applications, and that acknowledges that there’s so much cool stuff to be done that we really cannot be counted on to think of all the cool things that could be done.
Again, the other thing with finance is—before and even after Bitcoin—that myth of two guys in a garage inventing something that can flourish weeks later, that’s just not possible in finance because of the degree of regulatory friction. [00:33:00] Those two guys in the garage would need to raise a couple of million bucks if their idea had anything to do with the movement of value in the United States, and they’d have to go get 50 state by state money transmission licenses, and so on and so forth.
A lot of barriers to innovation. In terms of setting up an API that could handle tons of disparate [00:33:30] units of accounts—some of which are national currencies, some of which are cryptocurrencies. We’ve launched some commodities like gold. Recently, outside of the United States, we’ve launched fractional US equities. It’s our job to go and to speak to an ever-broader array of asset classes, it’s other folks’ job to figure out what cool things you know can be done with it. Again, [00:34:00] like Brave, Coil, Global ID, and like many of the 200 companies that do business with us today.
Our functionality, the middle, is essentially the links to legacy money networks like US Banking, European Banking, and the card rails. We have regulatory coverage. We have the reserve management system, which is probably the most complex part of it.
And then, [00:34:30] another thing that doesn’t get noticed much is we have this transparency page where unlike a bank, people have perfect information and can see the state of our balances in a near real-time capacity. Imagine if the banking system did that. If the banking system did that, you would never have had a savings and loan crisis—2008 never would have happened, and so on and so forth. [00:35:00] Underlying this complex platform is this concept of pretty total transparency that we hope over the years continues to differentiate us from other folks.
Clay: Hey! I wanted to pause for a second to let you know that this episode of the Flippening podcast is brought to you by our longtime and trusted partner Nexo. As someone who personally uses Nexo, I wanted to point out a few things that I especially like about their Credit Lines and Earn Interest products.
First, [00:35:30] their annual crypto interest rates start from just 5.9%, which may very well be the lowest borrowing rate in the whole industry. It’s certainly the lowest I’ve personally seen.
Second, you can repay your credit line at any time, and you can withdraw more from your credit line when the value of your collateral grows. For example, let’s say you borrow against your Bitcoin. Each Bitcoin is worth $5000, but over the course of your loan, the price grows to $10,000 per Bitcoin. This means that the size of your [00:36:00] credit line just doubled as well.
Third, Nexo’s Earn Interest product pays you interest on a daily basis, and you can add or withdraw funds at any time without losing any of the accrued interest. What’s cool about this is it’s not a complicated process. You simply transfer funds to your Nexo wallet, and simply by having those funds in that wallet, you get daily interest payouts from Nexo, which is pretty cool, and the interest rate is pretty fantastic.
Fourth, there are no minimum or maximum limits on deposits, so clients [00:36:30] of all shapes and sizes can benefit.
Fifth and finally, there are no deposit fees or withdrawal fees either—just pure profit. It’s a pretty simple product. Simply by holding funds in your Nexo wallet you can earn interest. You can also take out loans for 4.9%, and you can take out these loans against a basket of assets that you hold not just on one particular asset at a time.
I really like these folks. We interviewed them on the podcast. They have just been partners, so go check them out at nexo.io.
[00:37:00] Finally, this episode is brought to you by the startup that produces it, nomics.com. Nomics is a crypto market cap website and aggregator going head to head with CoinMarketCap. We stand as a transparent alternative to many of the sketchy market cap websites out there. We won’t name names, but I think you know who we’re referring to.
Anyway, if you haven’t been to nomics.com in a while, I encourage you to visit our website. We offer transparent volume statistics for nearly every cryptocurrency and crypto exchange in the space, and I believe we have the only credible crypto exchange index in the space as of this [00:37:30] recording. If you’re sick of scammy ads, bad design, and manipulated data provided by companies whose founders hide from public view, then check us out at nomics.com.
Okay, let’s return back to the show.
JP: The card you mentioned is a spending tool, obviously, but it’s a very handy thing because otherwise if it’s just a bunch of value sitting in the clouds zipping around between [00:38:00] Bitcoin, DigiByte, XRP, and a gold token, that’s all well and good, but until you can use it through a piece of plastic that is accepted at 50 million locations around the world, it doesn’t have nearly as much utility. Those first and last model solutions are critical.
Yes, I think we’ve [00:38:30] launched the first truly debit, truly multi-asset card in the world. By that I mean it is not like a Revolut prepaid card. It means if you’re using our card and you are at the cashier and you’ve noticed that whatever it is, it has just gone up to 20% in the last hour and you’d like to take some profits it takes you one [00:39:00] second to switch from dollars to XRP or whatever—if that’s what you want to spend.
Clay: I think you’ve done some really interesting things around the UI. It just seems easy and how it should be. It’s interesting to explore shifting metaphors for what entities like yours or what products like yours are. You mentioned that you’re kind of a wallet. That’s how you described—at least as I heard it at first—[00:39:30] your wallet with these services added.
Also, another metaphor that’s somewhat appropriate is a bank. I was thinking the other day about what are the components of a bank? To me there’s custody, there is debit and credit card issuance, there’s the ability to borrow loans, and then also to earn interest. You definitely have custody. You have something that most banks don’t provide, which is the ability to [00:40:00] trade across these trading pairs. Do you see interest-earning and loans in your future? Or is that something that perhaps the distraction your core focus?
JP: No. If the bank wasn’t such a regulatorily fraught word we would probably go ahead and use it because it would help people understand us a little better. And today, people refer to challenger banks, [00:40:30] neobanks, and the like. In every sense, we’re actually way, way better than a bank. And I say that from a consumer safety protection and actually the beneficiary of innovation perspective.
Banks haven’t been particularly motivated to innovate. [00:41:00] Witness the big innovations in the last 100 years have been credit cards and ATMs. But that’s because they’re pretty comfortable. That’s because there’s no obligation to be transparent, they’re required to have something like 11% or 14% tier one capital, and they have massive—
Clay: You were referring to Fractional Reserve Banking there, right?
JP: Yeah, yeah. To banks. What is a bank? A bank is allowed to use shocking amounts of leverage. Again, no [00:41:30] obligation to be transparent and they don’t have to have on reserve more than 11%-14% people’s deposits. The definition of a bank is something that takes in deposits on one side and makes loans, essentially, on the other. It’s in those mismatches and mispricing of risks that society [00:42:00] has run into problems, and problems that would have brought the world to a grinding halt, or the US taxpayer not there to bail everything out at the IC insurance.
What we’ve created is what I’ve heard referred to sometimes as a thin bank, i.e. a bank that is required to be 100% reserve at all times. We are 100% reserve at all times in every unit of [00:42:30] account. And actually, let me be careful about how I say that. We’re providing a real-time you at all times, and it may be that for an hour or two days, our users are holding 100,000 Bitcoin and we are holding 99,990 for a day. But that information is relayed transparently, and it doesn’t last [00:43:00] for more than it takes our reserve system to true things up.
Clay: The intent is to make that whole. It’s not a long-term situation?
JP: That’s right. The way our reserve measurement system operates fundamentally is it reads the historic volatility between any two units of account. And because the best transaction for us is the one that is internally netted—let’s say 10 [00:43:30] people are buying 100 Bitcoin and 5 people are selling 100 Bitcoin for dollars, if we get both sides of that, that for us is the most desirable transaction.
But because Bitcoin and dollars is such an enormously volatile pairing, our system only keeps that open for fractions of a second. But if you were talking about gold and [00:44:00] British pounds, the system might keep that one open for an hour or five hours. I don’t know, it’s all algorithmic. The point is that’s the way the system operates, and then we set the system to dials that max out our willingness to be exposed long or short. Again, all within the parameters permitted by law on these different units of account.
Clay: Do you see the ability to earn interest and the [00:44:30] ability to take out loans? Do you see that in your future, or is that not core to your mission at this point?
JP: No, it is. In other words, because that is the core DNA of a bank and it is the main reason banks get in trouble, the way we do it is very different. We have one balance sheet and it’s 100% reserved all the time, meaning it is not loaned to anybody. It’s there, there’s no possibility of a run on the bank. If everybody had panicked and said [00:45:00] give me all my dollars, give me all my Bitcoin, not an issue. Nobody needs to panic, it’s all there.
The second you make loans, that’s no longer the case. The way we’ve addressed that issue is we have partnered with other companies. Our biggest partner in this regard is a company called Cred, which was founded by a bunch of ex-PayPal folks. If somebody wants to earn interest on their holdings [00:45:30] with us, they go to our app center. They join Cred, which is a couple of clicks because we’re sharing a lot of the information about the user with Cred as somebody’s opting in. And if they move money over to Cred, it’s off our balance sheet.
When you’re looking at our transparency page and the solvency of our reserve, there are no loans that are in no way [00:46:00] hypothecated. What you see is what you get. For people looking for services related to loans, they are opting into somebody else’s terms of service. That amount of capital leaves our balance sheet, therefore the structural vulnerability is gone.
Clay: I think that’s another core aspect of your product that’s worth highlighting, which is that you’re a platform. It’s interesting. There aren’t any traditional banks [00:46:30] out there where you can owe off into other apps and add them, but you guys provide that. I’m on your app center page right now. This is something I haven’t seen anyone else—at least other products with your core feature set.
I see Cred here, I see SALT Lending, TaxBit, and Coinly. There are some tax services, there are gift cards, and Unstoppable Domains. That’s really interesting. [00:47:00] The sky’s the limit here (potentially), but there aren’t a lot of banks that essentially describe themselves as platforms, and that’s something that you said pretty early, and probably not something that most people can relate to just they’ve never had that experience before. Can you speak to some of the most used or most interesting apps that plug into your platform and how they’re leveraged?
JP: We were just talking about Cred, so why don’t we stick with Cred for a second. Cred has been very, very, very successful. [00:47:30] Crypto has been through its ups and downs, and hodling is a thing. And if people are going to hodl, then why not get paid interest to do that. That’s been quite successful.
Brave is obviously the other one that’s not there in the App Store. We’re embedded into their ecosystem as the wallet and [00:48:00] payments provider.
Clay: I believe one of our employees said they were earning the BAT token in Brave. It was being held in Uphold. I believe they transferred it to something else through your platform that took a huge spike, and then they were like spending that at Target with your card.
It was awesome seeing all these interactions across the financial system happen on your platform. [00:48:30] There’s a lot of inputs and a lot of outputs. The combinatorics of that make for far more use cases than we can describe here, which is probably why you gave that answer at first, which is there are so many things.
JP: You hit on something that when I read it, it brought a smile, which was a Brave user saying, I’m sitting here paying for my breakfast using BAT token I earned while looking at [00:49:00] ads on the internet. The future is here. That’s a perfectly poignant expression of something that there was absolutely no way right that the old financial system could have enabled. Almost no facet of it whatsoever.
Obviously, Web3 monetization [00:49:30] is upon us, DeFi is upon us. A lot of these things extending from Bitcoin and crypto are beginning to take shape. Our idea is to be, hopefully, at the center of it enabling lots of it. Our role is a very clear one, which was what I was describing earlier. A lot of the laying of the heavy infrastructure that is regulatory coverage, connections to banks, and the ability to [00:50:00] cover a wide degree of asset classes. The ability through this thing we started called the Universal Protocol Alliance. That’s starting to take on really interesting dimensions because it’s sort of a tokenization factory.
Last week, as an example, we launched a gold product that—without being hyperbolic—is the best gold product out there. Why? [00:50:30] Because it’s pure physical gold, not ETF gold, not fractal gold—pure gold. It’s held at a solid and reputable place—the Perth Mint. It’s government-guaranteed, which I believe makes it unique, and it’s got zero custody fees.
That nature of gold—again, physical—has been very expensive to hold and transact in. Here, we’ve cut a deal with a company that’s removed [00:51:00] all that, and again, we make it spendable on a debit card or convertible in the Cloud to whatever you want in a couple of clicks.
When you look at a product like that and you think of where we are today in the middle of a financial response to COVID that has involved more currency debasement in the last 90 days than the prior 200 years, you say okay, wonderful. [00:51:30] A very solid unit of account to have flying around in these various things called DeFi, Web3 monetization, or whatever. After all, it’s just another it’s another unit of account. But it’s a pretty […] unit of account given the times we’re living in.
Who else’s role is it to take that unit of account and essentially translate it into something that can be used in DeFi or [00:52:00] in these other emerging universes? That’s where we sit or attempt to sit.
Clay: If you think of money as a stored value, means of exchange, and a unit of account, an interesting measure of maybe stored value is perhaps market cap. An interesting measure of means of exchange might be I don’t know, or I guess the unit of account [00:52:30] maybe quote currency dominance.
Mike: Hi, this is Mike cutting in from the editor’s booth. If you don’t know quote currency dominance or QCD is the percentage of global trading volume quoted in a particular currency. It’s a good measure of an asset’s importance as a unit of account. For more on QCD, check out Flippening Episode 80 Quote Currency Dominance & Why It Matters at flippening.com/QCD.
Okay, back to Clay.
Clay: As a means of exchange it may be something like transaction [00:53:00] volume. Slowly, with all the inflation that’s happening that people are denying is actually happening, I’m wanting to see almost everything denominated in gold because I just don’t trust the USD charts. We’re moving into this world where there’s no center of the universe, where the whole solar system (metaphorically) is revolving around USD. Now we don’t know [00:53:30] what it’s revolving around, and it creates a lot of uncertainty.
Do we denominate this in BTC? No, that’s too volatile. Do we denominate this in gold? Okay, we trust that a little bit more, but this doesn’t feel right. Ultimately, you’ve got stablecoins based on the dollar, but is the dollar itself stable? I think this world, the underpinnings of Uphold, and your involvement in the space in Argentina are actually very relevant.
[00:54:00] When I was hearing your story I recalled Wences Casares from Xapo. His story as well parallels similar lines, and I’ve talked to other people from Argentina that are involved in the space, and it was just very obvious to them what the use case was for this technology from day one. Is there a cohort of Argentinians that all know each other that creates crypto businesses? Do you all know each other? Or is this serendipitous and part of [00:54:30] the zeitgeist?
JP: I definitely don’t think it’s an accident. It goes back to that shared childhood. Wences talks about the same thing. Wences can be credited—I’ve heard him referred to as patient zero for Bitcoin, and I think he really was. He’s the guy responsible for introducing Bitcoin to Silicon Valley, which redimensioned its path forward in the [00:55:00] world. The thing we have in common, I guess, is what you were just alluding to, there’s no true North anymore for an American. That’s kind of crazy. What do you mean?
Clay: That’s so many people’s realities, right? Like prior though?
JP: Well, it just never happened ever in any American’s life that they had started to have to think about something’s appreciating or depreciating as measured in something other than the US dollar. Bitcoin’s [00:55:30] gone up. Yes, in dollars, but how much has it gone up relative to gold? To an American, what are you talking about? And again, the center of everything is the US dollar. Argentines are not burdened with that starting point right. In their case, what was the peso, for a while (disastrously) it was the austral, and now it’s the peso. And at one point add six zeros, shaved off of it.
JP: [00:56:00] That’s the least reliable thing in the world. An apartment that is generating US dollars, that’s tangible to me. Maybe for an Argentine, in the ’80s, it would have been like how many apartments is that right? How many bedroom apartments? That would have been their reliable unit of account.
But in this case, what we’re all living is this grand monetary experiment [00:56:30] that started in 1971 with the dollar coming off of the gold standard—let’s call it the era of central banking—was already coming to a fraying end with the usual levers of interest rates, quantitative easing, and what have you no longer having the effects that they’ve had over the past few decades.
There was a great piece put out (I think it was) by Deutsche Bank, [00:57:00] but saying that the only thing that has made the central banking experiment over these last 50 years at all possible has been 50 years of Chinese labor arbitrage dampening what otherwise would have been runaway inflationary pressures.
Given China’s progress and us being at the end of that, this was already [00:57:30] on its way. And then something like COVID coming along and triggering trillions and trillions of dollars of abrupt debasement, it’s like the coup de grace, right?
The question is where does that leave us? And I think there’s a lot of answers to that question. The Libertarians, that sort of wing of Bitcoin enthusiasts will say [00:58:00] it ought to be Bitcoin. But again, in my mind, I don’t think that’s right. Bitcoin has solidified itself as digital gold and that thing that people want to hold onto because it’s going to appreciate, not necessarily because it’s an attractive medium of exchange.
But I do think there are other (let’s call it) [00:58:30] denationalized currencies. And by denationalized currencies in that old Hayekian sense, I think today that means crypto. Which ones are interesting? I’ll go back to BAT, to Brave. If you look at Brave, Brave now has something like approaching 20 million MAU. That already makes it 10 times bigger than the country I’m sitting in right now—Uruguay or Ireland. It’s got [00:59:00] sovereign dimensions.
No printing presses. There’s only ever going to be a fixed amount of BAT token out there, and they have a chance at creating an ecosystem with cycling two-way flow, and that ecosystem is not subject to political expediency, having to print more, trade unions, or whatever the hell else causes governments like Argentina (as being the poster child) to just not learn the [00:59:30] lesson that printing more money is a disaster. And as somebody put it in the ’80s—it’s hard to forget once you hear it—devaluing is a lot like peeing in your pants. It only makes you feel good for a while, but it doesn’t fix any problems.
The point is, with something like a BAT, I don’t think anybody’s buying BAT because they expect it to “moon.” They’re buying it [01:00:00] because they have to for the ecosystem they’re a participant in. But if I’m looking at that ecosystem and comparing it to here are the fundamentals of the US dollar, here are the fundamentals of the yen, the Euro, and the pound, well here’s this other thing that starts to take on sovereign dimensions, and it is free of all these other burdens.
Is that the Hayekian denationalized currency [01:00:30] that people have been waiting for? I don’t know. In my own schema—just to organize my own thinking on it—I drew a page, and across the middle, I drew a line and I called it purchasing power. I defined purchasing power over the millennia as gold. The best descriptor there is one I heard somebody use a couple of years ago that stuck in my mind is that for a [01:01:00] Roman senator to buy his toga, it cost approximately an ounce of gold. Today, for a flashy London banker, to buy his blue suit would cost him roughly $2000, an ounce of gold.
You can’t walk around with a satchel of gold dust and sprinkle it on a counter at Starbucks. But we’re (for instance) able to digitize it, fractionalize it, [01:01:30] and make it free to hold—not inexpensive, free—and then just as easy to spend at Starbucks as a US dollar. Then I think you’re talking about something pretty interesting. Then the question becomes why would I choose to hold dollars? Clearly dollars are going to lose value versus gold in the coming 6 months, 1 year, 18 months, and so on and so forth. [01:02:00] There’s no way that it cannot.
Clay: I often hear people talk about not wanting to spend their Bitcoin because why would they spend appreciating assets when they could spend a fairly stable asset. My question to them is well then why don’t you put all your money in this appreciating asset? Why wouldn’t you allocate it all there if you prefer your value to be stored in something you’re going to appreciate [01:02:30] over time. And the answer often is they want some portion of their money to be in a spendable form right? They want their hot wallet (so to speak) to be in USD because it’s just a lot easier.
Probably what they’re not saying is they don’t have 1000% confidence that Bitcoin is going to appreciate. But I believe most people now, if you said to them, hey, would you rather have a USD denominated bank account or a gold [01:03:00] denominated bank account? I think most of them would say they would prefer—and certainly, I would—a gold denominated bank account. If you were going to switch the majority of your liquid wealth from being USD denominated to gold denominated, the easy choice there for a lot of people is gold.
To have the best of both worlds, to have a kind of a hot wallet where you’re buying your Starbucks coffee (or whatever you buy on a day to day basis), to have a hot wallet that’s denominated in what’s traditionally [01:03:30] has been a very cold storage format like gold is a super interesting proposition, [01:04:00] and something that most people don’t realize is available to them. And it’s super cool that’s now a possibility. Up until this conversation, I never considered taking an amount of funds that represent perhaps what my family might spend in a year, denominating that in gold, and then spending out of that with a credit card.
It seems like a pretty interesting strategy, and something that I don’t think most people know is available to them. It’s cool you brought that up, and that’s one of the main insights I’ve gotten from this interview is that’s now possible.
You mentioned you now have a gold product. Other than what we’ve just described here, is there anything else that’s probably worth noting? I imagine a lot of the work behind that is on the back end and infrastructure and a whole bunch of things that probably would bore most people. But is there anything else [01:04:30] to highlight about this use case that we just described?
JP: It’s an interesting road once you go down it, right? Because gold is the thing that we’re the most familiar with, but in theory, if you want to play with the idea, we could do the same for oil. We could do the same for any commodity or asset.
Let’s play with oil for a second. Oil has obviously been in the toilet, and [01:05:00] that’s probably a good thing. Although I’m not sure it’s a good thing to the extent that it dissuades or it changes the economics, cleantech, and so forth, which is not good. But happy to see it go away. For right now, if I were an airline company in COVID, I have bigger problems.
But let’s say if I were an airline company pre-COVID, the biggest [01:05:30] dictator of my P&L at any given quarter is the price of oil, essentially. If that’s the case, why am I holding my value in dollars? In theory, if what’s affecting my P&L is the price of oil, then I should be holding oil, I shouldn’t be holding dollars, right?
The second you can [01:06:00] digitize the stuff, make everybody comfortable, it’s transparently substantiated, correctly audited, it’s all there, and it’s not hypothecated. But you make it digital, fractional, and usable, then there’s your explosive set of infinite possibilities just like we were talking about with the early internet. Nobody could’ve sat there in 1994 [01:06:30] and said ah, I see how a static Yahoo webpage leads exactly down this road to Uber, or down this road to Google. You can only know that it resides vaguely in that direction.
With this gold product, you get an inkling of things that are possible, but it’ll lead to some pretty interesting things. People will create a customized basket [01:07:00] currencies that reflect their personal and business-specific realities because it just won’t make sense to hold dumb money where you can hold smart money.
Clay: It’s interesting to think about the kinds of things and innovations that will happen when there’s truly a free market around the unit of account for the world, for you. [01:07:30] It’s like people can sit around and debate, should I be denominating my wealth or (at least) the value I have in my bank? Should I be denominating that in USD? Should I be denominating that in gold? Should I be denominating it in oil? How do I want to do this?
The possibilities are truly endless. Let’s talk a little bit about Uphold as a company, just to make sure we get some parameters. Can you speak to the number of employees, trading volume, number of users, where you’re domiciled, corporate structure, and fundraising [01:08:00] events? Whatever you’re willing to share on that front for us to just get a grasp of the fundamentals of your business.
JP: Yeah, absolutely. Just this July, we crossed our three-millionth user. That was fantastic. We’re about 120 people. The biggest cluster is in Portugal. We have about yeah 85 [01:08:30] of our 120 in Portugal. After that, it would probably be the US, and our biggest office in the US is in New York. And after that, it would be London. That’s the physical distribution. Our volume, this year we’ll transact our seventh billionth dollar—in dollar-equivalent value if you will.
We launched the [01:09:00] Anything to Anything mobile interface. We were essentially a web browser-first company. We switched last November to be a really mobile-first company, and the effect was notable. I’d say last October, November we were enjoying something like 10,000 app downloads a month. That’s now in the many hundreds of thousands.
Last November we were growing at about 1500 [01:09:30] users a day. Today we’re growing at about 13,000 users a day. We’re going through a very interesting growth spurt. That long bet that we made—the one that was hard for people to understand in 2014, but thanks to companies like Brave and others have become clearer. I think that B2B2C vector is really going to start to [01:10:00] crystallize for people in the second half of this year when we launch a couple of very high-profile partners.
Clay: Is the B2B2C play the platform? The app store?
Clay: Okay. Where are you domiciled? Are you a US C Corp? Or something else?
JP: The parent company is a Cayman company. The licensed entity in the US is [01:10:30] (I believe) a South Carolina corporation. In Europe, we’re licensed out of the UK. And we have operating subsidiaries in Latin America, the Caribbean, and Asia as well.
Clay: And cumulative fundraising, that’s what 70 million? 80 million?
JP: Good. You hit it on the head the first time. I think we’ve raised about 70. [01:11:00] Either a very good guess, or that information is out there somewhere.
Clay: I just want to confirm, it seems like you are very consumer-focused. Certainly, there’s this B2B2C component, but ultimately, that’s about the consumer, and that’s a consumer-focused strategy. It doesn’t look like you have OTC desks or any other kind of traditional B2B services. Is that accurate?
JP: Yeah, [01:11:30] we do have an OTC desk. We don’t publish it. People discover it obviously if they’re looking to do very large trades or they’ve worked with us for a while and they come to understand that we have one. We don’t we don’t market it a lot, but yes, we have an OTC desk.
Clay: Okay. Anything else that’s in the traditional B2B category that’s worth mentioning? Do you do custody for funds and [01:12:00] things like that? Anything else that bears mentioning on the B2B front?
JP: I don’t think of us as being in the custody business in the sense that the dollars we are holding are custodied by the banks in the US that we work with. The euros and pounds that we are holding are custodied by the European banks that we work with. The crypto that we are holding, essentially, in a system built by [01:12:30] an external crypto security and custody expert. But it’s funny where those lines blur in the sense that is it software? Or is it an all-encompassing service?
We’ve worked with a company that we’re very, very happy with. They’re very well-known. It’s Ledger out of France. We have a [01:13:00] tight partnership. Again, I don’t know how you would define who is doing the actual custody. What I can tell you is the 90%+ of it is in cold storage, and the only stuff that’s not in cold storage is what’s required for day-to-day liquidity needs.
The gold on the gold product I mentioned earlier is custodied by the Perth Mint. It depends on the vertical and the unit of account [01:13:30] where these things are custodied, and we’re the layer on top of that rather than the actual provider of the custody itself.
Clay: Transitioning to talk a little bit about the future. When you squint a little bit and look out to the horizon for Uphold and the crypto-space, where do you see things heading? What do you think customers or users of Uphold should expect, either in terms of concrete features or just themes? And how do you think that correlates with where the space is going?
JP: [01:14:00] Great question. For us, it’s three things when you ask the question that occurs to me on the spot. One of them is I would like us to get a lot better at the things we already do. We’re a company that’s moved really, really fast, but I think there are our big shortcomings in our onboarding [01:14:30] process, our IDV process, our screening processes. We do the best we can, and we work with dozens and dozens of outside service providers, but the experience is not to a level of simplicity that, as an example, my mother can use it without getting consternated. I think that is a standard, not just for ourselves, but the industry in general [01:15:00] should have in mind.
Not that my mother or her generation is necessarily as important as doing things that millennials are going to find interesting. But holding yourself to that bar in terms of ease of use and convenience is generally a good exercise. On the one hand, my message would be we’re going to get a hell of a lot better at doing what we already do. That’s number one.
Number two [01:15:30] is we have at least a half a dozen oh, wow that’s cool, something new under the sun type products to follow up on this awesome gold product that we’ll roll out between now and a year from now. You can clock me on that. I think we’ll have at least six, and I’ll hold out that those six are going to be [01:16:00] world firsts. And by that, that means they’re obviously in the realm of consumer-facing features and other things that consumers can directly palpate as it were.
And then the other one is the boring stuff. The boring stuff is really making sure the infrastructure or the ability to scale the [01:16:30] suite of services and products we’re offering other businesses is keeping pace with what we’re delivering to the end retail users. And even though that’s not as sexy or fun, it’s where we have to end up spending an enormous amount of our energy and time if we want to continue to gain on the field.
Hopefully, we do a service [01:17:00]for the entire industry because at the end of the day, it’s not us competing with necessarily our peers in digital finance and crypto. It’s us competing against the fact that the legacy banks are still holding 99% of the world’s money, and that’s where we should be aimed, right? [01:17:30]
Mike: That concludes Clay’s conversation with JP Thieriot. I hope you enjoyed it. Before you go, I want to invite you to subscribe to our fully customizable daily crypto newsletter. It’s the first of its kind in the industry: you choose the delivery time and cryptocurrencies, we ship tailored pricing data and market news—seven days a week. It’s a great way to cut through the noise and drill down to the crypto market info that matters most to you.
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All right, that‘s all for this week. Stay tuned for next week’s episode. Until then, take care.
Clay: That’s it for this week. To sign-up for our free crypto investing newsletter, listen to other episodes, or get the show notes from this episode, please visit flippening.com. I also invite you to check out the startup that funds this podcast, Nomics at nomics.com. Finally, if you got value from the show, [01:18:30] the biggest thing you can do to help us out is to leave a five-star review with some comments and feedback on iTunes, Stitcher, or wherever you listen to podcasts. Thanks for listening and see you next week.