Crypto and the Future of Business: A Primer

Crypto and the Future of Business: A Primer

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- We're playing with magical internet money, this new genre of interacting, of a financial system that is totally disruptive to the old world traditional banking system, totally disruptive to anything that uses contracts, totally disruptive to the art world, the gaming world and the entertainment world, the music world, and we've yet to even discover so many of the actual use cases that are gonna become every day uses of blockchain. - Today, I'm very excited to be joined by my good friend, Joel Comm. If you don't know who he is, he's a futurist and an NFT expert, he's the founder of Blockchain Heroes, co-host of the bad crypto podcast and host of the Nifty Show, Joel, welcome to the show. - You forgot to mention longtime friend. - I did say that.

- Did you? You did say, okay. - I did say that. - All right, there you go. - So today. - We go way back now, I mean.

- Yeah, Joel and I go way, way back, and for those that are listening to the social media marketing talk show, I mean the social media marketing podcast, well actually you've been on both of those shows, we've known each other for a very, very long time. But for those that are listening to the other show that I'm launching, you probably know Joel, because of his work in the crypto world. And today that's what we're here to talk about. We're here to talk about crypto, web three, what it all means for business and Joel, what I wanna start with, is a little bit of your story, specifically as it relates to you getting into crypto. 'Cause I remember, I don't know if it was 2016 or 2017, you're tell me about this thing that I thought was crazy, so start wherever you want to start, how the journey into crypto and just kind of tell us the story.

- Yeah, man, well, thanks for having me on and happy to share with you, and hopefully some will benefit from my story, that which I've learned in the mistakes that I've made along the way. I remember hearing about Bitcoin as early as 2012 or 13, and at that time there was other things happening in my life, and usually I'm drawn to the bright, shiny objects, you know me, I like to play with all the toys. And to me you would think the sound of digital money would have really captured my attention, and it didn't because I really didn't understand it, and I was preoccupied with other things, and so I kind of just ignored it and it wasn't until 2016 that I started hearing about it again, and some friends were asking me, "What do you think is Bitcoin?" I don't get it, I don't know. It wasn't until early 2017, that my attention really turned to it. I would have a lot of conversations online with my friend, Travis Wright, turns out we were very politically aligned and every day it was one question or another about what was happening in the elections and the political arena, and then of course the election happened and our attention turns to cryptocurrency and our daily conversation shifted from politics to this Bitcoin thing, and what do you think of this thing Ethereum? And I finally understood it. The lights went on, it was actually at a conference in Denver, it was Ken MacArthur's impact factor event.

I was there and my friend Davin Michaels was there and I go way back with Davin and Davin started talking to me about crypto and I finally paid attention and he helped explain to me how Bitcoin mining works. For me, that was really a huge block to understanding the power of Bitcoin. And once I understood what Bitcoin mining was and how Bitcoin was created, the lights over my head just, it was like fireworks went off, because I was there in the beginning of the web, I built my first website back in 1995. And there was something in my understanding of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency that reminded me of when I discovered the worldwide web.

I thought, oh my gosh, this feels, smells, tastes, looks exactly like that, that's happening all over again. And so I went down the rabbit hole and Travis and I would have these daily conversations around cryptocurrency and because the conversations were so frequent, one day in July, in fact it was July 16th, 2017, he sent me a message on Facebook Messenger and it was half sarcastic, it was, "When are we gonna start the Joel and TW crypto show?" But the moment he said it, I said, "I'm calling you right now." Because it landed on me like a ton of bricks. I called him, I said, "We should do this, we should. We're not experts, we're not financial advisors, we're not gonna tell people what to buy, we're just learning about this ourselves. What if we made our journey together, a public journey and brought people along with us, we learn, they learn, we talk to people who are smarter than us and let's figure out what this is all about."

And so two days later we launched the Bad Crypto podcast. Not because crypto's bad, but because we didn't know what we were talking about, and because, we're not only seasoned broadcasters and speakers, but we're also, you know, adult children and we like to make jokes. And so there's a lot of bad dad jokes in Bad Crypto, and it turned out the timing was really ideal, because it was before a massive bull run happened in 2017 and into early 2018, and there wasn't anything like what we were doing out there, because all of the shows were more technical and in high-minded and we came into the space, so we're like just two dudes talking crypto, and it really resonated with people. The show instantly took off, and as of right now, we are four and a half years into doing the podcast and now we actually know a thing or two. - Yeah, and it's amazing.

I listen to the podcast pretty darn religiously, sometimes you guys cover the news, sometimes you interview experts. What has doing this for four and a half years, what has this done for your perspective of everything? I mean, like, because obviously it just started as a fun project, but there's clearly so much more than that now, so tell me a little bit more about, like, what are you doing as a result of starting this podcast now? - Well, first of all, I think cryptocurrency is a game changer. Blockchain technology is a game changer.

We're looking at a technology that is more disruptive to more verticals than the web has been, in it's two and a half decades of existence. More disruptive than mobile phones have been. For those who don't understand how blockchain is yet going to disrupt their industry, it's coming, and there's a lot of businesses that are gonna get blockbustered, so to speak, as Blockchain continues to develop and competitors adopt the technology, so that they can more efficiently and effectively do what they do, to serve customers.

So for me, it's given me the opportunity to use many of the skills that I've stacked over the years, this is not the first time I've broadcasted or spoken publicly. It's not the first time I've as a technologist and futurist, put on my futurist hat to see what's coming next. I love it because we're playing with magical internet money. It's this new genre of interacting, of a financial system that is totally disruptive to the old world traditional banking system, totally disruptive to anything that uses contracts, totally disruptive to the art world, the gaming world and the entertainment world, the music world, health. The verticals that we're disrupting here are so numerous, and we've yet to even discover so many of the actual use cases that are gonna become every day uses of blockchain. So I'm having a blast, I'm having a great time not only covering the space, but building connections and relationships with others in the space, investing in different projects and creating NFTs, that has been.

- Yeah, we should talk about that briefly. So first of all, you have minted more than a million NFTS. You started another podcast called The Nifty Show, which is just about NFTs. You've had a chance to work with celebrities, in and out of the world of business, and in the world of crypto, you had people on your show that have gone on to do absolutely amazing things, and when you first had them on the show, they weren't well-known.

I mean, you've really gone all in on this thing. My guess is this is all you do now. Is that a fair assessment? - It really is, I play with pixels all day long and with cryptocurrency.

I talk to others in the space, we're always developing our own projects or consulting with others that are developing projects, and we've really led the way. I think the Bad Crypto podcast may have been the very first podcast to cover NFTs in December, 2017, when the crypto kitties came out and we have been minting our own NFTs, creating them for our audience, since January of 2020, but now we've actually minted over a million and a half NFTs of our own original, intellectual property, on the wax blockchain and have thousands and thousands of people that have bought them that collect them, that trade them, they buy and sell, and we're just getting started. - So there's a lot of people that are listening and some that are watching the video version of this, and they don't really understand exactly what all this means.

They know that there's this phrase, web three, they've been hearing about crypto because, how can you not? Everybody talks about it in the same breath as the NASDAQ, but they don't understand what and why crypto should be on their radar. What do you wanna say to businesses? What do you wanna say to creators? What do you wanna say to marketers and entrepreneurs, that are skeptical a little bit about all of this? - Yeah, so great question. The first thing is they should be skeptical about the current world financial systems. What we use right now, paper money, it's another word for Fiat currency, if you've ever heard the use, Fiat currency, it's paper money, and it's not backed by anything but the trust and faith of the government that issues that currency.

If you go back just a few decades, you'll discover that our U.S dollar used to be backed by gold, precious metals that have a true scares supply, that all of humanity puts a value on that has real value, but now our paper money is purely that, it's paper, in fact, it's not even worth in many cases in some countries, the paper that it's printed on, because of inflation. And there is not yet a Fiat currency in the history of the world that has ever survived. They've all crumbled in the end.

And as we can see right now, our federal reserve bank that is neither federal, nor reserve, continues to print trillions of dollars and put it into our economy. Well, the more you have of a currency, the less each one is worth. The beautiful thing about cryptocurrency, especially when we're talking about Bitcoin, which is really the granddaddy of all the cryptos, created by an anonymous individual, a man, a woman, or a group of people that are known as Satoshi Nakamoto, the Bitcoin white paper in 2008, proposed a peer to peer, electronic digital currency that was trustless, that did not require an intermediary like a bank or other financial institution or government, to produce and give value to it.

And with Bitcoin, there's only 21 million of them ever. You can't make more Bitcoin that makes it a deflationary currency, which is why we see people that are understanding it now purchasing it and the price has gone, over the last 10 years, from a nickel to as high as $69,000 for one Bitcoin. It's what we call digital gold and it is unstoppable money.

It's here to stay and it's gonna transform the world. - Okay, and I get that, but what about all the other things? - All the other things. - I mean, like if we think of the evolution, right? It was first Bitcoin, then it was a theory.

Talk to talk to people a little bit about what Ethereum makes possible. - So there are so many things. So Bitcoin is purely a peer to peer payment system. It doesn't really do anything else. So you can kind of think of it as a more sophisticated version of PayPal, right? That's built on a decentralized ledger that is public and transparent, so you can see any transaction, anytime.

There's never a question of money was sent from one account to another, because it's all on a very public blockchain, and all trackable. Think of just that alone, how many customer service issues in banking or in any commerce, can be eliminated? All of those problems because it's immediate and instant and public to see every single transaction. There's no more disputes ever about a transaction, because it's all very public, but Bitcoin is purely a currency. You send it to somebody, they send it to you, and you have Bitcoin.

Ethereum introduced by a young man by the name of Vitalik Buterin, who when he invented it, I think was 18 or 19 years old, took the idea of a peer-to-peer currency and added programming to it, what we call smart contracts. So now the currency that you're transacting, and you could add if-then statements to it, it becomes fully programmable, which of course, if you're a coder that opens up a whole realm of things that can be done with Ethereum and one of the unintended consequences of the smart contracts are the creation. and now the proliferation of what we know as NFTs.

- Right, so I think of Bitcoin as digital gold and I think of Ethereum as kind of like the internet, the next iteration of the internet, right? It's like a computer and because it's got all the things that if you will, a computer has to it, right? You can write, not just a financial transaction to it, but you can write contracts into it and that opens up the whole world of finance and it opens up the world of digital goods and all sorts of other stuff, which is why businesses right now that are listening, ought to pay attention, because this isn't just a money conversation, this is a decentralized, power to the people system that is designed to, at a low cost, eliminate so many of the things that right now are controlled by centralized powerhouses. - Let me put some meat on that with an example Mike, and the one I really like to go to, because everybody understands this, is the music industry. If you're a musician and you're streaming your content on Spotify or Apple Music, you get such a small, little pittance of a royalty.

I mean, I think I heard Peter Frampton once say that, "Do you feel the way we do was streamed a hundred million times in the earth, like $1,500." Some absurd amount like that. The industry is broken, right? But if you were to put your music on blockchain and have a token to support that music ecosystem of its own, you could use a smart contract that would A, instantly pay the artist when a song is downloaded, not have to wait for royalties, six to 12 months down the road, and you could write into that smart contract that perhaps that 99 cent song, the moment it's purchased, 50 cents goes to the artist, a quarter goes to the manager, 5 cents goes to the drummer, eight and a half cents goes to the bass player. A certain portion goes to the songwriter's mother, whatever you want it to do, it can all be written into the smart contract, so the moment that transaction takes place, funds are distributed and you've done it without an intermediary.

And it's almost instant in some cases. That is revolutionary for an industry, and as people are listening to us and starting to connect the dots, start thinking about, oh, how might this be used to make my industry more efficient, more productive, more accountable? - Well, and if we start to layer on top of this other use cases, we can also talk about the trading, right? Because the moment you purchase something and we're not transitioning really into NFTs here, right? Non-fungible tokens. And we probably should describe the difference between a fungible token and a non-fungible token, but the trading aspect. Now these artists, these musicians, every time someone decides, I no longer want to own this song, they could sell the song to someone else for whatever price they're willing to sell it for, but those original artists will still continue to earn money on that trade because of the smart contract, right? - Correct, yeah and that's another, when you say power to the people that is so empowering to the artist and yeah, I suppose now would be a good time to kind of define what an NFT is. So the word fungible itself, people like, well, I don't know what fungible is.

Let alone non-fungible. When something is fungible, they're all the same. So if I were to say to you, "Hey, Mike, give me a dollar out of your wallet." And you open your wallet and you got 10 different dollar bills in there. You're not gonna turn to me and say, "Well, which one?" It doesn't matter, they're all the same.

A dollar is a dollar, is $1 and $1 will always equal $1. Whatever the value of is at that time, it's $1. Bitcoin's very similar. If I say, "Hey Mike, I'm gonna send you half a Bitcoin." You're not gonna say, "Okay, I want that one." No, because they're not discernible.

A half a Bitcoin is a half a Bitcoin, it's fungible. Something that is non-fungible means that each one of them is unique and different. So human beings, for example, we're non-fungible, there's no two that are the same. - Your home is non-fungible 'cause there's only one plot of land, right? - Correct, there's only one. So, but what if the house is, there's a hundred homes in the development and they're all the same floor plan? Well, that's fine, they can look the same, but they're each on a unique piece of real estate, they're each different.

And so homes are our non-fungible. Non-fungible tokens are items on the blockchain, each one being unique. There could be multiple copies of the same one, but each one has a unique identifier that is trackable on blockchain. You know the provenance of where it came from and you know which wallets it's gone to, moved to, traded to, been purchased to, at whatever price. And so when we're talking about non-fungible tokens, the high level people way that people think about it, is artwork, right? Because that's what we're hearing in the media.

The stories about people's $69 million piece of art, or the Bored Ape Yacht Club or Crypto Punk selling for millions of dollars. The reason that these are going for the prices they are, is because they are a status symbol for many in the space. And the value of them continues to increase because they are scarce.

There is a limited supply of them and each one is unique and distinguishable from the next. - Well, and just a little bit more on the non-fungible, you know we're recording this in late December of 2021 and I took my family to see "Spider Man-No Way Home." And I bought a specific five seats in the theater, row E, one through five, okay? At one particular time, that was a non-fungible purchase, because there's only one of those seats available at that particular time, right? So if we start to think about non-fungible and then you add token to it, now all of a sudden, this could also not just be a digital art, it could be an experience, like a ticket to something, right? - Exactly, it already is becoming tickets to something.

In fact, a lot of people know our friend, Gary Vaynerchuk and he did a very successful series called "V Friends." And they were doodles that he created with inspirational, motivational characters that came out of his own imagination, and some of them were rarer than others, but no matter which one you got, it gives you access to his V Con event, for three years in a row. So each one of these NFTs may unlock other experiences, but you're guaranteed to get entrance to his event for three years, so it already is a ticket, and in the future, if Ticket Master doesn't do this themselves, we're going to see disruption in the space where others are going to offer ticketing in the form of an NFT.

And one of the cool things about that, Mike is, when you, when you dream about what's possible, if you are a band and you're offering these tickets, now tickets have gone completely digital, right? It's not like it used to be when we get these cool stubs and people would keep and collect them and they would have value as collector's items, they've gone digital. Well now let's say you buy a ticket to a concert for your favorite band, and you have that ticket as an NFT in your wallet. If you hold that, the band can say in a year, "Hey, everybody who attended our concert, we're gonna drop them a pack of collectible cards, for having attended that concert." - Yeah, and they call that an airdrop, right? - An airdrop, yup. Or they can say, "Hey, if you're holding this NFT in your wallet, on our next tour, you get first access to buy a ticket." - Well, what I love about this is, you start to think about, not only does it serve a utilitarian value to get them into a concert or get them into an event, but it also gives exclusive special stuff later, which I love.

And there's a lot of people listening right now that don't put on events or aren't artists, so why would they wanna consider NFTs, like talk to me about some of the business applications beyond just the art. - Think about an NFT as programmable media, right? It's this box that can contain whatever your imagination wants to put into it. And owning the NFT is like the key that unlocks that box. What could be inside? Well, it could be purely a piece of art, it could be an NFT that unlocks the rights to a physical good that's tied to it, it can be an item that unlocks an event, it could unlock any kind of experience, or good or service that you want to unlock, so maybe an easy way to look at this is to think of it as a loyalty program. So when you purchase an NFT, it could unlock all of the rights and benefits that come with being part of that particular community or tribe.

And now that means there's no limitations to what that NFT can offer, it all depends about what you want to offer to your customers who hold it, nor the duration of how long those NFTs can add value. Gary has said publicly that he has a 40 year roadmap for V Friends, on the front, on the surface, he says three years of V-con, but there's a reason and an incentive for him to keep adding value, beyond that first three years. - (indistinct) explains that. - You alluded to earlier, because when an NFT creator puts an NFT out there, whether they give it away or whether it's purchased, there's not only that initial sale, but every time that NFT is sold on the secondary marketplaces to somebody else, a percentage of that sale goes to the creator in perpetuity. If you were a baseball card collector and you happened to get one of those 1955 Mickey Mantle cards that were so scarce, today, you might get several million dollars for it.

But Tops, who created that card will only ever get the nickel that was earned when that card was first purchased, no matter how many times it's sold now and no matter what the value of it is. Well, Tops is doing baseball cards now as NFTs and every time that one of those NFTs is purchased by somebody else in a trade's hands, Tops gets a piece of the action. And so Gary has all the incentive in the world, as do other NFT creators to continue adding value, because that just drives the secondary market activity to keep buying and selling and trading these things, and it drives more revenue. He announced publicly about a month ago that he earned about $50 million from the actual sale itself, the primary sale of the NFTs and so far about $40 million in his commissions, from the secondary market. - That's crazy.

And the reason why this works is because of the fact that it's built on the blockchain and it's enforced by the smart contracts. There's no way to sell this without him earning a commission on it, because it's enforced by the blockchain. That's the difference, there's no black market, it's not possible and that's the key to this whole thing. - Now, there are scammers. Yes, and there are scammers out there that will take a piece of artwork from a collection and mint it as an NFT and try to pass it off as the real thing, a fake just like might take yours or my picture and make a Facebook account, but it's not the real thing, our accounts are verified.

So all the accounts that mint NFTs, it's verifiable that they are the creator and the originator, so there are people who attempt to scam in the space, and so you have to be aware, because there's always people who will try to take advantage, especially when financial markets are involved. But you're correct, there can only be one true version of each NFT. And because of that, the revenue flows back to the creator.

- Okay, let's talk about social tokens, creator coins, these words are kind of intermixed. What are they, why do they matter? How are they different than what we've just been talking about? - So first of all, they're unique in that they are their own cryptocurrency. We call them social money, but really it's a cryptocurrency that is pegged to whoever the creator is. I believe our friend, Joe Polizzi has a creator token. What's it called? - It's called Tilt.

- Tilt, okay. And people who hold the Tilt coin, get some sort of access to Joe's products or services, correct? - Yeah, the way he does is he has a, well, he rewards people with his Tilt coin in exchange for doing certain actions, like sharing his newsletter. He also accepts it as a currency to his event and so on and so forth. - So, before NFTs became more prevalent, people were really going in deeper on this whole social money idea. And to me, it seems like now that we understand the power of NFTs, why would I issue a cryptocurrency that could potentially have some legal issues tied around it, based on your particular jurisdiction, when I can offer people something that is more interesting to look at, than a cryptocurrency, as some sort of loyalty program. And, so we we've created loyalty coins for the listeners of our show, we've had the Bad coin and we've had the Hero token, but now in retrospect, knowing what I know about NFTs now, I don't know that I would go that route again.

I'm not saying that there can't be a practical application for them, it just seems to me that NFTs are way more interesting and versatile than just a currency. - Well, and I think maybe some of the business applications for having your own token, and we've seen this, you've had people on your show that have created their own tokens that are not social tokens, but token tokens, like major tokens you can exchange, with Meta Mask, this is a fundraising side of things as well, we should talk about that a little bit, right? - Yeah, where the tokens have some sort of utility. We talked about what Bitcoin does and what's made possible by Ethereum and we gave the example of a cryptocurrency, in the music world, but tokens can be given any value ascribed to them by the creator. What is it that you want your token to do? And we're starting to see this really become more mainstream through the gaming industry. In fact, 2022 is going to be the year of play to earn, get used to hearing this because there are millions of people around the world that play games like Fortnite, and they spend money in game on various skins and items, but it's purely for the play on what's coming is played to earn gaming where you actually own the items in the game and can trade them or sell them on a secondary market. And as you're playing, you're earning a cryptocurrency that is liquid that can be traded for Bitcoin or for U.S dollars or whatever currency

the markets will allow you to trade it into. And so we're going to see in the coming year, application of cryptocurrencies in the gaming sector, unlike ever before, in fact, if you paid attention to the news this year, and you've heard them saying NFTs, NFTs and bringing the sensational stories out to the public. Next year is gonna be the year you're gonna hear play to earn a lot and I believe if my futurist head is on correct, I believe that the big story around play to earn is going to be all of the kids that are making more money playing these games than their parents and teachers are. In fact, I've already predicted and stand by this, that we're gonna see more sub 20 year old millionaires made in 2022 than ever before in history, due to play to earn gaming and NFTs. - Well and Axie Infinity is the big one everybody's talking about as of this recording, would you agree? - It's the biggest one, and especially in foreign countries, like the Philippines, during COVID and lockdowns, Axie Infinity was played by something like 35% of the adult and child population, which many people began to make more money playing this game on blockchain than they were from their regular jobs. So it was really a saving grace for the Filipino people, during COVID, but there's other games that are also on the rise right now, and I play some of them.

I've got passive income from some of these games. I told my brother about one of them yesterday, that I made like $7,000 playing a game about five minutes a day, because I had prepared and had NFTs that worked in the game. And he's like, what, how do I do that? He's a CPA and like, well, you have to play, you don't really play, but I'm 12 years old at heart so I like to play and the fact that I can make money doing it as well is just a bonus. - So we've talked about NFTs and I know you're super bullish on NFTs. We've talked about social tokens and creator coins, and you're questioning the use cases because they're just purely currency.

And there really isn't that much you can do with them. Let's talk about decentralized autonomous organizations also known as DAOs, what the heck is a DAO? Why do we need to pay attention to this? - First of all, when something is decentralized, that means that there is no central authority, right? Our banks, our centralized banks, our government is centralized. Every corporation is centralized, they have the say in what happens in that corporation, government or organization.

A decentralized autonomous organization means that those who own a token or an NFT that are part of a certain collection, now have a voice in this particular organization and the direction of it, the future of it, the decisions that they're gonna make, the things that they are going to attempt to do the allocation of funds that come in, it's all up to the people, you can kind of think of them as shareholders, but traditionally, a shareholder means you're holding shares in a centralized company, so this is like holding shares in a company that doesn't have a headquarters, it doesn't have a CEO, there is no whatever the company is, inc, like with Bitcoin, you can't call the CEO of Bitcoin, it's decentralized, it doesn't exist, there's not an address for you to write to Bitcoin support. There's addresses in support for exchanges that facilitate buying and selling of Bitcoin, but not for Bitcoin itself. So we're gonna see more and more of these decentralized, autonomous organizations. They're springy up daily, and it's a new way for empowering communities of like-minded people, to accomplish a goal together. - Let's talk about some of the business use cases here. What are some interesting dials that, just so people can wrap their head around this, because it is so foreign to the way we do business today, the way you and I are of similar age, and usually you have to go down and you have to register to start a business and then maybe you have to get some funding or you have to bootstrap the thing yourself, and you just kinda work your way along, in this case, it sounds like you're gathering a bunch of people together.

Somehow, they're investing in something and they're some sort of governance to do some sort of mission, but it seems so ethereal and out there, like what are some interesting examples? - Yeah, well, I mean, one of the ones that comes to mind is think of what happens when we decentralize medical and health insurance, right? 'Cause right now the choices we have for health insurance are very limited, it's regulated by the government and by the companies in the insurance industry, right? And there, you might say that there's even some collusion in there and price setting and price gouging, and you've got the hospitals involved and you've got lawyers involved. What if, and we've kind of seen this, there are some organizations that are centralized, but that have created a way to self-insure yourself, based on the goodwill of the people that are involved. Usually it's like a Christian organization of some sort. I can't remember the name of them off hand, but rather than pay a premium, you pay a donation to the organization and you get your health coverage, right? So imagine now with there not being a central organization to do that, but the DAO agrees, this is how we're gonna cover people in the organization and you've paid your premium and now you own the rights to provide direction for where that's gonna go and you have completely eliminated the need for an insurance company because the DAO insures its members, you've completely taken the government and their regulation out of the equation because of the DAO and the members of the DAO, self govern it, right? They all agree on how this thing is gonna operate, so you've become this little nation state of your own inside this organization you've created, and I think that now you can let your imagination run free Well, what kind of DAOs could there be in my particular industry? How would this apply? - Yeah, and what I think is really interesting is obviously this is built on the back of the blockchain and crypto ownership of some point, right? So to imagine, and we're gonna cover this more with different guests, as we develop the crypto business podcast. But my understanding is like, okay, you've got a bunch of people who have invested in a coin or in an NFT and they're organizing together, typically like on a discord server and they come up with their own governance, like they agree that this is what we're gonna do, and then they vote and then.

- And they vote. - They vote. Majority votes, right? So that's like congress or the senate, right? And majority wins and that's it, right? And it's kind of like traditional business and that you quote unquote have shareholders that vote, but it's also a bunch of people that don't know each other. It's almost anonymous in some regards, right? 'Cause you don't have to be known, you can just be some anonymous owner of whatever is part of this thing. And I've heard stories of people coming together and banding together and buying physical real estate through DAOs. I don't know if you've heard any other interesting stories of applications with DAOs, real applications with DAOs. I know about what happened with the constitution DAO, where they tried to buy the United States constitution.

I just wonder whether or not this is gonna be the future of business because the speed at which it can happen, right? - Well, I'm certain of it because anytime you empower individuals and collective groups of people by virtue of that, you see cottage industries pop up and people are just beginning to play with the possibilities of what blockchain can do in these decentralized autonomous organizations and NFTs and play to earn and cryptocurrency and soon the metaverse and it's all coming together to build this future that really everybody in this space is building together. It's very exciting times. We knew that technology would take us to some new places, we just didn't realize and understand exactly what this would look like and so now we're really pioneering the future. - So you mentioned metaverse and I would love you to kind of explain to everybody what your view is of the metaverse. It's not just a Mark Zuckerberg project, maybe you can kind of explain a little bit about what it is and how it may be as tied into this whole crypto side of stuff.

- Yeah, I mean, well, it's not a Mark Zuckerberg project at all, and the very fact that he's trying to get his grimy, little paws into it and think that he has some command of the spaces, it's not going to happen and the very nature of crypto being decentralized, as opposed to just about everything that's Zuckerberg and Facebook stand for, which is complete control to an authoritarian level. And the crypto ethos is contrary to that. I'm not saying he's not gonna get his little piece of the pie, but really the metaverse is being built in advance by people that are more forward thinking and advanced in technology than anything that Facebook will offer. - What is it? - So that's a great question because it's really hard to pin down because so many people are using the term metaverse incorrectly. But really a metaverse is a place where a group of people can engage and interact in the virtual world.

So when we think of previous ones, like Second Life. - I remember that. - You could call that a metaverse. - How about Minecraft or Roblox or something? - Sure, Minecraft, Roblox, they're all metaverses, like sub metaverses. The metaverse that we're talking about properly referenced, refers to a future, that it is a shared experience for everybody, that the metaverse means all of the verses are together in this one metaverse. So what we're seeing spring up, are individual verses, so we're calling them metaverses, but they're each at their own little verse, they're not together, they will be a metaverse.

And I know this might sound esoteric and a little more out there, but a true metaverse is, think of like "Ready Player One" but think of it, not in terms of the dystopian future, but of what it could become when we live part of our lives within this imaginary space. But is it imaginary if we can actually engage and interact with others? If we can do e-commerce, if we can go to places that we've not been before and share experiences with others? There's reality and then there's virtual reality and the melding. - You talked about Sandbox and Decentraland and this whole thing. - Yeah, so, two of the more promising ones right now, you mentioned they're called the Sandbox and Decentraland and these are verses or metaverses that have a specific number of land plots in them, which people can buy or sell, or hold, or build on. And so now we have large companies that are buying plots of virtual real estate in these metaverses, and they're gonna be building out their space, to be whatever it is they wanna be. And visitors to the Sandbox or Decentraland, can easily walk through the space, either in virtual reality or on their computers, or on their mobile phones and experience all of the different things that these brands and individuals are building in this brave new world.

And it's fascinating, it's fun, anybody can go to and you can actually, on your browser, you can walk through and kind of see what's being built there right now, and certain parts of of the world are gonna require an NFT that gets you access to be able to get in, as your ticket. And it's really the imagination of the things that people are coming up with and the interactivity that we're going to see in the space of over the next few years, is gonna be mind blowing.

- As of this recording, we are starting in 2022, you have been in this space since about 2016. Could you have imagined we'd be here when you started your journey into crypto and where do you think we're gonna go with all this over the next few years? - Well, it's here to stay. I remember when Travis and I started the show, we would have conversations and say, if we just do the show and stay the course and keep talking to people who are smarter than us, they're gonna start coming to us and asking for advice and for us to be part of their advisory board and it's played out exactly like that, you never know exactly what direction it's gonna go, but if there's one thing I've learned from my career, it's that when you find something you'd like to do and you master it, others come to you and say, how did you do that? And now that's happening to me on a regular basis.

Peers that would laugh before, saying, "So tell me about these NFTs, tell me about this Bitcoin, tell me about these metaverses, what do you mean you're making hundreds of dollars a day in play to earn, how are you doing that?" And I remember when I first talked to you about it. it's why, now you're doing a show dedicated to this, because when Mike Stelzner puts on his analytical hat and sees the writing on the wall, Mike Stelzner takes action. So I commend you for really doing your homework. It's not a small thing that you are committing to a new show in this space. This is, if ever there was a clear signal to your listeners out there that this is important, the fact that you've taken this kind of step, is waving big flags. - Well, and where do you think things are going? I guess I'd love to hear your thoughts on this, put your futurist hat on (indistinct).

- NFTs are here to stay, but they're gonna take many more forms than artwork or tickets or items for games. In the future I believe, your driver's license will be an NFT. I believe that your home deed will be an NFT. Your car title will be an NFT. There's gonna be all kinds of things, documents that we're going to tie to non-fungible tokens, so that you have digital proof of ownership. This is in my wallet, this belongs to me and we've yet to see many of the creative uses that are gonna come of it.

Play to earn gaming is gonna completely disrupt the gaming ecosystem as we know it. The metaverse is gonna be incredibly disruptive for, especially for e-commerce as more and more people enter the metaverse and are doing their shopping within. It'll just be a matter of time before there are storefronts in the metaverse.

When you're going shopping in Amazon, you'll walk through as though it's a physical store and shop and you'll pick up things and you'll look at them in 3D and you'll be able to handle them, it'll be so much more advanced than what you're able to do just on the website. This stuff is here to stay, and so the question everybody should be asking is, "All right, I feel a little bit overwhelmed. Where do I start?" And the most important thing is just to start, is to do your research, don't fall for the hype, don't pay attention to people that are telling you, that are just trying to sell you something, but really learn, really dig in and be wise, because you're building your future business as well. - Well, and speaking of learning, tell everybody where they can first find your Nifty show and explain how you spell it, 'cause I think a lot of people wanna go deep on the NFT side and then your other show as well. - Yeah, so the flagship show is the Bad Crypto podcast and it's and it's available in all the podcast players that you would expect, and the Nifty Show is the

N-I-F-T-Y, just like it sounds, and again, it's available on all the various podcast players that are out there. - So, if people want to reach out to you, do you have a preferred method of reaching out? Twitter, or non-social platforms, or what's the best way your website? Where do you wanna send them if they wanna kind of. - Yeah, you can, if you go to either Bad Crypto or Nifty Show, there's a form there that you can fill out, or you can just follow me on Twitter at Joelcomm and DM me there. - Awesome, Joel Comm, thank you so much for demystifying this confusing world that we're all going to be living in, in a pretty dramatic way in the very near future.

We're all smarter because of it, thank you. - You're welcome.

2022-01-26 06:55

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