Transcription Episode 36

Hello everyone and welcome to another episode of Living on Blockchain. Today we are speaking to Andy. Andy is, you know, you will know him as Crypto Badger.

I am Crypto Badger from Twitter. He is basically somebody who was a photographer and an educator but he turned to the crypto and NFT space and, you know, became a trader as well as an educator in this space. He runs a YouTube channel as well where he creates videos which are basically focused in driving in more, you know, right kind of information to the end users so that more and more people can explore Web3 as an option.

This is a very, very informal fun chat that I had with him where we covered almost everything that is going on in the space especially with the bear market, you know, almost here and how markets are cyclical and the newer guys who have come into crypto should keep that in mind and take everything in crypto with a bit of pinch of salt. So can’t wait for you guys to hear this. Let’s dive right in.

Hi, Andy. Thank you so much for taking the time to speak to me today. How are you doing? Hi.

Thank you. And yeah, I’m doing great. Thank you very much.

How are you? I’m good. So, you know, for our listeners, would you like to tell us a little about how you got into the crypto and Web3 space? Yeah, sure. So I first got interested in Bitcoin in, I think it was 2013 during, I think that was the second market cycle.

Basically, I was really surprised that there was an asset that could go up so much in value, but I haven’t really done anything with it at the time, which is a shame. But yeah, it got me interested. And then when I saw it again in 2017, that’s when I first bought a little bit of Bitcoin and Ethereum.

And that’s when I sort of started slowly getting into it. But then like properly, I got into it from the beginning of last year, beginning of 2021, when essentially I started dedicating pretty much all my time into exploring Web3, learning more about crypto than NFTs. And essentially, it may sound a bit cheesy, but I keep saying that I got into it initially because of the money, like probably most people, but I stayed because of the technology.

As I started learning more about it, I realized that, yeah, there is a potential to make money in the short term or long term, but the main benefit, the main thing that’s why people should stick around is really the technology and that the technology will similar revolution to what internet was. So yeah, that’s how it all started. All right.

Luckily, this is something, you said that it was cheesy and I think I say it too, so that I came perhaps because of the money that kind of comes in and lowers a lot of people, but it’s a technology for which you kind of stay. If you’re in the long game, you’re not going to be able to, if you’re just going to make money, you won’t be able to survive the market cycle, right? Yeah, exactly. And well, essentially, if you want to successfully make money in this space, you have to start learning about the technology.

And I think that for everyone or almost everyone, sooner or later it clicks that, yeah, that’s actually the cool part of this whole space. It’s, yeah, of course there is potential to make money like there always is with any emerging technologies or losing money. Again, like that always is the case with any emerging technologies, but yeah, you start seeing as, okay, well it can be used for all those cool things and it can improve.

I think, especially if you can relate it to yourself and you can see how certain things could be improved with the use of crypto or any other technology for that matter. Like, let’s say international money transfers with the traditional financial system, they are either quite slow or expensive or both. While with crypto, I mean, you can send any amount to anyone, anywhere in the world.

All you need to know is just their crypto wallet address and it’s instant or almost instant. And the cost is minimal. There was an example of someone sending, I think, hundreds of millions of dollars worth of Bitcoin for something like less than $10.

So, well, that’s crazy, right? If you wanted to do it in a traditional way. I think it was completed in about five minutes or so. So, yeah, I think that’s the moment you can start relating it to your life and how it could be applied.

And so, yeah, you start noticing that, yeah, this is actually really cool and has a lot of potential. Absolutely. So, this is essentially what you’re trying to do with your socials as well as YouTube, that you’re trying to educate the masses and try to teach them a little bit more about the technology.

Isn’t that perhaps the mission behind your channels? Yeah, absolutely. So, I first started my YouTube, it was actually my wife’s idea that I should start talking about it because my background originally is in education, education and photography, actually. So, it’s a sort of natural thing for me to talk about stuff to people to help them understand something better.

And my wife said that, because she’s also quite into crypto, that basically as we were both learning about it, that I should perhaps start a YouTube channel or something and help others, because that was one of the first challenges we had when we started exploring this space, because it’s also new and because it’s quite, I would say it’s quite different than many other technologies or many other, essentially, it may be a bit tricky to find the resources. There aren’t really that many books about crypto plus the space is evolving really quickly. Of course, there’s a ton of YouTube videos, articles and so on, but a lot of them, it’s essentially, I think, can be quite hard to find a reliable source of information.

And especially if you’re new to the space, you have no idea what’s true, what’s not, who’s trying to scam you or not. I mean, there are many scams in the space. That’s a sad reality.

So, I think for new people, it can be quite intimidating to get started. It can be quite tricky. It’s like, well, how do I take the first steps? And that’s why I started my YouTube.

Initially, it was just about, okay, my first few videos were the first few questions I had when I started dealing with crypto. And then it started growing into more of also market commentaries, talking about various projects and so on, the sort of stuff that probably a little bit more advanced people are interested in. Or if you’re a beginner, that’s the sort of stuff you progress to.

And that’s also what’s then led me to start planning my course about crypto. So, that will hopefully come out next month, because I think that’s something that should also help a lot of people. Yeah, essentially just like full, complete course from the very, very beginnings of what crypto actually is, where do you start, how you set up a wallet, to much more complex stuff, like how you use DeFi, how do you create your own NFT collection and so on.

And of course, you don’t have to go through everything, but I think it would be nice for people to have all that information in one place and just sort of pick and choose the elements as they progress. And I think that within the next five to 10 years, pretty much everyone will be using crypto NFTs in some shape or form. After announcements we had from Mark Zuckerberg last year that Facebook is rebranding to Meta and focusing on the Metaverse, after huge companies developing the Metaverse like Ugalabs, Animoca Brands and Improbable joining together to create the other side and so on.

I think it’s quite obvious that crypto and NFTs are here to stay, which probably wasn’t obvious in the last market cycle. While now, I think, yeah, it’s quite clear that it’s all here to stay. So you may as well start learning about it and give yourself a bit of a headstart because at the end of the day, most people, they heard about it, but they probably haven’t done anything in this space yet.

And they also like, perhaps there’s a lot of fear as well, right? Because this entire space, it seems like, okay, it’s just for the techies and it’s something that is complex and that is kind of how it’s inherently presented to the end user. And then obviously when something seems too complex, people kind of move away from it or they don’t really want to get into it because of fear as well. Yeah, absolutely.

And I think the main thing that’s lacking at the moment and the main area that can be improved and well, has to be improved in order to get more people on board, it’s essentially making it easier to use and safer to use. So it’s a bit like with the internet, right? I don’t know if you use the internet in the nineties, it was all a bit slow and clunky, expensive. I mean, of course there were websites and so on, but there was no social media, there was no video streaming.

It was all quite primitive, at least by today’s standards. While right now you can do literally anything you want on the internet from working to socializing, to finding all sorts of information and so on. And the best thing is that you don’t really have to think about it.

I mean, my dad, he’s 91 years old and he’s perfectly fine using email, internet for pretty much anything he needs because it’s just so simple, right? Okay. He’s quite a techy person anyway, but that doesn’t change the fact that yeah, I mean, pretty much anyone we know in our circles is usually fine using it, right? Parents, grandparents and so on because it’s just so easy. All you need to know is okay, what’s the network name and what’s the password so I can connect and then off you go, you can do stuff.

You don’t need to know how HTTP works, how actually computers connect to the network, what is TCP IP and so on. And that’s the stage we need to reach with crypto and NFTs, that people don’t have to think about stuff. They don’t have to understand the more technical aspects of it.

They can just basically, okay, I install a wallet, that’s my wallet address and that’s it. Then just sort of connect to everything and so on, which of course is already the case, but it all needs to be much, much smoother and moving between different blockchains needs to be easier and so on, so on. So people can, yeah, can essentially start using it much, much easier.

And I think we do need also a level of regulation in this space. I know that a lot of people in the crypto space are very much against any sort of regulation control and so on. But the reality is that we won’t have a mass adoption without at least some level of regulation.

And with the recent collapse of Luna and UST stablecoin, I think that also showed that, well, I mean, no one expected project of this to fail at this scale. Well, it failed completely. So I think we don’t want to probably get to the point where we are with like traditional financial system, but I think that it must be some sort of balance between, well, essentially wild west we have at the moment and yeah, like a fully regulated system.

Yeah. No, so I was actually going to ask you about that. I was going to perhaps touch upon a little bit about the Luna UST collapse.

But before we get into that, we’ve been talking about regulation, we’re talking about basically educating people. And so making it simple enough for them to feel like, okay, they can actually get on board this train. And as you kind of said already that in a few years time, almost everybody would be using crypto or NFTs in some way or the other.

It’ll be a little like electricity or internet, right? They might not understand what is happening at back end, but they would be using it because it’s just the way of life, right? So moving forward, like as an educator in this space, this was something that I really wanted to ask you, who are the thought leaders and educators or content creators in this space that you follow, that you feel that they’re doing a fabulous job? It’s a bit of a tricky question because… Yeah. I put you on the spot. Yeah.

I mean, there is a number of people I follow and I think that’s a key thing. That’s the main thing I would recommend to anyone joining this space or who’s already in the crypto space, but still relatively new to it. And it’s actually a mistake I made at the beginning when I was starting.

I just sort of found one YouTuber. I don’t want to name him because at the time I thought that he was absolutely brilliant and there was a lot great content and he was putting out a lot of great content. But unfortunately, I wouldn’t really recommend following him now because of some… Essentially, while I thought at the time that he was like a really genuine person, now in hindsight, I think that actually he wasn’t.

Essentially, he was mainly interested in pumping his own portfolio. He was creating a lot of helpful content. I do give him that.

But yeah, I don’t think it was quite as genuine as I thought at the time. And also something that I’ve noticed with him and actually quite a few other crypto influencers is that everyone wants to be really active when we have a bull market, when crypto is going up, when everyone is making money, when everyone is excited. But then the market changes.

Like now we are in quite bearish phase. I mean, basically Bitcoin has been going down, well, bouncing up and down, but essentially going down since November, right? Yeah. Mostly down, basically.

Yeah. And I’ve noticed that a lot of those influencers who were really active when the market was pumping, now they are nowhere to be found. They are not producing any content.

And I think this really sucks because like, I mean, I’m no influencer, but I have small following of people. And I think that’s absolutely crucial that people who are in this space, who want to educate others in this space, they should keep putting out content regardless of what the market is doing because their viewers, their followers, they want to see what’s going on regardless if the price is going up or down. If anything, everyone is happy when the price is going out, but people are probably quite worried when the price is going up because especially if they’re new to this space and they haven’t experienced crypto crash before, well, they don’t know what’s going on.

It’s like, is that it? Is my investment gone forever? Will it recover? And so on. So I think it’s really important to have like number of people you follow because also they tend to specialize in different things. Like for example, I do sort of quite broad range of videos.

I talk about a bit about the market overall. I do always talk quite a bit about Bitcoin because of course market goes where Bitcoin goes. And also Bitcoin is large part of my crypto position.

I talk quite a lot about altcoins, especially gaming altcoins, because I think that’s what will be popular. That’s what was popular in the last market cycle. And I expect it to be popular again in the next market cycle.

But I don’t talk much about DeFi or I don’t, I talk only a little bit from time to time about NFTs. So for example, I really respect Benjamin Cowen. He has his Into the Cryptoverse channel and private group and so on, because he, I think he’s putting out content literally if not every day, then every other day.

It’s probably not necessarily content suitable for everyone because it’s all quite heavy technical analysis. So like, for example, my wife hates him because he’s just too technical and too boring for her. But he’s, I really respect him because he’s putting out content, regardless what the market is doing.

He’s always really level-headed, which is quite rare in the crypto space. Of course, we know that everyone needs to put a bit of a clickbaity title to just play by YouTube rules and so on. But then it’s the way you talk about projects, right? You will never find him just promising that stuff will do like 50X, 100X by next week or whatever.

He’s always really level-headed. He’s always presenting really sensible position. And when he’s wrong, he’s perfectly happy to admit that he was wrong because we all will be wrong.

No one can predict the market exactly because if they could, they will be billionaires. So he’s one of the people I really, really respect in this space and who’s an incredibly intelligent person. I like Alex Becker.

He has his very own unique way of delivery, which not everyone may like. Some people love it. Some people hate him.

But I think he’s very heavily embedded in the crypto gaming space. And because that space, I expect, will be developing really rapidly in the coming years. I think he’s a good person to follow.

There are many others where, I mean, Ryan Dee, who talks mainly about NFTs, I mainly follow him because I’m in his private Discord. And yeah, it’s a really nice, it’s a very small closed community, but it’s a really nice community. And I learned from him about NFTs.

So like, for example, if someone is completely new to NFTs, it’s worth watching some of his older videos where he talks about basic NFT strategies and stuff like that. Yeah, I just sort of keep looking for stuff. And then, oh, Eric Crown, again, technical analysis, but from like a much more short-term trading point of view, because Benjamin Cowen, he looks at long-term.

He admits that he doesn’t know where we’ll be tomorrow or in a week’s time, but in a few weeks’ time, in months, in years, that’s what the market is likely to do. While Eric Crown, well, he comes from trading background and he talks about much shorter timeframes and his stuff is really cool as well. So I think that’s the main thing that you just sort of start finding those people.

And if, let’s say, someone just looks up the people I mentioned, so Alex Becker, Benjamin Cowen, Eric Crown, Ryan Dee, or even my channel, of course, naturally then YouTube will give you some hints who else you may want to watch. And you just sort of keep watching stuff and you just need to find people who you feel that they are the right match for you. Because sometimes someone may be actually talking about some interesting stuff, but you just absolutely hate the way they talk and you just cannot listen to it.

And that’s fine. You just have to find someone else. It’s the same with online courses, right? Or like video courses.

Exactly. Yeah. It’s like with any kind of content that you’re consuming, you might like the way somebody is presenting it and you might really dislike it, even though they might be making total sense, right? It’s just about that vibe, right? What is the vibe that kind of works with you? Yeah.

But yeah, I think the main thing, I mean, sorry, that was a really long answer to a relatively simple question. No, but this is like very valuable. I think our listeners will find this really valuable that these are the guys that you follow and these would be, these are genuine people, right? As you said, there is so much noise in this space also, you know, there are people, you know, there are all kinds of people trying to push their own agenda at times, you know, and there’s a bar of information, right? So these are perhaps, you know, the ones that you follow.

So these would be like genuine guys that our users and our listeners can also like look at and perhaps give a follow because they are tried and tested. Yeah, absolutely. And yeah, I think the main thing is to just find as many sources as possible and whether that’s, yeah, different people on YouTube, follow different people on Twitter, join different groups on Discord or Telegram, and basically just have as broad set of people you follow us as possible, because like I said, some of them may specialize in NFTs, other will specialize in long term market analysis, someone else will be talking more about altcoins.

And if you want to have, like, personally, I want to have a really nice broad overview of the market, partially because I also want to experiment with different stuff and then deliver content about different stuff. So like, personally, I may be focused mainly on, let’s say, Bitcoin, Ethereum, Cardano, and then gaming projects. But this doesn’t mean that I don’t invest in some other projects, sometimes purely because, okay, I just want to make a video about it.

I want to talk to people about it, just so they know something about particular, I don’t know, DeFi or whatever else. And sometimes it may not even work out for me, and that’s absolutely fine. But I think that’s important if you want to educate people in this space is that, yeah, just sort of try stuff, broaden your horizons, so you can help as many people as possible.

But at the same time, of course, I don’t expect everyone to jump into absolutely everything. If anything, I would advise against it. Find your own niche you like in the crypto space, and just focus purely on that and try to learn as much as possible within that niche.

And it doesn’t matter whether that’s gaming or privacy or NFTs or DeFi or whatever else. Just whatever you find exciting and wherever you think that, okay, you see potential for crypto and NFTs, and you want to explore it. But at the same time, in terms of finding sources of information, I would say, keep them as broad as possible, just to see what different people are saying.

Because sometimes, of course, opinions will overlap to a certain degree, but sometimes there will be quite different opinions. And last year, if you watch any YouTube videos from spring last year, before Bitcoin crashed in, I think it was April or May, you will see that pretty much every or almost every influencer was talking about Bitcoin hitting 300K by September. And notable mention here, Benjamin Cowen was one of the very few who were saying that the market is overheating and we are way ahead of the schedule, and there will be a crash.

And well, there was a crash and we pulled back for the whole summer. And then we had another peak in the autumn, but then followed by another crash. But if you looked at a vast majority of other influencers, yeah, everyone’s like, yeah, 300K Bitcoin by September.

And then it didn’t happen. So that’s why I think it’s important to listen to as many different people as possible. Unfortunately, at the time, I didn’t discover Benjamin Cowen.

I only found him shortly after the crash, which is a shame. But then when I look at his videos from a few weeks back, it’s like, okay, well, he was actually talking about it and explaining why we are ahead of the schedule and why we should, at the very least, consider that there will be a pullback. And yeah, well, I just wish I discovered that a bit sooner.

So, yeah. So, you know, what you said about being in an echo chamber and, you know, kind of listening to people who have similar opinions is so true, right? That can happen to any of us, like as founders, or even as content creators. If you’re just hanging around with people who are not really challenging our beliefs, then, you know, we kind of just go with that.

So that is very, very important that, you know, you need to sort of listen to the other side as well. Yeah, absolutely. And I think that’s, to be honest, I think that’s one of the really cool thing about crypto space overall, crypto and NFT space, that by its very nature, it’s challenging the status quo, right? So like, for example, it’s presenting an alternative to the traditional financial system, or I don’t know, NFTs have so many different use cases can be used as well, essentially proof of ownership of uniqueness or authenticity of pretty much anything.

So they can be used for pretty much any act of purchase or sale, things like tickets, things like, well, pretty much certificates or deeds to pretty much anything, and so on. And well, of course, with crypto, you can, on one hand, everything is publicly available on the blockchain, but at the same time, unless you know someone’s address, well, you don’t really have a name attached to any transaction or any wallet. And of course, if someone wants to, they can use systems like Tornado Cash to hide their transactions or move their funds to a different wallet and hide which wallet it’s going to.

You kind of talked about how there are so many platforms that are trying to, you know, they’re coming up almost every day and they are trying to solve some or the other problems. Are there any platforms whose UI that you are a fan of or the ones that you kind of use? Yeah, sure. So, well, again, it’s sort of similar to its following people.

And I guess that’s one of the potential challenges at the moment in the crypto space, that there are probably quite a few different platforms that you may need to use to function in this space. So, of course, I mean, you need some sort of exchange to, well, to buy and sell your crypto. First, I started using Coinbase because I thought it was the most user-friendly.

And I still use Coinbase. I use Binance because I guess that’s one of the things that you will, well, any new person in the space will discover over time if they want to start trading more and more different tokens. Not all tokens are available on all exchanges, so you have to actually set up accounts on different exchanges.

And also not all exchanges are available in every country or not all features are available in every country, depending on different regulations and so on. So, I have like, I mean, I like using Coinbase, Binance, FTX because they cover pretty much everything I need in terms of exchanges. I really like because if you stake some of their tokens, you get like different tiers for the debit card and you can get actual physical card as well as the virtual one.

So, then you not only get cashback on every purchase, but also what’s really cool is that basically you can, whenever you want, you can just top up this card with either funds from your bank account or any cryptocurrency. So, let’s say in theory, you could almost leave the traditional financial system. Basically, if let’s say you had an employer who’s willing to pay you in Bitcoin or Ethereum, they could just pay you to your account in that cryptocurrency.

And then whatever you need to actually pay somewhere with fiat, dollars, pounds, whatever other currency you may be using, then basically you just convert whatever cryptocurrency you have to that currency, and you can just pay with it anywhere. And it works really, really well. I use it a lot when I go on holiday because I don’t then have to think about exchanging money and stuff like that.

Basically, I just make sure that I top up my card and I can use it anywhere. So, that’s really cool. Metamask, of course, because especially if you want to do more in terms of either DeFi or trading smaller cap altcoins, which are not listed on main exchanges, minting NFTs, well, you will need some sort of a wallet that can be connected to all of those websites.

And Metamask is by far the most popular one. So, I do enjoy using that. BlockWallet is pretty cool too.

It’s only released quite recently. And what’s quite nice about it is that basically I use it interchangeably with Metamask. Most websites will pick it up by default.

They won’t necessarily list as a supported wallet, but they will pick it up almost as it is Metamask. But also, BlockWallet has some built-in privacy features. So, you can, for example, hide some of your funds or hide some of your transactions, which can be quite helpful because, of course, especially as your portfolio grows, you don’t necessarily want to show everyone what’s in your wallet.

You will end up setting up multiple wallets or multiple accounts. So, you keep some of your funds hidden and secure. And speaking about securing your funds, things like Ledger or Trezor hardware wallet, and also their own app to store crypto, I think that’s really important.

Yeah, that’s the sort of stuff I use on a daily basis. OpenSea for trading NFTs. If I need to use the centralized exchange for trading smaller altcoins, it will be usually Uniswap or PancakeSwap for coins on Binance Smart Chain.

Yeah, I think these are the main platforms I use and enjoy using. But like you said, there’s new stuff coming out literally all the time. And there are more and more solutions appearing for tracking your portfolio or helping you to do your crypto-related taxes and stuff like that.

And then I suppose you just discover them as you explore the space more and you need to learn more and more about it. So, I started just with my account on Coinbase. Initially, that was it.

Then I installed Metamask because I was trading some altcoins. Then I got Ledger hardware wallet because I needed to secure some of my funds. Then, yeah, I set up Binance account and FTX account and so on because I needed to access different cryptocurrency.

Then OpenSea because I wanted to trade NFTs and so on, so on. So, yeah, you don’t have to do it all straight away, that’s for sure. But yeah, I think these are the main ones I use and some of the most popular ones as well.

Yeah, absolutely. The popular ones are the ones that have really cracked the UI a bit, I think, that the UI needs to be less intimidating and pretty user-friendly to get those numbers. Yeah, absolutely.

And that’s why I started using Coinbase as the first platform because, yeah, there’s Coinbase Pro, which is much more complex and it has the full trading interface and that’s how most crypto exchanges look like. But an average person doesn’t want a full-on trading interface because it’s just really … if you never used it before. And with Coinbase, it’s really simple.

You get a simple chart or simple graph that’s showing what the price is doing or how it changed over the last 24 hours or last month or whatever. But essentially, you just set up your own account, just like on any other platform. Of course, you have to verify it with your ID and take a photo of yourself and so on, because they have to verify who you are and where you live because, again, of different regulations in different countries.

But it is straightforward process. And then you just link your bank account or your debit card and that’s about it. And whenever you want to buy crypto, you just buy it with whatever payment method you set up.

And then that’s really all you need to do. I think these days also you can do it quite nicely on PayPal or apps like Revolut. For a while, I know there, even though they offer the option to buy crypto, it was only for investment purposes.

Basically, you couldn’t transfer it out of the app. I’m pretty sure now you can do it. I know you can certainly do it in the Revolut app.

I’m not sure if you can do it in PayPal because I never used it for that purpose. But of course, that would be also quite a nice, easy way for someone to start exploring crypto because it’s a platform that a lot of people are already familiar with. And yeah, then you can quite easily interact with it.

The main thing, though, is the well-known saying, not your keys, not your crypto. Basically, whatever platform you’re using, you have to be able to see what’s your public key and you have to be able to withdraw your crypto to a different wallet. So let’s say send it to your MetaMask or your Ledger or any other platform.

Because otherwise, yeah, you’re holding crypto, but essentially you’re relying on that company holding it for you, right? You kind of own it, but if the company goes bust, well, you have no control over that crypto. Well, if you’re in your own crypto wallet, say MetaMask, no one can really access it other than you. Unless, of course, you give someone your login details, but no one can freeze your accounts.

No one can, I don’t know, it cannot go bust or anything like that. Even I remember when I bought my first fraction of Bitcoin in 2017, and I had it in some wallet at the time, then I haven’t really touched it for a couple of years. And then I realized that actually that wallet, which at the time was really good, it stopped working because the company basically stopped developing it.

So for a moment, I freaked out. It’s like, oh no, I lost my Bitcoin. But then I read up some articles and realized that no, actually you cannot lose it because it’s not physically in the wallet, it’s on the blockchain.

Wallet is just a way of interacting with it. And as long as you have your private keys and all the details, you write them down when you’re setting up the wallet, then you can just recover it using different wallets. And that’s exactly what I did.

Basically, I set up another wallet and recovered my old wallet using new wallet, even though it was a completely different application and got my Bitcoin back. And that’s something really cool. And that’s something you don’t necessarily get, well, you don’t get if you rely on a company holding your assets, because then of course, if anything happens with that company, well, those assets may be frozen and you don’t know whether you will get them back or not.

Absolutely. Yeah. That’s the beauty of decentralization, right? If you’re going to be getting into it, then there’s no point in sort of sitting on the fence.

I understand that from the perspective of somebody who’s just starting off, it’s easier to rely on centralized exchanges or centralized apps, but the beauty lies in the decentralization and the data. Absolutely. Yeah, absolutely.

And yeah, I think it’s absolutely fine to just sort of start with like a big centralized exchange and just rely on it, especially if you only have a small amount of crypto and you just start experimenting with it. But then anyone who starts in this space, I think they should, I would really recommend that they start really exploring it and learning about it. So yeah, like, I don’t know, let’s say you bought some Ethereum and it’s sitting in your Coinbase account or Binance or whatever.

Well, try setting up Metamask and sending a tiny amount of Ethereum to your Metamask, which is something I recommend anyway, whenever you’re transferring any crypto, send small amount first before sending bigger amount just in case if something goes wrong. Yeah, you pay a little bit for each transfer, but at least you know your funds are going through correctly. But yeah, just start exploring it because I totally understand that it can be intimidating at the beginning because you’re dealing with real money at the end of the day, but in a very different way, we are all used to dealing with it.

So I know that people can be quite apprehensive about it, but yeah, just try stuff and see how it works. And like I said, it can be just very small amount. So if something goes wrong, well, it’s just a small loss.

And then you’ll probably find that actually it is quite interesting and exciting space. And as you learn more and more about it, you start exploring, discovering what else can be done with it. Or I think the most exciting part of it is that regardless of what your background is, at some point, you will start thinking, oh, so actually I could use it in this or that way in, I don’t know, in my private life, in my business, in the industry I work in and so on.

And I think that’s what we really need to see happening if crypto is going to be mass adopted, that people need to start exploring how it can be used. Because at the moment, I feel like a lot of use cases for crypto is just sort of doing it just for the sake of doing it. Just you can, oh, I don’t know, certain platform is, or let’s say with crypto gaming, that would be a good example.

A lot of crypto games that come out, they’re pretty rubbish because essentially they just include tokenomics just for the sake of being a crypto game. But well, again, it’s supposed to be fun and addictive in a way. That’s the main purpose, right? And then, well, if you want to create a successful game, that’s what you have to think about.

And then add potentially crypto to it in some shape or form, not do it the other way that, oh, we need to create some tokenomics and around those tokenomics we’ll build a game because most likely it will fail. And I think that’s the sort of next natural step for the crypto space and NFT space, just finding ways of actually practically applying it to everyday problems, everyday challenges. And once that fully happens, that’s when we’ll see crypto being used on a mass scale, where we’ll see mass adoption.

Right. No, you’re absolutely correct, I think. No, you know, moving on to the next part, which I’d like to touch upon here when we talk about mass adoption is the policy bit, right? Like I had alluded to it in one of my previous questions, so the USD Luna debacle that happened and that kind of, you know, as you said, kind of underlines why policy is sort of important.

So I would love to get your opinion, you know, the Luna debacle and whatever is happening with that right now, as well as, you know, your thoughts on policy. I mean, it’s not unusual for a project to fail in a crypto or NFT space. I don’t think we’ve ever seen before anything as big as the Luna crash, because I mean, it was one of the top 10 coins.

So of course, huge market cap. I know a lot of people who were invested either in Luna or holding USD, well, holding a lot of funds in USD as their stable coin of choice, ready for the market to bottom out and then reenter, because it seemed like, well, a lot of people were saying that this is one of the best options, one of the safest options. And of course, no one expected a project of this magnitude to fail.

But it just sort of shows that, well, nothing is too big to fail, sadly. Reality is that the same thing happened in many times in traditional financial system. I mean, we had the subprime lending crash and in what, in 2008, when multiple huge investment banks either failed or almost failed and had to be bailed out.

So it’s not like this is just exclusively visible in the crypto space. It happens everywhere. Essentially, when there is either some sort of fault in the system, or when people take advantage of a particular situation, again, whether that’s traditional financial system or crypto or whatever else, of course, situations like this will happen, which just sort of shows that it’s very risky to just bet on one particular project or whatever that, or institution or whatever else it may be.

So, I mean, sure, it’s highly unlikely that Bitcoin or Ethereum will fail because, not because they’re too big to fail, but I think they have too much support at least at the moment. But at the same time, I wouldn’t necessarily say that these two cryptocurrencies will last forever. Because at the end of the day, Bitcoin was designed as a method of payment, but it is really only used as a store of value or mainly used as a store of value.

And then maybe it will be used this way. Maybe at some point it won’t. I think even if it will be still used as a store of value, because it has its built-in scarcity by default, there will be only ever 21 million of Bitcoins.

I think at some point, as the utility of cryptocurrencies grows, we may see other cryptocurrencies becoming bigger in the market cap. Like, for example, I think Ethereum is almost, no, it’s not that it’s too big to fail. It’s unlikely to fail because pretty much all utility in the crypto space runs on Ethereum blockchain.

If you’d use any sort of decentralized app, if you use OpenSea, NFTs, whatever, pretty much everything runs on Ethereum or vast majority of products run on Ethereum. So I think, well, essentially if Ethereum fails at this point, then the whole crypto space would fail. However, we know that Ethereum is not perfect.

It’s really expensive to use when the network is busy. So they either have to improve it, which I know they’re working on, or another blockchain, like let’s say Cardano may take over because it will be just cheaper and faster to use, essentially more efficient. So I think that’s something really important in the space to just sort of keep an eye on what’s happening.

And okay, something like the failure of Luna was hard to predict. I know that some people predicted in months ahead, essentially they knew about some vulnerabilities in the project and they publicly said about it on Twitter. It seems like nothing was done about it.

I didn’t properly dig into it and properly dissected what happened with Luna. So I don’t want to talk too much about it. I was never invested in this project either.

But yeah, it just sort of shows that, yeah, you have to be careful and nothing is too big to fail. But at the same time, it also shows that, well, we need some form of regulation in this space. I think this, of course, as Luna failed also, UST stablecoin depegged from the dollar and ultimately it failed.

And I think this shows that, well, we need some sort of regulation, if nothing else, at least when it comes to stablecoins, how those stablecoins are exactly created and what they are backed by to make sure that they don’t depeg from the dollar. Because if there is no guarantee that the stablecoin will remain stable, so remains one to one with dollar, then what was the point of that stablecoin even existing, right? Of course, there can be unusual situations when like during very sudden market movements, every stablecoin will depeg slightly if we look at the chart. But the important thing is that it may be just a couple of percent one way or another, and then it sort of balances itself out.

So that’s absolutely fine. But when it goes suddenly off like 10, 20, 30%, well, something is not right. And we need some form of regulation in this space, because again, people will not trust it if there won’t be at least a bit of regulation.

Too much regulation is also not good. And as we see, it doesn’t necessarily work because traditional financial system is heavily regulated and it’s still being abused left, right and center, as we’ve seen in 2008. But yeah, like I said, when we were talking earlier, it’s about that sort of balance.

We need some level of control, some level of regulation, but we don’t want it to go too far, because then essentially we’re just ending up with another financial system exactly like the one we’re trying to maybe not replace, although a lot of people in the crypto space are saying that crypto will replace traditional financial system. I think there is a strong argument for both coexisting, and I think that’s what should happen, that there should be options. And yeah, I’m hoping that’s what we will see in the coming years, that essentially crypto will gradually develop into an alternative financial system coexisting with a traditional financial system, if that makes sense.

Yeah, absolutely. I think that they do have to coexist. Almost everybody, except for people who are not interested in this particular economy, because they have some prerequisites.

And that is why, you know, DeFi is important, that you know, nobody is getting discriminated against, everybody can be a part of this economy. But most of the population of this are on the traditional, you know, financial system, you know, we are going to build like a pack, and almost everybody’s gonna, you know, start and for in that intervening period, they do need to coexist and coexist in an amiable fashion, so that people can make a choice. And you know, they can choose which side or which system they want to rely on.

Yeah, absolutely. I think, yeah, that’s exactly it. And a lot of people are talking about cryptocurrency, myself included, being like, this huge revolution in terms of essentially, crypto or blockchain technology is doing for transfer of wealth and trust transfer of ownership, what the internet did for the transfer of information or access to information, which is great.

But at the same time, it’s also not like it has to be this massive revolution, that will basically be the end of everything that was before it. It’s like, it’s all about fixing what doesn’t work, improving things. But also, if some things work, at least to an acceptable degree, that’s fine.

I mean, they should just coexist in the same way that I don’t online shopping doesn’t completely make traditional shops to disappear, right? They still coexist. Some of them disappeared. Some of them got much smaller.

Others still function exactly the same. And I think that’s what we’ll see with blockchain technology in the coming years, that will start impacting more and more areas of life and more and more sectors. And in some places, it will make probably very little difference, because people will realize that actually, there aren’t really that many benefits of using it, or if any, in other areas, it may largely push out the previous solutions.

And there will be some areas where it will just completely turn things upside down, because it will be just so much better, so much more efficient. That’s that essentially, people either have to adapt, or will disappear in a similar way, like, I don’t know, DVD rental stores disappeared, because everyone is just streaming content of Netflix, Amazon, or whatever else. But like I said, this wasn’t the case for every industry, and the internet, some of them still largely function the way they used to.

And I think we’ll see the same thing with crypto, with NFTs, with blockchain in general, it will impact different areas in a different way. It’ll be actually quite interesting to see how it will impact those areas, and where it will be implemented the most and first. That’s true.

That’s absolutely true. I completely concur with everything that you said here. You know, in the interest of time, considering we’re running short of it, I would like to jump to my, you know, one question that I kind of asked everybody who comes on the show, if there is somebody who’s like peering in from Web2, like, you know, Uber, and appearing into Web3, but they’re sort of intimidated by everything.

And you know, if this conversation doesn’t convince them, I don’t know what will. But nevertheless, if you had to give them a suggestion, to start living on blockchain, what would be the top two things you would ask them to do? I think the main thing is to keep an open mind, I think that’s applicable to pretty much everything, right? But I think it’s important to acknowledge that crypto, NFTs, blockchain technology overall, it’s a very young technology. It’s not perfect.

Of course, there are issues. And I think it’s people who are already in this space should also acknowledge that, because that then builds more trust for the newcomers. Because if everyone is just going on, it’s like, oh, crypto is the next amazing thing.

And it’s absolutely perfect, and it will change the world. And there’s nothing wrong with it. Well, that’s not entirely true.

There are still a lot of areas to be improved. So I think for any newcomer, if they do have any doubts, I think it’s important to just keep in mind that a lot of people who are in the crypto space, maybe sometimes a bit overexcited about it, and forget that it’s not perfect. So basically, just whatever you hear about crypto and NFTs, just take it with a grain of salt.

Just assume that either it’s not as bad as some people are making it sound, or it’s not as great as some other people making it sound. It’s somewhere in between. But the key thing here is I think that it’s definitely worth exploring and learning about it.

And it doesn’t mean that you have to go out and spend your whole salary on Bitcoin tomorrow or whatever. Even if you don’t really want to interact with the space at this point in any way, as in you don’t want to buy any crypto or buy any NFTs or anything like that. I think the important thing is to acknowledge that it exists.

And the way things are going, it will likely only grow bigger. Personally, I don’t see how it may not happen. I think it’s pretty much a given that it will keep growing.

And like I said earlier, if you asked me this question in the last market cycle in 2017, 2017, 2018, I wouldn’t be so sure. I thought it was just largely speculation. And yeah, there were, of course, some use cases there, but it was all very, very young.

But as we started seeing last year and this year, more and more companies being serious about joining the space. Actually, well, I live in the UK, and there was a statement from the UK, from English government, probably about a month ago or so, that the UK is essentially the government wants the UK to become a hub for cryptocurrencies. And the government is considering recognizing some crypto currencies, I think, especially stablecoins as a legal form of payment.

In a similar way, El Salvador recognizes Bitcoin as a legal tender. So when we’re seeing big names like, I don’t know, Elon Musk saying that essentially crypto is the future, when we see companies investing in it, when we see governments exploring it as, OK, how we can use it, how we can implement it, I think that’s when it becomes clear that it’s here to stay. It may look very different and be implemented in a very different way than it is now.

But I think it’s pretty much certain that it’s going to be around for a while. So I think that makes it really important to just start learning about it. And the way I like to see it or say it is, well, think about it this way.

If you set up a website now, if you want to rank on Google, if you want to be visible on Google, it would take a huge amount of effort to work on your SEO because there are just so many other websites, regardless of what industry you are in. And so many other websites have been existing for years. And I don’t know, their owner has been blogging for years or building links to this website for years.

So basically, you have it really, really hard to get your website to the first page of Google. If you set up an account on Instagram, in the early days of Instagram, it was really easy to build following because everyone was just following everything because it was this new thing and there weren’t that many accounts and so on. Right now, to build a following, it takes a huge amount of effort because of the ton of content that already exists and millions and billions accounts that already exist.

And that’s how I see the crypto space. We are in those early stages where by interacting with it now, you can be in a position where it’s like essentially creating an account on Instagram in early days of Instagram or setting up a website in early days of the internet. You have a massive head start because vast majority of people will not do it for another few years.

And then sooner or later when crypto and blockchain becomes this mass used thing, well, you already have a massive head start because you know how to use it, how to interact with it. Maybe you already started using it in your business or in your life or whatever. So I think that’s the main thing to acknowledge that we are early.

It’s not perfect, but it’s very, very likely to stay. And basically by being early and interacting with early, you’re giving yourself a massive advantage. And you might not necessarily know what this advantage is at this point because you may not fully know how it will be used in the future.

But the first step is essentially learning about it and interacting with it. And yeah, I think that’s the main thing. And that’s what should hopefully convince majority of people that it’s worth exploring.

Like I said, it’s not about putting all your in Bitcoin and hoping that it will go up 10 times in value in the next two years. That’s a completely separate story. It’s, okay, how this technology can be used.

And yeah, essentially interacting with it now at this very, very early stage and learning about it as it’s being developed because there’s this sort of, well, it’s kind of a joke, but it’s not really a joke that a lot of companies these days expect graduates straight out of uni to have like five or 10 years worth of work experience, which is a bit of an exaggeration, but at the same time, it’s not. And recently occurred to me that, well, if you are in the crypto space, literally no one in the space has more than about 12 years worth of experience because that’s how old Bitcoin is. And vast majority of people joined this space only in 2017 or 2020.

So vast majority of people in the crypto space, they only have like two to five years worth of experience, which means that if you start interacting with it now, you are still one of the first or one of the very early people. So I think that’s an interesting way of looking at it, that essentially, if you are in the crypto space, no one in the space has, sorry, very few people have like five or 10 years worth of experience. So you can become one of the most experienced people in the space, if that makes sense.

Sorry. Yeah, that’s true. That’s true.

Wow. That was fairly insightful. And thank you so much for, you know, all of these lovely gems and these insights, you know, you’re talking about what leaders and your perspective on policy, which I find is very relevant now, but you know, we are, as you said, we’re slightly entering a bearish market.

Any thoughts before we wrap this up? Any last thoughts at all? To be honest, I think we covered the main stuff, especially that last question. I think that was really good because yeah, I think that covers main things. The only other thought for anyone who maybe already is in the space and yeah, like we said earlier, it is currently bear market.

A lot of people are probably down on their investment if they invested in crypto in the recent months or the last year or so. If you are new to this space, just essentially don’t worry. This is normal.

This is how crypto market cycles work. It is a bumpy ride. And unfortunately everyone in this too has to go through it.

We’ve seen it before in 2013, in 2017. We’ve seen it last year going up and down like crazy. We may still go down a little bit more, but eventually it will start going up.

And yeah, I think the important thing is if someone is interested in this space and is excited about this space, regardless if they want to invest in it or whether they want to utilize crypto in any way, it’s moments like this when a lot of people will exit crypto space because Bitcoin is not doubling and tripling in value in a few weeks. So it’s boring and there isn’t much going on. And like I said, a lot of content creators are no longer creating content.

And the reality is that this is the perfect time to learn. This is the perfect time to find projects which have potential. And when the time is right, invest in them before everyone else does, before everything is booming.

This is the time when you can learn in this space, where you can build stuff in this space. So rather than just giving up on it, just engage with it as much as possible. That’s the mistake I’ve done in 2017.

I invested in crypto, and then the market went down in 2018. And I just sort of left it in the background. And to be honest, that was always my intention at the time.

It’s like a long-term investment. I’m not particularly bothered about what’s happening with the price. But now I know that if I stayed really engaged in the space in 2018, 2019, early 2020, I would be in a completely different position right now because there were so many great opportunities for investment, for learning, and so on.

But instead, I just sort of left it in the background and then reentered in 2020. And okay, it was still the right time to do so. But I missed out on so many opportunities.

And that’s what the vast majority of people will do now. They entered the space last year or in 2020. And now there isn’t really much going on.

They’re probably down on their portfolio. They don’t really want to look at it. And they will just focus on other things.

I think that’s a huge mistake. You should be still staying active in this space, learning, staying on top of things, looking at what’s going on rather than waiting for the news to say, oh, Bitcoin is now at new all-time high. Because if you do that, then you will be too.

So yeah, that’s my final thought. Lovely. Thank you so much, Andy, for taking the time to speak to me.

I think this is like an absolute gem of a conversation for people who are trying to build in this space. This is the best time to, when the markets are looking bearish, it’s the best time to put your head down, study or build further. So I think that’s wonderful, wonderful advice.

Thank you so much for taking out the time and for being so patient with the interruptions that I had. This was a lovely chat. Thank you so much.

No, thank you so much for having me. And yeah, I really enjoyed it. And yeah, thank you.

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