Bitcoin, Blockchain, and Cryptocurrency with Michael Terpin
Michael Terpin, an American investor, entrepreneur and public relations executive. In 2013 he co-founded BitAngels, an investment network for blockchain technology startups and the first angel network for bitcoin and digital currency startups with 500 international investors.
In 2014, Michael founded Transform Group, a bitcoin and blockchain marketing firm headquartered in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He also runs CoinAgenda, the leading conference series connecting mainstream investors with blockchain and cryptocurrency investors.
In 2018, Michael sued AT&T for $23.8 million in compensatory damages and $200 million in punitive damages, claiming that the company failed to protect his cellphone data and leading to hackers stealing $24 million worth of cryptocurrency. He was a victim of SIM card swapping fraud, a method used to steal one’s phone numbers in order to access their crypto wallets.
In this episode of the B2B Lead Gen Podcast we discuss bitcoin, ethereum, blockchain, cryptocurrency, cold wallets and more. If you’re looking to get up to speed on what’s happening in the cryptocurrency investing world, listen to this episode.
Podcast Show Notes
(unedited speech to text transcript generated by Otter.ai)
Michael Terpin 0:03
Right now in the United States, you’ve got the IRS since 2014 have said that Bitcoin and most cryptocurrencies or property fincen has set its money and the ctfc has implied that as commodities, like gold, and so you have to have some agreement about what this is.
Eric Schwartzman 0:29
Welcome to the b2b lead gen podcast. Your weekly audio masterclass on converting leads to revenue. I’m your host Eric Schwartzman, author of the digital pivot. Let’s do this. Our guest is Michael Terpin, an American investor, entrepreneur and public relations executive. In 2013. He co founded bid angels, an investment network for blockchain, blockchain technology startups and the first Angel network for Bitcoin and digital currency startups with 500 international investors. In 2014, Michael founded transform Group, a Bitcoin and blockchain marketing firm headquartered in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He also runs coin agenda, the leading conference series connecting mainstream investors, blockchain and cryptocurrency investors. In 2018, Michael sued at&t for 23 point 8 million in compensation in compensatory damages, and 20 and 200 million in punitive damages, claiming that the company failed to protect his cell phone data, and leading to hackers stealing 24 million worth of crisp cryptocurrency. He was a victim of SIM card swapping fraud, a method used to steal one’s phone number in order to access their crypto wallets. Michael, welcome to the B2B Lead Generation Podcast. We got to start by ragging on AT&T for there’s a bunch of questions I want to ask. But let me tell you my at&t story, it’s not good. But I’ll start with mine. So when I was 30 years old, I was recruited by a gaming company to which was based in Denver, I moved out there, we took it public on the NASDAQ exchange, raised about 10 million bucks, and spent it pretty, pretty quick, too. And about 18, I think was a Gosh, maybe 18 months into it. I was in an executive meeting, I was the head of marketing. And it was the CFO and the controller. And the controller says, You know, I don’t think we have any problems. We got at least 2 million bucks left in the bank. And the CFS has actually, it’s not quite 2 million anymore. It’s more like one nine. And then this year was actually it’s not really 1 million anymore. It’s more like half a million. And I thought, Okay, time to start thinking about my next move. So I left the company moved back home, and I had this really killer pad. And I I subbed it to a friend of mine. And when she left, she never returned the cable box. And so I forgot about it. I didn’t know anything about it. But I went to buy a home in LA, you know, five years later, and my credit score was just terrible, because of this fucking credit box. The card bought that was not returned to at&t. So I call at&t to fix it up. And I say, I’m so sorry. They say, Okay, well, fine, just pay this bill. And we’ll take it off your credit report. Well, I pay the bill, they don’t take it off the credit report. And I wind up paying an extra point on my loan. And ever since then, I’ve never spent a nickel on AT&T, even though they got the iPhone first. I waited until someone else got it just so that I didn’t have to give them a nickel. But now I see you actually have the coup de gras AT&T story.
Michael Terpin 4:02
Well, obviously, the cable division, I think at that time, DirecTV or whatever is completely different than the mobility division. But this is really, you know, a problem across multiple phone carriers. And it’s something that aside from my, you know, federal lawsuit against at&t for their their responsibility in my case. I think that it’s something that going forward. I have also reached out to the FCC, who can you know, mandate the changes happen in the way that telcos in the United States safeguard data. And, you know, they they slowly started protecting data when it came to Robo calling, and took years for new actions to come around and they finally did, but, you know, just the simple act of mandating that a telco a telephone company You know, protect your your your PIN code by making a pass fail. So if you go to a bank, and you tell the teller, I’m sorry, I forgot my ATM PIN code, can you just do it for me, they can’t, right? You have to go to the fraud department and like, say you lost it or whatever there’ll be generate a new one. There’s, there’s a structure, that means that an employee of Wells Fargo, Bank of America, whatever, can’t just look up your PIN code and take money out of your account. Unfortunately, and this is across most industries, you have to punch in a PIN code even for you know, Delta Airlines or Marriott. And, you know, it’s just shocking to me that a place where the maximum amount of damage can be done. It’s not just cryptocurrency. This is also done with sometimes bank accounts with people going and stealing social media accounts and doing damage with Pete with criminals. Even going in and applying for new lines of credit, in your name, all the things you can do with digital identity theft. And this has been going on for quite some time. And so obviously, the punitive part of our case, is that, you know, we believe is my lawyer say on evidence and belief that AT&T senior management knew about this a long time, before my case came around and didn’t do anything to to change their practices, which again, could be completely averted if they simply had a pass fail. If when you go into a store, you or your your or you call on the phone or whatever, you say, okay, what’s your, you know, four digit or the high security cases like mine, six digit PIN code, they say punch it in, or a robot voice says punch it in? And if it’s not correct, just say I’m sorry, you have to try it again. It’s simply pass fail. It’s called a covered password. In the case of AT&T, and quite frankly, most of the other telcos anybody who works there, including agents who are not even AT&T union employees, they’re just, you know, people who are hired by the retail store, which is owned by a third party, they still have the equivalent of Whitehouse, you know, high security access to your account. They can just go in, they can say, Yeah, okay, you know, you came in here, your ID didn’t work, but I believe you, I’m going to put in the thing that you showed me an ID, and then I can just on my own authority, a 19 year old kid in a retail store, change your your your card without ever calling you, when that’s what happened to you, Mike, would have exactly what happened to me.
Eric Schwartzman 7:40
Well, so what have you learned from it in terms of like, now, how do you store your cryptocurrency? Is there? Is there a workaround to keep cryptocurrency safe?
Michael Terpin 7:51
Well, the workaround is for AT&T and the others to change their practices, because the only way Otherwise, your crypto is always at risk. Well, it depends on what you’re talking about. I didn’t lose any Bitcoin. I didn’t lose any Ethereum. These were all things that came from native wallets and native wallets are designed by the manufacturers of the currency. And there are, I would say, until they change their policies, there is no way to ensure that a really top hacker can go and bribe someone at at&t because there’s long evidence that they’ve been bribing these kids are usually about 18 or 19 years old, first job that they got. And, you know, there have been people already jailed for this. In a famous case where about 50 different people were hacked during a period of time, including the consensus 2019. blockchain week conference in New York, there was a again, 19 year old same ages, my guy at the at&t store Who, who, who, you know, we contend was bribed and patent evidence and belief is my lawyer cite, this other guy went to jail, because, you know, they, they found that he took $5,000 to turn over 5050 phone numbers. And that’s what these kids do. They’re like, you know, minimum wage or barely above it. And they get contacted by these guys to say, hey, how’d you like to make some extra money? All you have to do is just do as we say, and we’ll give you 100 bucks a number? Well, you know, 100 bucks a number and they make, you know, millions on a couple of the ones that they’re able to get through. And where did the money wind up going? You know, of course, we were able to track it. The cryptocurrency which again was a smaller crypto currencies were then moved to an offshore exchange and quickly exchange for Bitcoin. And, you know, we were able to follow that whole trail. And, you know, we, we have, we have, we have we have a confession from the main person involved that we’ve got a judgment against one of the criminals and apart settlement for one or the other criminals. So there’s no doubt of what what happened in terms of the actual movement and what the criminal gang did. But we believe that at&t is liable, because have they had better security, which they’ve been, you know, ordered to have better security under various federal, you know, regulations. And, you know, my lawyers can explain all the different, you know, statutes that they that they have violated their actions. But, you know, if they, if they had done the Civil Protection, just covering the password, none of this would have been possible.
Eric Schwartzman 10:41
There’s so many people out there talking about crypto this and crypto, that you know, this stuff inside out, you know, some of us are still trying to figure out what the hell it is. So let’s give you the chance here to tell us very succinctly, what is cryptocurrency?
Michael Terpin 11:02
For sure. So cryptocurrencies, effectively public blockchain. I think the cryptocurrency is not a great word, because for the most part, it’s not treated by most governments in the world as a currency is treated as property or as a commodity. I think all the crypto commodities, that might be a better word, but effectively, Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency and the first blockchain. That’s where the concept came from, and Satoshi Nakamoto, who’s the person or persons under a pseudonym, who created the white paper in late 2008, to you know, kind of bring cryptocurrency into the world. And the idea was, it was a response to the 2008, you know, meltdown of the markets and massive money printing and bailouts and all the games that the central banks have been playing since we went into a, you know, Fiat world that’s not backed by gold, really, to look for a better, you know, kind of hard money to back stores of value than and they have a peer to peer payment system was the original court sort of concept of the eight page, white paper, which anybody in the world can look up on the internet, the Bitcoin white paper, it’s only eight pages long. And that’s what everything developed from. And then in January, you know, Satoshi, you know, did what he said he was going to do, and he created the Genesis block. So blockchain is a is a distributed ledger, it’s run on 1000s of computers all around the world. It’s not owned or run by anyone, it’s
Eric Schwartzman 12:38
…open source code. When you say distributed ledger, it’s a spreadsheet…
Michael Terpin 12:42
…more than a spreadsheet, it is actually a network of computers, where anything that is done a one is then copied on to all the other nodes in the network. So in other words, if you have 10,000 computers running the Bitcoin blockchain, and 9800 of them were shut down, you know, just like the internet, you know, the internet was a was, you know, modeled as distributed architecture so that in the event of a nuclear war, you wouldn’t have a disruption if there were any, you know, two nodes left on the network that could connect each other and you didn’t have the former, you know, hub and spokes model that pure, you know, that the client server architecture and mainframe computers were built at. And so the internet was the original breakthrough that really enabled cryptocurrency and blockchain to exist. And what what the original blockchain as you know, proposed by Satoshi did was it created an original innovation based on putting about five or six existing technologies together in a brilliant manner. And it has sustained you know, all sorts of attacks and all sorts of you know, things that would have, you know, perhaps killed other experiments and it has grown from something that for its first year and a half didn’t even have a marketplace it was just traded among minors, and the main use was gambling they say well, these things will be worth something someday maybe I have 1000 Bitcoin you have 1000 Bitcoin let’s play dice. And the very first instance of some somebody buying something wasn’t until it was about a year and a half out in May of 2010, about 11 years ago, when you know, one miner paid another miner 10,000 Bitcoin to buy a pizza.
Eric Schwartzman 14:34
Why are so many different types of cryptocurrency because Bitcoin is a type of Ethereum as a type Dogecoin is a type you actually as part of your business do what’s called an ICO an initial not not public offering, but coin offering, where you actually help organizations that are launching new coins make a market for those coins.
Michael Terpin 14:59
Well, I ICO is not even a term that’s used anymore. That was kind of a term from 2017 and 18. And I wasn’t the one who was staging them. We were simply doing marketing or advisory work for other companies who were innovated at model. So we worked with the very first company to do an initial coin offering. Yeah, it’s again, like cryptocurrencies sort of an unfortunate word. Because if they simply called a token starter, like Kickstarter would actually be a little bit more relevant, because it’s not, it’s not an offering of a security. You know, under the US sec, under Clayton J. Clayton, the the past chairman of the SEC, under Trump, he basically looked and said, You know, I think most of these things are securities proved to me that they’re not as opposed to actually have any regulation. He went back and said, Well, we have the 1933 Act. And we have the howey test, which was a Supreme Court ruling on what was and wasn’t a security based on the differences between orange futures and wine futures, and had nothing to do with technology. It had nothing to do with the innovations of the internet. It actually predated, you know, mainstream television, much light and computers. So, you know, under the current regime, under Biden, and under Gensler, who has just recently been approved, we’re expecting that there will actually be hearings, and there will actually be definitions, instead of saying, hey, go back to the 1930s and fight it out in court. So that will be you know, there is currently a proposal by the longest standing Commissioner on the SEC, Hester purse, who was a republican appointee under Obama.
So she’s a little bit apolitical to control as the chairman. So now you have a three to maturity for the Democrats. But, you know, for the most part, I wouldn’t say that it’s really kind of a mainstream political issue. I think it’s really a definition of trying to figure out what regulation to put this other because right now, in the United States, you’ve got the IRS since 2014, has said that Bitcoin and most cryptocurrencies or property fincen has set its money. And the ctfc has implied that as commodities, like gold, and so you have to have some agreement about what this is, or else, you know, everybody has to kind of just guess, on their own. And for the most part, what they’ve done is American entrepreneurs have left the United States and simply done everything outside of the United States, because they’re just afraid that they’re going to get it wrong, because there’s no clarity about what’s what getting it right is. And so most jurisdictions, the United outside of the United States and a few other jurisdictions, you know, have said, No, we know what it is. I mean, Singapore is what it is. And, you know, some other places have said, yes, if you do that, if you do a, a a token generation event in our jurisdiction, here are the rules. within the United States, Wyoming has said, we will exempt you as not being a security if you meet the following criteria, because the SEC has said Bitcoin is not a security. They said Ethereum is not a security, but they had this kind of vague definition that if you’re using a token to go and build something that doesn’t exist, then it’s a security, which is kind of an odd thing, because that’s what Kickstarter does, right. And Kickstarter is are typically not considered securities, because you don’t have any equity interest in the company. And so we’re in this very gray area right now that most entrepreneurs simply don’t deal with us. And they simply go offshore. And they, you know, they they start companies in Singapore. And it’s a shame because this is all taxable revenue, that that is saying, we want to be a US company. And so there’s been a flocking of companies to Wyoming, because Wyoming, which two years ago was two, three years ago and forget when the the first legislation was, you know, very, you know, kind of, I wouldn’t say anti crypto, they just simply their existing regulations that you couldn’t even, you know, donate Bitcoin. And then that was considered money laundering of some form. And Caitlyn long, who is incredibly bright woman and a friend of mine, who, you know, graduated from the University of Wyoming, you know, went to New York spent 25 years on Wall Street at Morgan Stanley primarily, and then got into cryptocurrency early, she wanted to go and donate Bitcoin to her University. And they said, Well, you can donate cash. But, you know, from our reading, it’s against the law for you to donate Bitcoin. She said, That’s ridiculous. She moved back to Wyoming. She got that law changed and clarified in Wyoming. And while she was there, she decided that she could turn Wyoming into a crypto capital for the United States and she working with the you know, Wyoming governor that we’re having legislature have now passed over 70 laws and there’s been A boom of companies moving to Wyoming to do token sales there because Wyoming will go and say, under our securities administration, we will say if you are this, this and this, we will say you’re not a security and you can go and raise, you know, you can sell your token, and will not be considered a security to consider like a crowd sale like a Kickstarter. And which is taxable. Right. So it’s 21%. Tax.
Eric Schwartzman 20:27
So walk me through that. Because if I if I have cash, right, and I wire it to my Coinbase account, right, and and then I buy cryptocurrency, and the cryptocurrency goes up, and then I want to sell the, I want to I want to take some of my earnings off the table, I pay capital gains tax on that, yes. How How does that work? I just when I transfer it out of Coinbase, or, well, no, this is taxable event.
Michael Terpin 20:59
So the taxable event is anytime you trade it before 2018, it was only when you turn it into fiat currency, but January 2018, they implemented something called the guilty tax, gi LTI. I like to say it’s your guilty until proven innocent. And so if you buy bitcoin for say $10,000. And then you end up saying I think aetherium is better, and you end up buying aetherium at $1,000. You know, a year ago or whatever was last $1,000 you have to immediately pay tax on your profit from Bitcoin from 1000 to Ethereum, even though you don’t cash it in, you have to sell enough to be able to pay the tax on it. That happened in 2018.
Eric Schwartzman 21:40
So when you had your, your your difficulty with at&t, and when you were when you were robbed, you were robbed coins in native wallets. It didn’t affect your Bitcoin or your aetherium just really quickly paint a picture for us of the different types of currencies and how they’re generally used.
Michael Terpin 22:02
Sure. So again, a blockchain is open source software, Bitcoin is open source software. And, you know, Satoshi came out and said, this is a peer to peer money system. But you know, it’ll develop as the world wants to develop it. And metallic butyrin, who I met before, he did Ethereum, and through Anthony Diorio, who’s a good friend of mine in Toronto, and, you know, I met him in sort of like the days just after he started the Toronto Bitcoin meetup. And he became a client, and again, a good friend. And he introduced me to metallic and actually, I think I met metallic through someone else around the same time, but anyway, it was a very small circle of people in Toronto at the time, late 20, you know, the mid 2013. And, and, you know, metallic came up with a concept of being able to go and make Bitcoin you know, take some of the weaknesses of Bitcoin in terms of its programmability on chain, and to create a new cryptocurrency that would actually allow you to create smart contracts on chain, whereas with Bitcoin, you can’t do that. With Bitcoin, you have to create things off chain that would then have smart contract ability, or at least some form of that. And he really saw I think, brilliantly at age 19, in his white paper, the use case for having cryptocurrency, actually, you know, automatically enable commerce, right? So in other words, if you got, you know, let’s, let’s take the shipping industry, in the shipping industry, you know, hundreds of billions of dollars, if not trillions of dollars globally, you have this very archaic system where you have to have a bill of lading you have to have like money wired here, and then you have to make sure everything is there. You can put that on a blockchain. And but with Bitcoin, it’s still on the blockchain, just to enable the payment and it’s not automatic, you’d still be checking things and then sending other things and there are there are innovators trying to build things on top of Bitcoin. But you know, bitcoins, you know, kind of slowness, and it’s, it’s well designed for what it’s become, which is a store of value and a large movement of dollars. It’s lousy at paying for a cup of coffee was original thought that someone could do, because, you know, the fees have gone up as the security has gone up. And it’s all based on algorithms. Ethereum was originally you know, sort of seen as a, it’s still really pretty much as as a world computer as the ability to be able to go and program smart contracts that will self execute, so that if I have a contract with you, and it’s in code, I don’t need to have a court to enforce it. It basically says if this is done, this is done and this is done. Then the payment automatically goes through. So when the ship arrives, it will go in, you’ll scan things see if that’s what what matters. To the scattered programming to the blockchain, and a lot of that automatically deliver the funds. And obviously garbage in garbage out if the if everything is arrives is broken, but the code is still there. Maybe it goes through, and then you have to have some dispute mechanism for like, Is it broken or whatever. But, you know, we’re still in the early days of this, but Ethereum, you know, did do what was called an Ico background. And that was $18 million that they sold in, in theory of the tokens at 30 cents apiece, you know, they recently reached the high of over 40 $300 apiece. So obviously, there was a very good purchase of that. And, you know, the SEC said, well, it might have been a security at the time, but we’re not going to prosecute them. They were, of course, were largely Canadians who, who did do the offering the sale out of Switzerland, but they did not block us investors. The, you know, sort of, you know, it’s because there’s no regulations, it’s hard to, it’s hard to go and say what what prosecution’s will be because there’s no regulations, and so everybody is aching for other regulations.
Eric Schwartzman 26:06
But let me read you a little snippet from Scott Galloway’s podcast this morning. He says, in some, Facebook and YouTube have said, we’re all about creators, they could give a fuck about creators. There’s millions of creators on these platforms that have realized you can’t make any money. These guys, Facebook and YouTube are going to start all the margin from that. And occasionally, there’ll be some very well publicized examples of some crazy gamers, or some crazy YouTubers, that makes two 3 million bucks. But meanwhile, Google is they’re only making two to $3 billion every week. So So here’s my question. You’ve seen you’ve been following this. I mean, you and I talked about this when you first got started in it. So you’ve been following this and you’ve been your nose to the grindstone on this for over a decade now. I know of three I can name three cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin, aetherium and Dogecoin. That’s all I know. So I didn’t know much about those quite until Ilan started tweeting about it. So So the question is, this, is it the same thing as the as the social networks, where everyone’s sort of running in and two or three people get lucky and wind up becoming mega influencers and making all this money, but everyone else is just starch and all the margin for for somebody else to make the money? Or our most how many cryptocurrencies are out there and how many actually are valuable?
Michael Terpin 27:38
Sure, so there’s about 10,000 cryptocurrencies out there, and the vast majority have little to no value. But you could say the same thing about startups. Right, how many startups are out there that are, how many screenplays are out there? I mean, you know, so it’s, it’s the the long tail effect of anything. So you have a handful of cryptocurrencies that have an active community. And, you know, I and they come they go up and down over time, if you look at the top 10 kryptos, in 2013 I think Bitcoin and Litecoin are the only ones that are still in the top 10 today, in fact, I don’t think like Quinn’s even the top 10 anymore, I think it’s out of the top 10 now, and there were other things called dev coin, and, and, you know, namecoin, that, you know, are, you know, were the top 10 that are that are, you know, infinitesimally small now, because the communities kind of want a whammy. namecoin for example, you know, its initial purpose was to act as a token that you’d be able to go and build domain names on, and have them be decentralized, it was a great idea, they just didn’t, you know, execute well, and they, they had sort of, like, you know, all these kind of, you know, kind of, you know, people came in and grabbed all these names and never did anything with them. And it still exists, but it’s like, you know, a fraction of what it was in terms of the, you know, value to a Bitcoin. On the other hand, there have been other ones that have now built on a theory on which is much more of an actionable network. And, you know, there’s three of them, one of which I’m an advisor to called butterfly protocol, bee fly is the token. And, you know, they ended up doing a token sale, they don’t call them Icos anymore. And, you know, again, get it outside of the United States. And, you know, they’ve been kind of up and down since then, because cryptocurrencies this year have been kind of wildly volatile, but, you know, even even at today’s price, I think they’re about three or four times the price of what they went out, and they’re still developing, right. And so they’re, they’re, they’re letting people go in and be able to develop, you know, domains. So you could actually have, you can go and buy the rights to dot Eric, and it would then on a Chrome browser, you’d be able to go in and say hey, go to you know, just just Download this, just like with the brave browser, you have to download an extension. You just download this extension, you can go and get, you know, all these dot Eric addresses CAD data Eric has not been purchased yet. And so there’s a few other entities out there that are doing similar things. One has the.nf t domain. But again, you need their extension.
Eric Schwartzman 30:23
And they’re all let me let me ask you some about NF serious for a second. Sure. So so if I wanted, I have a book out, I have a new book. If I wanted to sell my book as an NF T. How would I do that?
Michael Terpin 30:39
So we’re still early in the NFT process. I mean, you could literally just mint it and put it out there. And you have to what is missing was missing is when you actually go and you issue the NF T’s because they’re non fungible tokens. Bitcoin is a fungible token one bitcoin is just like another Bitcoin that completely exchangeable for another NF T is a stands for non fungible token. So on certain blockchains, you’d have the ability to go and mint, a token that has completely different capability capabilities are not capabilities, but properties then then other ones that the original concept of an NF T was actually called a colored coin, where he took Bitcoin and he’d say, Hey, I have one bitcoin, which, you know, maybe back then was only worth $10, or something. And each Bitcoin has 100 million pieces, called satoshis. And you would go and say, I’m going to take this Bitcoin, it’s always gonna be worth at least one bitcoin. But I’m now going to go and put memos in the field saying, you know, access Eric’s book or whatever. And if I had that particular coin with that memo field in it, I can go in and send it to a program that would then unlock the ability to to get your book. However, it was, again, not nice, yes, a mobi file, like what would they unlock whatever you want. So if you’re getting now to the more up to date version, which is which runs largely on a cerium, although anything running the IBM and other smart, contract oriented blockchains is able to do this, as well as some that are that are not as smart contracts, it’s able to go in and create a secure way. So it’s still very early in terms of the technology right now, if you look at the you know, $70 million NFT, that, that, you know, people created, there’s a unique token that was issued on aetherium using the ERC 721 standard, which is different than the ERC 20 standard for fungible tokens. And you would have the private key that will unlock that, and nobody else in the world could unlock it.
Eric Schwartzman 32:48
So then with something like a book, if I were to sell it as an NF T, would I be selling the rights of the book, or how would it know like,
Michael Terpin 32:57
whatever, you can sell whatever you want it I mean, the typical thing is you would sell, perhaps, say 1000 books and you admit 1000, lefties. And so I’m actually an advisor and investor in a company called rare AR AR, they’re a rare dot tech, that is taking a watermarking technology on a blockchain that will simplify the security as well as because right now, if you want to have a book out, you’d have you have two choices, you either want, I say three choices, you go to a publisher, and they do everything for you, and they take, you know, lion’s share of the profits, and then even on the ebook sales, they have to go up, say 30%, to to Amazon, before you then get your royalty, which was 10%, or whatever it’s going to be. And, or you can go directly to Amazon and just sort of be under the great unwashed of the the non traditional publishers, and they will take 70%. And then you have to kind of fight out for visibility there. And if they don’t like it, they can say we’re not going to put your book up. Or you can go and just have your website, put your PDF up and just hope that people don’t copy it, or put some kind of watermarking on there, which usually this hacks more. So what rare does is it enables you to still put something on your website as well as the different portals that could be powering. And you can say I wouldn’t be issuing 1000 nF T’s for my book, I’m going to be charging $20 for it. The way rare works is you get to the standard that they get it’s customizable, is that you’ll get 90% of that. So you’ll get you know $18 out of the 20 rare as the enabler will get 9% and the note holders will get 1% because they’re having to actually run the tokens that in a decentralized fashion, generate the key that will let each individual person unlock the book. So you’ll have 1000 separate tokens. And those tokens each represent one copy of the book. Now you can serialize them a number of them if you want like Think about the way a serigraph would be in our, you can have that maybe a random 10 of them have some goodies in it like a kind of a Pokemon prize. And that’s, you know that that’s a rare video or it’s a, or it’s an airdrop of, you know, like, you know, a free $795 seminar that a lot or something like that. So or you can have those goodies put into a rarer version of it. So maybe you only have 10 of the, you know, kind of superduper VIP version, you know, like you used to be able to go have tiers on Kickstarter or Indiegogo, I think that’s going to develop down to having tiers of NFT. So we’re really at the beginning of tiers. And that’s one reason why Ethereum price has gone from $80 to over 4000, a little over a year was because the two hottest areas and in tech right now in blockchain tech are NF T’s, which are largely aetherium in terms of volume of sales, and, and d phi. And both of those, though, have competitive blockchains and competitive solutions to you know, Ethereum, Originally, it was sort of the faster, better, cheaper model, and now, they’ve gotten so big that they’re, you know, fees have gone astronomical in some cases. I mean, sometimes it’s gonna cost you over $100 for a single planet T. What is crypto staking? Why he really bouncing around here. So crypto staking, is where you’re going and taking a cryptocurrency. And they have a solution within the blockchain, or within the company that that created the blockchain or the foundation that created the blockchain, that you get rewarded for locking up a certain number of tokens. I’d say one of the earliest ones to do that would be a company we worked with the early days called dash. Dash basically had this thing called masternodes. And if you had 1000, Master nodes, if you got 1000 coins, you’d be able to go and put them into a masternode that would then help secure the network. And it would also get, like 7% a year or the mining rewards that be distributed to the node holders. And so it’s effectively a form of interest. Although the IRS has implied in that manner, the formal statements that is considered ordinary income as opposed to capital gains.
Eric Schwartzman 37:28
Is there an easy way? For someone who’s listening to this? They’ve got some risk capital, they got 10, Grand 50 grand, and they want to get it into crypto, but they don’t want to spend a frickin week learning which app to use and what a cold wallet is, and which one to buy and how to do it. Is there an easy way to go to just get some money into crypto? And that’s like
Michael Terpin 37:56
saying, Is there an easy way to be an entrepreneur and easy way to become a millionaire? You know, it all depends what kind of time you’re willing to invest in terms of what your returns are going to be like, in general in life. And again, disclosure, I’m not a financial adviser, I’m not a CFA or anything, I’m just somebody with a lot of experience in the field. And so these are only my opinions and do your own research. But you know, I mean, if, if you got 10,000 to invest, and you know, you have no cryptocurrency at all, I would think the safest thing is just simply, you know, put half a Bitcoin and half in theory, those are the large caps, those the ones that are going to go to zero. And, you know, right now there’s been a bit of a pullback and both of them because of the the tweet that Ilan did saying he was, you know, stop taking Bitcoin for buying Tesla is a complete overreaction, my thoughts. So I’m still you know, firmly of the belief that Bitcoin will be over 100,000 by the end of the year, because that’s about where we are in the four year cycles. I then think that for the most part, when it hits those highs, you should take a little bit off the table and buy some back when it hits the lows, which are usually it’s kind of an every other year for them and on so you so far hit your all time highs, the cycle and 2013 2017 and 2021. And you hit your lows of the cycle in, you know, 2015 and then 2019. And so the odds are, are based on a lot of you know, technical analysis that will continue to hit a higher high by the end of this year 2021. And then we’ll go and hit, you know, the low for the next cycle in 2023. And then hit another high in 2025. What do you like for what, which app Do you like and which cold wallet do you like? Oh, so, you know, it all depends on what you’re using it for. I mean for apps. You know, we have a client called Abra AB era and they’re they’re a good app. They let you go in and sort of have a wallet solution and exchange solution all in one. They’re, you know, Silicon Valley based and they also have a capacity for like, you know, earning interest and, and also taking out loans. So they’re kind of a one stop shop for a lot of the things you might want to do in, in crypto. They’re, you know, Silicon Valley, you know, companies, so they’re not like some crazy offshore thing. That everything offshore is crazy. And then for wallets, you know, typically, you’re gonna have your long term holdings. If you get you know, more than like, say $50,000 with a crypto, you want to keep it typically in a hardware wallet. So, I like ledger, that’s a company out of France. It’s been around for a while, and then Tresor was sort of the original one. Either one of them are very secure. Second, because I didn’t quite hear the SEC rise or t r e ZOR. Okay. I think there’s also a company that, you know, I was early advisor to called Adam grave that, you know, they did a Indiegogo last year to sort of fund their, their initial hardware wallets, and there’ll be shipping them within the next few months.
Eric Schwartzman 41:18
Well, Michael, you know, it has been very interesting, as usual. And thank you so much for taking the time to join us. Where can people get a hold of you? What’s going on with the conference? When when is coin agenda striking it back up again?
Michael Terpin 41:32
Sure. So I’m delighted to say we had we haven’t announced this formally. I think it’s on the website now. But we put the announcements out in the next couple days, we will be having three physical events. Our last physical that was point agenda, Caribbean last year in February just before everything locked down, and we had to have our Quint agenda low global last October virtually because you know, Las Vegas had not opened up. So we have an annual global event in Las Vegas that runs you know, sort of adjacent to the money 2020 shows. And so we will be having that this year. And let me make sure I get the date, right. It is the Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at the end of October. And that is the 25th to 27th October 25 to 27th. And it should be up on coin agenda.com. We will also be having our fifth annual sets our eighth annual coin agenda. In global that will be our fifth annual coin agenda Caribbean in San Juan. I started the first cryptocurrency conferences in the Caribbean when I when I moved down to San Juan, and it’s our fifth year and that’s going to be very heavy on the NFT or we’re going to have a week after our basil this year. It’s going to be December 6 grade in San Juan. So go to our basil and you know check out the NFT art and other art there and then hop down to San Juan for beautiful weather and we’re gonna have some great speakers there. And then we are going to be holding our first Quint agenda Europe since 2018, usually just to Europe, in Asia during bull markets. And we’ll be having that in Monaco. And that is at the end of September. I believe the tentative dates are the 28th to 30th. But we have not confirmed that there’ll be on the site shortly but they will be in Monaco, right after the show. Do you have a venue for Vegas? Yes, we do. New York, New York to be and what about here and every year every year we have a different venue. What about Puerto Rico? We are living in San Juan. We are talking to two different places. We are most likely to be in the yellow sun one hotel, but we haven’t confirmed the app. It’ll probably be an easel narrative. Great. Which is right near the airport in the city. Michael great catching up movies.
Eric Schwartzman 44:04
Thank you so much for taking the time. Okay, thank you. To master b2b lead generation, you can listen to the first chapter of my new book the digital pivot for free at Digital pivot book.com
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