Nova Spivack: Derek thanks a lot for taking the time today to speak with me. People don’t know this, but I’ve been in the crypto space since the very early days. I’ve been in a lot of different deals, and I’ve also been I’m advising folks working on crypto companies, new technologies for the blockchain. While I’m not at the level of Satoshi, I’m definitely knowledgeable about the space, and when I consider different opportunities, I have a bunch of questions I usually ask. I also want to understand the longer-term vision of the founding team, and sort of understand if a company has a longer-term vision. Today, I thought we just have an open and frank discussion about what you guys are doing, and hopefully that’ll be also useful to listeners.
Derek Capo: Absolutely, thanks a lot for having me, really appreciate it. It’s great to talk to veterans in the cryptocurrency community. I kind of got into a little bit while I was in China, I actually lived in China eight years, I started a business there and I saw it manifest in China. It’s always interesting to see how it’s been growing, and how this movement is– I think not just a five, but an actual permanent movement, so really looking forward to all the innovation that’s going to happen over the next few years.
Nova: Perfect. Just to get started, where are you guys presently based?
Derek: Our headquarters are basically incorporated in the British Virgin Islands, but our offices are essentially the internet, the world. All of our employees are basically working in different parts of the worlds, Romania, Egypt, Costa Rica. I reside personally in Miami, Florida, but used to live in China and then I moved back last year. For us, one thing that we learned a long time ago, at least with running businesses, is that sometimes you have to find the best talent, and sometimes that best talent may not be where you’re physically located. What we decided to do is basically work with a team that’s all over essentially to work together to get the project done as best as possible.
Nova: Yes, definitely agree with that in my own work. We find that there are pools of talent now in different countries, different cities, actually specialists in certain regions as well. Most of my projects are distributed globally like that, so I’m very comfortable with that. In terms of the rest of the team, the key people on the team, are they also in the US or are they also distributed?
Derek: Yes, Johnson our chief marketing officers in the US. Josefa studies in the US in Miami. Our adviser Sunerok which is Justin Valley, he’s our blockchain auditor, but he’s basically looking at our code in regards to the blockchain in order to make sure that it’s sufficient to the standards that we want, he’s in Florida as well. Then we have everybody else offshore. Romania, we have Egypt, which is our designer UX, Romania’s back-end application developer, and Carlos Salazar who’s our CTO he’s in Costa Rica and Romania. He travels back and forth. The eventual goal is to have an actual development team in Romania, given the amazing talent that you can get in that country.
Nova: Yes, makes sense. Tell me a little bit more about Sunerok and his role.
Derek: Yes, Sunerok, essentially, about three or four years ago created a crypto-currency called Verge. Essentially, it’s a privacy security focused currency coin. What the difference is they do a lot of proof of work, so he was very into mining, and so he wanted to have a coin that actually was very focused on privacy, making sure that IPs were pretty much hidden. He believes that at the end of the day, you can have public transactions, but if you need to be able to be anonymous to make simple transactions, you can be. You have the basically rights to do that.
Think about it, a hundred years ago everybody was pretty anonymous. I guess once the Internet came in and social media came in, it’s pretty hard to really just be anonymous and not knowing what’s going on. He thought that that was a right. When we started working on our project and the features that we wanted, we contacted him, we respected him and what he’s done, and we said, “Listen, we’re doing this project, do you think that you can look at everything, make sure it’s up to the standards?” We knew that he obviously had credibility in the crypto community space, and that’s why he joined, helping us in that in that regard.
Nova: Yes, that’s actually a thing I look for, is some kind of external audit or outside view from a trusted third party when I look at deals, it’s good to see that. I wanted to ask, also along the same lines, how does token pay compare to Zcash, for example, or other well-known privacy-focused coins or projects?
Derek: Yes. When you look at the actual technology, we actually integrate with Tor. We actually immediately hide your IP addresses from day one. We also have integrated chat, so our wallet system actually has an ability to be more than just a transaction. It is actually a tool where you can communicate and have transactions through communications to secure communication. Also, Zcash doesn’t really have a roadmap or a vision that I’ve seen that’s really more about getting the crypto or at least the wealth that’s been created to crypto into more of the hard assets for the monetary aspect.
What we’ve looked at was that what was the formula essentially to make a very successful blockchain, and as well as, crypto currency. What is it that’s going to make it into a mass adoption type of situation. We looked at was– The biggest problem was banking. Even though crypto in itself is essentially anti-banking. At the end of the day you still need it. You can have 40, 50 million dollars of crypto currency, but if you’re not able to convert some of that to a fiat currency without being judged by a bank, then it’s hard to really do it.
What’s happening is those people are banking on the fact that everything’s going to be crypto. You’re going to purchase everything in crypto, and that’s going to take a while. If you’re looking at five to ten years when a lot of larger transactions are starting to be accepted with crypto. You can do micro transactions, little things here and there, but until you can purchase, let’s say, a property with crypto– I know you can do it in a small scale, but when you do it on a large scale, that’s when it becomes extremely interesting. We decided to look into purchasing a bank, we actually have a letter of intent to purchase a bank in Vanuatu.
We picked Vanuatu because it’s a very privacy-focused jurisdiction. Of course, if you are an offshore client, and you want to purchase– And you want to actually open up a bank account, you would obviously have to follow the KYC and which is know your customer anti money laundering laws, but that relationship is just between you and the bank. If there’s obviously any issues between government officials or whatever, that’s obviously between the bank and the government and any negotiation ever that takes place. Anybody that works in Vanuatu at a bank, they cannot release information on any client, and if they do illegally, they go to prison for 20 years.
That’s sticking to the theme of privacy and security. Then, the next phase of that is essentially putting in the merchant services, which we think that would be a great way to have many businesses adopt the actual currency and start using it. Adoption is important so if you have businesses, you’re able to accept it, and users that are willing to use that currency for because of the features, then that creates adoption. Then the last phase is the debit card. The debit card is definitely to create the adoption on a consumer level, it just takes time. It takes a lot of time, you have to make sure that you have everything integrated in place with everything. You have to have an exchange in place, you have to have the banking in place.
Once you have all of that together, you have a really good solid solution for the actual industry.
Nova: Right. That’s sort of the big picture vision of what you’re doing. If we zoom in a little bit on just the advantages of some of the key technical dimensions of this project compared to others, and keeping in mind that some of the people listening probably aren’t very technical, maybe we can just quickly talk about each of the major points. For people who don’t know what Tor is you, quickly maybe just a few words about Tor, and then let’s talk about some of the key technical attributes about the way that you’re securing this, the different kinds of transactions, say that you’re supporting, and why you think that’s necessary compared to what’s already available in the crypto space.
Derek: Okay, great. Let’s start with Tor. The way it works is essentially you log into the actual network that basically have a decentralized network in regards to running Tor. Once your computer or IP address goes into one aspect of the network, it goes in through a series of computers and different IP addresses and different things, and it converts it into what they call an onion address. When you are browsing the web through their browser instead of going to a .com you basically go to a .onion address, and it’s essentially a very encrypted and very hard way to know who you are, or at least where you are.
Nova: Right. Basically, the idea with Tor, for folks who are listening, is that anonymizes you, so you’re effectively browsing and using the web or the internet really anonymously.
Derek: Well, Tor gets a bad rap. People have to understand that the internet back in the day was anonymous to some extent, and the world was anonymous. You could walk around and nobody really knew, but now with the cell-phone and smartphone, everybody knows everything. You can be targeted specific ads by walking in front of a retail store and you get a pop-up saying would you like to get a discount. I think a lot of people don’t want to be tracked, and even if you go to your Chrome browser, and you go to incognito mode, that’s a version of Tor. The difference is the level of encryption is much higher. There are people out who–
Nova: Well, it’s not actually- they’re not actually using Tor in incognito mode.
Derek: No, no, I know they’re not, but the aspect of being in incognito. I mean that’s–
Nova: Anonymous. Yes.
Derek: Right. You have that in your Chrome browsers, et cetera. [unintelligible 00:11:22] bad rap. I think that’s unfair. It gets always linked to a nefarious activity, and that’s not the case. Obviously, there are people that have used that, but that’s not what we encourage.
Nova: Right. I think that’s the interesting point. The anonymity has benefits and can open up commerce and communication as well. Right now, yes, there’s been– it’s gotten a bad rap because of misuse of Tor, but there definitely are going to be and have been positive uses, and it’s interesting to see positive uses such as what you guys are doing with TokenPay. Now, if we talk about just the very high level, the key technical advantages of your platform and your approach, what are they, number one, and then just why is it needed, how do you compare this to other competing or existing solutions out there? Why does the world need TokenPay?
Derek: I think the biggest differentiation regards to technology is the equality of the zero-knowledge proof. A lot of these cryptocurrencies, a lot of people are unaware, they’re are actually mutations of mutations of mutations. Bitcoin essentially was the first source code, that was the foundation of a house, let’s put it that way to make it more macro. Then what ended up happening was developers started coming in and creating new features and new features and new features to essentially make more robust blockchains. What we did was combine all of the best features that’s out there, and we modified a few things in regards to the zero-knowledge proof.
The zero-knowledge proof is essentially when you length zero-knowledge proof with dual key stealth addressing, that’s essentially what makes everything work. A lot of people don’t understand how this works, and I’ll give you a perfect example, I’ll try as best as I can to simplify it. Stealth address means instead of a 15 digit hash address, you have a much longer address, and then that’s even more encrypted, that’s what makes it even more stealth. The other thing is it’s not registered on the blockchain, so you can make transactions that you can keep private with somebody.
Let’s say I send you a thousand dollars, but you don’t want anybody to know that I sent you a thousand dollars, you can do that, but the minute you take that transaction, and you go on exchange, and you transfer that money to fiat, that’s all recorded. Between me and you the entire time, we can go back and forth exchanging TPAY, essentially, that sales still says anonymous. How does zero-knowledge proof work? I’ll simplify it as best as I can. What happens is I send you TPAY, and it goes into the actual code which is the zero-knowledge, and what it does is it breaks down the TPAY and makes it into a temporary coin. Let’s call it temporary TPAY.
The way it works is it stays in this zone, essentially, until you, the user that receives it wants to take it out, as many times as you want, whenever you want, et cetera. Then once you receive it, then it automatically goes back into TPAY and goes back to you. That is what makes it more anonymous and secure in regards to how you can have these transactions.
Nova: There’s a degree of separation for the transaction where it makes it much harder to figure out what happened.
Derek: I think what people don’t understand is if me and you were in a room and I gave you $100 and you gave me $100 back and we go back and forth exchanging the same $100 or whatever, that’s anonymous, only me and you know that. The rest of the world does not know that, and I think what people understand or have this misconception is that, “Because you’re hiding, you must be doing something wrong.” No, not necessarily, I just don’t want everybody to know that I sent this to you.
Let’s assume that I had a $1 million of assets in my computer, and I made a transaction, a very large transaction of $400,000 to buy a property or whatever. People know that I’m doing it from my phone or from my computer, so all of a sudden I may be a target. They may somehow find out what my IP address is, where I’m located, et cetera, and they know that I have extremely- a lot of assets in my computer or my hardware, whatever. If I sent you a transaction, I could be a target. A lot of people, they’re scared of this type of situation with the banks.
Yes, you can go and make large transactions, but there is a process, there’s fees, there’s all these things that come into play. I think when you look at cash itself versus what we’re trying to do, we’re really providing the same thing, just definitely more digital. I think that’s why– I want to try to as best, try to eliminate the stigma of the nefarious activity or anything like that, because I really- I’ve never done anything illegal in my life, I’ve never done any drugs, I’ve never committed a crime. There’s no way that I would do this without the intention that this is the good thing because I do believe in privacy. I do believe that’s extremely important.
I lived in China for eight years and I understood what Big Brother is for real. When you see the things you say you start to value a right of right of having a certain level of privacy, and I think that’s important for people who are wanting to do transactions with cash or whatever cryptocurrency, and that’s just the way I feel.
Nova: Yes, that’s interesting. Since we’re talking about that, let’s talk about the sort of bigger context here which is the crypto space in general. It still represents a relatively tiny portion of the global economy, but as more of the global economy flows into various cryptocurrencies, there could be a point in the future where the crypto economy starts to actually have the potential to really disrupt the fiat economy. At that point, if not significantly before that point, one would expect the central bankers and tax authorities and others to get really concerned and to legislate against the crypto space as strictly as they can. At least in order to regulate it with perhaps the rationale that they’re trying to protect the overall global economy or national economies from volatility due to manipulation that’s outside of their purview or their can’t see.
With all of that said, where do you see this going? What happens if the crypto economy succeeds in really gaining really significant or even equal market share, if you will, to the fiat economy? With that in mind, how do anonymous systems like TokenPay play into that for better or for worse?
Derek: I think it’s a very good question, and I don’t want to start for more of a macro level. I think why is it that- if you look at the adoption and
why it’s increased so fast. You look at the countries that probably need a new chapter in what they’re doing with their currencies or government. You see countries like Venezuela, countries like Greece are having crisis. Countries like Cyprus where they’ve had their banks accounts closed for weeks, they had bankrupts, and people are scared of the fact that their government has way too much control over people’s assets.
People don’t understand things like the FDIC and how it protects Americans and with deposits. The amount of deposits in reserves that even our own government in the United States has for protecting, that is, it’s actually not enough, and it’s actually pretty scary. What I think in regards to adoption, I see more currencies or more countries that have weaker currencies, where they have weaker governments, adopted much faster than, say, countries like the US. I think that’s where–
Nova: In a way, it’s interesting, it’s analogous to what happened with mobile technologies where more established countries have older infrastructure. Countries that adopted mobile technologies or were smaller, and they adopted these technologies later, actually have more modern infrastructure. They were actually ahead of the US, and so in an interesting way, there is an opportunity for these smaller countries to move forward and actually create new forms of incentive to do business with them.
Derek: Yes. While I was in China I started a business there and everything was cash, everything was a debit, and then it became debit card. All of a sudden I saw this explosion of WeChat and everybody making mobile payments and the vendors down the street just collecting WeChat, which is the chat application. It’s like the WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger of China. I was so impressed. Then I started dating and I got married to a Chinese woman, my wife, and I asked her, “What did you grow up with,what technology?” She basically said her first computer was a laptop.
They skipped 20 years of technology innovation that we have experienced. VHS tapes, you name it. When you go into these new countries that literally skip generations of technology for whatever reason, and then they come up and they get really updated, there’s a lot of vested interest et cetera, they go in and they get stuff that’s much faster, much better than even we have, and it’s amazing.
You look at places in Africa where it’s exploding with the cellphones and the mobile payments and how that just took off. I think having a mobile system and payment structure gives a lot of power to the people, where they say, “Hey. We can do a lot and we can create commerce extremely fast,” and I think that’s extremely powerful, and that has ripples into what happens into the economic system within that country and then eventually that region or other countries around and then the rest of the world. With crypto, we’re still at its infancy, but we’re seeing a lot of countries and people really starting to look into it.
Now, to go back to your question about the States and the regulation and anonymity, I think there’s still going to be, and it’s important to still maintain a level of regulation. It’s important to have that to have a checks and balances. I do believe in checks and balances, I do believe that to have that creates a more stable society, more stable environment in government. When you have too much of this unstability, then it becomes hard for anything to scale. I think that’s extremely important that people to understand that and governments need to understand that. What I think the problem that governments have right now is that they’re really looking at crypto in a very bad way, or at least blockchain.
I think they understand that blockchain is a really good technology, but they’re looking at the actual currencies as a negative thing, and they really need to look at it a little bit differently. Obviously, I’m biased because I’m founding TokenPay, but once they start to realize the benefits and how it can actually be helpful to their country versus harmful, that’s when things will really ramp up.
Nova: Okay. That’s really interesting. Now, in the interest of being neutral and making sure that we look at this from both sides, I’m going to drill in a little bit, if that’s okay.
Derek: Go ahead.
Nova: Okay. Anonymity. Yes, it is good for the people, but it also has the potential to be used by bad actors as we’ve seen in the past with other anonymous technologies. If this anonymity were to become broadly available, the argument of the governments and law enforcement, regulatory agencies is the potential for misuse is great and also there’s the challenge of simply providing a way for a large amount of the economy to be outside of the tax system. Governments see that as a threat, not a benefit. How could it also be beneficial? What’s the case for this being beneficial to governments on a large scale? Or is it really not about the governments, it’s about the people and what’s beneficial to them versus their governments?
Derek: I thin it’s both. It can be beneficial to the government and to the actual people. People eventually have more power to be able to do and transact in the way that they want and the governments will be able to figure out exactly how to monetize and profit from those transactions to benefit their thing. People at the end of the day understand the value of a government, and they wouldn’t want it to be destroyed or disrupted in any way. If you ask, at least an American citizen, what would be a certain type fair tax or anything so that they can see that the roads are good and that there’s a stable government and they have strong military or whatever it is, people are willing to accept and acknowledge that. That’s not an issue.
Nova: How can there be checks and balances in a system like that? For example, do you think that governments might offer their own cryptocurrency and blockchain technologies which are approved and then transactions just go through those and then automatically there’s some kind of tax or small transaction fee which might be less than what you’d normally pay in taxes, but in just a huge number of transactions might add up to a huge number for government? That’s the way it happens or something else? How could you have checks and balances if the whole system became fully anonymous?
Derek: It’s hard to predict. I’m not a government official, I really wouldn’t know. However, China’s starting to do that right now. I have people that I’ve contacted who are involved in the cryptocurrency space in China, and it’s extremely interesting what they’re doing. They’ve banned the ICO’s, they’ve banned the exchanges, and they went to the miners, and they couldn’t buy in the miners because it’s a really weird rule. Like, “Shut down your factories of computers that are running to mine this digital asset.” They started raising their electricity rates so they could literally almost bankrupt the Chinese miners. China realizes the value of blockchain. China is a very smart country.
They don’t have four-year plans. They have 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 year plans, and they are going to have blockchain in their currency. Whether it’s going to be a pseudo RMB, whatever, or they’re going to stop the RMB and just do to it through their new one, it could be phases of it. It will happen. China realizes the value of blockchain. They want to have all the transactions done on China. They don’t want anonymity, so they’re choosing not to have–
Nova: It will be completely non-anonymous solutions.
Derek: They’re choosing not because that is the government structure that they have. They’re a different country and- They’re a country with a lot of different problems. You have a country with 1.3 billion people and, you got to make sure it’s very stable. It’s very easy for a country that large to be unstable if you mess up on a few things, but they realize the value of the technology and they will not allow anonymity.
Nova: I think they probably want a blockchain for almost everything you do. Everything’s on a ledger. When you brush your teeth, it’s registered, when you wake up in the morning it’s on the blockchain, everything you do. That’s the goal over there. In the US, we’re on the other side of the extreme in terms of how we get a much stronger belief in individual liberty and the concept of certain freedoms that the State can not impinge upon. However, at the same time, if really large transactions start moving through the blockchain ecosystem, and if those transactions aren’t taxable, we will be a different place to this today. Or is that already happening through offshore jurisdictions and the way that large companies avoid taxes? Is it already happening? Will the world really be different or is this just about a way to do what’s already happening or will it dramatically deprive governments of income which in turn completely changes that way the world is governed?
Derek: At this point, it’s still early for the States because the States is a very interesting country. Where they have the bill of rights and you have your 1st Amendment and freedom of speech, and you have a lot of ability to maintain that level of anonymity, and I think that’s extremely important that we still maintain that, and China has its own thing. The power here would be the governments enforcing some level of fees incurred through the exchanges. That’s basically, for now, a short-term solution to be able to receive tax revenues for something like that. All of these exchanges that are listed in the States have to have a money in exchange license in order to operate, and they can easily just raise taxes on that if they see the amounts of transactions that take place.
Nova: That’s a good point. They could actually negotiate. The governments can actually negotiate to basically say, “Look if you don’t want any risk– If you don’t want the risk of regulators coming after you, and if you really want a legitimately do business within our jurisdiction, you have to register, you have to be participate in certain standards and pay some kind of fees or taxes.” The negotiating power here- what I think is going to be interesting is that if cryptos and anonymous cryptos are able to get enough market share fast before the governemts figure out how to regulate them, there’ll actually be some pretty good negotiating leverage to work something out where effectively the tax on those transactions is lower than probably what the government wants, but the government is still gettting money and everybody wins. It frees up additional economy.
Derek: They just not tax all the babysitters in America [laughs]. Think about it, a babysitter that works at 15, 16 years old in somebody’s house and gets paid $80 to $100 to take care of a couple kids, do you think that person registers and reports the government on how much money they came in?
Nova: That’s actually another good point. If more of the economy was transacting in a system where a smaller fee was paid, the same amount of money could actually be made by the government. The point here is that for these technologies to succeed really long term, there’s only really two options. One is that the crypto economy completely disrupts and replaces the original fiat economy and the national government system of extracting the tax money from the economy. That’s one option.
Derek: Yes. The weaker governments today would fall under that category. That is correct.
Nova: Yes, right. The other option is government or forward-looking governments embrace the technology and find a way to monetize it in a way that’s compatible to technology so it doesn’t drive people outside of that solution to some other competing solution. Any government that can figure that out and do it first could end up being the center of the world economy.
Derek: Exactly, and if the States doesn’t get on their game, it’s going to be a problem because Europe is out there, and they’re a little slow, but some of the smaller–
Nova: Not just Europe. It’s an interesting point because you have to have a combination of loss, political stability, law enforcement, business infrastructure. If you have that supporting ecosystem where businesses want to transact, probably because the taxes are lower, that’s attractive. We think of disruption happening in the tech space, but we don’t really think of disruption happening in the political-economic space, and all of a sudden it’s happening, and nobody really understands.
The kind of disruption is taking place or that could take place, it’s like the Internet, it’s like the rise of computers, it’s a huge change, and governments aren’t prepared, they don’t even understand it. Their knee-jerk reaction is going to be to fight it, but if they can actually look at it the other way and think about how to leverage it, it’s a huge opportunity, and it may not be the incumbents that figure it out. It may not be the big governments of today that figured out.
It may be developing countries or new regions that get there first, and that could suddenly shift the balance just like– When Google came out, it shifted the balance away from HP. Nobody expected that to happen, and it did. It could happen digitally, and that’s the threat to governments and also the incentive for them to get involved in these technologies and actually find a way to work with these companies and use these technologies instead of opposing them.
Derek: Yes. I think it’s all starts with, to some extent, what are the conversations that are happening in Washington, at least here in this country and what’s going on. I will tell you this, that the first country that will adopt that solution will not be United States, and nothing against it, it’s just that the smaller countries out there have to prove it.
A country like Vanuatu, for example, could do it. It’s interesting, why is it that the smallest countries in the world sometimes are one of the richest in regards to wealth and assets. Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, certain parts in–
Nova: The UAE. The ratio of population to income, it’s terrific.
Derek: Why is that? It’s because when you have a country that has no natural resources, they don’t have the certain type of labor or whatever it is, they will scrape and claw and figure out what’s going to set them apart to make sure it can succeed. I think those are the countries that are going to be more open to adopting this.
Nova: Just like the startup economy or effectively their startups are usually smaller innovation usually comes actually from smaller companies because they’re hungry, they need it, they’re willing to experiment. The larger established players can’t do that because they’re supporting legacy systems that they don’t have a way to do that.
Derek: Right. I save on all to a lot, but it’s a great example. I’ve studied a lot about my practice since I started getting involved and negotiating with the bank. One of the first countries to accept citizenship with Bitcoin. You can buy a citizenship with Bitcoin. I started with Switzerland and being able to do stuff with government transactions. Switzerland is a small country, extremely wealthy. I think that once you have one of those smaller countries, and maybe it’s Vanuatu, maybe it’s Fiji, who knows. Then they’ll see, they’ll test, we’ll see how it works, and then slowly, we’ll adopt it. The big countries will adopt it. I think that’s fine, I think that’s– We’re looking at 5, maybe 10 years away between when that starts and when it starts to happen here. I think it’ll be fine.
Nova: Very interesting. Now turning back to TokenPay a little bit. That’s helpful to look at the larger context. In the TokenPay vision, first of all, I just want to ask, looking at the timeline, going back in time. TokenPay actually has DNA going back to do it 2015 with ethan.com. Tell us just a little bit about what is that, how did TokenPay go from there to where it is today?
Derek: I think I can go even further than that because this is [unintelligible 00:35:45] got started. After I graduated University, I worked at a hedge fund for about three and a half, four years, called Everest capital. I worked there and I saw the significant advantage institutions had and that the little people didn’t have, the retail investors didn’t have. A hedge fund pays $2,000 per computer to access Bloomberg, so not only was the company paying my salary, they were paying 20 something thousand dollars for me to have access to information that was not readily available to anybody out to the retail investor. I thought, “Wow, that’s unfair,” but the more money you have in that situation, the more power you have, whether you can transact faster. There are so many benefits for a hedge fund to have that. I got disillusioned and I felt bad for the retail investor because at the end of the day they were at a major disadvantage, extremely, extremely major disadvantages.
For retail investor, the safest thing is put an index fund or whatever and just put it there and forget it. Honestly, it’s hard to do that when you have managements that aren’t doing a good job, there’s no accountability for how you run a corporation, et cetera, and there’s hedge funds and major corporations that are going in taking massive stakes in these companies, making poor, poor choices for these businesses that are right short term to make quick profits, but wrong for the investors long term.
I got really demoted by that, I actually left in 2007 right before the economic collapse. it was June 1st 2007 when I quit the company and I said, “I need to get out of here.” I started getting white hair in my hair, and I was 24, 25 when I left my job. I started at 21, really young. I said, “I maybe want to get an MBA,” and I wanted to travel, but at that time that I had was about a year, “I want to learn something,” and so I went to China. I said this is the one brick, was a really popular term back then, Brazil, Russia, India, China. I said this the thing, this is the future China and I decided I’m going to go study Mandarin, et cetera. I loved it. I said I’m not going to the States. I love it. Then the economic collapse happened and I was like, “Oh my gosh. This is horrible, how can I get a job back home. I’m in the finance industry.” I had people with MBAs and Families, et cetera just losing their jobs.
There’s no way that a 25-year-old with only three years of experience will get a job over somebody with an MBA and 10 years of experience at Wall Street not get a job. Then I started a business in China. I saw how to interact with the government et cetera, and I still had this thing about finance and kind of changing the perspective and providing tools that hedge funds had and providing it for regular people.
That mindset of helping people and helping them understand that they can have an edge if they had the knowledge and information, ef’n first version or the version that we had was essentially a credit score for stocks, but we would categorize it into five categories whether it was how the stocks performing based on trends, so, technical. Another one was how it was trading fundamentally on financial. The other one was what was the rating versus economic conditions or industry conditions, and then the other one was management.
It was how were they were performing, what was the government, and we would get those four essentially scores or five, I can’t remember what the last one was. We would combine that, it would give you an overall score, literally like a FICO score, but we will call the ef’n. We had the domain. E as an electronic or whatever in finance. We saw that there was an opportunity there, but we decided to pivot because I spoke at MIT with a partner of ours called Tony [unintelligible 00:39:35] which is the CEO of U-stock trade.
When I was at MIT my mind was set with stocks and this is what I want to do. I’ve always wanted to be into stocks and all that. I went to MIT, I saw a few projects, and a few speeches about blockchain, and it just started clicking, started making sense. I have always been involved with tech. I would go to tech conferences while working at the hedge fund. I have plenty of my friends in Silicon Valley and Santa Clara, San Hose doing a ton of stuff. I went to this conference it just all started to come together. I connected dots and I said– We started talking to some of our team members and I said, “You know what, I think this is may be a good opportunity for us to pivot,” but we didn’t know how. We wanted to learn. We just started researching, understanding exactly what this was, how we can get involved and who are the people that we can respect. We approached Sunerok, a developer from Verge. Then that’s how it all started. There’s always a background story. I wanted to make that clear of how I got there, what’s the mindset, and how we eventually evolved to where we are today.
Nova: Tell me about the- on the team, who is the technical brains and the crypto expert on the team?
Derek: We basically have Carlos Salazar, he’s doing more on the tech side for infrastructure of the website, and all that for the business side. Sunerok basically was able to help us work with a couple other developers. They want to remain anonymous, but three developers that we hired to essentially help us build the actual blockchain, and we looked at a few other things, and we put it all together. That’s what we did.
Nova: Okay. Let’s zoom in a little bit. How much time was spent on development of the actual technology?
Derek: Took about three to four months from start to finish to actually go in and look at the code, and modify it, and then test it, make sure it works, make sure our wallets worked to the standards that we wanted. Took about three to four months.
Nova: Okay. Then after that, did you go through a test period or an audit period?
Derek: Yes, we did. That’s the value that we had with Sunerok coming in and making sure it worked. We tested it and it took about a month or so for that.
Nova: Okay. Let me ask you. I’m going to ask you a hard question, but it’s important. If it took- it sounds like about five or six months to do the technical work behind the project. What would prevent somebody else from just doing the same thing? What’s hard? What’s unique or a differentiator?
Derek: What happens is a lot of– There’s a lot of copycats out there, and it’s very easy to copycat. A lot of these codes are open sourced. We’re even debating how much we want to put open sourced or not, and it’s very easy to copy the code. The most difficult thing is creating adoption, it’s creating a community around it. The first phase that we thought was important was creating a community. Once you create that community, then you provide solutions for that community to expand and scale on a much faster pace.
What is the difference between Square and Paypal or what is the difference between Square, Paypal, and a bunch of other merchant services? Pretty much the same, but if you look at their marketing and how they were able to build a certain type of niche and then how they grew that niche to others and probably exploded, and it’s extremely important. We’re already talking to a lot of major partners to integrate our merchant services API. Which we’re in the middle of still in development, but they already like what we’re trying to offer and what we’re trying to execute on our side so that they can integrate it so they can start accepting crypto payments.
There’s already a company out there that does it, but if they don’t execute it right on the business side and get the right relationships and the right partnerships to get it going, then they’re going to go nowhere.
Nova: One thing I would say is your team does have more of a finance and business background than some of the crypto teams I talked to. In the sense that you’re really thinking about this as a business, not just a technology or a project. From that perspective– Go ahead.
Derek: I think that’s important.
Nova: You’re really thinking this as a business which is a differentiator. One of the things that jumped out was the fact that you’re looking to actually buy a real bank in a jurisdiction where you can operate anonymously, and that’s pretty interesting. I haven’t actually come across another crypto project that’s gone that far down the path of actually finding a way to interface with the banking system by owning a real bank. That’s very different from what I’ve seen so far. Now, I don’t know if you’ve heard of anybody else trying to do that. Are you the first to try to do that?
Derek: No, we’re not the first. I think people have tried or said to, but the difference is of what they say is different from what we’re actually doing. We actually have a lot of intent to buy this 20-year-old bank. If the deal falls apart, there’s other banks or we can form another one. Buying a bank that’s already established is definitely much better than forming a new bank. It’s a different process. Just learning how this all works and operates and operating and opening up a bank offshore it’s not easy. A lot of regulation, a lot of stuff that you have to go through. For us, it’s depending on how much we sell in tokens sale.
If it’s Vanuatu, it’s one jurisdiction, we could work with three or four jurisdictions. Because maybe one jurisdiction caters to one type of client and maybe not to another. That’s certainly the case. Vanuatu may say no to- an example, may say no to people who are living in Costa Rica, but then you have another jurisdiction that’s in Lichtenstein that says, “Sure. No problem.” For us, we’re looking at it as if there’s an opportunity to have more of a private label situation where we have our TokenPay platform and we integrate it with different banks to cater to different customers so that it makes it more readily accessible, then that something we will do. [crosstalk] Things happen. Things change.
Nova: The differentiators here, it seems to me, that it’s certainly the combination of a more anonymous transaction system with an actual bank or many banks, at least you have the intent to acquire and integrate with. It’s an interesting combination where you have real banks paired with a really anonymous transaction system.
Derek: What it is is that somebody can have the option of one or the other or both. I think if they only want to do the transaction anonymously within TPAY or TokenPay they can do that. If they want to be able to go get the transactions that are based on a blockchain, and they are all very clear that it’s on a blockchain, and it’s very transparent because it’s on a blockchain, then you can go and integrate with the bank and convert [unintelligible 00:47:09] et cetera. If you want to have that, you can do that, and that’s what we want. We want to be able to give people the choice.
Nova: Let me ask you another question. We talked a lot about the transaction in this case, but you also mentioned some other uses for what you guys have built. One was real-time chat-type communication, maybe other forms [unintelligible 00:47:33], I’m not sure if it supports that, but what about the potential for using this to share data or content?
Derek: Within the chat system?
Nova: Well, yes. Within your infrastructure. If you can chat and see the way you could share other kinds of information too.
Derek: There’s a lot of applications that can be done as well that would also be able to be incorporated with the actual technology we have in hand. Whether it’s big data, whether it’s larger file transfers, which is decentralized data, decentralized email, decentralized messaging system, which is right now if you think about it. There’s a lot of applications, but we don’t want to get too far ahead of ourselves. We want to be able to execute on what we have right now on the current blockchain and then go from there to the more business side and look at that. Then eventually if we see a need for something and we see that users that we currently have are able to want that service, then we’ll offer it.
It’s like Google Adwords starting with ads and then all of a sudden they had Gmail and they had Maps and they have other stuff and that’s because they saw a need for those things and they also saw a monetary business opportunity.
Nova: Today the system works, people can actually use it to do transactions although it’s not funded yet?
Derek: Yes. What we’ve done is we’ve operated the blockchain. We’ve paused it now for security reasons. We will launch it as soon as the token sale finishes, and then once that’s done we distribute everything. Basically, we have all the coins that are readily available, we have the break down as we have in our whitepaper. Then once we distribute the coins to the people, then they can start using them and transacting.
One of the benefits that I didn’t mention before is that we a proof-of-stake coin not a proof-of-work coin. Anybody that joins or buys or uses the coin from day one, if they state their coins, which is basically their– They call it forging, that’s the technical term, but essentially they’re basically getting a 5% return on those coins if they essentially run the computer 24/7 for a whole year. Whenever you stake your coins, you’re letting the system know that you’re using your computer to essentially provide a decentralized network.
Nova: What happens if in that situation you go offline or– Does it have to be on a server or could people be doing this on their phones on their laptops?
Derek: Right now it’s on the desktop. I know some other companies are trying to do it so you can mine with your phone. You can’t really physically mine with your phone, it’s too power intensive really to do it. It’s more of a micro mining thing where you’re using certain aspects of your processing to do a point something percent of the actual transaction. As computers and smartphones become stronger and more powerful, as powerful as desktops, then you’ll definitely see the ability to be able to do that. People are starting to go away from mining. Mining is 2009. If you think about it, it’s a really old technology.
It’s a waste of energy to spend money on solving mathematical problems just to process a blockchain and increase the hash. When you have things like proof-of-stake where you don’t really need to mine and you don’t need to spend all that money and energy and computers and you are getting the same benefit. The benefit at the end of the day is a decentralized network. How do we have a decentralized network whereas one computer turns off, the whole system doesn’t shut down. I think that’s the goal. That’s what they’re all trying to aim for.
Nova: It’s like the internet, but for money.
Derek: That’s correct. With us and anybody that’s– Even Ethereum which is the top two coin out there, they’ve already pivoted to proof-of-stake because they realized the value.
Nova: Will proof-of-sake result in an energy savings compared to the huge amount of energy that’s being used right now to mine? Do you think that ultimately it’ll save energy or will pretty much the same amount of energy be used, but just not by miners, rather it’ll be used at the edges?
Derek: That’s actually an interesting question. If you get the same amount of people right now who’re mining, which is the same amount of people that are staking, you would immediately save a ton of energy. Because the amount of power that you’ll need in energy to actually power these mines it’s intense. I’m talking about if you had a mining ring at your house, you’re talking about an extra few hundred dollars a month if not more just running well–
Nova: I’ve seen some business plans where they’re basically offering people free heat if they install a mining rig in their house, it just heats their house. I think it’s a really big deal if proof-of-stake is greener basically. If it uses less energy and produces less heat, ultimately, it’s going to win, it has to be the winner simply because–
Derek: It is the winner already today, and it will be, but the interesting thing is the reason why– Okay, let’s look at it like this. Let’s say there’s a hundred computers right now, and you can argue how many of them are mining right now. Let’s assume that right now it’s 90% or whatever because most of the computers that are out there needed to mine and transact this blockchain, you need a lot o power. If you start to see more and more people just get into the proof-of-stake, coins like us, like TokenPay and Ethereum, more and more computers are starting to be gone on proof-of-stake.
The cost of energy continues to go up for the miners and essentially it just becomes a battle of costs where proof-of-stake you don’t have to fight that battle at all right? The more people you have in the proof-of-stake network, essentially you’re going to be consuming more energy, but that’s more on an individual basis. It’s not any different–
Nova: Hold on, you got a little quieter come closer to the mic.
Derek: Oh, sorry. It’s not any different from essentially anybody just running their computer every day and working. They can literally turn on the computer and start staking and it won’t be a problem. I think what ends up happening is you’ll have this massive shift, believe or not, where Bitcoin will still have miners, but it’s going to be harder and harder for them to justify the cost of all these electricity expenses. Especially what’s happening with China where they’re ramping up the prices, it’s really hard to essentially bankrupt these miners.
That’s why they’re moving to Russia, Mongolia, and other parts of the world, because it’s just unsustainable. I think whenever you see a situation where cost of labor rises, it’s always a battle. We moved manufacturing from the States to Mexico, then from Mexico to China, then from China to parts of Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and then now even some parts of Africa. It’s just this game that just makes it harder and harder. I think people are going to realize that it’s just not worth it. I think we’re going to see a massive shift to proof-of-stake solutions. That’s why Ethereum is going to be one of the more popular options in the next, easily, five to ten years because it is [unintelligible 00:54:34].
Nova: Now, Tokenpay, when we talk about this, one question is does the blockchain or any aspect of the system come from a previously existing code base? Did you branch a code base or start from one or spawned from one or did you build this from the ground up?
Derek: No, no, this is essentially- you can call it a fork of Bitcoin. We used the Bitcoin source code, that was the foundation. Then we used other features of other coins that we thought were good. Then we added a few other modifications to some of those features, we worked on the actual software. We developed a few things. We’re actually still working on the software and then going from there. It’s officially called a fork of Bitcoin or a spawn of Bitcoin, I guess it’s the right word to use, but using a lot of the better features out there that we thought were good.
Some of these projects have failed, and there are a lot of projects out there that are really good. We’ve contacted some of these developers and we asked them how can we work together in integrating some of the stuff. They were very open to it as well. Yes, that’s how we’re developed it.
Nova: Some other questions along that line. There’s been criticism recently of the potential– Well, let’s just say there’s been criticism of Bitcoin on the ground or some kind of scale, that fees are going up, and that the block size is too small. We saw the emergence of Bitcoin cash, for example, and then other alternatives. Of course, there’s other systems like litecoin which are faster. Where do you fall in that spectrum? Have you solved that? You have a larger block size of do you have a solution to scale this if it gets very successful? Do you basically have to go towards something like lightning? Where do you see scaling in the future?
Derek: I think because of proof-of-stake that requires less problems in regards to the blockchain, and we’re not proof-of-work, that’s also another benefit. The fee issue is the proof-of-work problem. If you’re spending a lot of money generating electricity- spending a lot of money with computers and causing a lot of electricity, these miners want to be compensated for being able to do this. That’s where you have this whole expensive fees et cetera. You don’t have that with proof-of-stake because there is no expensive infrastructure in place that has the rights to charge you that. That’s why Ethereum and people like us are using the proof-of-stake because it just makes sense. Longer-term it just makes sense to be able to charge this.
Nova: What would stop, say– I guess you could say there could be a fork of Bitcoin that would be proof-of-stake, right?
Derek: It could, and I think that could actually change a lot of things. The problem is that all these– The people that are causing the forks are people– People have to understand the coin is no longer decentralized. It’s decentralized in the way the network is working. You can’t shut down one computer. The way it has become centralized is–
Nova: The governance is not decentralized is really what you’re saying?
Nova: There’s a lot of influence from certain parties.
Derek: Miners control a certain percentage and when they get together and they make boats and decide whether they do this or not, then that’s pretty centralized, right? What I think is happening is if there’s someone out there that decides that they want fork into a Bitcoin proof-of-stake, that actually may be the longer-term better solution than all these other ones. Having a faster transaction speed and larger blockchain size, that’s absolutely important. I think the issue is how do you continue to make it so that it’s stable. That’s important, I think people understand that you want to make sure it’s stable and make sure that you have a network that’s strong and that it still maintains its decentralization.
Nova: [crosstalk] There probably will be forks to experiment with that, but whether or not the forks are in control right now, we will endorse that as a question. Let me ask you this. On the side of Tokenpay, how is the governance going to work? What if the same thing happens with Tokenpay and either the company and/or larger investors are parties aggregate a lot of the market cap become influential over policy. How does voting work how do you ensure that that doesn’t also happen here?
Derek: Right now we haven’t incorporated a voting system or anything like that. Right now as of today we’re technically 100% centralized because have all these-
Nova: From a governance standpoint not an infrastructure standpoint.
Derek: Correct. We’ve essentially controlled that–
Nova: Decentralized infrastructure centralized governance under a company, right?
Derek: Today, but [unintelligible 00:59:52] time the token sale as we distribute and so all of these coins, it becomes even more and more and more decentralized.
Nova: In that the owners of the coins are no longer in one entity?
Derek: Correct. We have no incentive to be more than 50% or whatever. We have zero incentive to be that way because if we did, then we would not have– We would control the proof-of-stake rewards, we would control so much, we can’t shut down, but you would just be able to do a lot.
Nova: You don’t want to have a 51% situation.
Derek: No. 51% attack is usually just– When you have a 51% attack and a proof-of-work essentially is to literally alter transactions and stuff like that. It’s really hard to do a proof work because of the cost of energy and power to do that. With proof-of-stake, you could technically own a bunch of those coins, but the whole point is that if that’s the case, people are just going to raise the price insanely high to give up that right to do that, but essentially if somebody in a community finds out that there’s somebody that owns more than 50%, it’s very possible that the community will just walk away and let it crash. That’s the fear of why you cannot have a centralized system because eventually if it’s not decentralized to a point where it creates a–
Nova: It’s not safe if it’s too centralized is what you’re saying.
Derek: That defeats the whole purpose of what’s going on.
Nova: Just to answer the question then. How are you going to decentralize governance over time?
Derek: We haven’t decided yet. We figured that the best thing to do is just launch it and see what happens with the actual community. If we decide to open source all of the code and basically allow a developer community to come in and actually start improving some of the more technical and privacy-oriented features, then we’ll let that run itself and the developers will essentially work with a system where if there’s features or if there’s things that people are interested in doing, then we’ll be able to integrate that. We’re still way too early right now to actually go– Remember Bitcoins are eight years old, more or less, and they’re now– Basically, this past year has been crazy with all the forks. There’ve been, I think, four forks already, and there’s another one planned with that SegWit which is Segregated Witness, too.
For us, we want to stay away from the governance. At the end of the day, we want the people to be able to monitor that and control that. The developers which will be for us now and then over time we’ll slowly start to go away from some level of that development. We truly believe that if the more power you give to the people, the more support that you’ll have on the community to be able to appreciate and adopt the actual coin.
Nova: Let me just ask you a few more questions and then we’ll finish up. Real quick answers here. What are the top three privacy-oriented coins out there today and how does TokenPay compare to each one in a sentence or two?
Derek: I would say the top three are Zcash, Monero, and Verge. Those are the top three.
Nova: You’ve got the guy who created Verge advising you?
Derek: Yes, that is correct. What are the main differences? They’re all using proof-of-work. That’s obviously very expensive to be able to–
Nova: A big difference.
Derek: Yes. From us, that’s a very key differentiator. Monero has definitely a very poor reputation, but there’s been– I don’t want to confirm these sources, but there’s sources that are actually leaking IP addresses through their masts, through their nodes, so it’s an issue. We’ve talked to some people on Developer community like what’s going on, and one answer popping is the way that they built the infrastructure is actually creating an ability that is not anonymous and that’s a really big concern. It hasn’t affected the actual price or anything like that, but that is a concern.
With Zcash, it’s more of the adoption and how that’s been adopted. We are taking more of a business approach to it, definitely integrating with a lot more businesses and retail et cetera. That’s basically what we see as a major differentiator, but between those three and there’s always about 5 to 10 or so percent difference on how they operate. Some are able to do better marketing and better execution with certain things here and there. I think it’s still early to determine who’s the best, who’s number one, and who’s going to take over the realm of what’s the next Bitcoin on a privacy. That fair to say. They all have their–
Nova: Is the acquisition of a bank, in your case, in terms of a piece of a strategy a big differentiator from those three companies or as you say coins?
Derek: Absolutely. Yes. When you look at Zcash. Zcash is actually operated in the States. They actually have a US corporation and they’re very American oriented. I haven’t really heard anything about them deciding to buy a bank. I think that they really didn’t want to do it or may not be interested in that.
Nova: Well, if they’re in the US, it also makes it difficult.
Derek: Very, very difficult. We decided we wouldn’t want to take too much of a US stance, we thought that there’s a bigger world outside of the United States. No offense. I lived abroad for eight years. I saw it and I’m married to a Chinese woman and I just see the world differently and I think that is a major differentiation. I know Verge is not going to buy a bank [laughs] at all, and that’s not their intention, but there’s definitely levels of cooperation where we can work with them in different ways and work with Zcash if that’s the case.
There’s always opportunities. I learned a long time ago not to look at competitors or anybody else as enemies in any way. There’s always ways to work together to go to the same goal. Right now all of these blockchains and all of these projects really have to work together more than fight and try to see who’s better and who’s worse because we’re trying to solve a bigger problem. Which is how do we work on a system that actually makes sense for governments and people all over the world.
Nova: Good answer. Okay. Let’s just quickly close with just a summary of what you are raising, how much you’re raising, when that starts. If there’s an amount that you’ve raised so far that you want to cite, you’re welcome to, but just basically a quick overview of your fundraising today and your fundraising goals and the user proceeds.
Derek: We have essentially decided to put a hard capital for 5,000 Bitcoin. When we started the project, Bitcoin was about $2,000 or $3,000 and that’s really gotten away from us. What we decided to do was increase our bonuses. We thought the bonuses were something that the community was going to be attracted to. We increased our bonus to 100% and also have a referral system. It’s imperative for us to have a really strong decentralized network. What we want is to have as many people inside of the network that actually are starting to use the coin and stake the coin.
That’s extremely important because that’s really what sets up the network. Having bonuses and having a large network. I’d rather have 100,000 people with smaller transactions than 10,000 people with large transactions because, again, that would still be a certain level of centralization. We expect to raise between, depending on a lot of factors, between maybe 1,500 Bitcoins to maybe 3,000 something Bitcoin depending on how much is raised the first day or first week, and then how it goes through the rest of the actual token sale process, which we have a little bit lower referral bonus than actual bonus, which drops from 100% to 50%.
We have bootstrapped the majority of the project. We did small, very, very tiny private sale, but it was just essentially to help us fund for some of the marketing, and that’s pretty much it. That’s all we’ve done so far.
Nova: Then user proceeds. Some of this obviously is going to be put into further development. Do you have any thoughts about [unintelligible 01:08:26] priorities once you have the funds to really start to push?
Derek: If we decide to purchase a bank depending on the banks and where they are located, whether it’s going to be in Vanuatu, that’s our first choice, whether it’s in Lichenstein or maybe somewhere else, you’re talking from starting at $5 million to $7 million to purchase that bank to $10 to $20 million depending on jurisdiction, the operation, how many assets that bank has, et cetera. When you start to integrate the API it’s not so much the technology that’s there, you have to make sure it’s good and tested well. You also have to have a team and customer support to be able to maintain all the inquiries you’re going to get from customers that are going to be integrating all of that. There’s a lot of operational costs once you start ramping up.
Then you also have the marketing costs that essentially you need for a regular business. We think we already have some pretty strong relationships. Where once we have the test out there, an alpha version, and then also a beta version, that will be able to scale it pretty quickly. The biggest costs are really the bank, then also building up the infrastructure of the actual team. Another thing that we have on the whitepaper is also we have an exchange, so that way we have an internal exchange, so that way our bank can have an exchange that works with our own customers that is private.
It’s just within the exchange. That way the exchange is able to see all the transactions that take place and offer lower fees than potentially some of the other exchanges that are out there, whether it’s coin-based or whatever it is and that provides us– The reason why we’re raising a little bit of that third tier is to provide more liquidity for that tier to occur and
. that liquidity essentially helps it to make faster and essentially make it better for our customers to have a better experience.
Nova: Derek, it’s very helpful and just to summarize, if you were going to choose three or four main point, to summarize and explain the value and differentiate us for TokenPay, what would that be?
Derek: The first thing is that we’re the most secure coin out there. We’re focused on privacy and security. We think that’s extremely important. We forked off, spawned off the Bitcoin blockchain essentially, have a lot more security and privacy-focused features that sets us apart from anyone else out there. The second thing is we’re also a proof-of-stake coin which is a proof-of-work coin. That actually reduces the amount of forks and all the craziness of this stuff that’s happening out there with Bitcoin, but also it’s more energy efficient, so there’s no need for expensive machines that need to be purchased and essentially to create the decentralized network. The third thing is we actually have a management team that actually has a strong expertise in banking. Our CFO is actually second-in-command in a large regional bank. That actually does M&A on a daily basis.
We are obviously integrating a bank into our platform so that we can make it easy for people to transact in crypto to hard assets and having somebody with that experience is extremely important. I think the fourth thing is we have somebody like the developer of Verge who has been on our blockchain and has been around for five years or so and been doing this, and he’s essentially helping us to make sure that we are the leader in this type of mission that we have which is to create this level of privacy security for everybody.
Nova: Terrific. Thanks a lot. This has been very informative and helpful. I’m encouraged by what I’ve heard. I think that where I come out on this is I’ve been in a lot of different crypto deals. I usually want to know a lot about the company more than is in the whitepaper, so it’s helpful to have this conversation and hopefully others who are considering this will benefit from this in a very long and, I think, very open discussion to understand your intent. It’s good to hear your longer view and the team that you’ve brought together. I wish you a lot of success. Thanks a lot of your time. Let’s definitely stay in touch and continue the conversation.
Derek: Great. Thanks a lot for your time, appreciate it. I am an open book, you can contact me through email. Email is email@example.com. You can find me on twitter, linkedin, our telegram chat has definitely opportunities to reach out to me. There’s a lot of stigma with all of these tokens sales that are going on and not having a level of transparency, and we’ve been extremely transparent 60-something page whitepaper, you name it. We’ve been as best as we can, letting the community and other people out there know what we’re trying to do and what we’re trying to accomplish and that we are a team that can actually execute. Again thanks for your time. I really appreciate it. Thank you.
Nova: Thank you. Take care.
Derek: Yes, bye-bye.
Nova: Guys, ow we’re not recording anymore.