120. Ledger from UpOnly joins us live at ETHDenver! - Transcripts

March 03, 2023

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120. Welcome to the Alfalfa podcast 🌾


(0:00) Intro

(4:30) Ledger's in the house!

(6:50) Ledger's investment thesis

(11:11) Shanghai update: bullish or bearish?

(19:30) Coinbase to the moon?!

(22:30) US regulatory scrutiny 

(29:00) Ledger's latest entrepreneurial adventure

Follow Ledger and the "UpOnly" podcast at the links below!

  • Ledger's Twitter
  • UpOnly podcast 

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Boys, good morning, GM. Good morning. GM.



Oh no, oh no. This is amazing. Oh, I do hear you. Yes. So Nick, you hear us? I do. Oh, fuck yeah. So we had to figure out how they do this streaming, because this is sick. We can do this in person live every time like this.

This will be super cool. I love you at the gaming headset. You look like a... Thank you.

You look very leet. Yeah. I don't think I'm doing it right, because my headphone goes behind you.

Headshot, headshot, headshot.

So how hungover are you guys? So how hungover are you guys? I'm extremely hungover.

Yeah, I'm above average. That kind of scares me, because the alfalfa meetup is tonight, and it hasn't even happened yet.

And we're already feeling like this. And we're already, so. Yeah, I will be taking a nap. Well, nervous about this.

Yeah. Nervous about this. All right, so Ledger is arriving. I'm arriving. He had a Michelin star. Is he in the building? He's arriving soon. Let's dive into this. So we're at East Denver. It's 2023. Is this the bottom of the bear market? It's bad.

And there's people here.

So I think that's a good sign. He had a Michelin in the building market. It's bad.

And there's a lot of people that eat Denver this year. I thought it might be empty.

Same, same, for sure. How do you think it compares to last year?

Well, I like the space better. It's hard to tell if this is gonna be bigger than last year, because we haven't really explored it yet,

but this is the first morning.

What do we got on our agenda today? So we're, I wanna hear about his Michelin star dinner. His first one ever. And then we have a little alfalfa round, right? Absolutely.

And then we talk eth narratives.

Yep. And basically exploring, right, Stephen? Yeah. Eth narratives. And then I would love to talk to Ledger about his company and his entrepreneurial journey.

That'd be fun. Yeah. To like- To close it out. Yeah, hear from him as a founder.

Yeah, and we only have to close it out. Yeah. Yeah, and we only have so much time. So maybe we'll have them back on for a longer sesh when we figure out how they do this. And yeah.

So this is a good start though. Yeah. I mean, big news this morning was the silver gate stuff though. Oh, Eric. Did you see that? Yeah.

Oh, yeah.

I got- Oh, Eric. Did you see that? Yeah. I got fucking pounded on that. Oh, were you long? I had a short puts. So yeah. Now I'm long. Oh, super.

You got-

Oh, were you long? Oh, super. You got the shares.

Yeah. The shares. Yeah.

Oh my God. So tell me about what happened.

This is a little crypto bank. Yeah, there was some announcement. They didn't file their 10K. And then along with that, there were some things in the text that made it seem like very bad financial stuff was happening down the pipeline.

They had to sell assets to cover losses. And apparently it wiped out a decade's worth of profits. Oh, Jesus.

So yeah.

Oh, Jesus.

Coinbase stopped doing business with them. Oh, that was an also- Yeah, yeah, Coinbase. They pulled. Yeah, I guess if you're trying to get in Coinbase, you get a little 10% discount today because it's down along with the news,

down for the ride. Yeah, yeah, Coinbase. Feels like we're just doing a slow financial rug of all the on-ramps. It's just like a slow rug happening right in front

of our face of all the- It does feel like that meme with like the domino,

but yeah, it's just still more dominoes coming. But yeah, it's just- Probably the dominoes. Probably the dominoes were done, but apparently not.

Oh. Yeah. Oh, shout out to the boys club. That was cool. Amy from the boys club. And we met Rachel. Recognized us. I was like, you know us, that's awesome. She was very friendly, very kind.

Was that the first time you've ever been recognized

in public? No. Of course not. Of course not. No, it was awesome. And they have an event tomorrow that I definitely want to check out. She's in our Discord actually. Wonder what her handle is. It's a lurker. Yeah. I like meeting the lurkers. Yeah.

No, that was my theory that all the lurkers are really more offline type people and they tend to come to these types of events in person. Lurkers are appreciated too. We met Elevate Bliss last night. Yeah, we met- Brad Dude. Tonsky. Oh my God, Tonsky. Yes. Sorry, I won't slam on the table. Uh. Shout out to Tonsky.

Yeah. Of course not. Of course not.

No, it was a lurker.

I like meeting- Yeah.

We met- Brad Dude. Shout out to Tonsky. Yeah. We're at the Bankless meetup. Yeah, it was a great time. The Head Drizzle.

No! Yep. The Head Drizzle. No! Hey! Freaking huge, man. How are you, dude? Good morning. I'm so sorry. No, no, no, no.

You're gonna be late, dude. Hey! Freaking huge, man.

How are you? How are you?

No. Pop in, dude. Have a seat. So we're in full experiential. We're a little test bunny for their podcast setup. So let's see how this goes. Okay, so we're live on YouTube right now. And that's the camera. There's a backup camera right here, which points at the event.

I think that's the shot. Yeah.

Yeah, you gotta be careful with these mics. They have them rigged up very tight. So if you're not at them, it can't be heard.

It's a little bit loud in here.

It can't be heard.

Yeah, your experience with this. Dude, thank you for being here, man. This is awesome. Yeah. No, don't worry about it. Easy. How was that dinner? Yeah, fun fact. It was first Michelin's star dinner, right? Ah, very nice.

Yeah. Ah, very nice. Yeah. Wow.

Oh, yeah. Ah, yeah. That's good alpha present. That's a good alpha leak right there. Yeah, like a combination of like FOMO and starts creeping in. And they're just like, all right. I didn't get the money. I didn't get the deal. I'm just moving on.

Yeah. Short-tail. That's a good alpha present. A good alpha leak right there.


like combination of like FOMOS, and short term thinking. Engage in the conversation, and then like, don't like check what's next, or what's better. You know, I've had a lot of stuff where I've got an appointment like, I've tried to get this podcast, but I was in a meeting, and I was like, I hope you'll excuse me. I just need to be somewhere. Then I like checking the time like, do I need to leave right now? It's like, okay, now I actually have to leave, but don't like constantly be searching

what's next and what's better around you.

And then I explain what's best. I have been at these conferences where sometimes you get stuck in one conversation. And I found that sometimes it's okay. You can really build like a deep relationship with someone that you might not typically in a conference. So yeah, just be present. If it keeps going, it keeps going. If it doesn't, you know, move on. Yeah. So as we go into some of these ETH narratives we want to dig into, you know, there's a lot popping around. We want to question them. But do you mind giving us a background? Like what's your investing experience?

Like, do you look at macro? Do you care about macro? Are you short timeframe, long timeframe only?

Curious where you're coming from on this.

Yeah, I've been investing in trading in traditional markets going back to like eighth grade actually. I was talking about that last night, where, so I've always been interested in trading and investing in kind of this combination of a fundamental and a technical view of the market. Do you mind getting a little closer?

It keeps cutting out for me. Do you mind getting a little closer? It keeps cutting out for me. Yeah, I don't know what's, have you blown the mic. It might be this mic, I mean this

Yeah, yeah. I just want to make sure. So, I've always been interested in markets. I like the idea of screening by fundamentals. So I will trade an X asset because fundamentally, it meets my criteria. That does not mean I'm going to enter the trade. So I think the technicals can be really valuable to say, OK, I'm going to actually execute the trade. I'm going to buy at this level or not, or I'm going to sell at this level or not. I can love ETH, but also think ETH at $4,500 is worth selling. And I can like, yeah, so I've always liked that. I got into crypto in 2017. I loved the programmability of Ethereum.

I had known about Bitcoin and thought of it as kind of like internet cash, Reddit cash, that kind of thing. So I never really actually considered it investable, which was a huge mistake because my awareness of Bitcoin goes back to like 2011, 2012. So it should have made a lot more money. But Ethereum got me excited because I came from the web space, was a web developer. And so the programmability and this like decentralization concept with Ethereum was really powerful to me.

And it's been down the rabbit hole ever since.

Yeah. Got it. So how often are you trading these days?

How often are you making a transaction? I make transactions close to every day on average of some sort. I would say like my thesis changes from a trading perspective, maybe, or like adjust my thesis, maybe make an actual coin trade, multi-week time frames. This market, I'm actually trying to be quite patient, like kind of the opposite of what you're talking about. Because I did that, I did exactly what you're talking about in 2018, 2019. And I was like too invested in what happens in this compression and not invested enough in the like, OK, either way, I think we're going to end up somewhere over here. So how do I like stack something? And like, so if I make a trade, it's to earn more ETH or earn more BTC. And then I'll start denominating in USD as the bull market starts to get out of hand. And like, remember, dollars are pretty cool. And like a JPEG, the value of your house is like kind of weird.

And only dollars can buy a house if you want to buy another house. That's right.

And like, so how do you figure out, like, take some of this home, you know, like this, sometimes if you made some life-changing money or something, and that's going to be different for everybody, it's OK to take some of that out of the market. Like, there is not like a judge and jury because you sold in Ethereum and like, you know, paid off your credit card debt or something. Like, so go take care of those things. But now we're in this phase of like, patience is OK. And I can like, I can take my time and I can start to say like, all right, like how am I going to increase my exposure over the coming year? Whether my average price of Ethereum is $1,500 or $800, I don't know, like, but I'll take the average price like kind of the DCA concept. You just said, hey, get X dollars DCA over the course of the next year, I'll say let's go.

OK, you'll take that. Yeah. And are you mostly like, we'll call them blue chips, ETH, BTC,

or do you play in some of these more volatile fun coins? So the first time I ever really made good money was DeFi summer. So like, my transactions per day was like dozens during that, so it was a whole different animal, a different type of time. I don't need to do that right now. So like when the going is good, like you dig in and you can trade actively. I determined in 2021, like I was Bitcoin had run from 10 to 30K and I was like, people January 1st are going to ape altcoins so hard. And so my thesis was basically, I'm turning over my entire portfolio of going full short term gains for 2021, which by the way, both awesome and ouch. 2020 ouch, 2020 ouch, 2022 ouch. Yeah, from a tax perspective. It's painful, but I knew like there was going to be a lot of altcoin speculation after Bitcoin triples in price and those inflows were like so heavily into Bitcoin. And yeah, so I mean, I'm waiting on that time again, like to say, all right, here's a narrative that like you just got to be paying attention all the time and you do get more involved.

I don't see that right now. So let's talk about some of these narratives. The big one I think we all want to talk about, we haven't really talked about this together offline or anything, but is this Shanghai update? So there's going to be a hard fork where people who have staked teeth can withdraw it. And we're trying to understand is this bullish or bearish? Curious what your initial take is off the event coming probably, it sounds like April. I'm bullish on Ethereum.

OK, what about this event within Ethereum or don't care? I think downside will be muted. I don't think it's like, hey, here's 50% downside, unless it's also like coinciding with all kinds of other terrible things. I think we really saw a lot to test our abilities when FTX failed and everything went down. Bitcoin is $15K and ETH was $800K. I think the appetite for ETH below $1,000 is extremely strong. The appetite below $1,200 or $1,300 is also quite strong. So what kind of negative event do you have to have to take you below that? I honestly think anything below $1,200 or $1,300 is basically a liquidity event. And you should just count your stars so that you get that opportunity. Whether you're wrist off or wrist on going into it, it just depends on your stance. If you're like 5X long, I think that's stupid, going into that unlock.

But if you're just holding spot ETH, I think it's fine. Just man up a little bit and be able to take the downside. And it's always good to have some dry powder to where if it gets low enough, you know what your plan will be. If you don't know what your plan will be, then that sucks. So I think my stance going into it is probably neutral because I'm ultra bullish ETH. And I also can acknowledge that that might be a sell the

news type of event. Does anyone question? I think this whole narrative, the actual event, is we're all agreed it's bullish long term for ETH. This de-risks the protocol significantly.

Definitely. But I think it could be a sell the news event just the way the merge was. I think also I'm looking at a bullish thesis around ETH, not just ETH. So I think Rocket Pool is going to be really benefiting from the Shanghai update. As people are able to un-stake and then get higher yield

with Rocket Pool, they need RPL to stake there.

Why the Rocket Pool versus other options? Because it has a higher yield. It gives you rewards in RPL and in your ETH stake. Gotcha. Gives you commissions. I think the yield on that is like 8%, maybe even 9% if you consider the RPL yield.

So that's better than what you're getting on LIDO. RPL has quite the run. LIDO and.

Oh, the tokenomics all the LSDs.

So the tokenomics on LSDs.

So the tokenomics on RPL. So the tokenomics on RPL. LSTs now I think.

I think we're rebranding. They regendered? What's going on here? LSTs? Whoa.

We're like the industry has enough. Sometimes.

Has enough. Sometimes. Probably not today.

We'll leave it out today.

Probably not today. Probably not today.

I mean, on that note, I mean. I talk about guns and porn in one episode. Yeah.

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

Yeah. Yeah. Have you thought much about the possibility of like the LSD or LST summer narrative? The idea that post Shanghai, there might be some crazy DeFi summer-esque boom in everybody launching like a liquid staking token. And then they're going to have like farming rewards stacked on top of them. And people are going to be playing like this crazy rotation game. Is that something you've thought about at all?

I thought about it all. It probably will, because I don't have any bags. Like, I don't have anything in that realm. Now, I'm willing to jump in on both feet if that pops up. But I think some of that, if you look at the moves that have occurred, I haven't seen the one in Rocket Pool, but Lido's done really well. I actually think maybe that could be being priced in now. And so like some of the downside might be actually in the protocol tokens, even though like the yield arrives

after the port. It's going to front run the move already.

You're up 100% in these tokens. Can you guys kind of already foresee like the run-up and like a credit issue? Because like you're going to take Stakedeath. You're going to put it in these DeFi protocols. Like you said, they're going to layer on. They're going to layer on debt, on debt, on debt to enhance the yield. That's always gone well. And you could already just see, OK, I already see how we unravel this whole mess that we're

going to build over the next year. Yeah, well, somebody's like, you'll have Aave and they won't do that, right? They'll be like, no, we're only going to take Rocket Pool and Lido. But then somebody's going to basically create like the, what was it, spell? Somebody's going to create like the abracadabra of that. And then we're going to probably just do the whole thing again and blow everything up on leverage, I'm sure. Because we're idiots.

The first part of that sounded fun. The hot crap streak in the casino. I mean, we are really good at building casinos. And I think like it's a good narrative to bet on that DeFi crypto will build a fun casino for everyone.

Yeah, it's hard to be like a casual investor right now because it is just like a PvP, like rapid narrative

kind of rotational market. But if you just DCA, like Ledger's saying,

like you're going to be a winner at the end of the game. Be a winner at the end of the game. Ledger's smart. Ledger's obviously correct here. And like, look, if you zoom out, it's the most obvious play ever. You can sit in cash and earn 5% and just sort of wait

and patiently accumulate. I think if you're bearish, I like the idea of the pair trade, if you're bearish, because I wouldn't do that pair trade with like just Eth and BTC on that pair. I would do it like Eth versus something that you think sucks. And so like go short, whatever you think sucks. Is there anything that you think sucks? I think there's like lots of cathedrals out there. So the, it's the winner chain and I'm like, what, I don't, what is it? It is a layer one.

It's like, why? We've met a few people at the event last night. Like I'm building an alternative layer one. And I'm like, how is that? Like, how is that going? That sounds hard. Yeah. Also why?

Yeah. Because you're inevitably you're saying, okay, well, this is what the programmability looks like on that. Like, is it just EBM? So if it's EBM, well, if it's not EBM, why not? And if it's EBM,

why do I want your block space instead of someone else's? Yeah. And speaking of narratives, like I do think we see Coinbase launching their own layer to copy pasta, you know, optimism, code base, launch it. They're not doing a token, but we're going to see a whole summer year, winter,

whatever of this happening. I'm not sure that I'd fade the Coinbase one because that's KYC chain. You want to fade it or you wouldn't fade it? I don't know that I would fade that one because it's KYC chain. Like it's a way for people that can't participate. Like they can't, they're just not like a open mandate hedge fund can be long short, can be venture, it can be whatever they want. It's just the GP's money. They can be anything and do anything that those people can go anywhere. But like if a regulated institutional player that's willing to take risks and wants to get in crypto, but they can't go and be like, you know, some Iranian guys counterparty in pool two on Avalanche, right? But they can play on base because base is going to be a little more regulated, regulatory friendly in terms of like knowing

who's participating in the play on Avalanche. Right.

That is a great point. And you guys skip my alfalfa round. I'm so sorry. But this is what I wanted to say that the best way to play crypto over the next two to four years to me is Coinbase stock. It's not ETH. As much as I love ETH and all the things you said about ETH. This is a change. This is a build off of what we talked about last week when we asked like, what's the highest beta way to play a crypto proliferation? Is that like through Coinbase? Is it through ETH or is it through optimism? And I thought about it. It's like everything you just said about the base chain to me sounds like that is the way forward.

Like they already have 110 million users. Like these users that Coinbase has, they've already voted with their feet. They're saying we're not going to use the blockchain as it currently exists. Right. But they might use it with like a Coinbase UX that they're used to.

So sorry.

But this is. Can I ask you a question? Does the Coinbase NFT marketplace influence your, you know, thinking going forward because they had 110 million users.

Everyone was looking for it. Yeah. And then died, right? There's no NFT marketplace. They should talk to Flip. Let's talk about Flip. They have. Is that where you step in? I guess at the bottom line, I'm thinking like, so if they get the users on the base chain, some of that value accrues to OP because they're using the optimism stack. Some of that value accrues to etherium because it's using, you know, settling on ETH. But I think most of that value accrues to Coinbase, the company, Coinbase has like, the regulatory tailwind, not a headwind, you know, like SEC already likes stocks. They like things that they understand.

So Coinbase livestock is gonna participate in sort of like crypto proliferation and it won't have regulatory headwind and tailwind. I think even if you just look at the price, like Coinbase is all time high versus ETH all time high. I think ETH with 3X and get to all time high. I think Coinbase would 8X just to get back to where it was.

They should talk to Flip. Yeah. They should talk about Flip. Is that where you step in?

And are you using leverage options or are you going to go comment?

I haven't even started accumulating. I'm just like, this is an idea. I was hoping that you guys would like hear this and be like, we're at ETH Denver. Fuck you. Don't buy Coinbase. Buy ETH.

I don't know that I would say Coinbase is upside as higher than Ethereum's, but I do think it is probably a good bet. And I think they're a safe business, even though a lot of people have dated Coinbase because they're minimizing the potential value accrual of an exchange. And like what's your rake off of people trading coins on your platform and they're too heavily associating it to the value of your company is tied to whatever crypto volumes are and volumes are down. So screw you, you suck. You're going bankrupt. I don't think any of that's true. And I think they actually have a pathway to creating value accrual outside of just the exchange. I think that's actually one of the interesting things about base. It's one of the interesting things about NFTs potentially for Coinbase, like if they can figure out how to do it right and like some of these Coinbase staking as another example, like they may not individually be a huge pool of revenue, but one of them might. And then collectively, I think it really makes them establish value accrual overall as a tech company rather than just being an exchange. Because if you look at an exchange, the public companies that are exchanges, they don't trade at like tech multiples. They trade within their kind of own little world.

So can we talk a little bit about more regulation? What are we thinking going forward? Like will regulation affect each price, will it affect the ecosystem from being able to grow? Obviously, I think the biggest news of the last couple, maybe last week was Gary Gensler getting quoted saying anything but BTC is a security. So I don't know. What are initial thoughts? Like are you nervous about your bag as being a contributor of the ecosystem of this regulatory

risk? I think it can have short term impacts. China banned Bitcoin a bunch of times during 2017 and Bitcoin went nuts the whole time. I also think that there are some countries that'll just say like, oh, that's what the US is doing. We're going the opposite way. And like that can create interesting flows as well. I think Gary Gensler is going to lose a lot of his battles. Like there's some that he probably should win, but he's trying, he's like overreaching. And he's like, well, guess what? The Securities and Exchange Commissioner says these things are securities and they're in my domain. Like, okay, thanks. The CFTC has a whole different opinion.

There are, I kind of hate the politicization of crypto, but there's kind of this right left divide going on right now where like, you know, my very own former Auburn football coach and now Senator Tommy Tuberville is like pro crypto and it's weird. And I'm like, I think you're one of the dumbest senators in America. But like, I like this take. Thank you. I probably shouldn't have said that. Don't listen to this Tommy Tuberville.

Can we talk about like the SEC component of it? Like if they label it a security, like what's the real downside of that? If that, if that does happen, like why does that hurt?

Yes. Like the question is, so what?

Right? Yeah. Yeah. Deep platforming risk for American entities.

So like if, if Coinbase has to stop ETH trading, things like that. My worry is that maybe we're watching like this slow motion train wreck and it's happening right in front of us or we're not seeing what, like I see operation choke point happening. I look at like a stable coin liquidity market cap chart and it is just like down only. Like there's nothing but money leaving crypto and if I'm like putting on my tin foil hat, what do I do if I'm a powerful incumbent in the financial space? Well, I choke off the industry. I crash everything. I scoop up a bunch of cheap points and then I try to rebuild all of the on ramps and as much stuff as possible so that I can capture it. So I'm, I think if we do crash, we will go back up. I think that the tech and everything is so valuable, but like I do worry that there is still that sort of downside potential that, that, that we may see in the next like year

or two.

What do you mean if we do crash? We did crash. We just got the fricking FTX went under and like Sam was just lying to everyone's faces the whole time and he owned no Bitcoin, like the rehypothecation of Bitcoin and ETH out of FTX to the tune of billions. Like everything you just talked about happened. You're just wanting like round two and maybe it'll happen, maybe it won't, but I don't think it'll have the price impact that people want, even if like new dominoes fall. Like Silvergate for instance, that's a pretty big deal. Yeah, that was a big deal this morning. But guess what? It's, I don't think it's going to create as big of a liquidity issue as like FTX did. I don't know. I just think we just saw so much stuff already like go down that I think you're, you're asking

for a lot in that further downside.

I mean, sometimes there's two legs to bear market. There's the actual events happening that actually drive price down and then there's just pure apathy. Attrition. Right. So do you think there's an opening for that where we don't have these other credit risk events happening, you know, sequentially one after one, but people get bored, they leave,

money leaves, number goes down again. Number doesn't have to just go down. I mean, maybe you get like what we had last time where 6K was the supposed floor and then like one final thing dropped, drove it another 50%. That was a huge buying opportunity. So if you get it, be thankful for it and like figure out how to survive. But like if you're trying to like, you know, the grim reaper going past the doors and it's like fricking Dokhwan and Suzu and SPF and now Barry and Silvergate, like, and now Steven,

who else do you want to ask a question about that moment when it went from 6K and then dropped another 50% like I wasn't trading crypto at that time. I think Steven was, I think ledger probably was, but like when that happened, did you have much time to buy the 3K dip or was that like a moment like you had to be on it like

that minute? Like that? Well, to get it at like 3100, there was not that much time. The hard part is you could have been like, okay, I'm in, but it's like 4K on the way down and then it still goes to 3K. So you're questioning that conviction constantly. And then what it did spend a lot of time doing is grinding from 3100 back to 4K. And that's what actually caused the squeeze back up is because so many people were like, I'm out. We spent weeks at this price. People had way too much time to buy cheap or whatever. I was very bullish at that time, but also the apathy was extreme. Like I was playing this game where you like press up or down, whether the candle is going

to go up or down in the next five minutes called hero HXRO. Did you call us a D gen when you first?

Yeah. So I beta tested that or them and that was the game and literally the price of Bitcoin was moving no more than like 50 cents over the course of that time. And one of my friends was on Bitmex trying to win this game against his friends. He was on Bitmex like spamming the order book to get it to tick up 50 cents. Nobody was trading. Like that's, that's apathy and attrition. That's low liquidity. And that's what was happening in 2019. And that then, so then it pops out of that, you're like, oh, this is just another Bart, but then it's not another Bart. So like it's, you have time to get in cheap. Like there's no difference today between buying at 3k or 4k or 5k or 6k at the time, it was a huge move.

It felt like the world and like not doing it right was a high probability outcome. That's a, that's very helpful. That helps me be patient in a moment like this where I do want to DCA, but at 1650 is like, do I really want to like start buying here and maybe get a little more greedy. I'll have time.

I will have time, but also don't get greedy. So let's switch. We got to wait like 10, 15 minutes left. Let's pivot. I wanted to hear more about what it's like to be a founder in this, in this industry. So do you mind giving us a little intro to flip and then yeah, I just want to hear what it's like to build these days.


Let's pivot. Yeah. Maybe specifically cause we talked about this last night and dude, you're really good strategist man. Like, first of all, you were helping me with my business. Then we started talking about yours and just the reflections you have around the strategies around your understanding of defensibility, positioning in the marketplace, the focus of an entrepreneur. And I think that's one of the hardest parts. And I think you have that down to a certain degree. I'm sure we're all learning, but I really want to kind of go into some of these like big ahas and lessons you've had and things like that.

But yeah, give us the, uh, give us the intro. Thanks for that. Next time we're raising, I'm going to clip that and see it for you. Yeah. Yeah. So I think, um, we're just, we're building a NFT platform and what we want to achieve is we want to make it the absolute best place in the world to shop for NFTs, to discover NFTs, to track your portfolio, to, uh, find and experience these communities, participate in the ecosystem. And we believe that these are non fungible tokens. So like you're buying that token, there's been a huge shift towards like basically trying to turn NFTs into, uh, altcoins with JPEGs, um, or like NFT perps, basically. That's really not what we're building. We're building something where the ERC 721 standard says an NFT is a digital deed. It's a receipt. Um, and I believe that is on, there's this non fungibility as a feature because it's, I'm buying pudgy penguin number 965.

I'm not buying pudgy perp. If you want to buy pudgy perp, figure out a way to do that. That's cool. We're building for the people that want to dig into these ecosystems, whether it's JPEGs and PFPs or whether it's like, um, experiential NFTs, so it's like a concert ticket and there may be like this added value that you can provide to that concert ticket or something I get trolled about a lot on up only as like digital, you know, so like my, my, you know, my skid steers and NFT, but like, Hey, my skid steers hours are like in the blockchain and now I can actually create a marketplace for my construction equipment because I'm sending that money as meta attributes to the NFT. So it can actually always be listed. If somebody wants to buy my skid steer for more than it's worth, then they can, I can allow that to happen and they can have real time data. They can have real information, location data, historical records data, all kinds of cool stuff about a fricking skid steer that actually makes, um, one, it makes the, if you consider a fleet of equipment, it makes that stuff really valuable to a company because they can actually can create a value for their fleet in a much cleaner way. They can also create a liquid market for it, both on the supply and the demand side. They can track their inventory much better. There's a lot of interesting stuff that you can do and that's with just construction equipment. Um, yeah. So the, as a side, y'all want to see like dopamine, uh, Richie brothers auctions.

If I'm gonna call her heard of these, Richie's brothers auction $7 billion marketplace, uh, for a auction platform for basically heavy equipment. Really? Yeah. And he's talking big boy tractors. Yeah. This is like, you know, Billy Bob bidding $45,000 for an excavator and like going toe to toe

with Jimbo Joe and they are, they are live stream this because dude, yes. Oh, hell yeah.

And it's like, dude. Yes. Oh, hell yeah. And it's like, it's got the auctioneer on it with the whole voice in the moment. It's so fun and like, but no, you never heard of it. It's a seven, it's a $7 billion marketplace and there's tons of volume on that. And my thesis is basically like, we don't even understand yet the product market fit for where NFTs will be. That's one example of where I think NFTs can actually thrive in a way that's not a really regulated market. Like you don't have to have the government on your side to create a fidgetle NFT marketplace or construction equipment or fleets or stuff that they have as corporate purpose. And for the first time, I think with NFTs and non-fungible tokens, you can actually create something where people were like, I'm gonna put X on the blockchain. That was all 2017 and 2018, but it made no sense when it's ERC 20s. This actually makes a lot of sense in the supply chain industries, in the like events industry, the ticketing world, like there's so much cool stuff that I just recently, this is so that we're expensive, but not that much more expensive than just being at the game.

So I actually bought these tickets off of one of the marketplaces and oh my gosh, it's like, okay, here's your $800 ticket and $250 of fees for each one. We can do this better. We can do this better. And it doesn't have to be regulated. That's an NFT driven market. And you can actually add really interesting value. Like if you're the Chicago Bulls, it'd be really cool to actually add additional information,

like loyalty points, free splash guard for LeBron's sweat.

There's so much cool stuff that like a good business person can add value to a ticket holder that then makes people want to go to games and wants to sell out the stadium. And like, this is a, everybody wins type of environment where NFTs can absolutely play a role.

And yeah, I get real excited about that.

You guys have a token for the DJs in the room. We do not have a token, but you can go to, I would highly recommend though people like just go to flip, flip.xyz and try it and it's the best shopping experience in the world for NFTs right now. And we're just working really hard to make that better and better.

And yeah, we're, you guys were talking strategy last night, but I'm curious, how do you see yourself versus other competitors are, are, are, do you consider open, see a competitor? Do you consider a competitor or their potential partners?

We do things a lot differently than other people in the market. If I have to just say what we are at a core level, we'd probably have to say, yeah, we're an NFT aggregator, but we actually think we take a lot of the best things that an exchange does, a lot of the best things that an aggregator does, and a lot of the best things that like a research platform does. And we slam it all together and it prevents that thing where if you, if any of y'all got into NFTs in 2021, you're like, all right, here's these like 10 tools that you've got to pull together and like mash them all up and then you can figure it out. And that makes no sense to me. And so what we built was, well, here's what you got to do. You got to go to flip.xyz, and then you just enjoy. Have fun exploring the market. You can transact. You can track. We'll even put a tax report together for you based on all the wallets that you traded with. We'll do a lot of cool stuff. So I think we set ourselves apart, and that we're better than everybody else more.

That's already awesome. That's a great feature. Yeah, that's already a feature. I have to pay for that feature at other services to do that for me. And then there's some ways where we're trying to get more opinionated. So we recently built a royalties API, and we're making that available directly to creators. We have a sample app that's a Discord bot. So it's one thing to say, hey, I'm going to token gate my Discord. But what if it's actually, I'm going to token gate my Discord, and you have to have paid royalties to participate in our community. And if you haven't paid royalties, you can go back to Flip and kind of top up. And it's like, yeah, oopsies, public shaming. Proof of support of the artist, essentially.

Yeah. Proof of royalty. Yeah. That's cool. So we've built that. So if any collections wanted to participate, then we can talk to them. And we're working with some of the big collections right now to figure out how they might use that. Now they can be the political ones in that experience. They can choose what they do or don't do, but we'll be opinionated about, say, hey, we're going to provide market information on these assets about whether or not they've

paid royalties. It's already awesome. That's a great feature.

That's already a feature. I have to pay for that feature at other services to do that for me. Yeah, that's cool. So when it comes to building our monitor of jokes, that sometimes being an entrepreneur is like eating glass, staring down the black hole with this sometimes. How long have you been at this and what's experience been for you?

Is an entrepreneur starting something up?

Yeah, ideation was like April 2021, and we just, my business partner, Sam and Jennifer, they came to me and we're like, we want to do on-chain data. We know you love on-chain data. So we started digging in, and we didn't know exactly which route we were going to go. So it took a while before we said, look at how many people were onboarded to actually doing things on-chain, which is what you're supposed to do with the blockchain is like use it. And hundreds of thousands of people at the time were being onboarded with NFTs, whereas like DeFi was tens of thousands of people but with a lot of money. And we thought it was really exciting to see what was happening on-chain with NFTs. And so that's when we really dug in. And yeah, it's been a fricking journey, man. It's hard. Like you wonder like, does anybody care about my app? Like why does like a ledger grandma meme get so much more attention than Twitter than when I talked about my product that I put like my blood, sweat and tears into? But if I put a picture of like Alabama white sauce on, you know, pork and- You're viral.

Yeah, it's just like everybody's calling me a fatty and, you know, like you're going to have a heart attack at 38, you know, and it's like, okay, well crap. Like I want attention on the things that I spend all of my energy on.

And so that sometimes that's really hard.

Yeah. It's frustrating, right? Yeah. Yeah.

But I understand. Yeah. Yeah. But I understand it. It's what the market is speaking in. It's an attention market. Right.

Totally. If you were reading, what is happening?

You can tell we're live at a conference right now.

Very live. You can tell we're live at a conference right now. Guys, I heard ETH just went down 20% in one minute.

Very live. That might be it. Do you have any like entrepreneurship alfalfa? Because I think that, of course, this is like a money episode that we do. And in general, you know, the approach to entrepreneurship is wide and varied from person to person. And there's many different approaches and methodologies and things that people try to indoctrinate themselves about, whether they go and they do a traditional kind of like Y Combinator training or they're like, no, I'm going to build a lifestyle business. There's many different approaches. If you were redoing this, would you have approached anything differently?

That's a good question. You know, I think I still think we've gone the right route by raising money because you need to raise money sometimes to like compete. Yes. It's like speed to product in a sense. Yeah. And I've seen a lot of people bootstrap businesses and do an amazing job with it. I think it's really hard in a market where if your competitors are extraordinarily well-funded to bootstrap that yourself and like say, well, here's our business model and like, you know, here's a subscription and we're making like 10 or 15 or 20 grand a month and that's how we're going to build this product. You just can't compete with somebody that's got $100 million in the bank and they want to crush you. But when you raise money, I always compare it to basically the moment you bring in outside investors, you just jumped on a hamster wheel and now you got to keep that hamster wheel spinning. And at some point you're either going to get chewed up in that sucker and get spit out or you're going to have to like jump off and try to stick the landing. It's a red pill for sure. Yeah.

There's no turning back either. But you're creating an exit the moment that you take money. Like you're at some point down the road, there is an exit. That is acquisition or bankruptcy or acquire or private equity or going public. Like that's really the only options there are. And so you have to be willing to say, okay, this is not a lifestyle business. I'm going to let go of this business someday, at least from an ownership perspective, I'm going to bring other people in and that's, that's something that you have to determine for yourself. And if your market doesn't demand that you like spin up and build so quickly and get way out over your skis versus what your revenue is, then I think a lifestyle is a fantastic business.

Like you build a business that may sound like speed to product in a sense. And it's a red pill for sure. I know turning back, you got some of the fact that you can actually make money. You don't have to take a founder's salary. You can actually, you know, you get the bottom line dollars and you put them in your pocket.

Like if y'all know, like Nick does this well. You know, either from sweaty startup. Oh yeah. It's like, okay. If you can build a business that you make a million dollars a year off of, that's pretty awesome. And so don't discount that type of stuff. But if you do go down the route of startups and founders, you never say you're a founder of a landscaping business. Just run a landscaping business. And there's nothing wrong with doing things the old fashion way and bringing these things that you've learned, probably, if you're in the software startup world of being efficient, being digital first, having great communication, great customer service. But you can go be a plumber, you know what I mean? And you can scale it up and create this cash cow, basically, because you know things that other

plumbers don't know. Well, yeah. And if I could buy that stock, just like electricians, engineers, my god, next couple of decades, it'd be wild.

Roofers, engineers, yeah. Roofers. They're going to be the ones DC and ETH with their extra cash flow. They're going to be the ones they're going to dominate the next decade.

So in demand. I'm curious, because you seem to have a very good pulse on the NFT market. Is there any other part of the market that you see as being really, really underserved that Flip doesn't really have any interest in touching, but somebody else might want to go

out and start a business, might want to go out and start a business?

Other than NFTs, you mean? Just like something else within NFTs or for NFT users or anything in that, because we all agree that that's going to

be a huge thing in the future. But within it, yeah. There's some stuff that's weirdly well over-served. So 3D virtual experiences, for example. We didn't really dig into that, but I'm like, what's your business model for saying, hey, go in this digital room and walk around and look at art? That's really weird to me. I think I can just click a picture and look at it on a computer screen, and it's a pretty good experience. But there are some things, OK, where does that start to make sense, and it's OK, here's my blockchain-driven game. But have they considered what does the avatar building look like? These mutating NFTs is a really interesting concept. If you can be really good about handling NFTs that change over time, so your digital identity as an NFT, so you have a wallet score or something like that, stuff like that is really interesting, there's this wide world of what you can do with NFTs that I don't understand. Oh, another one we just can't go after from a regulatory perspective is fractionalized NFTs is an interesting concept.

Because they get kind of securitized, essentially? Yeah. Things that are really interesting or bring about really interesting financial ideas, or a blend of financial and collection, things like that, that's hard for Americans to do, I think there's really solid potential there. But no, within NFTs, it's kind of hard for me to specify. I've got to give a shout out to ENS, though. This is not what we're actively wanting to serve ENS, but that's a great example of, and it's actually an amazing business, they make millions of dollars a year on people registering domains, and there's excellent utility. If you want to send ETH to me, you can send it to LedgerStatus.ETH, and the utility of the product is they enabled that, and you can actually send Bitcoin to LedgerStatus.ETH, too. Really? Yeah, it knows how to route it. There's so much cool stuff on ENS. I didn't realize that, I didn't know that. Yeah, and you can build a website that goes to LedgerStatus.ETH slash link, or whatever.

There's so much cool stuff that ENS does, and that's an NFT, and it's a great example of product market fit that's not a JPEG, and it's a really interesting protocol. It's one of the most profitable protocols in the Ethereum space. And I just think there's going to be dozens of these. So go build for one of them, and really dive into that ecosystem, and build a business around it, and I think those can do really, really well.

And realize that, I didn't know that.

I think that's a perfect place to wrap. They did give us a hard stop, Ledger. Otherwise we'd go with you much longer. They could tell us to get out of here. They got more important podcasts.

Much longer. They could tell us to get out of here. They got more important podcasts. Yeah, they give.

You know we got a lot of juice around here.

Yeah, hh! You know we got a lot of juice around here when we get the

9 AM slot. We'll have to do this again, for sure.

That would be. Can I come to San Diego to do it? Hell yeah. Absolutely.

Hell yeah. Hell yeah. Absolutely. Yeah, yeah, absolutely. We actually need to figure out this exact rig and just emulate it set it up better minds. Yeah


There's a weird clipping in these yes, yes

Where else do you want people to find you flip dot XYZ? Where else where else at ledger status on Twitter? Up only yeah up only TV. We'll be back People people you guys they're ever gonna be another So there will be another episode of up only we love up only it's fun But like we don't have any mandates that we have to do a show since I'm trying to screw you

We're gonna take a break. Oh people people. Yeah, is there ever gonna be another don't ease?

Yeah, I think that's what makes the show so great. Yeah. Yeah. Sure. That's the allure. All right, brother. My boys do all right

All right, thanks for tuning everybody. All right. All right