There are so many things to learn about utilizing crypto, understanding the benefits as well as the benefits. It can be used to save time and money, but you need to be careful and only interact with reputable companies. Today’s guest is Bam Azizi. Bam is a tech entrepreneur and the co-founder and CEO of Mesh, which provides FinTech companies with a seamless and secure one-click system for users to transfer their assets for deposit, payment, and payout. He previously founded No Password, a cybersecurity identity company acquired by LogMeIn in 2019.“By default, crypto is an open ecosystem. It is its design. It has some benefits but it has some pitfalls and disadvantages that we need to avoid.” - Bam Azizi Click To Tweet
- [0:53] – Bam shares his background and current endeavors with Mesh, of which he is co-founder and CEO.
- [2:26] – Bam explains how he found himself working in FinTech with his background in cybersecurity.
- [5:01] – You cannot educate every single user on the planet. People make mistakes all the time and there should be no shame about that.
- [7:37] – Defense needs to get it right 100% of the time, but to move the scam forward, the scammer only needs to get it right once.
- [11:01] – Security and compliance act like guardrails.
- [12:30] – There are mechanisms in place that can protect users, but there are pitfalls and disadvantages.
- [13:41] – Crypto is like any other type of data, but how it is stored is different.
- [14:57] – Crypto is inherently secure, but transit becomes a problem.
- [17:34] – Sometimes, you just don’t know who you are sending money to or if the company receiving funds is legitimate.
- [19:40] – Bam explains what happens when we initiate a transaction and try to rescind it.
- [22:02] – We should be able to identify the people interacting with blockchain.
- [23:40] – The industry wants crypto to be adopted world wide, but if that were to happen, some things need to be accepted.
- [24:48] – The blame can’t be placed on one entity.
- [26:40] – One major benefit to crypto is global transfers.
- [30:44] – There are a lot of moving pieces when it comes to crypto and you never actually see it. It’s hard to think about in-transit security.
- [33:30] – There is a huge pushback against crypto from banks and financial institutions.
- [35:09] – Crypto has been demonized to some extent, but as a technology and the advances we will see in coming years, it’s not inherently bad.
- [37:34] – We can build practices and mechanisms that can prevent collapses.
- [40:36] – There are some risks in using crypto but some risks are much bigger than others.
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- Bam Azizi on LinkedIn
Bam, thank you so much for coming on the Easy Prey Podcast today.
Thanks for having me.
Can you give myself and the audience a little bit of background about who you are and what you do?
Sure. My name is Bam Azizi. I'm the co-founder and CEO of Mesh Connect, or as we call it, Mesh. My background is I have a PhD in computer science. I started in my previous company called NoPassword, where my team and I built 2000 integrations to bring frictionless, passwordless authentication to life.
That company got acquired by a public company called LogMeIn, which is the parent company of LastPass. Probably you're familiar with that. I've been working there for a couple of years, and then I started Mesh after that. That's my background. Even though I'm coming from the security background in what we're doing in Mesh, it's related to identity and security, and we can get into that later.
Yeah, we'll weave into that. When you're going through your computer science, were you intending to go into security, or was that just an opportunity that presented itself?
Yeah. Right out of the university, there was a lab in the university that was connected to a lot of instruments. You cannot connect your own laptop to it, so you had to log in in those laptops. If someone sent you an email, and you needed that information to be printed or used for that instrument, you had to log into your email in a shared computer.
I was always thinking about, “What if we had a device like a USB thumb drive that you could connect to that lab instrument, then you could collect all of your passwords in a secure way, and then when you're done, you just remove it and then we call it a day?” That idea died. I didn't pursue that. But as a person who loves security, I always never trust, I hate logging in on a random computer. But it was bothering me.But as a person who loves security, I always never trust, I hate logging in on a random computer. -Bam Azizi Click To Tweet
When I started my previous company, initially it was a hardware company. There was an interesting story, because the initial idea is way, way different than the final result. It started with a ring. You could wear the ring; it had motion sensors on it. Basically, it could detect your hands' gesture, and you could control a drone, a robot, or your computer. It was a very, very cool device, but nobody was willing to pay for it.
We started going after enterprise to sell that device. They said, “If you can make it in a way that our employees can wear this, and then we can identify them so they can go inside different rooms, like RFID, like a badge, instant badge, it's just on the ring, then they can all look at the computer.” We started building this security use case around that. That idea that came from the lab merged with that ring.
The ring was very expensive. I remember iPhone just started launching touch ID on their phone. It felt like, “OK, all the motion sensors that we have in this ring, it existed already in the phone. On top of that, they have GPS, so we can do geofencing. On top of that, there is a biometric touch ID. While we're reinventing the hardware, which is very, very hard to build, and it's very expensive, we can just build a software.” That's how NoPassword was born.
We ditched the hardware idea, and then we went after basically working in a software company called NoPassword. That's how NoPassword started. It naturally evolved. It was at the top of my head at some point, but it came to fruition after a couple of years.
That's cool. One of the things that I like to ask my cyber security guests, because I'm trying to de-stigmatize people that either fall victim to cyber security incidents or fall for a scam, so I'm starting to ask everybody, have you or a family member had a cyber security incident or fallen for a scam?
Many times. It's not a shame. First of all, you cannot educate every single user on the planet. People are making mistakes all the time, and there is no shame to it. As it goes to your podcast name, Easy Prey, we all believe in the industry that users are the weak links. The systems should be built by design to avoid those pitfalls for end users. It should be so simple for end users that even if they want to make a mistake, there should be some mechanism to avoid that.People are making mistakes all the time, and there is no shame to it. -Bam Azizi Click To Tweet
A personal story of being hacked, not in NoPassword, but during the early days of Mesh, someone basically sent a message on behalf of me to one of our employees. He said, “This is Bam Azizi.” I'm sure everyone had a similar experience. It was very legit. That person reached out to me and said, “I'm in a meeting.” The person in the text was also saying, “I'm in a meeting. I need you to run a favor or run errands for me.”
The favor was either, “Buy a gift card for me and then read back the number. If you're not close to any physical store and cannot buy a gift card, this is the wallet address. You can send some crypto. I want to gift someone.” “I'm in a meeting, I can't do that right now. Can you do that on behalf of me?”
It was a different number, but I was very shocked that when the guy was showing me that like, “Is this you? I'm getting this text, you’re in a meeting,” and that person was saying I'm in a meeting. But more importantly, they somehow hacked his device and assigned that number to my name.
From his perspective, the text was coming from Bam Azizi but no number. Nothing I can do to stop it other than just explaining that to new employees that this could happen. There was an experience as part of our booklet. Every new employee have to go through a certain training. But it happens to everyone, and we should not be ashamed of it.
Yeah. These things are on the rise. I think it's one of those things that we have to get it on the defensive side. You have to get it right a hundred percent of the time. Someone who's trying to take advantage of us just needs to get it one time in order to get something out of us, or at least to move the scam forward.
Yes, that's correct.
You were talking about crypto. Is that a space that you're interested in and that Mesh is involved in?
Yeah. Initially when we started Mesh, it was a B2C application. I was hopeful that some of the brands in the industry, where they solve the identity aspect of financial institutions and connection layers. Until I started using it as an expert in identity space and authentication space, it felt like we can do better.
Our app initially was a B2C application or company that you could connect your Robinhood, your Coinbase, and manage everything in one place. We had equity and crypto supported as an asset class, and then we started building our own integrations because we needed real-time data, and then we needed basically to be able to do things with those connections, not just reading information.
For instance, if you connect your Robinhood, I wanted you to be able to trade on your Robinhood as well. Or if you connect your Coinbase, you want to buy this crypto or that crypto, you should be able to do that.
In 2022, all the consumers and also crypto craze went down. People were not interested in buying things or doing things in their brokerage applications anymore. We felt like we'll be a belt. Those integrations could be used by others who already have users, and there are many different use cases that we can enable them outside of the investment, so we pivoted from B2C to B2B.
Again, I'm back to the identity space and building integrations. Authentication is to make sure people can connect securely and in a compliant way. There are brokerage apps, exchanges, and wallets. We're selling it to other fintech companies, exchanges, and wallets. Recently, we're working on payment and payout use cases and also compliance use cases.
These are things that we're building, and most of it are focused on crypto. We are not a crypto company in a sense that we're not issuing a token. We're not an exchange, but we're selling basically an infrastructure, if you will, to other crypto companies.
That's very interesting. Do you put yourself in a position where there's a lot of financial risk to what you're doing? How do you mitigate that with security?
I was trying to escape the identity space by getting dragged back into it. I think there are a lot of room for improvement when it comes to the crypto industry, both from security perspective and from compliance perspective. You're basically building rails.
Usually, security and compliance act as a guardrail. For security, you can basically be your own guardrails. But when it comes to compliance, it's coming from the regulators and basically agencies run by governments that they set those frameworks.
The moment they become available, you implement them. That makes our solution more appealing to risk averse companies like banks and others. I feel like what we’re doing, because of our background in security, helps the industry to move forward, even though there is an actual risk that we're taking as a company, the forefront of it, but we're willing to take that risk for a better world.
Is that one of the challenges that you see in that crypto space, because there isn't a really tight framework of compliance and regulations, that it's a space that's easy for fraud, manipulation, misuse, scams?
Yeah. I think by default, crypto is an open ecosystem, and it's by design. They're built that way from day one. It has some benefits, but it has some pitfalls and disadvantages that we need to avoid. It builds mechanisms to help us to not be hacked, be scammed, or protect our users in a general sense. I can give you a few examples. Before that, I can give you a security approach to the way that I look at it from a security perspective.
When it comes to data for anything, Web2, forget about crypto for a second. We have two categories of security mechanisms and best practices. We have security at rest. When you're storing the data, how you encrypt it, who has the access to it, how you manage those accesses, authorizations, and stuff like that.
There is security in transit. When you're sending data from one place to another, how do you make sure that is end-to-end encryption, the channels and the hops that basically data goes through is secure? Same thing happens basically in crypto.
Crypto is no different than other types of data. The only difference is it's going to be stored, basically, in the open forum or, as we call it, the blockchain. Everybody has access to it, but it's still secure. You cannot change it; it's immutable.
When there is a transaction, when there is a movement from one place to another, it's still access to data that you need to build practices. They've been built for the last 40 years around that. We should not reinvent the wheel when it comes to security, because the nature is the same. The core is the data on the internet, basically.
We have done a great job as an industry in the crypto side to build a self-custody wallet that is absolutely secure and bulletproof. Companies like Fireblocks, Coinbase, and others, are building things that is inherently secure, and you can store your assets and your value there. You can make sure that nobody can steal it from you.
When it comes to transit, we have done very, very little. There are things that Mesh can help to solve, and there are things that any company cannot do that single-handedly. The entire industry needs to move toward that.
I'll give you an example of a problem that happens in transit. First of all, if you want to transfer assets from one wallet to another, you ask users to copy this wallet address, God knows, paste it there, and then the transfer happens. The problem is when it comes to banks, you can always call back. If you did a wrong ACH or wire, you can call your bank and say, “Cancel that wire” or, “Cancel that ACH” within the limited window of time. When it comes to crypto, once you click that send button, nobody can reverse it. That's the purpose of blockchain.
We wanted to make sure that users are not the weaklings here. Instead of doing that, first of all, we want to make it super easy for users to do that. They don't need to copy and paste a wallet address, a random alphanumeric address. When they copy, they might paste it in the wrong place. They might get a scam actually by doing that. They might get hacked, and they might send money to someone that they didn't intend it to.
The other problem is once you do that, you cannot reverse it. We want to build a governance layer on top of that to make sure that first of all, from security perspective and also from compliance perspective, you're not receiving money from a bad actor, an account in North Korea, or whatever.
That's how we solve part of that transit problem. Great example for that is what happened if you sent crypto to the wrong address? Basically, DEA sees some illegal assets, and then they wanted to transfer it to cash it out, and then hackers got involved. They created an address, and then the last five digits and first five digits of the address was exactly the same as the place the DEA is supposed to send. They sent it to the wrong place, the hackers took it, and they never could recover that.
Things in that nature. If it happens for DEA, a big government agency, it could potentially happen to anyone. We can potentially solve some of those problems, but I think the whole industry needs to move toward a more compliant, secure way to transit assets from one place to another.
To me, from the scam level, the scary part is maybe the identity aspect of it. You just don't necessarily know that where you're sending it is where you think you're sending it and whether or not they're a legitimate entity. Are exchanges working on doing a better job of maybe blocking bad actors, blocking bad addresses? Is there a central repository of, “Hey, this has been used in scamming; let's stop people from sending their crypto there”?
Yeah, there are. I think what we have done for internet, we can do that for crypto too. If you remember early on the internet, we didn't have domain name services. You had to type in the IP address. That's against the nature of humans. You want to know who you're sending an email to or what website you're visiting. You want to just type in the characters, you don't want to type numbers. We're not robots. Not yet.
The way that we should do that for crypto is the same. You should not send to a random alphanumeric address, or you should not receive funds from an alphanumeric address. You should receive funds from your wife, from your friends, from someone who you know. You know their name, and you've done business with them before.
You're going to do the business for the first time, but you know that the person that is sending money to you. That should be easily resolved, because we have solved that for TradFi, traditional financial institutions, and we solved it for internet. It's really not that hard to solve. That's number one.
Number two is basically, all these exchanges have a pool like Coinbase, Binance. Everyone has a pool of assets that they don't know what to do with it, because they cannot reverse the transaction, but they know for sure it came from an illicit account or illegal account outside of US. It could be North Korea, it could be another OFAC-sanctioned country. They cannot reverse it, because that wallet address doesn't exist anymore. They just sent it, it's sitting there, and they can't touch it.
The way that this needs to be solved is we need to build a governance layer in a way that we prevent transactions before it happens. Because of the nature of blockchain, when you initiate a transaction and then the other party receives the fund, they know where it comes from when it already sits in their account, which is too late. You want to basically have a mechanism to verify the transaction before it happens, because after that, it's too late.You want to basically have a mechanism to verify the transaction before it happens, because after that, it's too late. -Bam Azizi Click To Tweet
These are two things that Mesh can potentially help to solve for the industry. Again, believe it or not, the core problem that you're tackling is not blockchain, it's not crypto, it's not this industry, it's identity. We already solved that for many different use cases, and crypto is not an exception.
Is some of the, maybe, pushback within the industry is a segment of people that use crypto that specifically don't want identity associated with it?
Crypto came with three promises. First was the decentralization. There is no central authority that can prevent things to happen, which is fine. The second part is everything should be anonymous. We want to respect identities of people who are using blockchain. The third one is the cost and the speed of things that happen. It's much, much faster and cheaper compared to traditional financial institutions. If you want to transfer funds from here to the Philippines, you can do that in a millisecond. If you want to go through the banks, it would be very, very expensive and also might take a week or a month, depending on where you're sending the money to.
Out of these three, the only thing that we need to compromise as an industry, for a good reason, is the identity piece. I think it's going to be healthier for everyone to implement KYC, AML, and things in that nature without compromising the privacy of the users who are using it. But we can do things to make sure that the identity of the people who are acting or actively doing things in the blockchain is verified.
One of the things that I'm seeing in the industry that hopefully we see the benefits of that is Worldcoin. That is a controversial project of Sam Altman. If people are interested in identity plus crypto, that's a good one. Their goal is basically solving that problem for the industry.
Do you think that's where the industry is going? Or do you think there's going to be a lot of pushback against an adjustment of the core principles of crypto?
I think you can have it both ways. If you want to have an industry that is going to be used only by crypto pros, some random bad actors, and some illicit activities, then you can have it, but you should not expect that to be adopted by everyday people. I think every single leader in the industry want crypto to be adopted by the mass number of users. If you want that, there are some compromises you need to make on the security part, on the identity part. Also you need to make it a little bit more user-friendly. I don't think crypto is as user-friendly as it needs to be for everyday people to use it on everyday use cases.
People are currently taking advantage of that and setting up fake apps. “Hey, if you send me some crypto, we can invest it on your behalf.” In this app, it looks like you're making money. It looks like it's increasing in value. But as soon as you want to transfer it out of there, all of a sudden, “Oh, you need to do this. Oh, there's a failure in transferring the money out,” and all of a sudden you realize, “Oh, wait a second. This was an unethical third party as opposed to a legitimate organization.”
That's right. It's an egg and chicken problem. You can't blame the users for not doing the research. You can't blame the industry. I think the way I see that it will be resolved, this crypto being adopted by all these banks that people already built trust with and they trust them, if you want to buy crypto, you should be able to open your bank account and just do that there and stuff like transferring fund, because there is a bill, and you will find a way to do that. You might end up transferring funds to somewhere that it's not trustworthy.
I think the industry on the Web2 side should move toward Web3 a little bit. Also, the Web3 folks, if they want mass adoption, they need to be able to compromise in some of the things to make this more appealing for risk-averse companies like big banks. The benefit goes to the end users. They can get everything they want in one place in a simple, safe, and secure way.
The reality is probably the vast majority of people that are using crypto or who would use crypto are not using it for nefarious purposes. They're just trying to move money from one location to another quickly, conveniently, and easily. They're not running a drug empire or an illicit goods empire via crypto.
That's right. I think one good benefit of crypto when it comes to international transfer, nothing can beat crypto, because you can build a local system that is faster, better, and cheaper. Like you're talking about, FedNow these days, that is going to be a modern version of wire transfers, more safe and instantaneous. It's 24/7. You can do that anytime.
Different version of that has already existed in Europe and in Asia. There is no global mechanism to transfer assets from one bank to another, and crypto could be that. That's cheap, safe, and secure, depending on where you wanna send a fund. I think that could be a potential home run for crypto.
It's almost like crypto's the foundation, and we just need to build another layer on top of it that uses crypto in the background, but the way that we as users interact with it, we don't really see it that way.
Yes. I'm sure you've heard the concept called stablecoins. The benefits of stablecoins is it's [inaudible] at times and part of it with US dollar, there is a pegging. The reason that we have not used Bitcoin specifically that everybody knows for payments is because it's very, very volatile. Let's say you want to buy a pair of shoes online; it's $30. You pay $30, the merchant might get $32; they might get $28 because it's volatile. But stablecoin can solve that problem.
Every USDC or USDT is exactly equal to $1, and then there are other things that come into the market called yield coin. Basically, it's not a staking, but every US dollar that you're storing for every USDC for instance, if it creates an interest, then you get part of that interest as well.
That's the next version of stablecoins that's coming to the market, especially now that the interest rate is high. But my point is that stablecoin can play an important role in terms of solving that and addressing that issue that you just mentioned. If you want to transfer fund from here to someone in the Philippines, you don't notice that behind the scene, the US dollar gets transferred to a stable coin, and stablecoin is an asset on blockchain.
It will be transferred much, much faster, because blockchain doesn't have the geography that we have, like it's accessible everywhere that there is internet. Then the other party will basically off-ramp it to either dollar or local currency, and then you receive it on the other end. You feel like you hate crypto, you never ever used blockchain. You don't know anything about it, but behind the scene, that could be the channel that transfers your assets from one place to another.
Yeah. I know a number of businesspeople who were in the position of, “Hey, we'd love to accept payments in crypto.” Maybe for industries where you have a very large profit margin software, things like that, that variation in pricing, that fluctuation, “OK, we can afford to lose a little bit of money here, make a little extra money there.” But when you get to physical hardware goods, where you might only have a couple percent margin, and your store of bitcoin drops 10%, now we just lost a whole bunch of money selling this product.
Obviously the flip side could happen, but businesses like stability; we want to know that this is going to be here tomorrow. As soon as we receive the crypto, cash it out and put it back into US dollars or whatever the local currency is, and then back and forth every single time that we do a transaction.
There are services that do that. You're a merchant, you accept crypto, and then behind the scene, what happens, the moment you receive the crypto, it will be transferred to US dollar, and it will be transferred to your account as if you received Visa card or MasterCard. You never see crypto at all.
Again, when this happens, there are a lot of moving pieces. There are a lot of transfers from one place to another. There's a lot of on ramp and off ramp happening behind the scene. It's important to think about in transit security. If you don't do that in a correct way, you might never see the fund that you received.
Yeah. I guess all this on-ramping and off-ramping, we're trying to avoid it from becoming Visa and MasterCard at 2%, 3%, 4% of the cost on the transit, the conversion, or whatever have you. Wherever someone else is touching it, you don't want them overcharging you.
I believe in that. On that end, another benefit of crypto is because it's much, much cheaper to run. It's going to be way, way cheaper to run it. It's making some movements and a new version of Ethereum, Solana, and others to make it super fast and super cheap to maintain all these transactions and ledgers.
The benefit of that goes to end users. There is a hidden cost every time you're buying with your MasterCard, Visa card, or your Amex, that you're paying out of your pocket. Merchant doesn't pay it, but there is 2%, 3%, 4% as you mentioned. That might go all the way to 0. 2%, 0.1% and see the benefit of it as a consumer.
That becomes a lot more attractive for the business as well, because while I'm starting to see more businesses if you opt to pay with a credit card, they'll up your bill. Most businesses are just designed to absorb that cost. When you're operating with small margins, that small cost could be very significant. Switching to a decimal place at the beginning as opposed to at the end could fundamentally change profitability on businesses. Also, financial institutions are also losing out. There's a shift somewhere where the resources are happening, but it does make the cost of doing business less.
100%, yeah. The cost of doing business is a race to zero, so more expensive systems will be replaced by less expensive, faster systems, and more efficient systems. It has been proven in history again and again and again. Maybe that's one of the reasons that you're seeing a huge pushback by big banks and largest financial institutions against crypto, because there is an existential threat.
I'm sure you've heard Jamie Dimon mentioned that we should shut down crypto, because there are illegal activities. It's funny that he said that because they've been fined $10 billion in the last two years or whatever period of time for illegal activities happening at Chase.
They were OK to pay that. They're building, in a good faith, things to avoid those illegal activity to happen again. Nothing bad about Jamie Dimon and his empire, but same as crypto. If there are bad activities happening there, there are ways to fix it. We should not shut down an innovative way that could benefit consumers at the end by force of authority of the government, versus we can work with government, governmental agencies, regulatory frameworks, and agencies to build those frameworks, make crypto a safer place for everyone, and get all the upside of it.
Yeah, I think what everybody wants is safe crypto. I think anytime you talk about crypto, people either think making a lot of money, losing a lot of money, or somebody stealing a lot of money. It's the public view. Those that are in the space, it's not as big, bad and scary as that. But I think crypto has been demonized to some extent.
100%. As a technologist, I can see a lot of benefits of crypto for day-to-day people. If we were to shut it down when it was just Bitcoin and it's only being used by drug dealers, OFAC countries, and terrorists—we could have shut it down back then, but because we did not do that, because we want innovation, we want the technology to evolve, now we have a beautiful thing called a stablecoin that could unlock many different use cases in a very safe way and secure way that end users can see the benefit of that very soon.
We have seen a lot of winters in the crypto industry. Every winter, we look back and we learn something. I think in the last winter after what happened with FTX and Binance, we learned that if you want crypto to be adopted by everyone and being used, you need to do two things. You need to make it more compliant and secure. Also you need to make it easier to use for everyday people. I think this could potentially help us to have a more stable and healthy bull run that's happening hopefully in 2024.
Do you see more collapses of entities like Binance and FTX, that there's still some significant bad players in the field that need to come off the course or come off the court?
Yeah. If you look at it from experience perspective, and learned enough to not do what we have done as an industry as a whole, same thing that happened for the mortgage industry. In 2008, everyone was qualified for a loan, and then the collapse happened. Now it's much, much harder. We built a lot of guardrails to make sure that we don't repeat that mistake. I think the same thing happened here.
There is a proof of fund. You can't just claim that this token is valuable. You need to make sure that there is a fund and audited by third parties to show that this token is healthy. Things in that nature that you're building practices and mechanisms, and we learned from this winter that hopefully avoid big collapses like the FTX and so on and so forth in the future.
That being said, there is no guarantee that everything will be safe. I always ask my friends and my family members to do their research and make sure that they're working with the right people, right company, especially crypto. Because it's a global and international concept, you might just wire money to someone in Switzerland, in Germany, or in Colombia. You want to make sure that you know that those countries are following the best practices and privileges.
The biggest pitfall for day-to-day people is new tokens. For instance, when Dogecoin came out, everybody was rushing into the Dogecoin, because it could just make their money twice every day. Coinbase and other legit exchanges would not offer that until it became more mature. But as a result, people were sending money to the Philippines. Someone in the Philippines would buy Dogecoin because it was less regulations, hurdles in the Philippines, or other countries. As a result, a lot of people lost a lot of money as well.
There are things that every time that some bad thing happens, people learn about it. I think crypto is no exception. It's a tool. It could be used for bad reasons; it could be used for good reasons. I think there are a lot of benefits to it. There are a lot of things that we can do to avoid those pitfalls.There are things that every time that some bad thing happens, people learn about it. I think crypto is no exception. It's a tool. It could be used for bad reasons; it could be used for good reasons. I think there are a lot of… Click To Tweet
From a consumer perspective of someone who they want to be cautious about crypto, they're totally new to it, they don't know anything, they understand that they need to move cautiously, they're not looking for, “I want to triple my money over the next four days,” what are the things that they should be watching out for? Which of these are high-risk interactions or high-risk things that they may want to stay away from?
I think it really depends on the risk appetite of every single person. If you look at crypto as an investment asset, I always suggest to not get exposed more than your risk appetite, whether it's 2%, 5%, 10%. Don't just go and borrow money and buy crypto, because it might get double. Don't do this type of risky things. That's purely my suggestion; it's not an investment advice.
There are things that we're going to see in 2024 and 2025 that everyday people can use crypto and blockchain to save money and save time. I would suggest people to be more curious and educate themselves about those use cases, because they don't have to buy bitcoin, wait for 10 years, and then make their money 10 times bigger, or get higher performance compared to S&P 500.
I'm not suggesting those type of use cases, but there are going to be use cases that you can pay with crypto, and it can save money, and it can save time. We were not ready for that environment until very, very recently. We're going to see a lot of innovative technologies coming out to the market in the next couple of years.
You want to watch for companies, maybe, that you've heard of before, things like that, rather than, “Oh, there's this company in this far-away land, which is doing this great thing.” But once the company names that you start recognizing are starting to do things with crypto…
Yeah. For instance, if Nike is selling you a pair of shoes, and you know Nike, and then they say, “If you buy this with crypto, then there is a token, we give it to you,” that could be potentially valuable. “There are points and loyalty points that if you collect and accumulate that, then you can get a free pair of shoes. By the way, if you do that, it's on preorder now, you will be the first one getting this pair of shoes.” People who are paying with fiat currency would be last, for instance.
It's Nike, and you can trust Nike. You can trust Coinbase; it's a public company. If you have assets in Coinbase, you just connect your Coinbase and do things in that nature. If you hear somebody selling you a picture of monkeys and asking for a million, probably it's not a good investment.
We won't go there and talk about who that might be. As we wrap up here, if people want to learn about what you're doing, what Mesh is doing, where can they find out about that?
You can go to meshconnect.com. We have a blog section that we typically post interesting things. You can learn about the industry. Also, if you're a fintech founder, if you're working in Web3 space or crypto space, you want to build a secure system, you want to offer a secure transfer to your end users, we'd be more than happy to talk to you. I hope you can tag my LinkedIn. Anyone who wants to talk to me personally, I'm available there.
Yup. We'll definitely have your Twitter, your LinkedIn account in the show notes. Anyone who wants to go over to the show notes page, we'll have all that all linked up for them.
Bam, thank you so much for coming on the podcast today.
Thank you, Chris. I really appreciate the time. Thanks for having me.