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How Did I Discover Cryptocurrency and Why I Choose BitcoinCash

How Did I Discover Cryptocurrency and Why I Choose BitcoinCash.
One of the first questions always asked in the Crypto sphere is how did you learn about Bitcoin? Then followed up by which coin or coins do you hold?
The answer to this first question is not as easy to answer as you would think. Right before the split between Bitcoin and BitcoinCash I met someone very involved in the community we were discussing how I became a libertarian which naturally lead us to a discussion about economic freedom, Ross Ulbricht and then Bitcoin. The following day I ran home and researched Silk Road and Ross Ulbricht. Five minutes later, I had signed the petition. My interest was piqued, I started to do my own research in regards to Bitcoin. I bought several books but all that did was confuse me more. I started watching YouTube videos and remember thinking to myself “who are these people” and “are they even speaking English” but I kept researching determined to learn about economic freedom, I just couldn’t grasp how someone could gain economic freedom with online money.
Fast forward to the Bitcoin/BitcoinCash fork, I knew this was a big deal but I didn’t know what was going to happen. So I called my friend and set up another time to meet, well this time I was prepared I had my notes laid out from the books I had read and I was pretty proud of myself after all Bitcoin is not easy to understand with words like nodes, Raspberry Pi's (what does pie have to do with economic freedom), miners, QR's, checkpoints, lightning (still waiting) and why only 21 million and do I have to buy a full coin? I mean this list goes on (after all I am much older than the usual crypto enthusiast) little did I know I had already entered the rabbit hole and from the look I received from my friend he knew it. So after 2 days that was it, I needed to get my hands on Bitcoin.
As soon as I got home I joined Coinbase and I saw a few coins listed and thought Bitcoin is really expensive and I can get 4 times the amount with this coin called Litecoin so I put in a buy order for that, Etherum and BitcoinCash. I had never been a huge fan of Social Media but at this time I decided I needed to join Twitter to see what others were experiencing and oh God what a jolt to the senses that was. Everyone tweeting why this and that coin is bad and this person is bad and that person is good, Crypto Twitter can be a shit show especially in the beginning and being new to both Twitter and Crypto my brain was in overload. I followed my friend on Twitter and just started to pay attention to him and basically began stalking his feed and Youtube channel but I never really engaged (I truly felt like a stalker). But I was learning my way around and who did what in their relative fields.
As everyone knows Coinbase can be very frustrating because it seems like forever before you have access to your coins and the whole time I’m thinking what have I done? So a month went by and I finally received an email saying my funds are now available in Coinbase I opened up that app and to my surprise, my money had just quadrupled. I had learned while investing once you make back your initial investment sell that portion and that is exactly what I did! But the damage had been done I was hooked and immediately took that initial investment and bought every altcoin I could get my hands on via Binance, which can seriously do some damage to your wallet.
I still really did not know what to do with Cryptocurrency, there were all these wallets, but why were they needed if all it did was sit there like digital gold. So I started to engage with people on Twitter to discover what others were doing, I didn’t have any followers so outside of a few likes here and there I would never really get any feedback. I asked my friend about this and he started to respond to me and soon after that, others started to respond to me, then I was included in threads and I had my first Crypto Twitter follower, he was no joke and little did I know at that time how much of an influence this person would have in my Twitter and Crypto life. But Crypto Twitter will have to be its own story.
As I started to learn how to navigate my way through Crypto Twitter and began to understand the correct questions to ask I began to get the answers I needed. These questions amounted to where/who accepts crypto and why is this coin better than that coin? The people that came forward were the BitcoinCash community, I couldn’t understand why was it only the BitcoinCash people that would respond to me, after all, there are so many coins out there? But these were the people that had a passion for what they were doing and believed in that passion, from the CEO to the developers down to the end user. It was like a breath of fresh air to find people passionate about rewarding hard work and not caring about who you are and which country you are from along with giving back to communities that are far less fortunate by no fault of their own they just don’t have access to resources that are available to Western Nations, Europe, and Asia. I discovered the philanthropic work was incredible and still to this day I still am overwhelmed by how much the BitcoinCash community does and feel very fortunate to be a part of it.
Downloading wallet after wallet, I discovered some were easy some were difficult and well some were just ridiculous. I started to tag random developers on Twitter and honestly was surprised when they responded to me and offered their help after all these are really busy people why would they take the time to help one person. The reason is simple they want Cryptocurrency to be a success and they understand how difficult it is, especially for an older person who just got her first smartphone 2 years earlier. After learning about the importance of 12-word seed phrases how a QR code works and legacy addresses I now felt comfortable enough to begin introducing people to cryptocurrency and more importantly BitcoinCash. Little did I know how difficult this would be, I mean who doesn’t want money even if it’s free.
After months of interaction on Twitter and other platforms, I decided I needed to do something besides just talking about Crypto I needed to shout it from the rooftops. I desperately wanted to find others around me that I could share my experiences with so I created a Meetup in my area and began talking about it at work with my friends and family I just started telling everyone I ran into have you heard about BitcoinCash? “No” here let me show you” inevitably I started to hear oh that’s for drug dealers or it’s a scam. So now I thought how do I get past this obstacle that CNN and Fox News has put in front of me? I became more determined than ever to beat them at their own game. I had another hurdle to jump, so my path now came to what is an everyday product I can buy with Bitcoincash? Well, there are tons you just have to find them, and since my area of the country is about 10 years behind the rest of the country this was very difficult. But one thing I do a lot is travel and I was about to buy a plane ticket so I found CheapAir.com which accepts BitcoinCash, so I used that and discovered how easy it is, I can literally lay in bed find a flight and/or a hotel and right there without turning on the lights or getting up for my credit card number. What about overcoming only drug dealers use it (which my stepmom throws in my face almost every day) so for Christmas I purchased her some beauty products with BitcoinCash. I am constantly scouring the internet looking for more ways to spend Crypto instead of government-funded cash.
My meetups started out with 2 people 1 of which was my dad to 12 strong and growing (which does not include my dad). That may not seem like many but those 12 people have become strong and confident users of Cryptocurrency and one of them even accepts BitcoinCash for his business.
My story does not end here, and with every day there is a change with some great, some good and some not so good stories. Keep your eyes out for updates to my never ending and exciting Crypto life.
submitted by hifrom_laura to btc [link] [comments]

How Did I Discover Cryptocurrency and Why I Choose BitcoinCash

One of the first questions always asked in the Crypto sphere is how did you learn about Bitcoin? Then followed up by which coin or coins do you hold?
The answer to this first question is not as easy to answer as you would think. Right before the split between Bitcoin and BitcoinCash I met someone very involved in the community we were discussing how I became a libertarian which naturally lead us to a discussion about economic freedom, Ross Ulbricht and then Bitcoin. The following day I ran home and researched Silk Road and Ross Ulbricht. Five minutes later, I had signed the petition. My interest was piqued, I started to do my own research in regards to Bitcoin. I bought several books but all that did was confuse me more. I started watching YouTube videos and remember thinking to myself “who are these people” and “are they even speaking English” but I kept researching determined to learn about economic freedom, I just couldn’t grasp how someone could gain economic freedom with online money.
Fast forward to the Bitcoin/BitcoinCash fork, I knew this was a big deal but I didn’t know what was going to happen. So I called my friend and set up another time to meet, well this time I was prepared I had my notes laid out from the books I had read and I was pretty proud of myself after all Bitcoin is not easy to understand with words like nodes, Raspberry Pi's (what does pie have to do with economic freedom), miners, QR's, checkpoints, lightning (still waiting) and why only 21 million and do I have to buy a full coin? I mean this list goes on (after all I am much older than the usual crypto enthusiast) little did I know I had already entered the rabbit hole and from the look I received from my friend he knew it. So after 2 days that was it, I needed to get my hands on Bitcoin.
As soon as I got home I joined Coinbase and I saw a few coins listed and thought Bitcoin is really expensive and I can get 4 times the amount with this coin called Litecoin so I put in a buy order for that, Etherum and BitcoinCash. I had never been a huge fan of Social Media but at this time I decided I needed to join Twitter to see what others were experiencing and oh God what a jolt to the senses that was. Everyone tweeting why this and that coin is bad and this person is bad and that person is good, Crypto Twitter can be a shit show especially in the beginning and being new to both Twitter and Crypto my brain was in overload. I followed my friend on Twitter and just started to pay attention to him and basically began stalking his feed and Youtube channel but I never really engaged (I truly felt like a stalker). But I was learning my way around and who did what in their relative fields.
As everyone knows Coinbase can be very frustrating because it seems like forever before you have access to your coins and the whole time I’m thinking what have I done? So a month went by and I finally received an email saying my funds are now available in Coinbase I opened up that app and to my surprise, my money had just quadrupled. I had learned while investing once you make back your initial investment sell that portion and that is exactly what I did! But the damage had been done I was hooked and immediately took that initial investment and bought every altcoin I could get my hands on via Binance, which can seriously do some damage to your wallet.
I still really did not know what to do with Cryptocurrency, there were all these wallets, but why were they needed if all it did was sit there like digital gold. So I started to engage with people on Twitter to discover what others were doing, I didn’t have any followers so outside of a few likes here and there I would never really get any feedback. I asked my friend about this and he started to respond to me and soon after that, others started to respond to me, then I was included in threads and I had my first Crypto Twitter follower, he was no joke and little did I know at that time how much of an influence this person would have in my Twitter and Crypto life. But Crypto Twitter will have to be its own story.
As I started to learn how to navigate my way through Crypto Twitter and began to understand the correct questions to ask I began to get the answers I needed. These questions amounted to where/who accepts crypto and why is this coin better than that coin? The people that came forward were the BitcoinCash community, I couldn’t understand why was it only the BitcoinCash people that would respond to me, after all, there are so many coins out there? But these were the people that had a passion for what they were doing and believed in that passion, from the CEO to the developers down to the end user. It was like a breath of fresh air to find people passionate about rewarding hard work and not caring about who you are and which country you are from along with giving back to communities that are far less fortunate by no fault of their own they just don’t have access to resources that are available to Western Nations, Europe, and Asia. I discovered the philanthropic work was incredible and still to this day I still am overwhelmed by how much the BitcoinCash community does and feel very fortunate to be a part of it.
Downloading wallet after wallet, I discovered some were easy some were difficult and well some were just ridiculous. I started to tag random developers on Twitter and honestly was surprised when they responded to me and offered their help after all these are really busy people why would they take the time to help one person. The reason is simple they want Cryptocurrency to be a success and they understand how difficult it is, especially for an older person who just got her first smartphone 2 years earlier. After learning about the importance of 12-word seed phrases how a QR code works and legacy addresses I now felt comfortable enough to begin introducing people to cryptocurrency and more importantly BitcoinCash. Little did I know how difficult this would be, I mean who doesn’t want money even if it’s free.
After months of interaction on Twitter and other platforms, I decided I needed to do something besides just talking about Crypto I needed to shout it from the rooftops. I desperately wanted to find others around me that I could share my experiences with so I created a Meetup in my area and began talking about it at work with my friends and family I just started telling everyone I ran into have you heard about BitcoinCash? “No” here let me show you” inevitably I started to hear oh that’s for drug dealers or it’s a scam. So now I thought how do I get past this obstacle that CNN and Fox News has put in front of me? I became more determined than ever to beat them at their own game. I had another hurdle to jump, so my path now came to what is an everyday product I can buy with Bitcoincash? Well, there are tons you just have to find them, and since my area of the country is about 10 years behind the rest of the country this was very difficult. But one thing I do a lot is travel and I was about to buy a plane ticket so I found CheapAir.com which accepts BitcoinCash, so I used that and discovered how easy it is, I can literally lay in bed find a flight and/or a hotel and right there without turning on the lights or getting up for my credit card number. What about overcoming only drug dealers use it (which my stepmom throws in my face almost every day) so for Christmas I purchased her some beauty products with BitcoinCash. I am constantly scouring the internet looking for more ways to spend Crypto instead of government-funded cash.
My meetups started out with 2 people 1 of which was my dad to 12 strong and growing (which does not include my dad). That may not seem like many but those 12 people have become strong and confident users of Cryptocurrency and one of them even accepts BitcoinCash for his business.
My story does not end here, and with every day there is a change with some great, some good and some not so good stories. Keep your eyes out for updates to my never ending and exciting Crypto life.
submitted by hifrom_laura to Bitcoincash [link] [comments]

Consensus Network EP36: Buy, Borrow and Die: Bitcoin Style

Catch the full episode: https://www.consensusnetwork.io/podcastepisodes/2019/10/5/ep36-buy-borrow-and-die-bitcoin-style-1
Buck: Welcome back to the show everyone. Today my guest on Wealth Formula Podcast is Zack Prince. He's Founder and CEO of BlockFi. BlockFi bridges the gap between blockchain and the basic financial products that you're used to including interest-bearing accounts and loans. Zack, welcome to Wealth Formula Podcast. I think you we might have had you on before as a Consensus Network replay but first time on Wealth Formula Podcast specifically, so welcome.
Zac: Yeah, excited to be here, Buck. Thanks for having me. And it's good to chat with you again
Buck: Yeah so remind me how you got into this you know Bitcoin stuff in the first place, I mean you were as I understand you were a traditional finance guy right so where did the blockchain part come in?
Zac: Sure so I was I was working at a company in the FinTech world that provided data and technology solutions to institutional investors that wanted to participate in some of the new online lending platforms, whether they were real estate platforms or consumer lending platforms, and I kind of became the FinTech guy amongst my friend group and people would ask me you know should I invest in these real estate deals on fund rise or buy loans from Lending Club and I started writing a blog to share the information more efficiently with my friends basically and I started expanding a little bit writing about Robo advisory and some other things that were going on in the FinTech space and that's what led me to Bitcoin, and this is back in early 2015. I didn't start BlockFi until 2017 because I started following the market in the background, still working in traditional financial services in FinTech and then in early 2017 it started to feel like mainstream adoption was starting to happen in the crypto ecosystem. I'm started going to some meetups in New York City because at a certain point my wife said Zac, you're talking about crypto all the time and you're talking to me about it and I don't want to talk about it so you should find some other people to talk about this with. And the meetup composition started to change and in 2016 when I started going to these meetups it was the early crypto adopters you know libertarians, computer scientists and then in early 2017 I started to see some venture capitalists, some guys who had just left their job at Wall Street still wearing a suit, some more entrepreneurs and it was a really exciting time in the ecosystem, things like the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance were getting announced which had participation microsoft and a lot of other you know fortune 500 companies and I had started to believe in it. I was drinking the kool-aid a little bit so I decided to find a way to get involved in the space full-time and that's what led me to start BlockFi.
Buck: So I have to imagine that the response you got from the traditional finance people around that time when you started talking about the blockchain space and when you started being more and more involved with that was probably not a very positive response initially or did you did you experience some of that sort of you know rejection initially to what you were doing?
Zac: Yeah absolutely. But you know throughout my career this is now kind of the third emerging technology industry that I've worked in. I was originally an advertising technology starting like you know 15 years ago and I was in FinTech specifically the online lending side of FinTech which in its early days was called peer-to-peer lending and now in crypto. So having to do a lot of education explain it you know why something isn't crazy and it might work and here's why and here's the value proposition and here's what it is, I've gotten very used to that and comfortable with it. But yeah there were a lot of people who are like you know I've heard Bitcoin is only used by drug dealers and money launderers. I've heard that I'm supposed to care about blockchain and not Bitcoin. And you know at BlockFi we’re providing financial products into the market so it's a heavily regulated business so we also had to communicate with regulators. We had to explain to state regulators, federal regulators why what we were doing with Bitcoin and other cryptos than when you're doing these same types of things with assets that they're more familiar with.
Buck: So when you were talking to people back in, I don't know I guess 2016/17 and it's not a long time ago, it's only two years ago, but I have to imagine that the response or the you know the approach that people take to you when you speak to investors is very different. Has it become more mainstream in that regard for you know for big money investors?
Zac: It's absolutely become more mainstream you know the end of 2017 Q3/Q4. Point was going on that parabolic run it started to get covered everywhere, I mean it was on CNBC every day it was in Bloomberg New York Times Wall Street Journal. If you were paying attention to the financial industry and markets you heard about Bitcoin at that time if you hadn't heard about it before. So from a baseline of awareness perspective it got a lot better and then in 2018 you had a number of positive developments for the sector including one that I think is probably the most noteworthy which is that Bitcoin futures were listed on the CME the institutional investor perspective that's massive. You now have a well regulated well known super trustworthy venue where you can get exposure to this asset class, you also had companies like Grayscale bringing products to the market which are accessible to certain types of investors and their low bridge accounts and you started to see some adoption from companies like FinTech companies like Robin Hood and Square making Bitcoin available on their platforms. So the conversation has absolutely changed a lot and it's become less about whether or not this is something that's going to continue to exist whether or not it's something that was just a bubble and is going to die and now it's more about ok how is it going to get used how big could it get what are the interesting applications of it and what could have potentially disrupt in the traditional financial ecosystem.
Buck: So you know we had obviously following this you know pop in 2017, you know I actually like you kind of really got into this early 2017 so timing was pretty good I guess now regards. Good or bad depending how you look at it but I was there before before the parabolic move. And then we have you know then we followed this up with a crypto winter and and you know who knows if we're done with it, I guess we certainly are much better off than we were. You know a unit buddy it's funny Zac I don’t know if you remember this but I was about to, we'll talk about BlockFi specifically in a minute but, I was about to use BlockFi for borrowing because I like this idea of borrowing you know collateralized debt and collateralized debt on assets and buying something else. So I was about to do it and then Bitcoin lost a clip and I was like literally and I remember I was just emailing with somebody somebody over there and I was like sorry dude I guess I just sold it, I just sold all that Bitcoin I had and you sent one email back to me and it said “capitulation” but it you know and so now we're looking back at these we go down from 3,000 back up you know been sort of flirting around this 10,000 and it seems like we're kind of maybe that we're stuck there, maybe we're kind of out of winter, maybe we're in a holding pattern but it seems like to me that since that two years not only is the awareness increase but the development of the ecosystem itself is so much further advanced than it was in 2017. Is this an unusual case where the technology and maybe even the infrastructure is actually outpacing the price?
Zac: You know it's really hard to say. I would argue that in some ways it's typical. In other industries that showed a lot of promise where investors could you know participate maybe a little bit ahead of the adoption curve you saw crazy price run ups with the tech bubble and you know ‘99-2000 being the one that's kind of top of mind in recent memory and then on the other side of things, are we behind where the price should be now? It's really hard to say because this is kind of like a commodity type asset built on a payment network and valuing that is challenging and there's not a perfect model for for doing it today. It's not as easy as something that's cashflow producing but I'm incredibly bullish. I'm on record as saying at the beginning of this year that Bitcoin has only had one year in its 10-year existence where it had a lower low than the year before and parted this year around the low price for 2018 and I predicted that we would in the year had a higher price than where we started the year pretty soon and now we're up and you know around 300 percent from where we started the year. As that happens in investing is people frequently look at things on a year-to-year performance basis and when people are looking at Bitcoin even if all we do is stay around 10 K from here when they're looking at how Bitcoin performed rather than other relative to other assets at the end of 2019 it's probably going to look fantastic. And you also have an event coming up and in the summer of next year called The Halvening where basically the supply that's produced by miners is going to get cut in half and so if you believe in the stock the flow type models of valuation for Bitcoin that is usually a very big driver of price appreciation.
Buck: I believe May of 2020, right?
Zac: That's right.
Buck: In May of 2020. Can you just talked a little bit about that just so people know because people hear about it, I've been talking about it but I don't think that it really explained it.
Zac: Yeah and you know I'm not I'm not a computer scientist so I can explain it in a you know in a very simple…
Buck: No one else here is either.
Zac: So basically the way that new Bitcoin is created is through this process called mining. And it's analogous to mining gold except instead of finding a place in the earth where gold exists and then getting your trucks and mining equipment and digging it out of the ground, the way bitcoin is mined is using this computer program and there is now specialized computer hardware that's built specifically and optimized for mining Bitcoin. And you have this network of machines around the world where the input is energy into the mining hardware and the output is new Bitcoin and those miners are what provides the power for the payment network a Bitcoin to run and when we say that there is this event called The Halvening, what that basically means is that the output that's built into the Bitcoin program that the miners are receiving as their payment for contributing energy to the network, is going to get cut in half. So the miners are going to have the same you know relative input but the amount that they're receiving is going to get cut in half for that input. This should, if the demand side for Bitcoin remains equal, it should drive up the price and historically Bitcoin has had three of these Halvening events in its lifetime so far I believe and around each Halvening you have seen you know six months before or six months after a pretty material run up in price.
Buck: Yeah so it also goes along with that sort of that the entire idea that Bitcoin unlike you know other assets including gold is it's a deflationary asset ultimately and and that's one of the things that makes that happening really significant. Apart from and I have one more question before we get to block five which is apart from the Halvening, you know thing that's happening, what is maybe the biggest development or upcoming thing that's coming up that makes you the most bullish on the future of Bitcoin or blockchain in general?
Zac: Sure so I think I wouldn't actually point to any one specific thing, I would point to two broad trends. So one is institutional adoption and participation in the asset class and the other is better ramps for retail participation into the asset class and just focusing here you know on the US market because it really is an international story but just in the US market. In September we should have Bakkt launching their futures platform. Bakkt is owned by ICE, the Intercontinental Exchange, and there's a big core difference between their futures and the current futures that are available on the CME in that futures on Bakkt platform are going to be physically settled so that means that actual Bitcoin is going to be needed to facilitate the trading on Bakkt’s platform which does not happen on CMEs exchange so that's that should be a very positive catalyst in terms of demand for physical Bitcoin that could have an impact on the price. Also on the institutional side this year I believe earlier this year, the first pension fund made an investment into an asset management vehicle that was focused on investing in Bitcoin and private equity opportunities in the Bitcoin and blockchain sector. So that will be a trend.
Buck: Which pension fund was it?
Zac: It was in North Carolina so I think it was like the North Carolina Firefighters and the group that raised the money from them was Morgan Creek Digital it’s actually invested in BlockFi by Anthony Pompliano Twitter and Mark Yusko so that's on the institutional side. And then on the retail side you've seen FinTech companies like Square and Robin Hood offer Bitcoin trading to their users. But soon you will also have companies like TD Ameritrade E-Trade and others offer Bitcoin to their users sometimes be a partnership sometimes because they've built it directly. You also at some point might see progress made in terms of an ETF getting approved that would give retail investors in the US market exposure to Bitcoin in a really easy and familiar way. All of those things are tremendously positive catalysts and the caliber of people working on them only continues to increase. Talent was attracted into the sector very, very rapidly these days.
Buck: You know one question that leads me to is that all of this is happening with Bitcoin for the most part. Are alt coins in your opinion is that market coming back or is that something that we're gonna see probably select you know group of tokens projects emerge and then the rest will kind of just get left in the dust, what do you think?
Zac: I mean I'll tell you exactly what I'm doing with my portfolio and then I'll provide a bit more color. So my asset allocation in the crypto side of my investing is I'm like 90% Bitcoin 5% Ethereum and 5% B&B; which is the Binance right. So I'm super bullish on Bitcoin. I think that you know there's a chance that Ether makes a comeback specifically I think that a lot of the stable coins that have been launched have been built on Ethereum if you're not familiar with stable coins it's basically the concept of a dollar but on a blockchain which could be really really powerful because it creates the opportunity for the delivery of US dollar denominated financial services at a global scale not using the traditional banking rails. And then B&B; I mean Binance is the biggest and most successful exchange they have a history of innovating, creating new products, going fast and so I'm taking a bit of a flyer with them but I'm 90% Bitcoin. I don't think that I'm not bullish on any of the other all coins frankly I struggle to see you know the big upside I have heard whispers in the community that there's kind of like a new wave of altcoins 3.0 might emerge, you know could see some some good returns similar to what some of the ICOs did in 2017 but it's not an area of focus for me. So that's my view.
Buck: Yeah let's talk about BlockFi. Remind us exactly what BlockFi is.
Zac: Sure so we're a wealth management platform for crypto investors. Today we have two products that we offer. One product is analogous to a savings account from a traditional bank where you're able to earn interest on your holdings except on BlockFi, the assets instead of being dollars are bitcoin and Ether and we don't have FDIC insurance so it's not exactly the same risk profile as a savings account at a bank, but conceptually you're able to hold Bitcoin and an account with BlockFi and earn interest on it paid in Bitcoin every month. That's one product that we have. The second product that we have which you are alluding to earlier offers our clients the ability to borrow dollars secured by the value of their cryptocurrency and it's analogous to a securities backed loan or a liquidity access line in the traditional world except instead of securities we're taking Bitcoin or other digital assets as collateral and lending it rates as low as four point five lending USD that rates as low as four point five percent a year.
Buck: I wanna pick these apart a little bit if you don't mind. In terms of this savings account first of all is it just bitcoin or is it bitcoin, Ethereum?
Zac: We actually support three assets in the interest account currently Bitcoin, Ether and GUSD which is the stable coin from Gemini.
Buck: Got it. And talk about the interest because it's not one flat interest rate right it's different depending on how much cryptocurrency actually is held?
Zac: Correct so there's a tiered interest rate structure. Currently on Bitcoin for balances up to ten Bitcoin, we offer a six point two percent annual yield and for balances above ten Bitcoin it's a 2.2 percent annual yield. On Ether, for balances up to two hundred Ether it's a 3.3 percent annual yield and balances above two hundred Ether is 0.5% annual yield and for GUSD the stable coin it's an eight point six percent interest rate with no tier so yeah those are the different rates.
Buck: Why did, I mean was it just a matter of like an issue with people dumping like a thousand Bitcoin and trying to get six you know 6% of that, was it just too hard to you know make that a long-term part of the business model or why did the higher levels end up changing to a lower rate?
Zac: Sure so I wanted to function of market conditions and to it's a function of supply and demand. So we launched the interest account in March of this year. We were just starting to come out of the bear market and one of the things that happened as we switched from being in a bear market to being in a bull market is the futures switched from being in backwardation to contango which basically means that our institutional borrowers the groups that we lend to that enable us to pay the rate to depositors had less of a need they had less demand to borrow and they were willing to pay lower rates to borrow crypto than they were when we were building and planning to launch this product. The second thing that happened is we were surprised to the upside in terms of the level of interest that we received from depositors and especially depositors with very large sums of cryptocurrency. So to give you an example you know within a day or two of making the product available publicly, we had a number of groups that were depositing 5, 10, 15, 20 million dollars worth of Bitcoin and so the supply-demand that we have to manage is, the amount that we have on deposit relative to the size of this market that will borrow Bitcoin size of the market that will borrow Bitcoin is partially a function of market sentiments partially a function of number of trading venues and the liquidity profile and it's partially a function of you know BlockFi’s efforts in terms of sales and client development relationship management. So the supply side got a little bit ahead of the demand side on deposit and how much there was available to borrow so we made a few tweaks. We want to keep the 6%, 6.2% rate on Bitcoin available to as many people as possible for as long as possible so that's why we went with the tiered structure where we made it available on balances up to 10 and reduced it for balances above that.
Buck: Got it and the interest on that, when you say 6.2 percent that six point like it's all denominated in Bitcoin, you're not paying cash out right?
Zac: Correct so to use round numbers to provide an easy example you start on January first with a hundred Bitcoin in an account, by the subsequent January first you will have 106 point 2 Bitcoin in your account.
Buck: Yeah and that that's kind of neat too because then you're you know you're also getting potentially the upside of that you know I mean they made 6% but if you if you're really bullish on the market you could be potentially looking at a lot more than 6% on your money. How about in terms of the, is there like a you know do you do it sort of a month-to-month or six month or month you know year-long contracts for these things?
Zac: It's month-to-month. So the rates are subject to change on a monthly basis. We provide notifications at least a week in advance before the end of one month on what the rates will be for the subsequent month and people are able to you know withdraw any time without penalty. We reserve up to 7 days to process withdrawals but we've never taken more than one business day to process a withdrawal so they're pretty quick but not instant for security reasons and yeah it's pretty flexible.
Buck: How about the lump in the lending side how does how does that work? So now I've got like 10 Bitcoin and so I would deposit that I guess and you guys I understand that maybe that that goes into like a Gemini account or something, is that still how it works?
Zac: Correct so we have a partnership with Gemini for custody. So when you log into a BlockFi account you'll have a deposit address. When you send Bitcoin to that deposit address it actually goes directly into storage with Gemini. Gemini was the first custodian in the crypto sector to receive insurance against cyber hacks on their platform. They were also the first custodian to get to complete a SOC 2 compliance audit and they have a really long track record of custody billions of dollars worth of crypto without ever having any issues. So it goes directly to Gemini and then you're able to interact with block-wise platform to take any actions that you might deem necessary. So you can view your interest payments you can withdraw you can deposit more you can also take out a loan. So in terms of taking out a loan, if you have ten Bitcoin that's worth roughly a hundred thousand US dollars at this point in time, you can borrow up to fifty percent of that value in a US dollar loan which can be funded be a wire or stable coin and then the structure of those loans is that you make interest-only payments on the amount that you borrowed throughout the duration and you can prepay at any time without penalty.
Buck: And what's the typical you said it was four point six.
Zac: We have interest rates as low as four point five. The interest rates on borrowing USD vary according to your initial loan to value ratio. So if you have a hundred thousand dollars worth of Bitcoin we actually have three loan-to-value ratio options. You can borrow at a 50 percent initial loan-to-value ratio which would mean you're borrowing 50k, the interest rate on that will be eleven point two five, if you borrow thirty five percent of the value so 35k the interest rate is seven point nine, and if you borrow twenty five percent of the value of the interest rate is four point five percent per year.
Buck: Got it. In terms of you know the technical, so you basically pay that on a month-to-month basis and then in terms of contracts, are those also month-to-month loans or how does that work?
Zac: Those are one-year term loans well now it's the ability to renew without repaying the principal at the end of the term at current rates and our rates for those loans have always come down so far. So it's a one-year term loan BlockFi committed for a year at that rate your payments stay the same but you can prepay at any time without penalty.
Buck: Right. When do you do when would you do an actual sort of I guess a cap will call like what loan-to-value because you can go up to say you're borrowing at you know you're borrowing at the lowest rate you know you're at 4.5% you're borrowing see you know just for round numbers 100 Bitcoin you borrowed or you said 10 Bitcoin hundred thousand dollars but you only borrowed twenty-five thousand dollars at four point five percent, what if Bitcoin you know loses 50 percent of its value then what happens?
Zac: Well you wouldn't have a margin call based on on that example. If your loan to value ratio hits 70 percent that's when we have a margin call and the way the margin call works is our clients have the option to either post more collateral, pay down the loan using USD or some of the collateral that's posted for the loan or take no action. If they take no action there's a 72-hour window where we'll wait to see if the price recovers, if it does then no action is required, if the price keeps going down further then we will initiate a partial collateral sale to rebalance that LTV to a healthy level at the end of that window.
Buck: So in terms of the clients that you see doing this kind of stuff, I mean who are you seeing borrowing because you don't have a cap I mean you can on the borrow side, I mean and the rates don't really change like if you're depositing a hundred Bitcoin you're getting the same rate differences as somebody who's depositing ten for borrowing right?
Zac: That's right.
Buck: So who are the people who are putting I mean what are these businesses that are putting are using these loans who are the typical clients?
Zac: Sure so it's a mix of retail and corporate. On the retail side we actually did a survey recently on use cases and the number one use case about a third of our borrowers expressed is that they were using the funds that they borrowed to start a business, which we were really excited about. So the other popular use cases were investing in real estate, investing in other types of traditional assets like stocks and bonds, home improvement, larger purchases, vacations were all used cases, paying down higher cost debt was another use case, and then on the corporate side the loans are used for operating capital. So we have some mining companies that borrow from BlockFi. Other types of companies who you know maybe have crypto denominated inventory like exchanges or crypto ATM businesses our frequent borrowers from BlockFi and our loan sizes rearranged from you know as low as five thousand dollars all the way up to seven figures. So it's a pretty diverse group of borrowers.
Buck: So recently it sounds like you guys partnered with another company called Casa. What is Casa and I guess how does that benefit both companies?
Zac: Sure. So Casa is a leader in fighting self sovereign storage solutions for cryptocurrency owners so if you're alone that owns Bitcoin and to use a gold analogy. If you want to own gold but you keep it in your vault or in your backyard you want to have physical possession of it yourself if you want to do that same type of custody with Bitcoin. Casa has a solution that makes that really easy. Our partnership with Casa provides mutual benefits to clients on either side. So Casa clients are able to receive some discounts in terms of accessing BlockFi products and vice-versa BlockFi clients are able to receive discounts in terms of accessing kasam products and over time we'll build some things in to the user experience specifically on Casa’s platform that will make it you know a bit more seamless to interact with BlockFi products while you're on their platform. In general that partnership strategy is something that you'll see more of we think there are in the ecosystem that are specializing in areas that BlockFi's not focused on and doing things where we can provide benefits to clients on both sides is a win-win for us then and our clients.
Buck: Last thing I want to ask you about, last time I spoke to you, you had talked about the idea of potentially Bitcoin backed credit cards meaning like you know getting Bitcoin back instead of miles or dollars back. You guys any closer to that, because I definitely want one of those cards.
Zac: I'm so glad you brought it up. We're definitely closer, but we're not you're not going to have the card until like Q3 of next year probably. It's getting worked on, these things you know for better or worse they take a long time launching a credit program is no small feat you know we're working on it. We've identified some of the key partners that we'll be working with to bring that product to market it is going to happen and I share your sentiment like I wish I had it now.
Buck: Yeah seriously that'd be great. Well listen it was great talking you. So it's BlockFi.com and it's spelled like block and then fi and tell us you know tell us the process of doing is pretty simple okay how long does it take to apply for these things…
Zac: Yeah I mean nothing takes any time really. So you could come in and start earning interest and get a loan from us all in under five minutes. And we also have a client service team that's super responsive in in terms of communication however you want to communicate with them, over email, over the phone, over text message so you know don't don't hesitate to reach out to us. We're also on twitter. My twitter handle is BlockFiZac and our company twitter handle is @therealBlockFi so we're very active on those platforms and happy to chat with you there as well.
Buck: Zac Prince, thank you very much for being on Wealth Formula Podcast today.
Zac: Thanks for having me, Buck, I appreciate it.
Buck: We’ll be right back.
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Wealth Formula Episode 179: Buy, Borrow and Die: Bitcoin Style

Catch the full episode: https://www.wealthformula.com/podcast/179-buy-borrow-and-die-bitcoin-style/
Buck: Welcome back to the show everyone. Today my guest on Wealth Formula Podcast is Zack Prince. He's Founder and CEO of BlockFi. BlockFi bridges the gap between blockchain and the basic financial products that you're used to including interest-bearing accounts and loans. Zack, welcome to Wealth Formula Podcast. I think you we might have had you on before as a Consensus Network replay but first time on Wealth Formula Podcast specifically, so welcome.
Zac: Yeah, excited to be here, Buck. Thanks for having me. And it's good to chat with you again
Buck: Yeah so remind me how you got into this you know Bitcoin stuff in the first place, I mean you were as I understand you were a traditional finance guy right so where did the blockchain part come in?
Zac: Sure so I was I was working at a company in the FinTech world that provided data and technology solutions to institutional investors that wanted to participate in some of the new online lending platforms, whether they were real estate platforms or consumer lending platforms, and I kind of became the FinTech guy amongst my friend group and people would ask me you know should I invest in these real estate deals on fund rise or buy loans from Lending Club and I started writing a blog to share the information more efficiently with my friends basically and I started expanding a little bit writing about Robo advisory and some other things that were going on in the FinTech space and that's what led me to Bitcoin, and this is back in early 2015. I didn't start BlockFi until 2017 because I started following the market in the background, still working in traditional financial services in FinTech and then in early 2017 it started to feel like mainstream adoption was starting to happen in the crypto ecosystem. I'm started going to some meetups in New York City because at a certain point my wife said Zac, you're talking about crypto all the time and you're talking to me about it and I don't want to talk about it so you should find some other people to talk about this with. And the meetup composition started to change and in 2016 when I started going to these meetups it was the early crypto adopters you know libertarians, computer scientists and then in early 2017 I started to see some venture capitalists, some guys who had just left their job at Wall Street still wearing a suit, some more entrepreneurs and it was a really exciting time in the ecosystem, things like the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance were getting announced which had participation microsoft and a lot of other you know fortune 500 companies and I had started to believe in it. I was drinking the kool-aid a little bit so I decided to find a way to get involved in the space full-time and that's what led me to start BlockFi.
Buck: So I have to imagine that the response you got from the traditional finance people around that time when you started talking about the blockchain space and when you started being more and more involved with that was probably not a very positive response initially or did you did you experience some of that sort of you know rejection initially to what you were doing?
Zac: Yeah absolutely. But you know throughout my career this is now kind of the third emerging technology industry that I've worked in. I was originally an advertising technology starting like you know 15 years ago and I was in FinTech specifically the online lending side of FinTech which in its early days was called peer-to-peer lending and now in crypto. So having to do a lot of education explain it you know why something isn't crazy and it might work and here's why and here's the value proposition and here's what it is, I've gotten very used to that and comfortable with it. But yeah there were a lot of people who are like you know I've heard Bitcoin is only used by drug dealers and money launderers. I've heard that I'm supposed to care about blockchain and not Bitcoin. And you know at BlockFi we’re providing financial products into the market so it's a heavily regulated business so we also had to communicate with regulators. We had to explain to state regulators, federal regulators why what we were doing with Bitcoin and other cryptos than when you're doing these same types of things with assets that they're more familiar with.
Buck: So when you were talking to people back in, I don't know I guess 2016/17 and it's not a long time ago, it's only two years ago, but I have to imagine that the response or the you know the approach that people take to you when you speak to investors is very different. Has it become more mainstream in that regard for you know for big money investors?
Zac: It's absolutely become more mainstream you know the end of 2017 Q3/Q4. Point was going on that parabolic run it started to get covered everywhere, I mean it was on CNBC every day it was in Bloomberg New York Times Wall Street Journal. If you were paying attention to the financial industry and markets you heard about Bitcoin at that time if you hadn't heard about it before. So from a baseline of awareness perspective it got a lot better and then in 2018 you had a number of positive developments for the sector including one that I think is probably the most noteworthy which is that Bitcoin futures were listed on the CME the institutional investor perspective that's massive. You now have a well regulated well known super trustworthy venue where you can get exposure to this asset class, you also had companies like Grayscale bringing products to the market which are accessible to certain types of investors and their low bridge accounts and you started to see some adoption from companies like FinTech companies like Robin Hood and Square making Bitcoin available on their platforms. So the conversation has absolutely changed a lot and it's become less about whether or not this is something that's going to continue to exist whether or not it's something that was just a bubble and is going to die and now it's more about ok how is it going to get used how big could it get what are the interesting applications of it and what could have potentially disrupt in the traditional financial ecosystem.
Buck: So you know we had obviously following this you know pop in 2017, you know I actually like you kind of really got into this early 2017 so timing was pretty good I guess now regards. Good or bad depending how you look at it but I was there before before the parabolic move. And then we have you know then we followed this up with a crypto winter and and you know who knows if we're done with it, I guess we certainly are much better off than we were. You know a unit buddy it's funny Zac I don’t know if you remember this but I was about to, we'll talk about BlockFi specifically in a minute but, I was about to use BlockFi for borrowing because I like this idea of borrowing you know collateralized debt and collateralized debt on assets and buying something else. So I was about to do it and then Bitcoin lost a clip and I was like literally and I remember I was just emailing with somebody somebody over there and I was like sorry dude I guess I just sold it, I just sold all that Bitcoin I had and you sent one email back to me and it said “capitulation” but it you know and so now we're looking back at these we go down from 3,000 back up you know been sort of flirting around this 10,000 and it seems like we're kind of maybe that we're stuck there, maybe we're kind of out of winter, maybe we're in a holding pattern but it seems like to me that since that two years not only is the awareness increase but the development of the ecosystem itself is so much further advanced than it was in 2017. Is this an unusual case where the technology and maybe even the infrastructure is actually outpacing the price?
Zac: You know it's really hard to say. I would argue that in some ways it's typical. In other industries that showed a lot of promise where investors could you know participate maybe a little bit ahead of the adoption curve you saw crazy price run ups with the tech bubble and you know ‘99-2000 being the one that's kind of top of mind in recent memory and then on the other side of things, are we behind where the price should be now? It's really hard to say because this is kind of like a commodity type asset built on a payment network and valuing that is challenging and there's not a perfect model for for doing it today. It's not as easy as something that's cashflow producing but I'm incredibly bullish. I'm on record as saying at the beginning of this year that Bitcoin has only had one year in its 10-year existence where it had a lower low than the year before and parted this year around the low price for 2018 and I predicted that we would in the year had a higher price than where we started the year pretty soon and now we're up and you know around 300 percent from where we started the year. As that happens in investing is people frequently look at things on a year-to-year performance basis and when people are looking at Bitcoin even if all we do is stay around 10 K from here when they're looking at how Bitcoin performed rather than other relative to other assets at the end of 2019 it's probably going to look fantastic. And you also have an event coming up and in the summer of next year called The Halvening where basically the supply that's produced by miners is going to get cut in half and so if you believe in the stock the flow type models of valuation for Bitcoin that is usually a very big driver of price appreciation.
Buck: I believe May of 2020, right?
Zac: That's right.
Buck: In May of 2020. Can you just talked a little bit about that just so people know because people hear about it, I've been talking about it but I don't think that it really explained it.
Zac: Yeah and you know I'm not I'm not a computer scientist so I can explain it in a you know in a very simple…
Buck: No one else here is either.
Zac: So basically the way that new Bitcoin is created is through this process called mining. And it's analogous to mining gold except instead of finding a place in the earth where gold exists and then getting your trucks and mining equipment and digging it out of the ground, the way bitcoin is mined is using this computer program and there is now specialized computer hardware that's built specifically and optimized for mining Bitcoin. And you have this network of machines around the world where the input is energy into the mining hardware and the output is new Bitcoin and those miners are what provides the power for the payment network a Bitcoin to run and when we say that there is this event called The Halvening, what that basically means is that the output that's built into the Bitcoin program that the miners are receiving as their payment for contributing energy to the network, is going to get cut in half. So the miners are going to have the same you know relative input but the amount that they're receiving is going to get cut in half for that input. This should, if the demand side for Bitcoin remains equal, it should drive up the price and historically Bitcoin has had three of these Halvening events in its lifetime so far I believe and around each Halvening you have seen you know six months before or six months after a pretty material run up in price.
Buck: Yeah so it also goes along with that sort of that the entire idea that Bitcoin unlike you know other assets including gold is it's a deflationary asset ultimately and and that's one of the things that makes that happening really significant. Apart from and I have one more question before we get to block five which is apart from the Halvening, you know thing that's happening, what is maybe the biggest development or upcoming thing that's coming up that makes you the most bullish on the future of Bitcoin or blockchain in general?
Zac: Sure so I think I wouldn't actually point to any one specific thing, I would point to two broad trends. So one is institutional adoption and participation in the asset class and the other is better ramps for retail participation into the asset class and just focusing here you know on the US market because it really is an international story but just in the US market. In September we should have Bakkt launching their futures platform. Bakkt is owned by ICE, the Intercontinental Exchange, and there's a big core difference between their futures and the current futures that are available on the CME in that futures on Bakkt platform are going to be physically settled so that means that actual Bitcoin is going to be needed to facilitate the trading on Bakkt’s platform which does not happen on CMEs exchange so that's that should be a very positive catalyst in terms of demand for physical Bitcoin that could have an impact on the price. Also on the institutional side this year I believe earlier this year, the first pension fund made an investment into an asset management vehicle that was focused on investing in Bitcoin and private equity opportunities in the Bitcoin and blockchain sector. So that will be a trend.
Buck: Which pension fund was it?
Zac: It was in North Carolina so I think it was like the North Carolina Firefighters and the group that raised the money from them was Morgan Creek Digital it’s actually invested in BlockFi by Anthony Pompliano Twitter and Mark Yusko so that's on the institutional side. And then on the retail side you've seen FinTech companies like Square and Robin Hood offer Bitcoin trading to their users. But soon you will also have companies like TD Ameritrade E-Trade and others offer Bitcoin to their users sometimes be a partnership sometimes because they've built it directly. You also at some point might see progress made in terms of an ETF getting approved that would give retail investors in the US market exposure to Bitcoin in a really easy and familiar way. All of those things are tremendously positive catalysts and the caliber of people working on them only continues to increase. Talent was attracted into the sector very, very rapidly these days.
Buck: You know one question that leads me to is that all of this is happening with Bitcoin for the most part. Are alt coins in your opinion is that market coming back or is that something that we're gonna see probably select you know group of tokens projects emerge and then the rest will kind of just get left in the dust, what do you think?
Zac: I mean I'll tell you exactly what I'm doing with my portfolio and then I'll provide a bit more color. So my asset allocation in the crypto side of my investing is I'm like 90% Bitcoin 5% Ethereum and 5% B&B; which is the Binance right. So I'm super bullish on Bitcoin. I think that you know there's a chance that Ether makes a comeback specifically I think that a lot of the stable coins that have been launched have been built on Ethereum if you're not familiar with stable coins it's basically the concept of a dollar but on a blockchain which could be really really powerful because it creates the opportunity for the delivery of US dollar denominated financial services at a global scale not using the traditional banking rails. And then B&B; I mean Binance is the biggest and most successful exchange they have a history of innovating, creating new products, going fast and so I'm taking a bit of a flyer with them but I'm 90% Bitcoin. I don't think that I'm not bullish on any of the other all coins frankly I struggle to see you know the big upside I have heard whispers in the community that there's kind of like a new wave of altcoins 3.0 might emerge, you know could see some some good returns similar to what some of the ICOs did in 2017 but it's not an area of focus for me. So that's my view.
Buck: Yeah let's talk about BlockFi. Remind us exactly what BlockFi is.
Zac: Sure so we're a wealth management platform for crypto investors. Today we have two products that we offer. One product is analogous to a savings account from a traditional bank where you're able to earn interest on your holdings except on BlockFi, the assets instead of being dollars are bitcoin and Ether and we don't have FDIC insurance so it's not exactly the same risk profile as a savings account at a bank, but conceptually you're able to hold Bitcoin and an account with BlockFi and earn interest on it paid in Bitcoin every month. That's one product that we have. The second product that we have which you are alluding to earlier offers our clients the ability to borrow dollars secured by the value of their cryptocurrency and it's analogous to a securities backed loan or a liquidity access line in the traditional world except instead of securities we're taking Bitcoin or other digital assets as collateral and lending it rates as low as four point five lending USD that rates as low as four point five percent a year.
Buck: I wanna pick these apart a little bit if you don't mind. In terms of this savings account first of all is it just bitcoin or is it bitcoin, Ethereum?
Zac: We actually support three assets in the interest account currently Bitcoin, Ether and GUSD which is the stable coin from Gemini.
Buck: Got it. And talk about the interest because it's not one flat interest rate right it's different depending on how much cryptocurrency actually is held?
Zac: Correct so there's a tiered interest rate structure. Currently on Bitcoin for balances up to ten Bitcoin, we offer a six point two percent annual yield and for balances above ten Bitcoin it's a 2.2 percent annual yield. On Ether, for balances up to two hundred Ether it's a 3.3 percent annual yield and balances above two hundred Ether is 0.5% annual yield and for GUSD the stable coin it's an eight point six percent interest rate with no tier so yeah those are the different rates.
Buck: Why did, I mean was it just a matter of like an issue with people dumping like a thousand Bitcoin and trying to get six you know 6% of that, was it just too hard to you know make that a long-term part of the business model or why did the higher levels end up changing to a lower rate?
Zac: Sure so I wanted to function of market conditions and to it's a function of supply and demand. So we launched the interest account in March of this year. We were just starting to come out of the bear market and one of the things that happened as we switched from being in a bear market to being in a bull market is the futures switched from being in backwardation to contango which basically means that our institutional borrowers the groups that we lend to that enable us to pay the rate to depositors had less of a need they had less demand to borrow and they were willing to pay lower rates to borrow crypto than they were when we were building and planning to launch this product. The second thing that happened is we were surprised to the upside in terms of the level of interest that we received from depositors and especially depositors with very large sums of cryptocurrency. So to give you an example you know within a day or two of making the product available publicly, we had a number of groups that were depositing 5, 10, 15, 20 million dollars worth of Bitcoin and so the supply-demand that we have to manage is, the amount that we have on deposit relative to the size of this market that will borrow Bitcoin size of the market that will borrow Bitcoin is partially a function of market sentiments partially a function of number of trading venues and the liquidity profile and it's partially a function of you know BlockFi’s efforts in terms of sales and client development relationship management. So the supply side got a little bit ahead of the demand side on deposit and how much there was available to borrow so we made a few tweaks. We want to keep the 6%, 6.2% rate on Bitcoin available to as many people as possible for as long as possible so that's why we went with the tiered structure where we made it available on balances up to 10 and reduced it for balances above that.
Buck: Got it and the interest on that, when you say 6.2 percent that six point like it's all denominated in Bitcoin, you're not paying cash out right?
Zac: Correct so to use round numbers to provide an easy example you start on January first with a hundred Bitcoin in an account, by the subsequent January first you will have 106 point 2 Bitcoin in your account.
Buck: Yeah and that that's kind of neat too because then you're you know you're also getting potentially the upside of that you know I mean they made 6% but if you if you're really bullish on the market you could be potentially looking at a lot more than 6% on your money. How about in terms of the, is there like a you know do you do it sort of a month-to-month or six month or month you know year-long contracts for these things?
Zac: It's month-to-month. So the rates are subject to change on a monthly basis. We provide notifications at least a week in advance before the end of one month on what the rates will be for the subsequent month and people are able to you know withdraw any time without penalty. We reserve up to 7 days to process withdrawals but we've never taken more than one business day to process a withdrawal so they're pretty quick but not instant for security reasons and yeah it's pretty flexible.
Buck: How about the lump in the lending side how does how does that work? So now I've got like 10 Bitcoin and so I would deposit that I guess and you guys I understand that maybe that that goes into like a Gemini account or something, is that still how it works?
Zac: Correct so we have a partnership with Gemini for custody. So when you log into a BlockFi account you'll have a deposit address. When you send Bitcoin to that deposit address it actually goes directly into storage with Gemini. Gemini was the first custodian in the crypto sector to receive insurance against cyber hacks on their platform. They were also the first custodian to get to complete a SOC 2 compliance audit and they have a really long track record of custody billions of dollars worth of crypto without ever having any issues. So it goes directly to Gemini and then you're able to interact with block-wise platform to take any actions that you might deem necessary. So you can view your interest payments you can withdraw you can deposit more you can also take out a loan. So in terms of taking out a loan, if you have ten Bitcoin that's worth roughly a hundred thousand US dollars at this point in time, you can borrow up to fifty percent of that value in a US dollar loan which can be funded be a wire or stable coin and then the structure of those loans is that you make interest-only payments on the amount that you borrowed throughout the duration and you can prepay at any time without penalty.
Buck: And what's the typical you said it was four point six.
Zac: We have interest rates as low as four point five. The interest rates on borrowing USD vary according to your initial loan to value ratio. So if you have a hundred thousand dollars worth of Bitcoin we actually have three loan-to-value ratio options. You can borrow at a 50 percent initial loan-to-value ratio which would mean you're borrowing 50k, the interest rate on that will be eleven point two five, if you borrow thirty five percent of the value so 35k the interest rate is seven point nine, and if you borrow twenty five percent of the value of the interest rate is four point five percent per year.
Buck: Got it. In terms of you know the technical, so you basically pay that on a month-to-month basis and then in terms of contracts, are those also month-to-month loans or how does that work?
Zac: Those are one-year term loans well now it's the ability to renew without repaying the principal at the end of the term at current rates and our rates for those loans have always come down so far. So it's a one-year term loan BlockFi committed for a year at that rate your payments stay the same but you can prepay at any time without penalty.
Buck: Right. When do you do when would you do an actual sort of I guess a cap will call like what loan-to-value because you can go up to say you're borrowing at you know you're borrowing at the lowest rate you know you're at 4.5% you're borrowing see you know just for round numbers 100 Bitcoin you borrowed or you said 10 Bitcoin hundred thousand dollars but you only borrowed twenty-five thousand dollars at four point five percent, what if Bitcoin you know loses 50 percent of its value then what happens?
Zac: Well you wouldn't have a margin call based on on that example. If your loan to value ratio hits 70 percent that's when we have a margin call and the way the margin call works is our clients have the option to either post more collateral, pay down the loan using USD or some of the collateral that's posted for the loan or take no action. If they take no action there's a 72-hour window where we'll wait to see if the price recovers, if it does then no action is required, if the price keeps going down further then we will initiate a partial collateral sale to rebalance that LTV to a healthy level at the end of that window.
Buck: So in terms of the clients that you see doing this kind of stuff, I mean who are you seeing borrowing because you don't have a cap I mean you can on the borrow side, I mean and the rates don't really change like if you're depositing a hundred Bitcoin you're getting the same rate differences as somebody who's depositing ten for borrowing right?
Zac: That's right.
Buck: So who are the people who are putting I mean what are these businesses that are putting are using these loans who are the typical clients?
Zac: Sure so it's a mix of retail and corporate. On the retail side we actually did a survey recently on use cases and the number one use case about a third of our borrowers expressed is that they were using the funds that they borrowed to start a business, which we were really excited about. So the other popular use cases were investing in real estate, investing in other types of traditional assets like stocks and bonds, home improvement, larger purchases, vacations were all used cases, paying down higher cost debt was another use case, and then on the corporate side the loans are used for operating capital. So we have some mining companies that borrow from BlockFi. Other types of companies who you know maybe have crypto denominated inventory like exchanges or crypto ATM businesses our frequent borrowers from BlockFi and our loan sizes rearranged from you know as low as five thousand dollars all the way up to seven figures. So it's a pretty diverse group of borrowers.
Buck: So recently it sounds like you guys partnered with another company called Casa. What is Casa and I guess how does that benefit both companies?
Zac: Sure. So Casa is a leader in fighting self sovereign storage solutions for cryptocurrency owners so if you're alone that owns Bitcoin and to use a gold analogy. If you want to own gold but you keep it in your vault or in your backyard you want to have physical possession of it yourself if you want to do that same type of custody with Bitcoin. Casa has a solution that makes that really easy. Our partnership with Casa provides mutual benefits to clients on either side. So Casa clients are able to receive some discounts in terms of accessing BlockFi products and vice-versa BlockFi clients are able to receive discounts in terms of accessing kasam products and over time we'll build some things in to the user experience specifically on Casa’s platform that will make it you know a bit more seamless to interact with BlockFi products while you're on their platform. In general that partnership strategy is something that you'll see more of we think there are in the ecosystem that are specializing in areas that BlockFi's not focused on and doing things where we can provide benefits to clients on both sides is a win-win for us then and our clients.
Buck: Last thing I want to ask you about, last time I spoke to you, you had talked about the idea of potentially Bitcoin backed credit cards meaning like you know getting Bitcoin back instead of miles or dollars back. You guys any closer to that, because I definitely want one of those cards.
Zac: I'm so glad you brought it up. We're definitely closer, but we're not you're not going to have the card until like Q3 of next year probably. It's getting worked on, these things you know for better or worse they take a long time launching a credit program is no small feat you know we're working on it. We've identified some of the key partners that we'll be working with to bring that product to market it is going to happen and I share your sentiment like I wish I had it now.
Buck: Yeah seriously that'd be great. Well listen it was great talking you. So it's BlockFi.com and it's spelled like block and then fi and tell us you know tell us the process of doing is pretty simple okay how long does it take to apply for these things…
Zac: Yeah I mean nothing takes any time really. So you could come in and start earning interest and get a loan from us all in under five minutes. And we also have a client service team that's super responsive in in terms of communication however you want to communicate with them, over email, over the phone, over text message so you know don't don't hesitate to reach out to us. We're also on twitter. My twitter handle is BlockFiZac and our company twitter handle is @therealBlockFi so we're very active on those platforms and happy to chat with you there as well.
Buck: Zac Prince, thank you very much for being on Wealth Formula Podcast today.
Zac: Thanks for having me, Buck, I appreciate it.
Buck: We’ll be right back.
submitted by Buck_Joffrey to u/Buck_Joffrey [link] [comments]

Bitcoin: Breaking All the Rules: Idiocracy: Sad vs. Happy Ending?: To Be Continued

4 years ago my girlfriend and I were trekking through Costa Rica, listening to a podcast about the silk road and a dark web. It was such a great listen and the content was something right out of a science fiction novel. Hackers, drug and arms dealers, digital rebels. The podcast went on to talk about how they used a digital currency. They talked about how it didn't have a bank, but rather it had kiosks that you could use to purchase these Bitcoins. In my imagination, they put money into an atm and out popped a gold coin that proved they owned that digital currency, silly.
Who would have thought this podcast was revealing an asset with the potential to turn rags to riches?! I just wasn't able to wrap my head around what was happening then. In my defense I was pleasantly distracted on an adventure in Costa Rica! I couldn't put the pieces together, the internet and currency were uniting under a blanket of anonymity. Must have been too busy looking for Toucans and Scarlet Macaws.
I've never been one to invest, never had the savings. Rough past and not a lot of income. Never smart with money. I was only able to go to Costa Rica because of a tiny inheritance from my grandmother passing away. If only I had spent the rest ($5,000) on those Bitcoin thingies!
I went about my life occasionally hearing about Bitcoin and I would always remember that podcast. Had I just opened up Google and followed up more, fuckin hindsight... Years go by and i hear how Bitcoin suffered some big losses here and there but I kept my distance.
This brings us to January 2017... Money is extremely tight as always and we've started taking on credit card debt with daily expenses and things are adding up. One day I'm in the men's library (shitter) and I read headlines saying Bitcoin is making a monster run. I decide then and there that I won't let this opportunity pass me by, "it's time to get ahead" says an internal voice. "But, you have no nest egg" says another. I didn't know what FOMO was at the time, but this was the ultimate case. I threw caution to the wind and went in hard towards a dream of financial freedom. It's as if the stars were going to align and I would finally catch a break. I took out a loan for 10k and stocked my digital wallet. Now I just needed to sit back and watch this thing continue to run. Financial freedom, here we come!!!
News Flash: South Korea is looking to ban cryptocurrency trading India announces they are going to crack down South Korea not banning cryptocurrency but no longer anonymous trading Bitfinex/Tether subpoena Coins being stolen by the millions US to discuss cryptocurrency regulations China bans citizens from foreign exchanges Binance "hacked" Mt Gox trustee dumping hundreds of thousands of coins on the open market Market manipulation Bitcoin is a bubble
I mean talk about a cluster fuck the moment I entered the trade! I feel like I bought tickets to Bitcoin's show and the asshole said peace and dropped the mic. This was one of the worst decisions I've ever made, and I've done a lot of dumb shit in my life. Taking out credit on an investment?! Brilliant! I made the biggest mistake in the book (one I had clearly never read) which is don't put in what you're not willing to lose.
I've read a lot of posts from veterans on Reddit who paint the perfect picture of my portrait "The Idiot Rookie and the Bitcoin" it's a masterpiece. I do commend a lot of you guys, I've seen some great advice. Advice that I wish I had read before diving head first into this world. I've always been a tough lesson kind of guy and class is in session. Hopefully I can graduate.
All aboard the emotional roller-coaster of cryptocurrency with too much invested! The last 2 months have been an experience like none other. So many ups and downs. Tonight I'm restless, so I type this story for you. This is the story about a dumbass guy who was grasping at straws and still is. His intentions may be good, but who knows how he'll fare. Sure a lot of you say cut your losses, but how do you cut ties with something you've fallen in love with? How do you turn your back on the tech after the fact?
Buckle Up It Gets Worse: Last weekend I finally broke the news to my fiance that I had done this behind her back potential increasing our debt if this thing blows up. Let's say things aren't the greatest in the love life. Trust for the first time in 4.5 years of our relationship is in question.
So here we are. The price is dropping hard, again. Things are a mess but I still hold on for dear life. Strange thing is that its starting to have no effect on me. Despite the ramifications of a complete crash, you think I would. Maybe I'd be a great investor if I didn't have debt on the line. All I do now is research blockchain day in and day out. I've done so everyday since things went south. Figured I should learn what the hell I heard about in that podcast so many years ago. Should learn about what I overextended myself with a loan for.
It really is brilliant. Blockchain is without a doubt a huge piece to our future.
All the ups, downs, sad truths to loved ones, fist pumps when I see a price pump and the swear words when they dunno (today I got caught in Ast after I fucked up my stop loss...) I've made countless mistakes and I'm sure I'll make more. I keep pushing myself towards becoming a knowledgeable tradeinvestor in hopes that I'll stop making mistakes when I do both. I'm definitely a HODLer until then, with a coin I'm not passionate about (AST) and a few that I am.
It's been over 2 months since entry. My skin is leather now, the stress of the past few months have turned my insides to stone. I'm down 60% and I'm still optimistic (or in denial?). I'm bleeding just like the rest of you, maybe even more with the interest. Will my decision to HODL be the right one? I guess only time will tell. My fiance asked me if I'm willing to accept the loss if a full crash occurs or at least willing to manage the interest until the investment turns positive. I'm 99% sure that I am, now that I know what this technology is all about.
Are you?
To be continued...
edit the reason I share my story is to not add to the sentiment of fear, but rather to give hope to other new investors. Just maybe one person, new to cryptocurrency reads this and says, ok things aren't as bad for me, I'll HODL with this dude. One less person quitting cryptocurrency is a win in my book.
submitted by MrMinesotaMan to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

ERC. money are able to bridge businesses with crypto owners

2090 cryptocurrencies are listed on Coinmarketcap as of writing. According to the Cambridge study conducted with Visa last sprint, 2.9 to 5.8 million active cryptocurrency wallet holders. Steve Wozniak is co-founding a crypto-asset investment firm. Alibaba and IBM have the most blockchain patents in the world. Binance made more in profit in Q2 2018 than Deutsche Bank. Even Katy Perry painted her nails in Monero and Light coin to come at you like a Dark Horse.
Cryptocurrencies is the safest form of a digital currency powered by an immutable, distributed, open-source technology—Blockchain. But then why haven’t the Global Financial system switched to crypto yet? At least the e-commerce? The answer is that it takes time for innovation to go through the adaptation period, and it takes innovation.
Business owners need to be ready to accept. But they don’t want to learn about all the latest forks and airdrops to process transactions. That’s why they choose Visa today. Because despite the fact that every transaction cost them from 3-5%, they work auto-magically. Crypto payments are safe but an average Bitcoin transaction speed can take up to 8 minutes. Some Ethereum transactions may take hours if the sender didn’t provide a lucrative amount of gas to miners. Transaction commissions keep growing and mining pools that entered the game at the early stages control the future of communities. Yes, cryptos are innovative but unless they solve the real world problems they will continue to be the currency of computer enthusiasts on Bitcoin Talk, drug-dealers, and traders.
ECR.money comes to help real business owners embrace the future of financial communications. It was launched on January 1, 2018 to change rules of the game in the world of encrypted digital payments.
“We are entrepreneurs, too. We understand the Status Quo but we need a less painful system for secure international transactions. Why launch another pointless ICO or TGE, when we can just take the real businesses and help them? Why they should pay monstrous fees for fast and secure transactions if the technology is here and ready to use? This whole token offering gold rush seems over-exaggerated to me.” – Dmitry Vasadin, Founder.
ECR team has created a network with a 100 transactions per second bandwidth. They plan to grow the speed responding to community growth. Each transaction is free. Each is protected with a Skrypt encryption protocol. ECR.nodes could be launched on computers with just 1Ghz of processing speed and 2Gb of RAM memory. Node owners only have to sign the transactions to secure the trust in the network’s distribution. Which means that the network can scale fast. That many ECR coins were pre-mined. No more coins will ever be emitted So there is no competition for block rewards. ECR.money propose to business owners a practical tool to transact on a daily basis and open their doors to an audience of millions active crypto users.
You can create your first ECR crypto wallet at www.ecr.money. Learn more about how to set up your ECR wallet in this guide or check out ECR Whitepaper.
submitted by ECurrency_ to u/ECurrency_ [link] [comments]

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