Table Of Contents
This is a transcript from our weekly YouTube live AMA:
SPEAKERS: Anita Mlakar, Sandi Bitenc and Richard Carthon.
About AMA: On this week’s AMA, we are speaking to Richard Carthon, Managing Partner for Crescent City Capital (a cryptocurrency hedge fund) and Acacia Digital (a cryptocurrency venture fund), and CEO and host of Crypto Current.
AMA Duration: 54:34
Anita Mlakar: 00:06
Hello, 3air family and welcome to our AMA. It is Wednesday, 5 o’clock, Central European Time. And I’m really happy to have you here. I cannot say that I’m happy to see you here because I cannot see you. But you are welcome, of course, to write a comment or to use this opportunity to write a question because I am happy to read you, thank you for being with us. Anita Mlakar is my name. And I’m the host of these AMAs. But I’m sure if you were with us, in AMAs that we had before that you already know who I am. And I would like to invite you, of course, to be a part of our family, a part of our community, you are welcome to join us on Twitter, on Telegram or on Discord. You can also follow us on social networks, or you can subscribe to our YouTube channel. We are here live every Wednesday and you will get notification when we are going live. So, thanks again for being with us.
This is a very special AMA, we have a special guest coming up in a couple of minutes. And today, Sandi Bitenc, the CEO of 3air will be with us. He’s not on the road somewhere in Safari, but he’s here. He has good connection. And I’m really happy that he will give us an update about markets and tell us what is going on at 3air. But first, let’s do a short introduction. We always do that at the beginning.
So, what are we doing? what is 3air doing? we are connecting the unconnected, we are banking the unbanked, we are connecting people of Africa to internet. We are doing that with two technologies K3 last Mile Solution and 3air internet. So, you will get digital identity from us then you can, of course identify yourself with it. It is actually a provable record of what you have done so far. We also create your digital bank account, we are giving your wallet custodial or noncustodial. And all this time, we are educating people and that is the real empowerment.
The next step is providing financial services. We have Fiat onboarding and offboarding ramp, peer to peer cash crypto onboarding, Defi. We are working on micro loans and yield farming. And we also have outside partners that will provide additional digital revenue streams. And once we put people through all those steps, they’re connected, they’re banked, and empowered. They have financial tools, they have the revenue streams, and they have the knowledge. Please be with us. This is a real mission. And we are happy that you are here, of course. And being a part of this, there are a lot of possibilities. So, thank you. And now it’s time to invite the CEO of 3air, Sandi Bitenc.
Anita Mlakar: 02:59
Hello, Sandi, and welcome.
Sandi Bitenc: 03:01
Hello. Hi. Hi, 3air family.
Anita Mlakar: 03:04
We can hear you and we can see you this time, it’s great.
Sandi Bitenc: 03:07
A bit better than last week, right?
Anita Mlakar: 03:10
A little better, yes. Sunday
Sandi Bitenc: 03:12
But I heard that you managed really well. Apparently, it was one of the best AMAs that we had.
Anita Mlakar: 03:19
Sandi Bitenc: 03:20
I am not needed. You know, I can take a vacation. I think.
Anita Mlakar: 03:23
It was not because you weren’t there. But it was a really nice conversation. I really enjoyed it. So many interesting subjects. And I’m also looking forward to today’s guest. I’m sure that it will be just as interesting as last week. But Sandi, first, you are in Nairobi, right?
Sandi Bitenc: 03:44
Yes, I just arrived in Nairobi today. After almost a week of travelling and I showed you how my office looks like when I’m travelling. I took it a step further now. So, my office was actually in the car right now. So, I was doing the calls and some development stuff and writing some papers in the car.
Anita Mlakar: 04:11
Okay, Petra did send me some picture, or it was a video, I think, how you were preparing to get live with us. How you were trying to get connection and you were not successful at first and I was laughing. It was really funny.
Sandi Bitenc: 04:30
Yeah, we were actually already starting to film something, a video because I couldn’t connect. I said, Okay, let’s make a video and then post it online. But in the end, it was necessary. So, it was just enough connection that I could jump in live.
Anita Mlakar: 04:47
Besides being on fields, you know, working in Africa. You are, I’m sure also preparing for our launch, right?
Sandi Bitenc: 04:59
Yeah, absolutely, so we are like working overtime all the time right now. So, the token is out, we spoke about that already. You can actually see us on coin market cap already. I don’t know if people saw that. But I can share my screen. And you see, so officially, the 3air token is out. Of course, it’s untracked, because the token is not live yet. So, it’s not traded anywhere this is already set up now. So, once we start trading, all the data is going to show up here.
So yeah, so the token is out. And also, everything that we had before in a centralized database regarding the tokens, it has now been moved on the chain. And all the tokens are locked already in our vesting contract. So, everything is actually on chain, verifiable. We even posted how you can go directly on BSC scan, and check if your tokens are there, directly on chain and nobody can change that anymore. And all the data this was done this week now. So, all the data that you can see in app.3air.io, where you can claim your tokens later, is already pulled off chain. So, this is how we are trying to get as decentralized as possible. So, we’re trying to remove as much of the central database as possible and moving it on chain. Of course, not everything can be done like this, but a lot of things can. And also, not everything should be done like this and not everything should be on chain because not everything makes sense to have decentralized but really the core things that you need trust in for that is good that it’s on chain. So, this is what we’ve been doing.
Now also, we finalized the staking contracts, testing them out. And the staking contracts will be available as soon as we launch the token. So just after token launch, you’ll be able to put your tokens into staking, there will be a one-month preparation period. So, you will be able to put the tokens in the preparation. But just because there are no tokens that are being unlocked for a month later, for staking, we cannot start the staking right at that moment in time. But you can already start and prepared for it. So that will be available, just the token launch and the pool will be a floating API pools, so we won’t be offering some guaranteed yield. But there’ll be a pool of tokens on a weekly basis that will be available to everyone that stakes. And we will be slowly growing that amount of tokens.
We’ve been now quiet for some time developing the algorithmic formula that is going to actually increase the tokens and try to match it, you know, similarly to the token unlocks that are coming. So, but not as much just a bit less. So, we’re starting with a high API, and then it slowly it’s going to come down to, let’s say, levels that we are considering as normal, but for sure the first ones in are gonna enjoy a bit higher API on their 3air tokens that are going to be staked. And yeah, I think within 10 days or two weeks, we’ll also be publishing already the staking contract ahead of time. So, this was done.
Also, a big thing that we are doing right now is actually creating the bridge and cross chain option for the AP. So, what we want to do is actually allow the users to use whatever chain they want or not, whatever chain. So, the ones that we are integrating with, and we would like to slowly grow that.
Sandi Bitenc: 09:30
So, what we are doing right now is we are working on the connectors between chains so you will get on the website. When you log in with your Meta Mask you can then choose your option of a blockchain that you want to use. And of course, right now we’re integrating Binance Smart Chain and SKALE Chain. But we’re not stopping there. We for sure, we want to expand to the most popular chains. So that the end user actually has the ability to choose what they want to use. So, you don’t need to bridge your things, there’s always some risk involved with that, and some time involved in that, and some fees involved with that. So, we want to minimize that.
Sandi Bitenc: 10:19
We also been working a bit more still on the connectivity NFTs. And there a really good idea came, Rok had a brilliant idea. So, what we are going to do is the devices that the end user has and uses to connect to our network, so to 3air network, each device will have an NFT, that will identify them, that device and a user can have many devices or also own multiple NFTs and then when you go to the marketplace and buy a monthly subscription, you then take that NFT and actually kind of put it into this device NFT, it looks like you would be staking an NFT within an NFT. And when you do this, you would actually be granted a connectivity. And it’s really cool because you will have a list of the devices that you have. And you can just switch between them, and you have like, wherever you want, you can have the connectivity that you bought with a monthly subscription.
It’s also cool on the other side, because within the NFT we actually can store all the data in the right format to actually be able to communicate from the device to our hardware on the telecom side. So, yeah, those were the majority of things that we’ve been doing now, but also there are a lot of other things. We’re doing a bit more things on the style side, and people quite like this one that we have right now but we decided to go a bit more into the trends, they are a bit changing right now. So, we will go with a bit more modern trend so there will be a bit. It’s kind of almost like a rebrand but not like a total rebrand.
Anita Mlakar: 12:25
Okay. Wow, a lot is going on. Richard is writing that he would like to see a staking explanation done by Rok. I think this is something that you were talking about on Telegram, wasn’t it?
Sandi Bitenc: 12:39
Yeah, we’ve been. So, the whole paper is already ready, and paper will be published. I don’t know, we would need to ask Ruba when she is publishing that. So, Ruba has the handover to publishing. You’re actually getting the info right now first but it’s coming soon. And I think next week, Ruba will be on the AMA just giving a bit of a brief update, we’ll have Ruba now on each of the upcoming AMAs just giving a brief update on the partnerships that we are forming. And there’s a lot to come on the marketing side. And we’ll also try to get some more updates directly from the devs also live on the next AMAs.
Anita Mlakar: 13:30
Okay. When you said earlier that you were working around the clock, I wanted to ask you what’s new? I think this is something that you’re doing all the time.
Sandi Bitenc: 13:40
Yeah. So that’s the thing. But you’re talking a bit about the market. What’s happening there did you mean that?
Anita Mlakar: 13:50
I would like to hear about market update what is going on right now? Where are we?
Sandi Bitenc: 13:57
Yes. So, it’s really uncertain times still. And we knew that and of course it is a bit risky. Still, we are not out of the waters. We are not in a bull run by a longshot. But let’s see what happens. So, I think Friday is going to be an important point in time. So, I think Jerome Powell, he’s speaking at a conference, I think in Jackson Hole. So that’s going to be probably the biggest driver of the equity markets. And of course, then the crypto markets because they just follow the equity markets. So, this is going to be a big thing and he’ll probably be speaking a bit more about what’s coming on the financial sides, what the central bank will do and what’s going to be with the interest rates? I think that’s the main thing.
Also, we had quite a nice run a week ago, but then a few days ago, we crashed down quite hard, I think it was almost around 20% crash within only a few hours, we are currently holding the support at 21400-21300, something like that. But if we break down below 2800, I think, that’s less, then we’re probably going down to 20 again, there’s a lot of things still that are uncertain. There’s the Mt. Gox sell-off, that might be coming in the next month. There is also, August is really a tough month, because nobody is kind of trading volumes are really low.
So August, it’s usually not the best month, also not September. But I still think that this September can be different. And it for sure it will be driven by macroeconomics. So, I don’t think this is currently like a normal August or a normal September, there’s a lot of cash on the sidelines. And just because there is no real direction in the markets. I think it’s still sitting there. But the people that are holding that cash are probably getting a bit nervous right now, because of the high inflation that’s eating away, you know, their purchasing power. And they’re actually paid to invest that money and not to sit on cash. So, something will need to move fast if it’s going to move in the next month. And now it’s hard to say I believe it could. But let’s see, we’re following this really closely. And either way, right now the decision has been made 22nd of September, it’s written on the blockchain. So, we’re not changing that.
Anita Mlakar: 17:00
And in the stars, just joking.
Sandi Bitenc: 17:04
But also, though we are in huge altcoins season still, and that’s probably really unexpected. So, I know that we have Richard back in there, he is waiting eagerly to come out. But I just need two minutes more. So, this is really what I was really surprised on. So, we’re actually on the altcoin season index, we’re at 96. This is like crazy, big altcoin season. So that was for sure unexpected. And that’s actually good for a token launch because this means that the alt coins are outperforming Bitcoin. So that’s actually good. We’re still in a bear market. So that’s not good. And, you know, the fear and greed index. This one is, yeah, it’s come down from last week from 41, we actually hit almost a greed level. So, people were almost greedy. See a monthly basis. So, we were here at was 47. So, 50 is already considered greed. But we are now coming down again a bit. But we’re still far away from where we were. We were at lows of six. So right now, we’re at 25 or 24-25. Yes. So, we’re still in fear territory. So, that’s really not good. But as you saw that can change pretty quickly. Yeah, that’s it for kind of the market update from my side.
Anita Mlakar: 18:39
Thank you very much. And now I’m really looking forward to welcome and say hello to our special guest. Richard Carthon is with us.
Anita Mlakar: 18:48
Richard Carthon: 18:50
Hello, everyone. Thank you all for having me. Anita and Sandi, always a pleasure.
Anita Mlakar: 18:56
We are really happy to have you here. And thank you for taking time. Because of course we have a lot of questions for you. And I’m sure that also our audience will have some questions. But first, let me just say a sentence or two about you, Richard. So you are, if I say it in short, you are managing partner of multiple crypto funds and podcast host if we just go a little deeper, a managing partner of Crescent City Capital and ACACIA digital and CEO and host of Crypto Current, and so on. So yeah, a lot of this is going on with you, Richard, you’re very active. Would you tell us more about you and your work?
Richard Carthon: 19:43
Absolutely. So, I first met Sandi through an interview that I did on Crypto Current. So Crypto Current is a podcast all about bridging the gap between people who know nothing about the space with other leaders, while providing alpha to all of those who are already In the space. So, we’ve been running that for since 2018. We’ve done over 300 episodes and have been able to get some really awesome Alpha calls very early. Ones I’ll bring to attention, we had decentral and, on our show, back when they were worth three cents. And in the height of the bull market last year, they got up to like $5. So, we have a lot of stories like that, where we’re able to help introduce some really cool companies really early in their journey, before they go on to do amazing things.
So, with doing that, I was able to meet some of my managing partners in the space, we just created Crescent City Capital, which is a cryptocurrency hedge fund. We’ve been running since 2019. And then last year, we opened up ACACIA, because I kept meeting so many amazing people like Sandi like I want a way to be able to start investing in these companies before they are able to go to the market. So, we created ACACIA. And so, ACACIA is A Cryptocurrency and blockchain venture fund, we invest in all things Web3. So, you know DeFi plays, Metaverse plays, NFTs, you name it, we have some diversification in it, we’ve allocated into 20 plus companies so far in the last nine months, and we’re looking to allocate into more so fully immersed in the Web3 space, four years of experience at this point and loving every moment of it.
Anita Mlakar: 21:28
Wow, how many episodes did you have?
Richard Carthon: 21:33
Anita Mlakar: 21:34
Over 300. Oh, my God. Because Sandi and I were talking that we were actually from October till now we’re on every Wednesday, we never missed one AMA. And we thought it was a way of our record but now, you’re saying, Oh, my God, so many, so Sandi, we are far away from that.
Richard Carthon: 21:54
With time you’ll get there, if there’s one thing, I’ve learned through doing this consistency is key. Create a process that is like, easy for you to be able to come in, day in and day out. And it doesn’t feel like a chore, it feels like something you’re excited and get energy from. And I definitely get energy from the show been able to meet a just an amazing group of people who are building the future of Web3.
Anita Mlakar: 22:16
Great. I’m also learning about it, about this space and everything. kind of new to this thing but I would like to know, how did you come to it? How did you learn about it? Where did you get inspired?
Richard Carthon: 22:31
So, in January of 2018, I was working at an artificial intelligence company. And my very first day on the job, my boss said, “Hey, what do you know about Bitcoin? Ethereum?” I said, “What’s that?” He said, “Trust me, you want to look into it”. So, I did, went down the rabbit hole and haven’t turned back. And when I was first doing research, a lot of the information was either extremely technical, or it was extremely shilling where people would just go and say, like, “Go buy this thing and you’ll become crypto rich” and all this other kind of stuff. And I want to be able to create content and learn from thought leaders from an unbiased place to just truly understand what is it that you’re trying to build? And how can I explain this to other people. So that was the premise of cryptocurrency. But then like, fast forward, what really stuck for me the moment where like, this is the future, I had a friend who was working in the oil and gas industry out in the Philippines. And when he would collect his check, he would get paid in the local currency, but then would have to change the money to US dollar, it would take 7 to 10 business days. And based on like currency exchange rates and everything, you’d lose 40% of his money. He immediately started taking all this money converting it into Bitcoin. And he would send it to his family in the US that way. It would take a couple of minutes and it would cost a couple of dollars. I said, that is a game changer. I’m in, sign me up now.
Anita Mlakar: 23:54
Okay, great story. You were working with a lot of startups probably still are. There is something about this newcomers, you know, they really enjoy learning. They like to educate themselves. And education, we were talking about it so many times. It’s very important in this process, right?
Richard Carthon: 24:16
Definitely. A way that you can go about education when you coming into this Web3 space. It’s like trying to drink through a firehose. It’s just so much information and all these different places, and it can become overwhelming. And what I’ve tried to do is, is to spark people’s curiosity in different elements, right? So, if I’m able to connect with you because you heard about NFTs, and that sparks curiosity in art and all the different ways that that can work. Well, here’s some resources. Here’s how you can get involved. Here’s some first steps you can take. What if you are really passionate about being able to create and provide internet access to people in Africa? Oh, great. Here’s this really amazing show I did with 3air, who’s literally doing that right now with a really cool DeFi element.
What if also, you’re really interested in the Metaverse, you will learn about all that. Well, here’s this really cool company, who is doing that building identities in the Web3 space, etc. So, by being able to connect with people on something that they’re very passionate about, and then providing them resources that they can start educating themselves on that particular topic, that’s when they start going down the rabbit hole. So, then you can start to provide these other resources on other things, but you first have to find a point of entry and give them just enough information to where they’re not overwhelmed. But enough where they want to come back for more.
Anita Mlakar: 25:37
Well, in this space, I’m sure you see a lot of projects, some are good, some are bad. And there must be something that attracts you to it, what is it? How do you choose?
Richard Carthon: 25:48
So, from an investment standpoint, through ACACIA as a VC, there are a few things that we initially look at. The first and foremost is the team. So, who is on the team? What is their experience? And can they actually? Or does it appear that the vision that they’re ultimately trying to portray and to create, can they execute on that? And does their track record say that “hey, we’ve done things like this, therefore, we should be able to make this dream a reality”.
The second is, the timeline, and the presentation that they’ve created on what are the action items? What is the ultimate thing that they are trying to execute on? And what have they executed on so far? So, for example, if on your timeline in your deck, Phase One was supposed to be done in April, but when we asked you what phase you’re in and you’re in Phase One still in and Its October. That’s not a great look. So, you want to be able to see like, okay, is your timeline realistic? And can you execute on it? And if there are delays, can you reasonably explain what those delays are and what you’re doing to then fix them?
Then finally, what is the problem that you’re trying to fix? And is it big enough and scalable enough? That if you’re able to come in and put your imprint on solving this issue? Do you have the ability to then scale that up at a high multiplier, and sometimes we’ll meet a really cool company working on a really amazing solution. But the scale of how much impact it can have, unfortunately, isn’t necessarily as big come very niche. And it can only have a certain amount of addressable market. So, what we’re trying to then do is find, okay, here’s a really nice and really cool solution, but it also can impact a massive amount of people.
Anita Mlakar: 27:50
Yes. Richard, do you sometimes trust your gut?
Richard Carthon: 27:55
Yes, you have to because let’s say that we have a formula. And if we have 100%, of what we’re looking for a company, and they check all the boxes. Great. Obviously, that’s a no brainer, move forward. But what happens when they only check 70% to 90% of the box? What are the elements that you look for that if they aren’t clearly checking all of our boxes, at what point they just say, “I want to move forward with this”, it can be some gut instinct, you could also just be different elements, different experiences that each of me and my partners have”, where we can identify through the course of a conversation or presentation that, “Hey, I know this presentation was really good. We asked this one specific question. And they faltered and they didn’t have an answer. They didn’t have all of that, that gives me hesitation. Let’s give them another chance to try to explain that”.
Or like, “Hey, this is an immediate red flag. We call it out, they didn’t address it, we should move forward with it”. So sometimes it’s a gut instinct to move forward. Sometimes it’s a gut instinct to not move forward. And it has a lot to do with just prior experiences and knowing what questions to ask because a lot of this is knowing where to poke holes. If you go into a conversation, and everything sounds amazing, but you don’t know the right questions to ask to try to poke some holes and understand the big challenges that they’re going to be facing. And they don’t have a good answer that in itself could stop you from moving forward with a potential investment.
Anita Mlakar: 29:28
Okay, this is kind of my field, you know, public speaking and presentations and startups trying to get investors and having speeches and sometimes they have a good project, but they’re not good at presenting them or it you know, I was just wondering, do you ever give them a second chance?
Richard Carthon: 29:48
Yes. Again, if the information has been presented, sounds good, but it wasn’t necessarily presented in a way that we thought was up to par of what it should have been. After we conclude the conversation, we’ll send a one-off email of like, “Hey, we really liked what you’re doing. We want to hear this, again, we have these specific questions, we’d like to spend more time on this” but to your original question, if you are a founder, or if you are someone who is going through a project, and you are asking somebody for money, it is your responsibility to practice and go through your presentation. So, you know it like that. If you’re going out, you’re building all this stuff, you’re doing all these things. If you can take 30 minutes to an hour for two to three weeks, and just practice repetition with your team in front of a mirror, whatever it is, you can have yourself to where you can go through a presentation very clearly, it might not be like your best, you might not be the best presenter, but you will know the information. And we have unfortunately had some people who had really cool ideas, but the presentation was so poor, we just decided to not move forward because we didn’t take them seriously.
Anita Mlakar: 31:03
I know, it’s like, kind of first impression, you know, you’ll never get a second chance, right?
Anita Mlakar: 31:08
It’s really hard to.
Anita Mlakar: 31:12
Yes, it is. Richard, what was it that made you interested in 3air that you decided to be a part of it?
Richard Carthon: 31:24
The first thing that, like, struck me was the initial goal, which is to bank the unbanked, which I’m all about. And then to provide internet access to those who don’t have it. Just those two alone. I’m like, “Yes, this is great. We need this”. And then the next part of it, though, was how do you then turn that into an actual business? Because like, yes, there’s a part of it, where you have the good intent and the will of you know, doing good. And you know, everything doesn’t have to be a charity. But when you can combine an element where you’re truly helping someone, but then also turning that into a business that can scale and make money, you have this perfect blend of an opportunity. And when I was listening to Sandi talk about this, I immediately like as soon as the interview was over, I was like, “Hey, by the way, are you still looking for investors? How can we be involved?” because like it just for me, it immediately checked a ton of boxes that I particularly look for when looking for investments. And I just think that the vision and goal and the opportunity to execute on this the fact that they already had so much infrastructural plays in place, already have experience in that, in those countries already have things that they’re building already had use cases, people using this, like I was just like, “This is a really cool opportunity”. Because unfortunately, a lot of times you’ll meet people with a vision, and they’ll talk about what they’re trying to do and steps to get there. You are already doing it in 3air now you’re just trying to scale it. So, I thought was a really cool part of it.
Anita Mlakar: 32:59
Yeah. Sandi, would you like to share your experience when you were on AMA with Richard? And what happened?
Sandi Bitenc: 33:08
Yeah, so Richard, we had an AMA I was actually on the Binance conference, was this when we had the AMA?
Richard Carthon: 33:17
So, I was late. We did an AMA. I think we just had the interview that we did when you came on the show.
Sandi Bitenc: 33:23
Exactly. Yeah. The interview was there. Yeah. So, I remember, and I had some connectivity issues there also, right? So, I was reconnecting a few times. And then in the end it kind of everything fall into place. And yeah, I do remember just afterwards, you just asking me if we were still looking for investments? Yes. So yeah, that. It’s also not only about the cash, it’s also about kind of getting the validation that you’re doing things right. So, that was then yes. And yeah, I actually really liked how the podcast went or the interview, all the questions and I’m really happy that we’re working together.
Richard Carthon: 34:26
Yeah, definitely. So, the chemistry was good.
Sandi Bitenc: 34:31
Yeah, I just wanted to chime in, when you were saying, when you two were talking about the presentation part and everything and I’m also not the best public speaker but it is my thing, I wrote the paper, I really love what we’re doing with 3air, so it’s kind of not really hard to talk about it but else if you ask me something that’s not my field. I’ll be really terrible in presenting anything or talking about it but what I wanted to say is also a team needs to be transparent, needs to be able to kind of also explain what they’re doing to the general public, because right now, any crypto project is actually also a public project, is a public company. And if you cannot present it, then also with the best idea and the best execution team, the presenting is part of the marketing, and unfortunately, also having the best idea and the best project that’s actually working, if you cannot market it and then tell it to the people, it just doesn’t work. And then also the investment doesn’t make sense.
Anita Mlakar: 35:48
Richard Carthon: 35:49
Anita Mlakar: 35:51
And transparency, and this is what people in our community are talking about, you know, Sandi that you are actually the leader who’s always transparent, giving information. They’re not always good information. You know, sometimes you have good news, sometimes you have bad news, but you have to share that with community. And I think this is very important. And this is also way why people did connect with 3air through Sandi and his open heart, should I say?
Sandi Bitenc: 36:22
Yeah, look, I’m trying to get as much information to the community as possible. But it also needs to be understand that not everything can go to the community, it’s just because sometimes people take a roadblock and just blow it totally out of proportion. And maybe it’s just a small thing and also, sometimes you need to keep some things private, because there are a lot of other parties that are involved, you know, and then we are in a lot of talks right now, but I cannot speak about that. Because I don’t know if they’re going to happen, even if I speak now that we are talking to somebody, and they might be then offended, then it doesn’t happen because of this, maybe it doesn’t happen because of something else, and then you kind of then one point said that and you were lying, although you were only saying that you’re in talks. So, it’s really hard to manage this. So, what actually to tell and when to tell it. But for sure, we’re not trying to keep any information secret and just getting the transparency, I also have no problem in asking about what we should do, if I’m not sure about it, and that’s why we’re also working with a lot of advisors. And we’re actually working with advisors and asking them questions, what they think and how we should proceed.
Anita Mlakar: 37:48
Right, Richard, Now, you are a great host. I know. And you have also a lot of knowledge about crypto and everything. Now, if I would, for example, like to learn more about it to be a better host, you know, in this field? How could I learn from you maybe? Or where can we find you? Where can we follow you?
Richard Carthon: 38:10
Definitely, one of the easiest places to follow me directly is on Twitter @RichardCarthon. So just @ my name. And then for all things Crypto Current, you go to crypto-current.co. And we have all of our interviews, we have some educational content on there as well we do weekly, it’s called the AfterShock, where we give updates on all things happening in Web3. We also have what’s called Crypto Decrypted, these are crypto basics. So, if you’re really brand new to the space, you’re trying to learn about a lot of different hot topics we have that. If you’d like written content, we have that too. So, all education side, just go to crypto-current.co, you can do that as well. And if you’re potentially looking to learn more about, if you have a Web3 company, and you’re looking for a potential investor, we look at a ton of different opportunities all the time. you go to Acaciadigital.io. Get some more information there, feel free to reach out and we’ll give you a look.
Anita Mlakar: 39:09
Great. We’re talking a lot about Web3, Richard. Now the question is, is Web3 ready for mass adoption? And if not, what does it need to be ready?
Richard Carthon: 39:21
Is it ready? I don’t know that we’re ready for the main stage yet. I think we each year get closer to it. I think that there are too many things in play. So, for mass adoption to happen you need to be able to come from the Web 2.0 space over the Web 3.0 seamlessly without you understanding that it’s even happening. And right now, there are a lot of manual steps you have to take and responsibilities that you have to be able to take to interact with the Web3 space. And I think each iteration of companies in these different types of features that products are offering are getting us steps closer to that point. But I don’t believe we are quite there yet. I think we are a few years out from it. But I’m excited to get there. I think we get there in this decade, I think we do get to a point where we have enough features built out to where we can get to that massive adoption, tipping point, but we aren’t there just yet.
Anita Mlakar: 40:26
And what are the biggest trends you see on the horizon right now? You mentioned NFTs? You mentioned Metaverse, what are those?
Richard Carthon: 40:35
So, I think NFTs are going to be the gateway drug to Web 2.0 people coming into the space. And as people start to learn more about how these different NFTs work, and how they can be applied to their day to day lives, that’s when they start to learn about DeFi, that’s when they start to learn about exchanges. That’s when they start to learn about how decentralized exchanges and all these other things work, or how you can get tokens and everything else.
So, I think the two different ways that people are really going to engage. I think the one of the easiest on ramping is through NFTs, the next can be through DeFi applications where people who are unbanked now have a way to both receive tokens, aka money, and then off ramp it be able to then take that money and actually use that money and things outside of just that DeFi world that they’re in to be able to really take that money and use it in their everyday life. So, I think having these two, and then it’ll kind of expand to the rest. I think gaming is also going to be a huge element of this, especially as relates to the Metaverse, I think that’s going to still take time, you’re gonna have a lot of people that’s going to be a slow trend up and it’ll be like a huge turning point. But I think before gaming, and Metaverse really helps with bringing in a lot of new audience, what’s first going to keep bringing people in, it’s going to be NFTs and DeFi.
Sandi Bitenc: 42:06
Maybe I can add on this one also. So, I also agree that we are not there yet. We’re not ready for mass adoption of Web3. I think there needs to be a mind shift. Right now, I think that the majority of people that are really using it are the really early adopters people that are aware of the issues, but let’s be honest, so you know, the majority of the developed world right now doesn’t have really big issues with banking. So, and that’s where crypto actually shines it at first in providing an alternative to the traditional banking system.
I think we need we need some regulation before mass adoption can happen so this is also. Right now. I think we’re entering that fighting phase. So, before we win in the end, but I’m pretty sure this is coming I also think that by the end of this decade we could be there if people can really do the mind shift. I think the first adoption was really quick, it was actually quicker than Internet by itself. Crypto is harder to learn that than Internet by itself, I think. It holds more risk because if you really want to go crypto you need to first learn about how you want to take care of your seed phrase, about your own wallet and so on. So, you need to learn about these things it cannot go right now without learning it and yeah, I’m pretty sure if we can do this kind of seamlessly that’s going to be where the mainstream jumps in and everyone starts using crypto and it will come for sure.
So NFTs and DeFi, yeah for sure. The biggest drivers I think you’re under estimating a bit the gaming part because like right now I see literally all the big companies that are developing games jumping onto crypto also. At least partly I don’t think that everyone will go like into play to earn. I don’t think that’s going to happen. But there will be using some part of crypto at least these NFTs as some in game items and so on. But for sure all the big names are coming to crypto right now. And that’s a huge community.
Richard Carthon: 44:50
Yeah, definitely the massive like you’re saying that I think the biggest on ramp to crypto gaming right now. So, the play to earn model and it’s a very hard model to sustain. And you get people who come in for a season. And then they leave where these larger gaming institutions are coming in, they want to build these really good core games, and then apply Web3 elements on top of it. And I think to build those out and really start to get that shift from people coming from Web2 over to Web3, I think it’s definitely on its way. I just, I think they have a way to go before they’re ready for the mainstream. But I do think, again, game is going to be a big one too. Just to add to that.
Sandi Bitenc: 45:34
Yeah, so the development of a really good game takes years. So, if they’re jumping on the bandwagon now it’s going to take a few years before a really cool, playable game. You’re right so the play to earn games right now have the problem that everyone’s playing them just to earn money, not because they want to play them, because they’re fun to play right? That’s the issue. So, once they become fun to play, and people just want to play the games, because they really like to play the games not about earning money, then I think that the games can start earning money. And then actually, the play to earn model can become sustainable at that point in time, because you have the user adoption.
Anita Mlakar: 46:12
That’s so interesting to listen to the two of you, finding out new things. To do all this, of course, you need to be connected, there is nothing without connection. And we cannot imagine, Richard, but of course, we’re talking about Africa, we are talking about places that are not connected people, who are not connected. What do you think on how important is the connection and what can it change?
Richard Carthon: 46:45
Having people that are connected to the broader world, through internet just provides access and provides opportunity. One of the biggest challenge is in knowledge that has ever had always been access to books to resources to education. And one of the greatest inventions that have sped up all of this for everyone is access to the internet. By having access to the internet now you can go educate yourself, and I can go get access to resources. Now you can download a digital wallet on your phone, not even having a computer and be able to take some of them your local money exchange that into a potential cryptocurrency that can then go and appreciate. So now, what money you did have can now potentially multiply and give you even more money that can put you and your family in a better place to think go and create generational wealth and more access to opportunities. And so first, by having that internet connection, is the first domino to then open up all these different other realms of opportunity to resources, to financial opportunities, and also to create a sustainable lifestyle that is bringing you in a different place that you otherwise wouldn’t have had access to.
Anita Mlakar: 48:02
Thank you. Just one last question. Richard, you are in Austin, are you?
Richard Carthon: 48:08
I am. Austin, Texas.
Anita Mlakar: 48:10
Okay. And I also read about you that you were an athlete, a lot in sports. So, what I would like to know, just to do the closure, what does sports bring to business? Or what did it bring you?
Richard Carthon: 48:26
It taught me first and foremost how to be competitive, how to compete against adversity. So, the two sports that I played was American football, and baseball. And a big lesson from baseball was, in baseball, if you are successful three out of 10 times, you’re considered a Hall of Famer, if you’re successful, 2.5 times out of 10, you’re considered really good. So that means you can do everything right and still get out, you can do all of this work and crush the ball. But if you hit it right at someone, you still get out. And it means that you have to be resilient, it means that you have to keep coming back for more and it means that you have to keep finding new ways to be productive. So, I would say from that element from the American football it is how to practice and be consistent with work ethic and training and how just you have to keep coming back day after day and working as hard as you can to be your best version because you have someone else training just as hard potentially harder to compete against you. So, by both being resilient and by working hard, it helped to bring a really good work ethic and mindset to how I apply in work in my day to day.
Anita Mlakar: 49:48
How about teamwork?
Richard Carthon: 49:52
Teamwork is essential to everything that you do especially as it is in If you’re not playing like individualized sport, like a tennis or golf, you have to deal with people. And you have to know how to deal with different egos, how to deal with people’s strong points, their weak points and being able to get them to rally around a common goal. And you learn how to take potentially someone’s weakness and then being able to use your own elements or your own strengths or someone else’s, and then make them even stronger through that. So, you learn how to communicate, and you learn how to deal potentially with difficult people, and then how to still take all the different elements of different personalities and move them forward and making sure that your common goal is achieved. So absolutely teamwork as well.
Anita Mlakar: 50:49
That was so educational and inspiring. Thank you very much, Richard, for being with us today, taking the time and I hope that there will be another opportunity to continue this conversation, because I’m sure there are so many subjects that we could talk about. Thank you.
Richard Carthon: 51:04
Absolutely. Thank you for having me.
Anita Mlakar: 51:06
Have a great day. Nice regards to Austin. Bye, bye.
Sandi Bitenc: 51:14
Anita Mlakar: 51:17
So, Sandi, at the end of this, it’s just the two of us again, we will do the closure. It was a nice conversation, wasn’t it?
Sandi Bitenc: 51:26
Yeah, it was. Absolutely. I think also quite a lot of educational things going on. I do think that we provide good knowledge. Not only about 3air and the AMA shouldn’t be just about 3air, I do want them to also educate the listeners in other aspects of crypto.
Anita Mlakar: 51:52
Yes, I know. Sandi, there was a question. It is here. Okay. Someone was asking if you will be visiting Nigeria, too?
Sandi Bitenc: 52:00
Yeah, not. Not right now but I will need to visit Nigeria soon. So just don’t know when exactly, because right now my schedule is getting crazy. And I’ll be travelling a lot. I’ll be visiting a few different continents in the next month. So, I’m right now in Africa, going to Dubai, just to change my clothes, probably. And then almost immediately heading over to Europe again. And then from Europe. I need to go to the US. And from then on. I don’t know yet. So, there is an option that were going on an event in Colombia, or we’ll need to fly back to another event in Monaco. So, let’s see, don’t know yet.
Anita Mlakar: 52:56
All over the world.
Sandi Bitenc: 53:01
That’s how it is. So right now, it’s going to be really crazy, I think. Now we are at the stage with 3air where we actually need to be present on as many events as possible just to get the word out. So, this is going to continue for some time, I guess. And then hopefully we can tune a bit down and just go for the big events in the near future.
Anita Mlakar: 53:26
Thank you, Sandi. And thanks all of you for being with us today. You can join us, of course, be a part of our communities on Twitter, Telegram, Discord. And you can also subscribe to YouTube channel of 3air so that you will know when we are live again, and it will be next Wednesday, of course 5pm Central European Time. Thank you, Sandi for taking time. Thank you for being with us. Don’t forget that you’re a married man. I’m just talking because you’re travelling a lot, but you have this fortune that your wife Petra is with you. So that’s great. That’s great. This is amazing that you’re doing something that you can be together. It’s really good. So, thank you, Sandi. And we’ll be together again next week. Okay.
Sandi Bitenc: 54:15
Yes, absolutely. I’ll be here and I know you will be too, and I hope everyone else it’s going to be so now the next AMAs are going to be just every AMA is going to be a step up till token launch, that’s for sure that I can guarantee.
Anita Mlakar: 54:31
Thank you. Have a great day.