Table Of Contents
This is a transcript from our weekly YouTube live AMA:
SPEAKERS: Anita Mlakar, Sandi Bitenc and Dustin Plantholt.
About AMA: On this AMA we are with special guest, Dustin Plantholt, “The Count of Monte Crypto”.
AMA Duration: 33:37
Anita Mlakar: 00:25
Hello, everybody and welcome to 3air’s AMA, Anita Mlakar is my name. I’m the host of this AMA, and I’m really happy if you are with us right now. We are doing this every week. And this is of course the opportunity for us and for you to be together, to ask questions, to write comments. And of course, to get some answers live because the CEO of 3air, Sandi Bitenc is always with us. Sometimes Ruba is joining us, Rok Mihailović also, and we do have also today a special guests coming up. And I’m really looking forward to that.
First, let me invite you to be a part of our communities. We are on Telegram, on Discord and on Twitter. If you’re not with us yet, please do join. You can also subscribe to our YouTube channel here so that you will get notifications every time we are going live. Usually, we are here on Wednesdays, and this is a Wednesday and every time on Wednesday when we are live, I am doing a short introduction of our project.
So, what is 3air, the world’s first blockchain platform that enables individuals and businesses to thrive on Web3 by providing broadband internet connectivity. There is the fact that 3 billion people cannot access blockchain services because they are not connected to the internet. And we use proprietary technology to build broadband infrastructure there were others have failed. So, what we’re trying to do is connect the unconnected and bank the unbanked actually we are connecting people of Africa to internet. We are doing that was two technologies with K3 Last Mile Solution and 3air internet.
People will get to digital identity from us where they can store everything and of course they can identify themselves with it. We also create the digital bank account, we are giving them a wallet. The next step is providing financial services. We have Fiat onboarding and off boarding ramp and peer to peer cash crypto onboarding, we have DeFi, we are working on micro loans and yield farming. Our outside partners will provide additional digital revenue streams. And all this time we are educating people. And that is the real empowerment. And once we put people through all those steps, they’re connected, they’re unbanked, and they’re empowered. And we are really happy that you’re with us on this way that you’re also trying to do what we’re trying to do by supporting us. Sandi Bitenc, CEO of 3air is with us today.
Sandi Bitenc, CEO of 3air Joins the AMA:
Anita Mlakar: 03:09
Sandi Bitenc: 03:11
Hello, everyone. Hi. Hi, Anita. How are you?
Anita Mlakar: 03:15
I’m fine. Thank you very much. And I’m really hoping because you were also somewhere out there travelling that you will have a good connection since we have discovered that it’s not so good today, right?
Sandi Bitenc: 03:28
Yes, so we tried it, it didn’t work like perfectly well. And also, you’re getting really cut off on my end. So, I don’t know if everyone else hears you perfectly. I do have a bit of trouble getting you through, but I think it’s on my end. I think the problem is actually on my end.
Anita Mlakar: 03:49
Okay, do write down in the comment. If you can hear me but Sandi, I can now hear you’re perfectly and see you too. So, I’m really happy that we have this good connection. You see that someone is listening to us. And we are good. Sandi, where are you?
Sandi Bitenc: 04:06
I’m not telling you. I’ll let our guests tell you and I know that he’s really in a hurry. He took the time off. Actually, I think he walked out of lunch or dinner or at least a really important meeting just to take the time to be with us. So, I would like to take him in and let him tell where we actually are because we are quite close together.
Anita Mlakar: 04:33
Okay, so let’s invite him in. We are really happy to have you onboard again.
Dustin Plantholt Joins the AMA:
Anita Mlakar: 04:39
Hello, Dustin Plantholt.
Dustin Plantholt: 04:40
Hi, it is so good to see you. And for all of those tuning in, we are in Liechtenstein for Summit. Really excited about tomorrow, October 13th.
Anita Mlakar: 04:57
Okay, so if I understood correctly because we are having some interruptions with connection. You are both in Liechtenstein, right?
Sandi Bitenc: 05:08
Yeah, exactly. We’re both here. So, you cannot be far away if you’re Liechtenstein. So maybe a bit farther than then in Monaco, where we were just, yes, still this morning. But you cannot be far away. So, I think we’re just maybe a kilometer away or something like that.
Anita Mlakar: 05:30
Okay, Dustin. We are really happy to have you back. I think it was August when we were together. And I just remember, I had a really bad voice. And you were so kind. And you said, “Don’t worry, Anita, you just ask a question, and I will do the talking”. And I really appreciated that. I am a little better today.
Dustin Plantholt: 05:54
Thank you again for having me.
Anita Mlakar: 05:58
Okay, now, I do hope that we will be able to hear you because I think that we now hear every second word that you’re saying. But we would still like you to give us some answers to the questions that we had. We did introduction of you the last time we were together. But for those who are not with us at that AMA. Dustin, could you just tell us a little bit about yourself and what you are doing?
Dustin Plantholt: 06:24
Absolutely. I am the founder of Monte Crypto. I offer advisory practice in 3air. And I get to work with people who just want to know a little bit more about the digital assets or matters.
Sandi Bitenc: 06:51
I think this is not going to work. Anita, I don’t know if you can hear Dustin, but to me he’s totally gone now.
Anita Mlakar: 07:01
Yes, Dustin, we are really having this poor connection with you.
Dustin Plantholt: 07:05
Oh, yeah. I don’t know what happened.
Anita Mlakar: 07:10
I do know what you have answered because I know you and I know your word when I’m sure that others haven’t heard it. We do hear every second word. Okay, please do try to find a better connection.
Sandi Bitenc: 07:32
Maybe just turn off the video. Maybe it’ll be better. Yeah.
Anita Mlakar: 07:39
Okay, let’s try now.
Dustin Plantholt: 07:41
Can you hear me?
Sandi Bitenc: 07:45
And maybe slightly better. Let’s try it.
Anita Mlakar: 07:52
It’s still interrupting us in, but we will try. Okay.
Dustin Plantholt: 07:56
Anita Mlakar: 08:00
Yeah. Well, Dustin. Let’s talk a little bit about this event. This week’s event Forbes Monaco, Metaverse Gala. You are organizing that. And we would really like to hear a little more about it. How is it? How was it? What was happening? And why did you decided to make such an event?
Dustin Plantholt: 08:25
Well, I hope you can hear me, okay now?
Sandi Bitenc: 08:34
Not really. No.
Dustin Plantholt: 08:35
All right. Well, let’s give it one more go to that point. I don’t think there’s much I can do.
Sandi Bitenc: 08:46
Yeah, if it’s not working, then we’ll postpone it into the next week.
Anita Mlakar: 08:53
Dustin is off. Okay, maybe he will get a better connection and come back. I’m so sorry.
Sandi Bitenc: 08:59
You know what you right now. It’s gonna make me think that Africa actually has a pretty good internet connectivity. Lately, wherever I am. I was in Slovenia. It was a problem, you know, doing mobile data or Wi-Fi or anything like that. Now here, Liechtenstein is really bad. So, there’s still a lot of places on earth that actually good internet connectivity, right?
Anita Mlakar: 09:28
Okay, Sandi is it may be possible that this bad internet connection is following you?
Sandi Bitenc: 09:36
I’m just creating new opportunities for 3air.
About the event in Liechtenstein:
Anita Mlakar: 09:40
You’re creating new opportunities live, you know, I’m just going there so that I can persuade people that they need that, I’m just joking. Yeah, well, it’s really funny, but okay, Sandi, I do hear you for now. So, let’s maybe continue this AMA with some questions for you. So, you were also there in this special event, so could you tell us a little more about that?
Sandi Bitenc: 10:05
Yes. So, I was hoping that Dustin would be the one telling us about it because he was actually organizing it. He was the main organizer, but it was a Forbes Monaco event. And it started with the pre-event on Sunday evening. So, we were at a nice club there. Dustin had a short speech, and we had some nice performances. And there were quite a lot of people from Forbes, there were a lot of people from Monaco, a lot of artists there. So, it was really interesting talking to everyone. And it’s such a different type of people to be honest.
So, and then on Monday evening, we had the Gala event in the Yacht club there. And we just started off at around seven, just networking a bit talking with some Forbes people and with some potential investors for 3air. So, we did make some connections there. But let’s see. Those things usually take some time before they materialize. But I did follow up yesterday, also during the day with a few already. While I was still there. And the Gala I need to say it was really nice. It was nice food, it was nice people, I can say I’m a Forbes speaker right now because I was actually also on stage. And yeah, just presenting 3air, it was really nice. And to be honest, people started walking up to me later and asking me a bit more. So, there was interest. And this is good.
So, there was another event going on, a big one in Bogota at the same time. So, it was really deciding whether to go to the big Ethereum event to the DEFCON or to go to Monaco. So then in the end, we said OKAY, let’s try Monaco, we were to a few Eth already. And just wanting to do something different. And then it was just, it went on till 1, a bit past one in the morning. And it was really nice to see. Because people got so relaxed, and we were even dancing in the end. And I would never imagine that that would happen on such an event.
Anita Mlakar: 12:52
Were you dancing?
Sandi Bitenc: 12:54
I was also dancing. I was, I didn’t have a choice to be honest.
Anita Mlakar: 13:01
Do we have some proof of that?
Sandi Bitenc: 13:05
I don’t know. Maybe there are some videos. I’m sure somebody took some videos.
Anita Mlakar: 13:08
Oh, please do send those videos. Because Sandi is actually a very good dancer. That is why I saw you dancing on your wedding. And I was, oh my god, another talent that he has.
Sandi Bitenc: 13:22
I was learning and training for that one special dance.
Anita Mlakar: 13:32
Yeah. If you don’t have a talent, you can dance, and nobody can teach you at least you have some talent.
Sandi Bitenc: 13:39
Talent is a lot, but hard work actually out beats talent always.
Anita Mlakar: 13:44
Yeah. I’m looking forward to those videos. And of course, we will be posting them. Don’t worry, I will get them.
Sandi Bitenc: 13:52
Richard is saying “John TraSandi”.
Anita Mlakar: 13:52
John TraSandi. Oh my god. Sandi, you were saying that you were on stage, there is one thing called, as so-called stage effect, which means that people that are on the stage and get on the stage have more opportunities, you know, for others to get to know them and to come forward to really like you said come to you and then ask you questions. And sometimes when people go to the events and they just mingle you know, talk about the project. They don’t leave a good, let’s say great impression. But if you are on stage and then people see you, they remember you. So, this is great what you’re doing Sandi, I know it’s not always easy, get on the stage, and people do have problems with that. But once you do that, it’s really great effect and I know that you’re doing it great.
Sandi Bitenc: 14:49
Thank you. Yeah, but I don’t have a problem actually stepping on stage. If I can talk about things that I know something about that interest me. What I started, what I stopped doing is preparing myself actually. So, I usually just go and yeah, it’s my topic, right, I should know everything about it. So more or less if I need to prepare something you just so that I’m not really too long. So, I did get, you know a few ideas in my head what I wanted to say because I literally, you know, was given just five minutes to be on stage and then you need to make an impact.
Anita Mlakar: 15:34
And best public speakers are those who are talking about their subjects, you know, something that they’re connected with, and this is what you’re doing. You said once I remember that you are sort of introvert, remember, when you said that you’re like being rather to yourself. But it’s amazing, it’s really interesting, because they said that the best public speakers are actually introverts because on the stage, you don’t really have to, you know, connect a lot and talk a lot to others, but you have your own stage, your own space, and you are great at that. But of course, later on this follows. Because off the stage, you have to talk to people.
Sandi Bitenc: 16:13
I actually was thinking about this actually today. And I don’t have a problem talking to people, I have a problem talking about subjects that don’t interest me. So, it’s usually you know, the weird one. Just staying somewhere at a site and just listening to what people are talking about. And I was like, yeah, so much bullshit. And I was like, just quiet all the time. And unless there was a topic that really interested me so and then I can talk about it.
Market update by Sandi:
Anita Mlakar: 16:47
Yeah, small talks sometimes, it’s annoying. But it’s a part of what we’re doing. There’s an opportunity for all of you, of course, to ask questions, do write them down in this comment section. And Sandi, we’ll be answering them. Sandi, we are always doing also little market updates where you’ve had, did you have a chance to follow it? In these days?
Sandi Bitenc: 17:13
Yes, I’m just right now more or less, following what the macro things are, how they’re things are evolving, because there is so much, I don’t know what to say I don’t want to say the word. But the main two things that happened and we just saw Bitcoin having a slight rally, we just hit 20k. It just went a bit above and then again, just know, pulled down. And what happened is that and that’s kind of funny. So, we actually got in a sense, we got good news. So, the US published the unemployment numbers, and unemployment actually went down. So, there are less unemployed people. And that’s good for the economy, kind of, but the markets are perceiving this in a kind of a bad way. Because if the markets are good, if the US perceives that their economy is strong, and unemployment is one of this, that kind of supports this, then they’ll be more inclined to even raise interest rates up even more. And that’s what the market perceives as bad.
So right now, we are getting kind of good economic news that affects the markets badly. And it would be interesting, if we would get really bad news about unemployment, then the markets would just rally because that would mean that probably we wouldn’t be seeing so much of interest rates hike and we were speaking about the interest rates now for how long a few months already. And in the end, it comes down to the interest rates, what the markets actually do.
Other thing that was really important news and was also perceived as bad in the markets is that the OPEC have decided to cut the oil production. So, there will be less oil pumped out and put on the markets and this probably means a bit more inflation. So, the price of oil will go up and if the price of oil goes up then it has a direct impact on inflation. And it will also have an indirect impact on the inflation in the few months that are to come because if oil is expensive, then transportation is expensive than all other things become more expensive. So, we have this vicious cycle. And also, the US, the prices of oil came really down, they’re really low, we actually had now oil prices below the pre COVID levels for some time. And it was mostly because the US was selling off their strategic reserves. So, they almost depleted the strategic reserves right now. And that’s also something that’s not really good, because they’ll need to replenish them pretty soon. And that might skyrocket oil, again, to new heights. So we are still in a really difficult situation, to be honest.
Anita Mlakar: 20:46
Yeah, so a lot is happening. And thanks, Sandi, for giving us this market update every week so that we’re staying informed.
Sandi Bitenc: 20:57
The next important thing is actually tomorrow. So tomorrow, we just expect a lot of volatility, I think, you know, the markets will go a bit crazy, today, and tomorrow and tomorrow are the CPI numbers. So, the inflation numbers for the US are coming out. And then the really important thing is I think, 2nd of November or 3rd of November, somewhere around there, we have the new interest rates coming out.
Anita Mlakar: 21:26
Yeah, well, it’s not actually the time to be expecting, you know, like super high gains in this bear market. But on the other way, it is actually a good time to invest in projects that are building for the future, for the long term and this is what 3air is doing. So, I see a lot good in this to invest in such projects. Sandi, what do you think?
Sandi Bitenc: 21:51
3air is for sure the best option. I do think if you have the balls to invest in the bear market, it’s where millionaires are being made, to be honest. So, it’s just hitting the real bottom that’s the magic thing. And yeah, I would also say it’s really, just out of my own experience, it’s impossible to really hit the bottom down, it’s impossible. So, I think just gradually going into investing. And yeah, on the way up, you know, what people tend to forget is to take profits. So, there is a nice saying nobody actually got broke in taking profits. Right now, as you say, right now, for sure is not the time to sell things. Now, right now, the time is probably more to buy things than to sell them. There still might be some downwards pressure, but I think the majority has happened. And you know, it might have been that the bottom has already occurred. And it also might be that we’re getting a bit lower still. So, the stock markets are getting lower lows in the recent days, but the crypto markets are not, crypto is right now actually holding far stronger than all the other risk on asset, let’s say it like this. So, let’s see, we never know it can change really rapidly. And then you know, it can be really off to the bull market. And you’ll just miss the bottom. But it could also be that we see another dip and we go a bit lower. So, but you know, it’s for sure it’s the downside. I think it’s far more limited than the upside we are for sure that I’m pretty sure we are far closer to the bottom that we are to the top.
NFT market is open:
Anita Mlakar: 23:58
Okay, let’s touch a little bit NFT market 3air, NFT market is open, right?
Sandi Bitenc: 24:07
Yes, it is open. Last week we implemented buying with the 3air token and right now we are implementing the connectivity NFTs. That will be utilized for schools. So, this week we’ve been connecting two new schools in Sierra Leone. And we’ll be coming out with, I think pretty soon with some amazing articles and some amazing partners. And yeah, you’ll be able to buy NFTs and how we’ve done it now. Now the decision has been made is that you’ll be able to buy connectivity, you know, internet for a school either for one day, for 10 days, for 30 days or for a year, so you’ll have four different options. And of course, if you want to buy it for five days, you can just buy a five, one day NFTs. And then we were also creating a list of schools that are under our coverage and need internet. And then what you’ll do is there’ll be an interface, once you hold a connectivity NFT, you just click it and select a school from the drop down, and you’ll be able to send that NFT to the school, and then that school will actually get internet connectivity from 3air. So, this is how it’s going to work. And I think this is going to work for our next AMA already. So hopefully, by the end of this week, we have it ready, it looks like it might be ready by then. The majority of things are working now already. But if not, I think even if we find some bugs, and we need to polish that out, it should be ready in beginning next week or mid next week latest. And then we can start utilizing our connectivity NFTs. And I think that’s a huge step forward.
What will be installed at school?
Anita Mlakar: 26:13
Great. Richard is asking, what will be installed at a school?
Sandi Bitenc: 26:20
So, on the school side, we are installing a receiver and the schools right now all have around 500 students. And we’ll be giving them a dedicated Internet subscription, dedicated Internet line with 30 average is going to be 30 megabits per second. So, this should be enough. We are also allowing some peaks to occur. And this is right now happening in the school that we have connected already in Sierra Leone, and we actually presented a few weeks back, they’re using up to 70 to 80 megabits per second at the time. So, they’re really satisfied. And we think that this is kind of enough. And the feedback we’re getting they’re really satisfied. So calculated down I think this is going to be a cost of around two to two and a half dollars per student per month. So, I think for the Internet, that’s pretty good price, actually.
Anita Mlakar: 27:38
Okay, another question from Richard, and the receiver is connected to K3 tower?
Sandi Bitenc: 27:44
Number of schools that 3air will be connecting:
Anita Mlakar: 27:46
Okay, Sandi, can we talk about approximately a number of schools that 3air will be connecting?
Sandi Bitenc: 27:53
So right now, we actually wanted to connect four schools that we got as a list as a priority list because they’re really in big need of internet. And we will be connecting three of those. But the fourth one actually moved away from the location that we got. So, but we already have two schools connected. So right now, it will be five. And yeah, so you’ll be able to send internet connectivity to all of them if you want.
Sandi’s plans for next week:
Anita Mlakar: 28:29
That is great. That is so nice to hear. Sandi, could you tell us what you will be doing in the next days?
Sandi Bitenc: 28:39
Yeah, so I was travelling today to Liechtenstein. Tomorrow, there is an event here in Liechtenstein, also on crypto and I also will be a panelist. So, I’ll be a speaker tomorrow. Then I’m flying back to Dubai. And on the 19th, there is another event in Dubai, and I should be a speaker there also. So, I got a confirmation. I am a speaker. I just don’t know on which panel I am yet. So, it’s kind of like this.
Sandi Bitenc: 29:11
While I was waiting because we both of us, Dustin and his team. We were all in Monaco and we were all flying today to Liechtenstein. We just kind of missed our flight. So, I was flying really early. I was already at 7, I had a flight, so I had to be at five on the on the airport. And Dustin was a bit smarter and then just flew out at 10. So, I was waiting for him at the airport. Because we flew into Zurich that’s around an hour and 15 of driving away. So, in the meantime, I was literally writing an article. So, I think by the end of the week, you’ll be getting another article from my side and I’m doing an article right now on digital identities, how to actually do them right and how to do them wrong. Because I think that people just don’t get what digital identities or decentralized identities actually are. Is there also, you know, they could be two different things. And kind of gotten inspired by that from my last visit in Switzerland, because they were explaining to me that they had an election a vote up if the government should integrate decentralized digital identity actually, and the word came back, no. And I was like, why? you know, it’s so it can have so much impact and can bring so much additional value.
I think there are two things that are really important as its new technology, and people don’t understand it. I think that’s the main reason. And the other reason is they, they don’t really need it, because they trust their governments that the government’s will do actually good. So, and there is also a thing, so the governments could do on purpose, digital identities the wrong way. So, I think that’s why it’s really important that everyone understands what digital identities are and how they should be implemented, you know, because digital identities, or let’s talk about a bit more and use, you know, decentralized identities or sovereign identities, those are really important. Because they give you a bit more control about your identity. So, it’s taking the central power, and taking the power away from the central authority that’s issuing it and giving more power to yourself. But if they’re done wrong, then you can forget about your privacy. And then it’s all about control. So, we need to be careful on that.
Anita Mlakar: 32:11
And this is the educational part that we are doing. And it’s very important. Thank you, Sandi, for taking time also for writing those articles. I’m sorry that Dustin couldn’t be with us today. Of course, we will hear more about his work and what he’s doing right now. But you did tell us a little bit about the event that you were at and I’m sure that Dustin will be our guest. Maybe next week or a week later, and we will be chatting and talking with him about everything else. What do you say?
Sandi Bitenc: 32:43
Yeah, we’ll bring him on. Let’s see if next week he’s available. If he’s available, I’m pretty sure he’ll love to jump on and just have another go at this.
Anita Mlakar: 32:57
Okay, thank you, Sandi, for being with us, of course, for answering my questions and questions that came from Richard today. And looking forward to the next one, next Wednesday at 5pm. And in the meantime, Sandi, stay strong, connect, do the work.
Sandi Bitenc: 33:18
Anita Mlakar: 33:19
And do please join us, stay with us in our communities, on Twitter, on Discord and on Telegram and you can subscribe or like this video and subscribe, of course to this YouTube channel. We will be happy to have you here. Best of luck Sandi. See you in a week.
Sandi Bitenc: 33:38