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3air Weekly AMA, November 2, 2022 - with Max Jones from Ikigai Ventures
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3air Weekly AMA, November 2, 2022 - with Max Jones from Ikigai Ventures

Table Of Contents

01
Introduction:
02
Sandi Bitenc Joins the AMA:
03
ApeSwap partnership:
04
Max Jones Joins the AMA:
05
Info on the 3air partnership & Ikigai Ventures:
06
How do you choose the projects?
07
AIBC info:
08
Connection with SiGMA and Crypto industry:
09
NFTs and Apple:
10
PayPal rant:
11
Long-term crypto potential:
12
BTC as a payment solution:
13
BTC price prediction in 10 years:
14
Web3 potential:
15
Web3 and decentralization:
16
Talking about Hackers:
17
The 3 pillars:
18
Talking about retail in crypto:
19
Market update:
20
Max’s info:
21
Max on his work and impressive accomplishments:

This is a transcript from our weekly YouTube live AMA:

SPEAKERS: Ruba Aramouny, Sandi Bitenc and Max Jones.

About AMA: An exciting AMA with Max Jones, Head of Blockchain Business Development, AIBC Summit & Investment Associate, Ikigai Ventures after our recent partnership announcement!

AMA Duration: 59:28

Introduction:

Ruba Aramouny: 00:19

Hi everybody, and welcome to 3air’s weekly YouTube AMA where we answer your questions, discuss recent updates and speak to interesting guests all around the 3air ecosystem. Before we get started, let me give you an intro to 3air.

00:35

3air’s mission is to bring blockchain and banking to the next billion and achieve widespread financial inclusion through crypto. To do this, we believe you need to solve a major obstacle first, which is connectivity. 3air uses a proprietary technology to bring high speed broadband internet to underserved regions in Africa. Once connected users purchase connectivity NFT, which grants them the internet subscription.

01:03

Alright, thanks so much for being here. We have a very interesting discussion coming up today, tied to our recent partnership announcement. And as a first guest, I’d like to bring on Sandi Bitenc, CEO of 3air.

Sandi Bitenc Joins the AMA:

Sandi Bitenc: 01:20

Hello! Hi, Ruba.

Ruba Aramouny: 01:26

Hi.

Sandi Bitenc: 01:27

Great job. Yeah. So, first time, how does it feel first time leading our AMA?

Ruba Aramouny: 01:35

Very stressful. I have a lot of respect for Anita.

Sandi Bitenc: 01:40

Yeah, Anita is somewhere on the plane. I don’t know if she already landed in Rome, but she has some business to do there and just couldn’t make it today, but she promised she will be back next time.

Ruba Aramouny: 01:56

Yes, you will be, and she has missed. I can tell you that.

Sandi Bitenc: 02:00

Yeah, we also had some technical issues today but now all seems good. Except that you’re on the phone, right?

Ruba Aramouny: 02:08

Yes. That’s why you guys will see me in a vertical position like that but better than nothing. Better than what it was like before. So, I hope I don’t get any lags or technical issues.

Sandi Bitenc: 02:19

For now, it’s works. So cool.

Sandi Bitenc: 02:22

Perfect. So, how’s everything at 3air, Sandi?

Sandi Bitenc: 02:28

It was a bit a quiet week because there is the holidays. And in Slovenia, on Monday was a holiday and Tuesday was the first of November. So, in Europe it’s kind of the day of the dead or how they call it. So, majority of the team actually took off everything since Friday till next Monday. So, we have, let’s say the really necessary developers there that just overlook everything that everything runs still smoothly, but there’s not a lot of going on this week.

Ruba Aramouny: 03:11

Yes.

Sandi Bitenc: 03:14

There was some development last week, right? I think you published the article. So still a lot of stuff that’s been done in the back end. And there’s a big update coming soon. We have it already on our staging setting and it’s more or less past a QA. So, it’s going to be live pretty soon. Hopefully, this week, if somebody gets back to work.

Ruba Aramouny: 03:47

They have no choice, right? Since there’s only one day.

Sandi Bitenc: 03:51

Yeah, it’s no day for me. And for you also, you’re also working all the time.

Ruba Aramouny: 03:59

I was working. Yes! But I saw that there is a lot of development work going on. Also, things that we haven’t published yet, but I know for sure that the community will be really excited once all the updates go live.

ApeSwap partnership:

Sandi Bitenc: 04:20

One thing that I think it’s pretty cool is that we went into a partnership with Ape Swap. So ApeSwap set up a farming pool for our LP tokens on ApeSwap. So, you can go there deposit liquidity, so the LP tokens, the LP tokens are made out half of our 3air token and half of the BNB token and then you deposit this into their farm and then you’re getting BANANAs. How cool is that, right? It’s the BANANA token. So, and then it’s a pretty good pool actually. So, the rewards are really high. And then in the rewards to that, you can actually get also some 3air additionally to that. And now they’re setting up also treasury bills. And treasury bills allow 3air to buy back the liquidity. So, once you set up a liquidity, it’s actually yours. And now what 3air will be doing with the help of ApeSwap is actually buying the liquidity. So, you’ll be setting up the liquidity, you’re putting it in a farm and then after the farm, you can actually sell the liquidity to us. And you’ll get some 3air tokens at a discounted price that you’re actually buying with the LP tokens.

Ruba Aramouny: 05:39

Very cool. And I saw that we also had a lot of questions in the community about it already. And a lot of people joined already. So, for those who are interested, you can find the link to the LP in the announcement and on our Twitter as well.

Sandi Bitenc: 05:55

We should probably put up also an article explaining a bit how things work.

Ruba Aramouny: 06:04

True, you have an article with the link to the LP as well, but we should also have a how to maybe for people. Yeah, that’s a good idea. All right.

Sandi Bitenc: 06:16

We are already getting BANANAs in the comments.

Ruba Aramouny: 06:21

People are going BANANAs or getting BANANAs. Okay, could be both. All right.

Max Jones Joins the AMA:

Ruba Aramouny: 06:29

We have a very special guest today following our recent announcement. So, we should bring him on, I think. Let’s everybody welcome Max Jones from Ikigai Ventures.

Max Jones: 06:43

Hey, everyone, happy to be here.

Sandi Bitenc: 06:45

Hey, Max.

Ruba Aramouny: 06:46

Hi, Max. Thanks for being here.

Max Jones: 06:49

Thanks for having me.

Ruba Aramouny: 06:52

So Max, can you give us a little intro to yourself? Who are you? What do you do? How did you get to where you are?

Max Jones: 07:00

Well, that’s a lot to answer. Yeah. I’m the Head of Business Development for AIBC, which is one of the blockchain emerging tech events that we’ve been hosting for four years now. I’m also an investment associate in Ikigai Ventures. Yeah, how do I get here, it’s a pretty long story. Or maybe I can cut the long story short, I used to be a bit of a stock trader whilst I was in university. And then I was scrolling through TikTok one day, and it came up. Anyone that buys Safe Moon, today is going to be a millionaire in a year. So, I act in. I bought some Safe Moon on day one and it worked out pretty well. And then that gave me a bit of a crypto obsession and really put me down a rabbit hole. And then I was very fortunate to get the job at AIBC and then that turn becoming a retail investor and crypto to becoming one of the b2b people behind the scene.

Sandi Bitenc: 07:59

Yeah, very cool. You are behind the scenes, but you are very connected. I have to say. Like, you’re very modest, because really, you have such a great network of so many connections. And also, when you say something, then people really trust you. So yeah, you’re actually very influential character, I would say behind the scenes, but in a lot of the crypto network.

Max Jones: 08:27

Perhaps. Yeah, I mean, I think that’s the thing buying crypto is building your own community. Also, getting involved and helping out where you can. I mean, you don’t get to kind of build network without doing a lost leader work, per se. And when people do things better and connect with each other. You know, crypto is such a very young space at the moment. So being one of the players that’s trying to help everybody connected with each other, which is quite a difficult thing in the crypto space. It tends to work pretty well. So, I’m very lucky that I get to connect people as a full-time job right through the events.

Ruba Aramouny: 09:02

Yeah, very cool. So, this week’s announcement, the big announcement, dropped yesterday Ikigai Ventures is new 3air partner and we’ve joined the Ikigai Ventures portfolio.

Info on the 3air partnership & Ikigai Ventures:

Ruba Aramouny: 09:22

Can you tell us a bit more about what Ikigai Ventures does and why you decided to partner with 3air?

Max Jones: 09:29

Yeah, so we’re a small $20 million VC fund and we do have a certain proportion for investing in crypto projects. The kind of investment mandate is that we’ll only invest in projects we think we can support really well and add a lot of value to, and I’ve been working with Sandi outside of the events scope, outside the Ikigai scope, since probably February this year, right? And I’ve always loved Sandi and what he’s doing with 3air so I think it was a natural next step get more involved and essentially see if we can lend more of a hand. And when you think about what 3air have built, the technology lends itself really well to loads of different projects. I mean, to partner with people like ApeSwap works really well to partner with Blockchain games works really well, potentially, I imagine that’s further down the line. And especially with essentially connecting the unconnected, is a huge social impact.

How do you choose the projects?

Ruba Aramouny: 10:27

Awesome. So how do you choose the projects that you support?

Max Jones: 10:32

Yeah, it’s whatever we can lend the most value to. We do have a very solid network of projects, VCs, exchanges, and things like that. So, we do commonly over and over again, get the same sort of questions, how can I get more users? who should I partner and stuff like that? So a lot of it is figuring out what value we can add before we can make an investment. We don’t want to be the dumb money that just puts money in, we want to be the money that comes with some additional value. And that’s what we do. So, we invest very selective with the crypto investments we’ve made. I think 3air up there with probably the if not one of the strongest investments but definitely one in the portfolio company. But then the others have built infrastructure based as well.

Ruba Aramouny: 11:19

Very interesting. And what does your team and network consist of? So, you’re not purely blockchain and crypto related you’re also in other industries, right?

Max Jones: 11:31

Yes. So there’s two main kind of companies that we represent, we represent both the SiGMA Group, which is our gaming payments, KYC. And then that owns three other brands called AGS, which is all about affiliate marketing and ad tech, and a little bit of digital marketing, as well. AIBC, which is the Web3 blockchain and AI and all that, it dabbles on a little bit of robotics and emerging tech, but not so much anymore because Web3 is just taken over the space. And then the little baby company that’s still growing, but growing very well. It’s MedTech, which is all about medical technology, very out of my scope of work. And then it Ikigai Ventures is the investment group. I think for Ikigai, it’s a very lean team, five or six people and some advisors. But on the event side of things, I think pushing over 120 people across three main offices. So, I think Sandi was mentioning developers in Serbia, we’ve got a very similar office set up in Serbia for development.

AIBC info:

Sandi Bitenc: 12:37

Yeah, and I have to say, I actually met Max at the AIBC Dubai, it was in March, it was by far the best organized event that I’ve been to. Also, up until now. So yeah, this is also why we are going now to Malta and following them, also, then to Africa and so on. And you are going global with AIBC, right?

Max Jones: 13:13

Yeah, I think it’s both. Well, thanks. it’s a nice feedback. It’s nice to have someone else saying we are good at events, I’ve been saying it for so long but it’s nice to have someone else give me feedback.

Sandi Bitenc: 13:23

No, it was a huge difference to whatever else we’ve been to. And also, now as you mentioned, you’re separating a bit, the SiGMA and the AIBC. Right. So, I think with that, even more focused on it’s going to be directly on blockchain, it’s probably just going to be even better.

Max Jones: 13:46

100% Yeah, it’s quite difficult to kind of make a decision like that, because there’s a lot of the crypto space that’s raring to embrace IGaming. And there’s a lot of kind of crossovers, like some KYC solutions that are getting built on the blockchain now and kind of AI powered affiliate mechanisms and crypto payments for IGaming operator. So there are some crossovers, but then there’s also the side that isn’t ready to work with them yet, because there isn’t that kind of crossover collaboration opportunity. I think fortunately, this year, we’re gonna have a very solid of it. The quality is very high level. And yeah, looking forward to having 3air there and connecting them with everyone else at the show and try and make it really worthwhile.

Sandi Bitenc: 14:29

Yeah, we got a really good position a really good booth there. So, I hope that somebody from the audience will be there and visit us.

Connection with SiGMA and Crypto industry:

Sandi Bitenc: 14:38

A question for you. So how do we actually decide in the IGaming space, who then goes to AIBC and who goes to SiGMA?

Max Jones: 14:47

It’s interesting because a lot of the IGaming guys don’t care at all about AIBC but the ones that do sometimes they’re on the fence, so they’ve got absolutely free access to come over and check it out. And that’s what we want. We want people to sit in the audience that are big deals in IGaming space, and so college on the crypto side of things. So that’s why we’ve had it, there is a one-day overlap. So, the people that go to the big IGaming event can actually go to the crypto event as well. And I think that’s gonna, it always opens up some interesting doors. There are some very interesting collaborations that came out of this event and that kind of crossover last year. And vice versa, the crypto guys can go and check out the IGaming imagine these two industries are slowly merging together. And we’re trying to push them together. But they are still repelling a little bit at the moment.

Sandi Bitenc: 15:34

Yeah, I think within a year or two or latest three, I don’t think you’ll have any gaming anymore on SiGMA site. I think everyone is moving right now to crypto. And I recently read an article that said that blockchain is probably the best fit for gaming after DeFi.

Max Jones: 16:00

It is. You know, it’s transparency as well your fair payouts and stuff like that, it makes a lot of sense. And one of the things we realized is that a fear player is worth surprisingly, on average less than a crypto players. I think this study was done last year. So, they were probably up hugely on their games, and were more willing to play with the money. But 100%, I see more and more projects jumping into the crypto space and using the kind of tokens as a fundraising mechanism. Which is great!

Sandi Bitenc: 16:32

Yeah, it also shouldn’t be only just a fundraising mechanism and we are waiting for really cool proper games in the crypto space also, because up until now, I know there are a few really cool names that developing right now some games that are a crypto oriented, but they are focused to the real gamers. So, I think that’s when then we can have a bigger adoption, actually. Because right now, more or less, I think the games are being played by the crypto communities. And we want to take over the gaming community and bring into the crypto.

Max Jones: 17:13

100%. We’ve worked in a lot of content into this month a month to show about how can we push the Web3 gaming community or essentially tap into the Web2 gaming community and bring it to Web3. And it’s all about changing the style of game, I think. And this is what we realize from people like Veeam, the Harvest, Gala games, they’re all tapping into the Web2 audience, we are trying to engage that community and keep them stuck to the Web3 style of things. You know, a lot of the blockchain games that are coming out now, especially after we’ve gone into the bear market, they’re switching the approach. They’re not targeting the existing Web3 demographic, they’re going mainstream, they’re trying to launch on Epic Games, they’re trying to go through the Play Store to tap into the next level of people break down the barriers to entry. Unfortunately, results will higher costs for them 100%, like with anyone to sell a NFT on the Apple Play Store has to agree to a 30% royalty, which is insane for Web3, but it is what it is, it’s a bit of a trade off until the barriers get broken down a little bit more.

NFTs and Apple:

Sandi Bitenc: 18:16

I know that that Apple just recently changed some things, and I don’t know if they’re charging now also 30% on the sales on NFTs because it’s going to be a bit hard to track that if you ask me it’s going to be quite difficult, because you won’t be just buying them inside the app, you’ll also be able to buy them outside and just use them with the app. So yeah, and I knew it was kind of they didn’t allow any apps or any games with NFTs. Until recently, I think it’s a month or two, back when they said it’s allowed, but I don’t know exactly how they are now, what the what the monetization policy is with them, but I know that they’re charging like crazy fees for everything else.

PayPal rant:

Max Jones: 19:04

Yeah, it is what it is. I mean, it seems strange. I feel like the eyes from the retail perspective, the eyes have gone away from crypto now but from business to business, the biggest corporations are now starting to embrace it. I mean, Apple’s cozying up to I believe Google did something as well, where they’re now accepting crypto payments, I believe with only through PayPal or something and PayPal is doing crypto payments. So, the business-to-business side of things is super interesting at the moment, and it’s definitely coming. It’s being implemented in the back end rather than being marketed in retail. So slowly by slowly retail will start using Blockchain technology without even knowing they are. Which I think is one route to mass adoption.

Sandi Bitenc: 19:46

Yeah, and we’re not mentioning PayPal on our show… and they cannot take $2,500 from me because I don’t have any dollars on them. You know that they push the narrative now in the general how you say the thing that you need to agree with. So, they can take $2,500 if you say something or write something that they don’t agree with.

Max Jones: 20:19

What? I had not heard about that.

Sandi Bitenc: 20:24

Yeah, that’s strange. They had a big backlash on that on Twitter and all the social media. And I actually got some money taken away from me.

Max Jones: 20:40

Seriously?

Sandi Bitenc: 20:41

Yeah.

Ruba Aramouny: 20:42

Because of misinformation.

Sandi Bitenc: 20:46

And then I started looking up. And there’s a lot of these things happening with PayPal. And that’s why we need crypto payments exactly because of that.

Max Jones: 20:56

100% I think it would be a shame if even with this massive Web3 transition that’s happening, all the big players and Web3 ended up being the same players from Web2, because they just integrated the Web3 technology, and they can just target those existing users. So I think there needs to be someone that needs to come into the crypto payments. I mean, there are some people trying like, can I name the Blockchain company names?

Sandi Bitenc: 21:26

Yeah, sure, go ahead. No problem.

Max Jones: 21:28

There are some people doing good attempts, like Bankera is a pretty solid one. You know, Crypto Pay is really good for the payments, but again, isn’t quite that user friendliness that PayPal has.

Long-term crypto potential:

Sandi Bitenc: 21:43

What do you think about Square is doing? Or Block? They’re utilizing the Lightning Network. So, I can layer on top of Bitcoin.

Max Jones: 22:02

That’s someone has to use Lightning Network for something.

Sandi Bitenc: 22:06

I think it has a future to be honest. So, I do think it has a future. Let’s see how this comes because I know that Jack Mallers was really trying to get things as easy as possible. So you just use the lightning to transfer to really true long distances, but then he actually wants to have it integrated with other already existing payment solution so that you can actually get also cash on everything. So, sounds really cool. I hope he succeeds.

Max Jones: 22:41

There are a few people working on similar things. And that’s the entire point of Tron, isn’t it? To be a payments network? Makes sense for it to be like network. I mean, I get that it’s built on top of Ethereum.

Sandi Bitenc: 22:52

I think it’s built on top of Bitcoin.

Max Jones: 22:55

Yeah. That’s essentially adding extra utility to Bitcoin, which I think at some point 100% is going to be displaced as the top a market cap, but it’s doing what it was designed to do.

BTC as a payment solution:

Sandi Bitenc: 23:09

You think so. You think it kind of will not be coming out as a leader?

Max Jones: 23:15

Not in 10-20 years. No, because you can’t build applications and get the same amount of users long term. Because you can build applications on things like a theory and there’ll be more of a use case for a theory of in the long term, and then you get more users to it. And especially with things like blockchain games coming into play, you’re gonna get a time mastery on things like a theory more like Solana, for example. I don’t think Solana will talk Bitcoin, but I think a theory has a pretty good chance.

Sandi Bitenc: 23:42

Yeah, there are some possibilities that are being explored to run smart contracts on top of Bitcoin. So just on some layer 2s, but they’ll probably only be, only one real store of value. So, if Bitcoin managed to do that, it’ll be hard to catch it.

Max Jones: 24:09

Bitcoin is going to be the store of value, I just think that the other networks are going to be more usable. And then I think Bitcoin will hit these milestones and everyone’s talking about it continue to go up in that regard, like digital gold, but it’s the claims have been set. But I think in terms of the application I think, having so much more usability I think something will come out on top at some point maybe I’m wrong. I think so.

Sandi Bitenc: 24:35

I also do think so that but where I have a bit of a struggle is seeing Bitcoin as money, as payment solution, you know, who will actually spend Bitcoin? who will want to spend Bitcoin? It’s going to be like, Yeah, you know, tomorrow is going to be worth more so why should I spend it and you will be starting to, I don’t want to spend today. Maybe I can wait before I buy my new car for another half a year, right? Because then I maybe need to pay only half of the quarter or something like that. In a sense, our economic system is built on a bit of inflation. So, this drives us to spending a bit more. And this also then drives the economic growth. And with Bitcoin, let’s see how this works but it might slow down a bit, to be honest.

Max Jones: 25:28

I think in the long term 100% But it’s the bull market/bear market thing, right? In the bull market, you’re like, everything’s half as expensive as it was six months ago, and then in the bear market, everything that I spent now is going to be for 4x in a year or two.

Sandi Bitenc: 25:42

Once it really evolves and once you get them to the point that we could consider it like a global reserve currency or global money or something like that, I don’t think we would be seeing the real fluctuation, the volatility anymore. So, I think at that point, where it would probably stand is somewhere around the global GDP value or somewhere around that. This is what I see.

Max Jones: 26:16

It gets the value of Bitcoin, all time high.

Sandi Bitenc: 26:22

Yeah, you mean that right now.

BTC price prediction in 10 years:

Max Jones: 26:27

No, what you think Bitcoins gonna go to? Wild guess?

Sandi Bitenc: 26:32

My guess? what’s the timeframe?

Max Jones: 26:36

10 years.

Sandi Bitenc: 26:37

In 10 years? So, I think it’s going to be either at zero or it’s going to be at around two and a half to 3 million.

Max Jones: 26:48

Really? Wow.

Ruba Aramouny: 26:50

In 10 years, oh wow.

Sandi Bitenc: 26:58

It’s gonna be around 2 to 3 million somewhere like that, but it also might be difficult to actually denominated in dollars anymore, because after 10 years, maybe there are no more dollars. Who knows?

Max Jones: 27:13

Sure, I think dollars are just gonna get inflated out of existence. And this is the big thing. Apparently, I can do a little bit of research about previous financial mechanisms. And apparently any currency as soon as they go off the gold standard. Eventually, that’s like our timeline of where we just die out because of hyperinflation.

Ruba Aramouny: 27:31

I always like it when I listen to older podcasts or videos, and you hear the price of the assets at that point. So just for that, right now, it’s at $20,384. So, it’s interesting to hear the price predictions.

Sandi Bitenc: 27:52

Yeah, I strongly believe, and I think that if we really get huge inflation, then the price will even be higher. And just to say, we would need to kind of talk about what the purchasing power in a sense would be. So, we would then need to discount it by the inflation rate in the 10 years, to actually be able to see the real value.

Max Jones: 28:21

Yeah, 100% I think it’s incredibly hard to estimate. I mean, supposedly, Elon Musk wants to have people on Mars by 2030. So, we’re gonna see people on Mars or million-dollar Bitcoin first?

Sandi Bitenc: 28:38

I would say a million-dollar Bitcoin first. I don’t think a million dollars actually so far away.

Max Jones: 28:46

For me, I think that’s two market cycles.

Sandi Bitenc: 28:49

Yeah, but two market cycles is eight years. So that’s the year 2030.

Web3 potential:

Max Jones: 28:54

That’s true. I think the sky’s the limit for Web3 and crypto and Bitcoin prices of all of these things. I mean, I think as soon as you stop caring about the prices, and you focus on the technology, and once you get the right environment where you can do fun things in the crypto space then you forget about the price of everything. The sentiment of the market, you just focus on building, right?

Sandi Bitenc: 29:19

Yeah.

Web3 and decentralization:

Ruba Aramouny: 29:21

Absolutely. So, getting back to the payment solutions, I just have another question. Because if you say okay, PayPal is so centralized and they can find you and things like that, which is true. But if you end this solution with Web3, but we just recently saw that that’s not the case because a lot of people were blocked because they use Tornado cash. And so those transactions are just completely blocked. So, in a sense, Web3, the way it was done, there is also not this solutions to centralization, right?

Sandi Bitenc: 30:04

So, yeah, maybe if I put my thoughts into this, yeah, we’ll probably need some regulations, I just hope that there’ll be something normal what i really don’t want is CBDCs, where they can seize your funds or even make you spend it or they will know what you spend it on, they’ll judge you for it, and so on. So that’s for sure not the future that we want to go towards, then still, Ethereum is still better. And it for sure, it wasn’t good. And I was surprised that everyone is actually turning right now, towards this that, you know, get censored. Also, Italic was first strongly against it, and now he supports it. And it’s actually done through a third-party software that the validators are actually integrating. So not everyone has integrated it. So, if you manage to find a validator that’s not integrated, you can still do the transactions. But there’ll be a lot of problems with such things.

31:19

So we already seen that something like Dusting is being very popular right now. So if you don’t know what Dusting actually means is just sending small transactions of tokens that went through Tornado cash to some really prominent people, some Hollywood stars, and so on, and getting their accounts blocked, and also sending it to Vitalik. And so, getting Vitalik blocked and so on. So, this is what’s happening right now. And it’s just fight against the centralization and censorship.

Talking about Hackers:

Sandi Bitenc: 31:55

On the other side, we are also seeing quite a lot of hacks, right? And how do we want to tackle this? And that’s for sure, something that should not be happening on chain, right? We can talk about if there is really room for like 100% freedom of speech and if I would need to say yes or no, like really a clear answer, I would say yes. But on the other side, nothing is really black or white. So, I do think that at least until the whole sector of Blockchain actually mature enough. And this is on the side of developers and on the side of the users. I think there’ll be a lot of malicious actors there that will take advantage of it. And for those things, maybe we should have a plan to, in a sense, censor things, but I don’t think there should be one central authority doing this, I think there should be a consensus, there should be people that are actually holding the tokens or something like that they should be the ones voting what’s actually happening. So, I do think we can have a in a sense, a DAO and the liquidity then decides who can get locked and who not. And if then the majority of the community is for it. Then, if you don’t like it, then you’re not in the right community in a sense. So, this is how I see it and that could potentially be a solution for it. My opinion.

Max Jones: 33:36

100% I think they say over and over again, the future is DAO, right? And I think that’s pretty accurate. You know, you can’t trust the be the final say, of these things to a centralized system, it doesn’t make sense for exactly these reasons, like you’re mentioning about dusting. That’s why they’ve set a definite rule. And they’ve started that, but they need to have a little bit of leeway. Essentially, the ability to put decisions back in the community direct.

Sandi Bitenc: 34:05

Also, there was a- I don’t know where I heard it, but I just overheard something I don’t remember now. And it was like, yeah, all the hacks that are happening and there was like, we should not blame the hackers. We should blame the developers, the developers should take the blame for it. If they designed bad code. It’s actually their fault why they got hacked. And, you know, I also think a part of the blame should also be on the users, because the users are the ones who should be a bit more educated, not just put money where they expect, like going to the moon and just not checking anything else. You should go to projects that did some audits that have really good developers that maybe have a bit of a proven record, or that are more safe and not just putting your money wherever you think will make it the next 1000x without thinking anything else.

35:03

But the thing is that the users actually are taking the most of the hit because it’s their fund. So at least their decision is backed by their funds. Usually the developers they are, let’s say they put their work in, but I’ve seen projects that have gone through audits, and the audits came back, exposing, you know, look, this is a loophole here, you have an exploit option, and they still deploy, and they have like, after half a year, they still didn’t do anything about it, and then they get hacked. And then, so oh, my God, what happened right now to me, right. And now let’s blame all the hackers.

35:52

So, I think this all-space need to really mature. And I was asked about this just yesterday for an article. And I think I have to say that blockchain by itself is secure enough, I would say it’s probably the most secure code that we actually have, the most secure platform that you can work on. Right now, it’s by far more secure than any centralized server or from a bank or anything like that. So, it’s not because of blockchain technology that this is happening, it’s because of the developers that building on top of blockchain. And yes, it needs to be set, the blockchains that are decentralized enough and have proven with time that they are secure enough like Bitcoin, like Ethereum, for sure. And there are a few other ones that are for sure really secure. And usually what happens is either a really new chain gets hacked, and that still didn’t manage to achieve enough decentralization or the projects that are building on top of it. And then also you have then again, sometimes the code is secure. And this has happened just today to Rubik. So, their main account got compromised, but because they stole their private keys, so it’s not that they hack them or anything like that. It’s just they didn’t store the private keys properly, and that was one person. So, there are different levels of hacks or exploits. And we can for sure not blame this on blockchain technology.

The 3 pillars:

Max Jones: 37:38

100%, I think there’s three main pillars that held responsible for these kinds of things. And it’s the three mentioned, let me the developers need to get more serious. Unfortunately, we had a massive wave of NFT culture where anyone could make a huge amount of money by just copy/pasting NFT smart contracts. And we made money off that and they decided to develop something else but in the same kind of bootstraps fashion may be ill advised, and I’m not that kind of cold litterateur to produce the really good code. But then the second one is the security, the security auditors, you know, I won’t name names, but some of them are 100% secure, if they’ve done an audit, and they’ve improved the code of the person, then there’s never been a breach. But there’s some where they haven’t spotted that kind of vulnerabilities. And then that has been hacked. I have heard a couple of stories.

Talking about retail in crypto:

Max Jones: 38:26

I don’t think necessarily what want to do is always cut down barriers to entry for the retail guys. So, to say to retail they need to check out the code for a project is ludicrous because obviously they won’t do that. It’s always a little bit of a thing in spreading a little bit of tokens some here some there. But it’s definitely about I think it’s a lot on the developer and the business side of things. It’s true. We’re very early in blockchain. And there are so many- not necessarily dodgy, but ill prepared startups pushing public because it was, they were running out of runway and things like that just have to get onto the market.

Sandi Bitenc: 39:15

I would also say that the retail is not checking it yet. I think the major shift is coming. Blockchain is the revolution and I think we’ll just need to adapt to the new stuff. And this is going to be just require us to know a bit of stuff. And because there is so much financial incentive behind it, I think it can happen. And we’ll probably it’s going to be somewhere in between but for sure what needs to happen is that the end user needs to become more literal in just reading, maybe not reading the code but being able to distinguish good from bad projects, in a sense, I don’t think world will consist only of coders and they’ll know to how to read code. But they can be able to actually read a report from an auditor, or at least say, okay, here, this code has done an audit, and then they see and if you open up an audit right now, on the first page, you usually have like this stuff are okay, or not okay. And then you have like, moderate threat, or like really high threat or something like that. And then you have the description below and at that point, you even don’t need to, you know, if you see some critical errors in it, you probably don’t want to engage with the project.

Max Jones: 40:54

This is coming from a person. Well, most of us have spoken to so many bad projects that haven’t structured things properly. And when you’ve see the mistakes they make, it’s like, oh, like, how did they not fix that. But it’s hard for the retail to spot these mistakes, how to separate a good project from a bad project. You know, it used to be if a website was really simple, and there was no explanation of what they’re doing. That’s just a mean coin. But it shifted, you now get, like, really good websites that are backed by nothing, you know, there still are meme coins exploding with unlocked/locked liquidity pools, and at any point, they can just do rag pull. But you know, on any DEX or any market tracker, like, I don’t know, DEX tools always comes up by notification. But it doesn’t do that on things like PancakeSwap but that’s something PancakeSwap should integrate- a little disclaimer, by the way, the liquidity for this full, isn’t locked. So, it can be withdrawn at any point, little things can be tweaked to essentially stop the scams, or not stop but decrease them a little bit. But it takes time and it is such an early into the space. And I say this over and over again but it’s true. The regulation is not even close to where the blockchain is at the moment. Well, blockchain technology has got into and who knows when it will catch up.

Market update:

Ruba Aramouny: 42:17

Pretty interesting to hear your take on the market and industry in the space how it is right now. That ties in really well to our market update with Sandi. So, Sandi do you want to give us the market update?

Sandi Bitenc: 42:32

So today, I would just say, wait another hour for the FOMC meeting. And we are getting today the new rate hikes. So, 75 basis points is expected. I think 68% or something like that expect a 75% rate hike and then the rest is expecting 50%. So, 50 basis point 0% rate hikes. But it’s gonna come down to what JP actually says afterwards in the conference. So quite a lot of bigger guys. BlackRock is the major one there, is expecting a bit more dovish sentiment and a dovish speech. So, a 75% basis points rate hike, and some pivot talk. So probably next rate hike in December should be 50. Let’s see if we get a bit the idea towards that I think the markets are prepared to rally and we’ve seen this previous week when everything just all of a sudden just started going up and a lot of we’ve seen a lot of the altcoins going up 20%-30%-40% Even in in a day or two. So, there is a lot of money parked on the sidelines and the people, the investors are getting really eager to deploy just because else the high inflation is eating away their share. So yeah, let’s see if JP isn’t like there’s going to be more pain than I think we are set for a nice rally. And just historically November and December the most gains, by far the most gains are done in November in December. So if history repeats, it might be, by far the best part of our current year because yeah, we can say it was really bad. But what happens then next year, is really tough because of the recession that’s coming or its ongoing or whatever you want to have it, I would say it’s ongoing already. And, yeah, next year could be really difficult so for the markets.

Max Jones: 45:07

I think we’ve lost Ruba, but I think we’re expecting a big downside at some point. I think everybody’s estimating that kind of 15k to 12k for Bitcoin rally. But who knows?

Sandi Bitenc: 45:26

I don’t think we’ll see another low this year, unless really Jerome Powell will come and will say, now we are raising the interest rates for a full percentage. And then in December again, and as his words were, there will be pain in the markets. That was end of August, and everything just started crashing down together. So hopefully, we don’t see that. And within a week, we have also the midterm elections. So, let’s see if he at least gives some push for the elections and also historically, looking at the elections, after all the elections, there was a period of the markets going up. So usually, the time just after the elections is also quite bullish. So, me personally, I am bullish on the crypto space right now. But we also seen today, right, we’ve seen today, a small dump, people are just preparing to what could potentially happen. But so, within an hour, we’ll know when the meeting starts. So, within two hours, we’ll see, I think we still will see a bit of a dump going down. But then afterwards, it might come back up for a day. But the market’s overshooting in each direction. So, my expectation is a bit of a correction, downwards, just right now, if it’s not already happening, and then after the Fed meeting, so within two hours or three hours, a nice rally upwards. So, and if the speech is good then I think it’ll be sustained. If not, it’s gonna probably hover at around the same level as we are right now. it’s my opinion.

Max Jones: 47:33

Cool, I’m glad there’s a little bit of optimism in the market feels like for so long that it’s just being at that bad.

Sandi Bitenc: 47:39

Yeah, I don’t see the markets doing another low this year, but potentially next year.

Max Jones: 47:47

I think we’re on the same page that I think next year, there’s definitely going to be a bottom in the market. But guess what we’re looking for and then we start on a slow climb back up, right?

Sandi Bitenc: 47:57

Yeah. It could be also a fast one, I would love to see the reshape recovery. Now a bit down and then just straight up, that would be good.

Max Jones: 48:09

I think 100% is going to be a flash crash, everyone’s got their buy orders scheduled. And as soon as you reach that next bottom, I think that’s over.

Sandi Bitenc: 48:17

You know, right now, the level of Bitcoin on exchanges is as low as it wasn’t since 2017 bear market. So, it’s incredible how low it went and that’s where all the years in between that Bitcoin is also a bit inflationary, so old, the new minted coins and it’s actually lower than 2018. It’s at the 2017 levels. And what this means is actually that we are expecting more volatility so and it can be on both sides, so the lower the liquidity, the less money it actually takes to move the markets and the price in either direction. So, if somebody starts selling right now, it’s going to be go down faster, and somebody who starts buying right now and it’s gonna go up faster. But it’s usually a good sign when the liquidity of Bitcoin goes off of exchanges, it means that people are not looking to sell anymore. So, it looks like that right now. The majority of the sellers have left and now only the really the strong holders are left here in the space, and we’ve also seen that the cohorts they moved really from one to three months, there’s almost no new token holders and the long term shareholders are really gaining in the percentages, so for me, things look bullish. Absolutely. It doesn’t mean that the price will just go up right now. But things do look bullish.

Max Jones: 50:02

That’s what you want to hear? I mean, even for me, I haven’t got enough money to be a massive Bitcoin or a Ethereum investor, but I’d like to pick up the other small cap coins that I think have got potential, like 3air. I did pick up some 3air.

Sandi Bitenc: 50:16

Yeah, great. Thanks. So, I don’t think that right now is going to be the time for the small caps. I think Bitcoin needs to rally, go up first. And then I think the Alts might actually bleed against Bitcoin once we get some bullish sentiment in the market. I think people will start taking the money from alts and putting it into bitcoin once Bitcoin, then rallies, they’ll start taking profits off of Bitcoin, and then they’ll start putting them in the alts. So, but for sure, some alts will also go up really, really well, in the meantime. But in general, I think the first will be Bitcoin then after Bitcoin kind of gets its rally over things are gonna start pouring into alts. I’m also not sure if this is right now, and things are so centralized in the macro perspective is so bad currently. It can also happen that within a week or two, we have the war between China and Taiwan. And then everything comes crashing down. So, or just, Putin just wakes up with, I don’t know, some pain in somewhere and just, I don’t know, maybe he trembles and pushes the wrong button, and then the wrong missile goes to the wrong place, or something like that. It can happen.

Max Jones: 51:42

Yeah, it can. There are these kind of macroeconomic things that are on the tipping point that potentially come into fruition, and some of them are good. Some of them are really bad. potentially scary times ahead. But I think we’ve always got to be a little bit positive about these things, right?

Sandi Bitenc: 51:59

Yeah, I do think so. Yeah.

Ruba Aramouny: 52:02

Awesome. So, there are some positivity even though we still need to wait on the updates. Can you hear me well? Or am I lagging?

Sandi Bitenc: 52:10

Yeah, you’re good.

Max’s info:

Ruba Aramouny: 52:11

Okay. Perfect. So, we’re almost at an hour. Max, thank you so much for being here. Can you tell us if you have any upcoming events and where people can find you?

Max Jones: 52:23

It’s been a pleasure. Yeah, we’ve got the big Malta show in about two weeks where Sandi’s coming down to Malta, which is super exciting. In January, we’ve got the Africa event, Dubai in March. And then we continue on to Manila, Brazil, Malta and Cyprus as well, next year. Exciting but scary times ahead. Yeah. My LinkedIn is probably somewhere. But you can always google AIBC.world, and that’s our company.

Sandi Bitenc: 52:55

Yeah, the link is down below. So, there you can find Max and, you know, Max, what I really want the audience to hear is how does one become Max, it’s just I was really blown away when I saw you. And when I heard that, how old are you? I think you can be such a huge inspiration for the younger generation, and just show how fast you can become established in this field, because it’s also so young, you know, just tell us a bit more, just tell it to the community.

Max on his work and impressive accomplishments:

Max Jones: 53:37

Thanks, man. Really appreciate it, Sandi. I think it’s all about when I say productivity, but proactiveness, you’ve just got to get involved. You know, I joined the company at the same time as five other people. And there was a divide between the people that wanted to kind of cruise through, I was always just getting stuck in going over the expectations and things like that. So many sleepless nights, I have slept at the office once or twice. I’m not afraid to admit that. But yeah, just getting stuck in and kind of going over your boundaries. I mean, there have been, especially when I was prepping for the Dubai event. When we first spoke, I think for about two months straight. I was doing 14 scheduled meetings a day on average. So that was, I think, the happiest day but it was 22 meetings in a day like 11 hours on course. But when you start to build up and piece together, this network doesn’t need to be very split focused. It just getting stuck in and seeing putting the pieces together and figure out who needs who. The best thing that you can do is to build your own knowledge is to get in front of founders, pick their brains and try and see how you can help them and are looking at you and it all comes together at some point.

Sandi Bitenc: 54:52

So, no real secret, but just the hard work you would say.

Max Jones: 54:57

Just hard work. Yeah, I mean, I was quite fortunate to get the job at AIBC, I mean, we’re always looking for newbies for the team as well if anyone’s interested in joining. But yeah, it’s all about just getting stuck in. And you’ll figure out that no matter who you talk to, you’ve got something that’s valuable to them. And if you just give it to them, then everybody wins. You know, you’ve got a little bit of sway with them, and then they’ll connect you to someone that you need. And it’s all a big spider web. I mean, some of the biggest and most exclusive groups of the high-level people in crypto are only like 1600 people. And if you can slowly get to know those people, then you’ve got a big spider web network of all these high-level people in crypto. And it’s not that hard to get involved into these groups, once you’ve got something that you can help people.

Sandi Bitenc: 55:45

Yeah, actually, it’s amazing how big of a network you were able to build up in all this short time actually, I was really, I was like, you started when we started today’s AMA, it was like, Yeah, that’s a long story. And I was like, No, it cannot be a long story, because you’re not that old. But I know that you’re also doing advisory, right? You personally, so. And if anyone is looking for a really good advisor that can connect you, Max has been invaluable to our 3air project. So, I can fully recommend, talking to Max and yeah, taking him on as an advisor.

Max Jones: 56:34

I appreciate Sandi, I do my best for everyone. Even if I’m not an advisor, I still like that.

Sandi Bitenc: 56:41

Yeah, I can attest to that. So, you were actually doing the advisory job before I said, look, you need to become an advisor for us. So, I was kind of pushing you towards it but you were doing a full advisory job, like far better than some of our current advisors.

Max Jones: 57:02

Don’t say that. I think it’s just about keeping ideas in the front of your mind. You know, for example, the ApeSwap, they told me about the treasury bonds. And I thought that time’s perfectly with 3air. Why don’t we put two and two together. I hope that works well.

Sandi Bitenc: 57:19

It looks like it worked well. I’ll also report back to you. So, if it works well. So, it looks like it will. And yeah, so it is one of the things that you connected us to that. That’s for sure. It’s not the only one. There’s also one other huge thing that we’ll need to thank you for. That’s coming up, let’s say in a month or something like that, but…

Max Jones: 57:45

Is it going to come through? I’d be very excited to see that one. I thought we don’t mention that on the AMA.

Sandi Bitenc: 57:56

No, we shouldn’t because then it doesn’t happen.

Ruba Aramouny: 58:04

Okay. Then I would say we wrap this up.

Max Jones: 58:09

Sounds good. Yeah. It’s been an absolute pleasure, guys.

Ruba Aramouny: 58:12

Cool. Thanks so much for being here with us, Max, we really had a lot of fun. And it was super interesting to hear all of your insights. So, thank you, everyone, for being here with us live. If you are listening to the recording, we’re glad you stayed with us. And if you liked this content, like and share it to everyone was here. If you’re not subscribed to it yet, like our video, subscribe to the channel. Follow us on 3air also go and follow Max on LinkedIn and check out the AIBC channels because they’re going to be posting from all the events. So, you’ll see really cool content there too.

Max Jones: 58:52

There’s the Podcast of Sandi up on the AIBC YouTube and some reels on the Instagram was well, more Sandi content.

Ruba Aramouny: 59:02

If you want to hear more of Sandi, go to AIBC to hear more of Sandi. also, really important. If you haven’t yet, go to Coin Market Cap and add 3air to your watch list. Here’s the link down below so you can see that, and we’ll see you on our next AMA. So, thanks, everyone for being here. Till next time.

Sandi Bitenc: 59:24

Thank you. Bye

Ruba Aramouny: 59:26

Bye


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