Noteworthy - Making bitcoin notes so the newbie can own bitcoin
Kevin Monahan - 00:00:06:
If you can take hundreds of years of experience making things secure for life, and then you give it to the new tech that kids have built in their basements and you attach those things together and you now have more secure, easier to use cryptocurrency. These you can buy and you don't have to learn Blockchain.
Didier Borel - 00:00:34:
Welcome to The Swiss Road to Crypto Podcast I seek out the brightest names in crypto, mainly in Switzerland, but also from around the world. I seek out people that I think are bright and are doing something innovative and interesting. They might be well known or below the radar screen, but they have a special insight. Through these interviews, you will hopefully gain an insight that is not obvious today of what the future will bring. Today I am pleased to have Kevin Monahan. Kevin is the CEO of a company called Noteworthy. Noteworthy makes physical bitcoin bills and paper like dollar bills. This is not a joke. They make physical bills with private keys on them. This might seem contradictory to the notion of digital currency, but we will discover that in fact, it is not as contradictory as it seems. Furthermore, Kevin was the co-founder of MyEtherWallet. The importance of that is that he has quite a bit of experience on educating people in crypto. Kevin will talk to us about Noteworthy, and I think you will be surprised by the project. Good afternoon, Kevin.
Kevin Monahan - 00:01:41:
Hey, how's it going?
Didier Borel - 00:01:43:
Could you first describe what Noteworthy is and the bills and how they work?
Kevin Monahan - 00:01:47:
So basically we're building notes that are very similar to bank notes for cryptocurrency. I like to kind of relate them more to gold backed dollars than actual fiat because while they look like fiat currency, they have more intrinsic value because it's based on actual value that is proven over time, not by somebody's opinion. Paper wallets, as far as it goes, are still the most secure way to store your cryptocurrency. There's inherent risks in software or hardware, which is all these hardware wallets and things. Basically, there was a point in time we decided that the user error was more important to deal with than the actual security of the crypto cold storage. I have a first generation ledger and I can't use it anymore. That's not even that I can update it to be used. Their software no longer works. So if I've lost my mnemonics from that thing, I can no longer recover any of my and it doesn't even work with their software. I can't run an old version of it. It just does not work. Relying on long term storage in software or like hardware wallets, which are actually just like a piece of hardware that's paired to software. Software has inherent risks. Software can be hacked, and if you give people the ability to constantly go after something they will like, if you're like, hey, here's a billion dollars stored in a box and it has a good lock on it, but it's a lock that you can go and pick at every day with anything. There's no security around. It like you can go with Hammers, Jacksaws, whatever you want. You can go and try and get into this box. No one's going to stop you. People will do it every day, and lots of people will do it every day until that box is broken. I mean, Ledger at this point has been hacked. My opinion is that there is no secure software.
Didier Borel - 00:03:38:
Okay? But for people who don't know, your bills have a little like gold cover on them. And when you scratch that cover, like a lotto ticket underneath, you find the private keys associated with the bitcoin. So why is that safe?
Kevin Monahan - 00:03:53:
They're safe in the sense of, well, you have to trust that we're making them in a secure way. But basically, we use the same printers for security features that Euros and Francs do. So the same company that prints all of your security features for your bills that you walk around with every day, that everybody trusts, we use them to do this. We print them in a trust center with no, like we don't save them. They're never sent to a the machines aren’t online, they're not sent to servers, they're not stored. Basically, this machine prints out your private key and then immediately presses this foil on it. And the foil is made by the company. They make passports for 100 countries. They make currency for quite a lot of countries as well. If you do anything to them, you affect how that foil looks. And so you have we used to print paper wallets, monitor wallet. We made paper wallets for the first thing that was released. And other than human error, they're the best way to store your crypto. The issue with paper wallets is you basically have this thing that we've given you read out on your screen that you can print out if you want. Not everybody did like paper wallets, but you would print this thing out and it would have your private key exposed. Like when you're printing on your computer that you trust, you don't have air gap because you're printing it out on somewhere you've downloaded from our site. So unless you basically air gap a computer or intergener.
Didier Borel - 00:05:19:
That's not the case with these bills if I go scratch the aluminum foil, I'm not going to expose the private key?
Kevin Monahan - 00:05:23:
If you scratch the aluminum foil off of it, you will get the private key from underneath it. But the private key is not exposed.
Didier Borel - 00:05:30:
I'll get the private key, but it's not exposed. I don't get that.
Kevin Monahan - 00:05:33:
The foil goes on top of the private key. So you run through printer, the private key is generated and then immediately covered up with this foil. So we used to print paper wallets. You would have your details of your wallet, your public address, and then you'd have a private key right next to it. They look almost the same. We had lots of people, like, go onto our site and input their private keys as their address. It was a very common thing. People didn't understand. They needed to keep them safe. So when we would get support questions, people would send us an email that's like, here's my private key. What happened to my money? And you're like, well, you just gave me your private key. Like, why do you think that's secure? And there was lots of just.
Didier Borel - 00:06:13:
Sorry, to make this clear, this is when you used to work with in the case of Ethereum when you used to work with MyEtherWallet, it's not in the case of this partner bitcoin?
Kevin Monahan - 00:06:20:
Paper wallets are paper wallets across blockchains, as far as I'm concerned. And usually when you get a paper wallet or you buy any kind of thing that's a generated, like self generated thing that you're going to print out that isn't like a hardware wallet. You get all of your information that you can see. But the reality is, if you don't plan on interacting with that address, why do you need the key exposed? Like, why is that something that you have to have seen? And if you have it on a printer, like on a standard printer that you've run through your computer online, it's going to be saved in temporary storage of that printer. So there is a way to access that.
Didier Borel - 00:06:58:
Okay, so basically what I found paradoxical, but then interesting with your project is we say not your keys, not your coins, and newbies don't quite get what that means, but they understand not your dollar bills, not your money. You have the dollar bill, so it's your money type of thing. So in fact, it's a sort of a transposition of not my keys becomes not my bills, and then they understand that they own the money. So that's what I found sort of paradoxical and interesting with your.
Kevin Monahan - 00:07:27:
Kind of the coolest part is you can own the key without actually knowing what it is, which means you can transfer addresses without risk.
Didier Borel - 00:07:36:
Right? That's the other thing that's also paradoxical but interesting with this project is in fact. You're increasing or creating anonymity. Because when you issue the bill. You're wrapping some bitcoin. And there's a public key that's on blockchain. There's private key associated with it. But once the first person has bought his or bought his bitcoin in the form of a bill from you. Then in fact. He can transfer it to somebody else. And nothing is happening on the blockchain. In fact, we're just transferring bills and in fact, we're transferring bitcoin anonymously. Is that correct?
Kevin Monahan - 00:08:10:
Yes, you have. True, after the initial transaction, we still like for the lower denomination notes, we still don't even know how much KYC we actually need or whether we need to take KYC. Because if you're at $100, like, you don't really need a KYC for $100, you will still be giving up information. Because if you buy something online, you're going to buy it with something, right? You can't use cash online. If you're going to use a credit card or something that's attached to you, you want to get it to your house, you're going to have to have it sent to you. So there's going to be information you give us. But for the larger notes we have to KYC, we're required by law to KYC for a $25,000 thing. There's nowhere you can buy something for $25,000 in the world from a real company that you don't get KYC for in most places, over eight or $10,000, you start to get your information sent to the government outside of the initial transaction when you are exchanging these bills. Like, if I bought one on the site, and then I go and I'm like, hey, let me give you a bitcoin, and I can literally hand you the note and instant bitcoin transfer anonymously, because the only two people that know about that transfer are you and I. There's no public ledger. It's not stored anywhere. So say a notice passed from point A to B to C, and then like, five people later, how do you even know where that came from at that point? You know the initial source, but the issue is, after the initial source, you can't prove where it's been. And that's like, true anonymity.
Didier Borel - 00:09:40:
Like I said, I found your project always very paradoxical is that initially the project was made for newbies who didn't understand bitcoin. And so you do something that seems counter bitcoin, and in fact, you obtain better qualities of bitcoin. In other words, like the anonymity, for example.
Kevin Monahan - 00:10:02:
So it's like when we moved and we deprecated the private keys so that you really can't use them on any site anymore. Almost every site makes you use mnemonics in order to use their hardware to use to interact with a blockchain. But paper wallets, the risk of a paper wallet is you there is no software risk. There's no hacking risk. You can't hack a person. You can't hack paper.
Didier Borel - 00:10:26:
Yes. All right, so let's develop that. Because if you look originally in bitcoin before whenever it was BIP 32, and hardware wallets, whenever that started in 2000, whatever, 13, 14, 15, I don't know when people had paper wallets. And then the step forward were these hardware walls, especially, I think, with BIP 32. So this seems a step backward. And can you tell me why you think it's not a step backward?
Kevin Monahan - 00:10:49:
Because the reason well, there's two reasons that we moved to hardware wallets. We started suggesting the hard wallets, but the biggest reason, at least on our side, was people's inability to be secure, like the actual human interaction of the inability to be secure or to remember things or store them, save them, et cetera. Because when you downloaded this thing, like you're on a site you generate a paper wallet and it just gives you all this information, you assume that that site can replace it for you. And it doesn't matter how much we tried to get this out, you could never get it to everybody. And it's honestly, like there's just so many like people are pretty dumb on a very regular basis. And if you expect them not to be, you will lose every time. People will always use your product in a way that it's not intend to be used if they can. I don't know why this is, but people have a hard time educating themselves until they've lost something.
Didier Borel - 00:11:39:
So you're telling me that we've in fact encapsulated the security in the bill itself with the ink and how we encapsulate the security?
Kevin Monahan - 00:11:47:
Well, the foils, they're banknote security foils. They are if you heat them up, they change color. If you use water to get them off, they basically warp. There is no way to interact with to get the key off that bill without messing that foil up. So if you want the key on that note, you have to deface the bill. And if you were ever in a situation, like if you were in a situation where you are exchanging a paper wallet with someone and the key was exposed on it, would you take it? The only time you ever interact with the private key of our notes is when you want to take the bitcoin and take it off of the note before that. Or if you wanted to spend all of it in one place, you could literally just go hand it to someone. You don't have to, and it's free. So you don't have a blockchain transaction. You don't have to wait for confirmations. You don't have to pay gas fees. You just have here's a bitcoin, which is a big deal. So the second reason for hardware wallets or by HD wallets is that you can key management. So despite the fact that it's more secure to own every one of your keys in a place that people can't take it from you, the convenience of being able to generate infinite addresses over several blockchains on a piece of hardware, it's really hard to argue with. And if you were like someone that's like for hot wallets and things that you're not using for a long time, it's really like, I can generate 10,000 wallets on my ledger and interact with them and then throw them away and not have to save those keys because they're going to be managed in a ledger regardless of whether I keep it or not. So convenience, that's a huge thing because if you have 10,000 addresses, you have to manage 10,000 keys via the original paper wallets, private keys, et cetera. You had to save every one of those keys.
Didier Borel - 00:13:40:
Yes. If I may say, a disadvantage of your solution in the sense that usually in bitcoin you're going to pay somebody the exact amount of sats required, and your wallet is going to take the previous inputs and generate the exact correct amount of sats and create new addresses. We agree. But that is the convenience. And in your case, if you think.
Kevin Monahan - 00:14:00:
Convenience, not a disadvantage, that's the thing, tedious, is what so if you want to manage 10,000 individual addresses, you can. And the thing is so think about it. You have a mnemonic that manages your keys, and you lose the mnemonic, you lose every one of those keys. Whereas if I had 10,000 aggressive that I had individual private keys for and I lost one of the keys, I lost one of the keys, but I didn't lose the rest of them. If you lose mnemonic, you lose all of your keys. Not exactly a place that anyone wants to even think about being in. So you can export keys out of it, but you have to choose to take keys out of your key management stuff. And also you have software managing your keys. How much do you trust software? How often does software gets hacked? How often do you hear about these things that, like, people's data is stolen? It's really I am not someone who trusts something that can be hacked because people will hack it if there's enough value in something for people to be motivated. If someone could build it, someone can break it.
Didier Borel - 00:15:00:
Well, I'll agree with you on that principle, but I'll say a hardware wallet is offline 99% of the time. BIP 32 and 39 are very well tried and tested. Anybody knows how to produce a wallet with those BIPs.
Kevin Monahan - 00:15:11:
The ledger has been hacked.
Didier Borel - 00:15:14:
Well, they stole the addresses. People use it. I don't think they hacked the software managing the keys.
Kevin Monahan - 00:15:20:
No, they didn't hack the false because it's mnemonic. It's actually like the mnemonic are actually blockchain. It is. But if you could get your like, basically you can hack Ledger, which is what is the software that's managing your hardware, and you can get it to tell it to give you the mnemonic. You now have all the keys.
Didier Borel - 00:15:37:
That, again, is hacking the individual who lets themselves and then.
Kevin Monahan - 00:15:40:
No, you have access to every individual. It's sort of like redirection of transactions. When we were at the wall, we had somebody that tried to put a piece of code in that basically any transaction that was sent will just take whatever address it is, throw it out, and send it to this person's address. Like we're open source funds. Like someone literally put in a pull request for this so that every transaction you sent lived on to our address or not our address, but the guy's address that did this. And it's like, you're not hacking blockchain. Like, you're not, but you are basically telling the blockchain to do something that you don't want it to. So it's not about hacking, like, the keys. It's about, like, hacking the software and telling the software that when you send something to send it instead of the address that you've told me to to his address. So you don't need the keys. I need the money off of your addresses. I don't need the keys from them. Like, if I can get you to send me the money off your addresses, why do I need your keys?
Didier Borel - 00:16:46:
So people weren't checking that the address that they were sending to was the real address they wanted to send to?
Kevin Monahan - 00:16:51:
No, it showed like it was and then you'd send it. Well, no, this never happened.
Didier Borel - 00:16:55:
It was in the middle attack type of thing.
Kevin Monahan - 00:16:57:
Exactly. That's exactly what it is. But you can put that in because of the fact that the software is there and that's like something like if you can hack ledger software and like you would now have Ledger is the one that updates their own stuff on everywhere. So it's like if someone were to push something on Ledger that said take every transaction that is sent out of any address on Ledger and instead of sending it to the address they send, they said to send it to me.
Didier Borel - 00:17:20:
So can you talk about the procedure? So you're creating bills that represent bitcoin. So can you describe first some BTC is bought by your company. I suppose it's wrapped. Where?
Kevin Monahan - 00:17:36:
For the initial notes. We're actually just real bitcoin on the notes. So basically you have a note with your own key, your own address on it. It holds the bitcoin on that note. So we love bitcoin, and so currently we're taking orders in bitcoin. So you send us bitcoin, we load a note and send it to you. So you now have your bitcoin on your note.
Didier Borel - 00:17:54:
Okay, so I give you my public address. Okay. And you're going to send me the.
Kevin Monahan - 00:17:58:
I don't need your public address. I give you the note, I give you a personal address. You send me a bitcoin. I put that bitcoin on a note and send you the note.
Didier Borel - 00:18:06:
Okay. All right.
Kevin Monahan - 00:18:08:
Everyone of the notes has the public address, the public key.
Didier Borel - 00:18:10:
How do you send me the note physically? I mean, in the mail, how does this work?
Kevin Monahan - 00:18:14:
So we are currently doing, like, club service. So you actually have, like, a team member show up to your house.
Didier Borel - 00:18:19:
Kevin Monahan - 00:18:20:
Longer term, we're talking about ways to basically do verifications so that we can actually verify the notes, valid note, and then have the bitcoin on it afterwards. So there was no problem of, like, being stolen in the middle. So there's no middle man attack except for, like, you could steal the paper, but not the actual bitcoin. But, yeah, basically, we will send you these secure notes. It has your public addresses on the side of it. You can use it whenever you want. We have an app, you can scan the QR code on and it'll bring up, show you that it's a valid bill. It'll show you the value that's on it'll. Show your keys, the serial number of the note, et cetera.
Didier Borel - 00:18:58:
Okay, so tell us about the dominations. Are you going to do standardized denominations of whatever, 100,000 sats.
Kevin Monahan - 00:19:04:
So currently we have five millibit and Bitcoin notes. The five millibit notes are worth about $100 give or take $30, depending on the day with current prices. But the first two sets we made are one bitcoin and five millibit notes. We are in the process of working on lower denomination sets, more like fiat currency. So you have like one, five, tens, etc. For so potentially you could use them fungible-ly. The reality is like a Bitcoin note. It's very unlikely that you have people walking around in the world with them. Like, how many people do you know that walk around with $23,000 in their pocket?
Didier Borel - 00:19:44:
Okay, so I'm here, surprisingly, because I thought for you, the sort of purpose of the project was to make the new be more comfortable with bitcoin and have them use it more as a means of payment.
Kevin Monahan - 00:19:57:
I think that there's two different things you're thinking of here, and one of them is like mass adoption of crypto. I want people to be able to buy crypto, and then there's a lot of people that buy crypto and they don't ever do anything with it. They just buy it because they want the crypto and they sit and they hold it. And you now have an opportunity that is secure and will keep your keys safe inherently on its own as long as you like. You go sticking to safety. Something like you don't have to worry about any problems with that in the future. You don't have to worry about your hardware getting corrupted, lot losing you know your computer being hacked and your keys being stolen, your phone, anything like that. So mainstream as far as just getting bitcoin safely and easily in people's hands. So there's a couple of things around the actual physical note is. People are familiar with paper bills. If you lose $100 bill or you leave it on the table and then go somewhere for a day, it probably won't be here when you get back. Most people understand that. With crypto people don't understand that because you're used to like, you go on a website, you open your stuff, signing in, like using your keys to sign in, or using your finger to sign in, you inherently assume that it's like the digital banking system. If I make a mistake, I can reverse the mistake. People understand with paper currency, that's not an issue. People understand what paper currency? If I lose this, I lose it. One of the hardest things for us is like, you lose your keys, you lose your money. This is just a familiar way that you understand when you lose $100 bills, you lose $100. Here's a way that we can give you your keys. You have them, and you know that when you lose that thing, it's gone. You're no longer going to have access to it. And second, part of our product is making a fungible currency for using in life and these we actually need to make lower denomination. And I'm trying to figure out a way to deprecate and use new custodial solutions that are being built on Bitcoin in order to manage this. So basically you have pieces of keys in the NFC chips that you can verify across stuff so you can't use or spend more, but you also don't have to manage the key. What we do is we make notes, we make paper notes for crypto right now, but what we make is the notes that are self sovereign notes that you still have all your crypto but you do not have the security risks that basically every other way that you've ca hold crypto has.
Didier Borel - 00:22:30:
Because here, from what I understand, you're describing it to me as like an improved paper wallet. A much improved paper wallet. But I was also under the impression that part of the goal long term was to increase crypto adoption with newbies and to make it much better.
Kevin Monahan - 00:22:49:
When you think about like your grandma that buys her grandkids gift certificates or stocks or anything and they buy them, it's like if you were planning on that person having to go and buy crypto the current way, you go set up an Exchange account, you buy your crypto, you then get keys for it or it's on an exchange that you don't have control of. There's a whole lot of points that you are making it hard for grandma. These you can buy and you don't have to learn. Blockchain the thing about anything is you should have the option of learning the technical aspects of things. Like in order to use a computer, you have to know how Ram works, you don't have to know how your processor works, you don't have to know how fast it goes. You just want to be able to push the buttons on it and then to do what you think they're supposed to do. And crypto should be the same and right now it's not. That is one of the biggest barriers to entry, in my opinion and through all my experience is it's really hard for people to understand or even try to understand initially because of how much data is thrown at you. So, like when we used to generate paper wallets, you pushed a button and it gave you a massive amount of data. It's all of these numbers, the hashes, your keys and you're like, I don't know what's going on here. And if you're not someone who really wants to learn it, it's intimidating to learn despite the fact that it's easy. It's mostly a lot of numbers. So, like when you're thinking about big strings of like your private key, there's a lot of numbers. You're looking at it and you're like, that is intimidating. You shouldn't have to do that. You should be able to just have crypto. And then if you want to learn the technical parts, then you should be able to do it.
Didier Borel - 00:24:35:
I like that sentence. It's intimidating even though it's easy. Okay.
Kevin Monahan - 00:24:40:
It's all basic. Most of it is basic math. The keys is like it's just a string of numbers. It's like a phone number. But how many people's phone numbers do you remember? Especially now?
Didier Borel - 00:24:51:
I used to before everything.
Kevin Monahan - 00:24:52:
Used to, but still think about the point in your life you use like a Rolodex or like you didn't have your cell phone to remember numbers. You remember numbers, but maybe ten if you remembered your family, your close friends, but you didn't remember 10,000 phone numbers. And when you're talking about phone numbers are made in a very specific way. Country code is like eliminated from stuff because nine digits is your brain's capacity for recollection. That is why phone numbers are nine digits. 500 TS are a little bit more than nine digits.
Didier Borel - 00:25:28:
I think you're an interesting person, among other reasons, because you have an interesting test. So you co founded MyEtherWallet and that played an important part in the DAO hack. They created Ethereum Classic and so on. First of all, could you a little bit describe what MyEtherWallet was at DAO hack? And you used to get a lot of questions from newbies involved in Ether at that time. So you have a lot of experience with educating people in crypto. So what have you learned about educating people in crypto from that?
Kevin Monahan - 00:26:00:
Well, part of it is you can't go in. The reason that any kind of company has the most traction in the space is because there is some way you can figure out how to use it and that's customer support all the time. So to clarify, despite the fact that I technically probably am a co-founder of Ethereum, of non Ethereum, of MyEtherWallet, I have never been credited by the other couple of founders since. But based on the fact that I was managing operations support and hiring for pretty much all of the initial of the company, I would say that technically that's right. But really I was a manager of operations, essentially be a CEO. It's not the first 3rd party wallet for Ethereum like those jacks. There was a few others, but they kind of sucked. And the people that ran them were also not really that great and they didn't provide support. So from my experience, one of the biggest things that people want is when they have a problem, somebody's going to answer them when they ask questions. So the funniest thing is that kind of our smallest question base was usually around the product. We got a lot of what is gas, what is Ethereum? Like how do I reverse transactions?
Didier Borel - 00:27:16:
People were buying DAO and they were asking you what is Ethereum? DAO stands for Decentralized Autonomous Organization. It was the first implementation. Of a project on Ethereum, and there were tokens of this DAO decentralized autonomous organization called DAO Tokens, and there was a hack of this project and this led to a fork of the Ethereum blockchain. And now we have two blockchains, the Ethereum blockchain with a token called Ether, and the abbreviation is ETH and the Ethereum Classic blockchain with another token, abbreviated, etc. Furthermore aside, Kevin later on the podcast mentions that Noteworthy has a Swiss AG means executelle shaft. It's a German word for saying a corporation with shares.
Kevin Monahan - 00:28:06:
It's a point of the DAO that just really wasn't a lot going on. There's very few people. But we implemented the contract for the DAO on our site and you could interact with it so that you can put money in and it literally went good for a day. DAO hack happened, and it was a big problem after the DAO hacks when we started getting all these things. And basically it's really at the point of auger when the ICO started going and doing stuff, that's when we really started getting a lot of support questions, because people saw really we were getting probably less than 100 emails a day until the ICOs happened. During the DAO hack, we were just the only site that was convenient to use. That's why I say we're not the first 3rd party wallet for Ethereum, but we're the first one that worked well enough for people to use and got traction based on like a reddit post.
Didier Borel - 00:29:04:
During the DAO hack. You weren't getting that many questions.
Kevin Monahan - 00:29:06:
There wasn't a lot of people in Ethereum.
Didier Borel - 00:29:11:
So the onslaught happened only with the ICO criteria.
Kevin Monahan - 00:29:13:
It's just a very different scale of onslaught. We had support, but like it was more during the ICO, when you started to have the network stop working, when ICOs were selling out in the first five minutes, as soon as they would open up, all the transactions got through, like, status. It was like 24 hours that clogged up the network at 50 G layer or below, which we figured if you set a specific amount of gas you needed to get into stuff, can't go over, can't go under, this would like, solve the problem of these being sold out in ten minutes. Which did, but it did mess up in that word for a while. But really it's sort of when people started using at the time of the DAO hack, Ethereum was about $20, like when it got hacked, but it was like three to $5, I think, before that, like all the way up to that. And I don't really think people started really using Ethereum until like fifty dollars.
Didier Borel - 00:30:13:
To one hundred dollars, which was just around 2017.
Kevin Monahan - 00:30:17:
Yeah, so 2017 is when like most of the actual ICO started running. 2007, 2018.
Didier Borel - 00:30:24:
All right, so getting back a little bit like the education and Noteworthy, so the things you sort of taken away is that people want to have somebody they can ask a question to.
Kevin Monahan - 00:30:33:
It doesn't matter what the question is. That's the thing is, I think that the reason that my wallet worked so well during the ICS and why we got so much of the market share was because of the fact that we answered everybody's support questions. Like, if people had Coinbase support questions, they would email us because we responded.
Didier Borel - 00:30:52:
Okay, and so we'll be Noteworthy. What information do you think you've taken away from that to make it easier for people to interact with Noteworthy as opposed to Bitcoin?
Kevin Monahan - 00:31:03:
So, actually, one of the fortunate things about Noteworthy is we have some people that are from the banknote industry that are very into education of stuff, like just education. And from my experience with the ICOs and having to deal with all of that, is that people a lot of the time just want their hand to be held through stuff. And with anything, especially when we are going for Is, we are not going for the crypto, tech savvy people. We are going for the people that are not in crypto. So at the point that you have them, I'm trying to give you this thing that's as easy as possible. But the point that you want to know about it, you should have that access. And so a big part of our documentation is pretty thorough. We're building our knowledge base around this stuff. And it's complicated for us because it's crypto and kind of banknote security. The banknote industry is very cool. The security functionality, the way this stuff works, it's really cool. And it's sort of like I almost think that crypto was a step backwards in the sense that they've spent a lot of time making these things into what they are. Like, the reason they work as well, the reason you trust them. When you see $100 bill, you know it's $100 bill. Like, you go to the store, use $100 bill. And if they check it, they look at it, they're like, okay, and you can look at it, and there's a few things you can see on it that if you know what they are, you know it's not a fake hundred dollars bill.
Didier Borel - 00:32:35:
Okay, so let's talk a little bit about your team because, well, you were in Switzerland, and one of the people I think co investing in Noteworthy is a company called Sigpa, which makes the inc for all the bills of many currencies and for passports and things like that. They have a very sophisticated product. Do you want to mention a little bit the other people in the team.
Kevin Monahan - 00:32:54:
And the other no, I was actually brought in pretty recently to the company, but the CEO I took over for Ms. Larry Felix, who is the former director of the United States Department of Treasury's, Bureau of Engraving and Printing, he made the current $100 bill. We have Manuela Fronter, who is the designer of the current CHF, the Franks that you use in Switzerland. She designs the ones that you use every day. And she is crazy about making sure that these are the best and most secure things they can be with like almost no there is no compromise in most of these people and how in the quality of these things. Then we have John Eve, who is the former Sigma marketing director and ICA board member. I think he may still be a board member, I don't remember. We have Philip Burrows, the former chairman of the Secure Identity Alliance and former founding board member of the International Currency Association. And then on our board we have the 38th director of the West Mint and the former artistic infusion program for the Mint as well. Those are two different people. But yeah, we have a lot of very heavy experience in the banknote industry. It's baffling to me to be in this situation because I'm like with people, it's so much more life experience I have. It's very cool.
Didier Borel - 00:34:18:
So they're very into security of bills and what do you think okay, bitcoin to them, one would think initially is contradictory to their past, but what is their motivation or why do you think they're interested in?
Kevin Monahan - 00:34:33:
I think that's sort of a scam. The idea that crypto people hate Fiat and Fiat people hate crypto, it's like, I don't really think that's what it is. I think that people get excited about something. They're like, this is better, so it's going to work. The reality is the best system is the one that works the best, not the one that you think is going to work the best or the newest one. It's like if you can take hundreds of years of experience making things secure for life, and then you give it to the new tech that kids have built in their basements and you attach those things together and you now have more secure, easier to use cryptocurrency. And I think especially, like with Bitcoin in particular, enlightening networks sort of might negate this, but there's really nothing solid at this point that allows you to transact cheaply and fast. Like Lightning does work, but will it work forever? Is it like something you can rely on? Maybe ZK roll ups? Maybe, but you're still not it doesn't compete with like 300 years.
Didier Borel - 00:35:42:
What opportunities do you think they see?
Kevin Monahan - 00:35:47:
The thing is, crypto is okay, so Fiat currency is backed by a government's opinion. They print more of them all the time. You don't even know how many are in circulation. There's a whole bunch of bills you think are in circulation that are actually circulating. The whole system is pretty messed up. With crypto, you can't do that. You know exactly how much of everything's there and it's proven over time. It's not like, oh, I want more Bitcoin, let me go print 100,000 of them. No, you have to wait for the block to be one and then like.
Didier Borel - 00:36:18:
Do you think all these people are coming on board because they've bought into the fundamental hard money store of value argument?
Kevin Monahan - 00:36:25:
I think that the more that we've inflated our currencies, the more that it's been easy to hop on. I get at the point that you're like, okay, I believe in dollars. I believe in dollars. I believe in dollars. And all of a sudden you're like, why is my money worth 35% less than last year? Okay, that's a problem. The thing is bitcoin like bitcoin volatility. Any new market has the volatility that the crypto markets have right now. Go look at any start of any market. There's not enough volume over time to have a stable market. Bitcoin is more stable than Ethereum, which is more stable than other newer currencies. But the reality is, most of what makes something secure is that enough people use it long enough that it becomes stable, but they don't start stable. And what you realize about inflationary currencies like the US dollar is that you can literally inflate the government can decide. You can't, but the government can decide to inflate the currency 35% overnight. Putin, for instance, the reason the oligarchs all have all the money is because I think five times over history, he has printed new currency and then released it and kept 20% of it or something. So you would trade in your rubles for like a four to five ratio, and you would get four rubles back for every five you gave them. And now your money was worth, like you just literally overnight, your money was worth 20% less because the government official decided to go print more of them. That is not as stable as the US dollar is. As far as the market goes, when the government isn't messing with it, it's pretty stable. It's been around a long time. It's like thousands of a cent. That usually has variation day to day, but then the government can decide to print 35% more of them. You immediately have a 35% decrease in value, which the world takes time to react to. But it's like, go try and buy a porch. Right now, they are 50,000 or so over MSRP, every one of them, just in USD, because our money is not worth as much as it was last year. And like, well, I think it is because I have the same amount of dollars. Boris doesn't agree with that. They're like, yeah, your government put 35% more into your circulation than there was last year. Your money is worth less to US. Crypto. You cannot do that. That in and of itself is a huge, like it's like you're taking the control, and this is a big thing in crypto. I want to take the control out of the government's hands. I don't think people really want decentralization in the sense of true decentralization, but I do think people want the power to be out of the government in bankers hands.
Didier Borel - 00:39:10:
Okay, all right. You certainly made the case for the hard currency store value case for Bitcoin. How do you try to get your so you're basically a new company. You say people send you some BTC and you'll send them the notes representing those BTC. How do you try to get your product into people's hands?
Kevin Monahan - 00:39:32:
The company was founded by Peter Vsdenz, who is one of the founders of the Bitcoin Foundation. We have a little bit of pull in the crypto space between the bank and it's sort of like a team. And every time you hand somebody one of these things, it's such a funny thing to watch people in crypto hold on to a bitcoin up because they're like, this is counterintuitive, because this is what I've learned. Like in crypto, you're like, I'm trying to get away from money, why would I make crypto money? But the reality is still most people carry cash on them all the time because it's easier to transact. So I mean, this is marketing word of mouth. I think the more people that know about this, the more people that are excited about it, it takes about 3 seconds of having one of these in somebody's hands for them to be like, okay, I could get on board.
Didier Borel - 00:40:23:
What would you say is the most important obstacles to reach your goals?
Kevin Monahan - 00:40:28:
Well, part of it is like the kind of anti, it's just that the fact that we have been educated in crypto that this is counterintuitive and people in Fiat have been basically you have this contradictory opinion on both sides. Fiat world doesn't like the crypto world, crypto doesn't like the Fiat world. But the reality is the two systems, banking generally doesn't like crypto because crypto is new and threat. But crypto doesn't like banks because money is the whim of the government and banks, it's not out of the control of anybody. Like trust, the systems are the best. Like if I have a system that nobody can mess with, that is the system I'll use with code. You can go look at the code, you see what it does, you're like, I know what this is going to do and I know what it's going to do forever. Like with the banking system, every year, we inflated 9% last month, 35% last year. It's like, who even knows we're supposed to have limits for this. But apparently those limits aren't really they're their guidelines, they're not rules.
Didier Borel - 00:41:36:
So the way to overcome this is by little education, to get these two sort of contradictory communities to appreciate each other and meet in the middle of.
Kevin Monahan - 00:41:44:
The things, sort of and I think that basically given the option of having so if you could go take your francs and get francs that were backed by gold, which would you take? Like you could have the francs that you currently have or you could get the exact same notes, but they had gold back for the value of your francs on them. You can prove the values there. I think a lot of it's education. It's understanding that the paper notes are a tool, the financial system, and like the fiat system. It's not the paper that's the problem. It's the system that's running the paper and the ability to print more of the paper on a whim.
Didier Borel - 00:42:23:
And for the company, do you have any specific milestones that you're shooting for?
Kevin Monahan - 00:42:27:
The gift card, cash giving, personal storage for the store value market is like a several trillion dollar market. This isn't even money. This is just like people buying things that hold value on them. It gets much bigger market than crypto is. All you need is a percent of two or 3% of the cash giving market or gift certificate market traction to replace more value than crypto has. It's funny because crypto is like a trillion dollar market now. Right now it might be a little less a trillion dollars market in general.
Didier Borel - 00:43:03:
I think bitcoin now at $23,000. I think it's more or less like 500 billion. But in all crypto, maybe a trillion.
Kevin Monahan - 00:43:09:
Yeah, that's what I mean. So the entire market is a trillion dollars. Square capital has more than a trillion dollars of market capital. One company has more value than all of crypto. Like last bull run, facebook was worth more than all of crypto.
Didier Borel - 00:43:27:
Yeah, facebook was at one point. But I mean, if you look at even at bitcoin today, 23 oh, no. Bigger market cap than Nestle, the biggest food company in the world. Biggest capital market capital. Nestle. It's about the same now, but it's food.
Kevin Monahan - 00:43:40:
It's one industry. That's the thing. The biggest blockchain is a little bit more inclusive and all encompassing than that. It's like saying that not bitcoin, but say one of the companies on top of a blockchain, you're like, compare that to Nestle, because that's how I look at it. Because basically when you think about Nestle, you're talking about the food market. What is the food market?
Didier Borel - 00:44:06:
Can you tell me a little bit about yourself? Because you know a lot about crypto, but in fact, when one looks you up, one sees that you have I think you went to school arts. You did a lot of a little bit like what you did before crypto and how you fell into crypto.
Kevin Monahan - 00:44:22:
So I went to school for biochemistry and psychology. The first time I went to school, back to school for music. When I got out of high school, I got out of high school at the point in time that it was like a standard. You get out of high school, you go to college, you get a job. And so I was like, okay, I graduated a little bit early from high school and was like, what do I want to do? And I was like, I want to design people. I want to do genetic engineering. That's what I wanted to do. I got to organic chemistry, and I was like, I don't want to take enough notes to design people. I don't want to have to deal with all of the tedious paperwork behind this. So then I took a few years off, and I started going to school for music and engineering because it's what I like to do. I would have gone to music school for music the first time, except for music was not an acceptable choice of schools on my parents part when I.
Didier Borel - 00:45:15:
Was younger, because to me, you seem to be somebody who has more like an engineering frame of mind, or more they remind me of very well of an artistic one as well. But, I mean, what strikes me with you is the engineering sort of frame of mind. So how did you stumble, which suits well with crypto. So how did you stumble in crypto?
Kevin Monahan - 00:45:31:
Crypto? Day trading. So I did web development with my partner, and basically after I got out of school for music, I tried to get a job in music, and I couldn't find a job that paid me well enough to pay off my student loans and pay my rent. So I started web developing because I had an opportunity to do it, and it made me enough money that I could pay for my stuff.
Didier Borel - 00:45:59:
And you were self taught there?
Kevin Monahan - 00:46:01:
Yeah. When I met my partner, I realized we didn't have a lot in common. We were kind of at odds a lot of the time. We were very opposite of personalities, but I was like, I really like this person, and I want to keep them around, and if we have nothing in common, this is not going to work long term. So I decided that this is the end of music school. I taught myself to code just because I wanted to have something in common with somebody, not for any reason. I wanted to show the person that I wanted to be with that I could do something that they liked.
Didier Borel - 00:46:40:
Would you consider yourself unnatural if that type of thing?
Kevin Monahan - 00:46:42:
I actually have a very crazy background of all kinds of different things because of the fact that I get interested in stuff, and then I learn how to do it kind of more than most people do. I tattooed for a few years. I learned how to make electric magnetic coils and weld and do all the machines. Like, I can build motorcycles, I built guitars, play a lot of answers. Basically anything that I could make myself, I have, because when I get something this is the same with crypto. I am not one of the people that just wants the notes. I want to know how everything works. How does the stuff behind the notes work? When I started working with the kind of the notes side of stuff and the security for banknotes, it's another thing. I was like, I came in there like, you can learn as much of this as you want. And I'm like, I don't want all of it. I want to know. This is really cool. All of the security functionality for paper bills is amazing. They've spent a lot of time making those secure. Like, there is technology that is in those bills and it's cooler to know how something works than it is to just know that it exists. So there are some people that, like, I think that most people, they want to know more than other people in a conversation. I want to know everything. And not like, I want to know more than you. I want to know everything. Like a part of everything is like knowing how things work. I was the kid that when I broke something, I would take it apart and try and put it back together. Not all the time that worked, but I am someone that just eats knowledge. I like to know as much as I can about anything. If I'm ever in a conversation where you are passionate about something and you know more about it than I am, I will literally go after a conversation because of your interest in it and learn more about it than you know. Not because I want to know more than you, but because you have sparked my interest in this topic. And I will go and I will spend weeks researching and reading about this thing and figuring out how it works so that I can understand your passion in this thing.
Didier Borel - 00:48:45:
Kevin Monahan - 00:48:46:
It's a very weird part of my personality. Basically, if I ever meet someone that has an interest in something strong enough and is a smart enough individual to make, like, pass their interest on to me, I will go and learn about that thing too. And I don't know how good of a use of time this is all the time, but I really like, it's been a very long time since anyone has called me boring or thought that I was boring in conversation, I think because pretty much I can keep up anywhere. And there's things that I know, like a little bit about a lot of stuff. And if you like, I will keep asking questions like, try and learn what you know from you in this conversation. Because if someone is smart and passionate about something, I want to know why. Like, let me figure out. And sometimes I'm disappointed by this. I'm like, I learned about the thing and I'm like, this is not as exciting as the person thought it was. But a lot of the time it's like you learn stuff about other aspects of life when you learn about the technical aspects of anything. So it's like, I build tattoo machines, so I learned how to make electromagnetic coils, Tesla coils, also electromagnetic coils. So, like, generation of energy, transfers of energy, thermal heat, Lightning, all kinds of stuff you learn about because you learn about the fundamental building block of what that is.
Didier Borel - 00:50:14:
So we're doing this podcast here in Neuchâtel. Can you tell us why you're in Neuchâtel?
Kevin Monahan - 00:50:19:
I'm in Neuchâtell. This time I'm meeting with Biddy while I'm out here to see if not where they can use them for our Fiat onboarding because they do this and they were one of our first partners. They're the reason I came out to Switzerland the first time ever was to kind of meet them and they supported us a lot at the time and really it was cool. And I found Switzerland at that point in time and like Neuchâtel specifically, I kind of fell in love with the place. This is my favorite place in Switzerland. Despite the fact that the taxes is like the worst in Switzerland. This place is just amazing. It's quiet, it's nice, and it's just easy going and you don't have a lot of light. It feels safer outside than the US. I live in a pretty nice place, but it still feels safer here. Everywhere feels safer here. And when you look at the crime statistics and things like that, it is safer here. Significantly safer than pretty much anywhere else in the world. We have a Swiss company. We're in Zug. Not worthy. And so I'm out here about once a month right now to do work. But this time I came out to meet and see if we can get a few onboarding for our notes. And I have a podcast with you and then I've got a couple of meetings with investors while I'm out here. We're finishing a fundraising round right now.
Didier Borel - 00:51:38:
Okay. And in fact, I wanted to also divert this conversation to another subject, the upcoming Ethereum merge or shift to proof of stake because you had some interesting ideas last time we spoke. You like I said, you lived through the DAO hack or you were just telling us there weren't that many people involved in these. Your experience with hacks, what do you think is going to happen here?
Kevin Monahan - 00:52:01:
Basically there's two chains with forks, not with hacks. Almost certainly there's two chains that come out of this.
Didier Borel - 00:52:09:
There's an old proof of the existing proof of work chain will continue and there will be a new proof of stake.
Kevin Monahan - 00:52:15:
Absolutely. I think what will happen was that there will be two chains initially. One will take most of the value, one will take less of the value. Whichever one maintains the difficulty over time will continue to run and the other one will kind of slowly put around.
Didier Borel - 00:52:28:
Which one will have the more value. You think of the two?
Kevin Monahan - 00:52:31:
I would assume the proof of stake will take most more of the value initially. It really depends on how well it works. So the thing about proof of stake and e two is that it's a huge change. It's not like a regular change. It's like a fundamental change of how the network works.
Didier Borel - 00:52:52:
Right. But are you saying that affects purely minors? Or why are you putting so much importance on that just for the minors. For developers.
Kevin Monahan - 00:52:59:
For I think there's more risk of miners not moving over this time than any other time because the fact that you are changing fundamentally. Like how the blocks are mine. Like. You are changing from somebody proving the work to somebody validating the work. Which is a very different thing if you are a minor and you are set up to mine and you spend all of this money on all your mining gear. And all of a sudden the network's like. Oh yeah. We're not using that anymore.
Didier Borel - 00:53:27:
They've seen this coming down the road.
Kevin Monahan - 00:53:28:
Oh, no, they've heard about it coming, and there's been lots of arguments about it. But I do see but also there's a lot of stuff that E Two is going to introduce to the world that is different as well. And at some point, like the sharding and all of these things that are coming up, you have a very different system. So there's a lot of fundamental changes of how the network works are coming in the very near future. And the problem with that is basically, if it works, if everything is flawless, they release it and everything just works the way it's supposed to. I'm sure that the proof of stake chain wins. But if proof of stake has a problem or if you to have a problem or several problems, or they keep on showing up over time, I think people will revert back.
Didier Borel - 00:54:14:
Okay. And just also, you educated me a little bit on you gave the examples, I think, of bitcoin cash, bitcoin SV. You're saying every time there's a stake, every time you have a fork, people.
Kevin Monahan - 00:54:26:
Are motivated to keep both of them.
Didier Borel - 00:54:27:
Running, but one putters out. Explain a little bit.
Kevin Monahan - 00:54:33:
Yeah, because basically, initially, there have been hard forks that there haven't been two change to come out of. Like, there were some major forks before the DAO. I think that they were just consensus merges, that you had something that they needed to update the entire network, updated it. No one even thought about maintaining the second one. At the point of the DAO hack, there was a big thing about immutability. Like, rolling back the chain was aggravating to a lot of people. People were like, Blockchain is supposed to be immutable. Yes. So, like, rolling back the chain made a bunch of people upset. So when that split happened, they took 25% of the value of Ethereum with it, etc. Initially was like 25% of the value just taken. But what should have happened, like, in a consensus merge and I think there was something like 75% I think it was like 85% consensus to roll the chain back. It's still like two chains started, and then people realize that you can basically print free money. And after that, like, bitcoin, which is hilarious, before the. Etc. Split was like, oh, blockchain is immutable, code is lost. You can't force the chain if you haven't got tons of shit for it. And as soon as etc happened and people had two sets of money, bitcoin was like, let's fork five times. They're like, wait, you can print money.
Didier Borel - 00:56:05:
People like the idea of forking because basically they're going to get two coins where they think they're more or less going to double their money. But what happens is usually one of these two coins ends up having less value and you end up with more or less the same.
Kevin Monahan - 00:56:16:
So watching it go, especially because I was trading at the time, basically etc took about 20% to 25%. Like you basically had 75% of the value go here. The price of Ethereum went down 25% and the price of etc was 25% of Ethereum. So basically you had 100% that you split into two pieces and then there was variation over the first bit. When like this what happened, I traded all of the BTC that we had into bitcoin and I did it in the first day, at the first push that it did. And despite the fact that lots of times it's been worth more in cash than at that point in time, I turned into bitcoin and it has never been a higher against bitcoin and it was the first day. So basically the only thing was never.
Didier Borel - 00:57:04:
Higher against bitcoin, etc. Okay?
Kevin Monahan - 00:57:06:
So basically, if you had in the first 24 hours, traded your etc into bitcoin, you will never have made more money than if you kept those bitcoin. There is no other point, despite the fact that Ethereum, I think etc was worth maybe $5 at the time. $4, $5, maybe less, maybe more, I forget. But it should have like etc was worth like more than $100, $200 at some point when Ethereum was $1400, etc was like 200 and $300. So it's definitely like in fiat value, it was worth more at that point in time, but bitcoin had gone up so much that you could never get as much bitcoin as if you had just traded into it the first day. Okay, so like, you only gain money against fiat value.
Didier Borel - 00:57:56:
You should sell the cheaper, the least powerful of the two, if your chains take that coin and sell it right away, gets BTC.
Kevin Monahan - 00:58:04:
No, I think if you're in a bull run and you have a chain that splits and there's a weaker chain, trade into the stronger chain. It could be Bitcoin, it could be Ethereum, but trade into the stronger chain right away because if you're in a bull run, the stronger chain will keep going up in value and the puttering one will maybe go up in value to follow it a little bit, but it will not go up at the same rate and it will not keep going up forever. Basically the rate of increase of whatever ends up losing or will lose overtime is a lower rate than the stronger change in a bull run. It'll be interesting to see if the e to merge happen during crypto winter because this changes quite a lot.
Didier Borel - 00:58:47:
What does that change? That's an interesting point. What does that change? Because it would say we're in the crypto winter, but we might be near the end.
Kevin Monahan - 00:58:53:
I got it. I don't even think we're in crypto winter yet. I think that we just got to read a market correction.
Didier Borel - 00:58:59:
The difference between a strong market correction and crypto winner.
Kevin Monahan - 00:59:02:
Yeah, because crypto winner, in my opinion, applies that basically you have a market correction and then it stays corrected. So it goes down and then it might go down more, or it might stay there for a while because people are almost intimidated or like scared to use it because it might go down more. Like market correction. Like the market goes down and then it immediately goes back up. It's like markets correct every day. Sometimes it's like, this was a very short downturn. If we're already through it, I would bet we have another year or so before the market stabilizes, maybe more, but we definitely should not be in another blow around this year as far as I'm concerned.
Didier Borel - 00:59:43:
I disagree because the market is a lot deeper. Just like when you described your Noteworthy.
Kevin Monahan - 00:59:47:
But what's his name, Tesla just sold 75% of their Bitcoin, right?
Didier Borel - 00:59:52:
Which means we're probably near the bottom 25% of it. They're still up, but let's get back to the fork. You think the proof of steak chain.
Kevin Monahan - 01:00:04:
I think it should be generally the chain that the Ethereum Foundation sticks with should be the stronger chain.
Didier Borel - 01:00:13:
So my last question, tell me if you agree or disagree with this, that little by little we're moving into centralization of Ethereum and that developers or end users will down the line feel that they're being taken advantage of either depth developers or people using DApps. They're being taken advantage of. Like people felt that on Facebook or MySpace or whatever.
Kevin Monahan - 01:00:37:
I guess it depends how you look at centralization. I feel like If you're on a decentralized enough, even with the validation system that you can't really you won't have like a single person that's a bad actor. You would take the entire Ethereum Foundation to be trying to be malicious in order to convince people to be malicious. You couldn't be a person that's an individual human being and go and be like, I'm going to set up a validator and do malicious things. The network is too secure and it's like, how much the centralization do you need for a network to be secure?
Didier Borel - 01:01:23:
So for you, it's robust enough to resist almost all forms of as soon.
Kevin Monahan - 01:01:27:
As the point that you can't have like, an individual cannot go and go buy hardware that they can like, what would it cost to buy half the mining power of Bitcoin? How many validators do you need like before. There's not a single validator that can outvote other people. Essentially you need to have more than half the power in order to do anything malicious. So it's like if you have 49% of the power, you still can't do anything malicious. You have 50% of power, you still can't do anything malicious. You need more than half of the power. Which means it just needs to be decentralized enough that it is not something that an individual can do.
Didier Borel - 01:02:10:
My fear is you can have a lot of stakers, you can have very few validators and the stakers in fact, don't really care what's happening.
Kevin Monahan - 01:02:16:
It very much depends on the delegates.
Didier Borel - 01:02:18:
Just like most people who own chairs don't really care if the board of the company are doing bad things. So if I have a DAP and nobody's processing my transactions on my application and I'm too small, I get screwed and nobody's going to complain.
Kevin Monahan - 01:02:38:
So I think it'll be interesting to see how like validators get delegated power. Essentially a lot of the exchanges are doing at least we're doing validation for people. So Kraken was like one of the first ones I saw there was like if you have 32 ETH, you can go stick on Kraken and Kraken will essentially be the validator for your ETH. Because the thing is well, the thing is you get punished if you don't validate and you're a validator. Like if you're staking and you don't actually use your responsibilities, you are punished for it. And so you have to pay attention all the time. If you're running a node, like you have to keep that node running. If the node goes down, you can get punished for it. And when I delegate my power to an exchange or someone that is going to do it all the time, I won't get punished. They are going to make sure that my stuff does what it's supposed to to not get repercussions from it. So I guess it'll be interesting to see how power is delegated. Basically the people that are staking that don't want to basically do the validation, it's like, how is that power distributed? How are they giving it to people? Because potentially if you had like a coinbase or something that did staking and there's lots of people, I still probably think more people use coinbase than anything else. As far as exchanges go, at what point do they have enough power to start doing malicious things?
Didier Borel - 01:04:09:
Okay, but overall you find that there's a diversity. Enough of actors to.
Kevin Monahan - 01:04:18:
Finance has like seven validators. They're all owned by CZ. No one cares. It's not a problem either. The thing is, I'm not happy about that. I don't like it. But I don't use finance, so I don't really but it's still like people talk about decentralization on Bitcoin and Ethereum, but it's like really go look at other things that people are using. Like the same people will be like talking up other networks that you could go in, like 51% Attack.
Didier Borel - 01:04:52:
All right, let's wrap it up with a few rapid fire questions. Somebody you admire and why do you admire them?
Kevin Monahan - 01:04:58:
So I'm just going to pick a funny one in crypto space because I think it's hilarious. It's Fluffy Pony. I think it's like a good it's like the epitome of what I like about a lot of crypto stuff. It's just like, he's just such a funny dude and was very early into the privacy just for people that own.
Didier Borel - 01:05:14:
Fluffy Pony was one of the main animators of developers of Monero.
Kevin Monahan - 01:05:18:
And he used to do really funny stuff. I remember during the ICO period, basically there was a whole lot of FOMO stuff. So people would throw money at projects just because they're like, oh, here's this exciting thing. So he was like, oh, Monero has a big release next week. And he's like, oh, five days, four days. And then he's like, oh, no, you guys are all fucking stupid. He's like, I made that up to show you that you're stupid. I'm like, okay, that's hilarious. But in reality, I tend to not admire people. I admire things that have been done because almost everybody is a person. And people aren't always like people aren't always their most admirable place.
Didier Borel - 01:05:55:
Okay, most important book and why?
Kevin Monahan - 01:05:57:
Okay, I'm going to say favorite. Alice in Wonderland. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Both of them to The Looking Glass and Alice Wonderland. But then the Count of Monte Cristo. I'm going to go with important for that because I've never been a person that's good at letting go of things. And the book not the Hollywood like, not the movie. It's basically like you can be bitter. Like, being better instead of being bitter is more lucrative reaction to situations. In almost every case. If you have a bad situation with someone, you're like, I'm going to attack that person so that they feel as bad as I do. That is a much worse way to deal with it than going and doing whatever you do better than they do. Don't pay attention to this negative source of energy. Throwing negative energy back into the world is never a positive. Like, you never really win.
Didier Borel - 01:06:48:
Okay, best piece of advice we're ever given, and who gave it to you?
Kevin Monahan - 01:06:53:
Never say no to an opportunity and.
Didier Borel - 01:06:56:
Who gave it to you?
Kevin Monahan - 01:06:57:
So actually, I have gotten that from so many people that I have looked up to over my time as an investor or people that I've worked with in companies that like to have more experience. So basically it comes up a lot when you have very successful people talk about their success. Because you don't get to the point of being that successful because you never lose. You get to the point of being that successful because you persevered and you won because of the fact that you learned from the things that didn't work. But every time you say no is a situation that you could have lost out on a billion dollars.
Didier Borel - 01:07:35:
Okay. A simple principle that you keep in mind when you guiding your life, when you have to make important decisions, no.
Kevin Monahan - 01:07:41:
One has their shit together. Some people are better at faking it. Keep moving forward and you'll win.
Didier Borel - 01:07:47:
Okay. I like that. And lighter. Question. Favorite movies?
Kevin Monahan - 01:07:54:
I don't even know. I don't know that, I have Grandma's Boy. Grandma's Boy moved out a guy that is like a video game tester and loses his apartment because of an idiot roommate and moves back in with his grandma. It's like a Stoner movie. It's hilarious. My thing about movies and things that I watch and read, if I wanted to go see bad, like, negative things, I would go and watch people in life or the news. When I watch movies, I want to see something funny or light or something I can learn from, maybe. But seeing people be terrible to each other is never what I want to do, and it makes me feel bad. So I watch comedy movies a lot. I watch a lot of cartoons. Just things that are not reality. I'm here to not be in reality.
Didier Borel - 01:08:42:
Okay, fine. Thank you very much. Kevin is a pleasure to have you. So if people want to either discover more about Noteworthy or hookup with you, where do you want to send them?
Kevin Monahan - 01:08:49:
So Kevin at Noteworthy AG. And Noteworthy AG is our site. Get in touch.
Didier Borel - 01:08:56:
Okay? All right, great. It was a pleasure to have you, Kevin. Thank you.
Kevin Monahan - 01:08:59:
I appreciate it.
Didier Borel - 01:09:00: