781: Crypto: What AirBnB Looks Like In Digital Currency World

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Christoph Jentzsch. His background is in Theoretical Physics and he’s been part of the Ethereum project since 2014 as a lead tester. At the end of 2015, he co-founded Slock.it, working on decentralized sharing economy through the connection of blockchain and IoT (Internet of Things). One of the more famous projects that he was part of was the DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization).

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – Zero to One
  • What CEO do you follow? – God
  • Favorite online tool? — GIthub
  • How many hours of sleep do you get? — 8
  • If you could let your 20-year old self, know one thing, what would it be? – “Avoid the bug in the DAO”

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:50 – Nathan introduces Christoph to the show
  • 02:20 – DAO stands for Decentralized Autonomous Organization
    • 02:26 – It is a smart contract on the Ethereum blockchain which aims at connecting people to pull their funds together and run small contracts
    • 02:45 – It failed and all the people got refunded
  • 03:10 – Christoph believes that Anthony Di Iorio is one of the founders of Ethereum
  • 03:24 – As a lead tester for Ethereum in 2014, Christoph was responsible for driving tests
    • 03:39 – Consensus tests are for client implementation
  • 04:10 – Nathan’s analogy of cryptocurrency using railroad tracks
  • 04:55 – Augur has launched their own token on top of Ethereum
    • 05:18 – They created their own token of value in exchange of the virtual currency of ether
  • 05:47 – There has been a lot of ICOs (Initial Coin Offering) lately and there has been opinions around them
  • 06:03 – Bitcoin was always meant for virtual currency
    • 06:09 – While Etherium has a virtual currency too called ether, its actual purpose is to be an open source platform to build decentralized applications or Dapps
    • 06:22 – People now create simple Dapps issuing a token on the Ethereum blockchain to fund Dapps projects
    • 06:32 – People thought DAO was an ICO but it wasn’t
    • 06:35 – DAO has collected a hundred million dollars in ether
    • 06:44 – After that, many ICOs have gone out
  • 07:40 – There are only a few hundred people who send ether into their contract
  • 08:11 – There was an article Nathan had read regarding Bitcoin’s current problem
    • 08:28 – The main problem is public blockchains are not scaling
    • 08:38 – In the protocol, one blockchain can only have 1 megabyte
    • 09:04 – There is now a high demand that leads to a higher price
  • 10:33 – Everybody can take part in the cryptocurrency game
    • 11:45 – People can create their own blockchain but they’re missing the network effect
    • 12:18 – There are some minors who control the network
    • 12:48 – As long as there are users in the system, they don’t mind the minors
    • 12:54 – Minors serve the blockchain, but Christoph believes the users are the ones in-charge
    • 13:21 – After the DAO failed, there was a discussion of how things should be done
    • 13:27 – Some are saying to split the blockchain into 2 versions: the new version is where people get refunded and the old version is the hackers who have the money
    • 14:58 – There are now 2 Ethereum classes: ethereum classic and ethereum
  • 15:19 – Christoph’s focus is now on Slock.it where they’ve built a decentralized sharing economy
    • 16:02 – It is built over the public ethereum and they don’t have tokens
    • 16:17 – They’re using ether as a payment
    • 16:33 – Most startups are called ICOs and make their own tokens to fund themselves
  • 16:40 – Slock.it is VC funded with a seed funding of $2M
  • 18:06 – Slock.it isn’t currently getting any payment but they will in the future
  • 18:38 – Slock.it collaborates with Innogy
    • 18:51 – Innogy allows electric charging stations to connect with smart contracts in the blockchain
    • 19:00 – A user can charge his car, making him enter the smart contract
    • 19:10 – If you’re the owner of a charging station and you have an electric car, you can set the price for the station and offer it to public
  • 20:05 – Noke padlocks can now be open and closed through Bluetooth and Slock.it has added a payment option where it can be opened by paying
  • 20:34 – Slock.it can be integrated into the device and it is different from Airbnb
    • 21:28 – As long as the ethereum blockchain is alive, the Noke padlock can be used through Slock.it
  • 22:10 – Christoph currently resides in Germany
  • 22:45 – “As of now, crypto is not a very good currency”
  • 23:23 – Ether is as volatile as bitcoin
  • 23:45 – You can definitely exchange your tokens for real dollars, but it’s not an efficient system
  • 24:03 – Paying people with ether isn’t that easy at the moment
  • 24:12 – Currency is the least interesting aspect
    • 24:19 – There’s a limitation in scalability and in privacy
  • 24:40 – Christoph thinks ethereum, smart contracts and blockchains own up as programmable money
  • 25:55 – Slock.it is currently integrated into an existing hardware
    • 26:20 – There are currently thousands of charging stations under Slock.it
  • 26:36 – Team member is currently 14
  • 26:48 – The seed round was in February 2017
  • 28:02 – The Famous Five

3 Key Points:

  1. Some startups are coming out as an ICO to fund themselves, but not all of them are legal.
  2. Cryptocurrency still isn’t very stable so as a business owner, paying your people with this currency isn’t efficient.
  3. Public blockchains are not scaling and there’s a protocol that needs to be followed.

Resources Mentioned:

  • Simplero – The easiest way to launch your own membership course like the big influencers do but at 1/10th the cost.
  • The Top Inbox – The site Nathan uses to schedule emails to be sent later, set reminders in inbox, track opens, and follow-up with email sequences
  • GetLatka - Database of all B2B SaaS companies who have been on my show including their revenue, CAC, churn, ARPU and more
  • Klipfolio – Track your business performance across all departments for FREE
  • Hotjar – Nathan uses Hotjar to track what you’re doing on this site. He gets a video of each user visit like where they clicked and scrolled to make the site a better experience
  • Acuity Scheduling – Nathan uses Acuity to schedule his podcast interviews and appointments
  • Host Gator– The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for the cheapest price possible
  • Audible– Nathan uses Audible when he’s driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5-hour drive) to listen to audio books

Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives

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