Episode 73: JP Richardson on the potential of cryptocurrency

In this episode, we talk to JP Richardson, founder and CEO of the crypto wallet company, Exodus. JP discusses some of the main risks and fears associated with cryptocurrency and explains what needs to be done for cryptocurrency to reach mainstream potential. Only then, can the benefits of cryptocurrency like decentralization and independence be reaped by the everyday person.

International podcast interview transcript with JP Richardson

Dominic Bowen

Good morning. I’m Dominic and the host of the International Risk Podcast. Today we’re joined by JP Richardson, who believes that Bitcoin will revolutionise the world of money and the way people conduct commerce. He and his team are currently building software using Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to bring liquidity and speculation to alternative markets. He’s the CEO of Exodus and founder of coin vault. Welcome to the podcast today, JP,

JP Richardson

Thanks for having me, Dominic, excited to be here with you.

Dominic Bowen

Awesome. Look, JP, can you start by telling us how you came to found Exodus and the motivations behind the work?

JP Richardson

Absolutely. So back in 2011, I wanted to build a website focused on selling data to customers around the world. And so then I went, and I signed up for these merchant accounts on PayPal stripe and all of these services. And I realised how painful it was to accept money over the internet. And I started looking around to see if there were any alternatives. And that’s when I discovered Bitcoin. And I had this kind of aha moment, like, oh, wow, wait a second, I can put a bitcoin address on my website. And I could really accept money from anywhere in the world. Like this is interesting. And this may cause somewhat of a revolution or a movement of sorts. And so that’s what really got me into crypto. And so from from that path, I started going down the rabbit hole and thought like, Okay, I actually want to dedicate my my work to this my life’s work to this, but I wasn’t quite sure yet. And how I was going to do this, what I came to is thinking like, I have an opportunity here to make bitcoin and cryptocurrency easy to use. And so I started a project called coin bolt way back in is this is roughly 2013 timeframe. And coin bolt was a mobile bitcoin wallet. And I remember about the 2014 timeframe when I was out in San Francisco and I was at a Bitcoin meetup, and I was showing everybody coin bowl and like, Hey, this is his new bitcoin wallet, it’s gonna be so easy to use, everybody’s gonna love it. And this person came up to me and like JP, I gotta tell you something, it looks like a five year old designed coin bolt. And like, God, I know it because I have my background is in the I’m an engineer by trade, a software engineer, and I don’t have design chops. And so I realised at this moment that coin bolt was without good design without a beautiful user experience, we were going to have a hard time getting traction. And this was just me at this time. And so I teamed up with my co founder of Exodus, and we came together and he has design experiences at Nike, Louie Vuitton, BMW, Disney, Apple, he is really understands what a beautiful user experience should look like. And so he and I teamed up together and we said to ourselves, what if we could build software to make it really easy for people to hold a portfolio of cryptocurrencies? And people don’t have to use an exchange? And what if we can make it so that people can just swap one cryptocurrency to another and just make it really, really easy to use? And so today, 2.5 million people trust at the extra software to manage their portfolio of cryptocurrency?

Dominic Bowen

2.5 million people, that’s a good client base. You sound like an early adopter when it came to the cryptocurrency and someone who could readily see the opportunities. But I know that’s not always the case for everyone. Since you founded Exodus, what have been some of the greatest attitudinal challenges you’ve come across towards cryptocurrencies from both your clients and companies as well?

JP Richardson

I think one of the biggest is that people that are outside of the crypto currency ecosystem, or the Bitcoin ecosystem will say, what is bitcoin backed by not backed by anything, it’s not real. And then once you kind of you have a dialogue with them, and you talk about dollars and British pounds, and in all major currencies today aren’t backed by anything, either. And they’re all digital as well. And a lot of people don’t know that. A lot of people actually think that dollars are backed by gold. And so when you have this this dialogue with people, and you explain that Bitcoin is a currency that is transparent, it’s permissionless. It’s censorship resistant, it’s predictable. And you contrast that with the dollar a currency that a bunch of central bankers in a room decide on the policy on I think people’s mind starts to open up a little bit not right away. I mean, this is these are long conversations with a lot of people that they have to have their mind open, but when it comes to the challenges a lot of people still think like Okay, first of all, believing in Bitcoin itself as something that is a good investment for you. vehicle. And that’s one of the pieces that people think about. They think of Bitcoin as speculative. And I think that’s one of the major challenges that I’m sure we’ll talk about later, is that we have to get to a world where cryptocurrency is not just speculative, but it also has real world utility that’s going to be key for mainstream adoption. But I think those are some of the biggest challenges people believing whether Bitcoin even can have value and then kind of once you kind of start to understand that, is it just speculation? And how do you move it from a world of speculation to utility? Those are some of the the big aspects Not to mention, and I won’t touch on this unless you want to go deeper on this not to mention some of the security aspects of cryptocurrency and keeping it safe. That’s another challenge that people face as well.

Dominic Bowen

Yeah, I think there’s some really good points that we will unpack there. And you know, everybody knows that whilst the US dollar is no longer backed by gold, I think that ended in 1976. There still is monetary policy and the US government for all their faults generally do have most people’s interests at heart, and then we’ll try and pursue monetary policy that or the Fed will pursue monetary policy that is in greatest good for the greatest amount of people. But who’s backing cryptocurrency? I hear that it’s transparent. But when there isn’t the monetary policy or the Federal Reserve, trying to push the dollar in a certain direction? How does that happen with cryptocurrency? How people understand the risk, which of course is a key component of pursuing any opportunity. It’s about understanding the risk and then building and mitigation around it.

JP Richardson

Right, so when it comes to Bitcoin, there is nobody backing Bitcoin. It is an open ledger that is permissionless that allows people to access. And so when people think about that, like, why does the most valuable taxi company in the world have no taxis? Uber? Why does the most valuable hotel company Airbnb have no no hotels? Right? And when people that are digital natives, that’s why millennials and Gen Z tend to understand this more that digital ecosystem, like even a social network, Facebook, and it has value because it is useful, it has utility. And when it comes to Bitcoin, the promise, the potential promise, I should say that Bitcoin could potentially become the world’s reserve currency, I think is very appealing for a lot of people, especially a lot of millennials and Gen Z, given one more final point, given from where they came from that millennials, especially the first generation that is worse off than their parents in terms of their status, right. This was a generation that just graduated right around the financial crisis and couldn’t get a job. And the promise was, oh, go to college, and you’ll get a job and it’s going to be safe. That didn’t happen. A lot of millennials and Gen Z still live with their parents. And so that’s why we are facing a shift in society a shift in thinking that being digitally native and the value of a digital currency I think excites a lot of people in my generation.

Dominic Bowen

Yeah, definitely. I think there is a lot of excitement around it, but the average person doesn’t invest in in cryptocurrency. So what do you think the main obstacles are that is slowing people from getting involved?

JP Richardson

Yeah, so I think first of all, it has to be very easy to get into. And there are a lot of platforms out there that are making an easy to get into we have just started getting into this game Exodus before if you had cryptocurrency and you move your cryptocurrency into Exodus, it is one of the best products out there. However, you actually had to have cryptocurrency to move into exodus to actually be able to use it. That has changed with our vision of adding ramp as a way for people to buy cryptocurrency into Exodus. That’s the thing these projects have got to make it easy for people to get in to cryptocurrency that’s, I think one of the core pieces. Another core piece is that once you’re in cryptocurrency, you have to make it easy for people to secure it. And that’s a very hard thing to do, especially for a self custodial wallet like Exodus. And it’s probably worth just taking a quick tangent on what self custody means for your listeners. And so what self custody means you can think of custody like with you know, think of like your children, right, in a self custodial wallet. What this means is that I have custody of my keys, I have full control and custody of my keys. This gives me an ability and power to if I don’t like if I’m a customer of Exodus, I don’t like what Exodus is doing. I can say I’m going to take my keys, I’m going to take my children and I’m going to go to another wallet. That’s what a self custodial platform is contrast with an exchange where that’s a kiss autodial platform that exchange holds your keys. And so there are issues with that if the Exchange servers go down, if for some reason you’re in Canada and you donate to this trucker movement, and the Canadian government does not like that, they can tell the exchanges in Canada say, Hey, you cannot service that person anymore. The Exchange has custody of your keys, and not giving you control. That’s an important piece. So securing back to the security of funds. Securing cryptocurrency in a self custodial environment is very difficult. Because you have when a person starts, you have this, I should call it like a foreign that has 12 words, secret phrase that you have to write down and memorise for a lot of people that’s different, and maybe even a bit weird. And so we’ve got two platforms, the self custodial wallets and platforms have got to make it easy for people nothing to think about a 12 word phrase, like you just open it up and know that it’s just safe, then you got to make it so that if a person has their entire portfolio, let’s say in an exodus wallet, and if they’re out and about, say, the grocery store, or wherever they’re at, you’ve got to make it so that if you know say they lose their phone, or somebody maybe sees their portfolio, that it’s safe in that regard. And that’s a very difficult thing to do. And then finally, one of the challenges is it has to have utility, we can’t just say like, Oh, if you buy this Bitcoin, or you buy this, you know Elon Musk tweeting about Dogecoin, you buy this Dogecoin that all of a sudden, you’re gonna Doge is gonna go to the moon, and you’re gonna get rich, cryptocurrency cannot just be about speculation. It has to be about utility. And we have to make it useful for the everyday person. So I’m excited about what’s happening in El Salvador and other places like

Dominic Bowen

Yeah, fantastic. And look, we’ll unpack El Salvador in a few moments. I know, at the moment, Bitcoin has fallen to some of the lowest levels in the past month as risk aversion from traditional finance investors has really been taking its toll, what are some of the changes that need to occur within the finance area to encourage a healthy and appropriate risk exposure when investing?

JP Richardson

I think it really comes down to cryptocurrency having mainstream utility right now, since most crypto currency purchases are for the sake of speculation, either from retail speculators, or institutional speculators that is going to continue to give this rise to this volatility, where it goes up to $69,000. And then it falls down to, you know, 35,000, or whatever it was, when it hit its low about a month ago or so. As long as it is mostly a speculative asset, we’re going to have this volatility. But in time, it maybe it takes a year 234 Or five years, when cryptocurrency has more utility than I think this volatility starts to pay. And I think we’re getting close because there are services out there where a person can deposit $1 balance into some of these defy smart contracts. And you can earn some very attractive interest rates, but nobody yet has made it so that I can just connect a bank account move, let’s say like $1,000 in their experience it get the yield and make it safe. And so these things need to happen. But it’s going to take some time,

Dominic Bowen

When I heard one company founder recently say that he can’t think of anything better to position his company in an inflationary environment and to convert his balance sheet to Bitcoin. Do you think this is something that all companies should be considering to mitigate some of the significant risks of increased pressure?

JP Richardson

I’m obviously very biased here because number one, I’m the CEO and founder of a cryptocurrency company. But number two, we actually have roughly half our balance sheet. This isn’t an exact number, but it’s a little under 1300 Bitcoin on our balance sheet, then number three, we pay 100% of our salaries in Bitcoin. And so we actually have to have Bitcoin on our balance sheet to be able to pay the salaries in Bitcoin. So of course, yes, I’m biassed in this regard. But I do think companies around the world should be looking at putting some percentage of their balance sheet and Treasury into bitcoin even if it’s a small percentage to get that exposure to this new world of cryptocurrency. I think it’s absolutely important as the world’s

Dominic Bowen

Going through the great exodus or the great resignation, and so many people are looking for new careers and new ways of working. I spoke to you earlier about when you started your company, and I think you said this back in 2015. All of it was 100% remote working which back then, you know, that was crazy talking of course nowadays we realised that that’s A reasonable thing that we could we can all manage safely. But you talked about just then about 100% of your salaries are paid in Bitcoin. How did you find some of these initiatives like attracting staff retaining staff when you’re you know, you’re working 100% remotely when you’re paying 100%? In Bitcoin, how’s that received, when you first raise that with prospective candidates,

JP Richardson

They love it, they absolutely love it. The whole reason we did this is because as you know, we were talking before the podcast, I shared that, you know, I live I live in Nebraska, right in the centre, the United States in Nebraska is not a tech hub. But there’s an opportunity here to build a company that is digitally native, right, a company that is remote only from day one. But not only should this company be remote, only the way in which we pay people should be in that same digital ecosystem as well with cryptocurrency given that, as I mentioned, my background is engineer, I’m already hanging out on this, this website, it’s called GitHub. And this is where a lot of engineers will have their open source projects on. And so I was able to find other engineers on GitHub that I was already collaborating with. And I could go to them, I could say, hey, look, you’re in, you know, this region, or that region or whatever. And you do great work, you write great code, we would love to have you join us in this new company that I started called Exodus. The thing is, though, are you willing to get paid in Bitcoin? And depending upon what their interest level is in Bitcoin, and where they’re at in the world, most of the time, people would say, Yeah, that sounds awesome. Let’s get started. And it’s like, I could say, Great, I’m gonna pay you a little bit up front today. And you can start today, and people love it, because it removed barriers removed friction. It’s like you want to write code for this company? Yes, I do. Okay, great. You you’re willing to get paid in Bitcoin? Yes, I am. Well, let’s get started right now. Right. And that allowed us to scale fast in the early days, because of this decision because of the remote and then paying salaries and Bitcoin. Why this allowed us to scale?

Dominic Bowen

Fantastic. Well, it sounds like a real success story. But some of the listeners of the International risk podcast wouldn’t forgive me if I didn’t ask the other side of the question, which was you said that about half of your balance sheet is in Bitcoin? Why isn’t all of your balance sheet in Bitcoin?

JP Richardson

That’s a very, very fair question. Here’s what the reality is that despite the fact that we pay salaries in Bitcoin, Bitcoin is the medium of exchange. However, the salaries are actually denominated in dollars. So what that means is, we would say, okay, engineer, join the company, great, you’re gonna join the company, we’re gonna give you a salary of let’s just, I’m just gonna pick $120,000, you want it? Okay, great. That sounds good. $120,000 Sounds great. We’re going to pay you $10,000 a month, but we’re going to pay you that $10,000 a month in Bitcoin at that at that time that we pay you. So given that our expenses are in dollars, both on the payroll front, and then the all the software that we that we pay, and then the taxes that we have, because we are a US company, we have to pay taxes, all of that is in dollars. And today, the dollar still is more stable than Bitcoin today. Right? So given that we still old, a significant amount of dollars as well.

Dominic Bowen

Yeah, that makes sense, JP. Recently the IMF raised concerns about the potential illicit use of crypto assets and that crypto assets represent a threat to they said global financial stability due to the scale of use for structural vulnerabilities and the increasingly large amount of interconnectedness with the traditional financial system. Do you think these concerns from the IMF are well founded or an exaggeration?

JP Richardson

Look, I think it’s an exaggeration, it’s like are the early criticisms of the internet right? Like the internet is only going to be used for the bad people are only going to use the internet right? But now here we are, we’re having a conversation over the internet, right? And the Internet has unlocked so much economic growth for people and companies all over the world. The internet has given us a way so that throughout COVID, the pandemic people could be at at home and still actually contribute value to their companies. Right. And so we see that same future with cryptocurrencies, right cryptocurrencies, depending upon which jurisdiction you’re at in the world and where you’re at, you may not have the luxury of a western style, oh, I have my credit card, I have my Apple Pay. And I can just go to you know, Walmart, whatever, scan my Apple Pay, and things just, you know, work for the most part, right? Other jurisdictions around the world, especially when if we talk about like inflation, right, and the United States just hit 8.5% by the state ID numbers from the BLS 8.5% Right. So the real numbers are probably higher than that. But what I read is that if they use the same calculations they use The 1980s, the numbers would be closer to 1213 14%. So, but when you look at real inflation numbers and other jurisdictions around the world, like Argentina, right, that has 25 35% inflation, cryptocurrency can actually be a way for people to access the financial system participate in global commerce, that they never were able to before depending upon, again, the the jurisdiction where they’re at. So I think that’s a really important consideration that people have to take into account here. And that really, when it comes down to it, if you’re going to send money, somebody using cryptocurrency is actually a lot easier and a lot more frictionless than existing payment rails as it is. So I understand why there would be a fear or concern because the technology is new. Anytime there is a shift in technology, people that are of what we could call the Old Guard always have scepticism? Hmm, I don’t know about that. Maybe only the bad people are going to use it. It’s like it was like, okay, even I’m gonna take another extreme example, let’s think about automobiles, right? Back in the early days, it was like, Oh, these things are death traps, stick with your safe horse and buggy. And do not deal with an automobile because it’s a death trap. Right? That was the sentiment at the time, we’re going to see that over and over and over again. And people that are builders in this new world, this new digital ecosystem, have to just embrace that with patience, and just say, look, it’s okay, we understand that you have this opposing view, it’s okay, we’re going to continue to build, we’re going to of course, we’re going to build within the framework of the law, but we’re going to continue to build and we’re going to show you the value and the economic growth from this. And you know, maybe you get on board, maybe you don’t, but you’ll probably get on board because most of the people that criticise the internet, eventually got on board and got online and got an email address.

Dominic Bowen

I couldn’t help laughing then JP, not because I ride a horse, although I’d quite happily drive a horse. But recently, I was working with a partner and I had to transfer funds to him. And it got to the point we were negotiating that part of the contract about payments and processes. And he has Yeah, look, I want you to pay me in bitcoins, and I went, look, mate, let’s just keep it simple. Let’s just go my bank to your bank, and we’ll just keep it as we always do. He’s like, no Bitcoins, and I honestly Wait, I just he goes, Why are you hesitating? And I went, honestly, I don’t know why I don’t I don’t know what that actually means. When you say you’re repeating Bitcoins, I have you know, bitcoins out and I said yes, I do know what Bitcoins are, but I don’t own any I haven’t purchased any I’m not sure other wallets work and transfer. And just because you’re a smart guy, you can sort it out and then hung up. And then straight away. I just thought on dealing with a drug dealer, he must be addressed. Which is exactly what you were describing. You just don’t know he wants to be paid a Bitcoin. He’s obviously a criminal. So yeah, no, I think I think and I’m not that old for our listeners, I’m not that old. But you know, who would open up their house to strangers? Who would, who would drive an Uber must be all criminals. I do understand. I do understand it’s new people can be afraid. But I’ve heard to the Ukraine, Russia war is going to have so many ripple effects. So many second and third order effects outside of the tragedy that we’re seeing in Ukraine. And one of them being the the testing of the resilience of the financial system through the amplification that we might see in the acceleration of crypto currencies in emerging markets. And you mentioned emerging markets just before, what do you think some of the biggest international risks are that are associated with the expansion of crypto assets in emerging markets in particular, when compared to the use of crypto assets in western economies?

JP Richardson

Well, real quick, just you said Ukraine there. And I think it’s really important to point out that the world had witnessed the Ukraine Government on Twitter put cryptocurrency donation addresses on Twitter, and they raised in a few days, they raised over $100 million in Bitcoin Etherium. I don’t remember if they had Dogecoin. Maybe they did. Maybe they got some Dogecoin. I don’t, I don’t know. But it was over $100 million to fund their defence to this Russian invasion is Russian hostility, right? And that just goes to show a strong utility and use case and that a government was being attacked people, these free people were being attacked and their traditional financial infrastructure was under threat. They couldn’t just say, hey, here’s a wire address. And then people just wire money in who knows what would happen there, but they can easily just put up these cryptocurrency donation addresses and they got $100 million within a few days. And I think that just is an extraordinary story to tell about the value of cryptocurrency for some of these nations and the threats they may be facing. But to answer your question towards some of these emerging markets, and some of the challenges there I go back to this volatility is being more than I think the biggest ones so So if you know we look at El Salvador, you know, they they they made Bitcoin legal tender. And you know, I think to start, somebody had to start this experiment, somebody had to kick this off. But look, the reality is if I’m living essentially paycheck to paycheck and I have a banana stand or whatever it is, or fruit stand, and I’m getting paid in Bitcoin, and if I decide to hold that money in Bitcoin, I will get upside. But I also have a risk on the downside as well. And so I think that volatility is something that going to take time to to smooth out and make the asset more stable. But it is certainly one of the biggest risks, I would say, for emerging markets.

Dominic Bowen

I mean, what about opportunities? You mentioned El Salvador, that’s a really hot topic when it comes to the role of alternative coins and financial governance. And for our listeners that missed that in the news, El Salvador’s president president, who clearly is planning to build a Bitcoin city by raising $100 billion by issuing Bitcoin bonds. So what are some of the opportunities that you’re you’re seeing in that environment?

JP Richardson

I think one of the biggest opportunities is that this is a nation where a majority of people did not have a bank account, right. And so if you go back to this kind of this notion of a potential fruit vendor, right, let’s say I’m a fruit vendor, this fruit vendor is in El Salvador. And if this person does not have a bank account, let’s say that all of a sudden, they’re getting this cash for selling their fruit on the side of the road. And then you know, when they’re packing their packing up for the day, and they’re going home, and they have kind of, you know, a satchel of cash, there’s a real risk there that could be stolen from them. Whereas they, if they have, you know, a Bitcoin wallet, they could, you know, they’re gonna sell my bananas or fruits, or avocados or whatever it is, right, and I get in a Bitcoin wallet, throughout the day, you could send that bitcoin wallet out of your own wallet to maybe somebody else that might be in a safer location, and know that as you’re returning home for the day that you’re not carrying that cash. So the key here is, is that you can participate in global commerce in digital commerce, it actually have those opportunities. So I think there’s a big opportunity here. But again, with this, this risk of the volatility, it’s just it’s going to take some time for the volatility to smooth out. Is that

Dominic Bowen

Are there other factors that are preventing emerging economies and developing countries from adopting alternative coins is legal tender?

JP Richardson

No, I would say that it is one of the major risks of course, there’s an educational barrier to right like and a security aspect as well. Because once you start like, okay, I’ve got these Bitcoins, I’m selling fruit for bitcoins, but I got to figure out like, this is new, this is different, right? Well, at least I understand cash, I understand how cash works. It’s not a new concept to me or my family, very easy to understand. And so you have to then the educational hurdle, and then the security hurdles, I think those are big aspects to this as well. And so a lot of work needs to be done there to provide this education in these emerging markets and build software and tools so that it is secure, right? So that if you lose your phone, right, you’re walking home from you got you from your sales for the day, if you lose your phone, well, no, that’s okay. You can just recover it in this other way. Or somebody comes along and it’s like, Hey, give me your phone, you know, they they rob you and they take your phone, that’s okay, my money is still safe. And so with any technology is going to take time, but I would also identify, you know, security and education, educational hurdles as other risks or barriers to adoption in these markets.

              Dominic Bowen

Right. Education is always always critical when it comes to adoption of any new technology or new activity for sure. Yeah, the fields of alternative coins and blockchain are constantly facing waves of innovation and changes which are generally assessed as bringing opportunities. But what are some of your predictions about how decentralised finance will look in the next couple of years? And where is more innovation needed to capitalise on these opportunities and minimise the risks?

JP Richardson

Well, one of the things that’s really surprised me, I think, over the last year, is the rise of NF Ts. And you know, if we look at like this thing called a board, ape, right, board, APE started in April of 2021. And now, if you wanted to buy a board ape, you would have to spend, I don’t know, I think roughly like $300,000 worth of Aetherium to buy one board ape and the criticism is $300,000 for a JPEG. That’s crazy, right? That’s what a lot of people would say. But when it comes to prediction, I think what’s interesting about this is that NF T’s have permeated into pop culture, because of what’s happening with these celebrities and interest into nfts from the mainstream. And so what this says to me is that the mainstream may actually enter into cryptocurrency via NF TS or buying some weird turtle with a mohawk or whatever it is like that may be how the mainstream actually enters in to cryptocurrency, everybody thought that it was going to be this wave of finance, right? If we just offer people 20% interest on their dollars, they’re gonna come in immediately. And don’t get me wrong. The financial use cases are the ones that actually excite me the most. But when we look over the last year, and the growth of NF Ts, I think we have to look and think like, Okay, actually, the mainstream may come in through NF Ts. And that means that we have to build software and services to make buying those nfts really easy so that if you open up an exodus wallet or any other platform or whatever, and you see that turtle with a mohawk, and you’re like that turtle with a mohawk speaks to me or that No, I want the dolphin with a sombrero that one speaks to me. You can say, it doesn’t matter whether I have Solana Etherium, or whatever, I can just buy it with whatever financial resources I have, whether it’s Apple Pay, credit card, bank account, Bitcoin, whatever it is, it should not matter. And so I think the mainstream is going to really come into cryptocurrency via NF Ts, and that’s going to be exciting to watch.

              Dominic Bowen

Yeah, the board a collective is an interesting one. It’s what is it about 2000 programme generated apes with about 140 different possible traits and facial expressions. So for anyone that hasn’t got a few, a few, spare Bitcoins, that’s something you can potentially invest in. For anyone that doesn’t know actually, Paris Hilton of all people actually provided an excellent explanation of non fungible tokens to Jimmy Fallon on the US tonight show recently. It’s a great clip for anyone who wants to know more about NF T’s prosilver. Turns out he’s a great teacher provides a really clear, really clear explanation about Yeah, who would have guessed? Who would have guessed? But as we as we look and get further into 2022, JP, what are the biggest risks that you’re looking out for?

JP Richardson

I think in 2022, there’s going to be two that are key for us as a business. Number one, security is always going to be top of mind, how do we keep our customers money and NF T’s safe? What software can we build for them to keep it safe? And how do we protect help them protect themselves? That’s number one. Number two, the regulatory landscape is something that we’re keeping a close eye on. Now Exodus is the first company in the United States to have a cryptocurrency only public offering. And now we’re the only company United States that has our stock digitally represented on the blockchain available to the public, right? We’re the only company United States that has this. And we had this we had to go through an SEC regulation, a process to make this a reality. And so working with the SEC on this, you know, with that took a lot of time, right? And and so we’re we’re watching the SEC guidance on what they’re deeming as securities and how they’re thinking about things. And so I think the regulatory landscape, if they overstep their boundaries, I think it can kill innovation in the United States, and cause that innovation to go elsewhere. Because we aren’t talking about a global technology here. And that can, you know, when we’re talking about companies like mine that are 100%, remote companies like mine, and other companies can pick up and go to other jurisdictions. And so I think the United States has a real opportunity to lead in this area. This has to do with, you know, common sense, smart sense. So I think that’s going to be really important, but it is a risk because they again, they can overstep their boundaries here on what makes sense. And that would be a problem.

Dominic Bowen

Yeah, I think that’s a really important point. JP, I mean, regulation is certainly needed to minimise risk. But risk management should be an enabling activity, not something that slows down the pursuit of opportunities. So by creating regulation that creates a safe framework for companies to pursue opportunities to give consumers and to give confidence to both consumers and to investors is a good thing. And I think that sort of regulation should be encouraged. But if that regulation becomes too heavy, and actually sometimes and hinders growth, well, then yeah, it’s definitely gone too far, for sure. Thank you very much for coming on to the podcast today.

JP Richardson

Great, great. Great to be here with you. And I really enjoyed this conversation.

Dominic Bowen

Awesome. Well, that was a fun conversation with JP Richardson, CEO of Exodus. Thank you for joining us for today on the international risk podcast. And be sure to join us again next week for another conversation about international risk.

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