Answering the big question – what is crypto?

HOSTS Blake Cassidy, Craig Jackson & Tracey Plowman|8 November, 2021

Brought to you by Bamboo

Meet your hosts

  • Blake Cassidy

    Blake has a passion for technology and fell down the crypto rabbit hole while studying in Europe in 2015. He then started trading Bitcoins while living in China in 2015 and ever since then has been immersed in the sector. Blake is now the CEO of Bamboo which helps people take their first step into crypto currencies.
  • Craig Jackson

    Craig developed an interest in crypto after hearing about Bitcoin at soccer training in 2017. Since going down the rabbit hole, Craig has endured the ups and downs of crypto, now working in the industry as Head of Growth at Bamboo. Craig hopes to bring a sensible approach to crypto investing for new people starting out.
  • Tracey Plowman

    Chief Operations Officer for cutting-edge cryptocurrency app, Bamboo; Tracey Plowman is among just a handful of women taking on executive roles in the digital assets space. Tracey is extremely motivated to encourage more women into technology and believes this can help to empower their investment choices and establish financial freedom. Tracey’s interest in cryptocurrencies was sparked, while working as operations manager for a digital investment fund. This fostered her passion for cryptocurrencies and trading in this new asset class.

Welcome to Crypto Curious! So, where to start? Tracey, Blake and Craig introduce you to the world of crypto, right from the beginning. In this episode they’ll walk you through the basics of the blockchain, the ideology behind crypto, and who invented Bitcoin. They talk about their first investments, and the possibilities on the horizon with this new technology.

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In the spirit of reconciliation, Equity Mates Media and the hosts of Crypto Curious acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respects to their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people today.

Tracey: [00:00:20] Welcome to the crypto curious podcast designed to help you navigate the dynamic world of digital assets. Hello, my name's Tracy, and I'm joined by my friends, Blake and Craig.

Blake: [00:00:32] Hey, Tracy. Great to be here. 

Tracey: [00:00:33] Hey, Blake, hey Craig, how are you going? 

Craig: [00:00:35] Good. Tracy, good to be here in the first episode. 

Tracey: [00:00:38] Very excited. So between the three of us, we have been working and living with cryptocurrency for the best part of a decade. We know firsthand how difficult it can be to understand exactly what's going on, which is why we wanted to start this podcast. We've all been crypto curious once upon a time. And like anything, no, that research and understanding is important. Our aim is to help you get your head around what can be a hard topic to grasp. We want you to be able to take part in that crypto conversation at the next summer barbecue. And there's a saying in this industry that a day in crypto is like a month in the real world. Things move at a rapid pace, and every day there's a new form of crypto, and it's tough to keep up with what's new, let alone deciphering all the jargon. So what is a hard wallet? What are we mining and these hodl actually a spelling error? So today we're going to start at the beginning and we're going to go through some of the basics. We're going to get you in on the ground floor of this ride. But before we get started, I'd like for you to get to know us a little bit who we are and why are we telling you about crypto? We are three workmates who make up a part of the Bamboo App team. Bamboo brought us all together, and I hope it will eventually bring crypto to the masses. Blake, you're the CEO. Can you explain a little bit about bamboo and how you came to be sharing this podcast with Craig and I? 

Blake: [00:02:02] Yeah, thanks, Tracy. Bamboo is an app that helps people get access to digital currencies. The way that it functions is that it rounds up people's spare change from their day to day transactions and invests this into digital currencies. And in this sense, we're really PayPal's first step into digital currency. 

Tracey: [00:02:20] We actually used to work together on bamboo in its very early stages back in 2018, when I first started in crypto. Since the early days, we've both been passionate about getting the crypto story out there and finding better ways in which people can understand digital assets, making it easier for everyday people to get involved in this space. And I think bamboo is making that possible now. Craig rounds out our podcasting team and works as our head of growth for bamboo. Craig, do you want to add anything and introduce yourself to the listeners? 

Craig: [00:02:51] Hi, Tracy. Yes, happy to be here. As Blake said, bamboo is an Australian start-up used by investors who want to dollar cost average into this market. Crypto is known for its ups and downs, which I'm sure you guys will find out in our app helps mitigate the risks of that. So I started with the company over a year ago, but I went down the crypto rabbit hole well before that, purchasing my first crypto back in 2017 yet.

Tracey: [00:03:14] But I'm sure there's a story there, so bamboo acts as the first foot in the door for your crypto experience, and we created the app that makes your first investment truly effortless. But let's talk about how we all got into the space and what did our first investments look like when we didn't have such an easy entry to market? There's always a good story behind someone's first crypto investment. So Craig, let's start with yours.

Craig: [00:03:41] I actually heard about bitcoin at soccer training for my mate around early 2017. That night I got home, jumped on YouTube, started going down the rabbit hole, but didn't really understand it fully before my first purchase. I sort of just bought it, hoping that I could get rich quick says purely speculative investment.

Tracey: [00:04:00] still got those ones that you purchased in 2017. 

Craig: [00:04:03] Well, I would be a much better position now if I didn't get distracted by the main coins. We'll get into that later. 

Tracey: [00:04:11] How about you Blake? 

Blake: [00:04:12] Yeah, Craig's was probably a bit more speculative than mine. I actually got into bitcoin out of necessity. I was living in Sweden back in 2015, 2016, and at the time I had to send some money to a friend who was located in Portugal, and I didn't have a local bank account, and it was just easier for me to buy bitcoin than it was to use one of the remittance providers. So I used your bitcoin to send a mate some cash, and it was simple and quick. And then, you know, I started trading crypto when I was living in China, but again, we can chat about that at a later time. 

Tracey: [00:04:51] Some good stories there, I'm sure. So what we have there is the two ends of the spectrum, a speculative case and a real world case. Mine's also on the phone. Side of things, fear of missing out in January 2018, a found myself working within the crypto industry very green to it all, and I thought it'd be a good idea to ask my first month's wage to be paid into Datum Coin, which had just listed after an ICO. Now, had I known what any of those things in that sentence had actually meant back then, I would have saved myself some money and may as well have just walked to the Crown Casino and put it all on roulette. And, you know, back then, had there been a podcast like this, explaining these things to me would have been in a much better place. So my first entry into the crypto space was a mistake, but nonetheless I was hooked and I was immersed in the world. And when I started to understand what these platforms were being used for. My mind was blown. And in particular, Ethereum was the one where I really thought, Wow, this is game changing tech. Now I sleep in my theory pyjamas, and I'll turn into a bit of a fangirl. I look forward to the episode where we can cover off a bit more on Ethereum, which is the second most popular cryptocurrency right now to bitcoin. So that's a little glimpse of my crypto journey. Craig, what about you? You know, you mentioned that you dive headfirst without understanding it, but what was your first real investment where the penny dropped, where you kind of change your perspective?

Craig: [00:06:19] My journey at the start was bitcoin, and then I dabbled into the altcoins similar to you, my first altcoin was a cryptocurrency called Verge. It was like a fraction of a cent at the time, and John McAfee was on Twitter tweeting about it. It was the biggest pump and dump of all time. Back then, I was mainly focussed on the gains, making a quick buck. You know, the first time I really understood the potential was same as you chasing Ethereum. I use the blockchain for the first time in a practical sense. I was able to swap cryptocurrencies without an I.D. or any verification, which really made me understand how it was cutting out the middleman. Blake, it sounds like you understood the value as you were using bitcoin to transfer money around the world. Was there another coin that page your interest back then? Yeah. 

Blake: [00:07:05] The one that probably most interested me back in 2016 was Litecoin. And essentially, Litecoin is very similar to bitcoin, but it was a little bit faster to send things around the world, and it was a lot cheaper. And the penny really dropped to me when I realised that, hey, you know, remittance providers like TransferWise and PayPal and banks, you know, really couldn't compete with this technology. And since then, I've just fallen down the rabbit hole. 

Tracey: [00:07:36] So those were our first investments, some speculative and some out of necessity, as Blake said, and some for trading. You know, if you didn't recognise any of those words, coins, phrases or terms, and don't worry, it'll make sense in time. I, for one, can't wait to talk for hours about how great Ethereum is and some of the other coins that we have since made investments in this world of crypto is huge. Let's start with the basics, as this podcast is called crypto curious. Now let's define exactly what crypto is. How can you explain it best? Like, let's pretend like I'm five years old and give me the lowdown. 

Blake: [00:08:14] No worries. Well, in its simplest form, crypto is shortened from the term cryptography and cryptography is a type of mathematics which makes the blockchain safe and secure. And when people join the word crypto and currency, they are referring to how the technology is being used. So it's being used, for example, as currency. So a little bit of jargon there, but in its simplest form, we just refer to the technology as crypto. 

Craig: [00:08:44] I guess in its simplest term, cryptocurrency is a piece of code on the internet. 

Tracey: [00:08:49] Okay, that's crypto currency, a.k.a. crypto. We mentioned blockchain, and it's very important that you understand the blockchain technology aspect to this story. Can you explain this a little bit further blame? 

Blake: [00:09:02] Blockchain is a piece of software running on thousands of computers at the same time, and blockchain is basically a recording mechanism of people transferring digital cash to one another. And the blocks in the word blockchain represent bundles of transactions and the chain in the word blockchain represents the audit trail. What's important to note is that anyone can look at this audit trail and the transactions over time. 

Craig: [00:09:33] The good thing about this is transparency, which is a key value to the crypto community. The blockchain makes it possible for every transaction to be recorded and verified. As an example, you use your Visa Card Visa authenticate a transaction. Visa gets money for that. We are trusting Visa to be accurate. So we are trusting a central party being visa with bitcoin. You send bitcoin and the blockchain authenticate the transaction, and bitcoin is just one form of. Cryptocurrency built using this blockchain technology, there are now thousands of other types of these currencies Ethereum, Solana, Litecoin, DOGE, and we'll talk about all of these in due course. 

Tracey: [00:10:12] Yep, that's right, Craig. But bitcoin is often used in the media or maybe by your parents or colleagues because it was the first digital currency. So that seems like a good place to delve into after the ad break. The beginning of bitcoin. But first, let's hear from our sponsors. Let's talk now about who started all of this, the first bitcoin transaction, who created a bitcoin and how we got here today, the best

Blake: [00:10:36] place to start would be taking ourselves back to 2008. And this is when a document was initially published about bitcoin, and it was called the Bitcoin peer to peer electronic cash system, and it was written by somebody named Satoshi Nakamoto. Craig, do you know anything about Satoshi? 

Craig: [00:10:57] Yes. As you mentioned, Satoshi was the publisher of the Bitcoin whitepaper. So a white paper is essentially an information document that outlines how it works and the purpose of the cryptocurrency. So, Satoshi, we still don't know who it is, but he or she holds a lot of bitcoin. He's estimated to hold around one million bitcoins. Now we don't know the maths behind that, but I know it's a lot of money. The most popular theories and conspiracies are that it was actually a group of people rather than one person. And back in 2009, there was a group of people interacting with Satoshi in chat rooms talking about the future of currency. This group were a collective of computer scientists, libertarians and anarchists. 

Tracey: [00:11:38] If I just did the numbers on my calculator and it came up with one million bitcoin at current price is worth it's actually given me letters six point forty one zero So. It's too big for my calculator, so they may possibly be the richest person in the world right now. Well, well, it really did look. It's given me numbers. Look at that like it's so big. Like. Anyway, I think it's important to go through why a peer to peer cash system was created. Can you explain a little bit more about that, Blake? Yeah. 

Blake: [00:12:08] In 2008, there was a global financial crisis, also known as the GFC, and it was wreaking havoc on global economies, banks and financial institutions, disregarded and destroyed many lives and created a lot of instability in the global economy. And these banks and institutions did this by selling low quality investments to their customers, and they were betting against them, and there was no recourse for the people who caused all of these issues. And as a result, there was a break in trust in our institutions, both from the government side and the private sector. And this resulted in many people looking for alternative systems to participate in. And this was the main motivation for Satoshi and the group of cypherpunks to democratise money and to create a global peer to peer money called bitcoin. And they were trying to build this peer to peer digital cash that was native to the internet and not run by any companies or governments. So this wouldn't happen again. 

Tracey: [00:13:17] That is a bit of a might drop moment for me, and I've heard Blake explain this before. And if you didn't get that, go back and press the 15 button back a few times and listen to Blake. Explain that again, because for me, that's where it's all that and what he's illustrated. There is the core of the crypto community, and this will always be a reference point to the foundations on which this technology was built. So things like decentralisation and peer to peer are really foundational principles of the technology. So that's a broad and brief background on bitcoin, but there's so much more to crypto than just bitcoin. And I remember when I first tried to tell my friends and family about this ecosystem, it just went over their heads, and it was probably too much for just one conversation. And that's part of why we started this podcast, creating a place to talk more about crypto, no doubt about it, and hopefully providing that education and awareness that is key to helping everyone understand. But the learning curve on this thing is steep. Concepts like blockchain, mining, proof of work are all hard to understand and even harder to explain in simple terms, which is in part why I've got Craig and Blake here to help me put a different spin on things at times. Hopefully, we've picked curiosity today and you'll be back for episode number two. Let's round out today's episode by talking about why we love this space. What excites us about crypto, Craig. 

Craig: [00:14:43] Two main reasons I'm excited about crypto. I feel like we're at a really early stage of this technology. So comparing this to when we first saw the internet in the early 90s, we first got email. People could see the potential in it, but it was still clunky. There'd be one computer in your house that was dial up. It was slow. I had to share my MSM with my brother in the office. But now think about it. We all have computers, super supercomputers in our smartphones. There's the Internet of Things. We can't live without it now. So in this sense, I believe crypto is in the equivalent of the internet of the 90s, so you can only imagine where we might be in five, 10, 20 years. And the second reason is it makes the world more fair. So. Anybody with a laptop and the internet can now get involved in the four years I've been involved in this space, it's moved so quickly and it's just addictive watching the space grow. What about you, Blake?

Blake: [00:15:37] The implications of a global peer to peer money will create so many opportunities for rapid innovation to create new business models that just hadn't existed before, and it's just really exciting to me to see all of the innovation happening in the sector.

Tracey: [00:15:52] Yeah, you've both touched on two really exciting and important points there, and I think, you know, it's a rapidly changing landscape. I love being involved, and I feel that women also can be largely left out of the financial space, which is often quite masculine. But I think that, you know, crypto offers an opportunity for us to change that and women can be part of this and carving out their own path. There's a lot of strong female leads already in the space, and I think that this industry has so far been very welcoming and inclusive, and that's it for our first episode of Crypto. Curious. We want to know what you want to know about crypto. So send us an email at podcast. I get Bambu Io or follow us on social media to say these are forgetting. All those details are in the show notes below. And don't forget to write us and review us on your podcast app. 

Blake: [00:16:42] Until next time. 

Tracey: [00:16:43] See you later! 

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