This is a transcript of the Podcast – Creating a Usable Scale for Money with Daniel Popa – You can listen the audio here
Nye : You’re listening to the Evolvement Podcast with your boy Nye, where cryptocurrency, bitcoin and our financial future are the hot topics. This the future. Thank you for tuning in and now get ready. We’re going live in three, two, one. What is going on everybody? What is going on? It is your boy Nye and welcome to another episode of Evolvement, The Financial Podcast where we talk about cryptocurrency, bitcoin and the future of our financial systems. I want to give a shout out to our sponsors and the first sponsor is VegaWallet. VegaWallet provides multiple solutions to streamline the user’s experience into cryptocurrency. They provide a wallet and exchange and what’s known as VegaPay. VegaPay is an advanced payment gateway for paying with crypto anywhere, anytime, even at places or websites that do not yet accept cryptocurrency.
Nye : To learn more, head over to vegawallet.com or download the VegaWallet App on iOS and Android today. Our second sponsor is HEAT and HEAT is a blockchain platform to power the future of transactions. They have provided multiple different solutions in one easy to use platform, including a wallet, a decks, a messenger and more. Go check them out @heatwallet.com. Today I have a very special guest on the line. I have my friend Daniel, Daniel is one of the heads, one of the founders, creators over at a company called Anchor that is working on some really, really cool things.
Nye : They’re working on a Stablecoin that is going to be tied to GDP and we’re going to get all into that a little bit later in the podcast here. But first off, Daniel how you doing? Welcome.
Daniel : Hey, thank you so much Michael. Thank you for having me here today. I mean we’re doing good. We’re having fun.
Nye : Yes sir, we are. Yeah, it’s going to be a good time. Daniel and I met just probably about a week ago now down in Los Angeles. He hosted a little dinner with some really good people and I was grateful to be invited to that. But I sat down with this guy and Daniel, you’re beyond an interesting individual man. You’ve had a lot of different successes in your life from what I can tell and not only that man, but you’re a good personality. I like chatting with you. You got good energy, you got good vibes. So I’m glad to have you on here.
Daniel : Yeah, same here. I’m glad to have the time and for you to invite me here. It’s such an honor Micheal, It is an honor.
Nye : Awesome my man, awesome. Well, let’s just get started by having you give a little introduction to our audience. Who are you? What is a little bit of your background and how did you get introduced into cryptocurrency?
Daniel : Oh Wow. Okay. I’ll try to make it short because we don’t want to talk about that for 30 minutes. So, in a nutshell Michael, I was born and raised in mountains of Transylvania, Romania now. And my family immigrated from Romania at the time of communism. That was 30 years ago, about plus minus a few months and pretty much I lived in the United States for most of my life. I was 17 when I got here and it was a pretty rough ride. But about 20 years back I got into the telecommunications industry, high tech software, Voice over Internet Protocol. So I got into this [Urge 00:03:24] technology we call it. Where we always been innovating things and changing and shifting the markets. And it’s been an amazing ride and pretty much being part of that urge about four years. In 2004 a buddy of mine came in and told me, “Hey Daniel.” His name is Floren. Floren says, “Daniel have you heard about this new movement called bitcoin?”
Daniel : And I’m like, “Nah.” So he’s like dude, “You got investment man. Go and put like $100,000 in there.” I remember he was like $81 at the time and I checked him like, “Nah man, this is too volatile. This is not for me.” So, I didn’t invest but that’s when I pretty much … First time I was introduced into this industry, into this beautiful crypto, blockchain technology. And I looked at it, I was pretty, pretty amazed. And I started studying. I started looking at this thing, studying, following up, writing about what would I do if there was for me to build such a thing.
Daniel : And usually that’s how I look at a business or industry. And that’s pretty much how everything started about four years ago, five years ago now. Just looking in the industry and saying, “Well it’s really volatile. What would I do?” And that’s pretty much I started writing and about 30 days I had like 400 plus business plan on what do I do? And how would I stabilize it? How would a stable token look like? And I was thinking, “Wow this would be something great.” But then I put it on a shelf so, it kind of caught dust till last year.
Nye : That’s awesome man, that’s awesome. A couple of questions off of that. But we’ll start with this. Bitcoin, you first see it, it’s what you said like $81. Why were you speculative? Was it just because of the volatility and price, where you speculative behind the use case of it? What was kind of your first thought patterns around this?
Daniel : At the time, It was new to be honest with you I wish I was a believer, but I wasn’t. I was kind of skeptic. I was like, “Okay this thing you’ve been grown, grown, grown.” I was like, “Grows from a few cents to 80 plus dollars. I wish I invested when it was a dollar. And I was like, “Nah, you know what, there’s going to burst. It’s going to bubble.” It didn’t, it went to book. It went to like close to $20,000. And I will be honest with you, I was shocked every day I was looking at the thing or every other week I was like, “Man what the is going on?” So, it was awesome, it was beautiful to follow. But in the same time I was kind skeptic. So I couldn’t say like others and with all due respect for the other people that got invested and got into this and got into the bitcoin I was the skeptic one.
Daniel : But then when ethereum came along that changed everything. I was like, “Oh my gosh, this guys they have an industry.” This was a community now. This is big and I’ve seen the same thing with VoIP because I was part of Voice over Internet Protocol 20 years ago when VoIP literally took over the world of communications and I was part of that. I was one of the few companies and I still make money from that. That invested into VoIP. And that’s when I said, “You know what? I got to get into this. This is no way. This is shifting from an idea to an industry to tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of people getting involved.”
Nye : And what was it about ethereum that reminded you of VoIP and the innovation behind VoIP? What was it that stood out to you that said, “Holy shit this is fucking amazing.”
Daniel : It was the way ethereum came in and created what they’ve done and they’ve allowed ICOs. On top of that they now … From a token bitcoin through ethereum where now you can do smart contracts on everything you ever dreamed of and people creating their economies back and forth. And I was like very amazed about technology. But at the time I did not invest in ethereum either because to me again, it was too volatile. It was growing too fast. It was like, okay, it’s not sustainable. This thing is going to crush. I mean, what goes up has got to come down one day. So, I was more on the idea of building something stable, building something that’s that preserves value not something that will just make one rich overnight.
Nye : 100%. I completely understand that. I completely understand that. And what was it about creating something stable that interests you? Did you like and yeah, why did you immediately go to say, “Wow we need to create a Stablecoin or we need to create a solution that’s stable.”
Daniel : In what I did in the last 20 years, being executive in multiple national, international companies, high tech software, call centers, telecommunications, wireless, VR, virtual reality. Pretty much what really got my attention and what really triggered my interest was the fact that looking at the technology, I realized we could create a stable currency. A stable something that will preserve value. And I love to study. I love to read. I mean, all my life that’s what I like to do. And having been in the financial world in a past, I owned a few Visa cards with a First USA and Bank One. So being part of this thing, being part of a whole bunch of stuff in finance. I was looking at the dollar and the other Fiat currencies and I realized everybody that reads would realize that they’re eroding inflation it’s eating away every day, every month, every year.
Daniel : And I was looking at the inflation of the US dollar just to start with. And it’s not the only one because they’re all having their own inflation’s even greater than the US dollar. And thank God US dollar, It’s an amazing and beautiful Fiat right now. And we realigned that definitely. But you know what, US dollar has lost about 105% of its value, of it’s purchasing power in the last 30 years. And that eats away from people like me and you Michael. That’s eating out of our own savings. We like you wish and you know what are we going to put some money there to save it for old days? You know what we are now thirties and we’re going to put $100,000 in the bank or some economies that we’re going to save you there and we’re going to have it when we turned 60 or 70.
Daniel : And I realized actually, you know what? The purchasing power of the $100,000 when you turn 60 from your 30 dude, I mean half of it has gone, more than a half is gone. And I was like, you know what? This is good. You know what? We need to create something and this thing has been created and this erosion of Fiats is been going on forever and ever. And that’s how the system works. And I thought, you know what? It’s time to change. Finally we have the tools to do something about it.
Nye : Awesome. Yeah, I mean it’s a huge issue man, it’s a huge issue. What you guys are trying to tackle is gigantic. And then I think it’s really, really, really important. What makes you guys different from other Stablecoins? I know you’re back to the GDP. Let’s talk about that a little bit. Let’s get into how did that even arise? How did that even occur?
Daniel : Michael? I mean we calling, I mean we … I don’t even know some of the … We have an academic team of PhDs and microeconomics and everything and they’re telling me, “Daniel, you shouldn’t call yourself. You shouldn’t call this thing.” I’m sorry, on myself, “You shouldn’t call this thing a Stablecoin even though it’s stable. I mean so stable.” But we’ve created an index. What we did is we created a measurement unit. We call it the MMU monitoring measurement unit. Actually, what we created Micheal, we created a scale for money, a measure unit. Everything has a scale. If you go and run for a few minutes and, or I’m sorry, let’s say you run a half an hour, you go look and you say, “Hey dude I’ve run three miles.” Okay, that’s a scale. You know how much you run, right?
Daniel : This’s a scale for distance. If you put in your gas and say I put in a gallon or 10 liters whatever, there’s a scale for that. If you want to know what time it is, there’s a scale for time and we call it watch. If you want to know how happy we are and we do that all the time this day and age we get on that scale and we say, “You know what, we’re 180 pounds or we’re 150 pounds” And we’re either to sad or happy. But there’s a scale for it. There’s a scale for everything Michael. There’s only one thing in the world that doesn’t have a scale. You know what that is?
Nye : What’s that?
Daniel : Money. The only thing that doesn’t have a scale is money. And you know what I was reading a few years back, actually it’s almost, it’s better than 10 years in 2008 when the big crash came in. The people of France asked their president, “How much money did we lose?” And you know what the answer that shocked me by reading that it was like he said, “I don’t know, there’s no scale for such a thing. So how can I tell how much we lost in real value if there is no scale for money?”
Nye : Yeah. I mean that’s a huge, huge problem. I mean, would you like when you talk about a scale for money, wouldn’t that be something like, when the US dollar was tied to gold. Is that kind of the scale that you’re talking about?
Daniel : That’s exactly what we’re talking about. So, in other words actually what we’ve created and what we’re testing right now, and it just looks so beautiful, pretty much we created the first standard that’s not backed to gold or iron or anything else. It’s a standard that can be tracked for many, many, many years. We’ve created the first standard after gold I think. And our professors and PhDs in a microeconomics and universities around the world they’re pretty much sustaining our idea. Yeah, we’ve created a scale. We’ve created a standard, which doesn’t matter, the dollar goes up or down. This standard will pretty much show reality.
Nye : Awesome.
Daniel : It’s not backed on Fiat, it’s not backed on gold, it’s not backed on things that could be influenced. It has a real, real, real influence. And that is the real GDP of the global growth for the last three decades.
Nye : And for people that are unfamiliar, why is this relevant, right? Why is tying it to the GDP different from tying it to gold or tying it to the US dollar and things like that?
Daniel : That’s a very good question, Michael. Pretty much what we’re saying and what we have our team looking at … This is a team of scientists and micro economy and those are professors that teach our bankers how to be bankers. That we put together pretty much what we’re looking at. We’re saying, you know what? Everything is there to influenced by something. Gold it’s influenced by something, petroleum it’s influenced by something, dollars influence euros. Everything has an influencer in one way or the other. We need a scale that cannot be influenced by any of those. And we need a scale that has a back track record of at least three decades. So, what happens Michael, if you look at the real GDP of … which is real gross domestic product of all countries and this is put in data.
Daniel : This data comes from IMF, International Monetary Fund and World Bank. Okay. So it’s validated by the highest institutions this world has. And when you look at this, pretty much you’re going to see a very small growth of the global economy over the 30 years. It’s not big, but it’s steady, it’s year by year and it’s a constant growth for the last 30 years and more. 30 years we have packing data because the [eastcom 00:15:50] block did not start reporting until the 1990s. So the most accurate data starts around 1994 when all the entire world is reporting to IMF or World Bank. So, pretty much in a nutshell, if you look at what we’ve created Micheal, and the price of the Anchor what we call or the value, or the unit of measure actually. What we’re showing is we’re showing the Grill growth of the global economy at every single point of the time.
Daniel : So now you can take that and you can convert it back into dollars, euros and anything in the world you want. Even those fail or grow or whatever it is, is going to show a scale. It’s going to show where they are in comparison to this global scale, which is amazing. This is a huge tool for economy, for banks, for countries. It’s a thing we need it. It’s something we didn’t have in the last many years starting in 1933 when the gold standard was taken off.
Nye : And without this what happens to our currency, right? Without this what happens to our economy?
Daniel : Well without this it’s like a blind man not having a possibility to read. So without this we’re blind, we don’t know what our value is. So pretty much let’s not even talk about the multinational companies or let’s not even talk about the big banks in this. Let’s talk about the average person. We’re average people, I was born and raised in a poor family. And we’re trying to save and we’re trying to save and we’re saving for years and years. And we realized that what we saved have no longer the power to purchase the value that we wanted to purchase years later because it’s eaten away by this warm erosion, which it’s inflation.
Daniel : So pretty much what happens is that by people hedging against this type of inflation and through the Anchor usually they preserve their value over decades, over many, many, many years. So pretty much if you were to hedge against any kind of currency Fiat or anything else or [peg 00:18:15] your own country’s currency to this Anchor to this scale, you preserving value and you bypass the erosion of inflation, pretty much. That’s what we created. And that’s why it’s very important because now you can look at lastly we are launching it in July this year hopefully we’re going to be able to launch it.
Daniel : And it’s not because we don’t want to, but we’re waiting for regulations to kick in. And once you invest in this you go 10 years later and you look at the US dollar has an inflation erosion of about 2.5% per year. So 10 years you’re going to be short in purchasing power. With $10,000, you’re going to be pretty much 2,500 short. While by keeping your money pegged to this Anchor. Actually you preserve your money. I mean in the future you’re going to see … We looking at payroll in the future. You’re going to be able to go to employer and say, “You know what, I don’t want you to pay me. I mean, I want you to pay me in US dollars or whatever euros and whatever, there’s yen. So around the world and robles. But you know what? I want you to calculate my salary in Anchors.”
Daniel : Because that’s the weight, that’s the value. And you know what the funny part is, you don’t need to ask for a raise no more. Because the Anchor is going to sustain your drop in purchasing power from a salary at all times so your salary is going to become bigger and bigger and bigger every single month. Because if we reflect the real value of your standard of life at that point of time.
Nye : Very interesting, very interesting. I mean, what you guys are trying to accomplish is huge. It’s massive, right? What is the process of this getting started? How are you tying a Stablecoin to the GDP? How does that even work?
Daniel : Oh Wow. Yeah, I mean it’s a lot of work. So pretty much we’ve invented or we’ve created, when I say we, it’s … I came up with the idea and I took it to one step, but I couldn’t take it to the other 12, 11 steps. So we brought in this beautiful team of PhDs, academics that understand microeconomics and so forth. So, how we do with pretty much it’s, all Mathematics and microeconomics, it’s calculus and there’s, I would say, millions of miles of code and data built into a propriety information system, a software that literally calculates in a fraction of a second the entire global economy. And then has an effect of foreign exchange on top of it. And then pretty much it gives you back the price, the real price of what everything should be in real time.
Daniel : So, it is a very complex way of describing it. It’ll take me hours to explain it to you. But that’s why we have data leaders that are looking at this whole thing. It’s like you asking how does a bank work? And I mean it’s hard to explain when you deposit your $100, $1000 check in the bank, what happens behind this cashier. So there’s a lot of software there. Same here it’s a very complex and sophisticated proprietary software that we’ve built to take an account for every single country. We’re talking about the data of over 190 countries going back for almost 30 years. And that data needs to be crunched and calculated and recalculated every second.
Daniel : So, what goes behind it’s a lot of brainpower. That’s one word I would say in all due respect for the people that joined my team and have helped creating this amazing unit. And pretty much when we say unit, we’ve created an index just like the index for IMF, International Monetary Fund. They have SDR. So if you look at SDR, it’s an amazing index. While we’ve created something a lot bigger and a lot better we believe. But you know time will test it and tell.
Nye : I love it, I love it. I mean it’s super interesting. And my main question is, I mean, first I think you guys are attempting to pretty much recreate the whole banking system which is huge, it’s massive. But Secondary, my main question is how do you get something like this adopted into everyone’s hands? How do you get people to look at this and realize the value of it and then start utilizing it?
Daniel : Well, that’s a valid question and actually we asking ourselves the same question Micheal. And it’s not going to be easy, but I think that this train has already started and it started with ethereum and people already understand this kind of thing. So, and I think people are looking for Stablecoin. And actually what we did, we took it beyond the Stablecoin. Actually, what we’re looking at Stablecoins will come soon and peg themselves to the MMU to the Monitor and Measurement Unit that we’ve created and that’s what we want. So, pretty much we’ve made use cases for how do you get gas, so many things. You we’re going to be pairing it with the currencies around the world. You’re going to have crypto pegging themselves to this unit because it’s one of the most stable units there is out there on this earth.
Daniel : There’s nothing more stable than this and it doesn’t matter that we created those, somebody else would have. It’s stable and we’re just amazed every day when we looking and we doing all the simulations and we’re like, “Oh my gosh what have we created?” We’re like, “This is crazy.” So the adoption it’s going to take time Micheal. I’m not imagining that we’re going to release this thing in July hopefully and we’re going to flip a finger and everybody’s going to jump on. Nay, there’s going to be some serious pressure. It’s going to be a lot of rejection and it’s going to be pushed, it’s going to be pulled, it’s going to be tested and adoption will come slowly and we have so many use cases for this whole thing.
Daniel : We have banking and financial institutions use cases, we have hedging, we have so many use cases that we will reveal as we are launching this thing. But that doesn’t mean adoption guarantee, Michael. We cannot say that. I mean this system and this idea will definitely be challenged the most of every single thing out there in the last 10 years since blockchain came along.
Nye : Yeah, I mean totally. You’re restructuring or at least attempting to restructure the entire banking system.
Daniel : It’s not really restructuring Micheal I’ll say, it’s exactly like the Voice over Internet Protocol, V-O-I-P. And I was part of that and I can pretty much relate to it very, very easily. It’s pretty much adapting I would say Michael. People will have to adapt to this new technology, which is a blockchain and it doesn’t matter who invented it. And thank God we’ve invented this whole thing and it’s great. Probably other people will invent something even better and greater. But it’s the adoption is going to be happening slowly. Exactly like in Voice over Internet. I was part of the Voice over Internet Protocol and I started the whole bunch of telecom companies. I started with one NECC 20 years ago. And we went from two employees to 600. And we started taking customers away from 18 TZMCIs and you name it.
Daniel : And those guys were laughing at us. They were like, “You guys bunch of.” Whatever they called us computer geeks, nerds, all those names. You know what in 20 years actually, we took over that industry. I mean telecoms are small kids compared to Voice over Internet without Voice over Internet Protocol, we wouldn’t have free communications, we wouldn’t have Skype, we wouldn’t have telegram, we wouldn’t have Facebook, we wouldn’t have all these huge companies unless there was that product called Voice over Internet Protocol. So, this is funny Michael because I remember 20 years ago, 15 years ago, 10 years ago, we used to go to the telecom companies and say, “Hey would you interconnect with us on Voice over Internet?”
Daniel : “Oh no, we’re not. You need to get into this hardware, connect with us in this Colocation spaces.” Everything was old, everything was technology invented 80 years ago with that. And you know what? They pushed it, you know what? They were pushed aside. So the ones that did not adopt, got pushed aside became smaller and smaller and the ones that adapted to the Voice over Internet that is actually right now I have over 140 interconnections with companies like you name it, France Telecom, China Communications, 18 TZMCA, Verizon Sprint. It’s all over a short IP. But you know the ones that adopted are now changing themselves.
Daniel : And that’s what’s going to happen on the banks Michael. That’s where I see this technology. So, we’re not there to go and massively convince the banks, “Oh you should go and start this and take this and so forth.” Because those that will, will survive and will thrive and those that won’t will literally die out. Technology’s changing and blockchain and crypto’s here to change the financial institutions not us, not Anchor. Anchor will not change those, but either the Anchor through what we’ve done or other projects like us, sooner or later in 20 years banks will do VoIP. I mean look at J.P. Morgan, they were so [inaudible 00:28:20] and still. I mean what do you say about that Michael, J.P. Morgan is getting at this thing now. I mean they started already, so that’s amazing.
Nye : That’s crazy man, it’s absolutely crazy. It’s pretty exciting to see, it’s really exciting to be a part of. But I mean, my main really and last question for you here and it revolves kind of in the bigger vision of things. How do you see this all being played out in the future? You’ve been at the head of VoIP, you’ve been at the head of these other industries, you’ve been involved in VR and AR. You’re very much of a futurist in terms of in a visionary. And in terms of being at the front end of trend.
Daniel : It’s walking the edge Michael, it’s walking the edge. That’s what it is. Some work, some don’t. But go ahead, what’s your question?
Nye : No, that’s it, I love that, walking the edges. It’s the perfect example. I mean what is your vision? How do you see all this playing out in the future? Do you think that banks are going to eventually have their own Stablecoins or adopt the Stablecoin to be utilized?
Daniel : Yes, definitely will. So, the way this whole thing is going to happen, it’s pretty much similar … I can compare this with Facebook. There’s so many other companies like Facebook that started the whole thing and that. But Facebook is the one that pretty much dominates everything. So, at the end there’s going to be hundreds and thousands and thousands and thousands of pretty those out there and Stablecoins and so forth. But one will definitely dominate at the end. That’s the way I see it. And that’s pretty much the way I even talked to other market, friends, acquaintances, they saying the same way. They saying, “This is going to end into one point where somebody will come in, will create the most amazing thing and pretty much everybody else will fall in.” It doesn’t mean that person controls the world.
Daniel : It just means that somebody will come in with a code. Somebody’s going to come in with an idea, with a genius thing that people are going to look at it and say, “You know what? I can relate to that and I want to peg myself to that thing.” And that’s not a Stablecoin actually. That is going to be the measurement unit. What we did is, we started and we pretty much are the eye openers of saying, “You know what? We’re not happy with the Stablecoin. That’s not good enough. We want to create a measurement unit, we want to create a standard.”
Daniel : And you know what after us there’s going to be plenty others. And one of this plenty others either us or others will definitely end up pretty much controlling or not … I wouldn’t say controlling because this is creepy. You don’t control, but dominating the landscape for probably many, many years. And same happened with the gold taken off the standard. I mean the Fiats they dominated the world for the last what 78, 80 years now.
Nye : It’s true man, it’s true. Well my brother, I appreciate you coming on. I appreciate you taking the time to jump on this little interview with me to talk a little bit about what you guys are doing. Can you share with the audience where they can learn more about Anchor and more about the things you’re building?
Daniel : Yeah. Appreciate it Michael. And it’s always awesome to talk to you, man even in California, we kind of connected so good, you’re so easy to talk to. But to answer your question, people can learn about us at theanchor.io, that’s T-H-E, anchor.io, which is our website. You can even go in there and click on to be subscribed to our newsletter. We have a weekly newsletter. We’re not trying to push too much things on people, learn about what we do, support us and we literally welcoming anyone. I mean we’re here to disrupt this entire ecosystem and we love to partner and to talk to and meet other people that are in the same business as us in this technology. And it’s just amazing to see that we’re a huge community Michael. We are big community. I mean just look at these conferences, it’s amazing.
Nye : It really is, man, it really is. It’s a ton of fun to go to these things. It’s a ton of fun to meet up with people like yourself and have these type of conversations. So man, I appreciate you coming on.
Daniel : Thank you so much, Michael. Thank you again and hopefully we’ll talk soon brother.
Nye : Awesome. Sounds like a plan and everybody for listening, guys, thanks for tuning in. Really, really appreciate it. This is another episode of Evolvement The financial Podcast. We talk about bitcoin, cryptocurrency, and the future of our financial systems. I hope you guys are enjoying, subscribe and we will catch you next time. Peace.
Nye : This has been the Evolvement Podcast with your boy Nye. Thanks for tuning in. Head over to evolvement.io for updates and join us next week for an all new episode. Peace.