Brock Pierce  From Digital Goods To Digital Currency

Brock Pierce From Digital Goods To Digital Currency

me I'm not sure it would take 10 and it's certainly not the titles worth I guess we're stating but but that being said that so we have you know sort of gone through your background and I think that's one of the things that's really impressing it impressive an astonishing just that the wealth of different projects you have done curious so how did you become how did he become such an entrepreneurial guy and starting constantly starting new projects well I think yeah I mean some ways I was born an entrepreneur you know I mean even from the ages and probably what five or six I was building lemonade you know stand like businesses one after another I mean every little silly thing you would expect yeah a kid to be doing I think I was selling software by second grade and I found like this um I remember these games word munchers number munchers Oregon Trail and things of that nature anyway the one of the places I used to hang out frequently as a kid was one of the distributors there and they would throw away any boxes that had any damages or anything else and you know and kids jumping in a dumpster to pull all the software out which then I would rent at school and like first or second grade for $1 to rent it which at the time I mean you just install it you pay $5 and essentially you wanted the box and the manual and you know all this sort of supporting materials otherwise you would just return it a couple days later but I built lots of businesses like that Elementary School and then more as as a teenager which eventually led to starting my first real business when I was 17 and then that led to another and another and another one and somehow I ended up as a venture capitalist cool yeah that is I mean the press the lemonade stand is sort of your Indy stereotypical no American entrepreneurship story so and yeah everybody's got to start somewhere yeah now one thing that I thought was particularly interesting perhaps we can dive a little bit deeper in there is your involvement in in gaming Digital goods because I think that also sort of ties into then how that led to your involvement in the Bitcoin space yeah no so I am I raised you know like eighty eight million dollars for my first company when I was seventeen business ended up spending ninety six he said that didn't work out too well because we didn't have much well we'd pre-assigned 150 million dollars worth of advertising contracts but we were never able to meet the fill rates required to actually collect that bene business was dependent upon broadband penetration rolling out which you know clearly took about ten years longer than every analyst at forecasts but at that point I found myself post the first internet sort of 1.0 bubble having collapsed it's you know mid 2000 and I said okay well you know at this point the only skill I arguably have is is as an internet entrepreneur at a time where there's no one in the world that wants to finance or you know even be pitched an Internet idea I said okay well what else do I got I can go get a get a job or start something and having grown up playing games I had identified a market you had these early emerging what we would call massively multiplayer games or persistent worlds and because these worlds were persistent in nature the assets that you had accumulated in them had value and so I identified that the people playing these online games had a desire to buy and sell the digital currency or the digital goods that they've accumulated and this is really before any game company in the world was buying and selling them so I started testing that model in 9899 kind of just in the background but didn't have time to to do it seriously but you know following the internet bubble burst I went ahead and started the business called it IgE which was initially focused on EverQuest and Ultima Online and then games like Final Fantasy 11 and you know a Sean's calling others as they emerged eventually world Warcraft but it was you know quite an interesting thing so if you were someone that had too much time on your hands you may have more inventory than you needed and if you were someone that might be working too hard you might have more money than you need but you lacked some of the things that you wanted in that game world so I was making a market between you know players essentially I took that business from 2001 to 2004 from zero to a hundred million in revenue the problem I had is I had more customers willing to buy then I had players that wanted to sell and so I had you know gone and taught the Chinese how they could play games professionally not to mine digital currency which led to you know building up a supply chain of about 400,000 people in China that would play these games professionally to mine the digital currency that I would then sell into the Western markets and I'm still doing over over a billion dollars a year in that business today so you started that thing because I mean I've certainly heard about you know basically you know factories quote-unquote factories in China right where people basically play video games to get digital goods and then sell them and that was your company that kind of started that industry yeah yeah and it was interesting because again I had more people that wanted to buy than I had people that wanted to sell and so I was like okay how am I going to get more inventory and I was looking through all of my sellers and I noticed that there were I was starting to see a few people emerging in Eastern Europe a few people in Latin America a few people in Asia in it you know this is what it dawned on me that you know all someone had to have as a computer an internet connection the game software and the ability to pay for it and they could play from anywhere in the world and if you were a good gamer you could make a you know a few hundred a couple hundred dollars a day which you know if you were in China in 2001 you know that's a lot of money depending upon where you are in China and so I said okay I see I definitely need to take this you know sort of you know great job opportunity to the developing world another question was where and I thought that the Chinese in particular had the greatest propensity to game I mean and as you've noticed it's a huge gaming market similar to like South Korea more so than you know call it the rest of the world and so China seemed like the obvious place I knew nothing about China at the time and so basically jumped on a plane moved to Hong Kong opened up a phone book you know got a lawyer done office got an accountant you know hired recruiter and just started hiring people because I decided that I needed to be near the epicenter of where I thought my industry would emerge then I set up shop in Shanghai and set up a team of hundreds of people that just started to educate everyone about how you can make more money than your dad who's a doctor and a lawyer you know by playing games and that is how I ended up creating the supply chain that I needed to sort of meet the demand in the developing world it's really fascinating and so then how did you transition then into Bitcoin and now watching well that came you know quite a bit later so I I ran that business until about 2007 as founder and CEO then went on and started a number of other businesses which you know I don't think we're gonna want to spend time on here today but having had a background in this and I'm still in the business I just operate as chairman I'm not the day-to-day sort of management team anymore and that business as big as I said still doing about a billion dollars a year in places like Korea you know we've got ninety nine percent market share in China were very active the Western world and so we're all over the place but you know anytime someone was working on a digital currency project it was fairly common that I'd get a phone call and so Bitcoin was on my radar from you know more or less the very beginning I mean the first call I got was a bra take a look at this you know it's sort of whitepaper thing what do you think I'm like hold on I'm on the other line let me call you right back the reality is I hadn't heard of it and you know I didn't want to be like no so I did a quick Google search you know at least you know got a formed a 10 minute opinion made the call back I'm like yeah well yeah Bitcoin looks interesting this or you know something like it is clearly the future I just don't know if the future is now or 25 years from now and like okay yeah that makes sense and I went ahead and you know at that point played around a little bit of mining nothing actively I wasn't convinced or sold that this is something I needed to focus on because if anything what I learned from my experiences and early entrepreneur is that market timing was everything but you know at that point started tracking Bitcoin and checking in on it you know every few months I wasn't you know an active participant in the community until about 2012 and that's when it had become clear that momentum was you know building critical mass you know was forming you were starting to see entrepreneurs you know building businesses you were starting to see capital take an interest and that's when I said okay and I should start thinking about moving all of my time and energy into into this market which I did shortly thereafter at least it took me a little while to start talking very publicly about it because my first concern was regulatory in nature I'm like this looks really interesting that I can see government's reacting very negatively I know orange is the new black in fashion at least but I didn't think I would look very good in that color stripe jumpsuits I don't think worked too well on me either but that was how that migration had happened and it did not and there's not just me there's a lot of us that came out of called the video game sort of aspect of virtual currency Jesse Powell the the founder of crack and ran a website called loot calm and you know Hayden Gil and I know I know dozens of us in this space that ended up here through that path versus you know you know one of the three or four other you know kind of most likely paths that would have brought Bitcoin you know into your scene and me call it 2011-12 sure so then what what why is it you think that there are so many people coming from that from that sort of gaming eCos assembly and bringing and coming into to the Bitcoin space what are the type of things that you learn in your previous businesses that are are of good value to you now that you're in the Bitcoin space well I am it was it it's pretty simple in the sense that 10 years ago someone would say Brock you're selling hundreds of millions of dollars of digital currency that only exists in games like World of Warcraft they're like that doesn't make any sense to me why would anyone pay for that stuff so because if you didn't play these games you didn't understand it the insight for me was the same insight that led to Bitcoin and then obviously that insight is expanded and that was that just because something is intangible doesn't make it any less valuable very simple insight in almost all great business are built off something simple like that but to the average person you know 10 years ago that would have sounded kind of insane and I think that's what allowed the people that came with into the industry with my background as we already established that you know something being digital in nature didn't reduce its value in any way if anything it might have increased its utility so that was what caused us to at least I think say okay Bitcoin is very fascinating from this perspective and you're starting to see that you know there's value being ascribed to it markets are emerging transaction volumes are increasing and then you start looking at obviously the all of the other applications of the technology you start to then as a matter of curiosity start studying the history of money start understanding you know issues with the current financial system which causes you know the peeling back of the onion in this industry that we all go through and I imagine we're still all peeling back the onion yeah we might be pretty deep into it but I think everyone found there for all of us there was something some hook that caused us to become interesting you know interested in what's going on here and then start to to figure out kind of the many layers that exist in Bitcoin you know I don't know what level we're all on but it feels like if it were a video game work you know maybe level 37 or something of that nature and it might be one of those games that you know you know never ends when you were running the game the company all these people playing video games in China how did he do payments back then was that also part of the thing that you sort of saw on Bitcoin is like oh this would be an easy way to handle payments for this well that was a big part of what I learned anyone that's sold built any substantial e-commerce business online has learned that payments you know are one of the biggest problems of being on the Internet certainly 10 15 years ago it's gotten a lot easier because of businesses like square and stripe if you're trying to just be a domestic business but yeah my company was I think we're the PayPal's largest merchant for about three years in a row there was a project codenamed project IgE which was I helped design and actually cause PayPal to create their external credit card processing piece if you wanted to if you use PayPal as a merchant call it ten years ago and you sent a customer off to to pay for something PayPal would require that user to sign up for PayPal to be able to pay you with a credit card I said that's you know unacceptable that you're creating friction in my transactions and they said well we're not gonna do it any other way so I shifted you know fifty or a hundred million dollars of transactions to a competing platform that would allow me to do that and they said okay wait wait wait wait wait we'll build it and and so that's how the the external credit card processing business got built so that was on the sort of western side and after eBay we were the largest driver of new customers I mean keep in mind when when PayPal was early on in the you know 2002 2003 2004 period there were no Walmart's using it there were no big merchants it was companies like mine that were the largest in the world that were getting PayPal all of their early customers that also then led to becoming essentially the main business driving all the initial customers to oli pay or if you're familiar with Alibaba so Ali pay had approached us and said you know we would like to we understand the value that you've driven to PayPal you know can you you know start using us to process all your transactions in China I said well I'm not sure I really want to do that because I'm gonna start to enable all of my Chinese supply chain to be able to you know accept payments from you know my customers abroad eventually I'm gonna be you know fueling the competition for my own business and they're like no no no what do you need to be able to drive us all of our additional business and this is when Ali pay was nothing of a company I said well I want an exclusive on all digital assets and so we we did enter into an exclusivity contract which like a lot of things in China wasn't worth the paper it was printed on but I was definitely an early pioneer in the world of of payments and as a result of that recognized the friction the value of something like Bitcoin I mean and one of the arguments I've been making for many years now is that only about 25 percent of the world's population has to participate in the Internet economy Bitcoin is democratizing you know the global financial system but in the area of Internet payments in a way where everyone is going to be able to participate in the Internet economy and that's a big deal and that was one of the sort of many I think reasons why I saw this you know to be such an interesting opportunity cool fantastic and then you got involved in Bitcoin sort of properly in 2012 well again it was mostly just dedicating a lot of time to what do I want to do acquiring Bitcoin and Bitcoin mining was the sort of the area where we started which led to eventually having about 10% of all of the batch one Avalon's so I've got some a good little mining operation but that was the and the reason I got into mining well at first there's the lure of buying a machine that prints money you eventually start to build better calculators and predict you know you know difficulty sort of rate increases and then mining starts to lose some of its allure and you know most of the hardware was prototypes so learning to manage it and just keeping the hardware online you know it starts to become a full-time job and you know building scripts to set off alarms when things aren't working and now you end up not sleeping for well for months at a time but um it was a lot of what I would call or I think is Erik Voorhees Eid called when we first started Shaggy he's like you've been like one of these picked coin in Joe's oh yeah I was just kind of nervous about you know publicly you know kind of getting out there I think I started talking very broadly not just within my sort of smaller social circles I became very open about everything I was doing by the the San Jose Bitcoin conference and that's when I'd said all right I looked at you know kind of a few dozen opportunities historically as an entrepreneur I normally would start one company and start building that but I saw dozens of interesting opportunities I couldn't figure out which was best and so I made a decision to start just incubating companies you know I build one out to another after another and that led to you know a number of you know there was a Bitcoin sort of long fund in there similar Bitcoin investment trust I decided not to go forward with it because I didn't think the fees were very interesting and scaling it you know looked at building a public ETF got pretty far along the path and doing that in Canada I actually had full approval to do that back in 2013 and it's funny we didn't start seeing that until more recently but my view was it's easier to do that internationally that it was domestically and I think that's proven probably true in retrospect starting companies like NGO coin and you know a handful of others but what I figured out very quickly there is I also couldn't scale there's only so many businesses I think I'm I'm the founder of about twelve companies that are operating today and that takes up a lot of time and the ability to add any new businesses is essentially impossible for me and so if I wanted to continue to get broader exposure to the sector the only way to do that was as an investor which is how blockchain capital got started you know decided if you know I want to broadly participate in the overall ecosystem I have to buy my way into everything which is essentially what I've done the last now a few years let's take a short break to talk about the GTECH blockchain contest GTECH the german tech entrepreneurship center is a new center in berlin for entrepreneurship and they want to support exciting projects happening in this space that's why they're running a blockchain contest together with RWE which is one of the largest energy companies in Europe and Globus and foundation supporting entrepreneurship you can participate by submitting your idea for your project and win up to fifty thousand dollars in free grant money that's equity free just take the money and do what you want with it anybody can apply and whether you're an early-stage startup and perhaps you just have an idea a blossoming idea and or you can apply if you've already raised funding and are well on your way to becoming the next multi-billion dollar company and anybody can apply whether you're in Berlin and Siberia in Shanghai or in San Francisco there's no geographical Egyptians and anybody who applies coming up to twelve months free office space in Berlin free mentoring legal support etc of course that's totally optional if you want to stay in Siberia and working you're watching start you can also do that the application deadline is March 31st so make sure you submit your idea as soon as possible you can learn more about the contest and apply by going to Epson a Bitcoin ecology tech that's GTEC and we hope you'll win we hope you'll make it to Berlin to collect your money and that we'll get to hang out in person now we would like to thank GTECH rwe and columbus for their support of episode of bitcoin so let's talk about the Bitcoin foundation of which rather Chairman so it seems that the Bitcoin foundation has lost in my in my pain I think Brian would probably agree that it has lost a lot of its its visibility in the space and maybe because you know there's been so much debate like this block size debate has been taking up so much of the of the of the interests of anyone but for other reasons as well I'd like I'd like you to tell us what is the current state of the Bitcoin foundation what how has its role evolved since perhaps two or three years ago and it was a lot more present it seems in the community well I mean the Bitcoin foundation early on you know was performing an important function that no one else was performing at the time you know it was the first organization that was set up to you know advocate and educate on behalf of the industry it was set up to help finance core development at a time where you know that hadn't been occurring so you know and then building you know conferences that brought many of us together in great conferences I mean you know San Jose was phenomenal Amsterdam I don't know if you know it was quite quite I imagine quite quite a large number of the audience was there and these were great events you know but like all things you know the industry evolved then the organization needed to evolve along with it so the foundation made it a couple of you know substantial missteps one is you know like all of us and understandably so when Bitcoin was on that big run in 2013 you know that balance sheet of Bitcoin starts looking like a lot of money and you know most of us were like okay it's gonna go from five hundred to five thousand you know I mean we were all kind of you know we were all drinking the kool-aid and probably you know a little bit getting a little too excited and that was true of every company I mean look at all the companies in the space they started ramping up you know staffing levels and engineering and advertising two-bit things like the Bitcoin Bowl I mean there was this you know kind of like the internet bubble of 1999 or any of these things everyone got a little excited probably starts started spending more than they should you know just because everyone was you know hoping to yeah we were on the roller coaster ride at the moment and everyone is quite excited now the mistake the foundation made is it didn't it didn't it failed to recognize that organizations like this are never gonna receive massive amounts of money they normally wouldn't and that like a pension plan or an endowment of a university you know that capital needed to be better better saved because you're not gonna get more of it the reason we had a big balance sheet is because we had received lots of Bitcoin early on and we had benefited from the appreciation so we spent too much money we scaled that back we consciously made a decision to to move core developments out of the organization so you know very happy that you know Gavin and and team ended up over at MIT which I think is a much better place you know I mean that that happened as a result of Patrick and Gavin having run around the industry and said okay and if we're really gonna be financing development here we need millions of dollars and you know the thing that we had heard from you know the companies that had the funds or the VCS that had the capital to be able to do this was we would rather see this inside of an academic institution than inside of the Bitcoin foundation you know with its elected board and you know it's its issues and things of that nature and we said yeah that makes sense and so that I think was a great outcome you know for the industry and clearly more core development is needed and glad anytime anyone supporting that and the foundation has had to ask itself okay is there a role for us in the industry because now there's not just a Bitcoin foundation you've got other groups like you know coin Center and things that are focused on policy we decided as an organization and we're still the largest membership organization the industry by far we're still the most recognizable organization in the industry by far and it's called as the you know the stewards that are governing you know governing this entity what should we be doing okay we shouldn't be you know financing core development because we don't have the money to do so and there are other organizations that are better situated to do so we don't believe that we can represent our constituents and being deeply involved in policy because you know that's a there's a always gonna be a large group of people with different opinions you know we shouldn't be saying that here's our political position other than what we've decided which is you know we believe in you know we don't want to encourage regulation we think that this is a you know an industry that's young and it needs time to flourish and grow before those conversations start you know we're very much aligned with the the e FF which I think is the right position to take from a policy perspective and you know get too deeply into lobbying of governments so that's what's left it's advocacy it's education you know I think we've got a pretty pretty good board with the the new recent board members I don't know if you followed that but and we've got a strategy that we hope to announce by the beginning of q2 which is April 1st and that is that I think we've determined the path to be able to you know the growth throw the the Bitcoin foundations membership to uh you know to a million users and to be a hub for sort of connecting the world's Bitcoin enthusiasts which i think is a good role for us and you know we as a board if we can't figure out how to make the organization you know if we can't figure out how to have a material and positive impact on the industry then and then we'll become you know irrelevant you know we've been through you know a difficult period like a lot of Bitcoin companies today I mean we've been in the bear market it's not just a foundation philanthropic organizations are gonna suffer more than for-profit ones but you know I mean if you go talk to Bitcoin companies today it's it's been tough you know we've had a very rough you know 2014 and 15 we've had you know the last six months have been a bit positive but whatever positive sort of growth we've seen around the Bitcoin price which is the primary sort of barometer of sentiment whatever you know benefits we've seen there we've lost you know in this sort of Bitcoin blocksize debate which has created a great deal of uncertainty you know forget about so you have to think about our industry is you know what the perspective of us that are in it you know looking out and then the outside world looking in you know financial markets really hate they dislike uncertainty and you know we as an industry are you know starting to suffer I think a great deal from the external perspective you know the people that we're thinking about getting involved the people that like the technology the people that you know you know had ambitions or plans to play here a lot of those people are being turned off by what I like to think of as you know self-inflicted wounds it's interesting that you mentioned one thing that was was interesting that you said that the foundation would focus more on on enthusiasts but you didn't mention companies in there and industry players and so III as a trade organization I imagine that that is obviously one of the mandates is to you know also cater to the industry but in I want one of the things that's obvious is that it startups that were around and in 2013 2014 and before that were mostly focused on on consumer products with wallets and services and remittances and that kind of thing and since about a year we've seen a shift and now things are moving more into b2b and an industry with as regards to the use of the Bitcoin blockchain that is not so much on the consumer side how does the Bitcoin foundation plan to or how is the Bitcoin foundation evolving to to service dissolve this new use of the Bitcoin blockchain in industry yeah that mean the early Bitcoin companies were focused on you know what I like to refer to as just basic infrastructure no building of the the bridges the roads the tunnels you know kind of what people refer to as Bitcoin 1.0 and the reason you see less new companies in that area is because as investors you know you don't normally want to invest in the 10th you know Bitcoin exchange now certainly exchanges benefit from network effects and so that's where you know capital is migrated in this concept of you know Bitcoin 2.0 that you know sort of blockchain you know application layer and we've seen a lot of that and that's continuing to evolve but as the foundation yeah we've got I mean obviously I got elected as a representative of the industry membership which is not surprising you know when you've invested in 40-plus companies that you know there could be thirty I mean everybody they all knew me pretty well maybe the the the individual membership didn't but you know it was it was probable it's not unlikely when you invested in everyone that you're also gonna get their votes but you know and that's also because everybody you know knows you obviously but you know the the industry membership is I mean obviously the the perspective that I operate from but I'm not sure if we're going to be as able to play as big a role there as I think we can in the individual membership I mean the thing that the Bitcoin foundation has is the largest individual individual sort of membership base we have thousands of people and if we eliminate eliminated the need to pay you know to become a member of the Bitcoin foundation if we eliminated the affiliate program that existed where you had to sign up you know a 30 page contract and give up half of the revenues that your affiliate chapter generated and if we made that free and picked you know kind of the best people in countries all around the world to head up the Foundation's activities if we said you know if you want to become a member of the foundation it's it's free to sign up and then have various paying tiers you can see there's probably an easy path to organizing the world's Bitcoin user base and so that you have that you know million person email list and the industry members I think benefit more than anything by having a channel to be able to communicate with everyone because not everybody hangs out and read it not everyone hangs out in Bitcoin talk there are a lot of people that are you know enthusiasts huge believers spend a lot of their time but they don't hang out in those sorts of forums or channels and figuring out a way to communicate with call it the broader Bitcoin community all over the world I think is you know a potentially achievable task for an order like ours you know and again there's you know when you have an organization that's small where most of your staff is volunteer and you don't have a whole lot of money yeah you have to pick your battles you can't try and boil the ocean and do ten things at once it's called where can we add value where can we be most helpful again on the lobbying front you've got great organizations attempting to do that in terms of the financing core development you know we've got academia you know supporting that so we're you know our job is not to compete with other organizations our job is to figure out how can we continue to add value in the same way that you know we did as a foundation early on and hopefully we can continue to do that going forward today's magic word is send that s imdad head over to to sign in enter the magic word and claim you're part of the list so Brock we mentioned before the block size debate and and how that has harmed the industry in the past six months what's your personal view on what's going on there well I mean III think that this harm is inevitable and that's part of the problem with an open-source development project where the debate is public you know everyone gets to see how the sausage is made and it's not pretty and this is different than any other open-source project because you've got billions of dollars of value involved and so people are going to you know take these decisions much more seriously than they wouldn't call it other sectors sectors so it's not surprising to me that you know the things are going the way that they're going and creating this sort of uncertainty from a public perspective but I believe it's going to be a successful experiment when we eventually reach consensus you know we're gonna look back on it and I think we're gonna say you know bitcoins corporate you know bitcoins governance you know is a success you know this idea of consensus building around distributed systems but you know as we go through this you know it creates a lot of uncertainty once it's been solved everyone's gonna say see how that works assuming it's solved you know from a block size perspective you know or can we scale because well I guess the best thing I like to frame that says when people bring this up with me they're like oh yeah isn't Bitcoin have a scalability issues oh didn't my current just say bitcoins a failed experiment bla bla bla bla bla I say let's start and take a look at the first aspect of this Bitcoin is so successful it's it's scaling exponentially and as a result of that or growing exponentially we're running into scalability issues these are the problems that Facebook hatice's you know has this is the problems that whatsapp has this is the problem of very very successful technologies so let's start and make sure that we understand that we're not talking about Bitcoin as a failure we're saying thick coin is a success and as a result of that we need to scale it so you know I think that's an important way for any of us when talking to external parties you know that we're framing the issue correctly Bitcoin is becoming a victim of its own success so that's issue number one now the question is is it scalable my belief is absolutely it's not a matter of if it's just a matter of how and so what's going on now is you've got a lot of very very smart people core developers that care a great deal about Bitcoin that are putting forth their proposals as to how to best scale this and you know we have a number of different opinions which is not surprising and you know we'll we'll come to a resolution at some point hopefully sooner in my opinion than later but you know I I'm not I don't think I'm the person that's best qualified to say this is the right approach I just hope we find an approach you know my guess is that we're gonna end up with a two megabyte block size increase sooner rather than later probably before the halving because that seems to be what everybody wants even though that might be sooner than some people think we should do it you know that probably goes to four and we probably integrate end with you know segregated witness at some point but again I'm I'm going to defer to you know the core developers and I spend a lot of time talking with many of them trying to understand why they have differing views and you know hopefully you know and then trying to help bring people together so that people can understand concerns you know that another might so that we reach consensus against a rather than later right I mean talking about the governance process right so you can't I think that's one of the big problems here right it's because you sort of have two discussions going on at the same time one is the discussion about you know what is the right thing for the system what's the right thing for the network like you know can it handle this block size you know should we do this before the other thing you know is segregated witness a good scalability solution all of those questions and then at the same time you have all those discussions about what's the right process to even discuss this and reach a decision and who should have what to say here and I think that makes it really hard to make any progress because you have this these questions on two different levels at the same time and it sort of also a way of course if you disagree with one party about yeah you know the content of the question you can sort of just move the discussion to the process side or the others way and I think this way this has made it hugely difficult to make real progress there I mean hopefully it will be resolved but personally I think there's a there's a real problem there and that there is not really more of an explicit way to say here's how we're gonna discuss this question and here's how we're gonna reach decisions yeah I mean as an industry we could have been a little bit more organized and how we ran through this process but you know I feel that's coming together you know we may end up with two competing sort of development teams or more I'm not sure that's a bad thing competition is is probably good though I think we need you know consensus and resolution sooner rather than later but you know yeah I think that historically the core developer community had you know not done a great job of you know communicating with the rest of the industry but you know I think that's improving rapidly you know the mining industry you know staying deeply you know being in constant communication with core developers is something that wasn't happening his store but I believe that's happening now I mean we're growing up we're maturing and we're having to put together these better processes hopefully so that we get to the best answer in the short term but also so that we you know these we have less of these issues going forward you know we're putting in place you know you know a process for how to continue to update the underlying code and I believe that we'll get there and I believe everyone's learning how to work together even though again it's it's been a painful process thus far and it doesn't look like we're you know near the finish line just yet so assuming you can reach an agreement right assuming there's not like four developers or the developers get on the same page and say okay this is the way forward what do you think is the right way to resolve this is it is the right way that you know you have different clients and kind of the miners decide by putting their hash rate behind you know the client that they support yeah I mean I mean that's one path forward that may happen I'm not sure that's gonna be the best path but it's a pap and it's a path that's possible at this point and you know you could end up with hard Forks and to Bitcoin networks and then you know when we think about the sort of the governance and the democracy of the system then the third portion of the ecosystem so you got the developers that are you know putting forward code in proposals you get the miners that are deciding what runs and gets processed but then you've got the payment processors in the exchanges you know the the the the the coin that wins in a fork is also gonna be the one that's the most useful so you know if bitpay and go coin and coin base and others say you know this is the coin that all the merchants are accepting that starts to matter and so what you start to learn is that everyone in the ecosystem is important and has a role in this it's not just the core developers it's not just the miners there's no one party that you know really has the control over Bitcoin like we used to debate we used to think oh it's the miners you know the miners have too much or you know the it's the cortes everybody has a role to play in the industry in terms of reaching consensus and depending upon where we are in the process you know some people may have more influence than others obviously core developers have them influence over the code getting written but you don't need all the core developers together yeah in theory I guess one core developer could end up writing the code that ends up being implemented right you know and the mining piece has got its yeah we'll see how this all plays out and you know it couldn't that we could end up seeing a hard fork I think that that's gonna have a negative impact on price in the short term but in the long run it might be it might be healthy again I don't have a crystal ball and one thing I've always learned in life is you never know something is good or bad until you have the benefit of hindsight and I mean a lot of hindsight it normally takes many years I mean I know lots of stories and I'll keep it short but you know I've met people that have come to me and said ah this is the worst day of my life oh my god this was so awful what happened to me I've had this job I you know I was a founder I can't believe my partner screwed me whatever may happen you know the end of selling their stock you know and three years later they're the only ones that made any money on the company so what was the worst day of their life ended up being the best day of their life and again until you have the benefit of hindsight it's difficult to know whether something is good or bad you know but again financial markets really dislike uncertainty and I think Bitcoin is suffering you know we're suffering from self-inflicted wounds as it relates to the external world you know looking in I tend to agree with Brian and that this whole process has been really messy and that it's it's strange because we've seen this before and we you were there in the 90s that the the dawn of the Internet and I think you probably remember what it was like working with you know building websites back then that kind of thing and then and how every industry player had their own standards and and you know we came to to build standards because of organizations standardizing bodies like w3c or the IEEE EFT and I think that at some point if Bitcoin wants to be taken seriously by industry key industry players like corporate a large corporate companies enterprise as well as as just governments and in and states Bitcoin will need to be to become standardized in some way whether that means joining the the a EFT or simply creating another standards body for Bitcoin and potentially even blockchain technologies as a whole that would borrow some of the concepts and some of the the standard process that they've developed in this tried and tested to to come to consensus around these kind of things the Brian mentioned earlier we perhaps it was before the show that we had man news for neon a couple weeks ago who was at w3c and is working on on the payment standard proposal there and his you know he's very close to the bitcoin community and and and he what he mentioned is that every time that he's tried to bring up the idea to people in the Bitcoin community that you know these are the standards the tenant process that we have a doublet the w3c the Bitcoin community should look at these as a potential way to come to consensus that that he's all most often been met with resistance and I find it kind of alarming and too bad that that the Bitcoin community rather than try to do things in a disorganized way wouldn't just look at these other processes that we already have in place to come to consensus what do you think about that I believe in you know you don't have to reinvent the wheel every time you do anything I mean the idea of using a road map that has worked successfully in the past I think it's a great idea again I think the the issue here is the fact that there's billions of dollars you know at play and that just adds another you know another element to it that makes it probably you know more complicated to reach consensus by an order of magnitude and yeah everyone's seeing how the sauce has just made and the really unfortunate thing is the timing of it all you know it's taken all of us working in this industry until really 2015 2016 for the broader world to finally take what we're doing seriously at least in recognizing that there's merit in the technology of nothing else right and now as these large organizations and governments and things are taking a look at what we're doing very seriously you know bitcoin is basically I think getting dismissed in a big way when you know it has potential to kind of really reach the world stage that we had all been hoping for and so the timing I don't think could be any worse you know it's literally as organizations like IBM and you know major banks and governments around the world are looking at this they're going okay yeah we we like this you know Bitcoin bad but you know they could get potentially over that blockchain good oh but we don't want to have anything to do with bitcoins blockchain because that's got all this uncertainty and yeah you know all these sort of infighting and things that make it you know an unreliable platform which is really unfortunate because things are moving elsewhere again due to self-inflicted wounds and the timing I don't think could be any worse you know in 2014 it wouldn't have mattered very much and it may not what may not have mattered as much next year but the decisions are being made in boardrooms around the world right now as to where and how to build on this technology and you know Bitcoin sadly is you know missing out on a ton of interesting opportunity you know again that's why I hope we find consensus who that should happen the rather than later and you know some of the damage this is doing is going to be permanent you know not permanent but at least it's going to set back the industry by years and it's allowing competitive solutions to you know achieve scale that might not have otherwise yeah I think that's a I think that's exactly right the timing here really did not work out well I mean I think there's of course there's been some other challenges that probably were in the way of having larger scale adoption in particular I think the consumer adoption has sort of been underwhelming so the consumer adoption has been you know a bit below expectations especially you know if you feedback with 2013 2014 you know because you sort of saw that that scale okay everybody adopted we can use it as a payment system and this will have a huge tremendous positive impact and that has sort of stayed behind and I think that has also contributed to you know people being much more hesitant to build on Bitcoin I mean I personally certainly felt that was a big factor in evaluating opportunities in this space was that you know if the success of your company is like fully dependent on Bitcoin adoption it's it just it layers the risks up rise you have to all the regular startup risks and then you have this risk of this thing doesn't get adopted and what time horizon you don't know but then yeah of course the block size debate here has definitely been a big big negative because otherwise we maybe we would have seen a much more adoption especially on the payment system side and you know maybe one would have seen integration into things like PayPal wallets and yeah so I mean the consumer adoption piece is something I now understand I think we all had kind of been hopeful in the same way that oh we had our Eureka moments and we're all like ah bitcoins bitcoins the future you know Bitcoin is our savior all of these sorts of you know when you have that that that epiphany but I mean when you first heard about Bitcoin how long did it take for you to acquire your first Bitcoin you know what was the time between your when you first became aware of it and when you actually got access to your first Bitcoin oh it was like three weeks something like that it was pretty it was summer of 2013 assorted listening to all the lesser Bitcoin episodes of caught up and everything and I was pretty pretty quick to be you know fairly all in and that was incidentally it was also sort of the price just started rising I mean at the time it wasn't very high seven ninety dollars or something like that but it was just when he started picking up I know I think that also contributed a little bit to sort of wrong impression I had at a time which was that you know I've discovered this it makes so much sense the price is rising the whole world is waking up to this obviously this is gonna just take off I think it might have been different if I had discovered it in a time you know in when it wasn't doing so well but since I wished is taken off I think it had to contribute also to a little bit of a wrong impression yeah it did that for anyone during that time period it was a very exciting period in and we just saw this path that we're gonna go from a million users to ten million to a hundred million to a billion and this was going to take over the world and we all saw that path forward because we were looking at it from our sort of Amazon the your three-week time is very fast so for those of us that listen to this show we are you know forward-thinking early adopters technology sort of centric lives you know people that think for ourselves and for people like us it took takes days weeks months or years from when we first learned about this technology to before we start using it so how long do you think it's gonna take the average person eventually I do believe will reach a tipping point but the consumer adoption I'm I'm not convinced but I think it's highly likely that it's going to take a long time and and when we start to see consumer adoption I think it's gonna come in one or two places it's gonna come in the developing world where it's most needed you know Latin America Africa Southeast Asia you know much in the same way that you know m-pesa became very popular in Kenya because the people didn't have an alternative you know for most of us that live in the developed world you know we've got a bank account we've got plastic in our pocket that lets us you know conveniently pay for things we've got rule of law that's there in theory you know to protect us and we've got a currency that most everyone around the world wants more of but in places where you you know you've got a huge percentage of the population on bank they don't have you know payment infrastructure that's where I could see something happening fast but even then or places with great economic uncertainty the Venezuela Argentina's etc where you know Bitcoin is less volatile and and is clearly I think a better store of value but you know that's where that could happen but I think most of our growth is going to happen in in ways where the consumer doesn't know if you look at businesses like Abra they won the launch festival last year as number one startup and you never heard the word Bitcoin once in their pitch they're rolling out what I think is the most interesting Bitcoin remittance business but again you won't see the word Bitcoin anywhere in their product and that's because they put Bitcoin into the plumbing it's in the the way that they move money across borders so what does Bitcoin good at today you know there's a lot of theoretical use cases where we say Bitcoin could do this Bitcoin can do that but does it do it better than the alternatives today in most instances no you know Bitcoin is a very interesting speculative investment meaning that you know it's a scarce resource and as more and more people want it it's gonna go up so that's an interesting you know use which is the main use that most people started using it for everything else was theoretical but today though it is better faster and cheaper it may be the best way to move money between borders you know through a lot of you know country to country corridors it does it faster and cheaper than a lot of the traditional financial system does today and that's a real use case that's starting to work the problem is convincing people that they need to use Bitcoin to do that if you can actually as a business use Bitcoin to do that but just tell customers I'm better faster cheaper than Western Union the minute you add the Bitcoin element you're gonna probably have a harder time convincing users to use your product than just using Bitcoin as a business and not telling them about it and so I think a lot of our growth over the next couple of years is gonna come from smart entrepreneurs and businesses figuring out how to use Bitcoin but not putting it into their consumer product I think consumer adoption is gonna continue to grow much in the same way that we've joined but it's gonna be much slower going than we would like you know because it's a long process for people to say okay I understand why I want to use Bitcoin directly so I think most of the growth again will come from businesses that intelligently figure out how to integrate it rather than convince consumers to use it though I think both are gonna continue to grow in parallel so you think that both users that use Bitcoin directly and users that are using Bitcoin without knowing about it will grow in parallel the sort of equal pace and that an equal capacity is I think I think the users that don't know about it are going to much more in terms of number of users the users that do know about it are normally gonna be higher volume so I think probably from a volume perspective they'll grow it equal pace but in terms of individual users I think the people using Bitcoin directly is gonna grow at a much slower pace like we've seen it just it's a long process it takes guys like us days weeks months or years you know to start using Bitcoin I think the average consumer unless there's a strong need you know again if you're in Kenya and you know you're paying the high rates that M pace the charges there's a strong incentive to switch to Bitcoin and use bit paisa if you're living in India I was just in Bombay teaching at the singularity University like a week or two ago to me Mumbai they have a huge population of people that are working in the Middle East today you know and they're having their the biggest remittance country in the world so I'm working in the Middle East I'm sending money back home I'm spending salts sending small sums of money the ability to save 5% is a really big incentive to use Bitcoin and all it takes is one person that starts doing that in that community and then they tell their friend and their friend is like I can save five percent I can save ten percent but I desperately need that money my family desperately needs that money you know then I'm gonna show my friend how to do it and they're gonna show five friends how to do it and they're gonna show five friends how to do it those are the areas where I can see in a substantial consumer adoption it's going to be not amongst people like us it's going to be amongst people that need it the most and have the strongest incentive where it can improve their lives you know materially substantially I mean Bitcoin does not change you know most of our lives I mean it does you know from a philosophical perspective it does from you know but it's not really changing our lives other than if you had a lot of Bitcoin early on him and benefited from the appreciation we believe in the long term impact that's going to have but it's not really radically transforming our lives today but if you're you know working in India sending money back home and you're able to get 10% more home to your you know what family and you know your kids that is going to radically change your life for the better and that's where I think you're going to see substantial adoption so but for for the foundation though as you mentioned as an organization that advocates to to end-users on using this technology if if the majority of people are using and I think this is you know this is one of the use cases that's going to grow where we have companies using Bitcoin and the blockchain to power services where people don't actually know that they're using it that's probably the best way that to deploy this type of technology to a mass market but what does that mean for the foundation that like those people are not going to sign up for the foundation to be members much like theirs there's no sort of internet foundation where like every user of Facebook gets a membership to the Internet Foundation I'm just I guess I'm unsure what the future of the foundation is if mass adoption is just people that don't really understand the technology you're not technologists but just regular people yeah I mean I again I think this is not a one-year or two-year process it's a 10-year process I'm not advocating or saying that consumer adoption isn't going to happen I just think it's a much longer road than we all had hoped you know you know it's the sort of thing where you know we can go from a few million people using it to a few million more to ten million more and you know in five years you know hopefully we're at 50 or 100 million and at some point though like Malcolm Gladwell would say you reach an inflection point or a tipping point and I think at some point we'll get there I just don't think it's gonna be in the next year or two as much as I wished it were you know but you know unfortunately wishing and hoping isn't gonna make it happen but there's still a role you know for us to continue to educate people about why Bitcoin matters and it actually gets much easier to say oh you're already using biklen they're like what do you mean I'm already using Bitcoin well you're you're sending money back home to the Philippines how do you think you're doing that they go well I use that this service abra and you go that is a Bitcoin and and it's a lot easier I think to convince people to use something when you're able to show them that they're already using it but the consumer adoption is essential long term if we for a Bitcoin to achieve many of the use cases that we all talk about you know if it's purely a payment rail in the background you know it still has a ton of potential but it's gonna be a very different Bitcoin than the Bitcoin we think of you know and I you know I'm I'm not you know giving up on the long term consumer adoption side of this I just think it's gonna be a long road but you know you know sometimes great things take time so let's come back to the topic of your fund and blockchain capital can you tell us a little bit of background about how it is structured and the fund was started by me and my my two other partners which are Bart and Brad Stevens I got to know them more than a decade ago they were an investor in my old virtual currency business so they ran a 1/2 a billion dollar hedge fund and they had three or four venture capital funds that they were running one of their industries they were investing in was media and games so they owned at nine point nine nine percent of the nine which was the publisher of World of Warcraft in China they were an early investor in $0.10 which owns riot that makes league of Legends and you know they had been very active game investors and the way that they would tell the story is they were playing World of Warcraft doing their research and development yeah and they started buying digital currency and digital goods and you know one day they had they're like aha moment they're like mmm we're spending a hundred or two hundred dollars a month with this company and we only paid Blizzard $15 a month there's a good business here let's start doing some research and figure out who owns it and then they went and looked at the top five or ten sites and then they started doing Whois searches and doing background checks and they saw my name behind all of them because I operated the top eight brands which made it harder for anyone else to start up when I'm both the the Walmart and the Premium shops and you know I was I was running them all with different pricing strategies and they eventually got ahold of me and they ended up participating they invested a few million dollars in my old business along with goldman sachs and you know a number of large institutions that financed me at the time and you know the Goldmans of the world found it interesting because i was essentially running a proprietary trading desk for you know 30 year you know call it 500 virtual countries you know each game server you know looked like it had his currency which you know traded against you know every other currency you know on its own at a different supply and demand type base so we live in a world with call it 200 countries and currencies I was essentially running the currency markets for another 500 or a thousand and so if you were a you know ran if you worked on a proprietary trading desk it on Wall Street you would kind of understand what I was doing very very quickly so they invested in that business I one of the things I wanted to do back in I don't know if it was late 2012 or early 2013 but I had gone to my board of directors of my old virtual currency exchange and said I want to buy this company called Mount Cox and my board is like what's that you know uh it's the largest Bitcoin exchange in the world and Goldman Sachs was like black did cry no you must be kidding me and that was essentially the reaction of my whole board at the time including my partner's today and I said alright well you know our industry we've got all the market share our sector is only growing at 10% you know a year that you know impacts you know if your industry is not growing rapidly the way that your business is valued is not that impressive you know your goal is to get a big multiple of revenue or a big multiple of earnings and if your industry isn't growing you're not gonna see that I said we need to expand into a new market I'm convinced that this you know this Bitcoin thing is gonna be a big deal and let me tell you a little bit about Mount GOx it's the biggest exchange in the world they're you know they own this sector by far the management team is maybe the most incompetent I've ever met and their technology is awful but I said we've got management and we've got technology they've got market share this is a perfect fit for us and so we went forward almost bought Mount GOx at the time they ended up I so I went back to the board whatever three months later after I'd sent them a bunch of research materials so we went back on a call I said I'd like to buy Mount GOx again and they laughed for a second time and this is when I got a little upset I'm like I'm like I mean I've been building digital currency businesses for a long time you guys have invested you know nearly a hundred million dollars you know in me in this particular field and I've said that this Bitcoin thing is very real and that you need to understand it so that we can have an informed conversation about this opportunity and I sent you all the research material and none of you bothered to read it I'm really really disappointed in all of you it's one thing to disagree with me it's another not to have done your homework you know and and shown up and you know been ready to debate you know my view so I called up my partner's following that that board meeting and I said guys you're you're young you invest in technology you understand digital currency what's going on here and you know guilty as charged they you know made a point of saying Drock okay you're right and they spent a month researching the sector talking to cryptographers mathematicians economists venture capitalists you know anyone they could and they took a very deep dive research project which led to they shut down their hedge fund and they were running a half a billion dollar hedge fund and they shut it down – then come work full-time with me so I ended up being successful not in buying mouth guts but in terms of convincing you know some of my investors that they need to to come get into the business business and then my other board members went on to fund circle and you know a number of other businesses in the space because that's how they got their early education mostly with you know me presenting what seemed like a joke of an idea to them at the time but so blockchain capital is the first venture capital fund to invest in call it startups in the space on a on a sector focused basis meaning we don't invest in anything else all we do is invest in this space we've now got 44 portfolio companies and we're investing out of our second fund which had its final clothes in the q4 of last year and so we're you know actively investing like the first collection of companies were what we'd call those basic infrastructure type businesses Bitcoin 1.0 a lot of Bitcoin companies the second sort of phase of companies we've been investing in our sort of blockchain SAS or Enterprise Services businesses providing software – you know financial institutions and and the likes and in the area that we're investing in most these days are sort of non-financial use cases for blockchain technology I don't know if you're familiar with companies like Stamper II they're focusing on legal services and you know notaries on the block creating immutable records focused on we've invested in a company in Israel called wave which is very cool recently which is focusing on the global sort of shipping or global trade that bottle industry runs on a bill of lading at a letter of credit and so they're doing some cool things they're just invested in a company called Tyrion which is focused on some health care and insurance applications again asset registry we invested in a company called stem out of Los Angeles which is focused on content creation and bringing transparency to an opaque market and getting money to content creators or artists you know quickly which you know so we're investing in a lot of these sort of EDS use cases that are not yet obvious you know to everyone when we're you'd mentioned before the show but we've also been very active in aetherium I mean I was a I've been very active in sort of the etherium eco ecosystem both as an large investor in the crowd sale and then having been friends with most of the the founders and watching its development up and in to this point so I think you're gonna see a number of interesting announcements related to the fund you know stepping up and being the first fun to actively finance a a lot of companies building in and around that emerging ecosystem you're starting a fund to just focus on here no no no no no no blockchain capital has always been well we're stage agnostic meaning we'll invest in seed stage all the way up to whatever stage I mean we we were an investor in coin basis series see for example most of the deals that we've done our seed stage for Series A because there's only been a couple of Series B type financings in the entire ecosystem but we're stage agnostic we'll invest in any stage and we're geographically agnostic we'll invest anywhere in the world because it we're but the funk the fun-sized because I read somewhere that you guys a ten million dollar fund is that just a part of it ya know so we're the second fund is like a little over a 13 called a thirteen and a half million dollar fund we also have an angel list syndicate if you're familiar with angel list yeah we coat co Cindy you know a number of our deals which you know probably it takes the fun from being called a 15 million dollar fund to about a twenty five million dollar fund and that we have a number of sort of billionaire and high net worth LPS that have an interest in investing in some of the deals and what we'll do is we'll create what are called sPB's or special-purpose vehicles to allow our LPS to invest more than our typical check size you know in some of these deals will write checks that are you know three four million dollars week in theory could write checks as big as ten or twenty so our fund is call it the equivalent of a fifty million dollar fund though you know in terms of the committed capital it's only about fifteen you know and that is because you haven't had any institutional investors that have funded funds in our space you know up and until the point that our fund it had its first close I think that's gonna be very different this year but in the same way that we're geographically agnostic stage agnostic we're also blockchain agnostic but you know obviously the bulk of our investments have been around Bitcoin or bitcoins blockchain to date because Bitcoin still is 80% you know of the market in terms of market cap and in terms of venture capital investment it's 95% of you know or 90% of everything that's out there and so Bitcoin still it's obviously very representative of you know everyone's portfolio that plays in this space I was actually curious about that whether or whether or not you would invest in other watching startups other than Bitcoin well we're an investor in ripple for example and that would be a perfect example of you know something that wasn't you know Bitcoin clearly and hasn't been for a very long time but they know where where blockchain agnostic as a firm but again the bulk of our investments are around the kwid bitcoins blockchain to date right you guys have an explicit investment thesis or it sort of is involved by a big of you of to space and then your assessment of specific projects and teams yes I mean our strategy as a firm is we typically don't lead investments we typically co-invest preferably with you know other generalist type venture firms and that's because we have so many investments you know we're about to hit our 45th investment and so as a firm with three partners and I don't know if you know Jeremy Gardner but Jeremy's you know works with us full-time and he's the the fourth sort of most active person them and will O'Brien but for a small team like that a normal fund can only manage you know called six to eight deals per partner and so you know call it that would cap us at about twenty four deals maybe thirty and so we don't want to lead investments because we want to continue to invest and it's cuz we see the world a lot like the internet in 1994 I know this internet thing is gonna be a big deal there give me lots of amazing businesses that get built in and around it but could I pick them all in 1994 no and so our strategy is instead of using a rifle we're using a shotgun and so we look a little bit like an index fund and that is we first and foremost one of that great entrepreneurs you know that are pursuing ideas that we think have lots of potential and it's not you know the eighth person trying to do something and where we believe the timing for that is right and then we we choose to invest with the hopes as the industry continues to develop that we have a the thesis as it evolves you develop an asymmetry of information and then we'll you know hopefully be in a position that by this year and next year you know you're backing up the truck around you know the you know the best and biggest ideas in the space you know you know as a venture capitalist we manage other people's money with the intention of delivering returns you know I'm a big investor in Bitcoin and things like aetherium but that's not my fund my fund does know you know there's no Bitcoin component of our fund though a lot of our LPS are obviously investors in Bitcoin I think we have 15 you know sort of Bitcoin CEOs that are you know advisers or investors and the fund you know people like Bobby Lee and Charlie Lee and again will O'Brien and all this goes on and on and on okay well Brock thanks so much for coming on where we're at to show at the end of our show and we also don't want to keep you stuck here because you you're heading to South by Southwest which I'm sure will be lots of fun so thanks so much for coming on with super interesting talking to you and exciting to hear all the projects they've been all often and interesting ways you've been supporting this industry well I thank you guys for for having me uh we still got lots of work ahead absolutely so I think we should we'll have you back on at some point we've to talk about all the interesting changes the industry has gone through in in the meantime sounds good again thank you yeah so thanks so much for listening for listening we'll be back next week if you want to reveal part of philosophical network so you can check out lots of great shows on less frequent or calm if you want to listen to the episodes of course you can subscribe to our show on and any of their podcast application or you can watch video on slash X in a Bitcoin and the other thing we do is if you leave us iTunes from you and you send us an e-mail I'll show an episode a bit kind of calm then we'll send you a t-shirt like this we've sent out certainly over 52 countries all over the world so if you don't want to attend please do that so thanks so much and we look forward to being back next week


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