Joe Reiben joins us to discuss how you can experience better trading depth, security and transaction speed on Mandala Exchange.
Joseph Reiben is the Chief Executive Officer of Mandala Exchange, as well as a regulatory, business and tax attorney based in Denver Colorado and St. Paul, Minnesota. Joseph received his undergraduate degree from Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, where he received his BA in business, and his JD from Case Western University in Cleveland, Ohio.
Joseph has worked for law firms in Cleveland, Chicago and Denver, specializing in civil litigation, bankruptcy, tax and business law prior to starting his own firm in 2016. Since founding Reiben & Velvis, later Reiben & Reiben, Joseph has focused on regulatory and compliance, business and tax issues surrounding emerging markets such as blockchain, hemp, and cannabis for both domestic and international companies. Joseph has been actively involved in furthering these markets as well, appearing in interviews on the NASDAQ floor and for other blockchain and cannabis publications, discussing compliance and regulatory issues and challenges facing the industries moving forward. Currently, Joseph is focused on overseeing Mandala Exchange, as well as assisting start-ups and working in multiple emerging global markets.
*Disclaimer. None of this information is financial advice.
The following transcript was created using artificial intelligence. There will be some grammatical errors below.
00:00:02:22 – 00:00:28:02
Richard Carthon: Hello, everyone. Welcome to another episode of Crypto Current, your host here, Richard Carthon, and today we’ve got a special guest. Now, what’s extra special about this guest is they’re actually going to be a keynote speaker at an upcoming conference that you’ve been hearing about on our show that is coming up in Miami, the Miami Crypto Experience. We have Joe with Mandala. How are you doing today?
00:00:28:25 – 00:00:30:24
Joe Reiben: Doing great Richard, thanks for having me on. Appreciate it.
00:00:31:06 – 00:00:47:17
Richard Carthon: Of course. Well, you know, I want to tease up a couple of things that you’re going to be able to speak on at the conference, we’re still also going to learn a little bit about you right now and speak on a couple of different things. But, you know, coming in, you know, what can some people expect to learn by coming and listening to your keynote?
00:00:48:07 – 00:01:26:13
Joe Reiben: Sure. So basically, my keynote speech in Miami is going to be about the background of this project, being that this project’s been around since its initial ICO stage late 2017, early 2018, albeit in a different iteration. We are a new company from that original ICO with a new board, a new management structure, a new team that we’ve really, you know, brought in from our community, which is really cool. And new partnership, obviously, with Finance Clout, developing on their, you know, platform, so to speak, as almost like a white label product with our own privately held, you know, interests and exotic token types and order types and things like that.
00:01:27:03 – 00:02:01:06
Joe Reiben: So, we’re going to be speaking about the background of the project and about some of the really cool upcoming features we have that will be either listed by that point or implemented at that point, including futures, margin trading, staking. We plan to do an educational component, having Mandala University, so to speak, where, you know, investors and participants can learn about algo trading, can learn about TA, can learn really in depth about a lot of the Cryptos and Blockchain projects that are listed on our exchange. So, there’s a lot going on in 2021 that I’m really excited about.
00:02:01:24 – 00:02:21:07
Richard Carthon: For sure. And I know I’m pretty excited to be able to be there in attendance and to hear it as well. As y’all know, we’re going to be, Crypto Current will be a media partner there that will be covering a lot of it, so, we’ll keep you posted on all the great information that will be shared with us while we’re there. But thank you for teasing that up again.
00:02:21:09 – 00:02:21:24
Joe Reiben: Sure.
00:02:21:26 – 00:02:35:10
Richard Carthon: Again, for everyone listening, make sure that you go check out your tickets, see us there in Miami. If you go and you put Crypto Current, you can get a nice little discount when you sign up. But outside of that, now we’re going to learn more about Joe. Give me some background about yourself.
00:02:36:04 – 00:03:14:27
Joe Reiben: Sure. So by trade, I’m a business and tax attorney that also happened to jump into the regulatory compliance side of things or multiple emerging markets, including Blockchain and Cryptocurrency companies. Coming from that legal background, it really gave me a really strong understanding and a unique perspective really to run a Crypto company, not including an exchange, obviously, because I was able to kind of harness the knowledge of understanding regulation around the world and understanding what’s necessary for compliance in different jurisdictions and bring that to the table as the now CEO, former general counsel of the first iteration of this company.
00:03:15:16 – 00:03:41:06
Joe Reiben: So, how did I get into Blockchain? Like everybody else honestly, in Crypto trading. In 2014, 2015, I really found it fun. I loved the volatility, I loved the kind of, you know, the margin trading, the futures trading, everything that was implemented. You know, kind of Guilty as charged. I’d wake up at four or five in the morning like everybody else, check out and see what Korea and China were doing and see if, you know, I had to close the trade out or go back to sleep. Obviously that’s unsustainable.
00:03:42:10 – 00:03:42:25
Richard Carthon: Yeah.
00:03:42:27 – 00:04:25:11
Joe Reiben: You know, I did it for a while, I was burnt out and I said, “Listen, my passion is better served being a lawyer for this industry because I can really help shape some of the regulation and help shape some of the laws surrounding, you know, Crypto and Blockchain in general.” So, I started my own firm 2015, 2016 and really jumped in headfirst, you know, signed on a lot of companies from around the world at different domiciles that wanted to learn about and have me do work in regards to American and US, you know, jurisdictional laws and obviously regulatory issues and branch that out into sitting as an advisor for multiple companies and now the CEO for Mandala Exchange, which I’m really proud of.
00:04:26:02 – 00:04:54:25
Richard Cathon: Yeah. I mean, sounds like you’re definitely an underachiever. Definitely had your cut work out, I mean, your work cut out for you man. It’s pretty amazing that the first thing that you did was follow your passion of trading and finding out about this new thing and being hungry for that knowledge and then, you know, going down that rabbit hole, experiencing a little bit of burnout and then, basically just pivoting into, Okay, what’s my lane? How do I get involved in this? And then how do I bring my flair to this unique opportunity?
00:04:55:00 – 00:05:29:21
Richard Carthon: And, you know, that’s something that we talk a lot about on our show is, you know, wanting to spark curiosity in people and, you know, every topic that we bring to the show might not speak directly to each person, but if there’s something that can be taken away from each speaker that resonates and like sparks something and you’re like, Wow, I want to go and learn more about that, like, how can I get more involved? I think it’s going to resonate with a lot of people that like I mean, look at Joe, Joe came in literally a lawyer coming in and being an adviser for regulatory ways that you can get involved in Crypto and then has basically evolved into the CEO of a major exchange. Like, that’s pretty awesome. Like what?
00:05:29:24 – 00:06:29:00
Joe Reiben: Yeah, and it’s a major change, too, obviously. As this project grew, you know, especially the second iteration of it where we really rebooted it from the ground up, started a new company, brought in new management, you know, industry professionals who had been in it forever. My CTO Zach’s been working as a developer and as, you know, building exchanges and companies since 2011, which is really the first of Crypto and Blockchain companies. My COO, Rich, has been, you know, he worked for major exchanges as a project manager before stepping into this role. Brad, who is our other director of operations, has done this in the financial world for a long time, so he’s kind of bringing his financial background over. And then my dad, who’s actually really cool as CFO and also the other half of the legal counsel for the original Mandala and stepped into that role, has, you know, 40 years of Fortune 500 accounting and business, M&A.
00:06:29:02 – 00:06:29:17
Richard Carthon: Wow.
00:06:29:19 – 00:07:01:08
Joe Reiben: And, you know, just kind of tax structuring and things like that, so, his expertise is totally invaluable. And to be able to shape your board with friends and family literally is one of the most beautiful and you know, satisfying things you could possibly do in this industry, because we all work well together, we were all friends first, we all started as trading buddies and we got to know each other really well. And we’re all, you know, we can all go out and have a scotch or whiskey together at the bar, just as well as sit down and work a 10 hour day. So, it’s one of those things that’s really just rewarding for us.
00:07:01:10 – 00:07:41:20
Richard Carthon: For sure. And I want to spend some time around the word team. We haven’t really talked or expanded on this too much on this show and I want to just because you brought it up. And I even think about my own team at Crypto Current, how great it is to bring in people, the right people and when you’re working with them, it stops really feeling like work and it feels like a common goal that you’re really like moving towards together. And like, even when things are tough or things are hard and you like, look back and you be like, Wow, look how far we’ve come, it’s that camaraderie. So, like, can you kind of expand on like, the importance of building a good team around you so that it can kind of push the vision that you have forward?
00:07:42:06 – 00:08:42:15
Joe Reiben: Oh, absolutely. And I can expand on that even further. Pretty much most of our hires have been from our community, which is just a really cool thing. So, the team that we’ve built, you know, we were friends first or family first. And we really felt out each other’s areas of strengths and weaknesses to bring this cohesive unit together that really was able to, you know, build this exchange because the first iteration didn’t go well, didn’t go as planned, if I’m going to be brutally honest. And there were a lot of missteps and it was kind of left for dead and myself, Rich, my COO and Zach, my CTO, said, “Listen, this is not happening to us today, we’re not allowing this to happen. We have thousands and thousands of ICO token holders that need to be made whole.” So, we went to our community and said, “Listen, how can we make this right?” Our community, God bless them, stepped up not only financially, but in terms of manpower hours. And we’ve probably hired about 10 to 15 of them at this point for marketing, design, graphic content.
00:08:42:24 – 00:08:43:09
Richard Carthon: Wow.
00:08:43:11 – 00:09:12:03
Joe Reiben: Business development. I mean, these guys are, you know, a lot of them are industry professionals in Crypto, Blockchain or related industries and they said, “We’re not letting this fail either.” Donate, not donated, obviously put their time, effort and money where their mouths were and we got this partnership, which is beautiful with Finance Cloud as a first privately held exchange. And we were able to build around that and bring excitement back to the team and to the community and really build out from that and deliver this successful product that we have today, where we’re just rolling right along.
00:09:12:05 – 00:09:48:16
Joe Reiben: So, it’s teams everything in this industry and I don’t mean the 2017, you know, ICO teams where you had 10 pictures of Ryan Gosling sitting, you know, online as a meme where it’s every director of the, you know, of the project, I mean, truly a team where you can call anybody up any time of day or night and say, “Listen, we need to get this done.” They’ll jump out of bed and get it done and we’ve done it. You know, it’s one of those things, we work literally day and night on this because our developers are in Singapore, our, you know, our market makers are all over the world. It’s one of those things where we really don’t ever sleep as a team because somebody’s always got eyes on the project working, so.
00:09:48:24 – 00:10:22:01
Richard Carthon: Yeah. I mean, that’s powerful men. And just like you said, with the resilience of when things got tough, people stepped up from yourself internally, your own internal team, but then speaking with the community and having them step up as well. You know, I love the camaraderie around Crypto, especially if you can get some really good people around you. And I just found that there’s a lot of unique backgrounds of people from all kinds of walks of life that see the vision of the opportunity that is Cryptocurrency right now, and obviously, Mandala, you as a company can speak to that.
00:10:22:03 – 00:10:48:18
Richard Carthon: But, you know, within your ecosystem, because you are an exchange, you have other companies that come to try to be on your exchange, I’m sure that you get access to a lot of different kinds of projects. You know, what do you see within the framework of projects? Just from a team standpoint, you don’t have to necessarily list out any specific projects, but like what makeup do you see where you’re like, I don’t care what you’re working on, I just see your work ethic and I know that you’re going to find a way. You know what I mean?
00:10:49:14 – 00:11:37:22
Joe Reiben: Yeah. So, it really does vary because we all have our strengths and we all have our different avenues and lanes that we evaluate. We’re looking at projects or teams that come to us for listings, for partnerships for, you know, inter, you know, cross chain operability, interoperability, rather, sorry, excuse me or, you know, partnering with another exchange to bring user basis together. It does depend on how, first of all, we mesh with the other team and see how they’re working together, like you said, but it also depends on, you know, you can tell if somebody is hungry for something or if it’s just a side project or a side gig. And we love to see teams that are hungry to make their projects succeed and want to be industry leaders and want to build something that will, you know, enhance or accelerate the Blockchain/Crypto, you know, world at the, you know, the ecosystem.
00:11:38:00 – 00:12:19:24
Joe Reiben: So, that’s something that we really do look for as a team and it kind of goes with our mission statement, which we sat down and said, “How can we create an exchange that levels the Cryptocurrency playing field?” By that I mean the retail and institutional investors are on the same playing field. We can bring that education and that ease of interaction and the ease of use to all of them, so, that you know, you have your institutional or algo traders aren’t getting a huge advantage over the everyday retail trader that might want to trade a thousand MBX instead of tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands. And there won’t be an advantage depending on how much you’re trading or you know, your trading speed or knowledge or understanding.
00:12:20:01 – 00:12:57:02
Joe Reiben: So, that really fits with our mission statement when we bring other projects in to evaluate. And we’ve had, you know, really successful responses so far, obviously not just with our own project, but for, you know, projects coming to partner or work with us or list on our exchange. It’s been really exciting to see that, you know, them understanding who we are, what we’re about, and either knowing us through other ventures that we’ve worked on. I myself, having worked with, you know, between 40 and 50 different Blockchain projects around the world at any time, whether it’s drafting opinion letters or privacy policies and legal documentation, contracts, setting up the businesses, you name it.
00:12:57:21 – 00:12:58:06
Richard Carthon: Right.
00:12:58:08 – 00:13:07:22
Joe Reiben: And that’s been the same thing with our CTO, COO and dad, as well as a CFO and tax advisor. So, you know, it’s been really great to see that all come together.
00:13:08:12 – 00:13:41:28
Richard Carthon: Absolutely, man. And, you know, for the aspiring companies that are out there, because, you know, our audience ranges from the newbie to the experienced to Crypto projects in the space. For the aspiring project that is looking to potentially ICO when they are to get listed on an exchange, as you know, is a tough process. It’s like the ultimate honor to get listed and have a way that people can do it. You know, what would you say are some first steps for that aspiring project that wants to be listed on an exchange like Mandala?
00:13:42:08 – 00:14:33:08
Joe Reiben: Sure. So, what we look for when we’re listing a project is you have to have a, you know, a Blockchain audit done for yourself to make sure that you know, your contracts are good obviously. You make sure that your foundations are stable, make sure you have a good team of developers and a good CTO that can get that done efficiently and you don’t waste a lot of money on third party developers or people that you don’t trust with really honestly with your project’s life, because they’re the lifeblood of your project to start. Second of all, make sure that you are in your domicile or in your jurisdiction, you get an opinion letter from a reputable attorney or reputable law firm that, you know, kind of backs the project goals and kind of lays out what the project is. We saw so many projects in 2017 and the beginning of 2018 that just kind of ICO’d out of nowhere. It took millions of dollars from people and then just exits, right?
00:14:34:05 – 00:14:34:20
Richard Carthon: Yeah, sad
00:14:34:22 – 00:15:04:28
Joe Reiben: And that’s still a concern. And obviously the SEC is one of the leading unfortunately regulatory, you know, and just kind of reactionary regulators that is, they’re having a snapback effect now where they’re almost overbearing and they’re going to have to find that balance, right? So, you see the after effects of that and it’s really negative and it shines a negative light on the industry, so, make sure you
avoid that by, you know, kind of setting yourself up right for success. Then build a nice community.
00:15:05:00 – 00:15:43:13
Joe Reiben: Don’t build a community of, you know, Telegram bots and Instagram, you know, influencers. Build a real community of people that can get behind your project, can you know, speak about what it is to others and really believe in the project goals. So, don’t be like the 50th project to build something that’s trivial, it won’t advance your sector of the industry. You know, really go out there and find something you believe in, you’re passionate in and you’re making a difference in the world. Those are the projects that really speak to exchanges and speak to, you know, kind of rising above the muck, so to speak, and to get listed. Kind of separate yourself.
00:15:43:15 – 00:15:44:00
Richard Carthon: For sure.
00:15:44:02 – 00:15:44:27
Joe Reiben: So, that’s what we’re looking for.
00:15:45:13 – 00:16:39:04
Richard Carthon: Yeah. And thank you for breaking that down, I think that’s going to be very valuable to a lot of people. I mean, to speak really quickly to building the community, because that’s, again, something else that we really preach here and why it’s important to advocate for each other and to build that true commodity within your own ecosystem. What I’ve been starting to do for, like, these new projects that are ICO opportunities, I try to go into the Telegram groups and see what they’re talking about, right? If someone is truly explaining what’s going on, if someone asks a question to someone thoughtfully, come in and explain it, or is it only the staff or the team that’s constantly having to go and answer these questions? Or is it truly community based where any and everyone if someone comes in with a question that’s then being answered because then, you know, like, Oh, there’s something here, like people who genuinely care and like can speak to this thing because obviously there’s a lot of hype, obviously, there’s a lot of bullish momentum in the space right now.
00:16:39:06 – 00:17:04:03
Richard Carthon: People are just trying to grab everything they can as everything’s hot and like, yes, you can get away with that in some opportunities, but like, what’s really going to survive the test of time, the same with ICOs that happened in 2017 that are now thriving right now was because they built something to last and to sustain. And so, I think you can really tell a lot of that through community.
00:17:04:18 – 00:17:18:06
Joe Reiben: Yeah. And a couple more points to that. If you are a C-level executive and your project’s small, don’t, like you were saying, don’t be afraid to go in your Telegram or Discord groups and, you know, chat it up with their community, get to know them on a personal level because they’re going to be your biggest allies later.
00:17:18:15 – 00:17:45:00
Joe Reiben: I spent, you know, shoot probably two and a half, I’m still in there almost every day, I’m chatting up with our members, our equity members, as well as just our regular token holders. It doesn’t make a difference to me, if somebody has a question that I can answer and they ping me, I’ll still answer. No, I don’t have five, six hours a day to do that anymore, obviously, but I’ll still drop in for 30 minutes a day and answer questions I see. It keeps everybody engaged and it keeps you from being just a title and a name. You know, people know who I am.
00:17:45:02 – 00:17:45:17
Richard Carthon: Yeah.
00:17:45:19 – 00:17:49:13
Joe Reiben: People know who our team is. And that’s just a really important thing to do, so.
00:17:49:18 – 00:17:58:23
Richard Carthon: For sure. And I definitely appreciate you adding that to it. Kind of to shift gears a little bit, 2021 has already started off to be an incredible year.
00:17:58:25 – 00:17:59:10
00:17:59:12 – 00:18:09:17
Richard Carthon: And I think that we are continuing to build that momentum forward. What are some things that are on the horizon that has your attention that you think other people should be paying attention to as well?
00:18:09:27 – 00:18:17:18
Joe Reiben: Oh, yeah. So, there’s a lot of good and a lot of bad, that for 2021 that I see they’re coming out and this is just the legal me speaking.
00:18:17:20 – 00:18:18:05
Richard Carthon: Yeah.
00:18:18:07 – 00:19:11:03
Joe Reiben: And I kind of have to remove myself sometimes as the CEO of an exchange and kind of look at the industry from a legal perspective that people may not see. Now what’s really great about a lot of companies that are coming out and FIO is a great example of this cross chain interoperability, right? Developing wallets, API plugins, things that can work cross chain and get data from multiple sources and really help you seamlessly transact cross exchanges. That I think is the next level of you know, operability and ease of use, which is so important in the Cryptocurrency space because a lot of people won’t get in, why? They have to jump through hoops to register, they don’t know how to use the exchange, they don’t know how to place an order properly, things like that. They can’t connect from a cold wallet onto an exchange, then they can’t transfer it back to their cold wallet, things that may be barriers of entry for people, right?
00:19:11:13 – 00:19:33:09
Joe Reiben: I love companies that are finding solutions to this and that are making it easy for the average user that may not have time to research and set up algos and set up trading bots and set up, sorry, and set up all this stuff to basically, one second. To set up, sorry my dog won’t stop barking.
00:19:34:27 – 00:19:35:12
Richard Carthon: Oh, you’re fine.
00:19:35:14 – 00:19:46:29
Joe Reiben: Please, fine. Thank you, sorry. Hey, stop. She’s a Crypto dog too, she has a Doge collar by the way.
00:19:47:24 – 00:19:48:09
Richard Carthon: Love.
00:19:48:11 – 00:20:14:23
Joe Reiben: But she does work. What were we talking about? So interoperability, I wish that there would be more companies that would set up, you know, this way to make ease of use for the average user better. So, I love seeing that happen and I love seeing that tenfold in 2021 because everyone is becoming more technologically adept. Everyone is learning how to use, you know, platforms at least, but they may not know how to transfer, they may not know how to interact properly, so that’s beautiful.
00:20:15:01 – 00:21:10:07
Joe Reiben: Now for the downside, I really, really, really worry about the legality of DeFi and that’s just as an attorney. It’s something that’s out there, everyone loves the anonymity that comes along with it, everyone loves the protocols that are being put out, but, you know, what we’ve seen even in the last few months is a ton of these rug poles, right? We’ve seen with Sushi, with Pancake, with Viking Swap, all these companies that just all of a sudden millions of dollars worth of Crypto are gone. How do we combat that so, protocols are written in a way that, you know, developers and people working on the project can’t just rug pole and can’t get, you know, can’t get away with it? Because it is a decentralized type platform, even though there’s an argument to be made that regulators will come after the people that develop the protocol, that develop the backend behind it, of course. B
00:21:10:09 – 00:21:54:21
Joe Reiben: But how do we ensure that, you know, for the average user that sees that it’s going to shy away from using, you know, decentralized financial instruments and decentralized financial protocols and platforms? How do we combat that to make sure that it’s a safe place for people to trade? Because right now, without the regulation and without anything in place, I do worry that people are still going to see it and incorrectly so, as a place that’s inviting people to either money launder or, you know, shadily transact or things like that. And that’s the prevailing view, even though it’s a very small percentage of actual trades amongst government and regulatory bodies. And as long as that issue pervades, there is not going to be a good solution to that.
00:21:55:10 – 00:22:21:18
Richard Carthon: Yeah. You know, that is a really good point and thanks for bringing that up, because I hadn’t really thought about it before. And someone brought up the point that and I heard this in a previous interview, that bad guys are always going to find a way to use technology, right? Like no matter what’s going on, they’re going to keep finding a way to utilize the latest and greatest in tech. And first, it was Crypto, you know, through Silk Road and all that kind of stuff and now the new Wild West is DeFi.
00:22:23:03 – 00:23:10:19
Richard Carthon: And so, with anything that’s new and has a lot of uncertainty in a lot of ways, there’s always risk and there’s going to be risk involved that unfortunately, some of these characters who claim to be forthright and trying to do the right things could be pretty shady and pull the rug, just like you said. And so, that’s why everyone listening, and I’ll continue to do this for investments right now, especially in the early days of Crypto, you need to be willing to lose what you put in, you need to protect yourself and you have to do everything you can to keep your assets. But also, you need to be understanding that there’s a high risk with anything that you’re doing in this Crypto space. So, I think a lot of people already have that risk tolerance and so, they’re okay with understanding that that’s going on. Not to say that they’re still not going to be very upset.
00:23:10:22 – 00:23:11:09
Joe Reiben: Of course.
00:23:11:11 – 00:23:12:21
Richard Carthon: If all of a sudden they lose all their money.
00:23:13:06 – 00:23:49:17
Joe Reiben: Yeah. I mean, I’ve been part of hacks before. It happens, unfortunately. The early days of exchanges, it happened back then. But like you said, exchanges evolved to now lock down, you know, wallets, our funds, which is really cool. One of the brilliant things about us being in Binance funds, our funds are Sapho, so, if we ever do get hacked in the very unlikely event, they’re backed up the same way Binance is backed up. We share liquidity, order books, debts and security. So, it’s one of those things where, you know, centralized exchanges developed and found a way to combat that and are now really, honestly super safe. You don’t hear about hacks like you did in 17 and 18 and before.
00:23:50:07 – 00:23:50:22
Richard Carthon: Right.
00:23:50:24 – 00:24:00:12
Joe Reiben: There’s so few and far between that it’s been one of those things that, you know, I think DeFi’s going to have to catch up in the next couple of years like you were saying as regulators catch on.
00:24:01:13 – 00:24:01:28
Richard Carthon: Right.
00:24:02:00 – 00:24:22:08
Joe Reiben: Like Biden’s administration just put in a task force just to study DeFi. I think, you know, sooner rather than later that’s going to balance out as to, you know, what’s going to happen with the industry as a whole. And I really want it to survive and thrive because it’s a beautiful application of Blockchain and a beautiful extension of Blockchain, so.
00:24:22:10 – 00:24:50:13
Richard Carthon: For sure. it’s an equalizer man. It’s banking the unbanked, it’s providing liquidity to people who wouldn’t regularly have it. It provides way more good, but unfortunately, when there’s bad, people can make that bad, horrible and therefore, you know, that bad can outshine all of the good that it’s doing. So, you know, thanks for putting that on our radar, making people think about that. And I think it is important for people to have in the back of their mind and be more secure and safe as they explore those uncharted waters.
00:24:50:25 – 00:25:22:24
Joe Reiben: And if I could just touch on that a little more, you know, I want people to always be cognizant of the dichotomy that even exists. And I know this has been since the beginning of Crypto, but don’t conflate the two with, you know, the decentralization of Crypto as a currency where it frees you, right? From having or being beholden to governments, we’ve seen this work in places like Venezuela where the governments really and the economic system collapses and you can switch on to using Cryptocurrency and it’s really helped save economies, right?
00:25:23:03 – 00:26:12:10
Joe Reiben: But the decentralization of an exchange is a different thing. You know, we want to be very careful that we don’t conflate the two because decentralized exchanges, if we didn’t have any centralization, any oversight, would invite people to scam and to fraudulently transact, right? Because if there’s no oversight to a decentralized exchange, but there are people building protocols that can essentially rug pool or can essentially cause transactions to be pushed through in a fraudulent manner or, you know, pull liquidity pools or whatever may happen. That does invite the bad actors in the space and that’s one of the main reasons why, you know, as an attorney and also as a CEO of an exchange, I don’t fight. I fight somewhat the oversight, right? The overreach of regulation, but I do want some sort of oversight and regulation because I want our investors to feel safe.
00:26:12:12 – 00:26:12:27
Richard Carthon: Right.
00:26:12:29 – 00:26:22:16
Joe Reiben: When they’re trading on our exchange, so that they know that we have not only our name, but the Binance name behind it and you should feel safe transacting 24/7 on our exchange, so.
00:26:22:18 – 00:27:04:20
Richard Carthon: Thank you for, you know, adding some more flavor to that, because I think that is very important too, because people want to feel secure. They want to know that even though everything that they’re doing is risky, that they can feel a little bit, a breath of relief, that as I do this, I don’t think all my money is just going to disappear. So, definitely appreciate you shedding some more light on that. But, you know, I have two more fun questions for you man and as we kind of start to wrap these things up. But before I do, again, I want to go back to the conference really quickly. You know, it’s going to be in Miami, it’s going to be in April. As that’s coming up, you know, what are some things besides your keynote speech that you’re looking forward to at the conference?
00:27:04:22 – 00:27:45:10
Joe Reiben: Totally looking forward to the NFT sessions. I’ve jumped into the NFT craze and really been thinking about it, I mean, just more than art and collectibles, sort of in niche. But I look at it as a way to market, to brand, to really expand your global reach, right? Because it is the next wave of really of digital marketing and digital branding of, you know, whatever you may want to brand. I mean, one of the cool ways I look at it, collectibles, you know are nice, but how about you authenticate something? They may shift into, let’s say LeBron autographs a basketball, right? How cool would this be if you have an NFT of him holding the basketball that he autographed that you get with the basketball?
00:27:45:25 – 00:27:46:10
Richard Carthon: Aw, that would be dope.
00:27:46:12 – 00:27:49:23
Joe Reiben: it’s not only a collectible, but it’s branding, it’s authenticity.
00:27:49:29 – 00:27:50:14
Richard Carthon: Yeah.
00:27:50:16 – 00:28:27:21
Joe Reiben: There’s all these cool uses for it. So, I want to see, you know, what people have to say about NFTs. I’m also really, really, really looking forward to the mining sessions. I actually run a Crypto mining company up in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where I live as well and, you know, I’m always down to learn about, you know, things I can be doing and streamlining my mining company and, you know, just really advancing that field as well, especially with a Ethereum 2.0 coming and with some shifts in the way in difficulty. Ethereum difficulty is going to be mining, you know, obviously you’re mining all ERC tokens, things like that, with our miners. So, just another one of the 50 things I have my hands in In Crypto, so.
00:28:27:23 – 00:29:08:26
Richard Carthon: For sure. No, and thanks for highlighting all those things. I mean, there are so many speakers coming and wealth of knowledge that’s going to be made. And, you know, one of the pieces I’m definitely looking forward to is just the in-person experience again, right? Just to be able to meet all these amazing people, being able to like learn a bunch of stuff and then also just go rage at the end of the day, right? And just, I’m really looking forward to all of the different elements that this conference is going to bring. So, definitely again, looking forward to meeting you in person there. But as we wrap this up, if you could take all the knowledge that you have right now and impart wisdom to yourself when you first started in the Crypto space, what would you tell yourself first?
00:29:09:10 – 00:29:38:26
Joe Reiben: Oh, man. Probably not to screw around on BitMEX with 100x leverage trade, seriously. But no, no, just to understand what the, shoot, even six years ago, what the use cases were going to be for so many of these projects and, you know, what these applications, these fantastic things that are being developed. It’s kind of evolved from the thought process to the application process over the last few years.
00:29:39:03 – 00:30:09:23
Joe Reiben: And those companies that survived the 2016, 17, 18 boom and bust are putting out amazing protocols, amazing products, and really changing the way people see technology and use technology all over the world. So, just seeing what I see and knowing what I know now, I would have loved to go back there and be involved with some of those projects somehow, even more so than I was, you know, in many cases, just because I’m so proud of what so many of my friends and colleagues have developed in this industry.
00:30:10:06 – 00:30:45:23
Richard Carthon: Right. So, my takeaway from that is basically, if you’re a newbie and you’re not taking action yet, go take action. When you hear something that makes sense and it’s something that makes you hungry to spark your curiosity, it makes you want to go learn more about it, do it, go act on it. You know, it’s one thing to come and listen to the show, it’s another to go and take information to go and act on it. So, it sounds like, Joe, that’s what you would definitely tell yourself, is to as you learn about these things and it makes sense to go and act on a little bit more and become a little bit more involved. But, you know, Joe, you’ve given us so much information and excited to learn more, but what is a final thought that you want to leave with all of our listeners here today?
00:30:46:05 – 00:31:19:13
Joe Reiben: Sure. Well, I’d love to welcome you guys to come check out our exchange. Obviously, Mandala Exchange, M-A-N-D-A-L-A.exchange. It’s a great interface, you can really learn about what we’re about, you can meet the team. If you come to our Discord, we’re in there everyday. And just come, you know, use our exchange for an easy user experience and a fun user experience because our communities, honestly, the best part of what we have. I love our team, but our community is guiding us here and they’re going to keep us going. And you can connect with some really great people while you trade and make trading fun for you and not a chore.
00:31:20:15 – 00:31:30:26
Richard Carthon: Awesome. I think that’s a great final thought. And thank you for leaving the website, but what are some ways that people can connect with you and also what are some different ways that people can directly engage with your community?
00:31:31:11 – 00:32:23:15
Joe Reiben: Sure. So we have a Mandala Exchange Discord. I would check that out as well as our Telegram group, Mandala Exchange, I’m always on there like literally every day. So, our whole C-level team’s on there pretty much every day as well, so, you can connect with me there @JOEMBX, all caps. Please don’t DM me 50,000 things a day because I try to respond to like five to 10 a day because that’s what I have time for. But, you know, I’m pretty easy to get a hold of. I really don’t shy away from anyone. If you have a good question, if you start spamming me, yes. I won’t respond, like anybody else. But you know, I’m here to help people develop their Crypto knowledge and, you know, really interact with them. And if they have good projects or ideas that want to list on our exchange, please, please, please bring them to me. It’s Joe, J-O-E@MandalaDotExchange, so.
00:32:24:01 – 00:32:34:17
Richard Carthon: Excellent. Well, Joe, again, appreciate you joining us today. Looking forward to seeing you at the Miami Crypto experience. And for everyone listening, Stay Crypto Current.
Crypto Current will be guiding all of you who are new to the cryptocurrency world to becoming a cryptocurrency and blockchain expert. Crypto Current was founded to give access to information to everyone on current events occurring in cryptocurrency and blockchain in a digestible way. Since its creation, we have created content that impacted thousands of people through its podcast, blog, and social media.