Today Garrett Pete joins us to discuss bringing blockchain-as-a-service (BaaS) to energy companies with Energy Ledger.
William G. Pete started his career as a developer at age 12 with a computer program that tested various industrial lubricants, for this success he was honored with the naming of 22786 Willipete, a main belt asteroid, by NASA JPL. By age 16 he became involved with the Thiel Foundations summit program and secured internships from all the way in Silicon Valley at a Y-combinator startup called CircuitHub, to becoming a founding member of New York City’s first Bitcoin Center. He holds a Master’s in Business Administration from Capella University, graduating in 2020.
The following transcript was created using artificial intelligence. There will be some grammatical errors below.
00:01:12:09 – 00:01:34:01
Richard Carthon: Hello, everyone. Welcome to another episode of Crypto Current, your host here, Richard Carthon, and today I have a special guest who’s also out here in the ATX with me. Actually, I met one of the people on the team who highly recommended, as like, Hey, you need to come talk to our founder. And so, I was like, Bet, let’s do it. So, today we have Garrett Pete with Energy Ledger. How are you doing today?
00:01:34:11 – 00:01:36:20
Garrett Pete: I’m doing good. How are you doing today, Richard?
00:01:37:03 – 00:01:51:04
Richard Carthon: Man, I’m fantastic. I’m excited to learn more about what y’all got going on. It’s very needed in this industry, and I think it has a ton of opportunity and that’s why I want to unpack this a little bit more with you. But before we do that, I want to learn more about you. Can you give us some background on yourself?
00:01:51:19 – 00:02:10:19
Garrett Pete: Sure. So, you know, I’m a tech enthusiast. I’ve been doing stuff with technology since I was probably eight or nine years old, building little Lego robots. You know, I won a science fair and I had a, you know, an asteroid named after me by Nasa. And then, shortly after that, I started to get into coding and building websites.
00:02:10:21 – 00:02:34:27
Garrett Pete: And then, Crypto kind of came naturally, you know, in my later years of high school, I think around 2013. And then, after I had the privilege of being one of the founding members of the Bitcoin Center in New York City, and we just opened up a new location there, which, you know, the Energy Ledger team did help out with it some, 2307 Broadway. If you’re ever in NYC, you should go check it out, so.
00:02:34:29 – 00:02:39:01
Richard Carthon: Definitely. And shoutout to Federico who helped put this on. I think he was up there recently.
00:02:39:07 – 00:02:48:07
Garrett Pete: Yep, he was up there with me. Yeah, we got it all, you know, prim and proper for them to do Satoshi Square just kind of a long running event for, you know, live trading of Bitcoin, so.
00:02:48:26 – 00:02:57:19
Richard Carthon: Man, that’s incredible. That’s really cool. I mean, as you keep building that out, like, what first got you into Crypto? Like, how did you first learn about it, and what, you know, peaked your interest?
00:02:58:06 – 00:03:31:12
Garrett Pete: Well, a friend of mine kind of told me and it was really very early on, I think it was probably like 2012 he told me about it. And he basically said, the way he described it was, this is the way that our money moves through the Internet, you know, it was kind of the behind the scenes for money. And while that wasn’t right at the time, it ended up becoming kind of correct today, you know, where it is the money of the Internet. It is you know, a solution for sending money across the globe to people that, you know, where Western Union might not work or a bank wire or ACH may not work. And I just thought that was fascinating.
00:03:31:14 – 00:03:51:14
Garrett Pete: So, I started to get into, you know, obviously the speculation side of it, but really the technology side of it. So, you know, I was kind of early to the game with solidity and learning about, you know, Blockchain programming. You know, I remember Crypto JS was there for Bitcoin, but it never quite was the silver bullet that, you know, Smart Contracts and Solidity are today.
00:03:51:16 – 00:04:14:12
Richard Carthon: Right. And for all the newbies out there, Solidity is the main coding language that is for like, the Ethereum Blockchain and a couple of others. And again, with you being in the coding space of it and understanding how the underlying technology Blockchain works, I guess you saw this interesting opportunity where energy could come into play. So, tell us a little bit about Energy Ledger. Like, what is it? And what are you essentially trying to accomplish with it?
00:04:15:00 – 00:05:05:03
Garrett Pete: Well, yeah. So, Richard, what we’ve done here with Energy Ledger is we’ve patented the idea of having oil on the Blockchain to kind of substantiate supply chain, you know, where Blockchain public, private keys are each denoting a container of oil in a company supply chain. And then, they can take that data and then that becomes valuable as well. So, knowing where the oil is, you know, knowing where it’s being stored can ultimately help us in a mission to, you know, kind of take this data and start analyzing ways that we can start becoming more efficient with oil, become more, you know, environmentally friendly and start transitioning to renewables, which, you know, obviously a database currency like Energy Ledger could eventually come to kind of proctor the data for as well.
00:05:06:05 – 00:05:41:10
Garrett Pete: So, yeah, that’s in a nutshell, you know, what we patented what we’re going out there and doing and these companies, you know, they all come together every year and usually September for Blockchain Oil and Gas in Houston. You know, it’s a really great conference, you know, run by Energy Conference Network and I think that there is a lot of opportunity to communicate these ideas that we’re having to these companies, because we’re really the only company in the space doing this right now and taking this kind of, you know, taking this undertaking and really running with it, so.
00:05:41:22 – 00:06:09:00
Richard Carthon: So, let’s unpack it a little bit. So fortunately, I have a little bit of background in oil and gas and energy, shoutout to Tulane. And so, a couple of things. Is this going to affect upstream, midstream or downstream? And for all those who don’t understand like, what that is, let’s kind of unpack that a little bit. And then also, what are the current practices in oil and gas? Like, why does it matter to be able to get all this data and put it into Blockchain? Like, are they not just putting into computers or a lot of people still going by paper? Let’s talk about that.
00:06:09:27 – 00:06:26:25
Garrett Pete: Well, yeah, that’s really interesting. So, you know, with the upstream, midstream, downstream, we’re looking to really start from the upstream and then move to midstream, and then eventually, you know, when the product is really complete and it’s working at an enterprise level, be able to make it so our currency’s redeemable.
00:06:26:27 – 00:07:07:29
Garrett Pete: You know, so, make a data backed currency, you know, from the data of, you know, oil and gas transit, you know, to upstream to midstream and the same currency that these big players are using, you know, smaller, you know, individuals could use this, you know, to potentially pay for, you know, a charging membership for their vehicle or even for gasoline or, you know, power for their home, and also ultimately be able to use Iot devices to potentially even earn this currency. So, for instance, putting up solar panels or, you know, installing pollution sensors could really be the mining of the future and it could be a lot less rigid than the GPU and ASIC mining has been in the past, so.
00:07:08:01 – 00:07:38:23
Richard Carthon: Got it. And to break that down real quick, so, upstream is the old rigs that are out, like, in the Gulf of Mexico that are pumping all the oil, midstream are the refineries that it’s brought to so that it like, makes it ready to go and then, downstream is when you go to like, the gas station and pump it into your car. So, what you’re saying is basically you’re going to be able to use Energy Ledger to document how all this oil and gas is being pumped from upstream to midstream, and that’s valuable. And tell us more about like, why that is valuable and being able to document that more precisely.
00:07:38:25 – 00:08:16:09
Garrett Pete: Well, it’s really valuable from an ESG perspective. So that’s environmental, social and green tech and basically, you know, being able to, you know, take a look at this data and be able to paint a picture of, okay, where is this waste happening and where is the most carbon being produced? You know, there are several different kinds of fuels that, you know, crude oil can get refined down into. You know, some examples are, you know, gasoline. We all know gasoline, there’s kerosene and naphtha. And these all have different industrial uses. You know, and, you know, some of those even end up creating plastic, you know, as we know it.
00:08:16:27 – 00:09:12:12
Garrett Pete: But by looking from the very beginning of the life cycle, you know, so, that’s an operator, a driller, you know, producing oil. A lot of these, you know, these operators are sharing kind of the same problem that I know farmers share, too, is they’re doing some of this on paper. You know, there’s a lot on computers, but a lot of it happens on paper. There’s kind of a broken system where, yeah, data does get tracked by some organizations and, you know, they have to, you know, keep the profit margins up. But more than anything, what matters at the end of the day for, I think the largest operators out there, you know, we’re talking nation states and, you know, giant corporations like Exxon, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Halliburton, their bottom line comes from, well, you know, if the price of oil is low, they’ll just over produce at any cost, you know, to keep the numbers up for the quarter.
00:09:12:14 – 00:09:52:07
Garrett Pete: And that’s what happened last year in 2020. You know, there was just so much overproduction, you know, with the oil glut and the collapse of the price of WTI, that everybody in the whole world rushed to just overproduce to try to meet their bottom line and there wasn’t enough storage above ground. And instances like that is that’s just one area where, you know, having data to show and help predict ahead of time. Well, we’re going to hit a storage bottleneck right here, so, we have to cut production. You know, cutting production is going to help more than increasing production. And it stands true from an environmental standpoint as well.
00:09:52:09 – 00:10:45:03
Garrett Pete: Cutting production and potentially raising the price of oil by the laws of mercantile commerce would dictate that there are higher gas prices and then higher gas prices would dictate that more people who are buying new vehicles are going to opt for electric cars. And that’s the world and market that I want to try to create for. You know, with this is, you know, something that incentivizes people to, you know, A, use, you know, Iot devices to, you know, find out more about pollution downstream and find out more about, you know, really the end uses of oil and gas, you know, and, you know, also other things like, you know, solar panels, you know, being incentivized to create electricity and sell it back to the grid instead of just like, using electricity, like mining does for Bitcoin and Ethereum with the GPUs and ASICs.
00:10:45:21 – 00:11:18:18
Garrett Pete: And then, you know, on the other side of things, I want to incentivize operators to really see, you know, hey, there is a rewarding Cryptocurrency and they can make the same amount of money or more off of less oil. You know, there’s an incentive to cut production and you start moving to the next paradigm for energy, which is probably I would have to say, going to be nuclear, solar. And I’m sure that there are many other great sources as well, but I think nuclear and solar will be the most prominent in the decades to come, so.
00:11:19:06 – 00:11:40:21
Richard Carthon: Right. And thank you for spending time on and breaking all that down. I want to kind of bring a couple of things back. So, first, I want to go and explore the tokenomics of kind of like your token, right? So, now when people think about Energy Ledger and they want to use the token, now, is this for your everyday consumer, your retail investor, or is this more for an established corporation who it would make more sense for them to be using this? Like, let’s talk through that.
00:12:17:08 – 00:13:04:01
Garrett Pete: Well, what we’re kind of doing here is, you know, we obviously released the token ELX token and basically I think there is around I think, 135,000,000, circulating right now. And then, there’s like a 10,000,000 drip every six months that we kind of use as our, I guess, our budget, you know, to fund the project and, you know, keep development going. And what I see is, you know, that’s a very much consumer facing thing. It’s something that faces, you know, average people and people who are interested in the project and interested in the patent and interested in the technology. And on the other end, you know, we’re working on our product, Energy Ledger Enterprise. And if you go to EnergyLedger.com, you can basically see a demo version of this. You know, we’re moving right along with it.
00:13:04:11 – 00:13:31:05
Garrett Pete: And our idea is, you know, you have obviously downstream people and you have, you know, people that will just by nature consume gasoline. They’ll be consuming energy products just by the nature of the American lifestyle and really the modern lifestyle. And then, on the other end of things, we have, you know, these big corporations that we’re building Energy Ledger Enterprise for, to be able to track their supply chains more efficiently and bring value to the whole ecosystem at large.
00:13:31:07 – 00:14:17:27
Garrett Pete: And that’s where we want to meet in the middle at some point and be able to, you know, obviously be providing data to the end consumer showing that there is, you know, because there’s a lot of people who are very, shareholders that are unhappy with you know, I think Royal Dutch Shell was when they were very unhappy with the shareholders there, kind of started a domino effect at Exxon and Chevron, where people were unhappy that these companies just greenwashed their mission and they say, “Oh, yeah, we’re reducing, we’re reducing emissions,” but it doesn’t happen. And this gives those same companies the ability to walk the walk and show people that they’re walking the walk and create a lot of value in the process through, you know, through this token and the data that travels with the transactions.
00:14:17:29 – 00:14:49:03
Richard Carthon: And something else that I think is a very big key component of this, because it’s on Blockchain, everything is very open with Blockchain, because it is a ledger that you can go back and trace. You can really see are people doing what they’re doing. You don’t have to look at their claims, you can go and look at it, which allows for way more transparency and even just from a lot of how organizations are going for more transparent ways to look into the companies, this is going to help solve that challenge as well. So, I think that, go ahead.
00:14:49:18 – 00:15:46:04
Garrett Pete: Well, I just see it as, you know, it’s great that you bring all those points up, because what I see is promises kept from these companies. You know, if they make a promise, they can show people they’re following through on it and that’s going to go 10 times further than, you know, a flashy, you know, graphics on the quarterly’s or whatever. You know, being able to just show people the data and then having them be able to work off of that data and build, you know, new solutions, you know, that are kind of in demand by the market, it’s just incredible because the problem that we have, I think one of the biggest problems in Blockchain is, you know, the overconsumption of electricity. I do think it’s blown out of proportion, but it is there. And I just think it’s like, why don’t we just flip it on its head and we produce electricity and reward people for producing energy, you know, whatever form of energy and make it, you know, practical to track almost any form, you know, whether it’s oil and gas or solar.
00:15:47:19 – 00:16:29:21
Garrett Pete: But I think the most important thing is working backwards from the oil and incentivizing, well, here we can use less and less of this and we can get more out of it, because a statistic not a lot of people know is that 80 percent, 80 percent of the oil that comes out of the ground that’s refined to gasoline or kerosene or naphtha, it’s wasted. It ends up in our air and we end up breathing that and, you know, some of these big urban metropolises, you know, it’s, you know, the smog in L.A. is awful. I mean, anywhere you go where there’s many cars running, it’s just, you know, kind of bad air quality that, you know, permeates for miles. And, you know, we can kind of start toning that down, really. And I think that’s the biggest thing, so.
00:16:30:17 – 00:16:51:11
Richard Carthon: So, it seems there’s a ton of benefits, obviously, with bringing energy to the Blockchain. But let’s talk about why now and how this is going to go into the future. So, how is this going to help as we kind of go into this next phase? Or how is Energy Ledger going to help lead to the path of bringing this industry into Crypto?
00:16:52:00 – 00:17:16:06
Garrett Pete: Well, yeah. I think the number one way that we’re going to lead them there is, you know, we started this kind of three years ago conceptually, you know, in about, you know, early 2018, I saw that there was this problem. I saw that there is a huge amount of monetary value in oil and gas. You know, every year the gross revenue is around two trillion dollars. That’s more than everything in Crypto today. Just hitting every year in gross revenue for the oil industry.
00:17:16:22 – 00:17:56:13
Garrett Pete: And I saw that, you know, they had this problem where, you know, they can’t really relate to the younger crowd. They can’t really relate to even their own shareholders because they have to keep their bottom line up while still, you know, delivering energy that everybody demands, you know, a lifestyle that everybody demands. And I see a way where the Blockchain stuff, basically, the problems ended up happening, exactly as I saw, you know, oil went negative. You know, I saw that happening back when I started this. Oil went negative last year and I didn’t think that could happen. I thought we could see zero, I didn’t know we could see -38.
00:17:57:09 – 00:18:43:09
Garrett Pete: And then, the other problems that started to happen are, you know, there was a huge hack on the Colonial Pipeline, you know, where, you know, basically a group went into this pipeline software, which is very similar to Energy Ledger Enterprise, mind you. And, you know, this is a centralized software and there were centralized points of failure. And they hacked it and they put ransomware on it. You know, somebody clicked on an email that I guess had some like, pretty, you know, like girl in it or something like that and they clicked on it and it installed ransomware in the whole system. And this ended up, you know, shutting down the pipeline on the entire East Coast, causing a national emergency and it’s because of a centralized system. You know, these issues that I envisioned started to arise and come to the surface.
00:18:43:11 – 00:19:23:16
Garrett Pete: But the biggest issue of all of them is really, you know, how are we going to use less oil and get the same, you know, effect because it’s not going away. And I’ll tell you, for one thing, in the developing world, you know, internal combustion engines really aren’t going to go away for probably 60 to 80 years. I mean, if you go, and I was recently in Cairo, in Egypt, you know, doing some, you know, kind of Blockchain evangelism and one of the things I noticed is they have cars on the road. You know, they have VW buses from the 1960s, you know, the first gen ones still on the road because they’re very easy to fix. And the same stands for Mexico.
00:19:23:18 – 00:20:07:19
Garrett Pete: They love the VW Beetle because they can just keep fixing it. So, getting the developing world off of internal combustion engines, it could be the better part of a century that it takes to get them, you know, using an electric car or finding an alternative. And the solution is, is to find, you know, an economic reason to switch, but also make our vehicles more efficient in the next 10, 20 years to, you know, accommodate, you know, basically the continued need for oil and gas. And, you know, the reason is, you know, we’re going to keep using this. We’re going to, you know, need to be more efficient with it and while we keep using it, we don’t need to be wasting 80 percent of the energy generated from it, so.
00:20:08:15 – 00:20:41:03
Richard Carthon: Right. So, it’s almost like a two for one of energy efficiency. Making sure more of it’s being used, but also removing some emissions from the world and helping with a ton of things that are contributing to global warming in the world. So, it sounds like you have a rep of a ton of different elements of why this is crucial and essential right now. For the person that’s like, kind of hearing this and are like, well, you know, this sounds cool, like, what can I do to get involved? So, like, if someone’s hearing this right now, they’re like, this sounds cool, what are like, some next steps that they can take to learn more about Energy Ledger?
00:20:41:12 – 00:21:13:25
Garrett Pete: Well, something that would be really wonderful is if you, you know, check out our website, EnergyLedger.com and follow us on Twitter at Energy_Ledger. And we also have a wonderful Telegram community, I think it is called Energy Ledger Official. It’s pretty easy to find if you just search in Telegram. And there’s just a lot of great people in there that are really kind of well versed in our mission and well versed in our documentation. And, you know, you can find all that on the website, but hearing it all from other people, I think is the most important thing.
00:21:14:07 – 00:22:11:22
Garrett Pete: And also, you know, I put up videos pretty often. We’re doing a workshop on Friday, you know, kind of a sneak peek. We’re doing a workshop Friday that has to do with Iot sensors and how these could be the mining devices of the future in many different contexts. But this specific sensor is a pollution sensor, so, basically showing, you know, that eventually, someday we want, you know, the pollution in the air to reflect, you know, them cutting the drilling, them slowing down drilling. It should result to less pollution in the air and, you know, being able to reward people with tokens for setting up these devices similar to how GPU mining worked is the, you know, most important, next paradigm of this project after Energy Ledger Enterprise. So, that’s, you know, kind of a really cool sneak peak thing. And all of those resources are great, you know, to learn more about us.
00:22:11:24 – 00:22:32:09
Richard Carthon: For sure. And we’ll make sure to include those in the show notes. But, man, I really appreciate you sharing all that knowledge with us. But before we wrap up, I always like to ask two fun questions. The first being, if you could take all the information that you have learned right now and you can impart two or three pieces of wisdom to yourself when you first got started in this space, or first get started on this journey, what would you tell yourself?
00:22:34:06 – 00:23:26:14
Garrett Pete: Gee, I’d probably tell myself to have started earlier on this, because this is something, you know, I kind of got started with Solidity programming early and one of my biggest regrets is maybe not being one of the first people out the gate, you know, who had built a product or, you know, some sort of token or company around this. It did take me a little bit longer, but I got there. So, I do wish I wouldn’t have just approached it from an investing standpoint. I wish I would have approached it from a technology standpoint a little bit deeper. And, you know, I wish Energy Ledger would have started five years ago. So, that’s probably the number one thing that I would tell myself if I could go back.
00:23:26:16 – 00:24:04:18
Richard Carthon: For sure. And that’s a good one and it actually comes up a decent amount. So basically, everyone that’s listening, as you know, if you hear something and it connects with you and it’s making you want to do movement, the reason that we bring on these amazing thought leaders is so that you can have a way to learn about something new, but then also have action steps, things that you can start doing to make sure that you take action. So, we do not encourage you just receiving this information, we want you to gather it, we want you to have it. But once you feel like you’re in a good spot, make sure you’re going and taking those first actions, so you can start to become more and more involved in this beautiful space that is Crypto. But Garrett, as we kind of wrap up here, man, what is the final thought that you want to leave with all the listeners?
00:24:05:14 – 00:24:51:27
Garrett Pete: Well, you know, we’re at an extreme deficiency for developers in the Crypto space. You know, there’s not a lot of developers, but there’s a ton of enthusiasm. And I’ve, you know, over the years, I’ve found, you know, numerous tutorials and whatnot, I love to give a shoutout to Dapp University on YouTube. It’s probably some of the best tutorials and Gregory is a great teacher. If you want to learn more about, you know, smart contracts, then, you know, react JAS Web 3 front end development, you should totally check out these tutorials. And you know, who knows? There might be a job for you at Energy Ledger because we really need you right now, Devs. So, you know, just I’ll leave you with that and, you know, never back down from anything in the software space. It’s easier than you think, so.
00:24:52:16 – 00:25:18:06
Richard Carthon: Awesome, man. That’s a great final thought and for all those who are curious and want to learn more about these development opportunities, that is a great resource. We’ll make sure to share it on the show notes. But again, if you look at all the development work that’s out there, some of the best paying jobs in the industry right now is in Blockchain. So, not a bad thing to go and look at if that’s something that peaks your interest. But man, I appreciate all that information. What are ways that people can connect with you if they want to be able to learn more information?
00:25:18:18 – 00:25:51:13
Garrett Pete: Probably the easiest way is if you want to connect with me personally, LinkedIn. LinkedIn, above all. I will also, you know, just for kind of people that are watching this, I, you know, obviously I’m speaking it, but it’s probably not a good idea to like, type it somewhere, but you can email me at William@EnergyLedger.com and let’s start a conversation. You know, I’d love to hear from you and it’s, you know, wonderful to meet new people, get new ideas and, you know, see how we can change the world of energy and, you know, reduce pollution together, so.
00:25:52:14 – 00:25:59:19
Richard Carthon: Alright, perfect. Well, I really appreciate all your time today and of course, for everyone listening, Stay Crypto Current.
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