Will is a tech entrepreneur with expertise in developing payments solutions. Will continues to work as Head of Payments at Thesis with previous experience as VentureLead at A3Ventures and Co-founder of Membo. Of note, Will also was part of the early team that brought the Google Store to market, and he led the vision for the cult project, Lightning Pizza, the first real-world service using the bitcoin Lightning Network that allows customers to order Dominos Pizza anywhere in the U.S. with bitcoin.
Company Twitter: https://twitter.com/fold_app
Personal Twitter: https://twitter.com/wlrvs
*Disclaimer. None of this information is financial advice.
The following transcript was created using artificial intelligence. There will be some grammatical errors below.
00:01:02:20 – 00:01:23:10
Richard Carthon: Hello everyone. Welcome to another episode of Crypto Current your host here Richard Carthon and today I got a special guest all the way out in L.A. working on a extremely cool app and actually has a product that is being used and is vastly growing and extremely practical and excited to learn more about we have Will Reeves with Fold app. How are you doing today.
00:01:23:14 – 00:01:25:29
Will Reeves: I’m doing very well. It’s great to be here.
00:01:26:06 – 00:01:31:21
Richard Carthon: Of course. Before we dive into the interview. How much you give us a little bit of background by yourself.
00:01:31:25 – 00:02:04:18
Will Reeves: Awesome. So I currently am CEO and co-founder of folds and we give you Bitcoin rewards for shopping and so instead of airline miles hotel points we give you a new way to earn bitcoin instead of buying it. And it really was a kind of a long journey to get here. I’m the entrepreneur our founder in Silicon California for the past decade building consumer products at places like Google innovation labs within you know larger companies and then as a founder myself.
00:02:04:21 – 00:02:30:08
Will Reeves: And so I’ve kind of seen you know how to bring products to market that reach a ton of people and that introduce kind of new technologies to everyday people and so I’ve decided to take this and the rest of my team came together to make bitcoin more accessible and rewarding so all our team comes from some incredible backgrounds and so we’ve all kind of marshaled our efforts to solving the adoption conundrum for bitcoin no doubt.
00:02:30:10 – 00:02:46:14
Richard Carthon: And it’s to me a big conundrum to try to tackle and you’ve definitely done it in a unique way and we’ll we’ll dive in that and more in a second. But what was your first introduction into the cryptocurrency and block chain space. Like when did you first hear about it and what made you think like this is something that I should like turn into a career.
00:02:47:11 – 00:03:25:17
Will Reeves: Well I don’t think it’s my at my I’d say I have three or four pretty seminal introductions or two to Bitcoin and it took me a long time to ever even think it can turn into a career. So you know first introduction I was living down in Argentina and a developer down there introduced me to Bitcoin. And this happened to be during one of these deep economic defaults of Argentina and he had been using it to store his value at take it out of the existing system and put it into something that wasn’t being affected by any of the economic policies going on in this country.
00:03:25:19 – 00:04:20:26
Will Reeves: So it’s pretty fascinating to see it used as a safe haven asset even so long ago I saw it used in remittance payments from migrant workers in the Sonoma Valley where you have a lot of wine production. So people sending money back to their families primarily in Latin America and bitcoin for some made sense to escape fees and various other things. And I saw it used in Occupy Wall Street for donations and in payment that couldn’t be shut down by a pay pal or whoever whatever platform it was and so you know each of those shows a different value of of of Bitcoin the asset and has been really fascinating to watch all those use cases kind of continue to grow get stronger over the years and I looked at how can I make the biggest impact on this space.
00:04:21:18 – 00:04:44:14
Will Reeves: Coming from a consensus building payments technology for everyday people. It was really about how do we make this asset more readily available and accessible to people who may not fully understand it. And so creating a frictionless experience to accumulate it without having to purchase it without having to submit to KYC seemed like a great thing. So Fuld came to be to give you a Bitcoin Cash back.
00:04:44:16 – 00:05:24:18
Richard Carthon: Yeah. And you touched on the last point you made of like not having to go through KYC not having to go through like all these other hurdles just initially get in but also bringing into a practical use case of hey I’m already doing everyday interactions and things in the marketplace and buy an ex-wife Z How can I just provide this way to bring it to all consumers to be able to keep it to get bitcoin and sounds like you found a unique way to do that. So when did the first idea or notion of full that come to you and then you’re like OK I’m going to build this I’m going to walk us through like the creation of your company you know it wasn’t a straight line by any means.
00:05:24:20 – 00:05:59:21
Will Reeves: It was a kind of squiggly and a lot of it has to do with learning the true value proposition of Bitcoin. And so Fuld actually initially started off with the trying to solve the problem. A lot of people have bitcoin but there’s really no where they can use it now huddling it saving it was a well-supported use case. But the kind of medium of exchange piece really wasn’t there and so Fuld initially started off allowing you to spend bitcoin and purchase things at places like Starbucks that saw some great adoption.
00:05:59:23 – 00:06:22:22
Will Reeves: It was an amazing use case for having a public way to show Bitcoin as a as an asset that can work in the real world. It was you know made it real for a lot of people. But what we’ve learned is that you know the true value right now is really in Bitcoin as a as an asset to hold and to accumulate. And as to kind of
00:06:24:09 – 00:06:58:14
Will Reeves: accumulate over the time and what we’ve seen as it’s been the best performing asset over the last decade. So what that means is for the most people the majority of people it’s more important for them to hold it than to spend it at the moment. Now it’s not true for everyone but for people primarily in countries like the United States that use cases is probably going to be the most important. And so we shifted the conversation to OK how do we give Bitcoin rewards for spending Bitcoin. So essentially how can we compete against the credit cards that give you you know rewards for spending your fiat.
00:06:58:16 – 00:07:01:07
Will Reeves: How can we create a parallel structure for Bitcoin.
00:07:01:09 – 00:07:32:29
Will Reeves: And so this was spend your Bitcoin and earn cash back. From there we added credit cards and debit cards because we knew that there are far more people that don’t have bitcoin but want it. And so if we just opened up the floodgates to allow anybody to sink a debit or credit card spend out their retailers that they shot that every day that they would be able to start to earn it too. And that’s really when we saw a massive inflection point in the products. This is about in October of last year and users started to go up.
00:07:33:02 – 00:07:49:20
Will Reeves: Amount of rewards being distributed got and volumes. And so we really really worked through a trial and error effort to see really what was the most effective thing we can build for the most amount of people and the the market will tell us what succeeds and it was loud and clear.
00:07:49:23 – 00:08:26:25
Richard Carthon: Absolutely. And as you were learning from your users and seeing how they were using these rewards to accumulate and kind of hold on to Bitcoin you’ve kind of progressed in in and I wanna say pivoted bitcoin to went into a new direction with your product which was you know which I think you recently just launched which is the rewards Visa card. How has the success been with it and like walk me through. Like if I’m a new person and I want to sign up for this card so that as I do my different transactions in my life that I can earn bitcoin.
00:08:26:27 – 00:08:29:03
Richard Carthon: Can you walk me through how I like how that process works.
00:08:29:18 – 00:08:42:21
Will Reeves: Yeah. So we we we had our existing app out there and we we were approached by visa because they were curious about what’s what traction we were seeing. This wasn’t a not a typical
00:08:44:15 – 00:09:38:12
Will Reeves: Bitcoin pitch that they’ve heard. And so they were very interested and you know this all ultimately culminated in a joint effort to bring about a bitcoin rewards card and self with fold. This card works exactly like your existing debit card does today. It is attached to your you know a USD balance that you can spend down in stead of earning any points or anything like that you’re earning Bitcoin. And so it really doesn’t change your daily life at all. All you need to do is download the full map on the Apple or the IRS or play store download the app you can get on the waitlist so that the wide release is in July but what users are going to see is that this card is from the ground up from the phone the benefits and how it works is geared towards people who want to learn and accumulate as much Bitcoin as possible.
00:09:38:14 – 00:09:49:24
Will Reeves: And so you’re going to use it just like any other card in your wallet right now except instead of airline miles you’re going to earn Bitcoin right into your full account. But then you can withdraw to your personal wallet or or keep there and save it.
00:09:49:26 – 00:10:20:10
Richard Carthon: Got you wishes. It’s very unique and just like you said and the fact that you’re able to pull in such a huge customer such as Visa for something like this just shows where this is headed in closer to market adoption like this could be a clear cut way that more and more people get into this type of rewards program. So I guess we’re starting with your everyday consumer but like what is other plans to eventually get this into like a corporate level to where they can also from.
00:10:20:12 – 00:10:29:23
Richard Carthon: From a business standpoint like let’s say I have a business entity and they’re doing a lot more transactions would they be able to sign up for something like this like where where do you see the full app growing too.
00:10:29:27 – 00:10:55:24
Will Reeves: You know we primarily look ourselves as serving kind of concern rumors and so we are going to focus on that element. We are going to launch our debit card first our credit card will follow after. But we have already seen a big demand for a corporate version of this card as well. So it’s definitely something we’re thinking about but you know our primary focus is getting as much bitcoin into the hands as many people as possible in as little amount of time.
00:10:56:03 – 00:11:19:19
Richard Carthon: Excellent. And so right now you said there is a wait list so for everyone listening if you want to know sign up for this or get on this. Download the app see how you can get involved with this because it definitely seems like a really unique and amazing opportunity. Well what are some ways that people can do to learn more about this. Or like just continue to get some more information and sign up for this waitlist.
00:11:19:21 – 00:11:54:11
Will Reeves: You know you can go to our website at folder app dot com and we have a whole page dedicated to this. This card program you can see some video look. Read more about the program itself. But you know I really encourage everyone to just jump into the app download if you can earn cash back when you shop at Amazon. So for Uber door dash pretty generous amounts back and so item I encourage you to start stacking stats immediately get on the waitlist for the card. Now don’t be surprised there are over 30000 people on this list currently and that’s growing very quickly.
00:11:54:16 – 00:12:01:22
Will Reeves: But you can move up the list by sharing with friends and family but otherwise we will be having a wide rollout of this in Q3 of this year.
00:12:02:15 – 00:12:33:15
Richard Carthon: Excellent. Well shifting gears a little bit there’s a lot that’s going on in the crypto block chain space right now even with how cold it has just come in affected global markets with the regular global markets but also how it is potentially affecting the adoption and in how people are viewing crypto currencies. What do you think are some things that people should be looking out for in the near term and even potentially in the long term for the for the crypto block change space. Yeah it’s a pretty amazing time in the space right now.
00:12:33:17 – 00:12:34:26
Will Reeves: You couldn’t imagine a worse
00:12:36:27 – 00:12:52:10
Will Reeves: set of events to position up for you know the true test of the asset. So we’re seeing you know Djokovic come through. Governments are responding with you know printing trillions of dollars more money than they’ve printed in the past 200 years of printing right now. And so it is an amazing
00:12:55:01 – 00:13:30:10
Will Reeves: example of infinite money versus finite scarce money being Bitcoin. And so the value proposition really starts to shine. It is also a time when airlines Warren Buffet pulled all his money out of the airlines. We could see major defaults. Bankruptcy is going on there which would have a very severe effect on all of the airline mile programs going on around the offer. Rated by both credit card companies and the airlines themselves which would create a big void in the market. And bitcoin is positioned very well to take up the mantle of a fundamentally better reward than what currently is offered.
00:13:30:12 – 00:13:45:28
Will Reeves: And then of course the big news is sometime tomorrow you know on May 11th or may 12th we have been having events where the blocks subsidy or block reward cuts in half. So the half as much bitcoin will be minted
00:13:47:19 – 00:14:05:17
Will Reeves: than normal. So what we’re going to see is a potential for some interesting activity coming from Bitcoin especially on the price side. But additionally it’s becoming a more and more scarce asset where USD and Fiat around the world is becoming more and more infinite. So it’s gonna be a real true test of it.
00:14:05:24 – 00:14:41:19
Richard Carthon: Absolutely. And the first point you brought up I just want to revisit because I don’t know if people truly understand how just game changing the world is right now especially in the sense that the U.S. economy. So in the first two hundred years of the U.S. existence two trillion dollars of debt created we have printed three trillion. In the beginning the first quarter of 2020 like let them marinate for a second. How cryptocurrency especially bitcoin is so powerful is that you can’t print more you can’t go make more.
00:14:41:21 – 00:15:24:27
Richard Carthon: It’s finite finite supply. Supply and demand we just talked about with the having event in the store of value that is is truly starting to look more and more like digital gold. So I think there’s a lot more attention that’s being brought to the crypto space because because of it I think that what would have happened a decade from now or within the next five to 10 years is being probably expedited. I think in the next three to five years simply because as the world has changed I think how people look and perceive the store value of an asset has also are looking into new areas and I think crypto is going to be a prime time location of where they look for that.
00:15:24:29 – 00:15:45:17
Will Reeves: Well I couldn’t agree more. You know it is what it’s really you can you can really imagine no Bitcoin was created after the tail end of the last financial crisis. It has essentially had 10 years to prepare for this moment. And so it is going to be very interesting to see how it performs in the exact set of conditions that was created for.
00:15:45:20 – 00:16:00:03
Richard Carthon: No doubt no doubt at all. Well well I really appreciate you coming on the show. Spend some time let us know about The Fold app and all the incredible things that are happening with the company. But what is a final thought that you want to leave with everyone listening here today.
00:16:00:05 – 00:16:32:04
Will Reeves: I mean I would say it’s my favorite thing and the thing about this space is that you know it is such a community oriented and community driven space to have and builders like myself content creators like yourselves benefit greatly from people trying out these products giving feedback because that’s what’s gonna make these products better and more effective at ultimately furthering adoption. So whether it’s start listening to more podcasts give insights to people who are building products and how to make them better.
00:16:32:06 – 00:16:52:10
Will Reeves: That is something that anybody can contribute to the ecosystem even if they’re not building or not creating content. And even if they don’t have that much you know that much cryptocurrency in their current portfolio. So really it’s about supporting the builders making sure they’re doing great work and that will forward the space immensely.
00:16:52:22 – 00:17:25:16
Richard Carthon: No doubt paying it forward building this community in just finding ways to collaborate instead of everyone trying to build their own island. We got to start building bridges and we got to keep finding ways to educate others so that they can be knowledgeable of all this great amazing opportunity that’s in the world of cryptocurrency. And just giving them the tools to be able to capitalize on it and act today. And so I really do appreciate that final thought and for you spend some time with us today. What are some ways that people can connect with you.
00:17:25:19 – 00:17:36:28
Will Reeves: You can find me on Twitter occasionally there I’m at W L R V S you can find us that fold underscore app
00:17:37:29 – 00:17:52:12
Will Reeves: We have lots of good content both just what’s going to happen with bitcoin overall but new product updates and promotions so follow us and we hope to give you some valuable and if anything help you stack some sets.
00:17:52:14 – 00:17:57:09
Richard Carthon: Excellent. Well again really appreciate your time today 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.