On this episode, Richard sits down with Rafael Cosman to talk about his team’s new DeFi protocol for uncollateralized lending, called TrueFi.
Prior to TrustToken, Rafael helped build StreetCode, a non-profit that teaches East Palo Alto youth technical skills, and worked at Google Brain, Palantir, and Kernel. Rafael graduated from Stanford University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science. In his free time, you’ll find Rafael reading or surfing.
TrustToken is modernizing financial infrastructure to make economic opportunities open to all. TrustToken’s TrueFi platform brings uncollateralized lending on-chain, offering lenders high earning rates with full transparency of how their funds are used, and borrowers the ease of fast, fixed-rate, fixed-term loans without collateral requirements.
The company’s TrueCurrencies (TUSD, TGBP, TAUD, TCAD, THKD) are the world’s fully collateralized stablecoins attested live on-chain, now moving billions in monthly trade volume across +100 trading partners including Binance, Huobi, and OKEx. TUSD users enjoy lighting-fast transactions, easy minting and redemptions, and obsessive customer service.
Disclaimer: Richard Carthon is the Founder of Crypto Current. All opinions expressed by members of the Crypto Current Team, Richard or his guest on this podcast are solely their opinions and do not reflect the opinions of Crypto Current. You should not treat any opinion expressed by Richard as a specific inducement to make a particular investment or follow a particular strategy but only as an expression of his opinion. This podcast is for informational purposes only.
The following transcript was created using artificial intelligence. There will be some grammatical errors below.
00:00:03:03 – 00:00:18:02
Richard Carthon: Hello, everyone. Welcome to another episode of Crypto Current, your host here, Richard Carthon, and today I got a special guest working on a really cool, stablecoin project, as well as they’re in the DeFi space and working on a ton of other really cool things. We have Rafael with TrustToken, how are you doing today?
00:00:22:10 – 00:00:24:09
Rafael Cosman: Doing well. Thank you, Richard, it’s good to be on.
00:00:24:29 – 00:00:32:21
Richard Carthon: Of course, man. So, before we dive in anything, let’s go ahead and just get a little bit of background on yourself and tell us a little bit about yourself.
00:00:36:12 – 00:00:54:09
Rafael Cosman: Absolutely. So, I grew up here in San Diego, which is where I’m calling from. Hello to everyone wherever in the world you are. And then I went to Stanford to get a computer science degree. And after that, I worked briefly at Google doing AI research before starting this company.
00:00:56:05 – 00:01:16:29
Richard Carthon: Yeah, well, that’s pretty remarkable. I mean, going from Google into AI, into starting this company means that you probably got a pretty early start on understanding the Crypto and Blockchain space. So, tell us about that first experience. How did you first find out about Crypto and Blockchain? Like what year was it? And then what made you decide, like, Oh, I need to go make a company about this.
00:01:19:21 – 00:01:43:17
Rafael Cosman: It was a long time until I actually made a company about this. I think I originally heard about Crypto and Blockchain when I was an undergrad at Stanford and I was taking some Crypto classes with Dan Boneh, who is a very famous Cryptographer who teaches at Stanford. And this is probably like 2013 or 2014.
00:01:44:02 – 00:01:44:17
Richard Carthon: Wow.
00:01:44:19 – 00:01:58:24
Rafael Cosman: And then I graduated in 2015. And when I started this company, it wasn’t even a Crypto or Blockchain company. This company started out as an estate planning company, so we made software that helped people get their wills and trusts.
00:01:59:12 – 00:01:59:27
Richard Carthon: Wow.
00:01:59:29 – 00:02:48:26
Rafael Cosman: And then, about a year in in 2017, we saw how much Crypto was blowing up and we thought, Wow, there are just amazing opportunities here and we’ve got to do something. And that’s when we decided we’re going to make a Fiat backed stablecoin we made through USD. And our reasoning there was that we were a team that had technical people like me and also we had attorneys full time on the team because we were doing an estate planning company, wills and trusts. I think stablecoin is a perfect combination of, you know, it’s not just technology, you also need to work with banks, you need to be regulated. You’ve got a lot of the legal side as well, so it combined the skills that we had on the team at the time.
00:02:49:23 – 00:03:14:23
Richard Carthon: Really unique, the fact that you’re able to pivot into something that spoke to the team’s unique qualities and assets as far as knowledge and being able to actualize your talents for the Crypto space. So, since kind of pivoting and getting more into the stablecoin side of things, you know, kind of walk us through, you know, when you started to like where things are now. Like what’s the latest going on with TrustToken?
00:03:17:22 – 00:03:27:07
Rafael Cosman: We launched True USD. It’s done pretty well, it now has about 300,000,000 true USD circulating globally.
00:03:27:09 – 00:03:27:24
Richard Carthon: Amazing.
00:03:27:26 – 00:04:01:27
Rafael Cosman: Backed by 300,000,000 US dollars sitting with our banking partners. And since then, we also launched four other Fiat backed stablecoins True British pound, True Hong Kong dollar, True Canadian dollar and True Australian dollar. And then, we more recently launched the product, which is now our company’s number one focus, which is called TrueFi and it is the decentralised protocol for uncollateralized lending. And if you’re familiar with Compound or Aave.
00:04:01:29 – 00:04:02:14
Richard Carthon: Yeah.
00:04:02:16 – 00:04:16:04
Rafael Cosman: Or some of those five protocols, it’s similar to those, but it does uncollateralized lending instead of collateralized landing, which is a little bit higher risk, but also higher reward. And we think it’s a very exciting product, I’m happy to tell you more about it.
00:04:16:18 – 00:04:33:28
Richard Carthon: Absolutely. So, let’s stay there and then I’ll go back to some other questions I had on the TrustToken. But with TrueFi, first for the newbies that are out there, please explain collateralized versus uncollateralized and why this is such a huge opportunity in this space right now, in the DFI space specifically.
00:04:37:12 – 00:04:44:00
Rafael Cosman: Is it actually okay if I project things that people are going to be able to see the video?
00:04:48:02 – 00:05:07:21
Richard Carthon: Do both. So, of course, for everyone listening, as you know, you can watch this via YouTube. And so, for all of those that are watching, you’ll get an extra treat. I guess you’ll be able to see a little extra something special, but Rafael is going to make sure to explain what he’s displaying as well, just to make sure that for everyone listening, you can follow along with what’s going on.
00:05:12:04 – 00:06:10:15
Rafael Cosman: So, for those of you who can see here, I’m just showing Compound.finance, it’s one of the largest lending protocols in DeFi and you can see they’ve got 12 billion dollars supplied into the protocol and they’re lending out five billion dollars. So, this is a huge protocol. And the way it works, this thing does over collateralized lending, which means you could put up, let’s say, $100 of Ether and then against that collateral, you could borrow something like $60 of a stablecoin, or you could put up $100 of a stablecoin and borrow $60 of Ether. So, you’re always putting up more collateral than you actually get to borrow and that’s what keeps the protocol safe, because if you don’t repay that loan, then they will just liquidate your collateral and the protocol hasn’t lost any money. Does that make sense?
00:06:13:19 – 00:06:52:27
Rafael Cosman: So, what we’re doing that’s different, if I show you our app over here, is we are doing lending that is uncollateralized, which means that basically you can put money into the lending pool and the protocol is going to start making loans in stablecoins to various trading firms. Now, they don’t have to put up collateral to get these loans and so, that means that our protocol compared to some of these collateralized protocols, it may be a little bit higher risk, but is also higher reward because people are willing to pay a much higher rate in order to get a loan if they don’t have to put up collateral.
00:06:53:23 – 00:07:33:00
Rafael Cosman: And also our protocol, because it doesn’t have collateral, instead of requiring that collateral, we do a bunch of vetting of the borrowers that get onto the platform and so, the holders of the governance token, TRU, actually get to decide which borrowers get onto the platform. So, there’s a whole application process, they get vetted, they have to give over documents and so on, and then they can get on the platform, and be able to borrow. Whereas for something like Compound, which does collateralized lending, they actually say anyone can borrow, literally anyone can borrow from Compound. They don’t care because they have that collateral, so, that’s the key difference between collateralized and uncollateralized lending.
00:07:33:20 – 00:08:11:24
Richard Carthon: Amazing explanation and thank you for the visuals as well, I think that’s going to be very helpful. For everyone listening, make sure you go check this out via YouTube as well, just to see the visual representation that Rafael was so kind enough to share with us. But as you said, because there is a little bit more risk, I guess the way that you are able to de-risk it is to have a more strenuous process for your borrowers to be able to come on your platform. If I potentially want to come and get an uncollateralized loan, can you kind of walk me through what that process would look like?
00:08:13:29 – 00:09:03:00
Rafael Cosman: Yeah. So first of all, you personally couldn’t get an uncollateralized loan on our protocol because right now we only do loans to businesses and the two kinds of businesses that our protocol is focusing on A, trading firms and B, exchanges. And so, unless you’re one of those, right now, we’re not actually giving out loans. And that’s probably because within trading firms and exchanges, there are businesses that are very trustworthy, have oftentimes tens or hundreds of millions of dollars under management and have been around for many years and can offer very attractive returns. So, they’re oftentimes willing to pay 15, 16 and some as high as 18 percent APY in order to borrow capital from the protocol.
00:09:03:16 – 00:09:39:04
Rafael Cosman: And the kind of vetting that we do, you can think of it as to a certain extent, a replacement for that collateral because holding collateral is still not perfect. Like if the price of Ether were to drop really quickly, then even if you have Ether as collateral, it might drop so fast you can’t liquidate it in time to cover a loan. And so, holding collateral isn’t perfect either, but what we replace that with is being more careful about whom we’re lending to so that we know they are much more likely to actually pay back than a random borrower from anyone anywhere in Crypto.
00:09:39:27 – 00:10:33:11
Richard Carthon: Yeah. I mean, that makes a lot of sense and it’s a really unique business model, actually. I haven’t heard of another one in the space that’s kind of doing it your way, which I think is fairly cool. Again, for everyone listening, it just goes to speak volumes of the limitless possibilities in the world of Crypto and Blockchain, especially in the DeFi space. There are very unique and practical ways that you can set this up, but also doing it in a very, everything’s risky, and at the end of the day, you can’t just say like de-risking Crypto because at the end of day, Crypto is inherently risky. But there are smart things that you can do in place to de-risk and feel confident in being able to set up things like loaning and using DeFi and having uncollateralized loans versus collateralized loans. So, I really think what y’all are doing is awesome and really unique. I mean, how did you even land on this type of lending?
00:10:35:03 – 00:11:42:06
Rafael Cosman: Well, we were looking at how stablecoins were being used in Crypto and in DeFi, and it looked like the number one biggest and fastest growing use case was lending. But all of the lending was this kind of over collateralized lending, that Compound, Aave, Maker and other large protocols are doing and we didn’t see anyone that was doing uncollateralized lending in DeFi. But our view is that DeFi is going to gobble up a very significant portion of all of traditional finance, and that is likely going to include a ton of collateralized lending and a ton of collateralized lending, among many other things. And so, we believe the uncollateralized lending sector in DeFi is going to be very, very large, likely in the hundreds of billions of dollars, if not larger. And so, being the first one to launch that protocol, if we can get it off the ground, might be tremendously valuable.
00:11:42:18 – 00:11:43:03
Richard Carthon: For sure.
00:11:43:05 – 00:11:44:23
Rafael Cosman: So, that is what we’re working on.
00:11:45:10 – 00:12:25:27
Richard Carthon: Yeah, it’s a smart play, man, and it’s really unique. Again, like you’re the first time that I’ve heard that’s gone in this space and I mean, definitely have my attention. For everyone listening, definitely go and check that out. And before we kind of shift into another direction, I kind of want to go back to your TrustToken for a moment. And you’ve actually kind of answered one of my questions that I had, which was, there’s a lot of competitors in the stablecoin space, and I was going to just see, like, you know, how are you able to position yourself in such a way that people would want to use TrustToken as opposed to some of your competitors out there? And it sounds like this is kind of the route that you’ve selected to go in order to use it.
00:12:27:21 – 00:13:42:25
Rafael Cosman: Well, so our stablecoin, our USD backed stablecoin is called True USD and that one, it was the first stablecoin that was launched after Tether, the first US dollar backed stablecoin. And so at the time, it was really unique. Now, since then, there have been other competitors, especially USDC, that have taken a lot of market share in the USD stablecoin space. And at this point, one of the main things that attracts people to True USD is that the level of transparency that True USD and our other true currencies from different jurisdictions around the world have is they have attestations from a third party accounting firm 24/7 posted online. And we recently worked with Chainlink to launch a partnership where those attestations are actually put on chain such that DeFi protocols can directly examine and see that the True USD are fully backed and that that is a level of trust and transparency that, to our knowledge, not a single other stable coin has ever reached.
00:13:43:25 – 00:14:35:22
Richard Carthon: Just like you said, transparency, especially in the world of Crypto, is very important to a lot of people and is a major component of why, especially when it comes to a stablecoin, because you definitely want to be as secure as possible having stuff that’s there. Even on the website, something that I saw was really unique was that you put it out there plainly just on that you have over three hundred billion dollars in backing. You can cover that and like it’s out there and I like how transparent that is. So, I mean, just with the TrustToken ecosystem, you know, you have basically, I believe, three different things that are going on right now between your stablecoin, your DeFi play and your True token. Are there any other things that are in the pipeline or are you just primarily focused on building out the DeFi space, like what’s y’all’s current roadmap looking like?
00:14:38:04 – 00:15:27:15
Rafael Cosman: Our primary focus right now is on building our TrueFi and growing it and we’ve got some very exciting items coming up there. One is adding multi asset support, is actually going to be coming out probably at some point in April. And, the idea is to not just support lending through USD, but expand that to other stablecoins and soon to add Bitcoin, Ethereum, all kinds of other assets that you could be lending on the platform. And I’d like to make TrueFi the best place where you can earn a very attractive yield on any Crypto asset that you’ve got, while still not taking too much risk.
00:15:28:06 – 00:16:23:14
Rafael Cosman: And the second item is we’re about to ship a product for our borrowers, which is lines of credit. Right now, all of the loans that TrueFi does, they’re all fixed term and fixed rate. But there is a tremendous amount of potential, given how Crypto works, to do a lot of things real time. So, instead of these fixed term loans, we’re going to add a product which is variable flexible loans that will act as basically lines of credit where a borrower, if you, Richard, were approved up to $5,000,000, you could pull all $5,000,000 of that line of credit. One day you could decide the next day you want to put $3,000,000 back and the next day you want to pull another million dollars, the day after that you want to put it all back, it would be completely flexible on pulling and returning your line of credit on a minute by minute basis.
00:16:23:20 – 00:16:24:05
Richard Carthon: Wow.
00:16:24:07 – 00:16:51:26
Rafael Cosman: And you’re going to be paying a rate on that line of credit that’s just based on how much you have out and what the current conditions are in the market. It’s the protocol, it’ll be calculating what that rate is and billing it to you on a minute to minute basis. That’s something that is very difficult to do unless you have the kind of technology that we’ve got here in Crypto. And we think it’s part of why Crypto is going to take such a large bite out of traditional finance.
00:16:52:15 – 00:17:16:18
Richard Carthon: Just what you described is so unique and like in traditional finance, I don’t wanna say it can’t happen, but look at the scale that you just said, like, Oh, my gosh. Like, why is it that Crypto’s so uniquely positioned to be able to do that type of variable lending as opposed to traditional finance? Like if I tried to go to a bank and do the same process, what hurdles would I face?
00:17:18:11 – 00:18:01:11
Rafael Cosman: Well, if you look at how a bank actually sends money, like when you sent a bank wire, especially overseas, it still to this day, involves actual humans in a back office that type information into a computer to get that wire to go out. And that’s part of why so many things in banking, if you’re trying to send me a wire right now or if we were trying to send a wire overseas, so many things in banking, about moving money around are not real time and not even close. And what’s wonderful about Crypto is that you really hold your own private keys and if you sign a transaction and that gets mined, it’s done.
00:18:01:25 – 00:18:02:10
Richard Carthon: Right.
00:18:02:12 – 00:18:31:29
Rafael Cosman: That transaction is final. And that’s part of what’s frightening about Crypto and why people have to be very careful not to lose their keys or lose their funds, but that’s also part of the power, is that it is from a technical perspective, it is an extremely solid foundation upon which to build an entire financial system and you still can add back in some of those protections if you want. Like you can hold your Crypto with a custodian or you can put your Crypto on Coinbase and then you’re not holding your own keys.
00:18:32:01 – 00:19:01:15
Rafael Cosman: Coinbase is holding those keys or your custodian is holding those keys and then you can have a protocol with them where you have to do 2FA, you have to have a password and so on to move your money. And things like that might be slower, but they might also be safer. But the fundamentals of how a Blockchain works are very, very solid and allow money to move almost instantly and that is what I think is going to make these markets permanently more efficient than traditional financial markets.
00:19:02:05 – 00:19:26:00
Richard Carthon: Yeah. I mean, just like you said, the speed and ease of use and cutting out the middleman, because you can move faster, you can move safer and you’re empowering people to do what they want with their money. Now, of course, with power comes responsibility, so, yes, you’re going to have to be a lot more responsible and safe and secure with what you do because there’s no clawbacks. It’s a one way street, so.
00:19:26:06 – 00:19:26:24
Rafael Cosman: Exactly.
00:19:28:09 – 00:19:55:20
Richard Carthon: So, as we get to more adoption and I think people get over that initial hurdle of understanding that, things are going to flow a lot more easily, or you’re going to find that some of these Crypto projects put these like step by step, et me hold your hand through everything just so you feel really secure with moving forward with this type of opportunity. And I think the players who do a good job with that initially are going to soar as we go into this next decade.
00:19:57:00 – 00:20:22:07
Rafael Cosman: Right, you know, Richard, that kind of step by step, holding our hand, I think that’s actually going to be down the road, a huge fraction of how people get access to Crypto, because where we are right now is still like the early days of the Internet when people are sending out packets. And you know, you and I are manually signing transactions, right?
00:20:22:09 – 00:20:22:24
Richard Carthon: Right.
00:20:22:26 – 00:20:53:03
Rafael Cosman: On our Ledger or on our Metamask. There is no question that when our parents and our grandparents and when billions of people around the world are in the future using Crypto, they won’t be manually sending transactions the same way that, when people use the Internet today, they’re not manually constructing a packet and sending it out to a server, right? They have web browsers, they have Internet applications, they’ve got apps on their smartphone that handle all of that.
00:20:53:14 – 00:21:31:09
Rafael Cosman: And so, we’re going to see over the next couple of years, more and more apps come out that say like, Hey, let’s say you can earn right now, you know, 50 percent APY, some fantastic APY’s in TrueFi, right? But to be able to access that today, you have to actually use the TrueFi smart contract. You have to be able to sign transactions. There are going to be apps that are going to say, “Hey, look, download this app connect it to your bank, put in some money and you can start earning directly with TrueFi or directly with Compound or directly with Aave.” And they’re going to make it so much simpler. But it is not going to be a quick process because you don’t need just one app, you need hundreds of apps.
00:21:31:11 – 00:21:31:26
Richard Carthon: Yeah.
00:21:31:28 – 00:22:05:17
Rafael Cosman: In every single language, in every single jurisdiction. They have to deal with a local regulation, they have to know how to market in all those different markets. And so, it will be a slow rollout process, but that process is what’s going to bring billions of people into Crypto. And most of those people are not going to necessarily know that they are even using Crypto, they’ll just know that behind the scenes their money is being invested in such and such a way. But the actual technology, the rails that are being used is going to be Crypto, DeFi protocols, stablecoins, etc.
00:22:07:21 – 00:22:41:11
Richard Carthon: For sure. Man, I mean, that was a very eloquent way of saying we are a ways away before things are just so simple that you’re using Crypto without even realizing you’re using Crypto. It’s on the way and I’m excited to see the industry continue to move forward in that direction. And along those lines, you know, there’s a lot that’s starting to already happen in the year 2021. Obviously, there’s a lot of opportunity out in the DeFi space, but is there anything either within the DeFi space or anything in general within Crypto right now that has your attention that you think others should be looking out for as well?
00:22:43:06 – 00:23:37:08
Rafael Cosman: I think right now we’re in a situation in DeFi where if you can find the next building block that needs to be put into place as we’re assembling this financial stack, then tens or hundreds of millions of dollars can immediately flow your way and help grow your protocol, grow your ecosystem. That’s what we’re seeing happen as each piece of the puzzle is falling into place. And it somewhat needs to be quick because we’ve got a lot of building to do as an industry. If we are going to end up gobbling up 30, 50, 80 percent of what traditional finance is today and if we’re going to do that within a reasonable time frame of a couple of years or even a couple of decades, we have a lot to build.
00:23:37:21 – 00:23:38:06
Richard Carthon: Yeah.
00:23:38:08 – 00:24:09:21
Rafael Cosman: We’re building these fundamental pieces like the Dex’s, the lending protocols and so on and they’re each one that you build, enables new applications on top of it. I don’t think that our protocol would be possible without other protocols like Curve.fi or Uniswap. And there are other folks who are going to be building later this year and next year who are not going to be possible without our protocol. And that is how things are moving. And so, it is moving at an insane rate overall, but we also have a very long way to go.
00:24:09:29 – 00:24:43:06
Rafael Cosman: And if someone is joining Crypto today, it’s tempting to feel like, Wow, Bitcoin above 50,000, am I late to the game? The answer is no. When it comes to Crypto and DeFi, you are actually early to the game. We are still at the beginning, we’re still in a world where people are manually signing transactions. It’s analogous to if you are manually sending out packets over the Internet to a server, that’s where we’re at today and that is not where we’re going to be in five, 10 years when we have way more adoption than we do today.
00:24:43:08 – 00:25:18:26
Richard Carthon: For sure. And I love it because what it’s saying or what you’re saying intrinsically is we are building. We’re still in built mode, we are still in hyper growth mode. What I ike to share with the audience and for everyone listening is that you’re not late to the party. Everything that’s going on right now is to build to where this is headed. So, we’re over the hump of Cryptos either going to be here and stay or it’s going to crash and burn and go to nothing. I think we can all agree that it’s not going to crash and burn, go to nothing, so, therefore it’s going to be something.
00:25:19:00 – 00:25:19:15
Rafael Cosman: Right.
00:25:19:17 – 00:26:00:16
Richard Carthon: Now, right now, there are over 8,000 projects, because if you look at Crypto currencies, you know, when you think about them, all of them aren’t meant to be currencies. A lot of them are Blockchain companies/projects that are under the name of currency, right? But if you look at startups because a lot of them are startups, ultimately, if you look at history, 90 percent of startups fail, but those 10 that make it or that 10 percent that does, are going to be outrageously massive. But even the 90 percent that ultimately don’t make it doesn’t mean that they’re not going to have five to 10 years of super awesome growth and it could potentially have really, really great opportunities to earn a little bit as well.
00:26:00:18 – 00:26:29:29
Richard Carthon: So, all that to say that we are still so early, there’s still so much opportunity. It would behoove you to continue to just find new opportunities like this, especially in the DeFi space, because everything is so new. I mean, you’re listening to someone right now who’s one of the first movers in uncollateralized loans, like this is news to me. I like to think that I’m well up to date with everything going on in the Crypto space, right? So, just keep learning and just keep finding really good opportunities. So, I really do appreciate that note Rafael.
00:26:31:28 – 00:27:04:05
Rafael Cosman: Thank you. Yeah, Richard, this kind of stuff like uncollateralized lending, you know, we are the pioneers out on the cutting edge and that is one of the most exciting places to be. That’s where you are. That’s where you are, that’s where a lot of folks in Crypto are. And there is much, much larger fish, like when Tesla comes in and buys 1.5 billion dollars of Bitcoin, that’s saying, Okay, Bitcoin, which a few years ago was thought of as, you know, drug money, Silk Road, all kinds of sketchiness.
00:27:04:12 – 00:27:04:27
Richard Carthon: Right.
00:27:04:29 – 00:27:48:11
Rafael Cosman: Today, a publicly traded company, one of the best respected companies in the world, can make a 1.5 billion dollar Bitcoin purchase. They are coming in the footsteps of people who have gone before and that is part of their role and that’s part of our role. And so, we are here on the frontier figuring out what’s new in Ethereum, what’s new in DeFi, what are the new coins, tokens, protocols that need to be built next. And the bigger fish like that are going to be coming along the way six months, one year, two years behind the pioneers and helping to take things truly to the next level. And you get to billions or tens of billions of dollars of scale.
00:27:49:17 – 00:28:21:27
Richard Carthon: I love it, man. And we are all pioneers. And even if you’re listening to this right now, again, you’re still so early, you’re still going to be leading the way. There’s still a whole lot of opportunity out there. Just keep learning this stuff, but then act. Make sure you’re taking action, make sure you are going and beginning to take some of those first steps to get involved in this space. And actually on that thought, if you could take all of the knowledge that you have right now and pour it into your younger self when you first got involved in this space, what are like two or three things that you would tell yourself?
00:28:23:14 – 00:28:30:26
Rafael Cosman: Okay, so here’s one. Richard, I didn’t believe in DeFi for a long time.
00:28:31:08 – 00:28:31:23
Richard Carthon: Wow.
00:28:31:25 – 00:28:42:03
Rafael Cosman: Yeah. I genuinely didn’t believe in DeFi. And so, there’s a lesson there about, you have to be more interested in learning than in being right.
00:28:42:18 – 00:28:43:03
Richard Carthon: Right.
00:28:43:05 – 00:28:58:03
Rafael Cosman: Because so many people and it’s so tempting, all of us do it. Just wanting to show that you are right, wanting to see evidence that convinces you that you’re right, as opposed to seeing the evidence that convinces you that it’s time to change your mind.
00:28:58:13 – 00:28:58:28
Richard Carthon: Yeah.
00:28:59:00 – 00:29:28:22
Rafael Cosman: So, I’m very glad that I changed my mind on that one. But I remember there was some time years ago and I thought, you know, Wow, you know, these things like Uniswap, Compound, are they really going to work? You know, is DeFi ever going to be usable because it’s so difficult to access with Metamask and Ledger and so on. That’s one thing that I would definitely do differently. I guess another lesson that I learned is the power of partnerships.
00:29:30:09 – 00:30:23:12
Rafael Cosman: One thing that I think that USDC did really well is they had a consortium model that we didn’t have with True USD when we launched it. And since then, we have found some really good partners to help us grow True USD. But I think that part of what made USDC so successful and what I would do differently if I could launch True USD again is, they had a consortium model where they invited Coinbase to join the USDC stablecoin project very early on, and Coinbase signed on with them and then was able to bring USDC to their something like 10 million users, very, very large user base that they had. And with True USD, because we didn’t have a model like that, it was much more difficult for us to land partnerships of that size.
00:30:24:12 – 00:30:24:27
Richard Carthon: Gotcha.
00:30:25:02 – 00:30:27:18
Rafael Cosman: Those are a couple of things that I would do differently if I had one more shot.
00:30:28:05 – 00:30:55:03
Richard Carthon: Two great nuggets right there man. Just to unpack them both really quickly again is be willing to learn more than you’re willing to be right. I think that’s just a general in life lesson right there, so, let that one resonate for a second. And the second is the power of partnerships, the power of working with others. And I actually talk a lot about this in my own life of, I really feel that you can get a lot further in life with others than by yourself.
00:30:55:27 – 00:31:20:25
Richard Carthon: What’s the old saying? Like, if you want to go somewhere fast, go alone, if you want to go somewhere far, bring others with you. And it’s, you know, the power of having others to bring you so much further than you could just yourself. So, I think those are really two good lessons. But, we’ve unpacked a lot here, you’ve dropped a lot of great knowledge with us. As we kind of wrap things up, what is a final thought that you want to leave with all of our listeners here today?
00:31:22:13 – 00:32:13:06
Rafael Cosman: Take some risks. That’s the final thought I would leave you with, and if you are here in Crypto, you probably are somewhat of a risk taker already. But, when it comes to your time, your interests, you know, maybe where you deploy a little bit of your capital, the stuff you play around with, maybe today, tomorrow, try something new you’ve never tried before. Check out a new project, learn about a new protocol, go meet someone new in the industry you’ve never talked with. But there’s just all kinds of things out there that have always surprised me when I’ve been willing to put myself out there and take a little risk. Let the world surprise me.
00:32:13:27 – 00:32:29:23
Richard Carthon: Definitely. Amazing final thought. Thank you so much for sharing with us today. What are some ways that people can learn more about you, learn more about TrustToken, TrueFi, all the things. How can people who are listening today go and learn more?
00:32:31:08 – 00:32:53:28
Rafael Cosman: Well, you could check out TrueFi.io, which is our main site. We’ve got links there to our blog posts and our documentation where you can learn more. Go to TrueFi.io and also check us out on Twitter. Our team is @TrustToken and I’m personally @RafaelCosman as well. So, I hope to see you all on there.
00:32:54:22 – 00:33:00:15
Richard Carthon: Amazing. Well, Rafael, thank you again for spending some time with us 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.