Sazmining Podcast Episode 9: Lea Thompson on Blockchain Myths
Synopsis: In Episode 9 of The Sazmining Podcast, Will speaks with Lea Thompson, Founder of Girl Gone Crypto. They discuss common misunderstandings about blockchain, underrated benefits of Bitcoin, what a future of mass adoption of blockchain might look like, and more.
Will Szamosszegi (00:04):
Welcome to the SA mining podcast at SA mining, we are bringing you into conversations with today's industry leaders and blockchain and cryptocurrency. Our goal with this podcast is to improve the understanding and adoption of blockchain and cryptocurrency by giving you an insider's look at what's being built and informed predictions on what the future holds today's episode is sponsored by block by in cogent law group, our listeners can visit block by.com/sa mining for an exclusive offer for cryptocurrency management and check out cogent law group for all your legal needs. Our guest today is a former graduate of central Washington university, and is now the founder of girl gone crypto. She makes videos about blockchain that are both interesting to nerds and normies alike and focuses on projects to help increase crypto adoption. She believes that video content yields the highest return for brands when it comes to engagement and trust. If your company isn't focusing on video, then you are already behind your competition. So if that's said, I'd like to welcome you Leah Thompson to the podcast.
Lea Thompson (01:22):
Thank you so much for having me on the show and being a part of, kind of the initial launch of this. I'm really excited to, to be a guest. So thanks for having me on,
Will Szamosszegi (01:30):
We're glad to have you what's led to your interest in crypto.
Lea Thompson (01:35):
So I I've known about Bitcoin and crypto for a long time. Like I, I have some friends that were minors back in 2011 and they, you know, I saw them setting up these crazy, like, you know, rigs and all this stuff. And like their apartments were always so hot cause they had all these big minor rigs in and I was like, you guys are crazy. I don't know what this is. Um, and they kept telling me I should buy Bitcoin at various points over the years. And I sadly did not listen to them as early as I should have <laugh> but, um, I really started getting into crypto kind of early, mid 2017. And so it, it really started with, um, a blogging platform called steam. It, which I don't know if you are familiar, but, um, I ran across it in 2017 and I made my first post.
Lea Thompson (02:22):
I never really made content before. Um, but I thought it seemed kind of interesting. And I started earning crypto. Like I, I posted like a ukulele cover and I made a hundred dollars and I was like, what is this weird thing that is happening right now? <laugh> so, um, so that's just, I think really led me down the rabbit hole of starting to ask questions, like, why is this worth anything? You know, I used to ask, is this worth real money? Which is like, I can't believe I said that now, but <laugh>, you know, like, and then even like, what is this thing called an exchange? What can you do with it? What is a BTC pair? What's a hardware wallet. So that's why I think, think I'm really passionate about helping people to have the easiest OnRamps to get their first bits of crypto, whether it's the, to shoes or, or something else.
Lea Thompson (03:07):
Like for me, it was an alt coin. It was steam. But when I actually owned a little bit of crypto that's when I started to ask questions and that's when I actually started to get interested in all of this versus just having friends telling me about it for years. And so, um, yeah, so I was blogging on steam it for, um, well now about three years, but about a year ago I decided to start girl gone crypto. And so, um, that, that's when I really, really got deeper into the crypto community. About a year ago,
Will Szamosszegi (03:35):
You kind of walked through how you heard about it, how you started learning about all these different concepts that you really do have to learn about if you're gonna fully jump into crypto after you decided, okay, I'm passionate about this. This is something that I want to do and make a career out of. How did you make that transition to actually starting girls on crypto?
Lea Thompson (03:56):
Yeah, so it, it's kind of funny the way it all came about, but you know, like I mentioned, I'd been, you know, belonging and making video content and doing different things on steam. It, and what's funny is that none of it was crypto related. Like it was just random like music covers or, you know, sharing like a recipe I'd made. It was just all, it was so random. It was all over the board. But I realized a couple of things. First of all, I realized that I actually really enjoyed making content and getting to connect with people because, you know, back in those days, the platform was a lot more active there's, you know, tons of regular active users. And so I was really building this community and I, I realized how, how fun that was and how cool it was to have people outside of your local network and the city you live in and actually get to really connect on a more global scale.
Lea Thompson (04:41):
Um, but then also, um, the funny thing that happened was that people kept asking me to come speak at crypto conferences because they were following me on scene because that's obviously like, you know, most of the people on there into crypto. Right. And I was like, oh no, I don't really make content about crypto, but they're like, no, we think it's a great story. Come share. And so anyway, I started traveling around to some of these crypto conferences. And so about a year ago, I just kind of realized that I was like, you know, I really, like I said, enjoy this whole content making process. I think it's really fun. And I think it'd be cool to like pick a, more of a niche and start making content. You know, that, that is a little bit more directed and focused in a certain area. And crypto is just the really obvious choice.
Lea Thompson (05:27):
You know, I'd spent a few years really learning more about crypto in a kind of low pressure environment where I could just, you know, on my own do research and, you know, being around people, going to these crypto conferences. And so I was able to just kind of get to that, that point where I felt comfortable enough starting my own show, that I could ask intelligent questions and you know, like that maybe, I didn't know, you know, as much as I do now, like I've learned a lot this last year from interviewing so many people, but I, I felt like I knew enough to kind of get started and it's really just been like a rocket ship ever since it's been so much fun. Um, you know, I've continued to go to crypto conferences. I was going to go to a lot more this year.
Lea Thompson (06:06):
Obviously that's kind of changed, but, um, but yeah, it's been so fun to get more involved in the crypto community and get to make content about crypto. And, and that's where I think that like the fact that it's been a solid year and every day, I'm just like pushing out content is like shows that the passion comes from inside. Right? Like that, it's something that I'm really excited about that I think is going to be really impactful in our world. And so the fact that it still feels really, really fun, like a year later. And I've like, got like, you know, at no loss for ideas for crypto content, I think is just really exciting as well. So
Will Szamosszegi (06:39):
That's crazy that you would be asked to go and present at all these conferences, uh, really early on when you were going, were you telling your story or what were you talking about in those earlier days?
Lea Thompson (06:50):
Yeah, so some of them were steam related conferences and so I would be like the keynote speaker, cuz I was one of the like bigger content creators, you know, at that time. Um, but then some of them were just kind of more general crypto, you know, crypto conferences that just wanted me to kind of tell my story of learning about crypto earning crypto by making content, like finding it through a crypto DAP, which I think is actually really cool. Like, you know, we see all of these great DS that are being built, you know, games like, you know, splinter lands is one of the more popular crypto based gains or some of these other social platforms. And, and that's the goal, right? To make the entry to, you know, adoption or the entry point easier where they're actually using something in their real life, but it's helping them to like kind of interface with crypto. And so I think for a lot of people that was kind of, they were like, oh wow, here's an interesting use case of where that worked <laugh> so yeah, I think that was it.
Will Szamosszegi (07:46):
<laugh>, it's funny cuz you get in your type of job to speak with so many different people who are on the front lines of these exciting projects, building these new things that are trying to really scale mass adoption of uh, these DS and other blockchain related, uh, applications. What are some of the most interesting projects that you've come across, but that's one of the areas of the space that I haven't been focusing on that much recently I've been focusing more on the mining side from your point of view, what are some of those potential apps that might reach, uh, mass
Lea Thompson (08:20):
Adoption? Yeah, that's a great question. And I think to your point, there's so many different sectors of the crypto verse where like mining is one that I have way less, you know, exposure to, right. Like around the having, I actually did interviewed some different minors, you know, from different mining pools and did kind of a video about that. But for the most part, that's an area that, you know, I don't really know that much about. Right. Um, where, what I really focus on within my own channels and my content is, uh, projects that really help lower that barrier to adoption and just make the entry point easier. So for me, like one of my favorite projects in the space is lolli, you know, that, uh, browser like
Will Szamosszegi (08:57):
Lea Thompson (08:58):
Where you can earn Bitcoin for shopping. And I love that because it, it just mirrors my own story. So well of making it easy for people to actually own some crypto, because then that's, that's when they're gonna start asking those questions and getting more curious. And so the fact that they can just, I mean, my mom uses it, right? Like it's just so easy and they don't have to sign up for an exchange and do all this KYC and it's not this big intimidating thing it's just really, really easy. And then, you know, at that point, hopefully they'll be encouraged to maybe continue learning more about Bitcoin after that. But, um, so yeah, I'm a big fan of that. And I also really like supporting different like wallets or exchanges that make the onboarding process simpler, you know, that really make it feel more like a process they're used to and less of a foreign concept <laugh> you know, and so, um, you know, I really like the edge wallet.
Lea Thompson (09:52):
I think they do a good job shape shift, does a good job. Um, you know, I really like Gemini exchange. Um, you know, there's, there's a lot of great options out there and I think that the, um, products are continuing to improve and are getting better and better and getting better user experiences, which is good because, you know, I hear a lot of people say like, oh, well, you know, it's not that hard to figure out how to use a ledger. And I was like, it kind of is, yeah. If you're not used to that sort of thing, I mean, I have multiple different hardware wallets, you know, the ledger tr are like, you know, I love them I've now that I've gotten used to it, but it was really nerve wracking at first. I'm like, what are all these codes and these seed phrases, like that's not normal. That's not what people are used to dealing with. And so, yeah, I think it's really cool when we can find projects that are kind of like, I don't wanna say dumbing down the experience, but are building the backend text so that it's secure, but the user front end is easier to use.
Will Szamosszegi (10:45):
Yeah. I remember my first ledger when I, when it showed up, I had had no background into how it worked. And so I almost like forgot about the seed phrase. And then like a month later I realized, oh my God, that's so important. Cuz if someone gets a hold of that, then they could get all the crypto in this wallet. And so then at that point, uh, I got a new, a new ledger and then did the process correctly the second time. But it definitely is a, is one of those things where there is that high barrier to entry to really get involved and truly start managing your own keys, which seems to be something that you're very, uh, passionate about, that type of a system where you actually own it and have ownership versus, uh, leaving it with some other third party. No,
Lea Thompson (11:32):
Absolutely. It it's really true. Like I, I think a lot of my motivation for being in this space and wanting to continue to push it forward is because it does line up with my personal values of self sovereignty ownership of your own life. And so being able to actually own your own money and your own assets is huge. Like you think, think about, um, you know, let's say that people just have some more, you know, regular investments in stocks or different things, um, you know, their 401k, whatever it is, fidelity Etrade, you know, if something happened to those platforms, it's not totally guaranteed that you're like, what's gonna happen with that. Or you get locked out or someone, something happens where I have my private keys, I can control. There's no third party that has some sort of level of access to my funds. I can put it in a secure wallet and I know that it's there as long as I've taken the proper precautions to make sure that, you know, I'm, I'm securing my private keys in a good way, then I, I can sleep a little better at night knowing that I have full control over that whole process.
Will Szamosszegi (12:34):
What is your view on what someone should try and do if they're trying to build, whether it be a personal brand or a company brand and build brand awareness, what are some of the platforms that you would recommend that they go and check out?
Lea Thompson (12:50):
Yeah, so I think it depends on the, the industry, of course, like, you know, if someone is trying to make content about beauty products, they might wanna be on Instagram and you know, YouTube, but if you're in Twitter or if you're in crypto, there's Twitter, there's the flip right there. <laugh>, you know. Yeah. So Twitter, I think really is the, the main platform when it comes to crypto content, obviously YouTube would be a second. Um, but Twitter is, is really where the conversation happens, you know, and the fact that it's such a shareable platform is really great too, because you can use the Bitcoin hashtag. And even if you only have 200 followers on Twitter, there's tons of people could end up seeing your content. And so it's, it's a better way to get kind of organic reach where like, for example, I just mentioned Instagram, like you can't share someone else's post on your Instagram, right?
Lea Thompson (13:39):
Like there's not really an easy way to share out other people's content. And so with Twitter being so shareable, it really can help you get some exposure. Um, but yeah, I think YouTube obviously is really important as well. Um, you know, the intro you talked about like video content and how I, you know, really do believe that that's important. And the reason that I say that is because when you're trying to build some sort of community around your content, cuz really that's what you're doing. Like you're building people that are excited to watch your content, to connect with you and being able to like face to face, talk with them and they get to see your kind of intonation. Like they can really see your heart and where you're coming from through the camera. Like I think that goes a really long way to building trust and building relationships with your audience.
Lea Thompson (14:30):
And so whether that's, you know, doing full YouTube videos or doing even just short little clips that you post on Twitter, just kind of be like, Hey guys, I was just thinking this and you post it or do a random live stream AMA I'm starting to do more of those, uh, here and there just because they're kind of fun. You can just, you know, I grab a cup of coffee and there, and I'm live for the next, you know, 20 minutes, like come hang out or whatever <laugh>, you know? And so yeah, I think that just whatever you can do to help build like a real sense of, of community and connection with your audience, the better. And I just, I think video's really the best way to do that.
Will Szamosszegi (15:03):
Yeah. And with video, at least, uh, a lot of the people that I'm, I'm talking with, I think that they think that a production that you're going to publish is this huge endeavor where it's going to take an unbelievable amount of time. You need all the perfect equipment, everything else. And some people have trouble, uh, trouble starting because the barrier to entry in their mind might be very high. If you were talking to someone who is on the cusp and they feel like they have something where they can bring value, they have something that they're passionate about. They have something to give, but they're worried about starting because of some of these, uh, obstacles that they built up in their mind, what would be your advice for how they can actually get started in video, uh, within the next week?
Lea Thompson (15:53):
Yeah. So I mean, now I have tons of different equipment. You should see behind the camera here, all of the different things, but it wasn't like that when I first got started. And in fact, I think that you shouldn't start out with all this stuff because it's really, it's kind of intimidating to learn how it all works up and the editing and the microphones and the cameras and the different lights and the different things. Like it, it really is a lot. And for me, I've really enjoyed just slowly upgrading over time and being like, you know what, I think that a better mic would help or I think that getting better lights would help or new lights or whatever it is. Um, but the great thing is, is that like if you have a smartphone, you can literally make content that is more than good enough to post on YouTube on Twitter, on any LinkedIn, Instagram, any of the platforms you wanna post on.
Lea Thompson (16:41):
Even if you don't have a microphone, even if you're just literally like propping your phone up on a pile of books and recording, like it is, that's really all you need. And that's actually all I did for a really long time. Um, just use natural lighting, like, you know, prop your phone up in front of a window and trust me, it's good enough. It really is. And you can start to upgrade as you have time. And as it makes sense from like a budget standpoint, because the other thing is too, is you don't wanna dump a ton of money into something before you even know if that's really something you wanna continue with. And so I think just starting out with as little equipment as possible and just kind of feeling that out, I think is totally fine. And you can even get really cheap microphones that plug straight into your iPhone. So you don't even have to sync up audio and video later and in all of those things and you know, if you have an iPhone, iMovie is free, it's really pretty easy just to do a little bit of editing here and there. It's not too complicated. So yeah, I would just say, try start. I mean, what, what's the quote, you miss all of the shots you don't take.
Will Szamosszegi (17:44):
Yeah. Yeah. The Wayne Gretsky quote. It's a good one. <laugh> well, I think you, you touched on a really interesting point there that I was, I was thinking about this the other day, uh, when, when you think about a smartphone and you have all the capabilities, including camera and video, and you compare that to, before we, everyone was walking around with smartphones and people who actually wanted to create content needed to be these in, in the early days, these massive organizations, because they were the only ones that had the budget to be able to create, uh, content and be able to buy all the equipment and do it. And it's a changing, at least the way it seems to me is that there's some sort of changing landscape going on we're now everyone has the ability to become a creator, uh, to a certain extent and ability to produce content. So rather than there being that barrier to entry, anyone can really enter the game. And so with that said, where do you think, where do you think it's going to be moving within these next five to 10 years as we see these different platforms, if you have YouTube or you have video, uh, then there's everything happening with TikTok, Twitter, LinkedIn, all these other platforms, uh, what's your general sense of what type of content is going to be created and winning over the next five years?
Lea Thompson (19:07):
So I know that within our industry, a lot of people don't like TikTok for, for good reason. You know, the whole Chinese spyware thing is actually quite legitimate. I take it <laugh>, it's, you know, it's really a concern, which is why I do take some precautions. There are ways you can, you know, use separate devices or VPNs and different things to kind of help protect yourself from, from that and still get to use the app. But I do think that that kind of micro, highly engaging content is absolutely what is winning in the world right now. Um, you know, you look at TikTok being the most used app, like literally in the whole world, they have more users than, um, I like almost any of these other platforms that have been around for way longer. And anytime I post a TikTok to Twitter, it's like always my best performing piece of content, almost always, you know,
Will Szamosszegi (19:57):
Lea Thompson (19:59):
And like, because it's just, it's so much more engaging than some of the other things that are out there and they're, they can be funny. They can be interesting. And so I, I do think that we are moving to more of these like hyper engaging types of pieces of content. Um, obviously, you know, I think education like, like this, like these longer form podcasts and educational videos and things like that absolutely have a place and are completely important. But I do think that in terms of the type of content people want to consume, um, a lot of the average user likes to get that quick, hit that like little 15, second video that made them laugh and they're like, oh, that was great. You know? And then they scroll on and move on with their day <laugh>. And so I, I do think that more and more platforms are going to try to replicate what TikTok is doing, especially since, you know, there's all this talk about them potentially getting banned and different things like that. Um, but what I think that it'll be important for these other platforms. Like I know Facebook has talked about building a competitor app to TikTok, uh, recently is that the, the allure of TikTok, I think, is the virality and the organic reach you can get on there. Like you can, like, I have a video with 9 million views on there.
Will Szamosszegi (21:17):
<laugh> on TikTok.
Lea Thompson (21:19):
Yes. And there's no reason why it's not that good. Like, it's just like, it's just a random, funny video. But the fact that like, I think at the time now I have about 27,000 followers on there. But at the time I think I had like 3000 followers to have like that many followers and be able to get that kind of reach. And I've had tons of other videos with over a million views on there. It is really cool. And that's very rare to see, I think in the world of content these days, like Instagram and Facebook have really shut that down. It's really hard to get organic reach on those platforms now, you know, because they want you to pay for ads. And so they've really kind of, um, switched up the way the algorithms work, where TikTok is still very much like anyone can go viral and Twitter can be kind of like that too, which is why I, I really like Twitter. Like sometimes you'll, I think even this morning I saw a tweet that had like, like, I think 300,000 likes or something, and the person had 900 followers. It was just such a funny tweet that like, it just went viral. Right. <laugh> and so I think that's one of the biggest things that platforms should be looking at is how can people get that organic reach cuz that's what really draws people and kind of keeps them on the platform. I think.
Will Szamosszegi (22:29):
Yeah. That's interesting. Especially on the, you, you touched on a lot of things there with TikTok. So first off I think that I completely agree. You can, you can definitely go viral there and it's extremely engaging. I mean, you have the, the short form content for short, if you have short attentions fan and then you have the, the audio, you have the visuals, it's a lot happening in a very short period of time. And so it can be very addictive. And I think it speaks a lot to how much that platform has grown. Uh, but then on the other end, there's everything with the, with the spying and, uh, the collection of data that's happening. So other countries like India have already banned the platform and there's talk in the us on how that might get banned. And now, uh, Facebook, um, which owns Instagram, they're testing out this new, uh, this new type of platform that is pretty much like TikTok, but not TikTok. It's the same sort of content. And they're beta testing it in some other countries right now. But I don't think, uh, the us is actually has access to that. So if let's say hypothetically TikTok gets banned in the us and there's a new platform potentially owned by Instagram or Facebook where, uh, the functionality is the exact same as TikTok. Do you think that that's a platform where there's going to be an unbelievable amount of opportunity compared to other platforms? Or do you think that it's something that might just have difficulty getting off the ground?
Lea Thompson (24:06):
Uh, I think there's a lot of factors that could come into play there. First of all, I think it depends if TikTok actually gets banned or not. <laugh> yeah, because if it doesn't, I don't think people will be highly motivated to change. They might try it out, but they, if the real content is still happening on TikTok, that's where they're gonna be. Right. So you look at someone like Charlie D Emilio, I think, I don't even know. I think she was like 70 million followers or something on TikTok. It's insane. And she's like 16. It's like so wild, but, um, you know, is she going to suddenly just come over and use this new one? Like she doesn't really need to, unless she's just trying to diversify. But, so I think that if they really did get banned and people didn't figure out a way to use it, um, that would make the most sense because pretty much everyone that's ONAC has an Instagram.
Lea Thompson (24:55):
So that's kind of an easy switch over if they can use their same account, um, just to kind of pop over and start using it. But again, I think it comes down to that virality and organic reach if Instagram, um, without whatever this new app is, if they don't replicate that. And it's really hard to get viral attention. And I don't think it's gonna go anywhere because that truly is a lot of why I think people use the app because there's always this like promise and hope that maybe this, this will be the one, you know,
Will Szamosszegi (25:25):
If you get in there early <laugh>
Lea Thompson (25:27):
Exactly. But I do think that's part of the addiction is people they see other videos that got like 2 million views and they're like, well, I could do that. That wasn't that hard, you know, it's just kinda this, uh, this sense of like the chase that I think people really enjoy as well.
Will Szamosszegi (25:41):
<laugh> yeah. And another platform that I actually see your content come up on my feed, um, a lot is LinkedIn. And that's another platform where, what are your thoughts on just overall its use case and why people should be on LinkedIn?
Lea Thompson (26:00):
Yeah. I really like LinkedIn as a social platform right now. Um, I think just because again, you can get some pretty decent reach on that platform as well. Like I, I, I don't have a huge following on there. I think it's less than a thousand people, you know, it's not very big, but um, oftentimes like I'll get notifications being like, oh, your post is trending for Bitcoin or your is trending for privacy. And I'm like, really? That's crazy. <laugh> so, um, and so I do think it's really cool. I think it's an important platform to consider building. Um, especially if you are wanting to be in this space full time. Like, even though, like I said, like my followers on LinkedIn are not very high, it's been a really great portal to connect with people. And so it's a really easy way to maybe connect with the CEO of a company versus trying to send them a Twitter DM let's say, um, and maybe their DMS are closed or they just get so many DMS where on LinkedIn, I think it's a lot easier to actually connect with the people from, from these different, big organizations that you might want to, you know, interview on a show or you might wanna work with, or you might want to have some sort of even just connection with.
Lea Thompson (27:09):
And so, yeah, I really do like LinkedIn as a platform, I've experimented with different types of content on there. And, um, you know, it is kind of a little more buttoned up, right. And so I don't share my TikTok videos on there. I don't share as much as like the lifestyle content. I kind of keep it more to my educational content. You know, when I do an interview or clips from interviews, I've done things like that. Um, but sometimes I do experiment with, you know, getting outta the box a little bit more with content and it, it, it does well, but, uh, I think that each platform kind of has its owns own flavor, its own community, its own type of content that does well. And so for LinkedIn, I just kind of keep it to my educational stuff. But um, but yeah, I think it's, it's a really great platform.
Will Szamosszegi (27:52):
Yeah. And it's funny that you mentioned that because that's actually how we connected. It was, it was through LinkedIn. You can get very good organic reach on certain posts. Uh, so when certain people, I guess, are interacting with your posts, uh, liking, sharing, commenting, uh, getting involved with it, you can, it'll push it to more and more people in their network and some posts, uh, that people interact with will end up getting many, many, many tens of thousands of views. And then you look at your follower account and it's O it's under 5,000 followers. So how does that, how does that make sense? Cause I feel like you don't get that kind of reach on other platforms organically.
Lea Thompson (28:34):
Well, and I think that it kind of the reason that we're seeing this more on LinkedIn, um, and places like TikTok is because I think they're trying to still establish themselves and grow. So LinkedIn is not a new platform by any means, but up until the last few years, I don't think it's really been considered much of a like content sharing platform. It was a little bit more of like where you would put your resume, maybe connect. But I feel like in the last few years they've been really trying to rebrand as a content sharing platform. And so it's almost like they're kind of allowing more of this organic reach now because they're wanting to get people engaged in using the platforms kind of like Instagram and Facebook were in the beginning in the beginning. Like you could go crazy viral. Um, you know, I wasn't making content.
Lea Thompson (29:17):
And then, so I didn't experience that, but you remember, um, you know, like 5, 7, 8 years ago, um, the organic reach was crazy and then they started realizing like, Hey, we can make more money on this. So they kind of shut it down and you have to pay for ads basically to get too much additional reach or to get that much more. But, uh, I think that's kind of like LinkedIn, it's like the creators hold the power right now. So that might shift eventually. Uh, but for now I think that they're really wanting people to get used to using the platform for content.
Will Szamosszegi (29:48):
In terms of Instagram, what do you think it would be most effective being used for?
Lea Thompson (29:55):
Hmm. So, you know, Instagram's kind of a funny one for me. Um, I actually really like using that platform for crypto stuff because I, I think that, um, as we, um, move into, like one of the things that I really like to look at is bring more diverse audiences to crypto, right. And so we can kind of get into this like Twitter, you know, echo chamber. But I think that, you know, when we're looking at other platforms like Instagram, like TikTok, like even Pinterest, places like that, you're going to get different audiences. And I've actually been seeing a really growing group of people that are interested in crypto, um, on Instagram. And you know, one thing that I've been kind of an advocate for and more vocal about recently is, you know, making the space feel more inclusive, to more diverse audiences, helping to get more women involved in this space.
Lea Thompson (30:48):
And I think that if they're seeing content on Instagram, an app that they're using all the time, you know, and, and they're start to look for crypto stuff on there and they start and they see stuff that is maybe not super, super technical, but is maybe a little more lifestyle maybe fits in with content they're used to seeing, they might be like, oh, this is interesting. And it makes it feel more approachable. And so that's another reason why I think using Instagram can be, can be really powerful. And so for people that are looking to get started on Instagram, like the type of content that does the best is, you know, actually to be honest, probably crypto memes, if you're into that, <laugh>,
Will Szamosszegi (31:22):
There are some very good crypto memes out there <laugh>
Lea Thompson (31:24):
There really are. I know a lot of the biggest, uh, crypto accounts on Instagram are meme accounts. And so, um, but you know, photos, uh, quotes, uh, videos, you know, tend to do really well. I actually share a lot of like my TikTok videos on there and those are usually my best performing content on Instagram as well.
Will Szamosszegi (31:44):
Lea Thompson (31:45):
So yeah, I guess that's the moral of the story. Apparently
Will Szamosszegi (31:47):
<laugh> just make a bunch of TikTok and redistribute across your different platforms,
Lea Thompson (31:54):
Will Szamosszegi (31:54):
Uh, I'm gonna like log into LinkedIn tomorrow and just see you like doing some sort of TikTok dance.
Will Szamosszegi (32:02):
Well, but going back to, uh, going back to blockchain, uh, I, one of the things that I think in how it relates to all these different platforms is that it's really hard to get quality news and really know exactly what's going on. And there are many narratives out there where crypto's a scam, Bitcoin's a scam. And then there are other people out there who are creating content, showing the value of the technology. So you have these two different sides that are almost budding heads. And, and I guess my question is what is one of those myths that are narratives that, that is consistently pushed or that you've seen push in some of those other outlets that are saying Bitcoin or blockchains, a scam, what's one of those narratives that you would like to debunk for everyone listening, uh, right now.
Lea Thompson (32:55):
So, I mean, I think the biggest one that you've brought up is the whole, like, is it just for criminals and, and the quote that I like to, to use to kind of illustrate this point when I'm chatting with people. Cause actually I have friends that are like, ah, I don't know. They, they actually really do think is this for criminals? And I have to try to explain it to them. <laugh> and um, the quote that I like is one by Edward Snowden. And it's that saying that you don't need privacy because you have nothing to hide is the same thing as saying that you don't care about free speech because you have nothing to say. And so using that as an illustration, like, Hey, just because something is maybe a little bit more private and is putting power back in the hands of the people does have some more, you know, at least pseudo anonymity to it.
Lea Thompson (33:41):
Um, that doesn't mean that it's being used for nefarious purposes. It just means that there's more options and that people can, you know, potentially have more self sovereignty over their life than their finances. And so I think that's the biggest myth that, or concepts that maybe a lot of people don't understand that are outside of the crypto space is like, well, why would you need that? Why would you need that extra layer of privacy? Why would you want to have control over that? Like, you know, what's wrong with trusting the banks. And I, I think that just really breaking down, it's not about hiding anything it's about taking control of your own life. And that's something that I think people they get when you start to explain it in that way. Um, you know, especially right now in these economic times, like, you know, we're seeing how the government is just continuing to print.
Lea Thompson (34:29):
You know, the fed is printing trillions of dollars. People are really scared about what that's gonna do to the economy. And so right now I think the conversation is actually, it's, it's really prime to have that conversation to talk about Bitcoin as an alternative. And like, I think if there's one, one good thing that came out of this whole pandemic is that people are actually starting to ask questions about economics, about our monetary policy, you know, about quantitative easing and fractional reserve lending and things that they didn't care about before. And they're starting to look at it and be like, okay, maybe this is a problem. And so I'm glad it's opened the door for that conversation more.
Will Szamosszegi (35:06):
I mean, it's crazy the amount that the balance sheet has been expanded this year with this money printing. I think the, the number's about 75%, uh, it's been expanded by about 75%, which is just absolutely unheard of. It's hard to even wrap your mind around that many additional dollars coming into the system. And I think that I agree with you it's it really is primed for, uh, a big bull run in these inflation hedge assets, such as Bitcoin and gold. And we, we're obviously very deep in, in the, in the Bitcoin conversation, but it really is bringing Bitcoin more to the world stage. And I think that it, it, these are the primed conditions for, uh, Bitcoin to succeed over these next, uh, four or five years.
Lea Thompson (35:59):
Yeah, I really like that. You mentioned gold because something that I think has been a really interesting dynamic to observe in this whole, um, you know, kind of economic crisis has been, that people are realizing the value of hard sound money. And so a lot of people have been looking at like, oh, should I put my money into gold, but then wait a second. There was a, you know, scarcity, it was really hard to find gold <laugh> that that's when I I've had some interesting conversations with people about Bitcoin, like even just friends of mine that were looking to move more of their money into gold. And we're having a hard time finding a way to do that right now. And I'm like, well, that's not the only hard found money out there, you know? And so I, I think that it, it's just been really cool to see people become more open to that conversation these days.
Will Szamosszegi (36:44):
I think that a lot of times the conversation comes down to, uh, a very technical nature where people will be asking a question, how is Bitcoin hard or sound money? And so when you get asked that question by your friends who you're explaining, uh, Bitcoin too, and they're trying to buy gold and you're explaining, Hey, Bitcoin has a lot of these same benefits. How do you go about explaining that to them?
Lea Thompson (37:11):
Yeah. I, um, I usually start out with just, um, a fixed supply. And so, you know, that's again where the money printing, the be machine comes into the conversation of, you know, like why is gold valuable because you can't just produce more out of thin air. You know, there's a certain amount of goals that's available in the world and that gives it value. Um, and that's the same with Bitcoin. There's only 21 million and that's what gives it value. So that's, that's kind of how I equate the two and kind of draw the similar, um, conclusions as to why they provide value.
Will Szamosszegi (37:41):
Yeah, exactly. And you touched on a really important point there that it's tied to real world assets. You can't suddenly snap your fingers and decide to print 75% more gold. Uh, and then with Bitcoin, just as there's, there's a fixed supply, it's the most transparent monetary, uh, system out there, you know, exactly how many are going to be printed. You know, the schedule that they're going to be released, you know, that there's a having, which is the compensation being paid out to all of the minors, uh, for, for supporting the Bitcoin network that supplies getting cut in half, roughly every four years. And the miners are like the, the gold miners in the sense that it's tied to the real world assets, uh, in the physical world where all of a sudden you can't change the protocol, you can't change the dynamics of the system.
Will Szamosszegi (38:34):
And it really does go back to your point that we're looking at the hardest and the soundest money that we have been able to arrive at because of, uh, this, uh, this ingenious design for this system. I'd like to thank GFI for sponsoring today's episode. Block five provides wealth management products for crypto investors. I personally hold my crypto with block five because they pay me up to 6.2% interest annually on all of my crypto holdings at SA mining. We've hooked up all of our listeners with a special sign up bonus. All you have to do is go to block five.com/sa mining and sign up again, visit block five.com/sa mining for an exclusive bonus offer. It's a no brainer to earn additional interest with block by today's episode is also made possible by cogent law group, finding reliable legal representation in blockchain is one of the biggest challenges. When building a business, you need to make sure that you work with a law firm that understands the legal frameworks that apply to the industry and has the ability to strategically help you grow your business. When researching law firms for SA mining, I found that cogent law group checked all of the boxes. Not only do their lawyers have expert level experience, but they also understand the blockchain industry, cogent law group gives you access to high end lawyers without breaking the bank.
Will Szamosszegi (40:02):
What is your favorite book?
Lea Thompson (40:06):
Oh, you know, um, it's funny, cuz I feel like, um, people tend to think of this author as like slightly controversial. I find that some people really love her. Some people really don't, but um, Atlas shrugged was actually like really formative for me. So I Rand, um, just, I, I read it really early on. Um, you know, I don't remember how old I was when I, when I first read it, but, um, I really appreciated the, the underlying theme of taking control of your life and that you were the only one that really is to blame if your life isn't going on. I know that's not necessarily like always true, like there's circumstances, but sometimes they're outside of people's control there's hardships that we all go through. Um, but just in general, the, the underlying theme to take control of your own life, um, is something that has really stuck with me since reading a book. And I do think that book was, um, was really formative for me. Um, another book that I, I think really opened my eyes was, um, the creature from Al island by G Edward Griffin and just like really digging into the fed and learning more about our monetary system. And so that's kind of helped fuel a lot of my passion for wanting to help create a different monetary system is just really learning more about what's under the hood that's happening and just kind of having my eyes open to it
Will Szamosszegi (41:28):
In that book in particular, what would you say was most eye-opening fact or topic or insight that the author gave?
Lea Thompson (41:38):
Oh, wow. You know, it's been a while since I read it and it's about this big <laugh> so beware of anyone watching this or listening to this, uh, decides to go read it, maybe get the audio book or something, but, um, yeah, I think that, um, one of the biggest takeaways I had, um, I don't know if it was a specific example or just multiple examples. Compounded was just really seeing kind of what a fraud our two party system is, uh, here in the us that there are larger powers that be behind the scenes kind of pulling more of the strings than these individual political candidates are. And so, and, and that's been, you know, when you see president to president and we've had similar actions in terms of war and increasing the national debt. And it's like, when you really look at it under grand scale, it's like different words, but really similar underlying actions have occurred, you know, over the last few decades. And so I think that was really interesting for me to, to kind of look past the worst people are saying and look more at the reality of what actually is happening and just kind of be aware that maybe, maybe it is bigger than just, you know, the Republican Democrat party. Maybe there are larger powers, that'd be that have more influence than we really know
Will Szamosszegi (42:46):
Another question. What is the most, uh, interesting conference that you've been to and why,
Lea Thompson (42:53):
You know, I've been to some really cool ones. Um, so I think my favorite was, you know, we talked in the beginning about, um, steam it, and so I went to steam Fest, which was like their big annual conference for the first time, a few years ago when it was in Poland. And it was my first time going to Europe. It was my first time like doing a big trip, like traveling by myself. There was all these people that I had been talking with online for years that I felt like I really knew, but I had never met them in person. And so it was just this like amazing, like being, I felt like I was in a room with like my 300 best friends. Like, you know, it was just, and we were all in Poland together. It was just like really, really fun.
Lea Thompson (43:33):
And so I think that was my, my favorite, um, just getting to go and actually meet all these people I'd been hanging out with. Um, but in a more recent conference, I really enjoyed going to world crypto con last year. That was kind of my first like big conference I went to as girl gone crypto <laugh>, you know? Yeah. And, um, I think I had like, uh, I don't know, less than 2000 followers on Twitter, uh, when I went and so like not a lot of people really knew who I was, so I just went around and like was introducing myself to everyone saying hi to people, meeting people. And it was just a really, um, I think it was a really cool like momentum piece for me looking back on it, just the amount of people I got to meet and the fact that I was like really nervous, but I just put myself out there and I made myself just go and meet people. And so I think that was a really impactful conference that I now have, you know, a lot of the people that I kind of randomly met there, I now chat with all the time and have made content with and have done different things. So
Will Szamosszegi (44:28):
We, we actually had a booth at that conference. And if you, if I was asked the exact same question, I would say that that was my favorite conference that I've been to. And for many of the same reasons, because we're, we're a distributed team and, uh, many of the people I felt like I knew them, they're some of my best friends, but I just had never seen them in person. And so we got, uh, we, we had nine people out there and just a huge group from the team, many people meeting for the first time. And yeah, that was, that was an incredible conference. So I hope that it it's, it's looking unlikely that that's going to happen this year, but as soon as, as soon as that opens back up, we we're definitely going to be there.
Lea Thompson (45:10):
Yeah. I feel the same way. I, I know last year they were like, you're gonna come back again next year. Right. And I was like, oh yeah, I can't see why I wouldn't. Well there,
Will Szamosszegi (45:17):
We know <laugh> yeah. The <laugh>, there's no crystal ball that just gives you all the answers. Where can our listeners connect with you online?
Lea Thompson (45:27):
Mm yeah. So, you know, as we've talked about, uh, Twitter is probably the place that I spend the most amount of my time, you know, online. And so if you, uh, just really type in girl on crypto on pretty much any social platform, so Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Instagram, even TikTok, um, I should come up. Um, it's usually girl gone underscore crypto, but, uh, yeah, just type in girl on crypto anywhere and usually be able to find me
Will Szamosszegi (45:50):
All right. Great. Yeah. For everyone listening, make sure you go check out girl gone crypto. Now for the last question, let's say that all of a sudden, for some unforeseen reason after your next video, you could never create another piece of content again, which means that this next video that you're creating is the last piece of content that you will ever produce. You're not allowed to touch a camera or anything after you create this video, what would that video be about?
Lea Thompson (46:24):
Well, I think it more comes down to like, what would be the message that I would want to leave. So the video, I don't even think would need to be anything fancy, any fancy editing. Like I, I think it would more come down to like, what's, what's a message that I would wanna leave behind. And, um, I mean, there's, there's a lot, but I, I think that, I think that I would just tell people that, you know, to enjoy their life, like life is actually pretty great. You know, I think that a lot of people like their life is probably 90% good, but we tend to focus on the 10% that's bad. And it is really powerful to just stop and say like, you know, if you're not enjoying yourself or, you know, like, why am I not like, could I be doing something different?
Lea Thompson (47:07):
Why am I doing what I'm doing? And I know I've mentioned this a few times in the, in the podcast already, but just this idea of really taking control of your own life and doing hard things and making yourself get outta your comfort zone and try new things and, and really, you know, hold yourself responsible for the life that you have and building the life that you want, because there's so much opportunity in the world right now. And, you know, we even talked earlier about how all you need is just to flip on your smartphone, you know, put it on a pile of books and you can go start making videos. Like there's so many really cool things that people can be doing to take steps towards building the life that they want. And so I would just encourage people to really take the time to do that. And I would probably research a bunch of different, you know, resources that I maybe found to be helpful, whether it was books or podcasts or YouTube videos that then people could kind of go off and continue to develop that thought process or do more research. So I'd probably end it with like a list of other things that they could go research after that
Will Szamosszegi (48:10):
<laugh> wow. That is powerful stuff. That's really great. If, if you ever make that video, I would definitely check it out. <laugh> it sounds like a very great one. <laugh> yeah. All right. Well, Leah, thanks again for coming on the podcast. This has been so much fun and can't wait until we do it again.
Lea Thompson (48:31):
Yeah. Thank you so much. It's just been great to get to meet you and get to be here on your show. I think that what you're doing is so cool with this podcast and I, I really appreciate, appreciate you having me on as a guest,
Will Szamosszegi (48:42):
Of course. Thanks. Thank you for listening to this episode of the SAS mining podcast. Be sure to follow us on social media and YouTube for the latest updates and previews of upcoming episodes, full episodes and transcripts can be found on SA mining.com every Thursday. If you want to hear us interview a particular guest on a future episode, please reach out to email@example.com.
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