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Apr 8, 2019

This time I have Tory Reiss, co-founder of the TrustToken Asset Tokenization Platform. Tory shares how their company was bootstrapped, raised capital from elite VCs and launched one of the biggest regulated stablecoins - the TrueUSD. Recently they also launched the TrueGBP. Tory and I talk about the ways in which you can use TrueUSD to easily transact internationally or to simply earn passive income with the interest-earning product of Nexo. Among many other things Tory also explains:

  1. How fiat-pegged stablecoins can replace traditional digital money;
  2. What sets TrueUSD apart from all other stablecoins;
  3. How to convert your USD into TUSD;
  4. What is the business model of TUSD;
  5. Why Tory sees MakerDAO and DAI as a partner instead of a competitor;
  6. How TUSD combats money laundering.

This was a conversation that sparked me to think even more about the importance and stablecoins and how are accelerating the removal of existing financial borders.

Tory's Contacts:

Evangelists who converted Tory into crypto:

  • Satoshi Nakamoto and the Bitcoin White Paper

Leaders Tory continues to learn from:

Feel free to message me, George, on Twitter @borderlessBTC

 

Full Episode Transcript

 

(01:52)

George Manolov: Tory, I'm happy to have you today on the show. For everybody else; Tory Reiss is the co-founder of the TrustToken Tokenization Platform, which has been renowned for launching one of the biggest USD-backed stablecoins. But before we dive deeper into TrueUSD and the Trust Tokenization Platform, can you share a little bit about yourself, your personal professional path and how did you end up in the crypto space working on one of the biggest USD-backed stablecoins?

 

(02:31)

Tory Reiss: Absolutely. My background is a good example of that you don't have to stay in one area or define yourself too narrowly, because whatever you're really curious about, you can learn almost anything online. The Internet has made learning simple; you can be a lifelong learner. If you look at my path, I went to school in Chicago and, and my studies revolved around entrepreneurship, international studies, behavioral economics, and neuroscience. All these topics that really have nothing to do with finance whatsoever. I started my career in enterprise software. So, the first two companies I worked for were very focused on B2B enterprise software. The first being Microsoft, where I spent a good chunk of my early career. And the second being a startup in San Francisco called Lob that was also selling APIs to the Enterprise.

 

I caught the crypto bug towards the end of college when I first started buying Bitcoin. Obviously once you have bitcoin, you follow the industry news over time. I saw how it was evolving and I was really excited about it, but I didn't really make the move into the crypto space or working in it full time until I saw what happened with Ethereum. In a way, the world was changing in terms of gaining a global compute layer or a global database layer that we could work on from virtually any country. It represented a paradigm shift in computing that I thought was very exciting, and particularly as it relates to finance. I'd always had a fascination with personal finance and financial technology. So, this company ended up being the perfect intersection of all those interests. We started working on what is now TrustToken in 2017 and then in 2018, we launched TrueUSD.

 

(04:47)

George Manolov: What was the thought process of starting a company that is to tokenize other assets? Did you first come up with; Hey, let's tokenize the US dollar? Walk me through that process of how did you come up with the idea.

 

(05:06)

Tory Reiss: It's a great question. At that time, when we saw what was happening with Ethereum and the ICO boom of 2017, what became apparent when we took a step back was that there was a new financial system emerging on the Blockchain. We saw exchanges, OTC desks, new forms of derivatives and lending products. We saw it cropping up everywhere. So, we did this exercise where we looked at traditional markets and tried to think of parallels in what would change in this new paradigm. The first thing we observed when we looked at Nasdaq or other traditional exchanges is that the majority of the value represented on those exchanges are hard assets such as real estate, commodities, etc. So, following that chain of thought, we thought, if Ethereum was going to be running the world's most important computations and many of those relate to financial services, there's going to be a need for a way to legally and technically represent real world assets on the Blockchain.

 

And following that chain of logic, we thought what asset or what financial instrument which is the most well understood and widely adopted instrument in the world? And it was pretty clear at that time that it was the US dollar. We thought; this is going to be a great proof of concept, that if we can prove to the world this idea of representing a dollar on the Blockchain, then we could represent any asset. We saw it as a first step in just proving out the thesis that we could represent real world assets on the blockchain.

 

(07:06)

George Manolov: Alright. In terms of company building, what was the process? Because I know that you have raised capital from some of the top investors in Silicon Valley. So, did you first launch some sort of MVP? Did you have something prepared or in the running? or was it straight raising capital and then building it?

 

(07:31)

Tory Reiss: I think people should know that the reality of startups is way messier than they appear from the outside. This company started in a totally different space. We pivoted into Blockchain and it was very painful in the beginning. We didn't have many resources. Over a year ago, there was just five of us working away and we didn't really have a chance to have an MVP because as soon as our product would go live, it meant that basically anyone in the world could use it. So, we just put together all of the pieces, it was very much what I would call MacGyver, in the sense that we took a lot of toothpicks and bubble gum in the beginning, like a lot of manual processes and a lot of hard work behind the scenes to get our first version of TrueUSD out of the door.

 

With that being said, the most important things are security and compliance. So, even if there were lots of manual processes for us on the backend in terms of how we interact with the banks or how we interact with our users, we still had to make sure that we had world class security and world class bank-grade compliance. We couldn't skimp on those, which was very tough. That was our biggest investment area early on.

 

We started in the same way as most other startups; we were literally working out of the same house that we were living in. It was both office and where we lived. Once we had our product out of the door and we had traction, it then became a lot easier to raise capital. Today, we have thirty-one people, both here and in Asia, and a great office here in Selma. But it's not easy; you might be sleeping on a couch for a year or two before you actually get traction and have enough capital to move into your own space.

 

(09:57) George Manolov: But then it's totally worth it, because you start building something big and TrueUSD is already quite big. If I'm not mistaken, it's the second largest USD-backed stablecoin after the notorious Tether. So, can you share a little more about TrueUSD? You say it's the most obvious asset to tokenize, but why so? What are the needs that TrueUSD solves and how do people use it? What deficiencies does TrueUSD solve?

 

(10:41) Tory Reiss: That's another good question. At the time, we thought it was a great move because anyone anywhere in the world knows what a US dollar is, almost anywhere. I shouldn't say 100%, but most places in the world recognize and accept the US dollar. That was our logic at the time, that okay, if we tokenize that, then we don't have to explain what the token is, because it's essentially a dollar and people understand what a dollar is. What we only realized after, was that the product we created was far more useful than we originally imagined. The first use case for a USD-backed stablecoin was trading. Traders were using it because they could only trade crypto to crypto and they needed a stable store of value during volatile markets.

 

Now, in the grand scheme of things, that's just a tiny use case. And by tiny, it's still a multi-billion-dollar market today. It's still about $3 billion in market, but it's still relatively small. What we've learned over time is that, the market beyond trading and beyond crypto is massive, because what we've actually created is a new payment rail. What's very important is that we've helped increase the velocity of money, the velocity of capital, and we've offered an alternative way to move value that's outside of the control of the traditional banking system. Traditional banks, which have been the gatekeepers for time immemorial, have been able to charge whatever fees they want on FX which is conversion between multiple currencies. Or if you want to move money internationally, they pretty much set the terms. But with TrueUSD, if you want to send money to anyone, anywhere in the world, you can do so in a matter of seconds and pay about 2 cents on average, which is the transaction fee on Ethereum. In many ways, it’s really a very powerful tool, because capital can now be moved more efficiently. If you're a lender, you can raise money in the US and deploy it in Indonesia the same day, that's never been possible. Or if you're doing remittances. The applications are so broad across financial services that we're now thinking much more broadly about how this technology can be applied. We're also going to be adding many more currencies to our offerings. And we think that this is just the start, currency is just the start.

 

(13:40) George Manolov: That makes total sense. I've been thinking about the same thing, when a crypto equivalent of a currency, like a crypto US dollar, has so many advantages over the traditional US dollar.  As you said, you can send it very cheaply and very fast locally and internationally. In regards to that train of thought, and specifically since you're saying you're going to be tokenizing more of the currencies out there, do you think that, in the not so distant future, fiat currencies will be essentially some sort of stablecoins on the Blockchain?

 

(14:26) Tory Reiss: First off, one of the common confusions is when people say "the Blockchain". I think the reason why it's worth pointing that out is that, I think that there will be multiple blockchains, for better or for worse. J.P. Morgan, for example, has illustrated that their coin will be on a private blockchain. So, technically that's on, quote unquote, the Blockchain or a blockchain, but it's not a public blockchain. I do believe that public blockchains are better than private ones, because they solve a larger problem that J.P. Morgan's chain won't solve, which is the visibility of the data. Right now, it's actually an incredibly powerful thing to be able to have those transactions be public. The perfect version now is a public blockchain that allows some amount of privacy. So, for example, if we have a use case with Microsoft or with an SAP customer that relates to how their customers move money for receivables or payments to publishers, which are real use cases that are being explored right now, they want privacy for those transactions, but they're okay with it being public for scenarios that aren't related to their affairs.

 

I think that's where things like Zero-Knowledge Proofs such as zk-SNARKs can become really useful, because you can then have some transactions that are private and maybe only visible to let's say a company and its audit partner, like Ernst and Young, and then have the majority of other transactions between the general public remain on a public blockchain.

 

That way, we can all rely on a single chain, but use different technologies to adjust the level of privacy. And I think that's more of what the future looks like, rather than today where only a few people have access to that data and they typically can't be trusted. Unfortunately, that's what history has shown us.

 

(16:35) George Manolov: That is very interesting. Would people still have any motive or incentive to use traditional currencies? Or what would it become the standard for all currencies, especially when Ethereum introduces zero knowledge proofs?

 

(17:13) Tory Reiss: I guess I didn't answer the original question. I do think that it's inevitable that, if not Blockchain, a similar technology will be standardized. Most people don't realize that most cash today is already digital, and I think this is just improving upon it. The benefit of a blockchain is that it acts as a shared database; it's one of the few technologies that people can have faith in and use as a shared database. And for that reason, it might be the earliest adopted technology for digital cash. I do think that within this year or at least within the next few years, we will start to see sovereign nations issue their currency on a blockchain. I can't say if the whole world will go that direction, but I do believe that some governments are going to make that decision and I think it's going to happen.

 

(18:29) George Manolov: When it comes to the use cases of TrueUSD, like you said, you didn't understand when you initially started the size of TrueUSD when it comes to payments, do you have such data or knowledge that people are already using TrueUSD for remittances or for other purposes outside of trading? Or do you think that today the main use case for TrueUSD is still trading?

 

(19:04) Tory Reiss: The majority is still trading. However, we know for a fact that it's being used now for a number of other use cases. For example, we know that there are companies right now that are paying their employees payroll in TrueUSD, and it makes perfect sense why that would be, because more and more often it's common that a company is distributed, remote or has teams around the world and it's incredibly expensive for an employer to use traditional payroll providers to pay employees all around the world, especially if you're a smaller business.

 

Let's say you only have 50 or 100 employees; you don't have the resources of a multinational corporation to have bank accounts in every single country where you have employees. Paying in TrueUSD costs nothing, it's super easy and wherever they are, they will be able to convert that TrueUSD back to something that has a utility.

 

We're working on making sure that everyone can use their TrueUSD in whatever way they want, whether that's spending on products through a debit card, which we think is an obvious next step, investing, saving and earning interest, lending the money out and getting loans, we want all of those services to be available and already a lot of that is happening. Even if you look at Nexo which just launched a fantastic product where any user of TrueUSD can deposit their coins with their full liquidity and no lockup, but they earn six and a half percent interest, which blows away the Fed funds rate of two and a half percent that we have here in the United States.

 

This is a long way of saying that these use cases are already happening, whether it's individuals using it just to save and store money or send it, or it’s businesses paying employees or using it for remittances. We know because we've talked to our customers that these are happening, but what matters to us is that they might be early adopters. We need to figure out how to build software and make it easier for entire industries to adopt the technology. That hasn't happened yet, but that's what we're working towards.

 

(21:23) George Manolov: How does it work today? I mean, what if we have somebody who's now listening and realizes, Hey, I want to start paying my employees with TrueUSD because they're international, or maybe I want to convert some USD to TrueUSD and deposit it on Nexo to earn 6.5 instead of 2%. How can I get TrueUSD?

 

(21:50) Tory Reiss: That's a great question. Today, the easiest way to get TrueUSD is probably using our app, if you have US dollars. There are two main ways to get it today, and this is something that we're actually investing heavily in and we want to make it ten or a hundred times easier to get TrueUSD.

 

Today, if you go to app.trusttoken.com which is our secure web application, that's where you can take dollars and convert them into TrueUSD. You can purchase one for one, there're no fees. You simply send a wire, we have the easiest book purchase and redemption process in the industry, you verify your identity and then you can make a purchase or redeem and get your dollars out at one for one, that's with dollars.

 

If you're using crypto; right now, we're traded on almost a hundred exchanges. So, any number of our partners is good. We obviously have the most volume and liquidity in finance, but we work very closely with many other exchanges and are constantly adding new partners in that regard as well. So, depending on how you want to make the change, those tend to be the best ways.

 

Businesses tend to use OTC desks, and we work with about 15 different OTC desks, so we're supported almost everywhere. But we're working on expanding the ways you can get TrueUSD and make it even easier.

 

(23:23) George Manolov: And anyone can get TrueUSD, alright? I mean, whether you're obviously in the States or not. Do you have certain limitations or can anyone just use the app? What was the website?

 

(23:34) Tory Reiss: app.trusttoken.com

 

(23:36) George Manolov: Right. Anyone can go there and basically you wire funds from your bank account, right?

 

(23:43) Tory Reiss: That's right. So, it's anyone with a bank account anywhere in the world. You don't even necessarily have to have US dollars, you can send the money and have your bank convert it, and then use the app to buy TrueUSD. We'll be launching additional currencies and support for crypto and purchasing with other currencies. All of that is coming, it's all in the pipeline.

 

(24:12) George Manolov: With that in mind, it would be curious to learn more about how do you compare TrustToken to other stablecoins, because there is a ton of them right there. At some point, I thought they're growing like mushrooms, everyone is starting his own stablecoin. Seriously, sometimes I don't understand to be honest with myself, why so many people are involved in this space? There are big and small players, how do you compare the TrustToken to other fiat-backed stablecoins, and then obviously as well to algorithmic stablecoins?

 

(25:03) Tory Reiss: Algorithmic stablecoins, none of them have launched yet, but crypto-collateralized stablecoins, obviously the only player in the game today is Maker and Dai, which we think is awesome, we think it's a great project and a great team. We actually work with them very closely, they're adding multi-collateral support soon, and TrueUSD is going to be part of that bundle. So, there's actually a lot of collaboration there.

 

In terms of fiat-backed, we've been able to win the fiat-backed market, it's still very much a competition and we admire most of the competitors that are in the market today which run really fantastic businesses. We are the only independent stablecoin in the world; we're the only one that is not owned or controlled by an exchange. And that's allowed us to invest really heavily in the user experience, but to do sell in a different way than our competitors. I think this is why the market has been choosing us. What I mean is that we tend to invest heavily in whatever's going to be best for the user, not relating to us, we don't have a platform, so we don't have a dog in the fight.

 

We just want to make sure that they have the broadest range of services, wallets and exchanges. We're dedicated to maximizing the value that anyone holding TrueUSD can realize. Whereas many other tokens are trying to lock you into an ecosystem of their services, their exchange and things like that, because that's the only way that they make money. That's what's in their best interest. Whereas, everything we do is in our user's best interest. That's always what we're thinking of. So, that's really helped us differentiate so far.

 

(27:09) George Manolov: Got It. And here comes another question, how do you make money then?

 

(27:17) Tory Reiss: Great question. There're a couple of different ways by which we make money today. We do have a trading desk, and that's necessary when it comes to things like OTC trading or providing liquidity and things like that, that is one source.

 

We are also developing relationships with other platforms - Nexo is actually a great example. There're so many partners and so many companies that are putting together crypto investments all around the world. It's important to us, that we only work with the top 1%, the best companies that we believe in and that we can endorse. And when we do, we want to affiliate revenue. This is a similar model to that of Mint.com and a lot of traditional players like Credit Karma who refer you to credit card companies or lending companies and then they earn a percentage of the return. So, we're setting up similar relationships with the companies that we work with and we plan to generate some affiliate revenue.

 

Lastly, we make money on the float of the TrueUSD that we hold. We generate interest on the float. Those are the main methods today.

 

We tend to think it's better that we're transparent than many other companies whose ways of making money are a little bit unclear and they maybe don't want the public to know. We want to make sure that we're well aligned with all of our customers.

 

(28:59) George Manolov: I want to just get back to something that you mentioned earlier; you're actually thinking of exploring ways to cooperate with Dai. Intuitively, one would think that since Dai is a stable coin, they should be more of a competitor to you. So, could you talk to me a little about how do you see your relation to them?

 

(29:25) Tory Reiss: We see them more as both a partner and a valuable part of the ecosystem. They appeal to different consumers than we do and they also allow for different use cases than we do. We might be the better choice if you’re a Forex company, a business that's doing remittances or an individual who actually want to hold US dollars, but doesn't have access to traditional US banking or a traditional US bank account or you know.

 

However, if you're a consumer that likes the idea of holding a stable currency that's not tied to any government and that’s truly independent, similar to Bitcoin, but you want the stability, I think Maker is clearly the better choice in that regard. I look at myself as a consumer and I genuinely do use TrueUSD to generate returns on my dollars. But I actually also hold a balance of Dai, and there are certain instances where it makes sense to use it. So, we believe that two great projects are better for this space than one. That seems clear.

 

(30:49) George Manolov: One second, sorry I'm thinking out loud here, but the Dai is essentially pegged to the US dollar today, right? Or that’s what they are aiming for. I know they had this problem of the Dai sometimes being traded for less than one dollar. So, they are discussing how they can solve this. So, it's still a dollar today, right?

 

(31:20) Tory Reiss: That's right. The difference though is that it isn’t redeemable for the dollar. So, it might be pegged to the dollar, there are many currencies around the world that are pegged to the dollar, but that doesn't make them a dollar. The example I would give you is this; think like a CFO or a merchant, and if you need dollars to pay your suppliers and they only want to deal with dollars, you know it's not good enough to say, "Hey, I'll give you this instrument that is pegged to the dollar", they want to know it actually is a dollar. In the instance of TrueUSD, for all intents and purposes, it is a dollar like you have a legal claim on a dollar that is sitting in a bank account. There will always be one to one parity and we just launched a real time platform with the top 25 US accounting firms. This real-time dashboard shows you that every single TrueUSD is backed by one US dollar, one to one, and it shows that information in real time. So, you can go and look at the dashboard and see for yourself that you really are holding a US dollar.

 

(32:39) George Manolov: I guess you introduced this because of the concern of the people who were asking, do you guys actually have the dollars? As it has been the question with Tether for a very long time. Does somebody guarantee or audit this? How does this work?

 

(32:59) Tory Reiss: What I was just explaining is that. Previously, we had been posting PDFs of attestations, which is a form of an audit, performed by a third-party accounting partner where they would review the funds that we hold in all of the various escrow accounts or TrueUSD, and compare that to the number of tokens in circulation, and then they issue a report confirming that it was one to one. However, we recently - about less than 10 days ago - announced this new product and big innovation, which is that we are going to be launching a real-time dashboard, and it's built and managed by a third-party accounting firm that will show in real time that it’s one for one. So, instead of once a month seeing a report, you're going to actually see, minute to minute, that it's always one for one and you'll see it go up and go down as people purchase new tokens or redeem tokens for the underlying dollars, and you'll be able to see the reserves.

 

(34:09) George Manolov: Got It. That's pretty cool and I look forward to it. Another topic that I would be curious to learn more, and would love to hear your thoughts about is money laundering. The whole crypto space basically has to rebuke the reputation of being a place where mostly criminals and people with nefarious activities are operating, and that these are the guys who are working with crypto. So, what is TrueUSD doing to make sure that it’s not used for money laundering?

 

(34:58) Tory Reiss: Good question. The money laundering is something we take very seriously. We have a fantastic legal and compliance team, our head of compliance formally led compliance at Coinbase and she has been building a bank-grade, or to be totally honest with you, better than a bank-grade anti money laundering in KYC infrastructure and program. The reason we know it's better is because we work with a lot of banks and when we compare our programs, ours is actually more thorough than many of the banks we work with. Towards that end, we take our position very seriously in terms of that, the only way that someone can redeem TrueUSD, pull dollars out of the system or put dollars in, is if they pass our anti money laundering check.

 

That's the first thing you interact with when you're in our app; you have to pass that identity verification. And as part of that process, we're looking for the telltale signs of money laundering. So, they're doing things like looking at the source of funds, what they want to use it for, the history of the company, who owns it and things like that. They're looking for any red flags and comparing against all of the national databases to ensure that we are maintaining a high standard. That is a big part of our program, but we're also working on some pretty revolutionary technology that's going to be doing a bit more of on-chain analytics to help identify money launderers that way.

 

We're looking at both and we think that, that's really what the future looks like; using both traditional methods and on-chain methods to prevent money laundering. Because no one wants funds being used by terrorists to carry out attacks, or funds being used by criminal organizations. So, we take that very seriously.

 

(37:09) George Manolov: I would actually be very excited and very curious to learn more about this technology that you are working on, because it really can be an overplayed issue, because there's been numerous reports of such vast amounts of money which has been laundered through the traditional banking system compared to the whole crypto market cap, that is just astounding. And I'm sure with what you said about the transparency, the publicity and the trackability of public blockchains, that over time such technologies will eventually be built, which will significantly decrease or make it even impossible for money laundering to happen at all.

 

(38:08) Tory Reiss: I actually agree with you completely. I laugh when people tend to ask about, "Oh well, crypto is synonymous with money laundering", and the reason I find it funny is because people don't realize how much money laundering is happening in the traditional banking system, and a lot of it is even perpetrated or involves many of the banks that are supposed to be preventing it.

 

When it comes to something like TrueUSD or a US dollar-backed stablecoin, the technology that's available is far superior for preventing criminals from using it. I actually think if I were a criminal, I would maybe look at using something like Monero or other similar coins. By the way, not to call out any of the privacy coins, because I think that's actually a very valuable service to society. But it's very different than something like TrueUSD. I think you'd be foolish to use TrueUSD or a similar fiat-backed stablecoin for money laundering, because your transactions are public and forever available to law enforcement, it would be a little bit silly. And we would cooperate with the appropriate authorities in case of an investigation, if it's within our jurisdiction, obviously. If a US law enforcement came to us, we would cooperate and we don't want our users to be thinking otherwise. We have their best interests in mind so we want to make sure that criminals, terrorists, etc. aren't able to use our technology towards their game.

 

(40:07) George Manolov: That makes total sense. I'm looking at your website right now as we're speaking and I see that you’re planning, or your vision is to eventually be able to tokenize all kinds of different assets. From the traditional ones, such as currencies like you currently have the euro here, you also have gold and silver commodities.

 

But you also have securities essentially; small businesses, stocks, bonds, and even crazy stuff such as movies, books, TV shows, music and patents. Can you share a bit on that?

 

(40:58) Tory Reiss: Sure. The way we think of it is; a part of our responsibility is to evangelize the possibilities and the potential futures that are available when it comes to tokenization, which is really just another word that represents securitization, it's just securitization that is done on a blockchain.

 

We obviously list all these different news cases and these assets, but we'd come to believe more and more that this market is going to start with small niche markets that are currently not being well served by the public equities and public markets and that ecosystem. I can name a few examples, but we think it all starts with these small niches and then build from there. I don't think that the consumers necessarily care that it's a security token or it's a stock, quote unquote, because all that really matters to them is that they're able to access the investments that they want. I think eventually if the technology is adopted, which I believe it will be by companies like Nasdaq and ICE, or the New York Stock Exchange, etc. The difference will be that anywhere in the world when people are attempting to make these investments, it's just going to be more affordable, faster, and there might even be portability, where they can carry their investments with them and they're not stuck with one exchange or another. I think that the future is exciting from a technologist standpoint and from a financial more democratization standpoint, in the sense that it'll be available to more people. But I don't think people need to know what technology is running on the backend. Our job is to make it so seamless that people don't even think about the technology behind it.

 

(43:15) George Manolov: I imagine you will be working on commodities and currencies, or just currencies?

 

(43:29) Tory Reiss: In the short term, we are very focused on currencies and potentially commodities. In the mid to long term, it's going to shift towards securities, that infrastructure is being built out as we speak, but I think it could be a number of years before it reaches mainstream adoption.

 

(44:00) George Manolov: I Just want to take a quick break here from Tori and let you know that since this episode was recorded a couple of weeks back, the Trust Tokenization Platform has already released their second stablecoin, which is a TrueGBP, essentially bringing the British Sterling Pounds onto the blockchain as a stablecoin. This is the first ever project to bring the British Pound on the blockchain. So, if interested, definitely go and check this out on Google or on trusttoken.com

 

(44:36) Back to the interview: With that in mind, I want to come to a few final questions that I have. In this talk, I love paying tribute to people who inspired our guests to enter the Crypto Space, to become excited about Bitcoin and Blockchain. So in that sense, is there any particular person, content creator or any particular thing that you read, which made you excited about crypto, blockchain space, and Bitcoin?

 

(45:12) Tory Reiss: It might sound cliché at this point, but for me it was also Satoshi Nakamoto and the Bitcoin White Paper, which I randomly stumbled upon in college after somebody tweeted about it. It’s a masterpiece in terms of being a viral idea and viral concept that managed to transmit itself across millions of people, and I was one of these people. That really kicked off my journey.

 

(45:51) George Manolov: The second question here is, who's the one person or a couple of people, that you follow today, that you read, listen, watch, or keep learning from, until this very day, people that you respect and that myself and our audience can learn from as well?

 

(46:14) Tory Reiss: I'd highly recommend following Arjun Balaji; he's one of the best writers in the space and I think he does a great job in the sense that he shows both sides of many issues and his predictions are always really fascinating to follow. I also follow people in other spaces, but if you are just getting exposed to this space now, one of my favorite books to recommend to people is "Cryptoassets; The Innovative Investor's Guide to Bitcoin and Beyond", and that's by Chris Burniske and Jack Tatar. I love that book. For someone that is maybe an expert in the space, you might not learn a lot, but it does offer the perspective of an investor's lens for the space. And for those that are just getting started, I think it's one of the best introductions to the space.

 

(47:13) George Manolov: I Haven't had the time to check it out, so I'll definitely do. I'm sure some of our listeners will. One more question I have here is, does a company or a crypto project come to mind which you want to succeed, because if it becomes successful it will have a positive impact on what you're doing at the Trust platform?

 

(47:46) Tory Reiss: I mentioned them earlier, but I do think that Maker is one of those projects that has a huge impact and can have a huge influence on the security token space. Because if you think about it, any security token that we create can potentially be used as part of the multi-collateral for the new Dai.

 

So, almost anyone can get leverage on their assets, which is a big deal. If you have a token that represents equity in your home, you can pull capital out using multi-collateral Dai. Not every country has access to home equity lines of credit or things like that. So, I think that's a very powerful innovation and I think that'll unlock a lot of value across hard assets once they're represented in a token form.

 

(48:37) George Manolov: Finally, where can people learn more about you and about the Trust Tokenization Platform? Where can they follow you?

 

(48:52) Tory Reiss: I'd love for you to check out trusttoken.com, we'd love to hear your thoughts. If you want to buy TrueUSD, it's app.trusttoken.com. For me personally, you can find me on Twitter. I'm not super active but I am responsive and that's “@Theetory”, feel free to shoot me a DM or a chat anytime. That's the best way to get in touch.

 

(49:26) George Manolov: Awesome, Tory! Thanks again for your time. It was an exciting talk. There are definitely some valuable insights here. I look forward to seeing further developments in the Trust Tokenization Platform and maybe we can do this again after some time.


(49:45) Tory Reiss: Yeah, I would love it.