In the newest edition of “Around the Block With Jefferson Nunn,” Jefferson interviews Shawn Owen of SALT Lending.
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Hey guys, buckle up for a new edition of the Around the Block podcast, the only podcast to go behind the scenes to talk with the movers and shakers of the cryptocurrency world. Today we’re talking with Shawn Owen. Mr. Owen is a business founder and entrepreneur with experience in management and ownership of enterprise operations with a passion for systems development, business operations, product delivery, and client service. Shawn became involved with blockchain technology through his advocacy of bitcoin in early 2011. He frequently speaks and writes on Blockchain technology and digital currencies.
Jefferson Nunn 0:51
Welcome to another edition of Around the Block with Jefferson. And I’m here today we’re very special guests, and proud to say, friend, Shawn Owen, of SALT Lending. How’re you doing, man?
Shawn Owen 1:03
I’m doing really good. It’s good to connect with you. Again, I’m excited about this one, just reliving some of the old memories we’ve had back in the day. So looking forward to it, doing great.
Jefferson Nunn 1:11
Oh my gosh, we were there before it all happened. So tell me what is what has it been like to watch the industry just mature?
Shawn Owen 1:22
Yeah, I guess the only way to describe it would be those dog ears that we talked about crypto years, you know, just keeps fracturing out where you’re like, how could this much more stuff happen? And then it turns out, it’s only a month, you know, it feels like it was six months. And watching it grows, it’s been wild, I think I’m almost to the point of semi jaded now, because there’s so many different nuances, you can jump into it and get, you know, caught up in in one business or one entity or one even niche that you can’t remember when you begin this start not feeling like you could hold on to like everything was going on in 2014, 15, 16 maybe. But now there’s just no way. You know, every day, there’s new, new stuff happening that it’d be impossible to follow up with. I don’t know how many conferences are happening in probably this weekend. And it’s a bear market. But you can’t keep a hold of all of it. So it feels overwhelming.
Jefferson Nunn 2:18
That’s what I was looking at. I mean, I You could literally go almost anywhere down the street. And there’s gonna be something to coin a blockchain related happening. So which is both Exciting, thrilling, but also a little bit terrifying. I gotta say, right. So hot from the perspective of salt lending, how have you been?
Shawn Owen 2:41
Yeah, I mean, it’s so it’s, you know, on one hand, just credit markets in general, you can kind of go forever, right? They’re the biggest markets on the planet, I would argue when you really get into debt, bonds and issuance of money and everything else. And on the other hand, it sounds kind of boring. If you just say, oh, you know, it’s a lending, I do lending. And yet, it’s infinitely interesting once you get into the execution and pricing and how the markets connect and what the demand curve is. And then this year, it’s been particularly interesting and crazy, all at once, because of what’s going on with, I would say most of the bear market and crash has been related to lending one way or another from three euros capital to even Terra Luna, and the rest, it’s been really relevant and so just busy. Don’t even know you could take it any direction, there’s so much going on.
Jefferson Nunn 3:36
But in the middle of a bear market, do you manage to sell your company? Tell me more about how that went?
Shawn Owen 3:43
Yeah, so it’s still to be determined on final definitive terms, and, you know, subject to sign off from shareholders and regulatory approval and all the rest. So it’s still kind of midstream. But, you know, that’s just been something that I think both sides see as a mutually beneficial opportunity to grow. The combination of the securities business and everything related to investors, and what people are looking for investors. And then I would argue that salt is an investment platform. Also given that the whole concept of huddling your bitcoin is it saving but it’s really a form of investment. I think most people always saw buying Bitcoin as an investment. And then they would also see borrowing against their Bitcoin as an investment or another way of saving so that you don’t have to sell. Right? And so then you have an interesting overlap between that in investing into say securities in companies and then investing specifically into companies that are predicated off of Bitcoin or crypto, you kind of have two different layers and it just makes for a good combination. When you add credit and debt and savings and investing all together, you kind of come up with some form of Bitcoin bank, whether it’s a Bitcoin investment bank or Bitcoin Savings Bank or Bitcoin credit. You know, all the above I think is ultimately this This was always kind of about disrupting banking or being your own bank, right. And so then it just evolved from there all the different forms. And I think it’s still a long ways to go to when you really look at credit products, there’s a lot of different types of credit products that can all be built on top of just collateral versus credit, you know, for the sake of scores.
Jefferson Nunn 5:21
That within this particular space, I would almost like to point out that there’s a lot of disruptive innovations coming, you know, everything from, you know, imagine if there is a CBDC central bank, you know, prime, then a DeFi protocol around that would be bearing that easy, even, almost obsolete, the whole idea of ATMs and everything else overnight. So what do you think about what the future holds for a long with regulation in digital space?
Shawn Owen 5:59
Yeah, you know, I think it’s an interesting cat and mouse game, always with technology. And then there’s also that cat and mouse arbitrage game between regulation is another example. And with financial products, of course, most of the people that are in the markets are looking for different types of ways to make money, which would be an arbitrage, you know, a gap between what exists now and what can exist later, and inefficiencies. And if you look at like the concept of CBDCs versus digital, stable coins, you know, or back backed coins versus dollars in the bank, or actual physical paper dollars. Yeah, we could spend hours just talking about that, as it relates to just how that shakes out with lending. And then crypto. You know, on one hand, I do see that if, and I do believe that, you know, some form of CBDCs will happen, that there’ll be a continued competition there. And then on that hand, it’s like, okay, well, why do you need all these bank branches when you could just have this issued directly. And then I think that’ll force the whole conversation of inflation. For the sake of what I think in crypto, you you call staking rewards, right, and comparing the two of those together? And then underpinning that it’s like, okay, well, Bitcoin still today doesn’t have native defi built on top of it. But I would argue, if you fast forward 10 years or so it probably does. And is that gonna interact with CBDCs or is it going to be stable coins? And which ones actually better? How do you deal with privacy versus, you know, total transparency, there’s a lot to go into that. And so I feel like we’re still on the, you know, in the environment, where we’re building bridge services, and, and also tracking these fringe developments as they happen. And what’s going to ultimately win out probably some combination of all of the above, and future competition of the likes, but it’s definitely interesting. I mean, I think I have my own opinions about what should shake out. But who knows. You know, it’s like, it’s moving so fast. I don’t even know where you want to go with it from there.
Jefferson Nunn 7:56
Yeah, no, I agree. It just been. Well, a rollercoaster ride is probably the best way to describe it. I think that’s the Bitcoin vein, you know, growing up. Yeah. Every day is another adventure, I’d say. So, speaking of adventures, the Celsius one has been such a such an adventure, Alex maintains his I don’t want to say innocence. But practically, you know, he wants to now offer some kind of wrapped token that includes the losses that people have incurred, along with allowing people to get back a haircut. That’s the latest from that front, along with Twitter’s faces hacking, but tell me tell me more what you think about just that whole scenario to begin with?
Shawn Owen 8:55
Oh, man, so there’s probably some stuff I can’t say. But like, generally speaking, the it’s just my statement on this has been this year has really shown unequivocally the importance of having collateral backing any kind of loan, whether it’s Voyager, handing something over without the proper backing, thinking it was institutional or preferred margin and getting bet whether it’s the collateral that’s underpinning Terrell Luna and all the good reasons why that should never happen, and how the incentives just get bigger and bigger and bigger to blow up something like that, the more success that has or if it’s Celsius, you know, taking deposits and not having locked periods on it. And then saying that their collateral is all backing backing it and that it’s just borrowers and lenders going back and forth. But ultimately, it was actually a bunch of money going into mining facilities and define a bunch other things were like these, the risk duration matching was way off on that. So the theme there is okay lending still even back when we first were pitching the idea of salt before anybody was doing yet, backing it with collateral still fundamental that isn’t getting enough highlight in the market, and what LTVs need to be safe on top of that, and how we proceed, I think will be to be determined. But there’s some huge lessons there. And then as it pertains to just what to do in a scenario where you do have a haircut and the interesting elements of a chapter 11, where you have the creditors being able to have a voice and a vote through a committee is really interesting and noisy, but kind of compelling as far as what kind of solutions can exist there, given that the court has more authority to approve things inside of a bankruptcy like that for the betterment of all the creditors versus just a normal business day for a normal business. Yeah, it’s still early to see what’s going to shake out. And so I’ve been advocating for whatever is best, ultimately for creditors. And then if you go out even further, what is best for the industry? And how does the entire space learn this go around before we get into another bear bull cycle again, which we will, what can we learn now? And how can we cooperate and take these lessons and implement them as fast as possible with market driven solutions? And then now inside of a bankruptcy proceedings in the chapter 11, how do you stop it from going to a seven, which would be a liquidation and liquidations are just terrible in this regard, because all the assets in the borrowing and lending in the urn accounts, those are people, right. So you don’t want to liquidate people, you don’t want to liquidate people’s accounts, it makes sense to talk about liquidations from mining infrastructure or you know software that makes sense because an asset sell but you just don’t want to go there, when you’re talking about people’s savings accounts. And nobody wants to feel like they’re being bought on pennies on the dollar or getting pennies on the dollar on their claim when you’re talking about their life savings. So it really it It begs a lot of thinking, you know, to be thoughtful and empathetic for what people are going through. And at the same time still look for the business solutions on the underlying assets that can be dealt with like that, you know, and so there’s just so much going on there, you’ll have to just dig in wherever you want to go. I think I could talk for five hours straight on that way.
Jefferson Nunn 12:17
Yeah, know, everything you covered, it’s been actually quite fascinating and all very, you know, fascinating from the standpoint of just right now they’re microcosm of individual lenders, and borrowers and hold account holder, all the way out to the broader industry, and what it means and I feel like, yes, if we can fast forward 10 years, the crypto industry probably would be a lot stronger as a result of this incident. And, you know, overall for less of a cause than what it could have been 10 years from now, if it happened then. Right. But on the other hand, I look at the traditional finance industry, and I don’t think they’ve learned a lesson in the last 100 years.
Shawn Owen 13:03
Good point. Yeah. I mean, that’s a really good point, right? And it’s possible that in four years from now, we’re having a hyperbolic, euphoric moment with a bunch of new people coming into this space that haven’t learned anything. And they’re just yellowing their money into every stupid idea. Right. And so like, I hate to say it, but it’s true. It’s just that at least the people that have been around do seem to learn in crypto faster in on one hand, right. Like, we learned a lot of different lessons from Mount Gox. And then we learned a lot of different lessons from you know, before that, I think it was Silk Road. And then after that, you know, we had quite a few others, like the FinEx that we talked about a lot for the recovery plan, and, and then on and on and on, right. And so you hope that we’re getting better, like security definitely got better the way we do exchanges got better. I don’t think we’ve gotten all the way there when it comes to a lot of the stuff that needs to happen from you no proof of reserves, and how do you really do defi the right way when you still need a lot of centralized players to bridge to get there. But I just hope that if nothing else, we can take away the lesson of over collateralized lending, and in transparency, and what it looks like to get ahead of one of these situations. So that that never happens again like this. And this one’s not even done yet. I’m just optimistic that we’ll come out of it with the right approach. And you know that the anti fragile nature of this space can kind of evolve to be a lot hardened, if you will, before we get to the next phase where people throw a bunch of new money have done new things and will hopefully we’re solving a new problem at that point. You know, so in 2018, it was learning all the lessons about what’s really cool on what’s not cool about ICOs in 2022 It’s definitely been about what’s really cool about lending and in facilitating this quasi banking and what’s not cool about these accounts, you know, so like in 20, what’s going to be 25 or six when we probably are talking again about some crazy, hopefully it’s something new.
Jefferson Nunn 14:58
I think we will but that’s the thing is, this is, at least this is an evolving space. And we need as a solution in order to get better at these different challenges and problems and so forth. That’s the way to grow. That’s the only lies, right? It’s all about growth, right. And by definition, you know, crypto is alive. All the smart people are in this faith, I was just talking with, for example, palpability, and Ernst and Young, a little while back, they’re talking about billions of transactions per day, which you can do with sharding, for example, and I’ve been talking with the folks over at Nillion, and they have a very elegant solution that are solve our single point of failure problem right now, which is the private key, you know, right now, we have to rely upon Ledger’s their, their way, mathematically and everything else, that you can use distributed computing, to replace your ledger. So quite literally, your ledger could be cloud based, and secure. And I think that’s just the most incredible innovation to come out of recent times, to now that you can prove your private key without having to worry about a single point of failure.
Shawn Owen 16:12
Now, is that different than MPC?
Jefferson Nunn 16:15
It’s that it’s a newer version of that. Yeah, evolution at that time, a couple of few HD rocket scientist type got together and evolve the standard. So yeah, yeah.
Shawn Owen 16:26
I will definitely check that out, we’ll have to come back to that for sure. Because I think so much of what still needs to be solved is implementing really good forms of multi signature, right, architecture. So the same thinking that went into multi signature, although it doesn’t technically have to be multi signature, it’s multi party, and multi author, you know, authentic, authenticity, authentication, right, like multiple ways to get to where the funds can always be safe, yet, you don’t have to trust a central point of failure is ultimately I think, the holy grail of all of this, you know, that’s something I if I were to go back, I would probably want to build a business just around that, I still think there’s a lot there that could just save so much pain in the space is just solving the security the right way. And the multiple ways people can, you know, have escrow agents that are non biased and can’t collude, you know, to arbitrate in some of these situations and make it fluid and seamless and fast. You know, so hopefully, that’s something we’ve solved before too long. And that’s actually a lot of what’s going into like trustless. And the idea of how do you solve this current debacle? Right? A lot of it is everybody’s seen, well, you can’t just throw your money into a company, because it’s a black box. That’s just as bad as throwing all your money into one key, right? And handing it off to somebody. It’s not, it’s not that much different than a mount Gox, or the problems of just putting everything on a ledger and hiding in never interacting with anybody that doesn’t work. Right. And so the happy medium is both in solving it. And so like, send me some information on that. I would love to do more.
Jefferson Nunn 17:59
Yeah, million.com. And I will edit this little part out. But yeah, it’s really interesting. Where, you know, you could do KYC, without having to add to political documents again, and on and on and on. So it’s going to make life a lot better, easier. I mean, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve uploaded my password to God knows, worst, you know, and I’ve, like, hackers know more about me than I know about me.
Shawn Owen 18:30
Yeah the honeypot, I actually feel like that’s one of the most annoying things out of all of the internet at large is just how many times you have to hand your information over to how many people that have to all somehow keep it secure. And like, I don’t know, last week alone, I think I saw four different emails from data breaches. Like it was ridiculous, I got three or four different emails from giant institutions saying, oh, data breach here. I wasn’t even looking at me more, because I just already assume the dark webs got everybody’s information all over it, because we’ve been so terrible. It’s really the regulation and the infrastructure of the internet that’s caused that right? To say you have to have an authority that you hand over all your information to well, that’s just a bad idea. In general. It’s a bad idea. It’s like, that’s something that just has to be solved.
Jefferson Nunn 19:17
And I think Nillion and maybe a couple other, at very least, they’re gonna move the ball forward in that direction, to where we can basically have trustless KYC, which would be amazing. And then that rewinding just a bit. Tell me a little bit more about Shawn Owen. When I first met you, I hope you don’t mind my saying you were running a restaurant and holding Bitcoin. I mean, now, you know, we’re at Salt lending and modern finance. So tell me more about Shawn Owen.
Shawn Owen 19:54
Yeah, I think you know, I must have met you if you go back to the version of me from 2012 What Say, you know, that was just exploring doing meetups for the sake of talking about bitcoin and how to take it as currency and what the implications could be versus me now, you know, I have a seven year old daughter that I didn’t have then have, you know, multiple different startups and went down a bunch of failed ideas to even get to salt to think about what different ways this could be implemented. And then the roller coaster of that, you know, from everything from just massively experiencing the craziest upside you could see, and then immediately the downside of these, these up and down charts, you know, where everybody loves you. And then 30 days later, they hate you. And it’s like, a really weird world to be a part of, you know, from getting attacked from hackers continuously to being accused from every bad thing you can imagine to people saying that you’re part of the Illuminati, you name it, I’ve probably seen it. And it just kind of Jade’s you in a weird way, makes you a lot smarter and a lot more humble. And it’s been really interesting, this last go around just looking at the current situation of 2022 as an old timer, right, it’s given a lot of perspective, and made me very humble to just see a lot of the lessons I’m glad I’ve already learned and don’t want to learn again. And for people that are just going through it, how terrifying it can be to be in those positions, yet exciting. At the same time, you know, it’s just enthralling. This space never seems to, like let you down for having new interesting things happen. Both on the positive and negative. So I don’t know, I mean, I’m still basically just completely obsessed with making it work and figuring out how to make the best possible lending space and technology. There’s Defi now, so I’m into a lot of different things that, you know, are way, way further out than even a theory I might say, that I’m interested in that just didn’t exist back then. Yeah, I don’t know. I just feel old.
Jefferson Nunn 21:55
You’re not even that old. I mean, I think you’re younger than me. So but now, I think it’s this phase, it goes so fast, which is both good and a bad thing. You know, you mentioned dog years earlier. And I think you’re quite right. You know, why my cookie all year in which is Capote is great in some ways, and terrifying me and others.
Shawn Owen 22:19
If you can hold on to it. It’s great. Right, but you know, having the market 24/7 and innovation where you wake up and the things you were thinking about somebody’s already launched on an on its, you know, open source thing the next day, like, how’s that even possible? You know, this the speed of, of the change, the rate of change is hard to keep up with? For sure. You just have to find some person going. Right? What about you
Jefferson Nunn 22:45
I think is the only way it needs to go is up, you know, we have to, you know, the movie don’t look up, right? You know, we need to look at but I keep saying and I’ll say I’ll say it every day until I probably go do it. There there is legitimately an asteroid out there, that’s worth more than all the money on the entire planet. Right. And NASA wants to bring they they did a study, they said it only costs in those days, 10 years ago, $3 billion to bring that asteroid here and start mining it. And before you go, we don’t need it. It’s got a huge supply of nickel, which we need for electric cars, along with all kinds of other metals and everything you need to evolve our species beyond this very small chunk of rock that we’re all aligned. So that’s I think that’s feed of innovation, you could easily do a defy project around that. And away we go. Maybe in a year or two from now when the next upgrade said so. So that’s what I’m saying. I mean, that’s where we’re going with this industry. So along those waves, what do you think the future holds for us? You mentioned 10 years from now a few things. What else do you think is gonna happen? 10 years from now?
Shawn Owen 24:11
Yeah, so I mean, I guess you’ve one thing I want to say and I’ll jump off into that is you that asteroid comment was one of the My Favorite arguments for Bitcoin it still is is like we don’t really know what real scarcity means. Right? Because we’ve always found more gold we find some way we know so even though it’s hard to get to there’s some asteroid fill a nickel, right? Yet if we do keep the hard cap on the coin, we know there’s never any more and so I just don’t think we’ve ever seen what that looks like on a hyperbolic long enough time. Right? That logarithmic scale. I just still think Bitcoin just goes up into the right and and you can talk for hours about that. But where do we go in the future once everything’s kind of on a Bitcoin standard or something else? I’m still completely convinced that defy in all of the different side chains are really just this organic. way of scaling Bitcoin one way or another right like that anything that truly is innovative to the point where it has to remain. If you look at a long enough time horizon, we probably find a way to interoperate between or build on top of Bitcoin at some point, or it just lives a side chain, but it’s just as valuable and interoperate back and forth. So I’ve been following a lot of stuff that, you know, the cosmos verse, people are doing IBC and security of Bitcoin coming over, like the early days, we were looking at that merge mining with Litecoin, and Dogecoin. And there’s reasons, like the most important thing, but it you can still see where the security alone and that proof of work is so valuable. And then it’ll be really interesting how things play out proof of stake, I just don’t know that I fully trust systems that are only proof of stake, I feel like you have to have some proof of work. But I do think that over the long enough run, we’ll just see everything that can be programmed in logic be programs, so pretty much all of finance, I think it’s a foregone conclusion that that’s going to win out in the speed of innovation is going to go way faster. I think eventually, we program away all of the compliance and regulators just by writing better code, you know, at least at why not? Why would we have to do it the hard way where you have to pay a bunch of people to run around and force things when you could just pay the code once you know, build it, right? And then it sets the right limits, and it does the things it’s supposed to. So I’m still just as bullish as ever on what originally we were just calling smart contracts now I think is just programmable everything. You know, how does finance completely get decide decentralized? What’s gonna take some time, but I think that happens, without a doubt, you know, and then from beyond that, I don’t know probably changed the entire concept of money at some point, and realize that there’s better uses of how we do things and go after those asteroids.
Jefferson Nunn 26:44
Well, Craig Wright, I mean, I keep saying it, be it, you work for free yet. I mean, that’s just how it’s gonna go. That’s how it’s designed to everybody has to end there’s no end to it. You know, you’re there, you’re working for big, you’re a billionaire, you’re still working for it. There’s no end to it. But with cryptocurrency, it works for you. Completely different disposition. And, and then, of course, the first thing people accuse you of is socialism. Nothing could be further from the truth. Rather, it’s that you get to choose the work that you want to do. And then you could express that work in an elegant way. And I think that’s the difference with with cryptocurrency is more akin to the idea that, Patrick, the Starfleet captain said in the future, you know, we got away with that karate idea of Viet. And now we work for mankind, you know. And I really think we got to get to that level of thinking to solve all the various different challenges that we really, really have right now. Everything from pollution, to pick something, there’s a challenge every right, it’s all it’s a funny thing. You mentioned scarcity, briefly earlier, and there isn’t really that scarcity list. At the worst depression, you can think of on a on a pH standard, all of the elements remain for achieving societal wealth. They’re all still there, the land is still there, the sun is still shining water in the ground. You know, it’s everything is still there.
Shawn Owen 28:26
Yeah, it’s an unnecessary problem, right? Like it’s a, it’s a symptom of having a bad financial system, that is the real problem, right, like, all the rest of the stuff is still there’s still just as much salt in the ocean, still, just as much water on the planet, still just one planet, still all the same amount of ability for us to generate energy off of the same elements, he knows that sun still gonna come up tomorrow, same time we can predict on the stars, you know, so it’s like, I totally agree that we just have to get better, like, let go of this system that everybody is just holding on to because out of fear, they feel like it has to be and and really just say, okay, it doesn’t have to be, you know, maybe it’s not as scary as we think, to just rethink this whole thing and move on to something better. Right. And I do hope in a lot of ways believe that cryptocurrencies played a pretty significant role in that. Maybe it’s not the only answer, but we know for sure that just doing things the way we did it before with the same Fiat printing money that’s, you know, just never going to get out of being crony capitalism are hijacked in some way and have these booms and busts. That’s not right. That’s definitely not what’s gonna solve the future make it better than it was in the past. And it just keeps happening over and over. There’s there has to be a better way. And so I feel like just tying everything back to energy itself, which bitcoin does in a very strange way that most people don’t, you know, still realize, it really is the opposite of being wasteful. It promotes like hyper efficiency of energy and thinking in terms of stored energy. And when you can get people to start to realize that it just fundamentally changes the way you think about everything, right? You no longer feel like you’re just running in endlessly trying to chase yield working for Fiat, hoping that someday you can retire, right? It’s like, no, there’s this sense of whole security where, you know, eventually it doesn’t really matter, because it’s going to help take care of you, you just have to put the time in and be smart about it and be energy efficient, you have to just be energy efficient enough to, to let the hard work of you put in convert into where you can start working on what you want to write. And we’ve seen that we’ve seen it a bunch of times, it’s just I don’t know if it’s an eight year 10 year horizon for most people, or what it ultimately ends up being. But I still think the best advice is just don’t think short term buy and hold and get out of that Fiat thinking, and start averaging in however you have to, to get to the point where you can recognize that it’s gonna be okay, on the other end. Right. And that’s the one thing that probably does drive, the standard to change over time is enough people thinking like that.
Jefferson Nunn 31:05
Exactly. It’s such a fascinating. So thank you for sharing that. And then just a couple of last thoughts you worked with. And you’re one of the few people that have worked with Simon Dixon, and some of the others in that space. Just from your experience, I’d be very curious to hear. What do you think about their motivation and drive and passion? Towards you know, this enter this crypto revolution?
Shawn Owen 31:32
Yeah, I mean, I, I never do well at speaking about people. So I’ll speak in terms as if they were here in a way, but I think, you know, speculating, the my view on that is just, there’s people have been around the Bitcoin space for a really long time, Simon is one of them, I’m one of them. And over time, you’ve been around enough of these things. And you can see people’s labor and their fruit workout and what they’ve dedicated their time and their energy towards. And if you look at the last 10 years, you know, the common thread there is, you know, they’ve been working very hard to help people invest into the space raise money for these companies, a lot of great companies that have come out of it, working towards the bond in the volcano situation in El Salvador and advocating for Bitcoin long term. And pretty much anybody that’s been advocating for Bitcoin that long is a friend of mine, because that’s what I’ve been doing. And I think there’s there’s common ground like going back to our meetups. In the old days, you didn’t, you didn’t even hardly ask twice, if somebody showed up, it was like, Hey, how you doing? And it almost felt like you had a friend already by the fact that we were there talking about Bitcoin. And so I still feel like that is true. And I think the the opportunity to create long term savings, which is their retirement plan resonates with thinking of buying Bitcoin and holding for a long time. And the need to build a credit and facility on top of it is also just completely right up the alley, which makes sense to me, is combining the two of those into banking. So I feel like I have nothing bad to say other than it’s, it’s hard work and you get for anybody that’s ever done it dedicating yourself to one of these businesses, it’s, it’s probably probably you probably wouldn’t do it again, if you went back in time, I would have just kept my name off the radar bought Bitcoin disappeared into the sunset, nobody would ever know, right? Like it yet. It takes an incredible amount of energy to go put yourself out there and advocate for bringing people into space and thinking about how to do all this stuff, putting your name on hundreds of licenses and being in the public. And so I’ve had to do that. I read it, I read it, you know, I resonate with other people have had to do that. And I think it often doesn’t get the credit of how hard it is to do that. But I think together we have the potential to do some huge, amazing things. And it’s just a matter of building and never stopping and continuing to build until we get to the point where everything is completely decentralized and works on its own. In the meantime, we still need people we still need people to do these, these jobs and to build the technology and to think about how to interact with the legacy system the way it is So I’m pretty optimistic about all of that. I could probably go deeper if you have more questions specifically on it. But I see I see the opportunity time to be building and growing is right now, which of course, in the middle of a bear market, we got to take care of business and move forward and prepare for the next run up. But the faster we can kind of get through this one, the better in my opinion, and come out on the other side. And it just takes people to switch from Fudd. To optimism again, it takes some time, you know, to get out of all the fear and uncertainty and doubt, but it’s totally possible. We’ve been through a bunch of these, this will be no different.
Jefferson Nunn 34:38
Right, right, quite right. I feel like almost a moniker I’d like to describe to you based on our conversation is the humble Bitcoiners. I really get that feeling from you. Because most of the other Bitcoiners that are out there end up being rather brash things like you know, Miko sailor, you know, he’s always just out there laser rising everything you know. And here, you come along, and you come along with a very interesting and just amazing impression of how Bitcoin can really influence and change and help people to grow. So as you see, it’s incredible. So, to that last end, imagine if you’re a 23 year old, you mentioned having to do it all over again. So imagine you’re a 22 year old graduate, you know, at a business or a business college or you know, computer science and you’re wanting to get into this space, what advice would you give to them?
Shawn Owen 35:40
Well, I mean, you’ve planted the seed, but I think staying humble for sure. And just sticking to your principles and thinking about what you know, in your gut is truly the passion that you have, so that you don’t get diverted, you know, and don’t don’t feel like you have to do it all at once. Right? Like, there’s, it’s fun to try stuff out. But don’t commit too early, just figure out exactly what you really feel gets you into the flow state. Like if nobody else was looking in somebody handed you $100,000 and said, You don’t have to do anything for the next couple months, just go do what you really want to work on, what would you work on, you know, figure out what you would actually want to spend your time in what would make you want to wake up early in the morning. And it doesn’t have to be fancy, right? If it’s organizing stuff on a computer, if it’s working outside, if for whatever it is, that’s probably what you should figure out how to go do and spend your time working on that and then become an entrepreneur around it. Because I think far too often people say, Well, I just have to earn enough money, and then I’ll get there, or I just need to get out of this current situation, and they’ll get there or the market opportunity has to be this because there’s too many of those. So I’m gonna work on this first. And all of that is really not true. It is it’s, it’s too easy to just disregard it when you say just figure out what you love and then do it. But it’s true. If you can say, you know, go write a schedule for the next month of what you would love to be doing and don’t put sit on the beach, because that’s probably not what you do forever. What would really get you excited to go do and and then how would you do it? Is it? Is it clean out all your emails? Is it working on a house? Is it building a house? Is it going off into the sunset? What is it and then figure out what it would mean to do that either work or somebody’s already doing it because you don’t have to be the the leader or the CEO of something, you don’t have to be the entrepreneur, but you might find out that you you can. It’s just a matter of opening your mind up and not having those limited beliefs we all have from being programmed into this fiat system from really early, that we just have to grind and slave away, right, which is all nonsense, and not true. That’s the advice I’d give somebody is figure out what really gets you to tick first, and then stay steadfast to it for long enough. You know, never give up. Just be persistent. A lot can happen and we’re short period of time and it can feel like forever. But over the long haul. You can achieve huge things if you just stay consistently persistent to it. You made me think of some two I can when you you said the moniker of the humble Bitcoiners. So one time I was sitting I thought I must have been four or five years ago, we’re sitting at a conference in Vancouver and meta tables Bruce Fenton, and he friend of mine who’s said I don’t understand because I’m sitting there in kind of like all suit and tie getting ready to go up and talk and everybody else has been a crazy Bitcoin or, you know, and he’s like, I don’t know, I don’t know how you haven’t gotten totally nuts like the rest of us. Like we’re and I was like, It’s a good question. I have no idea. Like, maybe I feel like I don’t have the fu money yet or what. But it was it was really funny. And I think it’s just in my demeanor, to want to be excited and cautious at the same time and be humble, at least as a flattering way to say it’s a thank you because sometimes I just feel like you get a bit jaded. You don’t want to get too excited or too fearful of anything. You just want to keep a level head on. Make it through another day.
Jefferson Nunn 38:50
Oh, I don’t describe Judaism if you will do that. I think it’s more that you’ve been to it and so You know, what it’s like. And so now you’re aware of just where you are in the space of things. And I think that was the most amazing advice I got from a fitness trainer of all people. He was like, you know, not so much about all the different advice such coming in, right? I think the biggest one is just the awareness at the space that you’re in, and being able to operate that space, that is far more key than sticking to some programmatic regimen. That may or may not work for you.
Shawn Owen 39:31
Yeah, that’s really good advice actually.
Jefferson Nunn 39:35
I was blown away. fitness trainer of all people, you know, could be, you know, a better business person than most of them. You know, so. So yes, I would say, there’s a lot to a lot to learn. And that’s the exciting thing about this. I think in traditional finance, it is boring, and nobody learning. And they’re just hitting the same ball over and over again.
Shawn Owen 40:00
Yeah. What you always say like, we’ll know when it’s over when it’s not this much fun to be involved with money, like money shouldn’t be this exciting when Bitcoin was early days, and we’re getting all excited and having meetups and parties for new features being launched and stuff. It’s like money shouldn’t be this exciting. It really is.
Jefferson Nunn 40:22
But it is fantastic. So thank you so much for I think one of the best podcasts ever. I’m definitely gonna recommend it to 50 of my best friends.
Shawn Owen 40:29
I’ll do the same.
Jefferson Nunn 40:32
Thank you so much for your time.
Shawn Owen 40:34
Yeah, let’s talk again. It’s always good to connect them. I’m so glad that you popped up and reached out in talking about these old days. It’s still fun to be nostalgic for sure.
Jefferson Nunn 40:42
Awesome. Awesome. As always, the links to Shawn and to SALT lending is at the top of the show page. So thanks again.
This concludes today’s episode of the around the block podcast, the only podcast to go behind the scenes to talk with the movers and shakers of the cryptocurrency world.
This podcast is produced by crypto.news.
Our host is Jefferson Nunn.
Managed by Urooj Fatima.
Edited by Muhammad Wasay.
Voiceovers by Danny Rubin.
Please follow us on any major podcasting platform. Thanks for listening.