Published: February 02, 2022  •  320 Views

Bitcoin Products & Services

MicroStrategy World provides an opportunity for organizations to learn about the latest products and services institutional-grade providers are offering in the marketplace. 

Discover what’s now available in the market for institutions and corporations. 

MicroStrategy World and Bitcoin for Corporations provides an opportunity for forward-thinking organizations to learn about the myriad of innovative products and services institutional-grade providers are currently offering in the marketplace. Watch this session to hear from leading organizations—and to learn how they can best support their corporate clients and investors.  

 

Moderator: 

  • Aubrey Strobel, Head of Communication, Lolli

 

Expert Speakers:

  • Alex Adelman, Chief Executive Officer, Lolli
  • Tony Gallippi, Co-founder and Executive Chairman, BitPay
  • Patrick Sells, Chief Innovation Officer, NYDIG

Hello and welcome to a panel on Bitcoin products and services, I would like to think MicroStrategy for hosting this event. We have some excellent participants here today just to introduce myself. I'm Aubrey Strobel, I'm the head of communications at lolley. We also have Alex Edelman, the CEO of lolli, as well as Tony Gillespie, who is in for Steven today, a co-founder at BitPay. And Patrick sels, the Chief Innovation Officer at nydig. So I'll let you guys go around and enjoy yourselves and talk a little bit more about your background, your companies and your investors. Whoever wants, I'll go ahead and get started. My name is Alex Edelman, I'm the CEO and one of the co-founders of lolley. What we've done is we've created the leading Bitcoin rewards company. So we partnered with over 1,000 different merchants, and we give merchants the ability to easily give Bitcoin rewards to our 450,000 users.

We want to make it both easy for consumers to get into Bitcoin by not having to buy bitcoin, but to earn it on their everyday purchases. And then we also want to make it easy for merchants to get involved in Bitcoin without not having to do large technical integrations and being able to get set up in less than 24 hours. So, yeah, solving to killing two birds with one stone and trying to solve two problems of both merchant adoption and consumer adoption. I'll go next. Thank you again, microstrategy's and everyone for being on. I'm Patrick sels, the Chief Innovation Officer at nydig.

We are a Bitcoin as a service or crypto as a service platform, enabling any incumbent or merchant corporate bank to be able to offer access to digital assets through their applications or interfaces for their customers. And on top of that technology, we've built really a world class regulatory and compliance team that helps structure products and create new use cases in the market. Nydig is a, you know, everyone from is largely from financial service background, and our mission is Bitcoin for all. So very similar to my friend Alex and lolli trying to make it accessible to everyone and anyone in a variety of ways. Right I agree. And again, thank you to Michael strategy, Tony Gillespie, I'm one of the co-founders of BitPay.

Bitpay, I think, is the longest tenured Bitcoin company. We've been around since 2011. We're one year older than Coinbase and one month older than bitstamp, but we make it easy for businesses to take advantage of Bitcoin. We provide different tools and services for bitcoin, for businesses to be able to access the Bitcoin ecosystem primarily in the payment side. We've raised money from investors and a few rounds, and we've got about 80 employees globally. Amazing, thank you all for that. You know, as the market's changing, there's different demand sort of for different products and services.

I saw the announcement today from nydig allowing people to get paid and have savings in Bitcoin. So and on top of what you're already doing, what are the other sort of services that are in demand right now from people? Sure you know, very exciting today to announce our Bitcoin savings program, which is essentially payroll for companies, so that it makes it easy for your employees to allocate a percentage of their pay to Bitcoin. I think that's a really fun starting point for many corporations as they think about culturally, also how they want to teach and educate and bring along their staff into the world of Bitcoin and digital assets and a lot of demand there. And that's a great example of how we are trying to embed a wallet into different merchants or partners of ours.

We do a lot in the bank, credit union and fintech space so that you can log in to a community bank, for example, and buy, sell, hold the way you could at Cash App or PayPal. And so trying to just make it easy for consumers to go to the institutions they already have relationships with. And then I think the other area I would comment on where there's a lot of demand is in the loyalty space. And so thinking about how do you embed a wallet into a corporate loyalty program and use that to attract consumers and new customers and retain them, as well as just drive overall app engagement as their consumers are logging in and seeing the price of Bitcoin or taking advantage of their offerings. Yeah, I'll go next. So at bitpay, we see Bitcoin as a pretty significant innovation that will start to become popular in global finance and commerce. Much like in the last 25 years, the internet itself has become a popular way to conduct global commerce. We think Bitcoin is just fundamentally a better system, a better financial system. So our mission is to make it easy for any business to accept Bitcoin as a form of payment, but do that in a way that eliminates as much risk as possible for the business.

Yes, so the products that we're seeing have the most adoption is in our Chrome extension, our website and our mobile app, and all the experiences around lolli are there to drive consumers into bitcoin, friendly merchants, sites, stores wherever they're spending money. So we've since driven over $75 million in GMV for our 100 partners, merchant partners and part of the psychology of it is that users want to see brands that they know and love. And then they can earn from. So, you know, some of our partners being Adidas, cabela's, Groupon, booking.com, all of these merchants know that we can actually increase their revenue incremental revenue by driving our users into these stores, into these sites, knowing that the incentive mechanism is to give users more Bitcoin rewards and thus be loyal to our merchant partners. On that, are we seeing from the customers a demand for Bitcoin specifically, I know some of the products and services on this panel offer other cryptocurrencies in addition to Bitcoin. But do we feel that Bitcoin is mostly being asked for? Do you believe that is? Yeah, so we've often surveyed our users and the market to really like test our assumptions.

We, you know, our team, you know, my co-founder, Matt and I have been in the Bitcoin space for a very long time. And the merchant adoption, you know, when we were building a payments company in 2013 the merchants, they didn't want to deal with remittances. There weren't services out there necessarily to support that. And there wasn't consumer demand in order to facilitate the increase in GMV because there just wasn't enough for enough people that actually had Bitcoin and the people that had Bitcoin because it was volatile and namely went up. They didn't want to necessarily spend their Bitcoin because they were going to be hit with taxes on gains. And they weren't sure if that, you know, that famous example of buying pizzas with 10,000 Bitcoin was going to be true. So we, when our last company was acquired by rakuten, we the biggest cashback company in the US. And many parts of the world, we really saw this opportunity of what is the easiest way to distribute Bitcoin to people and get people to be loyal. And we saw Bitcoin as a marketing tool for a lot of these merchants to put their brand and associated with crypto without actually having to lift a finger. So with all that, you can sign up and within 24 hours, you can typically be live on Molly's site and be offering Bitcoin rewards with next to no effort on their end. And you get to align yourself with the Bitcoin ecosystem and play a part of it and attract incremental revenue through very little work.

You know, Aubrey, on our side, I think still the vast majority of consumer demand is for Bitcoin. We do support a couple of other assets as well as bitcoin, but again, where we see the most demand at the consumer level is there. And I think also, especially when we're talking to other corporations about a product offering for their consumers, employees or even for their own balance sheet, there's a lot more comfort with Bitcoin and the maturity that exists there. I think there is still a growing level of interest, if you will, and other tokens. But really, at the end of the day, especially for real corporations and institutions they trust and clarity that exists with Bitcoin has kept. And that works well because the line with the vast majority of the consumer demand up to this point. Yeah, and a bitpay, we support about a dozen tokens right now, but Bitcoin is still the majority of our business, not just a plurality plurality, but but a majority. So it is very popular again just for the comfort and the maturity. But we look at it a little bit differently.

You know, some of these cryptos have a unique user community that is associated with them, and sometimes there's not much overlap between one particular crypto user community and the Bitcoin user community. So by adding a new crypto to our platform, it's additive both for our business and for our merchants. They get new customers. And for your guys, is product and Circe's plans for the future, what is your vision from here on out? Whoever wants to go ahead. So, yeah, yeah, so we are. We just launched our mobile app, which now has over 200,000 users. The goal of the mobile app is to drive people in-store. About three years ago, when we first started, we were online only saw a lot of success there, brought on over 1,100 merchants, sends three star sales to x of 2019 and 2020 combined. And so we've seen a lot of success with online, especially through COVID. And now what we're trying to do as we emerge out of a COVID state, drive people back into stores and get rewarded on those everyday purchases.

Their favorite fast food restaurants, gas stations, even charging stations for EV vehicles. So trying to really capitalize on every single swipe that someone has and make it a rewarding experience around Bitcoin that has historically gone up 10x since we first launched. If you think in terms of where we're going with the product we've developed over the last year, quite a diverse range of use cases, I think 15 or 16 different ones, depending on our partners needs. And I think that's one of the fun things getting to work with many corporations is understanding their products that exist today. And how do you integrate Bitcoin into that? In many cases, it may be something we have off the shelf, but it's also fun, especially as a chief innovation officer, if you will, to get to do that type of work in terms of where we're going with our product. I think one of the key features will be rolling out this year with our embedded wallet is the ability to do deposits and transfers. And so making it more of a fully functioning wallet like you see in other large platforms. And then I think continuing to expand the use case, especially around lending and letting people at point of sale or more easily access against their Bitcoin.

We did a partnership with a car dealership where you can now go, purchase a car and finance off Bitcoin and very attractive. And so you don't have to sell your Bitcoin to have a taxable event. And so being able to do that and all kinds of merchants and websites is one of the big areas we're focused on. Yeah, today are our most popular product is our e-commerce checkout, where any business that has an e-commerce website can add BitPay as a payment option alongside credit cards and PayPal and whatever other payment options they take. And then BitPay will just convert that Bitcoin into dollars and send a direct deposit to their bank account every day so that the business doesn't have to ever handle the Bitcoin or take any risk. But we're seeing a big push for actually the opposite flow, which is more of a payouts product or a mass pay product. And this is for companies who have fleets of freelance workers, marketing affiliates, potentially people that are affiliated in that community globally. And they need to pay out to these people globally and trying to pay people around the world.

Using the traditional financial rails is very cumbersome. It's expensive and it's slow both for the business sending it and the person trying to receive the money. So whereas paying with crypto just makes a whole lot of sense. So I think you'll start to see that more and more. It seems like all three of us are kind of getting into that space, just making it easier to get crypto and Bitcoin out there into circulation in people's hands, reducing that friction point and just making it more accessible. That's amazing for freelancers like it solves a major problem right there. So what do you think corporations that are, you know, tuning in to this panel? What do you think they should consider first when integrating Bitcoin to their products and services? For one, does it does it help drive more sales your way? Does it bring a new audience? Does it increase revenue is ultimately, what I think every business owner or a leader has to be thinking about. And I think the three of our businesses all fit within that. We've been around for a long time.

We have proven success case studies that support that Bitcoin is good for business and that you can attract an incredible customer and have them spend more at your company. And you know, we're all doing it in slightly different ways. But I think we're all in alignment that like this, Bitcoin future is a very positive future. And it's not just for this like self-sovereign individual and store value that we all know and love. It's also going to drive real revenue for the biggest merchants, biggest companies in the world. Tony, I say you were about to jump in there. Yeah, no, I totally agree with that. You know, I think if a company has made the decision, hey, we want to accept bitcoin, you know, a couple of things you should consider is, you know, do you feel you can handle the risk of handling the Bitcoin yourself as a company and having your finance team manage that? Or would you prefer to outsource that to a trusted provider? That's one thing to consider. You know, also the ecosystem of Bitcoin is still somewhat fragmented. There's, you know, hundreds of different exchanges and wallets out there, and not all of them behave the same way. So, you know, if you're going to decide to accept or work with bitcoin, you want to be compatible with the ecosystem and be able to support all the wallets and where people are trying to pay and get paid from. You know, you also may want to consider regulations if you're in a regulated industry yourself, you know, can you work with bitcoin? You know, can you work with a trusted provider in the Bitcoin space that is also regulated? But I would echo Alex's comments.

You know, we had a research company called Forrester that actually interviewed some of our top e-commerce merchants, and the merchants were very pleased to discover that customers who paid with Bitcoin 40% of those customers were new to that business that it never shopped there before. So it's a great new way to acquire new customers. And like Alex said, the people who spend Bitcoin typically spend more. The average order value was about double their credit card purchase. So yeah, it can be a meaningful impact for businesses, both for a new customer generation or new customer acquisition and revenue generation. Playing a bit off of what Tony said, I think we fundamentally look at this space as being n equal parts exercise and regulations and technology. And so I think for any corporation thinking about a Bitcoin product or service, it's what are the relevant regulations or laws that I need to be aware of or I need to think about as I put a product together or an offering out there. And so oftentimes encourage them to start there and then go through an exercise of what's the business outcome you're looking to achieve by doing this? For example, if you have a mobile app or an online platform and having daily app engagement is helpful, thinking about a Bitcoin product that helps accomplish that goal. What we see with our partner Landry's, for example, is by having Bitcoin on their mobile app, increase daily app engagement by almost two to three times.

People are logging in to see the price of Bitcoin there or how their loyalty points have been affected, positive or negative based on the volatility of Bitcoin. And that just keeps Landry's restaurants top of mind for their customer. And so you can design a use case around solving for that business objective or to Tony's point, or, you know, a lot of what Alex has spoken about customer acquisition. There's tremendous consumer demand for Bitcoin. And if you think about, hey, instead of giving you a rebate, I can give you Bitcoin back or Bitcoin rewards as a way of attracting that customer powerful. And then or an example like cost savings. And Tony kind of touched on this in terms of payments. I think we recently acquired lightning payments company called bottle pay and getting very deep in the world of payments and what can happen, especially now with Taproot and effect.

And so a way to think about cost savings if you have to move a lot of money around the world or in different currencies. And so what's the legal and regulatory parameters that need to be aware of? And then what's the business objective almost unrelated to Bitcoin that I'm looking to solve for? And then how can I use Bitcoin to help me achieve that outcome? Yeah, it's a good point on volatility. Just thinking about for users, they are interested in the price going up. They're also checking if they're going down on mobile apps. But in terms of institutions and their interest on it, what is your answer when you have people very much concerned about the volatility, especially, you know, where the market is sort of right now? Someone else will go first. Yeah, I can take this one. Yeah, I mean, the volatility kind of generates activity and, you know, we see some increases in our payment activity when the volatility of Bitcoin increases, both when the price goes up. And when the price goes down, it just kind of leads to a little bit more activity. You know, it's a good thing that we built our service the way we did so that the businesses that are using BitPay to accept Bitcoin don't have to worry about the price. We guarantee the exchange rate.

So if they're requesting a payment from us for $200, they're going to get $200 minus our fee. And they don't have to worry about the volatility of Bitcoin. But we do see it. It does impact consumer spending behavior, and it's pretty much tied to the volatility. Yeah, you know, I think obviously people are aware of it, it's a conversation that comes up, but it hasn't been a real inhibitor or obstacle to moving forward. I think, you know, depending on the use case of it, if you're thinking about something with your consumers, for example, recognizing that the mass population is well aware of the volatility and also that can inform a product decision, you make things you think about something from a corporate Treasury standpoint. That's where you can also deploy strategies with like derivatives, for example, to really hedge your downside on it. And so, you know, conversations around how do I need to think about that risk and any path you go down, there's usually something that you can do to help manage that.

And then I think really playing off of Tony's point there, the volatility is a feature, not a bug, if you will, from the sense of wanting to drive engagement with your, whether that's employees or customers, because that will attract them back into your user interfaces to watch that. And so it gives you such a great opportunity to market other products and stay top of mind. Yes, so in a similar note, we feel it's our job to drive as many sales as possible to our merchant partners. And we found that there's different tactics, you know, to do that when Bitcoin is up. There's a natural attraction to it because everyone's sort of following this race course that continuing to break all time highs. And we have no issue with marketing Bitcoin when it's hitting all time highs. Everybody wants more of it. But the actuality of it is, is we need to drive sales with Bitcoin is crashing or dipping.

That's probably the best way. And so we've actually found that as long as Bitcoin is moving or doing something, there's a lot of way more activity than who we look at as our competitors being cashback or coupons where when you're getting $5 in cash back, you get your $5 and you know exactly what your $5 is when you get Bitcoin $5. It's a moment to remind someone to have more touchpoints with what that $5 is. And so we make it. It's sort of a game with all of our consumers and merchants. So if you've earned $5 in Bitcoin from Nike and a week later, that's now $10, we get to remind you. So it's another touchpoint for Nike. It's another moment for this positive experience, and we have historically seen you a Bitcoin to go up significantly since we launched. So we use that to remind people, hey, remember that time you shopped at Nike and it's now 10x what it was. They now have a positive sentiment towards Nike and that they earned and that they're going to keep going to Bitcoin friendly merchants.

When Bitcoin is down the way that we market, it is, we say, earn the dip, stack the dip and people get really excited about that because they feel like they're being a savvy shopper and a savvy investor. And we know is that most people are not investors, most people, everybody shops. So if we can turn the entire world to treat them, you know, as we would treat any investor as teaching them by low or low and sell high or hold high, then that's a positive for the world as we want people to be more financially literate through Bitcoin. You know, just to play off that a little bit. I kind of got into this whole space about four years ago when I joined a bank called quantic, and it was really to create a Bitcoin rewards debit card. Wanted to just to be easy and quote unquote free. And as we brought that product to life and it was the partner. What I realized as a cardholder myself was that when Bitcoin was down, that's when I tried to go spend all the money I needed to that month because I wanted to take advantage of the debt and kind of seeing that play out both in my own organic behavior, but then also our early customers. And so one of the things I think for corporations is thinking about corporate cards instead of maybe an MX card or a card that's earning points to use a Bitcoin rewards card as a way of accumulating Bitcoin for your balance sheet.

And then again, here you think about the expenses at a corporate level, or so much bigger than at a consumer level. And so when there's wild price swings or big price swings, a company can really take advantage of that as another way of accumulating Bitcoin for its balance sheet. Patrick, you're a case study then. I'm perfectly. Speaking of case studies or business cases. How do you think back to advice for these companies? How do you think that a company should go out basically structuring a business case to their team? They're going back after this call for a Bitcoin product or service. I can jump start that one off, I think, you know, having a conversation around going back to what I shared in a prior question around what are some business outcomes agnostic to Bitcoin or cryptocurrency that we're trying to solve for because you can use that as a means of creating unity and clarity around what to go do. And then from there can begin to have a series of conversations, right? So if your company is dealing with recruiting, we all know how hard of a recruiting market is. We'll think about something like having a benefit, such as Bitcoin payroll and what that could mean for you or being able to even take that a step further and say, hey, look, will match up to 2% of whatever you put into Bitcoin.

And so now you can go offer a 401(k and something like Bitcoin. And so what's the business objective and then begin to think about cryptocurrencies, or bitcoin? And I think when it goes that way, because inevitably at the vast majority of companies, there will be someone in the executive team or at the board level who still isn't sure about Bitcoin or should we be doing this? Or what's the reputational risk? And if you can instead come about reverse engineer that conversation from, hey, look, here's a known business problem and a way we think we can solve it. And oh, by the way, that's Bitcoin that has a far greater effect of being able to get the alignment and the commitment to move forward. Well, that. Anyone want? Yeah, I agree. You know, Aubrey, I think, you know, a business that's looking to acquire new customers, you know, by accepting bitcoin, that's probably one of the easiest ways that you can acquire new customers. You know, there's a whole community out there with lots of market cap that's otherwise illiquid and now expendable. And when you look at, you know, the marketing expenses for a lot of companies, they spend a lot of money, a lot of their marketing budget on customer acquisition. And, you know, accepting Bitcoin kind of makes that job much easier.

Yeah I mean, the conversation that we've had since 2013 with our last company, and now this company has just changed dramatically of like the ease that it's that anyone in the organization is able to sell Bitcoin into an organization has completely changed. And we've all been in space for a while and have seen that shift from payments and rewards. And so, yeah, it's our job to make it incredibly easy. We've convinced over 1,000 merchants to join us already. And these are the household names. We pride ourselves on being the easiest on ramp for merchants to join us. And part of that is because we have proven case studies. We have over 450,000 loyal, dedicated users that want to earn. And so we drive, we start driving revenue your way from day one. And then additionally, there's no there's no reason not to write. It's like it's like it's pay per performance marketing. At the end of the day, it's cash back. It's it's a program where you're coming in and saying, OK, if we're making $10 million, you know, from working with lolli, like we're only spending part of what we're making. So we try to remove as many reasons to say no as possible, and I think we've done a good job of doing that. So I would say, yeah, we'll, you know, give me an email, Alex icelolly.com, and I'll send you over every reason why you should join us on this Bitcoin future that we're heading down. Always be pitching all that, Alex. So, you know, how does a company go into once they're all agreed upon that they're going to offer a Bitcoin product or service? How do they go about leveraging that as a part of their modern P&L strategy? Yeah, what we do is we help them look at what are they making with existing affiliates or performance programs in the reward space and across the board, we're always able to increase those sales. So a lot of merchants look at us as being like the Amex of rewards. We're not doing extreme discounting with coupons. It's all going into Bitcoin. And our users are extremely motivated by Bitcoin rewards, not the extreme discounting and lack of control that coupons provides. So when we're creating that case, it's like you can go pay Amazon 15% marketplace fee and you're at 15% to even get in front of somebody in an Amazon Marketplace. You can spend 40% margin on ads and marketing to even get in front of the user and hoping that they're going to see it ended up sending all your money to Facebook and Google. And as we all know, it's getting increasingly more expensive, especially over the last few months. Or you can come in and you can say, hey, like this, this is a tried and true way to attract a great customer and more revenue to the business and add positive sentiment and a loyal customer to your business. So those are questions we ask companies to really ask themselves. And ultimately, it's going to drive more revenue and you can set the price of your profit on every transaction.

You don't have to have this guessing game of what you're paying Facebook that month or Amazon that month that you're beholden to those marketplace owners. Know you've heard us talk. I think both Alex, Tony and I all at some level around thinking about Bitcoin from a kind of cost of acquisition or using it to drive higher engagement. So that you're really staying kind of eye level with other products and services you have to offer. Whether that's a credit union, who's trying to market loans or a restaurant who wants you to come back to one of their stores. And I think that's pretty intuitive for how to think about that and a P&L approach to that. There's also,though, thinking about if you're more in the B2B world instead of running a competition for your sales reps where they get x dollars or a trip to something, it's amazing. The psychology when you begin to make that a Bitcoin competition in terms of how that can add excitement and ignite the culture, we've seen that play out at a couple of our partners, and it's almost like 2 times difference in terms of what that resulted in because there's something very fun about it and being able to say, for example, like, I own a full Bitcoin for someone who wasn't in Bitcoin early on, that becomes incredibly attractive. And so you can think about it both for how do I incentivize employees if I'm not B to C or I'm not e commerce, if I am e-commerce or b2c, how can I use it to drive in-store visits, gamifying existing kind of loyalty programs you have or ways you engage your customer and then thinking about ways of embedding it into your app, you know, you can begin to back into a very clear P&L approach.

Yeah, I would agree, I mean, the basic nuts and bolts is, yeah, you might get incrementally more revenue and you'll get slightly better cost of processing, but you know, the real benefit, I think, is engaging with your customers and some of our merchants that actually are very active on social media, particularly around Bitcoin and crypto. You know, they get increased loyalty from that, you know, and the marketing value alone of a company doing an announcement saying, hey, we're doing something with Bitcoin. In many cases, that announcement will rank like in the top five of the announcements in the entire history of the company. So there's a lot of attention. And, you know, we have companies that go live with us and we prepare them. We say, hey, look, you know, if you announce this. Be prepared for lots of interview requests and questions because this is going to get picked up. And so companies are starting to understand just, hey, they're raising the awareness of their brand for everything that they're doing, just because they're getting involved with Bitcoin.

Yeah, those announcements on Twitter, I mean, it's crazy to watch them go off and it's a lot of the community and the loyalty, and there's obviously people outside of it, but it gets just circulated, I think, in such a faster pace than you see like any sort of other announcement to happen with these companies. Speaking of that, you know, there's been a lot of companies that have integrated Bitcoin onto their balance sheet in the past year, MicroStrategy being 1 square and Tesla and some others and just different trends have picked up in the past year. 2021 was a big year for bitcoin, but what do you what do you see as some of the major changes in the past year as it relates to Bitcoin for corporations? You know, I think if I think of this conference last year, very much kind of a focus around corporate Treasury as a starting point and kind of getting off of 0 and MicroStrategy and the companies you mentioned did such a great job of kind of giving a use case in a model that you could follow. And I think for many corporations, there's still conversations around how should I do that and what that look like? I think what you've heard from all three of us, though, is a testament to how those conversations have evolved. It's much more than just corporate Treasury. It's how can I think about this in terms of both for all three, for myself as a corporation and my balance sheet for engaging and attracting my customers and for engaging and attracting my employees.

And I think really this notion of Bitcoin for all and it's showing up everywhere is what we're really going to see happen in 2022 and 2023. And so the willingness and the creativity of corporations is where I notice the biggest difference. Totally I want to jump in. Yeah, we hold Bitcoin on our balance sheet, and I feel like everyone should. When you see inflation at 7% and Bitcoin being historically a great hedge on that being that there's only 21 million Bitcoin and no one speaks about it better than Michael saylor, I think he inspired a lot of people with that. Yeah, but more on the balance sheet today. I don't know how much you bought. I forgot what it was, but it was a lot. Smash smash, smash that Buy button. Yeah, no, I agree. I mean, you look year over year at the number of publicly traded companies that have Bitcoin on their balance sheet, I mean, it's big growth and you'll probably see another growth between now and this time next year. So there's still some accounting and tax nuances of it. But, you know, I think the general premise is that people are willing to figure it out and deal with a little bit of pain and inconvenience because they want that exposure. You know, they have enough on their balance sheet. They want exposure to something else that's uncorrelated. And like Alex said, right, I mean, the inflation is pretty high.

And you're not getting anywhere near that interest in treasuries or anything else. So just to stay, even if you need to find an asset that's going to outperform, right? I think you said something there, Tony, that I just add to. I think, you know, very much kind of Bitcoin as an asset. And you think about that from a corporate Treasury standpoint. One of the things I've been personally kind of taken aback by in a positive way is how corporations have really started to zero in on bitcoin, the network and the payment protocol. And what that can mean as they think about paying employees and vendors around the world and risk. And so there's this whole other conversation that's starting to happen at real corporations actively working on leveraging the network aspect, even if they're not ready to own Bitcoin on balance sheet. And so that would be the other kind of big change I can sense in the overall environment. Yeah and the more global that the workforce becomes with, like remote work and post-covid world, Bitcoin is the currency of the internet digital currency made for the internet and have been hiring engineers and people all over the world for the last like 16 years. And moving money around the world is extremely costly. And when and using Bitcoin as a way to attract this, this competitive workforce where you're fighting for engineers and you want to hire the best people and it doesn't matter so much anymore where they are. Bitcoin's borderless and it's actually a huge advantage to be able to offer Bitcoin to attract the best people, the smartest people in the world that don't want 30% remittance fees and transaction costs of moving money across the world like there is now a solution for that and that solution is Bitcoin. Yeah, I mean, super advantageous for these companies.

It almost feels like because of the remote work and because of covid, it's almost sped this up and in some ways the way that people are getting paid. And you know, as Tony was saying earlier, just people are freelancing, more people are doing contract work, there's more creative economy and there needs to be a native internet money that can connect everyone all around the world. So for 2020 to the new year and 2023 what do you what do you think the outlook on institutions integrating Bitcoin or just offering services or what you can look into the future, what do you think is going to happen in the next few years? Hard to say in this industry, but try your best. I think we're all going to keep winning. It's more payments, more rewards, more usage. I mean, even three years ago, Bitcoin was this foreign concept and it was people were like getting into it out of curiosity. Now it's just like, you can't go anywhere and not hear about it.

Talk about it. So, you know, unless companies want to get left behind, they have to. They have to do something. And the, in my opinion, the easiest way to get involved in the Bitcoin space is through rewards. And then there's all the like what didn't exist three years ago or didn't exist? Even, you know, five, 10 years ago is there's now so many ways to easily get set up with Treasury remittances, payments rewards that there aren't a lot of excuses not to play a part of this inevitable Bitcoin future. The tools are out there, the companies are out there, and we're all thriving as we have for many years now. I think over the next year or two, you know, I spend a lot of my time in the world of regulated banks and credit unions and so very, very dialed in to what's happening there. I sense that there is both a recognition that there are things happening in the broader, broader crypto ecosystem that probably aren't legal and those things need to get stopped, but in a way that doesn't cause too much of an adverse effect for consumers and corporations.

At the same time, a sense that American companies need really clear guidelines and rules for how to operate in this space so that we can lead innovation here the way that we did with the internet. And so there's both this sense of how do I need to stop what's happening, but at a certain pace, but I also need to accelerate the clarity. And so I think we're going to we've seen that last year. We're going to see that even more so in the next year or two. And that will probably cause some level of disruption in the industry. But ultimately, I think it will mean that more corporations and institutions are comfortable, engaging with Bitcoin and digital assets in a variety of ways. And so then I play that out and think about the work that, like BitPay is doing and lolli ourselves and others as all of a sudden Americans are living in a world where you can be literally earning free Bitcoin every day in a variety of ways, you can buy Bitcoin through trusted financial relationships like your bank or your credit union, and you think about how much easier access is going to be when, because I think there's a moment when I look back. And while there's been a lot more popularity of Bitcoin and crypto these last couple of years, fundamentally ease of access hasn't gotten much different, right? There's still the primary places you can go to, and that's worked for some, but there's a lot of people who haven't felt comfortable going that way. And so if I can go to a buy shrimp at Bubba Gump and I can get some Bitcoin points and begin to learn it, I get comfortable with it. And so what I think we as corporate America can do is radically expand the number of users on the network and making access easy. And as that happens, the price of Bitcoin will go up. And you know, we could usher in another great era of human flourishing and financial security because of the work that corporations are doing to make Bitcoin accessible.

So that's kind of the vision I think I see over the next year or two. Yeah, no, Patrick, I agree, I think, you know, we've got one country now, Salvador that has made Bitcoin legal tender, and we'll see how that experiment plays out, but I think you'll probably see more of those. We even have proposed bills even within the United States. I think Arizona has put forth a bill to make Bitcoin as legal tender within Arizona. Texas is talking to it, talking about something similar. So I think, you know, we have an election coming up this year. This may become a topic of political debate, you know, ask the candidates, hey, what's your stance on bitcoin? You know, how do you feel that it should be protected, clarified and promoted? You know, and I think, you know, we could start to see more companies jump in, you know, once you get greater clarity. Arizona is my home state so routine that they pass that bill through? Thanks, guys, so much for all of this. I just want to go around one last time. And if anyone has any closing remarks as we're kind of nearing the end of the panel at 2:45 so eastern, if you have any other thoughts, advice to give any corporations or businesses watching this panel.

Sure thank you again, Aubrey, for moderating this and micro strategy for having me on to represent nydig. I think one of the things that I saw in the banking space was the comfort that came from being able to openly talk to another bank who was also thinking about doing something with Bitcoin. And maybe they were at the same stage in the journey as you were, or maybe they had or behind. But being willing to have those types of conversations goes a long way. And so I think for corporations not being afraid of reaching out to other corporates that of or any of us through here, I know we could provide many references of companies and how they've thought about it, how they got comfortable and so rely on each other and kind of the strength in numbers that's ultimately needed. And then really to think about, OK, we can all see what's happened from a popularity of digital assets.

Even the fact that this conference exist really speaks to there's a lot of interest in something like Bitcoin. And so I need to recognize that interest is only going to get stronger and therefore I need to take advantage in some way. Or I will lose to my competitor who may have an inferior product or an inferior strategy, but they're harnessing what's happening in the world and this technology. And so getting being able to figure out what is my starting point, I think is very important as you think about the next three to five years and how you position yourself. Yeah I'll go next. You know, it's been a great conversation, guys. Always good talking with you. You know, for any business out there that is interested in learning more about how you could accept Bitcoin on your website, feel free to reach out to us. You can email me Tony at BitPay or just come to our website BitPay and somebody will follow up. We'd be happy to Siebel Tools we have that might be able to easily plug into your website. Awesome and then, yeah, I mean, closing remarks are like, you know, as I said before, Bitcoin is incredibly good for business. The merchants that are adopting it earlier are getting are seeing that. And there's a reason why we have over 1,000 merchant partners of brands that and love. And they haven't left us for three years. And we started with 500.

We now have over 1,100. They keep coming because we are giving them proven results and more and more people are becoming interested in getting involved in Bitcoin. So yeah, we're here to educate. We're here to talk through what Bitcoin is, why it's important. There aren't dumb questions in this. This is a very new world that we're entering in, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's a scary world. You know, we're all building here because we believe it's a better world and we're trying to create the easiest way for both consumers to adopt Bitcoin and get involved and educate and become financially literate into this new world. And merchants to become financially literate in this new world. So lolli BitPay nydig all solutions that are trying to make it easier for merchants and consumers, and we're here to answer questions and we're here to help. Great thank you so much, Tony, Patrick, Alex. It's been a pleasure. And thank you again to the team at MicroStrategy for putting on this event. And Michael saylor, we've appreciated it. So thank you, guys. Thank you. 

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