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About The Guest
Miko is a General Partner with Gumi Ventures, a US $30M investment fund focused early stage blockchain startups and a cofounder of crypto exchange Evercoin, Miko fell in love with open source software 25 years ago as chief Evangelist for the Java Language and Platform at Sun Microsystems.
Since then he has been building open source software startups in Silicon Valley including raising over $50 million in venture capital for developer platform companies such as Gradle and financial infrastructure companies like Hazelcast and has participated in multiple exits including INFRAVIO, webMethods, and Db4O.
He is an advisor in successful startups like Celsius (CeFi Lending), Idle Finance (DeFi Yield Aggregator), Pundi X (Payments), and KEYLESS (ID infrastructure). He has been an investor with Focus Ventures, a firm with over $800M under management, 9 IPOs and 44 exits and blockchain firm Pantera Capital. He holds a Master’s degree in Neuroscience from Yale University where he worked on abstract computational neural network
- 08:02 — Blockchain.. breaking away from institutional systems.
- 15:42 — Crypto hacking.
- 20:21 — Questioning people’s motives.
- 26:09 — What is De-Fi?
- 32:10 — Blockchain & Crypto adoption.
- 46:11 — How De-Fi is changing lives.
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What is the Success Story Podcast?
On this podcast, you’ll find interviews, Q&A, keynote presentations & conversations on sales, marketing, business, startups and entrepreneurship.
The podcast is hosted by entrepreneur, business executive, author, educator & speaker, Scott D. Clary.
Scott will discuss some of the lessons he’s learned over his own career, as well as have candid interviews with execs, celebrities, notable figures and politicians. All who have achieved success through both wins and losses, to learn more about their life, their ideas and insights.
He sits down with leaders and mentors and unpacks their story to help pass those lessons onto others through both experiences and tactical strategy for business professionals, entrepreneurs and everyone in between.
Machine Generated Transcript
blockchain, people, defy, bitcoin, system, consent, called, applications, big, effectively, point, decentralized, direct mail, open source software, rules, freedom, incredible, hubspot, understand, invest
Scott, Scott D Clary, Miko Matsumura
Scott D Clary 00:00
Welcome to success story, the most useful podcast in the world. I’m your host Scott D. Clary, the success story podcast as part of the HubSpot Podcast Network. The HubSpot Podcast Network has incredible podcasts like the martec podcast hosted by Benjamin Shapiro. Each week, the MAR tech podcast tells stories of world class marketers who use technology to create lasting success with their business and their careers. If you like any of these topics, you’re going to like the mahr tech podcast how science is changing advertising, how to set up a CRM, so you actually use it. private equities take on digital transformation by big social is focused on newsletters. If these are topics that resonate with you, go check out the mahr tech podcast wherever you get your podcasts or you can also listen on hubspot.com/podcast Network. Today, my guest is Miko Matsumura. Miko is a general partner at Gumby ventures, a US $30 million investment fund focused on early stage blockchain startups. And he’s also a co founder of the crypto exchange ever coin Muco fell in love with open source software 25 years ago as chief evangelist for the Java language and platform at Sun Microsystems. Since then, he has been building open source startups in Silicon Valley, including raising over $50 million in venture capital for developer platform companies such as Gradle, and financial infrastructure companies such as hazelcast. He has participated in multiple exits, including in Favio web methods and DB 40. He is an advisor and successful startups like Celsius, idol finance, pondy, X and keyless. He has been an investor with focus ventures, a firm with over 800 million under management, nine IPOs and 44 exits and blockchain firm Pantera capital. He holds a master’s degree in neuroscience from Yale, where he worked on abstract computational neural networks. He is a name and blockchain, crypto defy what do we speak about? We spoke about the future of Defy. We we spoke about the growth of crypto markets, is it stable is going to continue to grow. We spoke about some basics of blockchain crypto and defy. We also spoke about biggest misconceptions about blockchain and just some incredible entrepreneurial lessons that he’s lived throughout his career. And that now he imparts on some of the startups that he worked with, I hope you enjoy. Let’s jump into it. This is Mikko Matson Morrow, general partner, serial entrepreneur and crypto blockchain defy evangelist.
Miko Matsumura 02:36
It’s really, I think I have to go like way, way back. And I’m hoping it’s not too grinding, but like, you know, I think I was always sort of a computer nerd. And when I reflect on it, I really think that the thing that I was most seeking is like, fairness and, like, order, right? So rules, like a, you know, basically a place where I could go, where it was peaceful, and everything was orderly and lawful, you know, so that I think that’s why I became sort of a computer nerd, my first computer was an Atari 400, it had a 16k of RAM, which is pretty amazing. Like, these days, you can’t even put like a GIF image into a 50 16k it’s pretty small, and, you know, I really just kind of was geeking out, but the with that the whole time now. It’s so It’s so crazy, because, you know, the journey I’ve been on is just extremely nonlinear. I’m three years now into venture capital as a general partner, you know, and before that, like 25 or so years and entrepreneurship, you know, and, and before that academia, so, you know, I went, I went to Yale University for neuroscience, so I was really studying mostly abstract, neural networks and computation. So I kind of have a bit of an AI background, but, you know, it just turned out with the twists and turns that I got, I got really interested in open source software, you know, and I think really, if you want to stitch it all together from the get go, like, I think the biggest theme that kind of stitches every phase together is really this quest for kind of fairness and like a better, like a better world. You know, so I think machine adjudicated rules, kind of, for me have always been, you know, whether it was kind of dealing with, you know, growing up in Michigan and you know, I really kind of retreated to my computer as just this very peaceful place where everything followed rules, you know, and if something was going wrong, you know, it was because you made it wrong, and you have to fix your software, you know, things will be set to Right, right. So, in a sense it was just this ultimately It’s an amazingly kind of judgmental environment and you know, in a way, an amazingly harsh environment, right, because, you know, you just make one little tiny, tiny mistake, that thing is completely like, doesn’t do what you want, you know, and that kind of like crucible, you know, gives you these lifelong lessons, you know, and ultimately, you kind of start steering towards the idea of freedom as being, you know, the option of basically submitting to different sets of rules, right, so that that’s kind of the way I see human freedom now is I just see it as you consent to abide by a set of rules. And that gives you freedom, the thing that I think ultimately gives you freedom is the ability to withdraw your consent, and to have a decent place to go. Right? Like, if you have no decent place to go, and then you can’t, you’re not free, right? So even if you’re in a system that you consent it to, you can’t withdraw your consent, if you don’t have like, a safe place to go. Right. So in essence, like, choice is really important. But you know, I guess, you know, it’s all this is very philosophical, but I think you’re probably,
Scott D Clary 06:11
I understand where you’re going, you’re talking to
Miko Matsumura 06:15
a crazily philosophical guy. It’s kind of my nature to think did the reason about this. But, you know, this is really how I got into open source software, you know, and open sources about non violence, disarmament and choice, right, which is, basically, if I’m writing software, and I open source it, I’m basically surrendering it before the relationship even starts. I’m surrendering my ability to coercively control you, I can’t control you because of my control over the software. Cuz cuz you can just leave, right, like, so the idea of like, fork it and go, right? It’s, it’s essential to my idea of what freedom is, right? Because, you know, if you can imagine if you’re living in a home that’s unsafe, right, having a safe place where you can go is like, the only way you can actually have freedom, right? If you have nowhere to go, you’re trapped. You’re just stuck there in this kind of hellish scenario, right? But like if you have a safe place to go, right, so imagine, with open source software that you can actually just replicate the place where you are, exactly, and then subtract the parts you don’t like, anytime you want, right? And anyone who wants to come with you to this new version is free to do so. Right? That’s, that’s this idea of like forking a blockchain, right is you can fork it, and you can just change the things you want to change. So the thing to me that’s very beautiful about this. So this is kind of ultimately how I landed from open source software, all the way to kind of blockchain technology, which of course, is in large part open source. So that’s been my kind of musing and fascination, you know, since I was, you know, 14 years old, sitting in my house, you know, just playing on my computer.
Scott D Clary 08:02
But, but even blockchain is, is an attempt at Freedom from instituted from ingrained and trenched institutional systems, right? That’s, yeah, that’s what it is.
Miko Matsumura 08:12
Bingo. And the thing that’s fascinating is, is that the existing systems aren’t able to offer us freedom, they’re not able to. And the reason why assert they’re not able to is, is even if you like it there, you still don’t have a choice, but you don’t have an alternative financial system where you can basically choose to go, but now you do. Right. So, you know, what, what has emerged out of blockchain technologies? Is this alternative financial system? And the thing that it does, is it that does two things, right, the first thing it does is it it competes for consent. So you know, what that means is, is that it’s trying to serve you the best, right? And if you don’t like it, you don’t, you shouldn’t, you shouldn’t come over. Right. So So in essence, but the other thing that it’s doing, other than providing an alternative is it does what all alternatives do, which is it keeps the competition honest. Right? So it actually now says, I’m going to compete for your consent. So the existing system must also compete for your consent, right? And if you like me better, than you’ll come over here, and if you don’t like it, then you’ll stay right which is like, what a nice thing, right? So it helps everyone and what I mean by it helps everyone is, you know, let’s say there’s a safe place where you can escape like let’s say it’s a safe home. Right? And let’s say it’s in neighborhood that’s a lot like where you live, right? So like the existence of that is great for people that need a safe place to go right? They need to go somewhere so they’re going to go and that gives them freedom, right? If you like where you are, then you should stay Right, so it gives but what I’m what I’m suggesting to you is it gives you freedom to, even if you don’t go over there, the existence of that gives you the ability to withdraw consent. So if suddenly you find yourself in a situation where you’re like, okay, the system was working beautifully for me, and now it’s not. So now I have a place to go, right? And even if you don’t ever go there, it’s still going to keep the system here and honest. Right? Because, you know, because of that competition, so, you know, that’s, that’s really kind of the mindset that, you know, I’m excited about because, you know, when we talk about this kind of blockchain tech, like, Satoshi Nakamoto, created this entire paradigm around, fork it and go, alright, that’s what he created. And so in a sense, like, you know, that means we’re, you know, I’m not like a Bitcoin maximalist, because like, the whole point of it is anyone can fork it in any time. And if they don’t like anything, they can just change it, right. And so a lot of people are like, Oh, I don’t like this feature. I don’t like that feature, like, great, fork it and go, like, it’s better everyone will go with with your version, everyone, whether you if it’s better.
Scott D Clary 11:14
So the issue, the issue with the evolution of this environment is that you have these highly technical individuals that adopt and subscribe to that mindset, but for the rest of the world, that is just trying to keep up and understand. Because of the ability to fork it and go and to just create new and to create business and to create, you know, alternative blockchains. And to create different applications and whatnot, it’s very hard to keep up and to figure out what’s good and what’s not, which is really, right, that’s the that’s the issue, you’re in it, you see what’s good, you see, you can you can, besides being a venture capitalist, you understand the actual technology, but then you also work with these, you know, these founders and the developers day in day out. So the people behind certain other projects, obviously not Bitcoin, but other projects, like some of the ones that you’ve invested in some of the ones that I’m sure that you know, you work with every single day, you have an idea of what works and what doesn’t, and why it would work or why it doesn’t make any sense. But you’re you’re deep, like you’re, you’re in the weeds. So that’s the issue that everybody’s running into, right?
Miko Matsumura 12:19
I think that is very, very legitimate, right? Which is that it is like this Revenge of the Nerds type of a universe. thing that I think is so important is this right, which is, I think, to me, uh, if I were to give any single advice to people who are new in this area is I would say, like, don’t be in a big hurry. Right? Like, like, just go in, don’t invest, like a huge amount, like, just just see what happens, right? Because the point is, is like, there’s some games where you can set and I call them games, right? I’m talking about a system of rules that you can set to operate under, right. So this could include a country where there are laws, or it can include a monetary system like a Bitcoin or it can include open source software, it can include a literal kind of a video game, right? Like, all of these systems have rules that you can set to agree to. So the thing is, is that oftentimes, the rule sets are complex, right? It could even It could even be like a cult that you want to join, right. It’s like, oh, I want to join this cult, right? So so there’s all these weird rules, and you’re kind of like, okay, I don’t I consent to these rules. Until I don’t, right. And so so there’s this process that I call that that’s called mechanism discovery, right? So mechanism discovery is, is you play, right, you play around, and you’re like, you know, it’s just like going to a new country or a new place. You just, you’re at first you’re a little bit like, I don’t know, what the deal is here, you know, and, you know, you can immediately be like, I don’t like the way people are acting, you know, but maybe if you have curiosity, and maybe if you’re like, these seem like, Okay, people like you know, then maybe you kind of are like, Well, why do they keep doing that? Or why do they keep saying that? After a while, you might discover that there’s some pretty cool stuff behind that, right? You might discover like, oh, wow, like, I get why they’re acting like that. That’s so different. Right? And then you kind of grow as a human right? So or, or, or it’s a cold shoulder there. And after a little while, you’re like, wow, like this whole frickin deal is rigged against me. Like they’re, they’re trying to, like, mess with me and like, take over and, you know, steal my house. I don’t know what they’re doing. But like, my point is, is that that’s why the ability to withdraw. Consent is so important, for any reason at any time, or for no reason at all right? Like if you just are like I’m done here, like boom, you should be able to get out. Now, the thing that’s a little unfortunate is that there are systems in blockchain and in the Bitcoin area where you can’t leave, right? Like, for example, in some cases where there’s like a scam, like you deposit a bunch of money, and then you go over to the withdraw section, like, Okay, I’m ready to withdraw from this, I’m kind of sick of this place, and you click withdraw. And then it just, there’s some, oh, it’s a software bug, like, you know, you can’t get your things out ever.
Scott D Clary 15:20
Right? So like, How many times have you you see that in the news every month? Right? I think there was one. In South Africa, it was like 3,000,000,002. That was just just like, last week, but it happens all the time. It’s a
Miko Matsumura 15:32
little unclear. One of the really funny things about that is there was reporting about it, that had their website, and a past version of their website, fairly recent, actually was bragging about how they have like, 100 million in assets. Right. And so like, it’s unclear that it’s as big as 3.6 billion that is definitely what was reported, you know? If so, it’s the largest, so called hack in Bitcoin history. But you know, I think that, but you’re absolutely right, like that. That’s an example, right? That’s an example where it’s like, oh, you can deposit but you can’t withdraw. That’s a problem. Right? Like, so. So you know, and obviously, that’s, you know, that’s the opposite of freedom, right? Because you can’t leave right you your, your assets can’t leave, right.
Scott D Clary 16:18
And so,part of part of part I love this, by the way, I actually love the philosophical, the way that you you first went into this, I appreciate that a lot, because that really helps frame it for somebody who is trying to understand the nuance of what Bitcoin blockchain crypto defy is. So
one, one thing that I would also point out is and I just I was watching one of your pieces you did like the surviving the wild west of Defy. And I think there’s a lot of great lessons in that for people that are seeing defined trying to figure out what the hell it is, and even people that understood blockchain and Bitcoin before and then what’s Defy? So one thing that is important, though, is sometimes it’s not the system, that’s like you said, it’s not always a system. Of course, the system, if they scam you, they scam you and the system doesn’t let you leave. But also, it’s your own personality, it’s your own. It’s your own, perhaps over indexing on on a system and over trusting on a system before you fully understand it, which has led to issues. And you spoke about that a lot.
Miko Matsumura 17:24
That is absolutely core Right. Which is, I think, to me, people don’t have a really good sense of like risk management, right? So if you watch professional asset managers like venture capital, right, one of the key principles is diversification, right? Because, you know, the thing that’s really important to ask yourself is like, do I know what I’m doing? Right? And that, by the way, the definition so if you read the book, zero to one by Peter Thiel, right, he effectively defines an investor as someone who doesn’t know what to do. Right. And the reason he defines it that way, is, is an entrepreneur is someone who is basically quote unquote, knows what to do, because they’re just doing the thing right there. You know. So for example, if you take, you know, his most famous investment, Facebook, right, like, if you’re Mark Zuckerberg, you’re not diversifying, you’re just going to go 1000 million percent into Facebook, because that’s the thing. Right? And so the thing that So by investing, you’re immediately someone who doesn’t know what to do, right? Because you’re diversifying, you know, and so that diversification is a very fundamental pattern of dealing with risk, right? So so in a sense, like, if you think about it, like, you know, one approach is play, right. So when I describe play, right, the idea becomes that, you know, play has to be based on a loser, double amount, right? So I kind of call this like Grand Canyon money. Imagine you’re at the lip of the Grand Canyon, and you’re throwing an amount of money into the Grand Canyon, right? Like, so whatever that amount is for you. Like, that’s probably your first kind of Bitcoin, purchase them out, you know, so if it’s $5, or fest too much, maybe it’s like a buck 50 or whatever you can imagine throwing into the Grand Canyon, right? Because, you know, and obviously, like, you know, if you’re picturing throwing your life savings into the Grand Canyon, like, you know, like, good luck. Yeah, I think, broadly speaking, like that’s, that’s, that’s the first thing right play. And then I think, as you start to kind of get your feet wet, then diversification, right? Where you basically take the number of Grand Canyon units, and you maybe multiply that by like three or four, and then you try three or four different things, you know, and each time you’re kind of learning more and more about these games, you know, and as you learn more, you have a better and better chance of like deriving your own opinion because that’s the thing that I think is unfortunate is, you know, the existence of influencers in crypto is like, just human weakness. Like it’s really it’s been, you know, it’s spin a toxic effect, because, you know, most of this so called influencers are, you know, they’re self interested parties, right? They’re they’re basically predatory. So you know that that’s so just just blindly following what other people tell you to buy on the internet is just provably bad
Scott D Clary 20:17
for any reason, but especially when it comes to investing your money.
Miko Matsumura 20:21
Yeah, absolutely, absolutely. If somebody is telling you to invest in something on the internet, you know, you should, you should question their motives. Right? And you certainly should, you know, I mean, I tell I have a show and I interviewed, like, I’ve interviewed over 100 founders, you know, and, you know, every time it is something that I have made an investment, and I certainly do disclose that and you need to kind of judge for yourself, whether whether and how much that’s influencing the way I think and talk about this, but, you know, as it happens, like I’m a human, and so like, you know, it turns out that I get excited about things and then I invest in them, you know, so if I talk about them in a way that’s excited, it’s because I was excited to begin with as soon as I saw this, but you know, I think everyone should, you know, watch it and watch how people behave and understand what their interests are.
Scott D Clary 21:12
What is your is your because you’ve invested in a variety of different startups. So you’ve invested in some in some various blockchain applications, but you’re speaking a lot about defy now. So why the is defy just a bit a major focus for, I guess, is that like the next iteration, we’re all the founders that they’re really focusing on various applications of decentralized finance. What is Why is defy such a big thing right now and 2021. I just want to take a second and thank the sponsor of today’s episode Canva, they put together a special offer for all success story podcast, listeners, go to canva.me/success or if you want to take advantage. But what is Canva? Well, making content is an essential part of what I do to keep this show going. But it hasn’t always been easy. Canva Pro allows me to design anything like a pro on any device. And I’ve been using Canva Pro for a while now for all content for all social that I create for success story. So Canva Pro is a design platform that empowers you to create stunning content with just a few clicks. Designing with Canva Pro is fast and fun. You choose from 1000s of templates for any type of creative any type of device, or you can start from scratch as well. Canva Pro has endless premium fonts, photos, videos, so much more to add personality and edge to whatever it is you’re creating. You don’t have to go out and purchase any licenses or extra tools, or extra photo rights, everything’s included. And if you work in a team, you can use Canva pro with your team as well to keep everybody organized, all focused on top of all the team projects all in one spot. And most recently, they’ve added on a content planner. So you’ll save time planning, creating and posting social media content as well. You can schedule posts, you can pause schedule posts, you can edit them at any time, they are truly a content creators dream. So if you want to design like a pro and use Canva pro right now you get an extended 45 day trial, you cannot get this just by going to Canva you have to go through the link they set up for success story podcast listeners canva.me/success story, you get a free 45 Day extended trial. So you can try Canva pro all the features, they give you everything canva.me/success story, I just want to take a second and thank the sponsor of today’s episode Posty now it’s no lie that in the competitive world of marketing, advertisers, marketers are trying to find a way to better connect and get in front of their audience. I’m trying to figure that out my entire career. You want to accelerate the growth of your company and you want to reach new customers with measurable results. The most of the existing channels are oversaturated there’s so much noise out there. So the best marketers are turning to direct mail. But wait for it direct mail reinvented, one of the best kept secrets in marketing is that direct mail gets close to 100% open rate and is one of the most impactful ways to market a product or service. But it’s expensive and it’s cumbersome. Posty is transforming direct mail. They’re adding all the digital marketing capabilities tracking KPIs analytics that you would normally see in Google, Facebook or YouTube paid campaigns. They’re adding that to direct mail. Basically Posty allows you to set up direct mail campaigns like a digital marketer. So it’s a one stop shop for building audiences, setting up campaigns with a B tests approving creative tracking results in real time. It also integrates into your CRM, which allows you to build look alike models from over 250 million US customers. You also have just as many targeting options as Facebook or Google and on top of all of this, it’s fully automated so your options writing all these campaigns from a web browser from your laptop and post, he takes care of all the printing and logistics and the mailing so that you are just pressing go. It’s like direct mail with an easy button. Posty campaigns allows you to attract new customers retarget your website visitors and track conversions, reengage your existing customers and increase their total lifetime value for anyone that is looking to start grow scale a business. I know there’s a lot of entrepreneurs in the success story podcast audience, this can really elevate your marketing. If you start using direct mail day one and post he makes it really easy. It will make you stand out as a company, when you get a piece of mail. No one else is doing that. So if you want to get your free Posty demo, they’ve set up a special link. So go to posty.com/success story that is posty.com/success story, they’ll give you a free demo because Posty is direct mail reinvented for the digital world. And the people that use something different something that makes them stand out to market to their customers will be the people who win and direct mail definitely has that edge. Alright, let’s get back to the show.
Miko Matsumura 26:09
Yeah, d phi d phi is like, effectively a killer application for blockchain technologies, right? Because the thing that powers it is the idea of programmable money, right. And so the thing that becomes fascinating is how much automation and how much kind of sort of excitement that you can get by kind of having automation, kind of taking over finance. So you have properties in defi, like transparency, you have properties, like pseudonymity, you have properties, like automated liquidation, you know, so you have all these really, really super powerful properties that enable this kind of decentralized finance system to scale much, much bigger than traditional finance, you know, which is subject to really complicated issues. So, you know, we definitely are exceedingly bullish because, you know, ultimately blockchain you know, back in 2017, you know, it was mostly just speculative projects, you know, that that never delivered, right, whereas we’re sitting here in 2021. And, you know, we kind of already have a whole bunch of killer applications in defy though, like the fight is, it’s real, it’s real software, it’s shipped, the ship software is carrying economic value, you know, and that values is moving around, you know, so that that, to me, is like, really proof positive that this stuff works. And it actually does what it says on the tin, and that people are actually now getting value out of it. Because I think in a way, like, obviously, there’s sort of a speculative value, but I think that what’s more important is that the system serve, you know, users, right, and when you if you think about defy users, those users are basically, you know, opting into a financial system, you know, and they’re getting financial utility out of this financial system. So that that’s why they’re using it, and that’s why they’re doing it and, you know, they’re they’re doing it quite a lot.
So the difference between the difference between defy and excuse my ignorance, but say Bitcoin, so bitcoin is just an asset that you’re going to invest in, like the gold or silver has, obviously has no has no application, in terms of replacing an existing process, for example, defy would replace potential existing processes much more efficiently can scale it to, you know, scale it globally.
Scott D Clary 28:43
But does it also, it also has an investment component. So that’s so there’s still an investment component, there could be an appreciating asset, depreciating asset, this layered on to these decentralized finance applications, or are those things separate? Is there no more?
Miko Matsumura 29:00
Yeah, no, no, it’s absolutely fair to say, right. So broadly speaking, the emergence of decentralized, finance has produced an investable unit, which is about effectively governance, right. So, you know, effectively these kinds of governance tokens are being used, because effectively they allow for future participants in the network to govern the state of cash flows within the network. Right. So in effect, you know, those votes become de facto control over the network. So that’s kind of as opposed
Scott D Clary 29:34
to a central authority that would have that.
Miko Matsumura 29:37
That’s right. Yeah, correct. So the governance is basically done, you know, in most cases by things like voting, you know, by by the stakeholders. So that’s, that’s what you know, we’re seeing obviously, Decentralized Governance has kind of quite a ways to go before it hits. maturity, there’s going to be a lot of tools, a lot of incredible discoveries. Some chaos, you know, so it’s definitely a young, it’s a young field, but you know, I think it’s handling, you know, billions of dollars in value, you know, on a daily basis. So it’s definitely, you know, reaching a critical point, you know, where it’s, it’s effectively deterministically a thing, you know, with respect to kind of defining terms, you know, obviously, defy is decentralized finance, there are a lot of different definitions flying around. Right. So I think it’s, it’s important to kind of like, you know, stand on on a bit of a grounding, right? So the way I look at it is that it is about programmable money. Right. So, you know, effectively, what it does is it secures the computations around transacting, right, so so it’s effectively automation, right? So so, you know, if you’re doing lending or borrowing as a financial service, you know, these these are they take the form of like vending machines, you know, it’s just these automated lending and borrowing systems. There’s automated exchange systems, so called Automated market makers, or Amm. Right. So it basically just about everything in defy is automated, right? Because it’s just a bunch of rules, right? So in a sense, it’s sort of just like, going all the way back to the beginning of the conversation, right? It’s really just here, the rules, you can consent to playing by these rules, you know, and the thing that should give you some degree of confidence is the data is open. So it’s transparent. So you can see everything that’s going on, the code is open, so you can actually read the code and you can understand me, you know, some of us can understand what’s going on, you know, and then and then further, you know, that that all informs your consent, right? Where your effect effectively looking at it, and you’re like, I agree, I can abide by that. And the thing that I think it gives people confidence is machine adjudication, right? So you can just say, Okay, well, the machines will, will follow the rules, like I’m very confident in the system, that the machines are going to follow these rules. And I don’t have to worry about someone trying to do do something weird, because, you know, cuz I think the machines will take care of the rules. So that’s, that’s the court.
Scott D Clary 32:10
And I think that and this is actually sort of a, as you see the, as you see the defy landscape evolving. So it’s still early on. But I think that what a lot of a lot of issues that people had with early blockchain applications is they they couldn’t easily replaced a consumer application, the the interface, the the lack of ability for most people to understand and read into the code, that that’s a major inhibitor. So with some of these applications, maybe just like walk walk the audience through a practical example of something that does have significant market share versus its non decentralized counterpart. That is easy for people to use.
Miko Matsumura 32:48
Yeah, I mean, I think that it to me, it’s so early days, so you know, if we’re gonna try to point at things that are easy for people to use, I think you’re gonna have a hard time coming up with much. Right? To be perfectly honest. You know, it’s very rare. I mean, I’ll tell you why. The reason why is that it’s really this thing called cryptographic custody is the problem, right, which is, if I had a friend, so you know, my fund is invested in something called open sea, which is sort of a non fungible token, it’s sort of a collectibles marketplace, you know, one of the biggest ones and, and the thing that’s amazing is I had a friend tried to buy an artist’s NFT off of this website. And, you know, he ended up just really just being pissed off, and he was kind of cursing a lot on Twitter, because, you know, he was like, Why is this so bad? Right, like, this is so hard to use, and blah, blah, blah, you know, and I think he’s kind of got a certain point, right, which is that, in essence, like, in in the normal traditional finance, there’s something called a bank, and a bank is an intermediary, and you trust the bank, right? So in decentralized finance, you don’t have to trust intermediaries, right? Because the intermediaries are basically all kind of automatically compliant to the rules that are governed by the software itself, right. So in a sense, like, what happens is, is people become their own bank, right? So if you, if you’re, if you’re a bank, then you need kind of bank grade cybersecurity procedures, you know, and so the point is, is that self custody of cryptographic assets is still janky and hard and confusing and not ready for consumer primetime. So, you know, ultimately, if you point, you know, to point at like consumer applications, you know, and say, Okay, well, these are going to be the consumer applications that are ready for primetime in blockchain. They’re all what you call custodial. And what I mean by custodial is, is that they all involve having a trusted intermediary, right because the trusted intermediary handles the custody. And that’s how Coinbase works, by the way, right? So Coinbase, every user of Coinbase has to trust Coinbase. Right? And if Coinbase decides to kind of screw everyone, like, it’s possible that they can they have the ability to screw over all their customers? I don’t think they will. But I, but it’s possible. It’s possible. So my point is, is that, you know, if you don’t trust any third parties, then you need to have cryptographic custody. And that’s what makes blockchain applications and defy kind of the domain of nerds. And it’s very complicated, right. So, you know, I think what’s going to increasingly happen over the next few years is that we’re going to have kind of blockchain as a kind of a global system of record, you know, and that that, but at the same time, I think, largely consumers will use trusted custodial services, right, just like they used to, you know, but I think that that people will be able to withdraw things, you know, off the service, right, because the thing that I think is important about the ability, like I said, about freedom at the very beginning, the ability to leave, right basically means I can withdraw from the system. And then I can kind of have a decent option of a place to go, right. So the thing that’s interesting about this becomes, you know, for example, let’s say for whatever reason, Facebook, like just imploded, right? So the question becomes, well, what about all my posts? And what about all my images? And what about all my data? What about all my social graph? What about all my friends and you know, like, can I just take all of that with me and go to another really nice place where I can get the same thing? It’s like, No, you know, and you can write because it’s controlled by Facebook, the company, which by the way, became a trillion dollar company recently. So
Scott D Clary 36:54
that’s just want to take a second to thank the sponsor of today’s episode better help. If you want to take advantage of a special promo better help is offering all success story podcast listeners, go to better help.com/scott D Clary betterhelp.com/seo, TT CL, ar y. So what is better help better help is therapy. For lack of a better term, it’s the best way to give yourself routine maintenance for your mental and emotional well being. And the best way to think about therapy is usually through analogies. We always get our cars tuned to prevent bigger issues down the road. We get annual checkups, and we go to the gym to maintain physical health so that we don’t get out of shape. We want to prevent injury want to prevent disease, we do chores regularly, so they don’t all pile up and have a huge giant mess in your house. By the end of the week. Going to therapy is like all the above. It doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you. It just means that you’re investing in yourself and keeping your mind healthy. BetterHelp is customized online therapy from the comfort of your home. It offers video, phone and even live chat sessions with your therapist. So you don’t even have to see anyone on camera if you don’t want to you communicate the way you feel comfortable. It is so much more affordable than in person therapy and you can start speaking to somebody in under 48 hours. Take care of your mind before any more bad stuff happens. Success Stories sponsored by better help you get 10% off if you use this specific URL to sign up for your first session. So go to better help.com/scott Clary better help calm slash Scott D Clary, and you’ll get 10% off better help. I just want to take a second and thank the sponsor of today’s episode, HubSpot. HubSpot is the CRM that you have to have for your business and whatever your business is up to your CRM platform, it should be ready. Why? Because believe it or not, CRM platforms are no longer just a selling tool. They’re the heart of building and scaling your business with tools from marketing, sales, customer service, content management and operations. The HubSpot CRM platform is fully customizable for whatever your business needs. use HubSpot to meet customer demand align your teams work smarter, not harder scale up without having the need to slow down with total control and over 650 integrations. HubSpot enables your team to succeed no matter how big or how small, whether you’re just getting started or looking for a robust system. HubSpot is the number one CRM for scaling businesses learn more about how you can customize your CRM email@example.com. Did they? Oh, that’s news. I didn’t know that. When was that? Right?
Miko Matsumura 39:38
Very recently, so Okay. In the past week, though, you know, it’s incredible. It is it’s been nine years since the IPO and 17 Since inception. So you know, it’s a 2004 era company. But, you know, it’s, but the point is, is that, you know, they are they are a monopolist and because of that, you know, people feel like they don’t have freedom and they don’t have anywhere to go. And, you know, if they become the platform, then they don’t really have any option. Right. So that’s uh, that’s it. That’s kind of a currently an issue that people are working on. So, you know, I think we have a ways to go in terms of replacing the whole internet with Blockchain. But you know, we’re working on it.
Scott D Clary 40:21
Now, do you feel like so applications applications aside, because the the evolving application environment, I find it very interesting, but like you said, we’re still early stages, which is sad, because to me, that’s the real utility of blockchain. But obviously, that’s not what most people look at blockchain as they look at blockchain as Okay, I want to invest and I want to make, you know, X percent return. Yeah. Where do you think the market is, is standing in terms of investment opportunity? Of course, not, not,
not not a recommendation, just, you know, for entertainment purposes, I’m curious as to your opinion, if this growth of the market is sustainable, or if there has to be again, like, mass adoption milestones that have to hit so the whole market can continue to sort of grow at this trajectory.
Miko Matsumura 41:08
I become a little bit leery of kind of mass adoption, you know, mass adoption is a little bit like democracy. Like, it’s, it’s pretty nice, kind of in theory, but without education, it can have its has a dark side to it, right, which is, you know, I think our last attempt at mass adoption featured like a bunch of, you know, Doge coins, and,
Scott D Clary 41:34
yeah, I know, that’s not the mass adoption.
Miko Matsumura 41:37
No, not that. That’s not what we need, right? What we need is, you know, we certainly need all of those people to come back. Right, but we need them to come back smarter. Crate, like, like, we need them to have learned a lesson. Right? And it’s, it’s a bit like, you know, a training. I mean, no, it’s it’s a little insulting to talk about people in the context of a dog. But you know, hopefully, you know, they got swatted. And it’s an analogy. Yeah. Yeah. And, you know, hopefully, they’re gonna come back a little smarter, you know, and, and some of them won’t come back at all right. So the lesson that a lot of people may have learned is, oh, you know, Kryptos are bad. Right? And that they may have learned that lesson, you know, but yeah, you know, I think everyone will eventually come back, you know, because it’s my theory that all of these systems, like, all they do is they constantly experience developer improvement, and they just evolve. And the one that serves the most people, the best is, is going to, you know, just become bigger and bigger and bigger and harder and harder to kind of, you know, because it’ll become unstoppable. So like, you know, I think that in a way, like one segment that I think is fascinating is this gaming segment called Play to earn. So it’s you go in, if you go into YouTube, and you type play to earn documentary, you’re actually going to learn something really fascinating, which is that there’s a there’s a blockchain game called Axi infinity, right. And in this most recent month, the game actually generated eight and a half million dollars of profit, right? And, and this is really interesting when you start to think about it, because that’s an IPO level of, right, that’s like $100 million annual revenue rate, right? So it’s, it’s if it were a company, and not a decentralized network, you know, it would it would be able to IPO. And effectively, what’s happening is that people in places like the Philippines and Indonesia are playing this game XE and they’re basically playing to earn, like a living. Right, and, and so that’s one of the things that’s incredible about this phenomenon is, is that people went during COVID, from driving a taxi, to driving these little video things called axes, you know, and, and they’re, and they’re actually making more money doing that than they were doing things on, on, you know, so when you when you want to talk about things like mass adoption, and you want to talk about, you know, infrastructure, you know, and rules and consent, right, the thing that I think is fascinating is that this is a system that is definitely serving the people who are using it, you know, and so that’s, that’s an astonishing kind of growth. And, you know, we my fond invested in like a gamer Guild, and this guild Is it their entire goal is to collect players of this game and effectively rent them the game pieces so that they can play the game and earn money. So it’s, it’s it’s really this absolutely wild and incredible frontier. But if you if you understand the size of what we’re talking about economically It’s not only is it already massive, but you know, it’s it’s probably going to become teknicks bigger. So, you know, it’s it’s truly, you know, so that that’s an impressive corner of the world. You know, I guess what I wanted to say is I wanted to say that this is such a strange place to look for mass adoption. But to me, you have to look in the application arena, right, which is you have to look at people using it because they want to, right, and the thing that’s really interesting is it turns out that these players are willing to jump through the complicated hoops of custody and self custody of blockchain assets. And the reason they they’re willing to jump through those hoops is, is that’s how they put groceries on the table for their families. Right. So, you know, it’s like, should I learn how to do this blockchain stuff? It’s existential, like, it’s basically like, oh, COVID My family, we don’t have any jobs like, what do we do? You know, so now they’ve, now they’ve joined this Metaverse economy, and they’re playing this game. And, you know, it’s, it’s really like a rocket ship. So that that thing is very powerful.
Scott D Clary 46:11
Very interesting. So it’s, you know, I hear what you’re saying it’s less about, it’s less about global mass adoption, which is almost an like, almost like a goal that’s a little bit too large to even understand. And it’s more about, so the applications that we are investing in rolling out, they’re serving, they’re serving the communities that actually want to use them effectively, to quite literally like to change lives. That this Yes,
Miko Matsumura 46:38
yes, that’s the thing. That’s amazing, right? Is that is that regardless of what you want to say, this, this firm yield guild has has tilted up 2000 to date players of this game, and 2000 People’s lives have already been changed, right? And and people are like, buying houses, and they’re, you know, they’re definitely being transformed by their participation in this economic network. Right. So you know, it’s it’s a stunning realization, you know, and the reason why these things matter so much, is because the idea is, is that there are only a few ways for these so called games to end, right. Like, one way to end is that somehow the rules were not fair. Right? And then that so that the end of that game is what’s called rage quit, right? Where people just like, Okay, this sucks. I’m out. Right. So that’s one right. But so what if the game continues? To be fair, right? If the game continues to perpetually be fair, right, then the question becomes, what are people getting out of it? And if they’re getting something valuable out of it, then they’ll stay right? As long as you know, the only situation where someone will leave a system that’s been fair to them that’s producing benefits to them, is that they actually find a better system, right? They find a system that’s almost exactly like this one that’s serving them so well, except it has this improvement that serves them even better, right? That’s when they would leave. Right. But to me, like, that would be great, too. Right? So you know,
Scott D Clary 48:08
that would be great, too. But but they’re on the bleeding edge right now. Like we’re now we’re now we’re dabbling in human psychology. And, and why human psychology will. But by this definition, I don’t disagree with you, is going to almost guarantee the future progression of this this into I don’t want to call it an industry, but it’s not an industry, but this movement, if you want to agree,
Miko Matsumura 48:28
right now Agree, Agree. Right, which is that ultimately, the thing that matters is freedom and fairness. Right. And, and the reason why those things matter is because it turns out that people naturally, it’s so it to me, there’s they’re the everyone knows that there’s something a little wrong with the economy the way it is, right? It’s a bit like when you’re watching the movie, The Matrix, right? And this kind of idea that that something is bothering everyone, right? And in a sense, what’s bothering people about this economy is that it is extractive. Right? So essentially, it the economy performs an extractive function on everyone in it. Right. So the thing that’s really interesting is the transition to an ownership economy. Right? And so the thing that’s very interesting is that an ownership economy is inherently disruptive, right? Because it’s offering ownership to people who’ve never had ownership, right. So it basically saying the user of a system is an owner of the system and that that user then gets the profit share of being an owner and if you if you describe a system like that Bitcoin is exactly that, right, which is, Bitcoin is a basically reserve bank, and a reserve asset and the percentage of Bitcoins that you own represent your share ownership of the Bank of Bitcoin and you will become the beneficiaries of the profits of said bank of Bitcoin, right? And so, you know, in essence, that’s the ownership economy in a nutshell. And it doesn’t matter if you have like one Satoshi, which is like the smallest possible divisible unit of Bitcoin, or if you have 10 Bitcoins, like you’re going to be treated fairly, according to, you know, what’s pari? passu, according to the amount that you own is the amount that you share. Right? So you know, it’s, it’s a perfect, cooperative model. So So what I really wanted to say, is, that’s why I kind of really hold out hope for the systems, because the systems by their nature are forced to compete for consent. Right. And so, to me, the thing that’s fascinating is, is that part of the evolution of like human society is to kind of become smart about offering your consent. Right. So, you know, in a way, I think that’s one of the problems right now is that people are offering their consent to systems that are not serving them, you know, and they’re not really smart about, like, why they’re doing that, right. They’re not there, they haven’t really stopped out, like, why does this system get my consent? And why does this system you know, not right. And so I think people haven’t kind of understood that, you know, that’s, that’s what they need to do. And, and obviously, like this, this is part of the entirety of human existence, right, which is we enter into systems where we don’t understand the system, and we figure it out. And then maybe we leave, right. Like, that’s almost the same with human relationships, where you’re basically like, I’m entering into this system, you know, I don’t really even know what the rules are. And maybe we’re making up the rules as we go along, you know, but at some point, you may be like, I don’t like it here anymore. You know, and obviously, if you have the ability to go to someplace that’s safe and equivalently good, then you’re free to do so. And that that’s, that’s what I think is, you know, gonna drive the growth of this.
Scott D Clary 52:04
Amazing, Mika. I feel like, I feel like you you could go on for a while about a variety of topics. I don’t want I that was that you know what, let’s, you know, we this is like a nice little primer into the philosophy and psychology that drives blockchain. Yeah, application defi.
I really appreciate it. I want to I always like to go into a little bit of like, rapid fire to pull out some life lessons out of your career, because you obviously have had an incredible one before before I pivot. Was there anything else that you wanted to go into? Or bring up that we didn’t touch on? You know?
Miko Matsumura 52:43
No, I mean, I think I think we’re good. Let’s, let’s go straight trading.
Scott D Clary 52:47
I appreciate him, because so thank you so much. Okay, so let’s do a couple rapid fire. Just to pull up from your career. So over the course of your career, the biggest challenge that you had, and how did you overcome this challenge?
Miko Matsumura 53:02
Yeah, I would say this, right, which is I spent a really long time not understanding, like, who my boss was, right, which is, I used to be under this impression. So like, you know, like, when I was a kid, like, I, you know, I had a really strong dad, he had a lot of strong opinions seems kind of like hot headed, you know. And so in a way, like, I kind of found myself falling into a pattern where I would think my boss is like, the next kind of hot headed, kind of impatient guy that I could find, right. But eventually, what I figured out is I figured out that my boss is actually two things. It’s, it’s sort of my personal nature, right? Which is, what is it that I’m best at and put on this world to do? Right? And like universal nature, right? Which is what what is the world up to? What is the world trying to do? Right? So if that’s something that I call the big idea, so if you look at someone like Steve Jobs, I definitely don’t compare myself to him. But like, you know, but if you look at him, like his big idea was what’s called personal computing. Right? That’s a big idea. And, you know, I don’t think anybody and even Steve didn’t know at the time when he was talking about how personal computing could become, it’s insanely personal, like it knows. It knows way more things about you than even you know, about yourself. Right? Like, it’s, it’s ridiculous what these things No, but, you know, to me, that’s kind of what one of my one of my biggest challenges right, because, you know, in a sense, we all because of my experience with my dad, like, like I always said about being a follower and having a dependence on things like influencers, like my dad was the greatest influencer in my life. He wasn’t on YouTube, but like he was an influencer. Right? And so in a way my dependence on him and my psychological dependence, kind of like, you know, it was it really was a pretty big barrier for me, you know, and what I am ended up realizing as I ended up realizing my boss is like, whatever my personal nature is, and how can I align that with, like what the world is doing, right? Because if you can align your gifts with what the world needs or wants, like, you’re all set like that, you know, like, you’re gonna go a lot further than if you sort of are looking for someone to become dependent on.
Scott D Clary 55:24
That’s, that’s very good advice. Very, very good advice. What I know, we’ve gone over a few, but what is the biggest misconception about blockchain? Let’s say that you potentially had, are you seeing that you just wanted to, to sort of clear the air on?
Miko Matsumura 55:45
Yeah, I mean, I think to me, the biggest thing is, is I, you know, I touched on it before, right, which is that the idea that we can depend on someone else is something that we’ve been like struggling with for a long time, like if you if you watch the Wizard of Oz, right, the whole movie is about finding this wizard that’s going to fix everything, right. So like, in essence, that one of the things that really kind of gets in my craw is, is that people want to just passively be told what to do, right? They’re just kind of like, tell me what to buy, you know, and then they just buy it right. And that’s so toxic, right? Like, to me, the thing that people really need to do is they need to make up their own minds, there was an incredible tweet by Dan Morehead of Pantera. And he basically showed this beautiful graph on Twitter, and it showed that what you ought to do is you ought to buy Bitcoins, whenever when there’s blood running in the streets, and everybody’s kind of in a panic, right? And then you ought to hold on to it, you know, and then you got to sell it whenever people are going bananas about like, some stupidity of like, yeah, I don’t know what it is. Right. So, you know, so my point is, is that, is that being your own person? Is, is, is that’s the kind of absolute core lesson, right, which is that you have to have your opinion, and you have to develop your opinion, and you have to have enough patience to actually study and look at things and learn things, you know, as opposed to just kind of asking people what what they should buy, you know, like that, that doesn’t that that can’t work? And shouldn’t
Scott D Clary 57:23
they won’t, it won’t end? Well. Yes. As we’ve seen, as we’ve seen multiple times. Okay, what is the lesson that you would tell your younger self?
Miko Matsumura 57:34
Yeah, I guess the only thing that I think it’s really important to communicate is, is that, you know, I think that you should manage your energies, and not necessarily as much your time and I think, because it turns out that your time is non fungible. And it turns out that your convictions are non fungible, right. So in essence, like, it means that you need to develop your own convictions, because that’s how you really are able to kind of, do do things your way. And, you know, so to me, like, that’s the most precious thing, right. And I think the other thing that’s really important if I had a time machine, is just to be reassuring, right? Which is, you know, I think if I’m talking to my former self, like, um, you know, I would just say, like, don’t worry too much about it, right? Like, if you if you’re, if you’re, if you really feel like you’re on your path, you’re doing the things that people are kind of genuinely excited to see you do, right? If they’re, like, keep doing that, or, or good job with that, or whatever. It’s somewhat people, if you’re getting a lot of positive feedback about something that you’re doing, like, write it down, and just keep sharpening that and keep focusing on that because, like, you know, that’s the you know, cuz that’s your nature coming out, right. And I think people who are kind of trying to buckle down and do things that are against their nature like that, that’s not going to end well, I think.
Scott D Clary 59:08
Very good. Who was one person who had an incredible impact on your life? And what was that impact? What did they teach you?
Miko Matsumura 59:17
i It’s really, it’s, it’s a really incredible question. I this is kind of a bizarre answer, but like, no, Homer, the epic poet from ancient Greece, you know, my favorite book in college was the Iliad and like, in a way, it’s about, like, getting pissed off, you know, at the man, you know, it’s a it’s a bit about kind of like, uh, you know, loot and loot dramas. You know, it’s about kind of fairness, you know, and and, you know, it’s, it’s really like, it’s really also about a person who’s unable to work. And, you know, I think everyone in this extractive economy that’s paying any attention will come to a point where they stop being able to work. And I think that’s, that’s really a deeply instructive story from from Bronze Age, ancient Greece, though, you know, I would say that like, you know, Homer, if it was actually a single person is like a big a big influence.
Scott D Clary 1:00:18
Very good. Can you recommend a book or a podcast that people could check out?
Miko Matsumura 1:00:24
Yeah, absolutely. I think the cheap shot is my own, which is meiko.com/bits. And but I think if I were to recommend a book, I would recommend the book of Satoshi, which is the Satoshi Nakamoto. Collected writings. That’s a that’s a awesome book. You know, and definitely, I think the best possible place to learn about blockchain and Bitcoin is from books, because books take a long time to write. So like, you know, they’re not gonna tell you to buy a Dogecoin there’s not gonna actually like, you know, it’s gonna actually be a deeper understanding of the phenomenon. And that, you know, that’s, that’s, that’s gonna be good. I like the little Bitcoin book. That’s a great book and for Bitcoiners. And, you know, it’s, I think, those are great places to kind of educate yourself.
Scott D Clary 1:01:08
Very good. And then last question, what does success mean to
Miko Matsumura 1:01:12
you? Yeah, I think success absolutely has to do with that perfect. These perfect moments. And the perfect moments are the perfect alignment between what you’re supposed to do and what you’re meant to do, like your own nature and universal nature, right? Because if you see some crazy guy in the Olympics, doing something weird, like the triple jump, right, like, it’s that crazy combination of a person whose legs are kind of abnormally long, they go all the way up to his neck, you know, and so it’s sort of you’re seeing a person who’s like, designed to do the triple jump, right? And then if but at the same time, that person has, like, work their ass off to do that, right. So so what do people do when they see that what they do is they just instantly think, like, go get them, like, they just they’re the everyone wants to support that person, right? Because they’re just like, that’s incredible. Like, I can’t believe my eyes. Like that person just went like 30 meters and three jumps. Or it’s just, it’s insane what people can do, right? So like, if you are able to kind of express your actual nature of who you are, you know, and you’re able to align that with stuff that’s happening out in the world like you you will be unstoppable you’ll become a force of nature. So that that I think is, you know, that that would be my closing comment is, you know, you got to find out what that is for you.
Scott D Clary 1:02:36
I love that. And then you mentioned you mentioned your podcast, but your socials, your website podcast where people will connect with you. Yeah, yeah,
Miko Matsumura 1:02:43
the easiest thing is mako.com is my website mko.com All my socials jump off from there, my show everything else so it’s easy to find.