In this episode, I meet Daniel Shin, the co-founder of Terra – a fascinating stablecoin and payments network, backed by some of the biggest crypto VC funds. Terra is unlike any other stablecoin. They are not about trading. They are about spending in the real world. In this talk you will learn:
- How you can save up to 10% on online purchases with Terra?
- How Terra achieves stability, without being backed by real-world assets.
- How Terra is better than Facebook’s Libra.
- How you will be able to get a high-yield interest with Terra on Nexo’s interest-earning account.
- Terra website – https://terra.money/
- Terra twitter – https://twitter.com/terra_money
- Daniels’ twitter – https://twitter.com/hyunsung1112
Full Episode Transcript
(00:01) George Manolov:
This is the Borderless Crypto Podcast.
(00:14) George Manolov:
Hello everyone. I’m your host George Manolov, and in this series; I bring you exceptional entrepreneurs, investors, hustlers and thought leaders from the cryptocurrency and fintech space.
In this episode I meet Daniel Shin, the cofounder of Terra; a truly fascinating stablecoin and payments network project, which is backed by some of the biggest crypto VC funds. Terra is unlike any other stablecoin you’ve seen, they are not about trading, but they’re actually about spending in the real world.
In this talk you will learn how you can save up to 10% on online purchases with Terra, how Terra achieves price stability without being backed by real-world assets, how the Terra stablecoin is better than Facebook’s Libra and how it can grow cryptocurrency adoption faster than Facebook, and finally how you can be able to get a high-yield interest with Terra on Nexo’s interest earning account.
Please note that anything that I or my guests say in these talks is for informational purposes only and should not be treated as investment advice. And although during daylight, I’m part of the team behind the crypto lending platform Nexo, at night when I do these talks, I share only my personal thoughts, which in no way represent Nexo’s opinions.
Now, it’s time to get the podcast started in three, two, one.
(01:54) George Manolov:
Daniel, I’m super excited to have you here on the podcast. While researching Terra, I’ve been really impressed by the different approach in which you look at the stablecoin space and how Terra is being built, particularly about the way you plan to grow Terra for actual mass usage. But before we jump more deeper into Terra, could you please share a little bit about yourself, your background, and how did you get into the cryptocurrency space?
(02:22) Daniel Shin:
I’m super excited to be on this as well, so thank you George. I’ve been a serial entrepreneur for the past decade or so. In 2010, I built a company called TMON, which is a leading e-commerce company in Korea now, it’s used by about 20% of the Korean population. We do about 3.5 billion dollars in transaction volume every year. Also, in 2012, I co-founded a company called Fast Track Asia that takes new and brilliant ideas from the US and other parts of the world and localizes them to the Korean market. For example, one of our key portfolios is, Fast Five, which is a local version of WeWork. We also built a company called Fast Campus, which is a Koreanized version of General Assembly. I’ve been building companies for the past 9 years.
The reason why I jumped into Blockchain is probably for more practical reasons than most others. As I was running e-commerce, which is a razor thin industry, I noticed that we were paying 2 – 3% of all of our transaction volume to credit card and processing fees, so that ended up being close to a $100 million a year in cost out the door, and I felt that Blockchain is a technology that can allow us to help reform that and allow e-commerce companies to reinvest more money in bettering the customer experience rather than unnecessarily paying credit card businesses.
(04:10) George Manolov:
Okay. So, what was the process, because, for the listeners, you’re essentially building your own stable currency, and your own blockchain. So, what was the process and how did it evolve?
(04:21) Daniel Shin:
I got together with my cofounder Do Kwon, who has been a systems engineer for several years. When I started Terra, I was a bit naïve about how this could work, so I said try to deploy Blockchain on e-commerce; I already have access to tens of millions of users and see if we can save costs, but what we realized is, number one, in order to facilitate payment, we need a stable form of currency, and it just so happened that most currencies that were already listed were highly volatile in price, so that happened to be a component that we needed to address, second, most of the mainstream blockchains like Ethereum were way too slow to process the transactions on TMON alone. So, we needed to build something that was a lot faster, a lot more scalable, and that allowed us to get into investing in our own blockchain.
Ultimately, just taking a step back, we looked at the projects that were of high profile at the time and said: hey, these crypto currencies are essentially serving as equities in the project, so if you think the project will do well, the prices will soar, while if you think the products will do poorly, the prices will plummet, but they didn’t have the qualities that make it a fundamental currency that you can use as a medium of exchange or a store of value. So, we said: let’s build a stable currency that’s distributed by e-commerce across Asia and give consumers a tangible reason to switch over, and that should contribute a lot to the burgeoning Blockchain economy.
(06:17) George Manolov:
All right, makes sense. Then, with this prelude, could you please explain what is Terra and how’s it different from the other established stablecoin projects? Everybody knows about Tether. There is already way more legit projects out there in the space, such as TrueUSD, which has been here on the podcast, and PAX. We’ve seen fiat-backed stablecoins, algorithmic stablecoins or attempts of algorithmic stablecoins, and Dai with its crypto-backed stablecoin. So, how does Terra compare to all of this?
(06:49) Daniel Shin:
We like to introduce ourselves as a blockchain based payment network, so stablecoin is a very important component of what we do, but it’s not the totality of what we’re trying to accomplish. On that note, I would say the biggest difference between us and some of the stablecoins that came before us is that we have an extremely powerful go-to-market strategy. We have what’s called a Terra alliance, which is 25 e-commerce companies across Korea and Southeast Asia, some of them being unicorns in their own right, that have all agreed to push Terra and its payment network to its consumers when the time is right, and they’re pushing it to their consumers because we’re saving them millions and millions of dollars on every transaction, every year. What that allows us to do, like Alipay did with Alibaba, is to really piggyback on a growing e-commerce market to first capture tens of millions of users, and that allows us to build liquidity pools across many countries in Asia, and thereafter we can really build other decentralized finance features like credit, investments, remittances and so on and so forth.
You can think of it as we focused a bit more on our go-to-market strategy because we felt that, number one, millions of customers using it, and number two, the currency being tradable for goods and services across the world is a fundamental requirement for a stablecoin to succeed.
(08:40) George Manolov:
I absolutely love this approach. It’s really different from TrueUSD, USDC, USDT, PAX, and all the other fiat-backed stablecoins, which are essentially the biggest and probably the only use case today to trade crypto and then have a stable alternative which you can use as a tool. Although the moment I started thinking about stablecoins, I thought, this can be great for remittances, or this can be great for commerce, but they’re not really used for that. You go the other way around; because you have the customer base, you start with actual usage for buying and selling goods and services and maybe later on, Terra can naturally evolve into a stablecoin for trading.
(09:32) Daniel Shin:
Absolutely. We think trading pairs on exchanges is a legitimate use case, but at the end of the day, it’s a very, very niche use case. So, the way we thought about it is piggybacking on e-commerce, which is not only multitudes larger than the trading pair use case, but also one that happens to be growing at double digits across many of the developing countries, which allows us to drive mass adoption very, very quickly. Once we are tradable for goods and services in lots of the countries that we operate in, that actually significantly adds to the stability of the currency itself. If you know that you can take a Terra and buy computers with it, buy clothing with it, buy diapers with it, or whatever it may be, then that adds legitimacy and real value to the currency rather than simply being market made on an exchange.
(10:32) George Manolov:
Absolutely. That’s what a lot of mainstream people, people who are not integrated yet, say about Bitcoin, but I could say the same for USDT, which is, why accept Bitcoin payments when I cannot go to the store and use that Bitcoin to buy stuff. Now, you also have this major difference with, let’s say USDT, which set the example, and most of the existing stablecoins who followed suit, which is that they supposedly have one US dollar or one fiat currency backing up each of the stablecoins out there. Why didn’t you go for this way where you just create a stablecoin that is promoted across your e-commerce system and that is simply backed by fiat currencies instead of choosing an alternative approach.
(11:26) Daniel Shin:
That’s a great question. Obviously, fiat-backed currencies are the easiest to create. So, we thought about that in our brainstorming, but the simple reason is, going back to our discussion on use cases, on exchanges, because every other currency was extremely price-volatile, having something be stable in and of itself was valuable. But if you look at e-commerce or the real economy where you have the option of using credit cards, bank transfers or simply using cash, and they’re all stable, having a digital stable currency in and of itself is actually not useful.
So, we needed to think of a way where we can tangibly incentivize users to switch over from their incumbent methods to the new one that we’re proposing. It’s a good segway to get into how Terra works, but basically Terra uses an elastic supply to control the price, so if demand for Terra goes up, obviously there’s an upward pressure on the price of Terra and we increase the supply of Terra to bring the price back down, while if demand for Terra goes down, then we conversely buy up Terra and burn it to bring the price back up. So, the elastic supply is what’s keeping Terra to its peg. The interesting component is that as we integrate with more and more e-commerce companies, we’re able to drive upward demand of Terra and that allows us to increase the circulating supply of Terra, and that in economics terms is generally called seigniorage.
We take that seigniorage and we reinvest that into giving discounts on every purchase for the consumers on these e-commerce platforms. You would go to the checkout page and you’ll see options like, pay with Terra, pay with PayPal, pay with Visa, so on and so forth. But the Terra method will be 5 – 10% cheaper than any other method that you can pay with, and that will allow more people to select Terra at checkout, which puts an upward pressure on the demand of Terra again, which allows us to increase the supply, which in turn allows us to then print even more discounts, and this virtual cycle allows us to really drive growth of Terra’s economy.
(14:05) George Manolov:
That’s really fascinating. That’s what I love about your approach. So, you’re making it a no brainer decision for the end consumer to choose paying with Terra and using Terra instead of any other payment options simply because he saves money.
(14:23) Daniel Shin:
Yes. Because ultimately payments is a process that takes a matter of seconds, right?
(14:29) George Manolov:
(14:29) Daniel Shin:
So, you can only be so much more convenient than the alternative in today’s world. We think that the most tangible benefit you can give to merchants is cheaper payment processing costs, and the most tangible benefit you can give to consumers is discounts, and we’ve designed the model where we’re able to do that on an ongoing, sustainable basis.
(14:52) George Manolov:
Okay. Let’s go just a little bit back, because I want to make sure that everyone understands how this works and why you are able to provide this discount. Essentially, you’re saying that you have an elastic money supply, which in a way means flexible money supply, so the more people want to use Terra, there’s a greater need for Terra, you create more Terra or you print more Terra in a way, right? in colloquial terms, is that correct?
(15:23) Daniel Shin:
Yeah. It’s not a discretionary decision, It’s all algorithmic, automatic and transparent. But yes, that’s correct.
(15:31) George Manolov:
Okay. And every time you print more money, which is mathematical and algorithmic, it’s not like a central bank where they decide that they’re going to print this amount of money, every time the system calculates that this certain amount of Terra needs to be printed to satisfy the need for the currency, a part of this newly printed money goes to the end consumers, which allows them to purchase products and services at a cheaper price. Is this correct?
(16:01) Daniel Shin:
Yeah, that’s absolutely correct. An analogy perhaps worth sharing is that of Bitcoin, because a lot of people know how Bitcoin works. Bitcoin has a fairly fixed supply, so if the demand for Bitcoin goes up, which is what had happened over the past 5 years, then the lever that moves is the price, so the price shoots up, and who benefits from all that? It’s the early holders of Bitcoin. The early holders of Bitcoin obviously went from a dollar a Bitcoin to now $10,000 a Bitcoin, and lots of people became multimillionaires.
Because we fixed the price lever for Terra, we’re actually changing the supply lever, and so in essence, as Terra’s economy grows, the early holders of Terra, as in the case of Bitcoin, should have made a ton of money, but we’re actually diluting them by creating more Terra, and we’re taking that money and redistributing that to users of the protocol. So, what you described is exactly right, we’re simply shifting the price and supply levers of Bitcoin by 90 degrees.
(17:19) George Manolov:
I see. You mentioned already that Terra is stable, so when you say it’s stable, what is it stable compared to? When I read your whitepaper, it said that there will be different Terra cryptocurrencies, some that are pegged to a fiat currency, and one which is pegged to a basket of currencies. So, can you elaborate a little more on this?
(17:43) Daniel Shin:
Yeah. We’re going to have multiple Terras that peg to the local currency of the country that we operate in. We launched our payment service in Korea, so we obviously needed a Korean Won pegged Terra, so we created KRT, or Korean Terra. We’re soon to launch in Singapore, so we’ll need to create Singapore Terra or SGT.
Lots of people in the US, and I myself am American as well, confuse the US Dollar to be practically usable in just about any country. But if you actually get into, say the e-commerce business in Korea, no e-commerce platform would want to be paid in US Dollar and take the foreign exchange risk, they all want to be paid in Korean Won. Everyone in Thailand wants to be paid in Thai Baht. Everyone in Singapore wants to be paid in Singapore Dollar.
So, our philosophy is that in every country that we operate in, because we’ll have significant liquidity pools through our e-commerce partners, we’ll create a stablecoin of the local currency, and we’ll make them atomically swappable so that you can, at any time, based on the FX price, swap Korean Won to Singapore Dollar, to Thai Baht, to Vietnamese Dong and so on and so forth. We’ll have a major currency called STT, it’s going to be an IMF SDR pegged Terra, which will serve as the central lever of all the currencies in our basket. But the idea is that the actual usable currency will be pegged to the local currency of the consumer.
(19:36) George Manolov:
At this point, you have already started Terra, right? It works. Your blockchain is live, it’s being used. I read that since recently, on your e-commerce platform, people can actually purchase stuff with Terra.
(19:55) Daniel Shin:
(19:56) George Manolov:
According to what I read, there’s about 1,300,000 in US dollars amount of value that has already been purchased on TMON, is that correct?
(20:06) Daniel Shin:
Yeah, that’s roughly correct. Well, more now I would think.
(20:10) George Manolov:
Okay, it’s constantly growing. So, what is the supply of Korean Terra today?
(20:15) Daniel Shin:
We had some premined supply of Terra, but you can essentially correlate the supply of Terra to the amount of circulating supply that should support Terra’s demand, and Terra’s demand is obviously linearly correlated to the transaction volume on e-commerce, as well as the parallel demand on exchanges.
(20:44) George Manolov:
So, the concrete number doesn’t really matter. What you’re saying is that it’s all algorithmically, mathematically calculated.
(20:53) Daniel Shin:
Absolutely. If you are curious, the way it actually works is that we’re always giving arbitrage opportunities to the market. So, if you deposit, say $1 and this Terra is supposed to be traded at a dollar, but if it creeps up to a $1.10, then you have a trading incentive to deposit $1 worth of Luna and get the Terra, because you can turn around and sell that Terra for a $1.10. in that process, we’ve issued that new Terra that is being sold on the exchange, if that makes any sense. So, that’s how it works.
(21:36) George Manolov:
All right. Here you mentioned something that I think we mentioned for the first time in this conversation, the Luna token, which is also part of the Terra ecosystem. So, what is the role of Luna?
(21:47) Daniel Shin:
Luna actually serves several functions for our ecosystems. Our blockchain is a DPos blockchain, and Luna is the token that you buy and stake in order to participate in the validating activities. If you stake your Luna, you are paid rewards in Terra. So, recall that Terra is the underlying currency that will be used on e-commerce, and while we won’t Levy as high a transaction fee as 2 – 3%, like Visa or Mastercard, we will levy enough of transaction fee, anywhere between 20 to 50 basis points, to incentivize Luna validators. So, if you stake your Luna, then you’ll constantly be paid Terra transaction fees as validation rewards.
Luna is also the governance token, so Luna holders can vote on where the seigniorage is invested into. Right now, the only use case is really transaction on e-commerce, so it’s all being spent on giving discounts to e-commerce customers, but later down the road, for example, creating interest product with Nexo, then we can think about using seigniorage to pop up the interest rate, so that you’re incentivized to save with Terra, potentially even more than what Nexo’s rates are. So, Luna serves such governance function as well.
The last function that Luna serves is that it collateralizes the Terra ecosystem. We talked about the cases where Terra’s demand increases and we’re able to increase circulating supply of Terra. On the flip side, if Terra’s economy shrinks, then we need to buy up Terra and burn it in order to make the price go back up. So, we actually use Luna as collateral in order to buy up Terra and burn that.
(23:58) George Manolov:
That is all super interesting to me. I cannot wait to start accepting Terra, first of all, on Nexo’s collateral option, and as a way for people to earn interest on that, because of your model, this would probably make placing Terra there significantly more profitable, than placing other stablecoins. Does this suggest what you explained about Luna, that Luna could grow in value in the future? So, Luna is, in a way, an investable asset, or not really?
(24:37) Daniel Shin:
Absolutely. Luna’s value should grow proportionally to the transaction volume that we’re doing on e-commerce. Let’s just assume that we’re doing $10 billion of transactions and let’s assume that we take 50 basis points in transaction fees, then that comes out to $50 million in rewards to Luna holders. We feel like the value of Luna should be traded at some impact multiple of the $50 million that is being paid to Luna stackers, in a way, it looks like equity in a visa for example.
(25:21) George Manolov:
And how can people, if they want to, buy Luna. I know that you can stake Luna at certain stacking service providers, but where can they buy it?
(25:30) Daniel Shin:
Luna is currently traded on couple of exchanges in Korea. We want to wait for the payment service to launch to introduce Luna to global exchanges, and we’ve successfully done so about 10 days ago. So, now we’re closely discussing with global exchanges to make Luna more accessible.
(25:53) George Manolov:
Awesome. Sounds like you’re really unstoppable, man. I’m thinking at some point, and obviously there’s a lot of work to be done, but because of your inbuilt incentive mechanism, it’s better for people to be using the Korean Terra for example, over the Korean fiat money. Is it possible that after a long enough period of time, we might see the Terra stablecoin becoming more usable than the actual fiat currency in a particular country?
(26:25) Daniel Shin:
Yeah, I can totally see that happening because, number one, we want to be ubiquitously accepted so that it’s as good as the fiat currency, but number two, we do give back to the consumer ecosystem, which unfortunately is not the same with how politics works. For countries, there are pockets of demographics that you need to satisfy, and lots of the inflation and the country’s budget goes to satisfy that. Whereas for us, every growth in the GDP of Terra will link to kickbacks for the consumers. So yeah, I can totally see Terra being a very good alternative.
(27:16) George Manolov:
If that is the case, don’t you think that certain governments might not really like what you’re doing and may actually try to stop you or limit the use of Terra in their jurisdiction?
(27:27) Daniel Shin:
Perhaps. But at least at the moment, we are completely compliant and licensed in Korea, so we operate under e-money and payment gateway license. Singapore where we’re soon to launch, we’ll be completely compliant. We have announced that we’ll soon launch our product in Mongolia, where we’re deeply collaborating with the government. So, I think we’ll find a way where, number one, we have enough passionate users who love our system and will support us to the government, and number two, we’ll deeply collaborate with the government to find something that satisfies their needs as well. I think it’s obviously not a problem just yet, but one that will have enough….
(28:18) George Manolov:
(28:18) Daniel Shin:
Yeah, George you there?
(28:23) George Manolov:
Yeah, I’m here. You cut off for a bit.
(28:27) Daniel Shin:
Oh, okay. Should I explain it again?
(28:30) George Manolov:
I heard almost everything. At the end you were saying that you believe you’ll find some common ground with the governments or something of the kind?
(28:38) Daniel Shin:
Yeah, because we are compliant and licensed in every country that we operate in. We’ll have numerous discussions with the government along the way and like you said, we’ll find the common ground that works for the government as well as, most importantly, the users of our network.
(28:55) George Manolov:
All right. Talking about those discussions with the government and the relation between the real fiat and the Terra representation of a fiat, are people today able to convert their Korean Terras into fiat Korean money? Can they convert those from one way to the other? Will this be possible?
(29:18) Daniel Shin:
There’re a couple of ways that terra works, one way is the traditional; you go on an exchange and you buy and sell Terra and that’s one way to fiat on/off ramp, the other way; we work with a payment app called Chai, which has integrations to all the major banks in Korea, so they allow you to on ramp into the digital point and transact it on e-commerce just as you would on ramp with PayPal or Alipay. That also allows a seamless user experience without having to go to exchanges and set up wallets and store private keys and whatnot.
(30:06) George Manolov:
Another big topic I wanted to cover, which has been widely discussed in the news and throughout the whole cryptocurrency space is that Facebook recently announced its cryptocurrency Libra. Libra, in a lot of sense, addresses similar problems that you are addressing, right? Libra is supposed to be a stable currency, just like Terra is a stable currency. Libra is supposed to be actually used for real-world use cases just like Terra is supposed to be. So, how do you look at Libra as a competitor? And how do you compare it to them?
(30:44) Daniel Shin:
First and foremost, I do think there are lots of similarities. The mission of creating a digital currency that is widely adopted across the world is a mission that Terra and Libra share, and the understanding that if you want to accomplish that, it needs to be done in the form of a stable currency, is also a similarity. We tried to band together e-commerce platforms across Asia to help accomplish that. Whereas Facebook, obviously will be using their endogenous WhatsApp and Facebook apps to accomplish that. I do think there are lots of cross sections between Terra and Libra and we somewhat saw that as a validation of the direction that we’re going in.
There are key differences. There’s obviously a geographic difference where we’re doubling and tripling down on East and Southeast Asia, whereas WhatsApp is strong in the western parts of the world. We’re extremely focused on the e-commerce use case, and obviously if you look at a company like Stripe, there’re lots of API suites and developer integrations that need to be built in order to support the e-commerce use case. I think Facebook is interested in the commerce use case, but obviously also needs to serve their existing use case of messaging and advertising.
Last but not least, I do truly believe the reason why Terra Works and the reason why we’re able to get such an early success is because of the seigniorage model. Because of it, we’re able to use growth and reinvest that to drive further growth. Given that Facebook is a plain old vanilla fiat-backed cryptocurrency, they don’t have access to such a growth hacking model, and I do think that gives us a significant advantage if we’re pitted against each other in the same market.
(32:47) George Manolov:
I totally agree. But it would be interesting because still whatever you say, Facebook is way bigger than your alliance, so maybe they can just bet on the scale that they’ve deployed already. But It would be very interesting to see how things will develop.
(33:03) Daniel Shin:
Yup, I think the same.
(33:05) George Manolov:
As a concluding final note question, there’s a bunch of stablecoins out there, Terra is very different, obviously, Libra is different in a way, but there are all the other fiat-backed stablecoins, and there’re fiat-backed stablecoins being launched literally every month, if not every week, we have Binance, Coinbase, JP Morgan, Gemini and Facebook’s, everyone is building up their own stablecoin. How long do you think this will continue to be the case? Do you think that we will end up with one stablecoin or a few? Because I don’t really see the case where all the stablecoins that popping up today will eventually continue to be usable for niche or for large scale audiences. What is your opinion on that and how do think this will evolve over time?
(33:57) Daniel Shin:
I do think we’ll consolidate a few stablecoins because stability is a binary condition and if you achieve it, then there’s really no differentiation points. So, people will simply flock to the larger ones. USDT happens to have transparency and trust issues and I think that gave way for new stablecoins to be born. Whereas if they didn’t have those issues, perhaps they would have dominated the space. So, I do think there will be consolidation.
Having said that, the reason why I described Terra not as a stable coin, but a payment network is because I think we’re trying to achieve something greater within a particular vertical. So, we do want to be the friendliest partner to e-commerce, where it’s very, very easy to integrate with dropping a couple of lines of code, and by simply dropping a couple of lines of code, we will be saving them millions of dollars a month, and we’ll also be a very well-liked product by their consumers, and I do think users should matter quite a bit in what we’re doing.
So, we hope to be a payment network and a stablecoin that is among one of the winners. I truly do think we’re building something that’s very unique from all the other stablecoins out there.
(35:36) George Manolov:
Yeah, I think so as well, and now that you’re saying this again, it really is a no brainer for existing e-commerce platforms to join Terra. I assume that almost any commerce platform where if it can save transaction costs that it currently pays to existing payment networks, and if at the same time they can offer 5 – 10% discounts on their products, they would probably just implement it as soon as possible. Is it easy already for e-commerce platforms inside of Korea? But then outside of Korea, let’s say in Europe or in the states, is your idea to create a model where I have an e-commerce platform and I can easily plug into Terra and grow your ecosystem as well?
(36:19) Daniel Shin:
Yeah. Our sales hit rate has been phenomenally high, I don’t even recall the last sales pitch that we are rejected in, and I’m not trying to be boastful here. The reason is because we’ve created a value proposition that is so obviously addressing a major pain point that these e-commerce companies had, which is unnecessarily paying way too much money for credit cards, and obviously the more efficient alternatives never got consumer adoption.
We do want to quickly integrate within Korea and we have great platforms that are in the pipeline to integrate. We do want to scale quickly to other countries, the only thing that takes time is that we do need the proper licenses in each country. Again, we do want to be compliant. We do want the proper e-money & payment gateway licenses to be able to play. And in order to comply, we do need to change the model slightly in the respective countries, so that’s one thing that requires us to take time to get there.
The only push back, if at all, we got from the e-commerce was, okay, let’s see you launched and let’s see it in action because it sounds too good to be true, but in 10 days on TMON, we already acquired 100,000 users. So, I think lots of people are seeing this as validation that the model’s going to work and are quickly calling us back to try to integrate.
(37:54) George Manolov:
Beautiful. I think it can really be a snowball effect. Again, I can’t wait for you to launch more stablecoins, and for us at Nexo to start integrating those in our interest earning accounts, and we may have some other use cases that we can think of that further expands the adoption of Terra.
Before we end up, I have just a couple of very short questions. I like to pay tribute to evangelists who have brought you or other guests that I have on the podcast into the cryptocurrency space. Is there somebody in particular that has helped you realize the potential of blockchain? Because as I understand, for you, it was not Bitcoin first, it was really blockchain and its potential.
(38:38) Daniel Shin:
If the question is who evangelize blockchain and crypto to me, I think there are lots of people who played a role, but the one that I want to give Kudos to is Simon, who is the CEO at Hashed, a premiere crypto investment firm out of Korea. I met Simon when I knew nothing about blockchain, I just walked in saying, hey, Bitcoin is doing great, can you teach me about the industry? Not only did he walk me through the fundamentals, but he really shared why he’s genuinely excited about the space, why he is deploying vast majority of his personal capital behind the industry, and why he’s still long on the project that he’s invested in. And through the peaks and troughs of the industry, he’s really stuck to his genuine philosophy and belief. I think Simon Kim is one guy that’s really been super helpful throughout all this.
(39:42) George Manolov:
Awesome. Then Kudos to Simon and finally, what is your personal strategy for investing in Crypto?
(39:50) Daniel Shin:
I personally don’t actively look for investments because I’m busy enough building behind Terra. Having said that, when I do invest, I think I invest in projects very similarly to how I evaluate startup tech companies, which is really looking at the team and seeing their passion for the idea, but also evaluating their ability to execute and really iterate very quickly towards the model that will blossom and scale. I think lots of intellectual debates have happened in crypto and lots of whitepapers were written with eloquent language, but perhaps less thought was given to, can they build a business, can they execute, and can they iterate? For me as a serial entrepreneur, even prior to the blockchain boom, that component is very, very important.
(40:52) George Manolov:
I see. So, where can people find out about you? Where can they learn more about you and Terra?
(40:57) Daniel Shin:
Yeah, so lots of avenues, but Terra has a Medium account, so check out our blog posts. “Terra.money”, our website has our whitepaper and some of our newer release products. We have a Discord room as well, for you to come ask questions and chat. Last but not least, if you’re in Korea, please try our payment app. In Singapore, Mongolia, and other parts of Southeast Asia, we’re coming very soon.
(41:27) George Manolov:
Awesome. Thanks Daniel.
(41:28) Daniel Shin:
(41:28) George Manolov:
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