ICO Insight featuring Moonlighting

and Expert Interview with Kendrick Nguyen of Republic Crypto

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More ICO Insight

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ICO Insight Transcript


 

Amy Wan:

Hi. I'm Amy Wan. Thanks for joining us. ICOinvestor.tv is the first online video platform dedicated to ICOs, plus you have access to legal and investor round tables, interviews with ICO experts, a global regulatory review, and the ICO learning center. It's all at ICOinvestor.tv. Coming up on today's episode of ICO Insight, in your ICO and crypto headlines, the securities and exchange commission cracks down on ICO scammers. Moonlighting is in this week's ICO spotlight. Learn how they are helping freelancers to find work, and we have an expert interview with co-founder of Republic Crypto, Kendrick Nguyen, plus we'll take you to the Miami crypto meetup and introduce you to Igor Denisov from Polymath. That and more is coming up on this episode of ICO Insight.

Now, let's take a look at your ICO and crypto headlines. We begin with your cryptocurrency investing news and Facebook's decision to ban cryptocurrency and ICO advertisements. Any and all ads involving ICO, cryptocurrencies, and binary options will be prohibited. Facebook says some companies are not operating in good faith, and they want to make it harder for those scammers to profit. They're asking users to report content that violates the new policy. Also in your crypto investing news, more than one million people have registered for early access to Robinhood's crypto trading app. Users will be able to buy and sell cryptocurrencies without fees, and the rollout's set sometime in February. Robinhood first became popular by offering free stock trading. We caught up with attendees at the recent crypto meetup in Los Angeles to get their thoughts on Robinhood.

Speaker 2:

Before crypto had really hit public consciousness, robo-trading apps like Robinhood were represented to large financial institutions as ways to get people into their ETFs, into their different more basic funds like mutual funds, and it was especially marketing to be able to get Millennials into those situations. Now that Millennials have shown an affinity for cryptocurrencies, it's a natural choice. Robinhood will add a significant amount of demand to the buy side of all of these assets that they offer before anybody even chooses to sell. These are new customers.

Speaker 3:

Well, I think it's gonna help everybody get into it because they're gonna be a big competitor of Coinbase. I'm lucky enough to be number 8,000 in that list.

Speaker 4:

In that one million he got in at 8,000, so he's in the lead.

Speaker 3:

But yeah, they're offering no-fee trade, so how can you beat that, and that's gonna be what everybody else is gonna compete against now. Coinbase charges fees, they don't, and it's an easy way to get into the space.

Speaker 4:

Right. So, it has all the great aspects of what you need to get in the space. Right? Coinbase is, I don't know, the Yahoo of the dotcoms in that it was in early, it was search, it was ever, and then it got usurped by Google because Google was basically much more streamlined and free. Well, Robinhood, no transaction fees, it's gonna eat Coinbase's lunch, in my opinion, in the sense that if they're allowing you ... Let me step back. Coinbase is a great place to bring US dollars into the cryptocurrency world. Right? It's the nameplate for taking your US dollars and buying cryptocurrency and then maybe moving it into other exchanges.

Well, Robinhood could change everything in the sense that it already has millions of embedded users that are already familiar with what it does, and they already have it tied with their bank accounts, so if they can take that same cash that they have in stocks in their bank account and immediately buy cryptocurrencies, to answer your question, yes, I think it's gonna inflate or really be a gold rush to some degree, inflation or shot in the arm, so to speak, of the valuations of all the coins, and so we'll see how that pans out when it actually goes online, but yeah, I think it would be a great time to look at the portfolio of what they call pairs, meaning what are the pairs or what are the cryptocurrencies that they're gonna support in Robinhood, and personally I would invest in all of those cryptocurrencies that are in-

Speaker 3:

Yeah, there's 30 or so.

Speaker 4:

Yeah, there's about 30, and that's a small number compared to everything, but they've already done the litmus test. They've already done, say, okay, what are the ones we want to get behind. Well, if you go to Coinbase right now, it's four or five. Right? It's Bitcoin, Ether, Bitcoin Cash, Dash, and Litecoin. Right? Well, hello? When there's a rush on that market, all of those coins rise very fast. That's what's gonna happen with those 30 coins in Robinhood once they open it up, so I think if you're a quick-time investor than a long-term investor, it'd be good to get in, watch that bubble, and ride it maybe, if that's what your aim is. I'm not sure what my aim is, but if you're a short-term investor, that would be good.

Amy Wan:

Robinhood says a full rollout will happen by midyear, and in your ICO investing news, the Securities and Exchange Commission has frozen the crypto assets of AriseBank because of alleged fraud. The Texas-based ICO raised more than 600 million dollars. AriseBank set a goal of a one-billion-dollar raise. In the official complaint, the SEC says AriseBank raised funds from investors without registering with regulators. They also say AriseBank claimed to be the world's first decentralized bank. The SEC appointed a receiver to return funds to investors. This is the first time the SEC has taken such an action. By the way, you can view the latest ICO regulations from around the world on the Global Regulatory Review on our website, ICOinvestor.tv.

Now it's time for this week's ICO Spotlight. This is where we will introduce you to a company that's planning to launch or has launched an ICO. Moonlighting is in this week's ICO Spotlight. They're planning to launch an ICO. Moonlighting wants to become the first US-based marketplace to use blockchain technology in helping freelance workers find jobs. Before we hear from the founder and CEO, let's learn a little bit more about Moonlighting.

Speaker 5:

I've always dreamed of starting my own business, but I can't afford a full-time staff.

Speaker 6:

I have a ton of stuff to get done around the house. Every day, the list seems to grow.

Speaker 7:

I may be retired, but I'm too young to stop working completely.

Speaker 8:

I want a job where I can set my own hours. I just need a way for clients to find me.

Speaker 7:

Then I discovered Moonlighting.

Speaker 6:

Just sign up, post what you're looking for, and in moments you have what you need.

Speaker 8:

Moonlighting instantly connects me to people in my area who need my services.

Speaker 5:

I found experienced professionals looking for freelance work.

Speaker 6:

And most important, it made me feel safe.

Speaker 5:

Everyone I hired came with recommendations from other users.

Speaker 8:

With Moonlighting, I was able to get discovered.

Speaker 5:

I hired the right people.

Speaker 6:

I'm finally getting stuff done.

Speaker 7:

I got paid.

Speaker 5:

And now I'm building my dream company.

Speaker 8:

Nobody asks me why I moonlight anymore.

Speaker 5:

The question I ask people is why aren't you.

Amy Wan:

ICOinvestor.tv's own Adam Chapnick spoke with founder and CEO of Moonlighting, Jeff Tennery, to find out more about the company and ICO plans. Take a look.

Adam Chapnick:

Jeff Tennery, founder and CEO of Moonlighting, joins us now. Thanks so much for being here today.

Jeff Tennery:

Oh, thanks for having me.

Adam Chapnick:

Sure. So, Moonlighting is planning an ICO. This is big new, and obviously big to us here. It's all we talk about, so first, what's the story behind your company?

Jeff Tennery:

Yeah. We're a three-year-old company that started and wanted to try to help people make money very quickly building a freelance marketplace. We believe that everybody should have some form of income coming in working for themselves.

Adam Chapnick:

I love it. So, you guys have been around for three years, you say. I think I snuck and read that you have over 600,000 users. Is that right?

Jeff Tennery:

That is. That's just here in the United States, so I think everyone ... We have everything from your dog walkers and babysitters all the way up to your accountants, attorneys, photographers. Hell, we have even what we call the fire jugglers and all sorts of people in the entertainment industry.

Adam Chapnick:

Yeah. I've been meaning to get into that line of work myself, actually. I'll have to look at that on your site, fire juggling. So, okay, that doesn't naturally necessarily lend itself to what one would think is a typical candidate for an ICO. What made you decide to do that?

Jeff Tennery:

We're backed by three of the largest news media companies in the United States here, the producers of the LA Times, the Chicago Tribune, USA Today. This summer, we had a bunch of newspapers over ... Canada, UK, Latin America interested in working with us as well, so we thought long and hard about how we could create a currency that would really cross over different countries and help people work within more of a global environment, not just the United States.

Adam Chapnick:

Interesting. So, is there anymore you can say about how the mechanics of that would work with the ICO crossing boundaries? How would that work?

Jeff Tennery:

Yeah. Well, really, first and foremost, we looked at blockchain technology. Right? That's making sure that we had a real good business case and usage to do that, so with having 600,000 users on the platform hungry for work, we thought it made a lot of sense to open up the marketplace so that more people can find or discover these 600,000 people around the world, so creating our own token, we call it the Moonbit, will allow them be able to not only be able to transact across the globe, but also do so without losing so much of their money. So many freelancers are trying to avoid all the fees. You think about an Uber driver or somebody who works for Fiver or some of the other marketplaces, they give up a fair amount of their paycheck, and so one of the things we were looking to solve was a way to eliminate some of those fees, currency fees, banking fees, by creating our own currency where you can keep 100% of what you earn.

Adam Chapnick:

Yeah, so when you cast it in that light, it suddenly makes so much sense. So, what about the sort of nitty-gritty? What are the details about your presale? Anything you can share?

Jeff Tennery:

Yeah. We've retained one of the top law firms in the United States, Cooley.

Adam Chapnick:

Sure.

Jeff Tennery:

They've been fantastic partners, as well as another outfit called New Alchemy that has been a great advisory group, so we're taking it in stages, and I think you're seeing this from a lot US-based companies. We're staying here in the United States. We're not going overseas to try to set up some other entity, so we're taking that pre-ICO SAFT approach and looking to do it as credibly and legitimately as possible, and then looking to do the ICO actually later this year.

Adam Chapnick:

Yeah. That's become more and more common. We've seen the SAFT happening more and more, and I think that that gives you guys a lot more credibility, actually, when you do it in the way you're describing. So, what about just how much you're looking to raise, and what do you think you guys are gonna do with the money that you do raise?

Jeff Tennery:

Yeah. Our target and our hard cap is 25 million dollars, and we looked at really how that 25 million dollars could impact the users on our platform. We're creating a utility token focused specifically on how we could help the freelancers make money globally, but also we're introducing a rewards program, and this has been used and I think deployed by some other successful ones like KICK where we're gonna reward the freelancers and those people that are looking to start their own small business, and the token, our Moonbit, will be used to reward them for their activity on the platform, sharing their profiles throughout the internet, and really helping them grow their business very quickly.

Adam Chapnick:

Cool. So, is it like a mining process sort of when you say it works as a reward? When people do certain activities, they earn themselves out some Moonbits, and then how do they use the Moonbits once they've got them?

Jeff Tennery:

Well, they can use them to buy and services, so one of the ways that we monetize at Moonlighting and have for the last three years is very similar to an advertising model, so we help freelancers. You can buy premium services where the freelancer gets access to leads very quickly and clients very quickly. Also, we have a very unique partnership with these news media companies I mentioned earlier where we can promote these freelancers throughout 150 different publications around the internet locally, so there's a lot of opportunity for not only the people that want to work, but also those who want to recruit. We're seeing some large recruitment groups come in and use the platform to find the most talented freelancers in the US, so we have services that they could use where when they Moonbit, it's much more advantageous to them and they can actually get more bang for their buck rather than using a US dollar.

Adam Chapnick:

Great. So, it's like a double incentive. That's cool. So, what about sort of the mechanics of that platform itself? If anybody wants to be a freelance worker, can they be, or is there some sort of screening process, application process?

Jeff Tennery:

Yes. Right now, we've taken the approach of keeping the platform open, which plays very nicely into being a decentralized platform, but we let anyone participate. You gotta be 18 year or older, so it's just adults only, but we're looking at ways for us to incorporate with blockchain. We're looking to create profiles. We have 600,000 very rich profiles on the platform. To make sure that the people's information, their reviews, their recommendations, their transactions are all authentic, and I think that's the beauty of blockchain. It's immutable, and not to use kind of a technical term, but it makes the profiles on Moonlighting that much more rich and authentic.

Also, our plan is to make it portable, so when you sign up with Moonlighting, we plan on sharing that profile or having your profile basically shared wherever you choose to have it, which is way different than when you think about all these other centralized, controlled, curated marketplaces. When you think of Uber, Uber's a very curated marketplace. They choose who's gonna drive for you. You don't get an option to do so. We feel like that's a model that doesn't work in the freelance economy because people need trust, and that's really the number challenge for the gig economy is to create trust. Blockchain does that, and that's what Moonlighting, moving these profiles into a Blockchain environment, will make them more trusted and more valued to people who want to hire more safely.

Adam Chapnick:

Love it. So, you'd mentioned that you guys worked with Cooley. Was there anything that came from that process that was either a surprise to you or that you've gleaned that you would pass on to other people coming behind you who want to go into the ICO process?

Jeff Tennery:

Yeah. We went through and spoke to a lot of different law firms. Cooley emerged as one of the top ones, and they have a great group of folks that really understand cryptocurrency and blockchain. What their advice, and I think it's coming through, and you can see the way the SEC has been approaching things, which I think the SEC should be applauded. They're taking, I think, a lot of the bad actors and bad apples out of the mix, and I think Cooley's approach is one that's being rational, thoughtful, being very transparent, and that's what we've been doing in taking this approach, not only with them, but with our partners at New Alchemy, and just being very open and ...

A lot of people compare an ICO to an IPO. Well, there's a lot of disclosure and transparency you need to provide to make sure that the people who are buying your token really understand what's taking place, and so we're being very thoughtful about our white paper, which has become the new prospectus, and then we're approaching this with PPMs and other types of legal type of disclosures and risk factors to make sure people know that this has got ... There's risk associated with ICOs. So many companies have out there and said, "My token's gonna go five X," or guaranteeing some sort of returns or paying guaranteed dividends. Those are all, I think, really flawed and not realizing that the token is in an open marketplace that you can't really guarantee those things, which has, I think, really hurt the ICO market.

Adam Chapnick:

Yeah, no doubt. I think going white hat, as they say, is definitely the way. More and more people are going into it. It's obviously gonna be the future, so I certainly applaud you for doing that. What about based ... On your site, are users able to leave reviews, anything like that? Is there any kind of figuring out of who's good and who's bad?

Jeff Tennery:

That's exactly right. We have a review process, the five-star review process that you can review folks, and what we've seen with Moonlighting is people want more truthful representation of whether someone's good or not good at what they do from a work perspective, and so moving this to the blockchain, making it more authentic and real, is a big part of why we chose to go to the blockchain. We started out as a centralized marketplace like a lot of companies, but we've been around three years, and the move over to a more, I guess, a democratic way for the actual users of our platform to govern themselves using blockchain, I think it's very appealing.

It will be the new age. It's why I think people are questioning conventional marketplaces and wonder what happens with Uber and Facebook and some of these marketplaces where you're very controlled and all the data's controlled. We think that people want to control their own profiles, how they're represented publicly, and with social media being obviously such a big deal for the Millennial generation, that we believe that a blockchain profile on Moonlighting will carry just as much weight as when you use a LinkedIn profile or Facebook Connect approach to when you're signing on to all the different types of media that you might sign onto online.

Adam Chapnick:

That's impressive vision, so we're excited to follow how it goes with you. So, Jeff Tennery, founder and CEO of Moonlighting, thanks so much for joining us today.

Jeff Tennery:

Thanks for having me.

Amy Wan:

For more information on Moonlighting, visit them online at moonlighting.com. ICOinvestor.tv was just at the Crypto Funding Summit at the Los Angeles Convention Center. We spoke with attendees, ICOs, and power players in the ICO and crypto industry. One of those experts is Kendrick Nguyen, co-founder and CEO of Republic and Republic Crypto. Republic Crypto is fresh off their first successful ICO offering, PROPS by YouNow. Let's get an update on that now from Kendrick Nguyen.

Hi. This is Amy Wan from ICOinvestor.tv. I'm here at the Crypto Funding Summit with Ken Nguyen from Crypto Republic. Ken, welcome.

Kendrick Nguyen:

Thank you so much, Amy. It's wonderful to be here.

Amy Wan:

So, Republic Crypto recently concluded its very successful sale of the PROPS YouNow token sale. Can you tell us a little bit about how that went?

Kendrick Nguyen:

Of course. That was our very first crypto deal, and we launched a side-by-side campaign with CoinList, which was for accredited investors. Republic Crypto was for the unaccredited supporters within the PROPS network.

Amy Wan:

Fantastic, and I heard it went out really quickly, right?

Kendrick Nguyen:

Yeah, it was sold out. It was well beyond our expectation. Within three hours, sold out over a million dollars worth of it, and again, thousands of their community members now have equal access to early token sale.

Amy Wan:

Fantastic, and so what are the plans for Republic Crypto now that you guys have had your first successful ICO sale?

Kendrick Nguyen:

After the PROPS campaign, all of the major projects on CoinList, including Basecoin, Blockstack and others, have committed to doing Republic Crypto campaign to include and involve their community.

Amy Wan:

That's fantastic. So, this really is democratization of investment and capital in the ICO space, then.

Kendrick Nguyen:

You know, that's our hope, but the launched project, that's only step one. The next phase of it is us showing earlier projects that they can include unaccredited investor in first, give them the deepest discount, and then go through with the usual institutional accredited sale.

Amy Wan:

Is there anything else you'd like to add?

Kendrick Nguyen:

It's a lot of fun, but be wary. I think everyone can afford 10, 20 dollars, and just be involved in the ecosystem. I think this is the biggest way of the generation opportunity of our lifetime.

Amy Wan:

Fantastic. Well, thanks so much for being with us here, Ken.

Kendrick Nguyen:

Thank you so much, Amy.

Amy Wan:

To learn more about Republic Crypto, visit Republic's website, republic.co/crypto. As Kendrick mentioned, PROPS by YouNow had a very successful raise. For more on that, let's check in with the founder and CEO of PROPS by YouNow, Adi Sideman, at the latest Crypto Monday Meetup in New York.

Adi Sideman:

PROPS is a decentralized ecosystem for media applications. It provides developers new many-to-many video technologies, allowing them to program any kind of participatory and interactive social video applications, so think about anywhere from education to auctions to game shows, reality shows, anywhere where you have people interacting with each other, virtual worlds, and you can build using PROPS any kind of user experience that leverages that kind of video technology.

CoinList is a great platform, highly respected. We were delighted to be the third token to be offered on CoinList after Blockstack and Filecoin. Obviously, from a regulator standpoint, it's totally compliant, and it was very exciting for us to be chosen to be on CoinList, and also to reach the investors, the great investors on CoinList.

We had a lot and still have a lot of unaccredited investors who are very, very excited about what PROPS is doing, and we were very fortunate that Republic Crypto, which is a sister company to CoinList, was able to offer the token to their users, and within about an hour-and-a-half, the whole thing was sold out. The website crashed. That was quite rewarding. Well, I think that because of regulatory reasons, there was a small cap in terms of how much Republic could sell to their users, and so that was part of it, but also, over the past eight months, we have amassed telegram lists of close to 9,000 followers and an email list of over 10,000 followers, and everybody wants to be part of the project, which is great, and we're very grateful for that.

Today, our company, YouNow, has about 40 million registered users who are already using our platform. With Rise, we'll be introducing that community for the first time to crypto economic product. They will be rewarded with PROPS tokens, and so there's a lot of excitement over a project that is actually launching a real life mobile platform that is driven by crypto economics and that is being seeded by a community of millions, so we're really excited and we're launching in February.

Amy Wan:

Congrats, Adi and the PROPS by YouNow team on a very successful raise.

ICOinvestor.tv has been covering crypto meetups from around the nation and putting those interviews on the Crypto Meetup channel on our website. So far, we've been to meetups across Southern California, New York, and now Florida. Let's head to Miami for the crypto meetup held by Lou Kerner and James Haft of Crypto Oracle. They introduced us to Igor Denisov. He's in charge of mergers and acquisitions for Polymath. On last week's show, we told you about Polymath's token launch. Let's find out more about that from Igor in Miami.

Igor Denisov:

I'm Igor Denisov from Polymath Inc., and we are a securities token platform. We aim to create a distributive framework for the creation of security tokens, and if you have an issuer that wants to come onboard, through our platform they would be put in touch with the KYC and AML verification services. They're put in touch with the legal delegates, so the lawyers that would be doing all the legal work and making sure that they're gonna be compliant with all the regulations, as well as put in touch with security token creators, the smart contract developers, so that it can actually create that token, and all this is very exciting for us.

So, when you think about a utility token versus security token, I like to think of the subway system. A subway token, it's a claim on the utility on that system, but it's not a claim on the equity or the debt or any of the financial assets, or any of the real assets of the subway system at all. It is just a pass for you to use that network, and this is exactly what pure utility tokens are supposed to be like. They provide you with the right tax system network, but no other functional ownership stake in any of the underlying network assets. With a security token, you basically have a tokenized real-world asset, so it can represent a unit in an LP, like a private equity fund or a VC fund. It can represent a share. It can represent a pref share, like the tZERO preferred share token offering that we helped advise on, and they can represent a bond, but fundamentally it represents ownership in a security as opposed to just the right to use a network that the utility tokens represent.

Thoughts on the telegram ICO? I mean, I trust that they will do the right thing and actually structure it in a way that adds value to the rest of the users of that network, and fundamentally I think we might see more of these type of offerings because you have a captive user base, and if you can find a use case for having that token, whether you want to do it as a payment system or you want to engage your users and let them control pieces of their data. All this is obviously very, very exciting because you already have a captive audience, and you're not trying to build your community. Your community already exists, and so therefore the engagement will be much, much higher. So, I hope they don't try to give what's supposed to be a payment token to a bunch of people under 18, because then they could be breaking some of the security laws.

So, when I think of what makes a good ICO to contribute to, I think the thinking is shifting. When it used to be just hype, now I think what's coming out is it's the right team and the right set of advisors, and it's really those two factors that I think really are most important, and it's whether the team has experience or not. It might depend, but really, when you start putting together [inaudible 00:28:11] talent that would otherwise be found in a research lab at Google or Amazon, you start creating real tech, and that's, I think ... That's way beyond things like CryptoKitties. That's way beyond just doing a simple ICO to raise a bunch of money. Those are the kind of people that will drive real innovation as this ecosystem matures.

I think there's a very interesting trend that we're seeing right now in the ICO, sort of the utility and security token issue in this market, and we've seen this evolution over the last couple of months where we're actually ... We're not diverging away from the VC model as many people have said ICOs have. We're actually kind of converging on this paradigm where you do a private sale before the network is launched to accredited investors so that you're not breaking security's law by effectively issuing a security and a presale to not accredited investors, and the follow on, I think Polymath is gonna be one of the companies that first does it where instead of a public sale, we did an airdrop.

We did an airdrop because we believe that creating a community of 40,000 people, we have one of the biggest telegram groups out there. We topped it out at 50,000 max users, and we're distributing some of our tokens to these 40,000 people. We're running through a KYC AML process to make sure that they are real and that we're not breaking any laws by giving value to somebody who shouldn't be getting it, but fundamentally, for us, the creation of a community is much, much more important than trying to just get extra capital, because what we risk in that case is a bunch of whales picking up the public sale, and then we don't have distribution, and then we're getting traded in the open market without really any control.

Amy Wan:

Be sure to visit our website, ICOinvestor.tv, to learn more about the Crypto Meetup channel. All right. That does it for today's show. Don't forget to visit us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Send us your questions and comments. We love hearing from you. I'm Amy Wan. For everyone here, thanks for joining us, and we'll see you back here next week.

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