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May 16, 2022

#005: Crypto Trading and Financial Discipline ft. Mark Solomon


Today we have a special guest on our show - Mark Solomon.

Mark is a financial adviser and commodity trader who moved into blockchain and crypto back in 2011. He focuses on commodity trading and alternative investments as a specialty.

He is the author of the book titled "Bitcoin Explained: Today's Complete Guide to Tomorrow's Currency" and he has been involved in advisory capacity in a lot of crypto projects.

His latest project involves creating PiPIdea, a platform that gives everyone the ability to turn  any digital asset into a Non-Fungible Token (NFT).

This episode is going to dive in to a whole another world of the financial side of Web 3.0 investing right from Bitcoin to NFTs, so you better not miss this one!

Resources:
Mark's Book on Bitcoin: "Bitcoin Explained: Today's Complete Guide to Tomorrow's Currency"
PiPIdea Website: www.pipidea.com
PiPIdea Telegram: t.me/pipidea
Transcript and Chapter Markers: https://www.buzzsprout.com/1968123/10631576

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DISCLAIMER:
1. The information contained herein is for informational and entertainment purposes only. Nothing herein shall be construed to be financial, legal or tax advice. Trading cryptocurrencies poses a considerable risk of loss and the audience is advised to do their own research before making any decisions.

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Transcript

Episode 5: Crypto Trading and Financial Discipline ft. Mark Solomon

Hello and welcome to this brand new episode of The MetaRoy Podcast. 

I'm your host, Roy, and every week on this show we make crypto simple and fun through story days, trivia, and interviews with experts in the crypto space. 

Today we have a special guest on our show, Mark Solomon. Mark is a financial advisor and a commodity trader who moved into the blockchain and crypto space back in 2011. He is the author of the book titled Bitcoin Explained Today's Complete Guide to Tomorrow's Currency, and he has been involved in advisory capacity in a lot of crypto projects. 

Mark focuses on commodity trading and alternative investments. As a specialty, he provides analysis, financial guides, market signals and advisory services. His latest effort involves creating a new app pipidea.com that gives everyone the ability to turn almost anything that can be uploaded, like music, art, patents, ideas, et cetera, into a nonfungible token. 

This episode is going to dive into a whole other world of the financial side of Web 3.0 investing right from Bitcoin to NFTs. So you better not miss this one. 

And if you are new to this show, do subscribe and follow me on Apple Podcasts Spotify - pretty much every platform that you get your dose of podcasts on. 

Before we start, though, just a quick disclaimer. The following content is informational only and none of it should be interpreted as financial advice. So please do your own due diligence before making any moves in the crypto space. 

With that out of the way, let's get started. 

Mark’s Introduction

Roy: So thank you, Mark. Thank you for joining this call today and we are really excited to have you here. 

Mark: Thank you. It's my pleasure. 

Roy: So, Mark, let's start with your story. What has been your experience with crypto and the web three space in general? Can we talk about a little bit about your background and how you got started into crypto? 

Mark: Sure. I'd be happy to. Well, the story really begins in the commodity space. I'm a former financial adviser and a commodities trader, really specialize in commodities. I did stocks and options and everything, and I've been financially oriented since the age of twelve. I started trading stocks at twelve years old because I come from a long line of stock traders. And so it was just a natural thing. Most kids would play baseball or basketball and everything. I was trading stocks in any case. 

So I was in that arena for a very long time, very focused on it, captivated by it, loved it. And I eventually got into trading gold and silver online sometimes and using it almost as a currency. There was a company called Egold, or E-Gold is what it was really called. And it was by a guy down in Florida, a doctor. And at the time, E-Gold was a very successful operation. Now, there were a number of other attempts like that. There were Liberty dollars. There was digital dollars, I believe they called it, or digital money, something like that. So there are a number of these operations. 

Well, the United States government went after E-Gold for no legitimate reason. They said, oh, it's being used for drug movement. Well, we all know that most drug deals are done in American cash, so it's a completely specious argument and it was just designed to shut down any competition to Fiat currency. And Fiat currency for your listeners is basically currency that's just declared to have value by the government and it's really ruled by force, essentially. And you're forced to pay taxes, forced to transact, and banks will only recognize it, etc. 

So I was with E-Gold for a number of years and then I saw them attacked by every aspect of the government, the IRS, et cetera. And eventually that guy was thrown in jail for no reason. I followed the case very closely. Well, exactly. 

While that was happening, more or less, Bitcoin was being formed and I'm going back 2005, 2006, seven, eight, Bitcoin is being formed. Now, I wasn't involved in the original discussion. It was Cypherpunk evolution to create Bitcoin, but I was right there as it was going, as it was starting, and I became very interested and very intrigued by it at the time was, well, I'm an engineer by training, so I have coded, but I didn't get involved in the software of it. I was really more interested in the financial aspect of it, but I began to write articles about it and I was publishing financial articles. I got contacted by some publishers out of New York saying, hey, there's this new thing called Bitcoin. Do you know anything about it? Because most people didn't at that time. It was just basically an underground thing. And I said, yeah, I'm very into it and I would love to write this book. And so I got the project and I wrote that book called, well, it was originally called Bitcoin Exposed. Now it's called Bitcoin Explained, but it was one of the earlier books. 

So essentially my background was commodity trading. I knew the value of commodities, or shall I say, alternatives to Fiat currency for holding value. And I realized Bitcoin was something special because it was bypassing, obviously, the central authority for declaring where and what you can do with your money and how you have to pay taxes on your money too. That was one thing that transacting in Bitcoin. If you knew what you were doing, it enabled you to bypass all kinds of government regulations. 

And as we all know, one of the original uses for Bitcoin was the Silk Road, which was, I never got involved in it. I live like a Monk, basically. I don't drink, I don't smoke, I don't do anything. But I was aware of all of that and I wasn't against it. It's just humans being humans and not being interfered with. And that was one of the beautiful things about Bitcoin. 

So I ended up researching and writing this book, I learned a lot more about Bitcoin. And one of the things that I realized now, I made three predictions in that book. By the way, I am absolutely not trying to sell the book. It is not an accurate book anymore. It is way out of date. Lots of things have happened since then, but a couple of things I did in the book where I made some predictions and my Editors did not want me to make these predictions. I had to fight for them. 

One of the predictions was that Bitcoin was going to be this is completely before Bitcoin became all the rage and went everywhere. It was just a little fiddling currency that was going somewhere between probably at that point it was $20. It spiked up to $200 and bounced back down to $125. I said, Bitcoin will be the top performing financial asset moving forward out of nowhere. I said it will be the absolute finest asset to hold moving forward. The other one I said was that Bitcoin will reach a value at a minimum of $81,000, which when Bitcoin is $25 to actually it's probably $125. Maybe it peaked at $200 for each second. To say $81,000 was just sheer insanity, absolute lunacy. But I said, no. I wrote the calculations out. Their calculations were extremely conservative. 

And I mentioned when I was showing the calculations because it was based on a percentage of M2 money supply. I think at that time, actually, we might have just stopped counting M3, M2 money supply. And I said, look, this is just us centric. If we throw in the rest of the world, which is I knew what would happen, that attack on another zero or another zero, I mean, it could go virtually unlimited, but both of those turned out to be accurate. 

Now, we didn't hit $81,000 yet, but we're going to hit $81,000. And we came darn close. And this prediction was done in 2013. Oh, it was more done in late 2011 because the book was published in 2012. It took months to edit and think. It was written in 2011, so that was pretty crazy. They bought me on it. They didn't want it. I said, no. I said, Look, I'm supporting it with analysis. I know what I'm talking about and I'll tell you why I say that now. It doesn't apply anymore. 

This is interesting and let me know. I don't know if I covered my background enough or not. There's a million other things I could have talked about in terms of my background, but in terms of me zeroing in on Bitcoin. It came from a desire for freedom. I also knew it was a great asset, but it came from a desire for freedom, financial freedom and all kinds of other oriented freedom. And I knew that this could play a very significant role. 

The reason that Bitcoin. I knew Bitcoin was going to explode because when Bitcoin originally hit the market, it was long biased. Now I'm talking like a commodities trader. I'll explain what long bias means. Only one other guy I've ever heard talk about this and pointed out was a PhD consultant from Harvard. Other than that, I've never heard anybody mention it. But basically, long bias means there were no short options on it. There was no way to use futures or options to drive the price back down. So as demand would increase, there was only one direction it could go. Unless you had a huge portion of the demand curve reverse course very quickly, which doesn't typically happen. It can happen, but very often in the markets that we're experiencing, when you get a big down through us, it's because you have options and futures and derivatives on the core asset. Well, Bitcoin had none of that at that time. 

So when you bought Bitcoin, all you could do is push the price up very easily. It was much harder to push the price back down. So I knew that. And I also knew that it was the only game in town at that point. Now, Ethereum was around the corner, but Bitcoin was pretty much the only game in town. And if you wanted to get into this new age of digital currency, you're going to use Bitcoin. So I knew it was going to go to the moon and I wrote about it. So if anyone bought that innocent looking book and they took its advice, you made life changing money. Life changing money. And even though Bitcoin has dropped by half, I would ask your listeners, I would say, okay, I've got an opportunity for you, an investment that went from $3,300 or I should say $200 up to $30,000. Are you excited about that opportunity? They would all be frauding at them out or even, okay, fine. That was the earlier phase. What about now? What about more recently when it went from $3,300 up to $30,000. Of course they're excited about it. Yes, it's dropped from ~$60,000 down to $30,000. But that's natural market dynamics. 

It's not that big of a deal, but that walks you in a very light overview of my background. I've done a lot of things. I've written lots and lots of books and articles about trading futures and all that. And I taught courses. There was a digital currency certification course for New York. I wrote that course. Long short of it is that Bitcoin just changed the whole investment landscape. As you can see, even though it's taken a big hit now, it still has got the utility that it has had for a while. 

And early on, the only way you could get Bitcoin was pretty much to mine it. That was it. Then eventually Mount Cox showed up and a bunch of other exchanges showed up. Hopefully that covers a little bit about what you wanted to talk about initially. 

Important Projects on Mark’s Radar

Roy: Yes, I really understand your background a lot more better. I did not know you are working with E-Gold or you are involved with E-Gold. So that's a revelation to me as well. Have you seen other projects like that develop, let's say DigiCash, HashCash, BitGold, for example. Have you interacted with their founders or something? 

Mark: Not really. Let me think about okay, let me take a step back. Eventually. The answer is I've interacted with tons of founders on many different cryptos, many different cryptos. I did it because I started to consult on crypto projects, often to create their white papers or help them create white papers. Somebody say, I've got an idea, we want help creating the white papers and designing the project and writing all of that. So I got very involved in that because I was working sometimes I'd work directly for a project, but very often I would work for a consultant, a consulting group, and they basically would hire me some pretty big names. I can't go into it because I'm supposed to be behind the scenes on it. I can't give you names, but some big names you would know not an Ethereum or something, but some other ones that were fairly big. 

I worked on those white papers and I would help steer kind of the conceptual and sometimes the technical. Now, as this was developing, as crypto space was developing, I decided I wanted to learn to code at a higher level. Even though I had done some coding, some coding in engineering school, I started to learn to code. I eventually formed a crypto trading advisory service because I was trading a lot and a lot of people were against altcoins. They had another name for them. I'm not going to use it on your podcast, but they have another name for altcoins. I was not against them at all. I thought they were a great idea. And I thought, yes, most of them are just copies or Ethereum tokens or something. 

But some of them, like Dash, had real value. Polkadot had a real value. Z Cash, one of the other ones, basically, one guy mounted it, but he's been super solid and the crypto has been super solid. He's been developing and developing and adding features and dash. I was very into early on. There was one other one out of Poland that made us a fortune because Bitcoin came out very early and got to $5 very early. You had to be in at the feet of it to catch the really $5, $10, $15 is when Bitcoin started to meet the public. Well, these other ones, some of the other ones, I don't remember the names, but I have to look at my records. We're at fractions of a Penny. So when you start out at fractions of a Penny and then you get to a dollar, two and $3, you're talking huge increases in value. And so I traded a lot of all coins. I was all for it. I wanted to see some value. I wanted to see a unique approach, but I recommended it and created a lot. 

And my crypto advisory was really focused on getting people in and out of the cryptocurrency space because as I correctly told the people that I was teaching and advising, it's a speculative space. Nobody is selling you gas at the pump for the most part, for Bitcoin, not in the United States. Now, in Germany, there are some places to do it, but you're not paying your energy bill in Bitcoin or Ethereum or any of that for the most part. Now, yes, you can go in and out of Fiat currencies, but ultimately, we're still operating in a Fiat regime, I would say primarily speculative vehicles in terms of their actual use. 

Most retailers will tell you that there are tiny, tiny fraction of their total sales. Overstock.com went to Bitcoin and they've had some success, but it's not a major portion of their sales. So I view crypto as speculative. I've treated it that way. I don't get married to it. I told everybody that I was advising, get out when crypto was around. Well, the first run up to 2017, when Bitcoin was around 2017, $18,000 something. I was telling everybody, get out, get out, get out. And the people that were in my group, a couple of hundred, they didn't watch it. I beg, slamming the table, get out. They didn't want it. They all said, no, you're wrong. It's going to keep going up. Well, sure it will. After you lose most of your money. And that's exactly what happened. Most people lost most of their money, as far as I'm concerned. That's fine, too, if you're willing to do it, if you're not going to be hurt by it and you want to just sit and wait and wait. And of course, there was no guarantee that crypto was going to go back up again. It would do it. 

But crypto, then as now, is one of the most speculative financial instruments out there. So what happens when currency, when a Fiat currency central bank starts to reverse course and they tighten the interest rates and everything, the most speculative of the sectors dives first and often dives the farthest. And so we're seeing that crypto diving, NASDAQ diving. the companies that everybody ignores on the way up, the ones that are always making money, that are commodity based, they kind of move at a very narrow band. Nobody jumps on them until something extreme happens. But crypto goes flying up and goes flying back down, just like a lot of NASDAQ stocks. That's my take on crypto and all the other small projects. 

And I have to say I'm really impressed with how the crypto space is developed, because right now I'm involved in projects where we're deciding which protocol to use. And Ethereum is probably among the worst in my opinion. Avalanche runs rings around it, Polkadot runs rings around. I think Solana in some ways runs rings around it. Now the theory of two will probably add a lot of extra features to it. But I'm really excited about how the crypto and the blockchain space has developed. I think we're finally getting to that point. We're having real world impacts with blockchain capabilities. So hopefully that answers your question. 

Roy: Yes and I think I have a follow up question on that. So you have obviously been doing this for a while. You have traded commodities and you have been actively involved with crypto. How do you actually focus on risk management? So what are the steps that you take as a trader, as an investor? How do you counteract FOMO (Fear of Missing out) or how do you actually work towards building a risk management strategy? Can you explain that for us? 

Importance of Building a Risk Management Strategy

Mark: What an important, wonderful question, and I've never been asked that. Okay. That's a fantastic question and probably potentially very high value for your listeners. So I have traded on virtually well, I can't say that anymore. But all the crypto exchanges coming up, I have traded on those exchanges, Mount Gox, obviously Cryptopia, the finance, everything in between. I can't even remember how many exchanges have traded on. I've got accounts on, and I have never been hacked or lost money on an exchange, not once. And I've traded a lot. 

I didn't mention it, but at one point, I was a top 15 crypto miner, and I started out mining bitcoins, and I shifted to all coins. Yeah, I had a lot of mining equipment going. This was back when you had to do a lot of your own coding and setup. So it was very technical. I bought a lot of the video cards and set up computers, had to set it up in a warehouse because it was blowing so much hot air everywhere. So I was very active. And what that forces you to do is you have to trade a lot of coins because you're generating lots of different coins, because we were using dynamic allocation as to which point was the best one of mine. 

But anyway, so I traded an awful, awful lot. And here's just some very basic things that are very obvious. But to me, they're obvious. Apparently, a lot of other people think of them obvious. You get in and out of the exchange right away. You never, ever hold crypto on an exchange, other than if that is what you want to trade continuously, even if you're pulling it out for a day, pull it out for a day. If you're going to be trading constantly on a daily basis, multiple times a day, which some people do, I don't recommend it, but some people do. 

Sure, you can keep your seed there, but I always would make a trade, send it back to my off exchange wallet, make a trade, send it back. I wouldn't even keep it in my cold wallet. They call it a cold wallet. On the exchange. Basically, you have your account funds, then you're going to an exchange or some trade on the exchange. I would never even leave it in my account funds. I would always pull it out. 

Now, if you're dealing with Ethereum and it's got huge gas fees, yeah, sometimes you want to avoid that, but I pull it out. And the reason I do that is precisely because I know that a terror can happen where Luna has nosedives, or Cryptopia, which was a very active altcoin exchange because they traded almost all pairs that disappeared practically overnight. I mean, there were some rumors that they weren't sending funds out quite as quickly, but it wasn't very long. And then, boom, it was gone. Mt Gox locked up a huge amount of assets. So I never got caught because I was always pulling the money out. That's one aspect of it. 

Now, in terms of trading risk management for trading in general, you could classify traders as trend followers or counter-trends, if you want to call it, or oscillation traders, meaning you're looking for extremes, either up or down. I've done both. I am an oscillation trader. Why? Because those are high, high probability trades. I mean, high probability trades. If you know what you're doing, they’re such high probability trades that if my trade doesn't result in profit, I am shocked. I am baffled. 

I go through everything and figure out what did I analyze something wrong? Because the expectation is with Oscillation trading versus trend following Oscillation trading, the chance of losing your funds should be very limited. Now, that's a risk mitigation strategy, simply because you're not exposing yourself for long periods of time to the vagaries of the market and to huge levels of volatility. 

Now, if you're one of these people that believes in it till the end of time and you just buy and hold more power to you, you've done fantastically. Depending on where you got in. If you got in at $50k and now you're $30k, you're moaning and groaning. And guess what? My analysis indicates you'll be moaning and groaning more in a very short time going forward. Statistically, Bitcoin is quite likely to go down to $12,000, $15,000, $20,000, an 80% drop, effectively something of that range. 

I predicted that when Bitcoin topped out at $19,000, I told my clients, my advisors, I said Bitcoin is probably going to go down to around $3000 to $4,000. Of course, none of them wanted to hear that. None of them wanted to believe it. That's exactly what happened when it bottomed out at that area. My indicators, which are primarily Oscillators, I can do trend following, but I find trend following to be extremely challenging relative to Oscillation trading. Well, it was at $3000, $3,300. I told everyone back in the pool, jump in, sell your house, sell your dog, sell your car, buy Bitcoin, it's going to go for a huge run. That's exactly what happened. So the risk mitigation is essentially choosing how you're going to trade. 

Now, of course, the obvious things are don't margin. I don't margin trade. I could if I wanted to. I have a high degree of confidence in my trade, but I generally don't do it because I like to have the longest runway possible to achieve the profits that I'm expecting. So in Oscillation trading, you can select your time frame. And sometimes my time frame is monthly. So I know I'm going to sit through some waves before the Oscillator, before the currency or the trade gets to the profit points that I want. Well, I don't want to be paying interest during that time, so that's me. But if you're going to margin, don't margin at a high level at all, margin at a lower level, and only do it with money that you could afford to lose. 

But those are some risk mitigation strategies. Basically, get your money off the exchange, trade in a way that works at a high percentage of the time. Trend followers, if they're really good, are going to be accurate and profitable roughly 52% of the time, maybe 54% of the time. An Oscillation trader like myself is going to be profitable generally at such a high percentage, I'm almost embarrassed to tell you it's that high. 

But the thing is that you can't always trade, meaning the Oscillation trading. I'll give you an example of an Oscillation indicator. RSI is an Oscillation indicator. I don't use it. Commodity channel indicator is a great one. I use that a lot, but I have my own indicators. But the trades are so high probability, you can't just say, okay, I would like to trade today. Unless you can find a crypto that's meeting the Oscillation standards, either above or below what should be its normal range, there's no trade to get into. So that's one of the things that a lot of people may not like about it. 

But as far as I'm concerned, I don't want to trade to trade. I want to trade to make money. That's why I'm trading. Those are some risk mitigation strategies. And the third one is just don't get in over your head with margin trading, which I don't know if you've seen the post about people wanting to commit suicide on Reddit, where people leverage themselves into. Yeah, they've leveraged themselves into Terra, they've leveraged themselves into a lot of different cryptocurrencies. 

And that's the other thing. That's the other thing. I don't ever go all in on one crypto when Bitcoin came out. Yes. In Ethereum, yes. But now that we've got this huge playing field, I'm a little bit more distributed. Now, I'm not one of these people that says, oh, buy divided into ten or 20. No, I'm more careful than that. But I don't get wetted and say I'm putting everything in this particular crypto. That's incredibly risky, primarily for reasons you're seeing right now with Terra and with some other projects where it's dependent on a founder or small founding team, like, for instance, troll and got crushed when some things came out about the founder. So it's too risky to get that narrow. But I would say 5-10, something like that, cryptos are probably plenty, but those are some risk mitigation strategies. But it's a really interesting question, and hopefully those answers will be of service to your users or to your listeners. 

Risks and Wealth Creation Opportunities in NFT Markets

Roy: Definitely it does. And thank you for those strategies. It really helps my listeners understand how to navigate this very speculative space. But again, there are multiple types of markets. There is the commodities market which you have already been an expert at. There is the crypto which you have already been trading very successfully. And now with NFTs coming in. How do you envisage the differences between these different types of markets? How do you actually see wealth creation in NFTs as an opportunity, for example? 

Mark: Well, NFTs at this stage I would classify as somewhat of a collectibles market, effectively. The whole concept is it's a unique digital property or unique digital asset. Now, in terms of the entire space of crypto, I would put NFT's very close to the top of the speculative bubble, which has been manifested because there were some huge purchases with NFTs and many millions of dollars and boom, that kind of went away. Now they've dropped significantly, even though people are still producing NFTs. 

NFT's originally were colored coins. It was an early concept. They didn't have much attention to them. Crypto kitties came out that rose, and then it nosedived. And now we're in the NFT space, where all kinds of digital assets and everybody's jumping on the NFT space. And I think it's fantastic because it's another system that pulls the central authority out of the game in a lot of ways. 

But in terms of investments, you got some real issues with NFT, and this is coming from somebody who has developed an NFT minting app, and that is that to a certain extent, you are depending on the honor of the person producing the NFT as to whether that exact same digital property exists under a different label, some other place that's not likely to happen with the Mona Leafs of painting or something like that, where it's very easy to determine that property, that piece of art is not the authentic item. It's very easy to assess. It's not the same thing with NFTs. 

Not only that, in terms of legal protections, NFTs are much more difficult to legally secure. We're still developing some of those factors and some of those capabilities in the legal system. So while I'm all for NFTs, I just want people to understand that there are some limitations to them. There are certainly quite a few risks, because depending on how you secure the NFT, literally, you might be buying something you think is a unique piece of art that's not available anywhere else. And that only you own the rights to. And five other people are doing the exact same thing with the same piece of art, and you have no way of knowing it, and they have no real way of verifying that theirs is the only one that exists. And that's a significant issue with NFTs. 

But I've produced lots of trade NFTs. I don't make it the biggest part of my trading, and I'll tell you why, because it is essentially for the most part a greater fool’s market. Can you find somebody else who gets as excited about this particular NFT as you did when you paid X, and now you need them to pay 2X or whatever it is, 1.5X. And there's very little analytical capability around trading NFTs because it's not a fungible token. 

Like if I buy Ethereum tokens, one Ethereum ERC-20 token is same as another theorem token. It's not the ERC-721 protocol, it's not a unique NFT, same with Bitcoin, same with all the other cryptocurrencies. Well, as soon as you get an NFT, there's only one data point to analyze in general, and you can't do anything with it. So I won't trade things that I cannot analyze in depth for large money. For small money, sure. And maybe if I have some inside track that, hey, these NFTs are coming out. There's a huge fan base waiting for them. I know that there's going to be an enormous demand. Yes, that's the kind of thing I'll get into. But unless the NFT sector has a huge fan base that's actively trading and I know there's a ready market for it, you could literally end up buying an anchor that you're never going to get rid of or you won't get rid of at a profit. 

And that's not the same with a lot of other crypto trading where you get onto exchange, boom, trip, make your trade. You can analyze it beautifully because there's so many great analytical tools. Early on, there weren't very many then trading, you got into it and a lot of other exchanges, FTX and things like that. So there's some fantastic trading opportunities, but NFTs don't really have that. So coming from somebody who helped develop or led the development of an NFT minting project, you would think I would be raw, raw NFT for trading? Not really. I think NFT's have a bigger role and a better role for digital properties and things like patents, obviously, music, text, videos, anything that can be digitized or where you can take the title. And there's some mechanism like real estate titles, and there's some mechanism where you can look and secure that title. So basically the person legally is saying that produces the title for real estate, that there aren't multiple titles to this real estate out there. That's a critical piece of the puzzle. But I think NFTs have a big role to play in that. And they're already doing it. They're already pulling tremendous value out of that market into the NFT market. 

The Story of PiPIdea

Mark: And that's why one of the reasons we developed PiPIdea was because we saw that a lot of people are still intimidated by NFT, even though it's much easier to create them now, they're still intimidated by it. And there's some features that NFT should have that don't have. For instance, how many real estate buildings are owned by multiple people? Lots of them. There's a partnership or something like that. Well, creating NFTs with multiple owners and multiple signatures is very tricky, has to be coded, custom coded. So that's one of the reasons why PiPIdea came up. We developed it so we can do multiple people, can generate NFT's on a team. 

And the other thing is just to make it so much easier for people to create an NFT, say, hey, this is a great idea. The NFT could represent some design or a patent and then get people to invest in it. They own shares in the NFT. So those kinds of things. But I think NFT have a huge role as far as relation goes. It's not my favorite area for speculation, just putting it out there because of the reasons I've explained. So hopefully that clarifies. 

Roy: Yeah, it does. Definitely does. On that note, why don't you talk about PiPIdea? How did you come up with the idea for that? How did you arrive at the understanding that there was a need for it in the market, and how did you go on to developing it? 

Mark: Well, I wouldn't say I strictly came up with it. I was consulting and still do consult for a company called Vert, two medical technologies run primarily by a doctor, Dennis Morris, who's a very well known emergency trauma surgery surgeon. And his concept was, hey, we want to empower healthcare workers in a network to come up with innovations, because the way healthcare innovations are now developed, they're often a laboratory somewhere. They're not seeing the patients all the time. They're at a University. It's sort of separated from the real world. And so he has come up with hundreds of innovations himself. He's an emergency trauma surgeon and he's involved with patients all the time. He sees what they really need in the real world. And he wanted some way where other doctors and other nurses and health care practitioners could come up with ideas and very quickly secure the rights of them. And we bounced ideas around and came up with originally called a Plexus network, but now I changed it to PiPIdea. 

But anyway, sort of Profitable idea Platform is what the PiP stands for on our platform, come up with the idea to upload, designs, upload audio, video, photos, whatever they need, describe it, and then immediately Mint an NFT on a blockchain. Now, we chose to launch for a number of reasons. One thing, if the gas was too expensive, we would have to charge a fair amount of money and it varied too much. But Salona was very quick, very easy to use gas a lot less. And once they've minted that NFT on that immutable blockchain that can represent based on that idea and that's essentially the concept. 

Now we broadened it to say well what if multiple people were working on the project, OK, we're going to allow that. That's a very big innovation. And then what if you want to take this idea that you've come up with, share with some people on a market and say hey, do you like to support this? Would you like to become a member of this project and help fund it to bring it to market? And then at that point they can say, let's say you have a bunch of people that join into it, they've got a percentage interest in it. You can now broadcast it to NFT markets, open sea, Nifty whatever market you happen to be on and get value to the NFT and maybe potentially bring it to market as an innovation because it's not funded. Now a lot of people are interested or just sell the idea, which is what also could be a very viable business opportunity. So it's really broadening. Same thing could be said of music, could be art, could be a lot of different things. It's really broadening the capability of NFT. 

So basically when we came up with the idea of concept at It, I wrote the software specification for it and I led the coding team. I did not do the coding all by myself or anything like that. I was involved in it, I steered it, I set up the UI, but I had developers and it turned out to work really nicely. It works very well. And we just released the Alpha phase and we're getting more funding because we want to take it to the next level because we think it can be a huge part of the NFT space and really add a lot of features that nobody really has at this point and turn NFTs from just say speculative, cute, art type of thing into a piece in seconds for virtually no cost and there's no need to interfere to deal with the government. 

Now, granted, we don't have an enforcement arm. We're not claiming that you are getting a patent or anything like that, but we are claiming provably, that you are immutably saving, that you had that idea at that date at that time. 

And that often be a tricky thing to do and we're doing it using NFT and it could be like I said, it could be music, it could be designs, it could be real estate titles, could be patents, could be any number of things. And I think the ideas got a very big role to play. It's just we have to get the funding out there and get more interest in it. And eventually I think PiPIdea could be one of the main apps for producing NFTs across the space? I certainly hope so. 

Roy: And for people who want to check that out, the link is in the description below for people on to check out PiPIdea. 

Mark: Well, and they can also go to our Telegram channel. So if they go to PiPIdea on Telegram, sign up there and we'll keep them updated. 

Closing Thoughts

Roy: One last message. If you wanted to give a message to people who have just started investing in crypto or NFTs or stuff like that, what is that one message you would give to the listeners of The MetaRoy Podcast from your side as an experienced trader, as an experienced investor, what would be that one message? 

Mark: Well, if you're going to invest in crypto, only invest obviously money that you can afford to lose. And I would go in very small at first. Don't go in with your entire nest egg or anything close to your entire nest egg. Go with small. And at this point expect to wait a while until you see profit. Now, I would say just taking it I haven't analyzed very carefully, but you're probably looking at a neighborhood of a year and a half before you start to see crypto recover. A lot of that depends on what central banks around the world will do because it's still a speculative project. But that's what I would recommend. Going small, don't expect to make a ton of money right now. 

Here's a little trick. Just going to give them a little trick. Most people are going to jump into Bitcoin only. Well, that's fine. I don't disagree with that. But one of the things to do is on a down day in the market, go to CoinMarketCap and click on the percentage returns button at the top and it will re-orient the entire list to show you okay. Even though the market dropped like a rock, these few cryptos went up. Those cryptos are telling you that they have extra value and extra fan base and are going to exceed to the upside because they have resisted to the downside. Seems like a little tip. It quite likely could make you a lot of money. That's something to think about and only do it on a downside day. 

Roy: On that note, thank you so much. We have already crossed your time. I'm so sorry about that. But thank you so much for talking on our podcast. It was a great experience speaking to you. And I have learned so much in this time that I've talked with you. And if there's any place where people can go and follow you or maybe on Twitter or something like that, can you share that on the interview? 

Mark: Yeah, I had a crypto advisory. I don't run it as much anymore, so it was Coinpicker.us. I don't run it as much anymore. But I would just go to PiPIdea on Telegram and follow there. And every now and then my post and we're just getting really started on that. 

Roy: Yeah. That would be a great place for people to go and I really appreciate your time. I certainly enjoyed it. Thank you. Thank you so much.

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Mark Solomon

Crypto Developer and Analyst

Financial analyst, author, long time Bitcoin and blockchain proponent, developer of blockchain apps, and proven crypto / commodities trader with years of accurate calls on the markets.