#19: Everything You Need To Know About CRYPTO, & How To Invest w/ Matthew and Micah, Co-Founders of Mage

Hello! I’m Julian and I’m a Gen Z entrepreneur, software engineer, and podcaster. I am the fusion of an ambitious entrepreneur, a tech whiz, a futurist, a productivity aficionado, and a self-improvement junkie.
I am currently a Software Engineer at Facebook and the Co-Founder & CTO at a startup named Vize. Previously, I have interned with Facebook, LinkedIn, and Goldman Sachs. Learn about me at www.julianalvarez.me

As I got older, I started to realize more of the inequalities and inequities. I just want to be part of the solution that brings abundance to everyone. I want to show people this frictionless environment. I want to work towards abundance.

– Matthew Chivers

Cryptocurrency is the fastest growing technology in history. Its current growth rate is 113% annually and it’s the first asset to have gone up 2 million percent since its inception. It’s accelerating twice as fast as the Internet did during the dot-com boom. Visualize this: 140M crypto users exist today, but this number will scale to 1B by 2024.

Matthew Chivers and Micah Baylor are propelling this movement forward through Mage, a blockchain consulting company that provides a range of services to accelerate the adoption of blockchain technologies. They consult across crypto, blockchain, digital real estate, sales strategy and sales development.

Matthew is the Co-Founder and CEO at Mage. As a former banker, he has experienced firsthand how large banks operate and recognized existing flaws in our current financial systems. Micah is the Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer at Mage and an entrepreneur and speaker focused on welcoming in convergence and our inevitable future of technology. He pursued a career in sales before he was completely captivated by the fascinating world of crypto.

Problems that are broad deserve decentralized solutions and problems that are very specific deserve centralized solutions.”

– Micah Baylor

💬 Discussed in this episode…

● [3:31] Matthew and Micah’s stories and how they got involved in the crypto universe
● [6:44] How they think about money
● [9:52] What problems exist with the way money works today
● [17:37] Realizing the global context of how others transact and are being left out
● [25:07] Why Bitcoin’s scarcity component makes it good to store value
● [26:06] How Bitcoin solves our payment problems
● [28:46] What decentralized finance or “defy” is and why it’s the next big thing
● [37:13] The opportunities they are taking advantage of at Mage
● [46:49] Matthew’s learning experiences as a first-time founder
● [47:51] The one WhatsApp message Micah would send to entrepreneurs all over the world
● [51:30] Advice for entrepreneurs getting into the Blockchain space
● [55:00] What factors they consider when deciding what cryptos to invest in
● [59:32] Do some problems require decentralization in order to be solved?
● [01:01:15] Why Micah and Matthew still invest in stocks
● [01:02:17] Resources they would recommend
● [01:04:27] Impact they want to have in inventing the future

What PROBLEM is the problem with the existing financial infrastructure?

61% of people globally do not have a bank account. There are barriers that cause friction to acquiring this essential service: a legal identity, credit history, age, and proof of residency. Even for those with access, the banks in their country may not be trustworthy.

Banks often abuse their power to freeze or close bank accounts. While this can decrease the number of clients engaging in illegal activities, governments (like in Nigeria) can close down bank accounts of organizations that are protesting against them. In this scenario, Bitcoin served as a platform through which they could receive donations and payments, financing their protests without government intervention.

“With the way money works, you don’t realize that there is a problem until you take in the global context of how people in different parts of the world transact and how they are being left out of essential financial services.”

– Julian Alvarez.

Moreover, the US government owes a towering debt of $16T. They remedy this by printing money or raising taxes, which hurts the global economy. Money printing raises inflation rates, decreasing the value of the existing US dollar. You’re incentivized to spend your money now instead of saving it, which is not in the best interest of your financial future. Tesla, for example, bought bitcoin to hedge against government money printing.

Additionally, wire transfers cost anywhere from $10-$75, PayPal fees cost around 3%, and credit card fees are 3-5%. Overseas transfers can take days while blockchain takes minutes.

🛠️ What is Mage’s SOLUTION?

The trend is clear. We’ve transitioned as a developed society from commerce to e-commerce, mail to e-mail, and now we are making the transition from money to e-money.

“One of the beautiful things about crypto is the everything is fractionalized. Like you don’t have to buy one Bitcoin, you can buy $1 of one Bitcoin.”

– Micah Baylor

First, cryptocurrency is the future.
Bitcoin is the only token that will ever work as a storage of value. Unlike paper money that can be printed, there are only 21 million bitcoins that can ever be mined. Unlike gold that cannot be subdivided into parts and is difficult to transport, Bitcoin is a digital currency that still offers the scarcity component. It is THE primary digital asset that stores value, while other crypto assets will occupy the rest of the portfolio. Unlike real estate, bitcoin also allows for asset mobility. Buildings depreciate, are immobile and in finite supply, and there’s no real governing body over it.

Second, digital real estate is an increasingly valuable asset in the metaverse.
Mage partners with megabitbroker.io, a digital real estate division. They purchase and lease out NFT parcels in the metaverse, which are crypto voxels or boxes that live on the Ethereum blockchain. Consumers can lease their parcel property, or website, through the front ends of a website that connect to the blockchain database. Digital assets can be posted and purchased on these properties through Metamask, a frictionless payment layer to the Ethereum blockchain. It’s a global currency with a global market.

To navigate this space fluidly, they launched a four-week course on crypto, NFT, and DEFI that is available now here: https://www.notion.so/Intro-to-Crypto-DeFi-and-NFTs-096e0b97dfc0497b9ac22ebfee5eac2d.

Mage’s mission is to “be your Digital Sherpa for all things Blockchain.”
Essentially, Mage provides people the opportunity to experience the metaverse by producing these assets and engaging in forward-thinking in this new space.

💣 2 Value Bombs

💥 1. Master your personal flow cycle: where you feel your best and do your best work. Get really comfortable with recovery, sleeping, and taking care of yourself. Where do you want to direct your energy? What do you want to run really hard at? Define hard and clear goals. This will empower you to subconsciously make lifestyle decisions that further your progress. If I drink a lot tonight, will I be fully functioning tomorrow? This internal synergy between your actions and your vision will allow you to flourish.
💥 2. Have a cryptocurrency STRATEGY. At Thanksgiving, your family members aren’t discussing the money they lost, they’re discussing the massive returns they made. This does not reflect reality; in 2017, many invested in cryptocurrency and were burnt. Never sell your original investments and simply jump into a stable token strategy. If the market goes down, the stable tokens are pegged. You’re still collecting incredible yields and can recapitalize, buy back in, cover your position, and get more Bitcoin with ease. It’s all in the approach.

📚 People & Resources Mentioned 

DEFI – The Future Of Finance Explained — Phenomenal 15 min overview on DEFI
What Does it Mean to go Bankless? What is DEFI? — 3 hour deep dive into crypto
Intro to Crypto, DeFi, and NFTs — A comprehensive written guide by Micah Baylor
https://discord.gg/uqME9cp where you can communicate with Matthew and Micah
Block Fi Credit Card (partnership with Visa) with 1.5% back in Bitcoin on every purchase

📱 Socials

● Micah Baylor’s LinkedIn
● Matthew Chivers’ LinkedIn
● Matthew Chivers’ Instagram
● Mage’s Website
● Mage’s LinkedIn
● Mage’s Metaverse Instagram
● Mage’s Blockchain Instagram
● Mage’s Arts Management Instagram

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