E62: John on Building Zaprite, Getting Paid in Bitcoin, and Accounting on a Bitcoin Standard
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show Notes

John is the CEO and Founder of Zaprite, an invoicing platform that helps anyone get paid in Bitcoin.

In our talk, we spoke about how Zaprite’s product works, the challenges keeping people from getting paid in Bitcoin, and the things people really care about when accepting payments: fees, speed, and stability.

→ Zaprite: https://zaprite.com/


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00:00 - Intro

02:11 - John from Zaprite Intro

12:20 - How To Get People Earning Bitcoin

20:34 - Payment Fees, Speed, and Price Stability

37:19 - Aggregating Balances Across Lightning Wallets

42:55 - KYC Rules for Bitcoin Invoicing and Accounting Software

47:43 - Operating a Bitcoin Startup in an Uncertain World

1:02:39 - Austin’s Bitcoin Community

1:11:58 - The Lightning Round


John - 00:00:00:

I think we need to actually rethink how we do accounting from the ground up. I think now that we have this third ledger, this double entry bookkeeping, plus this third open ledger, we have to now start thinking about how we can build accounting from scratch that just literally connects to the time chain or connects to your node and is able to pull the information and do its accounting right there and then from that whole suite of merchant tools. The natural kind of flow then is to start offering things like POS, event tickets, subscription models, donation pages like ecommerce stores. But I think the accounting side of it, the tax side of it, the capital gain tax, all of these different things that people automatically just think like, oh, wow, that's going to be a nightmare to deal with all that stuff. I don't want to have to deal with that. Every little sat that comes in, everything that comes in, has to be accounted for. Capital gains tax, all this kind of stuff. I think that scares a lot of people off as well. With bitcoin, it is a race to the bottom. It's to zero. And so what you're incentivized to do is instead of becoming a rate event seeker, you actually have to provide some real value and real service to users.

Kevin Rooke - 00:01:10:

John is the CEO and founder of Zaprite, an invoicing platform that makes it easy for anyone to get paid in bitcoin. In our conversation, we discussed exactly how Zaprite's product works today. We discussed the challenges limiting bitcoin adoption and limiting people getting paid in bitcoin today. And we also discussed what people really care about between fees and speed and stability when it comes to payments. I've also added John to today's show splits. So if you enjoy this episode and if you learn something new, the best way you can support this show is by sending in sats over the Lightning Network. You can use any Podcasting 2.0 app, but Fountain is my favorite one to use. If you are new to Podcasting 2.0, quick shout out. Today's show is sponsored by Voltage. Voltage is the industry standard and next generation provider of Lightning Network infrastructure. Today's show is also sponsored by Zebedee, and Zebedee is your portal into the world of bitcoin gaming. We'll have more for Voltage and Zebedee later in the show. John, welcome to the show. Thank you for joining me today. And I'm excited to chat all about Zaprite and what you're building. Before we get into it, though, let's start with your background history in bitcoin and why you decided to build Zaprite?

John - 00:02:28:

Yeah, sure. Thanks for having me on, Kevin. I appreciate it. It's a pleasure to be here. Yeah. So my story starting bitcoin started in 2013, actually. I really wish I could remember what article I read that got me interested in bitcoin, but it was right before the kind of Mt. Gox run up. I think it was like the middle of 2013, something like that. That's when I first got interested in it. Downloaded a node, run a node, started buying a little bit of bitcoin self custody to the all that kind of stuff, then kind of forgot about it after a while. And it wasn't until 2016 I started to get back into it, got sucked into the whole 2017 ICO craziness, and then came out the other side of that in 2018 as a hardened bitcoin maxi. And that's when I really started to look into bitcoin for what it was like, the money aspect of it. And I tried to figure out what exactly I could do to get involved in bitcoin. Like, I wasn't a developer, like a full stack developer or anything, like a back end engineer, so I couldn't review code or any of that kind of stuff, but I was really interested in getting involved in some way. And eventually, basically, I was a customer of Bull Bitcoins in Canada where I was living at the time, and I had been using their platform, and as a designer, graphic designer, like web designer, I just thought their front end could be a lot better. And so I spent a weekend doing open mockup for UI UX to improve their bitcoin outlet stores it was at the time, and sent it to Francis and said, like, hey, love your product, but here's how you can make it look way better. And he loved that, and he hired me to do work for Bull Bitcoin. And so that's how I actually got my break into bitcoin. And that's really then what prompted me to start thinking about Zaprite was because I needed a tool then to actually invoice properly for bitcoin, because I was actually billing in bitcoin for my time to build bitcoin. At least they were paying me in bitcoin, and I was trying to run a Casa node. I was trying to run BTC pay server from that at home in my living room, trying to expose those URLs to make the invoices public and things like that. And it was just kind of a mess, even for somebody like tech literate like myself. And so I was in the back of my mind, there was this idea that I should build an invoicing platform. And so when all the kind of COVID madness hit in 2020, I thought, all right, now, this is my time. I should roll out this idea I've been thinking of. And so I started kind of just playing around with this side hobby project like called Zaprite. And that was kind of the intro to how I went from getting into bitcoin to eventually building a bitcoin product.

Kevin Rooke - 00:05:11:

Very cool. So you're scratching your own itch here. You had a problem as a contractor, and this is the solution to that problem. I want to understand now, how far does the scope of Zaprite extend beyond invoicing for contractors, right? Because that was like a foot in the door. Where do you go from here? What's the vision for the company?

John - 00:05:37:

Yeah, exactly. So scratching pretty much at the start for myself and it was a very niche product for a niche market. Which is still kind of a niche market. I guess. But it was just the invoicing aspect of it very simple. Generate an invoice just like any other invoicing tool that was available. But we would then go and get the live bitcoin price and pull your bitcoin address and generate the QR code and give you the hosted payment page that was needed. So very simple, but served the very basic need. And now I think there's a great opportunity to expand that out. So there's a couple of different things that Zaprite’s going to do. First and foremost, it's going to concentrate on just building the tools that allow individuals, whether you're like a freelancer contractor or a small business, to actually start accepting bitcoin. And that's really the core aspect. It's just trying to make it easier for people to migrate over to a bitcoin standard, either completely or slowly at the start, right? Maybe only one in ten invoices maybe go out to bitcoin payment to bitcoin payers or things like that. So you can start slow and then eventually build up and be fully on a bitcoin standard. And so the way we facilitate that at the moment is we obviously offer the still the bitcoin invoicing aspect that's been there since the MVP. But now I've added in, for example, Strike credit card payments. So now you can actually connect your own Strike account and so you can offer that dual option to payers when they see your hosted invoice on Zaprite, it'll show them the option of credit card or bitcoin. And the next logical step on that then is, okay, well, now we can actually offer them a discount, so we can try and incentivize them to pay in bitcoin. So we can have a little sticker or badge that says 5% off or 10% off if you pay in bitcoin. And that might get people curious, be like, oh, well, where can I get some bitcoin? I want 10% off this invoice. And then maybe you can have revenue share models or lead generation or sign ups to other exchanges where people can go and buy the bitcoin. And then through APIs, we can get our invoice paid automatically through the sign up process. So there's all things like that where we can incentivize not just the merchants to onboard to Zaprite, to start earning bitcoin, but we can actually incentivize the payers on the other side to start paying as well. So from that whole suite of merchant tools, the natural kind of flow then is to start offering things like POS event tickets, subscription models, donation pages like ecommerce stores, things like that, widgets that you can just add to a blog. If you want to take a donation, we'll just give you a little JavaScript snippet or button you can drop on your site and then all of that just connect back over to a custom checkout page that you can build on Zaprite so essentially what we're going to do is we're just going to offer a hosted, branded checkout page which connects to any wallet that you want to connect it to, whether it's fully self custodial, where it's your node running at home like an Umbrel or start nine or something. You can do the fully self custodial route or you can connect your Strike account if you want to connect the Strike account. And we'll just generate through the Strike API a QR code. So now all your payments go directly into your Strike account. So whatever it is you're comfortable with doing, we'll just provide all these amazing fluid UIUX wrappers for the tools that allow you to earn and manage your Bitcoin as a small business or contractor.

Kevin Rooke - 00:09:02:

Interesting. So is it right then to think like the constraint here for Zaprite, business is going to be on finding new people that want to earn Bitcoin rather than the people wanting to pay, right? Like if you can get the earners and you can give the earners the tools to then accept payments through a credit card or through Bitcoin or whatever, like all the different methods you mentioned, then anyone should be able to pay, right, and they have no problem making that payment. Is that the idea that first you have to get the earners on board?

John - 00:09:35:

Absolutely, yeah. It's definitely focused first and foremost on the earners. Like I mentioned, that's where the product came from. Scratching my own itch as an earner, I needed that tool. And I think it's a powerful market to try and tap into because one of the things, if you kind of abstract the money aspect out of Bitcoin for the moment and just concentrate on what Bitcoin is, fundamentally what it does to people when they get interested in it and they understand it, is it gives them this kind of idea of high and low time preference. And as you all know, like, as Bitcoin as we all start to think differently and we start to have this brighter hope for the future and we want to become better people and we want to have a much lower time preference, so we start to look after our finances, our savings, our health, our education, all of these things. And I think that's something that I wish that was more focused on. Our people knew first and foremost before they kind of like number go up stuff. That's all great and it sucks the people in, but I think if a lot of people knew how it fundamentally changes you for the better as a person, it would be a really good selling point as well. And I think earning accelerates that I think if you can get somebody to concentrate on the earnings side of it first, it really focuses them in on that side of bitcoin. Because what happens is if you're earning, particularly if you're earning 100% of your income on bitcoin, you now have to think really hard about what you're spending those stocks on, right? So you just become a better manager of your money, a better manager of your time, you start to think a lot more about the value of different things that you spend money on. And so I think there's a fundamental difference between people earning Bitcoin and people just buying it on an exchange with whatever leftover cash they have that month after paying their bills. Right, that's great. She encouraged people to do that, for sure, but that's kind of thought of as like, that's the savings, right? It's like, I've paid all my bills now, I'm like, whatever I have left over, I'm going to save it in bitcoin instead of leaving it in the bank. Like. Okay. Great. But if you're actually earning it right from the start and all your bills have to be paid in bitcoin as well. Which is not easy right now. Granted. But it definitely changes you to think a little bit differently about you have all of those low time reference things start to kick in and you just start thinking about your money and managing your money a lot better. Which brings you back to why bitcoin is fundamentally better money than anything else that exists. So I think the earnings side of it yeah, for sure, is like a really critical aspect of trying to get people on board.

Kevin Rooke - 00:12:20:

Okay, that's interesting. If earning then is the catalyst that gets people to understand the low time preference ideas in bitcoin, how do you get people to start earning? How do you kick start the earning process so that they can then kickstart the low time preference?

John - 00:12:38:

Yeah, exactly. This is something that I guess all kind of bitcoin companies struggle with, is trying to onboard users, particularly like traditional users that are using tools in the Fiat world, trying to convince them to move over, to start using bitcoin tools. That's definitely one of the hardest aspects of it, is trying to do that. And I think one of the biggest roadblocks, I think the reason why it's one of the harder things is a lot of people maybe don't understand bitcoin first and foremost, and that kind of like scares them a little bit as well. But I think the accounting side of it, the tax side of it, the capital gains tax, all of these different things that people automatically just think like, oh, well, that's going to be a nightmare to deal with all that stuff. I don't want to have to deal with that. Every little sat that comes in, everything that comes in has to be accounted for. And the capital gains tax, all this kind of stuff. I think that scares a lot of people off as well. So one of the aspects which you kind of touched on before from the Zap viewpoint is the larger kind of long term play with Zaprite. Is once we have all these merchant tools in place where we're onboarding people in to be able to use their POS or the Ecommerce or ticket sales or whatever it might be that you're doing or invoicing. We can then start to build an accounting layer on top of that. And we can actually build tools that allow people to very easily see. Okay. This is how much money I took in this month. This was the USD or whatever the fiat currency is you're using. This was the cost basis of it all. This is any unchained capital gains or losses that I have right now in my business. Within my satellite dashboard, I can see everything, and it makes it super easy to manage your bitcoin inflows and outflows as a business. So I think to answer that question about how do you get people into that mindset of, like, earning is I think fundamentally we have to just build better tools that solve a lot of the problems that they have, like I said, particularly around the accounting, tax reporting, all that kind of aspect. And that's going to be a big part of Zaprites roadmap as well in the future, is building this accounting system and this reporting system on top of the merchant tools so that you actually can feel comfortable onboarding yourself or your business, knowing that you'll have this information at your fingertips when you need it.

Kevin Rooke - 00:14:57:

And I mean, that's something that's going to get even more complicated and more necessary in the Lightning ecosystem with all the different ways you can earn on Lightning. All of a sudden, in a lot of cases, these are very small transaction amounts, but you start adding them up and eventually things get to like right now, I think I'm on this through the show, through Stacker News, through things like that. I'm earning hundreds of thousands of sats a month, and that's enough of an amount that you got to be able to account for this stuff. You've got to be able to report it, right? It might be different if you were earning ten cents one time and you just kind of like, write it off, whatever, but you're actually earning money. It's like you got to be able to account for that. And I think the proliferation of tools that we're seeing now, allowing people to earn is going to lead to this requirement for tools that help people understand how they're earning and help people report on their earnings. I'm really excited about this. I think there's a massive opportunity there because I just look at the number of transactions that I have on a daily basis and I'm like. Oh man. This is going to be I got to manually go through every app. Luckily has like CSV exports and things like that. But I got to manually go through each one and do that one by one to keep track of things. It seems like that's going to be a new use case that people are going to need accounting software for.

John - 00:16:34:

Absolutely. I think 100%, if we keep heading in the direction we are, in, the direction we all think we're going, where we're all going to be on the Bitcoin standard at some point inevitably in the future, and we're all starting to earn more either through tools like Saploid or even like Stacker News or fountain or wherever you're getting Sat streamed in. You've got to have better tools to be able to manage that just at a very basic level. To be able to see this flow of sats coming in and being able to calculate right now. Unfortunately. We need to be able to calculate the capital gain on that when Bitcoin becomes digital or becomes like legal tender. We won't have to do that. But unfortunately we're going to have this period of time in between. We don't know how long that's going to last, but certainly if you're earning significant amounts of money, you have to account for it now, not just from the tax standpoint of it. Like nobody likes paying taxes, but you don't want to get on the wrong side of the tax collector. But even just from a fundamental business perspective, you just need to know how your business is operating. So even if we're operating on a Fiat standard or a gold standard or a Bitcoin standard or whatever it might be, you still need basic accounting tools to figure out how your business is operating, whether you're running a healthy business or not. And one of the things with Bitcoin I think we have darren Feinstein talks about this quite a bit as well. And a few others. Is we have this 700 year old double entry accounting system and I don't think it's going to be enough where tools like. Say. QuickBooks can just bolt in. Say. BTC as another ticker symbol into their list of currencies and like the way they go. I think we need to actually rethink how we do accounting from the ground up. I think now that we have this third ledger, this double entry bookkeeping, plus this third open ledger, we have to now start thinking about how we can build accounting from scratch that just literally connects to the time chain or connects to your node and is able to pull the information and do its accounting right there. And then there's so much information, C, Lightning nodes and on chain, that you need to approach it from a different angle. You need to be able to look at inputs, look at outputs, look at tap, DLCs, multi stick, all this kind of stuff. You need to be able to parse these transactions, split out fees, figure out where this money has gone into different accounts and have different accounts for each type. And then of course, you got stuff like what Nifty and I is doing with the bookkeeper plugin on top of Core Lightning, which does basic bookkeeping features by just running this plug in on top, and it actually just talks to your node and extracts the information. So I think we need all these tools that are just thought of from a different viewpoint to incorporate bitcoin standard into. So what I'm really interested in doing. Because I think you're right. I think this space over the next. Certainly over the next decade and longer. It's going to be a huge space because I think we need to start building tools that think about it. Like I said. Right from scratch. Like build it from scratch and think about these tools from a Bitcoin only perspective and temporarily. Both in the Fiat rails. Just for as much time as we need it and then yank them back out again when we don't need them. I don't think we should be doing this. Like I said, plug BTC into QuickBooks and that's okay for now and then we'll deal with it later. So I think there's a huge opportunity to build systems that actually account for sat flow and things like that from things like Fountain and Stacker News and Lightning nodes that are doing Liquidity and things like that. It's going to be a huge space, I think, over the next decade.

Kevin Rooke - 00:20:35:

Yeah, so this is very much a bitcoin native approach to invoicing and accounting software. When you think about the trade offs people care about when they're earning bitcoin, or earning any money for that matter. I think of a few that come to mind, speed being one of them, fees being one of them, short term price stability is another one. What do you think people care most about? What have you learned from the users you have now? Where do you think that's headed? And I'm trying to get an idea for where these transactions are going to be taking place over time. Is this going to be happening on bitcoin's main chain? Is going to be happening on a side chain like Liquid? Is this going to be happening on Lightning? And I think those different factors. The answer depends on what people prefer, right?

John - 00:21:32:

Yeah, I think it's a very tough question to answer because things are evolving so fast, right? We look how fast Lightning Network is developing now. We're like well over 4000 bitcoin on the Lightning Network you're able to accept bigger and bigger payments, whereas before it was thought of as just like really small payments, right? Like, I went out to dinner last night here in Austin with a whole bunch of bitcoiners, and I paid a bill that was like $150 over Lightning. So that was no problem. Just went through straight away. So we got to start thinking About this. So there's a couple of different answers to that question. So I guess I'll kind of back up and talk about the things that customers are concerned about. So you've got a couple of different types of customers. I mean, you've got people that are based in the Western world. A lot of North American users that are using Zaprite? And they're bitcoin and so they're familiar with both on Chain and Lightning. So their main concerns are just having a product that works. So, like, all these different features. So a lot of the feedback I'm getting right now is about feature sets and tweaks and different UI updates and oh, hey, I noticed when I'm adding a task to the project management, can you have this extra field where I added in or when I import my contacts, I'd like to be able to give them a company name, not just a person name. And I'd like to be able to put a reference field in there as well. So all these little different things that they just want to be able to use the product in a much smoother way. And I guess that ties into then, like, a lot of certainly if you're earning sending out invoices for ten, $20000, and we've seen invoices in Zaprite, that are going out for like $30000 plus So if you're invoicing that type of money, you're going to do that on chain right now. Right now. There may be come a time in the future where you can do that enlightening then we've also got the fetiment thing. If this takes off and people start using Fetishment tokens, we're going to have to think about that aspect of it as well. I've got Liquid in there as well, where people can take in LBTC and they can maybe do Tether on that as well. If I start thinking about how stable coins might be integrated. And this is something that I am thinking about, because I've been talking to a few people over the last couple of months who have given me, like, these very different use cases for how stable coins would fit into the mix. Some people are. Well, we want to use that. Right. We're based in Africa or central South America and we don't want the volatility of bitcoin right now. But we don't have access to the right banking tools. So we want a stablecoin. And then you've got that same kind of use case, but from the other side where you have companies and individuals in North America who want to hire contractors who are based in these places, and they want to be able to pay them in Bitcoin and have that converted to stablecoin on the other side because that's what these people are wanting. So there is the kind of opposite use case of that as well, which is being discussed and people have requested that. So there's a lot of different moving parts and a lot of different aspects to it, which I think could be solved. Obviously we haven't got there yet with separate, but there's so many different areas that we can think of integrating and obviously they'll just keep expanding. Like I said, with things like FedRAMP coming in, okay, now we got to deal with tokens. And how does that work? Because you're going to have different tokens issued from different FedRAMP. It's an evolving industry for sure, but I think it's an exciting opportunity to integrate a lot of these different things and think about very unique use cases that may come up in the future or stuff that we can't even imagine will come up in the future. But I think that because we have some of the greatest people working in this space that we have a huge opportunity to very quickly iterate through all of this stuff and provide some real value for users.

Kevin Rooke - 00:25:46:

So do you know today what the mix is between people paying in bitcoin versus I think people can pay in credit card right now, right?

John - 00:25:56:

Yeah. So I've added in the stripe credit card functionality in there. I don't have stocks on that yet, it's only been in there about a month and I haven't been able to pull out the stacks on it yet, but that would certainly be an interesting thing to see. My gut tells me that it's not going to be huge, at least right now in the first month, because I would imagine that all the users that have signed on to that right, so far have done so because they're interested in the bitcoin earning side of it. Whereas I think the stripe credit card aspect is more just a tool for me to be able to hopefully reach out to that bigger market and attract those people in who are like, well, I already use this other invoicing tool over here. I don't want to use two tools, like one to invoice people in bitcoin and another standard one I'm using. And so for me, integrating stripe in there was just another way that I can say, well, hey, now, you can still offer both to your users, like, come on over to Zaprite? You can give them the choice. And I think having stripe in there as well, to be perfectly honest, I kind of struggled with that decision of adding stripe in because like I said, I'm just like hardcore bitcoin maxi and I didn't really want to build a tool that makes it easier for people to move fiat around. And so I resisted putting credit card payments in there for quite a while. And the thing that changed my mind eventually was Open Node announcing that they're testing a plugin that connects to stripe that allows you to automatically convert all of your stripe credit card payments into bitcoin. And I think that's like pretty huge. So if you have an Open Node account and a stripe account, You can just connect them and every single Stripe payment that comes in, stripe will just plug into OpenNode and send it over, and Open Node will convert it to Bitcoin. So that's kind of similar to, say, what IBX or any of these POS systems are doing right now, where you can take in Bitcoin and they'll convert it to USD on the other side. So you're just seeing this integration between Stripe and OpenNode, which allows the opposite. You can now get paid in Fiat and have it auto convert to Bitcoin on the other end. So I think that's pretty cool, and I think there will be more and more tools like that on both sides of the argument. So from the merchant side and the user side, and we'll see a lot more of that kind of streamlined transfer between Fiat and Bitcoin, particularly with things like Strike and Cash App. You can scan a regular Lightning QR code now with a Strike up and it can pull out of your dollars and send over the Lightning Network. That's pretty cool, right? So you can imagine that spreading out to every other app that's out there, and all of a sudden now we have this really seamless interoperability between Fiat and Bitcoin Rails. And so now you can start to offer all these tools that just give people complete freedom about what they want to do and just manage it on both sides.

Kevin Rooke - 00:28:56:

Yeah, that seems really important to be able to unlock both sides without having to agree on we're both going to Transact and Bitcoin. We're both going to transaction dollars. If the earner wants to receive Bitcoin and Payer wants to send dollars, it's fine. It doesn't matter because we have the Seamless bridge now. Have you thought through any of the interesting applications that might come about at a time when we have seamless bridges between USD and Bitcoin? We have a couple of them right now in select markets. You mentioned Strike and a couple of others, but like, I get the sense this is not a global thing right now. It's hard to still seamlessly move between currencies as you pay people or as you receive money. What are some of the interesting applications that could appear at a time when anyone in the world anywhere, can instantly switch between Bitcoin or Dollars when they send or receive money?

John - 00:29:58:

Yeah, that's a great question. I wish I had a straight off answer off the top of my head, but I think pretty much the short answer is everything is game. Everything is game. I think everything has to be rebuilt on this new standard. So pretty much take any existing kind of Fiat app that exists right now and we need to build that. With Lightning Rails integrated, there's going to be so many things that we can simply need to be rebuilt. Like take Zaprite, for example. It's just invoicing. Okay, now we need to rebuild that added Lightning. So that's like, really simple example. But in terms of just converting everything over, I think there's an opportunity for so many businesses to start up that just take these existing companies and just integrate them on a fully native bitcoin Lightning standard in terms of what future businesses that could come up. I mean, man, I can't even think about the sky's the limit on that one. I don't know if you have any off the top of your head, but there's so many things that we could think of because traditional markets, everything tends to be like siloed. Right. Jack Mahler's talks about this a lot, where Cash App users can't send money to Strike users, to demo users. It's not interoperable. And they all have these closed systems. Now, I guess you can with some of them with Lightning where you're just scanning QR code codes. But I think that's where the excitement comes in, is that because everybody is fundamentally on this open monetary network, that's where we can start to see all these crazy innovations, where you can just make a payment, like, somewhere, and it just hops between different products and you get this amazing value on the other side without even thinking about it. Because you've been able to seamlessly integrate all these different services. There's a lot of things that could be built on that side of it when we get everybody onto this standard model monetary network.

Kevin Rooke - 00:32:08:

Yeah, I mean, it's really challenging to think about what some of these new business models are going to be or what some of these use cases are going to be. Even still, for the last 10, 15 years in the Internet's evolution, people had a really hard time even predicting a year or two into the future. Like a year before Snapchat comes out. No one was going, oh, we're really dying for Snapchat to exist. Like, someone's going to build it. I don't think that was true. And a year before Uber came out, no one was going like, oh, we're dying for Uber. We need Uber. I think it happens super quickly. By the time you realize you need it, it's there. There's not a big lag period of like 510 years into the future often. Yeah, but I think one way that I've started to think about how to predict some of these things or where opportunities might arise is just by looking at the apps on my phone today and looking at every single one of them as a business and say, like, how does this business make money? And where do payments come from? Where do they go to? Who's left holding the bag? Who doesn't get any of the payments? Are there different ways in which seamless money transfers could change the relationship between the participants in that particular business? And you can go through all the 50 or 100 apps you got on your phone and probably find a bunch of businesses where that relationship is going to change one example for a podcasting example is you look at Spotify and you think like. Spotify is earning all this money on ads. Listeners get none of it. YouTube listeners get none of it or viewers get none of it. We can change that relationship. We have the tool to allow the viewers and the listeners and the people who are actually making the platform valuable. We have a tool to reward them. And so that's one example. There's going to be a ton of them though it's anywhere that we had to find workarounds because we didn't have an ideal payment system. I think now we do have this ideal payment system. What do we unlock? We unlock all those things that we couldn't build before because there's things that were constrained by the payment system itself. And I think if YouTube had existed or was built today and we had a Lightning integration from the get go, maybe they would have leveraged that. Maybe they would have used that to bootstrap an audience because, hey, everyone doesn't want to be paid for contributing to this platform, right?

John - 00:35:08:

Yeah, absolutely. I think you hit the nail on the head there and that kind of goes back to what I mentioned before. But every single business that exists now is ripe for disruption because it needs to be first and foremost transferred over to the Lightning Network and we see a perfect example of that with Kian and Stacker News. Right? I know you're a big fan of Stacker News. It's the same thing. It's like right, well, I mean, I'm going to contribute value to this business, to this forum by bringing my thoughts, my ideas and sharing my comments and interacting with the community there. And I'm going to get value back because now I can earn sats and that wouldn't have been possible before, right? Because you can't really do that on credit cards or with anything else. Right. So it's just a great incentive there to do things like that and I think we're going to see a lot more of that. The value for value side of it is huge. Like I think the stuff there that we probably haven't even considered yet, right. The whole reward side of things and earning satisfaction, which I guess kind of like ties into the earning side of it as well, is that you can actually start using more tools now that value your time, whatever it is that you're doing. You can participate in this open market where you're actually getting something back in reward for your time or your thoughts or your education, whatever it is that you're putting into it. So yeah, I think it's really exciting to kind of try and think about what's going to come down the line with that. But I think you're right. Just looking at your phone and looking at all the apps, it's like, okay, well, all of this stuff needs to be updated to run on Lightning for sure, and then that opens up, like, a whole world of possibilities.

Kevin Rooke - 00:36:48:

I hope you're enjoying the show so far. I just want to give a quick shout out to our sponsor, Voltage. Voltage is the industry standard for Lightning Network infrastructure, creating layer two applications and services on top of Bitcoin starts with Voltage, where you can spin up nodes, get access to liquidity, optimize your node, and much more. Voltage is leading the way as the next generation provider of Lightning Network infrastructure. And if you want to get a free trial and start using Voltage today, you can do so at Voltage Cloud. And now with new opportunities, also come new challenges and problems that need to be addressed. One of the problems that I've started to notice is that I think I would call myself a power user of Lightning apps, where I have a lot of them on the go. I've tried a bunch of different apps. I've earned a little bit here and there on a bunch of different platforms, and I am now recognizing that I have, like, a handful of different wallets that all have small balances that are all going to be manually. At some point, I have to decide to move them all to one wallet or to do something with those funds, and I have to figure out what to do with all the different wallets. And do I need to have five or ten of them? Can I just do it all in one? I'd love for someone to build that solution to basically let me see all of my transactions in a single place. And I wonder how this app will be built and where it will live. Is this something that has to come from a Lightning node? That might be one place where you could aggregate all these transactions and have Stacker News, who send funds directly to my Lightning node? Have Fountain sends funds directly to my Lightning node. I wonder, is there a custodial way to build this as well? What do you think the solution is for this really spread out ecosystem of earning right now?

John - 00:38:55:

Yeah, that's kind of something that's Upright is trying to solve, right? I mean, the long term goal to kind of go back on the accounting aspect of it that I've been thinking about for a very long time. I've tried to think about this problem in terms of, okay, well, I started that right, because I needed to earn myself. I was earning Bitcoin and I need to send out an invoice. Okay, great. Now I've got that. Then I moved down to Austin and I spin it up as a proper business to start up. And I started raising money, and I'm like, okay, well, now I have a proper business with a corporate account. I'm paying contractors and developers in Bitcoin. I'm trying to run it up right as a 100% bitcoin only company. So I'm paying for my hosting in Bitcoin and paying everything I possibly can. But I do have like credit cards and other things as well. I have different accounts that go out for different things. I got mobile wallets, I got desktop wallets, I got hardware wallets, I got different things that are like managing Zaprites, Bitcoin, Treasury. And so very early on I started to think, okay, well, okay, now we need better accounting tools and money management tools for companies that are going to move on to a Bitcoin standard. And so this ties into the long term goal I was mentioning earlier about having this all in one accounting tool built on top of all these merchant services tools that we're offering. So not only will you get access to, like I said, your POS, your Invoicing donation pages, check out forms, all this kind of stuff, but we'll have this accounting layer on top of it. And the idea is that you can plug whatever wallet you want into that. So if you've got three different phone wallets and like two different desktop wallets, and you're using Strike as well, and now you're using some other custody, third party custody, and maybe you've got an exchange as well, where you buy and sell your Bitcoin to be able to keep your treasury topped up. The idea is that you'll plug all these in and then Zaprite can offer a dashboard that shows you like, hey, you've got like twelve different wallets connected and this one is tagged for invoices, this one is tagged for event tickets, this one is tagged for spending. Like this one is tagged for whatever. And then we can start to aggregate all of that and then provide all the overall reporting and charts and everything that shows you. Like this is your overall picture of everything that you're doing for all of those wallets together. And that would be more from a business perspective. If you're running a business, you might have like a hot wallet, like you're running wasabi or something. You got a hot wallet, you got some hardware wallet, you got some exchange accounts, and you got some phone wallet for day to day spending. So that would allow you to more easily manage all your business stuff on the personal side of that as well, I think maybe Zaprite, can solve this in the future as well, but particularly from a personal side of it because I think you're right as somebody like yourself, like a Lightning power user, you've got this sat flow coming in from so many different places. So even on a personal basis we need to be able to just account for all that or at least, at least be able to just see an overall picture of like, well, how much did I earn last month? Right? I've got these four or five, six different wallets. Do I got to go into all of them? I can check the dates and see what came in when and try and export it into a spreadsheet. And so that's, I think, something that Saffron could solve eventually. It's what we hope to solve. Is that just make all of that easier. Where you just connect to a node. Connect to a wallet. Like whatever it might be. And we'll be able to run all those reports for you and give you this really quick snapshot of your Bitcoin finances. Basically all while trying to do it in the most noncustodial privacy preserving way. Which I know is difficult when people are giving you expo and things like that and access to phone calls. It's very hard to do, but hopefully we can figure out the best way to do all of that in a way that users will be comfortable with.

Kevin Rooke - 00:42:55:

I saw on the site on Zaprite? You guys plan to be KYC free forever. What are the blockers there that might get in the way? What are the constraints you have to work within now? Because it seems like that's going to become a target or like a hotspot for people to try and get access to this kind of information if you're operating like an invoice or accounting service.

John - 00:43:26:

Yeah, exactly. Right now we're KYC free, we're noncustodial. If you want to sign up for Zap, all you need to do is put in an email address and then you've got access. We just use passwordless login who will send you a magic link. You get access to the site, you can start sending invoices right away. And because we ask you to connect your own wallet where it's manually pasting in a Bitcoin address, or connecting your own, like, umbrella or Mino, you can do that over LND or LND. And so what we do, even with a third party account like Strike, we're just using API connectors to basically facilitate those peer to peer payments. So we step out of it, we're not part of it at all, which is how we can remain like, KYC free now. That's my end goal, is to always remain that way because that's just like, the way I am. I'm just adamant that KYC is the illicit activity, right? So whatever may happen, like Zaprite, may offer, say, something like payroll in the future where we might have to do KYC because we're actually taking in large amounts of money from a corporation and distributing out to users again. There's like different legal aspects of that. Like, do we use keys and do we use Lightning addresses? Do we split it out and not even take custody of it all? And then you're in a gray area of what they're going to do. And so to answer your question, yes, you're very much like at the mercy of the rule makers when it comes to that right now. Like I said, Zach, we don't need a money transmitter license because we're not transmitting money. All I'm doing is generating a QR code for somebody to pay somebody else, but at any stage, the government could step in and say, well, you're facilitating payments. So now we're going to write a new law that says you have to KYC all your users, right? So as much as I want to stay KYC as much as I can, there may be a time where it has to be done. I don't even know if I will want to do it at that stage, or hopefully we'll be able to route around it or do other stuff, but it's certainly a goal to stay KYC free as long as possible. And on that front, I want to start offering as many privacy focused options for users as possible. So one thing like I mentioned before, for example, we require an email address for users to log in right now. And the reason I have that, and I haven't put something like LNURL off, is because we need the email addresses to be able to send out notification emails when you're sending invoices to users, or you're receiving notifications yourself when your invoices are being paid. But in the future, what we can do now, particularly with tools like nostalgia coming out, is we can actually scrap the email or at least have the LN-URL option on there as well. So now you can actually sign in anonymously and you can just provide a noster public key and then we'll run a relay and we'll just send out notification of all these payments to your own Poopy. So there's tools like that where we can actually start to like, minimize our exposure to people's data and to be to be able to store data and to have to use third party email services like Send Grid, which are using at the moment to send the emails. So if we can remove them from the step and give people more of these privacy options. As well as things like offering like an umbrella app or start nine app that you can run on your embassy where it's just upright. You just pull it out. Download it. And now you've got your own internal. Like. Postcard database or something that's running your own version of Zaprite off your own node. That's something that we'll definitely offer in the future as well. So I think there's a lot of ways that I'd like to keep that right KYC free, at least for those people who maybe want to go the extra mile and take the extra step to actually do that. Like I said, it may come to a point where we're all forced to do KYC no matter what it is we're doing. In which case I think there will definitely be an open source version of Zaprite, where you can just take it and run it on your node and you're good to go.

Kevin Rooke - 00:47:43:

Yeah, it's really interesting. Right now, it seems like you're in a place with a lot of uncertainty, like your business specifically, you have capital gain stuff that we're not sure if bitcoin becomes legal tender, when that might happen, what the ramifications will be there's, the KYC issues, like, we're not sure what the regulations are going to be there. How do you try and operate the business with all this uncertainty and plan for the future? Like, how do you extend your time horizon to planning out 3, 5, 10 years when you have all these question marks coming from regulators today?

John - 00:48:27:

Yeah, I mean, that's a great question because the question I ask myself nearly every day is like, every feature I'm trying to think up of or everything I'm trying to do, I'm like, okay, well, how is this going to affect the futures? Upright. Right. Like, if I introduced this now, it's just going to roadblock me, like, further down the road. And I think the quick and easy answer to that is you stay noncustodial as long as possible. As soon as you start predicting of any form at all, you're opening yourself up to regulation down the road. So if you can stay away from the custody aspect as long as possible, it'll make you more nimble. You'll be able to iterate faster, you'll be able to build faster, and hopefully you'll be able to route around these quasi rules that come in every now and again, that's, oh, well, it's a gray area, we don't know what we're going to do. Maybe you have to do this, maybe you have to do that. Well, if you're able to stay in a custodial, you can just route around that kind of stuff until you're actually forced into a position. So I'm not naive enough to think that it won't happen at some stage down the road where I'll have to deal with it. But right now the answer is just to stay non custodial as long as possible and avoid a lot of the regulatory stuff that will come down the road, because I think most of it, if not all of it, will be around the custodial aspect.

Kevin Rooke - 00:49:50:

Now, I want to get into competition and the business model for Zaprite now, I believe it's free for anyone signing up, but over time, I think you plan to offer like tiers and paid plans and stuff like that. What does the business model look like and how does it compare to what you might find for invoicing and accounting software in the fiat world? Are there any differences for a bitcoin specific company or a bitcoin native company?

John - 00:50:21:

There's definitely different steps you can take. There's a whole bunch of different approaches that I can do for the revenue generation side of it. One of them is what I think most fiat companies tend to do is they offer the service for free or very cheap and then they just charge a percentage on the volume that runs through, or sometimes they do both. But certainly Wave was one of the companies I use as the Toronto Company. Just as a Canadian, I knew Wave and I thought, all right, these guys are great. It's free to use, and I just pay in the volume that goes through. Funny enough, one of the reasons I actually started thinking about building Zaprite, as well, is because I used Wave for years as a contractor myself. And one day and I used to just put at the bottom of my invoices, like, if you want to pay in Bitcoin, email me and we'll facilitate it. And then one day, I think, I don't know when it was maybe 2019 or early 2020, they sent out an email blast to all their users and said, if we catch anybody with anything to do with cryptocurrency or Bitcoin on their invoices, like, we'll find your account. And so at that point, I said, all right, I'm not using Wave anymore and building my own service. So that was like one of the kind of aspects that got me to move away from that. But on the revenue side, there's the straight up percentage on the volume that goes through. That's kind of difficult to do noncustodially right now. There's a couple of different things you can maybe do on Lightning with key send, kind of like how Fountain does the splits and you can use maybe Lightning addresses and send things out. But again, you're kind of in a gray area of are you a money transmitter? Are you not a money transmitter on chain is certainly even harder to do because there's no way to actually split on chain payment, at least not that I'm aware of, unless you do some kind of like PSBT or some kind of contracts where you're maybe batching or something like that. And so I think the percentage on the volume scale is certainly a lot better. Particularly Zaprite wants to be a global app, and we want to focus our attention on the global user base. A percentage on the volume is a lot fairer to somebody in like Africa or Central South America, because they probably don't want to pay 2030 $40 for a monthly staff tier with somebody in North America might be happy to pay, right? So it's certainly a more fair way to scale. But I think what I'm going to start off with is using Assess Tier model, and then keep all the payments completely free, peer to peer, not custodial. And so you're literally just paying for access to Zaprite to provide you with all of these UI UX tools that allow you to do all these things like ticket sales, donation pages, invoicing POS, all that kind of stuff. And so on that front end, we'll start with a free tier. It'll be like always free forever, but maybe you'll be limited to one invoice a month, or you can't connect certain services or wherever it might be, and then there might be like five or $10 a month, like just a nominal fee where you get to plug in your own node and do different things and have all different features and aspects. And maybe you can activate ticket payments if you want that or activate POS if you want that. And you might pay like kind of a la carte pick and choose what your monthly bill is going to be. There's also different revenue share models that we're talking to people like Voltage where we can actually onboard users directly through Zap and through Voltage’s API. We can get them spin up as a customer on Voltage and then Voltage can kick back at some of that revenue share of the credits that the users paying for Voltage. So we can get some really seamless integration where somebody could onboard to Zaprite? And immediately they just check a box and say, yeah, this is the tier, we want to do like $30 a month, whatever it might be. And we'll say, okay, well, that includes like a node and Voltage. It includes 5000 sats of liquidity or whatever it might be. And we'll actually do that using voltage flow API. We can actually have our Voltage now just kick over like channel liquidity to the new user that we spin up through Voltages API. So in theory, we get up this amazing seamless process where user signs up and within like two minutes they've already got a Lightning Liquidity and are sending out their first invoice. I think that's really cool to have integrated tools like that. And then we could go all the way up to the enterprise level where you could charge hundreds per month if you wanted and have a fully custom give enterprises their own subdomain. We can give them their own check out, fully branded, like, hosted payment page where they can connect their own wallets. It's all peer to peer. And then there's like zero fees on the transactions so you can charge a higher monthly rate on that. So I think that's the kind of pricing model that we'll probably test out initially, which should be able to come pretty soon. The reason I've kind of delayed it right now is I actually want to build out a Bitcoin subscription model. I don't want to use something like Stripe and use a traditional credit card type subscription model. So I'm actually going to build out a Bitcoin only one where you pay your monthly fees, like with Lightning. And so I think that could even be spun out as a service on its own because I'm sure there's other SaaS companies that would want to do subscriptions over Bitcoin. So once we can get that dialed in, we can start testing that out and testing different pricing tiers and different pricing structures and see what people are comfortable paying. But I think that's kind of the approach that we're going to go initially.

Kevin Rooke - 00:55:56:

That's very cool. I like that roadmap. I'm wondering about competition now, and I really want to. Understand more about the network effect of Zaprite. If you're going to be noncustodial, if you're going to step away and kind of let peers interact with each other, what's the network effect or the moat protecting the business, I guess, of Zaprite. How do you think about that in a peer to peer world or a bitcoin first world?

John - 00:56:29:

Yeah, absolutely. There's definitely ways that other competitors can simply offer the same thing that Zaprite is doing on their own platform. Right? So if you take, for example, the way I kind of describe Zaprite at the moment is like on one end of the scale, you've got complete self custody with BTC Pay server. So you need to run your own node and you need to be running BTC Pay server. You need to configure ports and URLs and everything. You need to be able to know how to do all that yourself. On the other end of the scale, you got something like Open Node where they're like fully KYC, they charge 2% in fees and then you've got Zaprite which sits in the middle, which is no KYC, no fees on the payments, and just charges a SAS model that gives you access to whatever it is you want to plug in. So you can either plug in a BTC Pay server if you want to run that at home, or you can pay voltage to run it for you on one of their nodes. Or you can pay Open Node if you want to, but you're going to get all these much better tools like Open Node, their invoicing right now, it's not a scratch on Zaprite. We're just so way far ahead on that side of it. And I think that's kind of where the moat for Zaprite comes in. Further down the line is all of these bitcoin companies, whether they're like self hosted models or they're like open KYC models, whatever it might be, they're all going to provide these amazing different services and they're going to spring up like more and more of them. But I think where Zaprite will shine is that we offer that seamless ability for somebody to just literally step in and say, well, I don't know how to run a node or I don't want to sign up for just this one platform over here. I want to be able to plug in 3456 different platforms and I want all of this like beautiful UI UX and be able to just hit buttons and get launched all these store URLs and payment checkout pages and donation pages and everything. And so I think that's kind of where we could be able to carve out a moat is being like this platform that is a one stop shop. Just plug in whatever you want to plug in and we'll just offer this amazing experience on top of either natively on top of a node, or on top of the time chain or you can plug in a third party service and we'll give you access to their API as well and we'll just enhance whatever it is that they're offering you.

Kevin Rooke - 00:58:57:

Right, so just basically building a great user experience in order to kind of like keep customers coming back. And that's something I've heard from a number of startups. I think Strike has that same approach. I think it's going to be necessary for everyone to offer compelling user experience because now there's no lock in. It's a lot harder to lock people in, at least on Bitcoin, when I can move my sats from any wallet to any app to any service, all of a sudden I'm going to choose the best one. I'm going to choose the one that works the best for me. Yeah, I agree. I think that's an interesting way to approach competition. And ultimately I think it leads to a more sustainable and a more valuable ecosystem, one where you're incentivized always to continue enhancing the product. You can't depend on a lock in. So you have to keep getting better and better and better. And I think maybe that might be one of Bitcoin's secret kind of like tools that we can use to accelerate adoption is that we don't have anything to back into. We don't have anything where we can go, okay, you know what? I've done good enough. Now I'm going to capture everyone and just extract as much profit as I can. We can't do that and that might be a catalyst to push the whole space forward because everyone's going to realize that and everyone's going to push each other forward faster than they would in a system where you can extract value.

John - 01:00:40:

Yeah, absolutely. I think that's a great way to look at it. And it's like Jack Mallers says this as well, about like it's a race to the bottom in terms of fees. You're not going to be able to run a Visa or Mastercard model anymore, right? You can't just rent, seek and just pull money from people by providing no real service at all. You're just sitting there forcing people to use your service and you're taking 3% or whatever it is that they get. The rest goes to the merchant banks and stuff like that. But with Bitcoin, it is a race to the bottom. It's to zero. And so what you're incentivized to do is instead of becoming a rent seeker, you actually have to provide some real value, real service to users. Right? Coin by itself is not going to be enough. We have to build the tools on top of that that make it easier for people to use it. And that's not saying there's anything wrong with Bitcoin. It works like, fine if you just have a very simple wallet scanning QR codes. But the reality is the internet works great for sending messages back and forth, but we've built all these cool chat apps and email and everything on top of it because it just makes it so much easier. And I think the same is going to be said of bitcoin. We just have to build these apps on top that provide absolute real value that people are willing to pay. And as long as you can keep doing that, you can build that stickiness, then that the users just want to stay with you because they know that you're going to provide whatever it is that they need. And I think that's one of the beauties about this approach that I'm taking with Zappaid as well is that because we're flexible and because we're not trying to build our own siloed API system or something, we're basically just allowing you to plug in whatever it is available that's out there. So that means if somebody else brings up like tomorrow with a brand new service, that's amazing. It's like, okay, we've got an API, right? We'll plug it into Zaprite? Like, no problem. And I think that's kind of where a lot of the value will be is that users will know that they can just come to that, right? And they'll pretty much be able to do whatever it is they can do on any other platform because we have floated into those platforms.

Kevin Rooke - 01:02:40:

That's awesome. I want to finish the conversation off with a discussion about Austin and the bitcoin scene down in Austin. So I'm making a trip out there soon, and I've been to the city one time, but it was before I was in the bitcoin scene and I didn't recognize it was this like bitcoin hub. But I want to understand more about what is so special about the city. You're working out of Austin now. You said you're in Canada previously. What attracted you to Austin and what has kept you there since?

John - 01:03:14:

Yes, you're right, Austin is amazing. I've been here almost a year at this stage. But yeah, originally, I mean, I'm Irish originally ended up moving to Canada, was living there for like twelve years. Kind of got itchy feet, wanted to travel, wanted to do a digital nomad thing for a while and figured things are getting crazy in Canada right now. I'll kind of escape for a while and go travel, go back to Ireland, see my family and whatnot. And I had plans to just kind of pass down through the US. And go to El Salvador to conference down there and then move back around. But last September, I came down to the US. And of course bitcoin twitter was telling me I need to go to Austin. So I landed in Austin and just never looked back ever since. It was almost like I was just throwing in the deep end. There was so much going on here. I think there was a bitcoin or a bit dad's meet up in the old Unchained office like within three days of me coming down. So I just met amazing people within three days of being here. I think on the second day, actually, I met Kyle Murphy, who runs Club Lab along with Kean and Carr, and they were good enough to offer me a desk in their new bitcoin incubator that they were, like, trying out this new idea. And Austin, after running Austin Bitcoin Club for a while, they're like, oh, we have an idea to bring developers together and have this bitcoin coworking incubator space. So I got a desk in there and then just from that, the contacts I was able to make just being around other amazing developers, their founders, getting to meet investors, just other amazing people running different events in Austin, it's been absolutely I can't even describe the amount of value I've got from it by just being here in person within this community. There's so much going on that you just get on a huge trajectory almost immediately. But, yeah, right now we've got the first Thursday of every month. You've got the Austin Bitcoin Club meet up, you've got second, I think Wednesday you've got the Lightning dev meetup. Third Thursday of every month, you have the traditional Bit Devs meet up. And now on the fourth week, I think it's every second month, you've got the Austin Bitcoin Design Club, where we talk about design UI UX in terms of bitcoin. So it's like every week there's something going on. And then apart from that, there's like different times to be different satellite events or different things spun up. There's always people coming through town, there's always events that are going on. It just feels like it's this amazing whirlwind of a bitcoin community that just things are happening, like, almost every day. And I think Pleb Lab are about to open a new office as well, which is going to be like a new hope for bitcoin developers in Austin. It's going to be pretty amazing coworking space, everything to be able to come and work out of there and be surrounded by bitcoin day in, day out as well. But, yeah, Austin is really special. There's a lot of stuff going on here right now and it's really exciting to be part of it. It feels like it's kind of ground zero for something amazing that's about to start for the next few decades.

Kevin Rooke - 01:06:33:

Yeah, it's funny you said that you talked about your first bit devs meet up. I think Kia also mentioned that as one of the catalysts that got him to start Stacker News. So there's a lot of activity, clearly, and it's leading to a lot of innovation. What's your sentiment on the overall adoption of bitcoin within the Austin, within the city? Like, forget just the group of bitcoin or that congregate there, but how far has that message spread throughout the city to your everyday folks living in Austin?

John - 01:07:11:

I think obviously it's still small, it's still very niche, but it's definitely growing and expanding. There's more and more people becoming aware of it. For example, we went out this morning there's. Michael from oshi, runs a bitcoin breakfast every Tuesday morning in a cafe down here in Austin. And so he's on board with them through oshi and through IBEX as well. So he's running rewards through oshi for the breakfast that you buy there. But also if you're not getting one of the rewards, you can just straight up pay over Lightning because they've got IBEX now for their regular POS. So there's a lot of that happening where there's a lot of cafes, float tubes, spas, different restaurants, like food trucks. There's a lot of different places that will actually accept bitcoin. And it feels like it's just more and more every day. So while it is still small, it's definitely expanding, and there's definitely a buzz about it. And there is a concerted effort by a lot of people to actually onboard businesses, whether it's through oshi or whether we're actually just talking to people ourselves. And we're trying to orange pill uber drivers as we're going around the city or every different bar we go to. For example, there was a group of us that went out a couple of weeks ago just to catch some live music on Thursday afternoon, and we ended up just like bar hopping around, following different bands that were advertising live music. And so after a couple of songs, we grew up and approached them. We'd get them to download like moonwallet, we'd all tip them in bitcoin, and they'd end up with $50 a tip from our group, and then off we'd go to the next bar and we'd like orange pill the next musician. So there's things like that happening and people are very receptive to it. So it's just really cool to see that it's more and more becoming part of daily life. At least people are aware of it and they're now more comfortable talking about it and they're willing to listen to you when you try to orange build them.

Kevin Rooke - 01:09:15:

That's interesting. Is there something specific about Austin that makes it possible to get some of these people to adopt it quickly and get restaurants on board and get musicians on board, or is this something that can be replicated in any city? Do you think there's something special about the fabric of Austin, or is it something that could be repeated elsewhere?

John - 01:09:44:

I think it can be repeated elsewhere, but I think one of the things that Austin is what's that phrase? Like stay weird or something, or keep Austin weird or something? It's like Austin has always been known as this kind of like almost counterculture type like city. So maybe there's something there that kind of allows them to be a bit more open minded to things like this. Maybe it's just the fact that there's such a high concentration of bitcoin and they're able to find the support that they need. Maybe everybody now has a bitcoin or friend because there's just so many people hanging around Austin. But in terms of kind of be replicated, yeah, I definitely think so. It's very easy to any small town or city that you might be in if you've got a couple of friends that you're bitcoin is and you either meet up at each other's house or something, or you go for a beer or whatever and sell bitcoin. Well, maybe start thinking about turning it into an official event. Maybe go to some bar and say, like, hey, what's your quietest night? Monday, Tuesday night? All right, well, what if I bring 10, 20 bitcoiners here? Will you on board and allow them to pay in bitcoin? I'll show you how simple it is. It could be as easy as that. And of course, they're going to say Monday, Tuesday night when they're empty. They'll be like, yeah, absolutely, come on in. We'll take bitcoin, whatever. So you can definitely replicate it. It just requires the effort to do it. And I think more and more people are more open to the idea nowadays than they ever were, just particularly because of the climate that we're in with inflation and everything else. I think because bitcoin is more mainstream now, or at least people have heard of it, they kind of know what it is. Like I said, they're more willing to have that conversation. So if you can spend a few minutes with them, like find the bar owner or the food truck owner or whatever when they're quiet and just talk to them and say, hey, here's a couple of different apps we can get you set up on and we can have new customers in your door, but definitely reproducible, for sure.

Kevin Rooke - 01:11:43:

I like it. Okay, I want to end this off with a segment I do called the Lightning Round for a chance to ask some more rapid fire questions. Are you ready for the Lightning round?

John - 01:11:55:

As ready as A-B-I suppose. Yeah. Let's go.

Kevin Rooke - 01:11:58:

Welcome to the Lightning Round, presented by Zebedee, your portal into the world of bitcoin gaming. The Zebedee app offers a fullfeatured Lightning wallet, seamlessly integrated with your own personal gamer tag so that you can earn bitcoin on all of Zebedee's games on mobile and desktop. It's never been more fun to earn bitcoin, and Zebedee is your key to it all, to claim your personal gamer tag and start earning some bitcoin of your own. Download the Zebedee app today. First question. In the year 2030, will you be processing at Zap? Right. More payments, more payment volume on Bitcoin or on stablecoin and credit cards combined at Fiat or Bitcoin in dollar volume?

John - 01:12:47:

Bitcoin. Absolutely interesting.

Kevin Rooke - 01:12:50:

Will bitcoin be legal tender by the year 23rd?

John - 01:12:55:

That's a tough one. I'm going to go with no.

Kevin Rooke - 01:13:00:

Okay. What percentage of payments will be happening on chain versus Lightning in year 23rd?

John - 01:13:11:

I don't even know what it is now, but I would say I would say maybe 50-50.

Kevin Rooke - 01:13:19:

Okay. What will the price of bitcoin be in 2039?

John - 01:13:26:

Picking over $500,000.

Kevin Rooke - 01:13:28:


John - 01:13:29:

Why so bearish?

Kevin Rooke - 01:13:32:

I like it. Is there anything I want to get, like, one lesson that you've learned from your experience in bitcoin? If you could drill it down to just one, what would that lesson be? What has bitcoin taught you?

John - 01:13:47:

I would have to pull it back to what I was talking about at the start of the low time preference aspect. It just taught me to become a better version of myself health wise, education wise, thinking about the relationships I keep, like, what people I spend my time with, everything to do with my finances, educate myself more about the economy. Definitely makes me become a much more aware and optimistic and better person than I was before I knew bitcoin.

Kevin Rooke - 01:14:22:

Are there any books that have meaningfully changed your view of the world?

John - 01:14:28:

I have to admit, I'm not a big book reader. I get distracted very easily, and I have so many books that I have started, and I'm, like, 10th of the way in, and then they just sit there with bookmarks in them for years. The bitcoin standard was great, but, yeah, I think it's just overall for me, it's just about constant consumption of everyday bitcoin knowledge and economics knowledge from amazing people on bitcoin twitter, which pretty much keeps me fueled up.

Kevin Rooke - 01:14:58:

Who do you learn most from on bitcoin twitter? If you can name an account, it's.

John - 01:15:03:

Got to be Francis pUyer. The guy is just an absolute legend. He has this knack of calling things to a T well in advance, and then he just is able to pull those tweets up years later and say, I told you so. And it's just phenomenal. I just kind of pay attention to everything that guy tweets because he's right more often than not.

Kevin Rooke - 01:15:28:

Interesting. Okay, final question. I think Michael Saylor has a saying that bitcoin is hope. What are you hopeful that bitcoin will accomplish?

John - 01:15:40:

I'm hopeful that bitcoin will get us out of this craziness that we're in right now in the world. I think we've been in this 50 year experiment since we came off the gold standard, where society seems to be coming apart at the seams. It's certainly been accelerating the last few years. I'm hopeful that we can get back to the things that really matter in life, which is spending time with people innovating, like coming up with new ideas, discussing new ideas, looking after your health, your wellbeing, helping people to thrive and save and have fruitful lives. I'm hopeful that bitcoin will become more adopted, so it can fix a lot of those things.

Kevin Rooke - 01:16:25:

I like it. Thanks for taking the time today. This has been an awesome conversation. I learned a ton. Where can listeners go to learn more about you?

John - 01:16:34:

Yeah, thanks for having me on. It's been amazing. I'm glad we could have a chat and looking forward to catching up next week in person. Yeah, you just want to find me on John J-O-H-N underscore Zaprite on Twitter. And Zaprite app is the Zaprite account on Twitter. Other than that, just head to Zaprite.com, check it out, sign up and start using it. Click around, hit me up with feedback, idea, suggestions, anything that you've got. I'd love to talk to you and get your experience on it. But yeah, that's what it's all about right now, is getting users in the app and finding out what they want.

Kevin Rooke - 01:17:10:

Awesome. Thanks again and looking forward to meeting up in Austin soon.

John - 01:17:14:

Cheers. Thanks.

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