Albert Buu is the founder of NeutronPay, a company building a Lightning-powered API and mobile app for moving money around the world.
In our conversation, we discussed NeutronPay’s product and vision for their API, why they’ve decided to initially focus on the Vietnam market, and the adoption and addressable opportunity for Lightning remittances.
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00:00 - Intro
02:00 - Albert Buu Intro
08:53 - Albert’s Views on Payment Middlemen
14:38 - Custodial Lightning Products and Banks
23:12 - How NeutronPay Works
29:42 - Why NeutronPay Is Focused on Vietnam
36:57 - Payment Use Cases in Vietnam
41:49 - NeutronPay and Lightning Competitors
49:00 - El Salvador Remittance Adoption
59:30 - Constraints to Lightning Adoption in Southeast Asia
1:08:15 - The Lightning Round
Albert Buu - 00:00:00:
People don't like this, but if you look at chain analysis, chain analysis will show you for the last I think it was last year that they did it, but Vietnam was number one in transacting buying Bitcoin on the network. So Vietnam was number one. So I call Vietnam like the sleeping giant. But a lot of the people here want to buy North American products, right, that they see on Amazon and stuff like that. But they don't have a credit card. If I'm going to send you money, kevin from like Vietnam should be able just to send that to you directly. I shouldn't have to wait five days to go to a bank, sign up everything, give all this information just to make sure that you get that fund. I can go pay my friend in the US Cash App, I can pay him money. And I said, yeah, tell them to send you a qr code. You can shoot him or he can shoot you money. $10 or $5. Whatever it is, it instantly shows up.
Kevin Rooke - 00:00:47:
Albert Buu is the founder and CEO of NeutronPay, a company building a Lightning powered API and mobile app for sending money anywhere in the world in an instant. In our conversation, Albert first explained NeutronPay's mobile app and API product, the vision for the company, why they've decided to focus on Vietnam initially, the different kinds of payments that NeutronPay may support, and the addressable, market and opportunity for improving remittances around the world. Albert has also been added to today's show, splits. So if you enjoyed this episode and if you learned something new, the best way to show your support is by sending in sats over the Lightning Network. You can use any Podcasting 2.0 app, but my favorite to use is Fountain. Before we get into the show, just a quick message from our sponsors. Today's show is sponsored by Voltage, and Voltage is building the Lightning Network infrastructure toolkit built for engineers. Today's show is also sponsored by Stakwork. Stakwork is a Lightning powered transcription tool, takes the best of AIs and humans to create better, faster and less expensive transcripts. We'll have more from Voltage and Stakwork later in the show. Albert, welcome to the show. I'm excited to talk about everything you're doing at NeutronPay. But before we get into it, let's start with your background. Tell listeners a bit about how you first discovered bitcoin.
Albert Buu - 00:02:13:
Yeah, sure. Well, first, thanks for having me on, Kevin. So how I found bitcoin interesting story. So the company used to work for probably back in 2010, actually, when Bitcoin was around, there was a person I worked with in the company that I worked, and she was mining Bitcoin with her husband on her laptop. They came to me and asked me if I wanted to participate in their mining activities, and I kind of didn't understand what she was trying to tell me. She gave me the white paper, I read it, obviously, like everyone else was very skeptical. I just kind of didn't think this was going to work. And from an it perspective, like everyone else even reading it, I just said, I don't think it's for me. So fast forward to 2013, kind of got back into it. It kept coming up into the feeds that I had, came in and read it and all this other stuff, and kind of the silk road kind of started posting a little bit more about how things can be bought. So I kind of went back into the rabbit hole and then just kind of went from there and didn't stop, and so continued from there ever since 2013. And this was like early 2013, maybe February or march. I bought my first bitcoins on local bitcoins. Very kind of odd way of buying it, probably like everyone else back in the day. I met some guy, and, you know, some from Canada, and I bought some from local bitcoins. I met the guy at Shoppers Drug Mart. He was a very kind of, I don't know, people would say questionable meeting. The guy was in a hoodie, sending out a corner, and he said, are you here to buy us from bitcoin? I said, yes, very shady about it, and just said, okay, show me your QR code, and we scan it and send it over to you, and then you can get a cash, and then we're done. And then the transaction was like in three minutes. But that kind of woke me up for a whole bunch of stuff after reading, and then continued on from there. And in my background and stuff, like, I've graduated in computer engineering, so I've been in it pretty much all my whole life, pretty much in the oil and gas industry for it. And then I switched over to fintech probably in about 2009, and then just kind of continued through fintech ever since. My last company that I worked at was called hyperwallet. And so hyperwallet was a mass payout company. They paid out 190 countries. And so you can think of hyperwallet as back in the day, there was only about maybe two, three other competitors. And so what they would do is we would go to companies like airbnb expedia, that would have gig economy workers or anyone that was affiliate, and they need to pay out these contractors across the world. They would give us a lump sum of money, and then we would just pay them out to the rest of the world. And so we kind of had that solution with hyperwallet, picked up some, I think, kind of noise from PayPal PayPal, looked at it and bought them out eventually in, I think it was 2016, like 2016 to 2017 for about 400 million. And then after, before that acquisition, I left. And so when I was working there at 2014, I was doing bitcoin still throughout when I was working and then I decided to kind of go on my own. And then around when I left, I started NeutronPay in late 2018.
Kevin Rooke - 00:05:25:
Interesting. And what was the problem you were trying to solve when you started NeutronPay?
Albert Buu - 00:05:32:
It's kind of funny. I don't think it was a problem that I was trying to solve at first. I think I just liked the idea of Bitcoin where it was very decentralized and very community driven. Like the consensus model really drew me to kind of how it was all I don't know how you want to call it. You want to call it kind of like awakening or just kind of people that have been in tech for so long, like the Cypherpunks and just kind of pounding on the fact that we should have never been. Isolated to kind of ISPs like the internet should have been always been free. Should have been kind of like a mesh network and not now. What we have now is kind of more of like a hub and spoke, right? We have all these ISPs that we got to connect to. So, like, in the US, it's like Verizon, Sprint, wherever else those carriers are. And in Canada, it's very consolidated, right? We only have about, I think, four. We have TELUS, Bell, Rogers and I forgot the other one, but it's almost like consolidated into like three people, and these are the only ones that we can go to get Internet access from. And so kind of Bitcoin itself is like breaking from that mold, right, from a consensus side, but also kind of from a payment side too, right? Meaning that how we deal with money and currency. I don't think a lot of people understand the difference between those two, where currency is kind of like a state or a country that goes and obviously issues it and says, hey, the citizen should use this. Money is what people like to call us, hard money, like an asset that they want to go buy, they want to hold, and it's going to appreciate in value. So a lot of people don't understand that aspect. And so kind of Bitcoin coming in and kind of showing that in a way, I guess, through its kind of means of distribution. Meaning the more you read on Bitcoin, the more other articles lead to kind of financing and the differences between currency and money. And so that kind of brought me a little bit more to Bitcoin being, I would say from the technology aspect and kind of being more independent, I think just the vision itself being that you can be your own custodian. Like you can have own assets of your own money, you can control it, no one's going to inflate it, and no one can take it from you. So one of the big things that happened to me when I got into Bitcoin was in 2013, when I started really getting into it, buying more Bitcoin was my bank account started getting shut down for no reason. So they were saying, I've been banking with RBC for ever since I've been a teenager. And so for them to also cancel my account because they said, you're dealing with an asset that we don't believe is something that you don't understand. We want to make sure that you're not going to lose any money. So they completely shut that down. So I had to go and search for another bank account and then it happened again and it kept happening and happening. So that kind of spurred a lot of stuff for me to figure out also to kind of build new champagne to be like, we are a custodial solution at first, but our long term vision is to eventually start building noncustodial and moving people over to that. That's kind of where I've kind of thought about Bitcoin and why we've got into it or why I've gone into it and kind of went, I guess I would say full into the rabbit hole like everyone else. But yeah.
Kevin Rooke - 00:08:53:
How has your view on payment middlemen, I guess, evolved over time? You talked a bit about working in Fintech and then having this experience. Your banks were being shut down at your bank accounts in Canada. How was your view on the role that banks and intermediaries play? How has that evolved over time?
Albert Buu - 00:09:25:
I think it's funny the younger you are and then when you get into kind of becoming, I guess, kind of an adult, independent, you rely on the banking services, right? Because that's all you really know, right? That's what they teach you in the systems. It's like, hey, go to the banks in Canada. It's kind of like a 401K. They say, go to the banks, take out loans. But if you take out loans, make sure you save, put it into your RRSP, which is kind of like a just trust the banks and do what they tell you to do, right? Even for transfers, payments, whatever it is. That was kind of like, I guess, the foundation kind of when we went through me going through high school, college, and then after kind of obviously into the workforce and then kind of now kind of what's happened with how banks can easily just kind of throw you aside, because if you make a bad decision on kind of what you want to do with your assets or with your money, if they don't see it fit, they kind of just close you down. And in the agreements in the banks that people don't see is that they have a right to they're a private entity, they're a private business and they can cut you at any time. So that's kind of really skewed my views on just banks and intermediaries at all for everything. So when we do a lot of the transfers here for Vietnam overall across the world. So our biggest competitor right now is not local payment methods, like, not like neo banks or anything like that. The biggest competitor right now is Wires and Swift. Swift being a very large entity. That's not going to like what we do here, although we don't have the volume they do, but I think that's going to come down quite soon. And so I think just those entities, whoever, if you know what a wire, it just goes through a bunch of entities, and no one knows what it is, right? And the bank always says, trust us when we send it to you. If I'm going to send a wire from US to Vietnam or from Vietnam to the US. They'll tell you, don't worry, it's going to be there in about five or seven days. Can I trace it? No, you just have to trust us and know it's going to come back. And if there's any issue, you can come back to us in five or seven days, and we'll figure out if it's been, you know, if it's been settled or if it's not been settled, then we'll have to figure out where it is. But they don't tell you who those intermediaries are, right? They don't tell you who the middlemen in the between are, who's getting a cut. And so that's really skewed my view on the whole kind of system itself, right. If I'm going to send you money, Kevin, from like, Vietnam, I should be able just to send that to you directly. I shouldn't have to wait five days to go to a bank, sign up everything, give all this information just to make sure that you get that fund right, like, maybe it's $1,000 something after a service I'm doing. I think it should be a lot simpler than that, right? And the reason why is because we live in a technology world that everything's instant, right? And banking is our last kind of segment piece to move that into our I guess you would call it the digital age, where everything's pretty quick, everything's fast, everything's open. You go on the Internet, you can search everything, right. And bitcoin does. That right. Like, if I wanted to send you something and many people know this, is that you just go check it and explore, and you put an address, and you can see that I've sent you money at this time and date literally, instantly, right? And obviously there's some confirmations in between. You wait ten minutes and then you get a confirmation. Whereas a bank, there is no confirmation there. So that's really skewed my thesis on kind of all the legacy, I would say fintech companies. Even though I worked at fintech companies, the biggest thing that I've seen, a very big difference is working at a fintech company is very stressful because of all the layers and infrastructure that you need to go build within that company, right. Because you still rely on legacy rails. So all the partners, the databases, everything. Whereas if you have a bitcoin company, I think a lot of people understand that when you have a bitcoin company, this is just my opinion is that 60-70% of that infrastructure is gone, meaning that our primary database is the sort of truth that's out in the world. Everyone can check this global ledger. No one's going to mess with it, no one's going to skew with it, no one can take back transactions, no one can manipulate transactions, no one can take anything back, which is the beautiful part. We just go and say, here's the transactions that ever sent. I can pull the whole record of everything that's been through and I can shift that as a report. Right. Whereas fintech, if something goes wrong and there's a database corruption, then everything's all screwed. Then you have to shut everything down. You got to make sure that your transactions are in order, everything's in place, and then you got to kind of reboot it in a way and make sure the transactions start flowing again. So that causes a huge problem. Right. So having a Bitcoin business as opposed to a fintech business release, I would say 60 70% of that overhead, that usually is a need in the Fintech.
Kevin Rooke - 00:14:17:
Albert Buu - 00:14:19:
That kind of itself is a benefit, but also just kind of the transparency that Bitcoin brings as well. Whereas fintech is all really private and all those ledgers and everything you get also with the partnerships with the banks don't really provide you the information you want.
Kevin Rooke - 00:14:36:
Right. Do you worry at all that I hear you on the transparency, the open network? I think those are big shifts in the way that payment networks operate and having Bitcoin is a blessing in that sense. Do you worry that the custodial solutions in Bitcoin could eventually turn into kind of a second bank? Do you worry that some of the custodial wallets and providers, even though they have this, a lot of the Bitcoin builders have shared the same ethos and share the same like ideas. Do you worry that they could get pressured into operating as a bank and shutting you down at will?
Albert Buu - 00:15:22:
Yeah, I do, actually. It's kind of funny because subjectively I'm a bitcoin maximalist at heart, right? But I think objectively, as a business owner, I have to take thoughts in the real world, right? Is that how the world works, how we do things today and how we operate? Right. And the fortunate part is that we have to follow a lot of KYC and everything else for regulation, obviously more regulation now after the FTX kind of meltdown. I think they will be companies that get pressured. And I think that most of the companies that probably will get pressured are probably the ones that are in developing countries, developed countries like primarily the US. From my opinion on it is they know it's a threat, they just don't know how to deal with it yet. And the only way they can really combat technology is through a bunch of regulation. I can put a bunch of red tape in front of you and keep doing that for years, right. That's what they're very good at, right? So Canada does the same thing. And I think Canada just follows whatever the US. Does. And so I think there'll be two outcomes. Either the bitcoin business is so big that eventually it's going to be consumed by someone who goes and says, hey, we need you to do it this way, ie. Coinbase in some aspects of it, and then there will be some other companies that either fall or just say, I can't do this and I'll move my business somewhere else. And then there'll be other companies that will just kind of completely go underground, right? I think what's going to happen is that we'll live in a world where there'll be I said it a couple of times with my team is that I think in this dystopian world that we live in and everything is happening like we even see today, I think there's going to be two worlds. Worlds, right. And I call it the handholding world. And then the other world is free market, and 90% of the world will be in handholding because that's just kind of how the world functions. The narrative, the news, how people are molded towards that way. And that the free market is you take care of yourself. If you lose stuff, the government says, I can't help you. But if you were with us, like, for example, if they issued like a central bank digital currency, I have everything covered for you. I have your medical, I have your insurance. Anything you need to pay on time, we can help you with that. We can help you set up with anything like life insurance, funeral, whatever it is in your life. I think they'll say we have this beautiful package if you stay within this side. But if you go into the free market, it's dark, it's dirty. If you lose your money, we can't help you. There's no insurance there. So I think that's where eventually we're going to go and how players in the market or how kind of businesses play in this market, meaning like the bitcoin businesses and the Lightning businesses, is they have to figure out what the fine line is, right? I call it kind of like the gray market, right? Because you'll be compliant. And then there's some things that you want to also give people the option to be non custodial. And I think what people misunderstand about noncustodial is they think it's like, oh, for malicious transactions, for things that you're going to do that you don't want to show anyone that has this bad rap. But it's kind of like, I'm not going to go and ask if I'm going to go buy something like coffee or milk. Do you need to know that? Right? If I buy anything in my own personal stuff. You don't need to know that. Right. But if I need to conduct some other things on say, maybe the government or country side, maybe I'll do it through the regulated side. So that's kind of how I see it kind of panning out, I guess you would say, just because there's going to be a lot of heavy stuff, I believe next year in the US. That they're going to impose a lot more regulation. Obviously the FTX is a big component of that, but I think it was coming regardless. Right. I think a lot of people in the Lightning space have seen already some regulation and red tape that comes on between how you can connect to channels, like how you can connect to certain peers, and how some peers won't let you connect unless you're an MSP or your franchise regulated. Yeah.
Kevin Rooke - 00:19:24:
Do you think that in the Lightning space specifically, we should expect to see more regulation? Because in a lot of applications today, we haven't really seen much in the way of KYC requirements. A lot of these apps are sending small amounts of sats. If it's a gaming app or if it's a podcast app or a Stacker News or something like that. These are relatively small amounts. It's not like people are slinging around hundreds of thousands of dollars or millions of dollars. It's like we're talking like tens of dollars in most cases. So do you see then regulations stepping in to start KYC and some of these apps requiring that all these issuers and anyone building an app has KYC in place or, or is it kind of like too small of a monetary value to pursue?
Albert Buu - 00:20:21:
No, I think what's going to happen is they want complete oversight. It doesn't matter if it's a dollar or ten cents. The reason why I say that because we're seeing a lot of remnants of that from the travel rule, right. They went from $1000 to now I think it sounds like $600 and it's going even lower. I think it's going to go to like $300. Right. And I think now that if you have that's from a financial side, from regular fee payment side, I think that's just going to go over into the crypto side as well. Or I guess bitcoin side. Crypto is a bad word, but as kind of the audience is the bitcoin or the Lightning, I think it's going to go amalgamate that area as well. Because regulator is going to look at it and say it's a financial payment, it's an instrument for a payment rail and it follows the same thing. Right. So walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, it's a duck. And so they're not going to go and I think rebuild regulation to say we need these set of rules for bitcoin and Lightning. We're just going to blanket it with what we have now, with what we're doing with regular fiat currencies and how it's transferred and then just kind of mold that over into the next one. So it saves them work. But also it totally skews. Kind of what Bitcoin and Lightning are trying to do is trying to make us move into a better payment system for the world, right? And I think once they start doing that, you'll see kind of like entities start moving. They'll start moving out of the US. Countries and stuff like that. And I can get into a little bit more of like the same reason why I left Canada was, you know, when I left in early 2019 to go to Van had to really build NeutronPay out was because of the same reason was because Canada was creeping up on the same thing. Was everything that you did under before it was under 10,000? It was fine. They didn't care there was any regulation. As soon as Bitcoin came in, they started putting imposing all these rules which didn't apply to the Canadian dollar, but applied to Bitcoin. And it was like, you have to tell us and you have to do these things. And a big proponent of that was the same thing was the protest. And that really showed the government's hand and woke up a lot of people, right? So the people that weren't really in Bitcoin at the time didn't understand it, but that protest really showed what the government was capable of, what they started asking people for for limits and every little thing. Even if you donated $5 to that protest, they wanted you to say, if it was you, you have to report to us. If not, what you will find, and we'll figure out who you are. And that really stirred up a lot of, I guess, controversy. And kind of people just kind of start thinking twice about either a getting into Bitcoin or kind of flipping the coin and saying, okay, if the Canadian government can do this, I should probably start reducing my portfolio or my currency in Canadian dollars and really just start moving on to Bitcoin because they can't touch that. So it's kind of a good and.
Kevin Rooke - 00:23:10:
A bad thing, right? So now, speaking of building better payment systems for the world, let's get into NeutronPay. And maybe for listeners, just give them a high level perspective of how NeutronPay works and the different types of payments that you support.
Albert Buu - 00:23:28:
Yeah, sure. So NeutronPay was, I guess you would say, kind of started in late 2018, kind of like during this offer version. And so we use the Lightning Network technology to kind of pretty much provide global instance settlement, meaning that today, if a lot of people are in payments today, anywhere you want to send a payment globally, it takes about five to seven days. And kind of the biggest providers for that are like a wire Swift or Sepa, I believe, in Europe. And so those are kind of the main players that can provide global payments around the world or the main rails that they would use. And so those take quite a long time to do. I think everyone who's kind of listening to the podcast know that they've done a wire at least one time in their life. And so we're trying to solve that issue between primarily first Canada and Vietnam. So Vietnam weren't from and so providing a means of bringing the countries closer together, but focusing on obviously my background. Where I'm from is from Vietnam and so there's a lot of Vietnamese people in Canada, whether it's in Toronto or Vancouver, they want to remain and send money back home. So whether it be them sending from Canada to Vietnam or Vietnam to Canada and so NeutronPay helps in that space is that we are, I would say, everything under the payments Umbrel. So you can think of anything, payments, transfers, remittance, kind of merchant portal stuff. And so our first kind of product that we started out with was an Ecommerce portal. So meaning that you can think of something like PayPal or Stripe. So what we built was we have a bunch of plugins like Shopify, Ecommerce, Magento, Open Heart, you can take those plugins and you can just download it into your Ecommerce store and then we would just be a checkout option. So as soon as you checked an item, you would see the regular PayPal, Visa, Mastercard, and we would just be an option to pay in bitcoin Lightning. So that was our first product set. And then as we kind of started growing, we landed our seed raise this year in June. So we completed that and then we changed our focus a bit. And so we focus more on our general purpose APIs, which is more for B2C, and then we also launching out another product, which is our mobile app for the enterprise. APIs are more or less for our business side. And so, like I said, we're more focused on B2C. So meaning that anyone that has a business that was very similar to what we're doing in Hyperwallet, because there's a bunch of them now, is that we would reach out to them and just say, hey, do you want another payment method to go payout in bitcoin Lightning to your contractors affiliates? Because maybe they have their payout in say, US dollars and they want 10% of it into bitcoin. We can provide that or we can provide fiat rails outside all of Southeast Asia in Q One. So the major Southeast Asia countries that's kind of NeutronPay, that's main side and then for our mobile app is more targeted at consumers. And so we're trying to keep the complete ecosystem within or build the complete ecosystem in Vietnam so that we can launch it there. And our VTC is kind of more in North America, right?
Kevin Rooke - 00:26:39:
What did you learn from that process? Building the ecommerce plugins, allowing people to pay in bitcoin and Lightning. What did you learn from that process that led you to shift focus and think more about the API and think more about the mobile app?
Albert Buu - 00:26:58:
Yeah, when Lightning first came out, it was also another learning curve for a lot of people and so explaining to them why they would want to use like a layer two solution when they could just say, well, why can't I just accept bitcoin on layer one? Like, why can't you just send me a bitcoin? And we do that. People don't want to wait ten minutes for a transaction to settle. So building the APIs was the easiest way to kind of make people understand why they would want to use Lightning because of the, you know, instant ability that it has to transfer funds. And you're still using bitcoin. Right. And so now you can actually go. When we told people the ecommerce store was the biggest kind of outreach that I thought at the time, which would be because if you have a shopify store, you have a WooCommerce store, you either have a lot of merchants online, right. So the spread and kind of what you're kind of showing to your audience or your clients is a lot more broad, right, as opposed to like an offline store kind of understand, hey, we take Bitcoin and Lightning payments at, say, a barber shop or like a subway. The eyes and the attention isn't really there. But if you had a very large ecommerce store, say a million people coming visiting your store every month, that's a lot of impressions. So that's kind of where I started at first and thought that would kind of build up pretty quickly. We did have a lot of online merchants, but the problem came where was there wasn't enough wallets at the time to go and spend to the merchants. And so that was the merchants complaint, is like, we have this, but we have only a few people that would kind of go and buy stuff at our store. And so that also kind of led us to build a mobile app on our side, but we wanted to focus more on the merchant side to kind of get more exposure. And that's kind of where we kind of started shifting focus, right, yes. So we built that. Didn't feel like we got the traction in there and then because of the funding and also just kind of shifting directions for the B2C customers that we had was because it was a lot of familiarity from what I was doing at Hyperwallet. And so reaching out to those people, getting a more positive response. It took some time, but I think the, the biggest thing that helped us was in late 2021, right, when El Salvador made it official and they said, hey, we are, you know, we're making bitcoin legal currency in our country, that really turned a lot of heads. And so those conversations that used to be like, I don't know, I'm going to work it out until come back to me in like eight to twelve months turned into, hey, let's talk again. Maybe we'll try to do this in three or four months. Let's try to do it in a quarter or try to finish it in the next quarter. And so that's why we shifted. Nice.
Kevin Rooke - 00:29:42:
Now you mentioned you're heavily focused on Vietnam and Southeast Asia. Talk to me about why that's an important market for you.
Albert Buu - 00:29:53:
Yeah, so a couple of things. When I built a NeutronPay in 2018, within four, three to four months, I quickly realized that Canada doesn't need a payment like another payment. Rail everyone's very used to credit cards, debit cards. The government's somewhat safe and the country relatively has really good infrastructure, right. So everyone's not going to go change into a different payment method where they could just pull a credit card out of the pocket and pull a debit card out of their pocket, they can tap it and they're just used to kind of sliding it into those POS devices. Right. So to try to train kind of North America or developed countries for a new payment method when there isn't needed, really fell short. Right. So as soon as I figured that out, I said, hey, Bob, Vietnam, I visited a couple of times. It was a growing city and I have family there. So I just said, hey, it's a booming economy. I looked it up. They were in GDP for top three, growing for the last three years until COVID hit. And so that kind of sparked a lot of stuff and I wanted to go and check it out. And so that kind of spurred me to go over to Vietnam just for a three month stint, just to do market analysis, check it out, see if people understood it, maybe provide some education and why you would want to use it. And that turned into three years. So I stayed. In three years, the opportunity was too big for me to leave. And so I ended up doing more education, building more stuff around, getting so shops, ecommerce, stores, just everything. So putting us as kind of the main first to market mover in Vietnam and Southeast Asia, because this was early 2019, right. And so no one even was even pitching Lightning over in Southeast Asia and they even know what it was. And so kind of having us saying, okay, this is what it is, here's the education, this is why we're pitching it, and this is why we want to provide another payment. Rail because event is a little different, right. The government is there's a 50 50 on the government of how people feel about it, right. It's a dictatorship country, so it's ruled by one party and it's kind of pretty much whatever goes, he says. Right. So a lot of people kind of believe that there should be obviously everyone will have their own opinions on kind of how a country should be run and how free speech should be happening. And so that's why there's some people that do trust the government, some people that don't. And so because Vietnam's history of so much war that it's been through, a lot of people also don't want to hold too much of that currency. And so they have means of trying to figure out what is kind of a hedge just in case, because in their back of their mind, it's not a fault to them. It's just they're part of a history where they had money, they went to war and they completely lost it. There was no hedge, there was nothing, and they completely had to start over. And this was a couple of times, right, meaning don't want to go too back far in history, but the US. War that happened, but even before the US. War, there was the French war, which was like way back in, but then we also had a Cambodian war as well. And so just kind of those generations instilling these things into the next generation was protect your money, right? Protect your wealth. We don't know if one day you could wake up and it's gone. It's completely gone. So figure out other means and methods that you can use to make sure you don't lose all that wealth, right? And so that's kind of instilled with a lot of people here. So me coming here and saying, here's this new payment rail, it's open, it's global, it's on the most secure network in the world. People gravitated to it. So the first question they ask is, can the government come in and go take my money? And said, no, no one can take it unless someone comes up to you and says, give me your keys, right? I was very attractive to a lot of people. So even if you look at people don't like this, but if you look at chain analysis, chain analysis will show you for the last I think it was last year that they did it, but Vietnam was number one in transacting buying bitcoin on the network. So Vietnam was number one. So I call Vietnam like the sleeping giant. It's not very loud about it, but a lot of people here know about it and they use it as a tool and they use it as I believe, I believe they use it as a hedge and they believe they use it as a way of a means to have kind of being involved in both worlds. Because if people haven't been to Vietnam, there's a lot of, I would say hardship here because there's not really a lot of support because of the vast amount of population. To give you an idea, there's 100 million people in Vietnam. And so managing a country like that and trying to provide means while trying to develop the country at the same time trying to grow it, trying to take care of people, but also trying to make sure that there isn't any corruption, trying to clean up the corruption, all that stuff. Right. In building a developing country, puts you to the side, right? So if you don't have a well defined job, you don't have a well defined skill. A lot of people joke here, either you just open a coffee shop or you open something on the street, right? So if you've ever been to any Asian country, you can walk down like a street and you'll see all these street shops and everyone's selling something, right? So the hustle is real and everyone's just trying to make it in life, right? And so Bitcoin is kind of that silver lining for them, right? The people that do understand it, they'll take their funds and they put their savings in it. And so some of the people that some of the people I met here, a lot of changed a lot of their life, right? And that was way back in they're telling me stories way back in like 2013, 2014, but they're just putting $20 in every month. We put $20, $20, $20. And they just rocketed up after the obviously after the downturn in 2013. But that's changed a lot of people's lives, right? So they went from $20, $20 to making $400 a month to now they went telling me that worth, but they're sitting comfortably. So it's literally changed their life, right? So kind of telling them now that they can spend some of that on certain ways is very attractive to them.
Kevin Rooke - 00:36:05:
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Albert Buu - 00:37:31:
So, for us, the biggest thing that I've seen that is very attractive to a lot of people is in Vietnam, a lot of people don't like credit, right? So, North American is very credit driven, right. Everyone loves their credit cards, but Visa and Mastercard have a very hard time penetrating pretty much any Southeast Asian country that's kind of developing. So Vietnam is very push back, or I don't want to use credit cards, I rather just use my debit card or whatever I have in the bank. And so, that's kind of helped the country survive kind of like downturn and kind of credit defaults and stuff. So they don't really like a lot of credit cards. But also not liking credit cards removes you from kind of some of the financial stuff and some of the products that you want to buy online, right. So then you're kind of defaulted to buying the stuff that's coming from China, right. So, Alibaba is very prevalent here, and they import a lot of stuff, and then they have means of how to do that through cash methods, right, but a lot of the people here want to buy North American products that they see on Amazon and stuff like that, but they don't have a credit card. And so, people that do have a credit card are very fortunate. But those are the people that are doing pretty well from the south. So I would say kind of the middle class are a little bit higher, right, and so the lower class, or this is part of the middle class too, as well, is that they just don't want to have a credit card and that kind of removes them from that, right. How I position Bitcoin with our mobile app is you can buy stuff online now without the need of a credit card. So you can top up to a top of stations that we have. Unfortunately, we have to do some KYC. And that's just part of kind of the regulation and rules that are kind of coming into for Bitcoin regulation and everything else. And anything fintech related is kind of the same thing. So we do have to collect KYC and there's a specific limit, but that allows now people to say they have cash, they can top up on our app, they can go buy e gift cards at, say, bit refill or any other provider that has it. And now they have the ability to go buy stuff like they haven't before, where they needed a credit card. So they can go buy stuff on Amazon, they can go buy stuff at maybe they want to buy something at Home Depot or something. But it gives them now the ability to now actually shop online, do some stuff that they never had before. Right? So there are people that are going to say, well they can still buy stuff online, but that's just locally. We have these big shops that are very similar to Amazon. They're called like tiki Lazada Shopee. Very similar to Amazon. But all these products are just coming from China. They're all the kind of knock offs. They're not really well created. And there's a reason why they take cash, right, at a low amount. Right. And so we're not getting those high end quality products that we would buy online from these other kind of businesses that are online. And so now us being able to provide that they can buy these egift cards where they need to, or maybe that business starts eventually accepting Lightning and now they have the ability to buy directly from that business.
Kevin Rooke - 00:40:37:
Do you foresee NeutronPay getting into this gift card space directly, where someone can directly buy a gift card through you rather than sending them to Bit Refill? Or is it more of a collaboration between do you view that as more.
Albert Buu - 00:40:54:
Yeah, I think it'd probably be more of a collaboration. Our long term vision is kind of more collaboration and more integration into the space. And I say that for now because I think we have a very long roadmap that we want to build. And so the egift cards is not part of the business, but partnering up with someone like Bit refill, I think would be amazing. They do it very well. Right. They have a business that a lot of people trust. And I think just kind of having that partnership with them or integrating it somehow with them would be a very good fit. So I don't think us building anything on the egift card side is in our roadmap in the short term, but that could change. But more of us is more building out Lightning products that would allow users to use kind of the other features that Lightning provides. And that's kind of what we're focused on, more or less, just kind of the payments and transfers.
Kevin Rooke - 00:41:48:
Right. So now, in this payment space, there's a few companies that come to mind when I think of, like, Lightning apps with APIs, things like Strike and the Pouch. How do you differentiate across these, if we want to call them competitors or not, the people who are operating in a similar market to you, how do you differentiate NeutronPay's business and how do you kind of build a moat around it?
Albert Buu - 00:42:20:
Yeah, a lot of people ask that question too. I don't think we differentiate ourselves yet. I think the only differentiating that we have between the three companies that you mentioned, like US, Strike and Pouch, is that we're positioned in our own kind of geographic locations, right. So we're focused primarily just in Vietnam. That market segment for us is very massive. Right. That's 100 million people and say Strike's position is more US based. Right. US. Customer base, 330,000,000 people. And same thing with pouch. Right. Pouch has their own, I think it's in the Philippines, right? Yeah. But our position would just be how we're different is because we're focused on Southeast Asia, the culture is a little bit different, and how they use bitcoin is different. Right. I think in North America is more or less they want to use it for some payments, but most of the time they'll use it for buying Bitcoin. Right. So I think Strike's app is a lot for buying. They'll send some stuff, right, but they'll buy stuff. And maybe some people from El Salvador would use Strike to actually send it back to, like, say, the Chivo wallet. And that's kind of where we're positioned. Right? So we're kind of all in the same I would say same bubble. For now, we're all collectively working at the same thing. The Lightning Network is only four years old, so I think we're all working towards the same goal. And because the Lightning Network is still being developed, we just don't know what would make us different. Right. So a lot of questions that we get to is the same thing is that we're all working collectively to the same kind of approach. We just have different segments and how we're going to do it. But we're all related into kind of making sure that everyone can be financially involved in this open network, right. So having finance, being able to move money freely and move it instantly, I think that we're all focused on that. I think when it comes to maybe two to three years, when the Lightning Network is a little bit more developed, a little bit more matured, I would say, then you can start branching out. We have some ideas on how we think we're going to differentiate, but there's nothing that we can prove to say that yet. We just have a bunch of obviously testing things that we're doing. But the one thing I do know is that we want to be a very dominant Southeast Asia player. So we want to be able to be that particular Lightning kind of, I guess you can call us, like, the big Lightning hub, I guess, for Southeast Asia. So anyone who wants to move payments to Southeast Asia through, like, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Indonesia, eventually the Philippines, is that they want to go through us. We'll have the liquidity, we'll have the routes here just because of how big that market segment is. Right. So Vietnam itself, just to give you an idea, like, again, it's 100 million. Indonesia, like 90 million. Japan is, I think, at 20, 30, 40 million or something. But as you can see, these numbers get really big, right? So just kind of the corridor of Southeast Asia itself is already close to kind of what the US. Possesses, like, in the 300 range, right? So we can easily get to 300, 500 just on those five countries at all, right. There'll be the Philippines in there, too, and I think they're at 90 million as well. So you can kind of see the segments. And for us, we look at it as once we're building one market segment, which is like Vietnam, we can move that to other segments that are very similar. So like the Philippines, Cambodia, Singapore, Indonesia, the countries are very similar. And for us to move into those segments would be very I wouldn't say easy, but it would give us an easier path because we've already done it within a particular culture. The cultures are not that much different, but there will be tweaks, but kind of how they use it and how they kind of interact with it would be very similar. That's what would make us different.
Kevin Rooke - 00:46:03:
In El Salvador, I believe the number that was quoted when the Bitcoin law went to effect, I believe there was something like 20% to 25% of GDP was from remittances. And that I think was a tool that Strike used to or a staff that strike used to kind of like enable Remittances between the US and El Salvador. How important are remittances to Southeast Asia? Do you have any sense for like is it roughly as important, is it less important as a percentage of GDP?
Albert Buu - 00:46:37:
No, it's very important. I think it's very high too. From the last time we looked at it, just for remittance loan from Southeast Asia was something like 400 to 600 billion, and it's looking to increase by 20% next year. And so I think that's just kind of coming up with a lot more people coming to work. But a lot of people from Southeast Asia remit over to North America because you'll see a lot of like before, it used to be the other way around where North America or any other developed countries would send money all the way back home. And now you see a lot of families of sending their cousins, their nephews or sons over to North America to do education. And that could be in the UK too as well. So UK and Europe. But in Canada when I was there, there was a lot of Southeast Asia students there, right? So everyone so you can like South Korea, Japan, Vietnam was very prominent. Mexico also as well. There's a lot of people coming from Mexico. It just got bigger and bigger every year when I was there. And so you can see that a lot of people now remitting money over to the other side. And I can see how that is growing year over year. And I think that's always going to be an important factor for GDP, for Southeast Asia, just because of the size of the population and kind of people leaving Southeast Asia, or they have families that still reside over in Saint North America after doing immigration or for the reason for war, right? Like my family was lucky enough to leave after the war ended with the US. And so that kind of have we have our family over there, but we still remit money. And so that can that can be multiplied by a bunch of other families that are very similar to us, especially in the US. Right. There's quite a bit of enemies, people in the US. And so I think that kind of speaks for the other countries as well. You're right. I don't know what it is this year. I think it is going to be pretty high. But also because of the recession, it can also be kind of low too, as well. So it could be tapering off now, but before all that stuff, I know there's a lot of remittances because when we started, that was the first question, they said, could we use you for remains? How fast can you go and what are your fees? So everyone's about time and fee.
Kevin Rooke - 00:48:59:
Yeah. And now I was reading a CoinDesk article that mentioned from this was May of 2022. They said that roughly 2% of El Salvador's remittance volume was happening on bitcoin or bitcoin Lightning rails. I imagine most of that would have been through either Chivo or strike. What's your sentiment on whether or not that is higher or lower than you expected? 2% of the entire nation's remittance is it ends up being a pretty big number, but it is still 2%. There's 98% to go. Right. So what is your view on how El Salvador's remittance market has changed in the last year with this bitcoin law going into effect and how that might then affect your operations in Southeast Asia? Seeing the level of adoption in El Salvador?
Albert Buu - 00:50:02:
Yeah, I think it's kind of hard to say. I believe I think 2% is amazing. It's great. I mean, if you think about they've only been active for a year. If they can get many people just to transfer in 2%, many people might not think that's a lot. That that's amazing. Imagine what Mastercard and Visa were doing when they first introduced it to our grandma's. They were like, why would I use this? I have cash and I have this you know, I have checks. Why do I need to use, you know, this thing that you're going to put on a piece of metal and scratch it? And as digital money for me, I don't understand that. Right. So I think even Visa, Visa, Mastercard's penetration was way low in the first year. I think they only started getting adoption in the fifth year, where it was around two or 3%. Right. So for El Salvador to do that in the first year, I think that's massive. I think that's very huge because that's going to compound. Right. So even if it goes to 4% next year and it goes 8% next year, I mean, that's just two years and it's already accumulated up to 8%. Maybe not double digits that people would say, but that's effectively a very fast market segment to switch from everyone being I only know, say MoneyGram or Western Union to switching literally within a year to say I'd rather just use Bitcoin on chain or lightning to do my remittances because I get the same thing. It's transparent, it's fast, and it's settled where I don't have to go like El Salvadorians, right? I think there was a documentary where some guy had to travel 2 hours just to pay a bill. Now he doesn't have to do that anymore. You can just send that or someone pays his bill for him online or he can now pay that in El Salvador within less than a couple of minutes. And that changed the life, right? So kind of that culture itself is you don't even need to market it. It's just he will tell his family, his family will tell a bunch of nephews and cousins and that just spreads. And so I think we're just in the beginning cycles of this, right? So I think next year is going to be a huge number for El Salvador, I think for remittance. And I think just that alone now cause a lot of noise, especially for Southeast Asia, right? So in Vietnam, a lot of people follow the US. Follow the US news because they're very close and tight with relationships, right? So there's a lot of US influence over here. And so when they see these kind of news articles that come through or trickle in through and then they hear about us and say hey, you can do the exact same thing, that's it. We do the exact same thing. And the beautiful thing is, I said you can send money if you have family or you know, somebody that you've met globally in El Salvador, you can now send the money over to El Salvador instantly and they can receive the El Salvador peso or they can receive US dollars up to them. But I know that all happens within a few seconds. That is now growing quite large in Vietnam, right? So the way we've kind of designed our app is Fiat first, meaning that they'll see VND when they load our app. But what they're able to use with that Fiat is they can send Bitcoin and we'll send that out on their behalf. And so now they can go and say I can move the NeutronPay app outside of Vietnam, I can go to the US. I can pop up my NeutronPay app and I can pay any Lightning store that's enabled or even a victim that they keep talking about now. And they're mind blown that is happening, is that they said I can go pay my friend in the US who has Cash App, I can pay him money. And I said, yeah, tell him to send you a QR code. You can shoot him or he can shoot you money. $10 or $5, whatever it is, it instantly shows up. So people just doing that themselves has opened up a huge market for. US as well. So I think that will be a bigger market segment for us as well. And I think as the year goes on, I think next year will probably be very similar for us. So taking kind of the points that El Salvador did was very helpful, right? So people need to hear it from somebody else, unfortunately, before they start doing it themselves. And so El Salvador taking that first step in showing that it's possible that you could use bitcoin other than for price speculation that it's actually a utility, and so that's what we're educating here is more forget about the price, forget about the speculation, use it as a utility. And so that's what we're wrapping it around with, obviously, our services and products to show them that you can send it to anybody. And Australia is another big predominant remittance corridor for us because there's a lot of Australians here as well, and so that kind of helps.
Kevin Rooke - 00:54:25:
Is there something special about remittances as a tool for generating more adoption and building, like a flywheel effect? Because when I think of the different types of payments, we've talked about a few ecommerce payment, for example. It's me sending money to a store. I'm not really involving anyone else in my circle. It's just I'm buying something. No one else even knows about it, or if it's a math payout, if it's like I'm earning for my Airbnb or for Uber or something, I'm getting money from the company. No one else really knows about it. But when you have a remittance, it's peer to peer, right? It's like, I'm getting money from someone I actually know. And we can both communicate about our experience using this new rail, and then, as you said, it can spread to your family members and your friends. Is there something special about tackling remittances as a focus point to get adoption? Is that like an intentional strategy here? Because that could help it reverberate throughout the economy faster than one directional payments.
Albert Buu - 00:55:37:
Yeah, you're right on the button. So I'd like to say that there's kind of like a saying here, I guess people say in kind of enemies, they would say people are, like, romantic with your money, right? So when you share that romanticizing of your money with some other person, that kind of starts now moving to other people, right? Like, look what I can do. Look at me and my cousin can do. We can move money together. He can pay a friend that maybe he met in boarding school. And that literally expands through your whole network, right? Through your family, your friends. And for families here in Vietnam, it's very close to tight knit it, right? So meaning that they're very large. So if you have one person that goes and says, hey, I've used this wallet club new champion, I've used Lightning, and this is what it can do. He just needs to show two, three people in that family and it explodes out to like 20 to 30 people within just that family segment itself. That's not even like the nieces and nephews and the in laws and other thing else that easily can expand to about if you have a very big family, it's like 50 people already, maybe up close to like 60. So just that segment alone. And now you got to go continue with that with their friends and with their other friends and their colleagues or people that they work with. And you can see that huge network effect. So, yeah, the Flywheel case for Remittances, especially in Southeast Asia, works very well because it's not about they look at it more from a family member to show them as opposed to marketing. Right? So, like, if I was in Canada, we do all the marketing segments. We do all these ads out and we say, use NeutronPay. And this is what it is for us, it's a little bit easier. We're just actually going out to the community, going to friends and family and going to schools and just saying, would you like to use this? Here's a free coffee on us. And you can buy these gift cards. And we'll also show you how to do the gift cards. And you can pay a friend and it will ask them. The people that are in a group that we have will just say, how many friends you have internationally? And they'll raise their hand and we'll say, okay, can you stand over here? And then you have international friends and they will say, how many people don't have a credit card and want to buy stuff but can't buy stuff online? It's like me, those group of people out and say, okay, now with this app, this is what you can do. Once they see the ability that they can do with that, we just say, kind of go and tell your friends. And everyone who goes and tells them, they'll say, the experience was amazing, it was great. We don't have anything like this. What's? In Vietnam? So they do have a lot of fintech apps here, like a lot. So there's a lot of wallet apps here. The difference between us and them is that those wallet apps are local. They're stuck. You cannot move any of those wallet apps anywhere. So if you leave Vietnam, you have to take the money out, exchange it for the currency, and then you have to go and obviously kind of whatever currency that you go into, right? So those wallets are bounded by Vietnam walls. You can't really move it anywhere. For us, we can still pay within the local community. You can pay the shops that accept it, and eventually more and more shops will accept it as we start building out. But the biggest selling feature is that now they can go and take that up and they can go kind of like I mentioned before, they can go to the US. And they can go say, hey, the buddy was Cash App. I'm kind of short. Can you give me $100? Sure. Send me payment and I'll give you $100 in cash. There you go. There's no more 4x. There's no more exchanging. You don't have to go to, say, a remittance broker to be like, I'm going to change VND to US. Dollar. You just go to a friend or family and just be like, give me $100 for the weekend or maybe $500 and I'll send you a payment over. And what they could do is they can deposit V and D because we have the Internet, they just deposit, they link their bank account, they top up V and D, they go and send in the amount to the Cash App person. There you go. Next change is completely done. That could be done within, obviously, like within less than a minute. That's what I think is going to be to answer your question, I think it's more community driven, kind of like you mentioned, and more kind of peer to peer inner circle, and then that will just grow.
Kevin Rooke - 00:59:30:
Now, what are the biggest constraints to Lightning adoption in Southeast Asia today? Is it similar to what we see in North America where it kind of ebbs and flows, I think a bitcoin. Adoption ebbs and flows with the price a little bit. What are the big constraints that you see on your side?
Albert Buu - 00:59:54:
The constraints I would see is for us here, the biggest problem is that there's too many shit coins here, right? And I think that's just from an educational side of things is that there are too many bad actors and scammers that influence the general public to do bad altcoins and shit coins, you want to call them. And that has caused a lot of disruption between us trying to say use this as a utility, but they group it in together with that category of you're just trying to sell me something and I'm going to lose. Money and you're going to scam me for something or some kind of Ponzi I'm going to fall for again. I'm not going to fall for it. So that's kind of where we see our challenge is trying to clean up that mess, to move it all out, to say, we're not a token, we're not NFT. We're not trying to sell you anything. We're just trying to show you a utility and a tool that you could use to better A, your life and B, to use it as a means to maybe generate some money yourself, right? Because now you have the ability to accept global payments and we'll instantly liquidate it for you. For VND, they can have now, obviously, like a QR code could show up on a stream or whatever it is or whatever store, and now that person has a store that's international, right? Whereas if they want to set up a store today. They have to go through the whole loops and holes of trying to get PayPal on board, the credit card processing, all that stuff. So shopify isn't in Vietnam. There's a competitor like Shopify, but does it have the same metrics and kind of payment abilities like Shopify? No, it's more dedicated, obviously, for the country itself. And so they're kind of limited to what they can get as a revenue. And so this kind of opens up that thing for them. But other than kind of the altcoins that we talked about and stuff, that is kind of, I guess, kind of slowing the progression of it. A lot of people are just finding it out where they're just saying, we need a better way of transferring. And so slowly people are starting to look us up and trying to figure it out. But other than that, I think the difference with kind of the ebbs and flows with kind of North America side is, yes, it's very price speculative. Right. And I think that's not the fault of North America. I think that's just what was presented and kind of what was the narrative to kind of shape the people, to say, you should never spend the bitcoin, you should just always save it, but they always have to be mindful. Right. There's people that are not in those positions. And so people need it as a means of life. And so kind of going on that fact and letting people know that they have another option to go and be part of a financial system is very good. So that helps us kind of get the people on. But again, there's still some friction, obviously. There's some kind of misunderstanding, kind of education that still needs to be done and then also kind of shipping out the altcoins and the shit coins out.
Kevin Rooke - 01:02:55:
Yeah, I think that is also an issue in North America today, especially in the wake of FTX. A lot of people, friends and family that are not super familiar with this space see that news and they go, oh, Kevin, I heard the crypto space isn't doing well. Are you okay? I'm like, well, there are different spaces. Lightning is actually doing about as well as it's ever done, and it's hard to communicate that. Have you found any effective strategies for helping people understand the separation between bitcoin and crypto?
Albert Buu - 01:03:37:
Yeah, it's difficult because, again, just the space in general is what I would say the literary curve for it is quite high. Right. So anyone that's coming just, I would say, kind of raw and kind of me just coming from the basis of just they know how to use cash and then trying to introduce them into, say, the bitcoin ecosystem and then say it's not. Crypto is very confusing to them because the way they look at it is well, I'm told that it's all the same. Blockchain is a blockchain, and crypto is crypto. It's all the same, right? I'm like, no, it's very different, right? And so explaining those ads aspects of them is quite difficult. But some people do want to learn, right, because they look at it as it's an edge. And so those are the people that we kind of, I guess you would say kind of foster, right? Because the people that do understand that you need an edge in life. If you don't have an edge, life is very cruel, right? No one gives you handouts. No one's helping you. You're on your own. You need to have some kind of edge or skill to put you ahead of whatever race that everyone talks about. You got to put yourself ahead. And so a lot of these people understand that, and so they try to differentiate and try to ask the right questions to say, I don't know anything about computers. I don't know what the difference is, but can you tell me what that difference is? And so we try to help and foster that, right? And so we're trying to bring more of that education inwards to say, come to these classes that we have. We're not trying to be very technical. We're just trying to separate the two and tell you why you'd want to use Bitcoin and not crypto. The good benefit of FTX is that helped a lot. All right? So now a lot of people have come to us and said, hey, I now understand it. I now understand because of all the news and everything that's on TikTok and Twitter, to kind of really showcase what's happening has really helped that understanding, because whatever we've kind of put out, they were kind of like, I kind of get it. I don't. But now, because of the FTX blow up, they totally get it, right? They said you can't be creating bitcoin. You can't create it a thin air, right? And we're like, no. Meaning we can't just go pre mine something and go sell it to you, and then we hold 90% of it. So they're understanding that piece now. They're knowing that there isn't a head at Bitcoin, there isn't a creator. There was no pre mine. There was no person trying to sell you a token, and they're just trying to sell you a financial instrument for you to get ahead in life, right? And so that helps a lot. So we're just trying to make sure that that kind of stays instilled and trying to make sure that we get the right message across to them as well.
Kevin Rooke - 01:06:07:
And so making sure you kind of, like, focus on folks who are willing to learn and are receptive, even if they don't know what's going on and they don't fully understand it, they're at least open to trying to figure it out and hearing your perspective.
Albert Buu - 01:06:22:
Yeah, because at the end of the day, right, I think just in my opinion, nobody likes change, and you can't force anyone to say, I want to change. You can only encourage people that want to change. And that's kind of how we took in our view, is that if a person asks the right questions and they're really engaged and they want to, we'll take the time and we'll engage with them and make sure that they understand it. But kind of forcing someone to change and understand kind of differences between those, it's kind of an uphill battle, right? Because everyone's going to have their own opinions, everyone's going to have their ego and everyone's going to say, well, I think this is just crap, I don't want to learn it, so that's fine. Everyone's entitled to their opinion. But I think we believe that's the only way to enforce change is if you want to change, change, we will help you. If you don't want to change, I'm not going to force anything on you. Kind of like what Satoshi said, right? I'm too busy. If you don't understand it, I'm sorry, you can come back and understand it later and we can help you. But it's just there's so many other people that want to learn and we wanted to fight that attention to those people that do want to learn.
Kevin Rooke - 01:07:25:
Yeah. Okay. I want to finish this off with a segment I do at the end of every show called The Lightning Round. I got a few rapid fire questions for you. I hope you're enjoying the show so far. Just a quick message from our sponsor. Stakwork is a Lightning powered platform for generating high quality transcripts of all your audio or video content. They combine AI engines and hundreds of human workers all over the world who are paid over the Lightning Network to assemble these transcripts. And that's what lets Stakwork create better, faster and less expensive transcripts. To see the results for yourself, I use Stakwork on my personal website where I transcribe all of my full length podcast episodes. Check that out. And if you want to learn more about Stakwork, visit Stakwork.com. That is stakwork.com. First up in the year 2023. How much remittance volume will flow through NeutronPay?
Albert Buu - 01:08:27:
I would say I hope to reach numbers like El Salvador. So like 2%.
Kevin Rooke - 01:08:34:
2% of Vietnam's GDP, 2% of their remittance volume.
Albert Buu - 01:08:38:
Remittance volume, not their GDP, remittance volume. Yeah.
Kevin Rooke - 01:08:42:
Okay. I like that. If you could only hold one asset for the next decade and it could not be bitcoin, what asset would it be?
Albert Buu - 01:08:53:
That's a tough one. That's a very tough one. Water.
Kevin Rooke - 01:09:07:
I haven't heard that one before. How come?
Albert Buu - 01:09:11:
I think the world is going into a particular weird way and I think the resources that we take for granted will be taken away from us. And that's just kind of just kind of just seeing the holistic view stuff. And so the biggest thing is if it wasn't water, it's not really an asset, but it's more of a business is vertical gardens. So those vertical garden houses, those, I think, are another big, very big industry that will be happening very soon.
Kevin Rooke - 01:09:40:
Interesting. Those are two new assets. I haven't heard anyone mention those before. Are there any books that have meaningfully changed your view of the world?
Albert Buu - 01:09:51:
Yes. Currency Wars. I forgot who was by. But I think that's a very good book if people haven't read it. Very good book and understanding on it's kind of very similar to, like, bitcoin, but they use gold as kind of their instrument. But it shows kind of like what's literally happening and kind of like what's what we're going through now is like complete inflation. Things are getting out of control, and the only asset that you want to hold on to is the only one that actually is money, which is not gold. But I mean, you'd be bitcoin, but that book is a remnant of that. So if you replace every time it says gold, just put bitcoin. Makes total sense.
Kevin Rooke - 01:10:31:
Interesting. Okay, final question. If there's one person in the Lightning or bitcoin ecosystem who's doing great work and you'd like to give a shout out to, who would that person be?
Albert Buu - 01:10:44:
Adam Back. I think a lot of people miss what he's bring to the ecosystem. And people that do know know that he's very a huge of how bitcoin was created with hashcash, but he's a very low profile person. But he does a lot for the community that I think people either, whether they like it or not. I think sometimes it's misunderstanding, but he's, I think, a very predominant person in the ecosystem. He does a lot of good that people may not see, and he's kind of the people that he was the person that got me into it. And so just kind of give me a shout out to him, to the person that actually brought me into bitcoin and just reading up on all his papers and everything. Cool.
Kevin Rooke - 01:11:32:
Shout out to Adam back. All right, this has been awesome. Where can listeners go to learn more about you and NeutronPay?
Albert Buu - 01:11:40:
So we have a website, NeutronPay. It's going to be redesigned really soon, so we have a new launch hopefully in December, and so they can visit neutronpay.com. We're pretty active on Twitter. We do have somewhat remnants of a Facebook. They can check out our LinkedIn too. That's also being worked on too. But those are the main places. I think Twitter is our most active. If they want to kind of get into our chat, we're also building out a chat and telegram so they can join our telegram chat at NeutronPay and just join in any chat or any questions they have about Vietnam and how Lightning works here. They can go in there and ask us anytime. Awesome.
Kevin Rooke - 01:12:18:
Thanks for the time today and hope we can do it again soon.
Albert Buu - 01:12:21:
Yeah, for sure. Thanks, Kevin.