Side Hustle City

Deciphering Crypto Markets and Navigating Blockchain's Future with Luke Sestito

March 05, 2024 Adam Koehler with Luke Sestito Season 6 Episode 12
Side Hustle City
Deciphering Crypto Markets and Navigating Blockchain's Future with Luke Sestito
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Discover the dynamic currents shaping the cryptocurrency landscape and decipher the strategic moves of key financial players, forecasting the trajectory of Bitcoin and alternative coins. Tune in to Side Hustle City with Luke Sestito as we unravel the intricacies of the crypto market, from dissecting trends to probing into topics like Bitcoin ETFs, mining dynamics, and the captivating phenomenon of 'alt season'. No stone remains unturned as we delve into the cyclical nature of the market and offer a distinct perspective on how new financial instruments and influential industry players send ripples through the ecosystem.

Reflecting on the transformative journey of the past half-decade, we analyze the seismic impact of global events such as the DeFi explosion, the pandemic, and geopolitical shifts on blockchain technology and its fusion with traditional domains. Our dialogue unveils the pivotal role of governmental policies and electoral outcomes in shaping the industry's terrain while spotlighting the accelerating shift of capital from conventional assets to digital realms. Moreover, we illuminate how major accounting firms leverage the potential of blockchain, highlighting the ever-deepening intertwining of finance and technology landscapes.

Navigating the regulatory maze emerges as a critical facet of the industry's evolution, marked by diverse approaches adopted by different nations. We delve into the challenges and opportunities confronting entities like Ripple and Binance amidst this regulatory ambiguity. To cap off our enlightening discourse, we explore the imminent revolution in property investment through a European blockchain-based real estate exchange, signaling that the future has indeed arrived, and it's all happening on Side Hustle City.

As you're inspired to embark on your side hustle journey after listening to this episode, you might wonder where to start or how to make your vision a reality.  With a team of experienced marketing professionals and a track record of helping clients achieve their dreams, we are ready to assist you in reaching your goals. To find out more, visit www.reversedout.com.

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Speaker 2:

Welcome to Side Hustle City and thanks for joining us. Our goal is to help you connect to real people who found success turning their side hustle into a main hustle, and we hope you can too. I'm Adam Kaler. I'm joined by Kyle Stevy, my co-host. Let's get started, all right. Welcome back, everybody, to the Side Hustle City podcast. No Kyle Stevy today, because it's the middle of the day and he's got to work, but we do have Luke Sestito here. Glad to be here.

Speaker 3:

Back in Covington with the king of Cincinnati, adam Kohler. I would say defender of the faith, but not sure that applies to the city, so I'll say defender of the city, the man for whom we need a bad signal when things go wrong on city council. The commissioner Exactly, the commissioner.

Speaker 2:

Yes, Well, you're back from you just kind of just decided I'm going to go to Africa. Yeah, I'm going to go to the Middle East. I'm going to go to Africa. I mean, you've done a lot of business in the Middle East, but you know you ended up in Morocco for a while.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, I mean, I was touring the world, somewhat settled down in Africa, which so now one of my pronouns is American-African, since I'm an American that lived in Africa. Please address me properly Now I'm teasing you. But yeah, so spend some time in Dubai and spend some time also in North Africa, which was really, really a good life experience, but now crypto is popping again, so back in the US, crazy. And yeah, well, you know, this is the cycle, I think.

Speaker 2:

It's a four-year cycle generally.

Speaker 3:

We start to get used to this cycle of the big up and then the big down, and I think maybe this is the last big run. You know, I think you see these things as more and more adoption takes place, it's going to start to even out. Oh yeah, for right now people are back to making money.

Speaker 2:

Because market cap generally is still low. When you consider other types of assets, asset classes, like gold, right, it's always being compared to gold and even you know, the guys from the CEO of BlackRock came out and he's like it's digital gold, like we see it as digital gold, even though they were crapping on it a couple of years ago because they were probably trying to get the price to go down and so that they could come in and scoop up cheap Bitcoin, and we've seen this happen a bunch of times. I mean, we really started getting into it. What? Maybe 2015, 2016.

Speaker 3:

Yeah well, it's too early in the podcast for conspiracy theories, but let's just say the New York bankers like to make their money on top of you, yeah.

Speaker 2:

And they know how to do it right. Yeah, they do, which is one of the reasons they have ETFs now, which is something we've been waiting for years to get, because it would legitimize it right.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, and I think that's what's driving it. I mean, if you really take a look at the market, bitcoin is jumping massively from you know it's 30, 28, 29,000, 30,000 dollar lows to now we're up over 60,000. And I think that's being driven by that money coming in. Oh yeah, it'd be interesting to see if we see the same when ETH gets an ETF.

Speaker 2:

Well, there were more inflows. I think there were 12 times more inflows money, cash, right. 12 times as much money going into the ETFs yesterday than crypto miners were actually producing. And there's a chart floating around Twitter right now and it's that's how much like the demand is so much. There's not enough being produced now. So where do the new Bitcoins come from? Right, I mean, that's how new Bitcoin is generated is by the miners every day, by processing transactions and creating new Bitcoin. Every time you get rewarded, you get rewarded with new Bitcoin. There's only ever going to be 21 million Bitcoin, right? What is there like? Maybe 18 or something now, and then there's like three. Some people speculate up to 6 million Bitcoin that have been lost forever, because early on, people just had it sitting on their hard drives and disappeared. So you could possibly so say there's 21 million Bitcoin. You may only have 18, 19 million Bitcoin, 17, 18 million Bitcoin ever, right? So what happens? Right, it's infinitely divisible, right? Or up to 16 Satoshis or whatever.

Speaker 3:

I think eventually, that's what's going to happen, right, they're going to do like what we would call a stock split and they're going to sell it by Satoshis, not by full Bitcoin. But yeah, think about this too. The halving is coming up in the mining. So if it's 12 times the inflow for the number of Bitcoin today, six months from now it's going to be 24. That's right, because the production rate of Bitcoin is going to half, if I'm not mistaken.

Speaker 2:

Right. So the supply, the ability to generate more Bitcoin, is going to decline in half. It's going to get cut in half. So if it's 12X now, theoretically it's going to end up being 24X. Yes, if this keeps up, if the trend keeps up, if you've got as much money flowing into it and you know what the crazy thing is Interest rates are still high. Retail still hasn't even gotten into this, really, which is probably why you haven't had alt season yet. So it's mostly Bitcoin running. But this happened last time we went up. Last time we hit that peak of 63,000 or whatever. That was Early on in that cycle. Bitcoin ran first, then the alt coins started running.

Speaker 3:

And I think well, that's every time. I mean at least in my experience. So I mean you're going to see the Bitcoin run, then Bitcoin rests right, then the money flows into ETH and then to the alt coins and then the alt coins jump multiple. So a lot more risky play. But you know, if Bitcoin doubles you're going to have alt coins that do 10X, 20x, 50x, 100x.

Speaker 2:

no-transcript in the last.

Speaker 3:

Oh the.

Speaker 2:

Pepe, that's a new Doge. Man, that's a lot. Oh, come on, I don't know man.

Speaker 3:

I don't know. Listen, listen, listen. One of those weird meme coins has to run, you know Well they always do run and it's really irritating to me because they do nothing. And then I see some kid. He's like I'm 12, and I bought Pepe and I bought $100 million. And I'm like, well, really, I bought Solana and Ethan, I'm not near that.

Speaker 2:

No, but then it'll be up like a billion dollars and they won't sell it. It's like dude, sell that? Yeah, you know there was. The same thing happened with Doge last time. Was it Doge or no? It was a Shibuino or something like that.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, Shibuino yeah.

Speaker 2:

Some guy was like a billionaire off of it and didn't even sell it or whatever. He may have sold some of it, but who knows?

Speaker 3:

They had a little period or I guess October, september, october, 2023, where all kinds of these just meme coins were coming out. It's crazy and people were jumping into them and some people made money. I wasn't one of them, because I don't do that, but some people made some dollars.

Speaker 2:

Well, we learned our lesson in 2016, 2017. I mean, it was just so many coins you could have got into in different ICO projects you could have got into. And I mean we were buying. I remember we were buying Ethan like 10 bucks. I mean it was crazy. And I looked back at some of my early transactions. I looked back and it was like your purchase of 10 or five or six Ethereum at $36, like the total cost was $36 for like 6E. I'm like what was I buying it at? It was crazy.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, no, no, I mean, full credit goes to Jeremy Bagley. He's the one that originally his brother. Well, jeremy called me. So Sean probably told Jeremy because Sean's a tech guy. Yeah, and Jeremy called me one day, I'll never forget it. I was driving home from Chicago that's when Sandy and I have the contract with JLL and he said, like listen, there's this new thing out called ETH and it's $8. He said buy it. He said I promise you, by the end of the year it's going to be $100. And I thought like okay. I said what exchange is it on? He said it's not a stock. I said what is it? He said it's something called cryptocurrency. And boom, so I started looking into it and I'm going to buy it. Not only was it $100 by the end of the year, it was like a month later.

Speaker 2:

Right, oh yeah.

Speaker 3:

The days of $8 ETH were gone, but last year they had something similar. I don't know if you were in on Solano.

Speaker 2:

I got some Solano yeah.

Speaker 3:

I jumped into Solano when the market was way down. I got it for like $11, $12. And now it's sitting at what? $120?, $120?, something like that. Yeah, I think.

Speaker 2:

I get in. I think my in my buy price was $20 or something like that. Now it's like $25 because I bought it at like 30 something too. But yeah, I mean, you know it was wasn't really a thing that most people knew about, I'd say probably until 17, 18, something like that, because I remember it was me, austin and Matt. We were building Dot Loop, right. So we're in Matt's apartment I remember where we're at and Matt's like you guys heard of this and we're doing whatever. Like I'm doing some UX or some design work or whatever. And Matt's like hey, you heard of this Bitcoin thing. He's like they're talking about you know it's new money and this and that. And he was like it's 50 cents for Bitcoin, wow. And he's like we should get. He's like you think we should get some, or what do you guys think about that? I was like I don't know, it seems weird, like it just seems like some weird scammy thing. So I didn't do it at 50 cents, right, and that was back in probably 09 that we were talking about a 0809, somewhere in that range when it first came out, right, so there were articles being written about it, but the general public really didn't think anything of it. Didn't really pay attention to it, but imagine buying that at 50 cents and now it being worth over what? $62,000 today.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, you know a lot of those new technologies, new innovations. When they hit America, they hit on the West Coast, right? So a lot of guys on the West Coast made a lot of money, you know, living abroad. It's funny because I tell people all the time I say 99% of Americans were just dumb. I said, but there's 1% of us that are genius and it makes up for the rest. Yeah, true, so that was one of those things I know. Most of the guys that made it big early in Bitcoin were West Coast guys, right. So whoever Satoshi was and whoever it was that invented this concept of Bitcoin, it was adopted quickly by our friends in California, etc. And took some time to make it to Ohio, which, by the way, I just need to add something here real quick, off the topic, because I've been gone. When I left Ohio and Kentucky, ohio State had Urban Meyers the coach. They were rolling along, they were winning championships. I come back and I find Michigan has won the national championship. You're squad. Yeah, what's going on. Ohio State can't beat them. They're being embarrassed. They got some guy who is this Ryan Day, you know? I don't know what's happened in Ohio. And then even more incredible to me was the Bengals went to the Super Bowl. I was gone.

Speaker 2:

You weren't even here for it. I missed it. I went to that.

Speaker 3:

That was crazy.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it was. I'm still recovering from the ticket prices, but it was crazy. So I found out the trick, so we'd go to Disney the day after, right, so we'd already lost. But there's tons of people walking around Disney with Bengal stuff on. So we just happen to say who day and stuff to people. And there's folks that are like we get into conversations with and I was like man, can you believe the ticket? Did you guys go to the Super Bowl? They're like yeah, and I'm like, man, those ticket prices are crazy. They're like, oh, we didn't pay that. And I'm like what do you mean? They're like, oh, we just went, you know, an hour after the game started or half an hour after the game started, and we got tickets for like really cheap. And I'm like what? I was like, why did I do that? But it's like it's the Super Bowl, the Bengals, right, the first time we've been able to really go to a Super Bowl.

Speaker 3:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

So at our age. And so I'm like I wanted to get there early, I wanted to walk around, I wanted to, but it's like the amount of money you spent, I mean it would have been cut in half if you would have just went into the game a little bit later and it was nuts, but there was a lot of hype around it and everything else and you want to. You know you kind of have to FOMO into it, but we're standing at the gate and I'm like buying tickets at the gate, trying to get these things from StubHub or something like that, but it was a good time. And then the same year, you see, went to the college football playoff. Do?

Speaker 3:

you remember that? Yeah, I did. I did, of course, you know I played Alabama, so yeah, but still now, what you see is in the big 12, or big 12.

Speaker 2:

But, dude, the same year we go to the Super Bowl, you see, goes to college football playoff. Like how crazy. That was an expensive year for me.

Speaker 3:

It was a good time for Cincinnati sports.

Speaker 2:

It was, it was yeah, and now it's kind of screwed up because then Luke Fickle left UC. You know he went to Wisconsin. So then we have this new coach from Louisville that Louisville was happy to give us. Louisville didn't like him, but I don't know what time will tell when I left, brian Kelly was the coach.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, oh golly.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and then Brian Kelly. We've had like three coaches Notre.

Speaker 3:

Dame stole him and now he's where LSU yeah he's at LSU. Yeah Well the guy. Brian Kelly, you are a loser for leaving the Natty.

Speaker 2:

He was one of the best coaches we've ever had, but at the same time it's like it sucked that he took off. But everybody uses UC as a stepping stone, like that's just what you see Cincinnati sports in general, stepping stones for everybody. So that's, that's one of the biggest problems we have here. But damn, that was a long time ago then that you left. That was wild.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, I mean a lot. What's really really amazing is a lot changed in the world in the last five years, and when you travel, you start to see it. I mean, of course, crypto was had its up period when DeFi was king. I mean, we were really just we were in Dubai at that point. We've got a fund called Saudi Crypto Fund. We run out of Dubai and we were making a lot of money and then the market went down. We had the COVID situation right, which really took a year, year and a half from the world. You know, I think it impacted crypto. I think the Biden election impacted crypto.

Speaker 2:

You know, I think that anyone has hostile from a government perspective, anyone who's hostile to crypto and I would say hostile to new technology, because the underlying blockchain technology is legit. Bitcoin is just the best use case so far that we've had. I think for it, but there's so much other stuff you could do with blockchain. It's an immutable record and you, being an account, I mean you understand. I mean the value. In a record like that, it never has to be reconciled, it's automatically reconciled.

Speaker 3:

Listen, it's not just me. Don't think the big four accounting firms don't recognize that these guys have poured hundreds of millions of dollars into products. I mean, basically what you can do is I mean, if you're a company like GE, you're spending $100 million to get an audit right you can literally self-audit as you do transactions and have it run by your accountant at the same time and save you a lot of money in the end. So from an accounting perspective, blockchain's good. I wouldn't say Biden is hostile. I just think he's old right I mean.

Speaker 2:

Well, it's not Biden, necessarily, it's people like Elizabeth Warren, it's people that yeah, yeah, just keep naming them.

Speaker 3:

I'm gonna keep telling them.

Speaker 2:

Well even. Trump has come around. I mean, we've got Warren Davidson here locally. I don't know if you know that, but he's in federal Congress, oh, not present. He represents the West Side.

Speaker 3:

Okay, that's good.

Speaker 2:

He actually represents part of the West Side here. He's probably the biggest proponent of crypto and blockchain technology. And now Bernie Moreno's running against Sherrod Brown. He's probably early 50s, maybe.

Speaker 3:

Okay, so this is, so he gets it. I mean I'm early 50s, yeah, but he gets it. I mean, I know it's hard to believe If you guys can see me on camera. That's not a filter, that's handsomeness, but yeah, no, no. But you know, I mean the thing about Trump. With crypto, there was a couple of things. One when COVID happened and the government started writing checks to people, a lot of that money flowed into crypto right.

Speaker 2:

People were looking to get rich quick.

Speaker 3:

Right. So when you're flowing money into crypto, crypto's popping and you can like Trump not like Trump politically, I don't care. All I'm telling you is Trump was a business guy. He liked to make money and people made money and I think crypto did well under him because the US government was printing money and handing it out. Under Biden, the US government's still printing money, but they're handing it to Ukraine, to other places where it's not flowing into the crypto. So I think this year's election at the end of the year, is going to be pivotal because I think we're going to see crypto run up. And again, this is just my personal opinion. I think we're going to see crypto run up because of the Bitcoin halving, because now you've got the big corporate money and the you know institutional investors put in money into Bitcoin, and I think we'll see after the election if we get another year into that run.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, well, I mean and this is the other thing that we're talking about is the money that's flowing in right now is coming out of gold? It's coming out of other assets. It's probably coming out of the stock market because AI stocks have had a crazy run. And guys, this isn't financial advice, by the way, we got it, we got to say that, but just from our perspective, from what I understand is, you've had a lot of money going into AI stocks. Nvidia, companies like that, microsoft's got their own AI play. Google everybody has their own AI play. So the Magnificent 7, the Mag7, they're the ones driving the stock market right now. The stock market would probably be flat or even maybe even down, if it wasn't for the Mag7 and AI right now. So, you know, people like Biden are taking a victory lap at the stock markets up. Well, really, I mean, there's a small percentage of Americans that actually invest in the stock market maybe half, but on a basis that can actually change their life. Maybe even smaller than that, maybe the top 5% of people, right earners but in general, the reason the stock market's up doesn't really have anything to do with them. It has to do with a technology shift, the same way it happened under Clinton. You had the internet, you know, popping up right. You had the dot-com boom. You had these kind of things. Right now you've got this AI transition, but they've run up so much, so quickly. The rest of the stock market hasn't really caught up. So I think smart money investors and we always talk about smart money people right, because they know what's coming If you watch them what I think is happening right now is I think you've got money coming out of those gains, right. People have made a lot of money. Now they're like, hey, let me put this money into something else. They can put it into treasuries right now, because interest rates are so high, or you could play around in some of these ETFs now, since now you've got a Bitcoin ETF, right, and in the market cap in general of Bitcoin is so much lower than the market cap of gold. But those two assets are kind of looked at now, now that we have an ETF, it's been legitimized, right, there's regulation. Now those two assets are almost seen as the same thing, because do we actually have that much gold or do we just have a whole bunch of derivatives that you can invest in of gold, right, right, and this is the two points you made there that I think are really important for for people to understand.

Speaker 3:

One let's hope that these financial geniuses in New York don't start making derivatives of Bitcoin, because then what's going to happen is you're going to get all of these things built on top of Bitcoin and then the price of Bitcoin is not going to be affected, because it's basically bankers put it in their pocket and they're not even going to own the underlying Bitcoin, right?

Speaker 2:

Because the 21 million is going to be a new point at that point, like the fixed amount, just like there's a fixed amount of gold in the ground right. But it doesn't matter, because they make derivatives of derivatives and so we need to be careful of that.

Speaker 3:

But the second point you made that's very important is now there's regulation. So you and I know from our early project with C-Prop that you need regulation in order to bring institutional money into play, and this is what just happened for Bitcoin. This is why Bitcoin is exploding and, in my mind, this is why Bitcoin will continue to appreciate in value is because now there's this framework of legality that protect the institutional investor and he now feels free to put money. So now we're not talking about people who buy one Bitcoin, or 10 or 100. We're talking about literally people who can buy 10,000 or 50,000 Bitcoin out of their particular funds. So I think that's a big, huge step forward in adoption.

Speaker 2:

And it's good for people like us who are trying to create legitimate companies using blockchain technology, because what was happening at the time the entire crypto market and the interest in crypto by the time we were able to get our letter from the SEC, we were able to get all this stuff, we were talking to all these things and we were trying to determine there was the regulation just was not clear. There was no regulation around anything. Nobody knew what was going to the Wild West. Well, what year was that? 2017. And what year is this? 2023. So years later, right?

Speaker 3:

Regulation still is not fully there Still. So you'll see countries like Estonia, countries like UAE, where we've been based the last five years. They're farther ahead in regulation than the United States or Europe. Europe's regulation now is ready. It's on the cost of them giving out licenses, but it takes the government always time to catch up with technology. And I think, if I say something, we have another partner named Sandy Selman. He's a New York guy. That's why we love New York so much. He's a former fund manager. He was the one that really cautioned us. I think Adam will agree with me. You and I. We would have run ahead and boom, let's go. You have to be very careful. You see, now a lot of these companies ripple being one. They're a finance, a lot of these companies that ran ahead and opened these exchanges or started to do things without regulation. They're dropping the hammer Now. Maybe they'll get out of it. Personally, I love Binance. I think Binance is one of the better exchange companies in all of crypto. I'm leaving Coinbase out of this because this is basically a SEC regulated entity, in my opinion, but I thought, always thought, binance was one of the better exchanges and to see the hammer dropped on them, I'm a little bit critical of that because I always thought they tried to do a good job. I didn't think they cut corners. I'm not saying that they didn't cut deals to make money. I mean, everyone does this. Crypto, especially in the early days, is a dirty business, but I always felt like you could be secure with Binance compared to some of the others.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, but it's tough. It's a crazy industry and the regulations aren't clear. The regulators don't know what to do with some of this stuff. They didn't really understand the technology and bureaucracy. I mean it just takes a long time to get something through. There's a lot of red tape. There's a lot of understanding what's going on, what this industry is. I mean that's a problem for the government, but then it's a problem for people that want to jump into something that they see is an opportunity. They say, look, there's a huge opportunity. This technology is fresh. We need to start building on top of blockchain technology. But here the government is slowly doing their thing and meanwhile Estonia, some of these other countries that maybe the bureaucracy isn't as deep, they can move faster.

Speaker 3:

Well, but I think, you see, this is one of the advantages of a top-down system. So if you go to UAE, you literally can talk to someone there or, cutter, talk to the emir and he can say, like I like this idea, implement it, right, Boom, implemented it in the whole country, In the United States. If you want to implement, say you want to do something simple like put all the titles for land on the blockchain which many companies were trying to do.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, well, guess what?

Speaker 3:

There's 3,300 different counties in the United States. Each county has its own way of recording titles. Each county has its own little fiefdom. So how long is it going to take you to implement blockchain technology in the United States, trying to court 3,300 counties? I mean?

Speaker 2:

most of them still keep paper records in a file cabinet.

Speaker 3:

It's never going to happen in our lifetime, right, but other countries have this opportunity to jump and so, yeah, we'll see how that goes. But I think you know, the one thing the United States is a master at is falling behind and then, all of a sudden, when they realize there's opportunity, jumping back ahead. Yeah, and we've seen that in really many, many technologies throughout the years, and I think that crypto will be the same thing. I mean, once Europe finally gets the law ironed out and the US sees, wait, this is the European law, they're making money, all of a sudden, washington and New York and the guys in California are going to come together and it'll be done.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, plus. I mean there's a lot of slow movement and, I think, hesitation to do anything around crypto in general, not just blockchain, but crypto in general, because US dollars reserve currency of the world.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, I guess maybe we have differing ideas about that. I don't see Bitcoin as anything that would ever threaten the US dollar as the reserve currency.

Speaker 2:

They see it as kind of like bricks. I think is what the government thinks. You and I know right, just being people that are like, hey look, bitcoin is great for people in countries with high inflation, with hyperinflation. Argentina, right, the Argentinian peso is garbage right, which is one reason they elected Mele and he's going in and kicking butt right now. But those countries would have been much better off even when Bitcoin drops. It's still better than their inflation on their currency.

Speaker 3:

But even think about a country like China. Okay, so in China, moving money from inside China to outside China is almost impossible. You have to do smurfing right. You can only move so much.

Speaker 2:

You have to let the government know why people, because each person can what $50,000, I think they're allowed to use. Yeah.

Speaker 3:

And actually to be honest with you, I believe for a while, south Korea my brother's living in South Korea now, jesse, south Korea was the same. If you want to move so much money out of South Korea, you have to get permission. You have to tell the government why you're doing it. So Bitcoin really enables this transfer of money between countries. This may be to me is why the US government is a little leery of it, because, understand this, I don't know if people know this, but the SWIFT system was invented by the United States. So if I'm in Saudi Arabia and I want to send a wire to China, that information goes to the United States before the wire gets to China. Yeah, so we here in the US, our government I don't know if it's the NSA or who it is any money transfers around the world that go through the SWIFT system they're aware of and they know what's happening.

Speaker 2:

When you know if you move money, if you do a trade in US dollars so say, the Saudis and the Chinese want to do a deal for oil or something it's in US dollars, those US dollars that transaction has to go to New York for a split second. If anything is wrong with that transaction, the US government can find both of those countries, even though neither one of those countries is doing business technically with or actually with the United States. Technically, the money is in New York and has to fit US regulations and if something's messed up with that transaction, those countries can be fined by the US government. Which is another reason why a lot of countries are like screw this, we're going to join this BRICS thing and we're going to trade in BRICS instead of US dollars, but when you look at the people who are involved in that, that's never going to take off.

Speaker 3:

Oh, you look at the countries and you're like, yeah, right I mean, you know, all due respect to Saudi Arabia, I spent a lot of my life there, worked there. There's some fine people there. They're not going to get it done. I mean the China, iran, brazil, like you know, china. Maybe China would have the ability to get the stuff.

Speaker 2:

China's in trouble right now. China's having a lot of financial problems, their housing market crash and you've got people that are just losing money in their stock market. I mean, it's crazy right now in China.

Speaker 3:

I'm going to tell you something I said at one of the original crypto conventions I spoke at in 2017, and people laughed at me. I said be careful of what you've invented with blockchain, because the government can easily, easily put all monies on the blockchain, in which case they're going to know the history of every dollar who spent it, why he spent it and where he went.

Speaker 2:

Well, that's a thing now.

Speaker 3:

So now it's a thing right. So you think about this. You want to get rid of terrorism. You want to get rid of drug dealing, drug trafficking. You don't need an army to do this anymore. All you need to do is put your money on the blockchain and you're going to know as soon as you pick up the first drug dealer and you see his money and who he's sending money to. Boom, you're all the way up the chain, which is what we pay the FBI what hundreds of millions of dollars to do for us. So the only reason this, in my opinion, hasn't happened yet is the US government don't want you tracking their dollars.

Speaker 2:

Paper cash is the easiest way to launder money.

Speaker 3:

Right, it's throughout history and we don't even know how much money we have in the US now, right? No, I mean, the US just keeps printing and printing it. No one really.

Speaker 2:

I'm sure someone somewhere has a lot of counterfeit money too. In other countries a lot of counterfeit dollars floating around, but again.

Speaker 3:

blockchain ends that problem. Yeah, but the way I see that scenario playing out eventually is you're going to see countries like Saudi Arabia start to adopt the blockchain money and it's all traceable. That's the end of terrorism. You're going to start to see that if the US government can pressure Mexico, colombia, china is never going to be pressured. But if they did, all of this can be tracked. This is the end of crime as we know it, until someone think of a better way.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and just from a perspective, like I think one thing I wanted to bring you on today to talk about too, is just your experience in other countries, like living abroad. You know me as someone who likes to travel abroad all the time. What I notice is the narrative we have in the US for the rest of the world doesn't fit reality. We think America is the greatest country on earth, which there is a lot of good aspects of living in America there's. I mean, this is where you come to make your money. This isn't necessarily where you come to retire and spend your money. In my opinion, I could build a nest egg here, I could build a lot of wealth here, but America is an expensive place to live for most people. True, you could go to another country. You could go to a Thailand, the Philippines, you could go to Italy. A lot of countries, even Eastern European countries, live like a king on the money you've saved up and it's very safe. It's wild to me. One time I was in, we were in Naples and that's where the most crime is that? And I think Glasgow and Scotland is like the two most dangerous places in Europe, right, okay, so I'm like, wow, danger, I'm in Naples, right, this is like the hood of you know, it's like the Price Hill where we came from of Europe. Right, I looked up their crime stats. Cincinnati has a five times more violent crime than Naples, right. Naples is where, like the mob is Right, and Cincinnati is five times more crime than more violent crime.

Speaker 3:

But wait a minute. So understand this. This is something you know my last name's Cestito, for those that don't know. So this is something my father told me a long time ago. He said organized crime is a terrible thing, he said, but worse is unorganized crime. So the United States government spent a lot of money in the big cities like New York, detroit, san Francisco, get rid of the mafia. Well, what, listen? I was in New York one time when I'm a kid, with my dad and he took me to Little Italy and we went in. We were from Ohio, you know Ohio, ohio, and we're sitting there and my dad realized he'd leave his camera on the seat of his car. And we think, new York, it's gonna get stolen. My dad jumped off and he told the guy I gotta go out. I left the camera on my seat and the Italian guy told him sir, don't worry, no one will touch anything in this neighborhood. Okay, that's organized crime. Unorganized crime is what you had in Florence the other day, where three dudes go in armed and hold up the AT&T store and steal duffel banks, right, yeah, so I mean, crime is crime, but organized crime affects in a lesser way people that are in the community than unorganized crime.

Speaker 2:

Well and think it yeah, there's a fear there, right. But then also there was a story you told me one time about going to Saudi, and I think it was Saudi, and your ex had left a purse in the taxi. This was in Dubai. Was it in Dubai? Okay, okay, tell that story. It was interesting.

Speaker 3:

So this is something that the people of Dubai should be proud of, because this would not happen anywhere else in the world. So we get back to the hotel and I have my family with me my three kids, my wife and me and all of a sudden we realized she left her purse in the taxi with all of our passports, the wallets, everything. And of course we're like wow, we're in a foreign country, we lost everything. So I went down to the desk and I told the guy at the desk. I said listen, we just jumped out of a taxi. We left everything inside of this taxi. He said don't worry, sir, let me make a call for you. First he called, he checked all the cameras in the hotel. He said I'm sorry, we weren't able to get a picture of the license plate. And so now I'm thinking like what am I going to do, right? So he called the police, the police come over and he tells me, like you know what kind of cab was it? And I said we were in a cab. They have cabs in Dubai at that time and probably still that are pink and they're driven by women for families, and I said it was in a pink taxi. He said OK, sir, don't worry, within one hour I'm going to have all of your stuff back to you, literally within the hour. Here come one police car with a cab behind them, a police car behind that. They bring the person from the cab and shame on me, she was afraid, right, she was like from Ethiopia and she was just driving a cab to make money. And they said like is this the driver? And I said like yeah, yeah. And she said like, here's your stuff. And he told me check it and make sure everything's there. And it was. Everything was there. And within an hour they took care of the situation, right, and of course, I felt bad. So, you know, I asked the lady. I said tell me, what are you making a month? She told me. I said I got to give this to you because it was my fault, right, but the point I'm making to you in Dubai is it's a very safe place, it's a very nice place. But let me say this in the end if you have money, if you're coming from a country you know there's no place on earth, that's not nice. If you have money. Listen, I miss America because I was gone five years, right, miss America. I mean, who knows, I could be one day. You could get a little bit of makeup in the right filter. I'm there, miss America. No, but you know, when you're away from your country, I think, whatever country you're from, you have a longing for it and you miss it, right. So right now I'm in my honeymoon period, being back in the US. I miss it. I'm glad to be here, but I think you know, sometimes we don't look at ourself correctly. Right, we look at ourself. You said we look at America as the leader and the best. Listen, what you said is true. You can go and live somewhere cheaper than America. If you go and live in Thailand, they're going to treat you like a king, right, everything is going to be inexpensive. But what you're going to miss is you're not going to have America as one thing. No one else has Ease of life. Everything in America we make it easy. Everything has a drive through, right, everything can be delivered. These are things that, as an American, I mean. When I was living in the super convenient, when I was living in the mountains of Africa during COVID, I was standing in a food line for four or five hours because only two people at a time could go into the store and there was only one store within 100 miles and you're standing in the heat dying. Then you get your food and guess what? You're hungry and if you see me on the camera, I'm big, I'm hungry, a lot. Right, you're hungry and you're thinking the whole time. I got to carry this food home once I buy it.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 3:

So these kind of things. As an American, you can live super cheap there. By the way, I had a two bedroom apartment super nice $220 a month, it's crazy. But there's no McDonald's, there's no Burger King, there's no Starbucks. There's one grocery store and it's limited into what it has, right. So everything's give and take the same in Thailand. You're going to go to Thailand. The first two weeks you get there you're going to be like the food here's amazing Thai food. And then, after a while, you're going to be like you know what I really miss? Having a La Rosa's Pizza or Skyline Chili, right, yeah, so you know, if you're looking for a cheap place to retire, brazil's another place. I love the Brazilian people. People say Brazil has a lot of crime. I have a arguing a lot with my body. I spent a year in Brazil and Brazil does have a lot of crime. But the best thing about the people in Brazil they take care of each other and when you're a foreigner they'll tell you like listen, be careful. The only problem I have with Brazil they only speak Portuguese. So if you don't have any Portuguese, or a loss. But as soon as you meet someone who speaks English, she's going to talk to you or she's going to talk to you and they're going to help you. So, yeah, there's some great countries outside the US. I just am not a proponent of moving to the.

Speaker 2:

US. My wife loves Italy. My wife really wants to be in Italy. Well, it's just a laid back lifestyle. Great food, clean food. I mean you go there and you eat like an animal and you lose weight. I don't get it Like bread.

Speaker 3:

I don't get it either, because I heard pasta is bad for you.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I know and but for some reason you end up losing weight there, and it's probably also due to the fact that you walk. You walk a lot more than you do here the same.

Speaker 3:

I don't know if you remember when we were in Korea, koreans eat nonstop, like they never stop eating, but you eat, then you walk two kilometers to the next place and you eat again. Then you walk three kilometers.

Speaker 2:

So what are you doing now? What are you going to do? Like are we and I know C-Prop still going, it's in. We're trying to get a license to create an exchange in Europe right now.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, so the Europeans are finally, after all this time, finalizing their licensing for Europe. So we started with Estonia, because Estonia is part of the EU, and now we're waiting for the finale of the EU legislation to get a license. So we are. It's a long process, yeah, well, I mean, you know, to be honest with you, if I knew the process was this long, I never started.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, exactly, I mean you know, and you're kind of the one spearhead in this out of me and saying I mean Sandy had to kind of go get a job because nothing was really happening so well.

Speaker 3:

I mean, I wouldn't say a lot has happened in now other than finally, the legislation is moving forward and that's what we need. So we housed in Dubai, so we got out of some reporting requirements with the US. The idea is to get that license and then to launch the exchange in Europe and you know we've had a lot of talks in. So Dubai Let me say this also, uae in general is very forward thinking when it comes to blockchain. The problem with our particular project is they're not forward thinking in real estate.

Speaker 2:

And what I mean by that is which is weird because you're like popping buildings up everywhere.

Speaker 3:

Right, they're great at popping buildings up and they're great at selling buildings and selling apartments, but for instance, something like a REIT. So you got a real estate investment trust. I met with the exchange there to talk about the C-PROP exchange and the guy told me like well, what is a REIT? We don't even have REIT yet. We need to first understand a REIT before we can understand not having a REIT, right. So you have some things that are just in America, right, or just in the West that other countries haven't quite developed yet. But I think, overall, as we move forward, the best chance for C-PROP is going to be to be in Europe, because then we're going to have the licensing, and you saw what the licensing did for Bitcoin, right. So for us the licensing is even more important because we really have to have institutional money. You can't trade commercial real estate that's worth $200 to $500 million with guys who have 20 bucks right. You need the institutional players and for that you're going to have to have the laws that encircle it, and Europe right now is a little bit ahead of the US.

Speaker 2:

So if you got the token trading on a European exchange or we create our own exchange or whatever one of our tokens, one of the ones that are trading on that exchange, there would be other tokens trading on that exchange that are real estate related as well or we would trade. We would begin to trade buildings. The value of buildings wouldn't necessarily be traded in dollars, they would be traded in tokens and you could exchange tokens from one building to another building.

Speaker 3:

Yeah. So you know, if we're talking about Europe, obviously then we'd be talking about euros. So let's say, I'm an institution, I put 100 billion euros into the bank. Okay, I have all of these buildings that we've brought from developers, we've put on the exchange. Let's say, property managers like JLL come in and they do an assessment of what is the value of this building? Right, this is something we do already. Here's what we believe that building's worth. We make the tokens and now these big institutional players can buy up these tokens. They can trade these tokens between them, and what we're trying to do is give the commercial real estate space that liquidity that it doesn't have, right? So you have publicly traded REITs, but you also have a lot of REITs that don't trade right. So if I put my money into one, I'm locked up for 10 years or 15 years or 20 years In this case, you can move and trade and your biggest asset, which is generally real estate, now becomes liquid.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and the biggest problem with investing in real estate is the illiquidity. So you could, on paper, be worth a lot of money, but you can't really do anything about it unless you go to a bank and you get a line of credit or you get something you know. You sell the building, then you get liquid. But if you want to invest in another property, so you've got all your money tied up into one building. If you want to invest in a new building that's getting built, well, you can't unless you pull some money out of that first building. Well, what if there was an exchange where all of these buildings traded and you had tokens? The value of your building was based in tokens and you could take some of those tokens that you hold and exchange those for tokens in the new building.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, and so you know. Here's another thing I hear people tell me sometimes. They say, oh, a lot of people have tokenized buildings. Absolutely they have, but guess what? There's no place to trade them, right? So I can take this building, tokenize this building for however many million dollars it's worth, and then what happens to those tokens? So what I have tokens, it's like holding a stock certificate, right, I can't trade it unless there's a place that offers liquidity, and so that's what C-Prop is trying to accomplish is having a place that has liquidity. I don't know if you saw, jeff Bezos now has launched a new company I saw it on Google the other day and he sell in shares and residential property. So you can put in $1,000, $5,000, $10,000 and by shares of all these different houses. Yeah, well, he's not using blockchain, but eventually, if I bought a share in that house and I want to sell it, I'm going to need an outlet, right? How easy is it to tokenize that concept and drop it on the exchange?

Speaker 2:

That's right.

Speaker 3:

So you know, in exchange that allows I'm going to call them security tokens right Because they're backed by real estate. So in exchange that allows us to exchange real estate security tokens. I think is the future. I think we were really far ahead of the market, but hopefully the legislation will catch up with us and we can launch.

Speaker 2:

So you're still working on that, like you're the one of the three of us that's actually still working on it. Yeah, no, no, no, no, I have, and so it's not. The project's not completely dead. You're still got things going on. Things are still moving. You're spending money I mean you spent $100,000 or something, yeah, for the licensing, for the licensing and trying to get that moving. So what, now that we're back, you're back in the States. Like, what are you playing on doing? So?

Speaker 3:

one of the crazy things in the GCC, which is the Gulf Coast area, is there's a lot of Saudis that wanted to get involved in the crypto market, but it wasn't, strictly speaking, legal there. It is, however, legal to invest in crypto in UAE, dubai, right. So we started a crypto fund there with a bunch of Saudi guys and we got them into the market. We did really good two years ago. The market's been kind of down, so we've got a crypto fund. We're running as well, but I really I came back to the United States to back up Adam Kohler in his bid to be commissioner. And also, let me just say this the founding well, they're not the founding fathers. I don't even want to call them fathers. What do you call these people now that run the Cincinnati, these corrupt people? Poverty pimps. Yeah, the poverty pimps. That's Alex's or Adam's words, not mine. I'm getting like Biden. I don't know what I'm saying. Listen, selling the railroad. When I heard this, I thought like, ah, but I was too late. I mean, you know, kudos to you for speaking up for the city.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, the city needs had so much money, dude like six million dollars, in this advertising campaign to put the mayor's face on there. He got some free advertising for his campaign using another packs money. It's pretty bad here, dude, it's. You know, the more you dig into it and the more people I met, the more I realized how bad it actually is here, like I mean it's, it literally is corrupt.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, it's funny. I always tell people because whenever I travel, one of the things people tell me is like this this, our country is very corrupt. How do you Americans Not corrupt? I said we're more corrupt than you. Yeah, our politicians are just smart enough to write a law to legalize the corruption.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, right, so that's what I know. Once they're done with it, they write a law to fix that loophole. Yeah, but they've already taken advantage of. Or the businesses that invest in their campaigns. So there's also that, like there's. There's definitely the the way things work and you know campaign funding works and the way these politicians end up owing these people favors After they, you know, donate to their campaigns and it's so obvious. But we just, for whatever reason, overlook at most people because people are busy, people don't have time to be messing around with this. But there's a bunch of watchdogs, but then they just come off as crazy loons. You know, there's a government in this and that, and then there's like, all conspiracy theorists shut up, right, all right, but those are the people that are actually probably paying attention and they're so frustrated that nobody else will listen and they come off as these crazy dingbats, you know, and the government knows that, and they're just like oh, look at that crazy dingbats, he's a conspiracy theorist. No, no, no, you know, it's true.

Speaker 3:

It's funny because the older you get, then you get old enough to see the trend in the world, right, you see how the world changed from when you were young to older and my dad used to tell me things that I used to think like my dad is nuts, and so either I'm going nuts or now I'm like my dad was right. Right, that did happen. So, yeah, you see these trends, and sometimes the conspiracy theorists can be right. You know, not always, of course there's some crazy ones, but the world is really. I think COVID changed the world a lot and, unfortunately, my view in the last five years when I returned to America, is it's gone downhill, not uphill. And I think one thing that I would say to all the American people, regardless of Republican, democrat and Democratic, republican Democrat, independent, communist, whatever you are people look, you know we don't get up in the morning and think I wonder what's up in Libya or Tunisia or Egypt. We never think of them, right? Did you ever wake up in the morning? No, I think this. They get up in the morning, some of them, and think of us. So you know, I mean there's people. When I sit in in Morocco or when I sit in Dubai or when I sit in Saudi. Tell me, can I, can I talk to you about American politics? America, for people, is the model of freedom and of what government should look like. And this stuff with people storm in the Capitol, this stuff with us uh persecuting political opponents, they said we can't have this. Yeah, because the US is really the only model the world has left for how they think things should run. I mean internally. We know it's a mess right.

Speaker 2:

What's the? What's the thing? When the US sneezes, the rest of the world gets cold.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, I mean, people all over the world watch the election and because they know that whoever is president of the United States, his policy is going to affect them, and that's, you know, that kind of remind me of. Oh, I didn't ask for that, right, you didn't ask for it, but you should be proud that people look to America as that beacon. Still, you know, and what you said earlier is true, we are very, you know, our country socked, this sock. Well, people don't know, as we say that. But let somebody sit in over here who's a French say America sock. We're not going to listen to it, right? Yeah, so I mean, this is the thing about Americans we got our differences, but still, my take is, as a country, this is still the best country in the world. It's not the cheapest. Not everything here is the best. There's places with better buildings. You know, there's always things that are better, but overall, when you consider that we're a collection of people from around the globe we're people from Africa, we're people from Asia, we're people from Europe, we're people that were indigenous here right, you took all those people and put them together Um, when I toured the world, what I saw is we made something pretty special and we should safeguard that and we should continue to try to be an example to others.

Speaker 2:

That's right.

Speaker 3:

Luke's a steeto guys.

Speaker 2:

Uh, so, luke, what's what's your thing? Like, what are you gonna do here now? Like, are you, uh, I mean I know you got, you got crypto, but but are you, are you? Are you playing on starting a new company here? Are you just gonna keep? We're gonna keep rolling with c-prop trying to get that going?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, I mean, my main thing is to continue rolling with c-prop. I mean, I've got my uh crypto fund that I'm running, uh, so I'm gonna do that. And uh, you know, I mean I'm back with you, I'm back with sandy, uh, I gotta go up and see doc pima, see how he's doing, oh yeah, but uh, you know, I'm gonna just kind of hang out, you got a bunch of PPE upstairs.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I know if there's another covet outbreak.

Speaker 3:

I gotta find, I gotta find a charity to donate some of that stuff too, because, uh, I continue to pay you rent to store it.

Speaker 2:

That's right. Well, anyway, luke. Well, man, thanks for coming on the show and good luck with everything, man.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, thanks a lot, man. I hope you invite me back again to talk about my well giving up popular world views. All right, bye, bye, see you.

Speaker 2:

Thanks for joining us on this week's episode of side hustle city. Well, you've heard from our guests. Now let's hear from you. Join our community on facebook, side hustle city. It's a group where people share ideas, share their inspirational stories and motivate each other to be successful and turn their side hustle Into their main hustle. We'll see you there and we'll see you next week on the show. Thank you.

Cryptocurrency Market Trends and Predictions
(Cont.) Cryptocurrency Market Trends and Predictions
The Evolution of Crypto and Blockchain
Regulation Challenges in Blockchain Industry
(Cont.) Regulation Challenges in Blockchain Industry
Comparing Crime and Lifestyles Abroad
Discussion on European Real Estate Exchange