Let’s Understand Crypto (#8)

In today’s episode we will look at cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ether. What are they, how are they different from each other, and why is it important to know about them?

Let's understand crypto

Our guest today is Rasmus Risager Lindegaard, product manager at the Grow Colony at Lunar bank. Rasmus is specialized in anything that can make money grow in value, and therefore, Rasmus is also an expert in understanding the value cryptocurrencies hold.

Your host is Mikkel Svold, CEO of Montanus, who will guide you through this interesting topic.

This podcast is produced by Montanus.

Episode Content

Listed below are the most essential timestamps from the podcast episode to make it easier for you to find the topics that interest you.

  • 00:24 Welcome
  • 01:35 Introduction to the Grow Colony and Rasmus Risager Lindegaard
  • 03:57 Rasmus’ work with crypto and blockchain technology
  • 05:49 Lunar’s choice to incorporate cryptocurrencies
  • 08:19 The Bitcoin network and other cryptocurrencies
  • 10:22 The difference between crypto and blockchain
  • 13:29 Why are there two different kinds of technologies?
  • 14:55 What is Bitcoin?
  • 16:45 Why is it interesting and how can we use it?
  • 20:59 The benefits and drawbacks of cryptocurrencies in the future
  • 27:11 Will it ever become normalized?
  • 30:39 Introduction to decentralized finance and Web3
  • 31:51 Outro

Relevant Links from the Episode

Full Episode Transcript

Open transcript

Mikkel Svold (00:24):

Hello and welcome to Big Ideas Only, the podcast brought to you by Montanus, where we are a company where we specialize basically in producing high quality content for marketing departments in high tech and engineering companies. I’m Mikkel Svold, and in this episode we are trying to understand cryptocurrencies and also why are they so different from, say, the euro or the dollar or the Danish krone, and really what makes cryptocurrencies, and I guess also kind of blockchain, so interesting. And I really know nothing about this, so I’m very lucky to, in the studio, I have with me last Rasmus Risager Lindegaard, who is the so-called, or who is the product manager of the Grow Colony at Lunar, which is a Danish Denmark based digital bank only. The bank was founded in 2015 so it’s, I would say, still brand new, but it already has more than 500,000 users. That is a lot. Rasmus, welcome to you.

Rasmus Risager Lindegaard (01:24):

Thank you.

Mikkel Svold (01:24):

And I think we should maybe start out just for the listener to know and for me, I guess, to explain your title. So, you say you’re the product manager of the Grow Colony. What does that mean?

Rasmus Risager Lindegaard (01:35):

That’s a pretty good question. So, I think the way we try to organize Lunar is according to Agile precepts. We don’t talk about Agile in the day to day, but we definitely live it, and we work it. So, we’ve organized around these colonies from a product perspective, which means that we try and find solution areas or problem areas and then we try and organize around that. So, I’m essentially the sort of product steward from the Grow Colony, and with me we also have data represented, we have tech represented, we have UX represented, and then we have a lot of really good developers and we together try and sort the problems we have. So, the Grow Colony very specifically is anything that grows your money. It could be fixed time deposits, it could be crypto, it could be stocks, funds, et cetera.

Mikkel Svold (02:22):

That seems like a very broad area of expertise. Is that wrong?

Rasmus Risager Lindegaard (02:27):

I mean, yes and no. I like to think of it a bit like a continuum, right. So, everyone during their life is going to need to save their money in some way or form. And as we can see very clearly right now with inflation being what it is, just leaving money under the mattress or in the bank is not going to cut it, so…

Mikkel Svold (02:47):

Was it ever though?

Rasmus Risager Lindegaard (02:48):

No, it wasn’t, it wasn’t. But that’s also where a lot of cultural things come in, right, because if you’ve… I’m 32 today. When my parents were my age, they could just leave money in the bank and get 10%. That was probably going to be enough not to think about it. And as a result of that, we, in Denmark especially, but also a little bit in the other Nordic countries, we don’t have the best investing culture. I mean Sweden is way better than Norway and Denmark, but nonetheless it’s a bit of a problem. So I kind of see it as a continuum where you say, all right, well depending on your time horizon and your risk willingness and comfort, you can find products all the way along the continuum, right.

So, we have fixed term deposits. You lock up your money for one to three years and you get a fixed return on that, and you’re covered by banking guarantees, and there’s essentially no risk to your money. I mean, the risk is that inflation could be higher than the interest you get here, but that’s what it is. And then along that continuum, you then have bonds, you have stocks, you have funds of various types, and then you have crypto. So, I see it kind of as a… The target is the same for you as a user to have the right solution to protect and save your money as best as possible given your life circumstances.

Mikkel Svold (03:57):

And in this continuum, how much time do you spend in your day-to-day work working with crypto and trying to understand the technology behind the blockchain technology? How much time do you actually spend in the crypto bit of that continuum?

Rasmus Risager Lindegaard (04:15):

Yeah, I think that’s a good question because beyond my daily role as the guy with the product expertise in the Grow Colony, I’m also sort of the unofficial Mr. Blockchain, right? So because I’ve spent so much time from a professional perspective, I also did it sort of more personally before I started in Lunar, but from a professional perspective, I spent so much time understanding the dynamics, understanding the technology. So, I also try and keep an eye out what could be relevant in five years down the road, what could be relevant two years down the road that go beyond the Grow Colony perhaps? So I think on a day to day basis, it’s probably around 50% of my time right now that I spend in the broader blockchain space, but if we look at the last year and a half, it’s probably closer to 70%.

Mikkel Svold (04:59):

Wow. And is that because that’s where the fun part is or is it because that’s where the growth is? Or why is it like that? Or it’s because it’s just more complicated, could also be…

Rasmus Risager Lindegaard (05:11):

It’s because it’s newer really.

Mikkel Svold (05:14):


Rasmus Risager Lindegaard (05:14):

So, if you look at the other products we have in the Grow area, fixed term deposits as mentioned, and stock trading, all that is described very well indoor. It’s very clear. You can do A, you can do B, you can’t do C. That’s not the case with the blockchain space or the crypto space, and that’s also where we’ve been spending a lot of time talking with various regulators in all the countries, we are active, various people, legal experts, et cetera, et cetera, throughout the community to try and understand what do we know, what do we think and what kind of space do we want to take in this space.

Mikkel Svold (05:49):

Now I want to ask a question. I want to ask why you at Lunar chose to incorporate cryptocurrencies into your banking service. But before you answer that, I think it’s fair for us to kind of get a grip on just in broad terms, what is blockchain and what is also crypto and how are they connected?

Rasmus Risager Lindegaard (06:10):

Sure, happy to. So, let me just dispel one thing, right? So I think it’s important to emphasize as well that crypto in Lunar isn’t part of the bank. It’s a separate company. And I think that’s for a couple reasons, again, back to the regulatory uncertainty, but also for us to be able to be a bit more nimble around how we deal with these things. So it’s part of a company called Lunar Block, which is then under the Lunar Group from where we do these activities. But yeah, let’s talk about blockchain and cryptocurrencies and sort of the origin, right. I think the word has been used so much in recent years that it kind of means nothing at this point. People, oh, blockchain, yeah, that’s this amazing magical technology almost. But I think when you boil it down, blockchain is a database technology, that’s it. It’s-

Mikkel Svold (06:57):

Like SQL basically.

Rasmus Risager Lindegaard (06:58):

More or less. It’s a way to store data.

Mikkel Svold (06:59):


Rasmus Risager Lindegaard (07:00):

Right. The big difference is that, where databases, when we typically think about it, you have one central authority. That could be a bank, that could be the Facebook server room, it could be whatever it is depending on the data. And the thing there is that the authority determines, all right, the data entries came in ABC. In the blockchain, you don’t have a central for it. You have many different nodes that then have to collectively agree on was it ABC or was it ACB? Was there a D on this sort of transaction list or in this kind of sequence of events?

And therein lies the beauty, right? This is the distributed part of it, and then there’s lots of discussions to what degree of blockchains really distributed, because there’s so many miners that kind of make up a large portion of the market, but that’s not really about the technology. The technology is agnostic around that. The technology dictates that multiple parties in the network have to agree upon the truth. And that really is, on one side, the beauty, but it also opens up for a bit of the dark side of blockchain and crypto because it was created as a sort of anti-establishment, we want to be free from a central authority. That was one of the key motivations behind originally creating the Bitcoin network.

Mikkel Svold (08:19):

Okay, and now… Yeah, because you already mentioned the Bitcoin network, and I’m quite sure the Bitcoin is the most known currency, cryptocurrency that is, but it’s, at all, not the only one?

Rasmus Risager Lindegaard (08:19):


Mikkel Svold (08:32):

The list kind of goes on and on and I think maybe there’re one or two, so Bitcoin is one and is it called Ethereum?

Rasmus Risager Lindegaard (08:32):

Ethereum is-

Mikkel Svold (08:32):


Rasmus Risager Lindegaard (08:41):

… the second biggest and then you have a number of others. I had a fun challenge for, I did an internal quiz for a Christmas party and I had to come up with which of these cryptocurrency exists, and it took me way longer than you’d expect to find one that actually didn’t exist.

Mikkel Svold (08:56):

Oh, really?

Rasmus Risager Lindegaard (08:57):

So, when you have pizza coin, you have a Popeye coin, you have a dark, I mean you’ve got in excess of 3000 coins. But in actuality, as with many such things, it’s a couple of percent of them that actually have any traction.

Mikkel Svold (09:12):

And now, so the cryptocurrencies, so blockchain is basically that a bunch of people or machines, that is, need to agree on where something came from and on what it is.

Rasmus Risager Lindegaard (09:27):

Yeah. I mean, so partially when you talk about Bitcoin, especially, you talk about solving the double spend problem, right? So, if you look at, let’s say I have a database and you have a database. In my database, I say I have spent my money over here. In your database, you say I haven’t spent my money. So, when you think you haven’t spent your money, but I convince other people in the network that I have spent my money and you convince them you haven’t, then you can actually go out and spend that money again. And that’s what you want to kind of prevent. And this is where the so-called consensus mechanisms come in. Now, there’s a couple, well, really there’s only two you want to talk about and there are a couple of other kind of ideas, more novel ways of doing it. But essentially, you’re talking about proof of work, which many people have heard about, and then proof of stake, which has been very much in the news lately because the Ethereum network has just gone to proof of stake.

Mikkel Svold (10:22):

And what does that mean?

Rasmus Risager Lindegaard (10:23):

So essentially, think about the two consensus mechanisms. One is a race and the other is a lottery. So crypto, right, what does crypto mean? It means cryptography, essentially math. That’s the way you kind of validate things in these networks. So, in proof of work, you have to prove that you have done the work, i.e. you have solved the math question.

Mikkel Svold (10:45):


Rasmus Risager Lindegaard (10:46):

And essentially what happens when you do a block, because that’s where the word comes from, instead of having just transactions coming in one by one as they would in a traditional database, you kind of submit transactions by a block. That can consist of 10 or 1000 different transactions under that block. But with proof of work, when you have a block, you have to determine someone who gets to be the authority. They say this is what we have and everyone has to say we agree.

Mikkel Svold (11:13):


Rasmus Risager Lindegaard (11:16):

If more than half of the network disagrees, then you punish the person who said it was this sequence, or you have a fork. So, it can go out and say we think this and we think this. It’s pretty interesting the dynamics around that. But the way then it works when you have a block is you say all right, the next block is coming up now, and then you give people a formula. That formula is X equals black box plus Y, and something like that. It’s a very complicated math question that you need a lot of effort to calculate on a computer, and the more computers are in the system, the more complicated the math problems get.

So that’s why it takes so much energy as well. People will have heard about this. With Bitcoin, it uses a ton of energy equivalent to the nation of Holland in a year or something such. But the reason for this is that all of these computers are then simultaneously trying to get to that finish line first, to be ones that say all right, the answer is Q. And then everyone else plots in Q to the formula in the black box and say yeah, that checks out. The answer was Q. Now we have agreed on this block. Where proof of stake-

Mikkel Svold (12:25):

And that’s what’s called mining.

Rasmus Risager Lindegaard (12:26):

That’s what’s called mining, yes, essentially, right, because then you get rewarded with a Bitcoin in the case of that blockchain. And this is then where proof of stake does it differently because proof of stake is essentially, as mentioned, a lottery, but more than that, it’s a lottery where you weight the number of tickets you get in the tombola, so to speak, by the amount of collateral you have put up. So, for me to, I can’t just say, hey, I want to participate in the lottery. I actually have to put skin in the game. I have to say, I put money in the lottery and if I lie or put up sort of the database entries that the rest of you don’t agree with, then you can punish me by taking away my collateral. This what’s known as slashing, essentially. So, the great thing about that is because you kind of select through the lottery, you select, all right, now is your turn, then you don’t have all these computers racing. So you spend, I think the estimate is, it’s 99.9 something less energy on proof of state than you do from proof of work.

Mikkel Svold (13:29):

Okay. And why are there these two different kind of technologies?

Rasmus Risager Lindegaard (13:36):

Well, I think part of it is philosophical differences and creative problem solving, but I think there’s always an argument around when is a thing final in a blockchain, right. Because as we’ve heard before, there have been these forks, there have been times where transactions can be undone. So everyone is trying to solve from that. And when you dive deeper into it, there’s a number of, or a lot of variance underneath. So proof of stake isn’t just proof of stake. You can run all kinds of probabilistic kind of ways of dealing with edge cases down over it. So a lot of companies are just trying to solve for what is the best way of securing that we all agree and that it can’t be undone. That’s the two fundamental things that blockchain needs to be able to do. It needs to agree on the truth and needs to ensure that the truth can’t be undone once it’s sort of committed to the blockchain.

Mikkel Svold (14:32):

Okay, and now just to kind of sum this up a little bit, if I can try. So blockchain is basically the technology behind all this. So that’s the databasing, indexing basically, technology. And cryptocurrencies, that’s just a means of using blockchain technology, right?

Rasmus Risager Lindegaard (14:53):

Yeah. I mean, it’s one use case.

Mikkel Svold (14:55):

So, one Bitcoin, what is that?

Rasmus Risager Lindegaard (14:56):

Yeah. It’s a use case, but it differs very much depending on what kind of blockchain project we are looking at. So, for example, Bitcoin was created with the express purpose of being a forms of payment or form of payment, right. So it was like, you should be able to use Bitcoin to go buy stuff, and we’ve all heard, or perhaps we haven’t, but there are these examples of guys that travel around the world using only Bitcoin to see how easy it is to pay with. Usually, spoiler alert, it’s pretty difficult, but nonetheless, they tend to succeed, right. That’s not the case with Ethereum. So Ethereum wasn’t created to be a mode of payment. Ether, which is then the coin related to the Ethereum blockchain, is actually just meant to pay for transactions within the blockchain, right.

So, imagine that you are at a party. You get given, your employer’s a bit stingy, that’s not Lunar in this case by any means, but your employer’s a bit stingy, so you get drinks tickets. These drinks tickets aren’t really valuable on the street. You can’t go down to the corner shop and say hey, give me a beer. That’s not going to work. But it works within the ecosystem, and that was essentially what ether was intended to be. It’s a way to pay for computing power, we’ll get into more blockchain use cases a bit later, but it was meant to pay for a computing power and decisions on the Ethereum blockchain. Then what happened is, because it got so popular and people saw oh, it keeps increasing in value, now maybe can I pay you with this? So my drinks tickets, right, everyone knows my party is now the coolest party in town. Now suddenly my drinks tickets have value outside of the party venue because they want to buy it, maybe use it in there or maybe sell it on. And that’s essentially what’s happened with something like Ether.

Mikkel Svold (16:45):

Okay. And now I want to come back to just a little bit, why do you think these technologies are interesting and what do you think will kind of be the use cases?

Rasmus Risager Lindegaard (16:59):

Yeah, I thought that’s such an expansive topic. So, I think it’s really interesting to look at the history of particularly Bitcoin, right. As I mentioned earlier, it was kind of a rebellious invention. The first, Genesis Block has this quote from Financial Times where the banks are bailed out again by the government, something to that effect. And this was in, they went live in 2009, January 2009, the white paper count came out towards the end of 2008. So, let’s remember when this was. This was the financial crisis. So, there was huge distrust of banks and bankers and what they’d done to ruin our economy and create this great recession, and this was kind of a counter-play to that. What a wonderful world it would be if we didn’t have these massively bonus incentivized bankers putting lots of hormones and steroids into our financial system to the ruin off all of us. And yeah, it cost them a bad bonus year, but they still made millions. I think that was kind of the initial thinking, can we do this without these untrustworthy central authorities?

Mikkel Svold (18:09):

Have they succeeded?

Rasmus Risager Lindegaard (18:10):

No. And the reason they haven’t succeeded, I think, so far is because it became such an investment in and of itself, it has failed in actually becoming an efficient means of payment. That’s part one. The other part is that, as far as I recall, Bitcoin does around seven transactions a second. So it’s not very efficient to use as a payment tool if you can only do seven transactions per second, when by comparison, Visa and MasterCard, when they hit peak load, they do 100,000 transactions per second.

Mikkel Svold (18:40):


Rasmus Risager Lindegaard (18:40):

Now there are these so-called scaling technologies. Right now Lightning is being mentioned very frequently and has been for a couple years, but it does seem to be coming a little bit back in vogue, which makes it a lot more efficient and a lot quicker to do these transactions. So let’s say there’s been two reasons why it hasn’t succeeded. The technology wasn’t sufficiently scalable initially, and two, the sort of value development meant that people didn’t want to use it to buy stuff. I mean, if I tell you, hey, you know can go buy something right now, yeah, but maybe tomorrow it’s worth 10% more, so I’ll just wait.

Mikkel Svold (19:14):

Yeah, I’ll just keep it.

Rasmus Risager Lindegaard (19:14):

I’ll just keep it, right? And that, I think, has been the two key issues around Bitcoin.

Mikkel Svold (19:20):

And I also guess that curve kind of needs to flatten out before people will start spending, right?

Rasmus Risager Lindegaard (19:24):

You’d expect so, right? But again, it’s not really related to the technology, it’s more around the way you use it. So now we’ve mentioned cryptocurrencies, mentioned two kind: Ether, which is essentially, let’s call it, fuel or a drinks ticket to use within the Ethereum ecosystem, what it was intended for, and Bitcoin, which was intended as a payment ticket. Now you also have other types of cryptocurrencies, right, because if you dig down into it, a cryptocurrency is any currency that uses cryptography to kind of maintain its transactions. So you also have stable coins, which are cryptocurrencies. You’re also starting to see CBDC, so that’s central bank digital currencies.

Mikkel Svold (20:10):

All right.

Rasmus Risager Lindegaard (20:10):

Now, they might not all use cryptography, but some of them will. So, if you look at the most well-known CBDC today is the one they have in China, the e-one or something, I think they call it, and that isn’t actually using blockchain technology, but it’s using kind of the thinking around it to create this fully digital thing. And if you talk to the National Bank in Denmark, they’ll say, hey, we’ve been using digital money since the ’70s, right? And we do. When banks create money and they put it into digital bank, all that is, or an international bank, all of that is digital.

Mikkel Svold (20:40):

Yeah, it’s not like they’re actually printing notes anymore like that.

Rasmus Risager Lindegaard (20:42):

No, no, they’re not. And banks create the majority of the money, not the national bank. So there’s a lot of digital money already, but when we talk about crypto, we typically then talk about digital money that exists on a cryptographic tool typically for blockchain in nine cases out of 10.

Mikkel Svold (20:59):

All right. And now I think the whole blockchain and also the cryptocurrency technology, it’s surrounded by a lot of, I guess, anticipation for what’s to come, but also fears because it also comes from this kind of dark web feeling at least. So, what do you think would be the benefits and I guess also the drawbacks from these technologies going forward?

Rasmus Risager Lindegaard (21:30):

Yeah, I mean, we are really getting into deep water again. So, I think let’s try and start with the negatives, right. So, we’ve mentioned a couple already, or one at least. We’ve mentioned energy usage, which has been enormous. One could argue that if one was to not use Bitcoin, that is solved because Ethereum now, once they’ve done this merge just this month, is going to use a lot less energy than it has so far. There’s a number of other blockchains out there that it can actually rival Visa and MasterCard in terms of number of transactions per second, but can also rival them in terms of energy usage. So let’s say that thing has essentially been solved if we want to. Then the other concern that has existed and very much been perpetuated around, in the newspapers or media nationally at least, is around fraud. So fraud has been a massive case. And-

Mikkel Svold (22:23):

And let’s be clear, it’s not like regular banks and regular money, I guess, has solved the fraud issue.

Rasmus Risager Lindegaard (22:30):

No, no, not at all. And if you look at, many of the fraud cases that have been in the news here, the Nordics has been, oh, Martha, this sweet elderly lady from Jutland was told, we’ll buy Bitcoin for you and we’ll get your money back double in a day. There was no cryptocurrency involved whatsoever. It was just the excuse. And that excuse worked because there’d been so much news, again, media around, oh, Bitcoin has been increasing so much in value, or now Ethereum has gone through the roof, or now someone has made 10000% return on an internet computer over one night. Those stories have really made it very easy for fraudsters to use. It’s essentially just the newer version of the Nigerian prince. And that has been very common. And that’s also why I think the regulators rightly so have warned about cryptocurrencies. I think I’d argue that they’ve been very good at warning about cryptocurrencies, but not necessarily always made that distinction between cryptocurrencies and excuse for fraud and cryptocurrencies as what it is.

So that’s the second negative point that’s been. Then the third one has then been this dark market thing, as you touched upon, right? So it is true. Back in the days, Bitcoin was the primary currency of the Silk Road, a place where you could buy many interesting things from the very illegal to the extremely extremely illegal. But that’s, again, not the case anymore. The thing about blockchains is, because as I mentioned, you have this public ledger, everyone can go and see transactions have gone from here to here to here, and that database is never hidden, right. So it’s not a very efficient way for people to actually transfer money if you want to do it in a secret manner. There are blockchains that try to solve for this that actually try to obfuscate and hide transactions, but they are definitely in the minority.

Mikkel Svold (24:24):

All right.

Rasmus Risager Lindegaard (24:24):

So, if you look today at Chainalysis, a, I think, Danish founded, but I guess they’re American headquartered now, blockchain analysis firm, they estimate, what was it? Was it 0.13% or something? We might want to double check that number at some point, but it’s a really low amount of percentage of blockchain transactions that are expected to be related to crime in one way or another. Now, it used to be around 30%, but now it’s down to essentially 1% or it makes no difference.

Mikkel Svold (24:56):

Now, what has happened?

Rasmus Risager Lindegaard (24:58):

Well, I think companies have grown up and it has become, and law enforcement has shown that they’re actually able to go in and then they can sort of confiscate some of these funds, right. So essentially, let’s say I’m a criminal, I can keep my money in Bitcoin and I can keep moving around between various services throughout the world. That’s pretty difficult for law enforcement to mess with. But at some point I’m going to want to buy a Ferrari. Let’s say I’m a proper Scarface type guy. I want to buy a Ferrari. Usually I need cash. I mean, at Tesla, you could buy a Tesla at one point with Bitcoin, but they went away from that. But usually you need cash and for that you need to hit an exchange. Now, exchanges are, there’s going to be a couple exceptions out there, but they are generally required to live up to AML, so anti-money laundering and know your customer policies. And then in Europe, it’s the fifth AML director that we all and Lunar Block as well, and we all have to live up to.

And that means that you just kind of sit around as law enforcement and wait for it to hit a central exchange and then you go in and say, hey, we have an injunction or whatever you’re going to call it on this user from, or any funds coming from this account that we’ve already linked to some criminal activity and you now have to freeze the money. So that’s gotten a lot more difficult. Now, for comparison, now we said it was less than 1%. I’m pretty certain of all the blockchain transactions.

Mikkel Svold (26:25):

We’ll check that, yeah.

Rasmus Risager Lindegaard (26:26):

Yeah, all transaction that I estimated to be criminal, the best estimate we have for fiat money, i.e. normal money, what we think about as money is somewhere between, I think, 2 and 5%. Now one, that’s more, but two, that’s also a pretty large span. It could be this or it could be double and a half. So that just goes to say how in transparent the general banking system is, because it’s a lot of small, centralized databases here and here and here, and there aren’t any fixed rules necessarily that are always adhered to, at least. That detail, this information has to go all the way through the system, so you have much greater traceability in blockchains than you do in a traditional banking or database system.

Mikkel Svold (27:11):

Do you think, will there come a point and when, and where, I’m just about to say normal people, but people not highly interested or invested in blockchain technology where they actually own blockchain or cryptocurrencies of some sort, will it be normalized for the general public at some point, do you think? Or will it stay a niche product?

Rasmus Risager Lindegaard (27:35):

My guess is yes, and also, there’s a definition of niche, right. So in the Nordics, best estimates are around somewhere between 6 and 14% of the adult population has at some point bought cryptocurrencies. If you look to countries like Nigeria or other African countries, Argentina, places where the local currency systems aren’t very good, there’s a lot of inflation, it’s really expensive, you can’t get bank accounts, it’s often around 30%.

Mikkel Svold (28:06):

Oh, really?

Rasmus Risager Lindegaard (28:06):

So crypto adoption is very dependent on where you’re going, right, and similarly, when you look at countries like the Philippines, they get a lot of money sent home in remittances from people from the Philippines that traveled out and worked. Now, as far as I recall, the average price for moving money with Western Union from, let’s say, the US to the Philippines is around 7%. That’s pretty expensive. For that, it’s a lot easier for me as a Filipino working in the United States, and obviously, I’m not Filipino or working in the United States, but let’s assume I was, it’s a lot easier for me to go and buy stable coin that might cost me half a percent, a percent and then actually do that transaction to my relatives and it will have cost less than 1.5% percent in total. That’s a pretty big fact of a difference. Then you might need to, again, exchange it, but then we are still under half of what it would cost to do that with Western Union.

So, there are pockets where this is already mainstream and where it is already well known. And you also have examples such as Axie Infinity, which is a sort of play-to-earn game also based on blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies, which meant that you could actually statistically see in the Philippines, men’s income relative to women’s was increasing because they were all playing this game and actually earning crypto, which they could then sell, and then they brought more money to the family.

Mikkel Svold (29:25):

Oh, really?

Rasmus Risager Lindegaard (29:26):

And that’s in a country where women, because they’ve been traveling abroad for so long and working there, have typically been pretty strong from a financial viewpoint. Axie Infinity has then run into problems with the sort of crypto bear market recently, but you started seeing these things in a very big way in certain societies.

Mikkel Svold (29:44):

Wow. Our time is nearly up.

Rasmus Risager Lindegaard (29:45):


Mikkel Svold (29:46):

It runs. But I promise that we wanted to put out a small teaser for something called decent or something, you would say, would call decentralized finance.

Rasmus Risager Lindegaard (29:56):


Mikkel Svold (29:57):

I think we’ve already touched a little bit upon it, but just really briefly, because we’ll dive into it in the next episode, what does that mean?

Rasmus Risager Lindegaard (30:07):

So, I think decentralized finance is part of a bigger wave of what we might call Web3. So essentially, as the name kind of indicates with decentralized, it’s just finance without a big bank. It’s without a central authority, and that then leads to lots of questions around can you organize entire companies without having a centralized authority?

Mikkel Svold (30:27):


Rasmus Risager Lindegaard (30:27):

Can you create value such as, say, for example, Facebook without having a Mark Zuckerberg and a meta company owning all that value? And that’s one of the use cases that are going to be really interesting to look at in the coming years.

Mikkel Svold (30:39):

And that’s also what is, yeah, you mentioned it, the Web3 idea, I guess, and we are diving into that in the next episode. Now, just the last question. Where do you think, if people are interested more in this, where can they follow you, for one, and where do you look to keep yourself updated?

Rasmus Risager Lindegaard (31:01):

Good question. I think, well, I can be found on LinkedIn, Rasmus Lindegaard, that’s pretty straightforward. I’m unfortunately not a very good poster. I tend to use more of my time working than preparing LinkedIn posts, and absolutely no offense to those that do. I do follow a lot of people on LinkedIn that are very good. And it’s kind of one of those things, you find one and then the thread just unravels. I would perhaps avoid going to certain parts of Reddit. I think there’s a lot of noise, there’s a lot of hype, there’s not a lot of real talk about what it is. If you really want to go deep in it, there’s a company called Messari, essentially a crypto analytics firm, and they give out this massive report, sort of 160 pages at the end of every year or have done in the last couple years.

Mikkel Svold (31:44):


Rasmus Risager Lindegaard (31:45):

That’s a pretty good place to start. That’s a pretty good place to start. It goes deep, but it does it in a good way.

Mikkel Svold (31:51):

And we’ll link to that in the show notes. Rasmus Risager Lindegaard, once again, thank you so much for coming or for me to come here. We’re actually at your office, and to you dear listener out there, if you like this podcast, help us spread it by subscribing and sharing it with your friends and family and everyone you think could be interested in all kinds of big ideas. Also, Rasmus will be joining us in the next episode where we talk about, like I said, Web3 and all the exciting stuff that goes around that. And for the show notes to this episode, you can head on over to our website, which is montanus.co/bigideasonly and we’ll have links to everything we’ve talked about except those Reddit threads. And-

Rasmus Risager Lindegaard (32:33):

Yeah, let’s keep those out.

Mikkel Svold (32:34):

Yeah, we’ll keep those out. And yeah, you can find everything we talked about there. And of course, if you’re interested in building thought leadership for your own company, you can also just reach out to us and we’ll get you started blogging, podcasting, whatever it is that you do want to do. So don’t hesitate and you can also find that on montanus.co. That’s it for now.

Rasmus Risager Lindegaard (32:34):


Mikkel Svold (32:54):

Thank you so much for listening.

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