Dec 13, 2021 • 10M

Ep 40. Get the bag💰

Review of Fold card. ChainLink. WhatsApp Pay.

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Some say Crypto is a scam. Others swear it's a breakthrough technology. But which is it? Join us, as we explore Crypto in real life (IRL).
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Hey,

In recent months, lots of high profile personalities have announced plans to get paid in crypto. The Mayors of New York and Miami joined athletes like Aaron Rodgers and Odell Beckham; and artists like 50 Cent and Mel B to get partially or fully paid in crypto. Coinbase recently partnered with UnitedMasters to let musicians receive their royalties in crypto. But is this just a gimmick for the rich? What are regular Joe and Jane doing? I’m conducting a survey to understand attitudes towards getting paid in crypto. It took me less than 1 minute to it fill out. Please let your voice be heard here! It’s anonymous. I’ll share the results with you.

Besides getting paid in crypto, one could also receive crypto rewards for everyday purchases. I’ve been using the Fold card to earn bitcoin rewards for a couple months. I’ll share some of my thoughts below….and of course I’ll touch on some of the recent news developments in crypto: such as Chainlink, metaverse, Novi and regulations. Let’s go!


Fold review: Bitcoin rewards card 💳

Why Fold?

When we got married, we paid for our honeymoon and flights to Hawaii with credit card loyalty points. We had an amazing time! But it was even sweeter knowing that we did not use cash for our luxury getaway. The Fold card presents the same allure. The opportunity to build a bitcoin stash without changing behavior was too good to pass up.

How did it go?

Fold started out enabling users to earn rewards by buying gift cards. Next, they graduated to offering a debit card with bitcoin buy back on all purchases.

Phase 1: Gift cards

I earned 1% bitcoin rewards when I bought Amazon gift cards using Fold. I started buying $100 gift cards and pre-loading my Amazon account. I would spend cash from the gift card on my protein powder or a gift. I’m not a huge shopper but it felt pretty easy to score some free bitcoin.

Bitcoin rewards: $100 Amazon gift card x 1% = $1 rewards = 0.00002 BTC rewards (assuming 1BTC = $50,000, 1% rewards for using a credit card)

Yeah, the rewards are NOT huge. But I suppose they could add up if you shop a lot. Fold also has gift cards with varying bitcoin rewards from a variety of retailers like Chipotle, Banana Republic and Southwest Airlines. But you have to read the fine print - rewards might be capped at 1% if you are purchasing the gift card with a debit/credit card. Either way, might as well get free from bitcoin while you get your holiday shopping done.

Additionally, Fold has an app where you can spin the wheel and potentially turbocharge your rewards or when 1 whole bitcoin! I haven’t won a bitcoin yet but I’ll continue spinning lol.

Phase 2: Debit card

Earlier this year, Fold launched a debit card. I got the basic one. I figured I could earn more bitcoin from everyday transactions like going to a local coffee shop or my gym membership.

Unfortunately, the card has been a disappointment. Yes, I routinely use it at my local coffee shop and my barber but it’s NOT accepted everywhere. Much to my annoyance, I have been unable to directly pay my gym membership, powerlifting coach or CashApp friends with my Fold card. I have had to develop workaround solutions to pay my coach like PayPal but PayPal charges a ~3% fee on the Fold card which is greater than the bitcoin rewards cash back. I imagine these are growing pains and will eventually be fixed. Right now, it’s incredibly annoying to have a transaction declined or be forced to pay higher fees.

Verdict

I still use my Fold card for a couple transactions every month. So far, I’ve racked up over $40 worth of bitcoin rewards. Nothing to get to terribly excited about. That said, I have seen folks on Twitter who have won 1 bitcoin from spinning the wheel in the Fold app. I’ve also seen people stack serious sats by putting most of their regular expenses like rent, groceries and airline tickets on their Fold card. To be honest, I could ratchet it up a notch or three. Exhibit A:

My biggest recommendation to Fold is to address the pain points around payment acceptance and fees ex PayPal.

What’s been your experience?


NEWS

1. Crypto goes to Congress👩‍⚖️

  • CEOs of 6 crypto companies testified in front of the US House Committee on Financial Services and received encouragement from both Democrats and Republican representatives.

  • The crypto executives provided some context on the potential and opportunities of cryptocurrencies and blockchain solutions to lower costs and drive greater inclusion. They also pleaded for more well thought out regulation to support the industry’s growth.

  • This tone marked a departure from several years ago. Hopefully, there will be more in the future. I would like bipartisan support for crypto.

2. ChainLink: Attracting top talent 📈

  • ChainLink connects real world data to on-chain smart contracts. So for example, a farmer in Kansas could get crop insurance with payouts triggered by weather events ex tornado. All of this could be executed with code NOT people enabled by ChainLink

  • The 4-year old company has secured partnerships with a number of major players include AWS, Google, Oracle etc. Now, ChainLink Labs is attracting more big name talent: (1) Eric Schmidt, former CEO of Google, joined ChainLink as a strategic advisor (2) Mike Derezin, former VP of LinkedIn, joined ChainLink as COO.

  • I think ChainLink is well positioned to help bring the promise of smart contracts alive for everyday use cases. It’s definitely on my radar.

3. WhatsApp testing stablecoin payments in the US 💬⚡️

  • This is big. WhatsApp has over 2 billion monthly active users worldwide.

  • Most of my family - scattered across Africa, Europe and North America - are daily users of WhatsApp. They may not understand crypto or stablecoins but they will eagerly use WhatsApp Pay. And more. I can see payments to merchants, lending, and so on.

  • The question is, can Novi deliver on this promise? Last week, David Marcus, the head of Novi, announced he was leaving. Novi has suffered a string of high profile departures. From the outside looking in, it feels like a shadow of it’s former self.

4. Bill Gates’ bullish on metaverse 🚀

  • “People overestimate what can be done in one year, and underestimate what can be done in ten“.

  • That said, I think Bill Gates is wrong here. But I also don’t know if he literally meant that MOST office meetings will switch over to the metaverse. I wonder if he was trying to make a clear statement: the metaverse is here to stay and is coming for Main Street USA. Now that’s a message I could get behind.

5. Messari 2022 crypto theses🤯

  • Ryan Selkis, the founder of Messari - a leading crypto research firm - has dropped 165-page tome on crypto developments for 2022 for FREE. It covers everything from bitcoin to NFT, metaverse to solana and MORE!

  • If you are new to crypto or want to learn more then I highly recommend you download it. I’m gradually consuming the content. Ryan is able to borrow thoughts from across cryptosphere. It’s incredible that he shares it for free.

  • Let me know what you agree or disagree with


(Bugs’s Bunny accent) That’s all folks!

I hope you have a terrific week. May the winds ever blow in your favor.

O dabo,

Afo