Intro Vocals 00:02
You’re watching The Blockchain Interviews hosted by Dan Weiskopf. Each episode features interviews with leading industry experts so that viewers can have a deeper understanding of today’s quickly evolving blockchain marketplace.
Dan Weiskopf 00:21
Today in the blockchain interview series, we have Landon Cassill, a NASCAR race car driver. I’m super excited, Landon, for you joining today. You’ve been involved in crypto since I think it’s 2013, 2014, is it? Is that correct?
Landon Cassill 00:37
Yeah, I mean, it’s definitely it’s been a long time. That was my—my whole journey starts back then. But like a lot of people I didn’t fully buy in until a couple years later. But a good friend of mine, Josh Wise, actually got sponsorship from the Dogecoin Reddit community. They crowdfunded sponsorship on his race car. And that was one of my first exposures to crypto in general.
Dan Weiskopf 01:09
So before we get into the whole interview about blockchain and crypto, what’s it like being a racecar driver? I mean, that’s like, super cool.
Landon Cassill 01:20
No, it is a cool job. Yeah, it’s something I’ve done my whole life. And I’ve always always wanted to be a racecar driver. And I really owe my parents everything. Just because they’re the ones that pushed me and created opportunities for me early in my life. When you’re young, when you’re an eight, eight year old kid, I think it’s really easy for parents to just maybe brush something like racecar driving off as like, Oh, well, he can watch it on TV. But here’s soccer practice, and here’s basketball and all the normal things that kids do. Where my parents, you know, they saw that in me and saw that I loved it and got me a go kart and got me four wheelers and pushed me into those things and allowed me to train and to to work on it. So it’s a cool profession. I enjoy it. I love it. Just because it’s unique. And it also really opens doors for me.
Dan Weiskopf 02:19
But it’s hard. And we’ve talked a couple of times about how much you traveled and you’re away from your family. And it’s, it’s a lot of pressure. And I think it’s kind of inspiring in the context of making you think like an entrepreneur, right?
Landon Cassill 02:39
Yeah, it is. The actual business of it is for sure. Because as a racecar driver, I am my own business, I have to operate that way in terms of sponsorship and the ride that I get, the job that I’m in and how I negotiate my salary and bonuses and contracts. I mean, there’s no—the racecar drivers don’t have any unions or collective bargaining that sort of has all that set in place for them. So every racecar drivers deal and profession, on a business side, is unique to however they can run their own business. So that’s step one. And then step two, I mean, it’s just the the challenge of being at the absolute top of a competitive environment. I mean, I know that the corporate world is a competitive environment, for sure. Whether you’re, you know, running a restaurant or you’re the CEO of a Fortune 500 company. It’s all competitive. But as a racecar driver I’m in a niche where there’s only 40 racecar drivers competing in every race that I’m in at the tip of the spear. And these are all the best in the world that raced stock cars, in my case racing in NASCAR. So I have to be on my game every single week and every single Saturday that I race is a new—you’re getting graded every Saturday. How about that? If you’re the CEO of a public company, obviously your stock price is getting graded every day. But yeah, there’s earnings reports that that come out at quarterly. I mean, that’s that’s your grade. You’re, you’re you’re building up for those. For us. It’s just like every single week, you’re only as good as your last race.
Dan Weiskopf 04:28
Well, you’re on a hot streak, I hope, it seems like lately, so we’re bucking for you. What can I say?
Landon Cassill 04:35
Yeah, thank you. Yeah, we’ve had a couple of good runs.
Dan Weiskopf 04:38
Now, tell us a little bit about your sponsorship deal. You know, how did you and Steve Ehrlich meet? And I mean, you’re you’re the first maybe the only NASCAR driver right, who’s getting paid in crypto?
Landon Cassill 04:54
I’m the first. I was definitely the first and only right now that’s completely getting all of my sponsorship paid in crypto. And that is through Voyager, the crypto brokerage platform. So I’m sure that a lot of your listeners, and obviously you guys are very well aware of what Voyager is, but Steven, I got to know each other a couple of years ago, we actually met at a crypto conference out in Las Vegas, and just struck up a relationship. Voyager at the time was, you know, just just just getting going. And there was a lot of marketing, a lot of cool ideas that we had together that we just couldn’t do yet. And when Voyager saw its explosive growth last year, and had a need to really, you know, scale the platform and scale the user base, that’s when we were able to really converge this relationship and say, Hey, let’s dive into sports marketing and start with NASCAR. And it was really the announcement that we made last year together, that, that Voyager was sponsoring my NASCAR race car full time for the entire time, 30 of the 2021 season, for the second half of the 2021 season, and that we were paying in crypto, really put Voyager on the map, legitimately from a marketing perspective, and opened a lot of doors for Voyager to have conversations with the Dallas Mavericks to kind of move a lot of their their scaling initiatives forward. So Steve and I have had a great relationship. Voyager is gonna be a great partner of mine, I get paid in crypto which is great for me, because I’m pretty much all in on crypto to begin with.
Dan Weiskopf 06:47
We’re gonna cover a bunch of things. I’m going to make three key points, you know, that I want to cover today. One, what the advantages to getting paid crypto. Two, you know, how you’ve constructed a portfolio, including staking, right? And then third, you know, you and I were talking last time about your mining experience, I’d love to like, go there as well with you. So, So, coming back to the questions, right, you know, um, what is the advantage to getting paid in crypto over, you know, your normal US dollar?
Landon Cassill 07:28
Well, I mean, when I’m obviously doing it on a platform like Voyager that’s a great on and off ramp up to USD, so I can easily get what I need to pay the race team pay bills, things like that. But really, I mean, it’s, it’s, it’s just a direct pipeline for me into the crypto space, which is, which is where, I don’t know, you know, maybe it’s my generation or where my head’s at, and our risk tolerance, but it’s a direct pipeline for where I want to be with my portfolio and what I do in the digital world, and with my digital assets. So I look at every payment as an opportunity to, whether it’s buy market dips, or or DCA into the coins that I’m you know, permanently trying to dollar cost average into like Bitcoin and Ethereum. But I also do accept USDC on Voyager, they, they offer 9% rewards on USDC, which is incredible, you know, percent and a half boost on that if you’re holding Voyager token.
Dan Weiskopf 08:46
Yeah, yeah. So obviously now you’ve got effectively a speculative portfolio on the appreciation of the coins, you maybe own or 5, 6, 8, 10 different and you’ve got an income stream.
Landon Cassill 09:02
Dan Weiskopf 09:05
How do you go about doing the research on all these coins because Voyager’s got a pretty broad based platform that you could, you know, work off of, some are very speculative, some are stable, and some are traditional in terms of like the Bitcoin.
Landon Cassill 09:26
The research part is tough. I mean, especially as the crypto space is getting bigger and bigger. I mean, I feel like when I first got into crypto, crypto research was something that I could accomplish on a daily basis and felt like I understood the market. And now you look at the coin market cap. I mean, you don’t even have to go to coin market cap. You go to Voyager and see there’s, you know, Voyager is going to reach 100 tokens here pretty soon. So I mean, 100 tokens on one platform is a tremendous amount of optionality. But It’s almost, it’s hard to get through all of them right and understand everything that’s going on there. So the research part, I just try not to get overwhelmed with it and feel like I think it’s really easy for people in crypto to feel like they need to know everything that’s going on. And that they don’t want to miss out on anything, because crypto is definitely a type of market that has a lot of FOMO in it. And I think for someone that’s been in crypto for long enough, I try not to worry too much about FOMO. I think it’s more of a matter of how I’m just how I’m allocating my funds. Right. And, you know, without getting too specific, on how I exactly do it, you know, I think having a general pie chart of Hey, 50%, USDC, 30%, Bitcoin 20% Ethereum and take that 10%. And even five of that is is still your bigger cap alt coins like an Avalanche or or Solana or something like that, the layer ones, and then even going smaller to your one percents where it’s like, okay, now I’m really going to mess around and to defy land or buy NFTs or, or, you know, I’m, I’m going to really explore some of the smaller cap coins, and that, that, that 1% is where I think people get caught up in the research that they think they need to be doing. And they’re treating that 1% like it should be 50% of their portfolio. And that’s not the case, you know, you need to, to still look at it from a balanced perspective. And say, Okay, I’m putting 95% of my portfolio into these assets. And then yeah, I’m going to spend some time researching and learning about what’s coming next, but I’m not going to FOMO and, you know, go all in on some new coin that is a small cap, if I don’t know that much about it.
Dan Weiskopf 12:05
It’s funny because you use the term small cap, right. And that, you know, a lot of people say, you know, I’ve got a small cap equity portfolio, I’ve got a mid cap, equity portfolio, and I got large cap, and a large cap is less speculative and small cap. And along the same lines, you could look at, you know, the coin market, and that’s, and that’s what I think you’re saying you do, right. But do you also have equities, by the way, or, you know, in your investment portfolio, because we’re just talking about the crypto side, you’ve got a whole diversified strategy, I assume?
Landon Cassill 12:37
Yeah, I do. I do. I do have equities in my portfolio. And I contribute monthly to that. That’s basically an auto draft that I’ve been contributing since I was, you know, 19 years old when I first started racing professionally and making a living on my own. But I haven’t scaled that investment up with my income. Because most of that has gone into crypto in the last several years for myself. So, you know, when I first got into crypto, it was a very small part of my portfolio. When I first bought Bitcoin, when I first started buying mining rigs, and started mining, it was only a sliver of my portfolio, but obviously I was into bitcoin long enough ago, and I still hold every coin that I mined back in those days. So now bitcoin is or you know, crypto, my crypto portfolio has far surpassed what my equities portfolio has done for me, through the entirety of the time that I’ve invested in it. So I still contribute to that side of my portfolio. But yeah, like I said, the bulk of it is in crypto, and you know, it’s really just a matter of when it comes to those small caps and that idea of like, okay, how, how deep do I need to dive into this and research? This, this small coin? And you know am I trying to capture a, you know, a 10, or 20 or 50x Return on some project? I just tried to think about how close to the source am I right? How close to the project? Am I you know, is this just something that I’m catching on social media? Or is this coming from my network? Do I know the people involved? Am I an investor in this project? Because I am a part of the VC that’s involved in this, like, what is truly my source? And that’s probably going to determine for me the actual potential of that. Being involved in that project and how much it’s worth risking, I guess.
Dan Weiskopf 14:58
Yeah. So you answered part of my question as far as profit and loss in terms of when do you take a profit and when do you take a loss. Because it sounds to me that you’d let your profits ride? You know, what’s your thinking in terms of when it’s worked? Right even in the small, you know, very small position that you’ve scaled properly into. But it’s worked, I mean, do you also look at, you know, when to take a profit on these things, take your money off the table?
Landon Cassill 15:30
I mean, generally speaking, it’s, um, I’m just, I’m looking at the time horizon, in terms of, obviously, capital gains is a consideration. So if I can hold something for longer than a year, that helps, you know, if I’m not necessarily a day trader by any means. So, you know, I don’t look at any, I really am not anything that I’m buying, I’m not really buying it thinking that I’m going to be getting out of it in a month. You know, so, I mean, if, if I’ve bought something and it goes up substantially in a month and puts me in a position where I say, hey, I really should take some profits than I, then I typically will. But I’m really, generally speaking, I’m looking at almost everything that I buy with a longer time horizon, at least between at least six to 12 months.
Dan Weiskopf 16:33
Now, um, you know, as a racecar driver, my perception of you would be that you’re a risk taker. Is that correct? In the context of your overall portfolio strategy?
Landon Cassill 16:47
Um, I guess it depends on who you ask. Right? If you ask my dad, who has been investing in real estate his whole career? And is a, you know, pretty traditional debt free mentality type of guy, you would say, yes. And I don’t, you know, I feel like my generation, I made a comment a few minutes ago, I feel like my generation has some insane high tolerance for risk. I don’t know why that is. You know, the first, the first real money I invested was in 2008. I was one of the first kind of year and a half into my first real year of making real money as an adult, I was 18 years old, driving race cars for a living and I had $100,000. So I put it in the stock market, like I was told to do, and within two months, it went down 30%. And it’s like, it was like the most astounding thing I’ve ever seen. I was like, What in the hell is this? And obviously, I think everybody and yourself, and you probably know what happened, what was going on in 2008. And that, that affected me quite a bit, it actually also affected my job, I lost my ride because of it, not because of not because I put my money in the stock market, but because the sponsors that I had all got their marketing budgets slashed. And some of them went out of business. And it put me out of a job the next couple years. So it actually really defined my career and the trajectory of my career, everything that happened around 2008. So you know, I think that there’s people my age that have all kinds of different stories like that, where their lives were affected by the financial crisis. And whether they saw their parents lose their homes or their you know, their grandparents or their parents pensions and retirements, you know, getting just wiped out. And again, now I’m kind of rambling but it’s like all of that had something to do with shape. The risk tolerance for people my age and the willingness to explore things that are maybe not tied to traditional financial institutions, new paths and new journeys, you know, for ourselves, so I don’t know, I get that question a lot. And I never give too much credit to the racecar driving being the risk factor side of it, because I actually even see myself as a very conservative racecar driver. I’m not a huge risk taker on the track. I’m usually pretty calculated. I actually have the safest, one of the lowest crash ratings in NASCAR history for drivers that have as many stars as I do. So I don’t buy into the idea of-
Dan Weiskopf 19:51
Yeah, let’s keep it that way. You want you to be safe. Yeah, you know, people listen, you know, unfortunately, so many people invest in GE, we were expecting to retire on GE triple A company, right? And years go by and all of a sudden they find out and they’re, you know, their retirement money’s not so there as it was expected to be right, you can lose a lot of money in the equity market too. And people forget that, because it’s been so long that the market really pulled back. Right. So no, I absolutely…And in the case of, of getting paid in crypto, when you decided to get paid that way, what was involved in terms of the infrastructure. I wanted to take a step back, because there’s mechanics I would be interested in getting paid in in crypto, right. But I don’t know how to go about doing it. Is there stuff that you had to do?
Landon Cassill 20:55
Well not really, because you’re an independent contractor. So I run pretty much everything through my business to begin with. So I was really just able to connect everything through Voyager and, and receive my deposits through Voyager. So…
Dan Weiskopf 21:17
So they get it for you.
Landon Cassill 21:18
Yeah, so So Voyager has done all that for me and even, even, even outside of Voyager, any other partnerships that have paid me in crypto, whether if they haven’t gone directly to my accounts on Voyager, or they’ve gone to another wallet or anything like that, you know, obviously, to get to USD you still using Voyager as as an off ramp? For the crypto so you know, it’s really not that complicated. And I think maybe it is as simple because I’m an independent contractor. But even if you were trying to convert a paycheck into crypto, like your payroll or something like that, for someone else, for someone that isn’t an independent contractor. There’s, there’s products out there that are being built and and and I think we’ll probably be hearing about even more of them that we’ll be able to do with your paycheck. So hedge is one, hedge.io is a new one that you can convert your payroll into crypto.
Dan Weiskopf 22:31
So I need to talk to our CFO at Toroso and have him look into it.
Landon Cassill 22:41
Dan Weiskopf 22:42
Now, talk to us a little bit about staking, you know, how does that work mechanically? From your vantage point? Do you stake all your coins? Or just some particularly? Is there a threshold frankly, that you wouldn’t be interested in staking because the yield has to it?
Landon Cassill 23:04
Before I even think about staking it’s more of a matter of what am I—how much do I want to have on a platform? How much do I want to have in my own wallets? How much do I want to have in a hot wallet, like a meta mask or, you know, into a DeFi protocol or something like that? So the first thought is like, okay, how am I from a risk side of things? How am I spreading out my assets across the different ways to store your crypto assets? And then, once I determine that, then it’s a matter of like, okay, where am I earning yield on my assets? You know, obviously Voyager is an incredible place to earn yield, right because, or earn rewards, you could say I guess, to use a proper terminology within Voyager. So essentially, Voyager is doing a lot of staking for you, right? As a user, you can earn 9% on USDC. Bitcoin, I think his pay is 4.75, Ethereum is somewhere in that range. So then, when you hold Voyager token, 7% on Voyager token, plus a one one and a half percent boost on your reward if you’re a navigator, the highest tier on Voyager token. So as a sort of foundational on staking Voyager is a great place to earn rewards. But from there, it’s like okay, I look at some of the smaller buckets . Maybe I’m holding crypto in a hot wallet or willing to put it into a DeFi protocol or something like that. Like the terra ecosystem, or back when DeFi summer was really raging, I was into badger Dow. And, and DeFi projects like that. So Ethereum I think is an interesting thing to look at right now with the merge coming ahead this summer, where the staking on Ethereum is going to increase significantly as the issuance of the token goes down. I don’t want to get too far over my skis when it comes to talking about that, because I’m not nearly as technically sound. And I also don’t think that it’s, depending on the audience that I’m talking to, I think it’s not super, I don’t, I don’t care to get too into the technical side of it. Because generally, the audience that I’m able to address is an audience that needs to understand what crypto can do for you broadly. And then particularly what my partnership with Voyager can do for you in crypto, right. So you know, those next levels of staking and thinking about you know, staking on Avalanche, or you know, staking your Ethereum, or or Terra, you know, those are almost a next level from Hey, understand Voyager, and use the platform for earning rewards on these tokens at Voyager is essentially taking care of staking for you, you really just have to use the app, all you have to do is use the app and buy the coins right there.
Dan Weiskopf 26:55
Now, you’ve been involved, as we were saying early on for a relatively long time and in the crypto land. So let’s take a step back, what is staking and define it for some of the people because honestly, some of the people in the audience are financial advisors, and they’re not necessarily aware of all the technical names and definitions here.
Landon Cassill 27:19
What would be the best way for me to describe staking? You know, it’s funny because I have a joke with another racecar driver named Parker Kligerman, and we, our joke is that we don’t know what the word liquidity means. Because the company is thrown around so much. And every time we’re talking about tokens and tokenomics, and things that are really over our head, we, anytime somebody says the word liquidity, we always follow that with whatever that means. You know, my, essentially, my understanding of staking is taking supply from this market and locking it up for a period of time in order to you know, earn yield on it, you get you earn yield for locking it up. But locking it up on those particular blockchains. Like, like Ethereum is would you say essentially, part of securing that blockchain I guess is is the-
Dan Weiskopf 28:29
You’re getting paid for helping to secure it.
Landon Cassill 28:32
Dan Weiskopf 28:33
And it’s a yield. You know, it’s nice to know that income’s coming in. So, yeah, no I…
Landon Cassill 28:46
The service you’re providing essentially is part of securing that blockchain and the reward that you get for securing that blockchain is a yield in that token. So that’s yeah, to a financial advisor, that’s what staking would be. I’m trying to think of what a real world counterpart would be for that.
Dan Weiskopf 29:08
Well, the whole overall system, right needs to be secure. Kind of like a bond, even though there isn’t necessarily a rating agency on when things should yield, right, you’re talking about a period of time where you’re going to be staking, committing. So you’ve effectively got some sense of maturity.
Landon Cassill 29:32
Well the funny one one note on that though, the funny thing about crypto and the decentralized nature of crypto is that the whole point is that you don’t need a ratings agency to determine the yield on that bond right. The free market of crypto and the open source nature of this decentralized network of properly incentivize, you know, parties is what determines the yield of these staking, you know, whatever it is that you’re staking.
Dan Weiskopf 30:06
Landon Cassill 30:07
Whether it’s Ethereum, or it could be your staking and NFT. And, you know, earning yield on your Ape coin or something.
Dan Weiskopf 30:13
So you had some experience with mining early on, too. So, talk to us a little bit about the mining side of what you, you know, of the business. And what you learned from doing that, because in our conversations I loved I loved how you spoke about an analogy with racecar driving the mechanics and the engine.
Landon Cassill 30:36
Yeah, I’ve always, I’ve always brought that up when I talk about mining. So I got into mining Bitcoin, because I didn’t want to day trade it. And not that I had to do one or the other. But I bought Bitcoin. And that wasn’t enough for me, I was like, I wanted to dive more into it, I wanted to understand it more. And at the time, I felt like I needed to get my hands on it somehow. And so I was just spending a lot of time on the internet, reading forums reading about Bitcoin, I’m just trying to understand what it was and how it works and how I can do something with it, you know, I was planning on spending it. I wanted more of it. And I wanted more of it as cheap as I could. So I didn’t want to day trade it, and I’m glad I didn’t try to day trader right off the bat. You know, I felt like I didn’t have the skill set. I’m not smart enough. I don’t know, technical analysis, I don’t know what all these lines mean. And, and everything that I read about it is that it’s you know, it’s this asset that you know, you’re buying you hold for as long as you can even even back then it was the same story, right? Buy and hold so I started to familiarize myself with mining and what I felt like I quickly understood was mining Bitcoin. And the comparison that I drew is like, it’s very competitive. And it was like building a race car to me, you know, you build a race car, you build it to be as fast and efficient as you can. And on day one it performs pretty good. But race cars over time, you know, they don’t perform as good as they did when they were brand new. And you have to constantly improve them, you have to maintain them. Your competitors get better. So you have to find ways to get better than them. And I saw that in Bitcoin mining in a sense that you buy this, this hardware device, right, this bitcoin miner, and it’s, it’s capable of so many tera hashes per second. And the power that it takes to produce those, that to solve a single block is worth X amount on the day that you buy it but over time, you know, as the hash rate goes up, that productivity goes down. So you have to constantly improve your hardware, whether it is the hardware that you have, maintaining the cooling setup, the fans the power supply it all has something to do with the performance of that computer, or actually just replacing the computer itself, you know, really running the thing into the ground and earning as much as it can until you are able to upgrade your machine. So I was really kind of intrigued by that and saw some similarities and felt like okay, you know, this was also a way for me to to have Bitcoin that I like had my hands on right and I was early in it understanding, but but it was like okay, I’ve got something, I could see something that’s performing and running and I can see where it’s where it’s going into my to my wallet and and what’s really going on. And so yeah, I mined Bitcoin for, I had a very small mining farm. I managed it all myself. I didn’t I didn’t scale it up. I thought about it. I looked into it a couple of times. I kind of wish I would have but I don’t know, you know, I think it was more, really what it ended up being for me was a really good way to dollar cost average into Bitcoin for that period of time below the market price of Bitcoin because essentially I was getting Bitcoin at wholesale. I didn’t sell any of the Bitcoin that I mined. So I wasn’t, you know, trying to cashflow a business out of it or anything like that. I was essentially, you know, had some tax write offs in terms of the power costs and And depreciated the hardware and the coin goes into a cold wallet. And that’s pretty much you know, as opposed to buying it on a, on a on the market and maybe paying fees or, or, you know, from a brokerage where maybe you’re not paying fees, I felt like on average, I was buying my bitcoin for cheaper than the market price. And, and so, that was kind of my first exercise into the space.
Dan Weiskopf 35:32
So, you mentioned NFTs as well right. And what is your outlook on NFTs you know, how are you getting involved or are you not getting involved in NFTs?
Landon Cassill 35:45
I am, I am interested in NFTs and I’m not. I don’t want to say I mean I’m not involved. I hold some NFTs I don’t have any of the big blue chip NFTs like Crypto Punks, or Bored Ape Yacht Club. Even though I had a friend that insisted that I buy these things called crypto punks, and they’re only like $10,000, or whatever it was at the time. And he had bought, like 30 of them when they were five bucks apiece, I’m not joking. And he was telling me about these things and how cool they are and how he was selling them for all this money. And I couldn’t bring myself to get one at the time. And, you know, obviously I wish I would have because surfboards are 400,000 now and I still feel like I’ve been over the last month. I’ve told several people I need to just stop talking about it and do it. I’ve told several people that I want to have at least a Crypto Punk or a Bored Ape Yacht Club in my portfolio. Because I feel like those high value NFTs, I feel like there’s a lot of products and a lot of things being built around those communities. Right now. There’s there’s lending products and there’s ways that that people are going to be monetized, whether they’re monetizing the the value of their NFTS or in the case of a Bored Ape Yacht Club where you can, you can actually monetize the tip of the Ape that you own. You can leverage against them, they have all these airdrops that have just continuously returned value to the holders of the NFTs. You know, obviously the mutant ape to AirDrop, you’ve had the apecoin that’s come out like anybody that’s been holding, even if you bought a Bored Ape for two or 300,000 in the last few months, it’s returned some decent value to you. So I feel like what I believe in the NFTs, moving ahead, is this incredible community aspect where they’re like a Bored Ape Yacht Club, it’s an exclusive club that you’re essentially buying into. And once you hold one, you have access to these real world events, but you also have access to this culture in this community that has some sort of societal leverage. And we’re seeing, you know, we’re just seeing new forms of value coming out of that. And I’m really interested to see what new examples come out in the next year. And what new applications to that come out because it’s beyond just art. It’s not, you know, to me, NFTs are not just an art collectible. I think there is some value to that. I don’t want to you know, I’m not trying to just shrug off any artists that creates NFTs and sells their art in the form of an NFT. But, you know, for me, I’m not a big art collector, myself anyway. So I think that, but I do believe that art, essentially the value of art is like a social contract anyways, so it doesn’t matter to me. It doesn’t matter if it’s a painting on a wall or if it’s a image of an NFT, there’s still value there.
Dan Weiskopf 39:30
We can see all the paintings on your walls.
Landon Cassill 39:32
Yeah, I know, we just, it’s a new house. We haven’t done a lot. There’s a little bit on the wall right there.
Dan Weiskopf 39:40
So Landon, behind you, so you’ve got what is that again? You know…
Landon Cassill 39:45
This is my driving simulator. Yeah, this is my driving simulator. So I spend about four to eight hours a week training in this. I train in three different kinds of driving simulators. So the race team, well the manufacturer I drive is Chevrolet. The manufacturer has a simulator and that’s a full blown multimillion dollar facility where I’m actually sitting in a cockpit of a car. And you almost wouldn’t know the difference. The team has sort of another level down to that where it has a lot of the same components. But it’s just not full motion and the screen is not quite as elaborate. And then I have my own here at home. So I use all three driving simulators every single week, and I use them all for different purposes.
Dan Weiskopf 40:33
So when we’re thinking about the NFTs, you were talking about communities. It’s all in my mind related to blockchain, but also the metaverse too, right. You know, what’s your thinking on the metaverse in the context of what you were describing as far as communities because they are interrelated? You would agree?
Landon Cassill 40:58
Yeah. I mean, I feel like we’re, we’re so close. We were so close to already living in the metaverse or actually, I don’t know the right way to say this, I feel like we already live in the metaverse and we just don’t realize it.
Dan Weiskopf 41:12
You know, when you’re in your simulator, you are.
Landon Cassill 41:15
Yeah, when I’m, absolutely. You know what, you’re absolutely right. When I’m in my simulator, I’m in the metaverse because I sit in my simulator. And I put my headphones on. And all of a sudden I’m in this virtual world where there’s race cars. And actually, you know it, let me take it another step further. I connected to discord where I’m talking to my friends, and they’re also in the same virtual world driving cars against me. And so we’re racing together. We’re talking, we’re building relationships. We’re transacting value with each other because we are sending each other setups for each other’s cars, paint schemes. We’re going and then we’re traveling in the metaverse, we’re going from track to track. So we already live in the metaverse, but we live in the metaverse in these web 2 forms where we’re operating on platforms that are owned by centralized parties. And we don’t really own anything in those platforms, right? And that’s okay, because we didn’t build them. We didn’t, you know, design them. We don’t necessarily deserve ownership too much. But what I think that blockchain is allowing for, and what web 3 is going to allow for, is the value that you provide as a user to these platforms, is going to be returned to you in the form of ownership of those platforms. So you know, just like the builders of these the current Metaverse platforms, the games and in the platforms we use and play on, they designed and built these platforms and own them. But those platforms would be useless if it weren’t for the users that operate them. And the network effect that that we have, you know, the quality of those platforms and their ability to fine tune the features of those platforms would not be possible if it weren’t for the users that use them. So it’s it’s almost like the next generation of the internet is going to allow people like myself to to jump on these platforms and say, Hey, I not only do I use this platform, and I’m, you know on it every day, and I’m racing in it, or I’m talking on this, whatever the web 3 version of Discord is. I own a piece of the platform because I bought the token that represents some sort of voting share how the organization operates, or, you know, or the, or the token that transacts all of the purchases within the platform so that I can buy more tracks or whatever it may be.
Dan Weiskopf 44:12
Can we get ahead of ourselves a little bit on like a vision that I just had. So you said they’re 40 different teams, right? In NASCAR. So, um, the way I would envision this, I’m totally making this up as we go, so forgive me. Okay, so 20 of the drivers get together, they create a Metaverse and I could buy tokens and drive against them. And then maybe some of the sponsors would be advertising in that metaverse. So you know, I’m gonna say a 20 year old person driving against you, right, getting that sense of being part of the community. And I’m seeing the advertisement by sponsors, right? That’s what the metaverse is, right? Conceptually.
Landon Cassill 45:05
Experience? Yeah, interesting. So. So all this leads to the wildcard questions, right, you know, so 5, 10 years from now, looking back, I think it’s fair to say that gaming, as an example, would be an opportunity that was obvious, right? For investment purposes, what, 5 to 10 years from now, what do you think people should have been looking at from an investment perspective? That was so obvious, at the time? Meaning now? Yeah, pretty much. I mean, you have to have something that’s—there’s value coming and value going, right. So you, you know, what you just described as like, okay, there’s value in a professional driver sort of offering up their service of, hey, you can race against me, right? And then, and so that’s value coming in there, or that that value right there is attracting someone to bring value to the token of that metaverse. Right. And so there’s a token that represents the time that that driver puts into the metaverse. So there might be a token for every hour that that driver competes in the metaverse and in order to, you know, be the other person on the other side that gets that hour, they have to, you know, use Ethereum or some sort of denomination of value in the crypto world or in the metaverse, and and buy that token, right, and then utilize that time. So that’s kind of interesting, that’s an interesting example. And, yes, that’s definitely an application of how the metaverse could work as opposed to how, okay, so how would that happen in the real world? Right? Or not the real world, but the current, call it, web 2, for that to happen in web 2? You know, because this is a challenge in a lot of people’s thinking and myself as like, Okay, does this idea—does the blockchain have to exist for this idea to work? Right? Or can we just do this in the old school? Can we just, you call me up and just Venmo me $100 or, you know, send it to me and Pay Pal or something like that, and we didn’t have to use a blockchain to do it. So you have to kind of think of those challenges like, do we really need a blockchain for this to work? Or how does a blockchain actually improve this? Man, so you’re really putting it on me to call the obvious. What is the obvious investment?
Dan Weiskopf 47:58
Landon Cassill 47:58
Well, I think what is, to me, what is obvious, is that attention is, is one of the most valuable commodities in this world today. And it is getting cheaper and cheaper. And or am I thinking that backwards?
Dan Weiskopf 48:26
Yeah, you’re thnking backwards, it’s getting more expensive.
Landon Cassill 48:29
it’s getting more expensive to capture, yeah.S o you have to, you know, in, in worlds where, and I think of this constantly, even in, in our, in our races, right? A race fan, to go to a NASCAR race, has to spend a lot of money, just to put gas in their car. I’m not trying to be topical by any means. You know, just to put gas in their car, they have to take time out of their day, they have to pay for parking, they have to buy a ticket, then they have to go, you know, they find their way to the track, they gotta buy food at the track. They gotta buy merchandise to trigger spending a lot of money to be entertained. And then and then you have to give attention, and then there’s a lot of companies that profit off of their attention. Right? So my question is, you know, in the future of the world when they’re alternative, right, the alternative to that entertainment. They can just watch YouTube. Well, first of all, they could watch the race live on TV for a lot cheaper. You don’t get the experience of the track and maybe the camaraderie of your friends and we’re taking your family and your kids but man, it’s really easy for someone to just kind of say, You know what, now I’m gonna take my kids to the soccer field today and we’re gonna kick the ball around and have fun. So it’s, yeah, I feel like the thing that should be obvious five to 10 years from now was me and those people that made those investments in just their time and attention. Maybe we need to return even more value to them than just entertainment. Like, what kind of the fans of our sport or the people that watch your shows are the people that engage with your communities? They’re real stakeholders, and whatever property or entity you’re running or building. So how, how are you actually treating them as stakeholders. And I think that, you know, entities like NASCAR and the NFL, and you know, UFC and MLB, and NBA, they’re not just competing with each other for people’s time and attention. They’re competing with, you know, crypto projects that are returning real value and building real wealth for people in exchange for their attention and their time, or, you know, gaming platforms that, that are figuring out how to deliver value and wealth to their to the people that are playing for hours and hours a day on their platforms.
Dan Weiskopf 51:31
Facebook as an example, right.
Landon Cassill 51:32
Dan Weiskopf 51:33
People get mad because they’re creating the content that Facebook then benefits with the advertising, right?
Landon Cassill 51:40
Dan Weiskopf 51:41
Yeah. Yeah. So which brings us to the second wildcard question, which industry, in your mind, will be most changed by the blockchain?
Landon Cassill 51:52
Well, it seems like the financial institutions are, I think, the first ones right now that are seeing change. And I think it just feels like a gradually then suddenly type thing. Yeah, I mean, to me, Voyager is, in my circle, personally, Voyager is much closer to being the future of my financial products, my personal banking, then the banks that I’ve dealt with in my entire life up to this point, if I look at the next 10 years. And so, you know, the financial institutions might be the first ones that are truly disrupted by this technology. And from there on, you know, like you said, media and social media, I think that obviously, we’re all very wise and very aware of the influence that the media has had on us and the last, especially in the last six years, five, six years. So it really does seem like there’s a, you know, we could be on the cusp of something with the decentralized nature of blockchain, disrupting that.
Dan Weiskopf 53:24
Landon thanks very much for the time appreciate the insights. We’re going to check back with you in about a year from now, I think. I think I think your point about Voyager is really important, where the users of the platform feel like owners, and that encourages them to feel like, you know, they want to participate more. It’s become self fulfilling.
Landon Cassill 53:48
And that’s, you know, two things I think that are that are important about Voyager is that it’s a publicly traded company, and and it has token, right, and so those those are two really good opportunities for the users to to drive you know what what it is that they want to happen on a platform and ultimately, I’ve heard Steve say this plenty of times, I mean he’s building this for the users right? Like what do they want? What do they need? Do they need Voyager staking for them? Do they need you know, a debit card, do they need you know, the ability to borrow against their assets? What is it what do they want? What do they need?
Dan Weiskopf 54:37
Landon, thank you very much. I look forward to blocking tackling with you in the future. Be well.
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