Transcript of ‘DeFi-ing Expectations With Chris Coney’

To view our most recent Wealth & Wisdom video, click here. For the transcript, edited for clarity, read on ...

Kenny Polcari:Hello, and welcome to our latest edition of Wealth and Wisdom. I'm your host, Kenny Polcari. And today we're going to be talking to the one and only Chris Coney, host of Weiss Crypto Focus video series that comes out every Sunday, on the latest happenings in all things blockchain. Crypto Focus, which is available to Weiss subscribers every Sunday, is designed to cut through the hype, the noise and the confusion of the crypto markets in order to supply the market intelligence you will need in order to make the right investments.

Chris, thank you so much for joining us. How are you?

Chris Coney:Kenny, I am superb, sir. Nice to see you again, mate.

Kenny: It's always a pleasure to see you. And it's always so fascinating to talk to you because you bring a whole set of knowledge that so many people don't have, don't know. Maybe they're afraid to wade into it, but you're going to help us out a little bit. Let's start at the very beginning.

We can talk about what DeFi is. DeFi is decentralized finance. I know that at least. We could talk about, from your perspective, the video series, Weiss Crypto Focus. And then how your video series can help potential new subscribers.

Chris: Where do you want to start with this?

Kenny: When people talk about DeFi, what is DeFi?

Chris: Okay, let's take that chronologically. I would say that the existing financial system has reached its limits with the technology that it's built on. And that's because there was the PC revolution in the 60's, 70's, 80's — Microsoft and Hewlett Packard were the guys that bought the PC revolution in. And there was already a financial system — we had paper ledgers — and, of course, the finance systems tried to adopt to new technology as it went.

Then, the Internet came, way later than this. So, we started computerizing accounts, banking transactions and things like that. And then the internet came along.

The trouble is that they were adding these technology layers on top so, it has become this mishmash of technology.

What I'm getting at is that even modern banking, things like phone apps for your online banking, and so on. They're all technological layers on top of really old systems. So, you've got old financial system, then you've got internet layer. DeFi is like we started again. Let's say we wanted to design the financial system based on the technology we have today, clean slate. That's what DeFi is.

It's like reinventing it with none of the legacy or things holding you back from the old system. It's a brand-new financial system with all the strategies and all the stuff we love like markets and stuff, but on modern rails designed from scratch.

So, that's the big revolution. It cuts ties with the legacy system and everything that's holding that back.

Kenny: DeFi certainly has already started to change the world. It's going to continue to change the world. It's probably going to take us to places we haven't even begun to think of yet.

Chris: Absolutely.

Kenny: When you talk about DeFi, people think, we're always talking about decentralized finance. In fact, the DeFi idea can be used across a range of ideas, not just finance. Am I correct?

Chris: That's a good point because one of the biggest, hottest sectors is the NFT space — the Nifty’s, the digital collectibles — because NFTs are, by design, unique.

Every Bitcoin (BTC) is the same as every other Bitcoin — it's fungible — that's what makes it money.

But in the NFT space, they're designed to be like a limited edition.

You want to know, that's one of a hundred, two of a hundred, three of a hundred.

These things use the same technology rails as DeFi, like the blockchain stuff. So, it's a good call. You can say DeFi, but the DeFi tag also enables all this other stuff like metaverse, and God knows what else we come up with.

Kenny: So, let’s talk about the Sunday Crypto Focus piece that you put out. Tell our listeners what that is.

Chris: Sure. My online course is like the foundation on knowledge, it goes through all of the various concepts in DeFi, and how to apply them. But that's pretty evergreen. It's things like lending, borrowing, markets, yields and staking. You understand how it works and where all the gains come from.

Kenny: How do people subscribe to that?

Chris: They can check it out at WeissRatings.

Kenny: Okay, perfect.

Chris: Once you've got that foundation on knowledge, there are thousands of different ways to apply it, and thousands of different software companies implementing these strategies on the technology rails that we call DeFi.

How many online stores spring up when you could open a store on the internet? Far more online stores sprang up than physical stores because anyone can do it.

Now, any software developer can build a DeFi app without worrying about all the security. And they don't have to be a finance expert — all of that is already provided by, say, the Ethereum network.

They just built the app and provide service. And it's this massive competition. So, Weiss Crypto Focus is me sort of distilling all of that and going like, "This is an interesting app that does this. Here's an interesting app." But there's so much of it, you don't know what to focus on. That's why I called it Weiss Crypto Focus.

Kenny: In addition to the Weiss Crypto Focus, you also have an online course called DeFi Revolution?

Chris: De-Fi Revolution, yeah. That's like the foundation of knowledge.

Kenny: So, is it one course? Three courses? Six courses? I mean, if somebody wanted to sign up for DeFi Revolution … tell us what it is.

Chris: Sure. It's six modules in total. It was a five module course, then I had to make an extra module because the new technology came out, while I was making it, that I had to include. That's why it's now six modules.

So, one module goes through all the concepts I'd show an animation scene of exactly what's happening. And you’d go, "Okay, I get it."

The middle module is all about setting up all of your tools and your wallets, hat kind of stuff. The fourth module is the same as the second module in a sense that it goes through all the various concepts, but it shows them practically. So, I actually start the course as the student will, with nothing, and set up a new wallet, set up a new exchange, put money in, and then start putting money into these DeFi apps in real time.

So, you can see over my shoulder, sort of, exactly how to do it and what it would look like.

Kenny: And are they hour-long modules?

Chris: Each module has a varying number of lessons in it, but they are up to six to 10 minutes per lesson because it's easy to get overwhelmed. There's a lot of it.

Kenny: But the beauty of it is they take it at their own speed.

Chris: Yeah, you can go over, and I do recommend people do that. It's kind of hard. Obviously, video is linear because it goes through in time, but I'm like, "Okay. You need to know this bit, when it's from this bit, but you need to understand that bit." So, you're going to have to comb it.

Chris: Because by the end of it, if you go back to the first lesson, you'll be like, "Oh, now that makes sense and in different ways.” Once you understand the whole, you understand the parts better.

And because it's video, you can go through it as many times as you wish.

Especially if in an episode of Weiss Crypto Focus, I say something and you go, "Oh, go get a refresher," it's right there for you.

Kenny: And once they sign up for DeFi Revolution, they have access to it forever?

Chris: Absolutely.

Kenny: That's great. How long did it take you to develop that course? Because DeFi is relatively new, five, eight years old?

Chris: Bitcoin was invented in 2009.

Kenny: Right, so 11 years.

Chris: And DeFi is even newer than that. I think that DeFi started coming around 2018 when it started to bubble up.

Kenny: So, it's four or five years old.

So, to your point, it's still relatively new, but it's in this hypergrowth stage that people need to understand. And it’s a focus for the younger set, the teenagers, the 20- and 25-year-olds, 30-year-olds.

It is right in their wheelhouse, and it should be. But I'll speak for myself — while I'm not 25 or 30-years-old anymore, it's right in my wheelhouse because I find it so fascinating.

I also want to learn more about it, which is why I recently signed up to take the DeFi Revolution course, so that I could become more aware of what was going on. I understood it better, I could participate in the conversations, and I'm aware of what's going on around me.

So, I think it's a great tool that people who are interested in the space need to sign up for and take. And they can access it by going to, am I correct?

Chris: Absolutely. That was a good point you just made there. I never thought about it like that. That's an intangible benefit. If you have no interest in investing in DeFi, you might want to take the course just so you can participate in conversation.

Because you don't want to be at a dinner party and not have a clue what anybody is talking about.

Kenny: How many times can you find yourself at a dinner conversation where they're talking about something you have completely no idea of?

And you can't participate, so you're not only left out of the conversation, but you feel like you're behind the eight ball.

So, I would agree: Even if you don't want to invest in it, or you don't understand it, that’s exactly why you should take this course.

Chris: Absolutely. Some of my students have been promoted at work because they took the course, and they know more about anyone else at it.

Kenny: They understood more, they could discuss it more, and they clearly demonstrated their knowledge. Education is priceless as long as you do it and you understand it, you follow it through and you're able to discuss it and process it in your mind.

Chris: I think education is a benefit for its own sake. That's why my personal mission statement I wrote in 2012 goes, "Leading people to freedom through education and awareness."

And I worded that very specifically because the way I say this is, "You can't search for something if you don't know it exists."

So, this is the beautiful thing about education: You could take DeFi Revolution knowing only one thing. “I've heard the word; I want to know what it is.”

You might not know how it works, what the benefit is, but that's the point, this is the awareness portion. As you go through the education process, I will make you aware of stuff you previously didn't know existed.

That's why I'm saying everyone just take the course, just because. And I can't even tell you what you will find out, because when you find it out, you wouldn't have sought it out, because you didn't know what it was. It's kind of like a paradox.

Kenny: Because you didn't even know it was there?

Chris: Exactly.

Kenny: That's the fascinating part about it.

Chris: But that's, and that's what I was talking about it.

Kenny: It's the stuff that you learn without even realizing not only that it was out there, but you didn't even know to look for it.

Chris: You didn't even know you needed to know it.

Kenny: You didn't know what you didn't know that you needed to know.

Chris: And now everyone needs to know this, because it's like internet.

Chris: Even if you thought, "Well, these are old clips on YouTube," and the news media is like, "What is internet? Does anybody know what this internet thing is?"

It's like that.

They're like, "Yeah, yeah. Whatever, whatever.” This is happening again.

People will be like, “Crypto, DeFi, blah, blah, blah.” Don't do that. You're robbing yourself if you do that.

Kenny: Don't do that because that's the biggest mistake you'll make. That's why sources and education like this are so important. And Weiss Ratings is right at the top of that space in terms of education, in terms of providing information.

Crypto Focus, plus all the gurus at Weiss that are in crypto space, have fascinating knowledge. And what I find really exciting about it is that they’re all 30-years-old. It's right in their wheelhouse. And they know it, they could talk about it, they can understand it, they can explain it.

You do a fantastic job of explaining it and helping people through it. And your service, DeFi Revolution, is a great way for people to begin to understand it, continue to understand it and further educate themselves.

Chris: I'm glad you said I'm good at explaining it. And the way I've got to that point was by starting in 2014, and teaching to empty rooms.

And Weiss had kind of liked that and started investing in the education of crypto investors when the market was really small.

I've always been like that. I always find it difficult when I start something new because I can see where it's going. It is like doing a seminar to two or three people to begin with. Because I'm like, "I get it," but no one's interested. So, I have to wait for the world to catch up.

Kenny: That's absolutely true.

Chris, I don't want to take any more of your time because you've given me a lot of it, and I appreciate it.

And I appreciate having this initial conversation with you. I look forward to actually having more of these conversations with you as we go through the year, as crypto makes, new headway, and there's new inventions in it for new sources and new ways that we've never even imagined, like you said.

In any event, thank you so much, Chris, and I look forward to talking to you again.

Chris: Thanks for having me, Kenny.

Kenny: And for all of Wealth & Wisdom listeners, thank you very much for being a part of the Weiss Ratings universe. Gurus like Chris Coney make it even more invaluable. Thanks for listening. See you soon.

Until next time,

The Weiss Ratings Team

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