Charged Up! podcast: Uncovering cryptocurrencies

Episode 34 with Influencive founder Brian Evans

By  |  Published: August 23, 2017

Charged Up! with Jenny Hoff


While credit cards are making more transactions cashless, they can also give you access to the ultimate cashless experience: cryptocurrencies. In this episode, entrepreneur and founder of the popular website Influencive, Brian Evans gives us insight on everything you need to know about this hot asset class. From how to pick a currency to figuring out how to buy one to securing your purchase, we’ll uncover the ins and outs of cryptocurrencies.

Let’s get charged up! about learning how to get into the cryptocurrency game!


Jenny Hoff: Brian, thanks so much for joining me today. 

Brian Evans: Yeah. Thanks for having me, appreciate it. 

Hoff: There are so many things that we could talk about. You’re a very successful entrepreneur and marketer, but we’re going to zero in today on cryptocurrencies. It’s not just bitcoin anymore but even bitcoin, I think, is still an obscure technology for many of us. Before we delve into everything we want to know about cryptocurrencies, can you first tell me a little bit about how you got involved in the cryptocurrency game and learned the insider secrets about what’s becoming this new asset class? 

Evans: It’s actually a funny story. A roommate of mine when I was in college, he was mining bitcoin in the room next to me. And back then, bitcoin was worth like cents on the dollar, it was basically worth nothing and he was telling me, “You gotta buy some of these bitcoins.” And so, I ended up buying stuff. I had like maybe 50 or so. 

Hoff: Good on you. 

Evans: So, listen to this, story gets crazy from here. I had it in my thumb drive, I moved about seven times back from 2012, I think it was, or 11, until now, and I lost the thumb drive. So that was 50 bitcoins that are now worth several hundred thousand dollars. 

Hoff: Oh, my God. 

Evans: Long lost. So that was my first exposure to bitcoin and the cryptocurrency and then I learned about Ethereum early on which is the new heavily trending cryptocurrency. 

Hoff: All right. And you write a lot about this on your website and you interview a lot of people. Sos you’ve really been into the game, you’ve talked to the experts, you’ve seen how the inner workings are, you’ve seen the “cryptocurrency junkies” as I call them that move on to the next big one to make sure they’re not just making 10 times their money, they want to make 1,000, 2,000 times their money. 

Evans: Yeah. 

Hoff: We’re going to get into some of that, because I’ve met some of these people and I’m like, “Why am I the idiot not doing this?” I definitely want to get in and I know that with Ethereum hitting the headlines, now people are saying, “OK. Is this becoming more mainstream?” I know before, I felt like cryptocurrencies were something that were used by people wanting to do nefarious activities online. Now, it’s becoming more mainstream. Can you talk about that?

Evans: Absolutely. Ethereum is definitely and cryptocurrency in general is becoming mainstream because what people are realizing is if you invested in say an ICO, which is an initial coin offering and we can talk about those later too. If you invested in say Ethereum’s initial coin offering, you would have made 100,000 percent ROI on your investment.

The numbers are just insane and there are others as well. There’s another one called Stratis that did 90,000 percent ROI from ICO. So, because of these crazy numbers that people are seeing, it’s just becoming more mainstream because people want to a piece of it. And so far, the market’s basically going up - earlier this year it was a $10 billion market. As we’re talking now, it’s a $92 billion market.

So, the market is growing exponentially, and a lot of people think it will be a trillion-dollar market soon enough. It’s one of those things where at least now we’re still really early, so you could almost literally throw a dart at a chart and pick any of these cryptocurrencies and you’re probably going to do well as the market caps increases because in a growing market, it’s really hard to guess wrong, so to speak.

Obviously, that’s not investment advice. Don’t throw darts at a chart, but it’s a really fast-growing market so a lot of people are getting excited about it. The average ICO is doing over 1,000 percent ROI for investors. So, it’s crazy how much money people are making on it, and it’s completely in the Wild West right now. There’s no regulations on any of it. You can do and say whatever you want. There’s absolutely zero regulation, which could change very soon, and probably will, but it’s completely in the Wild West, so people are just trying to figure out how to get a piece of it. 

Hoff: So that’s what we want to go into also. How do you get into this game if you want to? But first, I’m going to ask about the security behind it. From my own personal experience in cryptocurrencies, it feels like you go through this long process to get it and then once you get it, you get a long number that you can put on a thumb drive, like you did, or you can put it on a piece of paper and hide it in a vault somewhere or whatever you do, but where is the security behind it? How do people know OK, I’ve actually bought something that I can sell or this could crash tomorrow and it’s all up to loot? 

Evans: Yeah, I mean look, whenever you’re investing in something, you don’t want to put in any amount of money you’re not willing to lose, just like the stock market really. There’s always a risk element. That’s just the reality. But in this growing market, what’s happening now is a lot of things are going up.

Just the actual physical security is interesting because what can happen is there’s a lot of exchanges out there to buy cryptocurrencies on, Coinbase is an example. That’s one place you could store them in theory on these exchanges. But what most smart people do is they take them off from the exchanges. There’s multiple ways to do it, but the simplest way is called cold storage.

There’s something called a TREZOR or a Ledger Nano S. You can actually physically store your cryptocurrencies on a drive or device offline which nowadays you can back up. In my case, years ago, when I lost mine, there were no backups so I just lost the drive, that was it. But nowadays, you can back them up very easily. So, you can have secret key codes and pass phrases and you can duplicate the drive. It’s very easy.

There are just very easy ways to make sure you’re not going to actually lose them if you lost the drive or something. And you can actually store physical files on your computer as well. It’s almost like having a physical coin really, but it’s a digital file instead of a coin. The security of them in terms of actual physical security is good. It is safe.

We’re early on a growing market, so chances are everything’s going up, at least in the next year or two. After that, it is anyone’s guess, but we’re a growing market and so far people have made a lot of money. It’s a really interesting time for cryptocurrency. 

Hoff: OK. So really, one key piece of advice I want everybody to remember and listen to is ... do not invest any money you’re not willing to lose. Right? 

Evans: Absolutely. 

Hoff: Because like you said, we don’t know if legislation is going to come down trying to control this. That could devalue a lot of it. It could make some of them obsolete. We don’t know what the future holds. It’s right now a little bit of that excitement of the ’90s on Wall Street, where you get into the market, you’re buying up. You’re hoping that whatever you bought up, you’ll sell before it crashes. So that’s how you get into there. I also want to talk about what’s the strategy behind making the money, but first I want to go through buying it.

Evans: Sure, sure. 

Hoff: So we’ve talked about why do you invest in it. Well, people are making 1,000, 2,000, 3,000 times what they invest. You put a dollar in, you might be able to sell it for $8,000 not long afterward. 

Evans: Yes. 

Hoff: OK. That’s a pretty good reason to invest. We understand that now. There are so many cryptocurrencies on the market. How do we know which ones are legitimate and secure, and what are some of the cryptocurrencies we should be looking at? 

Evans: So, bitcoin is the dinosaur of the space in a good way. It’s been the most secure over time that it’s consistently gone up, even had a recent all-time high a few months ago. So, you start by looking at bitcoin, and they lead the pack. So, what happens with bitcoin, the rest of the market follows. If bitcoin is up, the rest of the market is going to be up. Bitcoin is down, the rest of the market is going to be down. Not exactly the same percentages but they will just indicate the direction of the market.

Ethereum is next in line. Bitcoin controls about $44 billion worth of the $92 billion market roughly. Ethereum controls about $20 billion worth of the market. So Ethereum is second in line. They control collectively a large percentage of the market. A smart investor would be looking at bitcoin or Ethereum to start with. Those are just consistently doing really well.

From there, you can diversify into other things, but the first step for most people is getting into bitcoin or Ethereum, learning the ropes, seeing how the market moves around. And then from there, you can get into ICOs. You have that potential to make a lot of money by getting into ICOs, but they’re doing well because Ethereum’s doing well.

All these ICOs are essentially based on Ethereum. Ethereum’s function is actually – the bitcoin is essentially just a currency. Ethereum is a currency as well, but it also has technology behind it. So Ethereum’s technology does more contracts. Essentially, think of a Kickstarter for cryptocurrency is what Ethereum’s current function is. That’s why it’s doing so well comparatively to others because it has this actual function the people are using to fund their companies and startups.

My advice to people getting into the market is to look at bitcoin and Ethereum to start with and then from there, just so I can give other suggestions, there’s other ones there. But most people are keeping 70 percent to 80 percent of their portfolios, so to speak, in Ethereum and bitcoin. 

Hoff: OK. Bitcoin for a lot of people might already be too expensive. You buy one and you’re spending I don’t even know what it is right now. Is it $1,800 or something? 

Evans: Yeah. 

Hoff: So they might feel like, “OK. I don’t have that much I want to be throwing into this. Maybe I want to spend $1,000 maximum on cryptocurrencies and get in.” So Ethereum is a little bit cheaper, but I’ve talked to some crypto junkies that to them, they’ve already moved on from bitcoin and Ethereum and they say, again, I’m only going to now be putting my money into the next one that, again, this ICO, where you can get in and make just an insane amount of money very quickly. But you suggest that a newbie start, and they have to start, so I’ve done a little research on this. You can’t buy some of the smaller cryptocurrencies directly. You have to have a bitcoin or Ethereum in order to buy them. Is that true? 

Evans: Yeah, exactly. So, if you’re converting U.S. dollars or euro or whatever to cryptocurrency, the simplest and easiest way is to buy bitcoin or Ethereum. And then if you want to get into an ICO, you have to hold Ethereum anyway. So that’s why I suggest that you do that, starting with something like Ethereum is probably a good choice because you’re going to need it anyway if you want to get into ICOs or even exchange it for other currencies you’re going to need to get more more bitcoin.

I guess one thing to think about is that what will happen with ICOs, if you get in really early, if you’re getting in at the actual ICO, you can do really well. But some of the big ICOs are over, so what’s happening now is that a whole bunch of ICOs are coming out. What’s going to start happening is they’re not all going to be making these kind of numbers. So, it’s going to be more of you have to do your research. You have to look for certain things about these companies. It’s getting harder for people pursuing the ICO aspect because there’s been so many that have done well, but now the market’s going to become wanted with ICOs. 

There are a number of other tokens. Sia is an example, Siacoin. They want to create a decentralized Dropbox and a way of hosting a peer-to-peer environment. So, file storages while hosting. That’s one that’s up and coming and interesting. Their Stratis platform is basically a blockchain of service companies. So Stratis, they’ll go to Microsoft, for example, and they’ll say, “Hey, instead of Microsoft, instead of you guys making your own blockchain, we’re going to make it for you, and you will create a side chain of our blockchain to do all the things that are possible in the blockchain world.”

There’s a mobile Ethereum client called Status that was just an ICO not too long ago. They have a messaging app and a peer-to-peer payment platform and a browser that’s essentially going to be on our phone, the platform. All these other cryptocurrencies that have actual technology and function behind them, most were based on Ethereum because they did an ICO. Now, they’re creating all these cool platforms.

Basically, this round of companies - they are the disruptors of the disruptors. So, we have the Ubers of the world, the disrupted, a cab industry. Now we’re going to have blockchain companies trying to disrupt the Uber level companies of the world using blockchain and decentralizing things. Basically, the craze right now is because everybody’s trying to find a way to decentralize what the Ubers and the Dropbox of the world just disrupted five to 10 years ago. 

Hoff: Right. Can you go into blockchain a little bit, that technology? What does it mean? Explain it in a way so people understand it. We’ve heard the term blockchain all over the place, but for people who are not as tech-savvy, can you explain a little bit more? 

Evans: Yeah, for sure. A blockchain very simply is a ledger. So, think of it like a number of transactions going down. Essentially, centralized banking has all these ledgers all over the place from all these different banks. The government and different places now have to reconcile them as a huge map. So, what blockchain does, it literally has every transaction in order on the entire platform, and it’s impossible to fake. It’s impossible to double-spend money like what happens to banks.

The concept of block is when let’s say I’m sending cryptocurrency to you to form this block and then it sends it out to the rest of the people that are connected to know the different aspects of the blockchain and they validate it and they say, “OK, our transaction is legitimate.” It goes through what’s called confirmation, and then it forms the block and then it gets placed on the ledger. So, it’s basically just a peer-to-peer.

If anyone’s familiar with how torrents work, it’s very similar. Napster essentially was the first version really of a peer-to-peer environment that eventually became blockchain technology because it’s similar to how torrents work. People download things from the internet by connecting to peers instead of a centralized server. So, everything that’s in blockchain is decentralized. There’s no one central server. You’re essentially downloading these transactions from other peers. There’s no one person or source that can manipulate or control the ledger.

Basically, it decentralizes whatever piece of technology that they are doing like the Dropbox example that I gave or Sia. It would essentially be a decentralized platform where you’re downloading files in a peer-to-peer environment instead of from one central server like people do now. 

Hoff: OK, that clears it up a little bit. What about getting into buying them now? For instance, where should we be looking to buy them? Because I know there’s some hack sites out there that maybe aren’t as reliable to buy cryptocurrencies. You want to be using a very secure site that is known and acknowledged and recognized. Also, how do we buy them? Because I’ve realized that you can’t necessarily use a credit card affiliated with a major bank to buy them because some of the banks are totally ruling out this as a purchase. 

Evans: Yeah, so for most people just getting started, there are a couple of different sites like for people in the U.S.. That’s a simple one to use. They won’t give you a huge amount to start because you’re essentially taking a credit card or a bank account which is the softer form of currency in getting a very hard form of currency like cryptocurrency, which you can’t. Once you have the cryptocurrency, it’s like having cash. There’s no chargebacks or refunding, like that.

There’s another one called Gemini. It’s actually started by the Winklevoss twins who were famous for suing Facebook early on. is another one. So those two are easy. They get Ethereum and bitcoin and they pretty much only have Ethereum and bitcoin and litecoin.

If you wanted to get into other more alternative types of cryptocurrency, there are a couple of different sites, Poloniex,, Those level of sites, you can’t buy easily with U.S. dollars, but once you have your bitcoins, you can then transfer to those sites and get other types of currencies. It’s a two-tier system. Most people do it, that’s why they go into something like Coinbase to buy their Ethereum or their bitcoin, which now you can use your bank account and your credit card but to a certain limit. The bank account, they’ll let you spend more. So, they might give you $10,000 on your bank account whereas your credit card, you only get $500 because they want to see that you’re legitimate. You’re not going to charge back the credit card or whatever.

So, once you have your Ethereum or your bitcoin, you can then transfer it to these other sites like Bittrex or Poloniex or Kraken, and then you can go and buy a Siacoin or Status or AdEx or whatever you want to get. That’s the path for most people, to start with a big site. They’re now heavily funded by all these different venture capital companies, like Coinbase is really the biggest in the U.S. right now. They’re getting traditional venture capital behind them. They have an exchange of their own called GDAX that lets you live day trade if you want to day trade and sell in and out of U.S. dollars to Ethereum or bitcoin. You could do that on GDAX for a small fee. That’s the simplest way to get into it. 

Hoff: What about how to purchase them? Because you said that you can use credit cards or bank accounts, but I’ve heard people with the experience that they tried to use, for instance, their Chase card or whatever it was and the credit card company kept considering it fraud. And even if they say yes, this purchase is allowed, they wouldn’t let them do that. Have you heard about banks cracking down on this and do you suggest going with the credit union or something else? 

Evans: Yes, that was happening for a period of time, but I think the banks are sort of embracing it more at least now. So, another way you can do it is you can wire in money and that’s usually never an issue. The problem with credit cards is that they only give you a certain limit anyway, so they’ll give you like a $500 or $1,000 limit, which for many people that might be fantastic and enough, but if you wanted to go more than that, you might have to start wiring money anyway that you’re already going to be at their limit.

You can sort of start with the credit card. That is an issue. You can use your bank account as well and do a transfer. I haven’t heard of any ETH-related issues, so that would be the go-to if you have any credit card issue. And then if you have an issue with that, you can always wire. They’ll give you instructions to wire in money as well. But nowadays, they’re happier with credit cards, especially Coinbase.

There was a period in time where there were some issues, but at least now, I think Coinbase is doing a lot with government and banks and stuff in terms of making sure that it’s going to be accepted and all that kind of stuff. So that’s probably what I would suggest, starting with something like Coinbase. 

Hoff: OK, so go to Coinbase, try it out. If your credit card doesn’t allow you to do it, you can consider wiring the money or maybe getting another credit card that does allow you to do it. 

Evans: Yes. 

Hoff: OK, so now, let’s talk about what do with these now that we have them? We’ve bought some cryptocurrencies. We’ve got some Ethereum. We’ve now moved on to even the other sites to get some Golem or whatever it is, and we want to make sure we can actually get money out of this one day. Are people buying stuff with them? Are more sites now accepting cryptocurrencies as just a form of payment or are they just holding on to it as an asset? Or are they day trading it? What’s the strategy behind getting something out of this number that you’re holding that’s gaining value but not necessarily giving you any value if you’re not getting the money yet?

Evans: Right. I’d say 90 percent of people at this point are holding something like Ethereum or bitcoin, and they’ll have maybe 10 percent or 20 percent of their portfolio in other tokens like Golem or Siacoin or whatever. So they’ll mainly be holding – especially right now, the market’s down from an all-time high because of some uncertainty around the situation of bitcoin which is now actually certain. But the market is very new, so people don’t understand a lot what’s happening with the technology side and the different movements in the market so there tends to be a lot of panic-buying and selling.

The market does move up and down a lot. It’s tough for a lot of people to time the market and day trade. The easiest strategy is to wait until it goes to a real high, like when the charts are really up in the day you couldn’t in theory sell and then chances are something shoots right up, it’s going to come down at least at some point. Let’s say you put in $1,000 and it shoots up 20 percent, you’re now at $1,200. You could sell at that point and then wait for the market to inevitably come down lower and you can buy back in and get more Ethereum or bitcoin or whatever you have. You’re basically multiplying your cryptocurrencies, that’s one strategy. But most people are essentially holding them. 

What I suggest for people is, if you are holding them, take them off the exchanges because exchanges do get hacked from time to time. If you are keeping your cryptocurrency on an exchange, what you want to do is you want to enable two-factor authentication. Most of them now are using Google Authenticator which is really good because text message two-factor authentication is not secure because somebody could call your phone care and say, “Hey, I lost my SIM card. Can you activate a new one for me?” And then they could essentially takeover your phone number.

The text message method is not secure. Most of the sites don’t even allow it anymore. So Google Authenticator two-factor is the most secure. That means somebody would physically have to have your phone to actually hack your account. It makes exchanges a lot more secure.

And even Coinbase now has a bulk and things like that but I still suggest people take them off the exchange if they are just holding them and buy a physical drive to buy a TREZOR or Ledger Nano S. Hold them on there, you can put it in a bank deposit box, you could put it in a secure, safe location or whatever. Take them off the exchanges. That’s probably the safest way to do it. 

But there’s a lot of money to be made in not necessarily day trading. There is money in day trading, too, but moving it around to different currencies. So, you might say, “OK. I really like Golem. I really like Siacoin.” You might say, “It’s down today and Ethereum’s up.” So, if you move from Ethereum to Siacoin when Ethereum’s up and Sia’s down, and then Sia goes back up, then you’re going to potentially make some money.

So, there’s also different things to look at relative to values of other cryptocurrencies where you can move money around. That’s a longer conversation. It gets more advanced, but you can find points in time where certain currencies are up and down relative to others where you can move money around and exchange it on these exchanges and then essentially making a profit. 

Hoff: So that’s where it’s beneficial to keep your cryptocurrency in the exchange. If you say, “OK. I’m not going to just buy some bitcoins or Ethereums and hold on to them for 20 years, but actually, I’m going to buy them and I want to be able to move them into these up and coming ones,” then you would keep it on the exchange for easy trading. 

Evans: Yes. You could keep them in the exchanges for a short period of time and then if you say to yourself, “OK. I’m not going to probably do anything for the next couple of weeks because I’m waiting for it to go back up,” you can just transfer them out to a wallet, even a physical drive like the TREZOR and the Ledger Nano are wallets and others where it only takes a few minutes, let’s say 10 minutes to transfer them in and out.

You can leave them on exchanges if you anticipate actively trading that day or even maybe for a few days. But if it’s more than a week or something, I would suggest just switching them out to a secure wallet. 

Hoff: OK, and by wallet, it’s basically a drive or something that you have on your phone maybe to keep it separate from the exchange. 

Evans: Yeah. 

Hoff: And maybe if you want to trade 20 percent of your Ethereum for other ones, you can take 80 percent down off of the exchange so that’s safe and then you can use just the amount that you want to be trading and keep that on the exchange. 

Evans: Yeah, exactly. Think of it like cash. The issue to it is that exchanges, they don’t insure cryptocurrencies. Say someone did hack into your account or the exchange got hacked or anything like that, with the exception of Coinbase, they do insure U.S. dollars that are in there but they don’t insure cryptocurrencies. So, knowing that it’s not insured, it’s like holding your own cash versus somebody else holding it for you and telling you they’re not going to insure it. You want to hold it yourself, right? 

Hoff: Yeah. 

Evans: In most cases, you want to just hold it yourself. 

Hoff: OK. There’s some that you’re really excited about that you want to buy. How do we know what to get excited about? There’s all these different ones. What should we be researching? What kind of things should we be looking for to think, “OK, this is a cryptocurrency that has something that could really last”? 

Evans: Look at the team involved. Just like in any investment anywhere, you want to look at the people and the team involved. If they have no experience, if they have never done anything in the space before, and they’ve never run a successful company, it’s probably a very risky investment at that point, right?

Think about it like you’re investing your U.S. dollars or whatever your local currency is, you’re investing your money. Just think of it as any other investment. You want to start by looking at the team, making sure the team is really solid.

Does the content make sense? Is it marketable? Does it sound like something that people understand? If people don’t understand it, if there’s not a simple way to explain it, then it’s a tougher sell. Especially as more people get into this market, 80 percent of the cryptocurrency community at this point are people who don’t understand most of the technology. So, when something is too complicated, it’s not necessarily a good thing. Things that seem simple and sound simple typically are the best as long as they have a good team behind them.

That’s why I gave the example of Siacoin because they’re making essentially a decentralized Dropbox. Really easy for people to understand instead of having central servers, you’re decentralizing it into a peer-to-peer environment. So, if they disrupt the Dropbox, that could be really good because there’s a lot of money clearly in the file storage. 

So, it’s mostly looking at the team and also with ICOs, people want to invest into ICOs. Same thing there, generally uncapped ICOs. What people are saying is, “We want to raise an unlimited amount of money to build our company.” Sounds weird, right? They’re just trying to make a profit in most cases when they say that. Not in all cases but in most cases, you want to find a capped ICO where they have clear use of their funds. They’ll say, “We’re going to raise $50 million and we’re going to take $10 million and do marketing. We’re going to take $20 million and do development. We’re going to take $10 million and do this.” They have a clear allocation of their funds and how they’re going to use it.

Also, most of them now have white papers. What that is basically a paper written in English, 20 or 40 pages explaining start to finish what problem they’re solving, why they’re doing it, what their platform or technology is going to do differently, how they’re going to fix the big world problem, how they’re going to use the blockchain, who the team is. So, they have these big white papers, you can find a few. Google the name of the company. Like Golem white paper, bad example but Status white paper or Siacoin white paper, Ethereum white paper. You can see what their initial mission and what they plan on doing with those funds.

That can be a good indicator and a good place to start to see if it actually makes sense. It’s one of those things where if something seems off, it probably is so trust your instinct. So yeah, that’s what I would say to that.

Hoff: Are there any out there that you think seem off that you would warn people against?

Evans: I’m not a huge fan of Ethereum Classic. What people need to know is Ethereum Classic was an old fork of Ethereum, basically had to do with split when something happened a while back and Ethereum Classic is not actually backed by Ethereum. So, it is a scam because Ethereum price as of right now is about 230 bucks. Ethereum Classic, 20-something. So, people say, “Wow. Ethereum Classic is only $20. I’ll buy that.” But the problem is that Ethreum Classic is run by some shady people that basically are trying to utilize the name of Ethereum to get people to buy in on the fact that the price is lower.

That’s one example of something you don’t want to get into. It’s called ETC Ethereum Classic and it’s not backed by Ethereum in any way. It doesn’t have any technology behind it. The point here of why that example is, anything that doesn’t have technology behind it, it’s purely a token that doesn’t actually do anything is a big red flag. So, if somebody says, “I’m making a Brian token,” and then you ask what it does, what the technology is. If it’s just a token, it’s really just a money grab for those people that are just trying to raise money and inflate the value and then probably sell off their token, if they’re not actually planning on doing anything with it.

It’d be like me saying to you, “Hey, I want you to invest into my company, but I’m not going to do anything with it. I’m just going to tell a bunch of people to invest into it and then sell my shares.” So, you want to make sure there’s actually technology behind anything you’re buying into. 

Hoff: So, you really have to start thinking of cryptocurrency not as a currency necessarily but as companies. 

Evans: Yeah. 

Hoff: What is the potential for this company to grow? What kind of technology? What kind of products are they going to be able to offer? And then look at the ICO, like in IPO, you do all the same due diligence before you invest into it. Look at the team behind it and think of it as not investing in these obscure currencies you don’t know what to do with but you’re investing in these obscure companies that will eventually do some more products or disrupt some other big players in there. 

Evans: Yes, exactly like that. Yeah. It’s really exactly the analogy you just said. Any sort of cryptocurrency company or blockchain company really that you’re investing into is not just a currency. If it is, that’s a red flag. You should be thinking about this just like a stock like if I buy Amazon, what’s the chances that there are going to keep doing cool things? Good. OK. Great. But if it’s some company that you can’t really work out what they do and it sounds shady and sketchy, probably run the other way. 

Hoff: All right. So, what are three things somebody who is interested in cryptocurrencies could do right now to get into the game but not end up losing their money to some hack site? 

Evans: Sure. I would start at a reliable site like or Gemini. Those are trusted sites backed by venture capitalists and lots of people. Actually, Coinbase just last month, in the last 30 days had 1 million new users. So that gives you an idea what kind of scale amount of people are getting into cryptocurrency.

Hoff: OK. 

Evans: So, you can start there on Coinbase probably is the simplest way to do it. There’s a website called and that will give you a list of all the top cryptocurrencies based on their market cap and based on their prices and you can see from there what tokens are out there and what their relative values are and things like that. You can keep an eye on that.

Another interesting website you can look at is, and that will show you a majority of the ICOs and what their value is as of today based on their initial ICO price. You can compare and start doing some research there and see which ones have done well, why are they doing well. It usually has to do with their technology and their team and things like that.

You can start doing some research by looking on Coin Market Cap and ICO Step to research different cryptocurrencies that have done well so you can paint a picture in your own mind of why ones are doing well and why ones are not doing well. So yeah, I’d say those are good places to start at least to get into the game. 

Hoff: OK. So, go to Coinbase or Gemini, get some bitcoin or Ethereum. Those are the most stable biggest cryptocurrencies out there, then do you due diligence, do your research at these different sites to see which are the ones if you want to get into are available and are doing well, and then just throw your dice and see if you made some good choices. Finally, what gets you charged up about the growth of cryptocurrencies and the possibilities they present? 

Evans: The market’s just growing exponentially. I mentioned before that earlier this year with the $10 billion market, the $93 million market is going up. The market is growing exponentially and we’re still early on.

People who are listening to this now, we’re still early in this cryptocurrency market. I believe and many other people believe that we’ll be at a $1 trillion market very soon. So that means that collectively, all the cryptocurrency values that are out there now are going to have to go up 9 or 10 times what they are now. So, there’s a ton of growth still happening and that’s just a $1 trillion market.

The value of the entire cryptocurrency market right now is less than the value of McDonald’s corporation. So, it’s still a small market. That’s just one company, one corporation. So, it’s a small market that has been growing up rapidly this year, and we still think it’s going up rapidly through the rest of the year because knowing that people are going into cryptocurrency.

So, the fact that this market is going up so much is something that people are going to look back on in five to 10 years and go, “Why didn’t I get into that?” It’s going to be one of those things when people say, “Why didn’t I buy into Microsoft or Apple early on?” It’s going to be one of those things in the next five to 10 years where people are kicking themselves for not getting into it.

And it’s exciting. We’re in an age where people are disrupting the disruptors. So, we’re going to see the next round of the most disruptive companies coming out of blockchain. It’s going to be really interesting to see what happens. 

Hoff: Absolutely. Brian, thank you so much for your insight. A lot of detailed information that you were able to give and clear up for us. I think that everyone listening has a much better grasp of what cryptocurrencies are and how do we get into the game. Thank you so much for joining me today. 

Evans: Thanks a lot. Thanks for having me. I appreciate it.

See related: Charged Up! podcast: Striking gold in the precious metals market, Charged Up! podcast: Life planning with George Kinder 




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Updated: 09-21-2017


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