Crypto: $94m Raised to Be Enterprise Blockchain for Global Payments

Stefan Thomas

In Episode #836, Nathan interviews Stefan Thomas. He’s the CTO of Ripple. He’s also the producer of the popular “What is Bitcoin?” video and the founder of the largest website for novice bitcoin users, He created a set of open-source bitcoin libraries called BitcoinJS, which today are maintained and used by Bitcoin businesses of all sizes including BitPay,, BitAddress, Coinpunk and others.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – Draw to Win
  • What CEO do you follow? – Thomas Mcleod
  • Favorite online tool? — StumbleUpon
  • How many hours of sleep do you get?— 3 or 8
  • If you could let your 20-year old self, know one thing, what would it be? – Schedule your blocks of time. Clean up and separate your spaces. Tell yourself to stick to what you should be doing.

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:38 – Nathan introduces Stefan to the show
  • 02:15 – Stefan got into crypto 7 years ago
  • 02:22 – “What is Bitcoin?” video now has 10 million views and two versions
  • 02:52 – Bitcoin is different from how current financial institutions work
  • 03:27 – Blockchain has a lot of definitions and for Stefan, blockchain is a shared ledger
  • 04:03 – With any technology, it is about how it can make a change that is beneficial to everyone
  • 05:43 – Stefan currently focuses on their project, Inter Ledger, which is essentially a protocol that can tie different ledgers together
    • 05:54 – It is an open project and Ripple is a contributor
  • 06:44 – Some of the crypto users have gotten a little too mainstream
  • 07:18 – People are now looking at the possibility of getting what they want without having to rely on clunky, shared ledgers
  • 07:41 – Stefan sold WeUseCoins to a company who has invested in bitcoin
    • 08:20 – Stefan didn’t make much from the exit
  • 08:36 – Stefan is responsible for the technical vision of Ripple
  • 09:00 – Ripple’s customers are mostly banks
    • 09:05 – Banks license Ripple’s technology and software
  • 09:33 – You can get the most from bitcoin technology without changing how financial institutions work
    • 09:53 – Small banks can interoperate with other banks without going through huge hubs
    • 10:04 – “Creating that efficiency by creating competition”
  • 10:20 – Siam Commercial Bank in Thailand is one of Ripple’s customers
  • 10:30 – Siam Commercial Bank and SBI Remit in Japan have partnered to license Ripple’s technology
    • 10:40 – Thailand expats staying in Japan can now send money to Thailand through their partnership
  • 12:18 – Shared ledgers are growing smaller and smaller with these new coins coming out and by private blockchains
  • 12:27 – Stefan believes that the next interesting technology will be the interoperability of the blockchains and central ledgers
  • 13:02 – Ripple has only been focused on payments, but there are hundreds of use cases for blockchain
    • 13:28 – Payments is the underlying thing for any kind of asset movement
    • 13:55 – Ripple is also focused on the crossing borders advantage to it
  • 15:21 – Licensing fee of Ripple depends on their customers
  • 16:21 – Team size is 170
  • 16:36 – Ripple has raised $94M and has sold some digital assets
  • 16:55 – Stefan joined Ripple before it was incorporated and he has equity
  • 18:31 – The Famous Five

3 Key Points:

  1. Changes in technology are intended to make life better for the collective.
  2. With bitcoin technology, payments have become more efficient and convenient.
  3. The vision that you had years ago will definitely change overtime.

Resources Mentioned:

  • Simplero – The easiest way to launch your own membership course like the big influencers do but at 1/10th the cost.
  • The Top Inbox – The site Nathan uses to schedule emails to be sent later, set reminders in inbox, track opens, and follow-up with email sequences
  • GetLatka – Database of all B2B SaaS companies who have been on my show including their revenue, CAC, churn, ARPU and more
  • Klipfolio – Track your business performance across all departments for FREE
  • Hotjar – Nathan uses Hotjar to track what you’re doing on this site. He gets a video of each user visit like where they clicked and scrolled to make the site a better experience
  • Acuity Scheduling – Nathan uses Acuity to schedule his podcast interviews and appointments
  • Host Gator– The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for the cheapest price possible
  • Audible– Nathan uses Audible when he’s driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5-hour drive) to listen to audio books
  • Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives