DataDash founder Nicholas Merten on how he plans to fix crypto’s “usability” problem
The popular crypto YouTuber also discusses his new business Digifox, aimed at bringing crypto to the masses.
CryptoSlate recently had the opportunity to chat with popular YouTuber DataDash, otherwise known as Nicholas Merten.
Nicholas is the founder of both DataDash, one of the largest cryptocurrency YouTube channels with over 470,000 subscribers, and Digifox, the first major app giving all U.S. citizens the ability to receive a portion or all of their income in crypto.
Being an international speaker, thought-leader, and crypto analyst in the space, he has utilized his over ten years of experience in traditional markets to understand the potential of cryptocurrencies.
Interview with Nicholas Merten, Digifox Founder
What is your professional background and how/when did you get into crypto?
I was incredibly passionate around personal finance for over six years before I came to truly understand what crypto was. For years, I invested in equity markets, commodities, and various sectors of the economy, because from an early age, I realized that the biggest mistake you could make was leaving your money to rot in a savings account.
What made you decide to make the move from YouTube to setting up your own business?
Even though I still do YouTube 3-4 times a week, I always felt that I wanted to contribute more to the space. For me, I not only wanted to accelerate crypto adoption beyond simply creating YouTube content, but I wanted to fix many of the problems I saw in the industry, such as poor user experience and bad incentive mechanisms, like encouraging people to over-trade.
What do you believe are the biggest obstacles for mainstream adoption of crypto?
The lack of education; period. The industry has stunted its own growth for nearly a decade by expecting everyone to ‘just understand’ crypto. Technology is already complex, but with crypto, you’re adding elements of finance, economics, security, and so much more. It’s no wonder only about 1% of the world has adopted cryptocurrencies, compared to the internet, compared to the internet at 60%.
What is Digifox and what are the main goals of the company?
Digifox’s main goal is to make crypto investing as simple as possible, so you can do everything from one place, with the help of real people. If you’re an absolute beginner in crypto or personal finance, we help you set up a wallet and start investing in crypto as time progresses, earning interest along the way. And if you ever need help on your journey, there are real people ready to help in-app.
What does Digifox do that its competitors don’t? What is your unique selling point?
Digifox allows users to get a portion of their income in the form of cryptocurrencies, like bitcoin, ethereum and litecoin, through our industry-first feature ‘Get Paid In Crypto’. This allows users to average into the crypto market overtime, and earn up to 5% interest on their holdings, one of the leading investment strategies for crypto according to history.
We’re solely focused on growing with our users, and we embody it through our in-app support chat, community engagement and free education, the likes of which can’t be matched anywhere else in the industry.
One of the major ways we showcase this is through The Digifox University, a free online education platform that will become accessible in the fall/winter in 2021 to everyone, even non-Digifox users. It’ll cover everything from personal finance, life decisions, and crypto.
On the other hand, traditional exchanges encourage frequent trading in order to generate more revenue. This leaves users with more fees, higher tax obligations, and in most cases, making less money than they would simply hold long-term.
How important is it that blockchain and crypto usability and user experience is improved?
It’s a must for the industry. Imagine if the dial-up internet was still the standard, or that Gmail never improved its interface from when it launched in 2004. We’ll not only need to see more use cases flourish within the crypto ecosystem, but consistent improvements to make those use cases, well…usable for everyday people.
With Get Paid In Crypto, you set up your account, and you’re good to go. No need to time the market or be overwhelmed with countless cryptocurrencies. You’re able to gain exposure to this exciting new asset class, and put your coins to work earning yield at much higher rates than traditional banks.
Do you think simplification in the way people experience and use crypto will drive adoption?
Absolutely. To put this into perspective, think of the most popular mobile applications today. TikTok for content, Robinhood for stock trading, and Airbnb for global travel. What do they all share in common? They provide you a valuable service in the least amount of clicks possible. If we can do the same for crypto, we’ll see this asset class grow even faster than it already is.
What is your most controversial opinion relating to blockchain and/or cryptocurrency?
People shouldn’t have to know what a ‘blockchain’ or ‘smart contract’ is. I know many enthusiasts disagree with this sentiment because it’s incredibly liberating to learn about impactful technologies. But I’ll be candid in saying that I don’t know how Facebook operates, the car that I drive every day, or how my smartphone can do so many incredible things day in and day out. Since when did we decide we’d treat crypto differently?
We don’t always have to know the nuts and bolts of how everything works and to be honest, the complexity of crypto, much like the complexity of the web, is better kept as a side topic, rather than the centerpiece.
Instead, we should explain the basics: crypto’s finite supply limitations, how everyone can participate, why these assets rise in value, and why they could be valuable to the end-user.
Do you have any blockchain and/or crypto predictions for 2021-22 and beyond?
While many are making bold claims, I like to keep things simple. I know for certain that the growth of crypto markets is just beginning. Take crypto markets, which in total are valued at $2 trillion dollars and compare them to other markets. Precious metals are valued at $14 trillion, global equities at $105 trillion, bonds at $120 trillion, and real estate at $300 trillion. In my opinion, we’re just getting started.