Keeping an eye out for promo language — Always be on the lookout for fraud and scammers. If you see heavy promotion with claims such as “Risk-Free” or offering unrealistic returns, it isn’t real. It is always a good idea to be cautious and skeptical of projects that are heavily promoted. Great products in the market can be traced back to the leadership teams. Great products and leadership have a community of users and supporters, more in-depth information and documentation and credible reviews. If it’s all marketing and not easily understood, or if it’s difficult to find real information that explains its credibility and utility, it’s likely best to avoid it.
Over the past few years, the Cryptocurrency industry has been making headlines nearly every week. Many people have gotten very wealthy investing or leading the cryptocurrency industry. At the same time, many people have lost a lot investing in the industry. In addition, more people have been scrutinizing the ecological impact of crypto mining, as well as its potential facilitation of illegal activity. What is being done and what can be done to address these concerns?
In this interview series called “5 Things You Need To Understand In Order To Successfully Invest In Cryptocurrency” we are talking to leaders in the cryptocurrency industry, as well as successful investors, who share insights from their experience about how to successfully invest in Cryptocurrency.
As a part of this series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Shone Anstey.
Shone Anstey brings 20 years of experience in building complex technologies and software within search, analytics, and data centre operations. Engaged with cryptocurrency since 2012, Shone has acted as technology lead for an industrial Bitcoin mine and Bitcoin mining pool, and is a Certified Cryptocurrency Investigator. Shone is the CEO and Co-founder of LQwD, the first publicly traded, pure play, purpose-built bitcoin company that’s focused on solutions that power the growth of the Bitcoin Lightning Network.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit. Can you tell us a little about your backstory and how you grew up?
I am a third-generation Canadian of Irish and English descent born in the bible belt of the Fraser Valley in British Columbia. As part of the church, my parents moved to Israel in the mid-80s during my formative years as a young teenager. I spent the first couple of years in an Israeli school but struggled due to language difficulties. Amazingly, I ended up in an American International school for children of diplomats. It was a small school with excellent teachers and students from 39 nationalities around the globe, a truly international environment.
During this time, my parents opted to stay in Israel and managed to take out citizenship. This meant that at the young age of 16, I received a draft notice from the Israeli military. In February 1991, I found myself in the First Gulf war. Scud missiles potentially laden with poisonous gas rained down on our military base. Assuming the worst, that the outside atmosphere was lethal, we hunkered down in a makeshift sealed room. As I sat wearing my gas mask in the middle of the night, I wondered if I would ever see Canada, the home of my birth, again.
It was a long way from the peaceful raspberry fields of my childhood in the Fraser Valley to the battlefields of the Middle East. This was a growing-up moment.
It was a period that taught me tenacity, boldness, and determination. Confronting my mortality at such a young age motivated me to live life to the fullest, be grateful for those around me, and be kind whenever possible.
It was also a time when I met some wonderful people. The father of one of them, a university professor, explained to me how they communicated with their daughter in New York via a new technology called email. This was fascinating to me and stayed in my mind. When I returned to Canada in the mid-1990s, I became enamoured with and eventually worked in the Internet space as a young tech entrepreneur, and I’ve never looked back since.
Is there a particular book, film, or podcast that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?
I always had a fascination with the Marx brothers. They were four Russian Jewish men that made it big in Hollywood. I love the movie “Duck Soup,” a political satire poking fun at authority regimes. The Italian dictator Benito Mussolini regarded the film as a personal insult and banned it, so you know it was on point. The film has stood the test of time, both in writing and delivery, and has inspired many other modern-day comedies.
Is there a particular story that inspired you to pursue your particular career path? We’d love to hear it.
They call Israel the start-up nation because of the many technology startups founded there that
have achieved global success. It is truly the Silicon Valley of the Middle East.
Knowledge and learning are deeply ingrained in the Jewish culture as it is the one thing you can take with you. Combine that with their risk tolerance which undoubtedly is honed by their military experiences, and you end up with a culture that rewards creative thinking and bold initiatives.
One of the big reasons for their success is their willingness to take a risk as they understand what real risk is. Often the most significant risk we have in life is inaction; you eventually get left behind if you stand still. Companies in Israel are willing to seize the initiative.
Living in this culture inspired me to try and think differently, be bold, and embrace calculated risk. In that spirit, I co-founded LQwD — the world’s first publicly traded Bitcoin Lightning Network company.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
Back in 2015, before Bitcoin and digital assets were more well known, we pitched our company to a group of investors in Vancouver, a predominantly gold mining town. I presented what I thought was a concise, clear explanation of what Bitcoin mining was and was surprised when they asked for a 43–101 resource report, which represents how many ounces in the ground you can dig out.
I should have responded that there was a max resource of 21 million in jest, alluding to Bitcoins supply cap, but at that point, it was time to bail and get ourselves in front of tech investors.
The moral of the story, make sure you do your research and get in front of the right people. This was a huge reason and big motivator for LQwD’s Q4 plans to head to Silicon Valley and be a part of the right tech circles.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
Along the journey, there have been many people to thank. From small acts of kindness to those who were generous with their time or gave me an opportunity. It’s important to remember and to give back where you can.
Over the last number of years, my friend Kim Evans has been a significant influence. She has 20 years of experience as a director and officer, working with several public companies listed on the TSX Venture Exchange. She has made me a much better professional and has helped me learn and navigate the public markets.
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?
We are big believers in the Bitcoin Lightning Network. The Lightning Network solves Bitcoin’s scaling issue and is poised to bring Bitcoin to a billion-plus people.
Our mission at LQwD is to further the growth and development of this network and help unleash all of its massive untapped potential as Bitcoin and open finance change the very nature of money, banking, and payments around the globe.
The Lightning Network will act as the last mile payment and banking solution to the billions of people born into poverty, are unbanked, underbanked, and in need of an open, inclusive financial system free from corruption and inclusive of all.
Ok super. Thank you for all that. Let’s now shift to the main focus of our interview. The cryptocurrency industry seems extremely dynamic right now. What are the 3 things in particular that most excite you about the industry? If you can, please share a story or example for each.
- The ability to create hard money.
For the first time, we’re able to store value in the digital world. In some respects, this new way of storing value is taking over for gold. Bitcoin is divisible by eight decimal points, portable, fungible, and the native currency for the internet.
With its limited supply of 21 million coins, Bitcoin has created an opportunity for the world to return to a hard money standard, where wealth cannot be inflated away. It lays the groundwork for peace to flourish in a world where corrupt governments can no longer print unlimited funds to fund endless wars with no end in sight.
2. Open financial system.
Providing financial inclusion to anyone who can access the network. You can now participate in the global economy if you own a smartphone. Although it is still in its early stages, it will become more accessible and easier as Bitcoin matures.
It will enable greater accountability and visibility by storing assets on the public blockchain, increasing tracking and transparency, and instilling trust in the financial system.
3. Future opportunity for innovation –
We couldn’t have imagined where the internet would be today in the 1990s and 2000s when it was born and rolled out. The same is true for Bitcoin. It is an extension and continuation of the internet revolution. It cannot be stopped, turned off, or regulated away, and it will be used in ways we have not yet imagined via Lightning or other layers of technology. It has transformed and will continue to transform our digital lives.
What are the 3 things that concern you about the industry? Can you explain? What can be done to address those concerns?
- Inappropriate government oversight.
Oversight and regulations will be implemented eventually. Until then, there is political risk, as evidenced by members of the Senate and House recently using Bitcoin as a bargaining chip. Of course, it’s infuriating to watch, but it is not a surprise. Technology always moves at a breakneck pace, while regulators and government will always be reactive.
We saw this in the late 90s, and early 2000s as the Senate and Congress debated the merits of the internet itself, wanted to regulate it, control it, and some were talking about banning it. All of their current blusters will merely be a footnote in history as technology relentlessly powers forward.
There have been several high-profile cases of theft, fraud, and scams. When money is combined with a new and complex topic, the conditions are ideal for fraudsters. You must arm yourself with knowledge and understand who you are dealing with, what you are purchasing, and where it will be stored.
3. Too much speculation on tokens.
Proper portfolio management with some risk allocation appears to be perfectly acceptable. However, some cryptocurrency exchanges provide incredible leverage, which leads to wild speculation and, in essence, gambling. People have free will and will do whatever they want, but I prefer that capital be used for more productive purposes.
What are the “myths” that you would like to dispel about cryptocurrency? Can you explain what you mean?
One myth is Bitcoin does not have value.
This is largely determined by how you perceive and comprehend Bitcoin. You must first answer the most basic question: What is Bitcoin?
The typical responses are, “It’s a payment network, a value store, hard money,” and so on. Although that is what Bitcoin is currently used for, it is so much more in terms of technology.
At its core, Bitcoin is a trust protocol layer of the internet. It represents a fundamental shift to how the internet will function in the future. Bitcoin is a globally distributed, cryptographic digital timestamp service enabling trust, and all use cases flow from this. Money is only the first step.
Bitcoin solved a long-standing computer problem of creating a trusted transaction between people without involving a third-party intermediary. Replace the word transaction with ID, documents, spam reduction, and trusted data. You can see how it will affect not only money but also the functioning of the internet and, eventually, society itself. By introducing this mechanism for trust, we now have a way to reduce corruption globally with an open system for accountability.
How do you think cryptocurrency has the potential to help society in the future?
Bitcoin is a symbol of the separation of state and money. As previously stated, it also represents the ability to build trust on a global scale for the digital age.
It is an open financial network that anyone can join. It will help drive the global economy forward by providing inclusion and hope to the over 3 billion people who do not have access to financial services.
Recently, more people have been scrutinizing the ecological impact of crypto mining. From your perspective, can you explain to our readers why the cryptocurrency industry is creating an environmental challenge?
In some cases, they would be correct, as some miners have managed to run off cheap unclean power, but that is changing. It also echoes some early concerns about the internet, such as the fear that all the computers would dramatically increase coal consumption.
Bitcoin miners are sensitive to the energy price as it is their number one ongoing cost of operations. ESG power is continuing to become cost-effective, attracting more mining operations.
From your perspective what can be done to address or correct these concerns?
Bitcoin miners can act as an anchor client for green power, ensuring that those power projects are economical. Bitcoin mining has a consistent demand and will purchase power during off-peak hours when no one else wants it. This provides a baseline of revenue for these green power projects, helping them flourish and that off-peak power doesn’t go to waste.
Recently, more people have been scrutinizing cryptocurrency’s impact on illegal activity. From your perspective, can you explain to our readers why cryptocurrency, more than fiat currency, is seen as an attractive choice for criminals?
It’s important to remember that Bitcoin is a morally agnostic network that doesn’t care who or where you are. It, like the internet, is accessible to anyone who wants to utilize it.
Typically, those who engage in illegal activities are always trying to stay ahead of the law. As such, they are constantly seeking technological advancements, ranging from faster boats to encrypted cell phones. Criminals embraced Bitcoin early on simply because it works so well.
When the internet first became available in the 1990s, criminals rushed to embrace it as a means of communication and a means of selling their wares. For a time, this tainted the internet’s perception and made some people fearful of using it. The same is true of Bitcoin.
From your perspective what can be done to address or correct these concerns?
It is less about what can be done and more about what has been done. Companies in this space have already developed sophisticated analytics software and training for law enforcement, equipping them with the tools necessary to perform their duties. Criminal use of Bitcoin is now a much smaller percentage of the overall market.
Ok, fantastic. Here is the main question of our interview. What are “The 5 Things You Need To Understand In Order To Successfully Invest In Cryptocurrency?” (Please share a story or example for each.)
- Education of the space. There is plenty of quality information online and excellent books and topics that can easily help the curious person understand bitcoin, blockchain technology, and how the technology and market function. Apart from reading and studying what is available, the best approach to learning is to really begin using the technology, even in a small way. Learn how to create an account, how to create a wallet, how to handle keys and passwords, how to make a purchase, and how to make a transfer. The insight gained from setting up and using the technology truly expands the average user’s contextual awareness. It enables you to progress from being overwhelmed by the complexity to understanding how things work firsthand and then doing more. You don’t have to dive headfirst into the confusion of thousands of tokens or trading, but rather start with quality information and buy your first fraction of a bitcoin in a wallet you control.
- Looking at the engineering team. Engineers and developers are the bright minds needed to create and manage the critical infrastructure and products in the crypto space. They are in high demand and have a lot of options. Because of this, they generally choose projects they believe in and that they see as worthy of their time. To a certain extent, you can judge a company by the team and the engineers who work on the products. Learn about their levels of experience and the previous companies and projects they have been involved with. Were these companies and projects successful? Was their experience in the same industry where there is a lot of transferable knowledge? That should tell you a lot.
- Keeping an eye out for promo language. Always be on the lookout for fraud and scammers. If you see heavy promotion with claims such as “Risk-Free” or offering unrealistic returns, it isn’t real. It is always a good idea to be cautious and skeptical of projects that are heavily promoted. Great products in the market can be traced back to the leadership teams. Great products and leadership have a community of users and supporters, more in-depth information and documentation and credible reviews. If it’s all marketing and not easily understood, or if it’s difficult to find real information that explains its credibility and utility, it’s likely best to avoid it.
- Ask Questions. When it comes to tokens, it’s always a good idea to start from the ground up. Why is it there? What exactly does it do? Where do its value and use case come from? Who are the people who are behind it? If you can’t understand it, explain it, or see it clearly, it’s probably not a good place to put your money. Always keep in mind that economics and regulatory principles are always at work in this space. Be informed, aware, and wary. And, if you’re just getting started or gaining exposure to the space, I would start with bitcoin before anything else.
What are the most common mistakes you have seen people make when they enter the industry? What can be done to avoid that?
I believe the most common mistake people make is failing to educate themselves about the space prior to diving in. People new to Bitcoin should read the Internet of Money, The Bitcoin Standard, and my upcoming book, Trust & the Rise of Bitcoin. The more you can educate yourself on the topics that interest you, the better equipped you will be to succeed.
Do you have a particular type of cryptocurrency that you are excited about? We’d love to hear why.
Although there are some exciting technologies in the crypto space, I only focus on Bitcoin. It is the native digital currency for the internet 3.0. My company LQwD is harnessing the Bitcoin Lightning Network, which is capable of massive transaction volumes, quickly and efficiently moving money. This layer two solution for Bitcoin Lightning Network is poised to scale to billions of transactions and allow the 3 billion unbanked to join in the global economy.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the greatest amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
Without a doubt, I’d like to keep developing and inspiring LQwD’s message about Bitcoin and the Lightning Network. Bitcoin is, at its core, a trust protocol layer of the internet. It heralds a fundamental shift in how the internet will operate in the future.
It will enable a global trust medium to operate, assisting in eradicating systemic corruption and improving the lives of millions. To quote a passage, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
We are very blessed that very prominent leaders read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would like to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂
Ark Investments’ CEO Catherine Wood. I found her podcast interview with Kiril Sokoloff on how they approach technology to be fascinating.
Thank you so much for these excellent stories and insights. We wish you continued success and good health!