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Finding Growth in the Crypto Industry | Jeff Hancock

Today’s Guest Jeff Hancock

Jeff is a crypto enthusiast with a background in cybersecurity, but before he found his calling in the world of crypto, he spent time working in the casino and finance industry. In 2017, during the first crypto bull-run, Jeff saw the need for a better way for UK users to trade crypto and founded with his co-founders. With a passion for blurring the line between crypto and finance, Jeff is dedicated to making crypto accessible and safe for everyone.

  • In this episode, host Matt Edmundson discusses various topics including exploring growth, balancing priorities, and the future vision with guest Jeff. They delve into personal and business goals for the next five to ten years.
  • The conversation also touches on the versatility and benefits of cryptocurrencies in different industries, as well as long-term investment strategies like dollar cost averaging and capitalizing on market dips.
  • The importance of staying informed and finding reliable sources of knowledge in the crypto space is emphasized. They recommend starting with a small investment and gradually learning and experimenting.
  • The podcast also explores the challenges of incorporating podcasting into marketing strategies and highlights the power of podcasting as a marketing tool. It opens doors to new connections, networks, and opportunities for entrepreneurs and business leaders.
  • Additionally, the video briefly touches on the host's personal experiences with in-person poker and the enjoyment he finds in the game. The conversation concludes with a discussion on the importance of maintaining hobbies and finding a balance between work and personal interests.

Links for Jeff

Links & Resources from today’s show

Sponsor for this episode

At Aurion Media, we're committed to helping you set up and run your own successful podcast to grow your business and impact.

"You know what? I have found running my own podcast to be really rewarding. It opens doors to amazing people like nothing else I have seen. I have built networks, made friends, and had a platform to champion my customers, my team and my suppliers. I think just about any entrepreneur, or business leader should have a podcast because it has had a huge impact on my own businesses." - Matt Edmundson.

Is Podcasting Right For Your Business?

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Jeff: [00:00:00] Um, I knew I needed to do something for myself, so I started looking at online trading a little bit, I started looking at online marketing stuff and I tried a little bit of everything and I really kind of kind of landed on property and it wasn't until I took my own financial future in my own hands because No one's gonna take care of me except for me.

No one's going to, you know, rescue me at the bottom. It's, it's kind of all on me and I'm 16, 000 miles from home from a very small family. Um, it's, it's just kind of all or nothing. So I needed to make the opportunity of living in London, uh, to my advantage by meeting as many people as I could, learning as much as I could, uh, and kind of getting out of my own way.

Um, and when you start peeling it back, you know, stuff like... Fear of being judged and fear of failing. They aren't, they aren't real. They're just blockers

Matt: Welcome to Push to Be More with me, your host, Matt Edmundson. Now, this is a show that talks about the stuff that [00:01:00] makes life work. And to help us do just that today, I'm chatting with Jeff Hancock from CoinPass about where he's had to push through, what he does to recharge his batteries and to be as well as what he's doing to be more.

What does growth look like? Well. These are all questions that we're going to get into and the notes from our conversation will be available on the website along with all the links at pushtobemore. com and whilst you're there if you haven't done so already make sure you sign up for the email newsletter and we will email you automatically the notes and the links from the show for each guest.

It's an amazing thing so just go get it, it's worth it. Now this episode is brought to you by Aurion Media which helps Entrepreneurs and business leaders set up and run their own successful podcast. Oh yes, but why would you want to host your own podcast? Which I think is a fair question. Uh, for me, I can't find a better marketing tool at the moment right now for what we do, genuinely, unless it's e [00:02:00] com and we need paid media, but that's another story.

But on the whole, Podcasting has just been super rewarding for me. We have four podcasts, we're just about to launch our fifth and then there's a sixth one. Not slowly following that one, let me tell you why. Because they are incredible marketing machines. They open doors to amazing people like nothing I've seen.

I've built networks, made friends and had a platform to champion my customers, my team and my suppliers. And I think just about any entrepreneur or business leader should have a podcast simply because of the huge impact it's had on my own business, which of course sounds great in theory, doesn't it? But there's the whole problem of setup, distribution, getting the tech right, knowing what the right podcast strategy is.

I mean, the list goes on and this is where Aurion Media enters. The scene they take all of that off your plate, which means you just get to do what you're good at, which is talking to other people. So if you're wondering if podcasting is a good [00:03:00] marketing strategy for your business, do connect with them at aurionmedia.

com that's a u r i o n media. com. So that's the show sponsor, Let's talk about the show's guest. Jeff is a crypto enthusiast with a background in cyber security. But before he found his calling in the world of crypto, he spent time working in the casino. Finance Industry. In 2017, during the first Crypto Ballroom, Jeff saw the need for a better way for UK users to trade crypto and founded CoinPass with his co founders.

Oh, yes. Now with a passion for blurring the line between crypto and finance, Jeff is dedicated to making crypto accessible and safe for everyone. Yes, he is. So Jeff, welcome to the show, man. Great to have you. How are you doing?

Jeff: Uh, well, Matt, thank you for having me along. Really great intro. Um, I've definitely put [00:04:00] podcasting into our marketing strategy once upon a time. Um, but the, yeah, the overhead of, uh, finding guests, uh, getting them on board, pre screening, production, um, and then, uh, distribution was always one of the things that, yeah, it was, it's, it's a lot of time.

So. Uh, I'm sure your sponsor is doing a good job, then I'll, I'll definitely take a look at that when we relaunch it. I think we did about 20, 27 or 30 episodes during, during COVID. It was a good way to stay in touch with people.

Matt: Yeah, yeah,

Jeff: was still, you know, in its own boom during COVID. Um, and that was a period of time, you know, I'm sure we'll get into, we had to nearly double the size of the company just to keep up.

So, no, it's been a. It's been a wild ride.

Matt: it's not a bad problem to have, is it,

Jeff: Yeah, not the worst thing, but yeah, it was obviously had its own challenges.

Matt: Yeah, yeah, no doubt, no doubt. Um, so what was the podcast called?

Jeff: Uh, the CoinPass podcast, nice and simple. Um, went out on all the major, major streaming platforms. Uh, we did the artwork in house, you know, the first 10 episodes were just, you know, good mates of mine that I've met through [00:05:00] the crypto space. Uh, and then yeah, I started kind of getting some more people in and then, uh, Uh, business just started taking over, really couldn't, couldn't scale it with the time input that was required from me and, and some of the rest of the team.

But it's, uh, some of you are looking to relaunch in the future as well.

Matt: yeah, yeah, fascinating, fascinating. So the CoinPass podcast. So let me ask you a question, uh, Jeff, just the same question askable, I guess, actually, because we are sponsored by Aurion. Um, If you, uh, let's say your CoinPass podcast is up and running, but if you could interview anybody on the show from your past or present, um, that's had a big influence on your life.

That's my only caveat. They've had a big influence on your life. Who would you have as a guest and why?

Jeff: Well, I probably have probably one of the most non crypto people ever, um, who is one of my original, uh, kind of business mentors is a property guy named Simon Zichy. And I met him at a, uh, property event. I I saw it on the internet, um, went along, you know, he's at the Excel, big, you know, huge expo bit.

[00:06:00] Uh, I got a copy of his book from his stand, listened to one of his talks, and um, you know, out of the 30 people sitting there, I managed to win a ticket to his little, little miniature, little one day course that obviously you get on to the next one, and the the

Matt: Yeah Yeah,

Jeff: Um, but his principles are just boiling it down to, you know, keeping it absolutely simple.

Um, and the whole, um, Uh, what do you call it? The whole premise of that business was was working with people, not dealing with people and trying to get the best deal on this. It was about dealing with people and giving them what they need. And some of those principles, you know, run very, very true to what I've been doing in my previous careers.

You know, like every other Australian, I started out in hospitality behind a bar, um, worked in, uh, hotels, casinos for about six years doing tech, Uh, Infrastructure and Cyber Security, so it's a highly regulated environment, uh, highly secure, you know, over three, five hundred servers, four thousand staff, and on a very boring Monday, we'd have twenty to thirty [00:07:00] thousand guests through the door.

Now, just because I work in tech doesn't mean that I was behind the scenes at all times. I was required to, you know, work with investor relations, work with the, you know, the eye on the sky, work with the, the, the video techs, finance, dealers. The cage, even the vault, um, which is nothing like it looks on any Ocean's 11 movie.

There's only one guard with a shotgun. There's not two guys with an Uzi, uh, just a really long hallway. But, um, I also dealt with a lot of the guests, you know, um, I've met some very famous ones. You know, um, uh, Aussie rock star John Farnham couldn't get on the Wi Fi, went up to his room at 11. 30 at night.

And I went. Hi, nice to meet you. I met the, uh, I met one of the, uh, Qatari princes cause his son's iPad was, was on the fritz. Uh, and I had the whole 22nd floor. It was about, you know, 200 people that they'd hired it out for. And I had to go through their layers of own security just to fix his son's iPad, you know, and it was always this part of, you know, keeping it simple, putting the customer first, [00:08:00] uh, and providing an amazing service.

And that's the same as hospitality. I brought all that into my tech career. I moved to the UK and worked in data centers for a little while while I was on my working visa. And again, we were selling tech to customers and one sales guy would sell the dream and someone has to go and install the reality.

And when you're dealing with, you know, not just the business owner. But the people that are inside that business using the tech you've sold them, adding that little tiny 5% of the extra add ons and auto sign in and some of the cataloging and tagging and whatever else that might have been, uh, and these are very big, well known brands as well, but just that little tiny extra little bit of service, um, makes it go.

Yeah, massively far. And even some of those clients I haven't worked for now in seven or eight years, but my mobile number is still floating around on some message board somewhere in someone's office saying, Oh, if this breaks, do you give Jeff a call? And unfortunately, now after eight years, I can't help you.

I'm sorry. You called me. So I was still sending my [00:09:00] old, my old, my old boss's clients back to him. After this amount of time, uh, that just goes to show that little bit of extra care, that little bit of extra, you know, people, um, cause people just want to be treated like people. Um. Uh, it was definitely a good business move and that's how we carried through to when we started CoinPass.

Um, it was 2017, 2018 and um, uh, a few people had come to me, I had my fingers in, you know, in, in, in property, um, in, in consulting and crypto and trading, uh, as well as doing my cyber security consulting, cyber security consulting with, um, a very large hedge fund called SoftBank. And they said, how do I buy 20, 000 worth of Bitcoin with no FX exposure?

That means going into Euro, going to US dollars, sorry. And, um, I said, basically, there's only one or two platforms in the UK right now. It still requires you to send your pounds to Lithuania or Estonia. There's no banks in the UK that will accept it properly. Um, you may as well, and you'll [00:10:00] wait, you'll wait three or four days.

The pricing isn't as good. You'll lose three to 5%. Just take the FX hit. And they go, why not? Why isn't there a better solution? Uh, and that's where it comes down to me opening my big mouth and saying, well, let's start our own one. Uh, and that's literally where it came out. And I've actually still got it back here.

If I can go

back a little bit. I've got the original, the original bar drawn, uh, business schematic and, and everything on there. And that was the original bit of paper from the very, very first session we sat down at the pub, uh, 1130 PM on a Monday in Clapham and, uh, and drew it out really. And, um, pretty much. 50%, 60% of that is still valid today, which is quite cool.

Matt: wow, and that's how CoinPass was born.

Jeff: That's how it was born, out of kind of a stupid conversation out of how to invest into something. And it was in the middle of, it was in the middle of a bear market at the time. So it was, the coin was like two and a half thousand dollars at the time. It's now over, over 30. And um, yeah, that was [00:11:00] originally the start of it.

We built some banking relationships, we put our own money into it. We didn't do a fundraise. We put our own developers on board and it was all a side hustle for the first eight months until we launched it. And the business plan was. So one Bitcoin to one person, and at midday on the first day we launch, you're like, do we do now?

We've just hit our, our year one goal was to get, you know, one, you know, everyone's gonna buy little bits. We thought we were gonna have a bit of a dollar cost averaging platform. We'd see thousands of little, tiny deposits, and then someone just dunks like five K in the account and just pushes the buy button. What next? Now we have a business on our hands. So that's how it kind of started out. A bit of a, you know, bit of a play on words. A bit of fun. Um, how can we make it better? What's everyone else doing? Why is it so hard? And you know, we're still here five years later competing with the big boys.

Matt: which is fantastic and I love how it just started with a chance conversation, a random sort of, I think to quote you, uh, Jeff, opening my big mouth.

Jeff: Yeah,

Matt: reason I'm laughing

Jeff: [00:12:00] fault. I still have that renown. It's like, this, this is all your fault. It's,

Matt: yeah, why not, right? Why not? Um, the reason I'm laughing is because I, I, I, I can totally empathise and I know so many people that can because they just happen to open their mouth one day and the next day a business was started,

Jeff: yeah,

Matt: which I think is just hysterical because it's not about planning sometimes, it's just about having a go and see what

Jeff: no, it's, it's definitely about doing anything, especially in the crypto space because it moves so fast, um, on the tech side of the investment side on the, you know, obviously on pricing, it's extremely volatile and all of those things people love about it. There's something in crypto for everybody. Um.

Whether you're a long term investor, a lot of property guys like just putting a couple of thousand pounds away, sitting on it for five or six years, they're not trying to day trade it. Um, we've got a few law firms, accountancies, dealer

Matt: hmm, mm

Jeff: that takes us, that takes stablecoin payments. And a stablecoin is kind of a crypto token that's pegged to a US dollar, so it doesn't move.

Uh, and they can, [00:13:00] instead of taking that US dollar payment from all over the world, it might take... A week to clear. It might only cost 20, 30, but using a crypto based stablecoin, they can have it in their wallet in two or three minutes. They can liquidate it instantly and have those pounds in their bank account within an hour.

So, uh, I personally wouldn't have bought a Range Rover for 190, 000, but...

Matt: Ha ha!

Jeff: one of our clients wanted to, and he's like, I can take a stable coin payment, it's going to cost me, you know, uh, 50, 50 bucks in fees, which he tags onto the price, and he's able to take the payment instantly from any client anywhere in the world.

So it opens up a lot of possibilities. We've even helped a couple of charities. Uh, launch their kind of global fundraising campaign by taking crypto deposits, uh, sorry, crypto donations. Um, so now they're accessing a new market of people that are trading, getting their yield in crypto. They now, they know that the crypto is going directly to that specific charity.

It's not going through, A person on the street, which then gets paid a salary, which [00:14:00] then, you know, filters away out the chain and only, you know, five or 10p out of every pound raised actually makes to the charity. They know that 100% of that crypto is making it to the charity. So there's, that's why I say there's something in crypto for everybody.

There's so many different use cases that are constantly being improved, constantly changed. Um, and the only thing slowing it down is, is really regulations, which can't move fast enough.

Matt: Yeah, I think it's just kind of the impression that I get is people can't keep up with it.

Jeff: Yeah, I mean, it's not definitely a bad thing. They're doing the best job they can. Um, we're one of the first companies in the UK to get our FCA registered license in 2021, I think it was. Um, and I could see that going up to a higher level of status in the future, but that list is still very small. There's only 38, maybe 40 companies on that list, um, that have permissions to do crypto and we're, we're one of the first.

Matt: So, I guess, do you find, Jeff, that there's still a lot of people that don't really understand crypto? That there's

Jeff: Oh, definitely. Yeah. I think there's confusion [00:15:00] about it, about what they're buying and what they can do with it. And that's why I say there's something for everyone. If you're looking to trade a volatile asset because you're a trader, then there's something there for you. If you're looking to buy and hold something long term because you've, you've read a bit about it, there's only a fixed amount of Bitcoin that's ever going to exist.

Um, or you want to do, you know, something with staking and earning and yielding, that kind of stuff. There are different kind of mechanisms for it. You don't have to understand all of the technical. How to run a wallet. It's good to know the security of it because you can become your own bank and that can be very scary or very empowering for the right people.

Um, but you don't need to know what a Segwit is. You don't need to know every different type of wallet. You just need to follow some kind of common sense rules and protecting yourself online like you would your bank account, your debit card, anything else like

Matt: yeah. No, it's powerful, powerful. Do you, do you do the day trading thing yourself or do you sort of stay clear of that?

Jeff: Um, I've proven myself many times over and over. I'm not a [00:16:00] very good trader. I've definitely got the patience for it. But, um, I don't, definitely not on a day to day, but if it's more of like a weekly or a monthly thing, I kind of look at longer term trends, so I draw some very, very stupid, um, support and resistance lines, so here's a time where Bitcoin has come down to the same level, at least twice.

And here's two or three times Bitcoin has hit a level, two or three times, and that might be over several months or even several years. Um, and sometimes it's, it plays out exactly like it says on the, on the charts. If we get down, it'll get a little bit below it, it'll bounce up again. Um, I'm definitely more on the investor side or a digital hoarder.

So I will, if it dips 5 10%, I'm a buyer if I have capital available. I'm buying the same amount every week regardless of the prices. That's called a dollar cost average. Something that you might do with your ISA or your pension. You just put the same hundred bucks in every month or ten bucks a week or whatever it is.

Um, And, and regardless of the price, you're always [00:17:00] accumulating because I have a much more longer term strategy when it comes to most of my investments.

Matt: Yeah.

Jeff: will I go in and change the ratios every now and then? Yeah, sure. Um, I've, I've bought a bunch this year when the price is really low. There's now been a bit of an increase.

I might shave. Some of those profits off and investment in other tokens. So I'm kind of getting those tokens for free. Um, I've also taken part in, um, a lot of what we call airdrops. So if I have an Ethereum wallet Ethereum in it, um, I will then automatically be, you know, able to claim free tokens that launch on different networks at different times.

Um, my favorite one to date, I think was, was Uniswap I think they dropped like 900 tokens in every wallet. That had an Ethereum balance in it, and then I forgot about it for two years. But yeah, I've got to go back and claim that and I never put in the diary and I never bothered to do it and a lot of people sold out when it was 1, 2, 5.

So you're actually getting like 900 for free. [00:18:00] I forgot to do it until every token was worth like 24 or 25. So that was a very happy Saturday

Matt: No kidding.

Jeff: 11 or 12,000 or something out of my account. Um, so I think it's just there is the knowledge bit. There's the very low level. I could buy a Bitcoin, I could leave it on a platform.

I could buy some Bitcoin, I could take it to another wallet, and no one can ever take it from me. No one can ever freeze it. As long as I hold the security of it, you know, you can travel all over the world with, you know, a hundred Bitcoin or, you know. million pounds in a USB key around your around your neck if you really want to.

Um, or you can get to the more advanced layer where you're doing stuff in, in different ecosystems and different chains, which have a lot of advantages, some disadvantages. It might be expensive, but it depends on how deep down the rabbit hole you go. I think that's the same with with anything. Anyone can start a podcast these days, you know, and they're a very good marketing tool and people might do one or two episodes and get bored and some people go on to have a career like, you know, like Joe Rogan or something like that, you know, it depends on how deep down the rabbit hole you want to go.

And I think crypto is one of [00:19:00] those new things where you can get put off very easily because of all the jargon and the buzzwords, which I don't like, um, it should be inclusive for everybody.

Matt: So where's a good place to go to get started if you wanted to understand a little bit more about it?

Jeff: Um, so definitely our blog is a great place to start. Plug that in there. No. Um, anyway, you know, top of Google, good place to start. Top of YouTube, good place to start. I would just recommend staying away from, from influencers. Influencers just in there, in there, you know, what they're described as they're paid to influence other people to do something.

Finding good reliable sources of, um, you know, knowledge and know how, uh, is very key. And then I would say, you know, trying is the best way of learning and doing is the best way of learning. So start with 50. Everyone can afford 50. They want to take their first, you know, their first little dip, toe dip in the, in the sea and difference from using crypto to move between wallets and, you know, different from banking is you have to pay for every transaction, which seems really, really foreign, uh, and really, really weird.

You know, we [00:20:00] have free banking these days that we Thank you. Pretty much take for granted 'cause the banks can use that money to create lending and create leverage and you know, and some of the problems in the banking system, you wanna send Bitcoin from one wallet to another, you have to pay a couple of cents.

You wanna send some Ethereum from one wallet to another, uh, and do something kind of tricky with it, you know, stake it somewhere or get another token or whatever. Yeah, you might pay several dollars for that and you are kind of paying to use. Um, and that's the kind of the key difference. But you won't know any of that stuff until you actually go and try it for the first time.

Matt: Interesting. And should, should I just look at Bitcoin? Uh, you've mentioned Ethereum. Are there other ones that I, I mean, I, I, I, that's the bit I find confusing is,

Jeff: yeah, they all, they all have, they'll have different things to do and different kind of, um, what we call, uh, uh, to tokens, token economics. So if you say Bitcoin, that's the Ford model T that's been out there forever. It's the first one from 2009. You can see every single transaction that's ever occurred on the entire chain.

So if I say, Matt, I'll send you a Fiverr, [00:21:00] I'll ask you the next day, did you get that Fiverr? 'cause I have no idea if the bank actually sent it to you. But if I send you five pounds with Bitcoin, I can actually see the transaction. And it's there forever. No one can ever change it. So it's really, really good for that kind of stuff.

Um, Bitcoin is the easy one. Obviously, I can't give anyone any financial advice, but if you were to try it for the first time, my opinion would be, you know, don't go down the route of trying to find the shiny pennies, because there's 20, 000 different tokens out there, and there's more coming out every day for no good reason.

Bitcoin has a fixed amount. There will only ever be 21 million Bitcoin ever. That's just set in the code. It can't be changed. It can't be manipulated. Um, and there's already 19. 5 million in circulation or something like that. So, it's pretty up there in terms of, you know, it's going to take another 100 years or so for the last million or so to be unlocked.

Um, and I won't get into mining and all that kind of stuff now. It's not for this conversation. But, um, uh, there's a fixed amount. There's not enough go around. So... Make your own assumptions about that. Now something like Ethereum, for [00:22:00] instance, that has no ceiling on it. You know, there will always be new Ethereum created.

But as part of their mechanism to kind of keep the network moving and reward people that are using the network and stuff, they burn a certain amount of tokens. Every day, as part of the gas fees, it kind of keeps the price under control, so it doesn't get used just as an investment mechanism, it gets used as a proper, you know, moving, flowing ecosystem.

So they each have different rules, and they're governed in different ways, they are completely decentralized, but those are the two big ones that sit on either side of the crypto spectrum.

Matt: Well, I'm going to be checking out the blog. That's for sure. Um, back to your story a little bit, um, Jeff, if I can, I mean, part of this sounds absolutely fascinating. The fact you've got drawn into it and get, you've got your head around it and understand it all. What are some of the challenges that you faced yourself in, in all of this?

You know, some of the, the obstacles that you've had to deal with and, and, and overcome.

Jeff: Oh, definitely. [00:23:00] Um, I think before I even got started investing, I've only been investing since 2014, know, so that's, you know, let's do the math. It's only nine years. So I've done a lot in that amount of time. Before 2014, I was, you know, I was a technical engineer. I was an introvert. I was, Very, you know, I'd only been in the UK about four years at that time.

I still only made a handful of friends. I was more concerned with getting an invite to the pub on a Friday night than looking at my financial future or anything like that. And then it really switched when I knew I wasn't getting any further in the job role that I was in. Um, I knew I needed to do something for myself, so I started looking at online trading a little bit, I started looking at online marketing stuff and I tried a little bit of everything and I really kind of kind of landed on property and it wasn't until I took my own financial future in my own hands because No one's gonna take care of me except for me.

No one's going to, you know, rescue me at the bottom. It's, it's kind of all on me and I'm 16, 000 miles from home from a very small family. Um, [00:24:00] it's, it's just kind of all or nothing. So I needed to make the opportunity of living in London, uh, to my advantage by meeting as many people as I could, learning as much as I could, uh, and kind of getting out of my own way.

Um, and when you start peeling it back, you know, stuff like... Fear of being judged and fear of failing. They aren't, they aren't real. They're just blockers. So as soon as I got, kind of got over that, I was no longer doing overtime at work. I was speaking at, uh, property events once, twice a month on, you know, systemizing your property business to kind of take all the, you know, one thing I was good at was tech.

Unpacking the different layers of a business and all the communication bits in between them, you know, from a tech side and then, you know, taking all that friction out of a, an entrepreneur's property business. And I helped a few, uh, very well known guys systemize their business and go from five staff up to 20, um, some really, really small guys, uh, get their first property and how do I manage it with a full time job?

You know, it takes 100 bucks a month. [00:25:00] to manage a property business and all those, uh, you know, expensible if you have the right tax account and et cetera. So I used to do a lot of that kind of stuff and that got me in front of, you know, um, some public speaking crowds of, you know, five, 10 people up to 50 up to a hundred up to 250 up to speaking on panels.

And that, you know, people are listening to me for what I had to say. So maybe I must be saying the right things. And that kind of got me out of my own shell a little bit. And then I kind of, uh, not that I didn't, obviously being invited for a beer is a nice thing. Uh, but I kind of didn't, I didn't care anymore.

And it started, started to really made me think, you know, and the more stuff you read as well, um, you know, your, your network is your net worth, you know, and the network of people I was working with, uh, they aren't going to read this, so it's fine. Uh, they're still at the same job eight years later. You know, and I'm on my third or fourth business from now, I've lost count.

Um, it's definitely about who you, who you talk to, who you read, who you, you know,

Matt: mm

Jeff: and how you want to move forward and we can all set [00:26:00] our own journey. But I think the biggest bit when I, when I started this business was that I was no longer an engineer. Um, I was CEO, co founder, head of HR, head of marketing, strategy, product, everything.

Everything I'd never done before in my life. So I had kind of a major identity crisis of what do I do? Am I doing it right? I had to learn and read and absorb everything on the fly and deploy it

Matt: Yeah.

Jeff: as best as I could. And yeah, sure, like every startup, we made plenty of mistakes at the beginning.

Um, and we only overcome those by We were doing it, finding the problem, replicating someone that does it better, uh, and trying to do it at the scale that we could afford. And we didn't raise a single pound of investment for our first three years. We were revenue only. We got to 16 or 18 staff on payroll every single month.

Uh, as a small business in the UK, there's been an achievement, but then add on crypto at a hostile regulation environment and then add all the big players, the ones [00:27:00] you've all heard of that have hundreds of millions worth of marketing. And we were still stealing clients from everyone every single week.

So the biggest thing for me was a getting out of my own way, you know, people respected what I was doing. Uh, and I had to learn pretty much my third career from scratch in my, my early thirties, which was, uh. Yeah, pretty scary.

Matt: Yeah. No kidding. . No kidding at all. So, um, so this is, so you said your third or fourth business, um, and it's, it's, um, It's very different. Crypto is very different in a lot of ways to property. I suppose in a lot of ways, you know, some of the principles are the same. Are you still involved in property or is it just the

Jeff: Uh, one, at peak I think I had five or six HMOs up in the Midlands. I have one left that is currently for sale. Um, so when I say I have four or five businesses, let's unpack that a bit. This is probably my first public startup. So I've never done a startup business and then closed it and failed it. Uh, first one was property business.

Uh, second one was consulting and then we had [00:28:00] a software business that was supporting CoinPass as well. And now we've managed to roll that business up into our main exchange. So yeah, if you want to go back through. Companies house weeds and stuff like that. Yeah, it's technically four. Um, but this is our, my first kind of public startup, public users where I don't know every single user and I don't onboard every single user.

Whereas a property business, you usually know all your investors and you know all of your agents and depending on the size of your portfolio, you'll know all your tenants. Uh, it's definitely not like that at all.

Matt: Yeah, no, fair play. Fair play indeed. And so, um, can I ask why have you reduced your property portfolio but you've increased obviously your holdings in crypto?

Jeff: Um, I think the, I do quite a lot of JVs. I have a few brokers that I talked to early on and said I was far too Australian to be doing property, which kind of just fueled me wanting to do it more. So I started by raising capital for other people's projects, which I was quite good at, I think in the first two years doing property I raised 2 2.5 million.

worth of capital for other [00:29:00] people. Uh, firstly, I wanted, I wanted a super bike, but I didn't want to pay for it. So I thought getting commissions is a good way to do that. Um, and then what I could raise in capital, I can never back up with my own deal flow. Because if you're going to be on the ground, talk with agents, constant research, you find 20 deals, one of them might be good just for you.

There's a lot of little package up deals and sell them, uh, which is his own business all on his own. Um, and very easy to get distracted. You know, you find a deal that might be really good. It'll work in this kind of format, whether it's All that right and developed. If it's a title split, uh, it might be you, you rent it from the landlord and rent the rooms individually.

So a rent to rent or an option. So many strategies out there and a lot of people get shiny penny syndrome and trying to do every deal. You can't do every deal. So when I say I got the five, I think three of them were joint ventures. Uh, one of them we end out, right? Um, one of them was an option or something like that.

The option was my first one with a, with a family member had about [00:30:00] 30 grand in negative, negative equity needed. Okay. 15k to get it up and running, managed to refurb it in three weeks, um, and actually leased it to a Medical company, because it was right by a hospital. So we leased it to a medical company that put nurses in it for about four or five years and then sold it for 5k more than he needed for his negative equity.

So we got five years rental. We got a little bit of up cut in the end of it. Um, all the solicitors Pay for themselves and et cetera. Uh, and yeah, we saved brother in law 30, 35K or something like that to be very, very happy. And that was just an example of one of those kind of the, you package it in an interesting way that's still legal and everybody wins.

It's just non conventional. And there's a lot of the strategies I learned from my, my mentor, Mr. Zichy.

Matt: Mr. Zichy,

Jeff: Yeah, my last one, yeah, last one was a joint venture. Um, I take basically care of everything. Um, he was like the mortgage host. Uh, and yeah, we split the profits 50 50. So I do all the, all the, um, [00:31:00] Admin intensive stuff, all the reporting, dealing with the agents, dealing with the council, all the boring stuff.

Um, but the way I systemize my business so that it doesn't take me much time.

Matt: yeah, yeah, no, fair play, fair play. Um, what does growth look like for you then, Jeff? I mean, where, where, where is the sort of future going? What's the sort of next five or ten years on the horizon?

Jeff: On myself or in the business?

Matt: Oh, both, either.

Jeff: Okay. So I think definitely, um, I've done 13 years in the country now, uh, again, small family back home. So I definitely have to start splitting my time. Um, the whole buying a big house, big car, blah, blah, blah, doesn't really... Scream wealth to me anymore in my late early twenties or something like yeah, garage full of GDRs.

Awesome. Go for it. But now it's definitely a time of flexibility and maybe that stands to your property question might be liquidity as well. Having a portfolio of 10 properties is great, but when it's at like 80% loan to value and you're locked into some of these things for 10, 20 years and then what we see what's happening now with interest rates.

[00:32:00] It's, you know, there's a lot of stuff outside of your level of control versus if you're day trading, yeah, the risk is high, but the returns are higher. Um, my strategy with. Long term stuff. Um, I don't feel that my portfolio is at much risk because I'm taking less risk on the way in and aiming for longer term growth.

So more of my portfolio is in crypto, but I can liquidate it at any time if I needed to. So I'm a bit more of a in a liquid state, but definitely getting back and forth from Australia and traveling a bit more is my primary right now. Uh, quite happy renting with the state of, uh, inflation and, uh, interest rates.

So renting is good. Um, and, uh, I think eventually when I do get around to buying something, I'll have a, uh, a small place here that suits my needs. Uh, I still have the farm back in Australia, but I do want to build my own little kind of. Dream housey thing on the, on the side of the hill with a small bit of land back in Oz.

So that's kind of the five year, maybe personal plan. Um, business wise, uh, expanding the business to more countries, definitely our coverage is too small. We only cover [00:33:00] 36 countries right now. So I definitely want to get over a hundred countries. I want to get to a multiple license status, so having a license in Europe, license in Australia, a few other places like that, so we can onboard more countries.

Um, team size, we're quite happy being small and nimble. We've replaced, not replaced people, but we've haven't had to take more people on because we leverage our tech quite hard from onboarding, compliance, um, you know, the reporting, all the finance stuff. A lot of that happens automatically in the background, as it should.

Um, I wouldn't see our business getting over. 50, maybe 60 people at its, at its peak, um, and like now they're probably spread all over the world.

Matt: Well, so that's fascinating, and I'm living the dream, I'm with you on this sort of journey. Um, uh, half your time here, half the time in Oz, I, I, I, I don't know if I should tell you this, but at least once a year I try and get out to New Zealand, um, and

Jeff: That's even further than us. It's another island.

Matt: it's just a little, a [00:34:00] little bit further on, but I love to go either October time or February time whenever the, the crowds are a little, the clouds are a little bit too grey here in the UK and I just need some sunshine.

And so I, I, I get this sort of, um, this sort of multi location, uh,

Jeff: And also doing, doing UK hours outside of the world is actually brilliant. Um, sleep until 9, 10, go, I'd go to the paddock and feed the horses. The horses are really confused. Someone's there at lunchtime. Um, you know, go to the beach, see some friends in the afternoon, start work about 3pm, uh, break for dinner, finish about 11 o'clock at night.

And those are actually my kind of more productive hours are in the afternoons to evenings. That's where, you know, when I'm not working on CoinPass, I'm working on my other projects or whatever it's going to be. And they happen majority after hours, which is, you know, that's, those are the shifts I used to do back in the casino days.

I did a day of weeks, sorry, a week of day shifts. And then a week of afternoon to midnight, and then a week of midnight to 8am. So two out of three weeks I [00:35:00] was. Working at night. So it was very, very normal to me. Followed on from hospitality, followed on to everything else, followed on to the London lifestyle.

Uh, I don't mind 9 to 5, it's just a, it's a broken concept. Um, even my, my lovely, um, head of HR, Sarah, is like, if I see you sending another email at 11pm, I'm going to get tech to reset your stuff. And I'm like, no, it's not like that. They're in Canada, it's the day, leave it, you know, it's, it's definitely a, it's definitely a give and take.

I think, um, The more you put into something, the more you get out of it. That's why I've found, I think, especially in this journey, some hobbies of mine quite difficult to maintain. Uh, COVID was a big bit of that. But, uh, if I don't have the time to put in... You know, uh, 10 hours a month into something. I don't know if I'd enjoy it as much as I think I should.

So I've, I've been looking to get back into, you know, if I get a car, I really love my cars. Uh, I had a motorcycle for a little while till I was out voted on my board to get rid of it. Uh, probably a [00:36:00] good idea being a key man and stuff like that. But um, no, I think, yeah, I'm, I'm, I'm even, even now I'm still working out a healthy Work life balance, because I love what I do, and I love connecting with clients, and I love building cool stuff.

Um, but I think everyone needs to be able to draw a line and, uh, and have it off switch every now and then.

Matt: So what is your off switch?

Jeff: Uh, just, well, I can't remember who read it, but it was one of the 40 hour work weeks, or KSRQ, whoever it was. You need three hobbies. One that keeps you creative. One that gives you fit and one that makes you money.

So, on the creative side, uh, I'm still trying to figure that one out a little bit. I've actually done a couple of, um, extras work in movies recently, which is a cool little creative side. No spoken roles yet, so I've not got an IMDb profile. Um, 15 hours in one day is a long, it's a long day. Whoever does extras work full time, I've massive, massive Respect to you guys.

I found it actually took a lot of stuff out of my head, like I wasn't thinking about work at all, I was relaxed, met some cool people, was on set all day, was all [00:37:00] dressed in lights and this and this and this. And it was cool, I really enjoyed it. I made a little bit of money, but that wasn't what it was for.

Keeping fit, I did boxing for a number of years. I did one white collar boxing night, which I unfortunately didn't win. I sucker punched him in the second round because I didn't hear the ref properly. It's not important. Um, it's quite stressful getting punched in the face as well, but I really love the stamina and the pad work and the coordination.

And it's a very, it's a very good community sport as well. If you go to the gym and just train for boxing stuff, um, everyone's extremely helpful and extremely nice. So I really love that. Or just normal gym stuff is cool. Uh, do a lot of walking. I'm here in Woking in, in Surrey. So I've got a canal, ducks and swans and All kinds of stuff.

So definitely getting outside nature and, uh, walking around a bit, seeing new stuff. And on the money side, I'm quite a competitive poker player. So once, maybe twice a month, you'll find me down on the tables at Hippodrome. I'm very disciplined on the amount that I, that I... I say invest because every time [00:38:00] I go back to the bank on a Monday and I have to cash in the winnings, they're like, where did this come from?

Um, but no, I have a very fixed, I have a very fixed bankroll. Um, as soon as it comes out of the machine, uh, I'm there to defend it. And it brings out my competitive side. There's a lot of strategy that goes into poker. There's a lot of math, if you want to play that math. I tend to play in person instead of online.

Um, and I just love the game. It changes every single hand. You could be playing against a really, really loose guy. You could be playing against a really, really aggressive guy. You never, ever, ever try to three bet the old guy because he'll just run over you every time. Um, but no, I've, I've, I've actually made some, um, some good friends there that I, I see, you know, once, maybe twice a month.

And even some of the dealers know me now. So I'll go down in my, in my CoinPass hoodie or my CoinPass sunglasses and I'll sit down and they'll go, Oh, the crypto guy's here again. And then half the tables are like, Oh, Crypto? Where? Where? And so it's, it's almost like a bit of guerrilla marketing at the same time.

Those are kind of my three, you know, hobbies that I'm trying to, um, uh, get myself out of work.

Matt: Fantastic, fantastic. [00:39:00] It's interesting to me, uh, Jeff, as we talk about poker, how many people recently I've spoken to are really into poker and I just never saw it. I was just, I was really surprised.

Jeff: yeah, online, it's very ones and zeros and very mustard. You know, you're click, click, click, win, loss, win, loss. You don't see anybody, you know, the, the table barn, the table banter, and the, you know, the, the talk play. is, is like 50% of the game. Uh, you only have to understand the cards and maybe the card structures and understand, Oh, you know, a full house is better than a straight or two pairs, uh, losers to three of a kind.

You only have to understand the real basics of it. Uh, and you can pick it up quite quick, but I found it very well before COVID we used to run a, um, like a crypto group that, um, ran a tournament every month. And, uh, That, that event used to sell out within like one or two days. It was about 50 quid. You got one buy in or two buy ins.

There was a drink on arrival and like a slider or maybe some canapes, whatever. But [00:40:00] the networking, that event was next level because it was only, it was fixed number, it was only decision makers. There was no retail people and you wanted to fight to get a ticket to that because of the people you probably meet at the table talk and the connections and the social part of it was really good.

But also I think the other bit when I go, if I play now, and if a conversation does arise, it depends on the table, and there'll be one guy that talks about, you know, he has a transport business, one guy is into art, and I'm into crypto or whatever, and there's a bit of the competitive aspect on it, that if you say something out of line, and you can't back it up with a bet, then Instantly, you've lost all credibility.

So there's kind of, you know, a no, a no BS approach to when you're there, you get to be completely be yourself. You can be as masked off or as open as you like. And if I say, Oh, you know, I think, you know, not financial advice, Bitcoin one day could get to 100k. He's like, well, How much would you bet on that?

So well, [00:41:00] I'll bet you the next hand or whatever it is, you know, but if I say, Oh, I would never take a bet. I've lost all my credibility

Matt: yeah, yeah.

Jeff: There's this unshielded Um, so I think that's the sort of effect of being around people like that kind of competitive space where you are, you know, money talks all takes the bus, you know, one or the other.

So I quite like it for that and the social aspect and if you're good and you're patient and you learn a strategy and you don't go overboard, then yeah, it can, it can be profitable if you do it right.

Matt: Fantastic. Fantastic. Jeff, listen, I've really enjoyed the conversation. It's nice to talk about crypto, if I'm honest with you, and just pick your brains a little bit. If people want to reach out to you, if they want to connect with you, find out a little bit more about what you're doing or about CoinPass.

What's the best way to do that?

Jeff: Uh, it's definitely LinkedIn. It's probably my, my platform of choice at the moment. Um, not really on Facebook that much. So you look me up on LinkedIn, uh, just look for coinpass. com and you'll see us under the company page or just look for me directly, uh, Jeff Hancock. All on LinkedIn.

Matt: Fantastic, [00:42:00] fantastic. Well, we will of course, uh, put all of that information in the show notes as well, um, including the links to, uh, CoinPass and to Jeff's LinkedIn. So, um, they'll be in the, in the notes and if you've not signed up for them already, you can get them at pushtobemore. com, but that's another story.

Uh, Jeff, listen, thanks so much for coming on the show, man. I've Thoroughly, thoroughly enjoyed the conversation, um, I'm definitely going to be checking out your blog because I need to be understanding an awful lot more about what's going on in the world. Um, but, um, no, I appreciate it and thanks for sharing, uh, your advice, thanks for sharing your insight.

It's been a thoroughly, thoroughly enjoyable conversation.

Jeff: Thank you for having me on there, Matt. I really appreciate the invite and uh, yeah, if anyone has a, uh, wants to intro, wants to reach out, please do. Um, there are no stupid questions. I think one thing you take from this, even if you never get into crypto, if you never started a business, uh, there should never be an excuse to be afraid of asking a question.

Um, my entire IT career for 16 years [00:43:00] doing cyber security, data leak prevention, all the stuff I did with some of the biggest hedge funds in the world was about asking questions. Um, Whether it's asking Google or asking someone directly, uh, you can never get where you're trying to go or get the right information without asking questions and even challenging what you learn sometimes.

You know, I challenged a multi billion dollar company on, we want to run Microsoft and Google side by side. I'm like, that is a really bad idea. And here's why. Uh, unfortunately I, I lost and I documented it, but luckily I never had to maintain it after I built it. So, you know, It doesn't hurt to ask questions.

There is never a stupid question. So if you have a stupid question about crypto, please feel free to reach out. If I can answer it, I will, or I can send you one of our blog articles we've written about it before.

Matt: Fantastic. No stupid question. Love that. It was very, very true. Very,

Jeff: ever. I might ask a stupid question, but I might get a stupid answer as well, which I'm totally cool with.

Matt: yeah. Absolutely.

Jeff: you, Matt. I really enjoyed it. I will, uh, look back through some of your old podcasts while I'm, uh, [00:44:00] doing a workout or drive. So thank you

Matt: No worries, it's been great, man. Genuinely, really, really appreciated it. Also, big shout out to today's show sponsor, Aurion Media. If you're wondering if podcasting is a good marketing strategy for your business, and I think it probably is, do connect with them at orionmedia. com. com and be sure to follow Push To Be More wherever you get your podcasts from because we've got yet more great conversations lined up and I don't want you to miss any of them.

And in case no one has told you yet today, dear listener, you are awesome. Yes, you are. Created awesome. It's just a burden you have to bear. Jeff has to bear it. I've got to bear it. You've got to bear it as well. Now, Push To Be More is produced by Aurion Media. You can find our entire archive of episodes on your favorite podcast app.

The team that makes this show possible is Sadaf Beynon, Estella Robin and Tanya Hutsuliak. Theme music is by Josh Edmundson and as I mentioned the transcript and show notes are all available on the website pushtobemore. com. [00:45:00] That's it from me, that's it from Jeff. Thank you so much for joining us. Have a fantastic week wherever you are in the world.

I'll see you next time. Bye for now.