– Cryptocurrency is
definitely a hot topic. – When we say cryptocurrency, most people are gonna know Bitcoin, ’cause that’s the big one. That was the original of this era. It was originally introduced in 2009. – Buying or selling real estate, renting real estate using crypto as the, I don’t know, I guess the transaction? – It’s already happening. I think within 10 years
you’re gonna see that as probably more common
than the cash methods. – If I have a rental property, what would be the main
advantage of encouraging a tenant to pay me in
crypto, or vice-versa? If I’m a tenant and I wanna
pay my landlord in crypto, what would be the argument for that? How would I convince them to– – Ethereum, which is built on the premise of smart contracts. You’re writing contracts
on the Ethereum network that can be executed. – Oh, really? (upbeat music) – Hey guys, it’s Rodrigo Afanador with Asheville Real Estate News. Really excited about
bringing you another episode. We’re gonna be talking
about cryptocurrency and real estate today, so stay tuned. Now, before we jump into it, just a couple of housecleaning items. Just remember to sign up
for our email newsletter. Go to the website for that, and also, for anybody
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Instagram and Facebook. Watch the videos and let
us know what you think. All right. Nicole, thanks so much
for joining us today. Talking crypto. – Thanks for inviting me out. – Yeah, absolutely. Now, obviously, Asheville’s
a growing place, kinda sold me to the real
estate and everything, and crypto, so everything’s
on the up-and-up. I’ve been here since ’09. Are you from Asheville, or– – Since 1989. – Pretty much. – There was a gap when
it actually really grew that I was gone, but yeah, happy to be back now. – Very cool. When did you get back? What’s your most recent– – 2015 is when I moved back and built a house here,
right around the corner. – Is there anything
specific that drew you back, or is it just, like, a
bunch of different events that just led it up to it? – I always wanted to come back. When I left, I had full
intention of coming back. I didn’t think it would take eight years, but glad it finally worked out. – When I first moved here, I was convinced I was
gonna leave within a year to go out West to Colorado or something. I was like, “Oh, there’s so many good
reasons not to leave!” – I think it’s the best place to live. – Yeah, absolutely. So, cryptocurrency is
definitely a hot topic. I know a lot of the people
I’ve talked to in real estate, there’s a little bit of an overlap. It seems like it’s going
to be more of an overlap in the future. Maybe before we even get
into the real estate, can you give us the background that you
have in cryptocurrency, and then, maybe the 30,
60-second definition of it, or explanation? – I actually got into cryptocurrency for what I would say is the wrong reasons, just looking at it as
an investment at first. Learned some tough lessons that way, and made some money that way. At the end of the day, what it propelled me to do
was really learn about it. I have been basically full-time job hours, six to eight hours a day learning about cryptocurrency, blockchain, and the future implications
it’s going to have on a roll for the last couple of months. It’s really become my passion over time, and I can give you a
little bit of background. When we say cryptocurrency, most people are gonna know Bitcoin, ’cause that’s the big one. That was the original of this era. It was originally introduced in 2009. It didn’t really have any value for a couple of years after that. Do you know the story of
how Bitcoin gained value? – I’ve always heard, like, Silk Road. That’s the only thing I heard. That was back, you know, was a long time, previous
life type of thing. – That’s dark web stuff. Actually, Bitcoin first gained its value when it was exchanged for pizza. – For pizza? – Somebody bought two
pizzas for 10,000 Bitcoins when they had, you know. – No value? – Practically no value, but that’s what first
put them on the market as having some type of value. Over less than a decade, we saw the high end of 2017
at $20,000 per Bitcoin. We’ve obviously had a correction, since, but it’s on the upswing. – What’s it at today? – Today, last I looked was
probably an hour and a half ago, it was about $8,300. It’s been swinging a lot, but it’s to be expected
after such an explosion. There’s a lot of factors in the world that went into that correction which are easily explained. – So, from 2009 ’til when you got into it, you said it was about, a little bit, a year ago, give or take? What caught your eye about it, or what was your, “Huh, I’m gonna look into this “and double down on it” moment? – As I mentioned, at first, as an investment opportunity, where I made a lot of
money really quickly, and then I lost a lot
of money really quickly. But I think that’s a really
important lesson to have when you first get into a
brand-new technology like this. I didn’t really understand what it was. When I started to look into it, I realized this is so much
more than just an investment that you buy and hold, or that you make percentages off of. What Bitcoin and what many of the other cryptocurrencies are are a peer-to-peer way
of transitioning value from one person to another
without a third party. It’s decentralized, which
means that nobody owns it. It’s super cheap to transact, and you can send $10 million to somebody on the other side of the world for a very, very small fee
in a very fast amount of time compared to what would happen if you, say, went to wire it through banking systems. – Take a while. – That’s it at a very high level. There’s aspects of anonymity
to it, which people also like, but it’s also irrefutable. There’s never been a mistake in terms of transactions actually following through. Everything is recorded on the backbone, which is called the blockchain,
if you’ve heard of that. – Heard of it? – That’s kind of your digital ledger. – It’s whispered around? – Yeah, it’s your digital ledger, where all the transactions are recorded. It goes beyond just what
we would call kind of, money, crypto-money transactions as well, which does play into real estate. – Obviously, it’s a heavy topic, right? As you got into it, has there been something that you’ve been surprised to learn about? Like, I don’t know, it can be as simple as the pizza story. I didn’t know that! – I think the thing
that really compelled me to want to be part of this world and to want to educate people about it and help them get involved was when I realized the
implication that it has on the other six billion. Here in America and in
other third-world countries, we’re fortunate enough to have access to everything from clean
drinking water to banking, which is something we take for granted. – Banking note. I grew up in Bogota, Colombia. If you go just to go
deposit a check, sometimes, you could be in line for an
hour and a half to two hours just to, nothing crazy, you know? Here, how long does that take you? You can do it off your smartphone. It’s crazy. – Exactly, exactly. And so, the exact number
of people is unknown because census only
tracks head of household, but there are literally billions
of people on this planet who have no access to banks, really, to any funds other than their local government currencies, which are in many cases like mafias, or organized crime units, both the government
and the banking system. For the first time, if they have a $20 Android
phone where they can text, they can become part
of the global economy, and I really think it’s- – Through crypto. – Through crypto, and I
think it’s really the way that we’re going to bring all those other billions
of people into the world, and to give them opportunities. That to me is really
very exciting because, you’re from Colombia, you know a little bit
about corrupt governments. – Just a little. – It affects everything from
governments that devalue money without giving people the opportunity to exchange their money, which is what happened in
India a little over a year ago. The government goes on the air, radio, TV, whatever, and announces, “In four hours, “the two largest bills we
have are no longer valuable,” which was the 500 and 1,000 rupee bills. Not only that, banks are
closing for the next two days while we figure this out. Well, the banks reopened, and somehow, someone got in and replaced
all those small bills that are still valid with
all the large bills, somehow. We don’t know. So much– – Chaos ensued. – It was mass chaos. People were in line for ATMs to withdraw the little that
they had for hours and hours. People were dying
waiting for medical care. It’s still affecting the country today. – Wow, that’s, that was super insightful. I haven’t personally taken any time to look into the crypto
world or anything like that. Just to hear about it, that was a really good idea of what’s going on. Obviously, the implications
of it are huge. Now, if we bring it back stateside, and we’re talking about
real estate specifically, is there gonna be an
overlap, in your opinion, between either buying
or selling real estate, renting real estate using crypto as the, I don’t know, I guess, the transaction? – It’s already happening. I think within 10 years, you’re gonna see that
as probably more common than cash methods. I think within 10 years, our banking system’s
gonna look very different. Yeah, it’s already happening, and the only thing that needs to happen is for the buyer and the seller to agree that they can pay in crypto. It’s mostly Bitcoin
transactions that are happening. And then, in some cases, that’s great, the seller
wants to receive Bitcoin, especially if they’re investors, so that they can hold it
as it grows over time. And then there have been other cases where the buyer wanted to pay in Bitcoin, the seller wanted US dollars, and all they do is they
take their Bitcoin, they go through an exchange, and they produce US dollars
based on the local market, or the market value. – Whatever it’s trading at. – Yeah. – When you’re doing those exchanges, can the exchange go directly from the, in the example you gave, I’m the buyer, so you’re the seller, and I wanna pay you with
Bitcoin, but you want US dollars. Does the exchange send you
the US dollars directly, or do I have to exchange
it and then get the dollars and then wire you the dollars? – I would think you would
have to exchange it first. I’m not sure how that
whole transaction happens. – I would have to pull the
dollars back out to myself, and then, right. – And it would depend also, I think, what type of crypto is
agreed to be paid in, ’cause they all function
a little bit differently in different exchanges. The bigger ones are easier
to maneuver in that regard. – Do you think you’re gonna, I mean, it seems like crypto, I mean, a lot of people
are involved in it, but at the same time,
it’s still pretty niche. It’s just a buzzword. Do you think it’s gonna be used
for rental purposes as well, or is it more just on a buy-and-sell, and maybe what would be the advantage of, like, if I had a rental property, what would be the main advantage of encouraging a tenant
to pay me in crypto? Or vice-versa, if I’m a tenant and I wanna
pay my landlord in crypto, what would be the argument for that? How would I convince them to change? – Right now, from everything I’ve read, the way that real estate
exchanges are happening is it’s almost like a cash payment. You can think of Bitcoin
as a digital cash. If I can pay in full, then
that’s an easy transaction. However, there are other
cryptocurrencies out there. The second biggest one,
which is called Ethereum, which is built on a
premise of smart contracts. You’re writing contracts
on the Ethereum network that can be executed. – Oh, really? – This isn’t happening
yet to my knowledge, but there will be things like, almost like escrow reserves
where things can be executed. It’s all written in code, which
I don’t know how to write. – Ethereum’s blockchain as well? ’cause I know there’s a couple cryptos that aren’t on blocked chain,
they’re on some other– – The big ones are. – I don’t know what they’re called. – The big ones are. – The contracts on Ethereum, though, they’re all part of the
blockchain code, then? So they’re secure? – They kind of have their own that are written on top of that network. I think, yeah, you’ll
be able to see things that don’t have to
necessarily be paid in full. And to answer your question, why would I want to accept
crypto as a payment? Well, the law of supply and demand is gonna show that over, just a little side note, every four years, what happens
in Bitcoin in particular is that half as much is available versus the previous four years. – The supply shrinks every four years? – The amount that’s produced
shrinks every four years. Only 21 million Bitcoins
will ever exist on Earth. That’s gonna wrap up in the year 2140, so we’ll be long gone. But when Bitcoin originally started, each block that was produced
created 50 Bitcoins. Then, in 2016, it halved to 12 1/2, or, sorry, sorry. The first was 50, then it was 25. Now we are in the 12 1/2 per block, and in 2020, it’s going
to halve again, so, 6 1/4. What happens is, as the demand goes higher, as the whole world really
starts to understand this, ’cause only about 1% of the population’s involved in crypto right now. As they start to understand
it, they want in. Now there’s suddenly less being produced, and one of the things that
happened really early on when there was that really high production was that the Bitcoins
had very little value. People would mine and create lots of them, or have lots of them, and then lose their keys to their wallets or throw out whatever they
needed to access them. I’ve heard stories of
people losing 900 Bitcoins that had value of,
like, a couple dollars– – Sure would wanna get that back, yeah. – Yeah, and they can’t retrieve it. There’s a lot of that large
quantity from the beginning that isn’t– – Unlocked, or whatever? – And it will never be. Never?
– Never. – [Nicole] There’s nothing you
can do if you lose your keys. That’s the caveat, yeah. – That must be so frustrating. – It was like a couple
dollars at the time. – I’m glad I’m not going through that. I think that I’d maybe go crazy. – To answer your question, if supply and demand are working
in favor of cryptocurrency, which they will, then it’s in the landlord’s best interest to want to receive– – Accumulate it in whatever way, right? Yeah, okay, very cool. Personally, and that
doesn’t have to be related to real estate at all, and you might’ve answered
this question already when you were talking about
the impact it’s having on a global scale and the
future of the economy, but what are you the most
personally excited about crypto? Short term, let’s vary into short term. This year, 2018, what do you like? This is really exciting. – I think just the education piece, and really, kind of the
new company that I formed, yes, I’m gonna help people get
involved in that whole world, but I’m mostly educated to, or excited to go out and educate people and show them that this is
about the other six billion. – And how to interact with that, right? – Yeah, and how people,
including us as Americans, have control over what’s
ours in terms of money for the first time through this. We have a very false sense of security about how our money is backed and what money really is, because money only has value because we give it value, right? – We, in the real estate, when we say we’re negotiating, we’re talking about the value of a house. At the end of the day, the value’s only what somebody’s
willing to pay for it. That’s always a very
fluid concept, obviously. – Our money is backed by
debt, so, that’s awesome. If anybody thinks the gold
standard is still a thing, actually, we’re not in the ’70s. It’s an urban legend that
that’s still going on. – Some changes have
happened since then, right? And so, this is another one. Obviously, you’ve done a lot of time educating yourself and being, positioning yourself to
know and understand crypto. I know you’re helping other people. If somebody wants to get
out, reach out to you, and go, like, “Hey, Nicole,
I’m interested in crypto, “I just need some guidance.” What’s the best way for
somebody to reach out to you and to get started? – You can look me up on Facebook. My name’s Nicole Spencer. My business is Asheville
Crypto Consulting. I just branded this, so the
website’s still in progress. And then, I don’t know if you post. You can post my email address
and contact info as well. I’m happy to help people get started. I help people get started
with this in two ways. I think I’m really big on
the education piece first, and then, after some challenging lessons that were learned, I help people get involved in two ways. The first is through
an educational platform that I’m a member of, and that I help other
people become members of, which is so cool because
it walks people through everything from the history of money, to how Bitcoin was created,
to where we are today. It helps people learn how to read charts. Basically, like stock market, so that they can do a
little bit of day trading and create some micro-profits, which is, nothing in my background is about that. It’s really cool to walk through
step by step around this, and then also see how it
applies to cryptocurrency. If you do a couple day trades and you make 1% here, 2% there, 3% here– – Baby steps. – Yeah, it accumulates over time. That’s the first way, and I think you really need to
know what you’re getting into when you get into this because, over 1500 cryptocurrencies, things are very flashy,
they’re very appealing. Somebody posts on Facebook about this new initial coin
offering, people buy in. That’s what happens, and people lose a lot of money doing that. This is a great system, and they do education every single week. I have three webinars with them this week. It’s a really cool thing
to get involved in. And then the second side of that is, I help people get
involved in crypto mining. Mining is the process of transaction verification, essentially, When somebody wants to pay in Bitcoin or when there’s a transaction happening. You cannot mine Bitcoin– – You could, though. You used to, right? – You could, you used to be able to. – Back in the day. – It would never be profitable now because there are huge mining
pools, mostly owned by China. The one that I’m involved in has their main facility in Iceland. They’re opening one in Montana
in June, I believe it is, and so we have about $173
million worth of computers. When you invest, you’re essentially
buying your own hardware. You can visit these facilities,
they’re very transparent. We are visible on the blockchain,
so it’s a legit thing. They’re actually mining. Other mining companies
will say that they are, and then they take your money
a year later and disappear. This one’s been around. It’s one of the longest-standing
mining companies. Mostly American founders, I believe, also. It’s a network that’s invite-only, and I can help people get
started with mining Bitcoin or some of the other altcoins. – It kinda just depends which
direction they wanna go, like shorter-term gains or
the longer-term play, right? – Yeah, and I recommend both. I actually using the day-trading piece to fund mining pools. – That makes sense. – Once you really start to
understand these things, both platforms will actually pay you for referring other people. You can make money in a
couple of different ways. – There’s lots of different opportunities. – Yeah, yeah, yeah. – Thank you so much for joining us. I know I learned a lot, and hopefully, everybody did as well. We’ll make sure to, your contact information gets there. – Awesome. – We’ll follow up on that, have you on maybe near the end of the year to see what changes have happened. – It’s gonna be good! – More, like, things have changed as far as real estate and
application of everything. – Yeah, absolutely. Thank you for having me. – Thank you, Nicole. Thank you all, hope you all enjoyed it. I know I learned lot. If you learned a lot, give us a share and make sure your friends
find out about this as well. (upbeat music)

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