unstoppable podcast, episode 78
Defi

Building Blockchain Platforms for Everyone with Vik Sharma from Cake Wallet

Aug 18, 2021

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Host:  Hey everybody, welcome back to the unstoppable podcast.  I'm your host, Diana Chen, and I'm here today with our guest Vik Sharma.  He's the founder of Cake wallet, and before I bring him on, I just want to make a really quick announcement for anybody who missed it this week.  We are now integrated with Cake wallet, which is the first open source Monero wallet ever since 2018.  So now Unstoppable Domains is integrated with Cake wallet, which means that anybody who uses Cake wallet can now send the Monero, Bitcoin, Litecoin across—over 50 Different wallets, and exchanges with your Blockchain domain, and your human readable username.  So I'm super excited to bring Vik on today to chat more about Cake wallet, how that was developed and everything else that you need to know about the—about this really awesome Monero wallet, which if you're a Monero holder you already know everything about Cake wallet, I'm sure, but for everybody else, hopefully this will be an interesting podcast for you.  So welcome, Vik, thank you so much for being here today.

Vik Sharma:  Great.  Thanks for having me on.  Appreciate it.

Host:  Of course.  So before we dive into Cake wallet, I'm curious to know a little bit about your background and how you got into crypto.  So take me back to who was Vik before you got into crypto and then what was it about crypto that drew you in?

Vik Sharma:  Yeah, I mean, I've always been in the steel industry.  I did electrical engineering undergrad and then joined the family business in steel, and even today now I'm director of a steel company, we've many operations across the US.  But because of electrical engineering background, and in the 80s even I was a little bit of a coder.  I've always had a nerdy side and always kept in touch with everything that was happening in the tech world.  So you know I always had a little side projects in, in IT, and I got interest into Bitcoin in 2013 like a lot of people when it first went to $1,000, and just went down the rabbit hole and loved everything about it, and that eventually led me to Monero, but I'll let you leave this conversation the way you want.  Yeah.

Host:  Awesome.  Yeah, I think everybody—a lot of people can share in that story, and so I'm curious, like when you first learned about crypto, did it just click for you right away?  Or were you may be like skeptical at first, and it took you a little bit to fully understand what that was all about?

Vik Sharma:  I mean, I'm very open-minded to things like this.  So I'll accept it first and then study it later, kind of.  So that kind of happened in Bitcoin, it intrigued me, and for some reason, 2013 the steel industry was very slow.  So I sat in my office and went down the rabbit hole and watched YouTube videos, read everything I possibly can, downloaded wallets experimented, and actually even got into mining in 2013.  So I bought a couple ASIC miners off of eBay, and again not to—not to earn Bitcoin because at that time Bitcoin then dropped in $200.  So it weren’t—I wasn't making much in mining but I just wanted to do it, see what's involved and what happens.  So I ran that for about a year and a half.  Just small.  Just two machines, and just experimented what I liked about it, and what made it click was the permissionless part of crypto.  You know I was able to download this wallet—desktop wallet without anybody's permission.  I was able to send and receive Bitcoin without anybody's permission, and that to me was really intriguing from day one.

Host:  Yeah, for sure.  I'm curious to know because I didn't get into crypto until the much later days but, back in the early days what was the process like to even set up a wallet back then?  Like I know everybody today he complains about bad UX, it's complicated, but I would imagine that it was even, like way more complicated back in 2013 to try and set up a wallet.

Vik Sharma:  Yeah.  I’m, I’m not sure what mobile wallets there were back then.  I don't remember.  May be there were, but I used the desktop GUI wallet which is on Bitcoin.org, and that was very functional, and there was another popular wallet back then called MultiBit which could support Litecoin and Bitcoin.  That was pretty popular back then as well.  So yeah, not as easy as today definitely, but, but yeah, there were some tools back there.  I think if you got into it before 2013, yeah, then you're probably on command line and you'd have to be a super nerd to use it. 

Host:  Yeah, for sure. 

Vik Sharma:  Yeah.  There was really some good useful tools for everyday people.

Host:  Okay, got you, got you.  Okay, so then I—so then, you know, you get into crypto and then you learn about all of these different crypto currencies.  You learn about Monero.  Which came first?  Was it you learn about Monero first and then decided to create a Cake wallet or how did Cake wallets—how was that born?  How was how did that idea land in your head and you decided to go after it?

Vik Sharma:  Well, I mean Bitcoin like I said, the permissionless part of any crypto is fantastic.  Sending funds across the world without a middleman is just fantastic.  It's a great feeling, but what bothered me about Bitcoin all the time, was the transparency that anytime I send somebody Bitcoin they're going to see my balance.  I don't know if you remember, AlphaBay, it was a Darknet market. 'Cause you know everybody was talking about Silk Road and Darknet, and all this stuff and I thought, "What is this?" let me experiment.  Personally I like to experiment.  I thought let me see what it's all about.  So I logged on in 2014 even did research I don't even know how to do it.  Just to check it out, and I saw there's this crypto called Monero.  I'm feeling like, why only Bitcoin Monero.  What is this Monero thing?  And I started starting going down the rabbit hole in Monero in early 2017 sorry, and, and I just loved what it offered, privacy and all, all ends of a transaction from sender to receiver as well as the amount you're sending is hidden.  I thought that was quite, quite fascinating that you couldn't see the balance of the wallet, and you couldn't see the history of that wallet.  I thought this is very useful, and I didn't even think about fungibility back then I mean those words I didn't even think about it.  All that stuff came later, but I just thought the usable aspect of it was very interesting, and I had an iPhone, I wasn't an Android guy, and I thought okay there's no way to use it.  That you have to either have an Android, I don't, I'm not even sure if there was an Android wallet back then.  But, yeah, to use it you either have to do command line via total nerd or you had to use this desktop GUI wallet, which was very nice.  I really actually give the Monero community a lot of credit they built an amazing, amazing desktop wallet.  But to use something on the go I thought okay, there's no iPhone wallet.  Let's—a true iPhone Blockchain wallet open source and I thought let's—let's make this.  So near the third or fourth quarter in 2017 we started building it, and January 2018 we launched it.

Host:  Got you.  Got you, and maybe just to back up a little bit to for people who aren't familiar with Monero.  So privacy is sort of its main feature.  Are there any other differentiators—like key differentiators between Monero and something like Bitcoin or Ethereum that people listening might be more familiar with?

Vik Sharma:  Yeah.  So Monero has a few key differences besides just the privacy part like we said, I mean hiding the sender receiver and the amount sent.  It tops off at 18 million rather than 21 million coins.  It has 12 decimal places instead of eight decimal places like Bitcoin does, but after it tops off at 18 million, there's a steady emission curve, it's not even a curve it's a flat thing, which happens after the 18 million are mined.  It's a fixed amount every year and the Monero community did that to incentivize mining and mining, of course, keeps the network secure, and working.  So the idea was okay if the mining goes away, what will happen?  How will transactions get done?  So a fixed emission kind of incentivize miners, keeps miners going, and it keeps the fees low, because for the miners to be able to keep their miners running and there's no reward like in Bitcoin then what happens?  They're going to raise their fees to, to transact your transactions.  So those are the key differences.  The amount emission, and also ASIC mining.  So Bitcoin using basic mining nowadays, right, but the difficulty level is too high for CPU or GPU mining.  So what Monero has done is we actually block ASIC miners.  And why is that?  It's to put power back into the hands of people.  So anyone with a simple CPU can be a miner, and can run it.  So rather than you know, I mean right now as you see what's happening in Bitcoin, mining is becoming an industrial project, where you really just can't be a small guy and do mining.  You have to spend millions of dollars, and build a massive operation to be profitable.  So the Monero mindsets a little different thinking to let everyone should be able to mine.  Anyone with—so that leads to decentralization, whereas expensive ASIC miners believe decentralization.  So they're—those are—I think those are the big differences I can think of right now, but I think those are significant differences.

Host:  Yeah, for sure for sure.  Okay, so Cake wallet is born.  When Cake wallet was first created was Monero the only cryptocurrency that it supported?

Vik Sharma:  Monero was the only cryptocurrency and honestly for a long time I thought Monero would be the only cryptocurrency but as exchanges started delisting Monero, and Monero became difficult to acquire.  We did introduce Bitcoin and Litecoin eventually, so people can bring those coins, and then exchange them for Monero.

Host:  Got it.  So now you—the wallet supports Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Monero and people can swap you know, either like Monero for Bitcoin, Bitcoin for Litecoin, whatever?

Vik Sharma:  And others coin—and others that we don't, that we don't support as a wallet, but we support it's exchange.  So our partners exchange now as you must be familiar with them.  So although the wallet is only for three coins.  It exchanges, I think for 12 or 15 coins.

Host:  Got you, got you.  Okay, got you.  Cool, and so I know another thing that you focused on a lot with Cake wallet is just the user experience of it, and making it user friendly as much as possible.  Can you walk me through that part, like that process and what your thinking is around UX, and like what are some key things that we need to think about to make it—make wallets and, keeping cryptocurrency and transacting cryptocurrency, easier for the masses?

Vik Sharma:  Yeah I think for 99.9% of the people out there wallets are your first point of contact, or to—a tool to interact with the Blockchain is your wallet.  There is nothing else.  I mean if you're truly going to use cryptocurrency as a payment system.  Well, even for NFT's for example, I mean, a wallet is what a person will use to send, receive, store, track, what have you.  So that's why I think it is important, and it's important to make that user friendly.  So with Cake wallet, we've tried to make it simple enough for you.  When you open it up, you're not intimidated.  You open it up, and you feel okay good.  This is easy, send receive very easy.  I can use this.  But if you go into the settings and advanced settings, and it's robust enough for, for advanced users, so we wanted to find a balance for that, you know, simple enough.  Not intimidating, also the name Cake is a cute name, simple.  Make it easy for to somebody opened it up, log on hey, this is great, and then go deeper.  You can find some advanced features.

Host:  Got you.  Did the name come from like it's a piece of cake, like it's meant to be, like, really easy.  Is that where it came from, or?

Vik Sharma:  No, I mean, the Monero people have heard this story a thousand times so but I'll tell you.  In 2017 one of the most popular Bitcoin wallets at least for me was bread wallet, do you remember that? 

Host:  Yeah, yeah.  Yep.

Vik Sharma:  Bread wallet and Litecoin came out with a wallet and it was called a Loaf wallet, and I think Ripple or somebody came up with a wallet called Toast Wallet.  So I just wanted it to keep the bakery kind of theme going, and then that's Cake wallet came about.

Host:  Got you, got you.  I got you.  That makes sense.

Vik Sharma:  And it was the night before.

Host:  That was some work though.

Vik Sharma:  Yeah, and it was the night before we launched.  We're like, what?  We don't have a name.  What do we do?  Fuck it, Cake wallet.  So —

Host:  — I mean cake is a lot of people's favorite dessert item, and I think it works too.  It's like, oh, it's a piece of cake.  It's so easy.

Vik Sharma:  Exactly.

Host:  Yeah.

Vik Sharma:  Yeah, I didn't think about it that time but yeah, I've heard that a lot of people say that it's piece of cake.

Host:  Yeah, that's where my mind went at first when I heard a Cake wallet.  But yeah, so I was going to ask like to, you know, like you said, for a lot of people getting a wallet and buying you know, a little bit of Bitcoin or a little bit of Monero is sort of their first entryway into this whole crypto ecosystem, and so that process of like on onboarding somebody to a wallet has to be super super easy, and so I'm wondering like, because you're probably interacting with a lot of newbies into the space, like what have been some of your biggest challenges with educating your customers about wallets, about crypto, and then what have been some of your most successful strategies for communicating these concepts to people who are totally new to the space?

Vik Sharma:  Yeah, I mean, fortunately, you know, being a Monero what wallet initially, the—I don't know how this is going to sound but Monero users at that time were very advanced.  I mean, they were—they knew crypto work, and in the hindsight, it was good launching a Monero wallet first before a Bitcoin wallet, because you're entering with a pool of people who already dedicated to this, this cryptocurrency.  Dedicated technology, they have a deep understanding.  So the early mistakes were forgivable.  The early mistakes we made are forgivable but as time went on, more and more people are getting into cryptocurrency.  I'd say the biggest problem is there has to be some understanding of how crypto works.  People don't understand what it means the wallet is synchronized, because we are a noncustodial wallet, but I call it true Blockchain wallet.  Yeah.  So your—is your phone connecting to the Blockchain.  There's no server.  There's no middleman.  There's nothing.  There's no accounts we can see.  So definitely a lot of users have that mindset like they're using Venmo or PayPal.  You know, they'll—they'll write to us and say, hey, can you cancel my transaction?  Or can you reverse that transaction?  Can you block that transaction or can you track, especially Monero, can you track this money?  No, we cannot track.  That's the whole point of Monero.  So there has to be—I mean, there's a tradeoff, right?  I mean, if you want a simple Venmo type of thing?  Yeah.  Then you use Cash App, where there's no syncing to do.  There's nothing, it's very simple.  But if you want to participate in what cryptocurrency was originally supposed to be is having control over your own money under your mattress pretty much then yeah, there's a little bit of learning curves, and understanding what for example, synchronization means, or syncing to the Blockchain.  90% of our support tickets, I didn't get my Monero, I didn't get my bitcoin.  Is your wallet synced?  Oh no, it's still says synchronizing.  Okay, let it sync, hang on.  Yeah.  So, there's definitely I mean, if you're going to use a wallet—a Blockchain wallet like Cake wallet, or Samourai wallet, or so many other, or Monerujo or another Monero wallet.  Yeah, there has to be some understanding of how cryptocurrency work.  I don't think you have to be a coder or you don't have to be an expert, but at least this fundamental thing that okay, there's a Blockchain floating out there in the cloud, and this wallet is reading that Blockchain and I just got to wait for it to finish reading that Blockchain.  So I would say that's our biggest challenge, everything else works like butter.

Host:  Yeah, for sure, and for somebody listening who maybe is brand new, because I've actually had friends who, who aren't in crypto asked me about like, hey, what is this Monero thing?  Like I've heard about Monero.  So like it definitely is getting out to the masses now.  You know, it's not like a few years ago when it was just like really the, the tech savvy people that were using Monero.  Now it's like my friends who know nothing about crypto have heard about Monero, and they're asking me what it is.  So for anybody listening, like maybe my friends who don't know anything about it, like how would you explain like how cryptocurrency works, and then just like how it works to, to, like, hold crypto in a wallet like, what does that even mean?  And then what does it even mean to you know, just like there is no middleman like you said, you're noncustodial.  What is—like how does that—I think that's a difficult concept for people to even grasp.  You know, when they've never done it before because everybody is used to you know, like the Venmo.  It's like there's customer support that I can contact to fix things when they go wrong, but it's like, in this world, if you send it to the wrong address, like it's gone forever.  It's you know, and I think that is a difficult concept for people to grasp.  So if you had to explain all of this, you know, to a total newbie, how would you go about explaining it?

Host:  I'm so glad you asked me that because I love explaining how crypto works, and I'm sure we'll get a lot of comments saying no, that's not right.  But the way I explained it to somebody who has no idea like start from step one, square, square one, you know how cryptocurrency works.  I used the general ledger example.  I say, you know, look at Chase Bank.  Yeah, Chase Bank, for example, you have an account.  Chase bank keeps track of how much money you have, and if you want to send me that money—some of that money, Chase, Chase themselves centralized that party, looks at my or whoever the sender is.  I don't know.  Let's say—let's say I'm sending to you.  Chase is looks at my account, and says do I have that much money to send to you?  And if I do that, send it.  If not they tell me insufficient balance, right?  And so, they subtract—if I do have it they subtract it from my—from my entry in the general ledger, and they add it to your entry into the general ledger and it just keeps going on and on and on.  I view it chronologically from top to bottom.  I know some people view it in their mind from left to right, or right to left, whatever.  But for me, it's top to bottom.  So that General Ledger which is sitting with Chase Bank, for example, imagine it's not sitting with Chase Bank, but it's sitting on millions of computers, and, and that's also questionable, maybe hundreds of 1000s of computers.  It's sitting everywhere.  That copy of that general ledger is sitting everywhere.  So now if I want to send one Bitcoin to you what the wallet is doing, the wallet is broadcasting to all these general people—all these people—all these computers that are holding that general ledger and said hey, Vik wants to send Diana one Bitcoin.  Is it true?  Does he have it?  And then all those computers start responding in the network?  Yes, it's true.  Yes, it's true.  Yes, it's true, and if there a consensus that yes, I have enough Bitcoin to send to you, then it'll get subtracted from mine and get added to yours, and everybody's copy is automatically updated.  So that's how I view it.  I'm sure we're getting a lot of comments people saying, "no that's not how it works".  But I think that's a pretty good example—explanation of, of how cryptocurrencies work.  So, so you know that so those transactions that happened, when I send you a Bitcoin and last 10 minutes of all the transactions, they get encrypted and compressed, and attached to the bottom of the last block, and that's why it's called a Blockchain.  It's a chain of blocks.  Chain of blocks of transactions.  So that's, that's my usual go to explanation.  What do you think?

Host:  I thought it was good?  Yeah, I think that's, that's a very understandable way for people who live in our traditional web-to-world.  Yeah, I think that's—I think that's a good explanation.  I think that makes a lot of sense.

Vik Sharma:  Good.

Host:  Yeah, that was a good one.  I always, you know, it's I've asked this question to so many people, and I get so many different responses, but I thought you were just really clear, and really easier to understand.  So I'm going to try that on my friends see if it works.  

Vik Sharma:  Okay.

Host:  See if it helps them understand what's going on.  Also, if you have a Bitcoin—if you want to send me one Bitcoin, you're more than welcome to anytime.  Anyone—

Vik Sharma:  [Interposing] if it was 2013 I would've sent it.

Host:  —cannot turn down crypto.  Send it.

Vik Sharma:  Yeah.  Exactly. 

Host:  Yeah.

Vik Sharma:  That's how easy it is not with unstable domains.

Host:  Yeah.  Exactly, exactly.

Vik Sharma:  I could just sent it to your name.  Yeah.  Mm-hm.

Host:  Yeah, for sure.  So looking into you know, like all the crypto wallets that are out there right now, obviously, we've made a lot of progress since 2017, or even like a year ago, but there's still a lot of improvements that can be made, especially on the UX front.  So in your view, when you look at these wallets across the board, especially like other big wallets, Coinbase you know, all of these other big wallets, what do you see as some of the most important or the biggest, like UX features that still need to be improved in order to onboard the masses onto the decentralized web, and just decentralization in general?

Vik Sharma:  Yeah, I think it's a combination of user interface, as well as is we talked earlier, there has to be some understanding over how it works.  I mean, I guess if you're using a Coinbase type of wallet, which is custodial, they could probably build their own, you know, some kind of address resolver type of thing like Venmo.  For example, if I go into Venmo I don't give you some weird Venmo address I give you my name, and you can look me up you know?  So I think we need to see more of that in crypto.  So again yeah, Coinbase I wouldn't call them a wallet at all.  It's, it's an exchange.  It's a custodial exchange that happens to hold your crypto in, in their custody.  But when you talk about other Blockchain wallets like, like Cake wallet to have a decentralized address resolvers such as yours, and we also have - - if you've heard of them.  Not them, its fluffypony, and some other people wrote that.  It's DNS based you, you edit your DNS entry, and it resolves your address using that.  So yes, I think—I think that's a big step forward in making this more usable, and what I especially like about unstoppable domain is that it supports multiple cryptocurrency.  For example, in Cake wallet I just have to give you cakewallet.crypto, and you can send Litecoin, Monero or Bitcoin.  Its fine, you don't have to give a separate address for each one.  I think that's fantastic.

Host:  Yeah, definitely.  I think yeah—this is—I mean, obviously, like I believe in our product, I work here you know, so I'm a little biased, but I do think that this is something that is going to be a huge help on the UX front because it's just not reasonable to expect people to like send this 40 string numbers, and letters every time they want to make a transaction, like that's not reasonable to expect at all, and there is just there's so much room for error.  You miss one letter, you—even if you copy and paste, but then you like accidentally hit the delete button once or something.  That's the wrong address, you know?

Vik Sharma:  Yeah, and, and on mobile, and on mobile, it's hard to see the whole address is just so long.  It's hard to see, you know?  You have to cut off the middle or the end, you know?  So it's very difficult to see.  Just as a side note I was thinking about this recently.  What I find really frustrating is when somebody sends you a QR code, but I'm on the device that I would use to scan QR code.  So I was thinking about that so it's, it's another area where your solution is, is useful.

Host:  Yeah, for sure.  I have run into that myself many times, the QR code problem and I'm just like, I do not understand how am I supposed to scan my own phone using my phone?

Vik Sharma:  If I'm with my wife, I'm like, can you take a picture of this so I can scan her phone.

Host:  Right, yeah, it doesn't make any sense.  Yeah, so zooming out and looking at like the broader crypto ecosystem, what do you see as being some of the biggest roadblocks or barriers that are preventing people from entering in in the space, other than just education, which is going to take time?  But that's a big thing that like I'm working on here and asking people to explain like, how would you explain crypto to people as all about is meant to educate the masses, but other than education and you know, UX issues like what do you see as being some other big barriers for mainstream adoption today?

Vik Sharma:  Access.  I mean, so many people, so many of my friends who wanted to get into Bitcoin, they're like, "What do I do?"  Do I just call up E-trade or just call up Morgan Stanley, whatever.  Until this year, right?  I mean, before that you actually had to go to Gemini, or a Kraken, or Coinbase and, and open an account so that—it's there, it's good.  But again, it was another step you had to do, right?  So I think access is still a huge thing.  Most people don't even know how to get crypto.  You know, Cash App is amazing, otherwise you can buy Bitcoin and Litecoin using your credit card, and Cake wallet but if somebody just really wants to work with a big company or whatever else you say, fine you sell—selling access is a huge, huge issue still.  I mean, I understand PayPal Venmo are selling crypto now, but you can't withdraw it so it's useless.  It's purely for a speculation.  So buying and having it in your own noncustodial wallet is still an issue.  I think we still have a long, long way to go towards that.

Host:  Yeah, for sure.  Another thing I just thought of too, as you know, we're talking about like custodial wallets, and noncustodial and things like that is I think, there are sort of two schools of thought out there.  There are the people who are just 100% decentralization like it's all or nothing you have to fully adhere to the ethos of what we're trying to build, which is a fully decentralized world, and then there's like this other school of thought that's like okay, but you know, realistically, like, are we going to get people to just go from full centralization to full decentralization?  Maybe not, and so we need to build in baby steps, and so in that sense, it's almost okay if we have a lot of applications and wallets of things that are only partially decentralized, if it's going to help make, make it easier to onboard people on in space.  So I'm curious, like, which school of thought you fit in there and also like, just how you think about this problem, overall?

Vik Sharma:  I mean, I'm all for decentralization, and everything if possible.  I think we have the computing power and the bandwidth to do that in all walks of life.  So you're talking to somebody who's completely believes in that, I mean, I believe in DeFi.  I think it's great.  Sure, there's growing pains there's people getting robbed and you know, every—every technology has had problems—has had problems, but I think in the end, and DeFi a perfect application for Blockchain, you know, so but I think there's still a lot of development to be done.  I think we are where we were with Bitcoin in 2012 or 2013, and look where we are now.  Where, JP Morgan Chase is offering Bitcoin to its customers after bashing it for many years, and still we're early there, you know?  So I think for decentralization we're very early again.  My friends asked me how do I—how are you getting these crazy returns in DeFi.  How do I do it?  It's—I mean, how do you even explain, no download - -.  It's, it's, you can't even explain it either.  You have to watch the YouTube videos, or sit down with somebody in front of a computer and just do it but you can't just explain it.  People are like what?  What are you talking about?  - - browser extension, what are you talking about?  And they'll start crying and then they'll be happy with their two or three per cent that are somewhere else?  So yeah, I think it—I think we're a long way to go but I think I would like to see decentralization and everything from banking, social media, to messaging, everything.

Host:  Yeah, I hear you.  How do you see that playing out in social media, by the way, just curious to hear your thoughts?

Vik Sharma:  I mean, somebody will do it, right?  Somebody will come out.  I think Zcash has some sort of social media, decentralized social media, can I call it nodes?  I don't know.  I'm not sure.  Don't quote me on that.  But yeah, I think somebody will do it, and as technology improves, you know, Bitcoin is great and I'm not bashing Bitcoin anyway, but it's—like Monero for example, it's an improvement on, on Bitcoin.  There's better smart chains than Ethereum right now until Ethereum.  Yeah, so there's always evolution, there's always better things coming up, and better minds are into it.  Newer generations come in.  So I think somebody will, in the future will have a social media which is fully decentralized and you won't even know it.

Host:  Yeah.  Yeah, for sure.  

Vik Sharma:  You'll just download an App.

Host:  Yeah for sure.  So what's new for Cake wallet in the future like in the near term, and in the long term, what can we expect to see from Cake wallet?

Vik Sharma:  Decentralized swaps.  That's, that's a big thing for us, especially for Monero getting, you know, last year got delisted from I think Bittrex, and Binance US, for example doesn't even list it, CoinBase doesn't list it, Gemini doesn't list it.  So atomic swaps, or, or other kinds of decentralized swap like Uniswap for example, type of thing.  That's big for us.  We're looking at Thor chain.  I don't know if you're familiar with that.  Thor chain allows chain to chain data swaps.  So there's a lot of work to be done for Monero to be functional on Thor chain, and we're actually—we're actually working with them.  So that the—I mean, you'll see a lot of little little features come up.  We're always improving Cake wallet, like, for example, putting in batches and then for Monero, and we added coin control for the Bitcoin last week, which was a huge hit.  You're familiar with coin control?

Host:  Mm-hm.

Vik Sharma:  Yeah?  So you'll see a lot of—you'll see a lot of features which give you a lot of flexibility in using the wallet and transacting how you want to transact, but the future I think for Cake wallet, I think for—I think for a lot of wallets is decentralized exchange, whether it's through atomic swaps or a pool—liquidity pool routes like Uniswap.

Host:  Yeah, for sure, and then if you had to give your best guess as to where we'll be with crypto in 10 years, which I know is an impossible question. 

Vik Sharma:  Impossible question.

Host:  But in your—in your perfect world if all goes according to plan, you could have your say at where things are in 10 years, where would you like to see us being with crypto DeFi, all of these in 10 years?

Vik Sharma:  I think the way the route Ecuador is taking, which is that crypto is a legal tender where you could transact in just crypto to crypto, and you don't have to go back to fiat because you can always use that crypto somewhere else.  Will there be one you know, a lot of people keep saying there's—maximalists think there'll be one crypto that wins out.  I don't think that'll happen in 10 years.  Maybe 100 years who knows the future, right?  I mean currencies—if you take normal - - currencies.  You have the US dollar, you have Euro, you have Yen.  You just have different currencies, and yes a lot of countries like Ecuador adopted the US dollar.  So there couldn't be a path to US dollar being the one single currency across the world for just—using that as an example.  So I'm not sure if there's going to be one crypto that will win out, and just like you have different fiat currencies, and then there's different uses, right?  Bitcoin for example, you want your government to use Bitcoin because you want it—you want to see where your tax money is going, where your taxes are going, but maybe on a private use you want to use a Monero because you don't want the government to know, or whoever your boss to know, your friends to know how much you have and what you're spending on, hat gives you that privacy.  And then you can have a Smartchain like Ethereum, or Solana, or Binance Smartchain for, for DeFi, and other things that live on the Blockchain.  So I think—I think there's uses for—I know I'm going to get in trouble for this, but there's uses for different, different cryptocurrencies.

Host:  Yeah, I mean, I think that's probably right.

Vik Sharma:  Yeah.  And then use it's not good for you then don't use it.  You have—you have other options so…

Host:  A 100%

Vik Sharma:  I'm going to get burned for that.  I'm going to get killed for that.

Host:  I mean, I think it makes sense.  I think it makes—I think it's totally fair to say so, don't come at Vik, anybody listening don't come at him.  I think this is totally fair to say.  You're free to have your own opinions.  All right.  Okay, so this next segment, I have this on every podcast episode, this is where I dig through your Twitter account and I pull out some interesting or cryptic tweets—

Vik Sharma:  [Interposing] oh, no.

Host:  —and I give you a chance to explain them.  Everyone always gets so—

Vik Sharma:  [Interposing] oh-oh. 

Host:  —nervous about this and I'm not sure why because it's like, these are all things that you said like, they're all from your head.  So you know you shouldn't feel confident.  

Vik Sharma:  Personal or the Cake wallet account.

Host:  Your personal account.

Vik Sharma:  Oh okay.  Oh oh.  Don’t quote me.  Don't quote what I tweeted about an hour ago.

Host:  But I don't know, I usually—Oh I didn't I pulled these yesterday, so if you tweeted something an hour ago you're safe. 

Vik Sharma:  And that was not targeted at you by the way, don't look at the recent one. 

Host:  Yeah, I have to go check it out.  Let's see what that says.

Vik Sharma:  And I have to go check it out.   

Host:  I have to go see what it says.  Now—and now I feel like everybody's—I have to read it out for everybody because of the—

Vik Sharma:  [Interposing] Oh no.

Host:  — suspense, right?

Vik Sharma:  Mm-hm.  But it's not targeted towards you.  Believe me it's not for you.  For you it makes sense.

Host:  Is it the one from three hours ago?

Vik Sharma:  What Calendly?

Host:  Yeah.  How about I send you my Calendly, and you go through my schedule and book some time.  Oh, yeah.  I do feel like that's targeted at me.

Vik Sharma:  It's not targeted at you.  I think—I think your—I think your use case is correct or like you know, doctor's office is correct where you know but I think if you're if somebody is making a one on one appointment, and if you want to use Calendly be decent say hey, send me your Calendly let me see.  Rather than Oh, here you go look in my book and figure out some time that it's good for me, you know, it's I don't know, maybe I'm viewing it wrong.

Host:  No, I get what you're saying.  I think it depends on who wanted to have the call.  Like who asked who for the call, right?

Vik Sharma:  Right.

Host:  So like, I reached out to you and I asked you for a call then—

Vik Sharma:  [Interposing] then you should ask for my Calendly.

Host:  Yes, yes.

Vik Sharma:  Correct.

Host:  But if you reach out and ask me for a call, then you should ask for my Calendly.

Vik Sharma:  Yeah, exactly.

Host:  I think—

Vik Sharma:  [Interposing] 100%.

Host:  Yeah.

Vik Sharma:  Yeah.  Yep, yep.  That makes sense. 

Host:  I get that.  I get that.

Vik Sharma:  Yeah.

Host:  Okay, well, anyway, I've got two more tweets for you since that was a—

Vik Sharma:  [Interposing] Oh oh.

Host:  —that was a bonus one.  This first one I have is from July 16, 2021.  You said, "My mornings since 2013, feed my dog, make coffee, buy some Bitcoin and Monero from 2016".  I love the morning routine.  I was wondering do you actually buy Bitcoin or Monero every morning and is that part of—

Vik Sharma:  [Interposing] Pretty much.  Yeah.

Host:  —I know none of this financial advice—

Vik Sharma:  [Interposing] yeah.

Host:  —but is that part of like some strategy because I definitely don't do that.  Maybe that's something I should be doing?

Vik Sharma:  Yeah, I mean its dollar cost averaging on a daily basis.  I don't think about it.  I do it at the same time every day, and it's good long term strategy because do a—do a little bit of something every day and when you look back 10 years later, like oh my god, you know how did I—how did I do this?  So it has that that mentality behind it as well.  So combination of both just building a mountain with little pebbles and, and DCA dollar cost averaging.

Host:  That makes sense.  All right, I'm going to take a page out of your book.  And then this other tweet I have is from June 9, 2021, you said, "the worst thing about Bitcoin is that it is transparent.  The best thing about Bitcoin is that it is transparent"

Vik Sharma:  Exactly.  Yeah, and we've talked about this earlier in this conversation.  For example, for, for the government where your tax money is going, or, or you're donating to some fund or you want to see how the money's being spent.  You can do that with Bitcoin.  I mean, technically you can do that with Monero as well.  The wallet holder would have to expose that for you, but in Bitcoin, you can do that without the permission of the wallet holder.  So it's good in a way where you know for governments, for example, you want to see how they're spending, but it's bad because everyone can see how you're spending.

Host:  Yeah, I love that tweet, too, because it really shows that there's two sides to every coin you know, and I think a lot of people— 

Vik Sharma:  [Interposing] yeah.  No pun intended at least. 

Host:  —No pin intended?

Vik Sharma:  Yeah.

Host:  And I think a lot of people in this space tend to either get super caught up with, crypto is everything.  It's all good or like the, the people that are skeptical out there like crypto is you know, bad you know, a lot of Elizabeth Warren.

Vik Sharma:  Yeah.

Host:  I mean, not to name names, I won't name names, but—

Vik Sharma:  [Interposing] Yea, I'm listening.

Host:  —and I think the truth is, you know, like you said, like, there are two sides of every coin.  The best thing about crypto can be, you know, transparency or anything and it can also be the worst thing and it all depends how we use that feature.  We use it for good, or for bad or what the—whatever the case is, so yeah I, I like any on that point.  All right.  Awesome, Vik well, thank you again so much for joining us today for this podcast.  Before you go just tell people where they can find you if they want to connect with you personally, and then also where you can go to check out Cake wallet if they are new to the space.

Vik Sharma:  Yeah, for Cake wallet you can just go to Cakewallet.com.  There's links there for the App Store, for Google Play, as well as the direct download for Android so you can skip the Google Play.  To reach me personally and just Twitter's probably the best way which my twitter name is Vikrantnyc.  My first name Vikrant, and NYC for New York City.  And one more thing I wanted to tell us so we are the owner of Monero.crypto on unstoppable domain, and we have mapped that address to the Monero general development fund address.  So if any of you viewers want to donate to Monero if they're big fans of Monero, they can just type in Monero.crypto.

Host:  Amazing.  Amazing.  All right.  Well, thank you again, so much Vik.  Thank you everybody for tuning in, and we will be back again soon with another episode of The Unstoppable podcast.

Vik Sharma:  Thanks for having me on.

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