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Small Businesses Embracing Bitcoin w/ Oshi App Co-Founder Michael Atwood

Thanks to Stakwork for helping us with all transcriptions of our Twitter Spaces.

Voltage – 00:00:11:

All right, we’re back at it. If you can hear me, slap some emojis or something. Let’s see if this works. If you can hear me, slap an emoji. Anybody? All right, we’re in business. Let’s go. Good deal. You can’t stop us Twitter. You will not stop bitcoin. Someone give Elon the reigns. Just don’t let them say anything about doge. All right, well, we’re back at it. Michael, we got you back on stage, bro. The comedy hours are over. Let’s get back into this SMB adoption.

Michael Atwood – 00:00:54:

Let’s go.

Voltage – 00:00:57:

All right, man. Well, where did we leave off? Where was your frame of mind? Now that we’re back in action, people can hear us.

Michael Atwood – 00:01:04:

Well, hey, so you just brought it up just now about how the doge thing, the Elon Musk doge thing. I spoke to a business the other day and the only reason he got involved in bitcoin was because he heard about dogecoin on SNL and all of his employees were like, oh, we’re all going to be rich. Elon talking about dogecoin tonight on Saturday Night Live and it’s going to be great. And he said it was hilarious. He goes he’s like, I have a policy that if my staff is, like, buying lottery tickets or buying this or that, I go in on it too, because if they don’t show up for work tomorrow, I’m sure it’s all not going to show up to work tomorrow. So that’s actually his first foray into the crypto space. But eventually he started going to bitcoin meetups in Austin and now his business accepts bitcoin. So, like I was saying, that was the business that they’re doing a news article on, Three Forks, and that’s how he got started. So everything is good for bitcoin. Let’s not forget that. Right.

Voltage – 00:02:15:

Interesting. So Elon Musk. Does he like steak?

Michael Atwood – 00:02:19:

No idea. No idea. But if he does, he probably needs to go over the Three Forks. He influenced it, right. We got to close the loop.

Voltage – 00:02:28:

That’s right. Well, cool.

Voltage – 00:02:31:

Well, yeah.

Voltage – 00:02:32:

One of the things I’ve spoken to you about before was there’s a few people in my local community that wanted to accept bitcoin or put it on their balance sheet, and they ran into issues where for some reason, for accounting, it was complex. And their tax advisor said they need to buy it through PayPal because it’s easier for accounting. That’s one of many issues. But what are the hurdles small businesses are trying to overcome when it comes to just embracing bitcoin as a whole? If you could break those down.

Michael Atwood – 00:02:56:

I would say maybe the biggest hurdle is, like, just understanding what the hell bitcoin is and why they should use it. Like, let’s say, okay, they understand that the hurdles are educating them on the tools, so they need to find the tools. It’s really easy for them to go, okay, what do I do? I’m the business owner. I just download Muun Wallet. And now I can accept bitcoin. It’s like, well, you’re running a business and you have employees. You’re not just going to be swinging around your Muun Wallet, right? So there are different tools, right? There’s IBEX, there’s Open Node, there’s Voltage. Run your own BTC pay server, run your own node, right? There are all these different tools. The startup costs and a lot of effectively zero the set up time can take as little as like five minutes and you can be up and running. So really, it’s all about knowledge and awareness of these different things. And really, I think that the bitcoin community has a lot of work to do in making sure that business owners become more aware of these tools and actually just educate themselves on what the tools are so they’ll feel a lot more comfortable and confident. Whenever they walk up to a business, they’re like, hey, do you guys take bitcoin? What if the business owner is intrigued? What are they going to do? What’s the next step? And honestly, most even of the bitcoin community is awesome, but I think a lot of them don’t know the next steps. And just so bringing awareness to that would be a huge help. Let’s say the businesses are now all set up and they accept bitcoin. Everything’s ready to go. The next hurdle is the point of sale system. How do they integrate bitcoin, whether it’s in a hacky way or one of these days will have hopefully a more seamless integration with the bigger point of sale systems. But how do they get that going? And that at this moment, in my opinion, is one of the biggest hurdles for businesses that are eager and willing and maybe already starting to accept bitcoin, it’s that point of sale?

Voltage – 00:05:05:

Absolutely. And as far as payments, like on a local level, are a lot of businesses going the on chain route or is Lightning pretty quick to adopt and there would layer two and just trying to understand bitcoin, are people fast tracking the Lightning and it’s easier to make more sense? Or is that kind of a hurdle where they’re just starting with on chain payments.

Michael Atwood – 00:05:30:

Set up straight for Lightning. I think we’re at the moment now where you’re already starting to see something too. It’s like, should we even be separating like bitcoin and Lightning? Or should we just be saying, like bitcoin? It’s bitcoin. You want to accept bitcoin? Well, yeah, like duh, you want to accept bitcoin, then you’re going to be using something called Lightning. But the different wallets, whether it’s a centralized sort of wallet or whether it’s something like Muun where you can just scan any invoice and it’s just going to pay on chain or Lightning, those are pretty fantastic tools. And I get businesses set up. If I had to pick between on chain or Lightning, I would go with Lightning every single time because most of the businesses I’m getting set up are just selling small ticket items. It’s fast casual restaurants or services where they don’t have time to wait for the confirmation. That also adds another kind of like, confusing hurdle for employees. So I just go straight, straight to lighting.

Voltage – 00:06:36:

Awesome. And if there’s any small business owners in the audience maybe that are not in the know on bitcoin, I’m sure most of you are throwing emoji up. I would love to see if there’s anyone here kind of learning about bitcoin for the first time in Sunfarms. We’re going to be inviting some people up here at the end for some questions. So I’ll leave that request pending here and we’ll pull you up. But Michael, where do you see, I guess just moving forward, where do you see payments going in terms of bitcoin over the next year? There’s obviously a lot of these altcoin scams and things happening, like the Tether is losing value, apparently this week. I haven’t read too much into that. The Luna and Terra blow up, rehypothecation rates going down in DeFi. There just seems to be all these problems. Is that impacting and creating confusion for small business owners and these newly bitcoin adopters or what do you think on that? How is that impacting the market?

Michael Atwood – 00:07:36:

In terms of the downturn in the market and the implosion of terror and all that stuff? Most business owners have no clue what that is even going on. I haven’t really noticed any change in that whatsoever, which is funny. It just goes to show, like, they’re busy running their business. They’re not sitting here paying attention to all this stuff like we are, because we’re enamored by it and we’re in the ecosystem. They’re just trying to run their business. I don’t know what the second part of the question was.

Voltage – 00:08:12:

Yeah, just in general, some of that has made, like, local news headlines in Denver and my wife’s mom and dad are asking and other people just kind of say, like, what is this? How does this affect me? But that’s good. Yeah, I think small business owners, they’re typically working more hours than just a w two worker. They have a lot more on their shoulders. They’re having to manage, so they’re probably less tuned into some of that stuff.

Michael Atwood – 00:08:37:

Yeah, for sure. It’s really difficult, even though it takes just a few minutes to get businesses set up and ready to go, even, like, to train their staff, it doesn’t take long just for them to find some time to do it because it’s not exactly on the top of their list of priorities. Right. And so you know tomorrow. Or. Sorry. Saturday in Rockdale. Which is home to the biggest bitcoin mining farm in North America. To my knowledge. There’s a guy named Brett. He owns Brett’s Backyard Barbecue. So I’ll be going there tomorrow to get him set up to accept bitcoin because on Saturday they’re having like a big event there and everyone’s going to be able to pay with bitcoin and it’s only going to take me a few minutes to get him set up. But he’s a busy guy. He’s one of one of the best barbecue joints in Texas. He’s the soon to be mayor of rockdale, Texas, and he’s going to be the first legitimate bitcoin mayor.

Voltage – 00:09:42:

That’s pretty cool. That’s awesome. Now, a lot of businesses, they’re interested in accepting bitcoin payments. Maybe they get it, maybe they don’t. It’s about 50 50. What’s the response from a small business owner after they’re accepting bitcoin? Is it kind of like one person a day, a couple of people a month? Are they noticing anything, material change? Or are they just glad that they’re kind of keeping up with the times and maybe they have a bitcoin sticker on the front of their building and it creates conversation. And what is that like?

Michael Atwood – 00:10:13:

I would say in general, a lot of them are kind of indifferent about it. I do think they like the fact that they can kind of say, yeah, we accept bitcoin. And if they do happen to be more into the idea of bitcoin, then they are fairly enthusiastic about it. I’ve seen business owners in the past that are like literally customers come up and they’re like, we accept bitcoin. And the customer is like, what? That is not what I was expecting. But yeah, it really just depends. There’s a lot of indifference. I wouldn’t say that. Maybe they’ll have like a few cups of coffee sold per week in bitcoin from just the people who are aware of that. This business even accepts bitcoin, right? And that’s kind of where Oshii tries to come in with the incentives and the map and everything. But yeah, I mean, businesses who are accepting bitcoin, unless there’s some sort of special event like a bitcoin business warming party, they’re not accepting like heaps of bitcoin right now. Most people are still completely unaware that Cash App, even you can send bitcoin payments over Cash App. It kind of blows my mind. Like I said, I just had a meeting with a Texas reporter and awesome guy. He asked really great questions, but literally had no clue about bitcoin. Not a clue. And he’s reporting on it. This is the state that we’re in right now. This is kind of the state of affairs. But I really like to talk about how small business owners in my experience, what I have seen is they’re pretty eager to tell their customers about it depending on the owner. So that’s what’s not really factored in, I think whenever a lot of people start talking about a consumer paying with bitcoin, but what is that business? And how are they going to train their staff whenever a customer comes up and wants to buy like a $3 cup of coffee and swipe their card and that’s going to cost that business 5.6% if they’re using something like square or toast whenever, they could just use bitcoin and save like 5% or more depending on what they’re using. So then you’re going to have business owners actually training their staff to say, hey, this customer comes in telling me, accept bitcoin so that we can save money on these sales. Maybe we can increase our profit margins a substantial amount, or maybe we can actually give the customer back, like some bitcoin rewards or bitcoin cash back with that arbitrage between Lightning and the traditional legacy payment processors.

Voltage – 00:12:56:

Absolutely. And before we dive into talking a little bit about Oshii and how you solve some of these problems and create the incentives that really encourage people to interact and use bitcoin, what are you thinking about on a local level people could do if they’re not aware of oshi? My mind goes to you could almost hang up a little sheet of paper and tell people, hey, you can download a bitcoin wallet here or use, let’s say, Cash App. We have a wallet. You can pay us immediately and we’ll give you a three or 4% discount. And the business owner knows less than 1% of people are going to do it, but they’re kind of creating that conversation. Like, do you see bitcoiners who are business owners getting creative and maybe doing that if they’re not leveraging Oshii or a lot of these business owners really just kind of coming to you without getting too creative on their own, like trying to create a solution and educate.

Michael Atwood – 00:13:46:

Yeah, there’s definitely a lot of hand holding. Let’s talk about a business that doesn’t really understand much about bitcoin and really doesn’t even understand much about, say, like the rewards and incentives. Like maybe they signed up with square or Toast for like this really cookie cutter, like, reward system. I talked to businesses all the time and I was like, hey, do you run any specials or promotions? And they’re like, no. And I’m like, yeah, the happy hour special. Oh, yeah, happy hour special. I was like, how about instead of 30% back, 30% off, you get like 30% back in bitcoin and it totally changes the game, right? It changes brain cells. But then there are also business owners that are like really into bitcoin and they’re like, I want to do I want your bitcoin. Like, I want KYC free sats. I am willing to give you a discount if you pay me in bitcoin, not only because it’s going to save me maybe a few percentage points and processing fees, but also because I just want it. And business owners. Again. The ones that really understand this and their company is in a position in which they can hold bitcoin on the balance sheet without having to convert the bitcoin they receive to dollars. Which in general. Considering it’s a very small percentage of sales right now. Most businesses can do this. But if they hold on. Say they do a 10% pay with bitcoin discount and they hold on to that bitcoin over the course of years or whether it’s six months or a year or two years. Whatever. Do they think that the price of bitcoin is going to appreciate or the purchasing power of bitcoin is going to appreciate at least 10%, right, within a year’s time, if that’s the case, and that 10% discount that they gave to a customer, whether it’s a 10% pay with bitcoin discount or it’s a 10% satisfaction, that’s a free discount. It’s a free discount. And if we ever get into a scenario where I would say when we get into a scenario in which more and more businesses are wanting their customers to pay with bitcoin. Whether because maybe the dollar just continues to flight away into oblivion. Just highly likely. Then they’re maybe going to have to compete amongst one another to incentivize customers to pay with bitcoin. Which could create a crazy flywheel effect. In which case the business like.

Michael Atwood – 00:16:03:

Hey, we’ll give you like 20% off if you pay us in bitcoin. Because we know in a year’s time that’s free for us. It gets pretty crazy with the game theory on that.

Voltage – 00:16:15:

I love it.

Michael Atwood – 00:16:16:

Yeah.

Voltage – 00:16:17:

I’ve been a small business owner in the past and I’ve always found really creative ways to create language and encourage people to come in or give their eyes attention to me. And I would be doing that saying, save up to 30% and they come in and you have some way in which you can get them set up by using bitcoin in less than two to three minutes. And they would be grateful for that. And then they might become a regular just for that one value they create in their life. So that’s cool.

Michael Atwood – 00:16:40:

Yeah, it’s getting super easy too. I imagine something in the near future where these businesses might have partners. Like they have their strike ref link. Maybe they’re selling stacko vouchers, maybe they’re using bit ram, they’re selling bitcoin on the spot so they have a way to actually load their customers wallet with bitcoin on Lightning Network. Maybe they have a way to refer their customers to strike and they’ll get like $10 in bitcoin for every referral they get. And then the customer will get ten free bucks as well. Right. Because it’s all about the incentives. Without the incentives, a business starts accepting bitcoin and you’re not a bitcoiner. And even if you are, maybe you’re over the whole novelty of bitcoin, or maybe you’re not ideological enough to make every single transaction a bitcoin payment just because you want to support the businesses, which that’s not something we can rely on now or even into the future. It’s all about the incentives. So how are these businesses going to incentivize consumers to pay with bitcoin, and where are they going to get maybe the money to incentivize them? So, yeah, I find it pretty fascinating where you could have something near the register where you say, hey, download this app, get set up with bitcoin, come back next time, and I’ll give you 20% off your coffee. Or give you 20% sets back off your coffee. Business gets $10 to the strike rep fleet. The customer gets $10, whatever the case may be. So it’s pretty exciting.

Voltage – 00:18:14:

Yeah. Well, now that we’re on segway and we’ve talked a little bit about bitcoin small business payments for anyone who’s not aware here, give us maybe a two to three minute elevator pitch on oshi, what problem it solves, the incentives you’ve created, and then we can take a few questions from the crowd.

Michael Atwood – 00:18:33:

Yeah, so, first and foremost, Oshii is a really easy way for businesses to plug into kind of a marketplace and rewards agent so they can incentivize consumers to actually use their bitcoin. We connect with a variety of different payment providers. Like, if you have a Voltage BTC pay server, cool. Like, you can plug into us. If you use strike, you can plug into us as a business. IBEX open node. If you’re a merchant in El Salvador and you’re using the bitcoin beach wallet, you can plug into us. So we are just really the aggregator of bitcoin businesses and deals in your local area. And really just well, it’s localized, but you can find deals anywhere. And we then, on the consumer side, offer the ability for these businesses to give sets back or just pay with bitcoin discounts. So the consumers actually have an incentive to pay with bitcoin. Right. And again, many businesses are already doing this, but they’re doing punch cards and, like, coffee points and all this shit that no one really cares about. Introducing bitcoin rewards into your business will bring you more business, more consumers, maybe customers you wouldn’t have already had. And then the incentives, as this trial gets going, could really drive bitcoin circular economy. Now, as a bitcoin, or you can actually have a tool with which you can present bitcoin to businesses and show them, like, hey, yeah, your business can be on the map on oshi, your deals on here for other customers to see out. Look for some businesses near you that accept bitcoin and really create, like, this networking platform for the businesses that the bitcoin can show the businesses, and again, kind of generate a little more interest. And if you were to give that business your ref link, you’ll receive 1%, basically commissions and sats of every sale that business makes through the app. And if you onboard grandma and she buys some stuff through she used in her strike wallet from local businesses, then you’ll receive 1% commission off of her purchases as well. So that’s kind of the idea of it. I’ll pause there for a minute.

Voltage – 00:21:03:

Yeah.

Voltage – 00:21:03:

No, I love that. I remember the first time I learned about that, how if I refer businesses, get them to join and use it, you make essentially sats flow and cash flow coming in because you are early, and you help get the Oshii ecosystem going so I love that. And I think that’s really important for the younger demographic. I’ve noticed nowadays I’ve been really looking at where the interest lies in the young entrepreneur and where the attention is going. And a lot of young people nowadays really want to create cash flow and find ways. Like there’s a side hustle culture that people are just obsessed with. And I think there are more creative ways where you can connect one relationship, bring someone to Bitcoin and earn that way. And in my mind that’s like a really healthy, positive thing for not only yourself, but just for the community at large.

Michael Atwood – 00:21:59:

Yeah, absolutely. And I think it also provides quite a bit of education for people too, about maybe like how Bitcoin works. Like you can use any wallet you want to pay, you can use any Lightning service provider you want to receive. And I think this is kind of a glimpse into what a lot of these different apps are going to look like that are sitting at top the Bitcoin stack. You don’t have to be the payment provider and the application you can just run on top of it. You don’t have to be the Lightning service provider and the marketplace. I think creating apps that are open to everyone creates a really nice network effect and it’s going to be really interesting to see how that plays out.

Voltage – 00:22:53:

Absolutely. Well, we can segue a little bit here. I know we had a hand raised. I’m going to bring up Sunfarm’s BTC, and we can just start running through some questions or comments. Sunfarm, did you have one you wanted to ask or anything you wanted to share? You’re on mute right now. I’ve been in that position for where my phone is in my pocket and scrambling to get it out, maybe, but Nate, were you going to share something? Yeah, no, I mean, I’ve got so many thoughts because Mike knows that I love this stuff, but no, Mike, I guess I want to ask kind of from the other direction, how do you think that we can get more Bitcoiners wanting to spend their bitcoin? What do you think is the hang up for some bitcoiners and where do you think the trajectory is going as far as that goes?

Michael Atwood – 00:24:06:

Again, I think it’s just all about the incentives, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be financial incentives. Let’s do like a real quick history lesson here, a very general lesson. For thousands of years, like, payments were generally peer to peer using cash like stuff, right? So coins, shiny rocks, seashells, whatever. There was no intermediaries necessarily. There were no payment processing fees. Settlement was final, it was instant. It’s really over the past 50 years, it’s kind of an anomaly in which we’ve inserted these payment processors and increasingly so, especially the rise of the Internet, where they now get a cut out of every single transaction because at the time they were the only ones that were able to facilitate these digital payments effectively. And if you wanted to participate in online commerce, then you generally had to have one of these cards, right? And even in 2010, it was just 5% of total retail commerce. It was just 5% was done online in 2010, right. So very little usage, right? Retail cost. What’s interesting is like, what did they do to incentivize everybody to change their behavior, to use their cards everywhere? Because 5% wasn’t enough. They needed people to use it for instore commerce too, not just online. Right? And they did this through incentives. They did this through the experience was improving over time, right? It’s no longer a carbon copy, pain in the ass thing to accept a card. They made it easier and easier and better and better. And that drove more adoption, naturally. But additionally, they incentivize everybody with the rewards and the cash back and all this stuff to use the card. But really it was just kind of like reappropriation of their excessive economic rent that they charged. Like basically what they would do is they would charge the business like two, three, 4%, and that business would then pass those costs down to the consumer and then that consumer would tap their card or swipe their card because they felt like they were getting like 2% rewards. When in reality, these card issuers and payment processes are effectively like giving you one dollars and taking two out of your pocket and everybody fell for it. And people started using these things. People started like enslaving themselves by these things. They would get like ten cards and maybe they’d pay it off every month, but there was like the card churning to get all the miles and all the points and all this stuff and everybody was using their cards for every single purchase, right? And what happened over time that changed brain cells, that changed behavior. Now people are using these cards everywhere they go, not just online, everywhere they go, because the experience is good and they feel like they’re getting good rewards. But what’s happening now is the experience is kind of more or less kind of like topped out, let’s say, and the rewards are getting less and the payment processing fees for the businesses are getting higher and the fraud costs are getting higher. And what Bitcoin does right, is you can cut out these middlemen because we have a mechanism to do this now, right? Especially given the Lightning Network. So for the first time ever, you can send a digital payment peer to peer in like a cash like way. I just really think we need to replicate like the same model that these credit cards use to change everybody’s behavior, to start using them. And we do it through the experience is constantly improving, right? And the rewards are obviously a big deal right now. So how do we convey this to everyone, right? And I really think it starts. Got to get the businesses on board first, and then you have to build really awesome experiences that consumers actually want to use and that they get rewards for. Except these rewards don’t have to be subsidized by payment processors. The businesses themselves can give rewards back. So very long winded answer, but that’s where I think we’re going here.

Voltage – 00:28:43:

Make sense to me, man. I appreciate that. All right, Neo, welcome up, man. See you raised your hand. What questions got? Neo, are you there? And Twitter might just be like terrible today or spaces out. It’s really weird. Well, I’m thinking as a small business owner, I would be creating some fun giveaways, like kind of buying into the consumer culture. But there’s ice cream shops and say, if you eat this much ice cream or you finish this 3000 calorie burger, you win this reward. I would be giving away free Bitcoin. Get people to come in and say, hey, if you pay with bitcoin and eat this food or whatever, we’ll give you this reward in Bitcoin. That would be some good, unique marketing material that’d be fun for restaurants. What’s my mic? I don’t know if you can hear me now. Yeah. You’re coming through, Neohead. Yeah. I learned about this as she app through a vendor called Texas Lim. They sell steaks in Texas. So I came across the website, and since I have a margin agency and we have a lot of websites and shopify and different platforms, I always wanted to integrate Bitcoin payments. So I’ve seen like Strike, they did something, and obviously you have also the BTC pay, but to be honest with you, I’ve had issues trying to integrate it. So when I came across social app, I felt like I went to the website, I see open node and you have different options. So I’m starting to learn one question I have is because what happens if you have an ecommerce site and you have subscription base? So basically the customer subscribes to one service that I get charged every month.

Michael Atwood – 00:30:59:

Right.

Voltage – 00:31:00:

So when you use a credit card, you just do it once. You say, I pre approve a monthly payment of $10. Right. Every month. And then they submit the car once, and then every month they get charged. Is that possible? Subscription with Bitcoin? Actually, that’s the limitation that you have to actually run the payment every time. Does that make sense?

Michael Atwood – 00:31:27:

Yeah, for sure it’s possible. But its not the UX isn’t particularly great at the moment. My understanding you could do things like that with LN-URL or possibly like Bolt twelve, but it’s definitely not the same because you’re right, bitcoin payments are push payments, not pull one time. Yeah, so that’s right. But my understanding is there’s things coming out that will help with that. Yeah, I mean, it would have to be more at the current moment whenever we think about this. And I think other people probably know. About this too in the room a lot more than I do. But I look at it like is it the end of the world? They have to send out an invoice monthly that they can just scan and pay to renew their service or renew their subscription. I mean, I know one of the awesome things about subscription services are when people just forget about it, they just keep paying. I mean is that the way it should be? That’s what I wonder sometimes it’s like, again, I view this period in time right now where you can just put in a card and it’ll just like pull payments from you whether you wanted to or not. I kind of still do that as a bit of an anomaly. But to answer your question, that stuff is definitely in the works. There’s already some capabilities to do it now, but it’s not quite up to stuff until I’m wanting to implement it quite yet. But I don’t know if other people have some comments on that.

Voltage – 00:33:30:

If no one has comments I’m just going to say that from a vendor I understand that from a vendor’s perspective if you have products one time and you do the push, that’s fine. But if you have services based for the vendor perspective, it’s much easier because they already pay once and every month they get charged. You have to do any follow up. Sometimes happens that they change the credit card or something happens and it’s very annoying going through the process of contacting the customer, get a new card. It’s just like if you can avoid that, that’s the beauty with this automation. Right? So I’m wondering, I know this is too early, but whenever we get the user experience on big card, I think that’s going to be huge for the vehicle payment means.

Michael Atwood – 00:34:32:

Yeah, and there’s something called Albi and you can basically set it up to where like if you go to a website you can set like minor saying like set thresholds where if you go to the website it’ll just automatically withdraw from your wallet balance under certain parameters so it will pull effectively pull payments in a way. Right. And basically this is where I was coming at. Like there are ways to do this now with subscriptions but you kind of have to load up a balance and give it permissions to pull from. So one of the applications of this that I spend a lot of time thinking about is the tipping mechanisms like restaurants and stuff with bitcoin because think about this like you go in and you pay, you scan an invoice and then it’s like oh, do you want to tip? And then you know, maybe you’d have to do another invoice. You could bundle it all into one invoice but then it’s like, well, okay, how does the vendor separate that? And this is where like the whole point of sale and the tools that are just not fully there yet that are being built come into play. But let’s say you wanted to tip later. Like you get in an Uber and you take the ride, and then the next time you open up the Uber app, it’s like, hey, how much do you want to tip? That would be a scenario where with Lightning again, do you really want to pay another invoice, or would you just rather hit like one dollars and have it pull from an allocated amount of funds using LNURL withdrawal or something like that? So it’s definitely being worked on. It is a big deal. Definitely. So you’re paying there.

Voltage – 00:36:23:

Thank you.

Michael Atwood – 00:36:25:

Yeah. And you were saying you have Shopify stores and stuff. They have open node. BTC pay. There’s all sorts of different integrations where you can add like a little Pay with Bitcoin button on there. Yeah, like at checkout. Is that what you’ve been having issues with?

Voltage – 00:36:45:

Yeah, I tried the BTC pay. I got it through Node. I got the app there. But the thing is, they changed the system. You needed to have like an example URL. I don’t know if you’re familiar with it, but it looks like Shopify changed the system and it took a while from BTC Pay to update on their end. So it was kind of two different systems and it wasn’t working. Finally I got it to work where it was integrated, but it kind of like tried and didn’t work. So I just left it there with the Shopify payment. And then I heard about striking the Bitcoin conference. The reason with Shopify did that too, but I didn’t get it to work either. It looks like it’s well integrated, but I made some test payments and it didn’t work. It has only one review of the app. It looks like it’s still launching that. So I don’t know. I’ve heard about OpenNode. There’s a lot of good cases, use cases with Open Node, even some banks that are going to be announced by them next week, right?

Michael Atwood – 00:38:04:

Like some processors.

Voltage – 00:38:05:

So I’m interested maybe in exploring an open node. Do you partner with? Open Node in Oshi?

Michael Atwood – 00:38:12:

We basically just built out a bunch of different custom integrations for all these different service providers. So if you have an account with Open Node, then you just give us an invoice API key so that whenever a customer wanted to purchase something from you through the Oshii and earn rewards or have it pay with Bitcoin discount, you would basically receive that Bitcoin into your own Open Node account. But whenever it comes to the whole Shopify thing and these integrations, we’re definitely a bit in the Wild West of Bitcoin and Trailblazing. We’ve been working on Oshii in some capacity, whether it be ideation or actually building it out for a few years. And so we’ve seen so many different companies that we started integrating with, like come and go. So it’s definitely a Wild west, but the way we handle some of those things is a lot of these ecommerce shops have different ways in which you can create promo codes and discount codes and so on. So, like, a customer could purchase something from your store, right? And you could give Oshii like, a single time use promotion code so that whenever the customer purchase this, they’ll get the code. They can just tap a button, go to your website, and just order it and just apply that code in the checkout. But the cool thing is you got to do a customer to go to your website to go through the checkout process. Maybe you’re going to ship them something so you have that information that you need for that. And Oshii just help bring you a new customer and they gave them just a code without having to do maybe a more difficult integration with some of these providers.

Voltage – 00:40:02:

I’m going to explore a little bit more. Thank you.

Michael Atwood – 00:40:07:

Yeah, you bet. And actually, Texas Slim is like, he’s here. I was right next to him. I think he just left waiting for the first order.

Voltage – 00:40:22:

They don’t have a trucking code. I was waiting for a trucking on my email.

Michael Atwood – 00:40:31:

Got you. So you ordered a box. There you go. Yeah, I know. We’re kind of helping them out with some of that stuff, too. So that’s one of the things you’ve gotten, like, all the tracking info and stuff yet?

Voltage – 00:40:48:

No, I just got the order, the invoice, but I didn’t receive any tracking info, so I have no idea where the box is. The boxes.

Michael Atwood – 00:40:59:

Got it. Yeah, we’re working with them on that. There’s a lot of boxes, so it’s pretty awesome.

Voltage – 00:41:07:

Okay, great. Yeah, I know that something that is great. I’ve heard him talking in some spaces, and I like the way he’s put together health and bitcoin the podcast. I listened to some of the podcasts, brought some MDs, some doctors talking about health, nutrition. I like it, so I want to give it a try. I’m very excited to get my first book soon, and we’ll see.

Michael Atwood – 00:41:39:

Yeah. So it’s funny to say this is where some of the subscription stuff comes into play. So trust me, we’re going to try to find a way to do this. Like I said, it’s real. As the space matures, the trade off will lessen it’ll level out a little bit. The experience of having auto renewals for the average consumer might not be very good. We’ll try to figure that out.

Voltage – 00:42:14:

All right, thank you.

Voltage – 00:42:17:

All right? Sunfarms requested up earlier. Do you have a question you still wanted to ask? If not, anyone else, feel free to raise your hand. We’ll probably wrap up here just in the next couple of minutes. Michael, man, we appreciate you making time to chat. I know there’s a lot going on in Austin today. Nate’s down there, too, but I hope you guys have a blast tonight and enjoy yourself.

Michael Atwood – 00:42:41:

Yeah, thanks, man. I appreciate you having me on. It’s always a pleasure. Yeah. I would just like leave everyone with like ask businesses if they accept Bitcoin. Just ask. But just make sure that if they say no and they want to learn more, just make sure you’re prepared. There’s some great documents out there now. I think one of them is called well, it’s called Bitcoin. It’s Bitcoinforlocalbusiness.com. It’s a great little pamphlet that kind of explains like what Bitcoin is, what Lightning network is in a really clear and concise way. If you’re at a farmer’s market, it’s great. It shows them like how to use Muun Wallet. Muun Wallet is fantastic for, let’s say, like businesses where if the owner is there, the business is open. If the owner is not there, it’s not open. So you can afford to just show them Muun Wallet. But if they need more of like they’re running more of a restaurant with employees or they’re not always going to be there. And something like I really recommend IBEX. IBEX is fantastic. And of course, if they’re looking to be more self suffered, but they don’t want to run the hardware themselves. They don’t want to manage that Voltage and BTC based server is also a great option. I know she works with all of those options. So get out there and start talking to businesses. Ask them the question, but just be ready to provide them with a good answer if they ask how they do it.

Voltage – 00:44:11:

Awesome. We got one question. Let me bring up our weird robot here. What’s up, robot?

Michael Atwood – 00:44:27:

Hey, Oshii. I actually just have a question. You’re talking about trying to get people to on board and a lot of.

Voltage – 00:44:35:

The businesses we’ve talked about so far.

Michael Atwood – 00:44:37:

It’s hey, a lot of the sell is you can save on transaction fees and things like that instead of using a credit card. What about businesses that traditionally, at least in my experience, are cash only? Specifically some bars, barber shops, tattoo parlors. A lot of them, they don’t even take credit or debit or any of that. They only take cash. Is there a specific way that you try to tackle speaking to those sorts of people about, OK, cool. Yeah, I know you usually take cash, but here’s the incentive to start using your phone through the Oshii app or anything like that and start holding Bitcoin instead. Yeah, that’s a great question. I think it all depends on why are they accepting cash only? Because some people do it because they’re old school. But some people may have another reason. Maybe some people are like, yeah, because I don’t want to pay taxes on this shit. I don’t know. They look at it as like under the table thing. Or they look at it as we don’t take cash. Like we’re going to get charged backs. Like maybe they had issues with payment providers before because maybe their business has been deemed like high risk. It all depends on what their reasons for doing it is. Like, let’s say something like a smoke shop or a dispensary. Like, those are cash only businesses. Maybe there’s some things that have changed since I last looked into it, but generally they’re cash only businesses. The banks won’t really service them or the payment processors won’t do it like redeemed high risk or whatever. So a business like that, I would approach them and not at the angle of low payment processing fees below, because their payment processing fee is like it’s effectively zero, right? But let’s say you’re a business and majority of the customers want to pay using some form of digital payment. Like they want to just tap their card or whatever, but they can’t. So now they’re having to go out of their way to make sure that they have cash. Or maybe they’re going to go use your ATM, and by using your ATM, you’re going to, like, gouge them on ATM fees because you got to take a cut to put that thing there. So now it’s like you’re reducing the experience for your customer, right? But on the other hand, it’s like, hey, so if you only take cash, that means you have absolutely no online presence, right? Like, you have no way to accept digital payments. Like online. You have no way to reach consumers and tap into consumer volition. Speaking of dispensaries, specifically, they can’t sell stuff online, or if they can’t, if they do what they have to do is there’s these delivery services where it’s still cash only, but you can place an order and then the customer will pay the driver in cash whenever they get there. But now you have this delivery driver holding a bunch of cash and it’s not particularly good. So I can go to these businesses. I can say, hey, bitcoin doesn’t care if under the government rule, banks aren’t allowed to do business with you. You can now do business in Bitcoin, and you can open yourself up to ecommerce, like, I call it ecommerce. And depending on how you do it and depending on your scale, right? I mean, there’s always a caveat there, but it can be near free to process these transactions. So it’s similar to cash, but so what? Maybe you’re going to pay 1% more than you normally do because your normal cost is zero. How much are you going to improve the experience of your customers? How much are you going to be able to market and promote your businesses to customers in ways you’ve literally never been able to do? So yeah, it’s like, what are the reasons? I talked to, like, a dog washing place before, and they only took cash, and it was just because they were old school and they basically thought there was no business of the government to know how much they were making, which I agree, but they were an incredibly difficult sell on bitcoin. I never did actually get them to accept it because they wanted that physical thing. So yeah, it’s a great question. Long answer. It just depends on why they’re cash open. Okay. Very cool. Thank you.

Voltage – 00:49:05:

I appreciate that.

Michael Atwood – 00:49:07:

Yeah.

Voltage – 00:49:09:

All right, Michael. Well, thank you again, man. We appreciate you joining us and everyone here. We’re trying to do this once a week, usually on Wednesdays. We always will make exceptions, especially for guests like Michael. We rented on Thursday this week. But tune in, stay posted, and we’ll do this again here soon. Thank you.

Michael Atwood – 00:49:26:

Thanks, everyone.