How to Accept Cryptocurrency Payments From Your Customers—Nicholas Prouten, LODE Project, COO

Do you know how to accept or use Crypto in your business? And how much do you really know about blockchain and cryptocurrency? Our guest on this week’s episode shares how a business leader can use crypto and the looming crypto tsunami may be changing how you accept customer payments. 

ABOUT OUR GUEST

Nicholas, COO of the LODE Project, is a veteran public speaker and team leader. With nearly a decade of experience in the tech sector and half a decade in the blockchain industry. A firm believer that diversity is strength, Nicholas has worked in a wide array of industries, ranging from cybersecurity, gaming, real estate, entertainment, and blockchain.

**Learn more about the LODE Project: https://lode.one/

Sponsor

This episode is sponsored by Big Sky Franchise Team. If you are ready to talk about franchising your business you can schedule your free, no-obligation, franchise consultation online at: https://bigskyfranchiseteam.com/ or by calling Big Sky Franchise Team at: 855-824-4759. 

Transcription

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (00:00):

Before we get started on the show today, I wanted to let you know, we are launching a new podcast called Franchise Your Business. So this is going to be about all things related to franchising your business, growing your business, franchise news, tips, tidbits, and all kinds of little things to help you through this expansion journey and guiding you with more detail and specifics. So whether you’re just looking to franchise your business, or you’ve got many, many, many franchises, this is going to be an awesome show for you to tune into. And now onto our show.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (00:30):

You’ve worked hard to build your business, and now it’s time to grow. Welcome to Multiply Your Success podcast. I’m your host, Tom DuFore, CEO of Big Sky Franchise Team and a serial entrepreneur. The purpose of our podcast is to give you a weekly dose of inspiration and education to help you take that next step to multiply your success. As we going on the episode today, the topic is all about cryptocurrency.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (00:58):

I know this is a popular hot button issue and item to talk about, but how does crypto apply to your business and the ability to accept crypto? Have you thought about that as the leader of your organization? How are you going to take it? How’s it going to impact your business? What does it mean? And that’s exactly why we brought our guests, Nick Prouten on to our show to talk about taking this idea of a cryptocurrency and allowing businesses to accept it as a method of payment. And how do you get that out of crypto and into cash or into some other currency that you might be interested in?

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (01:38):

So Nick is an expert in blockchain and crypto, and explains it in an easy to understand way, so you can start to make a decision as the leader of your organization, if you want to take it and how you intend to use it for your business. So let’s go ahead and jump into this interview with Nick Prouten.

Nicholas Prouten, LODE Project (01:57):

So my name is Nicholas Prouten. My friends call me Nick, and I am the chief operating officer of LODE Payments International, which is a cryptocurrency and payments company operating out of Delaware. However, we are remote and global. The LODE Payments International is a subsidiary of the larger LODE franchise, which is active in over 135 countries and is really, really exciting opportunity that I’m very eager to dive into with you today. So I don’t want to give away too many things right off the hop here, but largely my role as chief operating officer is playing a bit of a Swiss army knife and helping to navigate and keep a team of 70 people in multiple countries, all pulling in the same direction, all working towards a common goal. And it’s such a privilege to be in the cryptocurrency industry, which is really at the forefront of the media cycle right now. People are really excited about it. And yeah, it’s a pleasure to be here.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (02:58):

Well, great. Thank you for that. I know for me personally, and I think for anyone tuning in here, at least for me, I selfishly wanted to have an interview with you because I’m interested in learning more about the whole cryptocurrency business industry, but I really don’t know where to start. There are a lot of articles and information. I don’t know what sources to go for. So I thought with your background and what you’re doing, you’re perfect. So for someone who maybe is in business, they’re running a small to mid-sized company and they’re saying, “Well, this crypto thing sounds interesting or neat, but I really don’t get it.” Can you give us just a nice overview of what that looks like?

Nicholas Prouten, LODE Project (03:40):

Yeah, absolutely. I think it’s important to just think wish blockchain technology from cryptocurrency. That’s the absolute foundation that I always like to start with. So to start blockchain technology is a digital ledger, just like any other sort of ledger or software that you might have. And what it does is it performs transactions on… I’m trying to keep this very, very simple and use the best metaphor as I can here. What it does is it provides trustless transactions. And what that means is rather than needing a trusted third-party who act as intermediary in the transfer of these values, the system of the network of computers operate autonomously to provide this service.

Nicholas Prouten, LODE Project (04:30):

So a great metaphor is when you go to your grocery store and you go to make a purchase, and you tap and spend with your Visa card, what’s really taking place there is a communication between two banks, right? Two trusted parties. And you use the visa MasterCard rails to act as that intermediary blockchain technology and says, “No, we don’t need these middleman. We don’t need this bank acting as this intermediary.” And there are what are called custodial crypto services. And we can dive into that into a minute, but for just the basic explanation here, a crypto says, essentially, “No, we can provide a direct transfer of value from A to B in a digital format, kind of similar to how the cash transaction would work. And rather than depending on the intermediaries, this consensus algorithm, this network of computers, all linked up to the same system can provide that service for you, right?”

Nicholas Prouten, LODE Project (05:22):

So that’s essentially how a blockchain works in a nutshell, expanding on it, once the transaction is recorded, is completed, it is stored in blocks of information alongside other transactions that took place in the same blocks. And these essentially act like a Lego structure that you can’t take apart. The only way is forward. And once this transaction is committed, it is completely immutable [inaudible 00:05:47]. And this is why you hear things like transparency and accountability associated with cryptocurrency transactions, because of that component of how blockchains work because of that immutable aspect to them.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (06:07):

Nick, sorry to interrupt there. So that means basically once it’s committed to or what… It’s committed. It’s happening. It’s done. Is that what you’re saying?

Nicholas Prouten, LODE Project (06:17):

Exactly what I’m saying. There’s no reversing the transaction essentially. And because the system is operating autonomously and because this is, you are directly receiving capital, you’re not receiving it through a company that’s giving you an IOU in an account. You have a greater accountability with that. So you have all this ownership, the direct ownership, direct control over your capital, but there is also the trade-off of direct ownership and the responsibility of managing this wallet with the highest vigilance, because any noncustodial wallet that you might use will have what’s called private keys, which are basically like the key to your safety deposit box.

Nicholas Prouten, LODE Project (07:00):

And if you lose the key to your safety deposit box, there is nobody on God’s green earth that can help you get back into it, right? Now, that sounds a little daunting, and part of what challenges have faced the cryptocurrency and blockchain industry as we’ve grown is to provide the same level of convenience and ease of use that you see with traditional payment software.

Nicholas Prouten, LODE Project (07:25):

But ultimately, I do believe that this technology is replacing a lot of the infrastructure from traditional payments in FinTech. In the next five to 10 years, you’re going to see a gradual transition where most transactions will be conducted on a blockchain. It’ll still be the same type of money. You’ll still likely use a government backed currency to pay your taxes and everything, but you may be using, or most people might be using a USDC or a USDT or a government backed version of the United States dollar or the Canadian dollar, because I’m a Canadian, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

Nicholas Prouten, LODE Project (08:03):

If you look at the broader market and what’s going on here, we have a lot of the world’s major hedge funds, financial institutions now opening up blockchain departments and investing huge short chunks of their portfolios into this blockchain technology. So if you follow your nose and follow the money, it logic would dictate that this is the way that the industry is going. So now we’ve established what a blockchain is, right?

Nicholas Prouten, LODE Project (08:27):

I’m going to move on now and speak about what are cryptocurrencies. Cryptocurrencies are financial tools and assets that are built upon this technology that we just described, right? There are assets like Bitcoin, which are purely transactional. They’re basically just good for the sending and receiving a value or acting as a store of value. Most cryptocurrencies are treated like speculative vehicles. So they’re essentially like stocks with peer-to-peer functions built in.

Nicholas Prouten, LODE Project (08:53):

So I would have a time directly sending you shares, Apple shares or something like that, but I can send you a Bitcoin just by you giving me your public wallet address, right? Boom. There you go. A couple of Bitcoins sent, delivered. So outside of that function though, most cryptocurrencies behave in the market similar to how stocks are traditional financial instruments would behave.

Nicholas Prouten, LODE Project (09:18):

There are a couple of different types of cryptocurrencies though. There are those, the stock bond, the ETF kind of similar ones that we just described here. Then there are collateralized or stabilized assets, and these are known as stable coins colloquially, and these are currencies that are really designed with payments in mind and designed to be used for the fact that they are relatively stable compared to their relatives like Bitcoin, right? They do a better job of preserving their wealth and their value, and therefore acting as better monetary vehicles for sending money back and forth. Because if you’re-

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (09:59):

Sorry to interrupt. So Nick, are you saying that what you’re describing now is something that could be used as a… Just thinking of if we want to accept payments from a client or a customer, is that what you’re saying, kind of using it as more of a traditional medium of exchange as a currency type of a situation?

Nicholas Prouten, LODE Project (10:19):

Yes, exactly. You hit the nail on the head right there. And people say, “Well, why not just accept Bitcoin?” Well, Bitcoin is awesome. I love Bitcoin. I hold Bitcoin. It’s the progenitor of really most of the cryptocurrency market, but Bitcoin has a lot of key flaws. It’s slow. Transactions can take anywhere from six minutes to 10 hours. Good luck trying to pay for your Starbucks and getting that big lineup of people behind you there. And because of how wildly the cryptocurrency market can swing over all, it makes it difficult as a business owner to price your goods and services in a Bitcoin because it could just end up being the most expensive coffee of your life in a moment, and at the snap of a finger.

Nicholas Prouten, LODE Project (11:03):

So as a business owner, how are you supposed to use this practically for your business? It becomes very difficult. That being said, because most people hold Bitcoin today, it can still be used as a functional currency, but it’s not ideal. So that’s where stable points come in, and that’s largely what we produce over at the LODE project is stabilized currency that is backed by gold and silver, kind of like we used to have with the gold standard. And we use this as a payment vehicle, and I’ll dive into that more.

Nicholas Prouten, LODE Project (11:30):

The third type of cryptocurrency I want to mention today is the Ethereums of the world. These things to use a metaphor aren’t almost like operating systems. So you use a Mac or you use a windows or you put Linux on your computer and you are able to code, build apps, use apps and built on top of this software, on top of this operating system. And blockchains like Ethereum make it so that projects can easily produce their own assets on this blockchain and enter into the cryptocurrency space or use the advanced functions to be known as smart contracts that the Ethereum blockchain provides to provide more than just basic transactional services.

Nicholas Prouten, LODE Project (12:16):

So more of a, if not this, then that, or when this meets a certain criteria, do this type behavior rather than just send, receive, right? So these are Ethereum’s, Tron’s, EOS’s of the world. There’s Solana, there’s lots of them out there these days. So this at a broad level are all the types of cryptocurrencies that presently exist out there. So that is really a baseline of what the market is and how these cryptocurrencies work. And the kind of the roles that they serve presently in the market. So I’ll put the ball back into your court because I did just dump a ton of information.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (12:51):

Yeah. Wow. Well, thank you. That was a phenomenal overview and it helps kind of break each of these… Some of these terms and terminology apart in explaining that, and I was not familiar with some of the separation and how they all work. And one of the things that I’ve thought about, I’m sure folks tuning in here as a business owner, as an entrepreneur, as the leader of a growing organization, this whole idea of accepting payments through some sort of a cryptocurrency or something in that regard has to have crossed everyone’s mind.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (13:27):

I can speak for me. I know it’s crossed my mind, but I don’t know how to accept it, what you can do with it, with this medium of exchange. And candidly, what you described about that idea of Bitcoin and severe fluctuations in valuation, up and down, spikes, peaks, valleys, all over the place. And sometimes at least to just an outsider looking in, I have no idea what could be causing those spikes. So because of that, it creates uncertainty. So for me, I sit here and think, “Well, how would I be able to accept it to your point?”

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (14:02):

I might buy a cup of coffee somewhere and I think it’s $3, and it turns out to be 400 in the snap of a finger. I guess, how can a business start to look to accept this or start going down that pathway to accept payments through this methodology as customers and consumers are going… This trend is going to be driven by the consumer demand.

Nicholas Prouten, LODE Project (14:28):

Yeah, absolutely. So presently, what we’ve seen in the market right now is a lot of speculative demand, right? And that’s why Bitcoin is now dwarfing some global currencies like the great British pound and so on and so forth is because that speculative value, the idea that Bitcoin will go to the moon is what’s driving a lot of the market demand right now. Where we live in the world is exactly what you just described. And when I say we, I’m referring to the LODE project. We recognize that this is a coming tide of people wanting to use, spend, and actually practically apply this technology and these assets for trading commerce.

Nicholas Prouten, LODE Project (15:02):

So not just us, but largely the next major wave in the industry is you’re going to see a whole slew of different technologies that allow people to easily use this for the sake of their business. Most notably, as of late, I would argue, Visa has said they will settle their transactions into USDC, which is the United States backed stable coin. So you would accept a payment, a debit credit, Visa at the point of sale, and it would settle to this digital currency. And then you would actually be the holder of this digital currency, which is an interesting premise and very much in line with what we’re doing.

Nicholas Prouten, LODE Project (15:40):

There are payment solutions out there today. One example is known as coin payments. They make it very easy for businesses to get access to cryptocurrency wallets. And they have a very easy to use sort of e-commerce plugin that is available in most e-commerce platforms. And they make it really easy for you to do your invoicing in these currencies.

Nicholas Prouten, LODE Project (16:04):

Then we have what we’re doing over here at LODEpay, which is an all-in-one integrated solution where you don’t just… You’re able to not just accept cryptocurrencies and major cryptocurrencies, but also do traditional payments and settle to stabilize currencies as you see fit. So what do I mean by that? So let’s say somebody wants to pay you in Bitcoin. They want to pay you $3 in Bitcoin at the time.

Nicholas Prouten, LODE Project (16:26):

Great. You can accept that as payment and you can either keep the Bitcoin, if you don’t mind riding the roller coaster, or you can settle to digital gold and silver at a moment’s notice because silver and gold are notable safe haven assets and have a great monetary history. And that’s what our whole project is largely based around. Or you can settle it to a United States dollar equivalent as well.

Nicholas Prouten, LODE Project (16:46):

So by this, you remove a lot of the risk, but you still enable your business to accept these cryptocurrency payments. Now, when it comes to getting into the market, most people, there’s a lot of mystique around it, but it’s actually a lot more similar than you might think signing up for a regular payment service or any other perhaps financial brokerage app or financial tool that you might use.

Nicholas Prouten, LODE Project (17:10):

It requires identifying yourself a little bit. Because this is a payment’s company, we need to make sure that you’re not a fraud. So AML and KYC are going to be standard. But once, you’re through those very minimal hurdles, the process is fairly straightforward. Every blockchain wallet will have what’s called a public key. And this public key is almost like a ballot box. It’s how you receive cryptocurrencies, right?

Nicholas Prouten, LODE Project (17:35):

So when you do an invoice in a cryptocurrency through these payment platforms, kind of like how a little symbol will pop up on a payments terminal, when it’s your turn to tap and spend, you’re going to get a QR code. And the cryptocurrency wallet holder would scan that QR code, which would bring up their wallet and they would commit to the transaction.

Nicholas Prouten, LODE Project (17:57):

So it’s actually a little more conventional and a little less scary than people like to believe. This technology has come a long way from 2017. But prior to that, which had a learning curve like running into a brick wall and we’ve come a long way. So I encourage people to explore the options that are presently out there. We’re launching this integrated sort of payment solution later on this month on the 24th of May as of the time of recording here. And if you’re interested in learning about how this payment technology works and getting in on it, you can find us at lodepay.com.

Nicholas Prouten, LODE Project (18:36):

As I mentioned before, if you are a speculator or you’re interested in what we’re doing with gold and silver, you can read all our investment documents over at lode.one. So I realized that I did a little bit of shameless self-promotion there, but ultimately if you’re looking to accept top 10, top 20 cryptocurrencies, or you’re just really enthusiastic and want to be able to accept all cryptocurrencies, you can head over to a platform like coin payments and begin accepting these cryptocurrencies into your business immediately.

Nicholas Prouten, LODE Project (19:04):

The downside to coin payments though is there’s no way back out to fiat capital. So when you need to take your business and settle, you’re going to want to find either an exchange that you are working with, or you’re going to want to open up an account with LODEpay, because we’re going to be the people who are able to take you from that digital asset back to traditional currency so that you can pay your taxes and so on and so forth.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (19:29):

Wow. Really interesting. And that was really helpful in giving me an understanding of this. So one of the things that I hear all the time from clients and business owners and leaders all over the country is they’re always worried about or looking at ways to reduce credit card processing fees. So as with most things, I’m sure it’s services like this aren’t… It’s not free, right? People have to get paid and going through it, but I’m just curious how the fee structure, is it’s structured similarly to accepting credit card payments or is it different? How does that process work?

Nicholas Prouten, LODE Project (20:10):

That’s a really great question to ask. So if you look at a blockchain with the metaphor of a car, a car needs gas in order to run and this is what is commonly referred to as the sort of cost of running a transaction on a blockchain. Ethereum right now has very high gas fees. Bitcoin also went through a period of having notoriously high gas fees. And what those are is every time you send a transaction a little bit is consumed and distributed across the miner or to the miner for processing this transaction.

Nicholas Prouten, LODE Project (20:41):

Now, as I was mentioning before there are stable coins and certain kinds of currencies that are built for trade and commerce. So when you use stabilized assets like the one we’ve built over at LODE, our digital gold and our digital silver you’re essentially paying like thousands of a penny for a transaction. It’s considerably cheaper and it’s intended to be this way, right?

Nicholas Prouten, LODE Project (21:07):

It’s intended to be this way because we acknowledge that largely in the traditional space, people are paying massive fees 4%, or if you’re a high risk business, you can pay up as high as 9% and have like a six-month hold on your capital. That’s not functional. That’s not practical for running a business. And we’re all about reducing this friction and being disruptors in the space. So when you’re transacting with the cryptocurrency, so long as you are on the receiving end as the merchant, you’re actually not incurring these fees, right?

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (21:40):

Yeah.

Nicholas Prouten, LODE Project (21:41):

They’re essentially free more or less. Where we will likely take most of our capital from is when you decide to convert back out to traditional fiat currencies, when you need to make an exit from the platform. And similarly, if you hold some assets and you would like to perform an exchange service, so let’s say I want to take the Bitcoin that I have stored up and I want to swap it for Ethereum or USBC, this is when we start to take our profits from there. But those fees are nominal like 0.25% and such compared to 2%, 3% that you’re paying with processing fees. So when you’re transacting with blockchain, it’s, it’s significantly cheaper, nine times out of 10.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (22:24):

Well, that’s great. And I appreciate that because it’s pretty consistent depending on the kind of… Most small business leaders I speak to, it’s somewhere around 3%-ish depending on a per transaction fee. And I think of clients and people I work with that have, for example, a restaurant or a high volume low ticket item where they’re paying per transaction 25 cents or 15 cents plus two and a half percent or 2.2 and 0.7% per swipe of a credit card. I just think how impactful this would be to add basically 3%, almost a full 3% back to your business.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (23:14):

And I think the biggest thing for most merchants is not only the fee that they pay, but there’s really no protection for the business owner on a charge back. Especially during the pandemic, I saw so many clients where customers were issuing chargebacks on them and there was literally nothing as the merchant. They couldn’t do anything. The money was just zapped out of their account or taken back from the credit card processing company and put back into the customer’s account for no reason at all.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (23:47):

And I know that’s a big concern as well. So it sounds like with what you’re talking about here, this helps give the merchant some actual protection back in going through that transaction.

Nicholas Prouten, LODE Project (24:01):

Yeah, you’re right on the money there. I couldn’t have said it better myself. You’re protected from charge backs. Like I was mentioning before, it’s a one-way door directly into your wallet. There’s no middleman playing intermediary with your money there. So there is that security in that confidence that you can have with that, reducing those transaction fees. Realistically, and I put my tinfoil hat on here for a minute here, the banking network has been a very, very tight knit community of banks and services that have kind of an oligopoly on the market for a long way. It’s like this is the way you do it.

Nicholas Prouten, LODE Project (24:36):

And because of that, they were able to charge what they want, how they want. And what we’re seeing with cryptocurrencies is they’ve now disrupted this power hierarchy and they’re saying giving merchants much more competitive options, and not just merchants, but individuals too, but in the context of our conversation today, certainly merchants are some of the biggest winners in this circumstance because, yeah, adding 4% back into your pocket is an incredible win from where I’m standing.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (25:01):

I mean, I think about it as the small business or as an independent owner or franchise or someone running anything, or even a large company as a franchisor, I worked a lot with franchise companies that maybe has 50 or 100 franchisees operating. If you can provide a way to add some value back, I mean, as a merchant, eventually you’d start saying, “Well, why would I take a major credit card anymore? It doesn’t make any sense to accept that payment.”

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (25:32):

So it’s like, “Well, I’ll take cash or some kind of cryptocurrency because the transaction is done at that point.” We don’t have to worry about it or pay those extra fees on top. So that’s really, really interesting.

Nicholas Prouten, LODE Project (25:49):

Yeah. It’s really compelling stuff. Being honest with you, the industry still has a long way to go in this respect. When you go to tap and spend… Credit didn’t just happen overnight. When you go to tap and spend, grandma, isn’t thinking about, “Oh, this is the Visa payment rails, and it works like this and that, and the other way. The way she just knows that she taps the money is sent and she’s out the door, right? We need to get the technology to that point where it is that simple and that easy to use. When that convenience is truly there, that’s when you’re going to see the mass transition take place.

Nicholas Prouten, LODE Project (26:26):

For those more investment minded entrepreneurs out there, some people might think that the market is already too saturated or that you may have missed the boat. I like to let you guys know that this really is just the tip of the iceberg here in terms of the adoption cycle that we’re looking at right now. To use another metaphor is we’re probably at the point where Facebook is competing with MySpace, but it hasn’t completely dwarfed MySpace yet. Your crazy aunt that you see only ones at Thanksgiving doesn’t have a Facebook account yet and isn’t sharing memes on it.

Nicholas Prouten, LODE Project (27:01):

It’s still just kind of this thing that a niche community of people. We’re probably at the beginning of the early majority from where we are now. So there’s a long way to grow still, but today the technology that we’re producing over at LODEpay and similarly other competitors, the Visas, the MasterCards, the PayPals of the world are beginning to put to market what I think will be the products that we’re going to take us to that next stage of adoption.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (27:29):

Wow. Fascinating, fascinating. Thank you for sharing this. This is great information. Well, this is a great time for us to transition into our little flow for our show and move into a little bit about you and talking about your career and some things that you’ve picked up along the way, and going through our misses, makes, and multipliers. We like to start with the miss and see if there’s been anything that’s happened along the way that miss or two and something you learned from it.

Nicholas Prouten, LODE Project (28:02):

Yeah. I try not to dwell too hard own failures and I tend to take each one as a learning opportunity, but certainly I haven’t been perfect, and have you be hard pressed to find anybody who is in this world. For myself, there have been some opportunities in which I should have stuck to my guns a little harder. Sometimes when you’re slogging through your entrepreneurial journey and you haven’t quite reached the zenith or the peak yet. It can seem pretty dark, and the easy option is perhaps sometimes to let go and move on.

Nicholas Prouten, LODE Project (28:36):

I’m not judging anybody if you do, right? It’s up to each person to make that decision for themselves. But certainly there have been projects that I should have held onto and perhaps had a little more faith on and they would have… Well, they’re doing great now, right? And it’s my own fault, right for lacking that conviction. So in that respect, the lesson that was learned out of that was to have that conviction and to stick to your guns and to see things through, because most things in life are cyclical, so it can’t be dark forever.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (29:11):

That’s great. I can relate. I’ve been there myself. I totally relate to that one. Let’s talk about a make. Let’s look at the brighter side and talk about a make or two along the way. And what you took from that.

Nicholas Prouten, LODE Project (29:25):

Yeah, for sure. This isn’t like a certain one thing, but I think maybe one of the best decisions I ever made was to get into the blockchain space. At the time when I was getting into the market, this was an industry where there were maybe 7,000 people in the entire earth that could code a blockchain. Right? And usually with a lot of these movements that we see happen in the world, you kind of get the ride the tailwinds of it. You’re on its coattails, so to speak. But with this, it became obvious that there was an absolute like new industry that was coming to life, that was challenging existing banking and financial infrastructure.

Nicholas Prouten, LODE Project (30:10):

I had the opportunity to play a key role in that. I think that making that decision to move forward into the blockchain space is one of the best things I could’ve ever done for my career. Right? Blockchain hasn’t been around that long either. So it’s one of the few circumstances where being a young guy is going to work to my advantage because anybody walking around and saying, “I got 20 years in the business is absolutely full of it,” because it hasn’t been around that long, right?

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (30:36):

That’s right. Wow. Phenomenal. And what about a multiplier? Is there anything personally or professionally you’ve used as a multiplier in growing?

Nicholas Prouten, LODE Project (30:48):

It’s an interesting question. From a marketing context, never underestimate the power of a good influencer. Those individuals, the right individuals, so it’s not just like going on Instagram and picking some random individual. When you find the right influencer, it can exponentially grow the awareness of your project considerably. I can’t count on my hands and fingers how many times that has come through as just an absolute, incredible marketing strategy, which goes to show the power of social proof really. That’s a great multiplier from a marketing perspective.

Nicholas Prouten, LODE Project (31:25):

For myself on a more personal note, overcoming my pride and opening myself to people’s help, I think a lot of entrepreneurs for this audience, maybe less so apply, but I think a lot of entrepreneurs out there are almost veering in the direction of solopreneur. You’ve got to do it all yourself, self-made man. But no man is an island, as the saying goes, right? When you get over that sort of pride and this idea that you have to do it all yourself and you understand that there is a massive team behind just about every successful person out there, even Elon Musk wouldn’t be who he is without the day-to-day, the actual scientists and the people that work within those companies that he owns, right?

Nicholas Prouten, LODE Project (32:06):

You accept that and you begin opening yourself to help feedback criticisms, et cetera, et cetera. I think you as an entrepreneur are going to develop incredibly, and that’s going to multiply the rate in which you have success.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (32:18):

I like that. And the final question we like to ask everyone, Nick is what does success mean to you?

Nicholas Prouten, LODE Project (32:27):

I mean, success to me is really all about balance, right? Certainly growth mindset, what we’re doing at LODE, we’re striving to be number one in what we’re doing, and I firmly think we have a shot at it. But that being said, work-life balance is important, right? I work and I achieve success or financial success so that I can enjoy my family and I can enjoy the wealth of abundance that I have in my life. And if I’m unable to do those things, that’s unhealthy, right? Because you can’t take it with you at the end of the day.

Nicholas Prouten, LODE Project (33:01):

So really success is having the security to know and not wonder where my next meal is coming from, a roof over my head and the ability to do the things that I want to do in my life. And balancing that with a healthy lifestyle. That’s real success to me. And if you can find those things and find a little bit of a space in there as well for philosophical or ethical, or emotional development as well as spiritual development maybe, I think then that’s the cherry on top.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (33:33):

I like that. I like that. Well, this has been fantastic. I know you mentioned this earlier in our interview, but I would love for you to share… If someone’s interested in reaching out to you or learning more about what you’re doing with the LODE Project, how can they do that?

Nicholas Prouten, LODE Project (33:49):

Yeah, absolutely. So if you’re interested in what we’re doing with LODEpay, maybe you want to try out our mobile wallet, that’s already in the app store, you can head over to lodepay.com, lodepay.com and get it in the app store. And it takes 30 seconds to get started. If you are interested in becoming an investor in this project, learning more about the technology, you want to read some white papers, some resources, et cetera, et cetera, lode.one is going to be the website you want to check out, lode.one. These are where you’re going to have, again, all the best investment resources, technical resources, and you also get access to real human beings to talk with about the project, not just a bot that’s going to give you an automated response.

Nicholas Prouten, LODE Project (34:32):

So if you’re interested in having a one-on-one conversation with me, you want to yell at me on Twitter about some things I may or may not have got it minorly wrong, you can find me @NicholasProuten on Twitter.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (34:43):

Perfect. Oh, that’s fantastic. Well, thank you. This is great. So this is something for maybe application in your day to day business. Something, if you’re interested in adding a new investment option into your investment portfolio. And Nick, this has been a wealth of knowledge. Thank you so much for being here.

Nicholas Prouten, LODE Project (35:03):

Yeah, it’s been my absolute pleasure, Tom. Thank you for having me. And if I can just say, if you are an individual who is not yet in the market, considering you’re a little uncertain, come say hi to us first and foremost. We’re not going to pressure you to in anything. I do believe what we’re experiencing with cryptocurrency is the biggest wealth generation event of our lifetime. And I want as many people along for this journey as possible. So come say, hi.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (35:26):

Nick, thank you so much for a fantastic interview. This was packed full of useful information. So let’s go ahead and jump into our three key takeaways. Takeaway number one is that blockchain technology and crypto are here. It is arrived, they are going to be here for a while. And as Nick said, this seems to be the direction and the trend that the world is shifting to. So let’s get ready for it.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (35:58):

Number two, he said, “Never underestimate the power of an influencer”. I thought that was a fantastic little nugget that he shared. It sounds like they’ve had some success with his business and what they’re doing. Number three, he talked about overcoming his pride to rely on a team. I know as a business leader, at times, I’ve struggled with that. I know other business leaders and business owners that I’ve worked with over the years have run into the same kind of thing.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (36:26):

It’s hard to let go. It’s hard to let go, but rely on your team. And now it’s time for today’s win-win. So today’s win-win comes when Nick talked about what success meant to him. He said success to him is all about balance. And he said, this great phrase, which is you can’t take it with you. You can’t take anything with you when it’s time to go. I thought that was a great takeaway. Just a reminder to focus on the things that matter. Stuff cannot come with you when you’re six feet under. So just a little nugget to take away for the day.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (37:03):

And that’s the episode today, folks. Please make sure you give us a review and subscribe to the podcast. And remember if you or anyone might be ready to franchise their business, please connect with us at bigskyfranchiseteam.com. Thanks for tuning in, and we look forward to having you back next week.

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