FinTech Chat (FTC) – Episode 2 – Chief Experience Officer, Gilded | Raina Casbon-Kelts
FinTech Chat (FTC)
FTC is a series of educational & informative interviews with world professionals in the FinTech / Crypto / Blockchain communities. We aim to provide content that is digestible in multiple mediums such as video, audio (podcast), and written (blog) form!
FTC Episode 2
Blockchain Wayne interviews Chief Experience Officer of Gilded, Raina Casbon Kelts learning about how she got started into the crypto space and how Gilded is rethinking and reimagining business payments by taking invoicing, bookkeeping, and accounting and creating easy and seamless business process solutions that use crypto.
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Note: This transcript was automatically generated by artificial intelligence (AI), typos and grammatical errors may be present.
Hey welcome and thanks for watching. Today I’m joined by the Chief Experience Officer of Gilded, Miss Raina Casbon-Kelts. Now Raina, thanks for joining us today, so we can discuss your history and intro into crypto and also what Gilded is doing, so thanks for joining us today.
Thanks for having me. I appreciate it.
Awesome, awesome, so I want to jump right into it. You know, we’re going to get to finding out about Gilded, but tell me about your experience, your history in the space, how did you end up working in the crypto space?
Well in 2016 is when I first dove into crypto, and we started going to meetups wherever we could find them, right. You’re always excited to see a meetup about Bitcoin crypto and we started going to the New Orleans Ethereum meetup and I met my co-founders there. We, none of us were traders. We were all just terrible traders, so… but what we did know is that crypto would make a difference for business solutions. It could automate and just take business solutions to the next level, and so that’s from when we all came together and formed Gilded and that was in late 2017 into early 2018.
Nice nice, so tell me how did you personally get into crypto personally, tell me, tell me that story.
Well I was singing karaoke with my girlfriends and I met someone there at the bar and he gave me five dollars of Bitcoin on our first date. I was in 2016 and so I spent some time trying to prove to him that there was no new money, and then I came across Andreas Antonopoulos and that was the beginning of just my very quick tumble down the rabbit hole.
Gotcha, yeah yeah. Now that that five dollars today is probably worth a good bit more than what it was in 2016, am I right?
It sure is, it sure is, and I can look that transaction up anytime I want, so if I forget the date then you know, I don’t have to worry about it. I can find my anniversary date on the blockchain.
There you go, there you go. The Jason, as well he can find that out as well.
He sure can.
All right, so let’s jump into Gilded now. You and I’ve met several years ago when Gilded that was just getting started. So kind of tell me I mean you told me that the beginning of Gilded. What is Gilded’s business model in the crypto space?
So Gilded is rethinking reimagining business payments. We’ve taken the business processes that they have today, invoicing, bookkeeping, and accounting and we’ve made a solution that will enable you to use crypto, right alongside of what you’re currently using today, and offer that to your customers. So if a customer doesn’t know or normally pays you with credit card or Wire transfer, now you can offer them crypto, credit card and wire transfer, all on one invoice. We, back in late 2019, we were added to the QuickBooks app store, so we have an application that enables you to sync crypto transactions to QuickBooks online too. Yeah, business processes. Crypto doesn’t easily fit into any business process, so that’s what we’re doing is we’re trying to make it easier because businesses that accept and use crypto today, it’s hard. Again because it doesn’t fit nicely and neatly into anything, so we are creating those solutions to help you incorporate crypto into your normal business processes.
Nice nice, and I’ve tested it out. I’ve sent some invoices, I’ve even sent an invoice for, you know your significant order to pay me for a hat as well, so yeah it’s definitely an easy seamless process. What… How are things going with the adoption, getting businesses and people to catch on to that?
So things have picked up since Covid. People are realizing that, having your finance department in a business, so you have your finance team and a business and having them, separate it makes things a little a little more challenging, right? And then especially if you are already managing multiple spreadsheets, now when you were in an office together that was it was challenging but it wasn’t impossible. Now you know being spread out, it’s much more difficult. And so we have seen an uptick in that plus we’ve added some great new functionality lately, and we’re adding more, so our customers come to us with things they need. I mentioned this before. Right now the Decentraland, they’re having a contest where developers are designing games. Well, their designers have to send an invoice to Decentraland every month and or every week maybe. And so we incorporated. We added the MANA token to our invoicing solution for the Decentraland game developers. And we’re doing also doing something similar for Enjin coin so we added the Enjin coin also to our invoices, so you can send an invoice priced in your fiat currency of choice and you can send or receive Enjin tokens just using the Gilded invoicing solution.
Alright, nice. That’s two great platforms that I really love. I’ve played around with both. I’ve explored Decentraland. I’ve built NFTs on Enjins platform already. Exciting to see what they’re going to do in the gaming space, but I really think that is an entry point where many people are going to be introduced to crypto. Well they may come for the gaming, they may come for the virtual reality world like in Decentraland and learn about crypto. I even lost a little bit of money on the craps table and one of the casinos in Decentraland.
Oh really? I haven’t done that yet that’s so I know that you you’re actually one of the first people that I that I talked to about NFTs. It was at a meeting in the city and I find them fascinating. I don’t, you know… I haven’t… I don’t play a lot of games, so but I want to go into Decentraland and check it out. I don’t have VR glasses, yeah I need to get some of those too.
You don’t need it actually. You can just do it on a computer. Go to their platform. The only thing you need to attach is a Metamask wallet, that way you know if you need to… 1 is to sign the signature to get in like for your identity and then also like me did a little bit of gambling in there so… I’m not a big gambler but I was like hey there’s a yeah I found a casino in there, I found the craps table. I was doing pretty good but you know it was just a little bit of play MANA so I lost it. There’s also a way to test it out without risking anything too.
Hey, that might be a way to get my dad into crypto, because he can’t go to the casino as much anymore. I can show him a virtual casino he might play in Decentraland that would be great
Yeah yeah, you know I remember what Gilded’s doing because it’s kind of similar, because you’re trying to meet people where they are and introduce them to crypto in a way that’s not overwhelming, right, so I’m sure the invoicing platform from what I’ve seen is very you know very familiar to people, so if you’re used to sending invoices you can do that through Gilded, right. If you’re used to exploring a virtual world like on Minecraft, well Decentraland is a cool alternative.
Yes, I mean so the reason that… I guess… the deciding factor for me to join the Gilded team was when I tried the invoicing solution and this was brand new. It was our first beta. When I went in and used it, it was the easiest thing that had ever used in crypto to date. And that was kind of my motivation really at that point. I was like okay so I get this and this is something that I want to be a part of because business solutions that was my background anyway. Yeah I love everything about it. We’re doing some fun stuff over here and you know some you were talking about just making it feel…. making it easy, making it intuitive and those are some things that lots of apps are trying to do now. Metamask is much easier today than it was you know two years ago. And that’s our goal is just to make using crypto easier and we just chose the business market freelancers, small business, small and medium sized businesses, and accountants. So we spend a lot of our time educating accounting professionals.
Oh nice nice, cool cool. We’ve talked offline prior there’s some exciting things going on at Gilded as well. Two things I want to touch on. First one is it maybe I guess recurring invoices that coming up soon because that’s always been a struggle when it comes to crypto for subscription type services, so tell us what Gilded is doing around?
That is exactly it. Thanks. So recurring invoices, let’s say, you owe me five thousand dollars, so we’re… you’re not going to pay that all at once. We’re gonna pay that a little bit over time, right? So instead of me having to contact you or you having to contact me to get a key every month or what have you or whatever you pay, I can create an invoice in Gilded for… let’s say $500 and send that invoice, schedule it to be sent out to you 10 times. Set it one time, set it and forget it. So we can… you can actually schedule an invoice to go out on the same time every day every week or every month for the same amount. And it’s not subscription, but you do get notified as soon as the payment is made against the invoice. And it’s a way to automate a process that manual creation process of the invoice. Now you only have to do it one time, so if you have someone that you charge for subscription payments and they want to pay with crypto, this will make it much easier.
Nice nice and for those that are watching it maybe… may not understand why that could be a challenge in crypto. Credit cards are used a lot for subscriptions but a credit card transaction is a pull. They’re literally pulling it from you whereas crypto you have to initiate the sender has to initiate the push, so you know a business can’t go in and pull that crypto each month. If they want to use that for a subscription or our recurring payment like that where it’s like a payment plan or something, so that’s really a really great tool because that’s been a challenge for crypto. Now it’s a good thing that crypto is a push transaction, right? Nobody without your approval, because I mean I’m sure all of us or most of us have experienced that one time or another where something was pulled out of our account they shouldn’t have and was fraudulent.
Absolutely, me included. There are some pluses and minuses to it, so the thing about the subscription economy is the last 10 years as the internet has gotten better and better and better and more people have moved on to the internet. The subscription economy has… it’s a way for businesses to project revenue right? And crypto breaks that. This recurring invoice solution is the first step towards subscription payments, though and that’s going to be enabled actually through a partnership that we’ve just signed with the Trustswap protocol, SWAP token, Jeff Kirdeikis. I know you know him as well and this would be… so how do I explain that. It is we have solved in concept the subscription issue and I’ll say that in 2021 Gilded will enable subscription payments with Trustswap protocol for crypto.
Nice, so you’re saying right now could be recurring invoices and by next year the plan is to enable subscription services?
I know. It’s there’s so much you can do with this technology and what we’re doing is we’re moving toward what our customers are asking for and recurring payments, recurring, you know, invoices bill pay and things of those are on there first we added an accounts payable, solution expense tracking, so those are the things that our users and customers have asked for and that’s what we’re working on today.
Nice nice, okay so I’ve also seen a graphic this week with the DeFi ecosystem and within that ecosystem, I noticed Gilded that was added to that now. You know DeFi, decentralized finance for those of you watching that may not know fully what that is. It’s a broad term used to generalize a lot of financial services that typically were used to being handled by central institutions that are being handled through decentralized platforms and protocols. It’s good, it’s exciting, it’s also scary because I did a video just the other day about you know some of the issues with bugs and smart contracts are centralized, liquidity of pools, so there’s a lot, but it’s very exciting. Just like I compare it’s not identical but the mindset of the ICO craze of 2017, right? Anybody could launch an ICO. There were a lot of junk projects out there, but what’s emerged has been some good technology, you know, in the midst of all the thousands of projects that were just junk, right? And I think the same thing is going to happen with DeFi so what’s Gilded’s place I know you’re not a DeFi platform, but what is Gilded’s rolein that space that they’re looking to fill?
So for those of you who are bankless, Gilded everything that we’ve talked about here today, described here today, is non-custodial. Every solution that we have, we don’t touch any customers money, so it is a truly not so much decentralized solution, but it enables decentralized players to transact value and still have the information that they need for tax time and their account for their accountant.
Right, so it keeps it true peer-to-peer. There’s no middleman like Visa is in there and banks you know sucking out fees. It’s a true peer-to-peer process still.
Gilded does not charge transaction fees. The only thing that you pay is the blockchain fee. Sometimes that’s higher than others, but that is not charged to you from Gilded. We work on a strict subscription model, so we have a few different tiers. Gilded is free for freelancers, so anyone sending five thousand dollars in payments or less per month, Gilded is free and will stay free. For the small and medium-sized businesses, we offer two different subscription models. One is for the premium user, which is someone who has up to 25,000 a month in payments and wants to use QuickBooks, wants to sync their transactions to QuickBooks, and that’s $50 a month. And then we just recently added which we which recurring invoices will be part of our pro solution, and that’s $199 a month for businesses.
Okay, so tell us how can… I mean… we talked about a lot but how can people find Gilded and get more info on the offerings and the services if they want to dig deeper?
Well you can always reach out to me. I love to do a demo. I’d love to show you what’s going on. Get a group of people together, I’ll do a demo for a whole group. We are at gilded.finance that’s G-I-L-D-E-D dot finance. You can also find me. I’m raina_crypto on Twitter and we are at Gilded finance on Twitter.
Nice and isn’t it true also on the Gilded website Gilded.finance that little chat pop-up that’s you?
That’s me. I am there. If you know if you’re on the other side of the world and you send a message at 4am then I won’t get it for a couple of hours. But that is me. I answer it’s on my phone. I know it’s own special noise so I know when that bot goes off and I’m here to answer your questions and if I’m not available, there’s people on the team that handle those as well normally, but it’s normally me.
Nice nice, so you have a challenge for any everybody out there, anything you’d like them to do, test out the platform.
All right, so I will give the same challenge that I gave to your listeners last time, right? Sign up for Gilded, send me an invoice to email@example.com. We’ll put that in the comments and I will send you up to five dollars in crypto, so you can send the invoice for USDC, Bitcoin or ETH and I will pay that invoice.
Nice, all for the cost of free, right? Alright, some other things, so you mentioned earlier the process, you know… you added MANA to the platform, is there a process if say maybe there’s a a crypto that a lot of people would like to see within you offered through Gilded invoicing? What should they do if they won’t want to get that added to Gilded
So for certain blockchains, this would be a much more custom solution. And we’re working with we’re working on some of those today, but for any ERC20 token, you can reach out to us and any paid Gilded user premium or pro we will add that ERC20 tokens to our invoices for you, so if there’s something especially if you’re using it for payment, don’t hesitate to reach out and ask. Like I said we recently added the Enjin and MANA and ERC20 tokens are super simple but yes so we’ll do that for paid users.
Nice nice. Now what are you seeing I’m just curious this is out of curiosity because of course our show’s sponsored by Stably, stablecoin company, do you have a rough idea of a mix of how many transactions coming through are stable coins versus regular crypto?
So what we found is that not everyone uses stablecoins yet. It’s relatively new, still almost 60% I believe of our payments going through Gilded are Bitcoin, Ethereum is next and then stable coins are slowly gaining space on our invoices. We have a lot of international customers, and that’s why a lot of it is Bitcoin.
Makes sense, makes sense. Yeah I think at some point people are gonna bring in more businesses because I know some businesses that may operate on razor thin margins. You know they don’t want to take a chance of an asset losing six to seven percent in a day versus not so that’s just a curiosity of mine. I always like to keep up and and I’m sure I’ll probably ask you again in the future just to see. I think at some point we’re going to see you know somewhat of a shift in that at least for the processing point. I’m sure on end to end, they may be converting it back to a certain crypto or you know. I think stable coins are going to see a rise in use with businesses that’s going to help drive adoption
Right, because right now we’re mostly most of our customers are in the crypto industry, but as we bring in new customers especially through our accounting partners, as we bring in new customers they are asking specifically about stablecoins, and I think that, you know, as new people come into the industry, and that’s what, you know, we’re all betting on, that’s why we’re here right. As new businesses come in the stable tokens will make more sense to them, but to us, you know, the companies that use us today and the OGs of crypto, you know, Bitcoin and Ethereum are still your top two choices.
Yeah, I’ll definitely take, you know, I ake Bitcoin over that any day, but I’m just thinking in terms of other businesses.
Well, you can send me any token you want and I’ll just convert it to Bitcoin myself. I’m okay with that.
I’ll take MANA and Enjin now, too. I like those those two as well, because they have a real use case. They have something that’s being put into use versus a lot of them right now or just kind of a speculation on what could happen. There’s some great projects that are in that field, in that space.
Yeah that’s fair. I mean if they have tokens out there that I love, I don’t just have Bitcoin for sure. Every now and then, I see something and then it’s just a really great use case I own some MANA tokens. Also LINK, you’re the one who got me in link because of that thread in CCT. We were talking about… yes, and of course Tezos is one of my favorite projects, so I see exciting things happening everywhere.
Yeah, absolutely absolutely. There’s going to be a lot of great adoption, and you know actually I mean you’re an andreas antonopoulos fan. I am as well. One of the things he talks about, it’s not a zero-sum game just because you have a favorite project doesn’t mean that only one can win. There’s a whole host of them that can win and there’s gonna be I mean there’s gonna be thousands and hundreds of thousands at some point different cryptos, but there’s gonna be a select few that are to get adoption and traction and that’s where we’re going to really see things things take off, so it’s definitely not a zero-sum game. Just because your crypto may be your favorite crypto and my favorite crypto may be different doesn’t mean that one has to lose for the other to win basically.
No, not a right. That is exactly true, and you don’t buy one all. You don’t put all your money in one stock, why would you put all your money in one coin?
Yeah oh absolutely. I tell people all the time. They’re going to be used for different things. It’s going to knock down borders, but they’re still going to be sectors of industry. The same crypto that I’m going to walk in the store one day and buy a candy bar is not going to be the same crypto that I’m going to send to you to purchase a piece of real estate. It’s going to be different.
It will be different and I hope one day the wallet will make that decision for me. When I go to pay for something, it chooses the token that best suits that purchase. I think that would be super cool.
Yeah absolutely, and I think you know that’s we’re gonna continue to see that happen and develop over time so it’s an exciting stage to be in because we’re gonna see so much people think yeah Bitcoin’s been around, you know, 11 years but wait until you see, you know, where we are at the 15 and 20 year market. It’s going to be exciting to see what’s out there, what’s been put out. Let’s face it, some of the things the governments are doing, are accelerating that by their own demise.
Right. I think that will push more people into crypto, in my opinion, because you can own your own
Definitely yeah. To be honest with you, I’ve seen it a lot more people have been reaching out since this whole pandemic has started and I don’t think it’s anything new with hype or expectations. It’s more of even your everyday person, some of the problems I’ve been talking about with the Fed and with banking, people are starting to see that expose more and more, and it’s not just a conspiracy anymore.
Well you want to laugh. Actually a friend of mine called me and she said: “You know, Raina, I don’t want you to think I’m a conspiracy theorist, because I’m not really, but you know I don’t really like what government has been doing with our money lately like printing all this money. I think it’s kind of scary and you talk about the Bitcoin thing and I’d really like to learn more about that.” She’s not following the hype. She’s literally scared that her money is not going to be worth anything, so she wants to searching for alternatives for it. And you know she’s the opposite of the hype. It’s the fear factor and I see that more and more.
Yeah yeah, absolutely. There’s going to be a tipping point at some point, and we see it happen with adoption. You know, when Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone, the smartphone I was making fun of it. Who’s gonna want to use that, right? And then you started to see more people use it and get adopted and then you had the people that had the fear of missing out. They just rushed into it. You know, so there’s different phases that are going to happen in any technology, so it’s exciting to see that
People like me who waited for the droid to come out, I was not getting an iPhone. I still don’t have an iProduct and I’m proud of that. You use open source money but you use a centralized phone, I don’t get it. Android’s open source. I know. I work with software developers that use you know ipads and iphones, and so I give them a hard time too, it’s kind of fun.
There you go. All right, so right now, I want to thank you for joining us today. This has been great talking crypto with you every time. We get together, it’s great talking and chatting about crypto. Make sure to look up their platform at gilded.finance and send her an invoice like she said ten dollars or less and she will pay it so, pick the crypto or is it Bitcoin?
Bitcoin, ETH or USDC.
Okay gotcha. Alright, so any final words, Raina?
Thank you. Thanks for having me on. It was great talking to you. I really enjoyed this and I think this show is going to be great. I’m excited to see some more episodes.
Absolutely. This is episode two. We’ve got a long way to go. This is going to be a staple where we’re putting out, you know, a few episodes a month, so be exciting to catch up again when the future of the subscription payments comes out and see kind of where things are going. So maybe down there, we’ll definitely chat on here again in the near future.
Absolutely, I appreciate it. Thanks Wayne.
All right, thanks Raina and everybody. Thanks for watching and I’ll see you in the next episode.
Have a good one.
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About Raina Casbon-Kelts
Raina Casbon-Kelts is a cofounder and the Chief Experience Officer at Gilded. As a business development professional and crypto evangelist Raina connected with her cofounders at the New Orleans Ethereum meetup to form Gilded and bring crypto to the B2B space. Holding true to the no-custody mantra of cryptocurrency, Gilded’s invoicing, bill payment and accounting solutions enable freelancers and small businesses across the globe, access to business applications that support crypto assets.
Look for Gilded in the QuickBooks app store, @GildedFinance on Twitter & Telegram, and online https://gilded.finance/
About Blockchain Wayne (Host)
Wayne has been managing, teaching, and coaching high performing teams for over 20 years. He has a passion for helping and teaching people and a passion for cryptocurrency and blockchain projects. He has created various coaching programs and partnerships with select education platforms and cryptocurrency program tools.
You can learn more on his website: https://www.blockchainwayne.com/