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Bitcoin: Crypto asset technology is 'as powerful as it ever was', Lolli CEO says

Lolli Founder and CEO Alex Adelman joins Yahoo Finance Live to discuss the recent crypto rally, how users can earn bitcoin while shopping, crypto investing, and more.

Video transcript

RACHELLE AKUFFO: All right, well, let's take a look now at how changes in the crypto landscape impact retail investors. Joining us now is Alex Adelman, Lolli Founder CEO. So, Alex, how have users of your platform fared during this crypto winter?

ALEX ADELMAN: Yeah. So people right now are looking to save money wherever they can. And we've created the easiest way for them to save money in the form of Bitcoin. So we've partnered with over 1,000 merchants that let you go both in-store and online to earn Bitcoin back on your everyday purchases. So for the last four years, we've made it as easy as possible for people to get into Bitcoin.

Now, we're talking about all the institutions coming in. And we tried to give everyone a head start. Now the institutions are coming and people need to stock up, I think.

AKIKO FUJITA: What has that meant, though-- Rachelle sort of posed the question, just given what we have seen in terms of the pullback in crypto overall-- what kind of traffic have you seen to your app?

ALEX ADELMAN: Yeah. So I think, unfortunately, a lot of people, they invest the wrong way. They invest on the way up and at the top. But they forget about, like, dollar cost average investing. And so, you know, typically, it's smart to go invest on the way down and on the way up if you believe in the technology and the asset.

Me personally, I believe in Bitcoin and believe that it's a huge piece of the future. It connects 4.5 billion people with the same asset, the same technology. And so it's not going anywhere. And so if you believe in the technology, these things that happened over the last 13 years that have made the price go up and down are really meaningless.

The technology is the exact same as it was. It's doing the exact same thing was promised to do. And it's just as powerful as it ever was.

RACHELLE AKUFFO: And, Alex, this is a reward system that Lolli uses. So how does that correlate with some of the changes you've seen in prices with Bitcoin?

ALEX ADELMAN: Yeah, so Bitcoin, we have a whole set of users who are your Bitcoin loyalists, your Bitcoiners. And they're trying to stack the dip. They're trying to get as many Satoshis, as much Bitcoin as possible.

And so they don't care. It's a lot of the retail investors or retail individuals that maybe didn't have Bitcoin before, didn't believe in Bitcoin, they're harder to attract. But over the last four years, we've attracted over 500,000 people that want to earn rewards.

So we constantly try to educate our users and teach them about Bitcoin so that they can weather storms where it does dip. And we really try to instill the principles of Bitcoin that are so important to hold on long-term and to earn long-term.

AKIKO FUJITA: We were just pointing to some of the partners that you already have in place. What's been the reception from the retail side-- retailer side? Because this is a partnership. And obviously, they're not taking the Bitcoin directly, per se. But they've got to be watching this volatility. Is it easier for them to partner with an app like yours to create that cushion? What are you hearing?

ALEX ADELMAN: Yeah. It's dead simple-- I mean, one thing I've talked about is, like, we're trying to make the easiest way for consumers to get into Bitcoin and we have done that. It takes 30 seconds. You start earning in no time.

The thing that we-- sort of non-obvious-- is that we've also created the easiest way for merchants to get on board as well. So if you look at all of our 1,000-plus merchants, there's less than 10 of them-- not 10%-- less than 10 of them actually accept cryptocurrency. So for many of them, we're the first crypto company that they've ever worked with.

And that's like the non-obvious piece is, like, it's so easy for merchants to get on board and attract a consumer that is interested in Bitcoin and be able to do it risk-free. Our users are not buying Bitcoin. They're just coming in and earning on their everyday purchases.

And if you think about what merchants are actually optimizing for, they're optimizing for sales. So if they can use it as an incentive for you to go shop at CVS, shop at Ulta, book your travel at booking.com-- whatever you're looking to do, you're going to direct it because you want Bitcoin.

RACHELLE AKUFFO: And we just had some pictures up there of some of the notable investors, including Serena Williams and Logan Paul. But a lot of them have been receiving backlash-- some of these celebrities who've sort of become the face of some of these crypto companies. Especially at a time during inflation being high, people are like, should I get a cash award? Should I try and turn to crypto? What do you tell them about really investing in this space and, perhaps, using Lolli as a way to get into some crypto?

ALEX ADELMAN: So I've never seen any of our investors get backlash for Lolli. I think some people have said the wrong thing about things like NFTs. There's the whole scheme around what's called a pump and dump. And it's a very new space.

So I think, as with anybody, people are experimenting in public. The nice thing is that Bitcoin is this safe asset. You know, it's never been hacked. It's very agreeable. And so all of our investors have been applauded for investing in Lolli and being aligned with a, right now, Bitcoin-only company.

AKIKO FUJITA: Really quickly, we had another piece of legislation come out last week in terms of the regulatory piece of this-- specifically, looking at the CFTC as the agency to oversee assets like Bitcoin, as well as Ether. And your co-founder, Matt Senter, came out and said, look, he believes this is the right move. And it's actually good for innovation. Why is the CFTC the right agency to oversee this as opposed to the SEC?

ALEX ADELMAN: Yeah. So I think that, ultimately, regulation-- some form of regulation will be good. As a founder of a crypto company-- as a co-founder of a crypto company-- I think it's very hard to operate in gray areas. So when all the states are saying something different, when all the agencies are saying something different, it's very tough to innovate and to build.

And I think that some form of recognition of what are the actual rules is good. I think that the most recent proposals, it shows that they have a lack of understanding of the space and what they can and can't do. So there are certain things that you're just not going to be able to control.

There's certain things with, like, Tornado Cash that it just doesn't make sense to regulate and take away the human right of privacy. So there are certain things that I think are very frustrating to watch. But ultimately, I think, in the long run, they have to represent the people.

And if people want a private way of sending transactions anywhere in the world for next to nothing, the government can't keep fighting innovation. It can't fight a better technology. And ultimately, it will lose to the people that they should be representing.