Lea is the founder of ‘Girl Gone Crypto’ and a blockchain media & content specialist. She makes videos about blockchain for both nerds and normies alike. Lea is passionate about advancing the space by connecting everyday users to blockchain powered applications by focusing on projects that increase crypto adoption. She has an interesting ‘entry into crypto’ story to share with us on this episode.
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All right. We’re live.
All right, everybody. Welcome to the crypto mining tools podcast here with your cohost Ethan.
Hey everybody. And we have our special Girl Gone Crypto. I’ve been wanting to get a, a female on our podcast for a long time and you are actually the first female to be on her podcast, so congratulations.
No way. That’s awesome. Well, thanks guys for having me on. I’m really excited.
Yeah. Now a girl gone. Crypto. What’s what’s your real name?
Are we allowed to know? Yeah, that’s fine. I put it out there. It’s fine. Thompson, Leah Thompson. Yeah. Yeah. Okay.
All right. Awesome. so yeah, we talk a lot about crypto and mining here. And it, previous guests have talked about, you know, mining pools and some really geeky stuff. But yeah, we just really want to get to know you a little bit and understand your involvement in the blockchain space and yeah, just have a little conversation here today. So why don’t you just tell us a little bit about yourself.
Sure. Yeah. So I got involved in this space about three years ago, kind of early, mid 2017 and so been through all the excitement of the bull rod and the, you know, seeing the impact of the bear market and what that’s all felt like. And so I, I have kind of an interesting entry point I would say into crypto as it involves a ukulele. And so I are, are you guys familiar with steam or steam it? Oh yeah, yeah, yup. Okay. So about three years ago I stumbled across it and I had never made content before, but I was like, Whoa, this looks kind of interesting. Maybe I’ll try posting a ukulele cover and I earn like $100 in crypto. And I was like, Whoa, what is, this is back when steam was worth more.
And so that really just led me down the rabbit hole of then being like, okay, well why is this worth anything? Now what do I do with it? What is this thing called an exchange? You know, I think the, really all of those questions that you start to ask once you actually have a little piece of crypto, right? Like once you actually have your first bit, I think that’s when some of those questions start to roll out. And so really I’ve been involved in that community. I mean obviously it’s been big in the crypto news the last month or so with everything. But yeah, it’s still very much involved in that community, have been pretty much everyday for the last three years. But what’s been kind of fun is that really about like six, seven months ago I decided that I wanted to maybe start making more content that was crypto related. Cause before then I just been making content on like steam and D tube and a lot of those dApps that were just music or just kind of random stuff. And what was really funny is that I, I kept getting requests to speak at crypto conferences because people were following me on steam and I was like, no, I don’t talk about crypto.
So I started traveling around to these conferences and I just finally was like, you know what? All signs are pointing towards go make crypto content, Leah. And so I decided to start doing that about six, seven months ago.
That’s really awesome. That’s really awesome. What do you think can be done in the industry to help encourage more people like yourself to not only adopt but evangelize about what cryptocurrency is and, and you know, I, well let me put it in another way. For me personally, when I talk to people about it, like there’s this huge learning curve. Like they, they just can’t get their mind around, you know, it’s money, it’s a digital currency. You know, what’s that? I’ve got currency in my pocket. Like, you know, so what advice can you give?
Oh, that’s a great question because like, even some of my friends that I have conversations with, like all the time they’ve even asked me, they’re like, so are you making real money? Or just crypto Mike? Oh my gosh. I was like, no. And so there’s definitely a learning curve in terms of people just kind of understanding why it’s valuable in the fact that it actually is. And it’s not just some weird internet nerd money, but that it, you know, actually is an, an asset class that people should very much be taking seriously, especially right now in our, you know, kind of turbulent economic situation, you know, hard sound money, things like gold, things like crypto or people are I think are starting to look at a little bit more because they’re realizing that, you know, maybe their Fiat currency printing all these trillions of dollars is maybe going to have an impact.
So yeah. So in terms of just I think your original question was just you know, like tips or advice for maybe talking with people about that. You know, I generally like to start with just kind of pointing out the fact that they’re already used to transacting digitally. You know, like that’s something that’s already quite common in their life. And then I actually do talk about gold in the conversation a little bit cause I think that helps them realize like the difference between a deflationary and inflation inflationary currency and the difference between having, you know, limited supplies and how that can help generate value. So I will talk about gold and like, Hey, you can only mine so much gold or diamonds or things and that, yeah,
When I start to talk about like appreciation, depreciation valuation, that’s when their eyes just glaze over and like I completely lose it. Like people don’t understand that that money is a representation of value. It’s, it’s fundamentally an accounting system of value. And that value is, its beauty is in the eye of the beholder. It can change and it’s always changing. It’s, it’s always in flux. And when I tried to help people understand this, that’s when they just, and I, I just completely lose them. But you’re absolutely right. Right now I, you know, and this is just, you know, pure truth. I have developers that are working in a foreign country, therefore in countries completely shut down. Their banks are shut down. And for all intensive purposes, if I were to pay these, these workers in a, in a traditional sense, they wouldn’t get the money for months. And even if they got the money, even if they could get the money, they can’t go out to the bank to cash that money. So crypto currency is a perfect solution for what’s really happening in today’s economics.
Yeah, absolutely. And you know, it’s been really actually I think quite interesting to see how many more people are starting to ask questions, you know, just about economics and our monetary policy and the federal reserve and things that maybe they could care less about before. But I think that’s maybe one positive thing that’s come from all this safaris. People are actually starting to ask questions and look at things a little more seriously, which is nice.
So we have a, a user here. I don’t know if you know, this guy is kind of a weirdo.
Never heard of. No, just kidding. Hey cat,
He’s asking will the happening of BTC tempt miners to flip flop to BCH similar to the beats C and B, C H.
Ah, that’s so interesting because the BCH you’re having is happening yeah. Like three weeks before the Bitcoin one. And so, you know, I think that you know, minors. Yeah. Right. And so I think that people go go where there’s profit, right? Like I think that there are opportunities to not sense that they’re going to run the most profitable you know, kind of mining codes then. So I think that, I don’t know if a longterm it’s going to have a huge difference. I mean, maybe in the short term you’ll see more people switching from one to the other, but I’m also not a minor. So, you know, take that with a grain of salt.
What are you thinking then? You know it’s, it’s, it’s difficult to explain, you know, what’s about to happen because on the one hand the rewards are going to be substantially less. They’re, they’re going to have it. But on the other hand, this is going to be a true test of what the buying pressure is. So when the supply happens, if the buying pressure remains the same, then simple economics tells us supply and demand, the value is going to go up. What remains to be seen though is the truth of that buying pressure. So if that buying pressure is actually, you know, what it is today and it remains that what it is today, then you know, by all means simple, you know, basic economics one Oh one, it’s going to tell us what the value is going to shoot up substantially. And you know, I would say at least half. Well half I would say at least double in value to match the supply and demand rules. But oftentimes we can see it go, you know, a percentage way above. Beyond that, what are your thoughts there?
You know, one thing that actually I was going to mention in this conversation that I think that the people who watch this podcast might enjoy as well is I’m working on a, an interview video series with the tech with Ken Catalina. I don’t know if you know her. She’s one of the biggest Spanish-speaking crypto YouTubers, but she’s got an English speaking channel as well. And so we’re actually going to be interviewing a variety of some of the top mining pool of different people and ask them all the same questions about the having and see how different their responses are and kind of mashed it all together. So I so just kinda mentioning that, that I, I’m excited personally just to get to talk with some of these people and hear their thoughts on, on all that because I have friends that are minors but you know, I’m not a miner myself.
And so I think it’s really interesting, like, especially you, you know, you were just talking Ethan about kind of the, the profitability and like the different areas of that. Like, is this going to be something that is now harder or easier for kind of newer miners to get into the, get into the space and turn a profit? That’s kind of something I’m curious about as well. So yeah, I think it’s going to be interesting to see you know, as we kind of roll through this and see what happens. But I definitely think that it’s going to be interesting for the mining community. It’s going to shake, you know, a lot of things up and kind of open some new opportunities for different people to,
So a Rico Liberty report is saying, Hmm, I wonder who they are interviewing.
But yeah, well that’s, that’s awesome. So yeah, like you said earlier, you know, it’s, it’s all about just getting into this and, and having your first experience. And, and for you, you know, you received a little bit of crypto and you said it was, it was the, the steam steam steam it. Yeah. yeah, so, so it’s, it’s just a very interesting, everybody has their own story. Ethan, what, what was yours? How did you first get into that? What was your first coin?
Well, I mean, I, I’ve followed it since inception. You know, I’ve, I’ve always kinda been what I call a technologist, a nerd, a geek, whatever, and you know, my first take on it was that, you know, okay, good idea. But you know, until it gets mass adoption, I’m not really going to get involved in it. I’m not going to be serious with it. And as part of you know I used to work for a security consulting firm and I used to work with hackers, you know, white hats, gray hats, some black hats. We won’t go into that, that’s a whole another story. But one of my really good and trusted one of the best hackers that I’ve ever known. As a matter of fact one day just insisted that he get paid in this, this thing called Bitcoin as, as part of the project.
And I was like, you know, look, know about this Bitcoin, but you know, I haven’t mind any of it. I don’t have any on hand. And he put me in contact with this other Russian guy who had it, that I could buy it from him. And so, you know, I sent the money and I bought it from him and I ended up paying, you know, this hacker and Bitcoin. And as it turns out, I had 60 Bitcoin leftover in the wallet after I paid him. He said 16, six zero six, zero six D you know, and you know, I, I forgot about it. I think this happened back in I guess 2011, 2012 or something like that is when this happened and I forgot about it. And you know, I’ve moved and you know, changed addresses and whatnot, then rolls in, you know, 2017 and next thing I know, you know, like it’s almost, you know, 20 kids and I’m like, wait a minute, I have, I’ve got 60 of these somewhere.
I literally turned my existence upside down looking for that wallet. It’s gone. It’s, it’s one of the last ones. But you know, that’s when I realized like, you know, Hey, I need to give this a serious look. You know, especially after surviving the Mt Gox disaster. That to me was the indicator that, you know, this is here to stay. And whether or not I sh, you know, believe in it yet. I, I totally believe in it now, but I’ve just thinking, you know, in the times, like whether or not I believe in it, I should, you know, what do you have to lose? What do you really have to lose? You know, just to to take a chance on something and do something different and be a part of something different.
Yeah, I heard for you a little bit there. 16 really painful. Let’s just take a little break here to thank our sponsor. Yeah. I’d like to give a big shout out to our sponsor. Braiins they have a new Braiins OS plus, and with your new operating system you know, for those of you who are not familiar your miner can do a lot more than it’s doing with its factory firmware. If you put in this aftermarket firmware, it will allow you very fine grain control over the miner. It allow you to overclock it if it’s very profitable and get the most terahash per watt. And if your miners, you know, kind of towards the end of life if it’s, you know, not really being very profitable with, with the standard firmware, this allows you to tune it down and to get the maximum terahash for as little power usage as possible.
There’s a very, very 30% better. Yeah, very, very powerful system. So this is, you know, kind of the equivalent, you know, we’ve all heard of jailbreaking this is equivalent of jailbreaking your minor and you know, if you’re not utilizing it, you’re really not doing yourself a favor in this industry. You’re, you’re not maximizing the potential of your hardware and bring to us helps you do that. Also, a little known is, brings us is I’m the operator of Slushpool. And if you utilize Braiins OS in your hardware and you mind with slush bull, you get 50% off the, the, the pool fees. So it’s, you know, just tremendous savings all around. Do yourselves a favor guys, and unlock your machines, utilize their full potential. Scott’s going to sell you more.
Yeah. Yeah. So like you were saying with that 50% off, that is for if you’re running the Braiins OS plus. And so, you know, at the top of their website here, you see there’s the enterprise edition and the community edition. And so what that means is, and, and that’s, that’s like the brains of West and the brings the West plus, that’s where that kind of comes in. The community edition is open source. The enterprise edition isn’t but there’s some benefits to, to running that enterprise edition. So yeah, they’re, you know, their nomenclature is a little bit weird. But yeah, so that’s, that’s the difference there between the 2% dev fee versus the, you know, the 50% off your Slush Pool. You just have to play with it and really figure out which one you want. You know, it’s real easy to install. But definitely go to Braiins-OS.com. And that’s brains with two eyes. Westat two eyes. One brain. Yeah. Two eyes. One brain. All right, so thanks to Braiins and Slush Pool and all that. Absolutely are on us. A little bit about your your firmware here. Alright. Alright. Back to you girl. Gone. Crypto. Yeah. So what else are you into? You said you have those the online education series a, was it an education or just a interviews?
I, yeah, so I make a variety of different content. Right now I’m really focused on interviews. I have done some educational material so I kind of do a mix of interviews but then also some kind of walk through stuff because one of the things that I, I try to always kind of think about is putting my beginner hat back on and be like, all right, what questions are people going to be asking? Cause those were the same questions I was asking. And so always trying to keep that, you know, close at hand. And even in my interviews I try to do that as well. You know, like if I think, Hey, someone might not know what that means, like let’s just take a step back and like break things down a little bit. So that’s really what I try to focus on is making crypto feel I think more approachable. But I always say my thing, it’s for nerds and normies alike. So you know, get, get deep on the details enough that you know, those that are in the space will really enjoy it but also not make it overly intimidating for people that are new.
So do you have any like metaphors or allegories or whatever they call it? Like, like a really simple way that you like to explain crypto or, or mining to people? Oh yeah.
In short blockchain or you know, [inaudible]
Yeah, I, I try to stay away from, you know, block chain and getting into those technical details cause that’s a whole nother aspect to it. That’s a, that’s like an added benefit. Not only is this a new economic system, but it also has all this other great stuff. But I try to stay away from that in initial conversations. Do you do the same?
Oh yeah, absolutely. And sometimes I noticed myself slipping up and I’ll say something like the word decentralized or blockchain. And when they look at me like this I’m like, Oh wow. They don’t even know what those words mean. Okay. How can I break this down more? You know? And so Scott kinda to your point, I think finding real life examples that you can kind of relate it to I think kind of helps it click for people. So mining is something that I think like are you, and you’re in very early stages of conversation like doesn’t really come up. I it’s more that I’m trying to explain more like either blockchain or Bitcoin, you know, but why it’s valuable and how it, you know, how it kind of can be used in like the real life application of what it could look like is kind of where I try to focus at first. But then eventually people do have questions about mining as well.
Have you, have you ever taken the approach? Like, I like to take the approach where I, I first have them explain to me what the current financial system, what is a bank, how does a bank work? What do they know about the bank? What is the federal reserve? What does FDI C mean? What are the pitfalls of that? Do you know anybody who’s ever had their bank accounts C’s? Have you, have you ever seen anybody go through a divorce and have their assets seized or frozen? Right. And then I asked him the question, so do you believe you really have control over these things? If you know, if you know by telling me that you don’t, and then I go in, I segue into, well, cryptocurrency is completely controlled and regulated by mathematics. It’s non-discriminatory. It can’t be influenced by an outside. Well, it can, you know, if you’re, if you’re silly with it, it can’t be, but as long as you’re smart with it, it can’t be influenced by an outside party or person or government. You totally have control over what you own in your wallet. Those 60 Bitcoin are going to be mine forever. By golly, even though I’ll never be able to spend them.
But you know, that’s the way I segue into it. And you know, I kind of, you know, propose the question like what do you really own and what money is really your money
Now that’s a good point. So you have to start with the monetary system at to really, cause most people don’t really understand how it works. And so one thing I like to do is I’ll pull out a $1 bill and a $20 bill and I’d be like, why are these worth different things? They’d have the same material costs to produce. So why is this one valuable, more valuable than this one? And usually people are like, Oh, I’ve never thought about that. And so then I can get into talking about how it’s really just an IOU and like, why you know, well then what’s backing that? And they’re like, well, I don’t know. And so it just kind of starts anytime you can find like, I think a, a visual, you know, that helps make the conversation a little more engaging.
Yeah, that’s, that’s why I, I used to walk around with some of these like Bitcoin physical coins, you know, it was just a piece of cheap metal, but it had some fancy computer looking designs on it. And I, I’d give it to people and say this, this is a Bitcoin and they’d be like, what? I’ve never seen one of these before,
Right? No, actually there were a lot of scams going on in the hood. I’m going to let you guys know about this, this, this really happened. So I used to teach at a, at a school and I used to kind of teach you know, students who didn’t really have the opportunities in life that you know, other people could have and they were at a disadvantage. And they were telling me during the last, you know, big rush, they’re like, teacher, teacher. I’ve, I bought me a Bitcoin and it was like a little chocolate gold foil thing. And no, I mean, like almost broke down in tears. I was like, I hope you didn’t pay a lot for, he’s like, nah, man, I’ve got a good deal. They only charged me 4,000 for this one. And I’m like, Oh my goodness. Like I ha, I have to teach these people, you know, I have to. So we have to also be very careful about the tangible things. But apparently the, the guy in the hood that was selling the chocolate gold foil Bitcoins got arrested.
You know, hope. Hopefully not too many people spent their money with them, but you know, that’s something we’ve got to be really careful too. And we have to explain very carefully to people that this only exists in a digital format. It doesn’t exist in a, in a physical form. Now we can represent the wallet, you know, the keys to the wallet in a physical form as it, you know, a chain of identifiers, you know, alphanumeric characters and whatnot. But other than that, everything else is just recorded. You know, I, I say in the cloud, you know, the cloud is keeping track of everything, which is another term that I kind of have to bring in a layman term that, you know, people are now starting to come around to and understand, you know, the cloud is information and data that I don’t personally have on me in my possession, but, you know,
Yeah. And I think different generations will probably see different levels of adoption based on their kind of comfort level with something being completely digital. You know, I was even having a conversation last night with someone that I think she’s in her sixties and you know, we’re talking about, you know, she wanted to transfer some of her money into other asset classes that would be safer than FIA. And she was way more open to the idea of buying gold than Bitcoin. Right. Because it’s just to her, she’s like, well, I don’t know. That’s kind of, if I can trust it and even explaining it where I think that, you know, people that are like our age, they’ll be like, Oh yeah, Bitcoin. Cool. Yeah, that’s good. You know? And so I think that we’ll see different levels of understanding even, you know, I think that the younger generations now we’ll just kind of grow up with like hearing more about Bitcoin. And for them it’s, I think it’s a comfort level, especially when it comes to people and their money. That’s something that people, I think, you know, it’s one of the biggest kind of stressors I think for people right now that maybe aren’t in crypto and don’t understand things and are really worried about their investments. And you know, I think that as you know, this industry evolves those younger generations. For them, it’ll just be, Oh yeah, sure. Of course they’ve got Bitcoin.
Well, there’s, there’s two points I would like to make to that. First of all, 80% of the Fiat money, at least in the U S system is already digital. Only 20% is actually printed out. And then the second point that I’d like to point out to it is that if you are going to be an investor in gold, make sure you physically have the gold in your possession. You don’t be one of those investors that goes out and just buys it, you know, as as a, you know, a speculatory object that you can just buy, sell and trade or whatever. If you’re going to truly invest in it, make sure you have it as a physical object in your possession. Now that being the case, it’s really not. Well first of all, you know what happens if you lose it? You know what, what happens if you get robbed?
If you’re keeping, you know, stacks of gold in your, your physical possession, then that requires a whole nother effort on Europe behalf to protect it and secure it. And you know, like with cryptocurrency, you don’t have to do that. As long as you have the keys and again, you know, make sure you know what you’re doing and you know how to use the keys, it’s really not that hard. There’s a lot of technology out there to really help manage, you know, the, the, the technical aspect of it and just make it easy for you. What are your thoughts on the, the technology, Leah, do you think we’re going in the right direction? Creating apps and things like that to really streamline the use and the management of this?
Oh absolutely. I think that, I mean the easier we can make it and the more kind of natural we can make it feel for people, they’re like, Oh this is an interface I’m already kind of used to using the better like and like edge wallet comes to mind. I think they’re doing a great job of making it feel really user friendly but also keeping it secure. Cause that’s, that’s one of the kind of concerns maybe I’ve had with various things is like well are we seeing more aspects of centralization come in to make the user experience better? And I think that some projects are using that approach, but I think others are just getting more creative with, okay, how can we improve this user experience while still keeping the underlying security in place? And so, you know, I think that you kind of have to look under the hood on some these projects a little bit to really understand, you know, kind of where they fall on that spectrum. But absolutely in general the easier we can make things, the more intuitive we can make it for people the better.
That’s fantastic. You know, my next question was, was going to be more centralized on the, the, the user experience itself. What do you think, like if you could change anything in any of the apps, what do you think can be done to enhance the user experience already from what it is? I noticed somebody mentioned cash app and, and I love cash app. The only thing that I don’t like about cash app and cash app, as you guys may know, allows you to buy Bitcoin instantly. It allows you to get you know, money transfers instantly and Fiat and then buy it in Bitcoin. The only thing I don’t like is you have to go through the full know your customer process before you can actually transmit or move Bitcoin from your cash app wallet. So what are your thoughts?
So if I could improve one user experience thing, I think that the biggest thing that makes me nervous for new people coming into this space is them not really understanding how to store their private keys. And as much as you know, exchanges and wallets and things will be like you need to secure your keys, you need to like please accept full responsibility here people are so used to living in a customer service world where if something goes wrong they can just call someone and people aren’t used to having to take full responsibility for their actions and in their information. And even if they do understand it, are they secure Lee saving their keys? A lot of them like, Oh I just have it in a notes app or I just have in a Microsoft word document, they’re not even using password. So I dunno if it’s education or if we need to find ways for like I know like edge, again, they’re working on something. Nexus is working on things where like it can actually build it into the backend where you can have recovery processes that are actually secure. So I think that’s maybe important is that whole process is what makes me the most nervous is that people will be like, Oh, well I don’t have my key anymore. And it’s like, sorry.
Yeah, yeah. If, if there’s a recommendation I would make, it would be to utilize some sort of biometric authentication, you know, being able to store your biometric information, a fingerprint reader or something like that and access via that way. But yeah.
Well yeah, we’re coming to the end of our time here. So Leah, why don’t you tell us how our users and our listeners can, can find you online.
Sure. Well, first of all, thank you guys so much again for having me on this has been so fun and I’m, yeah, I’m just Girl Gone Crypto pretty much everywhere online where people hang out. So if you search for me, I’m really active on Twitter. I also have a YouTube channel where, you know, I interview people and do different things, so I, yeah, come check me up.
Awesome. Fantastic. Yeah. Well lead, thanks again for being with us here today and I wish you luck on your upcoming interviews and in everything you do. Thanks for sharing your experience with our users.
Awesome. Thanks for watching guys. Bye.