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. 38 min read

Bitpanda’s Eric Demuth on Building a USD 1bn Crypto Unicorn

In this episode of Cryptonews Podcast, Matt Zahab interviews Eric Demuth, CEO of cryptocurrency exchange Bitpanda. They discuss his journey into the cryptoverse, the business of Bitpanda, bitcoin and dogecoin, and much more.

Episode timestamps: 

0:00 Intro 
0:53 Vienna 
1:42 Journey into crypto 
4:16 Being a young CEO 
7:39 Bitpanda 
12:29 Future of Bitpanda 
15:12 Bitpanda card 
16:56 Bitpanda savings 
18:52 Purpose of the new website 
20:33 Acquiring 2 million customers 
23:10 Company culture 
27:15 Bitpanda in North America 
30:14 $Best token 
33:16 Pre-IPO investment 
36:17 Hot takes 
39:58 Will Bitpanda go public? 
40:29 Bitcoin and Dogecoin 
41:53 NFTs
 42:42 Where can you learn about investing? 
44:53 Outro

The episode premiered on April 26, 2021. 

You can listen it on other platforms here or explore the latest episodes of the Cryptonews Podcast here.

Full transcript of the episode: 

Matt Zahab: 0:09

Today's guest is pioneering the European FinTech space. He's a co founder and CEO of Bitpanda, a European Investment platform based out of Vienna that just became Austria's first ever unicorn with its recent $1.2 billion valuation. Is that good? Before Bitpanda, this gentleman traveled the world on container ships while working as the ship's mechanic. A true trailblazer who loves finance, crypto, transparency and corporate culture. I'm pleased to welcome to the crypto news podcast, Eric Demuth. Eric, welcome to the show.

Eric Demuth: 0:43

Hi, and now I'm blushing a bit. So I never got such a great intro. I have to remember that. So alright. That's a good start for me.

Matt Zahab: 0:53

I love to hear that. How's Vienna treating you right now?

Eric Demuth: 0:59

Vienna in general, I'm here now for 12, 13 years. It's a fantastic city, super high living quality. But honestly, in the past 12 months, Vienna has treated me probably like every other city would have treated me with proper internet. So I'm yeah, pretty much all the time inside in front of my computer. That's it. But I'm a computer kid. I used to do gaming, like I come from the gaming scene. I'm a bit older now. So already, but like, since I'm 12, since there's proper internet. And so for me, I'm quite privileged in that regard that really didn't really change too much for me.

Matt Zahab: 1:42

Nice. You have an incredibly fascinating background, probably the most interesting of our guests that have been on the pod. Talk about going from the ground floor to the penthouse. And I would love if you could start us off by telling a little bit about your story of how you literally traveled the world on a container ship, and are now the CEO of a European FinTech unicorn.

Eric Demuth: 2:08

Yeah, I mean, after doing high school, or how you call it A levels before you study, you know, then with 19 at this time, you were already in Germany, or you were done with school. And then my plan was to become like a captain, you know, like a captain and study, nautical stuff for navigation, and then become a pilot for ships. And then I realized, you know, what is the good thing is you learn everything from the ship, you learn everything from the ground. So I did an apprenticeship, is it called? Yeah, so I learned to become a ship mechanic. So I have to kind of, uh, I was required license, so I learned ship mechanic. But I realized after two or three months in there, that's not where I want to be. That's not the industry I want to be. But I still finished it because the experience was amazing. It was two and a half years traveling the world and a lot of you know, this is, you're completely isolated, there's no internet or something. This is a lot of hard work. The engine rooms are quite hard everywhere is oil, and this is rough atmosphere as well, you know. And therefore, for my personal development it was fantastic that I did it. I don't want to miss it. But I would never do it again, honestly. But yeah, so I finished it. And afterwards, I came to Vienna to study business and finance. So then the classic boring route started, you know,

Matt Zahab:

 3:42

Little bit of corporate life?

Eric Demuth:

 3:43

No, not really, I'm probably not made for this. I tried, I mean, it's like even right now this is a big challenge for us when you're growing such you know, in such a big pace in the company, then I always have to fear that things getting too slow, you know too much bureaucracy, too much hierarchy and so on. So this is a huge challenge culture wise, so I don't want to become the slow corporate traditional company

Matt Zahab:

 4:16

100%. Before we jump into the nitty gritty of Bitpanda. First, I want to congratulate you personally for becoming Austria's first ever unicorn. That is an exceptional, just. That's bananas. That is an incredible feat, and congratulations well deserved in prep for this podcast, I came across a couple articles, blog posts, and interviews that you did. And one blog post that you wrote to us last month and march of 2021. You wrote a blog post about Bitpanda surpassing the billion dollar valuation mark in just your seventh year as business and in that post, you did something that I don't think I've ever seen a CEO do before. You thank the whole team, every single employee, every single Bitpanda team member received a thank you and their name was in that blog post. That's absolutely incredible. Very rare never seen that. I have to ask you, as such a young CEO, what CEOs have you learned the most from? And who do you try to model your behavior after?

Eric Demuth:

 5:16

So first of all, why did I do this? And I asked my fiance, and she said, and I said to her, like, the thing is, and in the evening when I wrote the and I said to her, like, you know what the problem is, every time the founders are being shown as two superstars. But all the work is completely done by hundreds of people. And I think it's not fair. I mean, I understand that you can't put everybody on a display all the time, this is understandable, also from the media perspective. But when you have the chance, then you should at least pay the respect that the whole team deserves. And this is what we came up with. When in the evening. I said, like, I don't want to do a normal blog post, let's, well, you know, what, what can we do? And then we came up with this and said, like, this is actually why isn't that normal, you know? But on the other part to your question, there isn't specific role models, and I'm also not the biggest fan of copying someone. I think, you passively or indirectly, when you read stuff over years, you talk to people, you get input, but it's not like, Oh, this is great. I have to transfer it. But it's like all the information you constantly get every day. And then I think, in your, what is it subconscious? Because all these things get in, you know, like, you're getting inspired, and then something comes up. It's not like you're inventing the wheel. It's probably done. This person has done this, and then you find something that feels good, you know? It's not like a plan, like a checklist, but what feels good, and then you always have to reflect at least I do, I always reflect and try to make things better, and most important thing, and this is what, what I would say, Paul, and I have, which is quite unique, because we have two CEOs, that only works because we leave the ego behind. Otherwise, the whole thing wouldn't work also between us, you know. But I can't tell you specific names. I mean, of course, a lot of inspiring people. I love people and I love drive, but I'm not a fanboy per se, you know?

Matt Zahab:

 7:39

Not a fanboy. So let's jump into Bitpanda. Before I or you take a whirl and explain the company. Tell me about the name. Why Bitpanda?

Eric Demuth:

 7:51

Oh, yeah, the story is actually quite easy to tell. And not that sophisticated as you think. We started with the name, coinmo, and nobody could spell it. And then we realized after a certain time, that was a horrible idea. Everybody was writing it differently. And then we said, you know what, we have to come up with something that in all the different countries, all different languages, everybody can spell, is maybe quite catchy and has a positive, you know, what is it connotation? Or is this a positive connection you have maybe? Yeah, and also, most importantly, that is free, the domain is the.com domain is free. That was, you know, like the absolute prerequisite for this. And yeah, and then we tried a lot of these, there were probably a lot of better names. 100%. There are better names. But at this time, Panda is everywhere, everywhere the same bit, because we don't want him to have coin I think bit is more digital. Because there was already clear that we want to be more, you know, like, do this for all asset classes. And yeah, and the domain was free. That's it you know.

Matt Zahab:

 9:04

The rest take care of itself. The the name and the logo are pretty snazzy. Also, when are you guys come out with an e commerce store, I'm when I was doing research for the show. I was like, I haven't been on Bitpanda in a while. I need to grab myself a T shirt or a hat. Can you hook me up?

Eric Demuth:

 9:18

Yeah, actually I can, but there's no stores.

Matt Zahab:

 9:22

Little free PR. Moving forward to Bitpanda though. Again, just got the $1.2 billion valuation. And early this week again, we are recording on the 22nd of April Thursday, the 22nd April 2021 you guys had some huge news come out. Bitpanda is now enabling its users to invest in fractional shares 24/7. And before you jump into that and explain that for our guests, you had a quote, which was absolute money and you guys 100% need to patent this and the quote goes as follows. "Bitpanda is now wall street without the walls even in Wall Street closes, I friggin love that. That is absolutely brilliant. Tell me more about what that means and how that attributes to the vision of Bitpanda

Eric Demuth:

 10:10

I mean, to be fair, it doesn't really make sense, right? But everybody knows what it means. When people think about Wall Street, let's say normal people, not people from the finance industry, like pretty much 99% or something, or 95%. Then you think of, you know, there's big stuff going on, and it's not very transparent, and what they're doing with the money and things go up and crazy stuff is happening, and then something crashes and so on. And all stuff, and especially in Europe, we have a problem that very, very few percentages, very, very few people own stocks, but there's a certain reason for this. Historically, you know, bad laws for this tax, no tax incentives, a lot of bureaucracy, and so on and so on. And then we said, you know, in the digital age, that's not necessary anymore, because we're still trading or treating the stock market as the internet wouldn't exist pretty much from the from the structure itself. And then we said, you know, like, why don't we include everybody? And everybody says, you know, democratizing democratize? Well, what does it mean? It's not a fancy interface. Democratizing means literally giving everybody the same deal. Even if you have five bucks to invest in or 500,000 bucks, you should get the same deal and, and not like, Oh, yeah, I can't even buy Amazon stock, because whenever the stock was over 3k. You know, then you still have the same problem that you already need to be wealthy to get access to everything. And this is also in terms of transparency, that everybody gets the same deal. Everything is available at any time. And remove this also the barrier in terms of that is too sophisticated, and you need bank advisors to tell you what to do, because it's the biggest miracle. It's not, you know, it's not, you don't have to do it fancy, you don't have to trade fancy, sophisticated financial products, but stocks trading, and buying, for example, s&p 500, or Amazon stocks, that is not sophisticated. And I think this is also what we want to say with the slogan, you know, when you remove the walls, it's actually not that complicated, and everybody can participate.

Matt Zahab:

 12:29

I love that. That's enlightening. The barrier to entry and the ideology of Wall Street is always so high in the minds of the general consumer. It's scary and movies like you know, even in Wolf of Wall Street, they show that, they show how tough it really is to get into. But Bitpanda, the new news that you guys just came out with, you introduced a new way of investing in stocks and ETFs. Now, Bitpanda as a whole has a multitude of different trading platforms, you guys almost pioneered, correct me if I'm wrong, and we're one of the first ever companies to allow consumers to fractionally invest in gold and silver. And now you are enabling consumers to invest 24/7 even when Wall Street closes any night, day time you name it. And at very low prices as low as one euro per trade. You have crypto, you have ETFs, and you have the whole nine yards. what are the next steps of Bitpanda look like after this.

Eric Demuth:

 13:30

So we also released a new app yesterday, and some new functionalities. And pretty much this new app or the new platform is the base of everything that is now coming. So in the next weeks and month, you will constantly see updates, you will constantly see new features and products. You actually made it much better than everybody else who was interviewing, because normally it's very, like, what is your next feature? And when are you releasing it and then I always can say like, we can't do this, you know, like. First of all, that's, you know, like improve everything we have right now and then also we already have a roadmap, I can't really show you the roadmap. So you made it very sneaky. Very, very good. But honestly, I can't really tell you, but there's constant improvement over the next weeks a month. And also, we started with a beta because of the fractional and 24/7. This is something that hasn't been done. So we started only with 50 or 60 assets, popular stocks. And then over the next weeks like we have to add hundreds of these and what comes with this. This is enormous you know? This is not a standard procedure because the thing is we built the whole infrastructure ourselves for this and that is why it also took us quite long in the Licensed Process with the regulator and so on. There are constantly coming more features but I can't really tell me right now what everything is.

Matt Zahab:

 15:01

Okay I tried, I tried.

Eric Demuth:

 15:03

I would constantly get that, you know, like messages on Twitter or telegram. And like when when, when when you know, and yeah. You know how the industry works

Matt Zahab:

 15:12

Of course. I have a couple ideas and the future is bright. Let's talk about some of the products that you have released. The Bitpanda card. This is huge. This intertwines with controlling the whole 360 degree ecosystem. Tell me about the Bitpanda card, excuse me.

Eric Demuth:

 15:27

Um, the card was for me a missing piece, because we want to be the investment platform for everybody. But then I also, let's take myself, for example. I don't want to use hundreds, no hundreds is of course too much. But let's say several platforms for my investing for money for whatever I do with this. And then I said, you know, our philosophy is everything that has value in a digital world will be treated in the same way. And this is why we, for example, have physical gold, what you said you know the high security walls in Switzerland, but you can have a fraction of it and it's insured and everything. So we want to do the same with stocks. We have crypto and everything. Why can't we spend all these things? Have you ever tried ,you get me? Like you can't pay with an Amazon stock for your Starbucks coffee or something, or with your Starbucks stock for your Starbucks coffee, the better.

Matt Zahab:

 16:29

Should be able to

Eric Demuth:

 16:30

And now you can. Now you can use the Starbucks stocks to pay for your coffee, or renew your Netflix subscription with Netflix or with Tesla stocks or with Bitcoin or gold or euro or whatever. And that's the same philosophy with everything is treated in the same way, also on the spending side. And this is why we brought this card now.

Matt Zahab:

 16:56

And then there's also the Bitpanda savings. And that's again, very cool as well.

Eric Demuth:

 17:01

Savings is an important tool for everybody on how to get started into investing on the long run that you have, you know, everybody should have this long term strategy, have a certain amount of money put on a long term strategy for at least 5, 10 or 20 years. And with the rest, they can play around, you know, but there's long term strategy, his savings plan is perfect for this. And this is why we have the way of the index for example. Sorry, I don't want to sound like as I'm doing a bit kind of roadshow with a product here. But the index is also a tool where you can invest in the top five top 10, top 25 cryptos by market cap and some other things weighted and then it all automatically rebalances every month. So because also for me I you know, I can keep track of Bitcoin Ethereum maybe one or two other coins, but it's pretty much impossible for me to you know, keep track of 10 different coins or even 25 different coins and see what the development is there and so on and then have to trade that. I can probably only make mistakes there or be way too late or whatever to the party. So, and the idea of like it's structured, or it's the idea is like an ETF where you pretty much invest into the market and you say like, okay, I invest in a top 10 cryptos and it gets rebalanced every month. So that is the idea. And this combined also with saving plan. I think this is something for many people that want to participate in the crypto market. But obviously, nobody can be the top expert and be ahead of the market, it's impossible.

Matt Zahab:

 18:52

Along with the launch Bitpanda and the whole Bitpanda team also unveiled a brand new website up and I guess new brand as a whole. It's sexy, it's sleek, it's black and white. It screams professional. What was the purpose of that?

Eric Demuth:

 19:10

You need to have a good brand

Matt Zahab:

 19:11

No the new brand, the new branding rather.

Eric Demuth:

 19:14

So historically, we were, most of our customers were coming through word of mouth. And Paul and I also made the mistake that we took care of marketing and brand way too late. So I think we hired, this is also a fun fact, we hired the first person in marketing, the beginning of 2018. The company was already like nearly four years old or something. So there was no marketing before it was just a product. And that was actually a mistake we made and we were always focused on product, product, product and speed. But when you want, especially with stocks here, when you want to bring investing into every day's life and for everybody, there's a huge educational component, you need to create a lot of content for financial literacy that is not that great in Europe, unfortunately. And that only works if you have a strong brand where people like to interact with you on a daily basis, this is essential nowadays in the digital life. So and this is why now it was the time to you know, also give the brand, quite some focus.

Matt Zahab:

 20:33

So how did you guys get even hiring a marketer until four years in. How did you acquire 2 million customers with very little marketing? Like that's that's unheard of nowadays?

Eric Demuth:

 20:43

Um, yeah, but that's okay. So I recently, I got this asked recently, and I gave this answer. In the past years, a lot of people got into crypto. And it's not like you're collecting stamps, and then you're selling. Oh, look at my stamp, you know, when you meet some phone for a beer or something. That's your personal hobby, and so on. But when people get the first time into crypto, I have never met anybody who isn't then that excited that this becomes a daily topic for them, and talking to their friends about it and all and everything. So this compared with we invested very early on in support and user experience and so on. And I think for Europe, everything you know, we did, I think we're always best in class with compliance and licenses and had never had any banking issues, and so on. So the process of getting into the sphere, into this industry or into crypto with us was, I think quite or hopefully still is quite good. And therefore there was a lot of word of mouth that people telling I did this and now more and more people talk about it, "I use Bitpanda, it was a great experience". So this is the greatest, best conversion tool ever. You cannot have a better conversion than some one of your friends are telling you I made a good experience there. This is the absolute best thing and it's pretty much for free.

Matt Zahab:

 22:16

So what else do you attribute to that though, you touched on the heavy focus on customer support the back end, what else? There must have been some other pieces to the puzzle that really made the user experience incredible enough to tell their friends about it.

Eric Demuth:

 22:28

Yeah, it's the easy onboarding. So something everybody were talking in the last years, blockchain and Bitcoin and sounds super complicated, nobody know what it is. And then in the end you create an account, you're done with verification, everything in five minutes. And then a few clicks away, and everything is done. You know, this is like, there's just not so much magic around it, you know, it's actually quite simple. And when people feel that they are in charge, then they start using it, you know. I don't think there's a big secret behind it. It's just like, if the product works as promised, then everybody's happy. That's it.

Matt Zahab:

 23:10

I bet another factor in that is the employee satisfaction, which is off the charts up at Bitpanda. I forget which interview it was, it wasn't too long ago, either. I want to say it was end of 2020 or early this year. But you were in an interview and you were asked about your input on company culture and why you prefer in office working over remote work. I'd love for you to tell me a little bit more about that. Because I love this answer.

Eric Demuth:

 23:38

Um. It's not that I preferred completely, it's not an absolute answer. I think a hybrid model is important. So what we're currently doing, we're building a new office here in Vienna, because by the end of the year, we're probably be around 700 people. And that is important, even though many companies said oh, yeah, everything is working out remotely. We saw this and COVID. Yes, of course, because he didn't have another chance. Let's see how these things work out everything remotely when things are going back to normal. Because I truly believe... Okay, one more thing. We hired more than 250 people during COVID during remote work. That means I haven't seen most of the people working in this company myself in person. So and you cannot expect that you have the greatest company culture when you're growing especially when you're scaling up and you're constantly growing, a lot of things are changing. You cannot expect to have a perfect teamwork great culture. Nothing's everybody's happy, peppy, you know, when people don't even know each other, that doesn't work. And I think that you need proper headquarter office good facilities, activities where people meet not just their team that only works when teams work great together not just inside one team and the culture is a big thing and I h ve a huge respect for the cul ure changes and we saw this fr m a lot of companies where they rew a lot and you know, like uperstars and everything, but then you see that intern lly things are getting unc mfortable. And these things wit the cultural aspect and the l ng term thinking of your employees is very, very impor ant. So therefore, I thi k you need both, you need to hav a proper home office remote a d office solution. And y ah, I think that is more the fut re than have been fully remo e.

Matt Zahab:

 25:56

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Eric Demuth:

 27:47

The plan is different. It's, I think quite unrealistic for us to go to North America right now. There's no plan for that. So first of all, it's a completely different market. It's highly competitive, you have great people, great companies doing a good job there already and the biggest argument right now for us is you're in Europe, but many people think that Europe works like US. 100 not. There are many, many, man different languages, many, many many different laws, completel different culture. It' literally like entering 2

Matt Zahab:

 28:33

Culture. different countries, and no one. And that is a huge, hug

Eric Demuth:

 28:37

Yeah and so much work. It's not like you can have difference. So for example, jus from the regulatory aspect, yo get more, there's more right n w like guidelines, and then a l these countries have to put in o national law and they have one strategy for Europe that doesn't work. You need one a huge range or you know, like h w they can interpret it. So wh n you say oh, let's go and let s go to Spain let's go to Franc , everybody has a certa n different language, first of all, then have a diffe ent regulation, different licen es. So it's literally, it's not ike oh, you're in Europe. No, ou are in this country in this country in this country insi e Europe. Therefore we have a lo on our plate. And this is also I think why it's very, very diff cult for big tech players from the US coming to Europe. Beca se first of all when they re successful, they have extr mely you know, so much to do. nd this is also I think why Robi Hood didn't you know already now pause there are plans to g to Europe and to UK. First of a l, because they're hyper it's super successful in the US and ll the resources go in ther and then the market frag entation inside Europe is just super extreme. You need very loc l approach is extremely you kno strategy for each country instead of Europe, and people there. So yeah, Europe is very special, I would say

Matt Zahab:

 30:14

Far different. I want to talk about best token the Bitpanda token, as at the time of recording this episode, on coin Gecko, the Bitpanda token, which is BEST $best is up 2900% on the one year chart, Is that good? Yes, I wish I got in a year ago. Tell me a little bit about $best token and why did you choose the name best? The only thing, when I went on and when I first started Googling it, I was like $best token and then you go $best token into Google and then search engine optimization comes up and you have a million people who are bidding on the on the search words $best token

Eric Demuth:

 30:53

Yeah, but it's an ecosystem token you know it's not a, it's not competing with any other one. It's literally like loyalty program on the blockchain or however you want to call it and more like a fun name, Paul came up with it. So my co partner and say, like, you know what, it would be a fun name. $Best because it's the Bitpanda ecosystem does it like, Oh, that's brilliant, you know,

Matt Zahab:

 31:21

That makes sense.

Eric Demuth:

 31:22

Also, very, very easy progress. Well, that was the big committee and the agency that brought it up. And Paul one day call me is like, Oh, you know what, I just realized I was on a bicycle and, uh, why don't we call it best. Okay, that's great.

Matt Zahab:

 31:36

Tell me about the utility and why any user of the panda should definitely snag some some best coin?

Eric Demuth:

 31:42

I'm, in general, it doesn't matter if it's our own coin or something else. I'm never shilling anybody into any coins. Because, as I said before, it's a very investment and money is a very individual thing and everybody should understand what they're doing, and then why they're doing it finding out for themselves, not because someone else is telling them that. But $best. So w talked about all the differen features we already have, an every time we bring out a ne feature, there has to b something that we want t connect with our token that i makes sense to use it or tha has some synergies, or you know like features. Of course, th biggest feature is that you ca use it for less fees. And ther are more stuff to come and als we have like a VIP system i there or like a loyalty syste in there. And because the pric grew so much, we have to rewor this completely because now t get to the highest levels. I for example, you get cash bac from the card, and so on, yo need to put so much money i that we have to rework this. S we're currently working on thi time actually with a big gro p, like an internal project to rework it and make it even better and come up with new stu f for this. So it wouldn' be fair to talk about it, bec use it's quite soon, it's go ng to change anyways. But yea , it will help all product , let's say like this.

Matt Zahab:

 33:16

Nice. Eric, one of the thing that me personally, I would love I am not an accredited investor. And I know a couple platforms, one of them. I believe being FTX is allowing the average Joe to get into early ,not early stage, but to get into medium large, small cap companies before they go public. I believe that was the case with Coinbase. I would chomp at the bit to get a platform like that. Is that gonna happen with Bitpanda down the line?

Eric Demuth:

 33:43

There's always a difference. I honestly have to tell you, I haven't, I have heard about it but I haven't looked into this. So maybe I'm talking about complete bullshit right now. But in general, I'm a big fan to actually own the asset. And I'm not sure, but maybe I'm wrong. I'm not sure if you're actually trading the stock there. I don't think so maybe you're just speculating on the price and so like this? I don't know. Yeah. And that wouldn't really be possible in Europe, regulatory wise. That's for sure. So that's actually fun and interesting and I think there are a lot of platforms that offer this. But I think they offer already, you know, like secondaries or something like real stocks. I think this is coming up. And FTX is probably a front runner or let's say an early adopter of this. I'm very sure that I mean, they have Jesus Christ, they're doing a fantastic job. This is insane what they are doing. Really, really, really good.

Matt Zahab:

 34:58

The volume, crazy

Eric Demuth:

 34:59

Yes. Absolutely. I'm just saying that this is not the final stage of pre IPO investment. I think this is the start and I think they're doing a fantastic job with this. And I'm sure they will also be the first platform to bring this to this second level of pre IPO investment for everybody. I think they should do this and t's fantastic that they're oing this because when they are oing it, then other people in he world also have to do at a ertain point. And that also ives, you know, some kind of ecessary and good pressure to overnment and regulators. Li e, guys, we're living in a gl bal world and the digital wo ld where everybody can have ac ess to this. Look at what all th y're doing over there. And pe ple can use their service. We al o have to do something like th s in Europe or in Asia or wh tever country. So to have th se pioneers and people that ar saying like there are no rul s, you know. Also, for exampl , with our 24/7 fractionless tr de, there is now the digital age and there are no new roles a d we need these guys. And wh t FTX is doing is fantastic. Ye h,

Matt Zahab:

 36:17

You're big on the digital age, you are huge on transparency. You did an interview in April of 2020, with CEO magazine. It was a very good interview, you were absolutely on fire and you brought up some points I had to take notes on. The interviewer asked you about the philosophy of Bitpanda and why you created sort of this new age internet tech slash FinTech platform. And you spoke about it being a combo of new tech and old industry with the new internet and old finance and you referenced the internet bringing everything together and democratizing things and again, you're huge on that going through similar power shifts as industries like Amazon did with retail or Uber with the taxi industry. Do you have any hot takes on what industry might be the next to get absolutely swept off its feet?

Eric Demuth:

 37:08

Food.

Matt Zahab:

 37:09

How so?

Eric Demuth:

 37:11

I mean, food and fashion. We have a new generation, in also mind shift. People that are now at school or you know, young students, they think differently, they think, much more social, or like of course, on average, you know, like this is, and also different. They have a different perspective on climate change on sustainability. And I'm not talking about greenwashing but like the real stuff, the long term things. And the fashion industry is completely broken. This is like the absolute worst industry. The fast fashion stuff, I mean, when you, nobody knows, but when you look at what you're wearing, right now, if you would know in your T shirt or in your in your cap you're wearing right now, what kind of stuff there and how its produced. This is ridiculous. You know, it is so ridiculous. I can just, everybody, you know, like recommend the documentary The true cost. True cost is really good. I think it's on amazon prime, showing, you know, like, the actual why are things so cheap? Why is a T shirt for five euros for $5 possible sent around the world? You know, with all the materials, people have had it, all the things, even the cheapest unit is handmade. This is like and this is the problem. There is a true cost and you're not paying this. And also what it has effects on the climate. And same with the food industry. All that this is like all Yeah, let's have the cheapest meat. Yet there is there is a true cost behind it. There's a cost, there's a hidden cost. It's our planet, and it's our health. And it's just for the short term, how do you say entertainment or a pleasure? To have what cheap meat every day? Yeah, that's not a solution, you know? And this solution is probably first of all a different mindset for everybody and getting to know what you're consuming. Like literally consuming, because these two industry are the most intransparent Industries. And then also, technology should only just be a helper. So I think that what is it like laboratory grown food will be the future, it will be food and meat for example, will be will be the future of this because there are no downsides, it's probably much healthier, much more controlled. And when this becomes for the technology wise cheaper than having normal food, then normal food is done. And it will be a success for humanity.

Matt Zahab:

 39:58

Very interesting. Very Very interesting. Eric, this has been an absolute pleasure a couple more questions before we let you go. Question numero uno when is Bitpanda going public and when can I snag some Bitpanda shares?

Eric Demuth:

 40:11

So good question. I got this question how several times in the past month and I don't know because this is not on our agenda yet. There is a good chance that this will might happen one day, but it's literally not on our on our agenda yet. We have a lot to do until then I would say

Matt Zahab:

 40:29

Good to know. Bitcoin 100k, it's inevitable. When's it going to happen?

Eric Demuth:

 40:34

Oh, you're asking when and not what is my prediction for the price .This is also new. Honestly could be this year? I wouldn't be surprised if that happens. So yeah.

Matt Zahab:

 40:51

Dogecoin. Tell me about Dogecoin and when's it going on Bitpanda or is it ever gonna be on Bitpanda?

Eric Demuth:

 40:57

It's on Bitpanda for a long time already?

Matt Zahab:

 41:01

Is it really?

Eric Demuth:

 41:02

Yes, of course.

Matt Zahab:

 41:02

Oh, wow. My apologies.

Eric Demuth:

 41:04

This is people are going crazy. Right now with Dogecoin. No, this has been a long term all star on Bitpanda. Yeah.

Matt Zahab:

 41:17

I didn't even look. I'm so anti Dogecoin. I think part of it's just me being petty because I missed the boat. And well now I guess I missed the yacht pretty much with the price it's at now. But absolute craziness.

Eric Demuth:

 41:29

I know what Doge is, one thing I think it's more, let's say a movement than less than an investment. For me investment is always long term. For me, this is more, let's say, a great story and a great movement. Then an investment

Matt Zahab:

 41:46

Narrative.

Eric Demuth:

 41:47

Yes, yes. Okay. It shows the dynamic of the internet, the power of the communities and so on.

Matt Zahab:

 41:53

DAO's, very interesting topic. In today's, in present date. Would we ever see some type of almost NFT hedge fund on the platform where people can invest in, you know, like a multitude of NFTs on the planet.

Eric Demuth:

 42:11

If I can find now very, very diplomatic answers and not answering your question. But the truth is, I don't have enough knowledge to answer that question properly in a satisfying way. I would say this is not my area of expertise. The house right now. So there are some great people in the company that are blockchain developers. And they you know, like, they are the best for this question, but I'm not. So I'm honest in that regard.

Matt Zahab:

 42:42

Love the candor. The last question before we go. Second, last question before we go. If you are a young student, and you want to get into crypto investing, or anything in general, and you want to put a couple 100 bucks into Bitpanda and watch it grow, where is the best place to learn about investing? And what theories or what sort of ideology do you recommend people use to succeed?

Eric Demuth:

 43:08

Articles and YouTube but YouTube, not in terms of these hype guys that you can already say from the thumbnail if they are like doing a screen thing and have like big, flashy letters everywhere. Dogecoin is the new thing da da da. These are probably not your educators. But there are so many good ones nowadays. Very good, comprehensive, visual. Yeah, this like, I mean, sorry, but YouTube is full of it. I mean, this is, I don't even have to say oh, you have to read look at this guy or that woman. Doesn't really matter you know? You find your, let's say your people that educate you not only about maybe crypto or Bitcoin, but also about stocks and also, please do not forget to educate yourself about economics. What is inflation? How does money work on interest and so on? What is like, you know, interest over a long term, what you have savings plans on just basic math behind it? Why do we have such a system and so on. Understanding these things, the macro economic stuff, you don't have to be like, you don't have to have a major in that, you know, a degree in that. But just, let's say five or 10 good YouTube videos on macro economics, and then go into investing. You're set, you're set. This is not rocket science.

Matt Zahab:

 44:53

You heard the man Eric. This has been absolutely incredible. I learned a lot during our conversation and I learned an absolute shit ton during the prep for this podcast. It was a blast having you on I really appreciate it. All the best to you and the big panda team not that you'll need it because you guys are absolutely tearing it up. But I'm very happy for you very proud of you. Congrats again on becoming the first ever unicorn in the country. That's incredible. Thanks for coming on and hope you had a blast.

Eric Demuth:

 45:23

Thank you very much. And yeah, absolutely. It was fun. And thank you and yo 're one of the very few people that actually are well prepar d for this, you know? This i really nice. This is, yeah. hank you. Thank you very much.

Matt Zahab:

 45:35

Appreciate that. In a second life, you would definitely be a hockey player playing in the NHL. You're from Germany yeah?

Eric Demuth:

 45:43

Yeah, I'm German, yeah.

Matt Zahab:

 45:44

Yeah, the Leon Draisaitl guys tearing up the NHL right now. One of the best in the game is doing well.

Eric Demuth:

 45:49

I was before I went to the ship I was doing, I was a tennis trainer. I had a tennis trainer license. So I'm more into that sport, but yeah.

Matt Zahab:

 45:59

Nice. Well, the flow looks good. I can't wait to get a Bitpanda hat. And you know, I got the flow going too and the rock not but Eric, thanks again. Appreciate your time and wish you all the best.

Eric Demuth:

 46:08

Perfect Thank you very much. It was really fun. Thank you,

Matt Zahab:

 46:11

Folks. This is the crypto news.com podcast. We hope you had a blast listening to this episode with Eric the CEO of Bitpanda. Go check him out, incredible company. If you enjoyed this please hammer that subscribe button we would love if you could follow us along and we will see you in a couple days. Hope you have a wonderful day. All the best. Bye bye