Crypto Crossroads with Ryan Selkis of Messari

At Paris Blockchain Week* in March, Circle CEO, Co-Founder, and Chairman of the Board Jeremy Allaire joined Messari** Co-Founder and CEO Ryan Selkis. At a time of mounting pressure around digital assets regulation in Washington, Ryan and Jeremy discussed important technological progress made by the digital assets industry over the past decade, along with key hurdles that still need to be cleared. Their conversation covers:


  • [1:27] – Ryan Selkis’ journey into digital assets
  • [9:12] – A scary bear market
  • [16:36] – The U.S. digital assets regulation outlook
  • [24:09] – Currencies, commodities, and securities
  • [30:14] – Regulatory competition
  • [39:40] – Continuous innovation

If you’re interested in learning more about digital assets regulation and pressure points on the crypto ecosystem, tune in to this episode of The Money Movement.


*Neither Circle Internet Financial Limited nor any of its affiliates (collectively “Circle”) are licensed in France; as such, Circle currently cannot provide digital asset services, payment services and/or regulated financial services to customers residing or established in France.

**Circle is a customer of Messari, where Ryan Selkis is Co-Founder & CEO.

Ryan: I think we need to get better at storytelling, and part of it is we need to be better pulling accurate versions of history, not just the Tweet length versions of history.

Jeremy: Hi, I'm Jeremy Allaire, and this is The Money Movement. We're here in Paris, France. This week is Paris Blockchain Week and Circle Forum Paris. And I'm very pleased to be welcoming here founder and CEO of Messari, Ryan Selkis. Welcome, Ryan.

Ryan: It's good to be here. Great backdrop. Been ten years, I think, since we first met. So, time flies.

Jeremy: It has been, yeah. So for everyone, we have a very long history as well that goes back ten years. And Circle is celebrating its 10th anniversary as well. But maybe just it's always fun in these conversations, situate yourself. Ten years ago, I think you dropped out of an MBA to go all in on crypto, in a sense. But let's just talk about kind of what emerged for you then and kind of what brought you into all this.

Ryan: Well, I got really lucky because I started my career in Venture Capital, which was also an accident because I was supposed to work at JPMorgan. And that was the summer of 2008 when I was supposed to start. And I got rugged at the last minute by JPMorgan and ended up skipping a grade and got right into Venture Capital because I had a couple of friends working at a firm in Boston. Did that for a few years, and then I started a company focused on the payment space, the charitable space. We actually created something similar to Fidelity Charitable, but combined it with payroll giving. Long story short, took the IRS two years to get us our exempt status, so we won a couple of business plan competitions, but I was winding down the company around the same time that I was supposed to start business school, and there was about a two month miss there, so I wound the business down in October. I think I met you right around that same time. And then I had ten months on my hand with nothing to do, so not enough time to get a job. I knew that I had the deferred offer if I wanted to go to business school kind of that next year. And that was right when Bitcoin first started. I mean, not the first cycle, maybe the first mainstream consciousness cycle.

Jeremy: Exactly.

Ryan: The $1,000 run that fall and just went down the rabbit hole. Said, I'm going to make a good run at this the next year. And by month four or five, I just thought I'll kick myself if I don't see this through, just based on all the folks that I'd met because it was still so early and just kind of seeing the potential firsthand. And here we are ten years later.

Jeremy: Totally. Yeah. And you've you've you've chronicled it. You've you've been an entrepreneur and and helping to facilitate a huge array of different like projects in the ecosystem. You're a proper you know, I think ambassador and agitator in the policy circles. We'll come back to a lot of that, but Dante is the ambassador. 

Ryan: I'm the agitator.

Jeremy: Yes, I would agree. There's some fun history now and then I share with people one of the articles that you wrote, which was I wouldn't call it an investigative piece, but it was, like a really early piece about Circle, and I think it was published either in December 2013 or January 2014. And you had sort of been hearing various rumors about what we're doing. We sort of kind of quietly debuted the company. But maybe if you could share what do you remember about hearing about what we were trying to do back then?

Ryan: Again, it goes back to everything being an accident. Right. I just knew that there was a company in Boston that was getting off the ground, that was the first credible other large company that had raised significant money next to Coinbase. And I lived in Boston. I got to figure out more about this company because I just bound down an operation. Maybe I could do something with them or at least kind of get connected around. So I'd actually met one of your investors from General Catalyst for lunch while I was figuring out what I wanted to do. Between that and piecing some of the things together, just knowing where the gaps were in the market at that time was really interested, especially given you're and Sean's background. I think that discovery mode was really prompted by I don't know if I've told this story, but basically the day that I shut my first startup down, I ended up feeling sorry for myself. And then the next day, I had these passes through the accelerator that were into HubSpots content marketing. Like, huge extravaganza in Boston. And one of the sessions that I went to, this woman basically gave a 30 day challenge to everyone that was in the seminar, just, like, write every day about something for a month. And I was like, oh, well, I just bought this Bitcoin thing, and it just doubled, so maybe I should figure it out, and I'll write about it. And went through all of Coinbase's blogs and basically, like, their Customer Service 101 almost, for some source material, figuring out what you guys were working on. Combing at that point, I remember it was just Reddit. Our Bitcoin was kind of the source of truth and information. And so I put together just kind of daily summaries, and this newsletter persists today in a different form, totally, of being the backbone of Messari, or at least how we seeded that list. And, yeah, writing ended up being a good entree and good wedge for someone that was not a developer at the time, when no non-developers were getting hired for roles unless they started a company.

Jeremy: It's amazing. As someone who has, in fact, kind of chronicled all of the ups and downs and permutations, et cetera. I think you have the benefit of looking back ten years and remembering what it was then very vividly, and now thinking about kind of what it is now. It's very easy to kind of say, oh, we're in this crypto winter and there's all this regulatory pressure in the US and other places, all this sort of complexity, but this industry obviously has faced massive adversity forever, basically. But as you think about where we are today, maybe just kind of reflect on how far we've come and you catalog it literally, I think you have one of the best bird's eye views out there. When when we think about, you know, what, what's been accomplished. I think each.

Ryan: I think each bear market is scarier than the one before it for many different for for vastly different reasons. So in 2015, when we were coming off the 2013 eyes, there was that prolonged period of time where you started seeing companies just die, and not in the context of startup land, but in the context of like an entire industry and different pieces of the infrastructure falling down because they're running out of money. And it was, I think, touch and go in 2015, especially not even necessarily during the low point, but during those summer months where things were just oscillating around 200. And especially at the time, I was a digital currency group. So we'd invested in so many of these companies. We knew what the burn rates were, we knew that it was an ice cold market for founders and it wasn't really clear whether things were going to fizzle at that point or whether they would be staying pretty pessimistic. But it still felt lower stakes because it was year six of the experiment, right? So if it didn't pan out, like, everybody would have been able to kind of march their separate ways, go into their corners, and then iterate on something new or basically go back to the well in, in 2018, it felt pessimistic for non-payments use cases. Right? So like after the crash of the ICOs, all right, we got way too far ahead of ourselves. Are these tokens really ever going to be anything? Are they all quasi-equities? Are they this whole concept of utility tokens, was that just a flash in the pan and a regulatory arbitrage game. So as an asset class, I'd say it was very scary in 2018 and maybe more scary in 2018 for those that were in Ethereum. This one, though, absolutely feels like it's the scariest because we are, I think, at the final boss phase of this market and its development and it's going to piss a lot of very powerful people off, and in fact, it already has. So I think crossing this chasm and getting the industry to a spot where it is actually going to be well regulated and safely integrated into the financial system and that some of these emerging projects are going to have the opportunity to hit the growth phase in their evolution. I think it's a really important year or two that we have coming up and we have just about every headwind that you can imagine right now staring us in the face between the macro situation and just being in secular recession. Between all of the damage that we had layering on a macro-recession, a comedown from the bull market highs and the unwinding of the crypto credit bubble which was really the first credit cycle overlaid on crypto not to mention all of these regulatory headwinds now and some of the things that are happening in the banking sector Enormous.

Jeremy: Enormous number of bankruptcies and company failures and fraud. It's pretty brutal. Yeah, I agree. I mean, I think Final Boss kind of interesting and famously Jeffrey Moore crossing the chasm kind of, kind of thing. And there's a big chasm here.

Ryan: But I think it's also an opportunity for people to step up, right? So I'm sure like, you doing different dinners at different points with folks that we've known for a long time and you look around the table and it feels like they're a lot smaller than they were like a year and a half ago. And that's alarming if you just look at some of the legacy folks that have been knocked off their pedestal, some in spectacular fashion. But it's also, I think, an opportunity for other people to rise, step up for the wheat, to get separated from the chaff here.

Jeremy: Yeah, without a doubt. We think a lot about this. How do we move from speculative value phase to utility value phase? And obviously USDC itself and the kind of core vision for Circle has always been like kind of real world utility visa vis this new base layer for money on the Internet and programmable money on the Internet. What can you do with that? How does that impact finance and commerce and all this other stuff? But it feels like a lot of other people are converging on that thesis. And it's interesting you guys track all the relevant ecosystems really closely and I don't know if you were at East Denver or not, but extraordinary amount of technical innovation that's happening in that ecosystem. Layer 2s, Layer 1s, account abstractions, so many things that are happening. As a technologist, when I look at this, I'm more bullish than I've ever been in terms of what is actually being built and what we're going to be able to do, which is great. So we kind of, I believe, are on the cusp of kind of crossing the chasm from a technology and usability perspective. And that's going to happen, I think, over the next year. The really pivotal question, which I know you have a lot to say about, is are we going to cross the chasm in terms of sensible regulation? And we can talk about the US we can talk about the rest of the world, we can talk about the dynamics there. But what are the odds that we're going to land something so that the core innovations of DeFi and of Dows and token mechanics and the broader kind of market infrastructure that's going to come across the other side so that major companies can be built and major communities can thrive? What's your outlook on that?

Ryan: I think it's going to vary widely by region. And to your point about East Denver, these technologies are not going to be uninvented in different regions, are at different phases of incorporating crypto or Web3, whatever you want to call it. I still say crypto. I think Web3 is dead to me. But anyway, we tried our Web3 marketing moment and we fell on our face with it. So we're back to crypto. But I think the folks that are taking a serious look at the crypto policy, you think about what's happening with MiCa here in the EU. You think about how far ahead Singapore, Korea, Japan are right now in terms of grappling with this and integrating crypto and some of those infrastructure companies into their financial services regimes. The US really is on an island where the ambiguity in some respects, I think has helped because there's been a lot of experimentation and there's almost too many. I made the comparison. My six year old was wondering why I was so upset last week and I had to compose myself because it bothers the kids when Dad's upset, of course. I said well, because we just watched A Bug's Life the weekend before. And I was like, you know that scene where Flick is like he finally realizes there's like 100 times as many ants as grasshoppers? That's kind of like me and my friends right now. We're all really frustrated, but we're about to have this big battle with the grasshoppers. And he thought that was really cool. And it does feel like that. It shouldn't, but it does. And part of it is because this is complicated. It evolves quickly. And from a regulatory regulator's perspective, it's like playing a game of Whac-A-Mole and you see the headlines and you have the pressure kind of top down many cases to do something. Especially in the wake of just a bunch of errors, unforced errors, like we had last year between Three Arrows and Terra (LUNA) and then FTX, of course. And I think the natural tendency is to frankly be cut corners and just be as fast and unsorrow perhaps as possible to solve a broader systemic issue or threat that you view, instead of being a little bit more thoughtful. Because we do have some policymakers that I think are trying to take the long view and be a little bit more careful than currently what we're facing in the US. I think the variance is wide. The spoils will go to the more patient jurisdictions and to the countries that are actually going to support innovation and view this as an opportunity versus just a nail that needs to be hammered.

Jeremy: Yeah I want to come back to the global regional dimension, all this but I know you're very dialed in on the US political and regulatory environment and one only needs to read your Twitter account to get a flavor for that. But do you believe that bipartisan policymakers are going to get their arms wrapped around, let's just say stablecoin legislation which is sort of the lowest hanging fruit and obviously is actually somewhat urgently needed just this base layer that so much other stuff gets built on. We've been agitating for Stablecoin legislation, we've been agitating for the ability for a Stablecoin issuer to not have to be dependent on commercial bank risk but to actually be able to hold funds directly with the Fed and have the ability to use the Fed payment system. That's I think in some of the drafts that have floated around on a Payment Stablecoin Act in the US to maybe start with Stablecoin legislation and then we talk about the kind of crypto asset crypto markets kind of activity.

Ryan: I think it depends if we will be able to get something done piecemeal because it's almost like there's a couple of different camps. There's some folks that want a grand bargain, let's just handle everything all at once and just get this done. And then there's folks that might want to look sector-by-sector, use case-by-use case and actually pick off the lowest hanging fruit. I hope it's the latter. That's certainly the direction that it looked like things were going with McHenry Waters and that bill which I know is getting a little bit more pickup and kind of coming back to the four this year which is good. I hope that's the case. I'm not sure how to think about it in terms of handicapping the probabilities, but I certainly think that if you do get one bill passed that would be a critical one. Now we have to see what happens the next couple of weeks because we're right in the middle of a banking crisis and if a bunch of regional banks start going down I think good stablecoin legislation and a public private partnership becomes that much more important. Otherwise we're just naturally trending towards a CBDC.

Jeremy: Yeah absolutely. I mean there's a solve for this, which is

Ryan: The US is already the market leader through no real help of the government, right? But because of these partnerships that you and some of the other issuers have been able to strike it would be a fumble to give that up now.

Jeremy: Yeah, wholeheartedly agree. The market side obviously it feels like the various failures of different firms has sort of given rise to a lot of enforcement actions and maybe a feeling that there's less political air cover for people who were trying to work towards bipartisan policy work, whether it's in the commodities side, security side, otherwise. So we've sort of seen that pivot from, one could argue the administration, maybe you could say it's specific agencies, actors, et cetera, but we have that happening. But we also are hearing from congressional leaders like we got to do something about this. And I don't think people want to just sit back and let it burn or sit back and just say this is just an enforcement of existing laws. Question it seems like that whether it be in the White House or in congressional leaders or others, there is a sense of like we have to have kind of regulation. In fact, I think the US is driving and leading an FSB level dialogue on consistent normalized crypto asset regulation in the G20, which gets back to that regional issue as well, which is like is this a short term arbitrage or are we dealing with something more systemic globally?

Ryan: I think in the US. I'm not as plugged in internationally on some of the policy efforts. My focus is on the US right now just because I happen to think that that's going to be the primary battlefront for crypto as an asset class. If we want to maintain our lead in tech and financial services, crypto is going to have to be an important component of that that we get right. And I'm just not moving again, right? There are some folks I'll leave the country, I'm not moving my family, so I'm 40 miles from the fight in some direction. I'm not going to dock myself, but I think it's important that we get it right at home in the US. I'm saying at home from Paris with Paris in the background. But I think it's important that we get it right in the US. And I think one of the most unfortunate things about the timing of how everything kind of blew up around FTX last year, I mean Sam screwed everybody. I don't think that we should really say his name. I'll make an exception just to kind of tell this story. But I don't think most people realize how close DCCPA this bill Steve Bozeman was and I would argue how close it was to being actually a pretty good bill and people don't really appreciate the legislative process, like how some of these things get crafted. But some of the things that leaked that everybody was up in arms about, first of all, they were old versions. Second of all, the problematic pieces were based on some technical misunderstandings and we were maybe a few paragraphs of different sections away from having a pretty good backbone for at least how we're going to regulate some of the institutional players. And we can argue over whether that would have disproportionately benefited FTX. I think that would have been a problem based on some of the ways that this was being interpreted. But if you just took them out of the equation. And you just looked at this with, like, two brand new senators, two brand new congressmen that were introducing this bipartisan legislation. I think you would look at that today and you'd say, it's actually not a bad bill.

Jeremy: Yeah.

Ryan: The things that have to be ironed out a little bit are how do we define what these tokens are and how they should be regulated without breaking them? And then who has jurisdiction over that? You can kind of work out somewhat naturally, but can we just apply a little bit of common sense to it as well? Right? And that's what's been missing in this entire process and all these conversations.

Jeremy: So I go back to 2018, when we owned and operated in an exchange that had actually been historically involved in a lot of the tokens that were out in the world. But the SEC came out with guidance, further guidance, I should say, about how to interpret the Howey Test and how test prongs relative to a crypto asset that was famously in April of 2018. And I wrote a bunch about it then, and I felt very strongly that what they were putting forward was really problematic. And that the challenge is we don't have basically the challenge is that digital assets do not neatly fit into the financial instrument categories of currencies, commodities and securities. They don't. Some do and many don't. A lot of regulators in other parts of the world have basically sort of said, okay, we acknowledge that there are these digital tokens that people issue and that are tied to a technology or some infrastructure, and we're going to regulate disclosure issues around them and what markets they can be in and kind of have market supervision around that, which I think is closer to the Digital Commodities and Consumer Protection Act in substance. But it still comes back to we have to define digital assets and the types of digital assets in statutes. Right. We cannot just look in the rear view mirror at the past of these instruments. These are novel instruments that work across a spectrum. And I'd be interested if you feel similarly, like, don't we just need to bear down and do the hard work of defining these instruments and not have the kind of square peg, square hole, kind of or whatever the right metaphor is kind of approach to these.

Ryan: I think it's always that fuzzy gray area that holds up the works. With DCCPA, it was, well, we can't regulate the exchanges because how are we thinking about decentralized exchanges? Right? And there are different edge cases that would come up. And the policymakers either the regulators that were pushing and kind of weighing in from their side on certain things or the folks who were actually holding pen and on the staff level, they're trying to come up with this theory of everything for assets that in some cases have been in existence for two or three years. Right. So I think one of the problems is right now people are trying to come up with a theory of everything for crypto regulation, instead of just focusing on the low hanging fruit that would get us 90% of the way there today and would probably take an afternoon to draft when you really kind of boil it down. Right. Who has jurisdiction? What are the changes that this technology introduces that are going to make it complicated to fit in under the letter of existing law when it comes to how we regulate commodities or derivatives or securities? Make those tweaks specifically. For these assets or this subset of assets that has these characteristics and then put everything else that's in the gray area in the safe harbor bucket, right? Not a green light to do whatever the hell you want, but some sensible framework where, okay, we're not going to be able to grapple with every single edge case today because it's a rapidly evolving industry. But, you know, we can do we can at least go back to what the spirit of the law is and we can go back to our mandates as regulators. What do we need to see to get comfort? And these assets being supported by regulated infrastructure companies, for instance. And Commissioner Peirce, these institutions are not monoliths. But Hester Peirce from the SEC around that same time proposed the 1.0 of the Safe Harbor, and she had a couple of different iterations, and we were intimately familiar with some of what went into that because a lot of it mirrored our early framework for disclosures for these different token projects. And we've iterated on that as well. That makes a lot of sense. Not because it's good for us or it's good for the industry or good for the regulators. That's true. But also if you take seriously, for instance, that the SEC's mandate is to protect investors, ensure fair and efficient markets, and promote capital formation, today they're over three. Safe Harbor gets them three for three, and it doesn't give anything away long term. By definition, you can craft a Safe Harbor so that it only applies to assets or different sectors that are beneath a certain dollar value threshold or whether that's trading or market cap or time in market. If you want to take the years-based approach, we just haven't really seen any of that.

Jeremy: Yeah, maybe changing gears a little bit. I've had the benefit of meeting with a lot of regulators in a lot of markets around the world. One of the things that we're focused on is because USDC is so prevalent in digital asset markets, is working with regulators in the major markets so that they have a good understanding of USDC. And we're seeing a lot of markets sort of green light the use of USDC by market participants. But it's very interesting to see sort of the kind of regulatory competition and really seems to be picking up. We're here in France. And France is making a big play to be the center of European crypto asset market activity. And I think they're doing a very good job of that. They're leaning in more than any other major country in Europe right now, and you're seeing United Arab Emirates taking a very big step. Singapore, as you noted, et cetera. What do you think the world looks like? Do you think there's a world where there's a huge array of technology and infrastructure and utility and other things that's sort of available to everyone except for people in the United States? Are we facing that level of issue or what do you think on that?

Ryan: Our margin is France's opportunity.

Jeremy: Yeah.

Ryan: I think it's silly to think that just because the US has a dominant financial and tech infrastructure in certain areas, that that will always be the case.

Jeremy: Yeah, but we 800 million people in Europe.

Ryan: Well, and we don't have to look far. 5G and telecom everything that's going on with semiconductors. We just spent half a trillion dollars trying to re onshore semiconductor manufacturing, and we're actively pushing people in different segments that are going to be strategically important offshore. Does anybody draw a straight line from.

Jeremy: The national economic interest? And the national security interest for this industry in the US needs to be more fully, I think, articulated? Because I agree.

Ryan: And you can do that covering Stablecoins, Bitcoin, Ethereum and some of these other processing Blockchain platforms without saying, you know what? We need all of this, like Wild West access to any new novel derivative instrument.

Jeremy: That 90% of this. 

Ryan: It’s more, really. And I think, again, that's what's missing. And if you're a developer on the other side of that and you have a five person team, and you have a few hundred million dollars in total value locked in your unaudited or barely audited smart contracts that have been getting hacked every other week, maybe it's time to look in the mirror and think. Maybe this is the Centralization Theater. Or we should have some speed bumps, some self-imposed, kind of like governor on these golf cars so that we can soft roll this. And that is only going to happen with better US policy and I think a little bit better international coordination. Otherwise, the incentive is always going to be go as fast, as hard and as big as you can, as quickly as possible to win the market. Right?

Jeremy: Yeah, totally makes sense. I want to come back to the Final Boss, and I know something that you've referenced in the past is sort of obviously the FDR Executive Order, which effectively seized all gold in the United States. Is there a risk, a genuine risk? We have a potential for a financial crisis. We have loss of confidence in the banking sector. We've actually seen a Bitcoin rally. If bology is right, it would be a million dollars in six months. I'm not so sure. But I think that he hopes

Ryan: Not.

Jeremy: As you've also commented, it's the disorder hedge. But in a world where you have all these breakdowns and you see a kind of exponential growth in a non-sovereign digital store value like Bitcoin, will more governments I'm not just talking about the US government will more governments just step in and attempt to control that?

Ryan: There's a few steps that you'd have to go before that becomes realistic. But there's a joke within the crypto community. Well, not really a joke. I mean, it's legitimate, right? You can self-custody your coins, but you're still susceptible to a $5 wrench attack, right? So it doesn't matter how exotic your security setup is. If you are responsible with custody your own assets, that is also going to come with certain levels of risk. And from a political perspective, if things went sideways enough and certain leaders, whether it's in the US or any other jurisdiction, we're looking for scapegoats right? Whether it's blaming folks in crypto for a crisis or it is just trying to impose a wealth tax, they're really not dissimilar. You would take the same steps and that could be basically do the equivalent of the $5 wrench attack. But it's law enforcement coming to your home and saying you have unreported foreign bank accounts. We already have these laws on the books in the US. You have to report your foreign bank accounts on an annual basis above a certain threshold. It would be trivial for that was.

Jeremy: In some treasury guidance a couple of years ago, I think on crypto itself. You had your roof

Ryan: I believe that was for the international exchanges.

Jeremy: Oh, that was right.

Ryan: But my point is it would be trivial to sneak one line amendment into some must pass bill, basically applying that to self-custody and any wallets that an individual has. So right there you can technically trip people up in terms of non-compliance. There's a number of things, again, not to get too dystopian, but there are these tools that everybody knows exist and that we have to prep for and make sure it never gets to that point. But I don't think it's a foregone conclusion that that is totally off the table right now. And historically we've thought about that in the context of China or other authoritarian regimes. But if you look at what's happened in the last couple of weeks, with the way that Silvergate was ultimately forced to sneeze, with the way that the SVB conversations went to backstop those depositors, even though crypto had very little to do with it. I tweeted something that four different headlines from SVB basically putting, like, crypto and SVB in the same headlines, almost as if it was part of, like a talking points memo that was top down. And then, of course, signature. And that kind of what's been, I think, going to get investigated at this point as to don't live for the.

Jeremy: Company that starts with an S.

Ryan: Yes, exactly. So Circle does not start with an S. But I think it's a concerning trend. I like the way that you guys have put it though, which is something I agree with Crypto has to be protected from the banks at this point. And if they only let fully reserve banks actually legally register, we are working on that. We wouldn't have these issues because the crypto companies actually would like to have full reserves and through and down their principles. But of course we know why certain folks don't want that because it would be, I think, highly disruptive to the financial system. So there's a lot of different concerns. I'm not in Bology's camp yet. I'm closer to him than I think the mainstream most likely in terms of how I think some of this could go. But maybe it's blind optimism or the fact that I just have no intention of moving my family. That keeps me a little bit more cheery about how this is going to resolve. Yeah, and I also feel like we're going to play a role in this too. I don't feel like a non participating character right now.

Jeremy: Personhood and presence is real and material. We've certainly felt that. And as you know, from day one, we're going to walk in through the front door, we're going to engage with policymakers and regulators everywhere we go and be as transparent about what we're doing as possible. And that has served us well. And I think we'll, during this pivotal time, continue to serve us well. As I kind of stepped back, I'd sort of drawn the lessons of the commercialization of the internet in its first generation and second generation. And there's a thing that happened which is that the technology got to a point where the utility really took off. And oftentimes that happened before, there were a lot of regulations around it. And when that happened, people and corporations and firms were sort of like, this is incredible, this is solving problems at scale for me that I haven't been able to be solved. And at that point it was too expensive politically to put the genie back in the bottle. And so I think one of the things I admire about this industry is there is a relentless pursuit of improving this technology so that we can get to a point where a user can self-custody a digital wallet. With social recovery and not have to acquire Ethereum to make a payment and can just have the use of something like USDC as a transactional medium. And that's the kind of thing that can light up WhatsApp like scale. And that's on the horizon in the next six to twelve months. And the regulatory stuff is not going to get resolved in the next six to twelve months. And so I think there is a genuine potential that over the next couple of years you're going to sort of see this kind of utility curve start to really kick in and I think they're frictionless borderless, global, smart contract mediated money is not something people are going to want to put back in the bottle. Right. So I'm optimistic, as you know, I sort of manage through optimism, even in the face of extraordinarily difficult situations, and I'm optimistic about that transformation. I'd be curious about you.

Ryan: I think we need to get better at storytelling and part of it is we need to be better pulling accurate versions of history, not just the Tweet length versions of history. Right. So you made the point about the 90s. Section 230 barely was incorporated into the kind of early internet regulations. Former Senator at the time, Joe Biden, was a big fan of the Chipper cliffe. This is probably something you were absolutely familiar with, right? Like the backdoor encryption. Whether there was going to be encryption allowed on the open internet was not a foregone conclusion. It was razor thin and it almost went the other direction if not for a couple of public PR campaigns that were ultimately effective. So, first of all, that version of history did not necessarily need to play out the way that it ended up playing out to the point that I just made about not being a non participating character. I think this is an important kind of period of time. We also have to avoid own goals and that kind of ties to the tell the right stories, but also stop telling the shitty stories that kind of trip everybody up and make everyone look guilty by association. I think that's going to take a little bit more coordination than a decentralized kind of ragtag group of entrepreneurs is used to. But frankly, it's going to have to happen soon or I think we'll be on the wrong side of that 230 and Chipper cliffe conversation when it comes to crypto, at least in the US.

Jeremy: It is a pivotal moment, no doubt. Ryan, great pleasure to have you on the show. Really enjoyed the conversation.


Ryan: Always a pleasure. Thanks.

Jeremy Allaire
Co-Founder, CEO & Chairman at Circle
Ryan Selkis
Co-Founder & CEO, Messari

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