How stablecoin Glo lifts people out of poverty
Jasper joins Joeri from the CMO Stories podcast. They discuss the purpose of Glo, ownership in Glo, our marketing strategy, how DAOs work, and more.
Joeri Billast 00:05
Hello everyone, and welcome to the CMO stories podcast season two, Episode 26. My name is Joeri Billast, and I'm your podcast host. And today I'm excited to be joined by Jasper, Jasper how are you?
Jasper Driessens 00:21
Yeah, thanks. I'm doing great. Thanks for having me. Very excited.
Joeri Billast 00:24
You know, Jasper, yeah, English people would say Jasper, of course, but you are the first guest if you believe it or not, I think I've made around 70-80 episodes from the Benelux and actually we could have done the podcast in Dutch, but we won't, because people are listening to this from everywhere around the world. And guys, if you don't know Jasper yet, by the way, that's a for me, it's easy to pronounce. And it's also the first guest I think that won't have difficulties to pronounce my name. So guys, yeah, it's a funny story to start Jasper but let me introduce you for our guests. So guys, if you don't know Jasper, Jasperis the co founder and CMO of Glo. And he's responsible for all things brands and marketing. And if you ask me, what isGlo, while it's the nonprofit, anti poverty version of the dollar. So this is really fascinating to me. I'm curious to hear your story. Jaspert But before we dive in, tell us a bit more about you yourself. Who are you? And yeah, how did the story begin with Glo?
Jasper Driessens 01:30
Yeah, definitely. So like I said, I'm Jasper, I live in the Netherlands. I am now CMO of the Glo foundation. I come from a very different background, I started studying computer science, mastering in artificial intelligence. And that was about 10 years ago, and I had a lot of friends who were studying finance, and I knew one thing, I knew that finance was not an interesting topic.
Joeri Billast 01:55
Jasper Driessens 01:56
money, I thought it was just always a means to an end. And never the actually interesting topic itself. So I was very uninterested in money. And I was mostly interested in, yeah, technical engineering kind of topics. And over the course of the last 10 years, I very slowly but surely shifted from hardcore engineering to allow some marketing and from thinking that money is uninteresting to thinking that money is actually one of the most interesting things in the world. And through a lot of intermediate steps that got me here. So what's here? Well, the Glo Foundation is a nonprofit. We have been working as an organization for a year now. And it's conceived and funded by Sid Sijbrandi, who is the co founder and CEO of GitLab.
Joeri Billast 02:47
Jasper Driessens 02:48
He actually wanted to do good things with his money. So one of the things that he did was he donated $10 million to an NGO called GiveDirectly, who then just actually relay that money to people in extreme poverty. And that got him wondering like he feels good about that donation. But it did get him wondering, what impact did that really have that $10 million? And is that enough? Well, obviously, it's not enough, but how much more we need to help everyone in extreme poverty. And then he realized that that's just such a big problem that if you want to solve that with just donations, you'll have a very hard time. So he realized that if we want to structurally solve the problem of extreme poverty, we need some other solution than just donating money to these people. And that's how the idea for Glo got started, I got in touch with him with Jeff and Garm our co-founders. And that's, that's how we got started about a year ago. Yeah.
Joeri Billast 03:40
Okay, it's a year ago. And in the year, a lot of things can happen, of course, but perhaps first for our audience, because we have a mixed audience. Some of them are already in web3 and have experience with it, for some of them is rather new. They are marketers and they hear about web3 and all the possibilities. So can you explain a bit for a mixed audience? What Glo dollar actually does?
Jasper Driessens 04:03
Definitely, I will give the non crypto version first. And
Joeri Billast 04:08
Jasper Driessens 04:08
this split is actually interesting from a marketing perspective, because doing marketing and crypto can help you at some times but also work against you. So I think you need to have a good story towards both audiences. So the non crypto story is that we are building the glo dollar G-L-O dollar and it's actually quite the same as the US dollar the normal dollar that we all want to say know and love. Not everyone loves it, of course, but
Joeri Billast 04:38
Jasper Driessens 04:39
we all know it's definitely. So you can use it as money. You can pay your friends with the Glo dollar just like you can with the US dollar. There's one big difference if you do it's with the Glo dollar. Then because of you people get lifted out of extreme poverty. And that's makes it sounds like you are paying for that, but that's not the case. So it sounds a bit too good to be true. Another marketing challenge that we have,
Joeri Billast 05:06
Jasper Driessens 05:06
whatever you do with money, whether paying or saving, or receiving your salary. And if you just do that in the Glo dollar, then people get lifted out of extreme poverty because of you, but you don't have to do anything for that. And you also don't have to pay for that. So it's really a different kind of dollar with philanthropy embedded into it.
Joeri Billast 05:28
Jasper Driessens 05:29
Now, crypto version.
Joeri Billast 05:31
Yeah, now people are wondering, but how does that work? You know, they understand that what it is, but how it works, that's perhaps a question mark. But perhaps in the crypto version, it becomes clear,
Jasper Driessens 05:42
the crypto version is, I think, uh, exposes the the mechanics a little bit more,
Joeri Billast 05:47
Jasper Driessens 05:48
the crypto version assumes that you already know what a stablecoin is. So stablecoin is a cryptocurrency that does not go up and down in value, but stays equal in value to a normal currency. So put shortly all stable coins are worth $1, if they do their job well. And what most people don't know is that stable coins are created by companies and these companies actually do make money. And how that works is this, let's say you want $1,000 of stablecoin, then you pay 1000 real dollars to this company, they keep your 1000 real dollars, and they give you the 1000 stablecoins, let's say 1000 Fake dollars. And then at any point in time, you can you can reverse that transaction. So if you want your real money back, you just send them the stablecoins back and they give you your real money back. But in the meantime, they don't just keep your $1,000 collecting dust, they invest a part of your $1,000. And that's how they make their money. And that sounds a bit scary, because if they invest your money, that means your money can also, you know, crash or
Joeri Billast 07:00
Jasper Driessens 07:01
lose their value. So what they do is they only invest in the lowest risks, uh risk investments one can think of, and generally people think those are government bonds. So United States government bonds, you borrow money to the US government. And then three months later, they give you your money back, plus a little bit extra. And that can really only fail if the US government fails.
Joeri Billast 07:27
mm hmm, right.
Jasper Driessens 07:28
So It's not 100% riskless. But if that fails, then we probably have bigger problems. And
Joeri Billast 07:35
Yeah, but, you know, with with the current banking system, it's the same, ah, if a bank fails, you know, you don't expect it to fail, but it can always happen. So yeah,
Jasper Driessens 07:44
that's true. So there, there is a risk. And I think to show a sense of scale. So if you've never heard about stablecoins, or the business model, this all sounds very esoteric, maybe. But there are two very large stable coins that have been doing this for years. And these are Tether. And they're stable coins called USDT, and there's Circle, and their stable coin is USDC. And they have market caps, another technical word of 66, and 44 billion, which means that customers, their customers have been have been converting 66 and 44 million, uh billion dollars, like real dollars to these stablecoins. So clearly, there is a lot of demand. And these companies make a lot of money this way. So our estimate is that Tether makes about $1.8 billion per year, just because of these investments. So if you are a Tether user,
Joeri Billast 08:45
Jasper Driessens 08:46
they have your real money, they invest your money, they make money from these investments, and that is we estimate about $1.8 billion dollars per year. So that's how stablecoin business works.
Joeri Billast 08:57
That's yeah, how that works. And then now how is Glo different or you know, it uses the same principles, I guess, but it's different.
Jasper Driessens 09:06
Yeah, the twist is we do the exact same thing, but then we donate that one. So let's say we also get to the point where we make $1.8 billion, we donate 100% of that money. And we use that money to give people in extreme poverty, small basic incomes, you can think of like mounds of like $40 per month, so $1.8 billion per year, that would provide a basic income for close to 4 million people. So if we, if we get as big as Tether, the largest stablecoin out there, we will be able to lift almost 4 million people out of extreme poverty. And really the ones who are doing that are the users of the Glo dollar, because they decided to participate in this form of philanthropy. The nice thing is that, you know, they can really say that they're lifting people out of poverty, but it costs them nothing, because whenever they want, they can get their real money back. We just deinvest, give them real money back. So for them nothing changes. That is the magic of the business model.
Joeri Billast 10:13
Oh, yeah, it's a beautiful business model, if you read like that. So the risks are limited, you do good. And actually, you talk about extreme poverty. So in a lot of countries, you know, even a few dollars is already a lot, they can do a lot with it. So I think that's also the beauty of the system. So okay, you are now spreading your message here, on my podcasts, perhaps on other podcasts? How are, what is on the marketing side, The way that you get known, because people of course, in marketing, they need to know you, they need to trust you? How are you doing that Jasper?
Jasper Driessens 10:49
Yeah, great question. Let me start by saying we're definitely still figuring it out. So what we're finding is that once we get some time with someone, so if someone decides to listen to a podcast, or, or meets us at a conference, and we can actually talk for, let's say, 10 minutes, then almost always we're able to convince people that what we do is a good idea. So we have we have found a story that works. The problem is, in most cases, you don't get 10 minutes with someone,
Joeri Billast 11:23
Right. Yeah, in that case, I would say a podcast is ideal if people because then people really listen.
Jasper Driessens 11:31
Exactly. Yeah. So we're focusing a lot on podcasts right now. Of course, we have to find we have to find other ways as well, because you just can't reach everyone with with podcasts. So I think step one for us is how do we even catch someone's attention in the first place? That is a challenge, because fundamentally, we are not really solving anyone's problem.
Joeri Billast 11:52
Jasper Driessens 11:53
Unlike with like a SaaS products, like you don't need us in your life, it is really philanthropy.
Joeri Billast 11:59
Jasper Driessens 11:59
Your life doesn't improve if you if you join, it's just that you do something good for the world. So that's, so that's problem one, like, how can we get in someone's life? How can we get in front of your eyeballs? Then
Joeri Billast 12:12
Jasper Driessens 12:13
Problem two is okay, now we have your attention. Can we explain the magic? So most people, once they understand what we're do what we do, they're like, Oh, wow, that's amazing. Like you're you have a new form of money that by itself lifts people out of extreme poverty. The problem is, it takes a little bit to get to that aha moment.
Joeri Billast 12:32
Jasper Driessens 12:33
And then the third problem is, immediately people are skeptical. So it sounds too good to be true. It sounds like a scam. How do we actually get is there some hidden [cost]? Like there cannot be a free lunch? So what's wrong here? They started looking for that, or they don't even start looking for it. They just dismiss it. They're like, yeah, this, this sounds too much like all the other fake ideas in crypto, I'm not even going to bother good luck with your project.
Joeri Billast 13:03
I think that's one of the main challenges I would think of, but of course, the world is evolving, certainly in the web3 space will be more and more people are understanding it. I think once you understand the system of these stablecoins, and then you know, okay, those risks are limited. And then you know, people see the story behind this. It's about you spreading your story, of course, probably also building a community with people. I know you're just starting out but community is, as they say, the new marketing. Are there any initiatives on that side, Jasper, that you are doing to try to build a community?
Jasper Driessens 13:42
Yeah, definitely. So you're you're totally right. I think community is one way for us to escape these problems. Because if you have other people saying that this is a good idea, it already sounds more credible, of course, then we ourselves saying it, especially if these people are trustworthy.
Joeri Billast 14:01
Jasper Driessens 14:02
So we have ah, the first iteration of this is a page we have on our website. glodoollar.org/articles/support, and they're we're listing, ah, we're listing social media texts from our community. So you'll see, you'll see people like real people, saying things like Glo allows people to contribute to charity without actually donating any money. Finally, a great use case for crypto.
Joeri Billast 14:31
Jasper Driessens 14:32
Someone else is saying Glo is quite literally one of the best ideas I've ever heard. And it's like, yeah, if we just put that on on a banner, like that doesn't work. But if a real person said says that and you land on our website, it's like okay, I don't quite understand it yet. But if these real people are saying things like that there might be something here so I'll take it more seriously, when I'm when I'm educating myself on this new concept.
Joeri Billast 14:58
Yeah, I think yeah. If you know if I see someone putting this on Twitter or LinkedIn or other social media platform, they say, oh, this person is talking about this, okay, then I need to check it, you know, then they you grab their attention. There is a little bit trust already there because they see this person is talking about it. And then if they see the other, I would say social proof and messages yet, I think that could really help. And this is something that could make the difference. So, how is Glo actually evolving at this moment. What are your plans for the coming year? Or the targets? I would say?
Jasper Driessens 15:38
Yeah, good question. Well, that's maybe a good moment to say that we're actually not live yet.
Joeri Billast 15:43
Jasper Driessens 15:44
So that so that also makes it difficult. Because I think once we're live, then we have another tactic, which is just to show results.
Joeri Billast 15:54
Jasper Driessens 15:54
Once we can actually say, Hey, we're now lifting, I don't know, like 1523 people out of extreme poverty, that might get people asking questions like, Okay, but how, but now, we're not live yet. We're actually almost live. So this is maybe a bit crypto technical, but we last month, created the first Glo on Ethereum and Polygon blockchains. That's still in private beta. So
Joeri Billast 16:21
Jasper Driessens 16:22
you cannot actually buy glo, yet, we have to jump through a couple of legal hurdles, but we're almost there. So if all goes well, then next month, you should be able to buy Glo, but only if you know your way around decentralized exchanges,
Joeri Billast 16:41
Jasper Driessens 16:41
which is also a problem in marketing. Because, for instance, my parents are going to buy Glo. That's because they like me, of course. But they're also, they're pretty excited about the concept. So they are already telling their colleagues. So my mom is a nurse, and my dad was, works at a high school. So they're telling very non crypto native people about this. And my problem from a marketing perspective is I cannot really send these people to uniswap. Because that is just so complicated and dangerous.
Joeri Billast 17:13
Jasper Driessens 17:14
They might lose their money trying.
Joeri Billast 17:15
Jasper Driessens 17:17
So. So once we're lifelive we're like decentralized live. But what I really consider are true moments of going live is when we get listed on a reputable centralized exchange, because that is still a little bit complicated if you're not technically savvy, but that is less complicated. And it's also safer.
Joeri Billast 17:37
Right? Yeah. Yeah, it's, as you say, you know, it's, you need also a bit to educate your audience to see how can they buy their first Glo. And if it's, you know, it should not be too complicated that you don't lose them. So yeah, the timing is important there. But it's interesting to see that, yeah, you, you are launching, and you have a lot of things going on this year. And people now that are listening to the podcast, and they want to invest in Glo, or they just want to have the latest news. But what is the best way that they could do it? Do you want to send them to your website or to follow perhaps Glo on Twitter, what will be the best way?
Jasper Driessens 18:19
I think the best way is to join our waitlist. So you just drop your email address there. And if you do, then we will keep you posted on whether you can actually buy Glo So you can go there, we created a link for this podcast. So you can go there through glodollar.org/cmo. So does g l o dollar Delta org slash CMO. And you can just drop your email address there. It helps us show a little bit of traction show that we're we're making. We're making moves and and we'll we'll let you know when you can actually buy some Glo. Right. And that's step two. So once we're live, we really only have one goal and which is growing the market cap. So market cap, like I already said is just a technical word for how much money has been converted to Glo. And why do we want to grow market cap? Well, we're nonprofit, so we don't make any more money if we do, but the higher our markets get, the more people we can lift out of extreme poverty.
Joeri Billast 19:20
Jasper Driessens 19:21
So on average, every $18,000 converted to Glo helps us generate a basic income for one person. So if you have, you know, $1,000 of savings that you're not doing anything with, you're waiting until your dishwasher breaks or something like that. You convert it to Glo. Once your dishwasher actually breaks, you can just convert it back and bite the dishwasher. But in the meantime, you know you're contributing $1,000 to our market cap. And then if if 17 other people do the same thing, then that leaves one person out of poverty. Now that might sound being efficient like we need 18 to be people's actions to lift one person out of poverty. But, you know, remind the fact that none of these 18 people are donating anything. So they're doing a form of philanthropy that doesn't cost them anything. But it helps someone else. And that is for individuals. But of course, we can grow our markets gap in many other ways. Like basically, like any entity that controls money could adopt glow. So I don't know if If you think our audiences is ready for us to talk about DAOs.
Joeri Billast 20:34
There are a few people, not everyone will understand it. But just you know, go ahead explain what a DAO is and how that works. It's always interesting to talk about that.
Jasper Driessens 20:43
Okay, so how I explained DAOs is, crypto, people basically want to recreate the normal world in a way that such that everything lives on a blockchain and the whole system is not dependent on things in the real world. One thing that you didn't need is a way to create organizations, for instance, businesses, but also associations, foundations, in the real world, you go to a notary, and you say, hey, I want to found this association, and then you have some bylaws. And then you know, it is it is created for the legal system. Now, in the crypto world, we want to do the same thing, but then we don't we want it to be independent of the of the real world legal system. And that that's where DAOs come in, so DAOs stand for decentralized autonomous organizations. And it's just basically the same thing. So instead of going to the notary, to say, hey, we now created this organization, you go to blockchain, and you say, this is now an organization, you only have one problem, like almost every organization needs a bank account, to get fees from your members or to pay your employees or to pay your designer or, you know, whatever you do, you almost always need a bank account. And DAOs cannot open a bank account because they want to be independent of the real world. So they don't want to have to touch banks, so what they do instead is they have a wallet that holds stablecoins, which is the crypto equivalent of having a bank account. And now that's interesting, because that means that there are organizations that are already holding stablecoins. So one of the most well known DAOs is the Ethereum Name System DAO. So I saw on Twitter that you actually own a .eth domain, right. What is it again?
Joeri Billast 22:42
It's CMO stories dot eth. It's actually my podcast, you know?
Jasper Driessens 22:46
Right? Yeah, cmo stories dot eth. that is sort of like a website, right? It's like a crypto website.
Joeri Billast 22:52
It's for me, it's a digital identity, and also a website. And because I also own a Joeri dot NFT. But this is not an ETH domain name. But that's just, you know, to have like an identity on the web. But that's an all other discussion. But yeah, it's interesting that you mentioned it.
Jasper Driessens 23:11
Yeah. So so there is an organization that actually manages these .eth domains. And that is the Etherium name system DAO, the ENS DAO. And you know, they are kind of like a company, they have employees, they have costs. So they also need money, they can't have a bank account, so they have a wallet. And they have on that wallet, they have two and a half million dollars of stablecoins. Now, if they would just convert all of these stable coins to Glo dollars, not much changes for them, like we are just a stablecoin, like all of the others. But two and a half million dollars of Glo lifts 140 people out of extreme poverty.
Joeri Billast 23:52
Jasper Driessens 23:53
So in this one switch, the DAO could decide to just start giving a basic income to 140 people. Now this is of course, completely unrelated to what they do, it has nothing to do with the Ethereum naming system
Joeri Billast 24:06
Jasper Driessens 24:07
But it also doesn't cost them anything. So it's just it's just a good deed that they can do. As a Dow. That's pretty easy to do. And, you know, why not do it? You're already using stablecoins. You're already taking,
Joeri Billast 24:20
Right! Yeah, yeah. Actually, in that case, it seems like a no brainer. And of course, if they need their money, it's notor the crypto, it's not that it's, you know, it's blocked, they can have it, they can use it if they want it. That's that's the good thing. Like you talked about the washing machine, if you need the crypto, or the money or the dollars, the stablecoins for your, buy a washing machine, you can have them so that's, that's a good idea. Because in the real world, you know, you put your money at the bank. And even now, interest rates are really low at this moment. But you know, if you take away your money, you lose your interest. So actually, it's It's really interesting story. Thank you so much for for telling us about it. But what I was wondering, Jasper if people want to connect with you, so you told us about the website? You're also active on social media? Is that Twitter the best place to find you? Or what would be the best place?
Jasper Driessens 25:17
Yeah, I think so. So on Twitter, my name is jasdrie in Dutch pronunciation. It's J-A-S-D-R-I-E? That's my personal one. If you just want to follow Glo, it's Glo dollar, @glodollar.
Joeri Billast 25:36
Right? We will put all of this, of course, also in the show notes. And it's funny because my blog, you know, where we put people can find the show notes of these episodes, It's https://webdrie.net/, which is actually also the drie from your name. It's three in English, and so three in Dutch, because that was a domain name that was still free. Yes.
Jasper Driessens 26:00
I liked it. I noticed the same thing actually. Yeah,
Joeri Billast 26:03
yeah. So great. Yeah. So it was great talking to you Jasper. Thanks again.
Jasper Driessens 26:09
Yeah, thanks, was great being here. So guys,
Joeri Billast 26:14
it was wonderful talking to your spur. If you think that you have people around you that might be interested in the story around Glo, or around the stablecoins that really do good for the world to end extreme poverty. If you liked this story, please share this podcast episodes with those people with people around you. If you like the episode, you like the podcast, please don't forget to subscribe if you haven't already. And of course, I would like to see you back for the next podcast episode. Bye. Hey, don't worry. If you missed anything. We took all the notes for you just go to https://webdrie.net/. That's W-E-B-D-R-I-E dot net If you want to connect with me on social media, my Instagram and Twitter handles are JoeriBillast, just like my name. And last but not least, I'm starting a web3 marketing mastermind. And it will be awesome. If you want to have more information about this. Just send me a message on Twitter or Instagram or send me an email to Joeri at [inaudible].com. You will also find all details in the show notes. Thanks so much and hope to see you back next time.
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