Recently, EPN Enterprise Podcast Network sat down with Kevin Ting, founder and CEO of CryptoCanary, to discuss his peer-to-peer cryptocurrency rating site that is helping investors separate legitimate investment opportunities from those that are scams.
You can listen to the podcast here, or you can read the following transcript.
Q: Kevin, tell us more about yourself and your journey into the cryptocurrency and blockchain worlds.
A: I started off my career by working for several Silicon Valley startups for two years, and then I really got drawn into crypto in 2017. The biggest project at a time was Bitcoin.
That’s when I started a beginner-focused media and education company around mid 2017, and I just kind of went down the rabbit hole from there.
So, fast forward a couple years. That’s what led me to create CryptoCanary, which is my current focus. On the highest level, I would describe it as TripAdvisor or Yelp for the crypto world.
Q: What was the inspiration behind CryptoCanary?
A: Well – the media and education company I mentioned – [it has] a pretty large community where people can chat with each other, share ideas and learn together.
A lot of people were being targeted and affected by scams or just shady projects out there. We also found that there’s great info out there people are writing and sharing that helps prevent [investors] from falling to trap, but those are [harder] to find.
And so that’s what we wanted to tackle with CryptoCanary. We wanted to help people get the information they need [to] become more informed about what they’re dealing with when they come across various [cryptocurrency] projects, products or services.
Q: Are scams a big problem for the crypto world?
A: That’s really interesting. The crypto world is excited [about projects] because the represents freedom, decentralization and open access for everyone. And anyone from all around the world can get involved.
That’s really the beauty of it. It also has other features like privacy, censorship resistance, which means anyone can build coins or hold coins, and no one can stop them. Those are good things.
But it also can be a honeypot for bad actors. Because they see this as a really easy, private and anonymous way to target people and steal their money.
My point is: the [appealing] features of cryptocurrency can also make it easy for bad actors to take advantage of people.
Q: How does CryptoCanary aim to solve all these problems?
A: The high-level approach is that we bring together info in a very easily digestible format. Part of that comes from the information that we scrape from online sources and grab automatically from APIs.
The user-generated portions [of CryptoCanary] are the reviews, the ratings and the shared experiences and wisdom. The crypto world helping each other out, per se.
That’s the whole point: we don’t want some central authority dictating everything for us, and dropping a lot of different rules and regulations to save people from scam projects. We in the crypto world can do this on our own and help each other out; help each other learn and avoid the bad stuff. That’s what we’re trying to enable.
Q: Is CryptoCanary just about helping people avoid scams or can it help crypto users in other ways?
A: That is a really great question.
We don’t only help people focus on the bad stuff. On a general level, we just want to help people cut down time finding the information they need to make good decisions. So, you can find perspectives – good and bad – in terms of how they view certain projects. And so that’s what we provide people besides just a way to avoid scams.
Q: I understand you’re working with Polyient Labs. Can you tell us a little bit about Polyient and what you’re doing with them?
A: Yeah, I’ve been really lucky to work with Polyient. They’re a great team. I actually met them at a conference in San Francisco and was able to connect with them and start a conversation.
We ended up starting in their incubator program, based in Phoenix. And so far, it’s been amazing. They were super helpful with strategy, but also diving into smaller details like design, and so forth. So It’s been an absolute pleasure working with Nick [Casares] and Brad [Robertson] and other people on the team. And I can’t recommend them enough for other projects that are looking for a way to just grow, improve their company and accelerate their timeline.
Q: Where are you right now with CryptoCanary? And what are you focused on in the upcoming future?
A: Right now we’re working with Polyient to redesign and refresh our entire website and make it better, more clear, and optimize it in terms of various workflows.
After that, we’re going to focus on growing our initial user base. We’re currently at roughly 400 registered users. After the design, rebrand, and refresh, we’re going to be exploring financing to accelerate our growth even more. And I’m excited to work with Polyient each step of the way.
A: You founded Bitcoin for Beginners. Can you tell our listeners a little bit about that project and get into some of those details briefly?
A: What we do there is make beginner-focused content for people who are interested in Bitcoin and cryptocurrency and want to learn more in a safe, friendly and focused way.
We created free content for them, like “how-to” videos and articles, explainers, and various news coverage. And [we’ve] covered things on both the tech side and the financial side.
We’ve grown that to an audience of over 100,000 users since we first started. We have a YouTube channel for long-form video content, a website full of written tutorials, and there’s a pretty large Facebook group as well.
Q: What would you say is the biggest misconception or misunderstanding about Bitcoin? And how about cryptocurrencies in general? And what should the general public know about cryptocurrencies?
A: I would say for Bitcoin, that is definitely the most popular project in this entire space.
And [as far as] general misconceptions, I guess a lot of people might still think that it’s mostly used for dark-web stuff or illegal activity. But actually, research has shown that in recent years, people are actually using it for other means, like investments, store of value, and more. Even institutions are getting into Bitcoin.
So that’s really exciting for Bitcoin. And in terms of cryptocurrency in general, there’s definitely a lot of them out there, which can be kind of confusing for the general public. But a lot of companies are working hard to find good use cases for different crypto technology and token technology. And a lot of people investing their time and money to build up the space and make it more mature.
Q: How do you see this space evolving in the next 5 to 10 years,
A: That’s really exciting because Bitcoin has been around for about 10 years. This is still a really young space, and there’s a lot of room to grow and mature.
I’m someone with a tech background, so I’m really excited to see [cryptocurrencies] improve the ability to scale and get a lot of people using it. We’ll be able to see a lot more use cases open up and just different ways of using the technology that we haven’t even imagined yet.