CEO of rewards app Lolli hopes to attach Bitcoin ‘to your everyday life’
Lolli Co-Founder and CEO Alex Adelman joins Yahoo Finance to discuss the latest in cryptocurrency and new innovations for his Bitcoin rewards app.
SEANA SMITH: Let’s talk about crypto. Because in the crypto, market, the buying momentum returning to Bitcoin this week. We saw Bitcoin cross back above a $40,000, although right now trading just below that level. Let’s bring in Alex Adelman. He’s the CEO and co-founder of Lolli.
Now, this is a Bitcoin rewards app that we’re going to talk a little bit more about in just a second. But Alex, more broadly speaking, the movement that we’ve seen in Bitcoin over the last seven days, certainly a very different story than what we saw going back to the previous week. I guess, what’s your assessment of the moves that we’ve seen over the last couple of days?
ALEX ADELMAN: Yeah, momentum’s good. I think that the world is finally realizing the power of Bitcoin, and they’re realizing how anti-fragile it actually is. You know, you have entire countries that are adopting it, corporations that are adopting it. You have, you know, leading investors that are very public about adopting it in their personal holdings. So all of the things that we, you know, predicted about Bitcoin are now coming true. And so yeah, the price is going to continue to go up as more momentum builds, and so far, so good.
ADAM SHAPIRO: Tell us about the platform, though because– I’m kicking myself because we bought a new mattress set, and one of your partners is Macy’s. How does it work? I– the airlines do this all the time. You use a credit card, you have the deal, and then you get points towards your airline miles. Is the same basic model for cryptocurrency and what you’re doing?
ALEX ADELMAN: Very similar. So instead of getting some arbitrary point that you don’t know how much is worth, you’re getting Bitcoin. So if you don’t know, there’s only 21 million Bitcoin that will ever be created, and so there is this idea of digital scarcity, or digital real estate, that Bitcoin holds. So when you’re earning let’s just say 5% back at Macy’s or a mattress company, in your case, you are going to be earning Bitcoin back, and that is then your Bitcoin. You can hold your Bitcoin on your own secure wallet. And you can trade it. You can sell it. You can do whatever you want with it.
SEANA SMITH: Alex, when we talk about the future of Bitcoin, I think a lot of that relies on the fact of adoption on Main Street. When you take a look at that, I guess, what’s the key factor in driving that adoption on Main Street going forward?
ALEX ADELMAN: Yeah, great question. So the first phase of adoption was mining, and that– you know, that was back when Bitcoin first started. The next phase was through investing, and that’s what really– like, Coinbase really, like, paved the way for. What we’re working on is actually attaching Bitcoin to your everyday life. So everybody shops, everybody spends, and everybody wants rewards when they do that. So we’re attaching Bitcoin to every single purchase that you make so that when you shop as you normally would, you’re getting Bitcoin back. And you’re really, like, dollar-cost averaging into Bitcoin with this free money rewards platform.
ADAM SHAPIRO: I’m looking at some of the partners, top brands– Chewy, Nike, eBay, Priceline, Groupon, Sam’s Club. I could go on– Staples. But it just occurred to me, since you’ve got the wallet, might there be growth for you to partner with a Robinhood, where people could then use what’s in their wallet to transact on a brokerage?
ALEX ADELMAN: Yeah, you nailed it. So right now, we’re really focused on Bitcoin adoption. But as the world starts to transition into this inevitable future of crypto, we believe that by having the wallet and by having the relationships with these incredible merchants and having, you know, consumer adoption on the wallet front, we really are positioning ourselves to give the users the ability to actually spend Bitcoin, spend stablecoins at their favorite merchants.
And you know, as many of us know, crypto, in many ways, especially as a medium of exchange, is a better way of transacting money. There is very, very little fees. It’s seamless. You can just send from wallet to wallet. There’s very few, if any, intermediaries in order to transact. So you can imagine in the future paying at Macy’s or paying at Best Buy with your crypto that is being held in your Lolli wallet and even getting incentivized to do so because you’re going to get more back because it’s a more efficient medium of exchange and provides cost savings for the merchant which then is passed on to providing cost savings for the consumer.
SEANA SMITH: Alex, what about regulatory concerns? Because that could be a huge challenge here for this sector going forward. I know it’s a huge unknown at this point, but I guess, what position could that potentially put your business in?
ALEX ADELMAN: So we’re in a great position with that. You know, we are a rewards company that’s giving, you know, people Bitcoin. And so where we’re at is, like, you know, people aren’t taking their money and investing in it. So– and we’re hyper-focused on Bitcoin, which has proven its value to society. And it would be very surprising if Bitcoin was banned and– you know, and stopped from transacting.
We work with legitimate merchants. We have legitimate consumers. We built a legitimate business. And so yeah, we feel really good about where we’re at with that.
As far as incentives go, government doesn’t– if a government, a fiat system chooses to ban Bitcoin, it basically inhibits its population from advancing with society. Crypto is absolutely inevitable at this point in history. There’s no stopping it. It connects 4 billion people with an internet connection with secure money and an incredible medium of exchange and store of value.
So if a government chooses to actually ban it, they’re actually regressing as a country, as a civilization and a society. And there’s no real incentive right now for a lot of these governments to do so, and a lot of governments have really punished their citizens by letting– by making it illegal or banning it because they haven’t let them play a part in this future economy.
ADAM SHAPIRO: Alex, I can’t help but notice that behind you on the shelf, you’ve got the Leonardo da Vinci– if we can pull up the shot of Alex– biography by Walter Isaacson. And you know, he created something amazing. You’ve created something amazing. The book is good. I don’t know if you’ve cracked it yet. I read it two years ago. It’s a definite thumbs up.
ALEX ADELMAN: Thank you for noticing. Yeah.
SEANA SMITH: Alex, it’s great to speak with you. Alex Adelman, CEO and co-founder of Lolli, thanks so much for taking the time. We look forward to having you back here on Yahoo Finance in the future.