The Asia Tech Podcast was joined by Anshu Agrawal, a co-Founder at Flint.  Flint says that “Crypto is the best thing to happen to money since money.  Flint leverages the power of crypto to deliver incredibly high returns on your stable coins.”
 
Some of the topics that Anshu and I covered:
  • The impact of being born in a small village in India
  • The inherent kindness that develops and persists from growing up in that village
  • Not losing the innocence from being raised in a small town
  • Web 3 and building communities around common interests and not physical borders
  • Consumers care about the value you are creating, not about the underlying technology
  • Decentralized finance as a way to change the world
  • Humans should ideally only be bound by their capabilities and their ambitions
  • Building scalable systems
  • Passive investment vehicles are the on-ramp to the financial system
  • Being a cross-chain platform
  • Three pillars of any blockchain – security, speed, and the level of decentralization
  • How communities will start forming around every blockchain
Other titles we considered for this episode:
  1. It Is In the Best Interest of Everyone To Stay Healthy
  2. Let’s Bring Scalability To It
  3. They Are Bounty Hunters
  4. You Need To Have Sophisticated Customers
  5. Building Simple Products Is the Hardest
  6. Investment Opportunities Built On Top of Crypto
  7. The Third Layer Is the User Experience

Read the best-effort transcript below (This technology is still not as good as they say it is…):

Michael Waitze 0:00
Michael Waitze Media. Telling Asia’s Stories. Okay, we are on Hi, this is Michael Waitze. And welcome back to the Asia Tech Podcast. Today we are joined by Anshu Agrawal, a co-founder at Flint. Anshu, thank you so much for coming on the show. How are you doing today?

Anshu Agrawal 0:23
I’m great, Michael, thank you so much for having me, honestly, pretty excited for the conversation.

Michael Waitze 0:28
It’s my complete pleasure. We were geeking out a little bit beforehand, I tend to do that I don’t look like your traditional geek, but I can get pretty geeky myself. Anyway, before we get into the main part of this conversation, why don’t we give our listeners a little bit of your background for some context?

Anshu Agrawal 0:44
Sure, absolutely. I mean, I’m Anshu born and brought up in a very small town in a smaller state in the country, India, the place where my father was born and grew up is, it’s more like a village, not more than a few 1000 in terms of population, right. That’s where he did his schooling as well. And of course, you should travel to a place which is almost 60 odd kilometres away from that village to do his university. While I was growing up, I think I was seven years old when when he took us and moved to actually that place where he that’s 60 kilometers far away place, right, where he spent a lot of time doing his education as well. Now, now, that is also a town not really a city, in all honesty, I mean, the name of the place is Bilaspur. They’re in this state called in India. And even that,

Michael Waitze 1:39
When you were a kid, did you realize the significance of moving from a small town and you said, a village like a village is a very specific kind of place? Right. And I think it denotes this thing in people’s mind where it feels like, maybe not as well developed as even a suburb, right. And I was talking to, I think it was the CEO of and the founder of TurtleMint, who said to me that he was once in like, a suburb of a suburb of a third tier city. And it kind of sounds like that’s what you’re talking about. No,

Anshu Agrawal 2:10
yes, no, no, absolutely. I think these are pretty humble backgrounds, right? I mean, if you look at these villages, almost every family knows each other. Sure. I think, all the compassion, and you know, the, basically, the human skills you develop, I think, for me, pretty much comes from that place, I believe. Right? And of course, it pretty much flows from my parents. And because both of them were actually born and raised in such small places, right? They inherently have that compassion, that kindness for people and that very, I mean, they’re very social, right? They love being around people. They love hosting people. My mom just loves hosting families, people, right? She She’s, she’s someone who really enjoys cooking food for others as well, right, with same enthusiasm as she cooks for us. So just those things, I think, pretty much gets ingrained when you are brought up or born small places, right? Of course, today, I stay in Bangalore, which is pretty much like one of the big cities in India, I can pretty much see it and myself, right? The people around me are not the same as how they used to be back in my hometown. But you feel

Michael Waitze 3:27
like sometimes you have to what’s the right word? Not struggle, but to conscience consciously tell yourself, don’t forget about that seven year old. And that sort of innocence. You know what I mean, in that innocence, and that idea that I shouldn’t push off other people, but I should attract them, because that’s what I would do if I were still in that village. And frankly, even if I were still in that town, 60 kilometers away. Does that make sense?

Anshu Agrawal 3:54
Yes, absolutely. I think, to be very honest, I had never thought of it consciously until you just mentioned. But while you were saying this, I just recall. I mean, it is pretty much also ingrained in the way we are running Flint, right? For example, there are certain folks in my team, right? Nothing against anybody, but at times people just come up with ideas that hey, or do you think we should just on social media bash our competitors, or, for example, today, we are building in crypto or web three, for that matter, which stands for notions which are pretty much against traditional finance or central banks, right? And at times, the team comes up with an idea with things like hey, do you think we should talk about how banks are looting people or banks or you know, stealing from folks and here, here is decentralized finance, which sort of gives the power back to the community. And I always say that, guys, we are not a company which downplays on others, right? We are a company that tries to talk about the upsides of what we do, be it either a competitor that’d be it the legacy systems as a whole. And I think now that you just mentioned it, probably I could connect dots. And that, of course happens at multiple places in day to day.

Michael Waitze 5:09
It has to. And I think, and we can talk about this too. But I think part of this idea of decentralization and web three is that communities are not going to get built around common interests as opposed to borders, right. If you go back and look at the development of not just nations, but nation states, most of them were developed around like, there’s a river over there. And if we crossed the river, then that’s the enemy kind of thing. Or those people are different because they’re on the other side of that river or that mountain, or that valley or something. And I think this idea of web three is, we can gather together with a common interest. And I agree with you on this as well. The winning is teams are the teams that never denigrate the teams that lose. And these are the teams that people want to support because nobody wants to support somebody that punches down. Yes. Does that make sense?

Anshu Agrawal 5:56
Absolutely. Absolutely. Absolutely. That’s also pretty much ingrained in the mindset of the entire community moving from web to web three, right? Yeah. Web two talks about division, and probably to some extent, also, dividing ideologies or boundaries are people and borders, right, while web three removes them? And that’s pretty much how we also want to run it, right? We want to remove the differences, not really call out the divisions.

Michael Waitze 6:27
Let’s back up. So we can get a little bit more context about Flint itself, right? Because I think it’s important to understand what Flint is trying to do in the context of web three, so that people can understand why we’re actually talking about decentralization. So why don’t you tell me what Flint is?

Anshu Agrawal 6:43
Got it? Awesome. Actually, before talking about friendly, I should maybe take a minute to talk about why we started building trend, right? Or what was the problem we wanted to solve? Go for it. So my co founder, Akshay and I both of us have been in crypto for almost four and a half years now. Right? We have been in this space since the time it was called crypto and not three. So it sounds

Michael Waitze 7:07
a lot nicer is web three, doesn’t it? I mean, it doesn’t scare anybody.

Anshu Agrawal 7:11
Right. And I think it’s also something which regulators haven’t caught hold off yet. I think every now and then the community comes up with a new word, right? Because they came up with crypto, and then they morphed it into blockchain. And now they are calling it web three. But, of course, I’m a strong believer that these are just tech enablers to achieving certain value props, right? Consumers, at the end of the day, care about what value you are producing by using the underlying technology, no matter how complex or futuristic it is, if you are not really producing value, it’s as good as nothing. Right, exactly. But But anyway, coming back to it, I think both of us have been super passionate about the space started reading about decentralization as a concept, not really like talking about my application of it in finance or other stuff. But I still remember back in 2017, I was speaking with this gentleman, men who gentleman who now runs a pretty large insurance company in India. He told me that I’m sure imagine for Deaf Health Insurance became a decentralized industry. Yeah, go ahead. He said today, if you look at the insurance sector, whatever premium you are paying, so whatever premium you’re paying, not every bit of it is actually going towards compensating for the costs incurred by the patients. Most of it is actually either used in running companies setting up large buildings or sponsoring the vacations of some of the top tier executives and these Jordans forms, right? Said, the way it’s health insurance. So the genesis of health insurance was that a set of people would come together, pooling their money, and whoever falls sick or is in need of the money for any health related issues should just use it. That’s pretty much how it should work. And he said, but is that is not what is happening in this industry today, right? Now imagine if health insurance as a sector became decentralized, then what would happen is people in a certain locality or a set of groups with common interest, or maybe hyper local groups would start forming, say a pool and deposit their money. And then what needs to be done will actually start happening that people you know, would just use it when they fall sick without any oversight from a centralized entity, right? But he said, what really happens here is that now it is in the best interest of everybody to stay healthy. Right? Which means that if I am someone who has put in the capital in the pool, I will actually encourage everybody else in the pool to maybe go for morning jobs or you know, hit the gym regularly, just to ensure that my capital is not getting abused just because someone is not taking care of their health. Right then you say the world would become such a better place if that happens at school. This is such a powerful idea.

Michael Waitze 10:02
It’s not a new idea, right? Let’s go back to the village where your mom and dad lived and where you were born? Yes, it’s the same idea from back then sure, it’s easier to manage. If there are 1000 people in a village, and everybody knows everybody, you can go, okay, that guy just got sick, how do we help him, there’s a doctor in the village, everybody give a little bit to the doctor to support this person’s health. But it also means that people would say, hey, maybe that guy should not be smoking, or let’s make sure he’s eating better food, or if his daughter like, gets his hurt at birth, or something, the whole community helps, right? This is not a new idea,

Anshu Agrawal 10:36
pretty much aligned with you. In fact, while you mentioned villages, I remember back in school, we used to read about these self help groups, which are very much prevalent in small towns or villages in India, even today. And this somehow is pretty much famous amongst women, I don’t know who I by women in small villages, even today form self help groups, they put in some capital and you know, similar purposes, I mean, the purpose could extend beyond just covering for health expenses. But that’s pretty much how it works. And I think it’s pretty much rooted in the way that I mean, the world has also evolved, right? In absence of centralized mental institutions back in the day, people themselves would form groups and, you know, come to the fore to help each other. But coming back to the, that particular conversation with the with that gentleman, and he said, So you realize how powerful this idea is, right? I mean, it’s very much possible that it will never get executed, right, it might never come to the life or it, hopefully it will, at some point, but you realize how powerful the idea is in terms of being able to change the world, if at all, this happens, right. And actually, that was the moment where it really hit me about how powerful certain ideas could be, if applied certain ideas like decentralization if applied across a lot of different things. I mean, today, of course, what people, you know, very freely used as the term defy this actually a whole history behind it, right? A set of people who actually believed in decentralization, as a concept, started applying that concept in the world of finance, right. And that’s how defy was born. And if you look at the general arguments that regardless of for example, Michael, you’re sitting in Singapore, I’m here in India, I’m in Bangkok, but I get it. Yeah. But I mean, regardless of which country you are, you stay in or which nationality you hold, right? What race, color, gender, etc, right? Regardless of your identity, there is no reason why you should have access to capital at different interest rates or, you know, different privileges than I have, right. I mean, why does this world have borders, boundaries? Nations, a lot of context around us is just because we have certain identities linked to things like, nations or localities, right? Yeah.

Michael Waitze 13:02
I mean, you’re my birth in the United States. And California is basically a historical accident. And if your dad had not studied 60 kilometers away, but studied 6000 miles away, you could have been born in Australia, and then you’re Australian, like this idea of being born in a specific geographic location, defining your access to certain resources. It’s kind of silly. No.

Anshu Agrawal 13:28
Yes, absolutely. I mean, that’s pretty much what hits me as well, right? I mean, at the end of the day, humans should ideally only be bound by their capabilities and their ambitions, right, not by their geographies, or their race, or color, or gender, etc. And that is one of the reasons why I am a big believer in the fact that are probably the belief that the world will go through a cycle of decentralization as well. And every time that happens, there is a technological shift, which sort of fuels the movement from centralization to decentralization, that fuel today happens to be crypto or web three or blockchain I mean, whatever,

Michael Waitze 14:08
whatever terminology you want to apply to it, how does Flint help facilitate this?

Anshu Agrawal 14:13
Right? So Michael, if you look at it, right, every time a new system is born, or a new financial system is born, there is a huge barrier to entry, because there it first of all starts with a small set of people who really understands the fundamentals. And then it really requires them to be the flag bearers of, you know, teaching the rest of the communities actually forming communities around it, teaching them and, you know, propagating the communities, right, which means that the curse of any new financial system stays that they will remain complex for a long, long time.

Michael Waitze 14:49
Why? Why does it remain complex for a long time? There’s part of me that thinks that that’s purposeful. I think the difference about the development and I’ll use defi as a term because people use it, we can use web three, it doesn’t matter but I think The purpose of defy as a concept is that it becomes simpler and becomes more inclusive, I would make the case that Wall Street and the city in London all these places, specifically tried to make finance itself filled with jargon, and also more complex so that people in a small village wouldn’t understand it would feel really removed from it, and that they could maintain the power. The idea of defined web three is to say, I don’t own it, you don’t own it, somebody has to kind of manage it, because there’s like, you can talk about daos, right? Decentralized, autonomous, autonomous organizations, but somebody’s got to make some decision. But they’re not trying to maintain ownership. And they want to make sure that everybody benefits look at some of the guilds that do get, you know, games, they’re trying to give the power, but also the benefits to the people that are part of the guilds as well, is that fair?

Anshu Agrawal 15:54
is absolutely no, no, I think it was a pretty important plugin, actually, it’s a very important question to ask whether it will continue to stay complex because of the complexities? Or will it continue to stay complex because of the incentives of the early entrants into the space, right, which is pretty much the Wallstreet example you gave being practical, I think it’s a mix of both, of course, that’s pretty much what creates a high barrier to entry for the new people. Go ahead, into the system, right. And that is what we realized over the course of the last 12 months or so, a lot of people around so the place where I used to work before this, right, I mean, I was a product manager at a fin tech startup in India, the place where I used to work, even my co founder, both of us were there. In fact, actually, I should maybe take a moment to talk about him as well. And yeah, please 2015 When I joined university, I studied from this university called BITS Pilani. In India, I joined to do engineering there. I think fourth or fifth day of the college is when I met Akshay, who is now my co founder, right? So we have been together almost for seven years now have spent a bunch of time together even in college building and breaking things. Right. I mean, I particularly have always carried a big passion for sports, right? Since the childhood, I used to play professional level cricket at some at at a very small level under 14, I think I did mention about our humble background belonging to a very small town, even where I grew up, and I never got a chance to travel a lot, right? Because when you actually belong to a very small place in the country, it takes you a lot of time and effort to actually get to a place from where you can reach to the

Michael Waitze 17:43
it’s a weird thing to say, but it takes you time to get to a place that can get you to a place. You know what I mean?

Anshu Agrawal 17:48
Yeah, absolutely. After this, I’ve suffered that. I had suffered that for the first 18 odd years of my life. And the place where I joined my college right university that was around 1500 kilometers away from my home. And I still remember, it used to take me around 33 hours door to door, but from leaving my college hostel to get into my home, it used to take me around 33 odd hours, right. I mean, that’s how remote The place was. I understand. But what I think the good part, I mean, looking at the positive side of it was because the because it used to take a lot of time to reach home, I would not go home often. Right? So And India is a is a country of festivals, right? Every now and then we have some some festival. And that also commands some holidays, right? Official holidays. So we would have very regular holidays in our colleges, and most of the folks who came from very nearby places would go home. But actually because I also was constrained by distance to go home, I would say let’s let’s maybe travel anyway, had never gotten a chance to travel much. So actually it and I actually ended up traveling a lot while we were in college. Right? We also went to the United States a couple of times. By the way. I’ve also been to Thailand. It’s a beautiful country. While we’re still in college, Michael. That’s pretty much how the college life was both of us used to try to travel a lot together, build and break a lot of things and always knew that we would definitely end up building something together. Right? Coincidentally, we both joined the same company to learn on the job right after college. Right. And we both left our jobs together and started fled.

Michael Waitze 19:36
You said this idea of like the complexity remains in the financial system or in new systems right when they first get born and maybe they exist for another 10 years. How do you what’s the right word? But how do you create a system that sits on top of it that takes away that complexity? So that so that there can be more general usage of web three and crypto and the things that you’re doing? For decentralized finance?

Anshu Agrawal 20:02
Absolutely, that’s actually a great question, Michael. Right. That’s pretty much also,

Michael Waitze 20:08
because you want to abstract away the complexity, right?

Anshu Agrawal 20:11
Yes, no, absolutely. I think that’s also pretty much rooted in the understanding of how technology evolves, that any new technology evolves. For example, there is this first layer of evolution. For example, if you look back to the internet era, you would find things like maybe say DNS, very rudimentary way of connecting to the internet’s and all right, these were, while they were not really scalable, but they sort of lead the evolution of the technology. Right. So that is how the first layer of any tech evolves. And then, on top of that,

Michael Waitze 20:46
you just make me think about this. So there’s DNS, right? There’s TCP IP. Right? There’s FTP, you know, how can I get a file from one point, all these very simplistic but very necessary things that built like the first layer of the internet? Sorry, go ahead.

Anshu Agrawal 21:00
Yeah. And then on top of that, you eventually with time have scalable systems? Sure, right, where people come in and say that, okay, somebody has built a the infrastructure layer. And now let’s bring scalability to it right. And then this is the point where the technology has become usable. But still, it does not have does not have the best consumer experience, right, so that it can move beyond that early adopters, if you solve the evaluation. And if you solve the scalability, you’re going to get to a point where you have good number of early adopters in the system.

Michael Waitze 21:38
Yeah, email is a great example of this, right used to be able to sell send Unix mail from a command line, but that doesn’t scale. But once you build that infrastructure, then you put mail clients on top of it, where I just have to say to somebody, here’s the subject, and here’s the mail and send and I don’t care how it gets sent. Now you have scalability, right?

Anshu Agrawal 21:55
Absolutely bang on, then the third layer evolves, which is the experience, right? And building a smooth, simple, seamless, simple experiences is something which takes the technologies adoption beyond the early adopters and to the masses. And today, this is where we stand in the world of defiant web three years old, right? People have come up with figuring out say, Bitcoin, for example, which at which to even to the access storage of value, right, but things like storage of value, identity creation, and even exchanges, they formed the infrastructure evolution layer, right? And then you came up with a very basic example being things like bitgo, right, that help you secure your assets or, you know, bringing security enhancements, cost reduction, even scalability, things like these forms the second layer, and today, we stand at a junction where if this community angle has to actually spread to the rest of the world to the next billion users right now in form of applications, like probably investments, remittances, crowdfunding, right. I mean, there’s no reason why crowdfunding cannot disrupt venture capital as a system.

Michael Waitze 23:06
Something has to right.

Anshu Agrawal 23:09
Yeah, absolutely. Now the second layer technology evolution for it to actually come into real life use cases, they have to blend into becoming real life applications. Yeah, right. And companies like ours, the companies like Flint are here to actually blend them into real life applications and bring it to the masses, right? The application we are solving for today is enabling

Michael Waitze 23:34
investments. So tell me how that works.

Anshu Agrawal 23:37
Absolutely. So brief of context. I mean, if you look at the exchanges, of course, it does have certain sophisticated investors. You talk about crypto exchanges, exchanges, crypto exchanges, right. While it definitely has a small number of people who understand the fundamentals and are there they really understand what they’re getting into, right? They are really making informed trades. The large majority of the people making transaction on crypto exchanges today are more of bounty hunters. They look at it as a way too quick to make quick money right? These are aspiring hope fools. So sort of feel that okay, let’s maybe take a chance right. And this is not how the technology and the real value prop will get adopted, right. That is what has been happening since the last four years right. In every market cycle, there are just larger number of people’s getting burnt and hence churned from the market right. For any financial system to exist and to scale. You need to have sophisticated customers or sophisticated investors, right, who really understand and are in it for the long term, otherwise the entire system will collapse. And the curse of weaponry today is that these sophisticated customers are waiting on the fence even while they have deep pockets to invest a large sum of money into this space, they are afraid of the market volatility, they are afraid of not having a good understanding of fundamentals. Right, they are afraid of losing out on their principle.

Michael Waitze 25:14
There are also liquidity problems. Yeah.

Anshu Agrawal 25:17
Yes, absolutely. And the way to actually get them inside the ecosystem is via passive vehicles, right. So if you look at even the traditional finance for almost 90 95% of the people participating, the traditional finance, their first investment is either say mutual funds or say ETFs, or basic things like saving fixed deposits, right, right, which are very passive vehicles, you don’t have to apply active brain into it. And hence, you are able to participate, right, the barrier of entry comes down significantly. I

Michael Waitze 25:50
mean, think about it, I opened my first bank account when I was like five or six years old, because my mother gave me like $5. Well, I put it into a savings account. That’s okay. She took it out later, because she needed the money for groceries. But it was just to show me how to open a bank account. We were very poor, and also grew up in a really small town. But the idea was that you put that money in a bank and you get some kind of interest for it right? And back then interest rates were Who knows 6% 7%. Now they’re, like 50 basis points or 60 basis points, right. So they’re, you know, 10 times higher, but it was the simplest way to get involved in the financial system. Yeah,

Anshu Agrawal 26:23
absolutely. I can’t tell you how much I resonate with it in afraid. But coming back to the point, if the benefits of a new financial system which is so much decentralized, and which really stands for an ideology of decentralization, if the benefits of that system has to come to the masses to the next billion users, if it has to become democratized, it has to happen via products or instruments, which lower the barrier to entry and provide a really, really seamless experience. I spent almost two and a half years at my previous company working as a product manager, right? One of the greatest learnings I have had is building simple products is the hardest.

Michael Waitze 27:10
Of course, of course, because it requires we talked about this, but it requires the removal and the abstraction of complexity, because behind the simplest products is a complex system and a complex infrastructure to be able to produce that simplicity.

Anshu Agrawal 27:26
Right, right. No, absolutely. Michael, right. And that’s pretty much what we wanted to solve with friend, right. So friend essentially, brings together a lot of investment opportunities built on top of crypto for the masses, right in a very simple, easy to use mobile first application. Now, I’m sure you would know about this enough, but almost everything in website today is based on desktops, right? It is not mobile friendly today, if you really have to reach to people, you know, who are not desktop first or not laptop first who are able to make use of smartphones and the cheap internet’s available these days, you really have to be present at present in their pockets. Right. That’s how I put it. Yep. Just things like these are the need of the RV believe. Right. And that’s pretty much what we are doing now. Coming to more specific details of it right. When I say that we are bringing together investment opportunities built on top of crypto, what are these opportunities? Right? You can either call them opportunities or assets.

Michael Waitze 28:31
Yeah, I mean, they’re both right. I’ve got another question, though. Please. We’ve been talking a lot like in this whole conversation about complexity and removing complexity. I almost feel like you know, first of all, there was blockchain, right? And on top of blockchain said Bitcoin, in a way, it was like a little bit of a POC, like, Hey, here’s what you can do. And here’s the way you can use the blockchain to be able to maybe build a store of value or a transfer of value. So here’s Bitcoin and see what you can figure out. But then other people looked at the blockchain technology, we can call it distributed ledger technology, right and said, Wait a second, instead of proof of work, I can use this technology to build other systems. And then the more people looked at it, and more people looked at it, then there was a theory. And now there’s salon and all these other types of chains. How do you remove that level of complexity? Do you know what I mean? Because it’s like having a different bank on every street corner.

Anshu Agrawal 29:27
Got it? Got it. That’s actually pretty interesting point. Right? That’s actually a great way to a great segue to speaking about the way we are building friend right? For example, we are pretty much a cross chain platform. Right? And the reason I’ll get to what it means and why do we have why have we taken that call to be cross chain right. Now, if you look at blockchains right, you briefly mentioned the name of Solana for example. Yeah.

Michael Waitze 29:55
And can I just give a real world example this so people that may not understand what cross chain means actually can understand, I think and again, tell me if I’m representing this the wrong way. Let’s say there are 25 airlines in the world. And they all have their own reservation systems. And maybe they’re all own API’s. Well then Sabre comes along and says, Okay, nevermind with that. If you build an airline, and you have a reservation system just connect to Sabre and this way, now people can build apps on top of Sabre still connecting to all of your airlines, no matter which airline you are, if you have a new airline or your airline ties, it doesn’t matter, you’re still plugged into Sabre, because that’s the sort of source for all this stuff. In a way that’s kind of cross chains. If you think about every airline having a chain. Now their Sabre that connects to it is are you saying that that’s kind of what Flint is doing as well?

Anshu Agrawal 30:44
Absolutely, you can put it very beautifully Michael died, actually give our listeners a bit more context on it. If you look at any any blockchain for example, there are essentially three pillars of any blockchain one is security, one is speed and the third is the level of decentralization right. When when I say level of decentralization, I essentially mean any action being performed on that chain that action could be either saved payments that action could either be say, executing set of code, that action could be requesting a message from anybody right any action being performed on that chain, how many individual or distributed computers does it take to actually validate it and let it through? Right, the the more number of validators or the more number of gatekeepers you have the level of decentralization increases on that chain right. So now, coming back to the pillars as I mentioned, security speed and level of decentralization, right. Every blockchain has a different balance or different proportion of power the built towards these three things right for example, someone like Solana, they very heavily index on speed, right? It is one of the fastest and cheapest blockchain out there, which means that the transactions or any action happening on Solana is literally around 60,000 They call it 60k TPS, right that is 60,000 transactions per second, which is insane. Similarly, on the other end of this spectrum, you have something like Bitcoin where every transaction can take up to 20 odd minutes to be, you know, validated or to actually go through, right, which and Bitcoin is also built on a blockchain. So Ron is also different blockchain. And there are, you know, across the spectrum, you have multiple different blockchain standing for particular ideology. Now, because the world is so big, every blockchain find its own believers, right? believers, believers of these ideologies, right? Which means that naturally, communities will start forming around every blockchain, right? And these communities will actually be different in their own like different amongst themselves. Right. And again, it comes back to the same argument, which we spoke about in the beginning about countries and borders and rivers, separating geographies, right kind of, they essentially represent the same thing set of people having different ideologies. Now the reason if you look at this world, right, the reason this world is going on, the the reason of existence of all of us is not diversity, but it’s actually unity, right? There are certain common elements, which bind together all these different ideologists, different groups, different communities, right. And that is something which is long term, right. And that is the only thing which has survived the test of time. And that’s pretty much what our philosophy also is while building frame that while different blockchains have created different communities and believers of the ideologies amongst themselves, there needs to be someone who really unites all of them, right, and then brings the value prop to the end consumer. And this is what we mean when we say that we are cross chain, we stand for inclusivity. Right, not exclusivity. So we are going to accept, say, people depositing funds on any chain, right, willing to deposit to any chain and generate profits and take it out on say probably a third gen right. So the user should not be having to care about what chain they are on or which other chains value prop, can they leverage, right? It has to get to a billion people. It has to be borderless, it has to be changeless. Right? It has to be a unified. That’s pretty much what we mean.

Michael Waitze 34:47
I feel like there’s a bit of symmetry here and I’ll let you kind of end on this thought. This idea that this team that’s built from this small village He tries to take the mentality and the philosophy of that village, out of just that small geographical location, and then blow it out to the rest of the world using modern technology feels like in a way, either you’re joining or building, like a movement around this culture that you’ve learned since you were a kid. And then imbuing your company with it. Is that fair?

Anshu Agrawal 35:26
Actually, right. I mean, I’d rather have an emotional take on that than a professional one. And like, Please don’t mind me. No, not at all thinking about some of the stuff right? Actually, it’s a pretty interesting to ride. today. We are a team of around 20 odd people. Okay. We actually then I started building friend back in October 2021, almost four months back, right? We went through a natural process, natural progression of a business where you build a thesis, strengthen it, go out and raise funds, raise capital, and then build a team around it right. Now, while it sounds pretty smooth and ideal on paper. In the practical world, you don’t really control the timelines, right? While we are here to build businesses, the process of starting to build a business has to go on, which means the process of team building has to go on. Yeah, because end of the day, we are just enablers, vs. founders are just enablers, right enablers to enablers have access to resources for the team members. Right? That team is the one who’s building it. Right? I always believe that the real builders are the folks in my team. We are I mean, both of us are not really the builders and we are just enablers, to be very honest. Every morning I wake up, I have no other feeling but gratitude to all these people who have trusted us, right? A lot of them have placed trust in us at different points in their life at different like they all of them have been at different stages in their life going through different situations having different contexts, right. For example, we early on hired someone who has an eight to 10 years of work experience at a fairly senior guy must be early 30s. In his personal life, he was going through a turmoil, right? I mean, unfortunately, his mother, his mother passed away, I think four months prior to when we were having this conversation, right? He is expecting a baby coming this may write his father actually is today in a very, like not in a very good financial position as women and he is effectively the sole breadwinner of the family. Right? He was having a good paying job at one of the other companies, right? I just called him of course, I called him up without having any context on what’s going on in his life. And he literally, the next day, he he put his papers in the previous job. And this is when we did not have proper commitments from our investors about the capital, right? This is when we did not have any clarity on when are we going to actually receive capital or if we are going to receive capital, when like, how are we going to build it? When are we going to build it lots of uncertainties. And he just, and he didn’t even think twice before placing his trust on us. Right. And I mean, I can not have anything but gratitude for being in a fortunate position where people are trusting us right? Despite having such issues in our personal life, which I of course, I really got to know later on, right? Similarly, this another guy in my team he just got engaged on in November. Right now. He also belongs to a very small donor, almost all of the folks in my team, all of them belong to certain small parts in the country, right? Somebody from North India, South India, here and there, but almost all of them belong to very humble backgrounds, middle class families who have scores to settle in their life, right? Yeah. It’s not that they were not doing well for themselves before they came to friend. Right. And when friend makes it big, right, Michael, I am pretty sure it is not going to be a story of a business making it big. It’s rather going to be the story of a lot of these individuals, underdog underdogs who, you know, not only placed trust in us rather, they placed trust in themselves, they backed their decisions, they went against all odds in their life to sort of try and give themselves an opportunity to prove something rare to punch above their weight to really give them a platform to arrive right. All of these people. What they were doing in their previous jobs was definitely good. But it was not all right. It was a lot but it was not all them looking at Flint as an opportunity to really make it big and you know, give it their all and take back all in a long run. I think this is what the story of Linda is going to be about it all I believe ties down How like where people have grown up how they’ve grown up the hunger, they have the scores, they have to settle in their lives. Right? That pretty much also resonates the way Akshit and I both of us are in our lives, right. I mean, similar backgrounds.

Michael Waitze 40:16
I think actually, that’s the thought that I want to leave people with, because I think it’s really powerful. Yeah, so I want to leave people with that thought and that idea, that that’s how that team is going to get built. I really want to thank you for taking the time to do this today. Anshu Agrawal, a co-founder at Flint, at some point later, we’ll have to get Akshit Bordia on the on the on the show as well. Thank you very much.

Anshu Agrawal 40:42
Absolutely. Thank you so much for having me. I really enjoyed speaking with you and it was a complete pleasure.

 

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