Wyoming American CryptoFed Looks To Make A Dent
The headline this week is that American CryptoFed was the first legally recognized Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) in Wyoming and the nation. Earlier this year the Wyoming Legislature passed a Bill which offers legal protections to DAO's with the hopes that it would trigger blockchain businesses in the state. Marion Orr, CEO of American CryptoFed which is part of the digital currency effort, explained the concept to Wyoming Public Radio's Bob Beck.
Marion Orr: Decentralized autonomous organization is a new form of business organization that the State of Wyoming and very wise legislators adopted. Jul. 1st it went into effect. Senator Chris Rothfuss, former representative Tyler Lindholm and that whole blockchain community were really instrumental in taking a look at this structure. And as you probably recall, Wyoming was the first to recognize Limited Liability Corporations. So we really pride ourselves in being the first with ways that businesses can enter the state, do business, still be regulated, and really try to be innovative with that. And so a decentralized autonomous organization or the DAO is very similar to a LLC, but it's different in that it uses blockchain technology, which is super secure and very quick. It's much different than the days of our parents getting together for an annual board meeting and everybody sitting around the room and filing amendments to bylaws and making sure that it got into the right file and file cabinet. This is a new structure where really anybody that is a participant in the token economy, in this case, holds that token economy, is considered a member of the organization and has voting rights. And so if changes in protocols or any kind of change within the system needs to be made, it can go out instantaneously to the members, so that members can vote. And everything is kept very secure, like a digital fingerprint, a digital node within that blockchain.
Bob Beck: So you're involved with American CryptoFed. What are you trying to do with that company?
MO: Really, what our mission is, is to create a new economy, if you will, that has zero inflation and zero deflation. And also does not charge a transaction fee for merchants when those transactions occur. If we take a look at our current economy, I think we're all very concerned about inflation and how things are kind of going with our U.S. dollar and our current system is based on people in governments. And by decentralizing our monetary system, we believe, through basically, great technology and great algorithms, we can keep zero inflation, zero deflation economy going. So that's our mission.
BB: Can you answer a question that I get asked a lot when it comes to all of this? How do blockchain companies contribute back to the state?
MO: We're making international news, as we speak. And what that means is that other companies that are very tech savvy, in all kinds of industries, such as healthcare, community policing, industrial manufacturing, they're all looking at technology, and they're saying Wyoming is really on the forefront. And that is, I think what's going to really be beneficial is the trickle down, if you will, as far as Wyoming, again, being a technology leader.
BB: Will they be paying taxes like current businesses do?
MO: Yes, absolutely. I wouldn't say actual taxes, but there are payment systems that will go back to the State of Wyoming. Revenues gained with these kinds of endeavors. Most definitely.
BB: As you look at the big picture of what you're trying to do and are you trying to be on the ground floor of sort of changing the way our whole entire economy works in the country?
MO: Yeah, it's been really interesting in that certainly during COVID, and working on the startup, I'll be honest, I felt like I was kind of in a bubble and we were talking just amongst ourselves. But in really opening up conversations to national merchants. We are working very closely with the merchants advisory group which represents over 160 to 170 of the largest retailers that you can think of in the country. And merchant fees, transaction fees, every time I go to the store and use my debit card or my credit card, it costs them money to take money. And so they really are looking at ways to zero out those costs and we have found a way to provide that. So they are very interested because if our mom and pop stores on Main Street, Laramie and Main Street, Wyoming can save percentage points on the cost of doing business, that helps the entire state's economy. And not only for businesses, but I can tell you as a (former) mayor, those fees go to municipalities as well. Whenever I would have a builder come in and purchase a building permit to replace the roof, most often than not, they'd use their business corporate credit card and the city would then have to pay the credit card at a percentage point. And that's money that is not, in my opinion, being really wisely used. And so if we can help cities and governments and our downtown businesses keep money in their pockets, well then, gosh maybe we don't have to look at raising taxes, or we can keep prices more level and not have to not have to increase them. So that's really quite the goal of this. And what's been really great for me to see is how this has really taken off internationally and the comments that we are receiving from around the world, with people that get it and they get the economics. They get the teachings of high tech that we are going off as far as a new economic model, and saying, 'Wow, you may have really just cracked this nut for a new economy that could be worldwide.'
BB: The digital tokens and the way you are using the technology that you are using to transfer money, has it been a little distressing to those of you involved in this that it's all been kind of focused on Bitcoin out in the real world? That's all people know about and because there have been ups and downs there, makes people suspect of blockchain overall?
MO: Yeah, absolutely. In fact, I can remember, even a few years ago, people would synonymously think that blockchain equals Bitcoin and back and forth. And that's not the case. And so one of our biggest hurdles is trying to explain what we will be introducing here in the next few months under the rule agreements within Securities Exchange Commissioner Hester Peirce. She has a special act called the Safe Harbor Act 2.0. So we're going to obviously be working within regulators, but what we are introducing is not an investment kind of tool, we don't want people to hold on to it, and watch it fluctuate up and down on the market. We actually want people to use it on a daily basis. We want it to be usable and sustainable.
BB: Where do things stand as you all get started with this new venture?
MO: We are really excited that we were the first out of the gate. I'm sure we probably won't be the last in Wyoming to have filed with the Secretary of State's office. Currently, our website is up and ready to go. It's AmericanCryptoFed.org. And we are getting dozens of questions on the website on an hourly basis, as far as what it is we're doing and when we plan to launch and how they can purchase tokens? They're not for sale yet. We'll make sure that we dot all the i's and cross all the T's. We'll let everybody know about that. But what we're doing right now is reaching out to the merchant groups and we want to include Mainstreet Wyoming merchants, we want to include the national merchants to help us do what's called writing or network rules. The network rules are for all intents and purposes, the bylaws are the structure of what will govern this token economy. And so it's actually pretty neat, in my opinion, that a store, a merchant will actually be able to have a say in taking the payment form. Sometimes, that doesn't always happen, they're forced to take PayPal or they're forced to take another kind of payment system without being asked, 'Hey, how does this really work for you and in the real world?' And so we're going to be working with merchants on that. We are working with elected leaders from around the country, specifically in my history, those mayors from around the country that are very interested in cryptocurrency and token economies, Miami and Reno specifically, are very forward thinking in wanting to take a look at including those within their city portfolios. And then again, (getting ready for the) big launch of the tokens this fall within the Securities and Exchange Commission.