e51 Benjamin S

51: Goldback’s Rise from Zero to One Million Customers

Listen to First Customers episode 51 on YouTube.com and all major podcasting platforms.

Summary

Goldback, a company that offers a gold-based physical currency, experienced rapid growth in just four years from zero customers in 2019 to over 1 million customers today.

Benjamin Shaffer shares the story of how their gold-backed currency solves the problem of making small transactions with gold.

Mentions & Links

Quotes

  • “We wanted to make gold money but in a way that’s practical for everyday transactions.” – Benjamin Shaffer
  • “Inflation is a silent business killer. Understanding monetary policy is key for any entrepreneur.” – Benjamin Shaffer
  • “Goldback not only represents a new form of currency but is also a movement towards more tangible and reliable money.” – Benjamin Shaffer

Takeaways

  • Goldbacks have robust anti-counterfeiting features, making them difficult to replicate.
  • Goldbacks offer an affordable and accessible way for individuals to own a piece of gold.
  • Influencer marketing can be an effective strategy for promoting Goldbacks.
  • Building a marketing team is crucial for the growth and success of Goldbacks.
  • Businesses need to consider the impact of monetary policy and inflation when pricing products.
  • Goldbacks and cryptocurrencies serve different purposes and can coexist as complementary forms of currency.
  • Having physical currency, like Goldbacks, provides a tangible and secure option for transactions.
  • Building a community of Goldback users is essential for the widespread adoption and success of the currency.

Key Moments

00:00 Introduction and Background

03:34 Legal Implications and Acceptance

06:37 Gold Repositories and Banking Services

08:24 Value and Investment Potential

10:43 Expansion and Partnerships

13:28 Customer Acquisition Tactics

21:00 Digital Marketing and Influencers

23:38 Physical Characteristics and Security

35:16 Anti-Counterfeiting Features of Goldbacks

36:36 Affordability and Accessibility of Goldbacks

38:00 Influencer Marketing for Goldbacks

39:35 Building a Marketing Team for Goldbacks

40:32 Early Challenges and Growth Strategies

41:23 Impact of Monetary Policy on Businesses

42:49 Lessons Learned from Pricing in Goldbacks

44:18 Comparison of Goldbacks and Cryptocurrencies

46:13 The Importance of Physical Currency

47:38 The Future of Money: Goldbacks and Cryptocurrencies

50:53 Goldbacks as a Complementary Currency

52:31 The Ease of Spending Goldbacks vs. Cryptocurrencies

53:41 Building a Community of Goldback Users

Show Transcript

Paris Vega (00:02.602)
Welcome to the first customers podcast. Today we have Benjamin Schaefer with us from Goldback. He’s their in-house legal counsel and community builder. Goldback had zero customers in 2019, and in just four years, they’ve grown to over 1 million customers. Amazing growth. Looking forward to hearing this story. Benjamin, welcome to the show.

Benjamin Shaffer (00:25.378)
Thank you, I’m excited to be here with you.

Paris Vega (00:28.606)
All right. So we were talking a little bit beforehand and you said that you were actually Goldback’s first customer. So tell us a little bit how you got introduced with it and how the company got started.

Benjamin Shaffer (00:35.307)
Yeah.

Benjamin Shaffer (00:38.966)
You know, it’s really hard to say exactly who the first customer is, but I was definitely in that first week. So how did it get started? Well, it comes down to the problem of money, the problem of gold. We created this gold back as a solution to some monetary problems. Money, of course, is usually just made out of paper. Right. And it only works if you trust it. It’s only I like to say it’s all monopoly money.

Paris Vega (00:42.388)
Okay.

Paris Vega (00:52.75)
Look at that.

Benjamin Shaffer (01:06.742)
It just depends on if you’re still playing the game. It’s all just paper, right? So we wanted to make gold money. But you know how hard it is to do that with a gold coin? If you’ve got one gold coin from the US mint, it’s worth more than $2,000. And if you cannot make change for anything smaller than $2,000, how are you gonna buy lunch? You know?

Paris Vega (01:10.091)
Okay.

Benjamin Shaffer (01:30.998)
So that was the problem that we were trying to fix. And yes, I was one of the very, very first customers for Goldback. I didn’t know about it when it was being invented, but the very first week, and I’ve since of course come to work for the company, but in the very first week, I was actually at a little farmers market type place with my kids. And the inventor and founder of Goldback, Jeremy Corden, was there with a friend. And he was just asking some of the people who had the little booths there.

if they would be interested in the invention of a local currency that would be made out of gold. And at the time, he’d only invented the one and the five note. So there were only these two kinds, just a one and a five, no other bills yet, or notes, right? Just ones and fives. And I was the managing partner at a small law firm in the town. And I was

Paris Vega (02:19.826)
Yeah.

Benjamin Shaffer (02:27.986)
I said, well, I have a business. He says, oh, yeah, cool. Well, would you take payment in gold? And I said, absolutely. As an attorney, I had already taken Golda’s payment. I had one of those about $2,000 coins that someone paid me as a retainer. And then I billed against that amount. And then once I’d earned the coin, I got to keep the coin, right, after I’d done a certain amount of legal work for him. And so I was like, yeah, sure I would. But it’s really hard to do that when you can’t bill it in small increments like I was doing, right?

Paris Vega (02:56.599)
Right.

Benjamin Shaffer (02:58.198)
And he goes, yeah, but look at these and one gold back at the time of launch. That was the first event he went to. It was the first time he was talking to business owners about his invention. And they had just made the prototypes of just the one on the five. He said, okay, well, this is worth about $2.75 at the time. It was.

Paris Vega (03:09.244)
Wow.

Benjamin Shaffer (03:19.714)
would you take these? And I said, Absolutely, that’s so useful. So I signed up my business. And so I was the very beginning of the network was that I signed up my business to say, this is the first place in town, where you can come you can spend this kind of money, instead of, you know, paper money.

Paris Vega (03:34.862)
So are there any like, I mean, you would know as a lawyer, are there any legal implications of like paying for things in currency outside of, you know, the US currency or?

Benjamin Shaffer (03:42.706)
Yeah. Yeah, and there are and actually that’s one of the big selling points. The nice thing is, now this got started in Utah, but there’s a dozen or so states that have similar laws. It got started in Utah because of the Utah Legal Tender Act, and there’s legal tender acts in a bunch of states. Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, South Dakota, Idaho, Texas, New Hampshire, lots of places where they can treat gold the same way that you treat

Paris Vega (03:49.845)
Okay.

Benjamin Shaffer (04:12.49)
paper money, right? No special taxes or anything like that. If there is a sales tax, in some states there is, in Utah there is, then you still have to collect a sales tax on the sale when you pay in gold. That’s not the case everywhere though. And then it’s just treated as money. So there’s no sales tax to trade in your dollars for gold backs because they’re both considered legal tender. So that was one of the reasons why I started here.

Paris Vega (04:13.614)
Mm-hmm.

Paris Vega (04:37.486)
But is it still based on business owners agreeing or consumers agreeing between each other or can you take it to the bank yet?

Benjamin Shaffer (04:48.902)
Well, yes and no. Everything, everything only exists because people agreed. You can’t give this to just anybody. There are a bunch of places, including recently, I want to say there’s a couple of big chains that have said they’re not even taking cash anymore. So you can’t make anyone take this either. It may be that they don’t take that, sorry. So yeah, it’s voluntary. It’s fully voluntary. But…

Paris Vega (04:55.807)
Right, right.

Benjamin Shaffer (05:16.818)
And there is a type of bank you can go to Alpine Gold Exchange or the U.P.M.A. dot org. U.P.M.A. stands for the United Precious Metals Association. And you can do all kinds of financial services denominated in goldbacks or gold and silver coins even. But your average bank is a is connected to the Federal Reserve System. And if they’re connected to the Federal Reserve System, they only deal in Federal Reserve notes.

and therefore you can’t use them at those banks. So yeah, that is the tricky thing. Your local bank, if you just walk in and show them this, they might think it’s cool, but they’d be in violation of their contract with the Fed Reserve probably if they took anything other than these dollars. Yep.

Paris Vega (06:01.802)
If they exchanged. Yeah, they exchanged it for the gold back or whatever. OK. But you could put it in a safety security, like secure box or something like that, just as a. OK, but it’s not going to be a transaction.

Benjamin Shaffer (06:07.531)
Yeah.

Benjamin Shaffer (06:12.538)
Absolutely. Yeah, and in fact, there are a bunch of gold repositories that are now accepting this as a form of certified gold bullion. You can get a gold-backed IRA, for example, to nominate in goldbacks. Or, like in Texas, there’s a state gold repository. You can use this state gold repository to deposit and withdraw goldbacks in Texas.

Paris Vega (06:37.438)
Oh wow, I didn’t know that. Yeah, I’m in Texas now, so.

Benjamin Shaffer (06:41.954)
So yeah, it’s a lot of fun. And to me, the reason why I, as one of the earliest customers of the Goldback, was so excited is that I realized that you could do stuff with this you couldn’t do with any of the other gold coins, right? I’d accepted a gold coin, like I said, as payment from a client once, but I could only bill against it.

Paris Vega (06:57.89)
Right.

Benjamin Shaffer (07:01.662)
until I finally earned the one whole coin and then I could be like, yes, I finally own one gold coin. And what could I do with it? Well, not much. All I can really do with that is go somewhere and sell it for US dollars and then spend the US dollars. Or I can hold onto the coin because gold generally appreciates in value, but then eventually, if I ever wanted to spend it, I have to go sell it for dollars and spend the dollars. With the gold backs though, I realized…

Paris Vega (07:09.463)
Yeah.

Paris Vega (07:15.148)
Right.

Benjamin Shaffer (07:27.882)
You could do a bunch of things you can’t do with anything else. For one thing, it’s fungible. Fungible means that, um, you have, you can interchange the same value, even in different like denominations. So I’ve got five goldbacks here and I’ve got a five. Doesn’t matter if it’s this one or these, it’s still five goldbacks, same exact value, same exact exchange rate. It’s five goldbacks either way. And.

Paris Vega (07:42.893)
Mm-hmm.

Right.

Benjamin Shaffer (07:56.074)
That means not only can I hone in on any price, like you can’t do that with the gold coins. Say $1,682.24. I can’t pay that amount in a gold coin, but I can come within the exchange rate value of one gold back with the gold backs and pay exactly that amount. Now I mentioned when I first met him, he said, oh yeah, one gold back is $2.75 today.

Paris Vega (08:05.887)
Right.

Paris Vega (08:09.517)
Right.

Benjamin Shaffer (08:24.518)
And that was the very first event he was at, where you could buy these goldbacks from the farmers market and we could talk to business owners, right? Today, it’s over $4 for one goldback.

Paris Vega (08:35.51)
because it is tied to the actual value of gold at any given time.

Benjamin Shaffer (08:38.83)
Yeah, and it’s not just tied to it as in this is a certificate you can go get the gold somewhere else. This is the gold

Paris Vega (08:47.37)
Right. So each one has a certain amount of gold. And for anybody just listening, not watching, he’s holding up a literal what looks like a dollar bill, but it’s shiny gold in color and like texture and everything. It looks like a little thin piece of gold in the shape of a dollar. And it’s all flexible and stuff. So that’s super interesting. Yeah. So the amount of gold in that is worth.

Benjamin Shaffer (08:50.52)
Mm-hmm.

Benjamin Shaffer (09:06.294)
It’s just so darn thin, she can…

Benjamin Shaffer (09:12.654)
about $4. Yep.

Paris Vega (09:14.018)
about $4. And I guess when they started, maybe they were aiming for a $1 equivalent, but just the value of gold went up since they started the company.

Benjamin Shaffer (09:22.062)
Exactly. Well, and that’s the thing that’s tricky about inflation, right? Gold may fluctuate some, but it generally goes up because the strength of the dollar may fluctuate some, but we know that there’s always inflation. It’s practically a guarantee. One guarantee you have with your cash and your wallet and your pocket and your bank account right now is it will be worth less next year.

Paris Vega (09:36.961)
Right.

Benjamin Shaffer (09:47.786)
Whereas with a gold back, it could go the other way because it’s made out of gold. And over the four years since that day when I first met them about four years ago to get my very first gold back, the value of it has nearly doubled. It’s like 80% at least higher than it was.

Paris Vega (10:09.814)
So it’s not just a currency, it’s also a little bit of an investment because your currency has actually got the solid material attached to it. OK.

Benjamin Shaffer (10:14.347)
Absolutely.

Benjamin Shaffer (10:18.93)
Mm-hmm. Yeah. And so we started with me just signing up my business, and then other people who were connected to the company, the founders, their families, people like that saying, well, I’ll take payment in the goldbacks. But it was a dozen or so local places just in our county right here, Utah County, Utah. And then,

We started saying it to more and more people, hey, would you accept payment in the gold back? And more and more businesses said yes. So now we’re well over 600 businesses in Utah where you can pay with these right at the cash register, just like you would with any other kind of cash. And nationwide, certainly over a thousand because we’re operating in five states right now. Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, South Dakota, and New Hampshire, which is the only one that isn’t contiguous.

Paris Vega (11:09.698)
Okay.

Paris Vega (11:13.182)
Alright, so haven’t made it down into Texas yet.

Benjamin Shaffer (11:16.746)
Not made it down into Texas yet, but like I said, their gold bullion repository has accepted that this is legitimate gold bullion, just like say a gold eagle coin from the U.S. Mint is accepted as legitimate gold bullion and so is this.

Paris Vega (11:18.53)
Okay.

Paris Vega (11:22.625)
Okay.

Paris Vega (11:27.254)
Right. Okay.

So to get into a specific state, is it at the business to business level, you just have to find a single business that’ll do it, or is it like there are some legal implications you have to get through before you can even get to that business level?

Benjamin Shaffer (11:44.054)
Oh, yeah, no, all you’ve got to do and it’s even on goldback.com. Anybody who has a business in any of those five states or even in a state where you’d like it to come, any business really can go to goldback.com and give us their business info. And then we, we provide free advertising to the whole community of businesses that does it. Um, yeah, they just go to goldback.com and there’s a business signup page on there. It’s pretty easy to find or even scroll down to.

Paris Vega (11:58.391)
Okay.

Benjamin Shaffer (12:11.574)
And yeah, then we provide free advertising and support. People will end up putting up a sticker like this for the cash register. It’s just a simple little sticker that says, we accept the gold back, has a picture of some gold backs on it. And people put that on their door or their window or their cash register or all of the above. And then when people see that, they know, hey, I can spend my gold backs here. Because the real thing that’s exciting is that we went from, you know, our very first customer.

Paris Vega (12:23.95)
Mm-hmm.

Benjamin Shaffer (12:40.118)
in 2019 to today, over a million people in America have goldbacks. And so we built out a market that’s worth many, many millions of dollars. We have about 60 million goldbacks in circulation worth about four dollars a piece. So we’re talking like a hundred million dollars worth of goldbacks in circulation.

Paris Vega (12:45.602)
Wow. Cool.

Paris Vega (13:04.546)
Wow. So let’s get into some of the details about the actual customer acquisition, some of that kind of sales and marketing side of things. So you heard the guy just talking about the gold back at a local farmers market and you know, that’s how you got into it. How did the company expand and reach out? What were some of the tactics that were used early on to get those first customers?

Benjamin Shaffer (13:28.947)
You know, the most important thing was finding an existing network of people who were already interested, people who already had some knowledge about gold and its value. And so are really the thing that absolutely that well, too.

things actually that absolutely made gold back explode. The first one was the United Precious Metals Association. We found with the United Precious Metals Association, upma.org is their website, they were already promoting the idea of using gold as money. And they’re a nonprofit educational organization, kind of liberty minded people who want to bring back the gold standard, right?

We had a similar goal and we partnered with them. Actually, before the gold backs were fully made, we found some of their members who were willing to fund it because in order to manufacture these, we had to get about a million dollars worth of gold, physical gold before we could manufacture them into these. So how do you even get started? So you can even have a product to show anybody. Well, we had to find some investors and what we did was we networked with them and they loaned us.

the first million dollars worth of gold. We manufactured them into the gold backs and that gave us a lot of hype, a lot of excitement around that whole community. And they already had, I think at the time they had several thousand members of their association. And so they became, again, some of our very first customers.

Paris Vega (14:45.768)
Huh.

Paris Vega (15:04.194)
Okay.

Benjamin Shaffer (15:05.298)
And then of course we helped them grow, and this is one of the reasons why they were more than happy to partner with us, is that we did a giveaway that first year. This was a really powerful thing. We said, if you will become a member of the United Precious Metals Association, we will send you one gold back for free so you can see what we’re doing. And so it was a little bit painful at first to get started. Sometimes you get out what you put in. Well, what we decided to put in, was we decided to put in like 100,

Paris Vega (15:27.65)
Right.

Yeah.

Benjamin Shaffer (15:34.198)
thousand dollars worth of gold giving it away for free to get more people to come into their association and then what did those people do they bought millions of dollars worth of gold backs

Paris Vega (15:45.538)
Wow. And did you mention what association this was or is that, does that need to be private? Okay, that’s what that was, okay.

Benjamin Shaffer (15:49.77)
Yeah, that’s the United Precious Metals Association. And that’s why it’s upma.org. Yep. And so that partnership has been super powerful. In fact, even now, anybody who’s, you can sign up to become a member of it for free now, and you can literally do banking-like services in Goldbacks through their website now. You can do peer-to-peer transactions. You can even invoice your customers, have them set up their account and pay you in the Goldbacks electronically. All kinds of stuff.

Paris Vega (15:55.805)
Okay, very cool.

Paris Vega (16:18.171)
Wow, okay. That’s really cool.

Benjamin Shaffer (16:20.614)
Now the other really important thing that they helped us get in touch with is the United Purchase Metals Association was already purchasing a bunch of United States gold eagles for their members. And so they had a relationship with a company that is a gold wholesaler. And that became our most important contact very, very quickly was a group called MTI.

and they are a distributing company that moves a lot of gold for gold sellers. Like if you’ve got a local coin store, where do they get their coins from? They don’t buy them directly from the mint. They buy them from a wholesaler, right? And so we got in touch with them and they already knew a lot of gold sellers.

So that networking ended up being really vital as well. We actually gave them a pretty good deal because they were founding with us that they maintain, so that they would buy the goldbacks from us and then sell them to their whole network. And that really got the word out more than a lot of other things. And it really got us into kind of the bigger markets.

In gold and silver, there are your local coin stores. Those are great. And that’s how you usually have access to talk to an expert who can explain gold investing to you. But they’re not the big players. The big players are online bullion houses that deal in millions or maybe even billions of dollars worth of gold for financial institutions. And so getting in them was a really big deal. Things like JM Bullion, SD Bullion.

Paris Vega (17:59.69)
Yeah.

Benjamin Shaffer (18:05.01)
Finest known is one of the portals and a bunch of other places money medals. I love money medals um And so yeah, they move millions or billions of dollars worth of gold and then they were like well, okay we’ll throw your product on our offerings and see how it does and That made a huge difference

Paris Vega (18:25.57)
So how did you make the connections or how did the business make the connections with these bigger organizations?

Benjamin Shaffer (18:31.498)
So really the first thing for the United Precious Metals Association really came down to just being interested in what was going on locally with gold. The United Precious Metals Association was founded by the same guy, Larry Hilton is his name, who helped push the Utah Legal Tender Act through in the first place to make it so that gold would be recognized as legal tender. And…

And so that wasn’t too hard. We just, what we did was we were just looking for a partner who shared a similar ideology. That does remind me of one other important partnership that was necessary before we got this going, which is the Valora Mint. The Valora Mint is who manufactures these. And what they were doing was they were making like collectibles. Gee, it’s too bad it’s not here in my office. Downstairs, we have a beautiful,

Paris Vega (19:17.363)
Okay.

Benjamin Shaffer (19:27.686)
Declaration of Independence, huge declaration of independence printed on 24 karat pure gold on the wall. And that was the type of thing that Valorum was doing. They were making these beautiful art pieces out of pure gold and sometimes and they were doing like little commemoratives that were like collectible money type things but they were one-offs. It wasn’t a monetary system. That’s what we did that was different.

But they had the technology to mint this and that really got the juices flowing. We met them through an organization called the Freedom Fest, which does big national conventions every year. And so really it was about building those connections with other people who were like-minded, right? And they wanted to create something similar. The difference was that the idea of the Goldback was something nobody else had ever tried before.

That is what made it absolutely explode. People understood that gold was money. People understood that gold was valuable. There was gold investment groups. There was, you know, this law in Utah because they wanted to make sure that gold investors wouldn’t have to worry about paying a sales tax on their investments and things like that. But it wasn’t until we saw all of them together at the Freedom Fest that we said, wait a second, what if you could invest in gold and make it beautiful and small?

Paris Vega (20:41.986)
Mm-hmm.

Benjamin Shaffer (20:56.37)
and thin enough that you could use it as regular cash. You could use it as money. And so yeah, it’s about finding those like-minded people and then combining it in a way that nobody had thought of before.

Paris Vega (21:00.812)
Bye.

Paris Vega (21:08.534)
Because if you’re going to have cash to spend anyway, yeah, it makes sense if you can convert it into something that’s going to hold its value longer and still be able to have that flexibility of, you know, being able to spend it anywhere, but also having the benefit of not, you know, seeing your value get just tank over time. OK, so it sounds like this is again, another situation where if anybody’s listened to the show before, they’ll recognize

Benjamin Shaffer (21:17.311)
Right.

Benjamin Shaffer (21:27.551)
Right.

Paris Vega (21:38.614)
You guys kind of defined that target audience and then found ways to meet them, get in front of them, especially physically build those relationships within the niche who was going to be that target customer. And then all those connections eventually turned into your first customers. And that’s, that’s a pattern that seems to be, uh, echoed throughout many episodes of the show.

Benjamin Shaffer (21:50.291)
Exactly.

Benjamin Shaffer (22:00.554)
Yep, and one introduction always leads you to more introductions. You know, because we met some people at FreedomFest, they introduced us to other people who went to other festivals who did connected to other political and, and investment and money oriented things. We went to the PorkFest in New Hampshire because some of the same people.

got excited to go to that and that’s short for porcupine it’s a libertarian festival and there were people there who were really excited about the gold back and once we found out about that we’re like well let’s go talk to them too uh and then that kind of opened up a space where we found out that uh people who were into like cryptocurrencies or um or libertarian politics even if it’s sometimes that’s conservative republicans sometimes that is actually um super liberal democrats um because but because libertarianism kind of

Paris Vega (22:27.519)
Okay.

Benjamin Shaffer (22:53.086)
is a blend of those in certain ways. It’s more about, because it’s about liberty instead of about those ideologies. And once we found some of, each person we talk to knows dozens of other people that we need to talk to, right? And simply getting them excited about how this isn’t just a product, this is a movement. This is, it’s real money, everyone needs money. And we’re gonna change the world.

Paris Vega (23:08.479)
Yeah.

Benjamin Shaffer (23:21.63)
Right? And once they saw it, felt it in their hands, got the concept in their head, they started sharing it with their friends. And it doesn’t hurt that you can buy these for about $4 a piece. Right? So people would spend 20 bucks, get five of them and then give them away to five friends.

Paris Vega (23:32.503)
Yeah.

Paris Vega (23:38.974)
Yeah, I was about to say it seems like the perfect timing for this episode, because this is like the perfect Christmas gift stocking stuffer because it literally looks like a Willy Wonka golden ticket kind of design, like it’s that flashy gold material. And so is it does it like get into some of the details of the actual currency itself? Can you fold it or does it have to be like in that specific kind of

Benjamin Shaffer (23:47.442)
Yep.

Benjamin Shaffer (23:51.061)
Yeah.

Benjamin Shaffer (24:03.47)
Sure.

Paris Vega (24:07.79)
flat position all the time, I mean, what’s the…

Benjamin Shaffer (24:11.046)
We do have these fun gift envelopes to keep them flat, and we do have wallets that we sell that will keep them flat. Any checkbook style wallet will do. But, they actually are super bendable. So… right? Now here’s the thing. If I crease it hard, if I give it a full crease, it’s metal. That crease becomes permanent. It’ll never go back to completely normal. It’ll never be pristine, completely pristine again.

Paris Vega (24:13.011)
Okay, yeah.

Paris Vega (24:22.966)
Whoa, check that out. Okay, and he’s bending it up. It’s like you would fold a piece of paper. Yeah. Okay.

Benjamin Shaffer (24:38.666)
But here’s the cool thing, as a circulating currency, doesn’t matter how much you beat it up. If the gold is still inside, it is still worth its face value. And the company, Goldback Inc. that I work for, and through most of its distributors and subsidiaries, will trade you any old, worn Goldback for a brand new one anytime.

Paris Vega (24:48.332)
Okay.

Paris Vega (25:01.818)
Okay. And so if you melted it down, it’s, I guess the guarantee is that there’s that much gold actually in the gold back.

Benjamin Shaffer (25:09.622)
That’s correct. And actually, this is kind of exciting for us. A new website just launched today. verifiedgoldbacks.com, where they’re actually show three different tests that they did on the goldbacks. In order to prove that they really do have the amount of gold in them. Every goldback has it written on the bottom exactly how much it is.

Paris Vega (25:34.913)
Okay.

Benjamin Shaffer (25:38.526)
So one goldback is one thousandth of a troy ounce of pure gold.

Paris Vega (25:38.894)
He’s zooming in.

Paris Vega (25:44.483)
Okay, cool.

Benjamin Shaffer (25:45.762)
and uh and

Paris Vega (25:47.286)
And so the higher denominations have more gold in that gold neck, like five has.

Benjamin Shaffer (25:50.05)
Correct, so 5 thousandths is the same as 1 two hundredth of a trillionths of pure gold. It says on the five. All the way up to the 50, which is 50 thousandths, or in other words, one twentieth of an ounce.

Paris Vega (25:56.691)
Okay.

Paris Vega (26:00.238)
Crazy.

Paris Vega (26:04.822)
So by the time you get way up there, you just got a brick of gold because it’s got so much gold in it.

Benjamin Shaffer (26:08.81)
Yeah. In fact, that’s the thing. People, because there’s a 50 note, I’ll show you a whole set of them. Because, because the 50 note has 50 on it, people go, oh man, you should make a hundred goldback note. That’d be so much cooler if you had a hundred. Oh my gosh, it wouldn’t bend anymore. That, that would be huge, right? It’d be so thick. Each one gets thicker and heavier. Actually, you can, if you feel it in your hand.

Paris Vega (26:18.574)
That’s cool.

Paris Vega (26:29.73)
be here.

Paris Vega (26:33.55)
Gotcha.

Benjamin Shaffer (26:38.062)
If you hold a one in one hand and a 50 in the other or 25 even, you can tell a massive weight difference just in your hand. Even a blind person can tell you if the, if the gold back is real or what the nomination is because of the different size and shape and weight.

Paris Vega (26:53.506)
Hmm. It’s really cool.

Benjamin Shaffer (26:54.91)
So yeah, they have those different amounts. And of course, 50 goldbacks, it’s already worth about $200. You don’t need to carry a bill larger than a $200 bill in your wallet most of the time. That would be a lot. And heck, if you had a whole stack of them, you can buy a car or something, or a house even, if you’ve got a little baggie of them.

Paris Vega (27:04.13)
Yeah.

Paris Vega (27:07.435)
Right.

Paris Vega (27:11.79)
Right. Yeah. And I guess there is some security issues that come up if you’re just out here flashing these goldbacks around. Yeah, like I guess you’re not getting them out of an ATM machine or anything though at this point.

Benjamin Shaffer (27:19.842)
Flashing the gold.

Benjamin Shaffer (27:25.39)
Actually, if you go to goldatm.com, there are a series of gold back ATMs where you can get them right out of an ATM.

Paris Vega (27:28.483)
Oh, okay.

Paris Vega (27:34.018)
Dude, you gotta be careful about the position of that ATM.

Benjamin Shaffer (27:37.538)
You do, you do. Most of them are in places that have security cameras and stuff like that. Yeah, but it’s true if you start flashing it around, you know, we like to say that once you have a gold back, you’re not going to lose your money. Well, unless you get mugged. Right? Because it’s not going to inflate away. It’s sound money. It’s real gold. You’re not going to lose your investment unless you get mugged because, you know, people want your gold backs.

Paris Vega (27:41.075)
Yeah, okay.

Paris Vega (27:46.586)
Definitely gets attention.

Paris Vega (27:53.171)
Right, right. Yeah, you still want to be smart with it.

Yeah.

Paris Vega (28:02.558)
Right. Because it is actually physically valuable because you’re yeah. And so you wouldn’t be carrying around gold coins all the time. Kind of for a similar reason. But but yeah, if you’re wanting to spend it, that’s super convenient. That’s that’s a really cool concept.

Benjamin Shaffer (28:07.283)
Exactly.

Benjamin Shaffer (28:13.67)
Sure. Yeah.

Mm-hmm. Yeah, so it fits right in your wallet and, you know, it’s a great way to do it. Here’s the fun thing too. If you buy goldbacks, you can often buy goldbacks for slightly under the exchange rate. The exchange rate is done by the average of the whole free market, right? What the market is treating them at. But if you buy them direct from distributors, what matters isn’t its market value. What matters is how much it costs to manufacture.

right? So Goldback Inc. were basically the wholesaler, the manufacturing wholesaler, basically. We get the manufacture by the velour mint, we get them to distributors like the big bullion houses, and then they sell them to the public. Well, some of them want to undercut their competition. So some of them will sell them for less than the exchange rate. And then you go into a local business that accepts Goldbacks in any of the five states that we’ve got them in and have their own series, or even some of the states that don’t have a series

already have businesses that’ll take these because they’re gold after all. You go in there and you spend it, they’re gonna credit you the actual market value. The exchange rate is what you’re gonna get. So if you could buy it for five or sometimes even 10%, or, but often you really can get between five and 10% less than the exchange rate when you buy them, then you go in and spend it and you’ve actually saved that money.

Paris Vega (29:17.237)
Mm-hmm.

Paris Vega (29:39.828)
Yeah.

Paris Vega (29:44.062)
Yeah.

Benjamin Shaffer (29:44.726)
by using the goldbacks instead of using the US dollars. So if some place, cause that’s kind of the problem, right? A lot of times people will get these and they’ll be like, oh, this is too cool. I’m never giving this up. I’m putting this in my safe. It’ll be there for later, but I don’t wanna, I’m not gonna spend it. I want my gold, you know? But that’s a mistake when it comes to the goldback. That’s what you have to do with gold coins or bars, right? But with the goldback, just turn some of your spending money into goldbacks and go ahead and spend them.

Paris Vega (29:57.587)
Yeah, yeah.

Paris Vega (30:08.619)
Right.

Benjamin Shaffer (30:14.13)
and then buy more because not only you’re not going to lose your money, you might even save some money.

Paris Vega (30:16.279)
Gotcha.

Paris Vega (30:20.65)
Right. So you can actually buy more with it potentially than what you would you spend on it. What about the like digital marketing tactics and that kind of thing? Are you guys posting on Facebook and all this? So tick tock or whatever, are there certain channels you’ve seen that perform better? Can you speak to that side of things a little?

Benjamin Shaffer (30:23.946)
Yep.

Benjamin Shaffer (30:38.938)
Yeah, we’ve been doing quite a bit of that recently. Honestly, podcasts have been helpful because people are interested in a new movement like this. And so there’s videos on YouTube and various podcasts and stuff like that. But yeah, we’re on Facebook, of course. We’re on Instagram. The Reddit community has been surprisingly responsive as a good way to reach out.

Paris Vega (30:46.698)
Yeah.

Paris Vega (31:03.137)
Okay.

Benjamin Shaffer (31:05.65)
There’s like Wall Street Bets everyone’s heard of. There’s also things like Wall Street Gold and Wall Street Silver stackers and things like that. Those are groups that are interested in the precious metals. And Wall Street Bets, sometimes it comes up in there. And so by being active on those things, I know we’ve found a lot of people those ways as well.

Paris Vega (31:09.142)
Yeah, yeah.

Paris Vega (31:15.477)
Okay.

Paris Vega (31:29.426)
Yeah. Okay. Very cool.

Benjamin Shaffer (31:32.93)
But yeah, it’s always exciting if you can get the ear of a podcaster or a video maker, because people don’t wanna just hear it from us. I mean, this is their money they’re talking about. They wanna have absolute trust that they know this has been verified, this is real gold. And I can say all day long, I know, I promise you, it really is gold. But if you’re like, yeah, okay, fine. But I wanna hear it from somebody else, somebody who’s tested you and proven it. And so that really helps a lot too, is that we’ve had…

Paris Vega (31:43.116)
Yep.

Paris Vega (31:53.523)
Yeah.

Benjamin Shaffer (32:02.77)
a bunch of people, in fact, every batch is third party asset. So we do have them testing it. And when they do, it’s that’s been great publicity for us. One guy, totally backyard, backyard gold collector, no influence from us at all. We didn’t even know he existed. Took a bunch of gold backs, melted them down, made a coin, made a little gold bar out of the gold he got out of the gold backs, tested it.

did a whole video on it. And when it came out, we were like, that’s so cool. Now, of course, it destroyed a lot of the value because it’s no longer in these really convenient, interchangeable denominations. It’s no longer part of the money system. It’s now just like unknown random gold bar, right? But no, he proved it. It’s pure. It’s all of that and all the gold is in there. So, you know, stuff like that added to our credibility a lot. You got to look for those influencers.

Paris Vega (32:29.174)
today. Did a whole video of it.

Paris Vega (32:35.883)
Oh, it did.

Paris Vega (32:44.661)
Right.

Paris Vega (32:50.7)
Okay.

Paris Vega (32:54.39)
So is there different other materials in there in addition to that amount of gold?

Benjamin Shaffer (33:00.126)
There’s no, I would say there’s nothing but pure gold in there, but out there, the outside of the gold back, is two sheets, one on the front, one on the back, of clear polymer that have printing on it.

Paris Vega (33:04.905)
Okay.

Yeah.

Paris Vega (33:12.69)
Okay, so that helps. Okay, that helps give it a little more stability or whatever. So it doesn’t just crinkle up.

Benjamin Shaffer (33:17.718)
Right, because if it was just gold foil you could rip it really easily, but these cannot be ripped, they’re waterproof, they’re almost indestructible. Well I should say the boss says don’t tell them they’re almost indestructible, people can cut them with scissors, there’s things that they can do, and I’m like well yeah yeah, but they’re not going to fall apart in your pocket is my point, right? They’re waterproof and almost impossible to tear. This was another fun video we did that helped just to get the word out.

Paris Vega (33:21.838)
Gotcha.

Paris Vega (33:26.038)
Okay, that’s cool.

Paris Vega (33:34.007)
Right, right.

Paris Vega (33:37.894)
Yeah, okay. I’m not just gonna fade.

Benjamin Shaffer (33:45.89)
When we noticed how hard they were to tear, I did a contest at an event one time where I said, if you can rip one in half, I will give you a hundred goldbacks, which is worth almost about $400. I was like, all you gotta do is rip it with your bare hands. I’ll give you $400. Nobody collected. We had tons of people try, big, huge guys. And so we made a video about that afterward. They were like, let’s go to a gym and let’s find some of these huge bodybuilder types and say, I will give you a prize if you can rip this in half.

Paris Vega (33:55.582)
Well, yeah, yeah.

Benjamin Shaffer (34:16.539)
None succeeded.

Paris Vega (34:18.029)
Oh really? Wow. That’s some serious oliver.

Benjamin Shaffer (34:19.562)
So they are pretty tough. But besides the fact that they’re tough, the other thing that that’s useful for is anti-counterfeiting. One of the things you’ll see in gold and silver is sometimes there’ll be an assay, a certificate of authenticity saying, we guarantee this is real gold or this is real silver. Basically, that’s what a goldback is. The assay certificate is printed on the front of every goldback, guaranteeing its weight and purity by law.

Benjamin Shaffer (34:48.338)
as well as having all the anti-counterfeiting features built into the note in such a way that they cannot be counterfeited, which is actually a really big problem in gold and silver. People will take sometimes even an entire ounce of gold or two ounces of gold, and they’ll coat a gold bar with real gold, sometimes thick, thick amounts of real gold, but they’ll hide a tungsten bar inside. Well…

Paris Vega (35:03.244)
Mm-hmm.

Paris Vega (35:11.944)
Mm-hmm.

Gotcha.

Benjamin Shaffer (35:16.766)
Some of those, they’ll pass, they’ll pass almost all the tests that an ordinary person could do without destroying the bar. It’ll pass the test. And they’ll say, yes, this is exactly 10 ounces of pure gold, but it turns out, no, you’ve only got a half of an ounce coating the tungsten bar. And fakes like that are popping up all the time. It’s really frustrating. Well, no one has ever counterfeited a gold back, not even come close because of these anti-counterfeiting features.

Paris Vega (35:26.122)
Right. Interesting.

Benjamin Shaffer (35:48.218)
And my favorite of which is the reverse side. If you look at the back of a gold back, there’s no printing, but you can still see the reverse image. And there’s no printing there. That’s just the pure elemental gold that you’re seeing. But because we use this vacuum deposition process, it’s called, you can think of it sort of like 3D printing with lasers. We’re laying down the gold the way we want to onto the polymer.

Paris Vega (35:58.516)
Okay.

Paris Vega (36:09.427)
Okay. Yeah.

Benjamin Shaffer (36:15.378)
it takes on these attributes, including all the security features embedded in the gold itself at an atomic level. So if you look at one of these, if you ever get one of these, look at it under a microscope or even just a jeweler’s glass, and you’ll see all these tiny, tiny ridges where we built up the gold inside the security features.

Paris Vega (36:22.094)
crazy.

Paris Vega (36:33.712)
Okay.

Yeah, I’m definitely going to get one of these. I mean, this is it just looks too cool not to have one. If you can just spend a couple bucks to get one, this is definitely going in the stockings for Christmas gifts this year. Yeah, it’s just cool.

Benjamin Shaffer (36:38.51)
I’m going to go ahead and turn it off.

Benjamin Shaffer (36:46.029)
Right? Even just to show it off. Yeah, put one in every stocking and everyone’s gonna be like, oh my gosh, I’ve got a piece of gold.

Paris Vega (36:50.994)
Yeah, yeah. Now, that’s really cool that you made it affordable to have a piece of gold, because I think that’s one of the things that keep people. It’s like, yeah, gold’s better than having paper around. But it’s like, you guys spend two grand to just get into gold. Yeah.

Benjamin Shaffer (36:59.638)
Right.

Benjamin Shaffer (37:03.798)
Right. So think about it this way. If you’re, if you’re so like, I’m going to save a certain amount of money every month, right? Cause I know I need to be saving either business or personal savings. And you’re thinking I need to set aside a certain amount every month. Are you setting aside more than $2,000 every month? So you can buy one gold coin a month. No, probably not. You might be, you might be saying, look, I’m going to set aside $200 or I’m going to set aside $500 a month, or maybe I’m going to set aside 50 bucks a month or 20, right? Just to have something that you’re setting aside.

Paris Vega (37:08.629)
Mm.

Paris Vega (37:19.914)
Right.

Paris Vega (37:30.55)
Yeah.

Benjamin Shaffer (37:33.598)
And if you wanted to put that in gold or precious metals, you just couldn’t. You can’t do it with only 20 bucks. Even one ounce of silver is worth more than 20 bucks. So what do you do? Well, you can buy five of these. And there you go.

Paris Vega (37:42.966)
Yeah.

Paris Vega (37:47.978)
Yep. That’s cool. Yep. So do you guys send it to influencers sometimes, or do you pay influencers to talk about it? Like on tick tock, we’ve heard some people have success doing that kind of thing.

Benjamin Shaffer (38:00.978)
Yeah, we actually have done some of that. We did that early on in 2020. We took a set of 100 gold backs. Basically what I’ve got in the frame here. Except we gave them 10 ones so they’d have some to show off and give away. We gave them 10 of the ones. And we sent it to several of the YouTube channels that were already gold and silver

Paris Vega (38:14.807)
Right?

Benjamin Shaffer (38:31.19)
channels about what coins to buy and stuff like that. And with a little note that said, we want you to see these, we want you to try them out, we want you to study about it, and we would appreciate it if you did a video, but, you know, form your own opinion, right? So we sent it to them without strings attached. It wasn’t like a sponsorship where it was like, we’ll only give you a look if you agree with us, right? We just sent them to everybody.

And that was really helpful. We only had one or two dissenters saying, I don’t know about this. Almost everyone was really impressed and excited about it. And it also built up our credibility again, because we were trying to be neutral about it. And we allowed, you know, we gave it to people and some people did a negative take. And it was like, hey, at least it’s being talked about. And then now we know what people don’t like so we can try to address those concerns.

Paris Vega (39:17.773)
Right.

Yeah.

Paris Vega (39:25.59)
So do you have your own, like, I guess the company’s matured over time. Do you have like your own marketing team and everything and they’re like putting out content on a regular basis or is it all just known third party? Okay.

Benjamin Shaffer (39:35.894)
They are now, yeah. They are now, we’ve got two marketing guys, they’re great. And we just, we make sure that they put, they create some content, including shorts like TikToks, and then they put it out on TikTok and YouTube shorts, and then we’ll link it to, you know, all the Instagram and so forth, so that it’ll get on the socials. So what they’ve done is they’ve really kind of built an integrated marketing plan.

that’s mostly online and where it’ll go through each of the major things. And so they’re trying to put out something every week. But it has matured quite a bit to get to that level. Really, our first customers all came from word of mouth, gifting, and pounding the pavement. I mean, I have spent…

Paris Vega (40:17.287)
Okay. So what?

Benjamin Shaffer (40:32.658)
I’ve worn out a couple of pairs of shoes just walking down Main Street, showing it to business owners and saying, hey, would you take this for payment? Well, why don’t you sign up your business here?

Paris Vega (40:43.114)
Wow. And I think that’s a lot of times that’s what it takes for any new business. You have to have that doing the stuff that’s manual and not scalable upfront so that you can grow big enough to do that stuff that’s really scalable on the digital level.

Benjamin Shaffer (40:57.578)
Right. I mean, you want to build a pipeline, but until you have a pipeline, you just have to do one bucket at a time and just carry the dang bucket to get, to get it moving. It primes the pump since I’m using water analogies.

Paris Vega (41:07.966)
So yeah, so there’s, there’s some entrepreneurs that listened to this show. Um, are there any books you might recommend or overall lessons you’ve learned, uh, from being involved with this company that you would share with the community?

Benjamin Shaffer (41:23.206)
Yeah, I thought this one was really interesting. New Money for a New World. It’s basically about the way in which every business owner needs to be aware that monetary policy impacts you. I think a lot of times people don’t really realize how much monetary policy is messing with their books. I’ll give you one example that I did. I told you I was one of the very first businesses to sign up to accept goldbacks. Well, I was still just managing the small law firm.

Paris Vega (41:30.131)
Okay.

Paris Vega (41:50.455)
Yeah.

Benjamin Shaffer (41:53.278)
and we said that we’d accept the goldbacks and we made a price list. So an hourly rate when you pay a lawyer usually pay a certain amount of money per hour or there’s some times there’s flat fee services like make me a trust or estate plan for my will and trust so that I will be able to pass on my estate. Things like that usually have a flat fee. Well we made a whole price list of everything in dollars and in goldbacks so that people could

it’d be easy for people to just have it for reference. Well, it wasn’t very long before someone came in and said, well, I’m not gonna pay you in goldbacks, I’m gonna pay you in dollars because you’re charging me too much in goldbacks. And I was like, whoa, I don’t know about that. When I made the chart, the whole point of making the price list was that you got a 10% savings for using the goldbacks, not a markup.

but I went and checked the exchange rates, which I hadn’t been doing because I’d been excited about it, but I hadn’t checked it daily or something. And I checked the exchange rate and wouldn’t you know it, he was paying like a 6% markup to pay in goldbacks instead of dollars, meaning getting the total markup 16%. The US dollar had lost 16% of its value versus my prices.

Paris Vega (42:55.788)
Yeah.

Paris Vega (43:16.511)
Mm.

Benjamin Shaffer (43:18.022)
as compared to the gold back in like one year. And I had not changed my US dollar prices. You know, you don’t you don’t redo your whole fee schedule ever all the time. But it had snuck up on me and I realized, oh my goodness, if you’re not taking into account monetary policy and what is going on with inflation, no matter what era of business you’re in, no matter what kind of business you’re in.

Paris Vega (43:21.514)
Wow.

Paris Vega (43:30.892)
Yeah, yeah.

Benjamin Shaffer (43:46.554)
then you’re losing money and it’s dangerous not to be really careful and dynamic about what your pricing things at. So yeah, new money for a new world. I thought that was an interesting one about monetary policy and what to be aware of. So that even if we only have the regular inflation you still have to be aware of it.

Paris Vega (43:57.742)
Okay. Yeah. I’ll check that out.

Paris Vega (44:07.902)
Right. And what do you think briefly about comparing gold back and gold in general versus like crypto or Bitcoin specifically?

Benjamin Shaffer (44:18.126)
Sure. I have some friends who are Bitcoin maximalists. Bitcoin all the way, nothing but Bitcoin. I do have a bunch of Bitcoin myself. I am actually far more open to a bunch of other different types of crypto than just Bitcoin. I’m personally open to it because Bitcoin proved the idea that decentralization increases the trustability.

Paris Vega (44:22.924)
Yeah.

Benjamin Shaffer (44:46.95)
and usability of a currency system. But I don’t love that Bitcoin, it can’t be adapted for some of the other things I want. Like I’m a big fan of Monero because Monero as a cryptocurrency has maximum privacy. The joke in Monero is I lost all my Monero in a boating accident. And the reason that’s a joke is because no one will ever know if you own any, or if you spent any, or where it is, or where it’s going.

Paris Vega (44:59.806)
Yeah, the privacy.

Benjamin Shaffer (45:16.554)
Monero is completely private. And so I like that they can add these security features by making another crypto. So Bitcoin’s great. And like I said, I’ve got a bunch of it, but I really like some of these other cryptos as well, because they can add additional functions, which can be useful functions. But let me just say, I think when it comes to the future of money, as brilliant as that concept is, it’s not enough.

Paris Vega (45:23.031)
Yeah.

Benjamin Shaffer (45:43.95)
for it simply to be decentralized, or for it simply to be done through cryptography so you can have this blockchain concept where everyone verifies everyone else. That’s great, but it’s not real. It’s not touchable, right? I can’t hold a Bitcoin in my hands. If I’m hungry, I can’t turn a Bitcoin into a meal unless everybody is not only accepting it, but everyone has electricity, everybody has some network that they can actually verify that transaction on.

Paris Vega (45:57.614)
Mm-hmm.

Paris Vega (46:08.035)
Yeah.

Benjamin Shaffer (46:13.634)
There’s no cash solution in crypto alone. And really that makes the Goldback kind of the complimentary opposite of these other alternative currencies. Because this not only is physical, it’s not really digital. It’s something you hold in your hand, period. It doesn’t matter if the power goes out, it doesn’t matter.

Paris Vega (46:18.882)
Mm-hmm.

Benjamin Shaffer (46:40.23)
If the US dollar collapses, it doesn’t matter if there’s a world war, it doesn’t matter if there’s anything. You can never lose your keys to it. It is literally just physical gold. There’s a there’s a certain kind of security in that. And I think as long as we human beings remain physical creatures, who have physical needs like food, we’re going to want a physical currency sometimes so that we can have that cash solution in our hands that is real, that’s tangible.

Paris Vega (46:49.943)
Yeah.

Benjamin Shaffer (47:11.45)
So I do think the future of money could be both though. Maybe what we need is a crypto version that verifies the gold back holdings that then you can redeem from. And we are looking very heavily right now in doing a partnership with one of the big stablecoin makers so that the gold back will be a stablecoin always exchangeable for one physical gold back for one digital.

Paris Vega (47:11.682)
So until we get.

Okay.

Paris Vega (47:30.898)
Okay.

Paris Vega (47:34.979)
Gotcha.

Benjamin Shaffer (47:38.642)
And hopefully it’ll be fully cryptographic so that people can actually verify those nodes on their own blockchain, on their own systems, and hold everyone accountable and make sure that gold is really there.

Paris Vega (47:38.999)
Okay.

Paris Vega (47:47.52)
Yeah, heard.

Right. I heard a few years ago, there was a some crypto company trying to do a gold back, gold backed cryptocurrency to where they had that much gold that represents, I guess, all the crypto that was in distribution or something. But

Benjamin Shaffer (47:58.346)
Right.

Benjamin Shaffer (48:04.102)
Right, so there’s two big companies that do this. Well, and I guess there’s a third that isn’t quite exactly crypto, and that is people will use things like the Glint card, that’s from Europe, where they all have gold in the vault, and then you can turn that into US dollars and spend it on a card. We actually have something similar at Alpine Gold through the United Precious Metals Association. We have what’s called the Tether card. It’s this little visa here.

Paris Vega (48:15.2)
Okay.

Paris Vega (48:24.998)
Okay. So you could spend it digitally if you want to through the basic kind of credit card machines and everything.

Benjamin Shaffer (48:30.278)
Yeah. But then there’s also Paxos and my favorite Kinesis. Kinesis Metals actually has a vaulted gold that then you can trade digitally through their blockchain. And it’s really quite stable because the gold is really there. They actually vault the gold and then you just trade the ownership of it. And then of course you can trade fractional ownership.

Paris Vega (48:47.111)
Okay, really cool.

Paris Vega (48:53.183)
Yeah.

Benjamin Shaffer (48:58.274)
But if you ever want to hold the gold in your hand, if you ever want to take it out of the vault, you have to have enough to buy the whole gold bar, right? That’s a ton. The cool thing about a gold backed crypto, if it was actually made with the gold back, would be you could make a withdrawal of like $4 worth and literally take custody of the physical gold.

Paris Vega (49:00.847)
Yeah.

Paris Vega (49:18.966)
That’s cool. I really love what you guys are doing. I think it’s a cool project and it’s innovative. And I like anything that’s kind of pushing on giving us more options at the currency level. I think that’s really important, especially with the crazy inflation we’ve seen these past few years. I was already convinced we needed more options pre-COVID and everything, you know, once as crypto was, you know, getting more popular. But then after seeing everything that’s happened since then,

It’s never been more clear that we need more options. It seems like it’s wise to have some flexibility and some diversity and how you store your wealth or spend.

Benjamin Shaffer (49:56.222)
You know, it’s all about having options, like you said, right? It’s all about the flexibility. You don’t have a free market if you don’t have a choice, right? And you don’t have a free market unless you have a free market currency and an actual ability to say, I’m going to choose this and actually use an alternative. And so I think that the free market is going to prove which one is the better system.

Paris Vega (50:05.966)
Yeah.

Benjamin Shaffer (50:24.438)
Everyone accepts the dollar right now because it’s the default. Not because it’s the best idea or the best system, but because it’s something that a lot of people use and that and that makes it useful. But I think the more if we can get to the point where we go from about 1000 businesses that accept the gold back to maybe millions of businesses that accept the gold backs. Then I think that we might be able to say, actually, this is a better choice. Maybe we can crowd out.

Paris Vega (50:44.62)
Yeah.

Benjamin Shaffer (50:53.13)
crowd out the system. And you know, that’s probably this is almost a sad brag because I do love cryptocurrencies. But if you’re in Utah, at least, and you’ve got some crypto and you’ve got some goldbacks, it is easier to spend the goldbacks than it is to spend Bitcoin. There are more businesses that accept payment in goldbacks than accept payment in any form of cryptocurrency.

Paris Vega (51:00.482)
Mm.

Paris Vega (51:09.815)
Wow.

Paris Vega (51:13.546)
Yeah, I think it’s definitely an easier concept to get. She’s like, hey, here are the goldbacks. Can people spend them here or not versus, hey, let’s get you all set up to make sure you got your wallet. And yeah, that’s been the problem with crypto from the beginning, I think, is that user experience is a little rough compared to what everybody’s used to.

Benjamin Shaffer (51:21.421)
Yep.

Benjamin Shaffer (51:26.292)
Yeah.

Benjamin Shaffer (51:33.558)
And if it had been easier, I would be a crypto millionaire, right? I mean, I remember the day. I remember the day one of my friends was all excited that Ethereum had gotten to all the way up to one dollar per Ethereum. And he was like, and literally you can buy any amount in this just you should totally do it. And I was like, you know what, I’ll do it. I’m more than happy to just buy, I don’t know, 50 of them for a buck each, whatever.

Paris Vega (51:38.379)
Yeah.

Benjamin Shaffer (52:01.406)
or a hundred of them for a buck each. How do I do it? And he’s like, I can’t really explain it to you over the phone. Do you know what I mean? And then I was like, well, I guess I’ll wait, you know, and boy did I miss that boat. You know, same thing with Bitcoin. You know, people were like, it’s been fun. I’ve been mining some Bitcoin. I’ve got a few on my computer now. And I’m like, how do you do it? And they’re like, well, I can’t really explain it to you over the phone. Maybe I’ll come over sometime and do that with you. And then it didn’t happen and didn’t happen until I didn’t get any Bitcoin until it was worth like,

Paris Vega (52:09.045)
Yeah.

Paris Vega (52:13.482)
Yeah. Right.

Paris Vega (52:19.392)
Yeah.

Paris Vega (52:25.163)
Yeah.

Benjamin Shaffer (52:31.338)
20 grand or something. I mean.

Paris Vega (52:34.709)
Yeah. Yep. Well, really cool, man. I appreciate you taking the time with us today. You guys check out Goldback. Is it what’s the website?

Benjamin Shaffer (52:46.718)
goldback.com. It’s singular, just goldback.com. And the first thing you’re going to see when you go to goldback.com is the exchange rate. And then if you scroll down or use one of the menus, if you’re a business owner, please give us your business information, right? Anybody who’s listening, because what we’re trying to do is build that list. It’s no obligation and it’s no expense to be on that list. But as we build a community…

Paris Vega (52:48.238)
Goldback.com. Okay.

Benjamin Shaffer (53:14.378)
people who really use this sound money, that’s when it gains its power. When you accept the goldbacks or spend the goldbacks, this money stays local. It stays in the country. This doesn’t get shipped off to China or consumed by the federal deficit or any of that stuff. It stays a private form of real value that you can put right in your pocket, right? So what we want to do is build that community and that takes

more people saying, I’ll do it. I mean, maybe you live in Tennessee or something, and you’re thinking, well, that’s not one of the goldback states. Doesn’t matter. You can still take gold as payment. I suppose I mentioned Tennessee instinctively because they’re one of the states that has a legal tender act. They treat gold as money. So even though there’s no goldback community there, it’s still money because it’s gold. So you might as well just start using it.

Paris Vega (53:58.062)
Okay.

Paris Vega (54:05.766)
Awesome. All right, everybody. That’s been another episode of the First Customers Podcast. This has been really interesting, birthing a new currency for the U.S. and the world. So check it out at goldback.com and we’ll see you on the next episode of the First Customers Podcast. Thanks, Benjamin.

Benjamin Shaffer (54:24.162)
Thank you.


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