Web3 CMO Stories

How Hivello's DePIN Can Put Power in People's Hands – with Domenic Carosa | S4 E20

July 05, 2024 Joeri Billast & Domenic Carosa Season 4
How Hivello's DePIN Can Put Power in People's Hands – with Domenic Carosa | S4 E20
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Web3 CMO Stories
How Hivello's DePIN Can Put Power in People's Hands – with Domenic Carosa | S4 E20
Jul 05, 2024 Season 4
Joeri Billast & Domenic Carosa

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Ever wondered how your everyday devices could become a source of income and contribute to a greener planet? Join us for an enlightening conversation with Domenic Carosa, co-founder and chairman of Hivello, where he shares his journey from listing his first company on the Australian Stock Exchange in 2000 to becoming a pioneer in the blockchain industry. Discover how Hivello aims to democratize decentralized physical infrastructure networks (DePIN) by allowing users to earn money through sharing their computer resources. Domenic also delves into their recent $2.5 million fundraising and ambitious plans for product development, aiming to make Web3 accessible to the masses.

Explore the future of Web3 mining as we discuss the environmental benefits of repurposing obsolete equipment through innovative methods that utilize everyday devices like laptops and mobile phones. Domenic emphasizes the importance of building a strong community in the Web3 space and shares strategies for engaging users on platforms like Telegram, Discord, and Twitter. From contrasting traditional Bitcoin mining with new sustainable approaches to outlining plans for onboarding the next million users, this episode is packed with insights on how technology and community can drive positive change for both our digital and physical worlds. Don’t miss the excitement about the future of Web3 mining, community building, and sustainable innovation.

This episode was recorded IRL at Consensus 2024 in Austin on May 30, 2024. Read the blog article and show notes here: https://webdrie.net/how-hivellos-depin-can-put-power-in-peoples-hands-with-domenic-carosa/

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Send us a Text Message.

Ever wondered how your everyday devices could become a source of income and contribute to a greener planet? Join us for an enlightening conversation with Domenic Carosa, co-founder and chairman of Hivello, where he shares his journey from listing his first company on the Australian Stock Exchange in 2000 to becoming a pioneer in the blockchain industry. Discover how Hivello aims to democratize decentralized physical infrastructure networks (DePIN) by allowing users to earn money through sharing their computer resources. Domenic also delves into their recent $2.5 million fundraising and ambitious plans for product development, aiming to make Web3 accessible to the masses.

Explore the future of Web3 mining as we discuss the environmental benefits of repurposing obsolete equipment through innovative methods that utilize everyday devices like laptops and mobile phones. Domenic emphasizes the importance of building a strong community in the Web3 space and shares strategies for engaging users on platforms like Telegram, Discord, and Twitter. From contrasting traditional Bitcoin mining with new sustainable approaches to outlining plans for onboarding the next million users, this episode is packed with insights on how technology and community can drive positive change for both our digital and physical worlds. Don’t miss the excitement about the future of Web3 mining, community building, and sustainable innovation.

This episode was recorded IRL at Consensus 2024 in Austin on May 30, 2024. Read the blog article and show notes here: https://webdrie.net/how-hivellos-depin-can-put-power-in-peoples-hands-with-domenic-carosa/

Domenic:

It's a bit like sometimes you see a swan gliding over the lake. What you don't see is the legs below are frantically going really fast.

Joeri:

Hello everyone and welcome to the Web3 CMO Stories podcast. My name is Joeri Billast and I'm your podcast host. I am still at Consensus in Austin and now I'm joined by Domenic Carosa. Hi, Domenic, how are you doing?

Domenic:

Fantastic Joeri and enjoying the Consensus Trade Show, the biggest trade show in the US. Loving it.

Joeri:

Yes, I love it too. It's my first time and doing a bit of networking, doing podcast interviews, seeing people in real life that's amazing. But, guys, if you're now wondering who is Domenic Carosa, he's the co-founder and chairman of Hivello. But, dominic, for our listeners, yeah, let's dive straight in and tell me a bit about your journey in the tech and blockchain industry and what led you to co-found Hivello.

Domenic:

Absolutely. I've been involved in technology since mid-90s. I listed my first company on the Australian Stock Exchange in 2000, which was in digital media, which I ran for eight years, and then jumped across to the other side and ran an early stage venture capital fund investing in the SaaS B2B SaaS specifically, specifically. And then I fell down the crypto rabbit hole in 2013. I heard about this thing called Bitcoin and then that just opened my eyes to new opportunities and possibilities, launched a company on the back of that called Banksa.

Domenic:

Banksa still operates today as one of the leading fiat on and off ramps in the world, and I stepped aside as the chairman of banks late last year to focus my attention more on to Havello and the whole mission around Havello is about making access to deepening decentralized physical infrastructure networks, making it accessible to the mass market, to the ordinary person. I've always been very passionate about building the bridge between the fiat world, the non-crypto world and the digital asset world. Banksa, for example, provides on and off ramps for the industry to try to effectively onboard the masses, and the whole mission around Hivello is very similar. It's how can we bring more people into Web3 and specifically DePIN and make it easy and accessible for

Joeri:

Great, but maybe for people that are not listening they never heard about DePIN. Can you explain a bit more what Decentralized Physical Infrastructure networks are and why they are significant?

Domenic:

Maybe just to take a step back. When the internet first started, its whole ethos was around decentralization. Over the last 20 years, we've seen an increase of centralization and you look at major infrastructure and hosting companies like Google and Amazon, aws, and the whole premise around Deepin is to go back to the roots of the internet to basically decentralize key infrastructures. And one other way to look at it is Airbnb you rent your house in exchange for money or Uber you use your car to drive people around, so you're using an asset. Havello's mission, specifically around Deepening, is allowing people to use their spare hardware their computer and, at some point, a mobile phone to be able to share the resources their CPU, their GPU, their storage, their IP. I know I'm using some technical terms here, but sharing your computer resources in exchange for tokens or stablecoins or fiat money or cash. So ultimately, to make it really simple, the proposition is you can earn money while basically sharing your computer resources, like passive income, our example and our push into Deepin.

Domenic:

There are other examples of Deepin. Just to give your listeners a bit of a sense, there's another deepening out there called the Hive Mapper, where you buy a hardware device and you install it with your car and, as you drive around, it basically maps the world, and that is like a deepening that is basically creating another version of Google Maps is like a deep in that is basically creating another version of google maps, but it's purely decentralized, and the people who are driving around effectively taking videos of what's around them are getting paid in the hype mapper token. So that's just like a another tangible example of what deep in is and how it actually translates in real life thank you for these examples.

Joeri:

I think it's becoming more clear for me too, but I learned that you recently raised an additional $2.5 million off the initial $1 million, I think in December. How do you plan to utilize this funding for your goals?

Domenic:

Yeah, we actually raised a total of $2.5 in both December and January, and it was led by a blockchain founders fund, blockchain and NGC. We had a number of big VCs on our cap table and really the application of funds will be product engineering really continues to build out the product and then, ultimately, customer acquisition. So part of our customer acquisition strategy will be an aspect of what I call B2C, and then there'll be B2B partnerships that will also help drive customers to Havello and here at ConsenSys. We actually launched our product at ConsenSys, so 24 hours ago we had over 20,000 people on our wait list, and so they're now progressively going to get access to the Havello platform Congrats with that, and so they're now progressively going to get access to the Hevelo platform.

Joeri:

Congrats with that and indeed, at the end of our episode, feel free to remember people how to find how to participate in Hivello. Yeah, at Consensus lots of things are going on, but of course, this is like the Web3 community. You're, I think, talking about onboarding the next million users. A lot of companies are talking about that. Yeah, what are the strategies that you will employ to get these people onboard, and maybe are there any challenges that you will?

Domenic:

see, I think one of the big challenges, not just for us at Habelo, but, I believe, all of the industry, is how do we make a product and make a user experience that is really simple, that doesn't confuse the customer or the prospective customer? And I think the industry and I'll put up a hand and say we're also at fault here. Sometimes we become too complicated in our communication, we use too many buzzwords and the key learning I guess one of the key learnings from Banksa was the simpler we made the process, the checkout process, the higher the conversion rates. The less jargon we used or the more simplified language, the higher the conversion rate, which ultimately is very logical, whichever way you look at it. And so our real mission at havello is really onboarding the next billion people to deep in, and the way that we're going to do that is by having a product that is simple, really simple to use, and we started with the hypothesis that I want someone that is not a crypto native, who's maybe heard of cryptocurrency, to be able to use and install and participate in deepening with Heva Loan and not have to even touch cryptocurrencies or think about wallets.

Domenic:

And so how we do that is that we've created a Windows app, and soon we'll launch a Mac and a mobile, mobile version of our app.

Domenic:

You install it onto your computer, it works out what your resources you have to share, and then it will install the appropriate deep hints. And this is all through a point and click interface. There's no technical jargon, there's no wallets, there's no private keys, you don't have to think about any of that. And then, when it's time to get in paid, you, as the customer of Havello, is able to either A get paid in the native deep in tokens that you're mining in stable coins, or just in cash, in fiat money and straight into your bank account. So, conceivably, someone who's got a computer and isn't interested in crypto can install Herbalo and start earning and get paid straight into their bank account, and they don't have to worry about it. And so our business model is pretty simple as well. The app is free and we purely take a revenue share of all the tokens that are actually getting mined, so the barriers to entry are also very low for any prospective customers coming on board.

Joeri:

Well, I agree. Well, this sounds fantastic. I don't know if it's an expression in English, it is in my language. It's music in my ears. But, yeah, people now listening. Maybe there are people new to Web3 or to Web3 mining. They want to do this, but maybe of course, it's a little effort to install everything. But anyway, it probably takes some time to understand everything. What are potential earnings? What can people expect if they do that?

Domenic:

Right now, what we're telling people is if you have a low-spec machine and you're just using CPU, so a low-spec, an old 5 to 10-year-old computer you can expect anywhere from $20 to $50 per month.

Domenic:

If you have a high spec computer and when I say high spec, a graphics card like you've got a really good graphics card because you're a game or you're a graphic designer you can expect anywhere from $50 to $200 per month. And the reason that there's a big difference there a computer that has a really good graphics card costs more money you will, but also those graphics basically they've got. It's something called a GPU and GPU I call them GPU cycles are used to train AI models and today there is a big demand for GPU cycles to train AI. As we know, AI is the future and, frankly, we're only getting started, and so the requirement for GPU cycles, or GPU tera hatches, is probably increasing over time and there's some. There's some reasons why, and we can get into that later on in the podcast and, interestingly, doing it in a decentralized way is significantly cheaper 80 to 90 percent cheaper than using the traditional centralized models like Amazon and Google.

Joeri:

Yeah, now I'm curious Elaborate a bit on that White.

Domenic:

Yeah, this is a really good question, and it was only when I went down this rabbit hole further reinforced my belief in deep in. So we know that if you're a gamer or you've got a gravity card, can I?

Joeri:

you just, you, just um. Where do you remember?

Domenic:

it doesn't matter where, but refreezing yourself that's a good question and we'll do a take three. This is regards to the gpu. That's a good question and it was only when I went down the rabbit hole did I realize the big opportunity of deep in and decentralized GPU mining. If you're a gamer, you buy a graphics card for maybe $1,000 or $2,000. If you're an enterprise, essentially the same card with similar output costs 10 times the amount, and that's because it comes in a rack with management software and, in the videos of the world, the multi-trillion dollar company. And no wonder they're a multi-trillion dollar company.

Domenic:

If you're a consumer, you spend a few thousand dollars for a graphics card. If you're a business, it's 10 times the amount. So then, translating that into GPU cycles, the cost of GPU mining in training AI models is materially cheaper in a decentralized way, and that is because the cost of the actual SQL hardware is 80 to 90% cheaper. So they're really that unit economics and I think, given that AI is becoming increasingly more important in current society, the need for GPUs is only going to continue to increase, and so there are tens of millions of gamers out there who I can see earning money and contributing to deepening and contributing to building AIs.

Joeri:

Yeah, absolutely. Actually, one of my I'm next to the podcast. I'm a fractional CMO. I'm one of my former companies I worked with. They did that GPU in the clouds, so this was before the AI hype. So now I can see they changed all their messaging communication around AI and all the resources that are needed. Yeah, this sounds really how you explain all that, like a nobrainer for people. Of course, there are probably traditional miners maybe listening to this podcast, except of the aspect of user-friendliness. Are there other differences with traditional mining?

Domenic:

Traditional mining. If you take Bitcoin mining, it requires dedicated hardware which is quite expensive. You need to typically store that in a data center, because if you've got more than a couple of machines it gets really hot, so you need to invest in air conditioning and other infrastructure. And so I guess the whole philosophy around deepening and with Havello is how can we allow the ordinary consumer, the ordinary person, to use the spare desktop or laptop that they've got? And at home I've got three laptops sitting in the drawer. I've got, I think, six or seven mobile phones sitting in the drawer. They could all be utilized to contribute to the DP network. So there's a benefit in terms of building out this decentralized infrastructure. At the same time, it's also extremely good for the planet, because a lot of this equipment would just go into scrap or into landfill, and so we can actually use what some would call obsolete equipment to actually contribute in building out these new networks.

Joeri:

Yeah, and it sounds like a no-brainer if you're not listening. I'm also always curious, Domenic when you have a solution like this, how do you get it worked out? How do people know about your existence, about your value? Are you now at the consensus events? Are there other campaigns or maybe conferences you will go to to get more and more people to know about you?

Domenic:

My view is that marketing and customer acquisition is an important part of what we're doing. As part of that customer acquisition, education. I think that's part of our role, because most people don't really understand web stories and most people have never heard of or really understand deep in. So I can, first and foremost, education is number one as a priority, and we'll just be doing a lot online, because that's really how a lot of people learn about new technologies is online, not only through our own efforts, but also the efforts by Joeri, which is self in terms of educating your listeners and also speaking to one another. People on YouTube were very interested in the topic.

Domenic:

And then our customer acquisition or go-to-market model is really twofold. One is there's aspects of B2C, so going direct, so using those channels to drive people to our havellocom website, allowing people to register and then download the software. That's obviously one main channel, but then the other channel that I believe will be just as, if not more important will be the B2B partnership model, and that's where we'll be working with centralized exchanges wallets who will be promoting Havala to their customers, for a number of reasons. The reason number one is it will basically provide another revenue stream for their customers, and then when we deliver those coins to those customers, rather than delivering directly to them, we'll deliver to the wallets at the exchanges, and the exchanges that we've spoken to love it, because they look at us as customers receiving airdrops. And when customers receive airdrops, what do they do? They basically trade, and the way exchanges make money is every time you trade, they click the ticket. So it's a win for everyone, and so the exchanges and the wallets would be another customer acquisition tool for us.

Joeri:

Wow, it really seems well thought over how your partnerships is important, being on podcasts and education. We haven't mentioned yet this community web3, a community is very important. What are the initiatives on the community side?

Domenic:

Yeah, given that we've really had in Australian or English Australian, we say head down, bum up, which means we've really for the last 12 or so months we say head down, bum up, which means we're really for the last 12 or so months, we've been very focused on product building out the product In order to make the product really simple on the outside for the customer. Behind the scenes it's extremely complicated and it's taken a long time to get the product right. It's a bit like sometimes you see a swan gliding over the lake. What you don't see is the legs below are frantically going really fast and, to a degree, that's what's happening behind the scenes, and so it's only now that we've officially launched up a lot of Dingbeta that we're going to be focusing on customer acquisition and building out that community beta that we're going to be focusing on customer acquisition and building out that community. Some of our tools and platforms will be Telegram, discord, twitter or Wex these days. In terms of building out that community, we'll be obviously speaking to and seeking counsel from our community around what new deacons they'd like to see integrated into Avalo.

Domenic:

It's likely once we launch our token and there'll be a governance aspect to that token that will allow people to vote on one of the next three deep pins that we integrate, and I think that's important because it just gives people part of the ownership they feel part of the company. It's not and I think this is once again just taking a step back from a philosophical perspective. I think I won't say long gone are the days, but I think that, looking forward, the new types of companies that will be built and created will be those that are partly owned, maybe not managed, but influenced by the community, and I think that's what people are searching for these days. It's more than just a simple transaction and that's the end of it, and so we definitely had the early stages of actually building out these communities and ultimately, I think, if we can provide a good product and good value proposition for our customers really simple, I think that's a good way to get the community started on the right footings.

Joeri:

Absolutely. So, then you're really ready instead of going too early. You're really ready instead of going too early, you're really ready to go and to get the work done. A question that I always like to ask is maybe you mentioned it already, but what are you now the most excited about Hivello, or maybe the markets, maybe the conference? It's an open question.

Domenic:

I'm actually excited about many things. Obviously, I'm excited about Hivello because I founded it with a couple of co-founders because we believed in the deep end vision, and so that's an area that I believe has tremendous growth over the next five to 10 years, and we're really just at the early stages. I'm also really excited the fact that the mainstream financial organizations, the Black Rocks, the arts of the world have actually embraced crypto and Bitcoin, with the Bitcoin ETF Having been involved in the crypto space since 2013, where the only things you would hear in the media when you were talking about Bitcoin is it's only used for nefarious purposes. There's no other use for Bitcoin or other coins, and that narrative has actually changed. Very excited that people, global organizations, major financial institutions are finally waking up and realizing that there's so much more out there that there's big opportunities in decentralization and Bitcoin and, I think, the ETF not that I'm a big fan of the Bitcoin ETF per se, because I'm a big believer.

Domenic:

Not your keys, not your coins.

Domenic:

I'm sure you've heard that before, but for a lot of people, they're too scared to go and buy Bitcoin because of the fact that, sure, you've got your keys, which means they're your coins, but if you lose your keys, your coins are gone forever, so there's a risk and a fear factor which I totally understand that many people would have, and so I think that Bitcoin ETF and now very soon the Ethereum ETF is a good way for people funds, superannuation or pension funds to enter the space without actually having to know anything about the technology, and that's really exciting.

Domenic:

And then I think the last point is there's a concept called RWA real world assets the tokenization of pretty much everything out there that I'm actually super excited about. I think we're just really at the start of this particular journey. Overarching all of this is basically putting the power and the control back in the hands of the people, and for me that, in terms of you ask me what gets me up every morning it's the fact that we're working on something that ultimately will put the power back in the hands of the people, because I believe the pendulum over the last 30, 40 years has swung too far the other way, where it's power to the big corporations and the governments. It's time that this power goes back into the hands of the people, because ultimately, it's the people that are more important and ultimately need to be in charge of their destiny than anyone else. So that's why I'm here doing what I do anyone else. So that's why I'm here doing what I do.

Joeri:

And I see the passion with you, Domenic. Actually, it's a really good moment now to start this podcast with this powerful message. If people want to reach out to you, if they want to know more about Hivello, where would you like me to send them?

Domenic:

Hivello. com is the best way. Just go straight to the website. You can follow us on Twitter at HivelloOfficial, and they're really, I think, the best two ways for us for people to get contact, and feel free to ping me. I'm on Twitter or X these days very often and, yeah, I'd love to hear from anyone out there who've got any comments, questions or suggestions.

Joeri:

Yes, we will do that. As my listeners know, there are always show notes. There is always a blog article which people can find. All the links that Domenic has mentioned will be found in there. Dominic, it was really a pleasure to have you on the show today.

Domenic:

Yuri, thank you for your time and I really love your questions. Very pointed questions, thank you.

Joeri:

Thank you so much, Dominic. Thank you so much to all my listeners. If you liked the episode and I'm sure you did be sure to share it with people around you other entrepreneurs, Web3 people, maybe your neighbor I think they will be grateful for you. If you're not yet following the show, as I always say, this is a really good moment to do this. If you haven't yet given me a review, this would be. I would really appreciate this if you could give me a review. These five stars would help me reach an even bigger audience and, of course, I would like to see you back next time. Take care.

Could you share your journey in the tech and blockchain industry and what led you to co-found Hivello?
Could you explain what Decentralized Physical Infrastructure Networks (DePIN) are and why they are significant for those who may not be familiar with them?
How do you plan to utilize this funding to achieve your goals?
How do you plan to onboard the next million users, and what challenges do you foresee?
For those new to Web3 or Web3 mining, what potential earnings can they expect and what's involved in getting started?
Aside from user-friendliness, what other differences exist between Web3 mining and traditional mining that traditional miners might find notable?
How do you promote your solutions and build awareness? Are events like Consensus part of your strategy, or do you have other campaigns and conferences in mind to reach more people?
What community initiatives are you focusing on in Web3?
What aspect of Hivello are you currently most excited about—whether it's the markets, conferences, or something else?