Q: Hi Julian, tell us, why are we here today?
JH: My past company TenX just announced that they are sun setting their services and I haven’t been with the company for over two years. I think I did a really poor job, when the separation occurred over two years ago and why this happened, how this happened. What didn’t happen. I think I left a lot of questions unanswered back then. Now, with this announcement by them, a lot of community members, a lot of media send us a lot of requests and questions and I don’t want to make the same mistakes again in not being good at the communication part and leaving things left unopened. What I want to do: I am not the company, I don’t want to speak for them. What I want to do is cover my side of that story. And be just really clear, on what happened and what didn’t happen. On the one hand, I posted on my social media channels all the various questions that people had, or that they felt I never answered. On the other hand they were a lot of critical questions, that came in from media outlets. And so we included those as well. We went, and looked to really make sure that at the end of the video, no questions regarding that is left unanswered. Otherwise, and I would be totally open to that, post those questions under the video, and I would be happy to answer them as well. That’s what I want to do in that video.
Q: Excellent. Tell us about your time at TenX.
JH: Everything started about seven years ago. I met my Ex-Partners Tobi and Paul in Bangkok. I was not really deep in Blockchain yet. For me, it was completely new. I learned everything about this in 2014, it was a crazy time. Because we had just come from this past crash. There was this idea, lets make cryptocurrencies actually spendable. And in 2015 there was this Hackathon here in Singapore, where the three of us were. There was actually a forth Co-founder, Michael, in Austria, but he preferred to stay in Austria. But the three of us actually came to Singapore. That was in May 2015. And we pitched at that Hackathon. I helped with the Pitch and there is actually a video of me, doing it, still very early, and you see a bit how shaky everything back there was, when it comes to Blockchain and Bitcoin. Back then the company was called OneBit, it was really focused on Bitcoin. And surprisingly we won and that is how everything got started. The roles got divided. Tobi and Michael took care of the engineering side, Paul took care of the user experience side, I became the face of the company. I did a lot of the marketing, the business side, the strategy side. I did a lot of the Events, the public exposure. That’s how everything grew. In 2016, we did a VC round of a Million Dollar in fundraising. In 2017, that’s when we came a little bit on the global map, we did this large ICO of 80 Million Dollars. That was in June 2017. The company was really taking off. We grew. Our business was making those Visa cards. First it was Mastercard actually then it was Visa. Were people could put Bitcoin on and then other cryptocurrencies. That’s how we had a rebranding from OneBit – to grow only one Bit at a time, to TenX everything. And then we had these Visa cards were the people could put Bitcoin, Etherum and Litecoin on and go into a store and actually spend them. And that was in 2017, we grew. And then 2018 came, and one of our partners, it was totally unrelated to us, lost their license to issue those cards. So all of 2018 was actually focused on two things: getting the cards back and getting the e-money license in Liechtenstein. We kept growing the company. I think we did a really good job and at the end of 2018 we had the e-money license, we had cards live again, and we had around one hundred employees. We had a good money management, we had still about 80 Million Dollars. That’s all public. We actually made all the transparency reports back then. What then happened was, I was on holidays. Christmas. Two weeks. Came back on the January, 7th. I landed in Singapore, Changi Airport, we had an early meeting, ten am. And we thought let’s do a strategy session, at least, that’s what I thought. And I came into the office and immediately became clear that this was not a strategy session. They had made other plans over Christmas, and I was pretty much put in front of the situation, where it’s either you resign by yourself or we do everything that’s in our power for you to resign. That was on January, 7th, 2019. Two days later on the 9th, this became public news. And I think that’s what then happened, and so I haven’t been with the company ever since.
Q: You said your role was marketing and communication. Can you tell us a little bit more about what exact parts of the roles held?
JH: Sure, I did a lot of the community engagement. I did a lot of the marketing strategy. I designed a lot of the marketing funnels. I did a lot of the meet-ups and events, that’s obviously were most of the people got to know and got to meet me. One of the questions someone out there asked was, are you actually a co-founder, were you actually a part from the beginning of the company? And the clear answer is yes. I am definitely a co-founder. I don’t know where those ideas came from, that I was just there for the marketing. Also, the company shares, if you look at them. There were basically five major stakeholders in all that, one were the investors, slightly over 10 % of the company. And then Michael had a small stake. And pretty much Tobi, Paul and myself thruway split. So I had around 25 % of the entire company. For us, or at least me, the roles were very clearly split. One of my partners saw that maybe a bit different. For me this is how it was.
Q: So you mentioned that you walked into a, what you thought was a strategy meeting, and you were then asked to exit the company. Can you share a little bit more about that?
JH: Imagine it like this, you walk into the office, the meeting room, Tobi and Paul were in there already, and they had all the documents in front of them, which was pretty much about me announcing that I was going to resign. I was completely surprised, I hadn’t expected anything like that for me. Leaving for the Christmas holidays. I felt we had left on great terms. I was totally blindsided. I hadn’t expect any of that. Especially because, in that entire year, it was a really rough year, yes, but at the end, I think we were on a really great position. Looking at that from today’s point of view, if I wanted to separate from a third partner, I think that was the best time to do so. Because everything was done. The cards were back live, the e-money license in Lichtenstein was done. There still was so much money in the company. There were a hundred employees. Everything was flying. We were at a really strong position. Crypto was picking up again. 2018 as a crypto year was very tough. All crypto had dropped, Bitcoin had dropped 75%. It was a really rough year. So everyone felt, it was getting spring again, and it was in that very moment that I was completely blindsided. I hadn’t expected any of that. I was surprised, I was scared. I felt all the emotions, that are not good for when it comes to decision-making, in that very moment.
Q: So in fact you were pushed out of the company?
JH: Yes, I did not leave voluntarily. I know that the communication, that I put out, was that I am stepping down. I was given no other chance. To me, it was, you are going to lose your employment pass here, which is basically you’re not allowed to stay in Singapore anymore. But for me, it was all about setting up my family here. I just had gotten married, everything was kind of set. For me, Singapore became my home. I mean I have been at that point in Singapore for almost four years. We had just signed a new lease for the apartment. I was completely blindsided in this, so for me, it was whatever it takes for me to stay, whatever it takes for the company to do well. I wanted to protect the company and I wanted to protect the community. For me, I felt there was nothing worse than if there was suddenly a fight that was going to break out. One founder fighting against the other two founders. That’s how I felt at that moment. It was a hostile push-out from what I have seen. But I wanted to protect, because that’s what felt best in the long run. I didn’t know, that then afterwards, by me not communicating, by me not being clear, a lot of stories got spun, in a completely wrong direction that do not represent what actually happened. And I know, that at this moment, what I should have actually done, is, knowing that I was going to get pushed-out, open my laptop, go live on YouTube and communicate, what I normally always did, to the entire world, what was happening. Fear is one of the worst advisors that you can have and at that moment I was fearful. I was scared, I didn’t know what was going to happen. I had no experience, I didn’t know who to talk to. I didn’t know who to go to for advice. Not an easy place to be.
Q: But as a co-founder, surely you have some rights, when it comes to those changes?
JH: I could have always stayed on as a shareholder, that is the only thing. Because I was on the board. Tobi and Paul were also on the board. There were the three of us on the board. The thing is, the board is controlled by the majority of the shareholders and the way the shareholders were structured was, that two of the three major shareholders could have always voted on what the board looked like. And the board decides over, who is the president. So basically I understood that the chain of election, either I stepped down as the president, and I was forced to step out of the board as well, either I do this right now or it goes into this entire fight. It goes into this entire struggle. And I felt, since I was still a shareholder, this was just going to make the Token holders, the Token Investors lose. I felt there was a lose-lose situation in this moment. I should have put up a fight. Looking back, for the community, for the investors, it would have been way better if I had put up a fight. Especially considering that now, two years afterwards, the company announces sun setting all their services. I should have, but, should have, could have, would have.
Q: Seeing how well things were going, as you mentioned earlier, it seems weird that a company of that structure, would let you go. Why do you think it was, that they decided to let you go at that time?
JH: I never found out the real reason. The reasons that we discussed in that meeting, were not very concrete in a sense that they said, you did X and that’s why you’re out. Or because of this and that you’re out. It was more like a build-up, that’s how I felt. It was a build-up, that probably build up over a year, maybe longer. It was something, quite curious, six month earlier, I had been married. My partners obviously were at the wedding. My mother had noticed afterwards, that she felt that weird feeling, when she spoke to my ex-partners. And I was voted off, and said, mom, what are you talking about? The main investors, who also invested in my new company, he had this weird feeling talking to my partners and always tried to point something out. And I said, you know, you’re judging this wrong. So, to me, there must have been a build up and I don’t think that it was one single event. I think it had a lot to do with power struggle. I think it had a lot to do with who was the face of the company, who is supposed to lead the company, who should people listen to. Maybe there was some jealousy involved, maybe there were disagreements on specific things, that were not that business related, but very human. When everything is going very well, especially after something has gone really bad, and suddenly it does really well again, because there was a struggle in 2018. You maybe sit there and say, you know what, there is this one person and he is on television all the time, he is in the media all the time. Everyone knows him around the world. And then there is the two of us and maybe, if we get him out, I have all those things. Again, would I have been on the other side, I would have used that moment as well. Because it was spring, everything was done, the company was flying again, and I would have used the same moment. Tactically it was a good moment, for the others. Obviously, as we have seen, for the company over the last few years, it was probably not a good decision.
Q: How did it make you feel being forced out of the company?
JH: Disappointed, scared, confused, worried, embarrassed. Having let down people. I feel there were a lot of people, who were part of the company, who were investing, because of me, because of the vision, because of where we wanted to take this. And I was 100 % committed to take it there. I felt disappointed that I didn’t get the chance to execute on those things. I felt, obviously, I felt that I was letting people down, and I am not a person who lets other people down. And these were the emotions I felt at that moment. And I think as a whole it made me hide, it made me weak, not the strong, typical Julian that I normally am.
Q: Do you think you were overrun by emotions? Was that what kept you silent or was there another reason involved?
JH: I think it was 100 % emotions. It was fear, it was embarrassment, it was insecurity, all those things. Not knowing what to say. Believing, that by being quiet, it will just go away. Now, knowing, that this is a stupid decision. And caused a lot of speculation and caused a lot of frustration, which I 100 % understand. I would probably react exactly the same way.
Q: Can you mention some of that speculations and some of those rumours. Especially a lot of them sprung up, especially why you were quiet during that time. We have gone through quite a few of them, we take our time to look at every single one. From the harsh critical rumours to some, I guess, more light hearted stuff, from your followers and your direct community. A lot of the stuff that we’ve seen labels you as a scammer, that drove the company down. Why didn’t you respond to those allegations? And what do you have to say about that now?
JH: I understand where they are coming from, because the picture is, that there is this one company, that raises 80 Million dollars, during the crypto hype. And people always see me in front of the camera, they see me in the community, they see me on the events, they don’t see my partners, they don’t see everyone else. For them naturally it is, Julian has those 80 Million Dollars. And then in 2018, when Crypto was diving down, obviously, people were sit there and were like, ah, Julian has all my money. This is 100 % incorrect. All these things are provable, everyone in the company would know them, actually the company even stated that, after I was let go. The company stated that Julian didn’t get any of the ICO funds. There is a blogpost, and I am happy to link this below under the video. Where the company by themselves completely state that. So I do understand, where from the outside, when you look, Julian raised those 80 Million Dollars, he did all the marketing, he did the business side. Okay, fair enough. Still, I didn’t get any of those funds. Most of my salary was actually in the company Tokens, so I was 100 % in the same ship as everyone else. I invested my own money during the ICO. Because I believed in the company, I was a very large Token Holder and people knew that, because I believed in what we were doing. And just like everyone else, my Token Price in Dollars dipped in 2018, but I think this is a key point, we always outperformed the ICO. So at every point I offered to refund the ICO. So one Etherum was 420 PAY Token, so I was always offering to refund. No-one would have, because we actually outperformed the ICO. So I get where the allegations are coming from, especially then, I am stepping down and people not getting any answers from me. Because I am scared, I am embarrassed, and I don’t know what to do. And then I am not answering to those questions, I get it. But just looking at it objectively and really understanding what actually happened, I am the wrong person to go to, when it comes to the money. When it comes to someone losing money, which is correct if you look at it in Dollar terms, everyone lost dollars in 2018. But if you look into ICO terms, we outperformed, and I was in the same boat. I was 100 % the captain, that didn’t leave the ship. I stayed with everyone until I was completely forced off the ship. And again, that was against my own decision, I get where it comes from. I can state 100 % though, that at no point, did I scam anyone, at no point, did I intend in 2018 for the entire crypto market to crash. That had nothing to do with me. And I am sure, if 2018 had been a super strong year, everyone would have celebrated me. So it had nothing to do with me directly. Probably people are also looking for someone to point their finger, when it comes to all of that.
Q: And you were silent for a long time, which is when all these rumours started. How long was it before you were starting to go back onto social media and effectively communicating with people again?
JH: I should have communicated right away, I did the exact opposite, by trying to be quiet, by trying to get rid of all this. I shut down for an entire month, I wasn’t on social media at all, I was really struggling with myself during this time. I didn’t know what to do, I didn’t know how to go forward. Sometimes I didn’t even want to go out of bed. I think clinically you could have described me as depressed. There was no point there. I am a person who never cries, and in that time, I don’t know how often I woke up and I just cried. Simply because I felt I let myself down, I let everyone else down. In this month, I forgot that there were other people who relied on me, that there were people who trusted me. And I would have owed it to them, to stand there and to tell them exactly what happened. What we are doing now, basically I should have done that two years ago. A month after, I came out and I said okay, it must continue. I want to get back on the horse and I want to build a new company. And I mean that’s what we did. But that was the timeline there.
Q: If you could say something to the TenX community now, what would it be?
JH: I am really sorry on how I communicated. I completely understand the frustration. I would ask each and every one to put themselves in my shoes at that moment, hopefully you would have reacted differently, maybe you didn’t. I think, seeing my side, maybe you can understand why I made these mistakes. I am not excusing them, I am not saying they were right, I am just saying I am human like everyone else. I just tried to make things well, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. I really would have loved to build something amazing. Back then, and everyone knew that, TenX was in my blood. It was everything that I stood for, that I lived for. I would have loved for this company to become a multi million company. And I am really sorry I didn’t get the chance to do this. It pains me for the community, that two years later, they are sun setting the services. That they didn’t manage to continue what we built.
Q: Let’s have a look at the question that were asked of you. And again we check the social media channels, we checked Facebook, reddit, twitter. Positive and negative. We didn’t just want to stick to the positive questions. While you were at TenX you successfully raised 80 Million Dollars in ICO. Again, a lot of people think that you enriched yourself at these funds. Is there any truth to this? And where is the money now?
JH: Zero truth, just like I mentioned before, I definitely, and that’s provable, didn’t enrich myself. Neither while I was at the company, or after. Again, the company actually made a blogpost, stating that. I get why people come to me. I can 100 % and with a clear conscience say, I don’t have any of that money. Who has the money? Well, you need to talk to the company. You need to talk to my ex-partners. Who has the money. I haven’t been part of the company over the past two years. I was very transparent how much money we had, when I was kicked out, because we did these quarterly transparency reports. The company stopped doing those, so I can’t answer that, you need to write to my ex-partners.
Q: So if you didn’t receive any of these funds. Where are they now?
JH: You need to talk to my ex-Partners. Again, I can only answer, until I was forced out. We made those quarterly transparency reports, after that, I don’t know why the company stopped doing those. To me it would feel, as a Token holder, I would love to understand, where did my invested money go. I can tell you, until I was forced out, at no point did any of the founders enrich themselves. At no point did we misuse those funds. After that, I don’t have any insight. You need to go to my ex-Partners and ask them.
There is another prominent question, that we are seeing in social media. And this might be after you left the company. There is a Handelsblatt article which claims that there were some falsified information shared with the authorities and that money was also laundered. What’s the story there?
JH: I know the article, I was contacted by Handelsblatt to answer. I commented that until I was there, at no point were there any wrong doings. We did everything 100 % as it’s supposed to be. As it’s supposed to do by the law. After I was forced out, I don’t know how the money moved from the ICO, where we raised it, in the BVI. How it came to Singapore, I was not involved in that. I don’t know. The Handelsblatt Article raised questions, on whether the company avoided taxes there. I don’t know. I am not a tax expert, I don’t know what happened. I saw the allegations with Lichtenstein authorities whether the company had lied to Lichtenstein authorities. I wasn’t part after I was kicked out. Again, you probably have to talk to my ex-partners again. Just like the questions on who has the money.
There is another one we came across. A prominent reddit thread, which alleges you involved in inside trades. Could you elaborate a little bit more on that?
JH: Sure, I know this thread. That was a very curious story. Because, to me it feels almost like someone planted it. Some truth is completely mingled with complete speculation. And especially some of the speculation comes from, where I know no-one could connect those things. So it almost feels like someone planted that, to just kind of drive a narrative. So what actually happened and that was something that later on I discussed in great detail with a lot of media outlets. Germany BTC Echo, but also internationally, sadly those stories didn’t get picked up anymore. But people ran with that falsely researched reddit thread. As every year, or actually the year before and then that year 2018, I had to do my taxes in Singapore. Most of my salary came from PAY Tokens. Those PAY Tokens dropped significantly, but I still had to pay taxes based on when I received them. So I actually had to sell some PAY Token. But the article alleged that I sold 2.2 Million PAY Tokens. I didn’t even have that many. So this article is not correct, at all. It was a relatively tiny amount. And the article, correctly, sees that I am moving a relatively small amount and then connects a really large transaction, that is completely unrelated, that article actually states that its unrelated, and now comes the curious part, it connects a very early transaction from over two years earlier between this account and somehow another account, that probably also this account belongs to me. And it doesn’t. And the article just goes with the 2.2 Million PAY Tokens. Just because another address, which was totally unlinked to me, also moved coins. And that’s how this entire narrative then ran. So I didn’t know at that point, when I was actually paying my taxes that I was getting forced out, like two or three weeks later. I didn’t know. Second of all I didn’t even have that many Tokens and that was actually provable, because in March, when I actually sold my Tokens, people then saw how many Tokens were actually moved and that I was very vocal about it. People then saw, Julian is moving a bit over one Million PAY Tokens and no one then said, if he is selling them right now, how come he didn’t sell them three months earlier. Then it was very clear. But obviously I understand, I communicated badly, I didn’t clearly refude that. I should have gone straight and refuted that at that moment, but I didn’t. And I understand that the media doesn’t want to pick this up, I completely understand it for the community. Once the story is set, it’s set. To summarize: these things are 100 % incorrect. I get where it’s coming from and I am not blaming anyone. I would love that people look at the facts and the data and don’t trust pure speculation.
Q: With all these different allegations. Not just the ones directed to the TenX company, but also directed to you, specifically. They obviously had an impact on your reputation. So why should we believe you now?
JH: All the things that I am stating here, have been verified by ex-employees, by the company itself, by media. All the things I am sharing here, are not a personal opinion, they have been verified by independent actors, that would have no interest in verifying those, but have. So I am just basing all that on those things. Then also the entire track record. When I was kicked out, the company was doing extremely well. Crypto since then have been recovering. Many companies in a similar space have been doing extremely well since then. So why is the company sun setting their services? What happened? And people can go to glassdoor.de, which is this review side for employees. Where does all these negative feedbacks come from, over the past one and a half years, when I wasn’t part of it. You can just look at what happened there, since I was kicked out and what happened at cake, my company that I built, versus what happened there. So if you just look at data, and look at the facts, you don’t have to believe me actually. Just look at the data, look at the facts and try to derive to your own opinion. And don’t fall for your speculations. I get it, if you’re just hating, because you feel like, Julian has been that scammer, who took 80 Million Dollars, okay. For extraordinary claims you should have extraordinary evidence. I can promise you, I have the evidence, that I didn’t. So where is your evidence? And I have the company itself, stating that, so put yourself on the other side. Imagine I would have the money. Wouldn’t you in the company’s shoes be the first person to say, oh, Julian has all the money. You can’t. Because it’s verifiable. The addresses are verifiable. So all this is completely transparent. People know that I was forced out. Employees have stated that. None of those things are opinions. All these things are actual facts. And this is the evidence that I want to bring forward. And that’s all that I would want you to do.
Q: You mentioned your new company, Cake. What can you tell us about that?
JH: So one of the main engineers, he had actually left six months before I was forced out, U-Zyn. He obviously knew the company quite well, he had really good contact to most of the employees. So he knew right away what was really going on. I was getting in touch with him, and I just wanted to catch up with someone, to kind of talk to and share a bit of my pain and what was happening. And we started discussing, hey, you know what, the future of cryptocurrencies is actually not only to speculate on them going up, but to derive cashflow from cryptocurrencies.
Q: Just to jump in there. So U-Zyn was with you at TenX?
JH: Correct, he was one of the main engineers there. For example, he integrated the entire blockchain wallet. He played a really key role, in what we developed there. And we connected, we talked about what we could do. And then we started Cake in June 2019. So about a half year later. And now, one and a half years later the company has over 50 employees, we are cashflow positive. We actually pay taxes in Singapore in 2020, and we are doing really well. We have customers all around the world. Looking back, and obviously, everything is a blessing in disguise. One of the roughest experiences I had, basically getting pushed out of the thing that you built, that you stood for. Many times, it’s those things, that are your best opportunities. And while I made twenty mistakes in how I communicated and how I informed everyone, my true nature on being a visionary, on being a builder, being someone who wants to deliver value – I was able to show that in the last one and a half years. We have thousands of customers at Cake, we also started a blockchain movement with DeFi Chain. It’s one of the largest Blockchains now in the world and over a Billion Dollar market cap. So I understand that some people are still out there and they don’t look at the facts what really happened. They have their own preconceived opinion, but gladly the majority does understand that. I am actually really happy on how it all turned out. Even though things could have been better.
Q: What makes Cake so different from TenX?
JH: I think we are putting in a lot of learnings and lessons, that we got. And we try to integrate those. For example, I think one of the key mistakes, and that’s also where a lot of the frustration comes from, is in 2018, when we lost the cards in the beginning of the year. And then the entire market dipped. Its super frustrating. You have this company, and you believe in it, you invest in this company. Your investment in Dollar is going down. Yeah, it’s still outperforming the ICO, but you are just looking at your dollar value, additionally you had this functioning card and suddenly your card doesn’t work anymore. And then you have this blond guy on YouTube, who tells you, don’t worry guys in four weeks the cards are going to be live and then four weeks later, the cards are not live. My dollar value is still down, of course I get the frustration. Now let me tell you what happened on the other side of the screen. What happened on my side was, I had partners and I had companies that gave me timelines. I had engineers who gave me timelines. At no point did I overpromise and then underdeliver. I just completely neutrally forwarded the information that was given and that’s were my mistake came in. Being naive and believing that engineering worked, that partnership worked, that business development is always planable. Many times you need to add additional buffers. And I didn’t do that. So I get where this frustration was coming from. On the other hand, now at Cake, I do the exact opposite. Whenever I get a timeline and I communicate with the public I try to add additional buffers. I try to communicate things, where I am 99.9% sure, that we are actually going to over deliver. So I am going to under prome and over deliver. Just so that I don’t have this frustration by the community again. If I don’t know when something is going to happen, then I am not giving out a deadline. I just say, look, this is what we’re working on. It might happen in the next couple of weeks, in the next couple of months. We are working on it. That was a key learning, to understand, things are not always planable and you have to be super careful when you communicate. Because people going to pin you down to a date. And they don’t care why it didn’t happen. They just care that it didn’t happen. So big learning I think. I think we are doing a fantastic job there at Cake with our communication. One of our main investors, that invested in TenX also invested at Cake. We didn’t do any public fundraise. That was also a big lesson, for example. That we shouldn’t over fundraise. I think a big mistake at TenX was, that we raised over 80 Million Dollars. We should have raised maybe 20 Million Dollar. The problem is, it really destructed the culture. Because suddenly people were a little bit relaxed, they were a bit easier. Because it didn’t matter that much anymore. You didn’t have to deliver value to the costumer all the time. Timelines didn’t matter. It didn’t matter if you were early at the office, or stayed late. And I personally think, that’s where a lot of the frustration came from. I was in the fortunate situation to have made quite good money on the bitcoin run up 2017. And I had sold in a really good time, and I was very vocal about it in public about this. So I was in a very different situation than probably my ex-partners or many of the employees. Again, I don’t know about the details of their financial situation. I am just assuming, because I had a really good timing there. So for me, I wasn’t driven by money, I was driven by the vision, by delivering. So for me the urgency was from a different standpoint. And I get that someone else, that says, you know what, we have all the money. It doesn’t really matter. Why should I rush, why shouldn’t I relax a bit more. And that was a massive problem. At Cake, we did exactly the opposite. We self-funded, we have that one investor, that invested in TenX, knows exactly what happened. 100 % trusts me. Knows the real story that I am sharing here. So he knew which horse to bet on. And he is the only investor, and everything else is self-funded and we are cashflow positive. Because now there is this urgency. If you don’t deliver value to a customer, for a week it’s okay, but if you don’t do this for a month, your customers are going to jump off. They are going somewhere else. And so that’s massively important. I think we really contrived this and we feel this in the entire culture at Cake. And I think the last one is really focusing on the people you work with. Starting with your partners, obviously. It starts with the contract, how you sign them, how you establish them. Make sure that certain things cannot happen again. That was really important at Cake obviously, but also the investor wanted that. He said, hey listen guys, key thing is, we don’t want to have what happened there, we definitely don’t want it to happen here. That was important. With the hiring, whenever you deal with people, be extra careful. Who do you bring in, what agendas do people have. Are they pure, are they aligned with the companies values. So I am paying extra attention to that. Am I going to make mistakes? Sure. But I am doing my best in not repeating the same mistakes. And I think these are three major learnings. And we have employees who left my past company and joined our new company, because they said, look, I really enjoyed working with you, I enjoyed the culture, enjoyed all of this. And they say, look, it’s completely different now. What we are focusing on, the speed we are moving at, the priorities we’re setting. Again these are not things I am giving you as subjective idea. These are objectively, factual ideas, that people are sharing. And I think we are not perfect, by far not, I am not perfect. But I hope we are improving every single day.
Q: So what is the structure of Cake?
JH: At Cake, U-Zyn and I have split shareholding. Then there is this neutral independent party, which is John, our investor. As long as U-Zyn and I go along really well, and I mean, we do obviously, its a completely different kind of collaboration and partnership as it was with my ex-partners in my past company. As long as we get along, we basically steer the ship, and that’s how it’s supposed to be, right? A company should be steered by its founders. But once there is any disagreement, that cannot be resolved among the founders, then in that case, the investor can come in as the neutral party. If that had happened in my past company, that the investor would have come in. I don’t know, but I would be quite sure, that the outcome would have been very different. Maybe I wouldn’t have had to be the person who should have left. Maybe it should have been someone else. Because many times when decisions are made by egos or decisions are made by personal agendas, it can be not the right decision. And here, we really made sure, that we had this independent party, when things don’t go well, that this independent party comes in and says, hey listen guys, stop screwing around, remind yourself of the big picture. Get your own personal things in order. I mean so far we haven’t needed that, but it’s good to know that this is in a proper place.
Q: With all the issues that you have faced at TenX, and all the situations that you’ve encountered. And now with you at Cake with U-Zyn, who is also a former employee of TenX. Could we potentially see history repeating itself?
JH: Very unlikely. Everything is kind of set up in a sense where this should be avoided, especially on the company side. If we talk about DeFiChain side, where people can also buy a Token, and it’s a Blockchain. There it’s set-up that it’s completely decentralized. I think we have done our best to cover all the blindspots, that I have learned about in my past, to make sure that this doesn’t happen at Cake and DeFiChain.
Q: Keeping our focus on Cake. What is your long term ambition? What is your one-year goal? What is your five-year goal? What is your ten-year goal with the company?
JH: The long term vision is, to have this one-stop platform, where people can invest on and have exposure to all varieties of assets classes. Crypto, obviously, Bitcoin and so on, stocks, bonds, precious metals, commodities, collectables, traditional currencies. Have this one-stop. And that’s the long term. And offer that in a way, where it’s compliance light, very frictionless, so that we can offer the service to over a hundred countries, all around the world. Add some AI supported algorithms in there, who help you and support you. Make finance very easy as an accessible place. Especially right now, what you hear around the world, it’s a very immediate issue. I think we are on a super solid track and I can see this in our growth. We are growing over 10 % per week for the past couple of months, so I see this is exactly the thing that people want. Easy access. That’s the long term. And to get there, so far we have only cryptocurrencies offered, this year we want to offer those other asset classes, so that people can actually get exposure to all those things. And then, probably in the next two to three years, we want to work way more with algorithms. If people say, hey I want to take it safe, I want to take it a little bit low risk, please diversify the funds for me that way. And someone else says, yolo, I only live once, go all-in, super aggressive. I am looking for 100-200 % per year, and it’s okay if I have more volatility. And it’s been an exciting journey.
Q: Excellent. Before we wrap things up, is there anything you like to say, not just to your community and to the people following you now. But to the entire crypto community?
JH: I think everything is mentioned. First thing, I want to say, is really: sorry, for the bad communication. For not being clear. I also want to encourage everyone, to look at the evidence, I mentioned it, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. I think the evidence is very clear when you look at it. I would just encourage everyone, to not build opinions out of hear-say but actually look at what happened. And build an opinion on that. I am not expecting anyone to say, poor Julian. I make mistakes, like everyone else. I am sure if I had made other decisions things would have turned out better. I am not asking for pity. I am really just asking for being fair, and being fair probably means saying, Julian you should have handled that better. True. I agree. But on the other hand, I am a human being, like anyone else, and I make mistakes, I try my best, I work hard. And just look into the opportunities that lie ahead. The same is with crypto, the same is with the larger ecosystem. I think there are two types of people in this world. There is those that build towers and there is those who want to have high towers, but they cannot build so they try to destroy other towers. And I think you see this in the entire crypto space, where people always try to tear other people’s towers down. I think there is no service to that. I think it would be way better if we all would focus on building higher towers, and I think this applies to anything. That’s what I would love to give back to everyone.