April 21, 2022

Crypto Bridges and Payment Rails with Tyler Spalding

Crypto Bridges and Payment Rails with Tyler Spalding

Tyler Spalding, a Co-Founder of Flexa, discusses Flexa and AMP, the payment industry, Bitcoin, why we are still early, and much more.

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My guest today is Tyler Spalding, a Co-Founder of Flexa, a blockchain payments company based in New York City. Flexa is a versatile digital payments platform that offers several key features. Flexa has point-of-sale (POS) hardware compatibility as a merchant-focused app and is designed to reduce costs, settlement times, and fraud. Payments are collateralized by Flexa’s ERC-20 token Amp, which can be staked as collateral that receives additional Amp as a staking incentive. Flexa is accepted all over North America; Flexa aims to scale globally and integrate with numerous apps and payment options. For merchants, Flexa offers a variety of payment integrations and plug-ins to enable digital asset acceptance using existing point-of-sale (POS) hardware and software. Flexa supports dozens of digital currencies for consumers — including cryptocurrencies, tokens, and digital dollars — for payment at thousands of stores throughout the United States and Canada — including Nordstrom, GameStop, Lowe’s, and Petco. Flexa has a mission of eventually enabling digital asset payments for any app, using any currency, at any store worldwide. He has been preaching/mining/coding cryptocurrencies since 2011. Tyler is the former CTO of Raise, the world’s largest gift card marketplace with over $1B in sales and $150M in venture funding. Tyler has more than 20 years of technology experience, has founded and sold three software companies, and is an active seed-stage investor in 25+ startups. He is an author of more than 50 technology patents and was previously an aerospace engineering faculty member at two universities. Tyler is also a former engineer for the United Space Alliance, the United States Air Force, NASA Mars Crew Module, and the NASA Space Shuttle Program. We discuss various topics, including the Flexa and AMP, the payment industry, why we are still early, etc. We begin our conversation by discussing the multiple inefficiencies in the payment industry. I share my personal experience with the challenges facing merchants when dealing with payment providers. Tyler explains why the inefficiencies are so prevalent. Tyler shares his experience from helping run Raise, where they developed various systems to combat fraud and other inefficiencies. Our conversation naturally leads us to Flexa, where Tyler explains how Flexa enables people to pay with crypto across millions of merchants and retailers. Tyler goes on to discuss the tokenomics of AMP. We have a fascinating conversation comparing the engineering challenges in blockchain and aerospace engineering. We also discuss the philosophy of Voluntarism and the importance of individual choice. Our conversation pivots back to Flexa, where we discuss the company's commitment to transparency. We also discuss how Flexa is supporting the infrastructure of El Salvador’s transition to a Bitcoin Standard. We discuss how the crypto industry is still very early and why it is inevitable. Our final conversation topic centered on the social challenges of educating people on the proper custody of digital assets. Please enjoy my conversation with Tyler Spalding.


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