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FinTech Chat (FTC) — Episode 8 — Marketing Manager, Ellipal | Thasit Kulvaranon

FinTech Chat (FTC) is a series of educational & informative interviews with world professionals in the FinTech / Crypto / Blockchain communities. We aim to provide content that is digestible in multiple mediums such as video, audio (podcast), and written (blog) form!

FTC Episode 8

In this episode, Blockchain Wayne interviews Thatsit “Film” Kulvaranon, Marketing Manager for Ellipal. We can have a better understanding about how a crypto hardware wallet works, what makes Ellipal unique and competitive against major competitors. In addition, Film shares his industry insights about cryptocurrency security, so that users can know useful methods to protect their digital assets.

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Note: This transcript was automatically generated by artificial intelligence (AI) and therefore typos and grammatical errors may be present.

Intro: Interviews on crypto blockchain with your host, Blockchain Wayne on FTC

BLOCKCHAIN WAYNE: Hey everyone and welcome. Today we have a special guest joining us. We have Film, Film is the marketing manager at Ellipal. It’s a hardware wallet company, they’re doing something unique so Film, first of all, thanks for joining us today for this interview.

FILM: Yeah, thank you, Wayne. Glad to be here in your podcast, today.

BLOCKCHAIN WAYNE: Awesome, yeah, looking forward I got tons of questions, man. I’ve looked into your company’s product, so definitely going to want to know more about that, but first and foremost, before we dive into that, tell me a little bit about your background, man, how did you… you know, what… What’s your history in the space and how did you end up working with Ellipal with what you do today?

00:55

FILM: So originally, I was studying engineering and I got… When I graduated, I got more into marketing, so I went into a master’s degree in big data marketing, and then also in big data marketing, they also teach a lot about… you know, blockchain and stuff like that. So that’s when I got introduced to blockchain inside the classes. And then after I graduated, I joined Ellipal right away because I already have a little bit knowledge about blockchain and Ellipal is a new startup company that… you know, I feel will really need a lot of my marketing skills, so that’s why I happily joined Ellipal and I work with Ellipal till today.

BLOCKCHAIN WAYNE: Awesome, awesome, so tell us a little bit about… before we jump into more about the company, I mean you do a lot of marketing, so how do you convey the message to people that it’s important to store their crypto on… on a hardware wallet, on cold storage?

FILM: I think this point is not hard at all because… you know, you see lots of examples every day. You go on through Twitter, you see lots of examples… you know, people losing coins… You know, just… just the bull market, just… just a few days ago, Coinbase was down stuff like that and then you… you know that if you have coins that you care about, you should already be using a wallet.

02:28

BLOCKCHAIN WAYNE: Yeah yeah, exchange hacks… you know, the phrase that goes back that many people say: not your keys not your crypto, which means if you don’t really control the keys, you don’t truly have custody of… of control.

FILM: Yeah exactly.

BLOCKCHAIN WAYNE: All right, so a lot of… a lot of our viewers or listeners may be familiar with some hardware wallets that the two they get the most, I guess the most well known as far as name brands are Ledger and Trezor. But look at Ellipal and it looks like… it’s something unique and different. What makes Ellipal unique in the… in the hardware wallet space?

FILM: So firstly I got an Ellipal here, so people can see how it looks like.

BLOCKCHAIN WAYNE: Nice.

FILM: Right yeah, so the exterior is completely metal, so this one is the gold color one and then you have a touch screen right here, so it’s I think the size is pretty good as well. It fits in your hand well.

BLOCKCHAIN WAYNE: Okay, was that the camera on the back?

FILM: Yeah, that’s the camera on the back, so the main difference between you know the Ellipal and the Ledger or the Trezor is that the Ellipal doesn’t need to be connected with through a usb cord to the computer or through the front phone or whatever to sign the transaction because… you know, if you… if you use the Ledger before, you would have to connect the usb card from your Ledger to your computer and then you… on your computer, you will click I want to send this I’m going to do this transaction. And then on the Trezor, you will need to click a sign but the difference is on the Ellipal is you do that on your phone, say I want to send something on your phone, okay and then there will be a QR code pop-up and then you scan the QR code with the Ellipal with the camera here. (BLOCKCHAIN WAYNE: Oh nice) and then that would be the signing process. (BLOCKCHAIN WAYNE: Okay) So by signing with the QR code like this, you don’t need to… you don’t… as you can see there’s no connection between the cold wallet and the something that is online.

04:48

BLOCKCHAIN WAYNE: Okay nice, so that’s what you mean when the company says it’s air gapped?

FILM: Yeah does it… this is what it means by air gapped, because there’s no connection whatsoever at all from with the cold wallet and the computer or the phone. So there’s no way if a hacker wanna hack your cold wallet, because there’s no connection in the beginning so if your computer is hacked, your phone is hacked, it doesn’t matter because this thing is always… you know, offline. (BLOCKCHAIN WAYNE: Okay nice) Yeah and… and yeah, and then with this wallet, we remove… you know, every… every component that can connect to anything online so… you know, if you stole this, you… you know, kind of crack it, open someone, something like that, you don’t have any… you know, any parts or any component that you can hack inside anyways.

BLOCKCHAIN WAYNE: Nice, nice. That’s very important with a hardware wallet. It looks like it’s… it’s pretty sturdy, too. You said it’s the steel back?

FILM: Yeah, actually we have a… we have a Youtuber. He put this on the ground and he drove a car over it. He was like that’s not enough. When he came back, he flipped it over and threw it again. Then he showed the camera and then it is okay, no crap.

06:13

BLOCKCHAIN WAYNE: Nice, nice. I hear a lot of people worried about… you know, how worried about that. I mean there’s always a way to restore a wallet if it gets damaged, but it’s better not to have to deal with that absolutely.

FILM: Yes, it’s like so what… what’s more important, one more thing is that we… we also think about… you know, when… When you have a hardware wallet, you also need to think about the physical security of it. You know, because… you know… you know supply chain attacks, right, like people… people… you know, hacking inside your wallet even before you receive the wallet. (BLOCKCHAIN WAYNE: Yeah yeah) You know, so normally supply chain attacks, they… they get your wallet first, they open it, they install something and then, they close it back and then they send it to you. So what’s special about the Ellipal is the moment you open it up, the system… you know, that… you know, someone already opened it and the whole thing became unusable, right. So you know the screen will show like a… like a… a skull face or something I saw it once before. And then also because we built this so… so you know strongly when you crack it open, there will be obvious cracks all around the Ellipal. (BLOCKCHAIN WAYNE: Okay) And then as… as the…. if you’re the user, right, you receive something and then, oh my god, cracks everywhere, obviously you’re not gonna use it

07:44

BLOCKCHAIN WAYNE: Yeah, yeah that’s been tampered. That’s important, you know. I’ve heard many stories of people with some of those other brands we mentioned that will get compromised wallets in whether they order it from not an authorized vendor. I always recommend ordering straight from the company. I never thought about it like you said it. I mean supply chain, they could get… they could get compromised on the way even when it leaves the legitimate company, and before you… it could be compromised. I never even thought about that. I’ve always warned people don’t buy from third-party sellers, but that’s an important point that I’ve never really thought about till you mention that, so that’s… you know, appreciate you bringing that up, that’s that’s something I’ll definitely share with people going forward, because that’s… that’s crucial too.

FILM: Yeah, it’s really something you… you cannot predict and then something that you cannot really… you know, check by yourself if your… your stuff is already compromised… you know. And it’s… by making it like this, it gives you a lot more… you know… you know, peace or whatever when you receive the part.

BLOCKCHAIN WAYNE: Gotcha, gotcha, so how long has Ellipal been? How long have you guys been producing wallets?

FILM: So 2017 is when… you know, everything started… you know, the… when the… when the team came together and then started building it. And then 2018 is when the products came out. So we started off in a… as a… how do you say it… that’s fun. We started on Indiegogo (BLOCKCHAIN WAYNE: Okay) So it was a funding project. It was successfully funded and then that time, we already got a lot of new users. And then we…. we kicked off from there.

BLOCKCHAIN WAYNE: Nice nice good story. So what’s… what’s on the road map, next… you know… for Ellipal as far as what’s coming down the road people can expect to see in the next year or so?

FILM: You know, if… if you’re like the old and old user of Ellipal and you got… since we… Since the beginning, you will see Ellipal in the beginning. It’s just a… so this is the second model already (BLOCKCHAIN WAYNE: Okay) So before we have our first model, it was plastic and then everything, and it didn’t have the anti-tamper and stuff like that. And then it only has a few coins, and then no functions or whatever, and then, if you fit any part from the beginning, you can see like… you know, we care about the user how they feel about the product. Before they felt plastic was too cheap, but then we changed to metal, and then… you know, we kept adding more and more coins. We also… you know, added an exchange, added… you know, work with Simplex, stuff like that to allow users to buy coins directly in the wallet. We added… you know, Binance, Binance exchange, staking and then recently… you know, the Flare Spark airdrop, whatever. (BLOCKCHAIN WAYNE: Yeah) So we… yeah we want to make the user known and it’s also in our.. you know, goal to keep adding more and more and more and more stuff to make it… make the wallet more… you know, accessible, more usable to every day, every day… you know, trading to everybody, not just… you know, it’s already really secure, (BLOCKCHAIN WAYNE: Yeah) You know, it must be also secure and also can be used easily excessively by everybody.

11:33

BLOCKCHAIN WAYNE: Yeah, that’s a good point. I know a lot of people that are intimidated by setting up a hardware wallet, just the thought of people that have bought some of the other brands, and they haven’t even… they haven’t even taken out of the box, yet because they’re still hesitant on how to… how to use it, so that’s definitely important. Now something I’m not sure if I saw this right, so with Ellipal are there two different wallets like does… is there a wallet on your phone app that is a hot wallet, is that correct?

FILM: So if you use the app only, you can also use it as a hot wallet. If you don’t have the… the Ellipal cold wallet, and then if you have the cold wallet, you can, so what’s the thing is you create the account on the cold wallet and then you sync it up with your phone. So basically this is where the keys are kept. (BLOCKCHAIN WAYNE: Okay) The private keys are here and then the phone just… just recognize the… the public key, and then shows your address on the phone, because the phone is online, you can see the value of your coins, how much coin you have on your phone. So it’s not… it’s not… it’s not really two wallets. It’s just… you know, the phone syncs to the cold wallet.

BLOCKCHAIN WAYNE: Okay, okay. Nice, nice, and those of you that are… that are maybe watching that may not understand, so we talked about hot wallets, cold wallets. Cold wallets are not connected to the internet, not connected to any source. A hot wallet would be like a mobile app wallet where it’s live, it’s connected, the keys reside on the phone or… or whatever device you have it on, which is easier to access, but it’s also easier to compromise as well, would that be correct? Would you agree with that?

FILM: You know, so the QR code thing… you know, I understand it’s like something new, so it’s like a new solution, but then I agree you… is becoming the norm, because it is… it’s obviously a much better and more efficient solution for… for… you know, hardware wallets.

BLOCKCHAIN WAYNE: Yeah yeah, I mean, and QR codes, I think… you know, I expect the QR codes in general to catch on more but I’ve been seeing a lot more lately since the… everything started with Covid, because most restaurants you go into now, they don’t have the menu where you can just all touch them. They have a QR code that you scan to look at them on your own phone.

FILM: Yeah, you know now, you… you know, QR code is so developed now and then… you know, you’re… go restaurant, just scan a QR code, you can just order everything on your phone, pay on your phone (BLOCKCHAIN WAYNE: Yeah) And then, and then you just wait for the food to come serve you, that’s all, no interaction.

BLOCKCHAIN WAYNE: Yeah, yeah exactly, so technology, right. So Ellipal… you know, from what I’ve seen, I can’t wait to… you know, to get one, I’m actually after doing some of the research, but… you know, preparing for this interview, I decided that… you know, I’m going to go ahead and order one, just… just to try it out and even do a demo on it, so those of you that follow… you know, follow me, I’ll be posting a demo on it, but you said there’s some other ones on Youtube that they can search and see people doing like reviews and demos of how to set it up and… and even run it over, right?

FILM: Yeah, actually we can. We don’t mind sending you one actually, your friend just never told us.

15:01

BLOCKCHAIN WAYNE: Okay, okay, okay, I appreciate that. So yeah, it… when it comes to… when it comes to cold wallets, what else… I mean, I know you can’t really divulge too much maybe that your company’s working on, but what other features do you feel are important that may be added in the future whether it’s on the cold wallet, on the app or somewhere in between to merge it together, you know what… What, because you said you listen a lot to your users, I’m just wondering what kind of feedback do you get that… that people want to see on a device like that?

FILM: Sorry what do you mean like what?

BLOCKCHAIN WAYNE: Like as far as well future development, so just like you took the feedback from the plastic shell to the metal shell, are there any additional features like I said I know you… if it’s something that’s confidential, right now you may not have got to mention it but are there any future features that… that your team… that the team is working on over there at Ellipal to come out new releases whether it’s a software, a hardware feature

FILM: You know, in blockchain, everything is you know developed so quickly. You know, all your partners all… you… all the coins you support always come up with… you know, new things, new updates, and then you always need to keep up with that all the time, it’s already really really busy. Yeah, and then we… we know, since the beginning, there’s… there’s many things that we… that is good for our wallet. But then we haven’t had it yet… you know, for example, yeah, I’ll be honest, it’s like we don’t have a multi-sig yet or something like that. That is something that we… yeah, we look forward to… you know, adding it as soon as possible.

BLOCKCHAIN WAYNE: Okay, nice yeah, that’s kind of where I was going with the question, just any future features, what support are how many different coins or tokens does it support right now?

FILM: So now we have 35 blockchains, yeah that’s called yeah yeah so…

BLOCKCHAIN WAYNE: So, it could be a numerous amount of tokens that… you know…

FILM: So yeah, it includes all the tokens of the blockchain that we support.

BLOCKCHAIN WAYNE: Right, so those of you that are listening, so not just Ethereum, but all the ERC20 tokens that are built on Ethereum’s blockchain so 35 may not sound like a big number, but that’s actually a lot when you consider…

FILM: Yeah I could… I could just say you know, 7000 coins support

17:38

BLOCKCHAIN WAYNE: Yeah, yeah, so it’s a lot of different ones. It’s hard to keep up with that but… yeah, so that is… that is quite substantial and good to know. So… all right…

FILM: Yeah, it’s also… it’s also mind-breaking that we… when we started there was… there was only like four coins (BLOCKCHAIN WAYNE: Yeah) And then… and then just… you know, two years later, we had like this, 35. It’s… you know, crazy, crazy how… how hard our team works together and get all this support and all these features available.

BLOCKCHAIN WAYNE: Yeah, I’ve seen someone try to build just a software wallet, so I can imagine the amount of work people don’t realize the amount of work and effort it goes into building a device. Not only to support the blockchain, but to be secure really to do everything that… you know, that they need to do because really this is all about protection, it’s all about trust and you want to make sure you don’t… you know and you know… I’m sure you guys know that, that you don’t want to do anything to… you know, to mess up the trust that people would have in a device, because that happened with projects in the past. So… you know, kudos… yeah, to what your team has done. It’s very important to… to make sure you don’t just not just roll it out because people want it, but roll it out right secure, and everything else. So that’s a… that is a big undertaking

19:00

FILM: The good thing is the wallet is already secure from the… the beginning since the design doesn’t have too much to worry.

BLOCKCHAIN WAYNE: Yeah tamper resistant, that’s… that’s good. Most people don’t even think about that, and you know… any other hardware wallet, you’re right with… if you’re plugging it into a device, that could be a point of failure. If the device you’re plugging it into is compromised.

FILM: You know, we also… we also talk a lot about trustless trust, meaning… meaning that you you don’t need to trust the wallet, you just trust the technology meaning so what we always say… you know, the wallet is you can… you can prove it that it’s completely offline. You don’t need to trust that… that we’re not going to get you not compromised. You can check yourself when the wallet is completely offline. And you know… when you sign… when you sign a transaction with QR codes, you can also scan that QR code… you know, and then you will see the what’s… what’s inside the QR code. (BLOCKCHAIN WAYNE: Yeah) Yeah, what how much coin, which coin are you sending to which address, and everything is all verifiable with the Ellipal (BLOCKCHAIN WAYNE: Nice). So that’s what we see like you… you need to trust that, you just trust the technology that you’re holding in your hand.

BLOCKCHAIN WAYNE: Awesome, awesome. It looks like you guys are making it secure, safe. People can trust it without… you know, like you’re saying, you’re not… you’re not… you’re just making claims they can… they can put it to the test and from what you’ve shown us today, it’s definitely a very advanced wallet, kind of what people would expect from cold storage… you know, hardware wallet. So with that, Film, tell everybody how they can connect with Ellipal and follow what’s going on with the company. And also you mentioned something about a Christmas sale coming up, too, so we can talk about that as well.

FILM: Yeah, so just head over to… you know ellipal.com, we have a people ready to chat with you on the website. And then, if you scroll down on the page, you will have… you can see our Twitter link, Facebook link. Just follow us on Twitter, follow us on Facebook. Our Twitter is a Ellipal wallet, and we’re quite active on Twitter. And yeah, on Christmas, if you’re going to post this on a weekly, the christmas weekend, I… we… we’re going to have a Christmas sale. And then we’re going to announce that on every social media, so you know, get in touch with us.

21:30

BLOCKCHAIN WAYNE: Yeah, absolutely, so everybody watching, make sure you’re following Ellipal for everything that’s going on with them, not just for the sales, but also anytime they come up with something that they’re gonna release or update, you can be in the know, know what’s going on and… and stay up to date. You know, controlling the keys that access your crypto is important. It’s… it’s very important one thing that crypto allows us to do is to have custody of our assets peer-to-peer transfers without the need for a third-party custody service. So the last thing you want to do is turn over that custody back to say like a third party like a cryptocurrency exchange or something like that… you know, especially with PayPal… you know, a lot… a lot of people have been asking about PayPal. I’m sure you guys have heard about the film about PayPal allowing people to buy crypto. But really no, you don’t… you don’t really buy the crypto. You don’t own it. You can’t even withdraw it from the site.

FILM: Yeah, we actually wrote an article on that, you can go to read.

BLOCKCHAIN WAYNE: It’s true. I mean when they did it, I went in to test it out to see what it was, and I’m like, yep there’s no withdrawal feature, so you don’t really own it. They’re basically selling you a crypto derivative that you can only buy and sell on their platform and maybe either take profit or take the loss. But you can’t send it to anybody else.

FILM: This is another… you know, how to say… Robinhood app.

BLOCKCHAIN WAYNE: Yeah exactly, this is Robinhood. So yeah (FILM: Yeah), so take control of your crypto. Make sure like I tell people all the time, if you have a substantial amount… you know, more than just a little bit, and you’re not actively trading, it needs to be in… in a hardware wallet so… All right, that you said, Christmas sale, just follow… you follow the page, and they’ll be up to date, keep up to date when that drops as well

FILM: Another… another product in here.

BLOCKCHAIN WAYNE: Oh yeah then share away, absolutely.

FILM: So we also make… how do you say, it is a minimalic metal so if you… if you use a wallet before, you’re gonna get your 12 verse, 24 words recovery keys. This is where you put them so metal… metals for your seed phrase, your recovery. And these are… these are pretty cheap and then it’s pretty sturdy. (BLOCKCHAIN WAYNE: That’s nice) Yeah, much better than… you know, putting it on a paper and forgetting about it.

24:05

BLOCKCHAIN WAYNE: Yeah, paper can get degraded over time. It can get wet, it can get fire… you know, fire, so that… that’s interesting.

FILM: Those are the problems of people… people just lose it, and then forget about it. (BLOCKCHAIN WAYNE: Yeah) If we get it all the time, and then we just say like, no just use this, don’t lose your crypto anymore.

BLOCKCHAIN WAYNE: Okay exactly, and both of those are available. So the wallet and that are available on your website now?

FILM: Yeah, it’s also on. It’s all on the website and then if you buy together, there’s a bundle and it’s always a sale on this bundle.

BLOCKCHAIN WAYNE: Nice, all right, so everyone watching, it’s important though seed phrase is important. If you lose your wallet or someone tries to break in and it gets compromised, you need those seed phrases to restore it, so you may as well get the bundle. And here’s something else, you’re gonna have friends and family that are gonna get into crypto, so over the holidays, if you’re buying gifts for loved ones, why not get them the best gift you can, and that’s you know Ellipal wallet, hardware wallet. Get them the bundle as well. Teach them the right way about crypto and don’t let them find out by buying crypto on PayPal or Robinhood right [Laughter]

FILM: Get the real crypto, right?

BLOCKCHAIN WAYNE: Absolutely, absolutely. All right, well, hey man, it’s been a pleasure interviewing you, today. Thanks for joining us and sharing your knowledge especially with Ellipal, and the product demo. Look forward to what your company is putting out there, so definitely thanks for joining us today.

FILM: Yeah, thank you, Wayne. I’ve got to show off my Ellipal shirt too.

BLOCKCHAIN WAYNE: Oh nice, nice, very nice one. All right, all right, everyone, thanks for watching like I said, make sure you get out there, at least follow Ellipal. Get your friends and family and yourself Ellipal wallet, and we will see you all in the next episode. Take care everybody.

FILM: Yeah, take care guys.

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About Thasit Kulvaranon

Thatsit “Film” Kulvaranon currently serves as the Marketing Manager for Ellipal. Ellipal provides air-gapped, cold-storage wallets for securely storing your crypto.

Website: https://www.ellipal.com/

About Blockchain Wayne (Host)

Wayne has been managing, teaching, and coaching high performing teams for over 20 years. He has a passion for helping and teaching people and a passion for cryptocurrency and blockchain projects. He has created various coaching programs and partnerships with select education platforms and cryptocurrency program tools.

You can learn more on his website: https://www.blockchainwayne.com/

About Stably

Stably is a fast growing FinTech company from Seattle founded in 2018 by a team of former bankers and Amazon software engineers. The team has raised close to $3M in funding to date from angel investors as well as leading venture capital firms like 500 Startups, BEENEXT and Pay It Forward. Stably is also the blockchain developer for a wide range of cryptographic tokens and stablecoins backed by real assets, such as USD, EUR, CAD, precious metals and real estate. Our mission is to make financial transactions faster, cheaper and more transparent through a borderless digital money platform powered by open-banking and blockchain technologies.

For more information, please visit: www.stably.io

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