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Jan. 25, 2023

#68 Justin Rezvani - Zion, Web 3, Central Banking Digital Currency

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Chatting with Candice
 Justin Rezvani
 Episode Run Time: 33:19

Justin Rezvani is the CEO and founder of Zion, the world’s first decentralized social network built on Bitcoin. In his book Unapologetic Freedom, Justin shares his vision for the future of social media and communication, where creators and communities can interact directly without fear of censorship through The Lightning Network.

00:00 Introducing Justin

02:19 Zion: A decentralized social platform

09:08 Censorship and community management

12:03 Bitcoin and the Lightning Network

14:15 The new social media algorithm: staking

19:43 Can Twitter be saved?

24:22 Online freedom and sovereignty

27:42 Cryptocurrency VS Central Bank Digital Currency

31:57 Where to find Justin


The Current State of the Internet

Centralized social media platforms are free for use, but the caveat is that users have no ownership over their identities, content, and audiences. These can all be taken away without explanation, causing a massive domino effect in our online lives. Another way in which social media affects us is through algorithms. Social media companies encourage polarization in order to sustain users’ attention. Unhealthy environments may emerge, but they pay no mind as long as they can maximize profit from advertisers. There are no real consequences for bad behavior online either, which further dehumanizes our online interactions. 


Freedom and Sovereignty Through Decentralization  

Zion seeks to fix the problems of traditional social media by allowing direct relationships between creators and audiences. Users will have full ownership over their identities, content, and audiences. Zion is built on Bitcoin, a decentralized cryptocurrency. Through the Lightning Network, payments are settled instantly and privately without any middlemen.


On Zion, every interaction is tied to your wallet. You can monetize posted content but you can also be fined for spam or hate comments. There are incentives and disincentives for every action taken on the platform. Instead of one governing body, Zion is made up of several communities that each have their own moderators. Although Zion will be a paid service, users will get to reclaim their online freedom of speech and payment. 




Links and Resources:

Zion Website

Unapologetic Freedom

Justin’s Twitter

Justin’s Instagram



Justin Rezvani, founder of Zion and author of Unapologetic Freedom, talks about what the future of social media should be like. He details the dangers of our current centralized platforms and how Zion’s new algorithm will return online freedom back to creators and audiences.

Support the show


0 (0s): Creators have built a mansion in someone else's backyard with no rental agreement. That's the current state of the internet. 2 (10s): Hello everybody. You're listening to Chatting with Candace. I'm your host Candice Horbacz. Before we jump into this episode, please take a second to hit like and subscribe. That will help me out a ton. And then you won't miss a single episode when it's published. So this week we have Justin, Rezvani joining the podcast. Justin is the author of Unapologetic Freedom. This is the next episode in what I am coining, coining my crypto series. So we are gonna get into Bitcoin Lightning Network and why it is important for your freedom. Let's jump in. Justin, thank you so much for doing this podcast and being a part of this like little crypto series that I've found myself in. I started it like most people not knowing a single thing about blockchain or Bitcoin or NFTs or any of these phrases that a lot of us are hearing. 2 (58s): Yeah, and I think you and I probably got interested in this topic for the same reason. Cause when I saw the title of your book Unapologetic Freedom and I finished it this week, I was like, thank you. This guy thank you gets me. So I was super stoked to have you on because a lot of the episodes I've done so far are like kind of like 1 0 1 masterclass, that kind of thing, just to get people literate in it. But your reason is like what fuels that passion behind it, at least for me, which is like the utility of it. So yeah, if you kind of wanna tell me what, what started this journey for you? 0 (1m 35s): So I've been in the creator space for over 10 years at this point. My first company was, the Amplify Started in 2013, was built to have creators and fans and, and brands to actually build an intimate relationship through a mobile app to do ads on Instagram. So I've always kind of thought that the, the fans supported model was going to be the future of the creator economy. And then I got introduced to the Lightning network in 2020. I saw the impact of censorship after Covid started occurring. And I was like, this is the most obvious way that brands should interact. I'm sorry, a creator should interact with their fans. Is is direct payments, direct monetization? Remove the middleman. Remove the arbiter. 0 (2m 16s): That was obvious to me. And and Lightning network was the way to do that. 2 (2m 19s): No. So and Lightning network is relatively new. Correct? Because before that yeah, was it would take eons to transfer Bitcoin and that was kind of the main hindrance for it. People said that this couldn't be a, a viable utility because it took so long. 0 (2m 31s): Sure. Because it, it's, it's a very secure transaction that's being broadcast to thousands of computers across the world. Whereas the Lightning network is a peer-to-peer network. It's node to node it, it allows you to transfer instantly at the speed of light between two individuals. Not just instant transfer, but instant settlement. It's, it's a far superior payment rails than the current infrastructure that we have today. And that's what we're so excited about. Zion being the future payment processor, the creator economy. 2 (3m 0s): Okay. So I wanted to ask you about Zion cause I didn't have a chance to look into that. Exactly. So is it a social media network that you're building or is it payment processing? Is it both? 0 (3m 10s): Yeah, it, it's a little bit of both. We're kind of a mix of what I would describe as like Instagram and Patreon into one single application. So we combined all the great things about supporting creators through payments and direct support and then also build communities on top of that. We think the future of the of creators is basically building communities online. But the difference is that you own everything. Whereas in all of these centralized services, the companies own the relationship. But in Zion we're more of a utility that allows creators to own a relationship with their fans. And there's three main things that we're trying to fix on the internet. We're trying to fix the ownership of identity messaging and data storage and then payments. Arguably those are, those three things are what we use every single day to interact online. 0 (3m 54s): We use our identity, which is the base layer that we log into things. Then we use a messaging relay or some sort of a data transfer service to transfer that information across the Web. And then we use money to interact that value. And so we're Zion is fixing those three problems using a decentralized open source system. 2 (4m 13s): No. So I, I heard someone talking about this the other day and it made me laugh. They were basically, were calling what we're doing right now on traditional, centralized platforms as digital sharecropping. And I was like, it's 100% accurate because you build up a brand and you build up a community. And for a lot of people this is their livelihood. It's like, I, I definitely wanna get into like how this affects the everyday person. Cuz I think a lot of people are like, I'm not an influencer so I don't care. I'm not a content creator, so I don't care. But this absolutely affects every single person that has a phone. But it's like you spend all of these years creating this company essentially, and then overnight you can wake up and it's gone. And that sounds kind of crazy, but like imagine if you just woke up and everything you had built was taken away without cause course. 2 (4m 59s): So I don't understand how that's legal, but if you were to skim through that terms of service, it's in there just like they tell you 0 (5m 4s): Because you don't own anything. That's why, right? There's this illusion that we've built, that we've used this term that it's my Instagram or my Twitter when it's not. And it's in fact you're nothing, you, you don't own anything in terms of the relationship. You don't own the content. Everything you're doing is on this service and they just say, Hey, you're allowed to use our service for free and we get to do whatever we want. I mean, that's like creators have built a mansion in someone else's backyard with no rental agreement. That's the current state of the internet. And our offer are our value. And, and I think the promises of the new world is you can now own your audience for the first time ever because you own the identity. 0 (5m 45s): You own how the content is disseminated to those other people that are your followers and they can directly support you with no middleman using the Lightning network. I think that's the impact of how payments will work. Like if you look at the differences that are out there right now, if you look at Patreon, Patreon has six layers of people between you and your fans. It has the credit card, the credit card company, the credit card processor, the bank, the website, all of these other things in between you. Whereas in Zion it's just a wallet and a wallet and it can transact value freely with instant settlement. Not 30 days, not 45 days, not 60 days. It's instant settlement between you and your fans. And I think why that's important for regular people is that creators can also monetize them. 0 (6m 29s): Everyone becomes a creator, right? So every comment in Zion is an active opportunity for a payment, every single piece of content. So even that sub comment or that sub reply, someone can send you SATs for that. And I think the big, big, big thing about the book was also to outline the opportunity and say, look, there's another system coming. We have a better way to do this for the first time. We have a way to fix what's wrong with the internet. And I think that's why Unapologetic Freedom is like that manifesto and it's kind of the de the defacto book on censorship. It's like this is what's happening in the world and this is the solution. 2 (7m 6s): So I find it funny cause I'm like, I'm waiting for you to post that your book gets taken down or something like, and I hope it doesn't, obviously I hope it, it continues to do really well. I don't 0 (7m 17s): Think it would, it's not that bad. 2 (7m 19s): It's not that bad, but it's like calling out the very systems that is being sold on. Right. And I was like, there's just something really, it's not 0 (7m 26s): Big 2 (7m 26s): Enough yet. Amusing to 0 (7m 27s): Me. I don't think anyone's listened to it. I mean we had a couple th I think a couple thousand people bought the book, but, which is very weird to me. It's kind of a weird thing. 2 (7m 36s): Is it, what's the feedback been so far? 0 (7m 39s): I mean, feedback's been great, like very supportive from from the community. But what's weird about it is your ideas are in someone's brain. And I think like I've, I've always heard that that's like a interesting thing that like these are my ideas, these are my thesises I've taken for the past 10 years of my life. I put it into words in a, you know, couple hundred pages. And now people are listening to my ideas. They're, they're listening to what I'm, what I believe and what I think is an opportunity for the future. And that's very weird to me. I've, I've never had ideas disseminated at scale before. Cuz I'm, I'm not an influencer. I've, I've just been a c e o of a tech company twice and I've had an exit in my twenties. 0 (8m 21s): Like I'm, I'm always behind the scenes kind of a ceo. Now I'm being public a little bit more about my life and that's a little bit strange to me, but a blessing. I I hope people find value in it. 2 (8m 30s): No, that's probably a good thing because I see, I, I feel like the people that actively seek it out just to seek out the attention, like those are generally maybe not the people you want to be listening to. I think it's the people that are a little bit cautious about stepping into that light and like taking on that res responsibility that you're like, okay, maybe this is a person that has something valuable to say. Do you 0 (8m 51s): Know what I mean? I hope so. I hope that's create value. Yeah, I hope that this book creates value. That's my, that was the whole purpose behind it. What's to create value? 2 (8m 59s): Well, I appreciate it too is it's like, it's super easy to read. Like it, I you could easily read it in a day or two. So if you're very new to the conversation around crypto or blockchain or anything like that, it's not intimidating where a lot of the conversations are. And I think the biggest hurdle is getting those people to cross over and to to have that adoption rate kind of increase. So is Zion launched yet? 0 (9m 22s): Like are you Yeah, Zion is live. We're we're working On Zion v2, they'll be out in the next few weeks, but Zion's been live since August. But we've been in this like kind of closed beta. A few thousand people are using it every month just to fix all the things that we were working on. Over the next few weeks you'll see a big release coming out. So if you want the latest information, go to our website, get Zion dot com, put in your email address and we'll be able to let you know when the new version is coming out in live for more, more and more creators. 2 (9m 50s): Awesome. Yeah, that's exciting. I've, I've checked out a couple that have claimed to be decentralized and then the more you dig into them, they're not, so yeah, I initially was talking with Bill over at Mines and I just think he's like a great standup guy. Like I love what he's doing and he's brilliant. He's one of the people that was like, if it's not open source then like that's your first red flag because I know a hundred percent like Gutter launched, everyone was like, this is truly decentralized freedom of speech, rah rah rah. And then everyone's like, wait a second, we, and they started doing their homework and they're like, it's not So right now I feel like there's a lot of apps that are popping up that are trying to like pretend to be this one thing. 2 (10m 30s): And like you said in your book, there's a difference between saying we won't censor and we can't censor. 0 (10m 37s): Sure, yeah. I think my, my general thesis on the future of social and communication has to fall under six rules. Like there's six rules to me that you must follow. Number one, it has to be built on a decentralized monetary network. Number two, it has to be focused on permissionless innovation, which means it's open source, it has to have censorship resistant. The creators should own everything. There should be digital property rights through encryption. And there's one more thing I have to like look in my book, I, I, I forgot, I always forget the sixth thing, but there's a sixth test that must be passed and if you pass those six tests, and I think that's what's gonna lead to the, to the future of social. 0 (11m 18s): And I, open source is definitely one of 'em. I'm like scrolling through my book cuz I have, it's the end of the, the introduction that I put peer governance versus platform governance. So the idea is that the, the platform doesn't control what's said. The people inside the community itself control what's said. 2 (11m 37s): So how, how is that applied? Because what I was told is when it comes to like these dows and these DAPs and if you're having everything be regulated via the community is essentially if you were to take a boardroom and then just have that boardroom scale out to the internet. So I guess do you see any like hurdles there when there's so many people? 0 (11m 59s): Yeah, I mean because we let the admins of the communities themselves, like we're not an open town square, we're not like Twitter. So when you join Zion, you're joining a specific community inside of Zion and that community has an admin or multiple admins and they will regulate their community as they wish. So okay, that's the way that we think of it. 2 (12m 19s): Oh that makes a lot more sense. Cuz at scale I'm like then who's voting? Because it could kind of be like I'm on other platforms, you could send in swarms of people and then they could complicate it. So it's like one of those things where it's in theory beautiful cuz you don't want this top down method, but then how do you do this bottom up one without it getting like turning into a cluster fuck essentially. 0 (12m 39s): And the focus is all around communities. That's the focus. 2 (12m 45s): So one thing I would say, like during this series that I've been recording and a lot of people have been criticizing when I guess specifically when it comes to Bitcoin is you hear two things. You hear that it's like the most secure network and that it's encrypted end to end. But then I've also had a conversation with the late John McAfee and he was like, Bitcoin is the worst privacy coin and it's essentially someone forever seeing into your bank account, like once you make a single transaction, like they can forever do that. So how can, I guess, can two things be true at once or can you explain I guess like that specific critique to people that are really new to the space? 0 (13m 26s): I, I think at the base layer, it it's a public ledger and it's an open ledger and if you're tying your name to a specific wallet, then that's what it is. But Lightning is a very privacy focused network. So the, the Lightning transactions are private if it's between two, two separate nodes. Wallets are private in that world. So I think it's just a different approach. 2 (13m 47s): Okay. So I guess when it comes to like the everyday person, again, it kind of sounds frivolous when you have like creators complaining about losing platforms, which I do really appreciate as a creator because I'm actually currently shadow banned on almost every platform. So it's like 1% of my followers actually get to see the content that I'm pushing out. And it's, we wanna you with that 0 (14m 8s): We wanna 2 (14m 8s): Change. I would love that. That would be amazing. And now it's like 0 (14m 11s): We'd love to get your community On Zion. 2 (14m 13s): I would love to push it, but I would say for the everyday person that to point out like I guess the seriousness of this, I have people which I'm not gonna obviously say their names, but like they're not allowed to bank anymore because of like their profession. So if you have, you know, bank of America and they find out that you're in some industry that they don't approve of or MasterCard doesn't want you, let's say buying marijuana even though it's legal, like people are already censoring actual like everyday Joe's. 0 (14m 41s): Yeah. There's financial censorship isn't just, I think that's what I outlined in the book. It's not just, it's not just freedom of speech, but it's freedom of payment. 2 (14m 49s): Right. And I think people don't really see that happening yet. So I think until that comes to like your personal household that people aren't gonna be incentivized necessarily to take this big scary leap into this crypto world that people don't really know about yet. 0 (15m 4s): Sure. I agree. 2 (15m 5s): Oh, and then, oh, so I have one of the quotes from your, from your book that I wrote down that I really, really liked. It was by Tim Wu and it said we must act individually and collectively to make our attention our own again. And so reclaim ownership of the very experience of living. And I was like, that is an absolutely epic quote. And I think that people don't understand that they have like these master psychologists that are working at these big platforms that are literally hired to keep you on and it's a, 0 (15m 38s): They manipulate you and Yeah, totally. They're there to keep you on there longer. They're there to, because the longer you stay, the more money they make. That's their business model. So you're like, you're losing grasp of the reality that you have through algorithms. Algorithms actually control makes us very impulsive. I find myself doing this a lot where I'm just like impulsively looking at my Instagram like what am I doing? I'm like building something to stop this because it's, it's taking us away from being human. I think that's like, it's taking us away from having like direct human interaction because we're no longer communicating human to human. It's now a computer that's sending us and disseminating information into our face. 0 (16m 19s): And I think that's a damage to society there. I mean the social, I I quoted the social dilemma quite a bit in this book and the impact of increase teen suicide, bullying, there's no consequences on traditional social. And I think like one of the things we wanna present is Zion is actually the safest place on the Web because you cannot be a bad actor in Zion. Illegal is illegal. Illegal content will never be allowed. It will never, it will always be banned. Illegal is illegal, but the concept that you are a bad human and you make someone feel terrible will not happen inside a Zion because there's an accreditation process. Everything is built through a wallet. There's consequences for being a bad actor. And so that's, I think those are the, the hopefulness is that we don't have algorithms keeping you on there, manipulating you. 0 (17m 3s): Our business model is that the creators and the people that are using will subsidize for it to exist because they want to pay for freedom, they want to pay for sovereignty, they want to pay for that experience. 2 (17m 13s): Yeah. And I hope that's the case. I think so many people have kind of been trained and conditioned to access everything for free that it's gonna be like a little bit of a jump to get people to pay. But I think there's like certain networks, and I'm not sure if you guys are doing the same thing. I think that you, you had mentioned this, that the cre the, the community is also getting paid in the, in the participation. Absolutely. 0 (17m 38s): Every, everyone can be any, everyone can monetize the network. I think that's the impact of what makes Zion different is everything is an active experience and we're not using our own Currency. I think this is the important thing is there's a lot of people trying to do this stuff and they're making up their own coin or they're making up their own like, oh this N F T. Like no, we're not making up our own shit. It's just that we're using Bitcoin the hardest money ever created. We're using the Lightning network, we're using the things that people understand that wanna transfer value through these payment rails. That's what we're using. 2 (18m 7s): And I think that that's probably very wise because you see a lot of these rug pulls and you see a lot of people that are creating these coins that have absolutely no utility and it's hurting the, it's just hurting the movement period. Because then there's all of these bad actors and everyone's like, well if I saw this happen to this guy, I know he invested in we'll say squid games and all of a sudden now he doesn't have anything left to his name. You're like, well I'm not gonna go do that. I'm just gonna keep it safe in my my my U S D. 0 (18m 34s): Exactly. 2 (18m 35s): Yeah. So when it comes to the accountability, I think that's like a really interesting point with the community because we, I've been on other platforms, not decentralized, and you would have mods and it's like the, the community can get so crazy, especially if you have a very large one that it's very hard to monitor like that the level of conversation that's happening. So that makes a ton of sense as you just have kind of like these mod 0 (18m 59s): Yeah, like for us, one of the things we're implement, yeah. One of the things we implement is that you have to pay to ma like a a, an admin can decide that you have to pay to make a comment. So that prevents spam then, then we have a thing called staking. So if you make a comment and the admin de de deletes the comment for spam, you lose money. So we have these incentive barriers that are built in for content posting that will allow a person and a community to not just get out of control. This like staking proof of work implemented into a social experience. 2 (19m 28s): I think the staking is a really cool point with the spam and it doesn't sound like a big deal, but everyone's obviously been watching like the Amber heard Johnny Depp trial and seeing clips everywhere. I just saw a post that was saying 10% or 11% of all of the people in that conversation aren't even people. They're all bots. Exactly. And like this, this happens with every charged issue and it's like how many times have you got, like your entire day was ruined because, so you got into an argument with someone online and it probably wasn't even a person. 0 (19m 58s): Yeah, it was probably a bot. And it could be from any country in the world. It's, it's because there's no disincentives right now on traditional social media. All you need is an email and a password, an email that's built on a centralized system. You log in and you could say anything you want to anybody. Where I think in the new world there, there's a little bit of a barrier that requires you to have a wallet, you to have actual money. You should have all of these things in order to interact inside of these networks. 2 (20m 24s): So I have to ask, what is your opinion on what's happening with Twitter right now? Like do you think that it's gonna be salvageable and like Elon's gonna come in and actually be able to have a successful, successful purchase of it and turn it around? Or do you think it's like too far gone? 0 (20m 40s): I don't know. I, I don't, I don't know enough. I think he's an incredible entrepreneur, but I don't know if the, you know, the business models are still still predicated on advertising. That's the biggest problem there. 2 (20m 50s): Mm. It's, yeah, no, that's definitely, that's 100% the biggest issue. And I think we don't realize when you're spending like tens and hundreds of millions of dollars that obviously like that comes with strings attached and that comes within and that's for everything. That's our media. That's our social media. Yeah. And you don't necessarily know, I feel like it should at least be like transparent. Like there should be, of course someone said it, it should be like NASCAR NASCARs where the sponsors are all listed in plain sight so you can see exactly like who is in charge of whatever platform or it's channel that you're watching. Yeah, 0 (21m 25s): Of course. And I, and again, look, you don't own anything on Twitter. It's still the same business model. Everything is done. Twitter owns the town square. I think I, I think it's a great idea, but I don't know, like, I don't know enough about exactly what he wants to do with the business. 2 (21m 40s): No, I, all I know is that obviously like the free speech is like the main talking point. So I'm like, hopefully the first thing they do is they lip the shadow bands and they get rid of the bots. So at least you know that you're interfacing with a real human. Cuz I feel like that would 0 (21m 53s): Help. But they're not gonna do that. That's how they make money, right? Like their advertisers are gonna say, you know what, we're pulling ads. We're not like, then their revenue disappears overnight. I think these are all the things that are not being taken into account Exactly. Is like, how does Twitter make money? It makes money because someone else pays to get the attention of the users. That's how they make money. So they have to completely flip a business model upside down and figure out how is it gonna go if they don't, if they actually want to prevent censorship isn't because of safety, it's because advertisers don't want that. I I outlined it in the book, the advertisers don't want to be associated with this type of content. So they say, Hey, we're not going to advertise with you unless you remove these people. 2 (22m 31s): Not to like obviously speculate, but if you are like this big company, I guess what is, what is your benefit to be like having these these conversations shut down? Because to me, like that's the easiest way to find the truth because if you can't criticize something then obviously maybe it's not holding, its its weight in, in the truth sector. So if you're like, wait, this is a sacred cow, we cannot touch it. It's like, well wait a second, that's a red flag to me. Why am I not allowed to ask this question? And then when did conversations become so dangerous, I guess what would, what would the benefit be? Like I, like if let's say I own Coca-Cola, I don't understand how someone's conversation around whether we should have shut down or not shut down affects my bottom line whatsoever. 2 (23m 15s): Cuz everyone's gonna be drinking soda 0 (23m 17s): Woke has taken over these large corporations. I mean look, look, woke is, is, is the, is the new virus. And so at the end of the day they're, they're, they're appeasing to specific employees at these teams. That's kind of where everything is going. And I, I, I don't, I don't know a good solution for it, I just know that it's wrong and this is just kind of where culture is going is like, no, you can't say these things anymore. We haven't b we've, we've lost agency completely. 2 (23m 44s): Oh man, I, I really honestly hope that your platform takes off. And I hope that more people read this book because for me it's, it's beyond frustrating because I, I've seen friendships go away. I've seen people that they don't, they've lost like family members over like what would typically be dinner conversations and you're like, hold on. Like how are you so attached to this ideology? You're willing to cut off someone that you're related to. And we've become so polarized and unfortunately like these platforms are quite designed to create that environment. My husband's never on social media. Like he hates social media, he hates the camera. Like he's just like a very private person and he is like, I'm gonna try out Twitter, I'm just gonna like see what Twitter is about. 2 (24m 24s): And he signed up and I would say within the first week he's like, I don't know why. I just feel like I have to argue with people. Like that's what it does to you. 0 (24m 33s): Yeah, because that's, they, they promote that the algorithm is promoting this concept of, you know, fighting with other individuals and not having a, a polite conversation with people. So there's this like kind of, it's all based upon these computers manipulating us to stay longer, to, to get us excited about issues instead of just having an open dialogue around communities that we care about. My personal belief is it's all about communities and creators. We need to build a better relationship between audiences and creators. 2 (25m 3s): Oh, 100%. I think that's gonna be like the value of the future is, is your community. And right now that's not the case. It's almost like as influencers, as content creators, you've almost been trained to like suck your community dry without providing anything back. And a lot of platforms like the one that you've launched and similar ones that I've been like hearing about, it's like how do we, how do we both rise together? Like how do I create value as a brand, as a creator, but how do you, I create value in you as a community and we can invest in projects together. And then that's when you have like social tokens that actually do well and proper roadmaps and then everyone makes money together and you're like, well that just seems a lot more fair. 2 (25m 49s): And then of course as like a community member, you're going to wanna be more involved because you're, you're directly tied to the success of that product or whatever that creator is launching. And it's like, we're in this together instead of just like take, take, take. It's how do I have some sort of like contribution back? 0 (26m 4s): Sure. And I think that's, that's where we see the biggest value in in the future is that if you can fix the money, if you can fix the way the messages move across the Web and then if you can fix the identity, you fix everything. Because at the base layer, most people don't own any of these things. What people don't realize is there's 1.5 billion Gmail accounts that people use into log, log into downstream centralized systems. Most people at the base layer don't own their identity. They're using an email and password and they don't own the email. There's an illusion that they own the email, they have a login to a place, but they don't own it. Like they can be turned off and taken away at any time. Right Now you just mentioned that your, your bank could be turned off, right? 0 (26m 45s): Why can't they turn off your Gmail account? You're like, you know what, this person is spewing things and then imagine the downstream effects. Everything from that Gmail account gets turned off. I have it. I have a Gmail account that I use song into my bank. It's crazy. Like that to me is crazy. It's 2 (26m 59s): So hard to switch over though. It's so hard. Like I've been slowly doing these little changes. 0 (27m 4s): Yeah, it's hard. But it, that's the thing is like if you want freedom, it takes a little bit of work. It's not easy for sovereignty, but we're, what we're trying to do is to make it as easy as possible. That's the value we bring is that within a few clicks you have a decentralized identity that you own through a private and public key pair. You get a, you get a Lightning wallet instantly and then you're able to interact in this open stream way across communities. 2 (27m 27s): So do you have anyone criticizing you for being what they would call like a freedom maximalist? Whether like you would consider yourself one or not? Because I've had that. 0 (27m 36s): No, I don't, I've never, no one's ever called me that. 2 (27m 39s): Have you heard it? 0 (27m 40s): I don't think I've, have you heard 2 (27m 41s): Anyone call 0 (27m 43s): Really? No, I don't think so. I mean 2 (27m 44s): Oh really? Yeah, it's like this thing. So it's almost like some people are trying to make you feel guilty for wanting sovereignty or wanting a different version of freedom. And some people might say the level that we're trying to get now has never existed before because we used to be in, you know, these small tribes with huts next to each other. So these conversations, even if you were to have them in the privacy of your own hut, like someone would overhear it. So the the sense of privacy that we're trying to attain has never existed and maybe shouldn't exist. 0 (28m 17s): I I, I wouldn't, I don't know if that's me, but yeah, I I guess I'm a freedom maximalist I guess. 2 (28m 24s): No, I mean I, I would say that I am probably to a point I think I, there's gotta be boundaries or bumpers on something to some point, right? You can't have people creating chaos in the streets. But I think when it comes to crypto, like that's one of the first scare tactics a lot of people use is like this is the quickest way for criminals to, to hide their, their illegal activity and they're gonna be using this for no good and then to bring it back to your point, you're like, illegal is illegal and that's not gonna be on your platform. But it's like one of the ways that they try to kind of squeeze their way in to get people to not adopt the new technology. 0 (28m 59s): Sure, 2 (29m 1s): Yeah. And a little 0 (29m 2s): Afraid 2 (29m 3s): People, a lot of people are. No for sure. But when you see, I don't know if you watched any of the world Economic Forum meeting that they just had, it was, what was it called? Dr. Pippa was like all over everything right now. But it was basically all of these leaders of pretty much every country attended this event and all of them were talking about how to adopt some kind of centralized payment. So it went from being this thing that was seen as a Ponzi scheme to not real, to not something that we should even should warrant a conversation to. Literally every global leader is like, well how do we create our own version of this? 0 (29m 39s): Yeah. Central Bank digital currencies, cbd, cs, 2 (29m 42s): What are your I was gonna say, what are your opinions on those? Cuz I'm terrified 0 (29m 47s): Of those. They're dangerous. I mean the ability that someone can delete you with a button and delete your money and you could just disappear off the face of the earth with a smart contract to me is a very dangerous situation. 2 (29m 57s): Right. 0 (29m 57s): That's why Bitcoin is so important. Bitcoin is our last dance. Bitcoin is the last sovereign asset available in the world and there's a very specific reason why Zion is built on Bitcoin, not on any of these others coins or cryptocurrencies is that it, it is truly the most secure and sovereign asset ever created. 2 (30m 13s): So when it comes to using it, I guess as, as a Currency versus like as an asset, some people would say that it's n it was never designed to be to replace any kind of Currency just because of the, the massive swings. And I was talking to Mashinsky about this and he was like, if you were to ask anyone who's purchased anything with Bitcoin, if they wished that they could take it back, every single person would say yes. And the way that he does it is kind of, I think it's very complicated and then I'm not intelligent enough to explain it pr with enough finesse, but essentially it's like taking loans out against the Bitcoin and using it that way. 2 (30m 54s): And then I would say the majority of the people that are like Bitcoin Maxes are like, no, you can absolutely use it and use SATs and it is meant to be a, a different kind of tender I guess. Do you see that leveling out to a point where it's not like you, you purchase something in Bitcoin and then regret it in the next week? 0 (31m 11s): No, I don't think so. And I think what's interesting is the Lightning network is going to allow for stablecoin to be moved across the network as well. So we can have a stable base Currency and use a Lightning network as the payment rails to move that Currency back and forth. So I think looking at it as a payment processing system to be able to move value across the chain is where we're gonna see things go in the future. 2 (31m 31s): No, that makes a lot more sense. I wanted to ask, so you have had like a pretty interesting couple of years and at the beginning of the book you kind of talk about this really terrifying but transformative experience that led you from California to Austin. It sounded like it was pre, what, what do you call 'em? Like a, like a near death experience? Is that kind of how you would describe it? 0 (31m 56s): Yeah, a little bit. 2 (31m 58s): Do you have like anything that you'd ha didn't write in the book that we could dig into? 0 (32m 4s): Not, I would say read the introduction of the book if you can. I think like we can tease out a little bit, but it was a, it was a transformational experience and nothing in particular I'd share that I didn't already share in the book. So I think it was a great teaser to get to get into like why did I decide to do this? Why did I decide to spend my life force energy in building this business? 2 (32m 24s): Yeah. And I don't wanna give it away cuz it's really good, but I was like, that is absolutely wild. And you have had probably a crazy two years from that to, to the launch of your book, so kudos to you. 0 (32m 37s): Thank you. Thank 2 (32m 38s): You. Yeah, so I, I guess before we close out the podcast, do you want to tell the listeners how they can support you, where they can follow you and where they can get your book and join Zion? 0 (32m 50s): Well thank you so much again for this. So my name's Justin Rezvani, I'm Justin Rezvani and all social channels. If you go to get Zion dot com, you can sign up for Zion if my book is available on Amazon, it's called Unapologetic Freedom. You can find me on the internet. It's pretty easy if you search Zion Bitcoin, we're gonna be the only one out there. And so this book, you know, we, we tried to make this book as easy to gather as possible. I think if you get the ebook, it's like seven bucks. The paperback is 10. Audiobook is, I think if you have credits, it's like seven. We literally made it the cheapest possible possible book to get printed and sent to people. So it would support us a lot. If you, if you read it and you put a review on Amazon of what did you really think of it, we are trying to share a story of what is happening in this centralized world to people. 0 (33m 37s): What are the freedoms that are getting taken away from us? And then what is the solution, right? It's not just what the problem is. A lot of people talk about problems, but we also have a solution. We have a potential solution that we want everyone to join this new pattern, this new way of doing things and given opportunity to have sovereignty back in their lives. 2 (33m 53s): Awesome. Well I wish you all of the success on your journey, Justin, thank you so much. 0 (33m 57s): Thank you so much. This was so great. Appreciate you. 2 (34m 0s): Well that's it for this week's episode of Chatting with Candice. Before you take off, click this little button, it will take you to my community s m s page. It's kind of like a newsletter, but in text form. I promise I won't spam you. I just think it's really important that we stay in contact with one another or at least have that option in case my channel goes poof overnight, which we know is possible. So click this little link or this little bubble. And then if you're listening, I will have the phone number in the show notes, pop in, say hello, tell me what you liked about the episode, what you learned, and if you have any questions, please reach out and I will see you. I'll see you next week.