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Touchdown: How ex-NFL players are helping college athletes score with NFTs

As the NFT market slumps, some savvy former American footballers and their business partners have been spurred to push the technology’s potential.

The market for non-fungible tokens (NFTs) is feeling the chill of the crypto winter, with monthly sales in June dipping below US$1 billion for the first time in a year and unique monthly buyers falling almost 50% from a high of more than 1 million in January. But as the speculative fever around NFTs abates, for those seeking to add utility to their underlying technology, the current bear market may be just the right time to shine.

Aaron Murray, a former U.S. National Football League quarterback, is seeking to disrupt the game with Web 3.0. With three other ex-football players, Murray last year co-founded The Players’ Lounge, an NFT-focused platform aiming to energize the relationships between college athletes and fans. The NFTs sold by The Players’ Lounge are more than simply collectibles; they also serve as fans’ subscriptions, unlocking a variety of experiences from exclusive message boards to in-person events, with 50% of the revenues going to athletes. According to Murray, it’s this layer of utility that brings life to The Players’ Lounge.

“It’s not just, ‘Hey, I get to watch you on TV or I get to watch you as a fan in the stands,’” Murray told Forkast in a video interview. “I get to jump on Discord. I get to go to a golf tournament, I get to go to a tailgate. I get to do a beer pong tournament for some of these fraternity guys we’ve done, and really get to know these kids behind the face mask and really build, I think, a very special community … And then access into this community would obviously be buying one of our NFTs.”

BitBoy Crypto, a crypto channel with more than 5 million followers on social media, last month announced a partnership with The Players’ Lounge, aiming to empower National Collegiate Athletic Association student athletes to monetize their personal branding. Ben Armstrong, the founder of BitBoy Crypto, who also shares part of its name as his own identity, sees NFTs as a game changer in the economy of college sports.

“The commercialization of college sports was already there. It was just a few people at the top that were getting all the money. And that’s a broken system that always leads to upside-down economics, so, for us to be able to get behind a platform and a voice like The Players’ Lounge that’s helping out the players, that’s what we want to see,” Armstrong said.

In Armstrong’s view, as the fever of NFT speculation fades, it’s time for the industry to return to its real use cases and explore its own technological utility.

“The way you have to advertise this is different from what it was maybe a year ago, where NFTs were the buzzword, and all you had to say was ‘NFTs’ and people would jump in,” Armstrong said. “When it comes to the bear market, when the attention is down and the fear is out there, this is where real, true use cases and utility comes through and shines. And you’ve got to go back to the drawing board. You have to say, like, ‘Ok, well, NFT by itself is not enough’ … We’re having to really drill down and find out more ways to add utility, more ways we can make the NFTs themselves, maybe GameFi, to add an extra level of use and interest there.”

Amid the doom and gloom presently shrouding the crypto market, Murray and Armstrong are bullish about Web 3.0 technology. Watch their full interview with Forkast Editor-in-Chief Angie Lau to find out about the source of their confidence and hear their views on how to successfully navigate the crypto investment landscape.

Highlights

Utility sells (Murray): “(The Players’ Lounge is) selling an experience, we’re selling utility, and I think that’s our biggest pitch, especially to sports fans who really aren’t as savvy or educated when it comes to what cryptocurrency and what NFTs are … And kind of how we ease their concerns is, ‘Hey. One, this is an opportunity for you to support your team. This is an opportunity for you to support your players, to make sure they stay at your university. And a way for you to get to know them through events’ … We’re doing tailgates and parties and Discord chats and a lot of fun ways for our players to interact with these fans, so we feel like we’ve priced these NFTs at a reasonable price, where these fans get that access that they deserve and these players get that ability to go out there and build their brand.”

BitBoy’s blockchain epiphany (Armstrong): “It really was about five years ago that I had this epiphany of where blockchain technology was going, and how exciting everything was. The epiphany was, ‘In the future … everything is going to be digital’ … We’re seeing it now. We’re seeing the way that NFTs and the Ethereum blockchain and Flow blockchain and other blockchains are able to work with these NFTs to give people ownership. This is the way that these players get ownership of their likeness … And I know right now, like, prices are down, and we expected that, but the fact is, it’s really during these times when the prices are down, when the people that are really for the space and are really for helping people, really come out and they really shine and they really build.”

Building in a bear market (Armstrong): “The way you have to advertise this is different from what it was maybe a year ago, where NFTs were the buzzword, and all you had to say was ‘NFTs’ and people would jump in … When it comes to the bear market, when the attention is down and the fear is out there, this is where real, true use cases and utility comes through and shines. And you’ve got to go back to the drawing board. You have to say, like, ‘Ok, well, NFT by itself is not enough’ … We’re having to really drill down and find out more ways to add utility, more ways we can make the NFTs themselves, maybe GameFi, to add an extra level of use and interest there.”

Blockchain breaks down barriers (Armstrong): “You see the way that social media has constantly changed the definition of what is famous, what is it to be a celebrity, what is it to be a person that’s highly sought after. And what Web 3.0 is really doing is it’s really taking down a lot of those barriers and borders that separate people that are popular from people that aren’t, and just making people more humanized … And I think with The Players’ Lounge, with the access that we provide, people are able to have real conversations with athletes, with people they look up to … I think that’s really something that Web 3.0 is going to drive home. It’s no longer the idea of you go watch somebody in a movie theater for two hours and you feel like you know them. That’s really not the case anymore.” 

The long game (Armstrong): “I tell people all the time, it took me nine years to become a millionaire in crypto — nine years. People think it was overnight, it was easy. It wasn’t. I had a lot of bad decisions that I made early on that led me not to be where I should have been. If I did it right and I really understood what I was doing, I could have been in probably two or three years at the most. But you’ve got to have that longer-term mindset, and that’s really what separates the winners from the losers in crypto. And when the people come in, the excitement comes in. That’s when you’ve got to start warning people, ‘Hey guys, it’s not going to go up forever.’ And that’s something the stock market forecasters out there did a terrible job of.”

Transcript

Angie Lau: The chill in the air has led to many taking a second look at their investments in the crypto sector, but those who are building are working on Web 3.0 that could one day transform how you live your life, create new earning opportunities, and help one connect with others in a way that was never possible before. In fact, it’s all happening right now.

Welcome to Word on the Block, the series that takes a deeper dive into blockchain and all the emerging technologies that shape our world at the intersection of business, politics and economy. It’s what we cover right here on Forkast. I’m Editor-in-Chief Angie Lau.

Well, today we’re in conversation with two very interesting gentlemen who are looking to change things for many athletes. We’ve got former NFL quarterback Aaron Murray and crypto influencer and investor Ben Armstrong, more popularly known as BitBoy. How do they really view the future of Web 3.0, the metaverse and so much more? Guys, thanks for joining us right now.

Ben Armstrong: It’s our zone. Appreciate it.

Aaron Murray: Yeah, thanks for having us.

Lau: All right, Aaron, I’ve got to start with you. I see from your jersey right now — University of Georgia — you were an NFL quarterback back in the day. You’re now in sports broadcasting. You’re almost a Renaissance man. But when did you start dabbling in the crypto markets, in NFTs? What triggered it for you?

Murray: I’d say last October, one of my good friends, Ty Frick, who was one of my roommates back in the day, (at) the University of Georgia, one of the smartest guys I know, came to me with this idea. He actually had been mining Ethereum in his basement, and we talked about it and he said, ‘I want to find a way for fans — the University of Georgia, which is a very passionate fan base — to be able to interact with the student athletes.’ And there was a new law passed last summer — name, image, likeness — where players now at the collegiate level can make money off their names. They can go out there — to local mom-and-pop shops, restaurants, car dealerships, Nike, Under Armour, all that good stuff — they can finally make some money instead of having to wait to get to be professionals to be able to do that.

So we were like, ‘Hey, let’s get the kids paid,’ because it’s a big deal and we’re seeing kids transfer and go to certain schools because, ‘Hey, I can go here and make money and win a championship.’ That’s a no-brainer. So let’s keep our kids at Georgia (University). Let’s find a way to connect with the fans, because we feel like a lot of the relationships that we were able to foster when we were at the University of Georgia were some of the ones that we leaned on when we decided to move on from the game of football. So we’re like, ‘Yeah, let’s do it.’ And then access into this community would obviously be buying one of our NFTs.

So we started the project. We put the team together somewhere in the middle of November. We signed up 11 of the top student athletes at the University of Georgia in December. A month later, we launched. We sold 4,500 of these digital assets. And in about three, three-and-a-half hours, we were able to put US$305,000 into our player partners’ pockets. Each kid got right around US$28,000. So, for them, it was a great opportunity. And for the fans, they’ve been really loving the interaction they get with these student athletes. It’s not just, ‘Hey, I get to watch you on TV or I get to watch you as a fan in the stands.’ I get to jump on Discord. I get to go to a golf tournament, I get to go to a tailgate. I get to do a beer pong tournament for some of these fraternity guys we’ve done, and really get to know these kids behind the face mask and really build, I think, a very special community.

Lau: And how meaningful is US$28,000, to students, especially? As the laws have changed, it has commercialized it. Some say good, some say bad. But for the students, I mean, for even yourself, what would US$28,000 have meant for you as a student? What does it mean for the kids?

Murray: Oh, man, I would have loved to have US$28,000. I was fortunate enough to be a starting quarterback at UGA (the University of Georgia) for four years and maybe had 400 or 500 bucks in my pocket. Luckily, my parents were able to give me a little credit card if I needed to take the big offensive lineman out to dinner. It was on them, and that was great, but a lot of guys obviously don’t come from that background. They don’t have the ability to go buy some new clothes, be able to send some money home to mom and dad, so for a lot of these guys to be able to have that money, to be able to treat themselves, to be able to give back to mom and dad … I had two of my teammates in college — A.J. Green and Todd Gurley — sold their jerseys, sold one of their jerseys to make some money to send home to mom and dad. They end up getting suspended for four games, which is just crazy, to me, to be able to lose part of your season so you can make some money because you don’t have that opportunity as a collegiate athlete. So, I think it’s absolutely tremendous that these kids now have that opportunity to go out there, make some money.

But we sit on — and we tell the kids the importance of — the community aspect of really leaning on and really taking the time to know the people in our community, because you never know when that day is going to come where it’s your last snap. It may be in college, it may be one year in the NFL, maybe five years in the NFL. It might be 10 years if you’re lucky, but at some point you’re going to have to stop playing sports and you’re going to have to get into the real world, and those relationships that you can build today can help you get a job, get a house, whatever you need to do. So, they’ve really taken advantage of it and it’s been really fun to see.

Lau: And support yourself. I mean, Ben, you’ve been in this space for a while, and, as we’ve covered this space, one of the most intriguing things is really how the application of this technology can really expand and transform relationships. It can transform business logic. Why are you getting involved? Why are you supporting this? What do you see about this project that uniquely interests you?

Armstrong: Yeah, well, I’m a Georgia fan, so that’s how it all started. So, a friend of mine had sent me a tweet that he saw about Aaron getting involved in The Players’ Lounge, and that was perfect. We’re an Atlanta company, so we’re local. If you live in Georgia, you grow up a Georgia Bulldogs fan — it’s just what you do. So that’s definitely what got me interested at first. But what I really love, what we really connected with, was when The Players’ Lounge came up to my studio and we did a little show with them, and we kind of helped promote it — but completely unpaid, and it wasn’t sponsorship or anything. We just loved the idea of it.

But the thing that really connected us to it was the fact that they’re giving 50% of all the profits to the players, and that’s what we want to see. We need to see these paradigms change. I noticed that you said, like, the commercialization of college sports. Well, the commercialization of college sports was already there. It was just a few people at the top that were getting all the money. And that’s a broken system that always leads to upside-down economics, so, for us to be able to get behind a platform and a voice like The Players’ Lounge that’s helping out the players, that’s what we want to see. And we’re always constantly having conversations about, ‘How can we make it where it’s not just the top players who are getting the money?’ We want to see every player that goes through those doors eventually figure out a way that they can make money and earn, because their choices outside of sports are extremely limited when it comes to them making money.

College itself is a full-time job, and I think why a lot of people struggle when they go to college from high school is because they don’t realize college is a lot more like work than it is like school. That’s why people that are older go back, they crush it. Well, I’d call it work on top of the work you’re already having to do for college, and it’s really insane when you think about all that’s expected of these athletes, and for them not to be able to earn off of their name, image and likeness, it was really just a crime, and we’re glad that’s over. And that’s why we partnered with The Players’ Lounge to push this, because we really believe in the future of the athletes.

And some people are upset about the way that a lot of college athletes are transferring, and the way the transfer portal works, it’s all like this. This is the way that it should be. If coaches are able to make money and move to colleges and promise kids that if you come to this college, you’re going to do great, and then the next year they leave, it’s not really fair to the players. The players should have the ability to move independently, as well.

And I want to touch on one other thing that you said — it’s very important — which is, this is the application of the technology. When I had this epiphany, I got into crypto back about 10 years ago, but it really was about five years ago that I had this epiphany of where blockchain technology was going, and how exciting everything was. The epiphany was, ‘In the future, we’re not going to be trading pieces of paper for money. There’s no way that’s going to be happening. It’s all going to be digital. Everything is going to be digital.’ And when we talk, like, years and years ago, in the channel, when I first started about what the future of crypto looks like, people really had a hard time grasping tangibly what it will look like. Well, we’re seeing it now. We’re seeing the way that NFTs and the Ethereum blockchain and Flow blockchain and other blockchains are able to work with these NFTs to give people ownership. This is the way that these players get ownership of their likeness, and it really is phenomenal to watch everything develop.

And I know right now, like, prices are down, and we expected that, but the fact is, it’s really during these times when the prices are down, when the people that are really for the space and are really for helping people, really come out and they really shine and they really build. And that’s what we’re doing. That’s what The Players’ Lounge is building. I’m really excited to see what’s going to happen — not just in the next year or two with Web 3.0 and with The Players’ Lounge, but if you fast-forward four or five years, when prices go back up, to really see the prospects of really how much money these college athletes can make, it’s really unbelievable.

Lau: What’s the importance of that financial literacy picture as we take a look at current market conditions? And what is the responsibility of education and doing your homework? All right, financial literacy, guys. Let’s say it’s US$28,000 today, Aaron, as you said. Tomorrow could be US$40,000, US$50,000, US$100,000. Certainly not in this current environment. A lot of people thought this would go all the way up, and didn’t prepare — as Ben said — for current market conditions. There’s always going to be cycles. And this hit a lot of people hard. A lot of people didn’t see the Terra LUNA collapse. A lot of people (suffered) a lot of wealth destruction there. And then what we’re seeing in the current day.

How do you think about that as you really unveil a new avenue of value, of dollars, of revenue for the athletes? And then, how’re they supposed to navigate right now? What’s the advice that you’re both giving to these young athletes and young retail investors?

Murray: Well, we’re making sure that our athletes know to be safe with their money. And we’re trying as much as we can to educate them about — one, first off, just because I give you a check for US$28,000, it doesn’t mean you have $28,000. You need to be able to pay taxes on that, so don’t be going to buy a brand-new car or whatever it is you’re also going to buy. So, a lot of these guys now are getting more and more savvy. You see the benefit of NIL (name, image and likeness). These guys now — 18 to 22 years old — are getting some money. They’re getting some educational help — whether it’s from the university, whether it’s from personal financial advisers — that a lot of these guys that we reach out to already have. I would say more than half of the guys that we’ve talked to — that we’ve brought on board from Georgia to LSU (Louisiana State University) to Texas to Oklahoma, Alabama and Auburn — they have some sort of financial team that assists them with, ‘Ok, I got this money. What do I do with it? Where do I put it?’ The universities now have classes where they’re going in there and teaching these kids what to do with their money, how to spend responsibility, how to save, how to prepare for taxes, so there’s a lot of resources now being dumped on these kids.

You’re still going to get those who don’t pay attention. I mean, I was in the NFL for a few years, and the amount of teammates that I had there were getting anywhere from half a million to million-plus dollars a year. That they’d spend that in one off-season and hope that they’d make the team the next year so they can get that money again was absolutely astonishing to me. You hear the horror stories over and over again, so the more that we can teach these young men and women from the ages of 18 to 22 what it’s like to have money, to save money, to invest it smartly, I think it’s going to be the goal not only for us as a company, but for a lot of these universities.

We’re selling an experience, we’re selling utility, and I think that’s our biggest pitch, especially to sports fans who really aren’t as savvy or educated when it comes to what cryptocurrency and what NFTs are. They kind of look at it from the outside in and say, ‘Oh my gosh, we’re scared, we’re nervous, we’re seeing what’s going on.’ And kind of how we ease their concerns is, ‘Hey. One, this is an opportunity for you to support your team. This is an opportunity for you to support your players, to make sure they stay at your university. And a way for you to get to know them through events.’ Like I said earlier, we’re doing tailgates and parties and Discord chats and a lot of fun ways for our players to interact with these fans, so we feel like we’ve priced these NFTs at a reasonable price, where these fans get that access that they deserve and these players get that ability to go out there and build their brand.

Lau: Yeah, it’s hard to criticize the technology itself. What you’ve created, what the technology has allowed you to do, has created a mini-economy. You’re the masters of your own supply and demand. It’s the fans that are demanding more access, and it’s the athletes themselves, through this platform, that are enabled to provide some of those experiences. Ben, how are you being strategic with this project? What’s some of the advice that you’re giving Players’ Lounge and projects like this amidst the current bear market that we’re not only seeing in crypto, the crypto winter, but the overall macroeconomic environment?

Armstrong: Yeah. Well, the way you have to advertise this is different from what it was maybe a year ago, where NFTs were the buzzword, and all you had to say was ‘NFTs’ and people would jump in. And this is why — I’ll go back to what I said a few minutes ago — building in the bear market is so important, because everything is so easy in a bull market. You just throw paper at the wall and it sticks. But when it comes to the bear market, when the attention is down and the fear is out there, this is where real, true use cases and utility comes through and shines. And you’ve got to go back to the drawing board. You have to say like, ‘Ok, well, NFT by itself is not enough.’ And it’s not that we weren’t with The Players’ Lounge, we weren’t doing the Discord and we weren’t doing the access we were. But yet now, we’re having to really drill down and find out more ways to add utility, more ways we can make the NFTs themselves, maybe GameFi, to add an extra level of use and interest there.

And I think really one cool thing about this is, you were talking about the access. And we go to Web 2.0. What is Web 2.0? What is Web 3.0? What was Web 1.0? Web 1.0 Was basically AOL. That was Web 1.0. Web 2.0 … social media driven, your Google blows up, your Amazon blows up, retail shopping moves to online.

But your Web 3.0 is really more peer-to-peer. It’s more personalized. And this is where we got to go to work on the access, because the mystery and the shroud around celebrity and athletes is kind of being lifted a little bit. And what I mean by that is that when you go and you look at TikTok, for instance, you see all of these TikTok influencers that just blow up overnight, and you realize, like, these are just regular people. This is just somebody who the other day was just shopping at Target, and then today she’s got a million followers and her entire life has changed, and you see the way that social media has constantly changed the definition of what is famous, what is it to be a celebrity, what is it to be a person that’s highly sought after. And what Web 3.0 is really doing is it’s really taking down a lot of those barriers and borders that separate people that are popular from people that aren’t, and just making people more humanized, I guess, if you will, in a sense.

And I think with The Players’ Lounge, with the access that we provide, people are able to have real conversations with athletes, with people they look up to, with some of these people that will be the highest-level NFL draft picks in the future, people that will have these gigantic multimillion-dollar contracts. And you’re able to converse with them, you’re able to ask them questions. And they don’t mind, because we’re all just regular people. I think that’s really something that Web 3.0 is going to drive home. It’s no longer the idea of you go watch somebody in a movie theater for two hours and you feel like you know them. That’s really not the case anymore. So, the use case is actually driven by the players themselves. So, I’m really looking forward to seeing this develop through this bear market that we’re in. It’s probably going to be a while. We’re going to be able to go through an entire year of college athletics in this bear market. And to make it through this and to be able to sell NFTs during this environment, it really shows the use case of this, and we’re so happy to be partnered with The Players’ Lounge, and we work with them every single day on this, and I’m looking forward to what this is going to turn into.

Lau: I mean, one of the most important things, in our view at Forkast, is really it’s about the fundamentals. And what we’re seeing — the bear market, the crypto winter, the situation that we’re seeing now — is really removing that layer of speculation from the industry. Ben, I’ve got to ask you: You started in crypto in 2012. We all know your bio. But the thing is, this generation, the young athletes that Aaron talks about and mentors, this is a really unfamiliar landscape (for them). How are you advising? What’s the perception that you have about where we are today? And what should retail investors of any age, of any generation, anticipate in the coming months or year?

Armstrong: Well, when it comes to traditional markets, when it comes to the real estate market, equities market, treasuries market, the bond markets, I’m not an expert on those things, and I can’t really speak about cycles in that way. But I can speak about Bitcoin cycles, because I know Bitcoin cycles, and regardless of what’s going on in the macroeconomic environment out there, we expected this pullback for crypto, and it’s based on the four-year Bitcoin halving cycle, where the amount of Bitcoin being produced and brought into the supply is cut in half every four years. We’ve seen the same reaction every time. Once it happens, the price goes up drastically, then the price falls drastically, then it builds up slowly for a couple of years.

And so, really, what we try to do with the people that watch our channel is we really try to go over our investment philosophies with them. And if you can just nail these investment philosophies, then you’re going to make better decisions. You’ve got to develop a long-term mindset. That’s first and foremost. You have to understand market patterns and market conditions and market environments. You have to build a balanced portfolio. You’ve got to pick some area — whether it’s NFTs or whether it’s mining or whether it’s trading — you’ve got to become an expert. Just become an expert in one niche in crypto, and you’re going to do very well. And, of course, lastly, you’ve got to navigate crypto safely, because there are scams out there. Most people are going to come into a market at the wrong time. Like, that’s a fundamental truth in markets. And the reason is because that’s when the excitement is the highest. When the excitement is the highest, that’s when people come in, when the legs get knocked out from under them, the rug gets pulled out from under them, with the price and the speculation, you have a decision: Are you going to stay in this? Did you just get in because you wanted money overnight? Or are you going to stay in this because you believe in bigger ideals? Or do you believe in a longer-term mindset for creating wealth for yourself?

And when you understand that, and you go in with that knowledge — and we can’t promise you every single four years it’s going to do the exact same thing, but so far it has. So, it’s been a pretty good fundamental basis level to make decisions off of. But if you look 10 years down the road and you don’t look one year down the road, or you don’t look one month down the road, I tell people all the time, it took me nine years to become a millionaire in crypto — nine years. People think it was overnight, it was easy. It wasn’t. I had a lot of bad decisions that I made early on that led me not to be where I should have been. If I did it right and I really understood what I was doing, I could have been in probably two or three years at the most. But you’ve got to have that longer-term mindset, and that’s really what separates the winners from the losers in crypto. And when the people come in, the excitement comes in. That’s when you’ve got to start warning people, ‘Hey guys, it’s not going to go up forever.’ And that’s something the stock market forecasters out there did a terrible job of.

Lau: Yeah, it’s how to take away that internal emotion and use your brain. The tide has gone. A lot of people left standing. Is now the time to build? Are you nervous? You just started in crypto all of a sudden. Here we are. What’s your experience so far and how do you see the future?

Murray: To us, we feel very passionate about our product, because of the players that we have. Right now, we have right around 250 top student athletes around the country who sign up to our platform. We’re not just a company that came out there just trying to make a quick buck. We really are trying to invest in our athletes. We’re really trying to help them build their brand. A couple of weekends ago, for example, one of our running backs at the University of Georgia came up to us and said, ‘Hey, I love cars. I love racing. Can we do a spinoff NFT where I get a chance to maybe go out there and show who I am outside of football?’ This was Kendall Milton, the star running back. We’re like, ‘Sure.’ We went out there and got a BMW sponsorship. We minted five NFTs with Kendall, sponsored by BMW. If you’re one of the five people to buy one of those NFTs, you got to go on a BMW experience with Kendall Milton. Drive around race cars all day long at their racetrack there in South Carolina.

So these are the experiences that we’re able to create because of the players that we’re partnering with. So, we feel, like, as a brand right now, we’re going to continue to bring in top-tier athletes week after week after week, new teams, and build a lot of excitement around some of the best fan bases across the country. So we feel like our project has kind of set us up to be successful long term.

Lau: A lot of conviction in your specific space. Ben, I’ve got to ask you about a broader market. Celsius recently froze user withdrawals, as you know. You’ve threatened a class-action lawsuit. What’s the latest there?

Armstrong: Yeah. So, basically what we’ve discovered is, class-action is not going to be the route against Celsius. I’ve been in talks to my lawyers. There’s an action coming on our behalf, along with some other investors. So, we’re right now trying to compile a list of some other plaintiffs that have seven figures or more locked up in Celsius, and so they’ll be receiving some stuff from us probably pretty soon, but we’re dead set on this, and we’re moving forward definitely, as aggressively as we can. I’ve also been in talks with attorneys about helping the people that have lower amounts in Celsius, ranging anywhere from a few thousand dollars to six figures. And so, at that point, once I get this side straightened out, what I’m doing will be going to be helping those lawyers recruit people to do some other actions that can help them as well.

So, I mean, we’re not going to stand by and let this happen in crypto. If you look at what happened with Terra LUNA, in some ways it’s a different situation, because you really got one guy behind the whole thing and they’re not ‘custodying’ your assets. Celsius has a much, much higher level of responsibility in this, as they were the custody of our assets, and it’s something I trusted fully. A lot of other people trusted it fully. And the question is now, can you really trust any third-party staking platform?

Lau: Within chaos comes opportunity, guys. Tim Draper, he’s doubling down. Aaron, some would say that you’re still building amidst all of this chaos. What are the opportunities that you’re seeing? Where do you see the future lies?

Murray: We’re really excited. We feel like, especially in this space, in the sports world, it’s still very young. It’s very early. So, for us, it’s a lot of education. You just got to educate, educate, educate, and make sure that we get home just our overall message. We are a company that is backed by blockchain technology, but we are also a company that is for the players and that’s not going anywhere. Fans are going to want to support the players. Fans are going to want to get to know the players. Fans are going to want to go to events to interact with some of the people they watch on TV or go to the stadiums to watch. That’s not going anywhere. So, the more we’re able to get the message out there that that’s the company that we are, we’re just backed by the blockchain technology, I think people are, like, ‘Ok, that’s fine. We’re not worried too much about that. As long as we get this access, as long as we get this utility, we’re all for what you guys are doing there at The Players’ Lounge.’ So, as I said, we’re excited. We have tons of great players, tons of great ambassadors, working with Ben has been absolutely tremendous, so we’re excited for the future and what we can build.

Lau: Aaron Murray, Ben Armstrong, it was great to have you on the show. Go, Bulldogs. And we’re going to see where this future takes us. Thanks for joining us. We really appreciate it.

Armstrong: Thanks for having us.

Murray: Thank you.

Lau: And thank you, everyone, for joining us on this latest episode of Word on the Block. I’m Angie Lau, Forkast Editor-in-Chief. Until the next time.