Wall Street Unplugged
Episode: 911June 23, 2022

Don’t scan another QR code until you listen to this

Adam Russell

Adam Russell, cybersecurity expert and cofounder of REV3AL, joins me to discuss cybersecurity, cryptos, DeFi, and the metaverse.

In this wide-ranging interview, Adam shares what led him to start REV3AL—a company that authenticates digital assets like non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to protect investors from fraud. He explains how easy it is to get scammed by QR codes… and which apps you can trust.

Adam also breaks down Web 2.0 vs. Web 3.0 in layman’s terms… and the difference between “open” and “controlled” metaverses.

And he explains why the metaverse will eventually go mainstream… what it’ll look like in five years (think The Matrix or Ready Player One)… and why cybersecurity will be needed at multiple levels.

Inside this episode:
  • What got Adam hooked on the metaverse? [4:42]
  • Why you must be careful with QR codes [9:00]
  • How REV3AL provides investors peace of mind [12:50]
  • Why the metaverse needs multiple layers of security [19:35]
  • Adam’s bad experience in a “controlled” digital casino [29:50]
  • What the metaverse will look like in five years [34:30]
Transcript

Wall Street Unplugged | 911

Don’t scan another QR code until you listen to this

Announcer: Wall Street Unplugged looks beyond the regular headlines heard on mainstream financial media to bring you unscripted interviews and breaking commentary direct from Wall Street right to you on main street.

Frank Curzio: What’s going on out there? It’s Thursday, June 23. I’m Frank Curzio, host of the Wall Street Unplugged podcast, where I break down headlines and tell you what’s really moving these markets.

Frank Curzio: I have an awesome interview set up for you today. It’s with Adam Russell. Who? I think you’re going to get real familiar with this guy, especially in the years ahead. Adam’s a co-founding Chief Revenue Officer at REV3AL, which is spelled R-E-V, the number 3, A-L. This is a company that provides technology to protect creators, brands, IP owners… It establishes the authenticity of digital media assets for NFT marketplaces, gaming platforms, and the metaverse. That’s obviously the copy and paste definition.

Frank Curzio: If you have NFTs and you want to make sure they’re real, which you see a ton of fake garbage out there, copy and paste jobs… It’s what happens in this industry. You’ve got all this technology where, just one click, you’re going to know if it’s authentic. Kind of like looking at that dollar bill and you see that little strip in there. This is one click, hidden behind, protects assets, shows that they’re from the creator, which is extremely important in this industry, and very important within the metaverse. Kind of like professional coin grading services, which you might be familiar with, which is my buddy, Vance Simmons, where once you see a coin in that case, you know it’s real. You know someone that they paid a ton of money to, which I’ve viewed their headquarters, and they’re paying people half a million dollars to authenticate everything from trading cards, but you need to know that, that stuff is safe, authentic.

Frank Curzio: Right now, when it comes to crypto, there’s a lot of BS in it. These guys have the technology to prevent that. This technology is a huge necessity in this industry. VL signing up clients like crazy, especially within the metaverse. Adam has over 20 years of experience in this field, technology product distribution, idea development. More specifically, he spent most of his career in business development for a large tech company specializing in computer security, cybercrimes, and risk assessment. So, he knows exactly what he’s doing in this industry.

Frank Curzio: Since 2016, he’s taken on advisory consulting roles in crypto at XR. For the XR, that’s extended reality. You have virtual reality, augmented reality, mixed reality. It combines basically all those things when it comes to extended reality. He also has been a very active investor in metaverse projects, and digital land purchases, and NFTs.

Frank Curzio: In short, Adam probably knows more about the metaverse than almost anyone on the planet, and we’ve got him right here on this podcast, which includes… And he’s going to break down which metaverses are the most exciting. Be prepared because one of those are TCG, which you should know about. It’s how we were introduced and we met.

Frank Curzio: But he’s going to give you about three or four different metaverses that you never heard of, that don’t have tokens or coins, that are doing amazing stuff, which is different from the ones that you hear. That’s been a thing I’ve been talking to you about. He’s going to talk about which ones are the safest, which ones have the best technology, and which, more importantly for you or investors, are going to dominate this multi-trillion dollar industry when it comes.

Frank Curzio: It’s here. It’s happening now. You’re seeing it. He’s going to show you exactly the companies you should be investing at this stage. Think about the internet. You could have went anywhere you wanted, so it’s hard to focus on what specific things you wanted to invest in, in the ’90s that are going to make the most money. He’s going to tell you what you should be investing in within the metaverse right now, what you’re going to see immediate results.

Frank Curzio: It’s a fantastic, fantastic interview. Anyone looking to invest in metaverse, getting to share lots and lots of names. Let’s get into that interview with Adam right now.

Frank Curzio: Adam, thanks so much for coming on Wall Street Unplugged. Really appreciate it, man.

Adam Russell: It’s my pleasure. I’m excited to be here.

Frank Curzio: I want to jump right in here because I know your background in crypto. You’ve been an inventor, and an investor… You’ve been around this industry for a while. You’ve invested in cryptos, ICOs over the years. Now it’s metaverse, NFTs, digital land, and we’ll get to that in a minute.

Frank Curzio: But your company is REV3AL, which is about authentication services. We hear about so much fraud in this industry. When I got in touch with you at the TCG, I was a partner of yours. We’ve done, partner of ours. I was amazed when I spoke to you about how much fraud takes place and what you’re actually doing with your new company. Let’s talk about your background a little bit and how’d you get into this. Then let’s get into REV3AL because it’s really exciting stuff when you think about it. It’s something that’s a necessity in a massively growing industry.

Adam Russell: No, I appreciate that, Frank. It’s become a major issue. Being in this space as a cyber security expert back in the day, literally in the end of the ’90s and the 2000s, I was working with risk assessment and vulnerability assessment. We were basically working with hackers that would go to companies and check for risk assessment and vulnerability. We would then provide solutions to them.

Adam Russell: I was always conscious of security. There was always a concern. When you think about it, for years, you would think of McAfee. You would think of Norton. Back when that first came out, you wouldn’t know those names if they didn’t have anti-virus after the name. So nowadays, when you think about the fact, they built a brand. They built the Norton Anti-Virus or Norton 360. They built the McAfee. It’s really just that annoying thing that’s running in the background on your computer that drives you crazy, but you know you need it. You know you need to have it.

Adam Russell: So, fast forward to 2014. I got involved with a company called First Conduct Entertainment. We were just working on helping to raise capital for their company. They were one of the first virtual reality, PlayStation Firewall Zero Hour was one of the first VR for PlayStation games, as well as they did the Walking Dead Virtual Reality Experience. I just got hooked. VR, AR, XR, I got excited about it.

Adam Russell: Fast forward about two more years to 2016, it’s when I got involved with blockchain space. I went in heavy. I was anywhere from four to six hours a day. I became a thought leader, an advisor to many companies, and also an investor. Going through the investment side of it was the Wild, Wild West back then. You had your ICOs. You had the IEOs, IDOs. You had the NFTs recently, the whole crash with the D5 rug pulls. Then, when we realized there’s a major void in this space to protect people because as a degen, somebody who spends all your time in this industry, if I can get scammed, I can’t imagine what’s happening to the masses. They don’t stand a chance.

Adam Russell: We, about a year ago, said, “We’ve got to come up with something that’s going to be able to provide a shield of protection for the average person that’s getting involved in this space.” We needed to create something that would provide authentication as well as protection. So, we created REV3AL as a way to cross multiple different platforms from an NFT platform into a gaming platform all the way into a metaverse.

Adam Russell: So, we know the world loves an original and we know we want to provide, in a counterfeit, we want to provide protection for people. Through that process, we were able to create some amazing partners, amazing VCs that have come along. We’ve been able to build a project that really allows us, through an ecosystem, to branch out and provide protection into the metaverse space, which is the future where things are going, and everybody knows it’s the biggest buzzword. But it also allowed us to be able to help NFT marketplaces be able to work with high level advisors.

Adam Russell: We’ve got an incredible advisory team. We encourage you guys to go to REV3AL.io and check out our backers, check out our partners. We have, as of today, 55 partners that work with REV3AL. We’re growing on a regular basis. We’re super excited. Frank, I truly want to say that I appreciate you taking the time and the interest to have me here today.

Frank Curzio: It’s interest because we’re in this industry and understand Wall Street. Talk about that a little bit. What are you seeing more in crypto? The buzz word, of course, is DeFi. We spoke about this offline. People want DeFi until they get robbed, and there’s no one to call to help them out. Will we have traditional DeFi? We really need, there has to be some kind of security. We don’t want too much involvement, but to have no involvement, it’s a little crazy when most people, they want to buy NFTs. They’re learning about NFTs for the first time. They don’t know what’s fake. They don’t know what’s real.

Frank Curzio: That’s why I love your technology. Talk about some of the things that they can get scammed at because you even told me, simple, by just scanning the Q code at a restaurant. There could be one that’s taped over it, or glued over it, that you don’t know, and they’ll have access to your phone. Talk about that because it’s really scary when you think about it. I truly believe, and you know this for a fact, that most people don’t understand how easy it is to get hacked right now.

Adam Russell: No, it’s so true. When we go to these events, we’ve been to, I don’t know, 13, 14 events in the last month and a half, from Dubai, to L.A., to Miami, and all over the place. One thing that you see is these QR codes everywhere like, “Hey, scan my QR code.” Matter of fact, NFT at NYC right now. They’re on the Times Square on the big screens. You can reach up and scan them with your phone.

Adam Russell: What people don’t realize is, it’s one thing if you have a trusted environment that you are scanning to. It’s another thing when you’re in a non-trusted environment. Don’t ever scan a QR code that you don’t know. It’d be the same as, if I was a hacker, and believe me, I have worked with hackers in the past and understanding how easy it is to drop a Trojan, or malware, or to take advantage of you by just sending you a text with a link, and you click on that link, I can take over your phone. I could steal things in your wallet. I could do all kinds of things if I was a hacker.

Adam Russell: When you click on a QR code and you scan it, you think it’s harmless. But actually, it’s the same as if I texted you that link and you clicked on it. Whatever it opened, whatever it executed, whatever it pressed is what happened in your phone. So, be very careful. My public service announcement is, if you’re ever at an event, a lot of people are at events right now, if you’re seeing this or watching this, remember that there’s only really two applications that you actually can scan inside the app. One is the WhatsApp application. You can scan inside of the app to a QR code. The other one is the Instagram application. LinkedIn is really the one you can click the search bar, and it’ll pop up the scanner. Instagram has one, but you can’t scan into it. You can only scan and see that they opened up the QR code inside of your Instagram.

Adam Russell: All of the other QRs that you get, you have to be super careful. Because if they hand you their phone and you scan it, or and NFC chip, bump your phone, that also you can actually open up an execute file from that, as well. So that’s one public service announcement that I’ll put out there, people need to be really careful of.

Frank Curzio: Let’s talk about the NFT market because it’s something that’s exciting. I feel like most people out there, outside of crypto world, which is, the total addressable market is unbelievable. I think there’s 20,000,000 people that actually said they purchased an NFT only, so the growth is massive. Most people think it’s just these pictures and things like that, but it really gives you access to everything. But it’s authenticating. You want to make sure that, that’s 100% authentic.

Frank Curzio: Let’s stay in the art, which NFTs are much, much, much bigger than just art. I feel like that’s what’s identified with NFTs.

Adam Russell: Sure.

Frank Curzio: When you’re using REV3AL, you’re using your technology. I feel like it’s almost the strip in a $100 bill, what people look at. Sometimes they have this marker or whatever. Talk about your technology, because when you see these NFTs, they’re very easy to duplicate. I pulled this quote from OpenSea, one of the largest providers online marketplace NFTs announced last week that around 80% of the NFTs minted through its free creation tool had been identified as fraudulent or earmarked as either spam or scammed. That’s their free tool, their free creation tool. It seems like it’s very easy to just copy and paste and sell some of these things.

Frank Curzio: It wasn’t that big of a deal until all of the sudden, NFTs last year, became a massive market. Whereas, maybe 10, 20, a few hundred million dollars, whatever. It was $24 billion in sales for NFTs last year. Now you’re seeing more and more people push into this industry, even in this type of market.

Frank Curzio: Talk about your technology where, if people want to buy an NFT, I think it’s incredibly important. You have to know that you’re buying the right thing, especially as you get new people who don’t know better into this market. That’s where the total adjustable market is, where everyone’s trying to get everyone in, to simplify it. But once you get scammed, you’re gone forever in this industry. How important is that? Explain how you use your technology, how it’s easy to use, if it’s one click, how you can see it. It authenticates it right away. This way, no one’s getting fooled.

Adam Russell: If you look at it this way, it’s a running joke if you will, in our space that, if you haven’t been scammed, then you haven’t joined the club. You don’t have the membership card to the degen space. Because in fact, it’s so prevalent that it’s almost like, you really have to get the membership card to get in. That’s sad, that an industry that you really have to say that you need to prove that you’re real, you have to have some type of a scam, a fraud, a rug pull.

Adam Russell: So, to look at the address of a market and the masses, they don’t care about layer zero, layer one, layer two, Web 1, Web 2, Web 3. What they care about is, can I buy something? Is it authentic? Am I protected during that process? So, I totally agree with you. There’s so much OpenSea market that’s out there. If you look at OpenSea, what they did specifically, 80%, think about that. 80% of the people that are using the tool are fraud and scam.

Adam Russell: That puts you in a position where you’re more likely that you’re going to get scammed than not. So we need to address that right at the point of the creation level. There’s some solutions out there that are trying to solve it at a blockchain level, after the creation has been done, and then they actually are creating some kind of smart contract or something on, you could even call it a DeFi level that they’re trying to protect it.

Adam Russell: We have to go down deeper. You have to go to the creation level. So, we are creating image forensics that are deeper embedded inside of that image that we can cross reference. Not to get too technical into it, but we can literally cross reference that and authenticate that later to confirm that the actual creator is taking accountability for what they’re actually creating. That person that’s buying it can authenticate to say, “This is actually mine.”

Adam Russell: Because what happens is, is in the minting process and the creation is one thing. But the minting, when you hear the word NFT, that means that you’re creating a history of ownership on the blockchain. It’s what they call a provenance in the art world. That just means that you actually show who owns it. But if you start off with fraud, and then sell fraud, and now you own fraud, you are now perpetrating fraud, which, you didn’t even know it because you weren’t able to ever check or confirm the creation.

Adam Russell: There’s a couple ways that people can do that. They can, one, if they understand what a non-fungible token is, they can look at the actual token, contract address, do chain analysis, and go find if you’re on the right contract. The average person has no idea what I just said and they don’t really care, so that’s typical. Second thing is, is that you can look for OpenSea, if you have a blue check mark. If they did 100 Ethereum or more on their platform, and they got approved with a blue check mark. Problem is that even the scammers were getting smart. They were creating outside the circle and making it look like you had a blue check mark, so you couldn’t tell there, either.

Adam Russell: As this progresses, and we have such a small market share, it’s going to go from NFT platforms, to gaming platforms, all the way to the metaverse. Where people don’t realize it is that in the future, what happens in real life is going to happen even 10 fold into the metaverse and into where you are. You want to have a Norton 360 protection when you go through there, and nothing exists right now. So, there was a wide open area to bring in REV3AL. REV3AL was created, R-E-V-3-A-L, because the 3 stands for create, verify, and reveal.

Adam Russell: We’re able to allow a person to understand that we’re going to reveal you if you’re a scam or a fraud. We’re going to reveal you if you’re real. That’s why the name REV3AL. Our tagline is, “All will be revealed.” Our technology goes in at that creation level. We’re blockchain agnostics. We don’t care what blockchain it’s on. Once our APIs are developed, we’re going to be able to put an application platform interface into multiple platforms to allow you to have a peace of mind when you go through the buying process to authenticate an NFT, to make sure it is the real deal, and to make sure that you feel comfortable when you are navigating inside of other platforms, such as gaming, and metaverses, and beyond.

Frank Curzio: I think it’s a game changer. I have a very close friend who started professional coin grading services, which was massive. He was a coin dealer. He knew half the people out there were full of shit. Nobody knew anything, so he hired the best people to authenticate it, put it in that case, and now everyone knows he’s one of the largest sellers on eBay. It’s a massive company, coin collectors Coin Universe, and actually sold. It was actually acquired.

Frank Curzio: But to me, this seems like a no brainer, especially as new people come on. They want that security. Let’s talk about more people coming on because more people are getting familiar with NFTs. There is a lot of garbage out there that we’ve seen, but you mentioned the metaverse. Talk about the metaverse because I still feel like, even with us, and our audience, and who you’re talking to today, they’re familiar, you made one of the largest land purchases ever in TCG. Talk about the potential of metaverse, the potential of why you need a company like yours to make sure you have that security layer. Where do you see this in five years? Because when I first started researching this, maybe about two, three years ago, everyone knows Facebook, Meta, and the change. I was surprised it came this fast to where, not just the trillion dollar Morgan Stanley Goldman Sachs report to how big this market, McKinsey report.

Frank Curzio: For me, anyone could say anything they want. It’s the billions flowing into this industry in a market that’s absolutely terrible that got my attention, even Web 3 itself. Talk about what the metaverse means to you, because you’re actively investing. Not just in TCG, but in certain ones, and they’re not the ones that everybody is familiar with.

Adam Russell: Actually, no. They’re not mainstream. First of all, I want to share with you guys that I’m passionate about where the future’s going in the metaverse. Understanding and being in this space since 2014 and following the metaverse and where it’s going, I give a lot of props to your decentral lands and your sandboxes that they’ve built Voxel, kind of like Minecraft, a little cartoonish.

Adam Russell: The big brands, they’re forcing themselves to go in there. Do they really want to be there? They want to be in a photo realistic world if they can, but there’s not that many out there. As a partner with TCG World, which is as photo realistic, 800 square mile amazing metaverse with full physics. It’s just incredible, but we also have other partners such as Blockchain Valley Virtual. They’re built on Unreal Engine 5. TCG World is built on Unity; both top level engines. We also work with Otherverse. Otherverse is also built on Unity, another photo realistic metaverse that’s coming out. Then we work with Metaverse, M-E-T-A-V-E-R-S-E, which their platform is an enterprise level XR/VR space. For years, they were doing brand showcases. They’re building out a mall. They’re building out 100 floor mall, 1,000,000 square feet per floor. So, it’s 100,000,000 square feet. We own space, and we’re building across four different major photo realistic metaverses to create interoperable security.

Adam Russell: So, when you use the word metaverse, you actually want to also use the word multiverse. There’s going to be multiple metaverses or multiple worlds that are going to have to interconnect. I think Logan Paul said it. When you’re able to take your valuable assets of what you have, digital assets from one metaverse and bring them over into another metaverse, that’s when you’re really becoming the multiverse. That’s when it really becomes what you saw on Ready Player One. If you guys saw Ready Player One, the movie, that’s probably still 10 years out. I think the first thing we’re going to see is a lot of augmented reality versus, not everybody wants to run around with a virtual headset on and run around and do this. Not everybody wants to do that. Most people want to be on their phone. They want to be able to be on a computer. They want to be able to get a taste of it.

Adam Russell: One of the things that’s important is, you’ve got to close the loop. There’s this theory. It’s called open loop thinking and closed loop thinking where, when you’re in a game, you want to level up. When you’re in a game, you want to come to completion. You want to kick off dopamine in your brain. You want to kick off norepinephrine. You want to be able to have that pleasure center hit in your brain. The problem with most metaverses is that when you go into them, you’re running around and there’s really not closing the loop. You’ve got to have something to do. You’ve got to have something that you’re going to accomplish.

Adam Russell: So, one is, security’s super important. If you’re going to cross metaverses, you open wormholes, all kinds of problems because the non-fungible platform, it acts as a way, one, from a regulatory perspective to insulate because it’s a one of a kind digital, in world assets. But it also allows them to be able to have a way that you could have multiple blockchains that could potentially get hacked, that could come across inside the metaverse.

Adam Russell: So, you need to have some type of protection when you’re going to go from one metaverse to another, some interoperability between the two. You also need, when you’re in there, if I’m talking to you, I could be literally be talking to AI and not know it’s you. I could be literally talking to an AI that sounds just like you, but it’s a fake person. I could be talking to a man that’s a woman. I could be talking to an old person that’s a young person. You don’t know.

Adam Russell: So, you have to have somebody that’s going to do proof of existence checks. You can walk into a mansion that’s somebody’s got a Bored Ape Yacht Club on the wall, or a Degenerate Apes, or one of the big doodles. One of those, how nice would it be to be able to scan that and be able to confirm, that’s real. You’re good. Or this guy’s a total fraud, and he just threw up a fake one on the wall. These things are going to happen in this world. Somebody’s going to have to police that world.

Adam Russell: That’s where REV3AL steps in. We don’t want to be the police. You made a great question. I have what they call boomerang ADD. That means I can take something that comes all the way back around and then bring it back in. You made a really valid point about the difference between decentralization and centralization in regards to security, as well as what we’re doing.

Adam Russell: So, when you look at the DeFi space, they try to keep it completely decentralized. It left a lot of room for interpretation, for people to audit contracts, and a lot of ways to add in ways to siphon money back out of the TVL, which is the total volume secured inside of there. When you take a look at any platform, realize there’s going to be vulnerabilities. Someway, somebody has to centralize this.

Adam Russell: Now, a hacker when they come in, they’re usually going to social hack somebody. They’re not going to come right through the front door. The way security works, in case you guys didn’t know that, it’s in multiple layers. So, our authentication, our security, is in multiple layers. We use consensus layers with near protocol. We use consensus layers that’s going to be. We’re building multiple different layers of security from image forensics all the way up into understanding how the redundancy of the database, cross referencing existing perceptive hashing, just to check to see if it already exists out there. We’re not going to allow you to put your tech in if it already exists, and then now we’re again taking something that you put REV3AL in that was already a fraud. We want to make sure that we do our best to see what’s the underlining NFT. That could be digital land in the metaverse, could be your avatar that’s some kind of a car. It could be a flying dragon. It could be clothing.

Adam Russell: As one of our partners, you’re going to go into a metaverse, a brand showcase, as a Nike shoe that’s created, customized right in that spot-

Frank Curzio: I wish you could show that. I wish you could show that.

Adam Russell: We may be able to add that in, but somebody can go and literally have a shoe that you could customize it for both your avatar, as well as have that shipped to your house. But somebody’s going to be walking around with that Nike shoe that was customized for you and it is Nike. Somebody’s got to validate was that really Nike, or are you running around with a fake Nike, a counterfeit. So, you protect watches. You try to protect Louis Vuitton bags and Prada bags. There’s going to be the same digital anti-counterfeiting that’s going to be needed into the metaverse.

Adam Russell: A lot of the bad actors, a lot of malicious content. Here’s another thing that you guys all don’t know. You hear the terms thrown around, Web 2 and Web 3. Web 2 is which we interface with every day. Web 3 is when you’re literally able to have the buying experience directly from you to the platform. You are literally buying at the platform level. You connect your wallet, and you are now making a purchase. That experience in between Web 2 and Web 3, when you go into almost every metaverse that exists right now, you actually are presented to buy things in Web 2 from Web 3, meaning that they’ll literally have links that you can click on, and it brings you outside of their world to make a purchase.

Adam Russell: So now, in the future, who’s going to monitor those links inside those worlds to make sure they’re not malicious links? Go full circle back to that QR code. Let’s say you click on an object inside of a metaverse that’s a world that hasn’t fully been validated or verified that everything in it is protected. That one link inside of that metaverse could actually take over your computer. Somebody has to protect that, as well.

Adam Russell: There’s multiple areas that you have to protect. You have to protect the authenticity of the actual NFT itself. You have to make sure that there’s no malicious content inside that world that you need to protect against. You have to make sure that when you’re inside that world and you’re going through a purchasing process, that you are in some kind of a secure purchase that’s inside of an invisible shield, if you will, of your avatar that’s inside of the actual metaverse itself. Our goal is to build the REV3AL 360 down the road, which will be the invisible shield of protection that protects and authenticates as you walk through the metaverse into the future.

Frank Curzio: Talk to me, you talked about how decentral land, more like Roblox. You have OpenSea. Again, that’s the NFT platform. When I’m looking at metaverses, what separated them from even the ones that you had, that you’re investing in, that you mentioned, compared to say the Fortnites and the Roblox and Facebook and Meta platforms. When I look at them, it seems like it’s a one way street. Are they going to be connected? It feels like these are companies that are doing something to benefit themselves, such a one-way street. I’m looking at the metaverse as something that’s totally open, where you’re not charging developers a lot so they can build and innovate on these platforms. I feel like the ones you mentioned, especially TCG, are there.

Frank Curzio: Do you see these becoming something where, you said it, that you may be able to jump from world to world? I feel like with Facebook and how much power they have, and how much is me, me, me, and the fact that they have to generate revenue for their shareholders, it’s a lot different that vision, and the Roblox and the Fortnite vision, compared to the visions I’m seeing with some of the other metaverses. Is that resulting in how you’re choosing to invest?

Adam Russell: That’s a great question. First of all, that financial advice in regards to any metaverse, any project that you invest in. When you look at Meta, Facebook making the change into Meta, and recently purchasing Second Life, Linden Labs, they realized that as a platform, they are going to try to keep their own closed ecosystem as much as they possibly can. If you go into Disney World, you feel safe when you’re in Disney World, within reason, because it’s an ecosystem that they control.

Adam Russell: If you want to get the full term of the metaverse, that’s really the multiverse, the Ready Player One-ish, you have to be able to go from one world to another, to another, and have interoperability. They’re going to be limited in regards to one, people are creative. I don’t know if you guys know this or not, but Minecraft, if you took all the people that have ever built anything, and took the size of what they built inside of Minecraft, it’s the size of Neptune.

Adam Russell: That should give you an idea. In relation, if you leave it open to somebody to build something, they’re going to go and create to the sky’s content. It’s why I love these worlds we’re talking about because they have builders in their worlds to make it super simple for people to create. I even work with Earth 2. If you guys aren’t familiar with Earth 2, that’s another metaverse that’s being built up. It allows creators to build hallow land and be able to literally be able build buildings on top of tiles that are the whole size of the world, really. They map the entire world in Earth 2.

Adam Russell: That platform, and TCG world, and any virtual land that has a photorealistic side of it, they’re creating some type of creativity platform that allows anyone that can go in and build. Even the sandbox, even Decentraland have some type of builder in it, but they can only go so far. Not everybody wants to be in the world with Snoop Dog with Minecraft. You get tired of the blocky look.

Adam Russell: You want to appeal to the masses and you want to get the addressable audience, you can’t go after just the gaming people. You have to go to everyone. They have to have a clean shopping experience for kids to go into. On the opposite side of the spectrum, they have to have an adult area that adults can go into. They have to have a casino that has KYC process that you can go through.

Adam Russell: When you look at the process, example, if you’re going to Decentraland, about a year ago, I went into Decentraland’s Ice Casino. Inside their Ice Casino, you could use dye, you could use Ethereum, and you could use the land token, which allowed you to be able to literally gamble and test it out. I came back about six months later and they said, “You’re not allowed in the casino unless you buy a piece of clothing or an accessory for your avatar.” Kid you not, right now, you try to go to the Ice Casino, you’ll get stopped at the door and you can’t go through.

Adam Russell: So, I said, “Let’s see how this experience is.” By the way, the original experience, they have Pepe The Frog was the guy who was the dealer. It was a really clunky experience, I’ll be honest. I’m not a gambler, but I wanted to experience what it was like. I went back to go test it. They’re like, “You’ve got to but this. You’ve got to go to the Ice Marketplace,” which they own, by the way. It’s one of the servers they own. I clicked on it and they’re like, “Don’t go here. We don’t know if we trust this site.” I’m like, “What do you mean you don’t trust it? You own it?”

Adam Russell: So, I clicked on it. I went to their site. I’m looking at it and I’m like, “Okay, everything’s sold out in their marketplace, and I want to buy this cool jacket for my avatar,” because I have a readyplayer.me avatar, which is the bit dragon. If you’ve ever seen my persona on LinkedIn or anything, it’s the bit dragon. So, I want to get this cool jacket.

Adam Russell: So I went to buy it. It was sold out. They were like, “Oh, that’s okay. It’s in the secondary market. Just click here, but we don’t support this, either. You’re going to be going to another market.” Now I’m in Web 2. I’m going off into OpenSea. I get in OpenSea. I finally find it in the secondary market and this stupid jacket, just so I can go gamble my money with them was $5,000. I don’t know if it’s the real jacket. It’s $5,000. I don’t even know where in Decentraland it is because I’m so far removed.

Frank Curzio: That’s incredible.

Adam Russell: I’m like, “This is a user experience people have to go through? Are you kidding me?”

Adam Russell: That whole friction side of it has to be removed. For Facebook, they’re not going to allow you to gamble inside of Facebook. Obviously, they’re going to try to go for the work environment. They’re going to try to make it candy. When I went into Facebook, and I went in Horizons, Meta Horizons, Somnium, Space, all of them. But when I was in Meta, I felt like I was in Candyland. Here I am, I just turned 49. Here, we’ve got kids who are 12. I don’t even know if they’re allowed in there.

Adam Russell: One of the things I saw in there, which really blew me away, and I’m going to share this because I think it’s important, when you’re in an environment like that, you technically take on an avatar that looks like you. So, a kid created an avatar, and he looked kind of dumpy. He didn’t have the greatest look in regards to his avatar, but it was him. I saw kids picking on him in this environment. I’m watching this happen. I went to the person there that’s part of Facebook. I’m saying, “Can you guys do something about this?” “We are not allowed to interfere with what they’re doing unless they’re doing something against our rules and conditions.” I could tell it was another area of the world where this moderator was.

Adam Russell: All of a sudden, I’m watching this happen. The kid’s like, “Oh, my God. You guys got to get away from me. I can’t stand this. You guys are so-” Next thing I know, it says, “Do you want to have Jason leave the room?” I’m like, “They’re allowing me to?” So, I said no. A couple seconds later, poof, he disappeared. They literally cyber bullied him out of the room.

Frank Curzio: Wow.

Adam Russell: It was the most horrific experience. Facebook allowed this. I’m like, “Are you kidding me?” Anything that happens in real life, 10x is going to happen in the metaverse. God forbid those parents that don’t understand what’s going on, when your kids get in there, they can get into anything. Regardless of what anybody’s beliefs are, it would be so easy to hide anything inside of a metaverse because the adults, most adults, unlike myself, who’s a degen, don’t even understand the normal platforms like Tik Tok and Snapchat, let alone a metaverse.

Adam Russell: So, this is scary. I have a 14-year-old daughter, going on 21, and a son who’s just turned 16. He’s going on 12. But point is, is that I see how savvy they are, and they are constantly locked onto their phones. You just can’t get them away from their phones. When I look at the fact that the metaverse, don’t get me wrong. There’s going to be holographic stuff in the future. It’s going to be crazy.

Adam Russell: But if you look at where it is, you’re going to have augmented reality. You may even have contacts that go in your eye, that you’re able to see. Imagine being in a club and wearing a special pair of glasses. Then, when you put on those glasses, you can see neon color avatar that somebody’s walking around in the club. That’s going to happen. You’re going to see, just like you saw on Minority Report.

Adam Russell: A lot of this stuff is programming. I did a little bit of a thesis in regards to the movies, the movie industry and how it’s programming us into the metaverse and where the future’s going. It’s true. A lot of the things that you see in TV shows, like Altered Carbon, or you see Ready Player One, or Free Guy, or Surrogate, I could go on and on, Matrix, Minority Report. These movies are programming us to what they see in the future.

Adam Russell: So, I think we are ahead of the curve because of Meta, because NFTs, take traction that became mainstream and SNL, but the average person doesn’t know what an NFT is. Simply put, it’s a digital asset that’s the same as a physical asset that’s a one of a kind that now you can verify that it’s a one of a kind. You can verify who actually owns it. We’re going to provide the technology to show you who created it and that it’s been created, it’s been authenticated, and then they can show who owns it.

Frank Curzio: That’s awesome stuff. I want to ask you one last question, too. When it comes to the metaverse, where do you see it three years, five years, 10 years from now? Like I said earlier, I was amazed by the adoption already taking place and the money pouring into this industry, but where do you see it in terms of that adoption, where there’s people listening to this podcast right now going, “I just don’t see it. There’s no way this is going to happen. This is crazy.”

Frank Curzio: But the more I dig in, the more you dig in, the more you go to these metaverses, you’re like, “This is definitely going to happen. This is going to be massive.” But when is that adoption, when your neighbor that really doesn’t know, really isn’t into technology or anything, is going to be in a metaverse? When do you see this adoption happening? What’s going to be like when Cloud came out? People were looking up at the clouds and saying, “What is Cloud?” Now everyone knows what Cloud is.

Adam Russell: It’s an inflection point that’s going to happen. You guys remember the Gillette razor? They made all the money on the blade. The blades are a fortune. They still are a fortune. Thank God they have the dollar buy club or whatever. They gave away their razors. Razors were free. Why? How low did they get the Blu Ray and the DVDs? Those are the kids in the line like, “What’s that?” But they literally made it lower, and lower, and lower cost for the actual player and they charged a fortune for the discs.

Adam Russell: When you think of the Gillette razor, they’re going to get to the point where this is almost free. They’re going to get it so cheap to have a virtual headset that the masses can actually go into. They’re going to create ways to kick off dopamine and make you want to be addicted into the model of putting on a headset. As we go into, unfortunately, any kind of a recession, people, they turn in. A lot of people will be looking for an escape.

Adam Russell: There’s three reasons people go into a metaverse. There’s only three. The first reason is, you want to go into a world where you’re able to have other people or events that you can get into and enjoy where you wouldn’t ever be able to get to. There’s congregation of people coming together. Second reason is for either shopping or gambling. Either making or losing money, for that matter. That’s the second reason you’re there. You’re in an environment where you’re either shopping or you’re gambling.

Adam Russell: But the third one, which is the most compelling one is, people want to do things they can’t do in real life. They want to do and experience things that you can’t do. You want to fly a fighter jet or you want to do these type of things. You cannot do that if you don’t know how to fly a fighter jet. Or, you can’t jump out of a plane, if you’re scared to jump out of a plane. There’s certain things, drive a race car, eSports.

Adam Russell: When that inflection point’s going to happen is when eSports get bigger than current sports, which is happening. It’s going to happen. Football, soccer, all of the current sports, eSports is going to be way bigger than that. People don’t believe it, but it is going to be bigger. When the hardware gets so inexpensive to be able to really fully immerse yourself, because when you go into decentral land, or a sandbox, or any one of these on your computer, it is nowhere near the same that when you go into a virtual world like TCG World, or you go into a world through a virtual headset.

Adam Russell: It’s completely different. When you immerse yourself in an over realistic virtual environment, you don’t actually want, I know Logan Paul said something to the effect of, you know that you’re in the metaverse when you realize that you don’t want to leave, and you’re more apt to want to stay in the metaverse than you want to go in real life.

Adam Russell: That inflection point between eSports, the low cost of the equipment, the speed of how fast is already out there. There’s already enough connectivity. It’s coming. Whether it be satellite connectivity. There’s already going to be fast enough speed. Whether it be the hardware, whether it be augmented reality glasses, contact lenses, the headset. If all that comes together in a perfect storm within the next five years. When that happens, that’s going to be the inflection point where it’s going to tip the scale. People want to spend more time working, as well as playing in a headset than they are in real life. It will go towards the level of Ready Player One because it’s the easiest way for it to go.

Adam Russell: Somebody uses the word metaverse, you can move around on your phone. You can move around on a computer, but it’s not the same as moving in a headset.

Frank Curzio: What’s the timeframe when you think something like that’s going to happen? Is it that far away?

Adam Russell: I think the full adoption will be probably within eight to 10 years. I think that we’re going to see enough of an adoption to tip the scale within three to five years, and I think closer to five years. I think all the fortunes are going to be made within the next three to five years. Investing in the infrastructure, companies like my company, like REV3AL, are going to go on a major exchange, not financial advice, within the next, just to say within the next 30 days or so, whatever the case may be.

Frank Curzio: Soon.

Adam Russell: Soon. Can’t give you a date. I will tell you that investing in projects that are connected to the infrastructure, in the Gold Rush, people didn’t make all the money in the gold mine. They made all the money selling the picks and shovels, selling the merchant services. The transactional money that’s going to happen, to be a toll booth between one ‘verse to the other and all the traffic that comes through is a very valuable position to be in, to be able to have digital fashion. I was in Sandbox when they did the fashion show, and they literally had L’Oreal in there with beauty. They had sparkles around them. I’m like, “They’re selling beauty. How do you sell a beauty line? It makes things shiny and sparkly because that’s what they believe beauty is inside the app.” I guess you could smooth out the skin.

Adam Russell: There’s so many things people haven’t thought of in regards to the fashion side of it, that people are going to be so into becoming unique and customized. There’s going to be full blown fashion brands. Faith Tribe is an example. One of our lead investors and advisors, NFT Technologies, just went on the Neo Exchange on the ticker NFT. They invested in 140 companies under their umbrella. Through that model, they actually just invested in Faith Tribe. They create digital fashion brands.

Adam Russell: That’s a thing. There’s going to be digital fashion brands. There’s going to be so many things. As the brands, that’s another part of that inflection point. As the brands start to realize that there’s a huge addressable market that’s leaning towards super profitable digital stuff, there’s a big difference between me creating a shoe, or a jacket, or a shirt, and all the costs that go into that, and the time it takes, versus me creating a one of a kind digital jacket or a one-of-a-kind shoe and multiplying that out inside of a metaverse, and then scaling that.

Adam Russell: The numbers are insane. On top of that, to go one step further, you can literally create a plot. Unlike the world, you only have a limited amount of real estate. In the metaverse, you can build a plot anywhere. You can build a plot on top of a plot. In TCG World, you could even have the land and then you could have land 1,000 feet above it and you can build here. You can build anywhere in here. There can be land anywhere. What the value of land will be in the future will be who you’re near, and how you drive traffic, how you create value and utility on what you’re building.

Adam Russell: Why do people want to go to where you are? Why do people want to stay there? Just like everything in life, advertisers are going to go where the eyeballs are. There’s going to be a lot of scavenger hunts. There’s going to be a lot of beacon technology, which is going to be super cool. I think the more that we get closer to the multiple inflection points with eSports, when the brands see that it’s the place that they need to be, when people start to realize that it’s more fun to be in there, and they can actually carry their worldly goods, and they can have value in there, I think that, that’s when it’s going to take that turn.

Adam Russell: That’s probably three to five years. Wayne Gretzky says it best. He says, “Skate where the puck is going to be, not where the puck is at.” So, REV3AL is building into where the puck is going to be. I hope that answers your question.

Frank Curzio: It definitely does. Adam, if anyone wanted to get in touch with you, learn more about REV3AL, and again, you guys are doing great things over there, how could they do that?

Adam Russell: The easiest way is, be very careful. I’m going to do another PSA. This is super important. Never look up a project by name on Telegram. Chances of you finding it, you’re probably going to find a scam site. There’s 10 REV3AL techs on Telegram. Any project that you go in, especially in this space, there’s going to be people that are trying to fraud, especially if it’s a successful project that’s got a lot of traction, they’re going to duplicate it. They’re going to copy it. It’s one of the easiest ways to get scammed. We’re working on some tech to fix that, by the way.

Adam Russell: But for now, the easiest way, go to REV3AL.io, R-E-V-3-A-L.io. All of our real approved social media links are at the bottom. We have a Tik Tok channel. We have an Instagram channel. We have a Telegram channel for both communication as well as for announcements. We have a Facebook channel. Our LinkedIn, everything, and our Medium, for the latest announcements, our Medium channel. We’re excited about our community. We also have the partners’ community. We have, like I said, 55 partners, and we have their communities. We’re super excited about the future, where the metaverse is going. Obviously, this conversation is an evolving conversation. We’re constantly learning.

Adam Russell: By the way, if anybody tells you that they’re an expert in metaverse, they’re crazy. Because at the end of the day, no one’s been around long enough into the metaverse that we see today. One of our advisors, Brian Schuster, he’s been around for 15 years, side-by-side with Second Life. Before blockchain was a thing, did you guys know that it was actually dollars that were sold that were not on a blockchain inside of there, that were called Linden Lab dollars? He had one called Ray dollars. It was this other ecosystem dollars. He did 32 billion transactions in the space.

Frank Curzio: Wow.

Adam Russell: He has 77 patents that protect the metaverse. He even partnered with Fortress and Soft Night and was able to successfully sue for the Travis Scott concert, believe it or not, those that don’t know this. One of his pattens, if you come together in this space with multiple servers, looking at one event. He sued them and he’s settling with them now.

Frank Curzio: That settlement’s going to be huge.

Adam Russell: Epic Fortnite is settling with him because that’s how powerful his pattens are, just as an example.

Adam Russell: We have incredible advisors with amazing backgrounds, but that’s the easiest way to get ahold of us. I wanted to share that public service announcement because too many people go and search, and they get sucked off some place, and connect their wallet, and lose all their money. Don’t ever connect your wallet to anything you haven’t authenticated and confirmed that it’s the real thing first.

Frank Curzio: Yeah, makes a lot of sense. Makes a lot of sense. Well, Adam, listen. Thanks for joining us. I’m looking forward to seeing you in person. I think you’re going to go to the Meta World Conference sponsored by TCG. I think that’s the eighth, ninth, 10th next month, July. I’m looking forward to seeing you there. I really appreciate you coming on. We have a lot of fans of the metaverse thanks to what we’re doing and people I talk to. For me, we’re not getting paid by you, just trying to bring good projects and good people in front of you, and smart people that know about the metaverse in their season. I think you did a good job educating my audience. I think you’re going to see a lot of hits to your site. I really appreciate it.

Adam Russell: Well, thank you so much. I truly appreciate the platform, and the education, and awareness. I’m looking forward to meeting you in-person out in Vegas. You know what they say. What happens in Vegas stays in the metaverse.

Frank Curzio: I know. That’s good. That’s good.

Adam Russell: It was a real pleasure, and I’m looking forward to breaking bread and having some fun.

Frank Curzio: All right, sounds good. I’ll see you soon, man.

Adam Russell: Take care. Bye-bye.

Frank Curzio: Wow. Scary stuff. Really scary stuff. You can see the need for cyber security when it comes to NFTs in the metaverse. These are two of the biggest trends and I don’t want to say in crypto, but in technology, in all of technology. These are the two biggest trends. We’ve seen billions of dollars being invested. It’s incredible. Again, when I was preparing for this interview, looking at stats of how much people get robbed in this industry, again, for anyone’s job when it comes to an industry, you want to scale, and you want to increase your total addressable market.

Frank Curzio: To do that, you have to provide things that are easy. For example, when you go to KYC projects and AML, it checks anti-laundering, making sure you know your customer, that you’re not laundering money or this crazy person, you wouldn’t know that. But when you sign up for eTrade at Charles Schwab, they’re doing that. They’re doing that already, you just don’t know it. If you have a record, and you’re wanted by the police, and you sign up for a brokerage firm, there’s going to be someone knocking on your door within probably an hour. Should be quicker, but these days, who knows. That process was real difficult in crypto for a while, and now it takes five minutes, three minutes for most platforms, good platforms, to sign up to trade cryptos.

Frank Curzio: So making it easier, making it safer is incredibly important. When I see what he’s doing at REV3AL, it’s amazing. I’m not getting paid by REV3AL. I’m not getting paid by him to mention his company or interview him. At this stage, you guys know the investment we’ve made in virtual real estate. It’s given us access to massive, massive communities which, by the way, we’re going to be speaking, and hosting events, and have a booth at the Metaverse Expo, which is hosted by TCG. It’s in Vegas. It’s going to be on July 8, 9, and 10. I think we’re able to get half off the tickets, which there’s hardly any discounts anywhere. So, I think it’s going to be $99 for the ticket’s. We’ll provide links for you guys to sign up if you’d like to go. There’s going to be a lot of people there.

Frank Curzio: Personally, I think it’s going to be a crazy conference in terms of not being as organized because I’ve been in the conference world for 30 years, and you see a lot of craziness when people first start their conferences. It’s their first conference, so it’s going to be a little crazy, people all over the place, parties everywhere. But it should be able to give you a good view of the metaverse.

Frank Curzio: We’re going to be interviewing tons of people there. This is the industry we’re in. It’s going to give us access to so many people, and that’s how I met Adam. For me, I just want to put some of these brilliant people in front of you, in industries that I believe I’m personally investing in; investing a lot of money, basically my company on because of research. As you guys know, just even with our security token. But putting people in front of you that are going to help you invest in the right places.

Frank Curzio: That’s one of the good things about the big shakeup of this industry, because I know even our crypto portfolio obviously not doing that good. We did unbelievable and took profits even in Voyager a very long time ago and made a fortune. It’s down 50% today. You see a lot of craziness, but it’s good to weed out all the bull shit in this industry, because the innovation, when you take a step back and look at the innovation and the metaverse, the NFTs and blockchain, it’s absolutely incredible. It’s game changing across all industries everywhere, except you have a lot of bullshit.

Frank Curzio: I’m going to put people in front of you who aren’t bullshitters. They’re people who are investing in projects, people who have done this for a long time, the most experienced people. Again, he’s giving you metaverse names that you probably didn’t even know existed. Go on. Start doing your research. Go on YouTube. Take a look at these projects. They all have YouTube videos. A lot of them are coming out soon. TCG’s coming out in September.

Frank Curzio: But that’s how you find the best ideas, by bringing these people on. That’s our network right now, especially when it comes to the metaverse. We are becoming a big name in this industry, a trusted name in the industry. It’s not hard to have the Wall Street background and be trusted by crypto and people within that industry because sometimes they hate each other. But the fact that we’ve made big investments in this, we’re creating a platform for these people to get their name out.

Frank Curzio: For me, vetting companies is what I love to do. Right away, there’s a lot of people that were going to be on this podcast and it’s easy for me to say, “Hey, you’re full of shit. Goodbye.” Time’s a valuable commodity for me. Adam said he has a 14-year-old daughter. So do I. He’s right to say they’re going on 21, which is crazy. I also have an 11-year-old. He has kids. At this stage, you want to deal with really good people, and you want your kids to be proud of what you’re doing.

Frank Curzio: For this, for this industry and where I see it going is kind of incredible because every time I research it, and he’s right, no one can say they’re an expert on this industry, because they’re not. It’s all just learning as much as you possibly can because it’s an industry, and someone who’s covered trends all my life and 30 years, you can go anywhere with it. Every time you make a right turn or left turn, it opens up another 20 windows for you. It’s like, “Holy shit.” Your mind goes crazy. Don’t do drugs and start looking at YouTube videos on the metaverse. You’ll be in there for days.

Frank Curzio: But I think you guys get my point, where this is something I’m passionate about, I’m excited about. He’s passionate about. That’s the thing. I’m talking to people who are passionate about their projects. They’re not doing this for the money. They’re doing this because it makes sense. There’s just something in the future. They’re excited about it. Going from metaverse to metaverse to metaverse not going to be easy with the different chains and blockchains, but there’s so many people that I’m getting introduced to.

Frank Curzio: You’re going to see us. We’re going to have lots of media coverage where we’re going to do lots of videos with almost all the CEOs who have real estate in TCG, commercial real estate in TCG, which is going to give us access to tens of millions of names, if not over 100 million names, and new people learning about Curzio research, our research on stock and on cryptos.

Frank Curzio: TCG’s not going to be the only metaverse there because it’s a metaverse conference. It’s being sponsored by them. It’s like IBM sponsoring something, a technology conference. There’s going to be a ton of technology companies there as well. We’re going to get introduced to so many new projects, companies within the metaverse. It took us a long time to build that trust, to get access to guys like Adam.

Frank Curzio: For me, at this stage, I’m just looking to put really great people with really great ideas in front of you. Again, I loved that interview. How with this podcast, I say this all the time, it’s about you. It’s not about me, so let me know what you thought at frank@curzioresearch.com. That’s frank@curzioresearch.com. You guys, that’s it for me. Have a great and wonderful weekend. I’ll see you guys on Monday. Take care.

Announcer: Wall Street Unplugged is produced by Curzio Research, one of the most respected financial media companies in the industry. The information presented on Wall Street Unplugged is the opinion of its host and guests. You should not base your investment decisions solely on this broadcast. Remember, it’s your money and your responsibility.

Frank Curzio
Frank Curzio, founder and CEO of Curzio Research, is one of America’s most respected stock experts. His research is regularly featured on media outlets like CNBC’s Kudlow Report, The Call, CNN Radio, ABC News, and Fox Business News. His Wall Street Unplugged podcast—ranked the No. 1 “most listened-to” financial podcast on iTunes—has been downloaded over 11 million times.

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The market's reaction to the latest rate hike... Why the Fed won't pivot... Powell's absurd comment... And why you need to brace for further downside. Plus, what one pawn shop says about the economy... And the coal company printing cash.