In anticipation to the exclusive Charlie Lee interview that we promised we’d post on Christmas day, we decided it would be a good idea to give you yet another dose of crypto optimism. And Jon Moore is one of those people whose positivity is contagious, and whose results speak for themselves: very few people can claim to have personally convinced as many businesses to accept Bitcoin and Litecoin as means of payment.
The National Merchant Solutions VP has had his fair share of disillusionment with banks, and his greatest merit in the crypto space is that he tweaked the Clover POS (which is used by millions of merchants for credit card payments) to accept LTC and BTC. If you follow him on Twitter, his devotion is second to none, as he posts videos of himself convincing business owners to accept cryptos on a nearly daily basis. It was this constant and relentless service that brought Mr. Moore a meritorious pole position in the article about Litecoin’s community at its seventh anniversary, and the man doesn’t show any signs of slowing down.
To paraphrase Jon Moore’s words (which you will find in the last quarter of the video), if you’re ever pessimistic and depressed about the state of crypto, all you have to do is message him on Twitter and he will make sure that his pep talk makes you run down the streets screaming “Litecoin!”.
In this exclusive interview, which is the continuation of the first part we posted last month, you will find insights on the US taxation system, the merits of Loaf Wallet, the arguments he uses in convincing people to accept BTC and LTC, and Mr. Moore’s issues with banks (presented from the perspective of someone who’s worked in the credit card industry). Furthermore, the Litecoin advocate reflects on meeting Charlie Lee and the impression Satoshi Lite has left on him.
Watch the video interview at the top of the page and/or read the full transcript below!
Vlad Costea: That sounds really good actually, because mostly when businesses brag about accepting Bitcoin or Litecoin or some other cryptocurrency, they don’t do it directly, they don’t have wallets themselves, they just use some kind of payment processor to do the business for them. They pay a fee for this at the end of the day, but I guess it is easier to pay your taxes in US dollars and have it calculated in a easier way to understand. Because it gets confusing with regulations and how you are supposed to declare cryptocurrencies to the IRS, in your yearly tax returns.
Jon Moore: Let me comment on that a little bit. So, it’s actually not a complicated thing for the IRS when you take it for payment, so when you take payments in, let’s take a restaurant for example. They are supposed to report all the cash that they receive, all the checks they receive, and all the credit card sales that they get, that’s the current situation. So, when we add Bitcoin or Litecoin as a payment, we just explain to them “Look, you have to report this as income as well”. Whether they do or not, it’s like cash, some restaurants do, some restaurants don’t, but that’s like anything in life, there has to be some responsibility.
But for tax purposes, if I take in $100 worth of Litecoin at that time of sale, that would go on my tax return, if I hold the Litecoin and it drops in price, that’s on me, I still have to claim that initial $100 that I took in. Vice-versa. if it goes up in price, I am still just claiming the initial amount that I took in at the invoice amount.
So if you use a wallet like Loaf it is pretty easy, because it shows you like “Hey, this is the day and time you took the payment in, here is the price it was at, so it’s pretty easy for accounting”. Again, it is just adding a different form of payment in there, I get around that a lot, where people are worried because of tax reasons, but I kind of put them to ease and they are like “Hey, it is actually easier than cash, it is right there in digital wallet, you have a record of everything that you did”.
Vlad Costea: I actually have Loaf Wallet on my phone…
Jon Moore: Awesome, I love it.
Vlad Costea: I have only used it a couple of times I guess, when I bought the Litecoin book which is written by ecurrencyhodler. And it’s very nice and convenient I guess, it’s the best kind of introduction you can have to digital cryptocurrency wallets, because it is very basic, you don’t have many functions. But as you learn a little more, I guess you can get more advanced wallets which have much more security features.
Jon Moore: Yeah. So, for payments, we want to keep it simple, so Loaf is designed for payments, and it’s very basic, but basic for payment is key, because we can show pretty much anybody how to open up LoafWallet and verify for payment, even people that don’t understand cryptocurrency at all, they can download the app on a tablet, that the restaurant or the business has control of, and say payments come in, you can see them here, and there is no clicking around in Loaf, which is awesome.
The other cool thing about LoafWallet; say I sent you right now a crypto invoice to pay and say I sent to you, I am going to sell you a Tee-shirt, send me Litecoin before I mail them to you, I tell you I am going to send you a crypto invoice, when you get that invoice you are going to clink on a link and a QR code is going to appear. When you pop open Loaf, and scan it, it pulls in to LoafWallet the exact amount of Lite coin you are supposed to send, so you don’t have to put in the right amount, you don’t have to be pressing any buttons, all you are doing is scan in the code and hitting send, so it makes sense for online shopping, it is actually much easier to use cryptocurrency, especially using it in a wallet like Loaf, than it is to use a credit card. So, I am just trying to spread the word to people that it is actually easy to use, it is not something to be afraid of. So, adoption is coming, it is just going to take a little bit of time.
Vlad Costea: Yeah, I agree. And I guess you take advantage of the low fees that you have in Litecoin, and I saw last month that developers are planning to reduce the fee by 10 times, which is incredible.
Jon Moore: That’s awesome, yeah, that’s going to be amazing.
Vlad Costea: We used to pay like 5 cents for one transaction, and now it is going to be 0.5 cents?
Jon Moore: Yeah, which is awesome because if you are sending money out and it’s costing you 100 a penny, it’s a non-issue to people sending it, but if you have to pay 5 cents or 10 cents on a small transaction, then people would want to question it…
Vlad Costea: I had this question which I have thought about for a while, you started out trying to spread adoption for Litecoin, but you extended your portfolio to also Bitcoin, was it a decision just because Bitcoin has better branding and everybody has heard of Bitcoin and you no longer have to explain to people, you know, this is just like Bitcoin, but faster?
Jon Moore: So, I always look at Litecoin and Bitcoin as kind of being allies in the crypto space, so I look at it as, if you are accepting Litecoin, you should be accepting Bitcoin as well, and vice-versa, if you are accepting Bitcoin, there is no reason not to accept Litecoin, it’s cheaper, it’s faster, it’s quicker, got all the advantages. So, I always liked both coins and I just kind of expanded a little more to let people know, hey, I am happy to set you up to accept Bitcoin as well. When we set up clover devices, we only set those up for Litecoin only, you can only put one coin in there, Litecoin is the dependent coin, so it’s befitting that we just integrate Litecoin into it.
But I am more for having businesses accept Bitcoin and Litecoin payment, Litecoin is a little more… in a retail environment, it is a little more feasible because it is faster, some amounts of Bitcoin, it takes a little bit longer for the transaction, for the Block to go through and all that. But when you send crypto payments, you see it broadcast right away, for Bitcoin, it seems like it is slower to broadcast, Litecoin is always faster to broadcast, the Block is faster, it is certainly better for your over-the-counter stuff, but no, Litecoin and Bitcoin is the two that I focus on for payment acceptance.
Vlad Costea: Do you have any good stories, or people are coming back to you after you’ve set them up to accept Bitcoin and Litecoin, telling you that they have made such a great decision, their business has grown due to this decision?
Jon Moore: So, the cool thing is, most businesses that we set it up for, they get a lot of people talking about it, they say, and they get a lot of people asking them questions, because they see the sign, which is awesome, so that’s more my intention than anything else, I want it to be seen and I want it to be known in people’s mind that… I don’t want people to think of Litecoin and Bitcoin as a stock. Americans think it is like buying Apple stock, and it’s not, they need to think of it as a currency first, and if they like it as a currency, they will then invest in it if they like as a currency.
So, I think the fact that it has been seen more as a payment, people are kind of like, oh, I didn’t realize that I could spend this stuff and use it for payment, so that is really rewarding to me. I have had a few businesses that have told me they’ve made sales they wouldn’t have made otherwise, because they are accepting this, they maybe got a phone call from out of the area, I’ve had a jewelry store that said that it doesn’t want to take credit cards over the phone because of the high risk of fraud, so if somebody that really wants to buy something, he says to them, look, if you can pay with Litecoin or Bitcoin, I am happy to sell it to you, and the person says, sure I have some Bitcoin and the person sent them Bitcoin in that case, but it was very exciting.
He called me, he said, “I sold two jewelries, the guy paid in Bitcoin and he was confident selling it”. So, I am getting a lot of good feedback from it, like nobody is angry that they set up to accept it, everybody is like very positive, I get some out there too on social media, which is cool. So, Twitter, we have a buzz going, I urge people that accept it, hey, set up a Twitter, so we can tag you in the tweets, so people that are into this can follow you, and then spend their Litecoin with you as a merchant. So, all good feedback so far.
Vlad Costea: What about the Clover POS? Because I guess that was the greatest discovery that you’ve made, that millions of devices spread around United States. And you figured out how you can input Litecoin so they can accept crypto payments. So, do you think that you can actually make an important or considerable percentage of those POS devices to accept crypto currency?
Jon Moore: I don’t see why not. We have to get to all the people and talk to them, and keep promoting it online, so they know that it’s an option that they can use. The key for payment adoption, and this is for any payment that businesses want to accept, it’s not just Litecoin or Bitcoin, this could be credit cards, gift cards, even cash. It has to work in their existing environment, it is very hard to tell a business, we want you to take Litecoin, and now you need to accept it, you have to go to this whole new system and do something, the business is going to say, oh, we don’t want to do it. even if it is credit card, if we say this new credit card system, you have to go to this new thing and do it, they are going to say no, it has to work with my existing system, right?
We have to integrate everything into what they do. So, with clover being able to turn on that feature and function, when we get that excuse from the businesses, I will take the Litecoin, but my terminal doesn’t do it at all, now we just say, we can make your terminal do it, we can make your Point of Sale do it, and the key for the manager, or the owner of the business is that the sales that are put into the Point of Sale system enclose out properly. So, if you can’t put a Litecoin payment button in there, they will never be able to do the sale properly, because if somebody comes in and pays with Litecoin, they are going to have to notate it as something else.
For Clover, we can put Litecoin in there as an option, now for the accounting and tax purposes, they have a report that they can just send right to their accountant and say, here’s the exact amount of Litecoin we took to the Point of Sale, it is easier also too on the server, we are hoping with crypto is a… we don’t want to have to teach everybody how to do this, we want to say, look, go through your normal life and normal day like you do and how you run payments to the system, and if you get Litecoin in, you are doing what you normally do, you are hitting a button that says Litecoin, and that owner of the business or the manager can say Jesus! This really looks easy, okay, we will do it, it sounds easy enough for them.
In Clover, you get kind of excited because it’s another feature they can use in Clover and it prints a QR code on the receipt, so I show them, I say, see, QR codes are everywhere, like go to Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts, they are just showing QR codes to you and I tell them, now you are doing what the biggest companies in the world are kind of doing, you are promoting the QR code, which in their minds, they see the QR code and they kind of understand it when they see the QR code, as crazy as that sounds, it works for the people, when they see that QR code. Until we show them that, they are lost… We literally show them that and they are like, okay, I get it, I have seen it in Starbucks… Clover is huge and I am so excited that I kind of discovered that and we could show it to every merchant now in the country.
Vlad Costea: Where do you see adoption heading? Like you are going about every day, knocking on doors and talking to business owners, at least that’s what I see on Twitter, I am not sure if you go literally every day. But, do you see other people, maybe in different states, or in different countries doing exactly the same and spreading the same kind of adoption that you are doing?
Jon Moore: I think some people… I don’t know if many people are going to be out there, like I am really trying to promote this heavily. But the key is, I am a credit card processor, that was always my business, other processors now can promote this as a payment form, and they may not do it to the extent I do with the free wallets and all that, but they will promote a gateway that they can mark up and make some money on, at least they are out there showing the public that it is a payment form. So, I think the adoption will come from the other payment processors, showing this to the public that this is a tool to use, it is viable form of payment.
And the people that are in the position I am in, should embrace this 100%, because it gives you a secure payment option to show your clients. A lot of people are afraid because they feel like they are going to lose the control, but truth be told, most businesses want a software to do the payment for them, right? they are not going to want to do the wallet to wallet stuff. So, it is always going to be money to be made as a processor, so I think it is just letting those other processors know, hey, you can make a few bucks doing this, and the thing is, it is not going to be the majority of the sales anyways right now, it is not going to cut into the credit cards really much anyways right now, it is just an option to offer their clients that security…
I tell people, you are being patriotic by doing this, and people think that’s crazy, because it’s kind of against the bailor… actually we have back there, the chart of the national debt, and I do show them the U.S national debt and I say, promoting this to people, meeting the regular system and the debt isn’t patriotic, because you are promoting a system that is on a crash course. So now you are promoting secure money and a better form of money to people, you are actually doing a great service for the community, so that’s kind of the way I see adopting heading, that people in my position will start offering it as a payment option.
Also, online, the retail stuff is tricky, again, in the first line of the Satoshi white paper, they mentioned that Bitcoin was designed to be a peer-to-peer cash system but on online transactions, it is very important for everybody to realize when they say, hey, why is Walmart not taking Litecoin yet in the store? The focus will be for Walmart online e-commerce site, where we focus on the retail store. So, just keep that I mind, that online payment is where the focus should be at.
Vlad Costea: Do you think you can ever convince these business owners to run a full node of Litecoin for security purposes so they can validate their own transactions?
Jon Moore: I think when you see Lightning Network rolling out, Lightning Network is out, but it’s not like really being used a lot yet by the public for payments. So, I feel like as that’s really going to be used, businesses will have more incentive to run their full node. Right now, I don’t think business has any incentive to do it, so it’s all incentive-based for the business.
Vlad Costea: But even if they run at Lightning Node, they are only going to get a few cents, the gears around the nodes cost about $300 right now.
Jon Moore: Obviously I expect the fees will come way down to do that, like anything, as it is out there for longer, the price gets cheaper. Again, it’s got to be the need for it, like right now, a business can take cryptos and they don’t have to run a full node to validate what’s going on, so it would be hard to convince a business right now to run a full node, that’s just how I see it.
Vlad Costea: I agree, but at the same time, if you could convince them to run a full node, you would actually spread the decentralization and help the entire network.
Jon Moore: True. So, that is very important to us, that’s why I am here, decentralized money is really important to me, you are right, I have seen all the bad in the payments world. But to the public, they don’t care about decentralized, like they just don’t get it, they just say to me, Jon, I want it to be easy, I want money in my bank, that’s it. So, until they have the real incentive to do it, I think when lightening network is used more, you are going to see a lot more adoption a lot more Bitcoin and Litecoin maintenance coming in, business again have that incentive to run it if they are getting a lot more transactions, so it’s all about the demand and the volume. So, I just think in time, we will be able to convince more businesses to do it, not just yet.
Vlad Costea: I saw your panel from the Litecoin foundation conference which took place in September and I guess I really appreciated how candid and honest you were about how you got into Litecoin and how you view it and how you approach it, even as a private person in relation to your wife, and could you summarize that in a few minutes, just so our viewers can skip that 30 minutes’ speech?
Jon Moore: Sure, so I kind of started out, I talked about a lot of the problems that exist in the credit card payments world. The public doesn’t notice the problems, because they walk around with the plastic cards and get reward points, and they think this system works great. So, I like to do what we call credit card charge backs, which is when the business loses money after they take a credit card payment and it is important for your audience to know that a credit card sale is never final, the business can lose money for up to 6 months. So, you are never really fully confident taking that credit card in, so I brought that in.
Second thing I brought up, I talked about what they call ‘Cash Reserve’. Cash reserve; a lot of business that sell online, they can’t just start processing credit card payments, they have to fund an account that we call cash reserve, and I have been working with one business in particular, but I wanted to set him up to process credit card transactions, he would have had to fund 10 million dollars into a cash reserve, just for the privilege of processing payments. The public doesn’t understand that this goes on. Again, that business type could only exist if they are backed by really wealthy people that can fund this 10 million-dollar reserve, I mean I could never start a business like that and say, I am going to take credit card payments, I don’t have millions of dollars behind me to do it, so I brought up that, and I just said like a lot of the problems that Litecoin solves?
So, one that the audience loved at the summit was, I said about how it offers a discrete payment option, and when I say that, people think a lot of times I am referring to something bad, they say “Jon, are you trying to buy drugs? Are you going on a dark net? What are you hiding from?”. And I tell them that, because you want a discrete form of payment doesn’t mean you are doing something bad, so I explained to the audience that I am married, right? And like most married people, you share the accounts with your wife, right? A significant other, we have the same checking account, and you use the same credit card account, right?
When holidays come around, it’s hard for me to buy any type of present for my wife, because she knows what I am buying. I told the stories about flowers, when I bought my wife flowers one time, and before she even got the flowers, she saw the charge on the credit card, called me up and said, did you buy flowers? And I said, yeah, I got flowers, she said, who did you get flowers for? And I said, I got them for you… Because I don’t want flowers and you got much, why do you spend that much on flowers instead of something else? By the time the flowers came, I was ready to throw them in the yard, I don’t want to see these flowers, right?
So, there is a website called PetalsOnAStem.com, that I found, they take Bitcoin and Litecoin for payment, I went in and got my wife these flowers a second time around, total surprise and she actually said to me, how did you get the flowers, I didn’t see the credit card charge, and I said to her, I used Litecoin, you will never be able to know what I was spending the money on. So, again… as the world becomes more digital, everything we do is now under a microscope whether we like it or not, everything is tracked, everything is seen and just in a simple thing like a husband and a wife trying to be romantic with one another, or in the future when there is no more cash, if everything goes to credit card, how on earth could you surprise your significant other with a present? You can’t, so I joked around and said I think Litecoin and Bitcoin is going to save marriages, so thank you Charlie Lee for creating this, you’ve helped save my marriage.
Vlad Costea: About Charlie Lee, what is he like? Because I saw that you met him a few times, and I think a lot of people have this type of malevolent impression of him because he sold his coins and in the bare market, it is so easy to blame somebody for not having a skin in the game, and he became less involved publicly, he doesn’t post as much, he used to be this guy who was trolling on Twitter, responding to every message, and now he has gone a bit quieter. And you had the chance to meet him a few times in the last 4 or 5 months, since consensus when you took him to the airport.
Jon Moore: Yeah, he had a drive with me in New York City, he is a really great man, he got in a car with me, flying through traffic. He is a really great guy, he is a real gentleman, I mean, he’s got no ulterior motives, he is about adoption, he wants adoption. He is not a sales man; Charlie Lee, some people are a good sales man, he is nice, he downplays a lot of stuff, so he is just kind of telling you what he thinks, he is not trying to sway you one way or the other.
He is a real guy, like I said, he doesn’t have any bad intentions. He donated the money to the Litecoin foundation, from the coins that he sold. So, I tell people, if you want to be mad at him for selling the coins when it was high, he donated that money to help Litecoin go forward, so I think he helped the project more by doing that because he helped to fund the Litecoin foundation and what we are doing right now, so I think that people just have to look at it differently and not… Again, in the bare market, it is very easy to point fingers and people are angry at me constantly on my Twitter that I am trying to tell people to pay with Litecoin, they are yelling at me, their credit is investing, why am I telling people this?…
So, again, I think people just want to be angry right now, and he is an easy, kind of source to go to, but he is an awesome guy, I can’t wait to see him again, definitely I like his vision and I trust, kind of what he says, so he is a very good, trusted source to go to and ask stuff, again, he is not trying to sway you one way or the other. So, very important in any type of business, have somebody that is just kind of neutral on how they view things, because you are going to get a very unbiased answer from them. that to me is really key.
Vlad Costea: I think I just have one last question and then we can wrap this up.
Jon Moore: Sure.
Vlad Costea: We have gone for longer than 30 minutes which is great. What does a regular week of work look like to you? how much time do you spend in the field, just going to businesses and talking to owners and how much time do you spend at the office?
Jon Moore: I probably do half and half. Now, a lot of the owners I talk to, I’m working on regular payment stuff with them, like getting them a Clover, getting them a credit card system set up, and then weaving Litecoin with it. So, it is kind of cool because I am in a unique position where Litecoin… again, it is a payment and I am a payments guy, so it’s what I am doing anyways.
The weather is cold now here, so kind of walking around and knocking on doors in New Jersey, in the North-East, you don’t do this much in the winter time. Now, more is people I kind of spoke to ahead of time, people that are interested in seeing me, actually the one guy that was in here before, he has a lot of clients that process credit card payments through him, he actually finds me a lot of people too that are interested in processing Litecoin. He set up a big meeting for me next week with a very fancy restaurant, and they are part of a restaurant group, and they want to talk about accepting Litecoin for the whole restaurant group, which is awesome, because now we are not talking about one restaurant, we are talking about a lot of restaurants, which is definitely so awesome.
So, again, I spend a lot of time at night too, working on stuff, like every day I am doing stuff for Litecoin, so I do a lot of stuff at night, I get a lot of people on Twitter ask me questions, helping answer emails in the Litecoin foundation for people that want to pay with Litecoin. Again, a lot of people are not in the East coast, so I kind of work around their schedule, if they are in the West coast or maybe they are in Europe or somewhere and are kind of working in different time. So, my biggest push now is going to be colleges, I want to get out to a lot of colleges and universities in the North-East and promote adoption there, because I want to go where people are going to be the most interested in Litecoin, and if we go to places where they have a young audience spending money, they are going to get a lot more people that want to actually pay with Litecoin.
And the businesses have more interest there, because we say to them, “this is a payment type that appeal to kids, don’t you want to appeal to the kids?”. So, they welcome it more than if we went through it around town and it is all senior citizens there, we are saying Litecoin here, your customers are going to pay this way, we both know that everybody is a 80 or 90 years old, maybe looking for a gold coin. So, that’s where I am at right now, anybody that wants to talk to me or see me, I would come visit, I will do a Zoom meeting or a Skype call and we will get the adoption going and get them accepting Litecoin.
Vlad Costea: That’s awesome, and I appreciate your energy and your commitment…
Jon Moore: Thank you.
Vlad Costea: I guess it is hard when you see your market is crashing and the odds are not in your favor and maybe you don’t have the best arguments because it I so much easier to walk through the front door of a shop and say, I represent a company which can help you accept Bitcoin and Litecoin, have you seen the news? Bitcoin is soaring, it has reached the new all-time high and people can’t wait to spend it.
Jon Moore: Very true. But I tell everybody, anybody is depressed, it is crypto depression, get on a quick call with me and you will be quickly motivated again and so I am like the happiest camper every day. Litecoin, even in the worst of their market puts a smile on my face, so this is like, I love this stuff, I love talking about it, so if you are ever down in the dumps, find me on Twitter, say hey Jonny, I need a quick pep talk with you, I will have you running down the street screaming Litecoin after the call… So, I am always motivated.
Vlad Costea: I guess this is the last comment, but I can see a certain similarity between what you do and what Roger Veer used to do when he was in Bitcoin in 2012, 2013. He used to do this kind of a thing, but he was more focused on big businesses, on corporations and banks and he was trying to get Bitcoin on Wall street, and he helped create the Bitcoin foundation. But you are much more focused on the small folks and I guess that’s where the adoption should come from.
Jon Moore: Yeah. It’s because… I have a confession to make, I really hate banks and big institutions, so in my mind, I don’t want to be associating with those people, I want to get out there and help the public with this stuff. This is not about banks and institutions, this is the people’s currency, so I want to be known to be public that I am a guy that is helping people, I don’t want to ever be dealing with big banks and institutions, I want to help people at the individual level, there’s plenty of other people in this phase that want to make deals with big banks, we need those people too, I am not going to be in a suit, shaking hands with CEOs of banks, it’s not in my DNA to do that, I mean I might come in a Litecoin sweatshirt and a hat like a regular guy, and shoot the breeze with you.
I can get dressed up if needed to talk to a law firm or a business, or if anybody sends me a referral and says, Jon, drop the Litecoin shirt for this one, wear a college shirt or something, I will do it, but you are exactly right man, I want to get out and I want to talk to the people, that’s what I am here for, so thank you again for having me on.
Vlad Costea: I am really happy that we did this, and best of luck, I guess it is difficult in these times, it’s cold and the market is also cold, or maybe colder than the weather.
Jon Moore: That’s alright. Stay tuned to my Twitter, I am JonnyLitecoin on Twitter, I have a lot of places coming up in the next few months, that are coming on board, accepting Litecoins, so we are making New Jersey, the pay with Litecoin state in the U.S. So, you come to Jersey, load up your LoafWallets, I got the businesses to send you, they pay with Litecoin, and most of them will give you a discount as well, so take care guys.
Vlad Costea: Bye. I can’t wait to come to New Jersey.
Jon Moore: Byes. I am buying you dinner when you come in there, right?
Vlad Costea: Oh, awesome.
Jon Moore: Thanks for this, bye…