Welcome back to Chain reactiona podcast that dives deep into the stories, backgrounds and breaking news with the biggest names in crypto.
For this week’s episode, I interviewed Alex Adelman, the co-founder and CEO of Lolli. Founded in 2018, Lolli is a bitcoin rewards app that allows people to earn bitcoin or cash when they shop online or in person at more than 10,000 stores such as McDonald’s, Starbucks, Dunkin’, CVS, Costco and so on. Adelman was previously part of the team that built the commerce gateway Cosmic, which was acquired by PopSugar in 2015 before eventually passing into Ebates (now Rakuten) in 2017.
“I’ve been selling bitcoin to merchants since 2013,” Adelman said. “So it wasn’t another sale — for better or for worse, I’ve been the bitcoin man for many Fortune 500 traders.”
Lolli has grown significantly in recent years, from partnering with less than 500 stores in the first few months to more than 10,000 stores to date. Adelman delved into the rewards system in the crypto ecosystem and how it has evolved over the years – and what the future holds for Lolli.
“We have been talking about the future of loyalty and its involvement in crypto for a long time,” Adelman said. “Now it’s blossoming.”
The episode also delved deep into the topic of Bitcoin NFTs and Ordinals, the latest craze for the community. We discussed whether Bitcoin NFTs are good for the ecosystem, how the technology can grow in the long run, and opportunities for these digital inscriptions to potentially fit into Lolli’s business model.
“I’m a big believer that the best NFTs are memes that last forever and art that will last forever,” Adelman said. “If things have a use, they have a finite value, as opposed to an infinite belief that it could be the next Mona Lisa. That is the distinguishing factor: we consciously looked at what has value.”
Adelman also thinks more artists and projects will launch on Bitcoin in the future. “I think in a few months you will probably see Lightning marketplaces appear where you can buy and sell Bitcoin NFTs,” Adelman added. “Artists want to build ecosystems where there’s liquidity, where people can buy, and there’s no better ecosystem than Bitcoin.”