Exclusive Interview with Torum Founder on Crypto Social Media, Ethereum, NFTs and Next Bitcoin ATH
Recently, I had a chance to speak with the founder and CEO of Torum, a social media ecosystem for crypto users. As this is not the first such platform on the market, I was curious about what makes it special and how he sees the future of the project and the crypto environment in general. Let’s see what I found out.
U.Today: Before Torum, what was your experience in the crypto industry? And how did you come up with the concept of Torum? Can you tell us more about your project?
Yi Feng Go: So, I got into the crypto space after being invited by a friend of mine back in 2017. He told me to check out Ethereum, or else I am going to regret it, which I did (laughing). But I got in pretty early and made my first crypto purchase in January 2017. After that, I started my own crypto YouTube channel, called Ah Go Wu, and became one of the few influencers to talk about crypto and blockchain in Malaysia.
The idea for Torum first came during a crypto discussion with my childhood buddies. We were talking about why the industry had so many scams, why projects were having difficulty attracting real users, and how we can solve these dilemmas all at once. Then, I saw Steemit and was like, “A social media platform that is specially designed for cryptocurrency users? That’s what we need!”
Building Torum. Image by Torum
We are building Torum to connect everyone in the crypto space and provide them a one-stop crypto service in an ecosystem. Think of it as the ability to socialize with crypto addicts from different countries and cultures while swapping your tokens in a DEX or buying an NFT from a dedicated marketplace.
U.Today: I noticed that crypto social media projects existed way back in 2016, but they have not seemed to gain much interest among the crypto community. What are some of the reasons for the crypto community not being ready for crypto social media platforms?
Yi Feng Go: I do feel the same way as a crypto user myself. The first reason is that there is no reason to use them. Basically, every social project offers token incentives for using the platform, but incentives should only be a complement to the actual value that your project is providing. If your value is just token incentives, then any drop in price would make me unmotivated to use the platform, which is what sadly happened in the 2017 bear run.
There is also the issue of the lack of UI/UX elements in the platforms. I mean, no one would want to use a platform with a user interface from the 90s, right? But somehow, most projects just kind of roll on with it, and the community slowly leaves the platform, disappointed.
There are also issues like improper token incentive model planning and questionable token withdrawal limitations. But for these parts, let’s just say that every project has a different approach.
U.Today: Which project do you think is the closest competitor of Torum? How does Torum separate itself from them?
Yi Feng Go: I would say BitClout is the one. First, it has private investor support like us. And they are targeting crypto users. I have to admit that they are quite genius to apply a Twitter-like UI to their platform, and that is something that Torum does as well.
While we are going for the same niche market, the biggest difference is our approach to building the community. BitClout kicked off by pulling user data from…I don’t know, was it Twitter? I am not sure of the details, but this practice never bodes well within the crypto space, and it backfired pretty badly.
Blockcast. Image by Torum
Here on Torum, we build the community step-by-step through promoting a friendly and community-centric culture. We don’t rush stuff, as good things take time to happen. Sometimes, too much haste means too little speed. Building a social media platform is not exactly the same as building a DeFi project. You are building something that is going to last for the next 10 years, so culture and value are super important as the foundation.
We are also incredibly bold to experiment with the latest crypto innovations like DeFi and NFT. We are launching our own NFT marketplace and DeFi platform to provide our community access to all of these crypto-centric services. These integrations are going to keep our community coming back for more. It all comes down to what you can provide to the community. These are the two things that I think Torum does better than every other social media peer out there.
U.Today: We all know that around 90 percent of crypto projects die in a bear run. How is Torum going to make a difference here?
Yi Feng Go: It all comes down to value and purpose. What are the sort of values that you can provide to the people using Torum? For what reasons does the crypto community use Torum?
The motivation to use Torum is simple. We get to connect with crypto lovers and get access to crypto services like DeFi and NFT at the same time. As the effect of the network increases, the value that a person receives from Torum is going to rise compoundingly. It may be some insider info that you can get or new crypto buddies from other countries; that is where the real value and purpose come from.
Plus, social media is a super strong connection powerhouse. Torum is similar to how we use Twitter and Facebook. As more people get accustomed to Torum, word-of-mouth marketing and retention will follow. When the number of people using Torum continues to rise, that utility flows into our native token, XTM. So, it is like a cycle: more users, more utility, better price performance – and the cycle continues.
U.Today: Speaking of NFT, Beeple claimed that the current NFT industry is in a bubble. What is your take on this?
Yi Feng Go: I do agree with Beeple on this. In fact, I feel that 80 percent of the NFTs out there have no value. Crypto artists might not agree with me on this, but people are mostly buying NFTs because of the hype, not because of the style of your artwork or what it is composed of.
When it comes to DeFi, we still have UniSwap, MakerDAO and many more. These interesting things make up an innovative niche industry that provides tangible use cases to the people. But NFTs are just NFTs. What are you going to do with it? People investing in NFTs need to be aware of the downside. They may not know that most coins dropped up to 90 percent in value when the last bears arrived.
That being said, I am not denying the potential of NFTs. In fact, we are barely scratching the surface of it. It just needs more time to see those exciting developments that we are looking for.
U.Today: What do you think about the Ethereum gas fee issue? Do you think that Ethereum is going to be replaced by another high performance blockchain like BSC or Solana?
Yi Feng Go: Yeah, I am a big fan of Ethereum. In fact, the majority of my portfolio holdings is in ETH (laughing). But, from the way things are progressing, ETH is definitely on the losing streak.
We are now seeing projects migrating from Ethereum to other public chains, which means the network effect advantage that Etheruem has enjoyed for the past six years is slowly crumbling. Even Torum has migrated our ecosystem to BSC. So, if things do not change, there is a possibility that Ethereum might really be replaced by another rising blockchain.
U.Today: Where do you see Torum in the next three to five years?
Yi Feng Go: In the next three to five years, we can foresee that there is going to be a mass adoption event where the general public will hop into the crypto space. It may be investment, art, banking, entertainment or any other form of adoption.
Tarc. Image by Torum
I hope that Torum can be the key adoption bridge that brings mass adoption to crypto. People have always underestimated the connecting potential of social media. Once the Torum network gets to a certain point, both the general public and crypto enthusiasts will use Torum as a crypto social and learning hub.
U.Today: Coinbase recently completed its IPO and is now listed on the Nasdaq. How do you think the event is going to shape the crypto industry for the next three to five years?
Yi Feng Go: I see it as an absolute win-win for the crypto industry. The listing means that, with the current regulatory landscape, every crypto project now stands a chance to access the traditional market, as long as it can prove its value. Could we imagine in 2017 that crypto would be going to the Nasdaq?
I mean, it is a vote of confidence that traditional finance is slowly hopping on the crypto train. The Nasdaq listing event has opened up immeasurable potential for the crypto space.
U.Today: Which project or industry leader do you look up to the most?
Yi Feng Go: I would say CZ from Binance. It is crazy how the guy manages to build the largest crypto exchange in the world when there are other big exchanges in the market. I really admire his execution power and his endless pursuit of utility innovation. It is what has made Binance prosper for the past five years and for more to come. That is something I hope to manifest and do better with Torum.
U.Today: One last question: What’s your personal price prediction for the Bitcoin ATH in this bull run?
Yi Feng Go: I actually made a video about this on my Facebook page back in January 2020. I made a prediction that the price of Bitcoin is going to $100,000 in the next one or two years, and it is happening. But from the way things are going, I am not so sure about the price target anymore.
I still think that the peak should be $100K, but we don’t know how things are going to turn out in the end. Who knows if Bitcoin might head straight to $70K and enter another bear run again, right? There are lots of factors that can turn the tide in a split second like the SEC enforcement, Elon Musk and the TikTok meme gang.
Not financial advice, but $100K is still possible. I still do live chat sessions with my followers every two weeks, and everyone is asking the same question. But the truth is: No one can predict the market, not even CZ or Satoshi Nakamoto. Ultimately, it comes down to three things.
First, how much money is the government printing every day? Second, what is the general public perception toward all these government money printing practices? Third, will the government enforce strict rules to stop the adoption growth of crypto and blockchain?
All in all, I do think that as long as we can continue introducing new use cases and utility to people, the price of Bitcoin will follow sooner or later. Even if we do not reach the $100K ATH in this bull run, we are going to get to this price level in the next one.