Gwen Wunderlich and Dara Kaplan, Wunderlich Kaplan Communications, joins Yahoo Finance Live to discuss the company accepting crypto.
BRIAN CHEUNG: –the latest to announce that they will, as Wunderlich-Kaplan Communications is a female-owned and operated public relations agency out of Miami and New York. And with us to discuss now are the founders of that company, Dara Kaplan and Gwen Wunderlich. Thank you so much for joining us.
So I guess I just want to kick off this question. You have two clients that say they’ll be paying you in crypto. Now, for me personally, I’m looking at the volatility of this asset class and going, whoa, that might give me a little bit of, I guess, heartburn in terms of the pricing there. So what ultimately led to the decision to work with your client partners to accept these payments?
– Right. So we were early in the cannabis industry. And that led us to work with a lot of future-thinking companies, a lot of international clients we’ve had some interest from to accept cryptocurrency. We were worried about the volatility in the market as well. And that led us to decide to work in stablecoin only. So we accept USDC, USDT, which are dollar-for-dollar. So it’s a little bit less volatility than your Ethereum or Bitcoin or Dogecoin. There’s obviouisly volatility in that.
– And we have accepted it already.
KRISTIN MYERS: Curious to know what the level of, perhaps, interest is in paying in these cryptocurrencies or with digital coins.
– There has been a lot of inbound interest. We held off on a few of the clients until we got a little more comfortable. Our first client is a crypto cannabis company. And they are working solely in crypto. So that’s why we decided to do it.
And our second client is Museum of Graffiti, which is working in the NFT market. So we felt comfortable doing it there as well.
– Slow and steady though, slow and steady.
BRIAN CHEUNG: Now, I know– I guess it makes sense that some of these companies that are already kind of adjacent to this asset class would be interested in doing this. But it’s important to note that your company has a roster of companies that are all over the place in types of industries when you look at Procter & Gamble, Maserati, Bergdorf Goodman. Is it ultimately the goal to maybe have some of those types of clients also in the same type of payment structure? Have you started to have those conversations, as people really start to wonder, is this truly the future of payments?
– No. The more traditional clients have not wanted to move into that. And I don’t think we would even broach the subject with those traditional clients. This is more for the industries that are future-thinking and already working in crypto. I think the clients that are already working in it are more comfortable with it, obviously, than someone like a New Chapter or a Charlotte’s Web.
KRISTIN MYERS: Now, you both said that, right now, you’re only accepting stablecoin. But we have heard a lot of people, for example, some professional athletes say that they want to start getting paid in Bitcoin, for example, or even Ethereum. What would it take to get you guys to accept some of these other cryptocurrencies?
– I would not say we would never do it. I think just researching the market a little more and seeing where the volatility goes and how much it’s swinging every day, I don’t what would get us to do it. What do you think?
– I don’t know. The success of our agency has been to be able to work nimble, work fast, change with the trends. But we kind of have to see what actually happens with it before we delve even deeper. So we’re just at the very start of it all.
BRIAN CHEUNG: Now, I’ve got a big picture question just about– I mean, your are in the public relations industry. And cryptocurrency, to be fair, is kind of something that everyone knows about, but not everyone knows about-knows about. So when you’re working with your clients on just even the public messaging for this type of technology, the blockchain infrastructure, these types of adjacent asset classes, how difficult is it to work with a client like that as opposed to, say, a beverage company or jewelry?
– So there’s been a big learning curve. And again, we’ve started, really, with clients that are already in the cryptocurrency world. So there has not been a learning curve on their end. It’s more on our end, to be honest. So they’ve really taught us a lot about it as well.
KRISTIN MYERS: I’m wondering because I think one of the things that kind of puts people off a little bit from using cryptocurrency is, one, they don’t know how to liquidate it once they do receive, for example, one or two bitcoins. They don’t know where else they can then go take that cryptocurrency and use it. How are you guys navigating that, just the logistics of using cryptocurrencies once you accept it as a payment but then are going to try to put money back into your own business?
– Well, it’s been a challenge. So we’ll save that, for sure. It’s a learning curve. What we’ve done and the way we’ve accepted it, we have a Coinbase wallet. And this is what we recommend to other people. They have a wallet somewhere. It doesn’t have to be Coinbase. That’s just what we use.
And then it’s quite simple to transfer the assets from your Coinbase wallet to the exchange. And then you can put it right into your own bank account if you want it in dollars. Or if you want to keep playing with trading– I don’t know. Some people want to do that. We move it back into our business and just go from there.