Karen Shidlo is the CMO at Fiat 24 and a marketing and UX design pro. She's inspired by how Defi can address many of the existing financial systems’ flaws and how blockchain technology will revolutionize the roles of banks and users. She's been in Zurich since 2014, and has been working in content marketing, visual and graphic design, and art direction for a diverse range of agencies, luxury brands, and even spin-offs in the biotech sector.
Karen believes the current situation of the Web has a lot of problems. She gave the example of Donald Trump being canceled and blocked on Twitter whenever he posts something that they don’t like. She said all these big corporations have a lot of power over our content. In today’s era we can be content creators, but not content owners. This is why Karen is interested in Web3 because there is a potential for a new iteration of the Web. She mentioned she is excited about users owning their data, not corporations. She is also excited about making global digital transactions and online exchange of information where value and information are decentralized.
According to Karen, communities are at the core of Web3 because it is still emerging and not many people know exactly what it is. So, to share knowledge, share what they're building, learn from each other and start to create something, communities are important. She thinks Discord, Twitter, and Telegram are those channels that are important for Web3 communities.
Karen is convinced that scams are everywhere, including on the Web3. Crypto has seen quite a tumultuous year in 2022, not only because of the bear market but also with a lot of different news stories breaking up, giving it bad press. But still, there are a lot of companies that are working hard to build legitimate and regulated businesses to offer people a new way of handling their finances or a new way of having more control over their digital lives.
Talking about her company Fiat24, Karen stated that their motto is to revolutionize the way that banks operate. The company was founded by a couple of traditional bankers, who got a little bit disillusioned with traditional finance and saw an opportunity in the crypto and blockchain space. They work closely with the Swiss financial regulator and have a fintech license, which is like a banking light license that allows them to take cash deposits. Her company believes they are Web3 ready because to connect to their services, the clients have to mint their NFT and connect their wallets. So essentially what they offer is they extend your crypto wallet to be banking services and when you access their dashboard, you can top up your account using both Fiat money and crypto. You can easily off-ramp to the bank wire to the bank of your choice, and you can also do peer-to-peer payments and forex crypto exchange. Everything happens directly on the blockchain. It's instantaneous and everything is powered by smart contracts.
Karen’s company targets its audience through Twitter and Discord but they also run a meetup group, in Zurich, which is for the people that live in the Crypto Valley, to talk about different topics related to Web3.
Regarding the Metaverse, Karen mentioned that her company does have its metaverse, but that it is not its main focus at the moment. She is very interested in the metaverse as she has seen many big companies like Ernst and Young show a lot of interest in it. She believes metaverses have potential but to have the full experience, we need to wait a bit.
As Karen discussed the challenges of Web3 for her company, she mentioned one of the biggest problems is onboarding more and more users into it. This is because of technical stuff. Because Web3 is not as simple as opening your phone and downloading an application or relying on a third party to give you your username and help you to onboard with a password and email and knowing that you have a recovery system in place. Web3 is more complex than that. Fiat 24 tries to make it as simple and as possible and seamless but it still requires users to have a wallet and some basic knowledge.
Karen stated that NFTs have a lot of potential when it comes to digital identity. They are non-fungible; they can store all of our data to access Defi or Web3 products and services without having the friction of what we currently see in Web2 platforms. Moreover, she mentioned she is not really in the favor of token-gated communities because she believes everybody needs to have access to all the communities without forcing them to purchase a membership.
Karen aligns with the Web3 foundation and their mission of creating a decentralized and fair Internet where users control their data. She thinks Web3 is an opportunity for people to have a digital identity and more control over their information.
KEY HIGHLIGHTS (see clickable version on www.cmo-stories.com)
[00:36] Who is Karen Shidlo?
[01:26] What are your thoughts on the current state of the Web?
[03:21] What are your thoughts on communities within Web3?
[04:42] What do you tell people who are skeptical because of scams?
[06:14] What are you doing in business? And why are you in Web3?
[08:02] How do you target people with marketing? Do you use Web3 and the traditional Web2 platforms?
[09:37] Is Twitter Spaces a way you are doing for the business to connect with your audience with his fair share?
[11:30] Is the Metaverse something you are looking at for your company or personal interest?
[14:08] What are some of the challenges that you're seeing and what do you do to find solutions for them?
[16:02] Is digital identity something that you see as a good solution?
[17:59] Are token-gated communities something you noticed as a trend as well?
[19:13] What is the thing within Web3 that you find the most fascinating or exciting?
[21:15] Where do you want people to connect with you?
“Definitely the way that we can all share our knowledge, share what we're building, learn from each other and start to create something through the community.”
“You know, also not just that, if, as I said before, if they decide to suddenly shut down a service or if something goes down for maintenance reasons or something gets broken, you just have essentially lost everything because I think we're putting too much power in the hands of these global corporations, which I just don't think we should be.”