Interview: Wedge CEO Billy Roberts on Spending Any Asset, Any Time
The Tokenist recently had the pleasure of engaging in an in-depth interview with Billy Roberts, CEO of Wedge, a company that’s on a mission to remove the friction between trading and investing, and making the stock market work for the average retail investor.
Wedge Allows You to Spend Any Asset, Any Time
Wedge imagines a world where assets could be seamlessly accessed at any time by investors. It aims to encourage investors to create better financial habits by allowing their investments to become more flexible.
We sat down with Billy Roberts, the company’s CEO, to discuss how Wedge could change the way investors see assets in the digital age. Our conversation went over how Wedge could be used today, and where it might be heading towards in the future.
Tokenist: We know about Wedge but would love to learn more. What exactly is Wedge’s unique value proposition, and how do you deliver such a service?
Billy Roberts: What really sets Wedge apart is its unique ability to allow users to spend with a single Smart Debit Card, using any asset (stocks, bonds, crypto, EFTs) or cash from current bank accounts that are connected to their “Wedge wallet” in the way that works best for them.
Wedge’s capacity to create this streamlined choice means that, functionally, users can buy lunch with Bitcoin and go to an ATM and pull-out cash for groceries that was just seconds before stock in a company like Tesla. And to take it one step further, users seamlessly capitalize on micro-arbitrage opportunities every time they make a purchase. To date, Wedge users have earned more than 10% on their purchases by being able to capitalize on this new capability.
Those who use Wedge are rapidly and seamlessly adding it to their everyday spending habits, using the card slightly more than two times per day on average on groceries, gas, dining out and other everyday goods and services, with 63 percent of transactions made with an asset (vs. cash).
Tokenist: Your website mentions users can “spend any asset.” How exactly does this work with assets such as stocks or bonds?
Billy Roberts: What we’ve done with Wedge is take the most useful components from a variety of fintech apps and united them into one intuitive app that’s connected to a single debit card.
So now you can buy and sell more than 4,000 equities and cryptocurrencies and store them, along with your cash, in a single “wallet.” When you swipe your Wedge card, a notification that lists all your assets surfaces and gives you a very clear indication of how much you could earn by using one of your asset types for the purchase in lieu of cash.
So it’s easy, just select which asset you want to use (or just elect to use cash) and Wedge handles all of the backend trading and turns that asset into cash that can be used for the purchase.
Tokenist: If a user is selling their assets to pay for transactions, naturally there would be tax implications. Does this create a potential problem for users?
Billy Roberts: It can, yes.
Most of the asset sales made through Wedge will typically qualify as short-term gains, just as they would with any other retail investing/crypto exchange app. Wedge does however take a very proactive stance on tracking a user’s cumulative gains throughout the year with detailed monthly statements and real-time tracking of gains/losses via the app. At the end of the year, users get a consolidated 1099 for their equities and crypto, which makes tax reporting as simple as possible.
Tokenist: Which cryptocurrencies does Wedge currently support? Are there plans to add more additional assets in the future?
Billy Roberts: We currently support BTC, ETH, BCH, BSV, COMP, DOGE, ETC, LTC, MATIC, SHIB, and SOL. We are always updating our list of supported crypto types based on their relative market caps, functional liquidity through the exchanges, and guidance from our compliance team. Our goal is to support those crypto types that we feel do not place an outsized risk to our users in terms of their capacity to be supported and exchanged through the markets.
Tokenist: Diamond hands is a very common investing “philosophy” these days—among certain circles—though most people do save for the long-term. Is there really a market for people using assets to pay for goods and services?
Billy Roberts: Absolutely. One thing to note with Wedge is that this is not inherently a replacement for diamond hands accounts or long-term investing strategies. With Wedge’s liquidity engine, we are able to bring new, incremental capital into the markets in a way that allows stores of value to be used for transactions.
In this sense, Wedge is a complement to these longer-term strategies. In other words, keep your diamond hands accounts where you have them, but consider putting a 5-10% buffer in your bank account to work the market in a way that works for you.
Tokenist: We’ve also seen that Wedge offers a debit card. What are the advantages of using your debit card as opposed to a traditional bank-issued debit card?
Billy Roberts: We’re on the debit card rails, but it’s hard to just categorize Wedge as an alternative to a traditional checking account debit card. What’s truly unique about Wedge is its ability to create a one-to-many relationship between the card and the funding sources. So, with the Wedge card, you can connect multiple checking accounts to a single card (and/or use a checking account at our sponsor bank), but also have the card connected to all of your assets (stocks, bonds, crypto, EFTs, etc.).
With the Wedge card, you can seamlessly pay using any of the connected funding sources in the way that works best for YOU. Additionally, you get credit-card-like rewards with the Wedge card, giving the users the opportunity to get cashback while recognizing sizable gains on every purchase.
Tokenist: How does Wedge compare to a traditional savings account?
Billy Roberts: Eh, pretty substantially. With Wedge, our users can create new checking accounts and hold cash, but we are really more of an aggregator of different financial services tools, united by a single debit card, which empowers users to get the most bang for their buck.
Tokenist: What’s the Wedge Leaderboard?
Users unlock new rewards and move up the (anonymous) leaderboard as they send and earn with Wedge. This creates a community where users can see how their portfolio is performing relative to other users. The cool part is that it also allows users to see how they could better balance their portfolios over time to extract the best returns on their spending.
The Wedge leaderboard is a great tool for those looking to better maximize their securities by easily seeing their success in using Wedge to its fullest potential. And, it’s a really fun way to compete with your friends and family while using the app.
Tokenist: How does Wedge help users become better at saving and investing?
Wedge users have the ability to trade fractionally in the markets. They also get visibility into the markets and their performance every time they spend. Essentially, Wedge teaches users about the markets in a really engaging way – rather than having to compete for someone’s time to teach them, they get a touch point every time they swipe their card. Additionally, Wedge works best for those users that set up small, recurring investments into their basket of assets and allow the system to dollar-cost average them into the market responsibly.
I believe Wedge offers a real paradigm shift for a lot of folks—especially those that got pulled into the markets during the meme coin rage and quickly saw that the markets weren’t working for them. With Wedge, we focus on sound strategies, rather than encouraging our users to come to fight in the Thunderdome.
The Tokenist would like to thank Mr. Billy Roberts for their time and for allowing us to glance at the vision Wedge is building toward.
Do you think the Metaverse is already here and will be part of our daily lives very soon? Let us know in the comments.