EXCLUSIVE: Crypto-Focused YouTube Talk Show Host Steven Steele On Building An Audience – Tesla Motors (TSLA)

The YouTube-based cryptocurrency talk show “Steven Steele Live” is celebrating its first anniversary online. Benzinga recently visited with Steven Steele to discuss his unique role as an independent online crypto-focused media star and his views on the state of the digital assets environment.

Q: You are observing your first anniversary of “Steven Steele Live.” What inspired you to go on YouTube to discuss cryptocurrency?

Steven Steele: It was all kind of an accident, really. I’ve been an investor for quite a while, and then I started looking at other content out there the more involved that I got with my investments over the last few years. And then a few people started asking me to come on as a guest panelist on their shows.

Then I realized that there really wasn’t the kind of show out there that I would like to see for myself. So that’s when I began filling a void, as I saw it, and while doing something I genuinely enjoy.

Q: You have a show business background, but have you ever done this type of production before?

Steven Steele: I do have a bit of a background in voiceover work, and I used to make my living as a recording artist – as a frontman of a band, so I used to do a lot of touring and things like that. Perhaps a combo between those things landed me in the role.

Q: What’s the first year on YouTube been like for you? 

Steven Steele: It’s been a super, super interesting journey – definitely one of the most interesting things I’ve ever embarked on.

The community that I’ve been able to build is not the biggest channel, by any means, but the community that I’ve been able to build has been exceptional and unique. In fact, Jesse Hughes, the frontman of the Eagles of Death Metal, is a big fan of the show.

Another thing that makes the community that I built through the channel more unique than perhaps other crypto centric channels is everybody’s very familiar with each other. And everyone’s really, really dialed in – not only through their interest in cryptocurrencies, but friendships as well. Overall, I think it’s been a very, very rewarding experience.

Q: The major of the mainstream business media seems to treat cryptocurrency in general – and Dogecoin (CRYPTO: DOGE), in particular – as really being the fringe of the fringe. But can anyone today truly say this is still a fringe investment?

Steven Steele: No, not at all. And you raise a good point there – an astute observation, really. Certain outlets are starting to catch up now but, overall, we are seeing them significantly behind what’s happening in real time. And by the time they get around to it, they’re really late to the game, particularly as it relates to Dogecoin.

Q: Can one assume you get a lot of inquiries from people asking questions about investing in crypto? And do you feel comfortable giving financial advice?

Steven Steele: At the end of the day, I’m a dude with an opinion. I’m not a professional financial adviser.

Q: When did you first invest in cryptocurrency? 

Steven Steele: Bitcoin, about six years ago. I put some money in Bitcoin, and then I forgot about it for a while. About a little more than two years ago, I started getting more active back into the market again and, obviously, so much had transpired since I first invested in Bitcoin – there are so many more options and I began exploring all those. And, yeah, one thing led to another.

Q: Many people over the past year gained a greater awareness of the crypto scene thanks to Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) chief executive Elon Musk. What is your opinion of Elon Musk? Is he the right cheerleader for this community? Or is he doing sometimes more harm than good?

Steven Steele: Great question! It’s understandable for people to have some skepticism in that regard. It’s not that I agree with everything that Elon says all the time, but I do think the pros exceedingly outweigh the cons. And I think the fact that his being a deliberate provocateur on several fronts only adds a lot more attention to cryptocurrency in general.

Since Elon has more assertively really injected himself into the cryptocurrency story, and specifically in the Dogecoin story, I think, expectations can get really high. When people say, “Oh, Elon is going to tweet about Bitcoin” or “He’s good to tweet about Dogecoin today” and then if the reality doesn’t exceed the expectation, people can get kind of cynical really quickly.

But as I tried to try to tell my viewers: When in doubt, zoom out. You want to look at the overall trajectory, not only of Dogecoin but of crypto, and not over the course of six months or a year but over the course of several years – three years minimum. And usually, what that is going to show you is most of the top 10 cryptos are really a tale of two steps forward, one step back. A lot of times, people will misinterpret the one step back that occurs in their specifically favorite crypto and misinterpret that as crypto failing.

Q: We hear a lot from Elon Musk about cryptocurrency, but we don’t hear that much from Janet Yellen. Where’s the government in this?

Steven Steele: That’s exactly right, and it’s no coincidence the government isn’t particularly fond of cryptocurrency because it’s something that’s not in their control.

Q: The hedge fund executive Ray Dalio gets into the media every now and then by predicting that the government might want to shut down Bitcoin. Do you think he is right on that prediction?

Steven Steele: I think the one main thing that’s protecting us as crypto investors against the government completely strangling it is taxation. There’s so much money to be made from the crypto investors that I think it is the one thing that’s going to actually save us from getting regulated into oblivion.

Q: Benzinga recently ran an article about a hamburger restaurant in Dubai where you can pay for your meals with Dogecoin and other cryptocurrencies. But there are still relatively few retail outlets accepting cryptocurrencies. Is there a frustration in the crypto community that there’s almost no place where you can spend it?

Steven Steele: Oh, yeah, certainly. But at the same time, if we look at where the level of adoption and the level of notoriety for cryptocurrency was at a year ago, today, we’ve made so much progress in the popularity of cryptocurrency.

We want to see adoption be a lot further than where it is right now. But all things considered, from where we were 12 months ago, I think there’s still a lot to be optimistic about.

Q: If we were to pick up this conversation one year from today, where do you see your YouTube show?

Steven Steele: I would hope that it’s risen in popularity since a year ago from today, but we’ll see. I do see the show expanding even a bit more outside of the realms of cryptocurrency – it will always be a crypto-centric channel, but I am starting to line up more guests that are a bit outside of the realms of crypto, so it is going to trend a little bit more topically in a variety aspect.

But, at the same time, I’m really enjoying what I’m doing. So, either way, I’m good.