Slide 1: Steve Schroeder; Founder/CEO Slide 2: Steve’s son and Co-Founder, Jonathan Schroeder Slide 3: Steve's son, Gentry Schroeder
Smart Community Technologies is a bitcoin only company
developing on the lightning network.
“The butterfly effect holds that the world is deeply interconnected such that one tiny event can produce much larger consequences. We’re changing lives one person, one event at a time, but together, we can change the world.”
There’s the road less traveled, and then there’s the road that no one saw coming. Steve Schroeder has always been a forward-thinking entrepreneur driven to push the boundaries of technology to help others. Years before launching Smart Community Technologies in 2017 and DeCoy in 2021, he’d co-founded Bowling Rewards in 2007 and Loyal Patron a few years later in Colorado, before selling the rights to his partner in August 2014 to pursue mobile technologies and innovative concepts with a company in Georgia. That fall, Steve had just settled into his new home and job, beginning the next chapter of what he humbly recalls as an “ordinary career.” Then fate stepped in with an unexpected crisis that would turn his ordinary career into an extraordinary journey—and a destiny that might just change the world.
Thirty days into his new role, Steve was in a development meeting for an innovative mobile app using geolocation and AI when, mid-sentence, he collapsed, in cardiac arrest. Twenty minutes later, he was pronounced dead as paramedics sped him to the hospital. Doctors put him into an ice-induced coma in an attempt to save him, but the odds of survival were a grim one percent. A week later, Steve awoke. Some might call it a miracle, a merciful act of Providence. Others might point to a sheer will to live, if not for himself, for his daughters, Naomi and Peyton; his elder son and DeCoy co-founder, Jonathan; and the younger Gentry, who, with severe autism, requires Steve’s constant care. Whatever the forces that pulled him back from darkness, they put Steve on a path to reexamine not only his place in the world as a father and a business leader, but that of every individual as vital, intertwining threads that make up the fabric of families, communities, nations.
In 2020, as the world came to a standstill in the grips of the pandemic, Steve’s mind traced the pattern of those strands, imagining them as the colorful, fluttering wings of human action and interaction. He followed the reverberations of seemingly inconsequential daily behavior—the purchase of a single cup of coffee, a window-shopping excursion—and envisioned the enormous, life-changing impact these trivial events could have not just on the individual, but on humankind. Then, in a single flash, he realized why he was spared—to use his decades of experience and expertise in digital assets to contribute to the greater good in a big, big way. This is the remarkable story of DeCoy and the man behind the ground-breaking customer loyalty app designed to benefit consumers, communities, countries, and the world, for the betterment of all. Welcome to the butterfly effect—in real time.
What is DeCoy? The Customer Loyalty App On a Mission to Change the World.
How can an app change the world? By offering a host of innovative benefits never before seen in a mobile app. First, users pick up free items with no strings attached, and not just free appetizers, bowling, golf, and food, but free money is deposited into the consumer’s wallet. Second, they can use DeCoy to pay for everything is USD, bitcoin, or other currencies—and transfer what they earn to anyone in the world free of charge without any currency conversion or intermediary fees. Users can also purchase brand packages, such as 31 Grey Goose vodka cocktails for $10 from your favorite location or 12 appetizers for $12, and earn money playing real-life games. Finally, DeCoy is protecting consumers, communities, and countries alike. With a growing number of partners, including Ford, Papa Johns, Chick-fil-A, Walmart, Olive Garden, Miller Coors, and bowling centers across the U.S., DeCoy is completely flipping the script on the entire customer loyalty space so that everyone wins. “We are changing lives one person at a time, and together, we can change the world,” Steve says.
How it Works: The Butterfly Effect in Action.
It’s surprisingly simply! DeCoy members can earn money, free items, and bitcoin just by showing their app at a store and through their everyday behaviors, all while also helping others. For example, walk into a Papa John’s, show the app, and pick up a free pizza, or go to Walmart once a month, and receive $10 to buy anything, just for visiting their store, or maybe spend five minutes in a store, take a picture of, say, macaroni and cheese and it post to Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc., and earn rewards. Members can spend, save, invest, or donate their real money rewards for behavior anywhere in the world right through the app without incurring any transfer fees, wire fees, or conversion fees. Members can join for free or pay a small fee for added benefits, but the rewards far exceed the value of the minimal fee and DeCoy immediately donates 50% of this to the charity or cause of the user’s choosing using DeCoy’s proprietary Fundraising as a Service Technologies (FAAST). What’s the catch? There isn’t one. “Everything about DeCoy is about people giving to others,” Steve says. “It is in giving that we receive.”
We had the pleasure of sitting down with Steve to learn more about DeCoy and how this growing community of butterflies—from consumers to businesses to charities—is benefitting, and get a sneak peek into his upcoming book.
Steve, tell us a bit more about how DeCoy works, who can join, and the innovative bitcoin aspect of it.
Any person can join for free or pay a small fee for added benefits and support of any community in the world, and any business, company, community, or charitable organizations can use or license DeCoy for free. Members earn free bitcoin just by using the app, and we deposit into their private wallet in the DeCoy app—that’s it! They can save it, donate it, or spend it as they like.
How can businesses and community organizations benefit from DeCoy?
DeCoy is free for businesses to join and use, all at zero cost and no risk to them. In addition, non-profits, schools, and churches can request the DeCoy API without any cost to the nonprofit and use custom tools to raise money for their organization with their members or other people in the community. We show them how to use their own dashboard to control free items, rewards, entries, balances, etc. This means each community can not only create their own currency, they can generate their own value within seconds and drive record donations on autopilot. DeCoy automatically directs 50% of the small membership fee along with all real-life gamifications, dwell times, and geo-scavenger hunts to benefit that particular entity by code via smart contract. In addition, members, groups, communities, countries, churches, or schools can pool their behavior to raise even more money or support emergency needs around the world and transfer their monetary rewards in-app to any other app user in the world for FREE! Goodbye Western Union and other monetary intermediaries.
You’re also working on new book. Can you share just a bit about this?
I am actually working on several new books, but the first is entitled Special Needs Parents and Pandemics…a true story of a father who was forced to become a mother and what he learned.
Gentry was 16 in March of 2020 when the entire U.S. economy was shut down due to COVID-19. He had just been transferred about a year earlier to a special group in Cumming, Georgia, which he would never have been able to apply for unless it was urgent. Gentry was physically hurting his mother and his teachers, and since he was so big and strong, he could easily overpower his mother, so it became risky for her to be alone with him. When the pandemic hit, nobody knew how to act, since nobody had been through a pandemic, but I quickly realized that I was left on an island with nobody to help. No school, no church, no friends, no work, everything was closed and there was no support. I had to flee to Arkansas where my mother and father had just moved, and my sister had been in the same community for 40 years. The book explains what happens when a sole parent caregiver has to move to a new place sight unseen in the middle of a pandemic and how DeCoy emerged out of this experience to help every special needs family in the community, then the country, and then the world.
Finally, what do you enjoy most about your work, Steve? What drives you?
What really drives me is helping others. I want to bring technology and theology together in a way that gives people confidence in what they believe, give them hope in the future, and support them financially with no strings attached, and just give them a strong reason to live with meaning, education, and empowerment that carries them during rough times and leads them to the same conclusion that I have come to and that’s that it is in giving that we receive. I believe our lives are not our own, especially if we have been given so much that the rest of the world or most of the world does not enjoy. I have been given so much, I am thankful for so many things, I want to help others who don’t have those advantages and give them a reason for living that will carry them through all of eternity.
Founder & CEO — Smart Community Technologies
Click on the Magazine to Download