“You had the birth of bitcoin and all proliferation of really re-evaluating what is value, what is money and how does that get distributed and can tech help to actually democratize? I think these are questions that are challenging existing institutions and models and frankly, I think given the right circumstances, it’s a very healthy thing that’s going on”
Then her personal interest turned professional when she was at CME group and was given the go ahead to dive deep into research and development on Bitcoin. As Head of Digitization Sandra brought together a group of like-minded financial wizards that would help launch Bitcoin into the mainstream in a big way. They did their due diligence, dotted Is and crossed Ts and paved the way for CME Group to introduce Bitcoin futures at the end of 2017.
Then after all that R+D into Bitcoin and blockchain use cases, after talking with hundreds of startups and tech entrepreneurs about where blockchain was going, Sandra made a conscious choice and took a big step in leaving the banking industry to put her time and energy focused in a new direction.
She’s partnered with MIT entrepreneur in residence Julius Akinyemi and managing UWIN Corp with the goal of affecting change and using blockchain technology to democratize financial access in developing communities.
For an American, and a Yale grad, who spent most of her career in London, what an about face to be working on technology projects with farmers in Cameroon, or growers in Mauritius. Sandra shares some of the reasons behind why there’s such a need for digitization in these communities and why blockchain’s the way to go.
And one of her big questions that she’s putting to the test is, ‘can you make money and help other people as well?’
When we get back to talking about Bitcoin. Sandra’s perspective is that it’s here to stay, and apart from its current scalability issues, she talked about how it’s becoming easier and easier for us to adopt, trade and use.
We also get into tokenization and a very cool real estate example that explains why tokenization can make so much sense in a theoretical and practical way.
And before I ask Sandra my Five Fun Questions, she shares another project that she has on the go called “Proof of Art” helping independent artists, filmmakers, musicians and creative people so that they can focus on the creative side and leave the business aspect of making a living to those who excel in business.