Month: May 2018

005. Blockchain Culture and Collaboration with Mawadda Basir

Mawadda Basir is the Executive Director at Collider X a blockchain research and development hub that brings together businesses, academics and experts as they tackle blockchain innovations and best use cases.

We talk about the blockchain culture, based on open source, building on existing shared platforms, being transparent, decentralized, borderless and fostering collaboration.

Collaboration is key and must have been a huge part of Mawadda’s success at Rubix by Deloitte and the foundational blockchain work she did with her team there. Imagine collaborating on new technology, pushing the boundaries of what’s possible and continually bouncing ideas off of forward thinking, collaborative-minded people in the space. It sounds like that’s what it must have been like at Deloitte, especially when Mawadda mentions that the team included what we might now call “heavy hitters” in the blockchain space in Toronto, including Nuco/Aion founders Mathew Spoke, Kesem Frank, and Jinius Tu. Also, Henry Chan who’s now part of ConsenSys. And leading the team was Iliana Oris Valiente’s who’s now heading up Blockchain Global at Accenture Canada.

Mawadda also talks about an incredible idea she has for a new, all-inclusive workbag for the multi-faceted working woman, complete with in pocket phone charger and a waterproof sleeve for a laptop. Is there no limit to the forward thinking mind of Mawadda Basir?

You can find her at —

Twitter @MawaddaBasir

We also talked about

Collider X

Rubix by Deloitte




Iliana Oris Valiente at Accenture Canada

004. Speedy Justice for All with Federico Ast

Federico Ast is the Founder of Kleros, a revolutionary blockchain protocol that is going to change the way we do business in a hugely impactful way. What Kleros will be able to do, is give us easy access to judge, jury, and verdict, all delivered in about 24 hours.

Federico explains how this dispute resolution, or online justice, in the form of blockchain technology works and where we might use it. As an example, he talks about hiring someone in another country to build a website for you. Up front you can set the terms and decide that you’re going to go through Kleros for dispute resolution if one of you isn’t happy with the outcome. Then if one of you isn’t happy, Kleros decides. A group of decentralized jurors looks at the evidence and awards a verdict. Kleros decides who owes what to whom. And, basically, the money goes to the winner.

Aside from Founding Kleros, Federico also has a PhD in economics and philosophy, so he gives us a history lesson in Argentinian economics to help us put into perspective, why Bitcoin adoption and blockchain innovation has exploded there. If you’ve heard of government bail outs, wait till you here what the Argentinian government did to bail in!

And, have you seen Ready Player One, yet? Well Federico says the VR world is not all science fiction. The line between our offline and online world is starting to blur so he asks the question…  will we need a future justice system for our online world?

Some of the things Federico shares with us are:

  • Bitcoin White Paper

  • Federico Ast and Kleros

  • Economic History of Argentina

  • Ready Player One

  • Open Bazaar

  • Pinakion Token Sale

  • Lawrence Lessig Book

003. Blockchain 101 and Getting Into Crypto with Shannon Grinnell, interviewed by Lisa Pickering

I’m shaking things up and turning the microphone around! Instead of doing the interviewing, I brought on a fellow TV veteran, Lisa Pickering, to interview me.

I thought it would be good idea to talk about why I’m doing this podcast and what was it that motivated me to start learning about cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology in the first place. And what it comes down to is trying to make the technology, that I find incredibly exciting and revolutionary, easy to understand.

Lisa Pickering, my interviewer, and I worked together years ago as Television Producers at MuchMusic in Toronto. We both come from a television background and we’re both fascinated by what’s happening in the blockchain space so we go through some of the basics, from a beginner’s perspective on what’s going on and what’s exciting for the future of this space.

NOTE: there is one moment of explicit language in case you are language sensitive.

Some of the things we talk about are:

  • The Internet of Money by Andreas M. Antonopoulos

  • Bitcoin White Paper

  • Federico Ast and Kleros

  • Amazon adopting blockchain technology

  • Goldman Sachs adopting blockchain technology

002. Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Bob’s Dream for a Better World with Bob Summerwill

Bob Summerwill brings humour and a genuine adoration to this in-depth conversation about what’s going on in the crypto, blockchain and FinTech worlds. He explains, in accessible and understandable language, where this technology has come from and goes on to share his thoughts on where it may be headed.

Bob is Co-Founder and CTO for Varro Technologies, a Community Leader for Ethereum Project and Community Ambassador for the Sweetbridge Project and CryptoChicks. He had loads of knowledge and expertise in code and in looking at the big picture around decentralization. He talks about decentralization completely changing the way we do things, not just with currency, but with changing how databases are stored and maintained and by changing the way things work with the internet of today.

Bob gives us a beginner’s look at Bitcoin, as a concept, an open source platform, a decentralized leger, and as a currency. He talks about the revolutionary technology of Bitcoin and how it came to be. And he expands on his view of blockchain technology by explaining how Ethereum builds on Bitcoin’s open source platform and allows for even more uses.

We go into depth on Ethereum, and how the usability of the platform allows smart contracts, code with certain programmable conditions, to be layered on top of a foundational blockchain. Bob talks about the ability to add applications, dApps, decentralized applications that run on many different computers in a P2P peer to peer way rather than with an intermediary or a centralized party. He elaborates by speaking about many different uses for these dApps such as – polling, legal transactions, voting, record keeping, trade, land titles, or supply chains.

We also get into the reasons behind why Bitcoin and Ethereum are based on a trustless, immutable, borderless decentralization system. And Bob shares with us why he believes diversity and representation for all is of paramount importance as these new technologies are being developed and adopted globally.


For more information on Bob Summerwill, please find him on Twitter @BobSummerwill and you can read Bob’s Blog at

For more information on cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology, Bob recommended the following:

  • Blockchain Revolution by Don Tapscott and Alex Tapscott

  • Digital Gold: Bitcoin and the Inside Story of the Misfits and Millionaires Trying to Reinvent Money by Nathaniel Popper

  • That Book on Blockchain A One-Hour Introby Jonathan Morley

  • Bitcoin Security: Bubble Boy and the Sewer Rat – Andreas M. Antonopoulos on YouTube

  • The Internet of Money by Andreas M. Antonopoulos

001. Blockchain Technology and Women in The Space with Anna Vladi

Anna Vladi, Founder of Women4Blockchain, and I talk about why blockchain technology is revolutionary, what are some of its uses, like solar power energy sharing via P2P network or the blockchain. Imagine a world where you could buy solar powered electricity directly from your neighbour at a lower cost than from the power company? This is the future. And what will that mean for the cost of our electricity services to have now new competitors who are also consumers. Will we have an EBay for power sharing? Will we have a new EBay for everything?

Anna explains that her company Women4Blockchain is set up to educate and promote women who are working in the area of cryptocurrency and blockchain development. She talks about her upcoming Hackathon and Conference in NYC in June 2018 (now postponed until October 2018) that asks teams of women to compete in creating blockchain solutions that require the coming together of three pillars – business, legal, and technical.

We also discuss the concept of smart contracts and “law as code” and how the legal agreements as part of a transaction can be embedded in a blockchain itself.

One issue that we touched on that’s sure to be a topic addressed by women for the next months or maybe years is the idea of marketing to women in the crypto space. Jumping off of Meltem Demirors position that we’re not doing a good job of it especially since 60% of wealth is controlled by women and women are responsible for 80% of consumer spending. Shouldn’t there be more women in the FinTech world in order to balance this dynamic? Is it changing?

And speaking of women in the space, should there be blockchain conferences with all women panels or women only areas? There’s some debate around this topic as women are making more of a presence.

For interested developers, and for more information. Anna recommended

Preethi Kasireddy on Twitter @iam_preethi and her blog on Medium at

The Ethereum White Paper at

The Ethereum Yellow Paper at

Crypto Chicks