Month: July 2018

022. 5×10 – Five Questions. Ten Guest Interviews.

What if I could get ten of the coolest, forward-thinking, big-picture seeing, crypto dynamos together in one place and pick their brain about things that are blockchain related, and not?

I’d want to ask them about what advice they would give to their younger selves? I’d ask what books they’d recommend so I can wrap my head around Bitcoin, blockchain and this whole new crypto world? And I’d want to know what kind of future they see or hope for.

Well, today in this compilation podcast, I’m bringing you ten different podcast guests who’ve all answered the same 5 questions.

1. What’s a book on bitcoin, blockchain tech, or cryptocurrency that you would recommend?
2. What’s one thing you would tell the younger you if you could go back in time?
3. If you were the King of the World, what’s one law you’d put into place?
4. What technology would you like to see in the world ten years from now?
5. What’s the best piece of advice you can give to someone who wants to do something great, but he or she doesn’t know where to start.

Guests:

Adam B. Levine https://twitter.com/GamerAndy
Tokenly https://tokenly.com/
Let’s Talk Bitcoin Network https://letstalkbitcoin.com/

Adam Helfgott https://twitter.com/adamhelfgott
MadHive https://madhive.com/
MadNetwork https://madnetwork.com/

Yoni Assia https://twitter.com/search?q=yoni%20assia&src=typd
eToro https://www.etoro.com/

Robert Allen https://twitter.com/rob_nodl
nodl.io http://nodl.io/

Leon-Gerard Vandenberg https://twitter.com/Leon_Vandenberg
Solara https://www.solara.io/

Nick Beglinger https://twitter.com/NickBeglinger
Cleantech21 http://cleantech21.org/

Joanna Hubbard https://twitter.com/jojohubba
Electron http://www.electron.org.uk/

James Allen Regenor https://twitter.com/JRegenor
Fr8 Network https://fr8.network/

Andrei Polgar https://twitter.com/andreipolgar
One Minute Economics https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpsroJwsVKQvRH3ZqdvRetQ

Betsabe Martinez Botaitis https://twitter.com/betsabemk
AIKON https://aikon.com/

BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS:

Mastering Bitcoin: Programming the Open Blockchain
By Andreas Antonopoulos

The Master Switch
By Tim Wu

The Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations
By Ori Brafman and Rod A. Beckstrom

Blockchain Revolution: How Technology Behind Bitcoin Is Changing Money, Business and the World
By Don Tapscott and Alex Tapscott
FinTech Revolution Universal Inclusion in the New Financial Ecosystem
by Sofie Blakstad and Robert Allen

Before Babylon, Beyond Bitcoin” history of money and the route to bitcoin and beyond.
By David Birch

The Punch Escrow, Sci-Fi
Tal M. Klein

The Bitcoin Standard
By Saifedean Ammous

Cryptoassets: The Innovative Investor’s Guide to Bitcoin and Beyond
By Chris Burniske and Jack Tatar

The Internet of Money
By Andreas Antonopoulos

Age of Anomaly
By Andrei Polgar

The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future
By Kevin Kelly

1984
By George Orwell

OTHER RECOMMENDATIONS:

Tim Ferriss podcast with Nick Szabo and Naval Ravikant
Unchained podcast by Laura Shin
Telegram Communities like Women In Blockchain Foundation
Medium
SteemIt
Coin Telegraph

021. Let’s Talk Bitcoin Network and a Billion Dollar Idea with Adam B. Levine

“When bitcoin came along, the thing about it that was so interesting and compelling to me is that, here’s a money that not only is better but that literally can’t be stopped because there is nobody who you can stop. There is no CEO of bitcoin to go after. And that’s why, Satoshi Nakamoto, the story of Bitcoin is so important to Bitcoin not because we’re lacking something, but because by lacking that something it makes it incredibly hard to attack. There’s no one to demonize. There’s no one to go after.“

april2014bios (1 of 2)

Adam B. Levine was so inspired by Bitcoin, that he started the Let’s Talk Bitcoin podcast. It was the right show, the right topics, the right everything… and it hit at exactly the right time. Then after producing the show for about a year, and he got to the point where there were enough people listening that it was worth doing, he started the LTB Network. Who starts their own Network? Oprah. Oprah starts her own network. So Adam B. Levine is like the Oprah of the Bitcoin and Blockchain world.

https://letstalkbitcoin.com/

But these days he’s got bigger fish to fry. He’s gone on to pursue even bigger ideas, ways to take his learnings from all of his interviews and all of his work in this blockchain ecosystem, to form a company, called Tokenly. https://tokenly.com

Tokenly’s ground zero for two great projects that have been built around the ideas of a new kind of ownership over the internet and one of these projects… mark my words… is a billion dollar idea. It’s like iTunes 2.0. It’s everything the internet should have had when it started, but we just didn’t have the technology for it yet. Now, with Bitcoin breaking all kinds of ground, the world is ready.

So why do I think Adam has a billion dollar idea?

He explained than tokens are a representation of who owns what and how that can apply to everything. Everything. That was an a-ha moment for him and he uses the example of buying audio books the way we do now and the fact that we’re not actually buying it, but we’re buying a single use. When I buy an audio book on iTunes, I can’t give it to a friend or sell it to a used bookstore.

“The things that we do online do not have ownership associated with them, because until we had something like blockchain, we have never had a good way to track ownership of things online. But now that we do have that, all of these things that were completely impossible like the idea of a used book store selling digital books or audiobooks. That doesn’t exist in the online world. But if you have ownership of those things represented as ownership of a token, then all of that stuff is suddenly possible and all of the liquidity and all of the ease of use and interchangeability that we right now experience through bitcoin or through other cryptocurrencies suddenly can be applied to everything that we want to own on the internet.”

So what if he can build an online store that keeps track of ownership through tokens and users can buy, sell, trade music, digital books, movies, audio books.

Won’t it be bigger than iTunes? It’s like iTunes 2.0. And what’s iTunes worth? Isn’t the revenue in the billions, per year? So iTunes 2.0, it’s got to be a billion dollar idea!

That idea is a project called Token FM.

https://token.fm/

Another big idea from Adam and Tokenly is a project called TokenMarkets. It’s like a tokenized Shopify. Ownership is done through tokens. There are digital downloads and a rewards program and the ability to buy tokens with a credit card and ship products using UPS.

https://tokenmarkets.com/

Some of the other ideas we talked about we’re comparing the economy in his grandfather’s time to now which has to do with another reason why he believes in bitcoin.

We talked about a Fed Coin that would compete with other cryptos allowing for more competition to enter the space and ensure that those who are still in it would need to up their game. He talked about crypto wallets like Exodus https://www.exodus.io/ and Jaxx https://jaxx.io/ having many different coins and that our bank accounts may end up being crypto accounts.

Books he recommends:

Mastering Bitcoin: Programming the Open Blockchain

https://www.amazon.ca/Mastering-Bitcoin-Programming-Open-Blockchain/dp/1491954388?th=1&psc=1&source=googleshopping&locale=en-CA&tag=googcana-20&ref=pd_sl_8tsn1lly1f_e

By Andreas Antonopoulos

https://twitter.com/aantonop

The Master Switch

https://www.amazon.ca/Master-Switch-Rise-Information-Empires/dp/0307390993?th=1&psc=1&source=googleshopping&locale=en-CA&tag=googcana-20&ref=pd_sl_74aolbmqe0_e

By Tim Wu

https://twitter.com/superwuster

The Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations

https://www.amazon.ca/Starfish-Spider-Unstoppable-Leaderless-Organizations/dp/1591841836

By Ori Brafman and Rod A. Beckstrom https://twitter.com/oribrafman

https://twitter.com/search?q=rod%20beckstrom&src=typd

 

020. Blockchain Technology and Solar Punks w/Leon-Gerard Vandenberg

“What we think Solar Punk is, is this mash up of what Solara is, solar and then this cypher punk cyber punk initiative and so it’s a mash up between this social theme with a technology positivity to it.”

Leon-Gerard Vandenberg
Solara

One of the reasons why the ideology behind bitcoin made so much sense to Leon-Gerard


Vandenberg early on is because he had been creating a payment system that had similar goals behind it, called US Navy Cash. As he put it, “Imagine having the United States Treasury Department as a customer!” Well.. the US Treasury Department wanted thier Navy to have its own currency and to create a payment system that was transparent and resistant to fraud. Sound familiar? That was years before Bitcoin was ever mined. So it makes sense that Leon-Gerard, with that background, would go on to mine Bitcoin himself, and be working with related technology many years later.

Now Leon-Gerard Vandenberg is Chief Technology Officer for Solara, and developing an incredible clean energy blockchain network. He’s developing blockchain technology around solar energy generation and distribution and tokenizing the energy, through SOL tokens, as an asset.
go.solara.io/webinar

We also talk about the goal of financial inclusion and bringing opportunities that go along with creating infrastructure around solar energy to developing areas. By bringing energy as an asset to these areas, the advantage of blockchain tech and its inherent transparency and immutability, will come with it, so that political and financial fraud can be eliminated along the way.

Solar is the cheapest way to make energy, so is it possible to democratize wealth through creating digital villages?
go.solara.io/SolaraDigitalVillage

He mentions that there are trillions of dollars of bonds allocated by the World Bank and the United Nations in a green climate fund to assist in aid for infrastructure in developing countries.
GreenClimate.Fund

Leon-Gerard mentions his work with Fuzo building a working system on feature phones and smart phones, but that the company just didn’t get the traction to be able to scale.

He talks about ESIMS which can act like solar sensors with a stack of features inside and how that technology can be applied in the cases that he’s referring to.

He mentions Rob Allen, one of the advisors for Solara, who was on the Speaking of Crypto Podcast #011

https://speakingofcrypto.com/2018/06/19/011-financial-inclusion-through-blockchain-tech-with-robert-allen/

Recommendations:

Book: Cryptoassets: The Innovative Investor’s Guide to Bitcoin and Beyond

By Chris Burniske and Jack Tatar

Naval podcast with Nick Szabo
@Naval (Naval Ravikant) interviewing Nick Szabo for Tim Ferriss

The Tim Ferriss Show Transcripts: Nick Szabo

019: Planes, Supply Chains, + Blockchains w/ Colonel James Allen Regenor

“I’d like to see a world where blockchain is just ubiquitous, where every single thing that’s manufactured if you want to know where the touches were so that you know child slave labour wasn’t used or blood diamonds weren’t used or some of the ways that people are ever to exploit leverage for profit, I’d like to see those go away.”

Retired United States Air Force Colonel and Chief Innovation Officer at Fr8 Network, Jim Regenor, believes that blockchain is a game changer. The single source of truth, the transparency and the trustlessness can create new business models and he’s working on a few of his own.

We talk about how people and different industries will be impacted when there’s no longer a need for an intermediary to govern or to act as the authority over various systems, like with digital currencies themselves that exist outside of traditional monetary or fiscal policies.

As a former White House staff member, Jim talks about a day in the life of the White House and said that it was like being able to know tomorrow’s news today.

We also dive into the transformative effects of blockchain tech and talk about a few use cases, like with supply chains, micro loans and digital identity.

Jim talks about his background at Moog, an industrial company that was using the technology of 3D printing, and Jim wanted to know where that technology could take them. When he learned about blockchain tech, he realized that there was the ability of creating new business models and new markets.

He shares an example of ‘the gig economy’ where people who work as freelancers or on short term contracts, aren’t able to access benefits the way those who are in traditional full time employment can. So Jim explained that blockchain can allow for a vehicle where freelancers could obtain benefits through a tokenized system build on blockchain technology.

Jim poses the question as to how can blockchain impact the individual and the firm and references this book.

Book: The Firm, The Market, The Law

by RH Coase

He explains that Henry Ford started the assembly line in a factory to make sure everything came together the way it was supposed to, and he was able to oversee production in order to ensure that everything was made in the right way.  But, with blockchain being trustless, there’s no need for pieces to come together to be overseen by an authority who deems the production correct. He asks the question as to what kind of efficiencies or new systems can that create?

Book: Sapians: A Brief History of Humankind

by Yuval Noah Harari

Jim suggests that with peer to peer trust there will be a monumental change in how systems work, how business interact with one another and that it will inherently erode some of the traditional power of government.

One of the things he’s interested in seeing come to be is digital identity through blockchain technology. Sovereign digital identity in the developed world will allow peer to peer interactions, and can this model be taking into the developing world as well?

Jim uses a term he calls ‘Industry 4.0’ involving:

Digitization – the advances of the internet, scanning and upload, create a Word document

Digitalization — can move messages back and forth

Digital design —  to a machine, like 3D printing

Digital transformation — blockchain truth being the transformative element

Where does he see blockchain tech being used? It will be best in highly regulated industries, an industry that has a lot of arbitrage (or middle men not creating added value), anything to do with liability and litigation, because transparency can create efficiency so the processes in these areas can become more streamlined.

He talks about Fr8 Network developing a protocol that will assemble standards for data as things move through logistics. He gives an example of a shipping container being tracked through blockchain tech and because of the single source of truth, if an item is damaged, the technology is there to be able to pinpoint where it happened. He calls it reverse forensics and explained that the visibility creates efficiencies.

Book: Blockchain Revolution

By Don Tapscott and Alex Tapscott

Book: The Truth Machine

By Michael Casey

He talks about blockchain doing away with a list of terms and conditions to be agreed with, but what will replace it will be a governance model where the responsibility to protect the intellectual property or trade secrets will be that of the platform provider.  As we get into the tech side of the blockchain, Jim mentions Aion’s solution to be able to move from chain to chain and he praises Aion’s founders, Matthew Spoke and Kesem Frank.

 “Matt Spoke and his partner Kesem Frank at Nuco(Aion) they’re tearing it up. I’m telling you, that is going to be the next Amazon. They’re the next Mark Zuckerbergs. Those guys are wizards.”

Book: The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future

By Kevin Kelly

018. Cryptography and a Decentralized Future with Adam Helfgott

“How I apply cryptography to mimic the real world, the physical world, on a computer network requires privacy. I can’t read your mind. I only can hear what you say or what you write. We have built in privacy in our physical world. On the internet we don’t have that. And that’s the block.”

Adam Helfgott of MadHive and MAD Network has been in working on internet start ups, since the start of the internet. As a hacker in the 90s in Long Island to CEO and Founder of MadHive in Manhattan now, he’s seen and learned a lot along the way… like not thinking big enough when he launched eCamp, that was basically a social media platform for teenagers, years before there was even social media.

MadHive enables advertising on a blockchain that can encrypt data or unlock it with a smart contract. Advertisers get more direct targeting and consumers retain privacy.

We get into the issue of privacy and how blockchain is built for anonymity and privacy retention. He talks about Bitcoin being build on cryptography and decentralization, so it’s like “In Math We Trust”. Maybe that would be Bitcoin’s slogan if it had a marketing team or an executive team for that matter.

Adam believes that we’re in a cryptographic renaissance and that blockchain technology and cryptography are going to be part of all forms of communication in the future, once scalability and speed issues are solved and he shares a really cool idea that may not be all that far in the future with autonomous cars and a “hurry” button.

The MAD Network foundation is a network where data is private for both consumer and brand, which seems especially relevant given the Cambridge Analytica Facebook data privacy scandal, which Adam said was like “a regular Tuesday in the advertising world”.

He thinks it’s about time that there was some real innovation, at a time when huge corporations have so much money and power, but not really the ability to take risks when they’re accountable to shareholders.

One of the books he recommends is:

The Punch Escrow

by Tal M. Klein

and

The Bitcoin Standard

Saifedean Ammous

And, when I asked about advice he would give to someone great, he said something pretty profound that I’m 100% in agreement with: “Focus on something you’re somewhat interested in or have a skill in, some sort of innate skill to begin with. Don’t worry, I guess, about being passionate about the great idea or where it might lead in 5 years, just really focus on getting really good and something and being of service to someone else or an industry and having faith that the universe will deliver you a path with that work.”

017. Making Markets Truly Global with eToro Founder and CEO Yoni Assia

“The blockchain technology, in its basis, the ability to transfer native digital assets from one place to another in an extremely easy way, enables the world, the capital markets, to truly become global.”

When Yoni Assia, Founder and CEO of eToro found out about Bitcoin, he realized that it was going to change how financial services work and effectively, change the world economy. His love of financial markets and technology have always been intertwined, and when he learned about Bitcoin and blockchain technology, he found a way to bring those two passions together in one platform, called eToro where social media meets online trading.

Yoni realized that we all have to need to connect. Before the days of the internet the way people connected with each other came from our nationality or culture and where we were born, but the internet has no political boundaries, and communities are formed over the internet based on common interests.

Now with blockchain technology, like-minded individuals are able to connect in new ways, in a truly global economy.

Yoni thinks that the jury is still out as to whether or not Bitcoin will be used as a medium of exchange. And he said it remains to be seen if it will be like digital gold or silver or copper. But says it has the kind of brand awareness of Coca-cola, McDonald’s or Google!

And we discuss how people can now start to connect economically and create communities through a value system of shared ideas. Some are Bitcoin Maximalists. Some hodl Ethereum and support smart contracts and it’s Turing completeness.

Yoni talks about his passion project, The Good Dollar involving Universal Basic Income on top of crypto, helping the billions of unbanked join the global economy. His vision involves distributing wealth on a blockchain.

When we forecast into the future, Yoni believes that the blockchain revolution is as big as the internet and potentially as big as electricity as an innovation.

He says, “Most assets will be registered on global blockchains and people will be able to transfer ownership in both physical and digital assets electronically.” But, when will this happen and how is a much bigger question and the answer is — slower than innovative blockchain front-runners had been hoping for.

A great example he uses to help to put things into perspective is about VOIP. All communication is done through Voice Over Internet Protocol now. It seemed inevitable. But, he explains that Skype has not become the largest telephone company in the world. Why not? Because there were big, powerful companies with a lot of money and a lot at stake who were able to use the technology for their benefit. And Yoni believes the same will be true of the technology and innovations we’re seeing now.

He anticipates national blockchains connected to our digital IDs and that there will be some governance around how citizens are required to use their national blockchains.

As the information age is expanding and billions of people are becoming connected to an economy, that economy is becoming more global and less political, although how much less political remains to be seen.

016. Energy on a Blockchain with Joanna Hubbard

“I really do think this would make a huge positive difference. And when you find that thing, there’s nothing else in the world you’d rather do than just stick with it until you’ve made it happen.”

Joanna Hubbard found her thing, the thing that motivated her to move mountains or in this case move energy, renewable energy even, distributed on a blockchain.

Working in the energy sector, and recognizing that there was a long way to go where Cleantech was concerned, Joanna started questioning the status quo.

Why couldn’t they work on changing energy demand rather than solely focus on managing supply?

Coal plants being subsidised to keep up their huge production volume didn’t make sense to her, when she knew of much greener ways to produce energy.

It seemed like the right hand didn’t know what the left hand was doing? Why weren’t these systems integrated, communicating with one another? Why wasn’t a real price being placed on energy, one that factored in the environmental cost?

Why hadn’t the energy sector changed its old ways of thinking and doing things?

Joanna said to me that “It’s partly mindset, it’s partly tech, and it’s always incentives.”

Joanna believed that consumers would be able to change their habits if they were incentivised to do so. And what about incentivising energy producers to find cleaner, greener ways to generate energy? Like a puzzle that was waiting to be solved, Joanna found her missing piece. The thing that would fuel her passion to make a positive difference in the world, — the possibilities that came with energy on a blockchain.

Armed with the ideas of blockchain technology, and the ideals of a Smart Grid, Joanna now works as Co-founder and COO of Electron where their key objectives are decarbonization, decentralization,

We talked about price signals and how to create a more resilient cleaner grid. Batteries, solar power, wind energy and other renewables, and the subsidising of coal plants.

Joanna explains that one of the biggest fundamental problems at the moment is that there is no shared digital infrastructure. It just doesn’t exist yet, but Joanna explains what can be done.

One of the most authentic moments in our conversation is about women in the fintech space. And to be totally transparent, it went in a direction that I didn’t see coming. I would urge other women, and even more, men in this space, to listen in to two women talking about what it’s like to be a woman and to be seen as a woman in a professional environment. #metoo

Last but not least, Joanna answers some of my favourite short answer questions and gives a shout out to the incredibly talented journalist and blockchain podcast host Laura Shin and her show, Unchained

015. Blockchain Innovation Built By Imagination with Subhajit Mandal

“It’s very much like the dot com era when the internet allowed a lot of people to dream, and the internet era is when the entrepreneurship culture started. Very similar with this blockchain technology, the number of people who have started imagining has grown.”

Subhajit Mandal and I go on a journey of imagination, discussing use cases for blockchain technology and where he sees the future of innovation in worlds like decentralized social media, the health industry and the travel industry.

Why is imagination so important in the blockchain space?

Because technology is about the future, and since the future isn’t here yet, it only exists as a concept, in our mind… or in the case of blockchain tech, in the mind of Satoshi, Vitalik and those who are ready to boldly go where no man (or woman) has gone before!

And why is Bitcoin and blockchain technology, the future? Nothing like it has ever come before. And the things that make it so amazing are worth thinking about and really exploring and imagining what else can come out of decentralization, an immutable ledger, a trustless ecosystem, or the transfer of value without the use of an intermediary.

Subhajit talks about IPFS, the InterPlanetary File System, which allows users to be able to rent out unused hard drive space from their home computers.

https://ipfs.io/

He mentions BAT, Basic Attention Token, whose concept is that if someone is watching an ad, he or she should get paid for that view.

https://basicattentiontoken.org/

He talks about a decentralized social media platform, Indorse, like a decentralized LinkedIn where the people endorsing your skills gets paid and you, for posting valid qualifications, get paid for your valid posts about your qualifications.

https://indorse.io/

Using an example of someone who gets into a car accident, Subhajit walks me through a scenario where our own personal health data couple be run on a blockchain and simple information can be noted with a simple metaphoric tick of a box and shared to insurers where needed, almost seamlessly.

We talk briefly about ICOs and the controversy realy being around how the money is used and we discuss utility vs security tokens and SEC regulations.

Subhajist is an Advisor for Go Eureka, and uses their example of creating a travel industry token that would be considered a utility token since it is used within its own ecosystem for the use of booking hotels for instance.

Go Eureka!

https://goeureka.io/

Lastly, we discuss data ownership and how blockchain technology is allowing companies to re-examine how data is being stored and shared. Subhajit says, “I think the discussions will be more around ownership and control and a little less around the monetary value.”