BLOCKCHAIN COMMUNITY + CULTURE

Thought-leaders, disruptive innovators, and collaborative communities. The blockchain space breaks down traditional borders and brings people across the globe closer together.

046. Leading Information Democratization w/ Anthony Di Iorio

Anthony Di Iorio, co-founder of Ethereum, award-winning entrepreneur, and CEO of Decentral talks about freedom, liberty and impact on this week’s podcast.

045. Governance, Self-Sovereign Identity and Ethics in Blockchain Tech w/ Elizabeth Renieris

Elizabeth Renieris, a crypto and blockchain lawyer educated at Harvard and London School of Economics speaks about identity and data privacy in the crypto and blockchain space.

043. BEST OF SPEAKING OF CRYPTO 2018 – PART ONE

The best of the best. Blockchain experts share their ideas, their big picture thinking around what’s going on in the blockchain ecosystem.

040. The Power of Community in Cleveland

The blockchain community in Cleveland is exploding. Bernie Moreno, government, CEOs and startup founders are diving into blockchain and Blockland Cleveland.

038. 5×5 – Five Questions. Five Guest Interviews.

“Most people can’t keep showing up to anything. I think that your ability to show up and keep showing up and, and outwork, everybody else is everything. I also want to comment that I think for young people listening to this podcast in their 20s and they’re getting going, there’s this horrible pressure that I did not have that they have that you have to be part of a startup be crazy successful, have a non-profit, intern at the White House… stop it. Slow down. Do one thing well.”

– Michael Hyatt

What if I could get five 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 some challenges that they’ve overcome. I’d ask if someone’s new to crypto, where should they start to wrap their head around Bitcoin, blockchain and this whole new crypto world. And I’d want to know what’s most important, from their perspective — Love, Money or Influence.

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

 

1. If someone’s completely new to the world of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology, what would you like them to know?
2. Looking back, what was one of the most challenging things you faced in your career and how were you able to overcome it?
3. What would you say is the most important character trait that someone who’s about to enter the workforce should possess?
4. If you could create your own city or town, what are three key elements you would want to include?
5. LOVE, MONEY, + INFLUENCE — can you rank them in order of importance and explain?

Guests:

Sandra Ro
https://www.linkedin.com/in/sandraro/

CEO of the Global Blockchain Business Council
https://gbbcouncil.org/

Bruce Silcoff
https://www.linkedin.com/in/brucesilcoff/

CEO of Shyft Network
https://www.shyft.network/

Hartej Sawhney
https://www.linkedin.com/in/hartej/

Co-founder of Hosho
https://hosho.io/

Michael Hyatt
https://www.linkedin.com/in/michaelhyatt1/

Co-founder of Blue Cat
https://www.bluecatnetworks.com/

Bernie Moreno
https://www.linkedin.com/in/bernie-moreno-4251884/

Blockland Cleveland
https://www.blocklandcleveland.com/

036. Smart Contracts and Wise Women with Alexandra Levin Kramer

“I think the Wild West of non-compliant token sales is over, thankfully. I think from a securities law perspective, it’s very exciting actually because it’ll make the capital markets more accessible. We talk a lot about financial inclusion in the blockchain industry, and I think this is actually it. With a caveat that it still has to be compliant with securities laws.”

Alexandra Levin Kramer has three degrees, which is probably a huge help since she’s working on three different enterprises in the blockchain space right now. She’s a practicing lawyer and partner at CKR law in NYC and the Founding Chair of its Blockchain Technology + Digital Currency practice group. She also co-founded Women On the Block, which hosts blockchain conferences around the world. And, she’s Co-founder of Womin.io that uses blockchain technology to enable freelancers and employers to interact peer to peer through its decentralized platform.

Women on the Block
Alexandra has been in the space for a few years now, but this past January when there was negative press about the crypto space that emphasized lambos and yachts with party girls, making it look like the blockchain world was a boys club, it bothered her. That wasn’t her experience and she thought if she, as a female had been just starting her career and had that impression, that she would have run for the hills. So she wanted to do something about it. So she co-founded Women On the Block, to welcome women into the space and promote diversity in blockchain.

Womin.io
Through learning about the power of blockchain – she even took a coding course – and realizing that it can have a huge impact, Alexandra decided to create her own blockchain startup. Womin.io uses decentralization and the ability to validate on a blockchain to put employee history verification into code that will allow easy access to an online market of employees.

Smart Contracts

One of the points she makes about smart contracts is that they are really just a starting point.

“In an actual legal agreement, you can’t cover every possible contingency and similarly in a smart contract, there are going to be things that happen that are not foreseeable under the code. That’s where other issues like governance and some degree of centralization will have to come in, but I think the potential is fantastic and I’m all for more efficiency, lower legal fees, lower legal costs. I think that’s better for everyone.”

Alexandra believes that some good use cases for smart contracts will be lease agreements, and employment and freelancer agreements.

She also talks to me about the differences between men and women. One of the things she mentions is that “women have a reticence to try new things or go out of their comfort zone.” And she also argues that there are studies that show diversity is an indicator of profitability.

What she recommends generally as that we make our own opportunities, learn something new every day. And she says she tries to live by a Jewish saying “Who is a wise person? One who learns from everyone.”

We also talk about:
• Security tokens and the SEC
• Intellectual property rights
• Smart contracts on public or private blockchain
• Lawyers and developers speaking the same language
• AI learning to automate dispute resolution

Women on the Block
https://www.womenontheblock.io/
Blockchain Conference in Singapore
Wednesday, November 14, 2018

CKR law
https://www.ckrlaw.com/locations/north-america/new-york/alexandra-kramer.html

Womin.io
http://womin.io

Made it to Top 25 of Richard Branson’s Extreme Tech Challenge competition.
http://www.extremetechchallenge.com/2018/10/24/xtc-2019-top-25-announcement/

035. Thinking Differently + Tokenizing a Digital Encyclopedia with Everipedia Co-Founder Sam Kazemian

“I think that this space, particularly Blockchain generates a lot of actual prosperity by bringing markets to things that weren’t possible before. We’re building an encyclopedia that’s not owned by anyone… other people have a stake in collectively owning the governance and the profit and the value that’s generated out of this and before blockchain that literally wasn’t possible.”

Sam Kazemian is one of the co-founders of Everipedia, which is basically like Wikipedia, decentralized. Wikipedia, like most things on the internet, is becoming outdated because people like Sam are recognizing that there’s way more value to the internet than what we’ve been accessing up till now. So Everipedia is tokenizing the value of their encyclopedia of information. IQ tokens are earned by anyone who wants to generate or curate the information on this new monetized digital encyclopedia.

Why not be paid for creating content, approving edits or for selling services on the network?

It’s the Proof of Stake model. When someone wants to use the site, they stake tokens. If they do good work then they earn IQ tokens that are printed, (in the same way that Bitcoin miners earn Bitcoin). The idea behind the staking tokens is that if more and more people are joining the network, more invest in the system and remove the tokens from use, which means there’s less liquidity, so the price should increase.

Everipedia did an airdrop of about $50 million worth of IQ tokens to EOS holders. They chose to give away tokens to help incentivize more users and build the community. They chose not to do an ICO because they received $30 million of funding from Block.one.

One of the most interesting things that I learned from talking to Sam was how he got his start in Bitcoin. From mining in college housing to trading and looking at all sides of blockchain technology. Sam didn’t come from a developer background. He studied philosophy and neuroscience at UCLA and it was those philosophy courses that really helped him to think differently.

So how important is thinking differently? Isn’t it the only way to do something that’s never been done before?

We get into the ideas of reasoning in philosophy and the philosophy of blockchain technology and how he’s created something that’s never been done before.

Other topics:

• Sam believes stable coins are what people should be watching out for
• The most challenging time in the life of a startup is not the beginning, it’s when it comes time to buckle down and do the work with no spotlight
• ETH and EOS and their supporters can be friends
• Having a constrained view is a barrier to growth
• Doing something completely different can lead to changing the world

Sam Kazemian
Twitter: @samkazemian

Everipedia
https://everipedia.org

Telegram
https://t.me/everipedia

Airdrops
https://airdrops.io/everipedia/

032. Blockchain Impact and Data Sovereignty with Susan Oh

“Data sovereignty is just a fancy word for saying that whatever of mine, whatever data that I generate, whatever activity that I have, whatever content that I produce to help you power and fuel your ecosystem, I own it and I get to tokenize it and I get to volunteer it and sell it to you in ways that I agree to, instead of this blanket system of fine print that we have every time that we download an app and decide to you use it.”

Susan Oh talks to me about data sovereignty and the Internet of Value that is being created by blockchain tech and cryptocurrencies. The way the internet has been going, where we give away all of our data for free isn’t working.

“We willingly give away all our data that is worth billions of dollars and then companies take that data and they sell it to third party intermediaries into then weaponizing that data to get us to buy more sh*t”

And now that our lives are becoming more and more digital and we have all kinds of data points out there, there’s an opportunity for a new system. Susan shares her ideas on tokenizing data, with transparency and security built into it using blockchain tech, so the value of that data can be democratized. It can reward users who agree to share their information by participating in yes or no questions, polls, or surveys or by agreeing to look at ads or receive messaging. And why shouldn’t people who are willing to share their options, their likes and dislikes, or their time (like we’re doing now for free now) get paid in tradeable tokens.

In mainstream media, blockchain has become the good guy and crypto the bad guy, but Susan believes that without crypto and the tokenomics model, you’re throwing out the best part of blockchain. Since the technology of blockchain is what gives transparency, the question she raises is, ‘where do we need transparency more than crypto?’

For Susan’s MKR.ai the platform is designed to crowd source the validity and opinions around the top trending fake news stories. From her experience as a business journalist she realized that no one cares about facts, they care about stories. So, she aims to invite participation of users who choose to share their ideas and are rewarded for being part of the community. Those who have the strongest references based on the most valid citations, with the most votes, are rewarded with tokens that can be used within the platform or exchanged for other cryptos.

One of Susan’s main goals is to shift the conversation from right vs wrong to looking at methodology and the ideas or ideals around the technology. She uses an example of inviting a Bitcoin maximalist, Ethereum maximalist and an academic polychain enthusiast to the same table, so that real ideas come to life. When they look for common ground or where their ideas differ, greater awareness overall is the end result.

Understanding the advantages of new technology as well as the limitations and exploring ideas from all sides is one of Susan’s strengths. She aims high and is looking at how tech can improve the status quo not just in her own locale, but around the world. It’s no wonder Susan was honoured with one of the “Top 10 Frontier Women” awards, given by 5th Element Group’s Decade of Women campaign in partnership with the United Nations.

When it comes to women in this space, and even women who are simply users of the internet, women should feel empowered. Susan explains that we’re the most powerful consumer group in the world because women are socialized to consume products from the time we’re young girls and then we grow up to be women who may also be wives and mothers who more often than not are the ones who make purchase decisions for the household. And she goes on to say that women are natural communicators, that if we like something we want to tell everyone we know about it and even ask about it later to find out what our friends thought of this amazing thing that we all just discovered. So, Susan says that “you couldn’t have a better ambassador for nascent tech, than women who have skin in the game and who want everyone to know about it”.

And besides our natural bent toward diving in and sharing the good news, Susan says that the tech is a DIY culture that’s really welcoming, collaborative and meritocratic where the majority of the people who are in the space believe in a decentralization and inclusivity.

And since Susan is an advisor to the Hoboken Smart City Project we also talked about how data sovereignty might work there. She explains the idea for the project was generated by Sergio Fernandez de Cordova whose idea is to turn the city into a real life digital lab where citizens could agree to give the city or local businesses data points in exchange for tokens that could be used toward their utility bill or that stop sign down the street they were petitioning for. When data becomes democratized and there is data sovereignty, then the city will have to compete with other cities and give incentives for why skilled people would choose to live there.

If colleges and universities, and some high schools, compete to attract people to come their way, it makes sense that cities, as we become more and more globalized, would too.

Susan is also working with Adnan Hassan, founder of Mecasa Advisors and former Board Member of The World Bank, on a Global Bank of Small States platform of interoperability that brings together, virtually, 101 small states. The states that are being included have a population of less than 10 million with a high GDP per capital, but low GDP overall so are not part of the G10 global fee structure for international finance and practices. Bringing together small states is away to help build financial and social capital. A service provider or entrepreneur can join in, have access to educational resources and by participating in that learning, teach others how they learn by sharing their data. Then they can open their services to the other countries as part of this group of small states.

NOTE: there are a few incidents of explicit language for those who are language sensitive.

031. Blockchain Building Blocks in Cleveland with Bernie Moreno

“Blockland is a play on the name Cleveland and the idea is that by putting what we identified as the ten critical ingredients to make Cleveland one of the top five most relevant tech cities in the United States that we would do all these 10 things at the exact same time. So, we created ten nodes, everywhere from talent development retention to the entrepreneurial environment to the legal system, the political environment, philanthropy’s engaged, a node that we call place, which is to create the largest tech centre in the world, modelled after Station F in Paris right in downtown Cleveland. How do we build some business applications around what we’re doing already? How do we have thought leadership, so that’s where our conference comes from. And virtually every single day in Cleveland right now there’s a meeting somewhere in Cleveland around blockchain.”

From owning and operating 21 car dealerships to launching a city-wide epic-sized blockchain initiative, Bernie Moreno is putting Cleveland or ‘Blockland’ on the map.
https://blocklandcleveland.com/
https://twitter.com/berniemoreno

He wants to make Cleveland a blockchain tech hub, complete with the largest tech centre in the world that would be an innovation incubator with a K-12 school on campus built right in downtown Cleveland.

And this isn’t just one person’s big idea. There’s a plan. Leaders in business and government and members of the community have gathered to discuss the ten nodes in place to help make this Ohio city one of the top five tech cities in the United States.

And while some people looking in from the outside may ask why blockchain and why Cleveland. Well when someone has the kind of drive and enthusiasm for something like this, that Bernie clearly does about blockchain tech and Blockland, it’s contagious.

It started when his son asked him to invest in Bitcoin, which he didn’t, but he did get looking into blockchain technology. And after investing in Votem, he wanted to start his own blockchain companies. But when he realized that Cleveland didn’t have the ideal ingredients to do what he wanted to do, instead of going to another city that had all the tech he could ever want, he decided to stay and help bring all the tech he could ever want to Cleveland.
https://votem.com/

We also talked about the future of cars. Bernie said, “the car changed the world in the turn of the century and the car is going to change the world again.” Not only will they be dramatically safer, but it will change things like people young and old being able to hop in a car with no need for a licence. Insurance companies will have to insure something besides accidents because cars won’t hit each other, and whole city blocks will change because we won’t need huge parking lots anymore.

Bernie also believes that in 15 years there will be more self-driving cars than human driving cars, and in 25 years human driving cars won’t be found on public highways. They’ll be on race tracks for sport or other weekend events.

He talked about where we’re at with blockchain tech right now like the early days of the dot com boom when everyone was starting to get a website, but all you’d see when you got online was a page that said, welcome. And one of the ways he’s getting into the space and helping to legitimize it while also being on the leading edge is to accept Bitcoin at his car dealerships.

Blockland Cleveland is also hosting a conference focussed on government and business applications in order to explore real world use cases for blockchain technology.

Some of the use cases Bernie sees coming soon are birth certificates, land records, real estate transactions, car titles, mobile voting, providence, supply chain, medical records, drug tracking, and as he explains, just like in the early days of the internet, no one could predict where it would lead us, we’re in that same place with blockchain tech now.

029. Building a Tech Business and Investing in a Blockchain Future with Michael Hyatt

“The companies I will suggest in the next 2 to 3 years that are going to make it are ones that have a real blockchain product with real utility that people really need and they’re getting real quality advantage out of, like any other company. And 2017 was the year of FOMO which is ‘I’m going to miss out so I better buy it’ 2018 is like ‘woah what happened here, hold on here I think we have to go find something real’ and 2019 I think is going to be the year of prove it. ‘Prove you’ve got something. Oh, you’re going to raise a coin? I’ve heard that story. OK what is it really that you’re doing?”.

Michael Hyatt has built incredibly successful tech business and he’s been in business since before the days of the internet. He’s got first-hand knowledge of where the internet and computer technology came from and educated and experienced insight as to where blockchain tech is going.
https://twitter.com/mhyattspeaker

So where is it going? Michael talked about a creative destruction phase or a nuclear winter, much like we’re seeing now. But he believes that the future is bright. He thinks “the Facebook of cryptocurrency hasn’t been born” but that we’ll see real businesses with important use cases coming to the forefront after the fallout from the hype around cryptos and all the betting on the promises of ICOs that have never delivered, and won’t.

He talks about the crypto space mirroring the real world. People talk about there being a new paradigm, but Michael doesn’t buy it, not were businesses and investments are concerned. He says it all comes down to the fundamentals. Is there a viable business? Are these the people who can deliver what they’re promising? And is there something backing the crypto or blockchain investment that has real value.

“If you’re starting a company, whether it’s a crypto company or any kind of company, I don’t think it matters. I think what matters is that you have to be in it for 10 or 15 years and build to win not build to sell or build to flip.”

He says when you’re buying part of an ICO, you’re buying a Kick Starter, that really, you’re buying a promise that it’s going to be useful, but that very few companies have delivered on their promises.

With Ethereum, he says that something big has to happen. When Ethereum can be used as part of some revolutionary tool, an app that changes the way things are done in the financial world or the medical world, if it can change the way were doing things now then the value will really go up. But, whether it’s Ethereum or some other blockchain technology that transforms the way we’re doing things now, there needs to be broad based adoption and a global understanding of the new technology’s value. Then and only then will there be the Crypto or Blockchain Facebook or Google or Apple.

Michael mentions the collapse of the condo market in Miami as a historic example that may be similar to what we’re seeing the crypto right now. Condos that were overpriced, plummeted in cost, but there was a point when buyers and investors saw that condos still held a certain value. So, while he doesn’t believe Bitcoin is digital gold. He does believe there is a value and that the public will figure out what it is.

I ask Michael about his affiliation with Rotman’s Creative Destruction lab, which he is completely impressed by, saying that he’s in a place where he’s surrounded by big thinkers and intelligent innovators.
https://www.creativedestructionlab.com/

Michael talks about being an advisor to Polymath. He’s excited about security tokens and believes in Trevor Koverko. https://twitter.com/trevorkoverko

He also believes in the idea of tokenizing securities like art, paintings, wine, or buildings that have a that have an inherent value and supports the idea of these securities, that aren’t big enough to go public, can also draw in non-accredited investors who would like to put their money into something, but maybe don’t have the financial wealth to be able to pour in large amounts of money in order to be able to see a return on their investment.

One of the other topics we hit on is regulation. His point of view is that regulation makes the market real. It’s there to stop companies from lying and cheating people and that regulation entering the picture is a healthy thing. Essentially the regulators will sort and sift through what’s being offered and cut out the crap.

Michael is also a regular contributor to The Pitch Podcast.
https://player.fm/series/series-1451959