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.
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.
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.
“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?
CEO of the Global Blockchain Business Council
CEO of Shyft Network
Co-founder of Hosho
Co-founder of Blue Cat
“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.
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.
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
Blockchain Conference in Singapore
Wednesday, November 14, 2018
Made it to Top 25 of Richard Branson’s Extreme Tech Challenge competition.
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.
• 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
“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.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.