013. Climate Change Meets Blockchain Innovation with Nick Beglinger

Nick Beglinger is a bit of a disruptor. He has a background as an economist, and at one point had his own software company, but he’s also an environmental activist.


In his home of Switzerland, he co-founded swisscleantech, a national green business association, to bring together commerce and climate goals, but being the face of climate regulation, in a thriving economy, wasn’t always popular. In fact, by one Swiss economic magazine was labeled ‘the big mouth of energy change’.


But, after learning about the disruptive nature of blockchain technology, and feeling the urgency of climate change, he wanted to bring blockchain disruption to the sustainability movement, and he did, in a big way.

Nick and his company Cleantech21 partnered with the United Nations, organized seventeen different workshops in seventeen major cities around the world, in order to reach out to the international developer community, and out of that – the Hack4Climate hackathon was born.

Connect4Climate.org A World Bank initiative.

The first #Hack4Climate innovation program partners:



At last year’s Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, 33 countries were represented at the first ever Hack4Climate hackathon where he was able to bring innovation and regulation together.



Press conference from COP23:


The winning team is Gain Forest, using AI in the forestation space. We can analyse any area and developments of deforestation over 10 years so we are able to find patterns and predict future outcomes, which can influence funding and accountability.


“Sustainable development is defined as development that meets the needs of the present generation without compromising the needs of future generations” he says. “We’re still in a pretty huge crisis and not many people understand.”

Nick explains that approaches regulation goals by looking at true cost of development by factoring in the environmental repercussions of development on the world around us.

When it comes to climate change solutions through blockchain technology, Nick is not a fan of tokenizing carbon credits because he believes it’s too complex a model that doesn’t affect real change. He is, however, a fan of applying tokenization to the production of solar panels, for example, by making token holders, like shareholders.

He also mentions tokenizing forest assets so that the public can buy into forests to help save them as the valuable resource they are. He makes the point that not only do we have to concern ourselves with cutting down our carbon emissions, but if we help forests to grow and flourish, we help the environment, since trees naturally remove carbon from the atmosphere.

He feels strongly that to affect real change, governments should impose carbon taxes by putting a price for every tonne of emission which would allow everyone factor those costs into their own personal costs and it would follow that we would end up with more electric cars than cars run on gas.

When I ask about a world leader in working on sustainable development goals, the surprising front runner he mentions, is China. In China, people are shifting from bikes to motorized bikes to cars. However, there isn’t enough air in our whole atmosphere to pollute if all Chinese citizens will someday have polluting cars.

Nick used to work as an economist at McKinsey.


Now, as co-founder at Cleantech21, C21, he runs and acceleration program where they have an open and co-creative approach to innovation, with sponsorship from the UN and the World Bank.



With that kind of policy framework, and the type of innovation he sees coming with his hackathons, time will tell if we’re heading in the right direction.

007. Building Technology with Purpose with Diego Gutiérrez Zaldívar

Bitcoin is disruptive. And because of that, it scares people. Some people. But from the perspective of someone living in Argentina, who’s been through economic turmoil, Bitcoin’s not the bad guy, it’s a valuable tool.  And that’s how Diego Gutiérrez Zaldívar sees it. He’s is building possibilities on the foundation of Bitcoin with his RSK platform.

He’s putting his vision into practice and creating tools that benefit many. And he’s figuring out a way to help with, among many other things, financial inclusion, economic independence and a whole new way of distributing wealth.

Diego’s putting his vision into practice and creating the tools that benefit many. He talks about “reputation as collateral”. How does someone who has no credit, enter the financial system? There may be a way. Diego talks about the idea of risk assessment being based on new thinking, honouring the integrity of a customer through their reputation by what is reported from an educational institution or an NGO.

It’s all new thinking.

One of the most exciting things that RSK will do is to allow the unbanked to be part of wealthier markets, so that they can receive higher margins, benefit financially, and invest that profit back into their home environments. It will generate more wealth to more people all over the world from any environment, anywhere to be included, essentially levelling the economic playing field.

And the impact, may just be that millions of lives are drastically improved.

More of what we discussed:





Argentina 2001 Bail In is also addressed in the SOC podcast 004. with Federico Ast


Economic Uncertainty and Volatility in Argentina’s Economic History in The Economist


Government Corruption in Argentina

Shannon tells a story, from her days training in beach volleyball in in Rio de Janeiro. She trained with the same coach and on the same court as Ingrid Torlen and Nila Hakedal from Norway. Ingrid and Nila told a story of corruption in Brazil when they shared what happened to their friends who were also visiting from Norway.

Ingrid and Nila went on to compete at the Olympics. Here’s a video of them in Rio.


Crypto Economic Security Through Game Theory


Proof of Work vs Proof of Stake


Smart Contracts



Bitcoin Argentina NGO


Off chain payment systems


Capital Controls in Argentina


The Bitcoin Centre


Blockchain Academy


Maslow’s’ Hierarchy of Needs (Pyramid)


006. Community in the Blockchain Space with Tracy Leparulo

Tracy  Leparulo is a Blockchain Event Marketer based in Toronto who’s been in the crypto space from, just about the beginning. She planned and managed the First Bitcoin Expo … in the World And that Expo included over 50 speakers from the early days including Vitalik Buterin, founder of Ethereum, Charlie Lee, who founded litecoin and even Doge Coin was there.

Tracy also hosted the First Ever Ethereum Hackathon Event and many more. Check out her site Untraceable Inc for more info and past and upcoming events, including the Blockchain Futurist Conference in Toronto in August.

Tracy Leparulo, Blockchain Events


Tracy has so much knowledge and is so well connected in the space that she talked about the way things were back in the day, like when Decentral was based out of a house on Spadina Ave in Toronto. https://decentral.ca/ That’s a totally different vibe to what my upcoming podcast guest Sunny Ray describes as the decentral of today. You can hear more on that podcast out a week from today – Episode 008.

It was a pleasure to talk to Tracy about passion and community. Two things that she values and believes most others in this space do as well. Her perspective, having interacted with so many different types of people, businesses, visionaries, coders, conference attendees, is well founded and well grounded. I hope you enjoy my conversation with the unstoppable Tracy Leparulo.

For more info on what we talked about in the show:

Tracy Leparulo, Blockchain Events


Tracy talks about Decentral when it was based out of a house on Spadina Ave in Toronto


Bitcoin Association of Canada, now Blockchain Association of Canada


First Ethereum Event (a Hackathon) in the World

GIVE ETH Ethereum


Polymath security tokens


@CryptoChicks helping inclusion and diversity in the space

Hackathon All Female


Tracy Leparulo


Blockchain Futurist Conference at Rebel Entertainment Complex, Cabana

Aug 14-16


Michael Perklin and Crypto Consortium


Reward Tokens like at Dave and Busters or Chuck E Cheese

Dave + Busters


Chuck E Cheese


Ready PlayerOne


Fortnite + VBucks


CryptoKitties launched at Tracy’s Hackathon ETH Waterloo


SIM city