Why Executives Need Blockchain Literacy - Alison McCauley, Author of Unblocked

October 17, 2018

Alison McCauley speaks about writing her book "Unblocked: How Blockchains Will Change Your Business", about the importance of blockchain literacy for executives, why blockchain communities need organizations on their side, how organizations can get started with blockchain technology, how to take blockchain ideas into the pilot stage with possible use cases, why companies will soon have competition from their own customers, how collaboration replaces the zero-sum game of many business models, how a token-infused sharing economy could create more value in the future, and the need for decentralization. Alison also speaks about conducting research for the book, her approach to writing and structuring the book, surprises and learnings when writing the book, risks of blockchains going to the dark side, why attention harvesting should stop, and much more.

Alison has a two-decades long strategy consulting career, where she advised technology-first startups and Fortune-500 companies, including PNC, Adobe, Oracle, IBM, First Data, and Verizon. She has been working with early stage teams in data science and analytics, machine learning, IoT, cybersecurity, and artificial intelligence before turning her focus to the blockchain and cryptoasset space. Alison has a masters in sociology and organizational behavior from Stanford University, and she is the author of the book "Unblocked: How Blockchain Technology Will Change the Future", available in January 2019.

Alison McCauley: http://www.alisonmccauley.io, https://www.linkedin.com/in/unblocked/

Alison's book "Unblocked: How Blockchains Will Change Your Business" (out in january 2019): http://www.unblockedfuture.com

Also discussed in this episode:

Alex "Sandy" Pentland et al.: "The new deal on data", http://civics.com/NewDealOnData/

Tim Wu's book "The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires", https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/8201080-the-master-switch

The Blockchain and Us newsletter

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The Antifragility of Cryptoassets - Alexander Bulkin, CoinFund

October 10, 2018

Alexander Bulkin speaks about combining social sciences with blockchain technology at CoinFund (which he co-founded), why crypto funds are becoming tech companies, the antifragility of cryptoassets, cryptoeconomic primitives and the challenges with developing them, why you don't need one blockchain to achieve network effects, how blockchain technology could enable decentralized marketplaces, the drawbacks for crypto businesses in the United States, the power of communities, and much more.

Alexander is the co-Founder and Managing Director at CoinFund, and he is a multidisciplinary thinker with a special interest in social and technological innovation, bridging technological insight with social science and psychology. He has 13 years of experience in developing pricing, risk management, and high-frequency trading software at Goldman Sachs, and he is holding a dual degree in Mathematics and Computer Science from New York University and a Masters Degree in Organizational Psychology from the Process Work Institute in Portland, Oregon.

Alexander Bulkin: https://medium.com/@aleksandr.bulkinhttps://twitter.com/coinfund_al 

CoinFund: http://www.coinfund.io, https://www.twitter.com/coinfund_io 

Adapt Toolkt: http://www.adaptk.ithttps://twitter.com/adaptkit 

Nicholas Nassim Taleb's book "Antifragile": https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13530973-antifragile 

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Trent McConaghy - “Hey Zuck, Let’s Tokenize Facebook!” How Blockchains Could Stop People Farming

October 3, 2018

Trent McConaghy speaks about creating a data economy with Ocean Protocol, token engineering and design, bringing artificial intelligence to the blockchain, how Facebook could tokenize itself to melt into the user community, why AI researchers often miss the most mundane solutions, how we're moving from nature 1.0 to nature 2.0, smart decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs), how DAOs could provide universal basic income (UBI), Estonia's blockchain initiatives, token engineering, ethics in blockchain technology and engineering, creativity, Berlin as a blockchain hub, and much more.

Trent is the founder of the Ocean Protocol, a decentralized data exchange protocol to unlock data for artificial intelligence. He has a PhD in engineering, where he focused on machine creativity, and he also advises Estonia, Germany and other governments on strategies related to blockchain technology and AI.

Trent McConaghy: http://www.trent.st, http://www.twitter.com/trentmc0 

Ocean Protocol: http://www.oceanprotocol.com/, http://www.twitter.com/

Also mentioned in the episode:

Data.world: http://www.data.world

Daimler's Car2Go: http://www.daimler.com/products/services/mobility-services/car2go/

Nature 2.0: http://www.medium.com/@trentmc0/nature-2-0-27bdf8238071

Towards a Practice of Token Engineering: https://blog.oceanprotocol.com/towards-a-practice-of-token-engineering-b02feeeff7ca?gi=3e6ef6d6546f

Interview with Anish Mohammed: http://www.theblockchainandus.com/anish-mohammed

Room 77, Berlin: http://www.room77.de/

Ben Franklin's book "Poor Richard's Almanack": http://www.benjamin-franklin-history.org/poor-richards-almanac/

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Ryan Jesperson - How Blockchains Could Solve the Tragedy of the Commons

September 26, 2018

Ryan Jesperson speaks about his journey to becoming the president of the Tezos Foundation, his outlook for Tezos and its technological innovations. He explains Tezos' on-chain governance and how it could solve the tragedy of the (digital) commons, how he organized the Tezos community in a petition to hold the foundation accountable, dealing with adversity and personal criticism, making sure the foundation stays decentralized, what makes Tezos a blockchain 3.0, Tezos' baking ecosystem and what happens with the foundation's baking proceeds, which role Tezos could play in a "blockchain future", his concerns about the state of the blockchain space, and much more.

Ryan is the President of the Tezos Foundation, and before, he was the Chief Operating Officer at Divvy, a FinTech company. Prior to his work at Divvy, Ryan was an executive, turnaround specialist, and tech entrepreneur in the healthcare industry and he helped launch the humanitarian Self-Reliance Services initiative of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Ryan Jesperson: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ryan-jesperson-23b0053a/ 

Tezos: https://tezos.com/, https://www.twitter.com/Tezos, https://www.twitter.com/TezosFoundation 

Wired article "Inside the World's Biggest Crypto Scandal": https://www.wired.com/story/tezos-blockchain-love-story-horror-story/ 

The Blockchain and Us newsletter

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Cedric Waldburger - Why Education Is the Killer App for Blockchain Technology

September 19, 2018

Cedric Waldburger speaks about being part of the team that later became Dfinity, leading growth at the company, why education might be the killer app for blockchain technology, his motivation and approach to storytelling, differences between Dfinity and other blockchain startups, starting his first company at age fourteen, why mentors are so important, measuring his life in quarters, productivity tools for entrepreneur, his investment theses, why he doesn't normally invest in ICOs, investing for learning, different types of blockchain entrepreneurs, why he finds the blockchain space so fascinating, how he makes better decision, why he likes simple questions that don't have simple answers, owning only 64 things, minimalism vs. consumerism, growing up in Switzerland, building "the blockchain state", what blockchain technology could do for the world, misunderstandings about blockchain technology, and what he's still learning as an entrepreneur.

Cedric holds a master in computer science, and he is a serial entrepreneur, startup founder, investor and blockchain enthusiast since 2012. He co-founded DFINITY – a blockchain startup backed by Andreesen Horowitz – and eight other high-tech companies in Europe and the US. He also has a video blog where he documents his experiences and travels and he produces the video series Inside Dfinity.

Cedric Waldburger: https://cedricwaldburger.com, https://twitter.com/cediwaldburger

Dfinity: https://dfinity.org, https://twitter.com/dfinity

Inside Dfinity: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLuhDt1vhGcrei3pfj8sDr0ewA64PxxT4m

Also mentioned in the podcast:

Entrepreneurs' Organization: https://www.eonetwork.org

Richard Feynman's book "Surely you're Joking, Mr Feynman!" https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/5544.Surely_You_re_Joking_Mr_Feynman_

Dan Harmon's story circle: http://channel101.wikia.com/wiki/Story_Structure_101:_Super_Basic_Shit

The Blockchain and Us newsletter

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Joey Krug - Why Healthcare, Finance, Energy, Education, and Government Are Ripe for Disruption

September 12, 2018

Joey Krug speaks about evaluating investments at Pantera Capital, why healthcare, finance, energy, and government are ripe for disruption, why too much money is bad for entrepreneurs, why location matters for funds but less for projects, how incumbent tech companies deal with blockchain technology and tokens, why blockchains won't transform information, why people don't care about their privacy and how to overcome that, why progress is much faster than we notice, how Augur got support for Trezor wallets, his experience as a Thiel fellow, why the cost of a university degree far outweighs its value, why theory and practice often differ, why UI/UX is the most important thing that should improve in the blockchain space, and why he would love to fast forward to the year 2048.

Joey Krug is the co-founder of Augur, a prediction market and one of the first ICO on Ethereum. He is also co-chief investment officer at Pantera Capial's crypto hedge funds. Before joining Pantera, Joey built a point of sale system enabling Bitcoin payments with sound and Bluetooth, and he also started an AngelList syndicate that is now one of the top fifteen by backing.

Joey Krug: https://www.linkedin.com/in/joeykrug, https://www.twitter.com/joeykrug

AngelList syndicate: https://angel.co/joeykrug

Pantera Capital: https://www.panteracapital.comhttps://twitter.com/PanteraCapital

Augur: https://www.augur.nethttps://twitter.com/AugurProject

Peter Thiel's book "Zero to One": https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18050143-zero-to-one

Bitcoin white paper: https://bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf

Ethereum white paper: https://github.com/ethereum/wiki/wiki/White-Paper

The Blockchain and Us newsletter

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Jesse McWaters - Why Blockchain Technology Might Become Less of a Binary Idea in the Future of Finance

September 5, 2018

Jesse McWaters speaks about analyzing the impact of blockchain technology on industry and society at the World Economic Forum, disruption vs. collaboration in the financial sector, why blockchain technology gives people a license to image a future without constraint, the role of established financial institutions in the cryptoasset space, why the road of blockchain entrepreneurs differs from those in the FinTech space, how the blockchain narrative changed in recent years, blockchain regulation, checks and balances, code of conduct in ICOs, why blockchain technology might become less of a binary idea in the future, and much more.

Jesse leads the World Economic Forum’s exploration of fintech and financial innovation where he works with financial executives, regulators and a global network of innovators to analyze the implications of open banking, blockchains, digital identity, and AI on the financial sector and society. Jesse is a frequent speaker and media commentator on CNBC’s Closing Bell, in the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Wired, and the New York Times and he has presented his analyses to financial institutions and global policymakers such as the Financial Stability Board, the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, the Federal Reserve Board, the Peoples Bank of China, the European Parliament, and the FDIC.

Jesse McWaters: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/authors/jesse-mcwaters/, https://twitter.com/rjmcwaters

Previous interview with Jesse for my blockchain documentary (2017): https://blockchain-documentary.com/jesse-mcwaters-wef/

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Peter Hody - How Journalists and the Financial Press Stay Objective About Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain Technology

August 29, 2018

Peter Hody speaks about his work as a journalist covering the financial sector, cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology, vetting crypto and ICO stories, staying objective, the role of marketing and PR firms in the crypto space, the role of advertising and paid content in the online media, quality of reporting on cryptocurrencies in the mainstream press, how clickbait distorts the story about cryptocurrencies, crypto news platforms, how the decline of Swiss banking helps market Switzerland's vision as a "Crypto Nation", the old boys' and the new boys' network in the Swiss crypto ecosystem, and much more.

Peter is the Editor-in-Chief of finews, a leading online news portal reporting about the financial sector in Switzerland. Peter has been in journalism, TV, print and digital media for the past twenty years. He has an MBA in Media Management and a deep interest in the commercial side of publishing.

Peter Hody: https://www.linkedin.com/in/peterhody

Finews: https://www.finews.com/news/english-newshttps://twitter.com/finews_ch

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Hubert Ritzdorf - Why Hacking Smart Contracts is Easier than Hacking Web Servers

August 23, 2018

Hubert Ritzdorf speaks about automatic auditing of smart contracts, why almost all smart contracts have bugs, specs of smart contracts, the hacks of the Parity wallet, skills necessary to hack smart contracts, why hacking smart contracts is easier than hacking web servers, GDPR and blockchains, challenges for smart contract platforms, being a blockchain entrepreneur in Switzerland, why he avoided an ICO for his own company, and much more.

Hubert is the co-founder and CTO of ChainSecurity, a start-up focussed on mathematical proofs for smart contract security. He has been working on application security for more than 10 years and on blockchain security for more than six years, he has a PhD from ETH Zurich, and his research influenced the underlying Bitcoin protocol and the main Ethereum client implementation.

Hubert Ritzdorf: https://twitter.com/HRitzdorfhttps://medium.com/@HRitzdorf

ChainSecurity: https://chainsecurity.com, https://twitter.com/chain_security

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Niklas Nikolajsen - Why Cryptoassets Will Soon Be Part of Every Bank’s Business

August 20, 2018

Niklas Nikolajsen speaks about Bitcoin Suisse and its amazing journey, why "there will be no difference between crypto-finance and finance, it will only be finance", his early cypherpunk days and Bitcoin evangelism, the importance of timing in entrepreneurship, why he understands the hesitation of banks to work with new industries such as cryptocurrencies, how all assets will move onto blockchains, why "making decentralized exchanges illegal is like making gravity illegal", how the tokenization of assets helps entrepreneurs, "when capital becomes more easily available, the whole world will become a Silicon Valley", the importance of jurisdictions for crypto-financial businesses, why he chose Switzerland as a business location, consolidation in the crypto sector and partnerships with the established financial sector, how "we're moving out of the Wild West phase into the established phase", possible pitfalls for the crypto economy, why consensus technology and distribution will impact law, governments, and society, why people should go with their passion, and much more. 

Niklas is a pioneer in the crypto-financial sector in Switzerland and the founder of Bitcoin Suisse, one of the first Swiss companies providing crypto brokerage, ICO facilitation and advisory and other related services, and today, he is the Chairman of the Board and co-CEO. Niklas holds a degree in computer science from the Copenhagen Business School, and he has a background of more than 15 years as a professional software architect and developer, primarily in the financial, manufacturing and public sectors.

Niklas Nikolajsen: https://twitter.com/nikolajsen_BTCS 

Bitcoin Suisse: https://www.bitcoinsuisse.ch, https://twitter.com/BitcoinSuisseAG 

Previous interview with Niklas for my documentary film "FinTech Made in Switzerland" (2016): https://fintech-documentary.com/interview-niklas-nikolajsen-bitcoin-suisse/ 

The Blockchain and Us newsletter

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