Show Notes

We hosted a really exciting event on Friday, right in the heart of the city of London, when we introduced 8 really innovative and exciting ICOs to a group of almost 50 top level Chinese investors. It was one of the most exciting events we’ve done, certainly of the season, but also in terms of what we’ve put together in the past.

The level of interest from our Chinese friends was intense, in the diversity from the 8 selected ICOs we were able to present, both in the room and using our TokenIntelligence platform - which will be launched shortly (we were using the pre-launch beta).

The ICOs ranged from a mobile game distribution platform building on the success of a well established mobile platform, to a booking protocol using the Ethereum ecosystem planning to establish the ERC 808 standard – there were some interesting questions on the protocol and how to make money out of that.

We heard from an new ecosystem powering tomorrow’s agreements, doing interesting work to make it easier to not just have smart contracts but ensure they are enforceable in law.

There was an integrated platform to enable property investors to research and interact internationally, speeding up and lowering costs.

A blockchain business relationship platform, and a reputation token for small business in Latin America.By the end of the session people were talking about this ICO as the new AliBaba for Latin America.

And finally a meal token from an established chain of restaurants from across Europe, to be used as a way of accelerating growth and participation from diners in their restaurant.

There was huge diversity and reach from across the globe.

The great news is that even before we closed for the day, we know that deals were done. And that will continue, using the Token Intelligent platform to make all the info, white papers, background info from the day available to all participants going forward.

And there are going to be more of these events, we are planning the next event in late May, so if you’d like to be involved either as an ICO talking to potential investors or as an investor do let us know here

Meanwhile and as we head into Easter I’ve been giving lot of thought to what you might call the “State of the blockchain nation”.

‘Nation’ because it’s something intrinsically global. Success has many fathers, and the conclusion is that this is global change.

You could talk about the “State of the blockchain nations”, because one of the biggest points of divergence is the differences in approach to understanding blockchain from governmental and regulatory point of view and the actions going on across jurisdictions.

The 2020inTech conference which has been travelling across America, in San Francisco last weekend, in Washington DC and LA, is coming to London next week and I’ve been invited to chair the event for the day.

I’ve been thinking how to set the scene for and it’s very clear to me we are entering the dawn of the token era – my title for the opening address at the conference.

I wanted to share a little with listeners on ICOradio ahead of time. It’s going to be an exciting conference at an exciting time in the development of a whole new landscape. It’s a new global networked economy of value – we have seen the power of the change that came when were able to interconnect information (the original vision for the web). The surge when hyperconnectivity of people via the web arrived with social media.

Now a new layer is building on all this again at the dawn of the token era, which is creating an internet of value. I believe there can be no doubt we are entering dawn of digital tokens, frictionless economy, an internet of value.

The internet was invented in the 60s (Arpanet) for the military and soon used by Universities corporates who could afford it, but didn’t take off until late 90s and the dawn of the web which enabled it to become more usable. Netscape brought in images - it was text only initially - and it became more approachable.

So 20 years ago the web, used the internet as a building block, a foundation to go to a whole new level. That gave us the internet as we now know it, onto which was grafted the ability to transact.

That ability, e-commerce, was based on fundamentally offline institutions. Now we are fortunate to be at the dawn of the next stage of evolution, which will have even more impact.

If you think of bitcoin and the comments of people like Mark Carney, BofE you may doubt this

But think of blockchain and the whole wide range of not just other currencies it has spawned, more than 1000, but different characteristics not represented in Mark Carney’s speech, the many and varied applications when we have a reliable trustworthy internet of value.

Think also of the many banks, pretty much every bank around the world have launched their own blockchain lab, trying to figure out how to adopt and adapt new tech for their own purposes - to avoid being disrupted.

I am an admirer of Andy Haldane and Mark Carney, whose speech doesn’t hold water about the future of money, but it does tell us that the age of the digital token has arrived. Bitcoin may be controversial but blockchain is not, it’s the future.

There is a wide consensus that this is a game changer and explosively powerful, much the same as the web in its day, social media and hyperconnectivity. It will speed up the existing economy.

Imagine the impact of this - of the internet of value - when transactions can be pretty much instant. Today some transactions in highly developed western economies can take days or weeks. In Latin America it can take four hours sitting in a bank, plus weeks to go through.

The potential for speeding up western economies is enormous. Add that to the potential for leapfrogging for other economies and it’s phenomenal.

I’ll also be touching on issue of regulation, there’s a lot of divergence and indeed confusion as to how this can all happen without spinning out of control. The obvious answer is regulation, and as you know regulators were originally built into a machine to stop it speeding out of control and perhaps damaging itself and others around it.

What doesn’t appear to have sunk in yet is that not only is the blockchain and the environment it creates secure, but they are secure in a way that regulators have yet to come to grips with because it was not possible before.

It has yet to dawn on them that in fact, judiciously combined with lessons we have learned about identity and transparency and combining them to bring the accountability we have grown to value through our experiences over last 5-10 years with crowdfunding, that the regulatory burden can be significantly reduced. I saw a figure of 32 billion of the cost so far of the necessary regulation from Dodd Frank act.

If other tools were available then almost none of that cost would be necessary and that’s just a fraction of the overall regulatory cost not including opportunity or innovation costs the older regulation is causing and the friction along with it.

How do you regulate blockchain? They haven’t realised that blockchain itself is the dream tool for any regulator.

First of all remember and recall it provides an immutable tamper proof trail that is applied well and available to the right people, providing a kind of cctv for transactions and interactions that can be available to regulators alone or to the public as appropriate.

A new technology creating new environments - in many ways the kind of tool a regulator needs to be able to halt the need to police and stop innovation and legitimate actions and simply police the exceptions and those who would seek to subvert and go outside the acceptable.

It also brings to life the vision Andy Haldane has of having the means to learn from what’s going on in the economy and entrepreneurial innovative economy in real time.

In many ways the boot is on the other foot here and it’s time for regulators to realize that this is not going to be a time to look to the old tools, in fact the old tools have run out of steam and won’t work in this environment. However, new tools are here to be used and the right approaches can both reduce costs and reduce friction and free things up for innovators while having the new levels of safety we couldn’t begin to dream of under existing regulatory regimes.

We could be entering a new era of smart regulation. Good news for innovators, consumers, people generally and regulators. Except where there are incumbents in the existing economy who just want things as they are.

That is not how this is supposed to work - we are supposed to foster competition and innovation.

The very concept that we have the potential to have competing currencies with BofE looking to adapt to environments where they will need to compete in world with crypto currencies and crypto assets is absolutely revolutionary on the one hand but goes to the very essence of capitalism itself.

It leads us to question whether transparency born of the blockchain wouldn’t happen of its own accord.

We need to ensure that we move in the right direction and recognise the power of identity and transparency added to blockchain.

This could be the salvation of capitalism by bringing a new level of accountability.

On 4th April at the 2020 FinTech conference we’ll be exploring this in more detail and doing so with some of the global leaders in the field including GBX, initiative from Gibraltar Stock Exchange who have worked with their regulator to launch the RockToken.

OFFER LINK: Use link to get tickets at 30% off as promised in the podcast

We would love to see some of our listeners there so please do come and say Hi.


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