Sharon Henley
Director, Marketing, Communications and PR At British Blockchain Association

Show Notes

In the face of a plethora of ‘Wild West’ references around the ground-breaking innovation of the blockchain space, is the old way of doing business, the old way of making money, facing its final frontier? Does the battle to keep this space regulated end up like Tombstone, Arizona?

Or, making money - without the Mint.

Or, bringing Outlaws, in law.

Pierre Bourke of Blockchain Radio interviews two leading lights of the British Blockchain Association, Sharon Henley and Barry E James, about how the organisation came about, what are its aims, and what is the future for the sector.

And, back to the Wild West once again – is the BBA as colonial as its name suggests, or can it build an international community?

Having been established for over a year, the aim of the British Blockchain Association is to support all those coming together in the blockchain space, entrepreneurs, governments, other organisations, to build a community, to offer guidance, and to become the voice for the industry.

As Sharon notes, there’s so much changing right now, really, really fast; and the BBA looks to bring it all, calmly, together.

And as Barry adds, the BBA really is interested in reinventing the world, in reinventing money, reinventing business, reinventing the internet – reinventing pretty much everything.

Blockchain is about rebuilding the world – and Barry’s in!

To start the ball rolling, the BBA went direct to the entrepreneurs and asked them, what do you want from us? What can we do to help? And they said that while of course they’re looking for funding for their ventures, for support with marketing and legal issues – more than anything, they want to cut through the noise, to have their venture percolate to the top. They want visibility.

Now, the Global Blockchain Ventures Scheme, a partnership between the BBA and TokenIntelligence, is set to do just that. Because in a world of around 2,000 coins, how do investors tell good from bad from ugly?

TheGlobal Blockchain Ventures Schemeis working to bring all they learned over the last decade, about regulation, innovation and especially transparency, to bear on what it now a global phenomenon – and a global problem which needs to be solved, fast.

After all, if this space ends up like the OK Corral, and the reinvention of money and the internet, bringing on a brave new world of commerce and business, becoming a battle, we need both sides to be the guys in the white hats to see us safely through.

Key take-aways

  • Sharon Henley, is Director of Marketing and Communications for the BBA, and Barry E James is Chair for Finance, ICO/DLT Startups.
  • Sharon was previously Head of Marketing for the Royal Mint – an 1100-year-old organisation that is far more innovative than its age suggests, minting coins for 50 other countries and constantly reinventing itself.
  • It was Sharon’s own project, bringing gold onto blockchain, that got her thinking about everything else within the space and brought her on board in the first place. The fact that blockchain started out as part of alternative finance, but now has world-changing potential across so many areas of life.
  • Barry is described as more comfortable as ‘a cast member in a Guy Ritchie shoot-em-up movie more than hanging out with people from the Royal Mint’.
  • Governance is a ‘switch off and go to sleep’ word, but this is the first time as a race we are forced to confront the fact that we need to work out how to make this work globally - and it really matters. 
  • Buckminster Fuller said that we could choose to be the architects of our future or its victims - in fact he said we are called to be its architects.
  • TokenIntelligence was launched to drill down fast into each individual blockchain venture and display its transparency, its authenticity, through a red-amber-green verification rating.
  • From the outside, whatever type of business you’re looking at, it’s hard to predict whether it will be successful. Add to this the high innovation in this ICO space, and you’re looking at risk-squared.
  • One thing years of experience within crowdfunding can help with, is looking at projects systematically and rating their transparency. This is essential in calling out bad actors and scams, while also demonstrating those that communicate well.
  • This is a win-win for the BBA, its members and the whole blockchain community.
  • Don’t be misled by the ‘British’ part of the title; there are Associations and alliances globally that are already engaging with the BBA, and the potential to work together is unlimited.
  • It was partly a result of Barry pushing for a new way of looking at things which led to a more supportive stance, and the FCA’s international regulatory sandbox launched earlier this year.
  • ICOs and cryptocurrencies are, by their nature, global, and you can’t just force regulation to work properly from within a patchwork of jurisdictions.

Useful Links


 Twitter    Facebook    LinkedIn



Show Credits

Recent Episodes

View All Episodes