Entrepreneurs

Ep. #17: Cryptocurrency Aggregator with Sharan Nair (SVP Marketing & BD CoinSwitch)

CoinSwitch is a Sequoia backed cryptocurrency aggregator. A cryptocurrency aggregator allows users to buy and sell multiple cryptocurrencies across various exchanges without creating multiple accounts while getting to choose the best prices across exchanges.

Sharan is currently the Senior Vice President of Marketing and Business Development at CoinSwitch. Prior to this role, he was the Vice President of Marketing and Communications at Unocoin, one of India’s largest fiat to crypto exchanges.

Tune in to hear about:

  • Sharan’s background, his work with Unocoin  (a fiat to crypto exchange in India) and how he started working at CoinSwitch
  • CoinSwitch – is an exchange aggregator supporting 300 coins and 45000 exchange pairs where users do not need to create accounts at multiple exchanges and use the CoinSwitch platform to get access to best pricing
  • Current exchanges integrated on Coinswitch: ShapeShift, Bittrex, Changelly, KuCoin, Changer and Cryptopia
  • Roadmap: Integrate with IDEX, a decentralised exchange and the challenges with integrating with a decentralised exchange
  • End-to-end customer journey for using Coinswitch
  • Coinswitch’s business model
  • CoinSwitch’s customer base and its distribution across the globe
  • CoinSwitch’s roadmap
  • CoinSwitch’s value added services such airdrop tracker, tax calculator etc
  • Business risks for CoinSwitch
  • Sharan’s view on the Blockchain and Cryptocurrency ecosystem in India
  • Twitter

Ep. #16: Tokenised Index Fund with Aditya Mishra (COO ZenPrivex/108 Token)

Aditya Mishra is the Co-founder and COO of ZenPrivex. ZenPrivex is an umbrella company with different product offerings in the Blockchain and crypto space. One of their first products is the 108 token which is a token representing an indexed fund with the top 15 cryptocurrencies rebalanced on a monthly basis.

Prior to his journey in the Blockchain space, Aditya or Adi was involved in the secondary private equity markets.

Tune in to hear about:

  • Background of the team
  • Adi’s journey in blockchain and cryptocurrency
  • ZenPrivex – the parent company behind the 108 token. Other ventures include a research arm and a decentralised exchange on top of ZRX (“relayer”)
  • 108 token – tokenised fund holding the top 15 cryptocurrencies by market cap and rebalanced monthly
  • Why the name ‘108’ (https://108token.com/)
  • Investment concepts in the crypto space that investors should consider: supply adjusted market cap versus only considering circulating supply (https://onchainfx.com/)
  • Why Adi and his team decided to work on this project? Why the ZenPrivex decided to tokenise this index fund versus taking on USD/SGD (or fiat currency straight)?
  • Who should buy the 108 token? How to buy the 108 token?
  • How the 108 token could trade at a discount or premium to the underlying assets
  • Target clients for 108 tokens (including treasury management for companies who have done ICOs)
  • Things that Adi is excited about in the Blockchain space
  • Telegram, Blog

Ep. #15 Crypto investing mental models and frameworks with Meher Roy Pt. 2/2 (Host of Epicenter and Co-founder Chorus One)

Meher is a fellow podcaster and host of Epicenter, one of the most well respected Blockchain podcasts in the industry with guests such as Vitalik Buterin, Adam Back, Gavin Andresen, Ralph Merkle regularly featuring on his show. He has also recently started a new company called Chorus One where his company is building validator nodes for Proof of Stake Blockchain networks such as Cosmos.

Meher is a graduate of the Indian Institute of Technology or IIT and worked in the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry prior to making a switch to the Blockchain world.

Tune in to hear about:

  • His mental models and philosophies behind investing
  • Strategy – identify investments that may grow 10x over 10 years with relatively high odds and 100x over 10 years but with relatively lower odds
  • Strategy – identifies fundamentally good projects and holds them long term
  • How to identify these investment opportunities that one can hold for 10 years
  • How he held Ether through the DAO and Parity hacks
  • Strategy – try to find opportunities through identifying what the key problems that exist today (e.g. scalability, smart contract safety) and find good projects that are addressing those
  • However, the projects that may ‘win’ may not necessarily be the inventors of that technology which leads to further complexity
  • How to determine ticket size or position sizing
  • Books mentioned – Fortune’s formula
  • What Meher’s personal portfolio looks like currently
  • Meher’s outlook on the Blockchain ecosystem in general

Link to Epicenter Podcast: https://epicenter.tv/

Youtube link to Epicenter podcast: https://www.youtube.com/user/epicenterbtc

Link to his new company: http://chorus.one/

Ep. #14: Crypto Twitter, Bitcoin and Proof of Stake Nodes with Meher Roy Pt. 1/2 (Host of Epicenter and Co-founder Chorus One)

Meher is a fellow podcaster and host of Epicenter, one of the most well respected Blockchain podcasts in the industry with guests such as Vitalik Buterin, Adam Back, Gavin Andresen, Ralph Merkle regularly featuring on his show. He has also recently started a new company called Chorus One where his company is building validator nodes for Proof of Stake Blockchain networks such as Cosmos.

Meher is a graduate of the Indian Institute of Technology or IIT and worked in the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry prior to making a switch to the Blockchain world.

Tune in to hear about:

  • Crypto Twitter and why he went off Twitter
  • His background and journey in the Blockchain space
  • How he came across Bitcoin in 2012, was unsuccessful in being able to purchase it
  • The thesis that made him purchase Bitcoin in 2013/14 and how that thesis has turned out wrong
  • The power of compound interest
  • First alt coin he purchased – Ether in 2015
  • His company (Chorus One) and what they are trying to do – Proof of Stake (PoS) validator node for the Cosmos project
  • How validation in PoS networks is the beginning of the fixed income in the cryptocurrency market
  • What will be the total size of the staking market and what percentage of the tokens would Chorus One look to be staked with them
  • What would be the differentiators for validator nodes to capture a greater market share
  • How PoS can lead to greater ‘centralisation’ but why that’s not necessarily a bad thing

Link to Epicenter Podcast: https://epicenter.tv/

Youtube link to Epicenter podcast: https://www.youtube.com/user/epicenterbtc

Link to his new company: http://chorus.one/

Ep. #13: Location Data Marketplace on Blockchain with Justin Mann (Co-founder Fysical)

Fysical is a location data marketplace which connects location suppliers i.e you and me to location buyers which could be marketing agencies, hedge funds, insurance companies amongst others.

Justin co-founded Fysical labs, from which Fysical has been spun out, in Boston in 2014. Fysical was accepted into the 500 startups accelerator in the summer of 2016. Sensing a big opportunity in Asia, Justin and his team moved to Singapore from Silicon Valley to build out Fysical.

Tune in to hear about:

  • Justin’s background and how Fysical came about
  • Why Fysical decided to relocate from Silicon Valley to Singapore
  • What is location data?
  • The problems with location data and location data marketplaces
  • What are the use cases presently and in the future – hedge funds, marketing firms, commercial real estate firms, smart cities, disaster recovery, health insurance companies
  • Who analyses the location data?
  • Role of the FYS token in the ecosystem
  • Fysical is live on the Ethereum main net – what that experience has been like
  • How users can get paid from their location data
  • Medium, Telegram and Twitter

Ep. #12: Insurance on Blockchain with Val Yap (CEO PolicyPal Network)

PolicyPal Network aims to leverage the Blockchain technology to make insurance more accessible for consumers by creating a peer-to-peer insurance platform. It also aims to cater to the needs of the crypto ecosystem by providing insurance services to Blockchain startups during their initial launch.

Our guest for today’s show is Val Yap, the Founder and CEO of PolicyPal and the PolicyPal Network based out Singapore. After graduating, she worked in varying capacities in the Financial Services industry including stints at Aberdeen Asset Management, PricewaterhouseCoopers and OCBC Bank. She was recently included in the Forbes 30 under 30 list for Finance and Venture Capital.

Tune in to hear about:

  1. Val’s background and how PolicyPal (‘traditional’ business) came about
  2. What PolicyPal does and how PolicyPal Network came about
  3. PolicyPal Network’s partnership with FWD insurance company  and new partnership with WeWork Asia
  4. The two products that PolicyPal Network is building – crypto protect insurance helping blockchain companies (wallets/exchanges etc.) and a P2P insurance marketplace
  5. Partnership with NEM and QTUM on the crypto protect insurance side
  6. Tech stuff – why they are building on Ethereum currently and why they’ll be launching their own blockchain network in the future
  7. Launch of PolicyPal’s testnet next month
  8. Some other interesting developments that are taking place at PolicyPal
  9. Importance of community in the cryptocurrency space
  10. Twitter, Telegram, Medium

Ep. #11: Authenticity of Products on Blockchain with Andrew Rasheed (CEO Devery)

Devery is an Australian company that has leveraged the Blockchain to create a product verification tool. It helps to ensure that the authenticity of products is maintained which allows e-commerce players as well as other businesses to ensure that their supply chain is secure. Devery recently concluded a successful ICO reaching their hard cap in 17 seconds after the lifting of the contribution caps.

Our guest for today’s show is Andrew Rasheed, Founder and CEO of Devery. Before founding Devery, Andrew was heavily involved in the e-commerce space. He was the founder of several e-commerce stores on Amazon and Shopify, and also created the first Ethereum-only online store, ethstall.com. Devery was created due to issues with counterfeiting and duplication that Andrew experienced and saw in the market during this period. He recognized that digital product verification would greatly reduce these problems and provide greater transparency and confidence to online shoppers.

Tune in to hear about:

  1. Andrew’s background and his side projects in the Blockchain space including a coniwatch touch bar for Mac users
  2. How Devery came about and the problems it solves?
  3. How Devery is creating the base protocol for third party verification services to build on top of their protocol and why Devery is taking this approach
  4. Role of the EVE token for multiple stakeholders in the ecosystem
  5. Bokky Token Transportation Protocol and how this allows users to interact with the application without incurring gas costs (the only other project using this Gaze Coin)
  6. How Devery plans to incentivise developers to build application on top of their protocol
  7. Devery’s work with the Tunisian Government and United Nations World Food Program
  8. Current developments and roadmap
  9. Devery’s involvement with the JD.com accelerator
  10. Andrew’s outlook on the Blockchain space – scalability and interoperability issues
  11. Medium, Twitter, Telegram

Ep. #09: Databases on Blockchain with Pavel Bains (CEO Bluzelle)

This week, we speak to Pavel Bains, CEO of Bluzelle Networks. Bluzelle is a decentralized database using Blockchain technology. Bluzelle allows individuals to rent any spare computer storage space to application developers to earn cryptotokens.

Tune in to hear about:

  1. Pavel’s background, journey in Blockchain and why he moved from Canada to Singapore to start Bluzelle
  2. Bluzelle’s prior work with banks and insurance companies (including HSBC, OCBC, MUFG, AIA etc.) and how that lead to a focused effort on decentralised databases
  3. What is a decentralised database and how it different from decentralised file storage (examples of file storage projects include Filecoin, Storj and Sia)
  4. Tech stuff: where the data sits, how consensus is maintained
  5. Stakeholders in the ecosystem: producers and consumers (including how to become a producer/node)
  6. Why Bluzelle decided to have two tokens: BLZ and BNT
  7. Competition with the ‘traditional’ players like Amazon Web Services, IBM, Oracle etc and within the Blockchain space (BigChainDB)
  8. ICO journey: experiences and challenges
  9. Bluzelle’s roadmap (Alpha in June 2018 and beyond)
  10. Pavel’s outlook on the Blockchain space
  11. Projects Pavel is excited about/partnering with: Zilliqa, Sentinel Protocol, 0x

Ep. #08: Decentralised Autonomous Organisations with Josh Zemel (DAOstack)

In this episode, we speak to Josh Zemel from DAOstack. DAOstack is looking to be the tech behind Decentralised Autonomous Organisations (DAOs) – think of a company without a management team or directors where multiple stakeholders can collaborate, take decisions, allocate capital and bring projects to fruition.

Tune in to hear about:

  1. A philosophical take on Blockchain and DAOs – how it can lead to greater coherence in organisations
  2. What is a DAO
  3. Immensity of the governance problem and how DAOstack is addressing it
  4. Holographic consensus mechanism and how the DAOstack governance mechanism works including the role of the token
  5. DAOstack’s tech stack (libraries of smart contracts for governance, Dapps etc.)
  6. Regulatory aspects to consider in a DAO
  7. Details about their upcoming token sale

Projects and other resources mentioned in this episode:

  1. Vitalik’s blog on how coin holder voting leads to a plutocracy: https://vitalik.ca/general/2018/03/28/plutocracy.html
  2. Aragon
  3. Matan Field’s ETHCC keynote

DAOstack’s social media presence: Telegram, Twitter, YouTube, Medium