Asia

Ep. #22: Cryptocurrency Exchange & P2P Marketplace with Rahul Raj (CEO Koinex)

Our guest for this episode is Rahul Raj, CEO and co-founder of Koinex (https://koinex.in/). Koinex is one of India’s leading cryptocurrency exchanges and peer to peer marketplaces which is backed by leading investors such as Pantera Capital (https://www.panteracapital.com/) and Beenext (https://www.beenext.com/).

Rahul is a graduate of the Indian Institute of Technology and has dabbled in various startups and social entrepreneurship initiatives before starting Koinex.

Tune in to hear about:

  • Rahul’s background and intro
  • How Koinex (India’s first KYC compliant multi currency exchange) came about
  • Why Koinex initially decided to have only fiat to crypto pairs for all cryptocurrencies
  • Customer journey for transacting
  • Different steps involved in setting up a crypto exchange
  • Three important pillars of setting up an exchange: scalability, security, customer support
  • Other factors to consider while setting up an exchange: UI/UX, liquidity, ecosystem development
  • Building an exchange in house vs. using a white label solution/third party integrations – pros and cons
  • Where does an exchange source their crypto from?
  • How Koinex built liquidity on the platform
  • Highest daily trading volume that Koinex saw – USD 265m
  • Why BTC was trading at a premium in India
  • Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI’s) current stance on crypto and way going forward
  • How the crypto-exchanges responded to the RBI directive
  • Koinex Loop (https://koinex.in/loop) – the crypto marketplace
  • Improvements of Koinex Loop over LocalBitcoin and LocalEthereum
  • Challenges with Koinex Loop as far as fiat is concerned
  • Koinex’s roadmap and plans beyond an exchange
  • Views on the Blockchain and Cryptocurrency ecosystem in India
  • Projects beyond Koinex that Rahul is excited about: Ethereum, BAT

Ep. #21: Blockchain Community/ Co-Living, Co-Working space with See Eun and Young Hoon (Co-Founders Nonce Community)

Our first guest for this episode is See Eun who was into breakdancing and danced professionally for more than 10 years. He served in the military, curated and wrote for a hip-hop blog and lead hip-hop education efforts before the Bitcoin bug bit him. He started ‘The Blockchainers”, the first Blockchain Cryptocurrency YouTube channel in Korea with his co-host Young Hoon who is the other guest on the show.

Young Hoon majored in math and computer science at the University of Oxford and upon graduation had short stints in McKinsey and Macquarie before also serving in the military in Somalia for a counter-piracy mission for the Korean army.

Together, they also started and currently run Nonce Community, an open-source co-working, co-living Blockchain/Cryptocurrency space based on Proof-of-Work. Nonce community started as a few people who worked in this ecosystem living together in a 3 bedroom apartment and has since grown to a whole building which can currently accommodate upto 100 Blockchainers.

Tune in to hear about:

  • Their fascinating background and what got them into crypto
  • First Korean Blockchain Youtube channel they started – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsH44G5T4hHXYrb1aGUB1Gw
  • Nonce Community – Blockchain community – co-living, co-working, open-source Blockchain community based on Proof-of-Work
  • How they went from a 3 bedroom apartment to a building that can accommodate a 100 people
  • Decentralised governance model for the community – decentralised way to make decisions including deciding who gets to stay
  • How the environment was like initially
  • An essay that inspired them (Tyranny of Structurelessness): https://www.jofreeman.com/joreen/tyranny.htm
  • Different verticals at Nonce Community: Tokeneconomics consulting, smart contract auditing, media and community management, fund and research arm
  • Studio Decentral (Media arm): http://www.studiodecentral.org/
  • See Eun’s views on the current perverse media model in the Blockchain/crypto ecosystem
  • Other resources mentioned: Epicenter Podcast (https://epicenter.tv/), Let’s talk Bitcoin (https://letstalkbitcoin.com/)
  • Gary Vee! – https://www.garyvaynerchuk.com/
  • Fund – arbitrage, market making and ICOs – due diligence process and fund structuring
  • Research – Whitepaper.foundation
  • Scalability solutions and their trade-offs: Plasma, state channels and sharding
  • Thoughts on scalability through centralisation of block production
  • Thoughts on move from Proof of Work to Proof of Stake consensus mechanism
  • Store of Value vs Tokens of protocols becoming store of value
  • Bitcoin: Store of value vs medium of exchange
  • Using Blockchain and Cryptocurrency to help society and the planet

Ep. #20: Fintech/Blockchain Hub with Joe Seunghyun Cho (Founding CEO Lattice 80)

Our guest for this episode is Joe Seunghyun Cho. Joe has been a hedge fund manager and has run an asset management company before founding Lattice 80, one of the world’s largest fintech and blockchain hubs in Singapore. Joe has been a mentor to several young companies and regularly coordinates with the government and larger corporations to support the startup ecosystem.

Tune in to this episode to find out about:

  • Joe’s background
  • How Lattice 80, the world’s biggest fintech/blockchain hub by size, came about
  • Government involvement in building out the startup ecosystem and getting all stakeholders involved
  • Expansion of Lattice 80 beyond Singapore, with the ultimate vision to open Lattice 80 in 100 cities eventually
  • Value add beyond a co-working space by getting multiple stakeholders involved – startups, financial institutions / corporates, government, public
  • Evolution of fintech companies in Singapore
  • Kaya network: connecting all stakeholders locally physically and globally to collaborate and do business and reducing the time required to take care of legal and due diligence issues
  • Kaya network database and mini social database to eliminate travel costs
  • Utility of the Kaya token
  • Use of token beyond the Lattice 80
  • Why Kaya is being built on the NEM Blockchain
  • Diving in to a ‘staggered’ ICO
  • First few locations that Lattice 80 is going to focus on
  • Joe’s plans beyond the co-working space
  • Link to Lattice 80 website: http://www.lattice80.com/

Ep. #18: Data Provenance and Authenticity using Blockchain with Mike Davie (Founder Quadrant Protocol)

Mike Davie is the Founder of Quadrant Protocol, a Blockchain project that allows for easy access, creation and distribution of data.

Mike was a member of the Advanced Mobile Product Strategy Division at Samsung where he developed go-to-market strategies for cutting edge technologies created in the Samsung R&D Labs. Thereafter, he founded DataStreamX, an online marketplace for real time data allowing companies that produce data to easily monetize and distribute it and allowing data consumers to source their data requirements in one place.

With the emergence of the Blockchain technology, Mike sought to further improve what he was trying to do at DataStreamX and as a result, Quadrant Protocol was born.

Tune in to hear about:

  • Mike’s background and how Quadrant Protocol was born
  • What problems Quadrant Protocol is seeking to address
  • How Quadrant Protocol is a data stamping protocol and the value that brings
  • Different stakeholders in the Quadrant ecosystem and their roles (‘nurseries’ are where the data is born, ‘pioneers’ who create the data into products, ‘elons’ who can be innovative companies and individuals who try to create more value of the data products)
  • How the different stakeholders are incentivised in the ecosystem
  • Quadrant Protocol’s consensus mechanism (mix of Proof of Authority and Proof of Work)
  • Quadrant Protocol’s roadmap
  • Key things Quadrant is looking for – partnerships, data providers and data consumers
  • Major partnership with IMDA (Govt of Singapore) – https://medium.com/quadrantprotocol/singapores-info-communications-media-development-authority-imda-partners-with-datastreamx-and-be4b1ba94cd9
  • Quadrant Protocol website, Medium

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. #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