Magic and blockchain
Tim: Okay, so this is the Distributed Future podcast I'm Tim Panton and we are talking to people who know a little bit about what maybe the future may look like because they're working on it,
Vim: And I'm Vimla Appadoo and I'm here to talk about how interesting the future might be.
Tim: This this thing this magic thing.
I'm I'm interested at the moment in how hard it is to understand what technology is actually doing. I mean there's a fantastic example this week, whether um Apple Macs and iPhones were crashing because people were sending particular characters in the Telugu language which is a nice cursive language, but where the shape of the characters depends on what follows it, so if you have a particular consonant that follows a particular vowel then the vowel is drawn differently and that was um crashing the iOS rendering engine, so you could actually have what you might think of as a magic rune that would crash any iPhone it went past.
And actually understanding that and and kind of treating it as anything other than magic. This is a little difficult so kind of getting your head around what technology is doing and it making it feel rational is getting increasingly difficult. I think
Vim: yeah, and I think as technology becomes more complex that gap between the people using it and the people building it is widening so even though.
We're more Tech literate now than we ever have been. That's a huge gap between those two sets of people, and I think that's where magic really comes into and trying to understand what's going on, and how um and reaping the benefits of new technology.
Tim: Yeah, I mean there's a famous quote from sci-fi.
I think Arthur C Clarke saying that any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from Magic. And for me at the moment that extreme example of that is is all of the blockchain stuff because it's all based around mathematics, which I can't get my head around and I kind of know a little bit about this world and and yet it's turning into a billion-dollar industry.
Vim: Yeah, yeah absolutely, and I think. It's one of those examples of how something really complex as you can filter down into everyday conversations, so I'll be sitting on the bus and I'll be people talking about Bitcoin or trying to buy cryptocurrency and even if someone that works in technology. I have no idea.
What sits behind blockchain um so to hear people on the bus or just in public speaking about it really blows my mind.
Tim: Yeah, I mean we've sort of seen these things where the people on the bus are talking about future Technologies, which nobody really can picture before I mean we have the.com bubble and that although that didn't go as badly as it sort of looked because a lot of the things that people were talkin about at that point we are actually doing now.
It's just a lot of people lost a lot of money in the meantime. Um so you know the idea of having your pet food delivered ordering it online and having it delivered is actually perfectly sensible thing to do now, but in whatever it was 1999 people went broke building websites that didn't quite do that um on the other hand Amazon made it ton of money and anyone who invested in the made a ton of money, so I didn't know it's kind of hard to pick the winners I suppose.
Vim: yeah, and I guess it's similar now. I think the. Because we Society think you know more about technology than we do and I'm being very generalist here, but I think we tend to because we're more digital digitally literate and Technology literate. We think we know more about it than we necessarily do and therefore we willing to take more risks that we might have done 20 years ago.
Tim: I think the other thing is that there are fewer places to hide in the sense that there are a few jobs that are not digital or not affected by digital aspects. You can't you know they're very few things you can do apart from I suppose carpentry, but they probably even there where you're not like directly affected by
Vim: by what the digital world is doing? Yeah? Yeah, that's very true. Um, and I think that leaving into our everyday is only going to get more and more so but that doesn't because we literate doesn't mean understand it, so
Tim: I mean I don't understand the economics, but, I, well, I thought I did actually every time I look at it. I think I actually don't so hey, but we have like little working models that we use which we use to get through everyday life, and I kind of understand enough economics to you know run my own finances. Hopefully, but um I don't I don't feel that about I kind of do about blockchain, but only just.
Vim: Well, maybe it's not important like you say if you're just you're apart of the system. You're part of that kind of thing. It doesn't matter whether you understand it or not get there as part of your life anyway, so we all take part in economics whether we understand it or not.
Tim: Uh yeah. Yeah, but I think we all have we all understand, or mostly understand, our own finances, but I think the thing that's weird about blockchain is that it's not, it's somehow pervasive in the sense that it doesn't I think possibly because it's distributed. It's a decentralized system. It doesn't it hard to kind of keep it over there and pretend it doesn't impact your own life when actually probably will and sooner than a lot of us think yeah. I don't know I mean we'll find out obviously but um it feels that way it feels like a technology. That's going to change a lot of things and not necessarily the ones that everyone thinks it's going to change which I think is very I'm not convinced that it's going to change finance that much
Vim: yeah, that's just what the media has focused on.
Tim: Well, it was it was you know it was the first use case that everyone was like you know um well. That's what blockchain was built for
Tim: and I think part of that was around dissatisfaction with distrust actually of kind of conventional Financial um Shenanigans, but um I'm not convinced that so actually where it ends up being most useful. I'm not sure where it is, but I don't think it's Finance.
Vim: I think that's a really good segue into being interviewer with Fauve.
Tim: I'm looking forward to listening to it. I I haven't heard it um, but I mean I should explain that but one of the kind of things we're doing with this podcast is that one of us finds an interviewee who we know or have met and on a subject that we know something about then the other one interviews them so that we we don't kind of bring too many preconceptions to the interview, so I haven't heard your interview. Um so it's kind of going to be interesting to to see how that uh that plays out
Vim: yeah on that note I'd like to introduce Fauve to this conversation.Um where were we were talking about the future of money and cryptocurrency
My first question is how do you normally introduce yourself to people?
Fauve: How do I normally introduce myself? I introduce myself as a newcomer in blockchain. I started only a few months ago, so less than a year of May, and I did a deep dive directly as a community manager uh with State of the DApps.
And I learned a lot with it and with the community and it's great because we're kind of the backstage of all the decentralized application on being made and we're the bridge with the developers and the users and I can give the good user experience.
Vim: Yeah. That's really good, and what kind of got you interested in doing something like that?
Fauve: I was uh always interested in iot and I was keeping an eye on blockchain, and I had fallen on the DApps website a few times and was intrigued of how it seemed like there was another whole world a decentralized whole world and I decided to reach out to the team and to tell them that I wanted to learn and help on the social front as I did PR and communication beforehand. I thought we could combine our skill sets
Vim: that's really cool, I guess um, so I'm in technology, but not I know I don't speak the technical language in any sense. How whave you gone around um communicating something that's really complex, and into simple language to reach a mass audience?
Fauve: How uh with a lot of talking to other people yeah a lot of so my team, they're very strong technically and they're also very good at explaining things, which uh simplifies a lot of my job as well. And also just by being curious reading researching uh talking to people who are perhaps on the same tech level as you are when others that have way more experience, and then you can transcribe your make your own understanding at some point with how people speak very strongly technically and then your comprehension of what it is and explaining it to somebody that has strong Tech skills of how you understand what it is, and they'll tell you if you're on the right path of it or not
Vim: yeah, very true.
Fauve: And research.
Fauve: Yeah, lot of research.
Vim: How do you find the best things to research there is so much out there?
Fauve: How do I find sorry?
Vim: The best things to read?
Fauve: Uh that's hard you need to I think that there's a lot of judgment to take on ourselves when we decide what information we want to take from different sources that we choose, but you know there are also certain sources that are to be trusted and with uh I can say with the community that these resources often become similar the same ones so you know which ones to go to.
Fauve: you form a habits and a pattern of how to source proper information and at the same time if you read for something and the same information comes up you can base yourself that there's more chances of it being the right information than it can't.
Vim: Yeah, and I'm you mentioned that you were kind of in love block chain. How did that start and what was your motivation to get into it?
Fauve: So how did I start? It started I remember? I actually remember I was with my roommates, and we received The Economist which was on with Bitcoin on the front, and we were reading about it, and it was so abstract to comprehend what it was, that I was just like this is another world doesn't make sense at all.
I don't get it like it's just too abstract and after that it just kind of stayed in my head. I never did anything about it, but kept reading here and there. And then when you I saw started researching a bit more and any new technology we are in the era of the nerd it's growing tech is growing and it is part of a society very much, then obviously block chain came up often and often, and I realized that it was time to get into it before while it was still being hacked and still being polished and to be part of the people who kept possibly help polish it for the rest of us.
Vim: That's really interesting. What was your kind of motivation fo the jump from that interest to making it a part of your career?
Fauve: I felt that it was very very Tech, and I'm a social soft-skill person and I was I saw there was a lot of space and room for soft skills people and that also uh soft skills uh people were gonna have more of let's say a chance to uh have a carrier in a sense or it's less hard to quantify.
It's harder to quantify.
Fauve: Soft skills, and I saw blockchain as being an opportunity in the something to leverage those skills
Vim: That's really cool. It's really cool to see that emerging from the abstract and the soft skills goes as well you dont often see it happening.
Fauve: And what also amazed me it was how it in a sense like I studied PR and community and politics and seeing block chain of how you can sort of breakdown frontiers and offer more human interactions even by being decentralized, which is kind of contradictory
Fauve: but you actually offer a possibility to connect with people all around the world whenever at all time, and I thought that was amazing and there was lot of opportunities to grow it with that.
Vim: Yeah, yeah, definitely within your community um where do you see that growing the most and what would people talking about at the moment?
Fauve: Growing the most as what?
Vim: Size-wise. Where do you think the biggest kind of blockchain communities are
Fauve: uh the communities that well they are you have a lot in the US? That's for sure? Uh Asia, um Europe of course, I think there's a little core in every region of the world yeah, then it's how can we distribute it even more?
Vim: Yeah absolutely? What do you think they kind of Hot Topic within what Blockchain at the moment?
Fauve: Is for sure Finance.
Fauve: another one? That's a Hot Topic is with social network and social crowdfunding social economy.
Vim: That's interesting
Fauve: and identity as well so giving offering um. Let's say in underdeveloped countries people who have a hard time getting their papers ideas are women that are being persecuted due to religion and culture can actually have can let can take more in control their lives and their identity and actually have an identity with the blockchain.
Vim: Well. That's amazing. That's really cool.
Fauve: So I think that's gonna have a big boom over time.
Vim: I had no idea that was happening.
Fauve: Yeah. Strongly slowly. It's happening, but you still have to break you down certain cultural barriers or how to interact with people from different cultures, and that's a I think that's a big um. I think that's gonna be an obstacle, but at the same time. It's gonna be crazy exponential learning experience for everyone
Fauve: to having the capacity to speak with people from different cultures and work with them at all times everywhere.
Vim: You know because I imagine as a disconnect between the people building the tech and the people using it
Vim: and that's an interesting thing to overcome so what's your opinion on the sudden mainstream media focus on cryptocurrency,
Fauve: what's my point of view?
Vim: On the sudden kind of mainstream media Focus.
Fauve: The media focus at the moment is a I will on my point of view I would say is too concentrated on the ICO hype so we have high Bubble at the moment of the ICO. We have a boom but the problem is that people think are just thinking that they can become rich in two seconds in in a week. They'll be a new millionaire, and that's a problem because people are only seeing dollar signs and they're forgetting that initially a token is not only about money.
It has a monetary value, but it's initially created for utility so it is a utility token, and we've a lot of people and the media are forgetting the word utility before token.
Vim: Yeah, yeah, definitely
Fauve: so that's a that's a one of the big problem with the media is the hype of making money the of course it's it's crazy how it's very impressive how much money has been made the new market cap but it's not about becoming a new Rich.
Vim: Yeah, definitely. No. Do you find that um? How do you find that for the everyday citizen?
Fauve: Everyday citizen, it's a crazy Gap Everybody's Talkin about it. Everybody will will say that they have heard about it.
Then the knowledge and understanding of what it is. It is very broad you go from somebody who just understands that it's cryptocurrency Bitcoin any Etherium.
Fauve: uh to the nerd of the nerd the tag people that want that are some even some that are the unbanked. Yeah, and so the Gap is strong the in-between of people are starting to understand what it is, and how to use it.
We're still not there yet 100%
Vim: right that's interesting and what do you think the future of cryptocurrency looks like?
Fauve: Oh, I think it's having its place in society.
Fauve: look 2018 is gonna be a very interesting year and fast year as well for the implementation of cryptocurrencies in multiple social uh facets and with banks,
Vim: and where do you see the focus ?
Fauve: We're uh, we're finances for sure. I think it's going to be the first Focus then social economy as well as we can crowdfunding other and help it like Kickstarter, but on the blockchain.
Fauve: those are big ones as well.
Vim: Yeah, if you could use blockchain for any application or something. What would be your personal future that like with it?
Fauve: I would use of course that's for transactions, so if I want to send money at this moment you somebody anywhere else in the world and we can do it in a split second with almost no cost that's very attractive.
Fauve: then think about it if I'm doing it to you in uh in England but from my Canadian Bank.
It has to go with an inbetween bank at First each of them has to approve the transfer, which therefore it takes about, what, a week to 10 days because of international and the fees each one has a fee.
Fauve: so that's not very attractive
Fauve: and then there's gonna be also for social networks with passwords.
You know we have so many passwords for everything.
Fauve: uh some projects are working on having only one as if one gate to enter all your platforms.
Vim: Yeah, right wow. So you can so when you're speaking about um blockchain being a identifier its from kind of your personal identification online right through to the social implications of that in giving people an identity as well.
Vim: that's really cool, and I guess in that space then covering all sections of society
Fauve: yes, and giving a voice to the people who don't necessarily have the chance to have a voice in society now perhaps or before in the past. I think they'll be more room for more people to share their insights. Uh the experiences and also we're gonna see more skill sets people have different skills and that's gonna offer for people to show what they can do.
Vim: Yeah, would you think we need to do to get there?
Fauve: We need to talk more with each other and we need to travel a bit more to underdeveloped countries and take some insight. We need to we need to forget our ego, and we need to listen at the round table
Yeah, Yeah, I think that's massively important.
Vim: What do you think the biggest risk is
Fauve: uh the biggest risk perhaps hacking Financial hacking? There's I mean? Everything can be hackable even though we say it's unhackable. There's always somebody who can find a loophole.
Fauve: so I think the biggest risk. I don't think there's a risk now with the fact of polishing it.
Uh the risk is of understanding the gap between the new generations and the older generations to work together and adopt it or else is going to create a very strong generational Gap.
Vim: Yeah, yeah, definitely. But in terms so that's the kind of Financial Risk, but what do you say the risk to people's identity as well.
Fauve: I'm not exactly sure I believe perhaps people can will be able to give themselves different identities, but people still have been doing that for years those as well
Vim: thats true
Fauve: so you can't you can't uh. I don't think there's a one solution to solve um theft and identity uh theft as well. I think if somebody wants to do a Bad Thing they'll find a way to do it. It's just more we might find ways now to secure it better.
Fauve: that it becomes it's just a bit more hassle for the person to do that but same place, and and
Vim: if you could what do you think the biggest benefit of um cryptocurrency?
Fauve: I guess biggest benefit of cryptocurrency is how I believe it broke down a lot of uh a
lot of walls for people and a lot to speak you have something to say and to try and participate more in the economy, yeah. Even though
Fauve: we have a lot of the the very strong tech developers who hold a lot since they've been in the in the crypto space since the beginning, but there's more space for Community speaking
Fauve: shared ideas, and uh new form of economy and democracy.
Vim: Yes, I think what I find particularly interesting about your role and what you're doing is that translation piece and bridging that gap between the heavy Tech and the everyday person, and I like I completely agree with you. I say the opportunity that the more people to start bridging that Gap in doing that research and understanding how to teach people who encourage people to join that conversation
Fauve: exactly .
What you think to teach people uh block chain is going to enable a lot for Education
Vim: Oh, right, how?
Fauve: With the fact that education so we have one format for Education. It's starting to change a bit and then therefore the people who don't fall into that format of Education. It doesn't work for them. It doesn't work for their way of comprehending information then they're left to either dropping out or trying to make it on their own or.
Going into a path that they've been told is the right one for them, but not being happy with it or not being successful because it doesn't work for them, and I believe block chain is gonna offer different ways for credential to get a different format uh transcripts and formatting within University decentralized schooling with AI as well.
Vim: That's really interesting. And what you see the relationship between block chain and AI?
Fauve: Uh the relationship is already strongly there.
Fauve: I think we have to be careful as well with AI as an artificial intelligence can create its own language, and then perhaps we can we perhaps could lose control.
Fauve: so where's the switch button to turn it off.
Vim: Yeah absolutely, I guess AI would be a whole different podcast as well
Vim: Um I think that's that's great for now do you have anything you want to finish with or any final comments about the future of cryptocurrency.
Fauve: I just think that everybody at the moment should read more about it to understand how it can it is seriously impacting our lives at the moment. We might not see it just yet, but it's better to understand it than suddenly being forced into it without having been informed.
Vim: Yeah. But in addition to that the more people that know about it the more Innovations we can get in the space the future applications to
Fauve: exactly that we can work together.
Vim: Yeah, that's great. Well. Thank you so much for your time. I hope you enjoyed the chat.
Fauve: Yes. Thank you very much for taking the time with me as well.