What is your background briefly?
I love emerging technology and that love has taken through many projects. My skill set is helping commercialise emerging technology, and part of commercialization is explaining new technology to the intended audience.
Does it seem like a logical background to what you do now?
Yes, blockchain is on the cutting edge of several industries and is poised well to change how we do everything from trade value to secure systems.
1 min pitch for what you are working on now?
Factom is a blockchain platform that secures data and systems. We have developed a new product that helps the coordination of data for loans, leases, and insurance systems.
Disrupting the Paradigm for Document Collaboration https://t.co/tp1sQAheqa
— Tiana Laurence (@LaurenceTiana) August 4, 2017
For those unfamiliar with the work of Factom, tell us a little more?
What the Factom network does is deceptively simple. It allows users to permanently record and index data and then read and update it later as needed. It is a powerful tool when you are coordinating systems that don’t trust one another such as financial transactions or like our work with the Department of Homeland Security (we’re creating solutions to address DHS’s border security challenges) when you want to make sure that your data is authentic and unaltered.
Congratulations on the book, we enjoyed it, was it a labour of love or challenging to write?
It was both; I would not call myself a natural writer. Without the support of my editors, it would never have been finished.
— Simon Cocking (@SimonCocking) August 6, 2017
We felt it was a good introduction to the topic in a fast moving area since you wrote it / if you do a second edition, what would you spend more or less time on?
My editor and I have been talking about the second book. It is most likely going to focus on the smart contract and ICO space.
— Factom (@factom) August 4, 2017
With recent hard forks in some blockchain technologies (and the Ethereum loss of money/value, before it was realised) how much do you think it affects consumer confidence? Are we still in the wild west phase?
We are still in the wild west. The ICO craze is the new iteration. Recently a project had 7 million stolen from it through a simple hack of their website and there were not a lot of resources to advise them.
How soon do you think blockchain driven solutions could become widespread and more secure?
The industry is now finishing up the first tests of their ideas and now looking to move away from prototype to the commercialization of the good ideas. Next year we should start seeing them in the actual marketplace.
What resources and thought leaders would you recommend for people to stay up to date with blockchain innovations and new initiatives?
Here are a few good resources:
China recently announced it will use blockchain for tax returns, which parts of the world do you think will move to blockchain solutions soonest?
Governments that have signalled that they are moving quickly – a few off the top of my head include:
Dubai 2020 – all functions of government that can be done on blockchain will be.
Singapore MAS Regulatory Sandbox – open invitation for blockchain innovation.
Estonia’s e-Estonia – blockchain initiative.
Delaware State Blockchain Initiative – legal standing for the technology.
For those that don’t know, can you briefly explain what an ICO is, and why we are seeing so much activity in this area at the moment?
ICO stands for Initial Coin Offering. What it does is allow a group to raise capital for a project. We are seeing a lot of these right now for a few reasons. It used to be difficult to do from a technical point of view. Now there are platforms like Ethereum and Wave that let you create an ICO in a few minutes without needing to start from scratch. Also, tokens like Bitcoin and Ether (the Ethereum token) are are doing quite well and those that hold large amounts are looking to reinvest in the second generation of blockchain technology.
Is there anything else we should have asked you/you’d like to mention?
I have been asked a lot about what token to buy or what’s the hot new ICO. Again, this is the wild west, and new people to the industry would be well served to study the industry and understand the value proposition before getting involved and only risk what they are willing and able to lose.
How can people find out more you and buy the book?