Positivity is BACK in the Crypto Markets – Behind the Scenes at Fluidity 2019

by birtanpublished on September 27, 2020

hey what is going on it is crypto Bobby

I hope you were having a great day great night wherever you're watching or listening in from today I am NOT coming to you from my mancave I'm actually coming to you from the Williamsburg Savings Bank in Brooklyn you are

Bloomsburg and we are here for fluidity summit 2019 and as the great pump or Anthony pump Liana once said long Bitcoin short the bankers hence why we are in a large what used to be a bank now in that space with a bunch of

Bankers so join me for a conversation with a number of people throughout the cryptocurrency blockchain and finance base let's hop into the air I'm sure you never you've never gotten

This once in your life you are not on any Netflix documentary sirs oh no no I was on a Netflix documentary we're on camera right now I was in the fire festival documentary the one thing I think that's been pretty interesting to

Watch it's just how like the market is developed in the past maybe month or so and as somebody who is a professional investor in this space what's your take on the overall sentiment of the the market as its developed in the past like

A month to two months yeah I mean it's been really incredible from first of all like we've been investing through the bear right so we've deployed 20 investments from our venture fund in the last 13 months we're focused

Predominantly I want to say on everybody using this term but picks and shovels you know a lot of this stuff is super early but there's one thesis that's proven and that's crypto is a speculative asset class and a lot of

People I think are hesitant to say that but what propelled crypto into the mainstream mind has had been speculation on these assets for retail investors and I think what will lead this next run and part of what we're seeing as kind of the

Price of Bitcoin shakes off news like a buy Nance hack right or like this tether stuff which would have crashed the market last year I think a lot of that is driven by a sense that institutions are seriously looking at this asset

Class and understand that some kind of allocation is important and so we've been investing in the infrastructure that will support institutions coming into this space I think that's a really interesting point for a number of

Reasons because number one I completely agree with you that primarily to this point I'm crypto has been a speculative asset and really that's still the core use case and I don't think we've developed they're fully developed the

Majority of the other use cases a lot of individuals point to and to that point as well one thing that I've been thinking a lot as a kind of spur my mind recently but with the square I think was q1 earnings report a lot of

People were talking about square and the increased amount of buying and selling a Bitcoin on square the amount of on ramps and whether it's for institutional players or even for retail like where we were in 2017 versus where there is the

E-trade news right I think the team at wire has done a phenomenal job like they're everywhere every every company that we talked to is working with those guys we we didn't invest in them you know wish we had but yeah there's

Definitely there's definitely a lot happening on that front for sure in the next six months as you look at crypto as a whole what's the most interesting thing to you what are you keeping your eye on just in this Innis industry yeah

I think we you know again back to that institutional theme really watching fidelity closely I think having a custody provider like fidelity in this space is again crucial because even though it's simple to us you know going

On coin based opening account and you know an institutional asset manager isn't going to do that right and and because insurance is still underdeveloped in the market for digital assets really it's the creditworthiness

Of the cost of the custodian that they're trusting and so fidelity coming into the space is something that I'm watching what's exciting for us is finally a look towards from from the investment in web 3 stack finally a look

Towards usability we're starting to see you know the deployment of tech on top of really it's a lot of it's happening on top of aetherium that's just making it so much simpler to use right and I think that that's that's critical right

Now so we're not going to have actual use cases other than speculation until it's as easy for me to just sign in to some of these crypto primitives with as if I would sign into Facebook I think that's also a great point too

Like if you've seen some of the work with I think for Matic is one doing some some cool things on etherium Portis is another one just yeah just just making things easier for people to you that we met with in LA called a bridge which is

Doing something similar to Portis you know it's just all it's and crux another one that's coming out and right we need to see the tooling you know on top of these protocols in order for people to use them and dab developers to use them

Like even something like data querying right we've been looking and talking to the team at the graph which is a popular deal in the space but as a DAP developer to have to build that out on my own and the amount of time that it takes and you

Know and cost not to mention to go and query the etherium blockchain it's just really it's crucial infrastructure is being built that's actually gonna allow some people think D Phi is the killer use

Case whatever those those primitives to to actually have users right now like back to the speculation aspect everybody wants to talk about eath locked up and defy right if you look at maker most of that eath is really just people want to

Have a leverage long position on aetherium so even though it's being used for d phi it's being used for speculation you're with Clyde who is say one of the more distinguished speakers that we have at fluidity definitely the

Best-dressed I've I've seen so far at least I appreciate you taking the time to speak from it thank you for having me and I want to give a lot of props of fluidity for putting this together we're excited that the blockchain businesses

And distributed ledger technology businesses are thriving here in New York and we're great we're happy that you know fluidity put this together to show what's going on is to show off all the stuff that we have going on in New York

State and to that point I think you just had a conversation on stage you got a chance to talk a little bit about what New York is doing in the blockchain in crypto currency space and then had a conversation that was narrated believed

By papper du chí with Caitlyn long who think might take perhaps a little bit of a different approach with Wyoming can you talk a little bit about how that conversation went with Caitlyn what were some of the maybe high-level points

There between the differences with New York and and why own no in New York we go high other places go low she tried to dis new Europe when she came here but in all honesty it was great to see what's going on in Wyoming

With Caitlin we have a lot of respect for her a lot of respect to what's going on in Wyoming but New York is not Wyoming New York is the financial capital of the world but we're not guaranteed to be that also with this

Technology disrupted and it's disrupting the financial the financial markets and the financial industry of New York but how do we make sure that we lead in blockchain and in the world in New York how do you make sure we lead and FinTech

In New York one of the things that's very important is that we have to balance a number of things we have to protect consumers we have to protect investors we also have to make sure that we have an environment that's thriving

For and for blockchain related companies to be able to live in New York and how do you make that balance how do we do that and it's a challenge one of the things that we're very proud to do is that in New York State we're the first

Day in the country to be able to pass a law to create a digital currency task force and this is a group of people Superstars All Stars that will help guide us with the policy and regulations around Pictou currency around digital

Currency around blockchain to make sure that we get it right as somebody who works in crypto full-time at fluidity and also has the YouTube content podcasts on the side and face but I live in the cryptocurrency world it's really

Difficult to stay I would say up-to-date and educated on what's happening in the space what does New York State do to kind of keep a pulse on on what's happening because from somebody who's come from myself the traditional tech

Industry into the blockchain world things move so quickly here how do you how do you guys stay just abreast on all the latest happenings look it's a challenge for all of us you know it's a town for all of us so we have to make

Sure that you know in this space what's interesting is that you know to make sure that you're on top of everything you can't read or watch traditional media right you have to watch the blogs you have to watch what's going on in

Different companies you have to watch different kinds of industrial publications because this stuff is happening so fast but it's important to stay on top of it one thing I was telling folks is that

You know for years in regular in in in this space is like 40 years somewhere else so but what's a great thing is that is humbling too because you don't know everything and there's so much that's going on that's why it's important for

New York to watch what's going on not only in Wyoming but what's going on in Texas was going on in sloppier what's going on in Uganda what's going on around the world what's going on in Asia because you know all this stuff is

Connected another thing that's a challenge too is that's like I said we want to make sure that New York stays premier in this industry but when it comes to technology that just stops everything you know how do you do that

That's a that's a challenge and it's challenging every industry but we have to make sure that we get it right here yeah I have I have a lot of I think there's maybe a lot of grief that sometimes gets given to certain like

Regulatory bodies but I think that just in the blockchain and cryptocurrency world it has changed things so quickly that I can't imagine the position that it puts someone like yourself and your team in and just having to kind of

Quickly adjust as to maybe not deter innovation but at the same point in time still try to protect individuals because there's there's a pretty tough dilemma there one thing I didn't say on stage was that what's great is in every

Industry you have bad actors right you have bad actors in every industry and I think it's good when people when industries went when when certain companies get outed get get get caught when there are some where Ponzi schemes

Get torn just because what happens is that we need to purge the bad ones out but what's very important is that good companies and good actors need to step up and and I said as I said on stage we have to make sure that education is very

Important right acknowledge me it's very important that the fact that you guys are doing this is something that's important because I believe in New York State in New York City this industry is operating in the shadows and then what

Happens is that then there's gonna be a certain kind of relationship between this industry and lawmakers or regulators and that's something that I'm trying to close that gap well I appreciate you coming to the fluidity

Summit as well as taking the time to speak with me I think in this type of conversation is really helpful and really illuminating so thank you so much for your time thanks a million I'm happy to be here

And like I said I'm excited that fluidity is doing this too I learned a lot and I'm gonna try to stay here for a little bit to learn a little bit more but it's important for us to make sure that we we communicate and that this

Industry communication regulators I'm really focused on you know events like what happened with finance just this week are really preventing the adoption of crypto because it really scares potential entrepreneurs potential users

And I'm really working on ways to leverage the technology itself to avoid events like that happening or when events like that do happen in the case of finance it was an intrusion a hack so what we care about is identifying those

Intrusions faster so having faster response time and alerting the community of them so that they don't but they're our money their wallets in harm's way so we're really doing a lot of research and creating

Tool sets for that purpose what do you think right now with the current I would say maybe cryptocurrency ecosystem or infrastructure what do you think are some of the biggest issues when it does come down to preventing

That the types of things you're trying to face like that the fraud in the hex yeah I think we have been thinking about the problem putting our traditional finance hat on so I used to work at a bank how you prevent fraud or how you

Identify fraud or scams or a financial crime it's really by taking a look at rules created by the regulators and you and those roles maybe around identifying criminals and telling the bank's hey don't allow those criminals to access

The system and you and that's how it's done regulator gives you a law or a directive thanks apply it and that's how you stop financial crime and I think people have been trying to follow that same threat

To crypto networks but they work in a very different way they work in different frequency response times different participants you don't have an inter-party a broker of trust really creating those laws and you also don't

Have the linkage to government defining those laws so we need to redefine the question and make a native blockchain solution to find those answers so as opposed to waiting for the regulator's the banks to say this is what a

Financial crime looks like go out and try to find it we need to tell the community hey this is a decentralized environment you are not just a user but you should be the gatekeeper of financial crime tell us tell the

Community when you identify something bad and let's crowdsource that solution together so I really think it's about redefining the solution so that it's not about copying what exists today but about creating something new that is

Made for blockchain by the blockchain and so you said previously that you had worked on JP Morgan's blockchain initiative and I think one thing that's really interesting is at least from my feeling like JP Morgan has some really

Solid alumni in the cryptocurrency space it seems like they've done like a really good job they think a tional II get some grief for Jamie diamonds comments on Bitcoin but there are a lot of people now that have started working in the

Blockchain space that started at JP Morgan and now have now they're gone off to work at different companies they're doing their own thing what what type of I guess like thing just working at JP Morgan in regards to the blockchain

Space like what were you able to learn there do you think that was like helpful for you to work in like a larger corporate environment in that space yeah I think a couple of things I think one was JP Morgan really identified early on

That they were that they wanted to do research on the space and invest in learning and research and development in that space so one is the concept of time of being able to have you know from 2014 1516 when you didn't really see a lot of

Testing learning R&D labs in Wall Street we were starting early on so that that the concept of time and being one of the early adopters really allows you to adapt learn more and all those things the other thing is that with blockchain

One of the coolest things is your ability to drive adoption your ability to attract partners along the space to be able to say yes we're going to create and network together and we're going to test this out together so one of the

Things that I really enjoyed about working at JP Morgan was the ability to not just look at a niche geographically specific problem but looking at things from a global perspective multi market perspective and at the same time being

Able to tap partners around the world for feedback around what are the types of use cases that could be useful for you so one is one of the things that I think you're seeing all these sort of JPMorgan blocking veterans creating new

Cool solutions is because you know we've been doing it for a while learning and testing on it but also it was a great experimentation ground because we had access to a lot of experts and global partners that could

Really help listen 808 and prototype quickly I'm here with the man the myth the legend Frankie scoops my pants two legs at a time just like everybody else do you know I do so there was just a panel in

Fluidity summit that was Kayla long and Clyde Vanel from Kaitlin is from Wyoming Clyde is from New York and Caitlin had some interest in commentary on some recent situations in the crypto space hit me with your tape so obviously you

Have Wyoming that's doing a lot of innovative stuff with blockchain technology regulatory guidance and such and Caitlin's been at the forefront and yes she brought she brought the heat coming down on this poor Assemblyman who

I think they started some innovator group here in New York as well and she was going after like every single regulator that has that have been in the headlines over the past couple weeks first the New York Attorney General's

Office for being unfair I guess to BitFenix which you know was in the news for that crypto capital debacle yeah really and then she went after bit trucks or no not bit trucks the New York Department Financial Services for coming

Out with that coin desk article in which they sort of blasted them for publicly defending themselves after New York Department financial services denied their bit license so it was interesting to sort of see the really strong anti

Regulatory dialogue take place in a space that I feel like has been so much moving away from that sort of libertarian bent I think we need it you know we need a little bit of it to sort of keep it keep it you know somewhere in

The middle it's funny too because I think coin Center just posted like an hour ago I don't even know what's happening but it was senator Sherman our good friend in the cryptocurrency space who has not been a fan of I think he's a

Senator has not been a fan of cryptocurrency but he literally said I guess in front of Congress but in the past like two hours all cryptocurrencies need to be banned in the United States so it has been really

Interesting diglettz well so there's also I don't know if you know about this but in our home state of New Jersey home of the Taylor ham egg and cheese Bon Jovi and in the Garden State and Bill's and us

Well you'll notice that you actually called it by the correct the correct thing it's it's it's Taylor ham it's not pork roll for you southern New Jersey degenerate now they have three bills in in Congress or in their state

Legislature that are crypto I don't know if any of them have been reported on but one of them is to possibly create an alternative to the bitlicense so that could be interesting and I think it just speaks to you know regulations and

Regulatory issues are kind of at the forefront at least right now and so there's something you mentioned earlier too that I think it's kind of interesting just the the companies that are in this like decentralized ecosystem

That are in some ways maybe moving towards more of a compliance focus or trying to fit into a regulatory kind of framework you talked a little bit maybe about that at a high level yeah I broke there have been some interesting

Situations at maker Dow with one faction sort of breaking off entirely and then the the the main faction led by roon is looking to get a broker-dealer so and I had heard that Dharma was also looking into that as well

But I think they're moving more towards different state licenses to operate their business because they don't necessarily see the crypto is they're engaging with as being securities but it is fascinating that you have these

So-called dphi companies realizing that they need to be compliant and that having a label of defy or you know decentralize or whatever have you isn't going to keep regulators from serving them nasty grams

In the mail it's all it's all fun and games until regulators and lawyers get in the way and then then all the fun gets out of it so well protecting consumers I guess is its so the past month has been I think a busy

One for probably you and the greater team at the block what has been the most interesting story to you in the past month that you've worked on personally I mean I just love when we can flood the zone with stuff meaning where we have a

Story that breaks like a bit finnex and it just carries throughout and we have to sort of deliver to our like that where the readers are just so thirsty for the next update and to have it explained to them and so Biff and X was

The latest and I it's definitely gonna that's gonna take the cake I mean just every day it's a new detail emerges first it's that they're sued by the New York Attorney General's Office then it's that only 74% of the reserves were you

Know there to begin with then it's crypto capitals coming in and the it turns out that almost every change has worked with them crack in finance etc and I mean that's what's fun about news but I get a little help from my buddy

Jack Daniel's you picked an interesting space to be a journalist and so I think it's it's fun though for at least for me on the outside to kind of watch when you guys do break news which is and it's also crazy to see what happens

Just in general with like the market like I remember seeing there was there was it there was a trade block chart of when you broke the BitFenix news and then I think a little bit later it was a freak it was the journal and then it was

Going to ask and Frank Frankie thrown in the heat oh but there was a you know there's some price stability for a while and then all of a sudden it just went off a tank but if you listen to the block hey maybe you made a nice maybe

You made a nice short move maybe you got out earlier so that's what that's the benefit of being first so when they have a story that goes out it's on the terminal for 15 minutes before it goes out into the main the main web I've

Never been a legit user with you know with a with the terminal so I'm just just a poor former Oracle guy not not a finance bro so I don't have that but I appreciate you coming on and it was great to

As always scoops absolutely thank you thank you talk to me a little bit about the difference in mood and sentiment this year versus last year for sure so I'm last year I would say the industry was really a there were a lot of people

Who weren't particularly involved in the industry yet but we're really curious about it so the conversations were very exploratory there were a lot of people trying to understand what's happening here what can I create in the space and

This year I would say that's been grounded much more people have built a lot of applications that are already being used so there seems to be more people who are doing things real world applications and uses so the

Conversation shifted a little bit but I would say for us a fluidity it's the same in terms of crowd we actually have a bigger crowd this year than we had last year and I think with the emergence of blockchain and institutional finance

We have a lot of folks from the institutional world who are here this year and getting involved yeah it has been it's been interesting to watch from the standpoint of Wall Street because that was a big subject of discussion

Last year I think even like Mike Novogratz this conversation was like the herd is coming that was a big focal point of it and this year I don't want to say they're like here in the sense that they're absolutely investing in

Cryptocurrency but they're there in attendance at fluidity summit can you talk a little bit about that they're definitely in attendance they're a part of the conversation they're in the programming and there's a lot of a you

Know back door meeting is happening as well and deals being done which has been really cool to em to witness that happening

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