Tech Snippets Today – aelf Portkey – Steven Dung – CTO, with Joseph Raczynski

Wonderful conversation today with Steven Dung, CTO, of Portkey, part of the aelf ecosystem. We discussed the current state of blockchain, wallets and the evolution of people from Web2 to Web3.

Mainnet has recently welcomed the deployment of the first CA (contract account) contract by Portkey, the first CA wallet project from aelf ecosystem. Approved by all BPs, the Portkey.Contracts.CA contract is up and running, and will soon be connected to the Portkey project whose goal is to become the entry point for Web2 users and projects to migrate into Web3.

aelf’s ecosystem has been steadily expanding since the end of 2021 with the maturation of its infrastructure. Aiming to support a vibrant Web3 economy, aelf particularly made efforts to achieve one technical breakthrough: account abstraction which is deemed as the technology to revolutionize the Web3 wallet and drive mass migration from Web 2 to Web3.

Tech Snippets Today – Unlimint – Jack Jia – Head of Gatefi, with Joseph Raczynski

Very interesting conversation with Jack Jia, Head of Gatefi (Crypto) at Unlimint. They specialize in global payment systems and you can gather that they are very interested in how crypto can do this efficiently and legally around the world.

A note about Unlimint. Since launching a decade ago, we’ve helped thousands of businesses boost revenue and improve conversion. We’ve done this by acting as a simple, single gateway to local payment ecosystems – making it far easier for businesses to go global. Our vision is to make the financial world of tomorrow closer to businesses here and now. Unlimint as a product offers a constantly evolving business interface for your business to accept and make payments globally.

Consensus 2023 – Grit House Daily Stage – CeFi Broke, but is DeFi and Other Tech the Answer?

Consensus 2023 was loaded with activity this year. Much of the discussion was around regulation in the blockchain, cryptocurrency, and NFT space. On the side stage of Grit House Daily, I moderated a fantastic crew of experts in blockchain and AI. The focus of the panel was CeFi Broke, but is DeFi or other Emerging Technology the Answer?

I firmly believe the cross section of AI and Blockchain is about to have its day, and this discussion further buoys that idea.

Consensus 2023: Web3 and Blockchain Communities Plea for Regulatory Clarity

By Joseph Raczynski (+Art)

Consensus 2023 is a wrap!  With over 15,000 attendees in Austin, Texas they were a testament to the level of optimism that still remains in the crypto space despite a lack of regulatory clarity.  The event was attended by people from traditional finance, Web3, government agencies, and crypto advocates, all of whom had a common goal of finding some common ground clarity for crypto.  This optimism was shared by both traditional finance and crypto-adjacent infrastructure, and was highlighted by PepsiCo’s head of communications, Kate Brady, who spoke on the need for regulators to offer a platform for this bourgeoning global technology.

The conference was held in the midst of a number of regulatory developments, including a bill to assess crypto’s use for criminal activities, multiple hearings addressing stable coins, and reports from the Federal Reserve, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Government Accountability Office and the New York Department of Financial Services.  Those reports explain what they see as the root causes for the failures of Signature Bank and Silicon Valley Bank, and ultimately exonerate crypto, casting much of the culpability on traditional finance.

In addition to the discussion of the core regulatory issues, the conference also highlighted the collaboration between DeFi advocates and regulators. DeFi advocates were adamant that regulators will eventually come around to the power and purpose of DeFi, and that DeFi could provide real-time auditability, an immutable record of transactions, and the ability to easily track users.  The panel discussion between Uniswap’s legal chief Salman Banaei, dYdX’s marketing lead Nathan Cha, Maple Finance co-founder Sidney Powell and The Defiant founder Cami Russo highlighted the importance of the collaboration between the two groups.  One clear point emerged, the intrinsic benefits of blockchain have proved out that statistics show how DeFi has a higher seizure rate of illicit funds than the traditional financial system.

The session hosted by Jesse Hamilton on the turf war between the CFTC and the SEC was interesting and highlighted the fact that regulations will likely continue to be a hot mess for the foreseeable future. The conversations between builders of decentralized finance (DeFi) and financial regulators brought up the issue of whether linguistic agreement could be found at Consensus.  Some financial watchdogs have said crypto clearly fits into the existing regulatory framework, but the SEC’s authority is “transaction by transaction” and this has caused them to resort to bringing individual enforcement actions.

The clear view at the conference was that banning crypto is simply the wrong policy, and that Congress, the courts, and the international community have already rejected the idea.  It was noted that many in Congress support embracing and regulating crypto, and that multiple U.S. Senators have been willing to introduce bipartisan legislation on the issue.  The courts were also mentioned as a foundational arbitrator, as they have reined in agencies operating beyond congressional mandate in the past.

Ultimately, most surmised banning crypto in the United States would mean that foreign companies reimport the possibility of even more risk back into the United States under different guidelines.  The International Monetary Fund has asserted that comprehensive regulations are preferred to blanket bans because those bans would stifle innovation, drive illicit activities underground, be costly to enforce and motivate users to access illegal markets.  

Overall, the conference showed that there is a lot of optimism in the crypto space, and that collaboration between DeFi and regulators is key to the success of the industry.  It is clear that banning crypto is not the answer, and that regulation and collaboration are the way forward.  It is now up to Congress and financial watchdogs to come together and create a comprehensive and thoughtful regulatory framework for crypto. As fundamentally, blockchain allows for the creation of a single source of truth, the ability to easily track transactions, and the ability to create digital assets, all of which are extremely useful in the digital economy.

Future Forum Dubai: How Do We Define Wealth In The Future?

Happy to have been a part of this session “How Do We Define Wealth In The Future?” to uncover the potential shift away from traditional monetary forms of value and the role emerging technologies will play in creating alternative forms of wealth.

The Future Forum is an annual event hosted by the Dubai Future Foundation convening over 400 of the world’s top futurists to Dubai to anticipate challenges, imagine opportunities, share foresight, and shape the future. The first edition of the Dubai Future Forum will be taking place in October 2022 at the Museum of the Future in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.It took place over two days at the iconic Museum of the Future, the Forum provided an international platform for futurists and thought leaders, from diverse sectors, to build a long-lasting community by engaging on tomorrow’s most pressing issues; cementing Dubai’s position as a rising global hub for futures leadership and action.

This year’s Forum will hosted 30 sessions with a focus on four key themes: the Future of our World; Mitigating Existential Risk through Foresight; Value and Humanity; and Hedging our Bets through Foresight.

The Dubai Future Foundation seeks to reimagine and inspire Dubai’s future in collaboration with public and private sector partners to create initiatives, programs, and thought leadership to inform and implement on a local and global stage. The most visible manifestation of this determination is the recently opened Museum of the Future.

Duncan Cass-Beggs, Counsellor for Strategic Foresight, OECD,

Dr. Susann Roth, Chief of Knowledge Management, Asian Development Bank,

Joseph Raczynski, Technologist and Futurist,

#TheFutureWeMake #MuseumOfTheFuture

Tech Snippets Today at NEARCON – NEAR -Marieke Flament CEO, with Joseph Raczynski

Have you wondered about one of the most up and coming blockchain ecosystems in the world? Well, here is your opportunity to understand NEAR, one of the strongest contenders in the market.

We discuss decentralization, security, and scalability, along with regulation and diversity and inclusion. Meet Marieke Flament of NEAR and hear about the direction of the organization.

Tech Snippets Today – BNB Chain (Binance) – Gwen Regina, Investment Director with Joseph Raczynski

Amazing conversation with Gwen Regina, Investment Director, BNB Chain, Binance. We dive into Gwen’s perspective on BNB Chain and BNB Chain’s Red Alarm feature, implemented to protect investors from potential rug pulls and scams, flags projects based on two main criteria: if the contract performs differently from what the project owners advertised and if the contract shows risks that might influence users’ funds.

Tech Snippets Today – Garry Kasparov – Chess Grandmaster

In the speaker’s green room at the Consensus 2022 conference, Garry Kasparov, Chess Grandmaster, and I caught up. This covers all things cryptocurrency and his belief in the importance of the technology to create more freedom for people across the world, especially in areas with more authoritarian regimes.