Welcome to our comprehensive interview series – Humans of Blockchain™ where we get the best and brightest to answer a diverse set of questions.
This series will attempt to clear the air of doubt in the Blockchain space today by focusing on bringing more transparency to the readers.
Our guest today is Nathaniel Tsang, Co-Founder IAME, Mauritius.
Nathaniel is leading one of the biggest startups of Mauritius and is working towards the regulatory side of the blockchain.
Now let’s hear it out from Nathaniel, how Mauritius is adapting to blockchain and the future scope.
1. Tell me more about your journey in the blockchain hemisphere, how you got into this segment?
Well it started very early in University days when the bitcoin protocol came out and eventually like any curious person, I just put my computer to mining (laughs). I overlooked the mining process for a couple of weeks, but my process was soon just a little speck of sand on a beach because at that point people using industrial infrastructure had already attained a good level that led to my profits not being very high. U shut my mining operation down and moved on with life. Bitcoin was very interesting in the beginning, but the thing is we were trying to push it as a currency which at that point, I think didn’t work. So when It really picked up for me is when ethereum was launched, when Viatlik introduced the concept of smart contracts and this added a whole new dimension to the technology so after I saw that I said OMG! this is a weapon of mass destruction. After this, I started buying into the crypto industry starting off with buying ethereum at $5 (laughs, were the good old days you know).
At that time, I was working in an asset management firm which got a bit boring for me, so what I saw was, this new blockchain and crypto industry is an opportunity especially on the regulatory side as the market was going to boom but all the guys were mostly techies trying to solve the infrastructure problems but no one was looking at the regulatory side. So I had some old friends from university and I told them, at that time all were buying crypto just like speculative side as we trusted, this is going to be big! and lets try initiating a venture. We started off with a project which tried to resolve one big problem i.e Identification and AML around cryptocurrencies.
2. Lets discuss about your company, what you do and what are your recent projects?
The company is a blockchain company. We use blockchain technology at our core but we would rather present ourselves as a RegTech Technology because our main focus is on building a regulatory technology. We help the blockchain universe to integrate with mainstream technologies and also by providing a technology that helps apply the regulation, we work as a framework and also enforce AML laws.
All in all, we help people who try to accept bitcoin or buy/sell bitcoin making sure that the money is clean and avoid all the dirty business practices that come with money laundering.
3. What are your thoughts on how the world is adapting to blockchain and what will be the future of blockchain?
The way I see it is another way, technology always goes through waves, like you’ve got a smartphone wave then you’ve cloud wave and then social and peer to peer for a distributed economy. The first distributed economy was started by uber and Airbnb, now we are just improving the concept and we call this as tokenizing the economy. I see that this has already picked up and the momentum is growing regardless of price because it is technology adaptation we are looking at which in 5 years will go in mainstream and in 10 years it will become sort of a standard.
4. What is your company presence across the world at the moment?
Most of the co-founders are from Mauritius, our developers are based in Mauritius and we also have a presence in Singapore.
5. How is Mauritius adapting to the blockchain technology being a small country?
It’s easier because when the country is small, it is very flexible so you can push for new laws much faster than big countries like the US, China: opening the door to cryptocurrency could probably frighten the stability of the economy, however in Mauritius, we tend to lose very little and gain a lot. we have seen Malta, Switzerland, and Singapore also on the growth curve for this new technology.
6. There was a recent crypto market crash. What are your views on the market?
The thing is volatility is still very low compared to the beginning. There has also been an exit of retail investors, the one who entered in November and December. Also, I think of this as more of a correction and a purge because during the last months of 2017 and early 2018, the projects were sprouting up everywhere and most of these project had no value, there was no use for the tokens and we had no useful blockchain, hence bull riding a wave like that eventually ended with a crash.
7. How will blockchain change the life of the common people?
The blockchain is more of a backend system. It will make their life better but they won’t see it directly. Like if I tell you, your whole banking process will change, how the transfer is handled by hundreds of people moving physical money left and right and here we have a big computer processing all those transactions much faster. You’ll see it when it transacts and the whole bureaucratic process gets streamlined so you can move assets very fast but you won’t see it as a blockchain because that technology will be working on the backend.
Like the Internet, a lot of people use facebook but have no idea how TCP IP works.
8. Any last remarks for our readers?
The blockchain is the future and it is coming whether you like it or not. So anything like this, I would really advise keeping an eye on it and if possible try to get a direct or indirect interest in the industry because it is a bit like the internet. So you can choose to stay out of it but as soon as it encloses the whole system you’ll not have a choice. So better to, you know, take a lead right now.