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 Aly Madhavji, Award-Winning Author, Angel Investor, STO & ICO Advisor, Blockchain Entrepreneur and UN Consultant. Aly is currently working as an Advisor to Polymath. Now let’s hear it out from Aly.
1. We would love to know more about you Aly. Your journey till now and how you started working in the blockchain world?
I started formally working as an entrepreneur within the blockchain space when we launched a cryptocurrency exchange, I proceeded to formalising our blockchain fund which had already been making many investments well before that. We then launched an accelerator and consulting services focused on working with governments and scaling businesses with real-world solutions along with strategic support on blockchain components.
2. Which startups are you currently working with? What do you look for in a company before you take up the advisory role?
We are working with several start-ups including Every*, Loyakk, Cryptyk, and DiscoveryIoT. We are highly selective before working with any project. We are looking for world-class teams with executives having substantial experience and connections within their industries, teams with well-planned visions and milestones with a good track record, strong governance & ethics, and solving severe pain points for users and industry participants.
3. We would love to know more about the books you’ve published and what can the audience benefit by reading them?
I published three books as part of the Succeed Series which can be downloaded at www.SucceedSeries.com. The first book, titled “Your Guide to Succeed in University” was awarded an International Best Book Award. The second book, titled “Your Guide to Get into Medical School” attained the rank of #1 Graduate School Guide on Amazon. The third and most recent book, titled “Your Guide to Succeed in University” supports young professionals on the next stages of their careers and lives.
4. What are your views about the current crypto market crash? Will the FUD affect the adoption rate of the technology?
The current crypto crash is a correction which is in oversold territory. We believe that the decline in prices has not affected blockchain development on the enterprise front.
On the consumer front, companies which had poor treasury management and were speculating on the price of cryptocurrencies without securing 6-12 months of forward cash expenses are clearly feeling an effect through financial troubles. Overall, it has also helped to make the market more efficient through cleaning up some of the scam projects and bad actors.
5. How do you think we can improve the adoption rate of blockchain technology? Is the present rate satisfactory?
The present rate is not satisfactory and to gain real adoption, it’s all about real value added to the end user. A customer will evaluate a product based on if it is solving a problem and creating a benefit for them self, not on whether the database is organised as a blockchain. The end-user doesn’t need to have any understanding on blockchain or cryptocurrency.
Companies in the blockchain space need to work more closely within their specific industry, go to industry related events, and develop laser focused products and services to solve specific issues in their industries. Management of these companies also need to adopt better practices for governance and internal management to operate more effectively.
We cover some suggestions on managing decentralized teams in this blog.
6. What are your views about the emerging security token market? How do you think the STOs are different from regular securities?
Security tokens represent a substantial opportunity for the evolution of finance. They are different in certain ways from utility tokens in that you could never truly and fully decentralize a securities based company. However, there are many opportunities such as the securities tokenization of
1) company structure
2) assets (short-term or long-term)
We recently covered the pros and cons of security tokens in the December 2018 edition of the Crypto Investment Times Magazine: http://cryptoinvestmenttimes.com/CIT18/The-Crypto-Investment-Times- Dec-2018.pdf There is a long way for securities tokenization but as an advisor for Polymath we continue to work heavily towards achieving this goal for a brighter and more fair financial system for all.
7. What are some blockchain projects you think can transform our future life?
There are several we believe can transform the futures of their industries. Some examples would be:
Supply Chain: Walmart, Tsinghua University, IBM, and Vechain through provenance and traceability and DiscoveryIoT through visibility of product, dynamic sales and operation planning, and inventory management.
Enterprise: Loyakk for data in motion, Cryptyk for cybersecurity and data at rest, IBM with hyperledger fabric.
Finance: Polymath and tZero related to tokenization of securities, Zed Network and Stellar on remittances and interbank transfers.
Identity Management: ID2020 and Diro verifies identities accurately online and reduces business risk from misidentification.
Retail: Every* is empowering shoppers to own their own data which they can share with brands for discounts on products.
Media and Entertainment: Decentralized News Network (DNN) is focused on improving the quality and reliability of news while AllRites is working on rights management, micro-licensing, content funding and distribution to create an ecosystem for the media industry.
Education: TrakInvest working on courses and practical simulations for cryptocurrency and blockchain while M.I.T. and Open Source University are working to eliminate counterfeit degrees and transcripts.
8. What shortcomings do you feel are there in the blockchain ecosystem at the moment? What should be done to overcome them?
There is oftentimes a lack of focus. For example, for projects to really solve problems they need to better understand their specific industry and work on solutions and buy-in from the companies and experts in those industries. However, it has been more common for these projects to only attend blockchain conferences, where there are rarely industry specific experts or companies.
9. How can blockchain help in social sector improvement? Are you working on any such project?
Social sector improvements are one of the key areas where blockchain can help. Companies such as Zed Network are solving issues related to cross-border remittances and Open Source University on eliminating counterfeit degrees and transcripts. We are also working on one of the 2019 flagship reports for the United Nations (UN) on FinTech and Blockchain solutions to help alleviate poverty, support business ecosystems, increase financial inclusion, and improve society at large.
10. Any last motivational words for the audience Aly?
While there is a bear market in cryptocurrencies, blockchain technology development and real use-cases are growing day by day. Stay positive towards a brighter future leveraging blockchain for transparency, security, and liquidity.