BLOCKCHAIN HURDLES: CONSIDERATIONS FOR LAUNCH AND CONVERSION

2017-09-13

Business Strategy, Blockchain Regulation, Creative Industry, Digital assets, Initial Coin Offerings

Daniel Doll Steinberg photo
Daniel Doll-Steinberg, Founder and CEO, Tribeka Ltd

With a degree in Electronic and Electrical Engineering, Daniel developed a successful career in investment banking where he was very familiar with the technological disruption within finance. With experience creating the early derivative trading technologies which set the standards for a generation of trading platforms, Daniel understands the transformations that blockchain and DLT have the potential to bring to the industry.

The growing catalogue of blockchain products and platforms which Daniel has encountered are an exciting glimpse into the future, predicting that, much like the internet, we will soon witness the emergence of second and even third generation services. Daniel foresees that the impetus for the lightening growth of the technology will come from ‘teams with strong sector expertise adopting blockchain to transform their industries’, and projects such as IBM’s Hyperledger Fabric and Microsoft’s Coco only highlight the aspirations of the industry. There are of course barriers which have to be overcome and Daniel believes that equal to the industry’s need to overcome technical concerns with scalability and security, issues of privacy and the identification with the grey market of crypto have to be addressed.

Simultaneously, the blockchain industry faces the throws of an ICO mania. Daniel recalls how, suddenly, the topic shot to the centre stage: while speaking at the Berlin Blockchain Expo the news broke that former Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich’s Brace ICO had raised a whopping $35m in less than 30 seconds. Despite recent questions and concerns raised by regulators the world over, Daniel stated that “as a mid to long term model I think it has considerable attractions and benefits; apart from the core Blockchain platforms, I believe the opportunities coming to ICO from the key players, after this current batch of ICO projects raising money, will be much more serious and well implemented.” As an epicentre for future innovation in the technology, ICO’s would be both hampered and helped by regulation. Drawing parallels with the dot-com bubble of the early noughties, Daniel argues that though in hindsight regulators should have urged for less speculation, the growth of the internet did in many ways owe its success to the rise and fall of the now forgotten dotcom’s. The SEC’s recent rulings on tokens represents one such approach but Daniel argues that ’If the ICO market continues to thrive and companies plan to avoid the USA then it is likely that blockchain innovation and the great companies of the future will not launch in the USA and already as we can see with the emergence of London, Tel Aviv, Moscow as key blockchain hubs.’

How can both investors and start-ups ensure that ICOs are not simply a flash in the blockchain pan? Daniel has a few tips. Most important is the team, and Daniel questions whether many of these recent ICOs have anything near the experience of building the platform architecture necessary to launch the platform they are funding through ICO. Secondly it is important to sensibly evaluate the raise request as well as to be clear as to how funds will be used. According to Daniel ‘too much money is worse than too little’, ICO’s need a hard cap (uncapped ICOs seem not even to have tried to consider their financial requirements). The two final factors for a successful ICO are location, referring again here to emerging hubs, and support, translated as both support from a global community of programmers and support from an experienced group of advisors.

Daniel speaks from first-hand experience in establishing and investing in global technology brands. Following his time working in investment banking, Daniel founded his first company, Tribeka, a global content licensing and delivery platform for publishers, music labels and game/movie studios. As well as being Daniel’s first company, Tribeka IP and technologies also represent the perfect platform for blockchain adaptation. Working with companies such as Virt-U, Tribeka is leveraging blockchain to bring the value of virtual assets to a level playing field with physical assets, including the registering, tracking and trading of assets. The Virt-U protocol is set to revolutionise gaming and leverages Tribeka IP that has already been approved by the worlds’ key content owners.
Blockchainifying an existing product will of course throw up different considerations to starting from scratch. For example, do the benefits of injecting immutability, and as such greater trust into your products, outweigh the drawbacks of scalability and transaction volume? Daniel hypothesises that many technologies would be too large or simply unsuitable to be converted to the blockchain, and the project must have a real need for a token. Similarly, as with many emerging technologies, the demand for skills is high and as such companies need to think doubly hard about resource before committing. Finally, Daniel notes that the distributed nature of blockchain means that organisations can no longer afford to be local, stating that ‘many blockchain solutions are targeting a ubiquitous global platform; this has enormous potential but is also an enormous challenge’. These are just some the issues which Daniel is helping others to overcome. Earlier this year, Daniel launched Blockchainsmokers, a community of like-minded people, helping early stage technology companies with solid, sector-savvy teams, reap the full benefits of blockchain and DLT. Working with originations across real estate, fashion and content, Blockchainsmokers act as a human API for blockchain.

You can catch Daniel at Blockchain Live where he will be delivering ‘From Zero to Blockchain with an Established Product‘ within the Blockchain 1.0 Theatre.

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