In this episode of Partnering Leadership, Mahan Tavakoli speaks with Richard Carthon, CEO of Crypto Current and host of the Crypto Current podcast. Richard Carthon talks about blockchain technology, Web3, DAOs (Decentralized Autonomous Organizations), DeFi (Decentralised Finance), NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens), and cryptocurrency. Richard shares the basics of the technology behind each and their impact on the future of organizations. Finally, Richard Carthon discusses how leaders can use blockchain to transform business operations.
- Richard Carthon on his upbringing and connecting with people of different cultures and perspectives
- The conversation that started Richard Carthon’s path to understanding the blockchain and cryptocurrency
- Richard Carthon on the definitions of blockchain and metaverse
- How organizations and businesses are currently using blockchain technology and potential future applications
- Richard Carthon shares examples of organizations from various industries and how they are using blockchain technology
- Cryptocurrencies (including Bitcoin & Ethereum), NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens), DeFi (Decentralized Finance), and the five elements of blockchain technology
- Richard Carthon on DAOs (Decentralized Autonomous Organizations)
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More information and resources are available at the Partnering Leadership Podcast website:
Welcome to Partnering Leadership. I'm really excited to speak, to be welcoming Richard Carthon. Richard is the CEO of Crypto Current and a host of a podcast called Crypto Current. We talk in part about cryptocurrency, but most importantly, about blockchain technology and web3, which will transform the way we do business.
There's been a lot of hype and I find many people are very confused with the alphabet soup of the blockchain, NFTs, Defy. So, I really enjoyed the conversation with Richard because we got through the hype and talked about some of the substance of what will impact the way we do business with each other in the years to come.
I'm sure you will enjoy this conversation and learn a lot from it too. I also enjoy hearing from you. Keep your comments coming, email@example.com. There's also a microphone icon on partneringleadership.com. You can leave voice messages for me there. Don't forget to follow the podcast. Tuesday conversations with magnificent change makers from the greater Washington DC DMV region and Thursday conversations with brilliant global thought leaders.
Now, here is my conversation with Richard Carthon.
Richard Carthon, welcome to Partnering Leadership. I'm thrilled to have you in this conversation with me.
Happy to be here. I'm really excited to share this conversation with you today.
I'm excited too because I know blockchain technology will have a significant impact on businesses, but many people don't fully understand the impact so, I'm excited to find out more. But before we do, we'd love to know whereabout you grew up and how your upbringing impacted the kind of person you've become Richard.
Absolutely. I am from a place called Shreveport, Louisiana. If you think of Louisiana as like a shoe, I'm in the top left corner. A lot of people don't know, but it's like one of the top three largest cities in the states. So, a pretty big city but once you go there, it still feels pretty country. And I never knew what that really meant until the first time I went to New York city and they're like, oh, you're a country, boy. I was like, what do you mean I'm from a big city? No, I'm not.
Growing up there, it was very interesting. Louisiana, being a very conservative state. I grew up wanting to be able to go and see if the world was bigger than just narrow-mindedness close-minded, approach to a lot of different things. I would say that I'm moderate. With that being my upbringing, I can understand both sides.
Then me being able to go to college to a place like Tula University, it's in New Orleans, Louisiana. And the reason that I even went there was because I was originally gonna go to Cornell University in Ithaca. I played sports back in high school. I was a dual sport athlete, played football and baseball. Went on to play that in college. And I wanted to get as far the away outta the state as possible.
But when I went to it really was like being out of state for multiple reasons. One, New Orleans it's its own unique spot in the world, period. And then going to Tula, it's like going to an out-of-state school in state. So, it was really cool cause like 60, 70% of the kids were from, the Northeast and the Midwest and California so it was a really cool melting pot of a lot of different types of cultures.
I think having my upbringing and then going to college really helped make me more well-rounded, get a lot more perspectives, understand of people come from in how we can all, cohesively live together, work together and make progress happen.
That upbringing is definitely helpful as you look to connect with different people. So, how did you get involved in cryptocurrency, blockchain? What was your entree point into this new technology?
While I was in college, I studied business and ultimately post-college. Had the opportunity to go to law school, decided not to because I had started my own startup.
So, I had some entrepreneurial experience but I also wanted to use my degree and so I got into Merrill Lynch, doing wealth management. And then, while I was doing that, decided to just go all in on my startup to just be risky, go for it. While going through that experience, I got to a critical point where to get myself some more runway, I basically had to take myself and my employee at the time off of payroll that I could have more time to try to build it out a little bit more.
So, I went and worked at this AI company in 2018 in New Orleans and very first day on the job. The first day my boss says, Hey, what do you know about Bitcoin and Ethereum? I said, what's that? He said, oh, that's cryptocurrency. I said, what's cryptocurrency? Trust me, look into it. And that one conversation pretty much disrupted my whole trajectory of career because as I started to learn more about this, I said, this is the future.
Everyone likes to talk about their big moment, their .com moment. Like, of oh man, I could have got into Apple back when it first came out or I could have got into Amazon, et cetera. So, like I saw that as my moment of that. So, I was like I need to learn about it. I don't want to just dive into this and not know what's going on. So that was like my path into the world of blockchain and crypto.
It's been a path that you've taken on constantly learning yourself, Richard. That's one of the things that I enjoy a lot in these podcast conversations
And so, I would like to first understand some of the basic technology concepts. Some of the word soup that is used for blockchain before then thinking about how strategically businesses can think about its potential impact. There's a lot of conversation around web3, metaverse, and blockchain.
What is web3? What's metaverse? What's blockchain?
All right. Let's break all that down. First web 3.0. So, web 1.0 was read. So, you have your HTML websites. You go on there; you can go on there and read some stuff. That's it. There's nothing you can do to engage with it.
Web 2.0, think of social media, right? So, you have Facebook, you have Twitter, you have places where you can go and read, but you also can write, you can now participate. You unfortunately, if you're like, oh, I'm doing all this stuff for free and it's really cool. You're the product. So, web 2.0, read, write, but you're the product.
Web 3.0 is read, write, ownership. Now you can participate and as you add value to that website or to that particular online community, et cetera, you can now own that. And you can now start to earn benefits or to have ownership in what you're participating in.
So, now let's go to blockchain, cause we gotta start blockchain before we go to metaverse. So blockchain is the underlying technology of a lot of different cryptocurrencies that are out there. All cryptocurrencies built on top of blockchain, but blockchain itself is just a digital ledger and it's a fancy way of saying digital storage. The storage is put on different chains.
So, imagine a block and you put a whole bunch of information. Then after that information is put in there, it then creates another block. But once that block has been created, you can always go back to it. You can always reference it and it can't be changed. It's immutable. So, once it has been put in place you can't go back and try to disrupt or change it. It's just always there within that chain. So, you can always go back and see how things have evolved and transpired over time.
And then to approach the metaverse. So, the metaverse is the online universe. We currently live in the real world. The digital world is the internet, and being able to basically, you're probably consuming this right now, whether through your ear ways or through the computer, you could engage in this, two-dimensional world. The metaverse is then taking that next step in saying that you can now be virtually in it.
So, whether you put on through like Pokémon Go with augmented reality, being able to hold your phone up and see things that aren't there virtual augmented reality in the real world, or being able to do something like with Facebook aka Meta, is now with the Oculus being able to put those on and being able to fully immersed in this particular world. So that is the metaverse.
Even without the full immersion, Richard, we're gonna spend most of the conversation today on blockchain technology and eventually cryptocurrency and that impact on business. But a couple of weeks ago, I was watching my girls on roadblocks, doing this game where they love going to the nightclub, they're not nightclub age, but they can go to the nightclub on Roblox and they were able to do whatever dance they wanted. They would change the song and they had all kinds of dances and they were getting almost as much enjoyment as I think I ever got from going to an actual nightclub.
So, what I find is for a lot of us that have not grown up with the technology, it's hard to visualize how it will work and that is really important.
So, one of the things I challenge the leaders I interact with and the listeners to do is not to always compare to our own experiences, but to be open to the new potential of this technology.
Now, there has been a lot of hype Richard around blockchain. Gartner has it at the peak of its hype cycle. So, when you see the potential opportunities with the blockchain, how far away are we from those opportunities materializing rather than people hyping it up and just talking about the potential of it?
I would say that blockchain is the foundation of how the future technologies are being built out because a couple of different use cases that you can immediately build out.
There are challenges, just coming from the medical field. So, I have some experience with working in health tech, and there are still people today who are using paper and pen in the medical industry and it blows my mind.
Richard, I think you've been coming with me to my appointments where for the 80th time, I have to still fill out or some have digitized it in that it's an iPad, but you still have to re-enter the same information.
Exactly over and over again. So, whether you're doing pen and pad, whether you're now doing an electronic medical record, whatever it is there's a lot of catching up that needs to happen and a lot of it is repetitive. And if you change EMR services, then you lose all that data and you have to do all this stuff.
There are a lot of hurdles put in place, but something like blockchain, once you have something that is written in, you have this data stored it's there it goes with you as long as of course, you have HIPAA compliance, making sure that everything's staying safe and secure, but as from a data input standpoint, it is there.
And there are some different companies that are out there that are utilizing blockchain to start to store the data. There's a company that is already working towards moving a lot of the medical records to blockchain. And I had a guy on my show who was doing that and seeing a lot of success and we're starting to see a couple more companies do that.
Another way that blockchain's starting to be used is when you think about the operational efficiency of a company. We can use Walmart as an example, but go to Chipotle really quickly because everyone understands, there have been times where Chipotle would have like E-coli breakout or like some other thing.
And you're like, oh my gosh, is it safe to eat? Or where did this come from? What they can now do, by going through the blockchain, looking through where this particular lettuce came from, where the outbreak happened, they can then go back and be able to pinpoint exactly where it came from, who it all affected, and how they can recall those specific things back and be able to make their supply chain happen faster.
And there are things like that where I think Walmart's already putting things in place to start using blockchain for different types of information that is going across all of their different inventory that they're using and the blockchain application has so many different ways that you can use it. And a lot of companies are starting to invest in that because they see that as the future of how technology and information will be transferred.
There are, at this point, some clunky aspects to the blockchain. However, some organizations are using it effectively, but I want to refer the audience. Also, I, a conversation with Steve Sasson who is a person that invented digital photography at Kodak, and eventually grew that digital photography.
When initially people saw that big piece of equipment he had and the quality of the images that it was putting out, they said, this is never going to compete with actual film photographs the way we take it. What they couldn't visualize was the fact that technology had the opportunity to become better and less expensive.
In terms of the blockchain technology and its implementations, there are certain barriers at this point, but through more implementation of it, those barriers are going to continually come down to make it more accessible to all kinds of organizations.
But before we move on from the examples you gave, would love to be able to visualize what you mentioned. So, when Chipotle uses blockchain to track the lettuce or Walmart uses blockchain to track some of its products that they sell. How does that work? So, I'm a farmer in Mexico or wherever else the lettuce is being imported from Chipotle tries to do it locally, but walk me through the process.
How does the use of technology help in tracking the lettuce that then ends up in your Chipotle burrito?
Because everything's put on a digital ledger, you can follow every step of the way. So, I think an easier way to this is to use an example of Bitcoin. If I were to give you Bitcoin right now it is put on a ledger that is public. So therefore, you can use a tracker to be able to go and track each step of the way of where this Bitcoin is traveled.
Right now, if you have a dollar in your pocket, a dime, whatever it is, you have no idea what the life of that money has done. However, with Bitcoin, you can see literally from the moment of when it was mined, using proof of work, all the way to how it was being transferred over time, where it is coming from.
So, where that is helpful is let's say that, you are trying to pinpoint some potential behavior and some of the Bitcoin that you have, if you were to go back in time and say oh, I saw at this point, a large amount came from this area. And then it went distributed out to five different wallets at this point.
So, you can now go be like it is the moment in time where something happened. We need to observe this. So being able to do the same thing, going back to lettuce.
So, imagine instead of those being Bitcoins, those are distribution centers, and in each of those distribution centers, you can start to go and see, we noticed at this one this is where the lettuce that ultimately ended up at this place where the breakout happened.
And we saw that it went to these five centers and then from these five centers, we see that all of it came from this one place in X, Y, Z country. So, it's just an easier way to be able to visualize and see where everything's coming from and pinpointing it faster.
Really becomes transformative in being able to track things. The other thing I'm understanding with respect to blockchain technology, Richard, is that it will take out a lot of intermediaries. So, for us to be able to visualize it at this point, for example, Uber, the app is an intermediary, and it's a great intermediary for a lot of people. They wanna call an Uber. They do, but there is that intermediary.
Can you help me understand how will blockchain technology, in essence, this intermediate all these intermediaries we have now Uber, as an example, banks in many instances are a huge example, insurance companies? There are so many intermediaries all around us.
How will blockchain technology this intermediates, these intermediaries?
Brought up a really good example. We'll start with banks. So, you think about why was Bitcoin created in the first place? And of course, Bitcoin is the very first cryptocurrency built on top of blockchain. And it was built in response to the 2008 financial crisis when, everything happened in the US. And it had trickle effects to the rest of the world.
Satoshi Nakamoto, the person, our people, who knows, came up with the white paper for Bitcoin. And it was to make sure people would have more power and be more in control, becoming their own bank essentially. So, what put me onto Bitcoin and made me an avid believer of wow, this is solving a major issue.
When I was first doing my research in 2018, I had a friend who was living out in the Philippines and he was working for an oil and gas company. Now, he'd make his money in the local currency, but then he'd have to convert it to US dollars, and then he'd have to wire it, Western Union to the States. Process would take somewhere between seven and 10 business days and between conversion rates, wire fees and everything else, he'd lose 40%.
He then said, I learned about Bitcoin. I converted all of my local currency to Bitcoin. I then moved it. It took a couple of minutes and it cost a couple dollars. That makes perfect sense to me. So, you're cutting out all of the intermediaries. You're going directly to who you want to be dealing with, and then you have the control to be able to do what you want with that money.
So, the on-ramp is first being able to convert your money into something like Bitcoin, and then being able to send it wherever you want. And then being able to offramp it on something like an exchange, like a coin base or Cracken, or FTX, crypto.com, et cetera.
So, then you now have an on-ramp into the space and then you have an off-ramp off of it, and you have the choices to send and do with your money, whatever you.
I imagine Richard, this will also significantly impact how non-profits view serving the community. Have there been examples of nonprofits that have used blockchain technology in whether giving resources and funds to the communities they serve or other services.
That's a really great question. One that comes to mind. I had someone on come on my show named Anna Stone and she was helping to create the world's first digital, basic income with a good dollar. She's based out in Israel and she noticed that there's this major challenge across people just being able to buy, basic essentials.
And so, by being on this app, participating, showing up every day. And just doing basic things, you get paid basic income cryptocurrency. And then they'd be able to convert that into a local currency that they can then go buy groceries. If they had a bill, they could go and pay that off.
All of that utilizing the crypto that they were able to create good dollar. It's a really cool and fascinating project and I think they're going on and they're continuing to be successful and are trying to expand out.
So, there are lots of applications and I was just reading McKinsey article, and they were mentioning that the blockchain will identify participants. Ensure all elements of a transaction are valid, enforce the ecosystem rules and guarantee everyone holds to them. Gone will be the slow, expensive analog based methods, we have relied on to establish identity and legal status in commercial transactions since the 19th century.
When I read that Richard, I say, oh boy, this means whether it is in buying homes and cars, to all kinds of transactions that businesses have with each other contracts, everything can go through blockchain technology and make the process faster, smoother, frictionless, and take out all the current intermediaries who are in the middle.
Ensuring that something gets done, including its gonna impact a lot of attorneys too.
Oh, absolutely. The Ethereum came out in 2015 and it was the first alternative coin to Bitcoin. And one of the first things that they put into motion were smart contracts. So, the ability to put a contract without really needing an intermediary in place, if then type of situation.
So prime example of vending machine, you don't have to have a third party there.
Basically, the vending machine says this is a dollar. Press it here, put in a dollar, press the number, you get it out. And the same way, you can now start doing this with buying property setting legal contracts. NFTs, there's there are so many different things you can now start putting then type of smart contracts in place and you're starting to see it already take effect across the industry.
That is going to be really transformative. I love the vending machine example because when I'm talking about business contracting and decision-making, people have a hard time visualizing those if then scenarios that the blockchain makes possible.
Now, Gartner talks about five elements of blockchain. We've addressed some aspects of it, but would love to touch on each one a little bit more. Encryption, immutability, tokenization, decentralization, and distribution. Can you help me understand the encryption part of blockchain?
Because much of what you've mentioned, whether it's with respect to health records or finances, privacy encryption, and making sure other people don't get access to what is mine is really important. So, what is the encryption part of the blockchain?
Encrypted can have a huge breath and could be an entire episode, but to make it really short and sweet is going to be the security side of it. How do we keep the data that's in each of these blocks as secure as possible?
Now, again we talked about immutability and it goes with encryption because every time that a block is put within the blockchain it cannot be undone. The only way that you potentially could go back and try to change is to have 51% of the network in your grasp. But then, even if you have 51% of a network to change the blockchain, depending on how quickly each block is made, you only have that amount of time go and change it.
I'll give you an example, just not get too crazy with it. So, Bitcoin, every 10 minutes, a new is put on. So, if you were to try basically go into the encryption of the Bitcoin network and disrupt it. You would have to own 51% of the network. Good luck. So that means you need to own a ton just with the money.
And then also minors that are out there, computing all of that. So, let's say you somehow managed to do that. Then, you only have 10 minutes within that moment to then go back in time and disrupt the encryption to go and try to rewrite some of the code. So again, it's very hard. So, it's a very secure way to go and do that.
How about the tokenization and then decentralization.
The tokenization part can be the cryptocurrencies that are being built on top of different blockchains. A lot of these different blockchains, you have a lot of different layers. So, you have layer zero, what has to do with interoperability, being able to build and help go across different chains at blockchains.
Then you have layer one. So, Bitcoin is a layer one. Ethereum is a layer one. You have things that are trying to be built on top of it. So, when you think about, Ethereum I also wanna make the pure distinction that all cryptocurrencies are not meant to be currencies. They got put into this giant blanket, but cryptocurrencies are not currencies. They are blockchain startups. There are blockchain startups. And what do we know about startups? 90% of them fell. So, let's just start there.
So Ethereum, when it came out, wasn't trying to be a currency. Like Bitcoin was Bitcoin was meant to be like digital goal. So, something that a store of value. Ethereum is like a platform. So, think of it like an iOS. So, as you have this platform, DAPs, centralized apps are built on top of it called those layers two. So now you have a layer on top of Ethereum that you go and do these different things. These are these ERC 20 tokens, for example, NFTs. So, these NFTs live on top of the Ethereum ecosystem.
You also have a lot of other decentralized apps that are being built on top of it. So, then you have layer three. That means if you have something that is layer two, that is built on top of that. So, those are your layers right now. 0 1, 2, 3. And we're not really going past that right now.
So, when you think about immutability that is powerful. As things are being written into the blockchain they're being put there, they can't be undone. So, it's great because now you can go and follow all of the different transactions, all of the different things that have been built before, have trust because everything's public.
You literally can go online and follow any type of transaction. As long as you have the transaction number, you can go follow that transaction and then follow all the transactions that happened before.
That allows for making sure, there is a level of trust that is built into that entire process.
So, when will, a lot of the businesses feel the impact of blockchain technology in the running of their business?
A lot of companies are already starting to see that impact in the way that I will present this right now is on a topic in a buzzword that a lot of people like to say, NFTs: Non-Fungible Tokens.
Now why I like to call this the gateway drug to mass adoption, because there is now a way that companies can put out a product and receive residual income into perpetuity that has never been there before.
For example, there are a lot of artists that have come out into play. For example, Banksy, one of his earliest creations, that he sold, let's say that he sold it for $10,000. And now that same painting today might be worth $10 million. He only received $10,000 period. That's it.
If he had done it as an NFT pairing every single time that is resold, whatever's put in that smart contract, which is typically 10% royalty. He received that every single time into perpetuity. So, even after he's long gone, and his family whomever will continue to receive money from that transaction.
So, how am I saying it's already impacting business? Salesforce just dropped an NFT platform. Salesforce is the largest CRM for business to business. Why would they go and invest that?
Facebook who was the king of web? Social media change their name from Facebook to Meta, talking about how they're going to impact the metaverse and be dealing with that. And what a lot of the metaverse have, NFTs, that are built on top of it. And you have to have these NFTs to then engage with it. Nickelodeon just did a drop, Disney's doing a drop.
You have Nike who already have put in different types of trademarks to ensure that their brand is being secure into the metaverse. So, it's already starting to impact, and companies are investing heavily into that future because they see as they are getting more and more of these products, they can now receive residual income into perpetuity, they are trying to figure out how they can capitalize on that.
I love something you mentioned, Richard. You mentioned NFT pairing. Many of the NFT examples that I'd heard up to this point were just digital examples of non-fungible tokens. But what you were saying is. There can be an actual valuable, whether it's an art piece or anything else, there is an NFT pairing.
So, in essence, there is a contract that goes along with that physical item or whatever it is that you are selling. So, it can go on into perpetuity. As long as that is transferred. It is not just for digital media.
That's correct. NFT can have all kinds of use cases, all types of utilities. There’s two different directions I wanna take this conversation. One is the utility piece that you're talking about. And then also why is an NFT valuable in the first place, even as just a picture. From a utility standpoint, let's say that you have a hundred thousand dollars watch, right? How can you prove that's legit? So, what if now every time that you go and buy one of these high exclusive watches, so say you wouldn't bought a Rolex and they give you certificate of authenticity. What happens if you lose it? How can you prove that's still there?
If it's now pair and NFT and it's put into your digital wallet, the same thing. Now you can say that, Hey, this is this watch. This was owned by Pharrell. Bought it from him. Here's how everything happened through the transactions, and then here's also the physical watch that I have as well. But then some of them are going on and I'm also digitizing this and I'm bringing this in the metaverse with me. Now my digital avatar can wear this exact same watch too. So, there's that kind of utility. There's a utility.
For example, I just got into one called Club Davin. They are a wine NFT platform basically by owning a token. You then can go into in real life events where you can network with people, but then also get to drink very exclusive wines from all parts of the world and get to talk to Soma.
So it's a two for one by getting taste in tokens when you're actually there for drinking different wines but then also having access to parties. But then we also that's the utility side and there's ton of use cases there's limitless.
But then just going to the picture site. So, for example, why are people spending an ungodly amount of money for crypto punks. It's one of the oldest representations of NFTs they have done millions and millions of dollars of volume in transactions. Is that valuable? It is the new age flex. Why do people wear Gucci? Why do people wear Prada? Why do people spend ton of money on things that most people don't know?
Like most people don't know if you're walking in Balenciaga shoes that they're $800 shoes. It's a certain person that would know, oh my gosh, you're wearing Balenciaga, it’s a statement. People are now doing this within a T space of if you're spending most of your time online, it's the modern-day flex.
How do you show you have money? Oh, you own one of these NFTs. I know how much money you spend on that NFT. You must have money. So, there's another facet of that as well.
It is interesting, as you said, both in the specific use cases and also the fact that as we spend more of our time and more of the interactions on the metaverse then how we represent ourselves in metaverse will become more important.
A lot of organizations that I'm familiar with are also looking at ways of having their teams collaborate through technology by and entree into the early stages of the metaverse, where you can have the virtual office really be a virtual office.
And then when you walk in that virtual. The same as it is in the real world, what you are wearing, what that says about you. All of those things matter.
Even speaking to that, I believe JP Morgan & Chase just spent a ton of money building out a virtual world in the metaverse, either on sandbox or de central land, where now with their employees, if they want to go and have virtual meetings they now can go into this metaverse and have these types of experiences for them to go and explore these virtual worlds together.
It's incredible. Now, another thing that is going to impact businesses is DAOS: Decentralized Autonomous Organizations. What is a decentralized autonomous organization and how can businesses and organizations think about it and take advantage of that opportunity?
So DAOS, the centralized autonomous organizations. Are the new age LLC? I believe the LLCs came out in the 1980s. And when they first came out no one used them, they're this new thing hard to set up and a lot of lawyers didn't really know what to do with them. There weren't a lot of policies, cetera.
It slowly started to take up. And if you think about most businesses today, they're set up as LLCs. So, DAOS are going to become the new LLC. And the reason being is you can now set up institution. Are an organization where you have voting rights, you usually have these governance tokens.
So, the amount of governance tokens that you have gives you more say in the future decisions of what is being done. You now have a way to be able to monetize an organization and whatever the mission is of that organization, people can be compensated for it.
Going back to web 3.0 earlier, so, when you think about amount of time that you've either spent on Facebook on Twitter et cetera, building and doing a whole lot of stuff, bringing this community together, helping and outreaching, and you haven't earned. Now with these, DAOS, you can be compensated for that. You can have this be a career profession and live your livelihood through being a part of some of these different organizations.
We've had a couple different people on the show, actually have somebody named Willie with shapeshift. He actually helped create the very first DAO. Shapeshift was a web 3.0 company who last year was the very first company to go from an LLC to a DAO. And this is a huge company. They basically took away having paid employees, salaries and all this other kind of stuff, turned it on to a DAO and set it up in such a way.
So, now where the people who are working there are compensated and are receiving a certain amount from the DAO based on, how they're voting, the direction of the company, et cetera. They all get a fair part in making those a lot of people who helped Facebook grow to where it was and was employee 10 through a hundred.
Imagine now that they actually had voting power and could talk and drive the direction Facebook became, that's what's happening in DAOS right now, which is really exciting.
It's interesting. So, it's very much a democratization of how an organization or business can be run as much as there has been experimentation with Holocracy and there has been some flattening of hierarchies and some traditional organizations. This is truly an organization. Each individual has a voting control and stake in the way it's run.
That correct. Think about meetup, so if you've ever been on the web 2.0 company meetup, and you have these people that are coming together for podcasting, for religious reasons, for book, clubs.
Imagine that you have a big enough group where you can now put together a DAO and now y'all can start, raising money together. Y'all can start making decisions.
And then each of the people that are in it can vote towards getting funded. What are we doing? Brings a voice to each person who is now participating in that. And you can create an organization for anything.
Mahan Tavakoli: I imagine, Richard, while in some areas, I would still argue that other types of organizations structured differently might have a competitive advantage.
When I think about membership organizations, I would imagine DAOS would be transformative in how future membership organizations would operate.
Absolutely. It just opens up a lot more doors a lot of the times when you're in these groups, a lot of 'em are localized. And now, you can be part of a DAO from anywhere again, going to your point, it allows for a lot more flexibility. A faster path to a true organization, then also a path to. Transparency,
It's important for all of our listeners to reflect on the potential impact of blockchain technology. And in a minute, I'll ask you for additional resources because we have scratched the very surface of the surface.
When I reflect on it, Richard, I think about the fact that at the end of 1990s, beginning of 2000s, there was a lot of conversation with pets.com imploding and with amazon. bomb, people were saying, no one's ever gonna buy things anyway.
So, there had been a hype, a bubble, and that bubble had burst, which caused a lot of people not to reflect on the underlying factors that were going to truly transfer from how retail operated, how many of us interact with each other?
That's the same thing. In my view, with respect to blockchain technology in that cryptocurrency has had its ups and downs. Bitcoin has had its crash and sometimes people are fans and some people are not fans. It's not that. It's to go beyond the hype and understand the technology that is going to transform how we do business, and interact with each other.
So, for the audience to find out more and go deeper. I know you have a podcast of your own. If you could mention the podcast and other resources. If people want to find out both about the technology and how it's going to impact their lives and their organizations, where should they go?
Absolutely. But before I give that, there's something I wanna say really quickly that I think is really relevant and going to the idea of why blockchain is here to stay and how it's only gonna be getting better from here.
We are at a pace right now from a technological standpoint that, imagine that you are in 1700. So, you look around, there's no pavement on the road. There's wagons, there's candle lights. When you go to sleep and you go to bed when you wake up, you're in 2022. Just imagine how shell shock, from a technological standpoint, you would be right. Just absolutely amazed. There's electricity. There are cars. All this stuff you, your mind would be blown.
We are on pace to have that type happen in the next 25 years. That's that kind of jump we're having in the next 25 years that is insane.
So, blockchain right now is still in its NAS sense. It's gonna get figured out. It's gonna continue to improve you can't just look at the face value of what is happening on the top of all this cryptocurrency blockchain stuff. Look at the technology. Look what's happening underneath. What is the foundation that's being built here? And that is super exciting. That is the future.
So, pay attention to this space.
I love that Richard. I had a conversation earlier this year with Azeem Azhar. He has a brilliant book, exponential age, and talks about different exponential technologies. And the fact that as humans, we have a tough time understanding exponential growth, whether it was at the beginning of pandemic, people didn't understand if only four people in the.
Have COVID, how can it spread so easily to so many other people, or it has been the exponential growth of the microchip technology or the other exponential technologies, whether from biotech, artificial intelligence and blockchain, which requires therefore us as leaders to learn at a faster pace and be open to the fact that the change is a lot closer than we think.
It's a reverse of in the rear-view mirror. It says objects might appear closer than they are. This is the other way around. The change might appear much further out than truly is now where can we go to find out more, learn more so we can become students, not just of the blockchain technology, but also its impact on our lives and organizations.
Absolutely. I run a company called Crypto Current. You can check that out at crypto-current.co. We put out brand new contents all through the week. Every Monday and Friday, we do interviews with amazing companies that are being built out in web 3.0. Every Wednesday, we have a show called the Aftershock. It's the latest news in the last week of all things crypto and blockchain.
We also have crypto to crypto on Thursdays, which is for crypto basics. So, if you're at the very beginning of your journey, we got really good information for you there as well.
If you're trying to just get regular information on news, there's a couple different resources out there. One's called coin Telegraph. Another one's called coin desk. They're constantly putting latest news that are coming out in this space.
And there's a lot of different platforms as well, depending on what you're looking for. I recommend reach out to me, let me know what you need. I am happy to give you those resources. I live in this space breathe this stuff. If you are inclined to wanna learn more and just need some direction on which way to go, feel free to reach out to me, just go to the website or you can just find me on Twitter @RichardCarthon. Instagram @richard_carthon
But thank you so much for spending some time with me. I think this has been a really fun conversation.
I really enjoyed it, Richard. You increased my stress level because now I realize I need to learn even more. But with your fun style and big smile, I feel more comfortable that at least I've got a good source to learn from.
It's really important for all of us to understand the impact of this technology and not be as dismissive as I've heard some people be because, we tend to look for a few data points to tell us everything's okay, nothing's going to change.
And in this respect, I would urge business leaders to stay ahead of the curve, understand the impact. As you said, some of the organizations and CEOs that I respect the most are spending significant resources in understanding web 3.0, metaverse and use of blockchain. So, I think it's incumbent upon all of us to understand it better, really appreciate the conversation and the resources.
Thank you so much, Richard Carthon.
Very welcome. Thank you for having me.