Regulation, Blockchain and Smart Contracts – with Nerushka Bowan

Nerushka Bowan is the summary of how the world has changed. As a trained laywer, she brings a fresh, practical experience to the world of emerging technology. She focuses on technology, law and a new way of doing things.
She has a strong focus on education and helping people understand the current shifts. Nerushka lectures on Blockchain for the Blockchain Academy. The current courses are evolving as fast of the Blockchain. Nerushka outlines how they are working on developing the depth of her area of focus.
Nerushka has recently launched a new created approach called L.I.T.T. This stands for law, innovation, technology and tomorrow. And thats about sums up the focus of this conversation.
I enjoyed digging to smart contracts and how they look going forward. A smart contract is a piece of self executing code that sits on top of the blockchain. And, as we know, this is still early stages technology and there is a lot will happen going forward.
We chat about how the legal fraternity is changing and the challenges that they are facing. The big challenge is law firms charge by the hour – most of which can be automated through new technology and AI. The model has to move to a value based approach. It’s a bigger picture than blockchain.

The Privacy, Big Data Issue – With Kelvin Jonck

The manipulation of data is a global issue right now. We are seeing crazy stuff happening – from fake news, to twitter bots all the way to the manipulation of the American elections.

To get a better handle on this we spoke to Kelvin Jonck from YouKnow. He set up his agency with view to understand data better and help brands make better decisions from that data.

He has several social media tools that he offers to his clients and has been on the edge of many of the changes that are happening.

Recently Crimson Hexigon – one of the products he supports and licences to clients – was accused of abuse by a 3rd party and Facebook dug into the platform. The good news is that it came out better and stronger than before.

There is a lot to discuss about the future of privacy, trust and the manipulation of data in the coming years as we grapple with the idea.

We would love to know your thoughts about where you see it going? Leave us a comment below.

TWTF 30 – Blockchain Deep Dive – With Aatish Ramkaran

We carry on the deep dive into Blockchain with Aatish Ramkaran. Aatish is the blockchain lead for Nedbank, co-founder of Blockchain Entrepreneurs Club South Africa and beard enthusiast! Aatish has been making waves in the Blockchain space. He gave an excellent keynote at the Blockchain Africa Conference and has been very busy with his recent … Read moreTWTF 30 – Blockchain Deep Dive – With Aatish Ramkaran

TWTF29 – SA Blockchain Technology and Cryptoassets – with Tanya Knowles

In this podcast we sit down and have a chat to Tanya Knowles. Tanya is the Managing Executive, Fractal Solutions. This is the Strate Innovation Lab that specialises in blockchain technology and cryptoassets. We wanted to catch up and see how the Strate Blockchain was progressing. We had previously chatted with Monica Singer, Strate’s ex … Read moreTWTF29 – SA Blockchain Technology and Cryptoassets – with Tanya Knowles

Netflix, Digital Disruption and Multichoice’s Cry For Regulation

Jerm’s illustration is published and linked to from TechCentral Netflix brings digital disruption and Multichoice wants its regulated. They have even suggested that they need to BEE compliant. They argue that they want to have a level playing field. This call surprised me. The reason I have always admired Multichoice’s approach to innovation, entrepreneurial spirit and approach … Read moreNetflix, Digital Disruption and Multichoice’s Cry For Regulation

T:WTF 019 – Joel Stransky on how AI is Redefining Recruitment

The Future of Work is a massive topic. Twitter abounds with crazy stats where about 45% of all jobs will be lost in the next 10 years. Who knows what the real number is and what the full impact will be thanks to the Gig Economy. But what happens when you put AI and Recruitment together? How will that disrupt things? 

Pivotal Capital Disrupting AI and Recruitment

But to get a better idea we spoke to Joel Stransky from Pivotal Talent (part of the Pivotal Group) about how they are redefining the recruitment industry using AI and recruitment!
What Joel and the team are doing is really helping companies pair up the right employees for the right jobs – and that is a good thing, right!
As an employer, you want to know that the person who you are employing is the best possible fit for the job. That they are competent, they have the capacity and the ability to grow into the job.

Happy Employees Is Profitable for a Business

As an employee, you want to know that you are being hired for the best job fit possible. Happiness is important, which is often defined by a job. It’s implied meaning and doing tasks within your abilities. Also that you have the capability to grow into.
AI allows this all to happen. This is early days for Joel and the team and the future looks very exciting.
What I find interesting is that this is redefining how recruitment is being done but it also creates a huge amount of efficiencies that a human cannot do. And this is a good thing.

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T:WTF 016 – Ripples CTO, Stefan Thomas on Ripple and the Internet of Value

Stefan Thomas is the CTO of Ripple. In this podcast we deep dive into what Ripple is, the pain that they are solving and their focus on the Internet of Value through Interledger.

The Pain That Ripple is Solving

In his words here is what Ripple is all about:

When you send money or move money around the world these days wire you have no idea what happened to it. You have no visibility of it and it costs a lot. A LOT!

Ripple set out to fix this problem.

Ripple’s focus is on transparency, lowering the cost, and increasing the speed of transfer. In more practical terms, what Ripple is doing it to make sending money around a lot less of a headache!

Banks, Blockchain and What It All Means

Of course, you cannot talk about money without talking about banks. Stefan gave some great insights into why banks are looking at the blockchain as a solution.

Alternative financial services are potentially a banks biggest challenge. These startups have no baggage. They are super agile and free of bad ways of doing things. They create cultures that designed to capture a banks customers.

To help solve this challenge Ripple has created an alternative banking technology. It can help a bank create a better customer experience and stay ahead of the unseen competition.

Disruption of the Old. Welcome the New

Of course, no conversation is complete without talking about disruption. Andrew Keys Podcast digs nicely into this. But back to Stefan!

The internet as we know it exploded thanks to Interoperability.

One of the payments world bigger limitations is the lack of interoperability. This changes when I can move money between different format and system. Everything opens up and get redefined.

Defining Ripple

Released Ripple in 2012. Ripple’s goal is to enable “secure, instantly and nearly free global financial transactions. Irrespective of any size and no chargebacks.

Ripple supports tokens representing fiat currency, cryptocurrency, commodity or any other unit of value. A good example can include frequent flier miles or mobile minutes.

Ripple core is based on a shared and public database or ledger. This uses a consensus process that allows for payments, exchanges, and remittance in a distributed process.

Getting Into The Payments World

Stefan shares his motivation to fix a very broken payment system. As he points out – it was a seemingly impossible problem for one person to fix. The release of Bitcoin changed that. The door opened where individuals could have a massive impact. This lead Stefan to Ripple.

Africa integration into Ripple

Ripple has a very strong Asia Middle East and has yet to penetrate into Africa. Stefan makes the point that Africa is a very different market. You don’t go blindly into a new market. To penetrate the African market you need to build a presence here with local insights.

There is a way to go. But we have no doubt that with the with speed the world is moving at this won’t take long.

Interoperability, Interledger and The Internet of Value

TheInterledger conversation got us very excited.

Interledger is about move value around. It is currently working to create a generic protocol so you can move money without any pain or hassle.

But the next step is moving value around. This will allow you to convert one thing of value to another. You will be able to build any kind of app that relies on moving value on top of this protocol. Stefan calls this exchange of value “the internet of value”.

The difference to Ripple goal, to be a global settlement network. A platform to allow anyone to transfer money in any currency to any currency in a matter of seconds.

We dig deep into the world of Micro-payments and building an internet of value.



The Blockchain Africa Conference

Blockchain Africa Conference
Blockchain Africa Conference

The WTF #ThinkDigital Podcast spent two days interviewing many of the groundbreaking speakers at the Blockchain Africa Conference (#BAC18). The big topic was inter-operability and how the blockchain is maturing.

T:WTF 015 – Why Self Sovereign Identity Is The Real Game Changer

All the people that Pelle Braendgaard talks shit about are now contacting him! This gave us a good laugh but there is a very good reason why. Its called Self Sovereign identity.

Pelle is a Dane, living in Nicaragua, where he is heading up the Consensys office. He is busy working on building uPort a decentralized identity platform at ConsenSys

uPort is an Open Identity System for the Decentralized Web. And this is a very big deal.

Andrew Keys talks about 3 foundational aspects of his podcast. Self Sovereign Identity is the first of those 3 aspects. If you have not heard it – go here: Why The Blockchain Will Disrupt Everything.

So Why Is Self Sovereign Identity So Important?

The word Sovereign means that you have an identity that you are in charge of. You are you and no one else can be you. We have all heard the horror stories about identity fraud!

U-Port is a new kind of identity system where they are trying to go back and like look at what identity and how you turn it into Self Sovereign Identity. This is something that should be under your control.

In traditional Identity systems, this has been under a 3rd part control. As an example, the government will issue you with an ID card.

Yet this is not the big issue about identity. The big issue is about the claims made against an Identity. It is very easy for me to make claims about you, and, you for me. This has a huge impact on how we live, work and play, every day! Self Sovereign Identity starts to solve this problem.

The Banks Dark Net

Another area that Pelle spoke to us about is the Dark Net of Banks.

Banks run international networks like Swift, MasterCard, Visa and so on. They work by having an identity system on top of it and acts as an access control layer.

No-one really knows what actually happens inside there, which is why Pelle calls it the real darknet. It is not transparent, and control sits with these identity silos.

Pelle goes into great detail around this issue and what these silos are and how they operate in the podcasts.

A Decentralised Self Sovereign Identity

Pelle is working with the decentralized identity Foundation. They are busy finalising the standard for a decentralised ID. A kind of DNS for your DNA! Or in blockchain terms – a hash of your DNA! As you listen to Pelle, you will see this is early days for Self Sovereign Identity.

Applications That Are Solvable With U-Port

The potential solutions that come from Self Sovereign Identity are massive. The belief is that apps are going to be more and more important for doing real transactions. This is one of the first problems U-Port is working on.

The identity system will work with Ethereum. They will enable Etherium apps to use the identity infrastructure. Yet, all the actual storage of identity data is off-chain.

U-Port will get the information that will be the signature of statements that you make. Or that other people make about you.

This opens up your personal reputation management based on what you do. As Brett says, your reputation is your brand’s identity.

At the moment you get a very one-sided framework through the current silos. Take a bank as an example. They are picking what they track and they will be missing most of the relevant info that could is traceable.

The Financial Markets

Taking the idea of the bank as a silo. What happens if we open up the idea of Self Sovereign Identity into the financial markets.

You can change everything. your ability to get a loan or financial service gets redefined. Imagine tracking the full spectrum of an identity that’s linked to reputation.

The world of Privacy and The Monetisation of You!

Facebook takes your data and monetises it. It’s a real and massive issue. Stop and think about it.

Facebook is making billions of dollars off their community. Yet they giving nothing back to anyone!

Imagine if I could choose to allow a platform, like Facebook, access to my data. I can start monetising my own wants, needs, and preferences. Given that in many countries people live off a $1 a day, this has a huge impact.

The Self Sovereign Identity Rabbit Hole

In this podcast, we chatted about the different application. The more you look at this, the bigger you realise the need for Self Sovereign Identity is. The application is broad: Real-time voting; land management; the daily management of our taxes etc.

Go listen – it’s quite disruptive thinking!

More About Pelle Braendgaard

Pelle Braendgaard is the Engineering Lead at uPort with more than 20 years experience working with internet technologies in Europe, the US and Latin America. He has worked with a diverse group of services from being Alta Vista’s first web master to investment banking in Deutsche Bank, consumer banking in BRF Kredit to developing secure communication platforms for doctors at Doximity. As an entrepreneur he has worked in early crypto currency startups CorpFlow in the Caribbean and Verax Pay in Latin America. Previously working on bringing Bitcoin to consumers and merchants in Africa with Kipochi.

Pelle’s presentation at the blockchain conference he looked at uPort as a decentralised digital identity system. With it people control and own their own identities, interact with blockchain applications and share only what they want.

The platform is designed in an open way, that allows communities around the world to use it to model and define what an identity means to them.

The Blockchain Africa Conference

Blockchain Africa Conference
Blockchain Africa Conference

The WTF #ThinkDigital Podcast spent two days interviewing many of the groundbreaking speakers at the Blockchain Africa Conference (#BAC18). The big topic was inter-operability and how the blockchain is maturing.

T:WTF 014 – Sonya Kuhnel talks to us about Blockchain Africa Conference

The Blockchain Africa conference would not happen without the motivation and effort of Sonya Kuhnel!

In this podcast, we have a chat to Sonya how she got into the blockchain, and how she set up the Blockchain Africa Conference.

We talk about its growth, where it has come from and what lies ahead.

We also want to say a big thanks to Sonya for having the WTF team. We appreciate the access to a bunch of crazy, amazing, passionate people who are changing the world. We walked away from the experience inspired and enthusiastic about the future of blockchain.

The Blockchain Academy

The Blockchain Africa Conference is supported by The Blockchain Academy. If you want to learn how to build and apply the blockchain, please go and have a look at their website:

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