mother of unicorns. not a hacker. social distancing since 2018.
I remote chat this afternoon with Dunstan Teo, a blockchain architect and consultant for projects and enterprises, big and small. He’s also a builder of sovereign level tech, a creator of new economic models, a president of a multi office advisory, an author, an advisor to exchanges, and more.
Hello Dunstan! Thanks for chatting with me today. What are you up to lately?
I am currently working with a couple of governments on their sovereign coins, central bank tokens. My own project is a blockchain protocol which took 2 years to architect.
All interesting projects. I am curious to know about the current state of governments’ development in blockchain technologies.
Most governments in the world already have some level of access to blockchain technology whether through private endeavours, public initiatives, or a mixture of both. These initiatives involves mostly transactions and digital identities as these are the basic functions of what most blockchain tech can achieve. They want to regulate as a form of gatekeeping and also consistently sway between allowing innovation and streamlining them.
Every year, there could be a potential change of blockchain and cryptocurrency regulations in any country.
A couple of main innovators in the space would be China and South Korea. Since most people have been talking about the Chinese CBDC (Central Bank Digital Currency), I don’t really want to talk about it. South Korea is interesting as a 600b USD hedge fund is putting BTC into their portfolio.
A South Korean city has made its own city currency that is being tested right now, and Bill Gates is currently investing into the Korean digital bank which has its inroads into the Korean CBDC. However, this would start with using blockchain for the medical space.
Yes, it was announced last month about South Korea’s central bank’s digital currency pilot program.
My personal involvement is on the strategic level where sovereign coins is not just valued on the digital fiat numerical value that is coded using the blockchain, but the value of the country that is producing (ie, export value), production value and such are also involved in the ‘value creation’ of the sovereign tokens. They are very different from CBDC as CBDCs are just digital representation of a fiat value and has no real innovation, rather, acting as a greater control of the country’s citizens using the CBDC.
Currently, I am involved with a couple of banks to change their digital footprint by using blockchain tech to replace archaic SWIFT systems, (which are riddled with fraud, and scams such as direct downloads) and to bring banking facilities to the masses, this includes microfinancing which the banks seldom offer. The banks start to understand that downstream financing is the way to go in this new economic environment.
So, I’m ironing out details to replace a country’s entire banking infrastructure using new tech that can integrate with current banking ecosystems.
Wouldn’t you be the number one enemy of SWIFT then?
Not me, I’m just an inventor and enabler. Current governments and cities are looking to reduce control which the Federal Reserves have over them, and sovereign coins are the way to go, in that sense. Digital mints reduce the environmental impact over traditional mints, and with our current Covid-19 environment, every country is looking to go fully cashless. However, going back to the same digital fiat system is not the way to go forward. Right now, even if the funds are due to a sovereign nation at this point of time, another bank in another country can say no.
As an enabler, we would be working with governments, hedge funds and banks to roll out solutions that the Fido Protocol could create, to link different CBDC that would be created, with other financial blockchain solutions. I also understand that this should be the first time any reader would have heard of our protocol as it was under stealth for 2 years.
It sounds like consumer adoption in blockchain technology is driving the development of enterprise blockchain like Fido Protocol.
Definitely. Blockchain is a tech that users do not know they need, just like the protocols of the internet, but yet, it would touch many areas of their lives including finance, digital identities, medical data, certifications, and so on. In the coming years there will be no need to say that all these are powered by blockchain.
Several companies have attempted to build enterprise blockchain solutions. They don’t often succeed. What’s the secret sauce behind Fido?
Most blockchains out there tried to become a better bitcoin as bitcoin was the first successful blockchain story. That model however, does not work, as bitcoin has no company or foundation that would be centrally controlling the stakes of the network. It is being worked on by developers who believes in the vision, and miners who see the economic value and necessity to support the network. One such blockchain is EOS. Based on the consensus mechanisms of EOS, the block producers can actually delete any transaction or delete any wallets that are on the network. No smart enterprise owner would put the safety of their businesses on such a network.
The solution is to separate the governance/‘consensus model’ from the economic model of the network. Fido has done it in such a way where the Fido foundation is just like a gardener, maintaining the ecosystem.
Furthermore, blockchains are not made to scale as the larger the blocks, the larger the data needed and the larger the processing power needed in the system. Fido has been architectures in a way where Fido cubes are deployed by the user/the enterprises, or maintained by the foundation to provide parallel processing to the blockchain. The larger the number of cubes, the greater the processing power in the whole ecosystem, the better the network scales. Theoretically we can scale indefinitely, making us suitable to be used by larger enterprises, cities and financial networks.
So Fido cubes act as a sort of firewall, similar to the mechanisms of today’s cybersecurity tools providing trust and safety to technology apps and sites?
Totally, Rachel. You are astute in seeing that. The cubes are like the black boxes where the algorithm distributes the whole computing power of the network. Since the economic model of the Fido Protocol is unlike other blockchains that are separated from the governance, it doesn’t matter if someone hacks the cube to provide more processing. They do not get more economic value. In fact, the network benefits from greater processing from the “tweaked” cube.
I think this frameworks would really provide for Fido Protocol to succeed! As a Chief Architect - and blockchain development being one of the top in-demand skills of this year, what kinds of talents and skills would be the most valuable to help your project scale?
While many protocols are focused on Marketing & PR to keep investors happy and token prices on an upward trajectory, we are not focused on that. We are focused on getting clients and users happy, we are focused on building solutions where others have failed and quietly on my end, working with banks and cities to resolve their blockchain issues created by our predecessors. In fact, we have developed a blockchain based social media platform, Spendtrack, this allows users to see how they can benefit from holding full control of their own social media data.
About Fido cube: I wanted to ask if a typical consumer could buy a cube for public blockchain tooling, or is its current design specifically for larger private enterprise usage?
This is a question of scale. It is true that there are 2 cubes, a master cube and a normal cube. However, even enterprises would be using a hybrid of both. Consumers need only to acquire a normal cube. The network is designed in such a way that it totals up the processing capability of the whole network and the cubes are used to distribute the processing needed for changes to be made on the blockchain.
I see. Will you launch Fido Protocol this year?
We’re hoping to have a launch near the end of the year to coincide with, and support some of the smart cities’ initiatives and the banking initiatives that we are partnering up with. Even so, it would be a testnet and not a mainnet. There would also be a rollout of the physical hardware next year that we are looking forward to!
I’ll definitely keep a look out for that. It’s your 10 year anniversary being a Bitcoin mining OG (he mined his first Bitcoin circa 2010), any advice for us?
Ahahaha well, 11th, but who’s counting? I remember that I started Bitcoin accidentally by installing what I thought was a game and it generated bitcoins. I set up a game company in China selling game accounts and we were using bitcoin as a mean of transaction. One ‘digital sword’ was worthy 10,000 to 30,000 Bitcoins then... can you imagine how much worse it was for me compared to Laszlo who at least ate his bitcoin during Bitcoin Pizza Day! My short stint in professional gaming created an accidental inroad into Bitcoin. I never knew it would take me so far, not in terms of price but in terms of shaping my belief, my passion, and now my future.
My advice to everyone is Long Bitcoin, Short Banks. Not your private key, not your BTC. Always remember that we have only one way out of this economic mess, use bitcoin and not fiat. Yeah, own as much BTC as you can - sell your house, your children, your business like Didi.
You talked about Bitcoin halving recently and your prediction was spot on?
Yeah, it was. Including the dip right before, and after. I did 3 AMA during the week of the halving. As long as I refrain from betting, my predictions are usually spot on. I lost a 🍕 to a friend last year when I bet (for the first time in my life) regarding the prices.
Any other ideas you have recently? How’s life after Covid-19 going to be for you?
This Covid-19 situation showed me that I’m more of an “otaku” than what I thought I was. For 2 and a half months, I could actually stay cooped inside a room with just my computer, and actually there seemed to be zero changes in my life. It does make me realise that I’ve lived most of my life stuck inside my room. I only attended events, meetings when necessary and ain’t the most social animal. I don’t drink, I don’t flirt, but I do love my mushrooms.
This must be due to the training I had when I was a professional gamer. I do however believe that post-Covid would be entirely different for most people. I hope that they understand how fragile the human world we created is and that they spend more time thinking of solutions, rather than consumption and being a peon. The OGs are getting tired of supporting the space.
My final thoughts would be this: Remember that most organizations, financial institutes and governments are not here to serve, they are here to pillage and enslave.
Our final freedom is our freedom to transact. If we let anyone take that away from us, we have no freedom indeed. Choose Bitcoin, your forever friend.
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