How Crypto is Building the Future
Today we have our final instalment in our ‘Where are they now’ series with Liz Kukka, VP of Operations at Pngme.
Nominations for this year’s Rising Women in Crypto Power list are closing today (29th October) so get any last-minute nominations in now! Stay tuned, because we’ll be announcing the longlist 5th November and then revealing the top 10 on 11th November.
How crypto is building the future
In 2014, while in grad school, I was taking an Innovation Studio course. Our assignment for the semester was to design a product based on “The Future of Money”. While researching different topics I came upon Bitcoin, dug around, reached out to anyone associated with it, and eventually concluded that it might be the future. However, at this point it was too far away to tell, and I had no clue what we would be able design before the 3-month deadline.
In 2016 I’m hearing about crypto left and right while at Plug and Play Tech Centre, from BTC to a number of alts. It was then that I became excited about data privacy and data ownership and started hosting events that would include a blockchain perspective. Finally, in 2018 I joined Digital Finance Group full-time, the parent company to Ethereum Classic Labs.
Fast forward to today and I’m at Masa Finance where I work in a business and operations role. That includes helping define the vision, direction and timeline, it also includes working with legal and compliance, as well as pulling in my network for potential partnerships and investment.
The building blocks for crypto’s future
I have strong conviction about both digital assets and blockchain, and it comes through when giving talks, networking, or having a casual conversation. Believe it or not, but it makes an impact. Having a vision for the future and sharing it publicly makes a big difference, it gives people an opportunity to push back, challenge, asks questions, and dream along side of you. Sharing a vision, versus pushing a product, makes it easier for others to join, to be a part of that dream, to expand on it, stretch it, change it and rework it - maybe what comes out on the other end isn’t identical to what I had in mind, and maybe it’s a completely different direction, but we can’t work together as people or society, without communication and welcoming of participation.
Also, being an investor in the space demonstrates my commitment to its future and to the builders of this future.
Crypto achievements and innovation
While working in the space, I’ve had the opportunity to work on several projects, all of which are having a lasting impact on the crypto movement. The first is launching the first accelerator dedicated to Ethereum Classic (ETC) and contributing to ETC’s rise, second is co-leading the launch of a fully regulated crypto exchange in Abu Dhabi, third is co-leading the launch of a crypto custodian business in South Dakota, fourth is making my first blockchain/crypto Angel investment in a data center and Bitcoin mining company called EdgeMode.
Last, and certainly not least, I’m over the moon about Masa Finance and the rails that we’re putting in-place. The projects mentioned above are about replacing legacy systems, while Masa is actually solving for wealth disparity, and creating the foundation for a future where digital assets can help solve for that.
What comes next
I think the future of crypto is not that far off the mark of what analysts had predicted back in 2013, 2014, who across markets thought that localization was the future. They thought everyone would be supporting Mom and Pop shops, brick and mortar grocery, coffee, shopping etc…That didn’t happen, and major players like Amazon actually ate everyones lunch, and instead of localization we found even more consolidation.
Where crypto course corrects, is instead of localization, we will have global micro-economies. This means economies based around your interests, such as gaming, photography, science, non-profits, financial markets, supply chains etc.
Within these economies we will see token based incentives that reward participants in a variety of ways, from basic transactions, to data sharing, to actually maintaining the network. In this future you can dive deep into the technology, and the protocol if you want, or you can passively participate and still be rewarded - like the rewards system for Brave and it’s token BAT. In this future we have a range of Blockchains from consortium to fully decentralized, we have shared ownership of businesses, transparency, and more active participation in the governance of how these businesses are run by the public.
The future is bright with blockchain. Despite the harsh realities of the present like Covid-19 and the environmental crisis, we will each need to adapt and adjust as change unfolds quickly and at a rate that none us have ever known. Blockchain will provide the foundation for the future of the world as we know it, and how we transact with one another. Hopefully that new world will also be lush, healthy and green.