welcome everyone to the second episode of the Caribbean blockchain

welcome everyone to the second episode of the Caribbean blockchain Network interview series today we have Priscilla lot man hi Priscilla how are you Priscilla could you would you like to tell us a little bit about yourself and how did you get started a little bit of your background just from the start yeah started working for local trust companies here and eventually and now I have two of my own company – French Shore where we work with that’s called traditional investment funds management where we work with FINA cryptocurrency clients and that is everything from crypto funds to blockchain startups that are looking to work with in Curacao and Cayman and other Caribbean islands all right and I’ve also read because I’ve also did a little research I posted a little bit about brave da L yeah brave could you talk yeah what is that exactly and he started a new venture unfortunately okay okay and I’ve also recently read in the news a little bit about the blockchain and crypto task force that you’ve also part of yes I was fortunate to kind of get into the crypto and blockchain that’s called at first the research about this in 2015 yeah I’ve got a little bit more active in it in 2016 and after-death we’ve really started onboarding clients so we were at least for Curacao perspectives we were quite early in this yeah which gives us quite a broad perspective of what’s going on in the world and what has been going on for the last couple of years and so it was really an honor quite fortunate to be asked to join the Caribbean blockchain and cryptocurrency task force sort of pure self poaching and cryptocurrency task force here on the island and what we’re basically looking at there is if you would like companies to come and establish themselves in Curacao for the development of anything that has to do with blockchain or crypto currencies what are the rules regulations regulatory environment they may be you know from a legal and tax perspective as well of course what do you need as an island to cater to this industry yeah and that’s what you’re evaluating and in the end what we will know the advice and said we we can put with the regulator the government to foster this industry yourself alright and yeah before yeah before we move on to more questions how did you get into blockchain how did it all start for you as well and he got into this fairly early on so when we did in 2015 and 2016 it did a little bit of analysis of where we’re going in the financial service industry yeah and I went to a conference in New York by hilarity University called exponential finance and already done a blockchain was very large of the content being presented there so when I went to research further as to how this might impact and this was obviously you know last year was really yeah yeah how this would affect our industry it it kind of shocked me and it made me realize that we have to adapt what we’re doing at front door in order to be able to continue our business in the decade to come all right could you explain for our audience a little bit what a blockchain is I can a short a couple of sentences but it’s at least the way that I understand it is that a decentralized and distributed that is kept by all the nodes on its network of course the network of Bitcoin blockchain is going to be different than the etherium blocks etc and the transactions done on such a ledger are visible for all the nodes to see and thus created you could say trusted implement I know people have different yeah but I think that you know if you are technical enough to understand the technology behind this or how this is able to work you can see all the potential it can bring I think that if we look at you know if you can go anywhere from currency to let’s call them smart contracts another processes that can be done on a block hey and by different type groups then it becomes very interesting and of course you know it inevitably leads you to the conversation of is there a difference between a blockchain and a distributed letter you know it’s a private law chain really a blockchain so you know it’s I try not to get into that yeah discussions in those discussions yes all right so thank you for the explanation now let’s talk a bit about a front Shore and other tools what is the what is what does french are doing and what does a ver to do and what is there are a connections between the two companies and both companies are extremely small and basically the reason that we set up so with French sure we we work with small to medium sized investment funds and we provide governance and directorship services for those ones when we saw that there was a market for crypto funds or crypto funds and companies that wanted to establish themselves in Curacao for the development of their blockchain software we decided that it’s to divide the risk so to speak it would be better to do this in a new company considering the lack of regulation and the uncertainty that we have with regards to blockchain technology and especially things like you know how cryptocurrencies will be seen how they will be administered if you’re working with AI cos you know these are all items that that have huge question marks around them and it wasn’t something that I necessarily wanted to bring into my existing company so that was the reason to set up a new company to really have that company focus solely on the let’s call the crypto client yeah so alpha 2 is kind of a sister company front shorter and so a virtools does management of digital assets what we do is on the one hand we work with crypto plants we provides the same type of services we do in front yours with the governance and and the directorship service but then for crypto funds and on the other side we also you know guide people through the process of setting up a normal entity normal company in Curacao and maybe in the future and other Caribbean islands so that they can bring their their development process here all right it’s more of a guidance it’s a guidance guidelines Allah helps projects and companies set up and the Caribbean region yes I mean because it’s it’s it’s very interesting to see the diversity when it comes to blockchain your crypto clients most people are there yeah yeah extremely smart I mean you know you’re just sitting there how smart most of these people are true and advanced logical way that you know you know that a good product is going to come out of this and then we try to bring in the knowledge for building a legal structure around that for example a company and all the aspects that come with that and how you need to manage that so our two focuses more on the legal aspects of implementing a project okay and I’ve seen also that she’s done a couple of talks you’ve done your TEDx Curacao and the general what do you think is a general sentiment knowledge of blockchain in the yeah blockchain technology on Curacao it’s very funny actually because in most of the presentations that I give I always somehow try to work in the question of who owns any crypto and who knows what blockchain is no and in the beginning I really expected no one to raise their hand but slowly but surely that is really increasing and people are very curious and even they have just a wallet and own you know zero point zero zero something Bitcoin they they’ve gone through that process which is really key here I think that generally speaking it’s not very known here I think also very generally many companies might not know how this could affect their industry in the coming decade and this is something that we really want to focus on and and see how we can change that or how we can close that knowledge gap because I think that it’s very important that you know not only the financial industry in yourself at all industries that might be affected by by this technology know that there’s a possibility that they could be disrupted by you know you can’t be oblivious anymore in this day and age so to speak yeah alright and I’ve also seen that you’ve posted some things on LinkedIn about icos so according so what is an ICO according to you okay at this moment this very moment at this moment for me it’s a wonderful tool to raise funds for companies that would otherwise not have a possibility to raise funds and for investors to invest in companies where they would originally not be able to invest in of course there’s a lot of caveats there you know are you looking at the utility token are you looking at the security token are you you know buying a token to use on a platform is the product actually being developed you know you have to do so much due diligence on where you are investing in or what tokens you are buying yeah and I think that it’s it’s very important for people to realize that you know sure if you’re buying 100 dollars worth of tokens for an ICO you know it’s fine but the moment that you’re buying into a thousand I see us at $100 that’s gonna be a lot of money and if you don’t do any research you’re gonna have a problem eventually sure you might have that one token that one product that’s going to you know blow everyone’s mind great but the the lack of due diligence in participating in icos is still a big problem I think and especially because we don’t necessarily know how to categorize I SEOs properly yeah i SEOs and there’s no you know there might be a case for regulation there might be a case for no regulation but you know I think for yourself if you’re investing in something you need to invest in something you understand true and if you’re not doing any of the research then you know you’re running a high risk in our already very risky product yeah and since we’re talking about due diligence um what do you think what are the things that you should consider when you’re investing in ICO but yeah what do they have to what do you advise them to look at before they put their money into it I think that a few things that always pop up in importance are the team behind the product the product that is actually being developed is it gonna be useful is it a platform that you would use or that you think is is necessary in this world is what they are raising the funds for do you really need a book change for that I mean you know there’s these beautiful trees that you can go through and yes-no yes-no and figure out whether it’s necessary or not security is a big issue I think that that is something very important to look at also the the legal structure behind the ICO you know if someone’s asking you to send money to their personal account maybe you need to think twice about it you know if there is no entity or company behind this if it’s not even you know those are they make some very simple things but oftentimes you see websites of ICS and none of this is even mentioned not in the white paper or not on the website nothing and you need to do a little bit of fat I find before you you participate in anything true and what do you do what do you see the possibilities are how do you see the ashes do you think I SEOs can go to Curacao or teaching Isis there should have already been one here I’m not sure if it was open to the local market but I know that there are people here that do invest or buy into I cos it’s not widespread yet yeah I don’t know of any local companies who have made use of this but I think that once there’s a little bit more clarity how the regulator will look at this and you know what kind of has called it ambassador protection or buyer protection should be put in place or what kind of information you need to share for this and honestly once companies start realizing the potential that this can have and they and plus they need obviously to have a reason to have a blockchain company yeah shouldn’t just be thin air for reasons then I think it will it will take off a little bit more okay and know is to also involved in I SEOs or no no just managing the digital assets we do accept payments in crypto so at the moment three and that is you know instead of being a some US dollars you’re you can pay us in crypto but because we work with so many different funds and we get information from very different sites the policy is that we don’t invest in any of the the I SEOs or trade in any crypto so avid to doesn’t do any trading and investing in ICS but does other to invest in projects that are already there in the future and if I were to invest in the project what would ever to look at their specific projects for example platform current platforms or currencies or decentralized applications or is it just no I think that honestly we’re not doing it at all should in the future we decide to to participate in a project whether through an IC o—- or through private funding I think that me the people that are doing it very important you know if sometimes you can have an amazing product but if it’s not the right time for that product then it might not launch it it won’t work but the team can pivot around that and if the team is amazing then you can work with that so I guess that that would be one of the first things that we would look at notice that’s a bit that’s right and other – are there any challenges that you’re facing right now in the space for example regulatory regulations yes I think that the uncertainty a bit is vacant I’m not an advocate for a lot of regulation not at all but I do think that the uncertainty of it brings bring some concerns because if you’re setting up something today and in a week’s time you know either the regulator here or regulator somewhere else besides that whatever it is that you’re doing is outside of the scope of some type of regulation and they’re going to write new regulation on it obviously you need to always be prepared for that but in this case you have no idea what’s gonna come so there’s a lot of uncertainty there’s a lot of uncertainty and yeah yeah that’s new and yes you don’t want them to rush into it either right you want the regulator to be skeptical to have the capabilities and to have the knowledge in order to implement if they’re gonna implement anything to implement something that they understand that they see will help the industry and not not dampen it you want you want it to be fostered to grow with whatever they’re gonna put in place if they do something and does that do you have any others and does the Curacao government to any thing with blockchain right now or is it looking at blockchain currently yeah obviously they’re part of the task force so in that sense they’re looking at it but I don’t know if they’re implementing anything or if they have you know maybe a team looking at it that I don’t know yeah alright we have some questions from the audience as well our network one of those questions are what do you think the future of funding investing and blockchain projects will look like for Curacao or the Caribbean region I think that since we’re we haven’t really been big in this yet I mean nowhere is big right but relatively speaking I think the Caribbean is still very very small than this yeah I think that will only grow the more people will understand what this is and understand the possibilities with it the more it will be used all right and how do Caribbean traditional financial institutions see blockchain technology and digital currencies Yeah right now the present moment I mean obviously I don’t work for any of those institutions I don’t know you know what the internal discussions are or what they’re preparing for yeah I’m I hope that they have you know at least maybe you know it doesn’t even need to be team up like firing six people if they just have one person looking at how for example in a bank how the banking industry might be affected by this or with an insurance company how insurance might be affected like this you we should all hope that they have at least someone looking at it but you know I think that there’s still a lot of open questions about this some people are very skeptical other people are extremely worried but we should consider that if you know even 1% of the economic activity on any of the islands is transferred from the currencies that are currently being used to crypto what kind of effects in that have on an economy and how do you deal with that and I think those are very valid and serious questions and financial service and sectors all over the Caribbean need to consider ok yeah and do you this is also a question from the audience where can people from Curacao investors prefer currencies I don’t I don’t know one of the things that I’ve encountered and I’m not sure if this has been solved but it was initially very difficult to open an exchange account even with you know while you’re in Curacao I have to admit I haven’t tried lately so I don’t know if that has been improved or changed so if that’s already set then you know participating in icos is probably a hurdle as well and since I’ve never done it from here I don’t know what the process is from here okay and there’s another question about what are the barriers that are occurring in the Caribbean considering adoption of blockchain and cryptocurrency projects are yeah ideas I don’t think that it’s in terms of adoption or yeah I don’t think that that’s restricted to the Caribbean alone I think that knowledge is a big barrier or understanding but also traditional institutions incumbent institutions you know if you don’t have big parties participating in this and pushing it forward which of course I mean and you have to understand from their point of view they’re disrupting their own industry then so yes you know it’s it’s a given take a little bit of how you’re gonna do it but I think that those two aspects are are not only in the Caribbean but in most countries the biggest hurdles and of course the the unknown aspect of regulation yeah alright and how do you see for example you said we have to inform and educate a lot of people or there’s a lack of awareness of the technology in the public and in the business sector as well how do you think we can yeah fill that gap in the younger community so let’s take 15 to 25 it’s fairly easy because I think that that is a generation who completely understands this technology even if they’ve never heard about it you sit with them for an hour they’re like yeah that’s yeah sure that’s that works we understand that yeah if the universities you know maybe people like you guys when you come back to the islands you take a morning to go to the University and give a short lecture or have a Q&A session with some of the students you know and and try to build in that age group really the the base for the knowledge for the future and then I mean it’s if you go older than that then it’s really the responsibility I think of one the individual themselves to go out and seek you know either courses or books or knowledge in some respect but also the companies you know in company training about this is really important I hear and so you’re saying the younger generation actually you have to focus more in a younger generation because they’re willing to use this the most true you know everyone over 50 or 60 how many more years are there really going to be active and companies that are going to be developing this it’s the younger generation that is coming in now that need to to figure out how to make this more user-friendly how the solutions can make things more efficient and effective you know what the use cases are for it and that’s the generation that should really focus on it and those other two also give informational lectures or talks about what blocking is and cryptocurrency like informing the people and companies of developments in the blockchain industry yeah so we work with a few of the financial service companies here in Curacao and we go there and we’ll presentation and I believe in sharing information so anything that I can share with anyone I do and also the library of my office is constantly Billy everyone is borrowing books on the topic so we try to do as much as you know it’s possible okay and there’s some final questions what would you advise new people that come into the blockchain and cryptocurrency what would you advise new people that are coming into the blockchain in cryptocurrency industry or world so to speak what what your intention is are you just looking for general information then just do some research if you’re doing it so that you’re going to invest in AI cos then I definitely think that you should know dedicate a serious amount of time to understanding what you’re investing in and what the technology might mean for the future and if you’re looking at it from your company’s perspective of how it may be disruptive then obviously you need to you know maybe hire someone that has the bulk of the knowledge and can share that with you and you know show where your industry might be disruptive in the future so that you could focus on those areas yeah do you think blockchain technology goes beyond the ICO oh yes yeah where do you think which industries and areas would you see as be the most disrupted with blockchain technology well I think that the so definitely financial services right so if you’re and an IC over an IC or token generating event will just be one aspect of that but if you can improve cross-border banking if you can ensure that government spending becomes more transparent with this technology you can in your power financial inclusion with this technology you can even start building you know communities of companies on the blockchain that our jurisdiction lists that can function in any part of the world I mean that’s gonna require a lot more regulation I think but it is something that we need to consider in the future especially from a tax perspective for countries so I think that there are there’s there’s quite a few let’s call them applications for this technology that could be interesting for us yes all right and – yeah finalize our interview where can our viewers contact you or read more about your work find more about Java – and brunch or yes – which is – as in a number digital yes and yeah you can find me on LinkedIn and those two places are basically where I’m at all right Thank You Priscilla thank you