Name and current occupation: Shebin John, Founder, Texploxe
Describe your current activity: Advisor, Ambassador & Writer
Short bio: Engineer by Profession, Marketer by Choice, Investor by Passion
When did you first hear about Bitcoin/blockchain and how? I heard first about Bitcoin, rather than Blockchain. It was back in 2013 when I was getting a payment from a website when for the first time I used this tech. Since then I started to learn and read more about Bitcoin and then Blockchain and so on.
What was the first crypto-related activity you did? As I started to know about it, I first tried my hands on Mining, failed terribly, because I didn’t have that much hash power through my laptop. And then started to use the technology as a means of payment, and slowly, but surely started to learn more and more about this technology. And back in 2016 or so, I started trading with small amounts, gradually increasing the capital and made some profits as well as some losses.
What was the last non-blockchain related job/occupation you had? As an SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) Expert for an Online Gaming website. And I used the payment from that work for Crypto as well.
What made you migrate to the blockchain professional environment? Mainly the Technology backing it. The main issue at this time of the world is trust, and that is one of the most important things that blockchain as a whole solves. It is a trustless system! Satoshi (or the group) knew that a central payment network won’t work due to the trust issue. And for that same reason he made a network where each and every transaction is being verified by each node (miner), thus basically only trusting him/herself and not anyone else. Though it has some flaws, for the first attempt, this was one of the greatest first attempts. And when the trust issue is solved, we can integrate many more things in this technology which will make it even better. And I believe some of the brightest minds on earth is doing the same as you are reading this. And for me, just be a part of this is a dream come true.
How do you see your role in blockchain and crypto? How do you think you can influence the industry? Right now I work as an Advisor to few projects helping them in one or the other way in the technology, marketing, constructive criticism, etc. Though I cannot say I am a big influencer in the blockchain and Crypto space, but I believe that there are few of them who listens to me and what I write and if I can bring a fresh perspective for them, if I can help them analyse a project (I write ICO Analysis), if I can help them in any way, I would be happy. There are many scams and many red flags in the crypto space, and I am trying to find as many as possible to protect the genuine investors in this space. Because, at this stage of Blockchain, though it is a trustless system, we need to trust this technology. And ironically speaking, if the early adopters, the brave and courageous soldiers are being killed (scammed), then we won’t have a country to live. And I want that not to happen.
How do you see the actual situation with ICOs? Do you believe they should be regulated? ICO’s right now has become a great way for many people to raise fund for ideas. Now the problem is that those with ideas don’t know if it is viable. Some don’t even know if they require Blockchain at all. Just because they are doing an ICO, they include the need for blockchain, while they can simply do the same, maybe even better in a centralized database. Many are also there who either lack business skills, while some are there who don’t know the tech. It is really difficult at this moment to find a great project, which not just have a good business and tech team, but also a viable idea which indeed has a market. And due to the same reason why ICO’s are popular, that anyone can start it to raise money, I think is also backfiring the same tech. Thus, I think some level of regulation is indeed necessary. ICO’s is important as not just VC’s or Angel’s can invest, but even retail investors can. But the problem starts when there are private sale’s, and big investors get a huge chunk at a very competitive rate, and then the retail investors come in and get dumped by the former. Thus, being transparent is really important in ICO’s as much as possible. Also, these kinds of details should be public. There are many other possible reasons for regulation, but I also don’t want the regulations to stop genuine retail investors to invest in these type of campaigns, just because they don’t have a $100K or so in the capital, in the name of investor protection. Rather the investor protection should be made to be taught to the one who is running the ICO. And just a warning to all the retail investors out there, please don’t listen to anyone, including me. Do your due diligence. It is fine to read what people like me write about any project, but that should not be your bible. If you are investing in any project, then please do your research. Else, better to buy a lottery ticket.
From your point of view, what are the main challenges of blockchain at the moment?
Some of the main challenges right now are:
1. Scalability The current blockchain has a bottleneck if we consider the most used blockchain, so until the developers (which can be anyone) find a viable solution as well as get a majority vote for the change proposed, this problem will continue.
2. Adoption Any technology, no matter how great that might be, if no one uses it, then it is a waste or it does not have a market, or the worse, that the product is too soon, or too slow. In the blockchain’s case, it has an Adoption problem due to some of the problems including requisite for technology, though it is changing with time as much better UI’s are now available which require less user education and another problem is…
3. Regulation Yes, regulation. Until and unless the regulation is not applied at some level in this technology, the wild west will continue. There are many more problems, but I believe these are some of the problems faced by blockchain at the moment. And if anyone is concerned about the risk of Cryptocurrency, I have made a whole thread which says more about this same topic: https://medium.com/texploxe/risks-with-cryptocurrency-a83fcc3baf57
How do you see the future of blockchain? How will it evolve? Where do you think we will be in ten years’ time? Do you see crypto as some kind of universal payment system? Do you think that bitcoin will still be king, etc? I think blockchain is currently at it’s infancy though as of writing this, it is nearing to a decade, but the initial years were only along with the devs, then the first investors and adopters came in, at this moment, the industry and the institutional investors are really looking at the technology and only dipping a small portion of their body. Once the regulation kicks in and more favourable developments pop up, the possibilities are endless until it reaches a stable state, from which point, it will be a boring market like the traditional market. The evolution for sure will take time and hard work from devs, investors, innovators, etc. And within the next 10 years, we will surely see at least 3 ups and down each until it reaches a stable point where we may see a more mature version of this technology. Even maybe a better version of Blockchain which uses ML and Ai for self-improvement, etc, and now I am going into Science Fiction 😀
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