On our Watch List: Vinny Lingham at CES

This article was first published on Blog – Civic Technologies, Inc.

Vinny Lingham, Brock Pierce, and Martine Paris on stage at CES 2020.

This January, Civic CEO Vinny Lingham joined Brock Pierce, chairman of the Bitcoin Foundation, and Journalist Martine Paris, who has covered the industry since its beginning, for a panel conversation at CES about the untold stories of the crypto revolution. If you’ve ever wondered what the early days of crypto use were all about, this video is the resource you’ve been looking for.

Here are a few highlights that caught my attention from the conversation:

As a co-founder of Blockchain Capital, Brock relied on the Japanese concept of keiretsu, a business relationship where entities have close relationships and sometimes take small equity stakes in each other’s businesses, all while remaining operationally independent. Using this philosophy, which is also a nod to Satoshi Nakamoto, Brock facilitated co-opetition among blockchain founders and built an industry network based on strong personal bonds. The result was a crop of healthy blockchain companies that debuted in 2013-2014. Vinny, as co-founder of Gyft, participated in this investment round. (Timestamp: 14:30)

Over the past few years, the crypto ecosystem has been critically validated by important players, in Brock’s view. As the banking world, including J.P. Morgan among others, ventures into cryptocurrency, it indicates positive momentum for the industry. Further, the introduction of Facebook Libra has brought about critical regulatory conversation that will continue to pave the path forward for the industry. (Timestamp: 37:40)

During the early days of Gyft, Vinny was looking for a way to get people to buy gift cards from anywhere in the world, not just the US. What he found was that a virtual currency like Bitcoin worked well because it was non-reversible and every transaction was guaranteed, unlike credit cards, which proved unreliable as a payment mechanism. ...

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