As part of the Digital Currency Council’s Continuing Education partnership with Inside Bitcoins, the DCC’s Vice President Sarah Martin, had the opportunity to interview the thought leaders that will be speaking at the Inside Bitcoins Conference in New York City on April 27-29, 2015. Today, we share an interview with Eddy Travia, Co-Founder and Chief Start Up Officer at Seedcoin.
Sarah: Tell us about how and why you got involved in Bitcoin and digital currencies.
Eddy: I got involved in Bitcoin when a French entrepreneur at the time based in China told me about it. That was in 2012 but I really got interested in May 2013 following the Cyprus bail-in when a portion of bank account holders’ funds was confiscated. That really triggered my interest. As I had been working in China for the last 9 years in private equity investments I anticipated a promising future for investments in Bitcoin startups.
Sarah: The bitcoin ecosystem has ballooned within a very short period of time. What opportunities do you see for start ups seeking to enter the industry today?
Eddy: we are still in the early stages of the development of Bitcoin and blockchain startups so it is a good time for entrepreneurs to launch their ventures. There are many opportunities for entrepreneurs to disrupt the financial sector but also other sectors thanks to the potential of blockchain applications in data management and Internet of Things for example.
Sarah: InsideBitcoins NYC has brought together many of the best minds in the industry. What do you plan to discuss during your panel and hope to hear from others at the conference?
Eddy: I will be moderating the Startup Ecosystem panel so I will ask the panelists about their views of the industry, the signs of a maturing and consolidating industry, the opportunities and the challenges of investing and helping startups to grow and the skills they look for in the future leaders in this space.
Sarah: As digital currencies evolve, what are you looking forward to seeing develop this year, or in the next 5-10 years?
Eddy: this year I look forward to seeing a large amount of funding into the sector. A parallel has been made between the early internet years (1995, 1996) and these years (2014, 2015) in terms of VC investments in the internet startups then as compared to the crypto and blockchain startups now so I hope 2015 will confirm the positive trend. I am very excited and bullish about the next 5 to 10 years, I expect the crypto and blockchain sector to grow at a fast rate and a multitude of new products and services being offered and helping bringing crypto currencies and blockchain applications to the masses. Successful public listing should also confirm the investors appetite while helping companies fund their operations.
Sarah: What do you see as the greatest immediate challenge facing the industry?
Eddy: Bitcoin startups are disrupting the world of financial services, so regulations and access to banking (both are linked) are the greatest challenges facing the industry. Large public adoption is also a challenge but clear regulations will also facilitate adoption.
Sarah: What’s your advice for growing the industry? How do we engage more people in digital currencies?
Eddy: investing in early stage startups is the best way to grow the industry. To engage more people there is a need to work with the media, the governments and the authorities so they understand the benefits for Society as a whole from these new technologies. Many individual actors in this industry have an educational role, and spread the word via meetups and events. We plan to continue doing so and contribute to improving the general awareness about bitcoin and cryptos the best we can.
Sarah: Thanks very much for your thoughts, Eddy. Looking forward to a great conference.