Category Archives: Uncategorized

Podcast #8: Nick Tomaino on Coinbase, Bitcoin’s Future, and VC

What’s life like after Bitcoin for someone who worked for one of the scene’s biggest players? Can you move on to other things and still remain keenly interested?

Nick Tomaino used to head business development at Coinbase, the US’s most well-known and popular bitcoin exchange. These days he’s principal at Runa Capital — an early-stage investment firm with its eye on “deep tech”. That includes everything from A.I. and drones to regulated markets like fintech, healthcare and education. Nick himself is a big fan of open source projects and wants to look more at the blockchain space.

Did Nick Tomaino Leave the Bitcoin World? Why?

Nick tells Daniel and Jon why he chose to leave Coinbase for the VC world. Further to that, he elaborates on why some companies like Circle have also moved away from the bitcoin space in recent times. Perhaps the industry is stagnant, or there was too much venture capital chasing too few real solutions.

Listen to the episode to find out the details:

Nick also talks on one of our favorite topics at Automata — token crowdsales — but suggests expectations might be “inflated”. Find out why he’s still bullish on blockchain assets in general but warns crowdsales will cause “a lot of pain” for participants.

Runa Capital has only just established a footprint in the US. Nick tells us why the company is still also looking at the rest of the world, with offices in Silicon Valley, London, Singapore and Moscow. The nature of technology, he says, lets anyone start a company anywhere they like. Investors looking at Silicon Valley only are leaving overseas markets underserved.

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Show Notes

Runa Capital homepage
Coinbase homepage
Nick Tomaino’s blog
Subscribe to Automata podcast on SoundCloud

Podcast Episode #6: WeTrust Co-founders Patrick Long & George Li

WeTrust wants us to “imagine a world where financial services are affordable”. What does that mean? Mainly, it’s about insurance and loans.

These two aspects of finance are more expensive than they should be, due to administration costs and combating fraud. What if their processes were… automated? Blockchain-based smart contracts could be the answer.

WeTrust Removes More Expensive Middlemen

WeTrust co-founders Patrick Long and George Li give Daniel and Jon their elevator pitch and stress the need for a system based on mutual trust. Can technology keep a record of social capital as well, removing the need for expensive third-parties?

They explain the concept of a ‘ROSCA’ — that’s a “rotating savings and credit organization” for those unfamiliar; a kind of savings and lending club where a small group of people help each other out financially. This happens via a form of “reverse auction”, with members each bidding to decide who receives the money they need.

ROSCAs have actually been around for years, and they’re useful to all sorts of people whether well-served by banks or “unbanked”. The social capital they’re based on keep default rates low.

Smart contracts make ROSCAs available to a much larger market. Even if the group itself remains small, people from a far wider variety of places can participate if there’s more information on who can trust whom.

WeTrust’s MVP is built on Ethereum, and the two founders explain that decision and how the platform could change in the future. They also talk about stablecoins and other tokens including Ether, Colu, government-based tokens and WeTrust’s own native token, TrustCoin.

Listen to the episode to hear how to use WeTrust’s platform and what services are coming up next.

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Show Notes

Total Runtime: 34:33
WeTrust home
This episode on YouTube
Automata Podcast channel on SoundCloud
Follow @AutomataDigital on Twitter for updates