Futurist Mark Pesce Talks Cryptocurrency and Blockchain On New Podcast

Blockchain, Education | October 2, 2018 By:

Mark Pesce is a futurist, inventor, writer, entrepreneur, educator and podcaster. In 1994 Pesce co-invented VRML, a 3D interface to the Web. Pesce was a judge on Australian Broadcasting Company’s series The New Inventors, celebrating Australia’s newest inventions, and hosts several podcasts, including This Week in Startups Australia; and The Next Billion Seconds.

Now he’s launched Cryptonomics, a podcast that aims to focus on the world of blockchain and cryptocurrency, exploring and explaining to consumers anxious to get on board. The series is available on PodcastOne.com via the PodcastOne App, or on Apple Podcasts by searching The Next billion Seconds Cryptonomics.

Pesce answered a few Block Tribune questions about his vision on this brave new world.

BLOCK TRIBUNE:   You’re somebody who has been through several phases of technology development. What’s different – or the same – about blockchain?

MARK PESCE: This is the first technology since the spreadsheet that directly acts upon finance.  The spreadsheet – well, most people don’t really see how fundamentally it changed things, but we can’t “run the numbers” without a spreadsheet. Blockchain is similar, but perhaps ten-thousand-fold more significant. As important as dual-entry accounting or the first ledgers.

BLOCK TRIBUNE: As someone who had to evaluate startups on your TV show, what was the biggest mistake entrepreneurs made?

MARK PESCE: On the TV show, the biggest failure was not having a well-conceived marketing plan. In general, when I talk to startups, it’s that they haven’t done the hard yards to establish product-market fit – a product customers actually need to use.

BLOCK TRIBUNE:  Some people say there is an ICO winter going on. What do you say?

MARK PESCE:  I’d say that by dollar volume there have already been more ICOs in 2018 than in all of 2017.

BLOCK TRIBUNE:  Are the days where bitcoin was at $20,000 gone forever?  Or will there be some sort of catalyst to jump start it again?

MARK PESCE: As long as bitcoin is perceived as the single and unique store of value in cryptocurrencies, its price will increase.

BLOCK TRIBUNE:  There are innumerable blockchains fighting it out to attract followers. Any of them impress you?  And what impact will any serious competitor have on ethereum?

MARK PESCE: It’s a good time to experiment. We understand very little of what it takes to create a secure and scalable smart contract infrastructure. It may take a few iterations to get it all working the way we’ll need to support global economies. That said, it may well be that we’ll have several different smart contract platforms, and their zones of greatest influence may look a lot like the 21st century’s geopolitical boundaries.

BLOCK TRIBUNE:  What do you see as the future of AI?  Is it over-hyped?

MARK PESCE: AI will be integrated into any systems that consume and/or produce lots of data as a way of helping to organize and contextualize that data. It’ll be a help but it will always come with its own set of blinders — because algorithms tend to use the past as predictive model, which makes it more difficult to see the emergence of the future from the data.

BLOCK TRIBUNE:  The Australian blockchain community was given a boost when the double tax was rescinded. How far has it come back?  Where do you see it headed?

MARK PESCE: The Australian cryptocurrency community definitely found it easier to trade once the tax status of cryptocurrencies was clarified. But with respect to blockchain it made no difference at all.  With firms like AgriDigital, Power Ledger, Havven and CryptoFlip, the community in Australia is going from strength to strength.