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Interview with Gabriel Rojo — Founder of Emerita Capital

This article is a recap interview of Gabriel Rojo, Gabriel Rojo is an engineer & executive with deep expertise in Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, and Volatility models for investment management. He is one of the founding partners of the first Blockchain ETF (NYSE: BLOK), with $122 million in assets under management as of September 30th, 2020. Previously Gabriel led technology products in several Silicon Valley companies, including Cisco Systems and Quinstreet Inc. Before coming to San Francisco, he ran a digital marketing company in Europe that used machine learning to create content for advertisers.
Gabriel holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Computer Science, an MBA from UC Berkeley and graduated from the Stanford Executive Program.

In this interview, Gabriel shared his knowledge about Bytom, DeFi, and how he will support Bytom’s US and EU markets. This interview is conducted by the Overseas operations manager of Bytom Charles.

Here’s Bytom’s overseas manager Charles’ discussion with Gabriel:

1

Charles: Hi Gabriel,thank you so much for joining this interview, and congratulations on your company, Emerita Capital, becoming a Vapor node. I hope through this interview we can learn more about you and your ideas about Bytom, DeFi and your future plans.

Getting into the questions, when did you start to learn about Bytom? What’s the main point about Bytom that attracts you?

Gabriel: I learned about Bytom for the first time around June 2017. At that point, I was curious about the involvement of Chang Jia, the founder of 8btc.com, as I was already familiar with how popular 8btc.com was in China. Chang Jia was one of the earliest bitcoiners in China and if he was part of the founding team of Bytom I thought it had to be something worth looking into. At that point, there was very little information in English and it was hard to buy the coin in Western exchanges. So you can say I spent a fair amount of time researching the project and trying to figure out its potential. We gradually opened positions during the following months and we have been investors ever since then.

What I found most attractive about Bytom was the promise of merging multiple technologies on one single blockchain to solve some of the issues of previous protocols. The three main technologies that I saw Bytom was implementing in an interesting way were: first, the UTXO architecture of Bitcoin; second, a state machine similar to Ethereum’s; and third, a New BFT consensus protocol that allowed scalability in a similar way to Cosmos. This, together with a combination of Proof-of-Work mining and Proof-of-Stake rewards made the project unique. Where others were cloning, the Bytom team was innovating.

2

Charles: After learning about Bytom, what was the reason you wanted to be a node of the sidechain?

Gabriel: We have an obvious interest in making Bytom succeed, and we believe we can help by becoming a Bytom Vapor node. As a side note, we are also happy to be the first San Francisco-based node of the Bytom sidechain.

3

Charles: DeFi and the innovation of financial products is widely discussed within the blockchain industry. Could you share some of your opinions about DeFi?

Gabriel: Decentralized Finance is a huge area of innovation in the blockchain space. The growth has been spectacular. And it really makes sense: the most popular use case of Bitcoin (the original blockchain protocol) has been as a store of value. Now people want to take the next financial step in using that value that is currently locked in various blockchains. Here comes borrowing/lending/exchanging in a decentralized manner. We, as a community, are redoing the whole financial system from scratch in ways that are significantly more efficient, transparent and fair.

Let’s take one example use case: decentralized exchanges like Ethereum’s Uniswap or its Bytom equivalent, SuperTx. With SuperTx (or Uniswap) anyone can become a market maker in billion-dollar markets. In the traditional financial system, companies like Goldman Sachs or JP Morgan take substantial commissions for making markets in bonds, forex, equities… They have a privileged position because the rules and the economics of these markets are set in such a way that not everyone can compete against them. However, now you as a normal person with just a few dollars in Bytom or Ethereum tokens can compete against other market makers and drive liquidity in these markets, which in turn reduces spreads and transaction costs. The playing field is being leveled at lightspeed.

I think it’s genius and I cannot be more excited.

4

Charles: We recognize blockchain as a decentralized way to rebuild the internet and many of our industries. As a node from California US, what’s your idea about decentralization and how do you think Vapor nodes can help create a better ecosystem? Will you like to cooperate with other nodes and promote Bytom and its ecosystem?

Gabriel: Decentralization is the essence and promise of Blockchain as a technology. We are all in this together. In the near term, developers and communities are putting together the building blocks for the future of finance. In the medium and long term, more industries will succumb to the decentralization promise, with projects such as Filecoin being critical pieces needed to develop that future.

I am a great believer in education as a driver for increased prosperity. The more we can educate the public and other investors about blockchain in general, and Bytom in particular, the more useful these platforms will be for everyone involved, both newcomers (who would be able to take advantage of new efficiencies that can be achieved with the protocol) and current investors (who would see network value grow).

Hence, I believe Vapor nodes such as ourselves should focus on educating the public and investors in our circles, and divulgating as much as possible about how effective this technology is.

5

Charles:Do you have any plans or ideas about how Emerita Capital will support Bytom? What kind of support can Bytom provide to you?

Gabriel: Yes, we are optimistic about the potential that Bytom has, especially considering how little information has been available to Western investors. Our main plan is clear: work together with the Bytom community and the Foundation to better communicate to US and EU markets the benefits of the numerous Bytom’s applications. For example, we believe there are potentially interesting arbitrage opportunities between Bytom’s DeFi apps and Ethereum’s, and many stakeholders would be happy to learn about these.

Secondarily, we are working on multiple areas with traditional investors to offer them access to what we believe is the bleeding edge in Blockchain innovation. We will continue communicating our research to our more traditional audience, which although not fully ready to commit to making the jump to some of these products, are very curious to learn and will gradually be more open to acceptance.

Charles: I hope you enjoyed getting to know Gabriel as much as I did. Once again, congratulations to Emerita Capital for becoming a Vapor Node and remember to stay tuned to social media for more interviews like this in the future.

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