Technology Executive & Former America’s Cup Pro, Sails Into Blockchain & Joins Coral Protocol
(Straight from the mouth of Coral Protocol’s new COO- Jon “Z” Ziskind on his journey to blockchain and his new role) …
It’s 2am and I can’t sleep.
I just landed my dream job. Offer letter signed, sealed and delivered. It’s been a whacky couple of years since I started my first company, ZOS Communications. I was super early to the location space in 2009. My company and team were the early pioneers in the geospatial space and we brought to market many of the location and proximity services we now taken for granted, like geofencing, location awareness and location interactivity.
Since exiting the company as CEO, I’ve had the privilege of working as Chief Revenue Officer as well as Chief Operating Officer for multiple companies — my core responsibilities always being fundraising and ensuring company growth and profitability.
All the while, I’ve been fascinated by the blockchain space. Blockchain, cryptocurrency and the concepts of decentralized ledger technology are going to pave the way of the future and the future of global economics. If you don’t believe this, then no need to read on.
It’s been challenging to sort out what’s real in this area because over 90% of all blockchain solutions being ideated do not need blockchain, and vaporware currencies are popping up daily. Therefore, the mountain of bullshit in this space is enormous and add that to the Wild West nature of this new frontier and it’s hard to depict what is going to stick. That’s also why it’s so exciting.
There are two main problems for crypto: scale and fraud.
These problems need to be addressed before any real mainstream solutions and usage enter into the lives of the masses. If you can’t imagine how this will enter our lives, it may look something like this… It will likely be through a service like Amazon (and no I do not have any professional involvement with Amazon.) I do feel at some point within the next three years, Amazon is going to start to offer Amazon Dollars (or points.) It will be tied to the US dollar. You buy 100 Amazon Dollars and you use those dollars to purchase items. Like prepaying. There will be incentives to do this, like premium pricing when buying with the Amazon Dollars. At some point after a year or so of this, the Amazon Dollar will split from the US dollar and have its own value. This is the moment when alternative currency becomes mainstream. What will happen during this period, is many currencies will be able to purchase Amazon Dollars, including other cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum. We’ll know it’s fully mainstream when Grandma is buying the grandkids Christmas presents with Amazon Dollars….or you receive a $25 Amazon Dollars gift card. What this will mean to Amazon is they are no longer tied to the shifting global economy, but are now their own economy.
All of this will only happen when the ecosystem is scalable and secure. Players in the space have to come together to make this happen and it will be a team effort with a few core teams leading the charge….
This leads me to where I am today.
I was recently introduced to a team laser focused on the problem of fraud in blockchain, Indisputable Labs — a brilliant group of engineers and business folks paving the way to building trust and safety into the system. They’ve created the Coral Protocol in order to allow their customers (exchanges, wallets, banks and large blockchains) to securely score and track fraudulent behavior while maintaining the integrity of the decentralized systems. This is not an easy challenge, but if done correctly will facilitate a global economic change.
Scams, phishing and stealing in cryptocurrency are currently rampant and until they are under control, we will not see an inflection point. The major issues are rather double-sided. There are no regulations yet and the pioneers in blockchain don’t want any. The U.S. put in place the Money Laundering Control Act in 1986, essentially forcing banks to know their customers. In crypto, anonymity is the fundamental principle of the system, so this causes a serious conflict of interest. This is exactly what the Coral Protocol is solving for. While I can’t go into its specific secret sauce, we are seeing customers lining up around the block for the solution (pun intended). This is when a company is at its most exciting and risky time.
And it’s at this critical juncture that I’ve decided to get involved. I love the adventure and how the team really comes together during these moments.
When I met with the the Coral team, my gut told me I was in the right place at the right time. I was immediately blown away. I was excited to discover the level of experience on the team. Many members of this team boasted deep blockchain industry experience (which is rare to come by in this space given just how new it is.) This team brings to the table many, many years of experience architecting, building and taking products to market. They have successfully grown and scaled companies in the payments space. In fact, I’ve never seen a pipeline develop so quickly and so deeply. It smells to me like the rubber is meeting the road and in an industry with explosive opportunity!
Can we follow in the footsteps of companies like PayPal and help drive the industry into the mainstream?
We will or we’ll die trying.