Community Spotlight: Andy Woolmer
A discussion on Nano, Cryptocurrency and Financial Markets
On Tuesday, the Nano Foundation added its first official adviser, Andy Woolmer, so I thought I’d mix it up a bit and chat with him a bit more in-depth. Andy sat down with me today and shared his thoughts on Nano and cryptocurrency in general. I hope you all enjoy!
Troy: When did you first start looking into cryptocurrencies and how were you introduced to Nano?
Andy: I gained interest in cryptocurrency about 4 or 5 years ago, but only followed it through the news or articles, nothing serious. In September of last year, George Coxon introduced me to Nano. Her and her brother James were quite involved in the project. We caught back up in January and have been talking about potential applications since.
Could you speak a bit on how cryptocurrency is viewed within traditional financial markets and how those views have evolved over the past several years?
I don’t think the view has changed very much. Most people in finance don’t see the benefit due to there not being many practical use cases currently, it’s mostly speculation from retail investors. At the same time, we are starting to see more market makers, ones operating in the traditional sense as opposed to “crypto market making services”, moving in to the space, but it is still a drop in the bucket.
It feels to me like the whole thing is happening like a micro version of the internet. Most rational questions are being asked about utility and value. The impact we have seen so far is fairly negligible, but that is a good thing because it shows how much room there is to grow. The landscape is changing quickly and it is certainly exciting.
As you are coming from a traditional finance background, what applications or areas are you most interested to see Nano integrated or adopted?
I’m looking to work alongside the Nano Foundation to form a junction between the crypto-market and the FIAT market. If a cryptocurrency can show its function in real terms of value, then we are at a great start. It’s important to show what the coin can do in the real world; I think Nano has tremendous potential in the settlement chain.
Look, the dollar is a great form of money, you have to do special things to supersede the dollar. How do you improve it? It’s obviously very difficult, but if you fundamentally can settle faster and have the ability to identify who is on either end of the chain, you have two very useful components and potential for real utility.
Blockchain’s killer use is for currencies. Obviously, decentralization is key, as is the distribution. Currencies need a unit of account, a means of exchange and to be a store of value. Nano’s block-lattice design, with such fast transactions with no cost, gives it a clear advantage.
What are your thoughts on the direction Nano is taking compared to other cryptocurrencies?
I find it quite interesting to see how several cryptocurrencies are trying to model themselves after corporations, specifically that they are selling a product. People who are building currencies, they are building social utilities. They are not the corporation themselves.
In my view, entrepreneurs and developers who see the value in a cryptocurrency should be expanding the eco-system by creating businesses taking advantage of a coin’s value proposition. Many people view the coin itself as the business, when in reality the businesses are just starting to appear. For me, it has been tremendous watching the community build and support Nano over the last year and I’m thrilled to be working with the Foundation to keep moving the project in the right direction.