Travelling around the world with a blockchain expert
Jon Poole, Community Lead and Business Development at Oasis
In the latest instalment of our ‘Traveling around the world with a blockchain expert’ series, we are thrilled to hear from Jon Poole, Community Lead and Business Development at Oasis.
So, read on for a fascinating insight into Jon’s thoughts.
What’s your background?
I’m Half Chinese, ⅛ Spanish, ⅛ Irish, ⅛ Norwegian and ⅛ English (where I get my last name), but I’m a proud Canadian.
I was a Hockey player from the age of 3 and I played Elite hockey year-round until I was 17 paired with various sports throughout high school (rugby, wrestling, volleyball). Players I skated against account for over 10 Stanley cup rings, a world junior gold medal with Sydney Crosby, and an Olympic Gold medal at home here in Vancouver in 2010. The sport of Track and Field is where I was scouted from the Provincial Decathlon to the Canadian National Bobsleigh Team as an Olympic Prospect.
At the age of 17, I made a difficult decision to put sports on hold to travel with a Professional Theater Production Company. I performed across North America in over 100 shows as the Lead male Actor and was also the youngest member on tour. Following several tours, I began seeking educational opportunities. I moved into insurance and finance, where I learned a crash course on how the rich used ingenious techniques to simplify wealth from several incredible financial and tax gurus who continue to impress the industry in Vancouver today. I was told to push products, policies, and upsell individuals. It didn’t take long for me to realize that the traditional financial industry didn’t feel right deep down. I left the traditional financial industry, and ironically many of these methods I learned have been reinvented in what we call DeFi today.
In my early twenties, I decided to get a plan B; a Red Seal Trade ticket. I picked up the tools and began an apprenticeship with the Sheetmetal Workers Local 280, obtaining my Journeyman ticket in less than four years. For all four years, I was top of my class. In my third year, the hardest of the four, I set a record for the highest marks in union history of 97%. I also worked on the side while in school. At the same time, the office cross trained me as a Solidworks 3D CAD Detailer/Designer, Estimator, Project Manager, and Procurement Manager.
A motor vehicle accident that nearly took my life forced me to retire from the Sheet Metal Industry in 2012. After a lengthy full-body recovery, I returned three years later and led the company to its first globally recognized COR Safety and ISO Quality Certifications in history. Since semi-retiring again from the sheet metal industry to focus on Oasis, I have successfully completed the company’s first-ever Aboriginal Partnership with the Okanagan Indian Band, the first-ever company Joint-venture with Houle Electric, and the largest contract in company history with BC Hydro, a government contract doubling the companies previous annual revenue. I am also the SMACNA young executive president for British Columbia. https://www.smacna.org/
During my time at Oasis, I felt the need to earn an academic certificate (like everyone else on the team, lol), so I spent the last few years completing online courses. I also spent a month in Carlsbad, California, completing all my in-person Lab classes. I am also a third-generation Jeweller, my Grandfather was a Goldsmith, and my Aunt has been a GIA GG Gemologist for over 30 years in LA. A private jeweller for select clients, I am a certified Diamond specialist and am just shy of achieving my GIA GG — Gemmology Certification in Diamonds, Gemstones, and precious metals.
Don’t let that fool you though! I’m an Angel investor and have completed over 15 deals in 2021, which I’m extremely excited about. Voyager Space Holdings is one I’m very excited for, along with Xplore, Axiom, SpaceX, Space Forge, PlanetIQ, New Age Meats, and the social media platform Discord.
What experience do I have in blockchain?
My experience in Blockchain started in 2016/2017 when making money was the primary focus for the majority in Blockchain. The wild west of finance was an incredible time of excitement. I was given incredible opportunities to become an Angel Investor just as the ICO Boom was taking place. I played around with a few master nodes and considered a validator company, much like the ones you see today. But investing, making money, is what I really enjoyed doing. Over the next few years, I committed more and more of my time and focus to my new addiction, crypto. Managing a private investment fund for the next few years, I learned the ins and outs of the industry, and when the opportunity presented itself to attend some in-person conferences, I didn’t hesitate — I dove headfirst into networking. I was purchasing VIP tickets to every conference I could attend, and it paid off, accessing deal flow that would otherwise be impossible. One thing led to another, and I was given my first opportunity to prove myself, and the rest is history. I’m also a Seed Round investor in Oasis…
Oh, I also built; the Certik community, the Oasis community, the Oasis Ambassador Program and closed countless partnerships for the Oasis Network.
What is your role at Oasis? What do you do on a daily basis?
I have the pleasure of a Hybrid role; Community Lead and Business Development. My days are mixed with a variety of focuses, whether its social media engagement, team planning sessions, or negotiating partnerships. If it promotes the development of The Oasis Network in a positive way, I’m open to it. Since the pandemic began, my duties have been much more screen time focused, but in the near future I’m sure I’ll be seeing many of you at conferences and events around the world.
When did you start working in the blockchain space? What made you get into it?
I’m an Angel investor with an investment thesis focused on Blockchain, Space, and disruptive technologies. When I first started “working” in Blockchain, it was actually helping to protect what I believed to be an amazing investment opportunity.
I had been managing a private investment fund for several years, which gave me access to some amazing projects, managing over 10 Million USD in deal flow. Many of these projects faced similar growing pains as the industry embraced the concept of Tokenizing their business and Decentralizing ownership. When you publicly tokenize your business, you rely on Community and Social Media much more than you initially may have thought, and many of these projects needed a template to hit the ground running. I was approached by Kingsley Advani and Benjamin Kong with Chainfund Capital, who made me an offer to assist them with this task. Ben just so happens to be my cousin and is the person who brought me into Blockchain in the first place.
There were two projects of interest, Certik and Oasis Labs. As time went on, a choice needed to be made; continue structuring new projects or stay with a single project with which I had enjoyed working on from day one.
The decision was easy.
Not only do I believe deeply in data tokenization, confidential computation, and differential privacy, something incredibly valuable to the community and enterprise businesses around the world, I also believe in the humanitarian cause behind data monetization and giving that income to those in need. Empowering individuals with a basic income through their user data is something that I love hearing Dawn speak about. Her vision is really what made me stay with Oasis, and growing with this team and community is what will keep me going for years to come.
Name another blockchain project you admire & why
I admire the team over at Solana. We grew together side by side in the early days in SF before their incredible journey to where they are today. Networking events, Panel talks in each other’s offices, and late-night drinks walking the questionable SF streets making jokes about where we might be in a few years from now. Well done to the team over at Solana and my old partner Dom.
What drew you to Oasis?
The irresistible feeling that I had become a part of something much larger than myself. The conviction that this team takes on to change the modern world as we know it is extremely deep. I’m incredibly proud to be in the conversation alongside Hall of Fame Computer Science Ph.D. holders who are trailblazing the future we deserve.
What excites you the most about Oasis?
Oasis provides an opportunity in history much like the birth of the modern internet. It’s a breakthrough in science and technology that brings new use cases never before seen. The problem Oasis is tackling is the way we use data and the delusion of modern privacy.
Blockchain has provided Dawn Song with the missing link to her research, she is holding the holy grail of computer science within the Oasis Network. I’m so excited about the evolution of what is possible with a split computation and consensus blockchain architecture; TEE’s, cloud MPC, differential privacy and privacy-preserving queries on data sets, not to mention data tokenization with privacy at its root (immutable ownership).
Oasis is going to change the world in ways where not only traditional enterprises may benefit, but the users themselves will benefit from projects you and I are unable to comprehend or understand today.
What do you think the future will look like for Oasis? Why do you think it will succeed?
Oasis will be a globally recognized company with a broad ecosystem led by its incredible community and supporters. We have the largest University Program in all of Blockchain, the strongest, most vibrant Ambassador Team with an onramp to careers in Blockchain, and will be a household name as the leader in Privacy in Blockchain. Our success is led by our Founder and leader, Dawn Song, who is grooming the next generation of builders at UC Berkeley by pioneering the world’s first Computer Science courses teaching Privacy within Blockchain.
Which person in the blockchain space do you most admire?
Angel Investor Benjamin Kong brought me into blockchain and has been a wonderful influence and supporter of me since day 1. Thank you for changing my life cuz!
Do you think blockchain is the future? Why? What will it take to become mainstream in the future?
Yes. There’s no going back from what we’ve discovered. Computer Science has been waiting for this breakthrough for decades, and now that it’s here, we’re in for a ride.
What will make Blockchain mainstream, is the cross-over between traditional enterprise businesses endorsing and committing to change within the way they access/store and use user data, much like we’re seeing, right now, for Climate tech. Enterprise businesses are no longer permitted to pollute our environment and are incentivized to commit to alternative solutions that are win-win for everyone. The hottest start-up sector right now is Climate tech and it’s purely driven by the need for change. We will eventually see this social pressure towards companies and the way our data is monetized, and the solution will be the Oasis Network.
What are your hobbies and interests?
I’m an adventurer. Sports, hockey, VR gaming, and PC gaming, anything outdoors including hunting (I harvested two black bears this spring, and I have a short vid on my Instagram of the hunt), hiking, mountaineering, iRacing e-racing, I love cooking, have a green thumb for Bansaii and gardening, gambling, poker, and watersports, absolutely anything that’s fun and exciting! I also DJ and produce digital music (deep-house and downbeat).
I volunteer a lot with children’s sports teams and activities. I was an assistant hockey coach for several years (undefeated three years straight), gave skating lessons to toddlers through to teenagers, and was an assistant coach for my stepson’s football (soccer) team. This year I also coached his Track and Field; he got 1st in the 100m, 1st in the long jump, 3rd in hurdles :). I am a nurturer and love pets and taking care of things.
What do you consider to be your biggest achievement to date? What are you most proud of?
Many people would think it’s my work achievements throughout my various endeavours, but I’m most proud of my personal achievements. When you spend a decade rebuilding your life from losing it in a moment, you gain a perspective and an appreciation for life. I’m proud of my perseverance and ability to overcome life’s obstacles. I had begun a new routine to pursue a return to Bobsleigh training the day before my accident. At 26, I was told I would never run, skate, or lead a healthy adult life again, and find dormant hobbies and not get my hopes up of a full recovery. I would have to retire from sheet metal and find a new career. Joke’s on them, I found Blockchain.
What is your motto?
Throughout most of my adult life, I’ve lived by the motto “Work hard, play hard”, but as I’ve experienced the more challenging obstacles of life, I’ve added a few more to my mental health routine. Quality over quantity, mind over matter, be your biggest supporter, envision achieving your goals (yes, set goals), and don’t forget to look around and smell the roses.
“The tragedy of life is in what dies inside a man while he lives…” — Norman Cousins
You can get in touch with Jon on Social Media: