Deep Dive Israel vol.1
“Bitcoin Blockchain Interview”
(the first half)
Tel Aviv has been inscribed on the World Heritage Site as the “white city “. In rare cases, temperature may go up more than 40 degrees, but I feel it is very comfortable when entering in the shade, and there is also a sea breeze blowing from the Mediterranean Sea, so I felt there is a big difference with the desert climate of the Middle East.
In Japan, “Israel” is the symbol of “WAR”, but I have impression it is not dangerous area, but summer resort since I live here over six months, and it feels like much nicer to spend life than in Japan and Singapore.
Samurai Incubated Inc. established their global branch in Tel Aviv in May 2014 afterward, it continues to get more exposure for their presence in Israel and Japan, many major Japanese companies are requesting for a startup investigation for their M&A, investments, and also looking for the chance to hold “hackathon” with Israeli interesting startups. Yes, I think it is the time to reveal their secret of startup nation, which ranked at the top class of startup ecosystem in the world.
The 2015 Global Startup Ecosystem Ranking is live!
From this time, fortunately, Japanese top Bitcoin media “Bitcoin News” gave me an opportunity to deliver the latest trends of Bitcoin and Blockchain projects in here Israel. Since I live and work in Israel, where is one of the financial system birthplace, so we want to provide the articles featuring on it to my friends by an unique style which is inspired by the Japanese famous TV program named “telephone shocking” to pass the interview baton to their next friends to create a circle of friend around virtual currency community.
First bar of Blockchain is Mr. Ayal Yona Segev who is assigned as the Ambassador of Israeli Bitcoin Embassy, and Mr. Ofer Rotem who is an angel investor to continue investing in Bitcoin related technologies.
Hori: Okay, go ahead! So first question to all of you is, what is the trend of Bitcoin and Blochchain project in Israel?
Ayal: I realized that yesterday, I was thinking there are a lot of start-ups in Israel that are focused on ColoredCoins.
Hori: ColoredCoin protocol?
Ayal: Because ColoredCoins — there’s something very special about Israel, Meni Rosefeld, which is active in the Israeli community has written one of the first articles in the BitcoinTalk forum about colored coins and we had three start-ups in Israel that has tried to develop the protocol. Two of them now, the people from the start-ups work together in a company called Colu.co
Hori: Colu.co? I met them in the last week! They provide au unique plat form to distribute digital assets on the block chain.
Ayal: Yeah, they make the token for — anyway, this company is now a commercial company trying to make the standard before that. We have a startup company that have got funding from eToro, from other people in the meeting and this is one idea that has been developed mainly from Israel, even though it’s an international idea.
Hori: Yea, so I feel that this is the three big block chain foundation, Counterparty, Omni and the Colored Coins, I feel.
Ayal: And you know Ron Gross, cryptography? Ron Gross, he was the CEO of MasterCoin. He’s a longtime international activist and he was CEO of MasterCoin. So for one year also, MasterCoin was growing not in Israel but in the world.
Hori: Okay, so you mentioned that the ColoredCoin, this is the most active focus in all the new startups, the three startups — is Colu.co, and others?
Ofer: Those are Israeli, all three of them—
Hori: These are ColoredCoin basis. Oh cool.
Ayal: And they are trying to develop a global standard –
Ayal: — for colored coin. And of course Israel is very strong with security.
Hori: Security point of view, yes, yes. From the engineer’s point of view, what is the trend of the security in Israel?
Ayal: Some thick block chain.
Ofer: It’s like securing –
Ofer: They basically secure Bitcoin management in large organizations. So they divide the organization into different classes or different permissions. Every person has his own permissions and limited access to money so there won’t be fraud from within.
Hori: I see, and these startups are more focused on these types of segregation, for example.
Ofer: Yeah, they solve this you know, by sophisticated technology. This is basically what they do.
Hori: So this is an Israeli startup also? Amazing.
Ayal: And we have another trend, I’m sorry, I think about it. It’s called attention economy.
Hori: Attention economy?
Ayal: So we have GetGems that got funding from Magma and —
Hori: GetGems is from Israel?
Hori: GetGems is from Israel? Amazing.
Ofer: I know they are pretty big in Japan. They have…
Ayal: Messenger app
Hori: I also use GetGems
Hori: So once we finish the interview, please introduce me to your friend. Like a GetGems CEO?
Ayal: We’re not far away actually —
Ofer: We can walk you there.
Hori: This is a Japanese TV show program named “Telephone Shocking”, meaning they invite very famous person everyday and after the interview, maybe show time in 30 minutes, and then the guy introduces their best friend and then to chain, and chain. I think this is an interview —
Ofer: This is fantastic.
Hori: This is fast block chain.
Ayal: In Israeli, that’s a strong concept and because it’s a very small country and everybody knows everybody, so —
Hori: So if you know GetGems, the CEO or some CTO, please introduce me. I’m doing an interview and then make a report maybe we could weekly, bi-weekly, monthly and then increase the visibility of Israeli Bitcoin related startups to Japanese market.
Ofer: We’d be happy.
Hori: Thank you very much. So again, attention economy —
Ayal: GetGems, which is — we don’t need to explain because you know they do, which is an idea eventually is that you get paid for your attention for using the application and getting messages or giving attention to it, trying to promote something to somebody else. And then you have Synereo, which is a bigger — it’s funded by, it’s crowdfunded and it’s sort of like, I’d say
Ofer: Like Facebook.
Ayal: Like Facebook on block chain? It’s a little of an inspiration right now, I mean –
Ofer: It’s very big right now.
Ayal: It has a few stages too.
Hori: Synereo. So this is already funded by crowdfunding? Already succeeded?
Ofer: Yeah, they got some funding, crowdfunding.
Hori: Oh really? Amazing.
Ofer: They sold their tokens.
Hori: Like a Bitcoin site. Like an Omni Foundation?
Hori: Understand, understand. What are they doing? Like also like an attention economy-related startup?
Ayal: Yes. They actually developed a lot of theories around it.
Hori: Theories? Okay.
Ofer: Yea, like psychological theories about how people communicate with one another, how do connections — how are they built? You know, connections between people.
Ayal: And they try to implement that in a peer-to-peer environment. So we don’t know what’s going now.
Hori: This is a very early stage?
Ofer: It is, you can see on their websites they have explanations and very good graphic designers but —
Hori: I see, I see. Peer-to-peer stuff and how to connect the each user, right? So why on the block chain?
Ayal: Existing — like Facebook. But the idea is that Facebook and Wikipedia and all of these are — Google, are benevolent dictatorship and —
Hori: Sorry, sorry. Benevolent dictatorship. Very difficult word for a Japanese.
Ayal: So it says — it means that Jimmy Wales or Sergey Brin or — they do know evil, they try to help. Yes, it’s perfect. Even Zuckerberg, if he’s not nice but he does a good job.
Ayal: But one day, maybe they’re not there, then we can see any kind of political abuse of the system because they are controlled.
Ofer: They are centralized, right? And they are making money from commercials, from getting your attention basically. You click on a commercial, you give your attention to that commercial and they get money from it. So Synereo wants to distribute that, to make it decentralized peer-to-peer and there is no central authority that is making money from your attention.
Hori: So this type, like you know, NameCoin also, NameCoin, NameCoin?
Hori: NameCoin, like Dot-Bit? This is a domain site, this is on block chain, like a P2P. This is decentralized but there is a possibility that it is used as money laundering, something to box things? What is the difference of like — if Synereo providing the P2P on the block chain is more decentralized? No police, no government?
Ofer: Yeah, that’s true, you know what happens if people do bad things with technology?
Ofer: Right? I mean, people do bad things. There is child pornography on the Internet. There are a lot of, you know — the Internet gives people a way to communicate with one another, so good people can communicate with one another but also bad people can communicate with one another. Now, do you want to close the Internet?
Hori: Ya because this is — if this type of project, like Synereo on block chain, they’re using the decentralized, D-up, like a more P2P communication so I think this is every time, there is this question. How to avoid money laundering and how to solve this boxing complication? Any idea or trending in general?
Ayal: Actually Synereo, being a social construct, trying to solve this –
Ayal: It tries to solve this problem in a more psychological way, so essentially in a system like Bitcoin, we have a system that you don’t need a membership, you don’t need to know people to join the system. You make a wallet or you start mining, so anybody can use it. But with a system like Synereo, you have to know people, you have to become friends and you have to invest time in relationships. And this relationship will have effect on your memberships and your effects, so essentially it’s like we are all responsible for right people and our country so on.
Ofer: There will be shaming mechanisms.
Ayal: That’s what we do with Facebook right now. We shame.
Ofer: It’s to put someone to shame. It’s to say, to tell, “He did a bad thing, he crossed the intersection on a red light with his car” and you post it on Facebook and now everybody knows he did a bad thing.
Hori: I think this is one way to solve or avoid this bad thing. It’s a good idea.
Ayal: But some people take it bad. People sometimes get really nasty.
Ofer: So you need to balance everything. There needs to be a balance.
<To be continued…>