DNA’s Brock Pierce on Puerto Rico: “When you experience great loss, it creates an opportunity to upgrade”

On rebuilding the island, the burner mentality, and changing the metrics of success

DNA
DNA
Mar 2, 2018 · 5 min read

DNA is doing more than just helping entrepreneurs launch token ecosystems. Our cofounder, Brock Pierce, is making waves in Puerto Rico along with others in the blockchain community.

They want to build a crypto utopia, a new city where the money is virtual and the contracts are all public, to show the rest of the world what a crypto future could look like. Blockchain, a digital ledger that forms the basis of virtual currencies, has the potential to reinvent society — and the Puertopians want to prove it.

Below, Pierce explains, in his own words, why the current moment is a great opportunity for the island.


Loss is opportunity
I think that Puerto Rico is that perfect situation where amazing things can happen. It’s in these moments where we experience our greatest loss that we have our biggest opportunity to restart and upgrade. It’s in these moments that we can experience these huge changes that wouldn’t be possible otherwise. Puerto Rico can become anything it wants.

It’s in these moments where we experience our greatest loss that we have our biggest opportunity to restart and upgrade.

Helping the phoenix rise
The 51st state with $180 billion in debt, 35% unemployment and now a hurricane hits. I mean it’s devastating what’s happened there. I think those people need our help and I think that we’re capable of so much.

In these times of crisis, the phoenix can rise from the ashes. When you experience great loss, it creates an opportunity to upgrade. Where you can make these giant quantum leaps of upgrades because you basically lost everything and so you have to start over.

The advantage to starting from scratch
When you have to start over from scratch, you can do it very differently than if you have this big thing that’s kinda been building on top of itself for ages and ages. So in this horrible event that’s occurred, there will be a great opportunity that emerges and I wanna be a part of helping the Puerto Rican people. Helping people that are in need. I’m here on this planet to live in service to humanity. I see an opportunity to make a difference in the world and I’m devoting my life to these types of things.

When you have to start over from scratch, you can do it very differently.

The Burning Man mentality
We’re burners. We’re guys that can build cities in the middle of desert. We can do things that very few people in the world can do and why not go down there and construct something awesome that creates all sorts of opportunity for the Puerto Rican people to support the Puerto Rican people and any of the indigenous tribes and old ways of being. And making sure that they have the freedoms that they need to still be respected.

We’re guys that can build cities in the middle of desert.

Living in harmony
With things like Standing Rock going on today, I’m spending a lot of time thinking about the indigenous tribes. Most of the world’s resources, most of the world’s minerals and water and things that we need to survive are on the lands of the indigenous people.

And we think in our big cities, that we’re somehow superior and that you have these people that have old ways of being that are just incredibly beautiful. In all of these places, such people that have been doing this for so long and doing it so well that because it looks primitive to us, because we don’t understand their ways…They’ve learned how to live in harmony. They have had their avatar, that’s where they are. We’re not necessarily the advanced ones.

The right intention
The only way to fix Puerto Rico is with brain game, to bring the intellectual and human capital there — in a way that it’s done with the right intention.

The first thing we explain is: Show up with the right intention. This is not a gold rush. There are a lot of tax incentives but it’s not a gold rush.

I recommend people show up and get to know the island. Get to know its history. Figure out how to give your gifts with no expectation in return. People need help right now.

Your first action is how you show up. That’s the intention and the purpose by which you operate. Then you’re set up to do great things. If we get to about 500 of us that operate with this type of mentality. That’s where the culture gets set.

I think Puerto Rico’s going to become the center of the world. We can do something so game changing, so different than anything that anyone’s done and show the world what mankind is capable of when we show up right and act as one.

Changing the metrics
A billionaire to me is someone who’s positively impacted the lives of a billion people. A unicorn is a community that’s positively impacted the lives of a billion people. I like that because I like changing the metrics. You think of something like the Forbes 400, a list of the 400 wealthiest people. Someone like Richard Branson has been falling off the list because he’s giving it all away and doing great things with it. It’s this idea of compounding interest in that case but there’s another thing when you start to give: compounding impact. And Puerto Rico needs a lot of impact. So we’re here to help Puerto Rico, the people and the place.

A billionaire to me is someone who’s positively impacted the lives of a billion people.


To learn more, attend Blockchain Unbound (Mar 14–16, 2018). It’s a conference focused on connecting Puerto Rico with visionary entrepreneurs and investors in the blockchain, cryptocurrency, and ICO vertical. All profits from the event will be donated to charities helping Puerto Rico recover from hurricane’s Maria and Irma. DNA will be there in full force and we’d love to hear from you if you attend.

Blockchain Unbound: How Blockchain & Digital Currencies will Rebuild Puerto Rico. March 14–16th, 2018.

This post has been edited and condensed from a recent Brock Pierce talk in Los Angelese and the following interviews:


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Thoughts from DNA

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