Hi, my name is Chris. Originally, from the suburbs of Chicago, I moved to Houston to study at Rice University, where I picked up degrees in Mathematics, Philosophy, and Chemical Physics. Then in March 2017, I helped found Topl.
Getting Involved with Blockchain
I caught the blockchain/crypto bug back in 2013 when I started “mining” Ripple XRP by contributing computing power to UC Berkeley’s BOINC grid computing project. From there I discovered the Ethereum whitepaper and was hooked, spending the next few years casually learning, investing, and getting involved with the various pre-launch versions of Ethereum.
In my last year of college, I reignited my love of economics — which I had actually started off majoring in — and met Kim in a class taught at Rice’s Center for Computational Finance and Economic Systems (CoFES). Long a (naive) believer that many problems persisted in large part only for the want of a sufficiently crazy idea, it didn’t take long for me to be convinced by our conversations that blockchain could play a role in innovative development finance to combat the problem of absurdly high capital costs for growing companies.
Getting Started with Topl
I am one of the co-founders and the CEO at Topl. As CEO, I spend my time fairly evenly divided between directly operational strategy — covering hiring and growth roadmaps and legal/regulatory plans of action — and leading Topl’s conceptual design.
As much fun as it is to run around in completely uncharted legal waters and helping to draft structures that even our most experienced outside counsel literally haven’t tried yet, I probably prefer being involved in the highest level of Topl’s design. Marrying novel tools of development finance with the cryptoeconomics involved in how our protocol functions feels like a perfect use of the abstract model building skills that I developed during my time simulating novel materials and theorizing about the metaphysics of consciousness in college.
I’ve always believed that innovation and trial-and-error were necessary tools to solve global problems such as economic, social, and opportunity inequality. I’ve always seen Topl as part of that broader narrative.
From the beginning, I’ve believed in Topl. I’ve always believed that innovation and trial-and-error were necessary tools to solve global problems such as economic, social, and opportunity inequality. I’ve always seen Topl as part of that broader narrative. Over the last 18 months, traveling the world to meet with both sides of the market we will serve, I’ve become only more certain.
I see Topl expanding from the markets where we are already setting up pilots to receive investment in India, Colombia, South Africa, Rwanda, and Fiji. I see us continuing our conversations with organizations such as the UN and the World Bank to bring increased innovation into all of development finance.
My favorite thing about my work with Topl is all the people I’ve met. It’s amazing and encouraging to meet people from developing regions who are working with innovative ideas to improve their local economies and societies. The fact that so many of them have invited us to be part of that journey with them is my biggest driver and the thing I’m most excited about (and humbled by) as I start each day.