Journey to the Center of the Ether
Sharing the vision and perspective of a founder
Blockchain and cryptocurrencies have emerged as a legitimate force in recent years with real potential to revolutionize and shake up several industries down to their foundations. Everybody talks about it — from hot girls at the club to my mom…
While it began seeping into the collective consciousness, WisePass co-Founder Lam Tran kept a watchful eye on its progression. Here is the story in his own words of how he ended up deciding to do an ICO.
Chapter 1 : The mercenary and The missionary
I closed my round of funding with Expara as a lead investor last year in September 2017. It had been a long and tiring process since it had first started with the startup accelerator VIISA in January 2017. In April of that year, I had the chance to pitch WisePass to a panel of investors where I could share updates and developments in the short window of time I was given.
Right after the funding, I had some people meeting me and asking if I wanted to do an ICO… The pitch went as follows:
‘Let’s do an ICO, it’s easy and you can raise a lot of money. I have friends around that are really famous and we can connect them to WisePass….’
Long story short, I quickly rejected the pitch. I don’t believe in easy money and I don’t think money can grow on trees like they suggested. I was more focused on building a global business which I had set up my 30’s to build. I am more than willing to take 10 years to build it until the next generation can take over and build the next big thing. You can read all about this in an article I wrote in Tech in Asia a couple years ago.
Chapter 2 : Like Columbus, I discovered the new world
Later in December 2017, I was in Bangkok covering for my Global Sales Manager while he took a couple weeks off for Christmas. I was having some alone time and decided to look more into the growing ICO craze as Bitcoin was rising to $19,000 USD… only to quickly crash soon after.
I started to look at ICO more seriously to understand what people were doing and what the main drivers were for each stakeholder as it still wasn’t clear.
I became increasingly curious and the more I went out discussing it with friends I trusted, the more I began to understand. A friend of mine who’s working for a bank in Hong Kong had been investing in ICOs. He put forward $70,000 USD and has since made over $500,000 USD.
For him, it was a quicker way to make money and as a self-proclaimed geek, his love for technology and engineer-oriented mind was amazed about the scalability of blockchain technology. It surprised me that such a risk averse guy would be willing to put up so much money…
Chapter 2.2 : The founder side
In January 2018, I came to HCMC and spoke with another good friend who is the founder of an e-commerce company. He had raised millions of dollars and opened in a couple markets already and asked if I were in the crypto space. I told him that I had started to consider it. He said that we should meet and after some discussion I was finally convinced to make an ICO.
What persuaded me was that WisePass is a lifestyle app that already works with established businesses. By establishing a utility token, WisePass can connect the crypto world to the real economy. PASS tokens can act as a bridge so people can truly indulge everyday with their cryptocurrency. A major problem businesses have within the crypto world has already been taken care of through our established partnerships with big brands.
Chapter 2.3 : The Blockchain Side
At the end of the day, blockchain is a decentralized database that is more reliable. It requires less dependence on trust between human beings during transactions and more reliance placed on the technology.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution has started and it seems that the economy is moving towards blockchain technology. The question now is more related to discovering which players will take over the industry and how fast will their takeover take.
I don’t have the answer today. I can’t read the future, I can merely follow my instincts and make educated guesses. There will certainly be an extremely strategic bid on the technology, perhaps more so then VR or AR as I can’t see its clear business application today. With the limited resources of a startup, I can’t really bet on various technologies.
Chapter 3 : Lead the believers to the (Digital) Promised land
I haven’t focused my 30’s on becoming a millionaire or billionaire, I have chosen my 30’s to leave a legacy for the next generation so they can be more long-term focused. I believe blockchain is an opportunity that can help to fulfill the vision of WisePass. We seem to be heading towards a much different world and an even more digital one.
I’ve never felt so alive pitching the company as I did last month when I was discussing with someone I sadly failed to hire. I was sharing with them that I want to make sure that WisePass would be available on Mars by 2025 if I can make a deal with Elon Musk. That would be a major milestone for us and maybe then I would be ready to let the next generation take over.
For more information including a link to the latest version of the whitepaper, check out: http://ico.wisepass.co/
To join the discussion and keep up-to-date with the latest news and information from the team, be sure to join the WisePass Telegram discussion at: https://t.me/wisepass