I was born and raised into finance. What I mean by this, is not that my family was in finance, but rather that from a very young age I was attracted to the appeal of global capital markets.
I was managing my own portfolio from the age of 12, saving every scrap I could when I was work at my dad’s butchery and bistro in Kenya, and putting that all into the stock market, the Nairobi stock exchange.
I remember waiting in line for the Safaricom IPO, that’s right, a physical line — it was pretty funny.
Not only that, but they say generation Y doesn’t know what a bear market looks like. Let me tell you, I had no idea what to sell so when I was 14 (in 2008) and the result was that I watched my portfolio go -60% through the financial crisis, only to hold on to everything over the next few years and watch that outstanding return over time, to what is one of the worlds longest bull markets to date.
Naturally, as I went to school, I studied finance, followed by participation in the CFA Program. This led to jobs at CIBC, RBC Dominion Securities , and Sentry Investments. All awesome places and I had the fortune of working with great teams. That experience taught me a huge amount about the inner workings, as well as the shortcomings of the financial system.
I have always loved technology, and from a young age I always programmed a little bit, some C++ games here and there, as I got older I got more involved in Python and the data science applications as they related to finance and frontier markets.
Ethereum captured my heart with the scope and flexibility of the solution offered to the world. A value transfer system combined with a smart contract layer underpinning a global computer — this was the evolution of tech and finance that absolutely had me enthralled.
When we started iComply, the applications that we could think of were unlimited. Everything from co-op models, to capital markets infrastructure to corporate governance applications — our minds were blown left, right and centre.
I feel so lucky to be born at this time.
Ethereum has enabled me to elevate my thinking and process to a truly global basis, when everyone is on the same system, it becomes easy and streamlined to talk to each other and develop tools to assist in this.
Combining my love for decentralization and open finance, with a system that can also serve the broader public is absolutely the sweet spot.
Can you use ethereum to settle private and publicly issued shares?
Of course… and it’s a hell of a lot faster that buying private shares currently.
Can we have censorship resistant messaging and information distribution? Definitely.
Projects like Status and their acquisition of Embark put a twinkle in my eye with the ease they allow people to create Dapps — and the continued progress towards light ethereum nodes on mobile — adoption is key.
Layer 2 infrastructure like 0x and the opportunities it has created for peer to peer value of all assets, whether utility, asset or non fungible based is something I wake up excited about every day.
Lets just dial it back to the general concept of having a token as a means of transfer of value in general, it’s just fantastic — and of course thats not limited to Ethereum.
When you can take a group of an underserved society and give them a wallet on the spot thats linked to tasks, with payment, that’s how we start to get on equal footing. Such was the the result of a program initiated by Code to Inspire — using applications such as the Bounties Network and Metamask.
Did I mention the massive difference the Bittorrent protocol had on my life? Peer to peer transfer, with customized clients, blocks, swarm networks, don’t even get me started.
Ethereum has let me forge a new, irreversible path in life. Everything about the project, the future implementations and improvements, whether Casper, Sharding, Plasma and the general small changes to improve the network are all things that appeal to the direct core that governs my life.
Coding economic incentive models, with real life applications to real businesses, that’s a goal that goes beyond the next cool app.
It’s easy to talk about the next big projects and networks, but the fact remains that an ecosystem is the driving factor. Try find something that permeates and competes with Ethereum in it’s current form. The ammount of applications, frameworks, testing suites, wallets, smart individuals and so much more — this is where I belong.
Thank you Ethereum, I hope to work and develop applications and infrastructure for the rest of my career to bring continued credibility and adoption of a network that can, and is, ushering in a level of global financial communication with that is unprecedented.
Developers may not always see it this way, and the ecosystem can easily get caught up in the hype and the models and proofs set out. But when you know how the real world works, and the ambiguity and degrees of separation in capital markets, you just can’t help but really, really smile.