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November 10, 2020

In Conversation With

Why Matthew Roszak thought bitcoin would be further along in 2020 with Bloq

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Bloq co-founder Matthew Roszak first heard about bitcoin in 2010-2011 when he was chairman of a social gaming company in Singapore. As a venture capitalist, he knew that there was either something “not here” or something “really here,” based on the reaction from other venture capitalists, and he went on to back Kraken, Coinbase and other early exchanges, wallets and payment processors. He also invested in Ethereum and Ethereum killers including Block.One, EOS and others.

Roszak discussed the evolution of Bloq, which he co-founded alongside Jeff Garzik, since the early days when they built Fidelity’s first bitcoin wallet.

(18:35) “At the end of the day we’re plumbers, we’re builders, we’re kind of sitting behind the scenes of a lot of projects and platforms. Today Bloq is building a lot of the core infrastructure to underpin blockchains, so that’s nodes, data, staking services and a whole other portfolio of things that will be coming out later this year/next year…All these services, whether storage, compute, etc., they’re vending machines that require a token for the service. And so abstracting that and saying, we have an engine that will help you find storage based on time, security and cost, based on these parameters, and we’ll just deliver that to you. And so we’re creating this program that harmonizes that experience. Because right now it’s really difficult to get all that individually. And so that’s what Bloq is building toward.”

Teana asked him about when the blockchain will add critical value as opposed to souped up database for enterprises like large banks to manage information.

(21:23) “I think it’s still early in that curve for them. I think they’re more predisposed to just buy some bitcoin in their Treasury than to dive into a tokenized network. Because it’s just easier and more discreet to say, oh yeah, we’re into the crypto. But for them to light up a new tokenized affinity token for their customers — when they buy more, they get more kind of a thing — tracking and tracing a lot of that with these incentives, that doesn’t seem like a heavy lift. But it’s so external, there’s marketing, there’s compliance, all these other things that are more complicated to do and orchestrate. And so I think people tokenizing their mileage points and being able to trade those mileage points…if these mileage points, these affinity points are thought of carefully, they could be really amazing currencies for those ecosystems.”

Roszak explained that he thought the bitcoin would be further along in 2020 than it is and that it would be used widely for payments by now, saying:

(25:48) “I think in the early internet, a lot of the pitch decks, a lot of the ideas actually were spot on. It just took an extra 10 years to get there. In this case, I think if I look back at what we’re doing here, it’s a lot different. It’s not like you and I are trading photos on Instagram. This is money. And so the adoption of money, the trust factors around money, the compliance, the custody, the confidence, all that stuff, it takes a lot longer to bake that cake. And so it’s still in the oven, and it’s still baking. And you know you’re kind of checking on it, it’s like hey…it’s baking really well. And so I think seeing signals over the last year, I can’t be more bullish about, certainly bitcoin and the rest of the ecosystem. I’m more bullish now than I’ve ever been…It’s kind of satisfying to see big name investors, public companies engaging in this.”

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Gerelyn Terzo
Gerelyn caught wind of bitcoin in mid-2017 and after learning about the peer-to-peer nature of Satoshi's creation has never looked back. Previously she covered institutional investing and fintech for several major trade publications. Gerelyn resides in Verona, N.J.

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