Hello. Good morning, everyone! Welcome to another episode of our podcast series. Today, we’ll host a special guest, a data scientist with 10+ years of experience. Dr. Stelios Kampakis is a member of the Royal Statistical Society, an honorary research fellow at the UCL Centre for Blockchain Technologies, a data science advisor for London Business School and CEO of The Tesseract Academy. He has worked with decision makers from companies of all sizes, from startups to organizations like the US Navy, Vodafone and British Land.
Dr. Stelios Kampakis is a natural polymath with a PhD in Machine Learning and degrees in Artificial Intelligence, Statistics, Psychology and Economics. His seminal work in token economics has led to many successful token economic designs using tools such as agent-based modeling and game theory. He was also one of the first researchers in blockchain to study and discuss tokenomics.
Question 1 : What is blockchain technology? And how does blockchain work?
Answer : Blockchain is one type of distributed ledger. It’s a distributed database that facilitates transactions in circumstances where there is no trust between parties. This enabled the creation of bitcoin and then the world moved. Also then, the theorem came along, which is virtual computing. And now, many different things are happening in the world of blockchain. All are based on the simple idea of a distributed ledger. Technologies like NFTs and Metaverse also step in the same idea.
Question 2 : What is a common myth about blockchain? What’s something people seem to misunderstand when it comes to blockchain?
Answer : Some people are investing in blockchain or reading about it but do not really understand the underlying technology. Also, some retail investors’ myth is blockchain is crypto. Applications of blockchain have nothing to do with cryptocurrency. Some really good applications have nothing to do with cryptocurrency. One doesn’t need crypto to make blockchain successful.
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Question 3 : How can organizations adopt blockchain?
Answer : In the next few years, blockchain adoption will keep increasing in a few industries. Industries are trying to realize now what blockchain can do for them. So, I believe that the adoption of blockchain depends on education, especially on decision-makers’ behalf. I think the management really needs to understand what blockchain is and what it can do for them. And there are huge barriers to the adoption of blockchain and driving innovation. Adopting becomes easy in organizations where executives really understand what this technology is about.
Question 4 : What are the common challenges of adopting blockchain into business?
Answer : Blockchain technology is quite disruptive in many ways. And many organizations don’t want to undertake the efforts to understand how they can learn about their digital strategy. Essentially because adopting blockchain implies that organizations need to go through digital disruption. That may be too complicated for them. That’s a potential challenge I think many organizations face, mainly big organizations, because smaller companies can be more flexible.
Question 5 : There’s a buzz in the market surrounding decentralized finance. What are your views about that?
Answer : Decentralized finance is a technological movement with the objective of democratizing finance. At the same time, the technology uses the benefits of blockchain to do some cool things which may not be possible with the traditional financial system. We have seen replicating some of the functionalities in traditional finance, like borrowing or lending and decentralized exchanges. Decentralized exchanges, in my opinion, are innovations about traditional exchanges because they are 24X7. They don’t require a human operator to be there. So, I think it’s a fundamental improvement. How many of these are good ideas? And how many of these survive in the long run? It remains to be seen. But essentially, this is like evolution in finance. One of the challenges is that this space has no regulations. Here, we don’t know what the dysregulations look like because the regulators are not sure how to proceed.
Question 6 : What are some of the uses of blockchain in the metaverse?
Answer : Metaverse has started to become the synonym of blockchain. Because essentially, the metaverse is a term that describes the combination of technologies like NFTs, mixed reality, augmented reality, gaming, AI, digital twins, etc. So, I think blockchain plays a huge role in metaverse, primarily in handling data in metaverse and the economy of different metaverse universes, especially around NFTs.
Question 7 : What is one piece of advice you’d give to someone planning to implement blockchain in their business/industry?
Answer : The one piece of advice is understanding why you want to use blockchain. Don’t just get carried by the hype. Understand thoroughly the uses of blockchain, the challenges, and opportunities. Take this as a start to make something more. This will be my main piece of advice. And one of the things I have always been helping decision-makers with my education or book is to communicate how technology works. I think that’s one of the best ways for anyone who wants to build a blockchain in business. That’s the best way to do it.
Alright. I am sure our blockchain podcast will help people get more insights into what is blockchain technology and how they can adopt it. Even some businesses can get some more idea about how to implement it. Thank you so much for your time.