Blockchains are not just the next growth market or investment opportunity; they represent the most important democratising force since the Internet. With this is mind, I am joining Outlier Ventures to head up research and partnerships. I will split my time between providing research to our portfolio companies and exploring new investment opportunities and venture partnerships on behalf of our fund, Outlier Capital LLP.
I will work with our existing portfolio companies to help them build sustainable and profitable businesses. MoneyCircles.com is building social banking platform on the Blockchain. Buyco.io is exploring decentralised collective procurement. BlockStars.io offers blockchain consultancy and AssetCha.in is securing valuables on the blockchain.
I leave Frost & Sullivan, a global research and consulting company, after three years as a strategy consultant in the digital transformation team. I helped companies like Amadeus, Shell, Huawei, and Intel to assess the impact of emerging technologies, validate opportunities in current and adjacent markets and create marketing strategies.
After working across many industries, it became increasingly clear that the macro decentralisation trend is reshaping every company and industry.Decentralisation is the framework I use to explore seemingly disparate trends such as the Internet of Things (IoT), 3D Printing, Drones, Deep learning, reinforcement learning and, most fundamentally, blockchains. I published numerous reports at Frost & Sullivan investigating all of these technologies and their impact on industries including agriculture, healthcare, and financial services.
My thesis is that blockchains will be the data management layer in the technology stack that secures and enables IoT to scale, and provides the platform for artificial intelligence to be accessible and to benefit society broadly. Without blockchains, IoT will be insecure and data will be owned, controlled and ultimately locked down by the companies that own the platforms. With tech platforms moving into connected cars, healthcare and education, this just isn’t a case of having all your emails with one provider. A company will know your genomic data, health records, sleeping habits and educational attainment. We must make sure we as a society don’t allow all of that data to be owned and controlled by a single company.
Even more dangerously, the benefits of artificial intelligence will accrue to those Internet-scale companies such as Google, Facebook and Baidu that have the most data to feed their deep learning models. As data network effects kick in, these companies will collect, retain and leverage proprietary data into ever greater economic and social power through their AIs.Blockchains, as an open-source shared data management tool, has the potential to provide a global incredibly large free-to-access data source for everybody in the world to build AI.
Without blockchains, the era of connected devices and artificial intelligence will further erode privacy and exacerbate societal and economic inequality. I believe blockchains are the single most significant technological development since the Internet, and together with artificial intelligence, will shape our society and economy over the next 25 years.