It's the end of the year and that time for us to reflect on an amazing 12 months. Here's a little recap from us from our meetups and podcast. We're excited to see where we head to in 2024 and hope you'll be there with us!
Note: Chain Reaction (our Substack newsletter) will be out on 2nd January, not the 1st. Going to need some recovery time from the NYE festivities!
Aus DeFi's 2023 meetups showcased a remarkable journey, illustrating the dynamic and evolving landscape of blockchain technology and its applications in various sectors.
First Half of 2023
Early 2023: Focus on Blockchain FundamentalsInitial meetups concentrated on educating attendees about blockchain basics, smart contracts, and the potential of decentralized finance (DeFi).Discussions on the impact of blockchain on traditional banking and finance sectors were prevalent.
Mid 2023: Real-World Blockchain ApplicationsLater events delved into practical applications, featuring case studies of blockchain in supply chain management, healthcare, and government.A notable session highlighted blockchain's role in enhancing transparency and efficiency in supply chains.
Late First Half: Regulatory Landscape and SecurityA series of talks were dedicated to understanding the regulatory environment surrounding blockchain and cryptocurrencies.Cybersecurity in blockchain became a pivotal topic, addressing common threats and best practices for safeguarding digital assets.
Second Half of 2023
Mid-Year: The Rise of NFTs and Web3Focus shifted to the burgeoning world of Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) and their diverse applications in art, gaming, and digital ownership.Web3 and its promise of a decentralized internet captured attendees' interest, with discussions on how blockchain is pivotal to this new era.
Late 2023: Advanced Blockchain TechnologiesAdvanced topics like Layer 2 solutions, scalability issues, and Ethereum 2.0 were key highlights.Discussions about decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) and their governance models provided insights into future organizational structures.
End of Year: Looking AheadThe final meetups of the year were reflective, looking at the progress made and future trends in blockchain.A significant emphasis was on sustainability in blockchain, exploring eco-friendly practices and green cryptocurrencies.
Throughout the year, Aus DeFi's meetups maintained an undercurrent of optimism about blockchain's potential while advocating for responsible innovation and education in the sector. The events were a melting pot of ideas, bringing together enthusiasts, experts, and novices, all united by a shared interest in the transformative power of blockchain technology.
Shane Verner from Fireblocks (Episode 19): This episode featured Shane Verner, the Australian and New Zealand Sales Director at Fireblocks, a global digital asset infrastructure provider. Key discussions revolved around Fireblocks' mission of providing digital asset services to institutional clients, the importance of cyber security in digital asset management, and the future of tokenization in various sectors. Shane shared insights on Fireblocks' growth, the evolution of the platform to support a broader range of services in the blockchain ecosystem, and the significance of security in blockchain infrastructure.
Danielle Marie from Saltera (Episode 20): Danielle Marie, associated with Saltera, a web3 registered training organization, and founder of She's Blockchain Savvy, shared her journey into the blockchain world. Coming from a non-technical background, Danielle emphasized the importance of education in blockchain and her passion for bringing more women into the space. The episode highlighted the potential of blockchain in disrupting traditional industries and the role of education in fostering a skilled workforce in this evolving sector.
Fletcher and Jock from Hashlock (Episode 21): In this insightful episode, we welcomed Fletcher and Jock, the dynamic duo behind Hashlock, a firm specializing in smart contract auditing. With backgrounds in software development, cryptography, and cybersecurity, they shared their journey into the world of blockchain and the critical role of security in this space. They emphasized the importance of manual analysis in auditing smart contracts, distinguishing it from the automated approaches used by many. Hashlock’s bespoke method focuses on identifying vulnerabilities and loopholes that automated tools might miss, ensuring a more robust and secure product. Their expertise and approach highlight the intricate balance between innovation and security in the rapidly evolving world of web3 and blockchain.
Ben Simpson from Collective Shift (Episode 22): Ben discussed the unique approach of Collective Shift towards decentralized finance, especially in the context of recent financial market turmoil. He emphasized the importance of community and education in the blockchain space, highlighting how Collective Shift fosters a learning environment for investors at various stages of their journey. Ben also shared his experiences in running a fully remote team, reflecting the global nature of the blockchain community and the flexibility that decentralized systems offer. The episode underscored Collective Shift's mission to demystify blockchain technology and make it accessible to a wider audience.
Steve Vallas from Blockchain APAC (Episode 23): In Episode 23, Steve Vallas, a prominent figure in the Australian blockchain community and the former head of Blockchain Australia, shared his insights. Currently leading Blockchain APAC, Steve discussed the organization's efforts in advocating and fostering blockchain technology in the Asia-Pacific region. He delved into the challenges and opportunities in mainstreaming blockchain, emphasizing the importance of community building and collaboration in the sector. Steve's experience as an advisor on various blockchain projects, including Skaffold Global and Zerocap, highlighted the diverse applications of blockchain technology. The episode underscored Steve's commitment to enhancing understanding and engagement with blockchain, reflecting the dynamic and evolving nature of the industry.
Ashi Bhat from Insider App (Episode 24): In this insightful episode, Ashi Bhat, founder of Insider App, discusses the impact of web3 technologies on consumer brand loyalty. Her experience in marketing consultancy informs her exploration of how NFTs and crypto wallets are revolutionizing brand-customer relationships. Ashi highlights how these technologies not only enhance customer engagement but also offer brands new ways to gather valuable consumer data and reduce acquisition costs. She emphasizes the challenges in mainstream adoption of web3, noting the crucial role of user experience and the influence of major companies like Salesforce and Amazon in advancing this field. The episode offers a concise yet comprehensive look into the evolving landscape of web3 in marketing.
Sidney Powell from Maple Finance (Episode 25): In this episode, the spotlight was on Sidney Powell, CEO and co-founder of Maple Finance. Sidney delved into the intricacies of DeFi (Decentralized Finance), sharing his journey from traditional finance to the innovative world of web3. Highlighting the inefficiencies in traditional banking and how blockchain technology can streamline processes, Sidney offered insights into the evolution of Maple Finance. Initially focusing on under-collateralized loans, the platform adapted to the changing financial landscape by incorporating more secure, collateralized lending practices. Sidney emphasized Maple Finance's resilience in the face of market upheavals and its strategy to offer safer, more efficient lending solutions. Sidney's vision for Maple is to compete with top credit asset managers by leveraging blockchain technology for cost efficiency and broader market accessibility.
Rob Morris from FunDAOmental (Episode 26): This episode featured Rob Morris, a pioneer in blockchain and decentralized technology. Rob discussed his early days with technology, starting with the Commodore 64, leading up to his encounter with the Bitcoin white paper. He emphasized the potential of decentralized ledger technology to reshape trust systems and value creation. Rob explored 'cooperative coordination,' advocating for systems that encourage collaborative, positive-sum interactions. His insights into the evolution from meritocratic to evolutionary organizational structures highlighted the role of technology in enhancing human collaboration and fostering social change.
Rob Morris from FunDAOmental (Episode 27): In Episode 27 of the podcast, we continued our deep dive with Rob Morris, the visionary behind FunDAOmental, exploring the intersection of AI and cooperative coordination. This episode, titled 'FunDAOmental - Part 2', ventured further into how AI is revolutionizing the way we collaborate and coordinate efforts. Rob discussed the critical role of AI in managing the growing complexity of human interactions and decision-making processes, emphasizing the need for AI systems that are aligned with human values and needs. He highlighted the transformative potential of AI in creating more democratic, efficient, and inclusive systems, while also cautioning against the dangers of unchecked AI development. The conversation also explored the broader implications of emerging technologies like blockchain and AI on societal structures, underscoring the importance of community-driven, self-sovereign approaches to technology adoption. Rob's insights painted a future where technology is not just a tool, but a partner in shaping a more connected and cooperative world.
Erez Rachamim from Stables (Episode 28): In this enlightening episode, Erez Rachamim of Stables shares the journey of how his venture started and evolved. With a background in venture capital, corporate advisory, and fintech, Erez, along with his co-founders Daniel and Bernardo, launched Stables. The project, initially named Tiiik Money, focuses on leveraging stablecoins for efficient value storage and transfer. Erez discusses the challenges and triumphs they faced, highlighting the importance of regulation and compliance in the dynamic world of blockchain and digital assets. One of Stables' unique propositions is its user-friendly app that simplifies spending and sending funds, distinguishing it in a market crowded with complex wallets. Erez also underscores the significance of community engagement in Stables' growth, emphasizing that community feedback has been integral to the development and refinement of their product. Looking ahead, Stables plans to expand into Europe and the Philippines, aiming to offer a global solution for efficient and transparent financial transactions.
James Coombes from Block Earner (Episode 29): This episode of the podcast featured James Coombes, a key figure at Block Earner, known for its innovative approach in the decentralized finance (DeFi) space. The episode delved into the origins and evolution of Block Earner, highlighting its commitment to simplifying the complexities of cryptocurrency for the everyday user. James discussed the company's focus on providing insured and easy-to-use wallet services, partnering with renowned platforms like Coinbase. He emphasized the significance of community in the growth and direction of DeFi projects, sharing insights on how Block Earner is actively listening to its user base to shape its services. James' insights painted a vivid picture of a future where blockchain and crypto are seamlessly integrated into everyday financial transactions, underscoring the importance of user-friendly DeFi solutions in achieving widespread adoption.
Drew Bradford from Jelly-C (Episode 30): With a rich background in banking giants like NAB and Deutsche Bank, Drew discussed his transition into cryptocurrency and blockchain. He reminisced about his early encounters with Bitcoin, acknowledging its potential amidst global economic shifts. Drew delved into Jelly-C's mission, highlighting its innovative approach to digital asset management and the creation of two distinct funds. The first fund offers a blend of liquid exchange-traded tokens and seed projects for startups, while the second focuses on digital infrastructure. He emphasized Jelly-C's commitment to making digital asset investment accessible and secure for Australians. The conversation also explored the broader impact of blockchain across various industries, from banking to healthcare, and the potential for technology to solve inefficiencies and introduce new ways of asset ownership and transaction. Drew's insights painted a picture of a future where blockchain's integration into mainstream systems is not just inevitable but transformative.
Paul Conyngham on Core Intelligence / DSAI (Episode 31): This episode features Paul Conyngham, the founder of DSAI, discussing his journey in data science and AI. He reflected on the shift from academic research to practical applications in AI, highlighting the field's growing commercial relevance. Conyngham emphasized the transformative power of AI technologies like GPT in streamlining business processes and enhancing developer productivity. He also shared insights into the future of AI, envisioning digital assistants as a part of daily life and a catalyst for process optimization. A key theme of the conversation was the importance of community in the tech sector, with Conyngham detailing his efforts in establishing AI-focused groups. His perspective on the evolving role of AI and its integration into various industries made for a compelling and insightful discussion.
Brenda Saveluc from Black Gold Legal (Episode 32): In this insightful episode, Brenda Saveluc, the founder of Black Gold Legal, shares her journey into the world of blockchain and legal complexities. With a rich background in law and a passion for emerging technologies, Brenda discusses the challenges and opportunities in integrating blockchain technology with legal frameworks. She emphasizes the importance of understanding the regulatory landscape, especially in the dynamic and evolving world of cryptocurrencies and blockchain. Her firm, focusing on aiding startups and small businesses, navigates the intricate legalities of this space, ensuring compliance and fostering innovation. Brenda's expertise shines as she delves into topics like tokenization, ICOs, and the future of blockchain in legal practice, highlighting its potential to revolutionize traditional legal processes and empower businesses with new, decentralized solutions.
Andrew Vranjes from Blockdaemon (Episode 34): In this insightful episode, Andrew Vranjes of Blockdaemon joined Mark from the Australian DeFi Association for an in-depth discussion on the evolving landscape of blockchain infrastructure. Calling in from Singapore, Andrew shared Blockdaemon's journey and mission, emphasizing the company's focus on providing robust, scalable, and secure blockchain infrastructure solutions. He delved into the complexities of managing blockchain nodes and the significance of staking in the Proof of Stake (PoS) networks, highlighting Blockdaemon's pivotal role in managing over 100,000 active nodes across 60 protocols. The conversation also explored the integration of traditional financial services with blockchain technology, with Andrew illustrating how Blockdaemon is bridging the gap between traditional finance and the crypto world through compliance, scalability, and security.
Raymond Sun from HSF (Episode 35): In this enlightening episode, we delve into the world of Raymond Sun, a tech lawyer at Herbert Smith Freehills specializing in AI. Ray discusses his journey from a coding hobbyist to developing an AI dance evaluation algorithm that gained popularity in Asia. At HSF, he advises on AI-related legal risks and responsible AI governance. He also talks about his Global AI Tracker, a daily-updated tool tracking AI regulations globally. Ray's unique perspective on the intersection of AI and blockchain as emerging tech sectors and his emphasis on the importance of community in technological innovation stand out. His multifaceted expertise showcases him as a modern innovator in AI and technology law.
Adam Levine from Fireblocks (Episode 36): In this insightful episode, Adam Levine of Fireblocks shared his expertise on the evolving landscape of blockchain technology and its integration into various sectors. The focus was on the groundbreaking work in real-world asset tokenization. Adam emphasized the transformative potential of blockchain beyond cryptocurrencies, highlighting how it can bring traditional assets like government bonds into the digital realm, allowing for programmable features and enhanced risk management. The discussion also explored the implications of blockchain technology in non-financial domains, particularly in loyalty programs and NFTs. Adam's insights shed light on the potential of blockchain in creating more dynamic and efficient systems in both financial and non-financial sectors, predicting a future where blockchain technology is seamlessly integrated into everyday transactions and interactions
All of these were generated using our Meetup and Podcast GPT where we took the transcripts from those we recorded and ran them into our own GPT tool which you can check out here: