Financial expert with 25 years experience talks crypto

You had mentioned you started off as a crypto sceptic, and are now educating people in the field and part of several projects - what happened?

Over the last 2-3 years, a number of long standing clients kept asking me “what is Bitcoin” – I would reply “it’s unregulated and is drug money”!!  I have a number of business interests but as an experienced independent financial adviser I couldn’t and wouldn’t have recommended crypto to these clients anyway but personally I wish I had been more open minded and undertaken some proper research in 2015/2016! 

How did you get interested in crypto?

After finally doing some research in 2017 I couldn’t see a reason to not invest some risk capital in crypto assets.  My own attitude to investment risk is high and I wanted to diversify some of my existing investments into crypto with the understanding that it would be extremely volatile but I would invest for the medium term e.g. 3-5 years – a long time in crypto.  Since last year, I have focused more on meeting people and businesses within blockchain and crypto space including understanding real life blockchain solutions.  After attending a few seminars in early 2018 and speaking with accountants, solicitors, IT specialists and business owners we decided to organise the Bristol & Bath Blockchain and Cryptocurrency seminar in June 2018 - we had some sponsorship, a great venue and secured international legal firm Osborne Clarke as one of our speakers – this seminar was well received with approx. 60 attendees and since then I have spoken at a few events, been involved in other meetups and planning further events in the near future.

What are you doing now in the crypto space? 

I continued to build a network of contacts within blockchain, technology and crypto.  I wouldn’t class myself as an expert and I’m not a technical person but I certainly understand that many businesses and individuals can and will benefit from innovations including blockchain technology.

Are there any projects / ideas/ technologies you’re particularly excited by?

I’m interested in the potential of tokenisation and crowd funding using blockchain along with data sovereignty.

Projects:  DOVU and TapmyData – 2 Bristol based projects that I have met and got to know – great projects

Wirex – crypto and traditional currency on 1 debit card AND earn crypto each time you spend

Pigzbe – financial education for kids using crypto / blockchain – followed for a while

Pixie – a loyalty based payment solution – not crypto at the moment but I’ve met this established team

Peculium – savings system in crypto driven by AI – this is a fascinating project that I recently came across

Cosound – look out for this music industry platform using blockchain in 2019


How has your 25 years in financial services affected your outlook on crypto?

Hopefully clear regulation could benefit the crypto space.

That diversification is important but remember to understand the investments or projects and the associated risks BEFORE you invest

What do you think the future is for crypto and blockchain are in payments?

Just like many people don’t understand how the internet actually works, I believe in some cases payments using crypto will happen without you knowing it. 

Do you think blockchain will shake up the remittance industry?

Why wouldn’t it.  Humans and businesses always adopt the most efficient option eventually!

Where do you think we’ll see the biggest changes- in what industries?

A few areas:  Supply chains can clearly benefit from the efficiencies of blockchain / DLT.  The billions of people who are “unbanked”.  Tokenisation of equity / crowd funding for small to medium sized businesses using blockchain

You seem to know a lot of people in the SW - how did you achieve that?

I have certainly met many credible people within this space and with face to face meetings people can build trust in each other. 

What would you say about the Crypto Curry Club to anyone thinking of coming?

A great fun way to network with professional people while eating great curry!

Any other questions/ points you wish to add?

Keep learning, researching and networking.  Future proof your business –innovations like blockchain technology aren’t the answer to everything but this technology is revolutionary!

John can be contacted on Twitter or Telegram @johnboatman_uk

Erica Stanford