Throughout the month of February, I traveled throughout Puerto Rico, Washington DC, Los Angeles and Dubai, representing Intercoin and meeting with a lot of great people, like Brock Pierce and Akon. I wanted to share some highlights of my adventures with everyone here.
This is Mark Edge, the man who introduced Roger Ver to Bitcoin. Mark cofounded Free Talk Live, the largest libertarian talk show in the USA (maybe the world), and they were the first major media in the world to talk about Bitcoin. I was going to meet with Brock Pierce about building a coin for Puerto Rico and thought it would be great to connect one of the original OGs with him.
Mark and I met Brock and Among other things, we discussed his upcoming campaign for Senator of Vermont. My company Qbix can build the app to help unite and energize his supporters, giving any campaign an edge.
Three years ago, we built an app for Andrew Yang’s presidential campaign. Both Andrew and Brock support a Universal Basic Income, and are now trying to build movements outside the establishment two-party system.
At Brock’s house, we met many interesting people. This is Reeve Collins, the cofounder of Tether. We spoke about how his company, together with Qbix and Intercoin can help power the crypto rewards for Brock’s campaign.
Brock throws some great parties in PR. He’s also got what he claims is the first physical NFT gallery in the world.
We also met the organizers of Crypto Mondays in Puerto Rico, including Pedro Rivera (I met the original Crypto Mondays organizer, Lou Kerner, in NYC). I also got to finally attend Uncommon Entrepreneurs, another crypto meetup in Puerto Rico run by my friend Drew Cutkomp. There we met several really friendly crypto investors, whose group are also fans of Richard Heart’s projects (Hex and Pulse). I wound up presenting Intercoin to their entire group later over zoom, from Dubai.
Then it was on to Washington DC, where politicians, statespeople and blockchain CEOs come together at the Government Blockchain Association’s annual conference. Qbix has built the app for the conference and its extended community, and Intercoin is now building Web3 solutions for it.
This is the director of the Government Blockchain Association talking about what a difference our apps have made.
Government Blockchain Association is an organization bringing together public-private partnerships, for cities and countries. Intercoin is part of several working groups, including Voting, Smart Economies etc.
This is John Browdre, the Crypto Chairman for Miami Dade County. He may become an important connection once Intercoin comes to Miami.
Mark got interviewed at the event (as did I) about his role in crypto.
Back in Puerto Rico, I had met Roberto Pickering. He went from being a sniper in the Iraq war, to a vet down on his luck, to a successful businessman putting together ambitious partnerships with major social impact. He told me about the VC fund he and Akon put together, and I told him about Intercoin and Qbix. It was a match right away.
Roberto invited me to a lunch they were having at the Hilton by the beach (in the area of PR where Brock lives). There, I met a lovely husband-wife duo that runs the Miss World competition. Their mission is “beauty with a purpose”, and we discussed building app and a coin for them. Here, instead of “Yang Gangs”, we have beautiful contestants from every country, who are also massive influencers, including with the politicians who can actually help the coins get adoption locally.
So, after a few days back home, it was time to fly to Los Angeles, where I had an amazing time meeting people that Akon and Roberto had assembled together. Akon is in the blue, on his right is the current Miss World from Jamaica, and Christine who will be helping build a youth center with them.
Akon is a great guy. His projects in Senegal, Akon City and Akoin aim to build solutions from the bottom up, so there is a lot of alignment in our values. Also, he’s super-well-connected throughout many countries in Africa, so joining forces means we can focus on building the tech that powers all the applications, while Akon and their group can bring about adoption, marketing and business development.
We all wound up hanging out …
This is the “dream team” that will make it all happen. With Roberto as the organizer of the team.
From LA, I took a long flight to Dubai. My secret to handling time zone differences is that my schedule seems to always be messed up anyway. So I sleep on planes. I wound up presenting Intercoin to the investors I met in Puerto Rico at around 5 am Dubai time:
It’s actually different than most presentations I’ve ever given, since I wind up talking about Hex, Pulse, open source and capitalism. It really gives a good overview of how Intercoin is different from most crypto projects out there, while explaining everything about it. If you have about an hour, you’re welcome to take a look. (And if it sounds interesting, sign up on intercoin.org)
On the left is Mru Patel who had just been presenting (along with Pedro from Puerto Rico). Mru represents the royal family office of Sheikh Ahmed Bin Faisal Al Qassimi. In the middle is Queen Diambi Kabatsuila of the Bena Thiyamba people in the Congo (about 3 million people), a lovely lady who I had met earlier in Monaco:
Elena Rivers, one of Intercoin’s advisors who also heads up the Intercoin Ambassadors Program, helped connect me with this man: Marwan Alzarouni who is the CEO of the Dubai Blockchain Center, and an OG for not just crypto in its current form, but older “crypto”, having founded the first Certificate Authority for Dubai. In Dubai, the government runs a platform where people can store and share their identity and documents. Identity management and Verifiable Credentials is a very important crypto topic on which I’ve interviewed people at the forefront of new initiatives for adoption.
As a throwback, here I am with my cofounder Zak and Tim Berners-Lee, and his team back at MIT (this was 2014) discussing joining forces with Qbix for the decentralized web. Tim wrote about it a lot and so did I.
They wound up going their separate way. Tim left MIT to found Inrupt to change how organizations publish their data. The guy on the left – Dmitri Zagidulin – helped bring together groups at the W3C to create the DID standard (Decentralized Identifiers) arguably one of the most successful standards in the digital identity space.
Elena also introduced me to Dr. Jane Thomason, a very impressive lady from Australia who has organized many successful ventures in crypto.
This is Scott Richards, who lives in Dubai. He is a political and economic consultant in both the UK and Australia, on many significant projects, and is now involved with special economic zones and other similar things. Once I have more information on what we’ll be working on together, I’ll probably post about it here.
From there I was invited to a lunch by Dee and Micki, a great couple who know so many lovely people in Dubai. We spoke about exchange listings on top exchanges, invitations to stay at the Burj, and events constantly happening in Dubai.
So this is what happens when I go traveling for a month! I’m planning to be in Dubai again, March 22-29. Akon lives there, so hopefully we’ll meet up. I’d like to introduce him to the guys at NuGenesis, who have helped to build CBDCs in the middle east. I may have to get an apartment in Dubai. A friend in Dubai wants to sell me their BMW for Intercoins. I’ll have to make another article about how you can do OTC deals and start to trade ITR for other cryptos, goods or services directly.