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The First Block Podcast

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The First Block Podcast is a weekly podcast featuring conversations with the brightest minds at various ends of the Blockchain landscape.

The First Block Podcast is a weekly podcast featuring conversations with the brightest minds at various ends of the Blockchain landscape.
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The First Block Podcast is a weekly podcast featuring conversations with the brightest minds at various ends of the Blockchain landscape.






TFB#18: Kartik Mandaville on building a decentralized verified identity platform for professionals

Kartik Mandaville is the founder and CEO of Springrole which is one of India’s best known companies that’s utilizing blockchain technology in a useful way. While Springrole say they are building a decentralized ‘verified professional identity’ platform for professionals, a simpler way to put it is that they are building LinkedIn but on a blockchain – and there’s a good reason why that’s the better way to do it. 0:30 Introduction to SpringRole | 1:10 Motivation to get into the tech world |...


TFB#17: The Hydrogen Team on building the Financial Web 3.0

In this podcast, we talked to Mark Anstead, Harsh Rajat and Saurav Kumar from the Hydrogen Team. Mark, Harsh and Saurav are the decentralization ambassadors for the platform. The Hydrogen platform allows enterprises and developers globally to prototype, build, test, and deploy financial technology applications and products. Hydro and Atom are the key products that are launched by the platform. Atom allows users to develop digital financial applications, while Hydro allows the use of public...


TFB#16: Morgan Housel on the psychology of money, the power of writing, and the changing nature of media

01:04 Content and blogging in 2019 | 03:23 Morgan’s journey to being a writer and a partner at Collaborative Fund | 09:02 The power of writing | 10:48 Using content to build brand equity | 12:40 How Morgan’s thoughts on writing have changed | 16:30 Being authentic and telling a good story | 18:20 How media is changing | 25:11 Going down the crypto rabbit hole | 29:12 Crypto through the lens of history and investment psychology | 36:54 Crypto as a social experiment | 42:20 “The Psychology of...


TFB#15: Lou Kerner on going down the crypto rabbit hole

Lou Kerner is the co-founder and partner at Crypto Oracle. Lou has been a crypto enthusiast and investor since 2013 and is recognized as one of the most influential crypto voices and writers out there. Lou was previously a Partner at the decentralized VC, Flight, where he managed The Israel Founders Syndicate that invested in tech companies founded by Israelis. He was also the Managing Partner of the Social Internet Fund and has also spent some time at Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch, taking...


TFB#14: Darshan Bathija on building a customer-first bank leveraging blockchain technology

Darshan Bathija is the founder and CEO of Bank of Hodlers, which is one of the most exciting crypto projects being developed in India. They are building a Customer-First Bank leveraging blockchain technology which includes the provision of services like insurance against crypto thefts from exchanges, crypto credit cards and also crypto backed loans. They have just had their official launch in the last week of April and are hoping to be a key cog in the decentralised finance (DeFi) sphere in...


TFB #13: Naimish Sanghvi on why India needs crypto

Naimish Sanghvi is the founder of Coin Crunch India, which is ‘India’s trusted crypto news source’. Aside from he also runs and has been a journalist at Network18, a technology consultant at Deloitte and a Business Analysts at Infosys before quitting corporate jobs and venturing out to explore the world. Naimish has been a strong advocate for crypto in India and has not been shy about keeping people, exchanges and regulators honest as the industry has...


TFB #12: Shikha Mehra on how governments will adapt to a world of crypto assets

Shikha Mehra is the co-founder of MainChain, a firm that specializes in research, training and consulting with public and private enterprises on blockchain technology. She sits on the advisory panel to the Internet Mobile Association of India’s subcommittee on cryptocurrencies and blockchain tech. She is also actively involved in the international crypto ecosystem as a writer and speaker, regularly engaging with businesses, users and regulators on the evolution of crypto assets and...


TFB#11: Sameer Sibal on the delicate balance between regulating and supporting crypto and blockchain tech

Sameer Sibal is a partner at Jerome Merchant and Partners, a Mumbai based law firm whose expertise extends across the range of corporate law, banking and finance, real estate and emerging technology. They are the primary legal counsel for BankChain which is a community of banks for exploring, building and implementing blockchain solutions, and one of the largest blockchain projects in India. Overview 0:35 Sameer’s background and introduction | 4:17 Jerome Merchant + Partners interest in...


TFB#10: Arianna Simpson on crypto trends and Decentralized Finance

Arianna Simpson is the founder and managing director of Autonomous Partners, a digital-asset investment fund backed by Cohen Private Ventures and Union Square Ventures. Their portfolio spans a range of protocols, tokens and projects focused on crypto assets and blockchain tech. She has spent her career in and around the tech world, including stints at Facebook and BitGo, the latter as one of its first employees. She is one of the most influential and forward-thinking voices in the digital...


TFB#9: Joel John on token ecosystem creation and investing in digital economies

Joel John is a research analyst at Outlier Ventures, which is a London, Toronto and Chicago based venture fund. Their investment thesis is built around the idea that the future architecture of the internet will be built on the convergence of blockchains, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things. They partner with remarkable teams to seed and grow tokenised open source communities that will become the digital economies of tomorrow. Joel has been involved with blockchain related...


TFB #8: Ben Hunt on crypto markets, memes and metagames, and why the Narrative rules all

“I’ve always been a sucker for maps, particularly maps that visualize the world in a novel way, that show our place in the world with a perspective or in a dimension that we hadn’t previously considered. I call these maps of self-sovereign discovery, maps that reveal a path of self-directed exploration of our world and ourselves.” - Ben Hunt in ‘You Are Here’ Dr. Ben Hunt is the creator of Epsilon Theory, a newsletter that examines markets through the lenses of game theory and history. The...


TFB#7: Divraj Jain on moving from crypto hype to crypto reality

Divraj is the founder of Build in Bombay, which is a real-time startup chat community. The company is responsible for organising meetups for Zcash in India. He previously started Tokentally, which is a platform for curated crypto-asset resources. Along with his website, he is one of India’s foremost minds in the fields of crypto and blockchain technology and his Twitter page is an incredible resource for the latest technological and market developments coming out of this space. 1:33...


TFB#6: Shailesh Sharda on how the Fourth Industrial Revolution is leading human civilisation into uncharted territory

Shailesh Sharda leads the World Economic Forum's Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (C4IR) in India, working on policy frameworks and governance protocols for emerging technologies. In early 2018, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the launch of the WEF’s C4IR in Mumbai in partnership with the Government of India, citing India’s ability to play a pivotal role in the development of this new suite of emerging technologies like blockchain, AI, drones, AR, VR, IoT and others to...


TFB#5: Alex Gladstein on ‘Why Bitcoin Matters For Freedom’

Alex Gladstein is the Chief Strategy Officer at the Human Rights Foundation(HRF) and a guest lecturer at Singularity University. Before working at HRF, he also served as Vice President of Strategy for the Oslo Freedom Forum. The main aim of HRF is to empower citizens in the countries that are prone to human rights violations and enable them to rise above the existing autocratic regimes. Through his work, Alex has collaborated with key stakeholders across the globe to promote the creation of...


TFB#4: Ben Askren on his UFC debut and the budding romance between crypto and MMA

Ben Askren is an undefeated MMA fighter and a former US Olympic Wrestler gearing up for his debut in the UFC on 2 March. After spending the last few years as the Welterweight champion in both ONE Fighting Championship and Bellator MMA, he announced his signing with the UFC in late 2018 and is set to make his debut in the Octagon against former champion Robbie Lawler at UFC 235. He talks about his involvement with the Litecoin foundation and the growing influence and collaboration between the...


TFB#3: Chris Bates on developing blockchain-based land registry systems in Africa

Chris Bates is the Chief Security Officer at Bitland Global, a Ghana-based firm that is focused on unlocking the potential of land capital through the democratization of real estate ownership using leading-edge technology. Time magazine voted the company in its list of 50 'Most Genius Companies’ of 2018. After establishing a presence in Ghana, Bitland has also started to develop land registry projects in different states of India and with other African nations. 1.0: Intro to Bitland | 3.24:...


TFB#2: Rahul Raj on starting India's largest digital assets exchange

Rahul Raj is the CEO and co-founder of Mumbai-based cryptocurrency exchange Koinex. After short stints at Inshorts and Bizongo, he along with his co-founders Aditya Naik (CBO) and Rakesh Yadav (CTO) laid the foundations to build India’s largest cryptocurrency exchange in May 2017. Having secured venture capital from industry giants like BEENEXT and Pantera Capital, they were the first multi-token open-orderbook exchange to launch in the country. With daily trading volumes peaking at INR 1722...


TFB#1: Aaryaman Vir on navigating the crypto world as an investor and entrepreneur

Aaryaman Vir has been involved in the blockchain space in for a number of years, both as an investor and an entrepreneur. He is one of the co-founders of Elemential Labs which is a recently funded Mumbai-based startup who are building tools to foster smoother enterprise adoption of blockchain technology. He is also an investor in cryptocurrency exchange Unocoin and is the co-founder of Prophetic Ventures which is venture fund focused on a suite of five emerging technologies (India Stack,...