Each week we ask the buidlers in the blockchain and cryptocurrency sector for their thoughts on the industry… and we throw in a few random zingers to keep them on their toes!
Each participant then gets to remove one blockchain question — and a personal one — and they can substitute in two of their own for the next victim.
This week our 6 Questions go to Leslie Ankney, Head of Blockchain at Ditto.
Leslie has deep experience of the crypto landscape as a reporter and user, covering blockchain tech, cryptocurrencies and their implications. Leslie is a content strategist, panelist, and respected resource on exchanges, decentralization, and regulation.
Prior to joining Ditto, Leslie was a crypto journalist at Forbes.com and several other crypto news publications. She also led business development and content strategy as a consultant on ForbesCrypto.com.
Leslie travels constantly and has lived in over a half-dozen countries. When she’s not helping clients at Ditto, you can find her contributing to the decentralized community as @CryptoLeslie on Twitter.
1 — Thinking of a favorite song or poem, what are the words that move you; and why are they important?
I really find inspiration from Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations. As an emperor with nearly absolute power, Marcus Aurelius devoted himself to constantly find intellectual challenge and growth while being respectful of others, saying, “Be tolerant with others and strict with yourself.”
This is an important reminder that a worthy leader strives for personal growth that inspires others by focusing on what’s in their control.
2 — What kind of consolidation do you expect to see in the crypto industry in 2020/21?
The next wave of consolidation will be between crypto-native and non-crypto platforms, bringing broader use and better functionality. Both inside and outside of the crypto industry, platforms from social media to trading will figure out integrations, primarily with Bitcoin and Ethereum.
We’ve already seen trading platform consolidation within crypto, making advanced trading features, wallets, and better custody integrations. This will continue but I expect functionality work will go beyond that. If you look at Reddit’s plans to add an Ethereum-based points system and Jack’s not-so-quiet love of Bitcoin on Twitter, this is where I see the next big move.
3 — Which media personality or influencer do you enjoy most in this space?
Demetri Kofinas runs my favorite podcast, Hidden Forces. His show explores economics, philosophy, and occasionally cryptocurrency. I always come away learning something new and the research that goes into that show is unparalleled.
Also can’t forget David Nage, who like me shares an enthusiasm to learn about any and all things new in crypto. You need excitement and skepticism in this industry.
4 — Star Trek or Star Wars – and why?
Neither! For me, it’s Battlestar Galactica.
BSG shares some of the moral quandaries of early Star Trek and brings them to a modern audience with an injection of political intrigue. Beyond that the character drama is so entertaining.
I know a lot of people won’t agree with me on this over Star Wars, but 2nd gen BSG with a strong female president, with Gaius Baltar, and a whole debate over what makes us human, wins for me.
5 — What are the best and worst aspects of the shelter-in-place orders for you personally?
I’ve already worked remotely all around the world, so in a way this is a return to normalcy, except it’s a very unsettling “normal” knowing my team at Ditto are pushing themselves harder than ever, and that my friends and family are suffering amid the uncertainty.
Positively, the benefits of no commute, getting to focus on work more without having to run to a conference room, and productivity are all wins. Of course, I miss social dinners with my crypto family and friends, and hugely miss gym time outside of the house.
6 — What will happen to Bitcoin over the next ten years?
Bitcoin is going to be treated like any other asset, traded like gold and stocks, and no longer be relegated to the status of “weird internet money” as it is all too often today.
(And Leslie’s Bonus Question… because the Editor sent her the wrong one…)
7 — What’s the most interesting place you’ve ever visited, and why?
My love story with crypto began at a Bitcoin meetup in Bangkok, Thailand. Not only was I engrossed in the daily walks featuring boat noodles and pad thai stalls, but I found my calling in this industry. The more I learned about the tech, the more I wanted to help others understand how it works and why it would change the monetary system as we know it.
Not only was Bangkok a beautiful, industrious city, it was a place where hearing about early ICOs contrasted with some of the seedier streets of the city, every part of the ecosystem at that time fit into the excitement, bright colors, and amped volume of that city.
For me, the experience of Songkran, a Buddhist water festival of washing away and starting anew, along with it being the loudest street squirtgun festival at the same time, stands out to me as the contrast of crypto at the time I found my calling in it. The holy and the profane all blend into Songkran, and they echo in both the maximalism and the absurdity within the crypto community itself.
Leslie substituted questions 2 and 4 with two new ones for our next buidler…
Take a look at places 50 – 100 on the market cap rankings on CMC right now, and share a project that stands out for you. Why?
What’s the unlikeliest-to-happen thing on your bucket list?