Annie Qi had an interesting introduction to blockchain: she was invited by a friend who was arranging a blockchain summit in Los Angeles.
She says she joined to support her friend and “learned so much about blockchain from that summit and the potential use cases.”
Later on, she began producing a blockchain podcast interviewing key people in the space which “got me even more deeply interested.”
She is interested in the “potential of blockchain. I also love the strong enthusiasm everyone brings in this space, which I haven’t seen in other industries,” she says. she watched Jeff Bezos’ first interview in 1997 when he talked about starting Amazon.
Bezos found out that web usage was growing 2,300% a year, so he chose books to sell online as it has a large potential market with wide appeal.
“Back in the days when he was doing crowdfunding, the first question his investors asked was ‘What is the internet?’ So I see the similarity with blockchain. It’s a new tech and we have a lot of potential in this space, a successful use case we know is like bitcoin.”
Blockchain helps on trust and speed which are “really important fundamentals in a successful business.”
She looks up to Ahmed Banafa, who was chosen as the leading voice in tech on LinkedIn, and Todd White, managing partner at Rulon & White Governance Strategies. She says he has “great insights on blockchain government relations and strategies” that has inspired her.
She likes the use case for blockchain, include international transactions using cryptocurrencies as it is “efficient and simple. Walmart has created a blockchain project for its partners to ensure food safety. And similarly as seen in the fishing industry, people use blockchain to track the fish source,” she says.
“In the logistics industry, it simplifies the process, and as I have heard, truck drivers love it because they can have more time with family instead of wasting it on the paperwork. In healthcare, it is similar and blockchain can also help improve the trust.
“I’ve also seen in the media industry, for example, CastBox. They put podcasts on blockchain to protect the intellectual property rights.”
Blockchain helps society “solve a lot of problems,” she adds. “And it also encourages people to collaborate globally. And I love that.”
Addressing the issue of gender, she says: “In tech, women are not a dominant force yet. I think part of the reason is down to biological differences between the genders. In tech, it requires more logical approach.
“And women seem to have stronger interest in people and neuroticism which might make us less naturally suited to programmers and miners in blockchain,” she argues.
“Another reason I think is that, blockchain has a lot of ups and downs, it is a new tech and there’s some unsolved issues in this space, and that may bring doubts to any woman who has some interest in this.”
She calls on regulatory clarity to “reduce confusion in the space and encourage more people” as well as better education.
Bitcoin gives people “freedom to do exactly what they want” to a degree. “As far as I’ve seen, it’s backed up by the community support – peoples’ psychological needs – not backed by any real assets.” The expectation fluctuates, as does the value, so she’s not surprised by the recent fluctuations in the value of cryptocurrency.
“Some interesting things I have heard is that people are thinking to back up cryptocurrencies with gold,” she says. “For example, Mongolia has lots of gold and the quality and price are really good and the administration is trying to put it to use,” she says. “Is there any potential collaboration there?”
She says regulation will likely have “more clarity” and in 2019, people in blockchain and crypto will be “more mature and know better what to do. After all, if you’ve suffered previously, you need to learn from it and get smarter.”
She predicts more blockchain application developments and stronger need for talent. “We’ll fix some issues in this space and continue to grow,” she adds.
On the question of ICOs, she says she previously spoke to Tim Draper “and he mentioned when he selects ICOs, he really cares about who the team members are and if they can build trust and deliver the result.”
Investors need education, projects need thorough market research and “teams need to be resilient and deliver their promises,” she adds.
“There’s a strong voice in the blockchain community that expects more regulation clarity. Because it provides clear guidance and decreases the confusion in the space. It may still take some time for the market to mature and then see the real impact.”
She says tech is supposed to help society find a better way for “our lives and business and government has a role in our lives to help put things in the right order.”
She is a blockchain marketing consultant. “I think a lot about different aspects of the industry, the trend and what marketing strategies are efficient in this space,” she adds.
“I noticed there’s a lot of interest in blockchain, but some may have not found an efficient way for blockchain marketing. So I like to help people thrive with my expertise and it’s easy for me to find what the shining parts are in a project even sometimes the clients haven’t realised themselves.”
She describes decentralised blockchain engineers and entrepreneurs as “the real actors driving innovation in this space.”
We’re currently at the introduction stage, people are still learning about it and trying to “fix the issues in this space which are slowing down its growth,” she concludes.