Jan Baeriswyl became interested in blockchain when he worked for Google, although it wasn’t part of his day job. He was in marketing, but he did organise some blockchain meet-ups.
Originally from a business-tech background, he says he became “super-obsessed” with the technology about three years ago when he was just 21 and he took the plunge into the universe of blockchain.
Most recently, he’s worked as a consultant for banks and venture capitalists offering advice on distributed ledger technology strategy, as well as advice to businesses and startups.
He has also worked at Early Bird Venture Capital.
The Co-founder of bedrockx is in the Tech London Advocates’ list of the top 25 people to watch under the age of 25. He rather modestly didn’t mention this in our interview!
He and Co-founder Nancy Fechnay are now finalising the overall vision with a launch date expected to be announced at some point in the coming months.
With bedrockx, they are “working on a blockchain-based infrastructure for the management of digital investment funds.” As it is in stealth mode, he doesn’t want to elaborate at all.
I found a job ad for an intern for the company in which the team describe themselves as “four brainy trailblazers” who are “experienced founders, investors and blockchain experts.”
“They are not – greedy, fakers or bullshitters,” the ad continues. “And the co-founder of one of the most respected blockchain projects in the world said: ‘I think you’re one of the few real blockchain projects out there.”
Baeriswyl is happy to discuss other matters, such as the value of cryptocurrency following the recent market crash. The value can go either way as it “depends on public perception, which comes in waves,” he says.
During a previous crash in 2013 it was “on a much smaller scale.” “There’s much stronger hype now,” he comments. “But this is normal and it is how innovation works. With normal startups, only a tiny percentage are viable in the long-run.
“I am quite convinced for some, the prices will go back but where there are lots of token spikes, the process repeats and it will slowly die,” he says.
“The bulk of value will be concentrated in a few projects and what happened with few giants like Google, Facebook and Amazon [in the dotcom boom], the same will repeat here”.
There is strength with Bitcoin which he says “is the best example of this as it is still running after 10 years.”
He predicts that “the big tech companies, the likes of Facebook, will employ a utility token, not a security token”, in future times.
Moving on to gender imbalance in blockchain, he says the problem is an issue for other sectors and “not in any way specific to crypto.”
He points out that his Co-founder, Nancy Fechnay, is a woman.
Last week, Fechnay tweeted: “The traditional #UK #VC firm is predominantly made up of white males [no surprise] and its investment reflects that demographic. Morgan Stanley found that just 17.6% of senior execs in finance are filled by women. Let’s change this.”
Baeriswyl says over the last decade, the market pattern has been quite clear with bitcoin. “On average, it has gone up and the market over-reacts and is super cyclical,” he says.
The immature market is “the main determinant” for this cycle, he says. He points out that with the rogue Bitconnect token, “everybody in the space knew it was an obvious scam, but it was in the top 50 Market Cap for such a long time, when the consensus was it was just a pyramid scheme.”
He says the main challenge in the entire space is “scaleability and privacy.”
“How do you reconcile what is possible technically with the regulations and laws of different countries?
“How you bring them together is a major challenge and is only one we can figure out when we see mass adoption.”
It’s almost impossible to put a realistic timescale on this, as regulators “have timelines of decades.”
But he points out that countries which have embraced legislation for this technology – Malta, Gibraltar, Liechtenstein and Switzerland, with their competitive and dynamic approach, may speed up the process elsewhere.
He says venture capital may develop so that investors will invest in a tokenised ecosystem.
They could offer a “supply-side service, engaging in the network and can keep bootstrapping the supply side.”
This kind of hedge-fund like behaviour is a reaction to the current cyclical nature of the market, he adds.