At the recent Malta AI and Blockchain Summit, Coin Rivet caught up with Irina Heaver of Bolton Holding. A lawyer with over 15 years experience in the corporate world, she is now working with many large businesses in the process of tokenisation from her office at the top of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai.
Entry into blockchain
Her entry into the world of blockchain began through IBM bringing blockchain to the shipping world, which convinced her that “blockchain has amazing commercial applications for businesses. I do believe blockchain can bring more to business than just cryptocurrency.”
According to Irina, her current employer – Bolton Holding – is “a traditional business”.
She states: “We are an alternative investment group. We have real business. We have real assets such as gold and diamond mines. We also do a lot of commodities trading. We invest in financial services. We are building a bank in the UAE. We use a lot of emerging tech.”
The emerging technology doesn’t just stop at blockchain though. “We also implement machine learning and AI in our operations,” she enthuses. The main aim of Bolton Holding as a traditional business is “to bring more value to our shareholders and investors”.
Tokenising a football club?
During our chat, the most fascinating prospect Irina discussed is the potential tokenisation of one of the world’s biggest football clubs.
“We are looking at a certain major club. They asked us to get involved and we are looking at how we can bring value not only for the shareholders and the players, but also the community. The beauty of tokenisation is creating the community and creating the benefits for the community,” says Irina.
But how would this work exactly?
“Imagine a tokenomics model where as a fan you get rewarded for good behaviour and punished for bad behaviour. If you get rewarded with the token of the club, this could give you an opportunity to meet your favourite player or to be invited to the next event. It’s a very interesting proposition we are working on, but it’s a bit early to say. Watch that space!”
Although Irina didn’t specify which club it is she’s working with just yet, she did drop some hints in the video interview, which will be on Coin Rivet’s YouTube page shortly.
Blockchain and cryptocurrency in Dubai
While we often hear of how cryptocurrency and blockchain is progressing in the Western world and how it can help citizens in states such as Venezuela, the Middle East largely goes unnoticed, despite the popularity of the technology in the region.
Irina notes: “We have a huge scene there. We have a blockchain centre and cryptocurrency meet-ups. We also work with banks educating employees on what cryptocurrency is. What I do is very simple. I will grab your phone and install a wallet and send you $5 of Bitcoin to show you how easy it is. Then they call back and ask how we can get more and ask more. It is an educational process.”
The process of tokenising many large businesses, including a major football club, is a fascinating proposition. Whilst many in the cryptocurrency scene view Bitcoin as a harbinger of death for traditional business and banks, Irina is instead helping these corporations modernise with the times.
Be sure to check back to see the full interview on Coin Rivet to gain further insights from Irina about Bolton Holding and this mysterious football club!