A New Economy Movement: Sold-Out NEM Event & In-Depth Interview with Ricar Medrano
A New Economy Movement: Sold-Out NEM Event & In-Depth Interview with Ricar Medrano
This post was originally featured on TravelbyBit.com.
Just last night, we welcomed over 150 guests to our latest sold-out event, “Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, and the NEM Network,” hosted at our space here in Fortitude Valley.
And what a night it was!
Guests were treated to talks by some of the biggest names in the fintech and blockchain industries: Danielle Szetho (CEO of FinTech Australia), Caleb Yeoh (co-founder of TravelbyBit), and Ricardo (Director of Partnerships in Australia and Hong Kong for the NEM Foundation).
All the while, everyone enjoyed the sights, sounds, smells, and tastes, while they sampled a variety of food (paid for in cryptocurrency, of course), free beer, and even a crypto ATM for the night!
Check out some of our favourite photos of the event:
Our proposal to integrate NEM into the Australian travel and retail industry is live now! Please show your support by voting YES for TravelbyBit.
Read the details about our proposal:
Here’s how to vote:
To vote YES for TravelbyBit, all you have to do is send a 0 value XEM transaction to this address:
To Vote No: send 0 XEM to:
Before the event, we were lucky enough to sit down with Ricardo for a quick interview, where he told us how he entered the blockchain space, TravelbyBit’s current NEM Community Proposal, and what he sees for the future of tech in Australia.
TravelbyBit: So Ricardo, we hear that you have quite a diverse history, in the tech industry, in the financial industry, and also in media, marketing, and even music!
Ricardo: Yes, that’s right. I was involved with a friend of mine in a music festival in the north of Spain. I built their website, conducted interviews, and promoted the festival, and this was around 12 or 13 years ago, before Facebook or any other social media platforms existed.
In fact, the idea of digital currency has been around for awhile, right around the time of social media breaking out. I’m not sure if you remember the game Second Life — this was back in 2007. It was an online game where your character lives in a community and you use digital coins to pay for resources.
You own an island, and you can even build things. You can build a bar, or a school, or whatever, and buy armour and things to improve your player as you’re playing the game. It’s an whole economy. And the news media, even at that time was saying, “this is going to be the future.”
TBB: That’s so interesting, you see hints of cryptocurrency years before Bitcoin was ever invented. You’re using tokens to buy things and transferring value digitally. It kinda foreshadowed what was upcoming.
Would you say that’s the first time you heard about digital currency?
Ricardo: I heard about it then, but didn’t follow it. I actually didn’t think much of it. Two or three years later, people would approach me and ask if I had Bitcoin, but I didn’t — I was focused on my job and other various things. It’s funny — I think that at the time, if i would have invested, I would have sold before too long. Or maybe I’d have forgotten my password!
TBB: Ha! Yeah, I think back to those times to and remember hearing about it and brushing it off. I either said, “eh, maybe later,” or “it’s not worth it.”
And here we are in 2018, and you just bought lunch with XEM. And you bought your hotel stay with XEM as well, right?
Ricardo: Yeah, it’s the first time I’ve booked accommodation in crypto.
TBB: That’s great to hear! I’m wondering, they say XEM is the 2nd most used crypto in Japan. Why do you think that is?
Ricardo: It’s because they’re not only using it for payments, but they’re also buying XEM, and a lot of companies are using NEM as well. The Japanese NEM community is huge… And part of the people who started NEM are in Japan. They’re also really open to blockchain and there are a few big NEM enterprises in Japan too.
TBB: We’re familiar with some of the existing use cases of NEM in the real world, but to educate our readers, can you tell us some of your favourites?
Ricardo: One of my favourites is that you can put a stamp on or digitally notarise docs using NEM!
An example is when you have a university diploma or official document. Picture a medical doctor who has their diploma on the wall. You don’t know if it’s official or not. But now you can put that in the blockchain with NEM. And with that, you can prove you are the official owner of this document or service. You can demonstrate you’re the owner, the official writer, or even a filmmaker, and you can put that in the blockchain.
Secondly, the voting system on NEM is so powerful. You can’t manipulate the votes. In many countries even, you can manipulate the votes through a traditional system. With NEM, it’s instant and you can see the votes come through in real time. Of course, we’re already using this with the NEM proposal program.
TBB: So when companies take on the NEM blockchain, is it a private one?
Ricardo: Yes. Some companies have confidential data that they don’t’ want to share — like payroll and employee documents. They want to use the blockchain for that, and we have the solution for them.
And it’s very easy for the company — one of the main benefits of NEM is that we have APIs. Normally, if you want to implement your business in the blockchain, you have to develop into it. With NEM, you only have to focus in YOUR app, then you use the API to move your app to the blockchain. So for developers, they save tons of time and money.
TBB: What makes NEM stand out in a sea of hundreds of different blockchain technologies?
Ricardo: APIs, you can implement into the blockchain so easily. And you can create tokens or whatever you’d like. It’s fast, and the community’s huge as well. We’re spread out all over the world. It’s really open and we support each other.
TBB: Yeah, we’ve noticed that while being involved in the NEM community. It really seems to have more of a family feel. Why do you think it’s so tightly-knit compared to other blockchain organisations, where it just feels like they have fans spread out across the world?
Ricardo: Everybody is so supportive, especially in various community projects. I can’t think of another community that’s like this. I think it’s partly because we’re such an international team. We have people in Japan, Australia, America, everywhere! People really like that style of community.
TBB: It’s been awesome to be involved. And we know, of course, that one of key features of NEM is act as a fast payment solution. What would it mean for the NEM community to have the ability to pay for any bill using Living Room of Satoshi, or have the option of using XEM at Brisbane International Airport through TravelbyBit?
Ricardo: Australia’s leading the fintech industry. The industry here is huge, and I’m really impressed by Living Room of Satoshi and TravelbyBit, who are working to take crypto mainstream. The market’s really open to new ideas, so people are going to like that. The adoption is going to be faster than other countries.
TBB: Yes, the crypto community in Australia just feels electric — everyone’s so excited! We’re even planning entire travel routes now where you can plan trips across the entire country using exclusively crypto. So we have hotels, restaurants, private transport services, all in one package. And Australia has taken to that so well.
Ricardo: Yeah, Australia is a big country, but the market is small enough where news spreads fast and everyone can find out about things quickly. Like when TravelbyBit was on Channel 7 News. I don’t know of anyone doing what you are.
TBB: Not specifically in the travel space. There are others with an ecommerce platform, but we have a direct setup system.
So for a closing question, tell us…why is blockchain so important to you?
Ricardo: The technology is the most important part, because that’s the part that will survive. It’s changing industries now and will in the future. The cryptos may not survive, but the tech will. For that reason, we want to make sure to put a focus on the technology rather than the trading of cryptos.
A HUGE thank you to Ricardo for joining us for the interview and the event! Thank you to all who joined us, we look forward to seeing you next time.
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