Matt McKibbin, Founder of Decentranet
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Matthew McKibbin Interview Transcript


 

Adam Chapnick:

Hey everybody it's me, Adam Chapnick, here at BLOCK-CON 2017 in Santa Monica. I'm here with Matt McKibbin, avid ICO investor and self-described digital nomad at the present time.

Matthew McKibbin:

Absolutely.

Adam Chapnick:

Thanks for joining us.

Matthew McKibbin:

Thank you for having me on, I really appreciate the time and this conference, which is tokenizing everything, right?

Adam Chapnick:

Yeah, it's exciting, right? You are in how many ICO's, would you say?

Matthew McKibbin:

Right now ... I don't know. I've been doing ICO's since the first one, since Masterpoint. I put a little bit in there.

Adam Chapnick:

Wow. When was that?

Matthew McKibbin:

End of 2013, right before Ethereum, Whitepaper came out. Did Ethereum, did a lot of the ones back then, and have been learning and evolving as this place goes on. My company DecentraNet does ICO advising, so we go out and get what you need for your ICO. Full staffed, blockchain solutions consulting firm.

Adam Chapnick:

Wow, so you are truly an OG of ICO.

Matthew McKibbin:

I guess, you know? We've all kind of come into this thing, or been launched into this industry very, very rapidly this year, as the market cap has gone up by like $100 billion or whatever. The rest of the world is now looking at it very intensely.

Adam Chapnick:

Yeah. How did you come upon it all the way back then? What made you get involved?

Matthew McKibbin:

Actually we had a crypto party on December 21st, 2012, the end of the Mayan calendar. We did like a crypto livestream. We were doing radio shows, very libertarian kind of radio show stuff. We were into Bitcoin back then. I learned a massive amount about it, and then in early 2013, really just started learning as much about it, running the meetup, and was looking at all the different applications going, "Wow, this is gonna change the world!"

Adam Chapnick:

Wow!

Matthew McKibbin:

A big thing is like, especially with a lot of the libertarian groups of this, at least, is that they saw it as kind of a separation of state and money for the first time in history. Whereas, the religious reformation had a separation of state and ... or at least-

Adam Chapnick:

Church and state.

Matthew McKibbin:

Church and state, and at least you could interpret the Bible for the first time. Now, humans can create their own currencies for the first time in a decentralized way that is separate from the world's monetary systems. We don't know what the best one is, but we know that we can now build our own with some smart contract 'cause it's really easy to deploy.

Adam Chapnick:

Yeah, it's incredible. Is that the thing that really attracts you, is the underlying technology of creating a cryptocurrency? Or is there the applications and other ways? Or like as a commodity? Or what?

Matthew McKibbin:

Yeah, the original aspects, the original thing that I really liked was that we don't have to argue about monetary policy anymore. It's like don't argue with the Federal Reserve about monetary policy, go create, go work on Bitcoin, right? Don't argue about taxi cab rules, go do Uber, right? Go create your own system that betters the world that is a solution to the problem that usually doesn't use the same line of thinking as the original problem. That was really what attached me to it. For the first time, you could really start building things that everyone in the world could use that, if it didn't have a good monetary system, now they have the network. The internet of money, if you will.

Adam Chapnick:

Right, right. As far as ICO's go, is there anything that you look for that makes you feel like you wanna get involved, and anything you stay away from?

Matthew McKibbin:

Yeah. I really look at the team a lot. I wanna see that they ... right now, at least a lot of really good entrepreneurs are coming into the space that have exits and understand how to grow businesses. I look at the team, I look at the underlying business, whether there's an underlying profitable business model and then-

Adam Chapnick:

A model?

Matthew McKibbin:

Yeah, right? Instead of a whitepaper, please give me $100 million, thank you. Then, really look at the utility and whether we think that they're solving a problem with the blockchain, helping people collaborate. Each one of these ICO's is almost like a boot of a network. You're booting a decentralized market network. We don't know if it's gonna work. It might be amazing, and someone might come out-compete it. But we know that marketing networks exist, like ride-sharing market network. We know that the Airbnb market network exists. Now we can spawn our own decentralized market networks really quickly and be a part of those tribes, be a part of those networks. You have your decentralized ride-sharing tribe, you have your decentralized patent system tribe, your decentralized energy system tribe. These are not really competitive anymore. The ICO's are more like making a movie. Everyone that gets involved in one has the ability to grow with the network.

Adam Chapnick:

That's a great analogy, that's so interesting. What about the different kinds of tokens? Do you have any views on better, worse, or just-

Matthew McKibbin:

A lot of the tokens in the past year have been trying to skirt this securities line. Some are good for doing that, some are gonna end up being securities and are gonna get the hammer.

Adam Chapnick:

Sure, it looks that way.

Matthew McKibbin:

I think that the more that we move into this industries, we will be able to have some regulatory certainty. The United States is way far behind with some of the outdated SEC stuff, where you have to have a million dollars in assets to even participate in one of these. Whereas the rest of the world, they don't care if you participate. Now, you need to have investor protections, though. But I do think that the security, the liquidity-enhanced security tokens are gonna be really big in 2018, because you can take underlying, existing revenue streams and enhance it with liquidity. Like a commercial real estate lease, not usually a very liquid asset, now you can tokenize and securitize that, and provide liquidity to those types of underlying assets, and that's a way bigger market than our current, what we have.

Adam Chapnick:

You think, though, that this is all gonna be a regulated environment that's-

Matthew McKibbin:

No, no, I actually don't advocate ... I think advocating investor protection, I think regulatory certainty is really important, so the entrepreneurs can go out and know that they're not gonna be thrown in jail.

Adam Chapnick:

[crosstalk 00:06:23]

Matthew McKibbin:

Orange is the new black, but it doesn't look good on me, right? You don't wanna go to jail for what you're doing, but ultimately any ... you'll have decentralized exchanges that are going to exchange these assets, regardless of what the rules are, no matter what, so you might as well have good, clean, easy rules for entrepreneurs.

Adam Chapnick:

Got it. Do you think any of the crowdfunding rules are gonna apply? Or-

Matthew McKibbin:

For the securities?

Adam Chapnick:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matthew McKibbin:

Like what Brock Pierce did with BCAP. He open sourced that model to do Reg D under the crowdfunding and sell, basically, equity tokens. I think that model will be adapted, and we'll see a lot of different things pop up once these security-enabled platforms, or liquidity-enhanced security tokens come out, like equity crowdfunding of securities that have never been able to be done before.

Adam Chapnick:

Yeah. In those tokens, the Reg D is accredited investors, it's for the rich folk.

Matthew McKibbin:

In the U.S.

Adam Chapnick:

In the U.S. right, right.

Matthew McKibbin:

The rest of the world doesn't ... Europe doesn't care.

Adam Chapnick:

Here, right, exactly.

Matthew McKibbin:

China cares now, but they will not care at some point, maybe they will, maybe they'll flip-flop. They will be regulatory certain, but the rest of the world doesn't say you have to be a rich person to invest in a security ICO.

Adam Chapnick:

Right. Do you see this becoming more and more global and less and less U.S.-based because of the regulations?

Matthew McKibbin:

Yeah. The U.S. is like 20%, 30% of the capital, and it's like 90% of the risk. Why would you include U.S. investors, unless you have an easy runway and KYC scalable platform? Like a couple of the platforms that we advise on or are invested in do that. They scale out the KYC/AML that you would need to issue these, and they can hard-code the jurisdictional rules for wherever the person is once they've done the KYC/AML.

Adam Chapnick:

Got it, yeah. It's fascinating how the trending is going out of the United States the more that the FCC tries to get its hands on it, which is sort of substitute-

Matthew McKibbin:

The more star ships that you squeeze on board, the more slip through your fingers.

Adam Chapnick:

That's right, that's exactly right.

Matthew McKibbin:

That's kind of how this works, especially even with the China stuff. I mean, they banned Google, they banned Facebook, they've done fine, right? We're in the internet of money, 1995 maybe. The Googles, the Facebooks, the Amazons, the eBays, they haven't been created yet, and they're gonna be bigger 'cause it's the worldwide internet of money and we have 7.5 billion people to serve with the internet of money. As the rest of the humans get all internet, you know with the Elon Musk space satellite, gigabyte internet everywhere, when that becomes a thing in a couple of years, five years, everyone will have a bank in their pocket, on their cellphone. That's the beauty of it. We have the internet of money now, it's beautiful.

Adam Chapnick:

It's a beautiful thing. What do you think is the most exciting thing, looking into your crystal ball for the next six months?

Matthew McKibbin:

I think the securities tokens and regulation and getting the ability to scale out those things, to get the existing financial capital that can't get in yet, the fidelity. Even if the institutional investors put a couple of percent, just a hedge against anything else, that's tens of billions of dollars.

Adam Chapnick:

Explode, yeah.

Matthew McKibbin:

They just can't get in, they're legally not allowed. Your fidelity agent's not allowed. That's one thing, the on-ramps to get that capital in. I think that security is absolutely necessary, because [inaudible 00:10:00] all these assets and if someone steals your private key.

Then, the third thing that I'm really interested in is, we're gonna be able to create startup cities and startup societies with our own models of open source governance dapps, or decentralized applications. We're planning on doing an ICO, or a token generation event of a special economic zone down in Latin America, so we can ICO our own jurisdiction, and then hopefully work with the Seasteading people to do those, but create an open-

Adam Chapnick:

Sorry, what was that word? Seasteading?

Matthew McKibbin:

Seasteading. Seasteading Institute, something Peter Thiel created to create floating cities on the sea.

Adam Chapnick:

Oh, Seasteading, right! Got it! Oh my gosh.

Matthew McKibbin:

Then kind of open source that governance framework and the model legislation to create special economic zones, so we can have millions of special economic zones, and we can have a framework to create our own intentional communities around the world.

Adam Chapnick:

Love the-

Matthew McKibbin:

So ...

Adam Chapnick:

Well, thank you so much for joining us today, it's great to talk to you.

Matthew McKibbin:

Thank you so much, I appreciate it.

Adam Chapnick:

We wanna come back and catch up with you and see how your vision is going and all the Seasteading and the economic zones, I wanna follow up on that.

Matthew McKibbin:

Absolutely, that'd be great. There's an island down where we're gonna do it, and we'll fly you guys down for the investor event.

Adam Chapnick:

Sounds like a deal.

Matthew McKibbin:

I think it'll be pretty fun. Roger Ver just bought his own island.

Adam Chapnick:

Okay.

Matthew McKibbin:

This is already happening, he's a little bit ahead of us, I suppose, but he didn't ICO it.

Adam Chapnick:

Love it.

Matthew McKibbin:

Really a pleasure, absolutely, thank you so much-

Adam Chapnick:

Thank you so much for joining us.

Matthew McKibbin:

Yeah, absolutely, I appreciate it.