ArticlesBlog

Centrality: A Peer-to-Peer Blockchain Marketplace – Aaron McDonald at New Frontiers

Centrality: A Peer-to-Peer Blockchain Marketplace – Aaron McDonald at New Frontiers


(audience applauding) – Hi guys. So yeah, a little bit about
why we kind of joined up in the Catalyst Program,
and why we’re so excited about the work the EHF is doing. I think probably the number one thing is look at all this unfuck the
world sitting in front of us. (audience laughing) I mean, this is what
it’s really all about. And we got involved last
year in a little way, and we kind of came along, and
felt the energy in the room, and participated in some stuff, and started talking to people afterwards. And what we could tell is
that this mission had the incredible ability to bring
people from all over the world, with all different viewpoints,
who can now work together to create this kind of
collective push forward, a momentum in the world around us. You know, today I think one of the things that spoke to me the most
was when Charlie got up and talked about taking a
more holistic view of nature, and our participation in that. And you know, me as a
technologist, you know, probably the opposite of him
more or less there actually. I started as a farmer and come
from a farming background, and as a technologist, kind
of trying to figure out how I’d fit in today. And the thing that was
really kind of key for me is that making the world
a better place to live in takes lots of little things, and all of us doing
their part in that space. And what we’re trying to do in Centrality is a little piece of that
kind of dynamic as well. It’s how can we repair a little thing that we’re seeing in the world. And if I take farming as an example, it’s quite interesting
to hear the speakers talk this morning,
coming up as a rural kid and growing up on a farm and listening to my grandad talk about the way he farmed, and
sitting on the knee of my great grandad when I was younger, he probably imparted on me
some wisdom then as well, was actually what they
were talking about today. And regenerative farming
is actually just what my grandfather and his
grandfather called farming. And we kind of, as a society,
we’ve taken technology by the bit and kind of driven
forward and said, you know, we can do all these things. And because we can do
them we will do them, without thinking about what the consequences of those things are. And so, when I hear about
us coming back full circle, and talking about, you
know, these practices, again, it really makes my heart swell, you know, being from the land. And we’re trying to do a
little bit of that ourselves. We think technology’s
got this great potential to solve a lot of problems. And I think the early
days of the internet, it started out like that. And it was about
democratizing information, and getting education into places that never had it before, and providing access to services to people who never
experienced them before. But what we’ve all seen, and
I think anyone in this room who’s kind of following current events, it’s kind of got to this point where it’s going the opposite direction. You know, we’re seeing
the use of technology, particularly information technology, going down a path which
is terrible for humanity, for society, and having
impacts in the real world. You know, we see a situation where your information is being harvested, it’s being packaged up, it’s being, unwittingly, or carelessly
sold off to third parties. They’re taking that information. That information’s used to influence the outcome of an election, the outcome of that election
gets someone into power who, one of the first things they start to do is destroy the planet. And so these digital identities
are our virtual selves starting to be used against us in a way that’s impacting
our physical world. And what Centrality is about, it’s about taking technology,
and helping to shift it back. You know, to put maybe some of the wrongs that we’ve started to do with this thing, and put it back into a
little bit more equilibrium. A little bit more balance. And I’m all about equality. That’s the one thing that I want to do with this business,
with this organization, and with this community, is give people back control
of their virtual selves, use their virtual selves and processes where they participate
better in the economy, and help grow a more equal
technology ecosystem. And Blockchain has the power to do that through being able to
decentralize ownership of things, to decentralize data
and information storage, the way those things
are used in processes, and help us take back control from some of these big companies who are doing things with our information, with our data, with the
money that we’re investing in these businesses that we didn’t expect, or that we don’t want. So you know, we’re doing that. In New Zealand we raised close
to $100 million US Dollars to start really making
an impact in the space. And we have, you know, 70 or so engineers here in New Zealand, and
teams all around the world working on trying to solve these problems. And in New Zealand here, actually, with your fellow participants, the guys from Indigicoin are here, they’re in our incubation program now working out how to take
Blockchain technology and apply it in the Maori economy. And so how can we create
a decentralized economy, with the values of Maoridom built into it. And those types of projects
are the kinds of things we really are interested in. Really keen to talk to any of you that are thinking about doing things that are gonna decentralize the process, give people more control
over their information, get wider participation
in the economic system for people who are missing out. If those are things that make you happy, then they’ll make us happy, and we can work together on those things. So thanks guys, real
excited to be part of it. Hand you back to the
people making a difference. (audience applauding)

Comment here