Digital Wealth News is pleased to bring you our “Fintech Luminaries” series – featuring thought leaders within the blockchain and digital currency space. For the next feature in this series, we’d like you to meet Moshe Joshua, Chief Product Officer at Blackmoon, a Blockchain FinTech company creating tokenized investment vehicles that will bridge the gap between the fiat and crypto universes.
NAME: Moshe Joshua
TITLE: Chief Product Officer (CPO)
WEB ADDRESS: https://blackmoonplatform.com/
How did you personally become involved in blockchain?
I have been working within wall street firms for over 20 years. The fundamentals of the blockchain industry have something that have always attracted my attention from the outset of Bitcoin’s whitepaper, due to the direct overlay to my work in derivative markets and credit-based trading systems.
My first official job for a blockchain related company was as a market-maker and liquidity provider for Ripple. That relationship led to me consulting directly for them and developing their first stab at a streaming market-data and FIX-Protocol translator for Ripple’s Consensus Ledger (RCL); a technology called Ripple Stream that led to the further development of their current FX market product line.
What does your firm do/offer within the blockchain sector?
We are tokenizing fund investments, all for one purpose: liquidity. Importantly, we are focused on a two-way bridge where traditional fiat investors can gain access to crypto’s current volatility, and inversely grant a crypto owner some de-risk options to invest in traditional capital markets.
We select traditional fund managers looking to tokenize their fund via our platform. A one stop solution that provides IT, Compliance, Marketing, Reporting, Security and Investor/Customer Support. It’s not simply a matter of cost and efficiency, but also marketability and access to markets other investors cannot currently access. We provide investors, both crypto as well as traditional fiat owners, the opportunity to select from a diverse set of curated investment vehicles for their portfolio, all within a liquid and tradeable environment.
What is your role within your firm and what do you do there on any given day?
I am Chief Product Officer for the Company. No day is the same as the last, especially now that we are growing so rapidly. My main focus is providing vision and strategy towards what I believe will work, and stay in-touch with the industry to maintain a pulse of the market’s demand. It’s my job to make sure our products and platform have relevance and are actually meeting a need, and not simply doing it because it’s cool (which it totally is anyways!).
What area/s of blockchain do you believe will grow the most in the coming 5 years?
Without question blockchain as an industry that is moving towards its second phase of acceptance. I think we are still a few years away from a full-blown mainstream usage pattern, but the discovery phase is over. Bitcoin and Ethereum have been the proving grounds for what blockchain’s promise can attest to in the real-world vs. what it cannot compete with, and now we are seeing those usage patterns entrenching themselves in new and novel ways. New technologies and protocols are still trying to unseat them, either through better latency and/or higher throughput, but the focus will still be on where decentralized ledgers (DLT) generate new value, and create new verticals, as opposed to simply a better underlying digital infrastructure.
What do you believe the next major innovation in financial technology will be and why?
DLT has been great in exposing the need for a major financial technical overhaul, and we are now in the process of replacing and upgrading its core.Paradigm shifting technologies take time to absorb themselves into our lives, and I don’t see anything “new” occuring for another decade (barring a major advancement in a quantum computer or cold fusion). We saw it with the advent of the internet, and the laser – it takes time for the world to catch up and for those technologies to realize their true potential, with products that were inconceivable at the outset. Now with DLT and the internet-of-value it’s no different. The next decade will be focused on how to best utilize the common denominator of all these technologies and those players that create the best user-experiences will win out in the end.
IoT is on its own interesting future curve, and considering the long-tail reputation-credit-value argument mentioned above, I believe we will start to see financial products and innovative value-transfer that is directly embedded into physical everyday handheld devices.
What are the biggest problems facing the blockchain industry in the future?
As far as I’m concerned, the future of blockchain’s adoption into all technology frameworks is inevitable. That’s how excited I am about it. However, specifically in the financial arena, without a doubt, the possibility of being permanently pigeonholed into a regulatory framework that was not built to support a borderless environment is problematic. For those unregulated industries that can let their creative imaginations run wild, they are only limited to what they internally self-regulate (social networks not allowing porn is a good example). However, financially regulated companies, like Blackmoon, are forced to work within their jurisdictional compliant limitations. The borderless nature of the internet, coupled together with the advent of digital currency, create logical problems for regulatory frameworks, which are legislative and bordered by definition. Interestingly, regulators stand to gain the most from DLT’s public transparency, and I am hopeful that feature-set will in the end succeed in expanding the current regulatory environment into a more global purview. We must maintain the existing regulatory investor protections, they are the bedrock of the financial system, but we will also need it to upgrade and adopt a global consortium and internet-based standardizations to unlock DLT’s full financial potential.
What has been the biggest success in your firm to date?
Other than raising $30M in under 20 hours, I would say that the current launch of the Xiaomi IPO token is one of our most notable milestones. Blackmoon is the first company in history to tokenize an IPO this way and allows cryptocurrency investors to users access to the Xiaomi Corporation IPO.
What has been the biggest failure in your firm and how did you adapt?
We are still a young company, nothing notable yet, but I am sure that there will be a lot of them to come. Alfred Pennyworth (Batman’s butler) asks: “Why do we fall down?, So that we learn how to get up”. Making mistakes and having failures is an important part of building resiliency. I am looking forward to making many mistakes and having more failures together with my Blackmoon teammates, as I have had the pleasure to share elsewhere in my career.
What blockchain leader do you admire the most and why?
Specifically within the blockchain community, it’s a small world to choose from considering other industry leaders. Notably Pavel and Nikolai Durov, from Telegram, stand out to me. It’s not for some technical innovation that I single them out, or for their visionary status in rethinking what can be and should be, but rather for their community driven standards coupled together with a strong internal compass towards privacy protection and a willingness at personal risk to maintain that belief. They are amazing and elegant technologists, and surely focused on corporate profits. But I am awed by their drive and ethos keeping to the open-sourced mentality of global community driven change – considering that it would have been easier for them to achieve the same end goals through unadulterated greed. Decentralized decision making is simply an awesome achievement, and all the blockchain leaders have patterned their accomplishments to be shared publicly and globally instead of with their egos. That is worthy of all our praise.
How do you feel consumers (or if more relevant for your firm – businesses) are adapting to the facet of blockchain that your company operates within?
Everyone has to “first unlearn what they have learned” (Yoda). After the initial education and recognition for what Blackmoon is proposing, the industry-wide advantages are clear and adoption is almost immediate. The challenge facing us is not technical or operational, rather it’s a legal and compliance confrontation between what we want to do, what we should do, and what we can do. So, for now we are doing our best to squeeze as much DLT functionality into the current limitations, whilst at the same time, maintaining as much flexibility to expand in-step with regulatory changes. Blackmoon is already at the limit of what is allowable, and adaptation going forward will be instantaneous.
Moshe Joshua has been providing innovative software solutions and tools for a host of novel and unconventional companies for over 20 years. Moshe is a recognized leader in the many industries he works with creating the de-facto standards for many of those areas.