Leighlah Ashmore
Leighlah Ashmore


Holon Hackathon 2021: Web3.0 technologies


Video transcript

Hi, my name is Jonathan. I'm the MD of Holon Innovations. And next week, we're running the Holon Innovate 2021 Hackathon. And today, we're here with Tim Bass from Block8. We're so thankful to Block8 for sponsoring the Hackathon next week. Thank you so much, Tim,

Tim: Good to be here. Thank you.

Jonathan: So let's quickly start yourself. Can you tell us about yourself, Tim, and a little bit more about Block8?

Tim: My name's Tim Bass on the CEO of Block8. Block8 is a venture studio out of Sydney. We have an office in Sydney and an office in India, and officially we focus on building blockchain applications. We do that with a number of early-stage companies in Australia around the world, and we also invest in those companies. So we are super excited to be a part of the event.

Jonathan: Some of your developers are actually helping the entrants during the people that second part next week. That's right. Isn't it?

Tim: That's right. So Deepak Char is our head of pre-sales, and he's also the local founder of our Chandigarh office, and he'll be a mentor, coaching the team, and finding a winner.

Jonathan: So IPFS and FileCoin are these Web3.0 technologies, why is Web3.0 so important to Block8 and Australia?

Tim: Yeah, so my background was historically in IT services. So I grew up doing computers and then ultimately spent a lot of my time in, in the cloud. And when I rediscovered blockchain in 2015 with Ethereum, I saw an opportunity to effectively build the next generation of the Internet.

That's one of the reasons why as a venture studio, we like to back early-stage founders. We've got a number of portfolio companies that are all trying to solve interesting problems in the space, but essentially Web3.0.0 is what the Internet should have been, which is a decentralised open network.

Some of the technologies we're seeing now, and FileCoin is super important in that stack, allow people to create peer to peer markets and to exchange digital value and own that value on their data and really be in control and have agency.

The Internet's becoming highly centralised, which is good in some ways and not so good in others. So we see Web3.0.0 as a return to form.

Jonathan: Could you talk about some of the projects you've worked on, the empowering Web3.0.0? 

Tim: We've worked on quite a few early-stage ventures, which is where most of our reputation has come from. Going back to 2017, we worked on a project called Haven, which has pivoted into a company or project now called Synthetics. Back then, we designed a decentralised stable coin. So what we, we figured that to have decentralised markets, you should have decentralised money. So the idea of in-store injecting centralised money didn't make a lot of sense. So we built something that we're very proud of actually it's now continued to develop and evolve. It's now a derivatives trading platform, which is one of the largest on the Internet.

Since then we've worked on gaming projects RegTech, PropTech, FinTech, you name it. We've done a project recently called Bumper, which is a price protection protocol. We're working on another project called Loader, which is a bridge between CiFi and DeFi.

We're working with Volt bank in Sydney, which is a regulated entity. I've got some exciting things coming up with those guys. For us, we're just looking for really interesting use cases. And as we've grown, I think we're about 50 people now, but as we've grown, we're doing more and more in sort of traditional enterprise and government. So it's going to be super interesting what they do with the technology.

Jonathan: Talking about the hackathon starting next week, what are you excited to see, to see come out from the Hackathon?

Tim: When I was explaining what, what the Hackathon would be to the team, the, the, the example that kept popping into my head was imagine somebody created a decentralised Dropbox, and then I went, oh, I get it now. Right. So for me, I think that there's a huge opportunity for designers to create a UX and UI that's really interesting and uses the technology in a, in a cool way, but also for the builders and the guys who cut code, it's another novel way for them to deal with something new.

We're seeing a lot of the traditional sort of cloud-based applications recreated in a decentralised Web3.0.0 ecosystem. And so I'm super excited about what people are going to cook up, really. So I'm trying not to go in there with too many ideas because I am one of the judges, but I am super fascinated to see what the guys cook up. So, yeah.

Jonathan: One thing I want to quickly say is the Hackathon has two streams, so we have a programming stream and a design stream. So if you're not, if you're not a programmer, you can still take part and design an amazing application and any tool you choose. So how do people connect with you at Block8, Tim?

Tim: So you can find us all over the Internet. Really. we do a lot of thought leadership at the moment. We're on LinkedIn, we're on Twitter. Our website is block8.com.

We are currently running intern programs. We're doing a whole bunch of outreach in terms of obviously this, this has been as well. We had hiring a number of people in both countries at the moment. Towards the end of the Hackathon there'll be opportunities to people who are interested in working for a company like us to, to have a look at what we're, what we're doing and learning a little bit more about it, but we're easy to find. 

Jonathan: We are so glad that you guys are sponsoring the event. You're helping us on the technology side and you're also being a judge as well. That's amazing.

Tim: Thank you so much. We're looking forward to kicking off next week. Awesome. Should be fun!

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