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Jamie Burke: “Consider Blockchain and DLT as a new trust layer for the web”

When it comes to Blockchain, Distributed Ledger Technology and Web 3, Jamie Burke is widely considered one of the main drivers and experts. He is also the CEO and founder of Outlier Ventures, a venture platform that supports the development and growth of emerging technologies. As one of Europe’s leading ambassadors, he’s been promoting Blockchain as the foundation to key emergent trends like AI, IoT, mixed reality and more. 

Today, tech frontrunners, investors and IT specialists alike look to him for inspiration and guidance. His takes on emerging technological trends are as graspable as they are profound. That’s why we are thrilled to announce that Jamie Burke is going to share some of his knowledge in a keynote speech, kicking-off our brand-new virtual certificate program “Blockchain & DLT Manager” on October 1st. In a preliminary interview with the TUM School of Management, Burke talks about new technology’s role in future business. Furthermore, he elaborates on the main triggers for market adoptions as well as necessary skills for working at the intersection of business and technology.

Mr. Burke, you are an investor in Blockchain, DLT and Web 3. Could you explain why Blockchain & DLT will be playing a major role in future business?

On the meta level, you can consider Blockchain and DLT as a new trust layer for the web. Wherever there is a cost to trust, where we’re normally reliant upon an intermediary to broker trust on our behalf, either as end users of the web or as businesses, that adds friction, slows the process down and adds cost as in tax to that trust brokerage. And so actually, because of anonymity and the fact that identity and various things haven’t been soulful on the Internet, the world at the moment is heavily reliant upon these trust brokers, and they extract that tax either by way as a fee or in return foryour data and as part of that kind of terms of service. And we are increasingly seeing the side effects of that, which is often referred to as the surveillance economy. 

For consumers or citizens, that is obviously a concern. Huge amounts of data are being amassed by a handful of organizations in order to train AI. In consequence, that’s leading to AI advantages, to AI monopolies, which affects all businesses – especially those that have been left behind. And so, for example, that’s why even Elon Musk at Tesla has created an Open AI initiative to aggregate developments of AI with other comparatively smaller players in order that they aren’t left behind. You can imagine the consequences of that for the long tail of the businesses. 

So effectively, when we’re talking about DLT, Blockchain, Web 3, on the one hand, of course, there are lots of use cases in the context of financial services and commerce, because obviously a ledger is effectively an accounting tool to allow for value flow, tracking of value flow and exchange between a group of participants. But on the other hand, it’s increasingly about the data economy and ultimately the AI economy where and how AI is controlled and owned. 

Looking at all these startups and DLT protocols, what are the main triggers for market adoption of these technologies?

We’re already seeing increasing adoption of Blockchain-like-technologies in the context of financial services, where effectively a bottom-up capital market has been built since the inception of Bitcoin and extended in its complexity since other protocols had been introduced, like Ethereum, which allow for greater programmability. 

This could be described as a permissionless innovation sandbox, often outside of or in between regulations in capital markets where, effectively, financial services and goods are being built purely by code and without intermediary. One the one hand, the experiment that we’re witnessing there is a seeking of yield return in this new capital market for people allocating capital or resources and then, on the other hand, this relentless pursuit of efficiency. And these two things combined are creating a hyper competitive bottom-up capital market that is going to be irresistible to governments, businesses and banks around the world. 

You can already see governments around the world developing CBDC (central bank digital currencies) to partly leverage on some of the innovations while also aiming for a maximum of control. You see this kind of co-option happen. And I think that’s going to be true across areas of commerce, beyond banking and capital markets, borrowing and lending, into areas like e-commerce.

What is the future skills set by a manager working at the intersection of business and technology?

The ideal candidate for such a position would be somebody who can both be fairly technical and familiar with this rapid pace of innovation that happens in cryptocurrency blockchain. Often, that requires coding skills. There aren’t really no-code solutions yet that allow you to experiment with what is effectively an open source technology stack. But such future managers also need to have a business context.

And that requires working with or inside large organizations to understand the existing value chains and supply chains, to understand inefficiencies, and then effectively take these technologies, co-opt or apply them into that business context, the application layer.

To sum it up, a solid grounding in technology, ideally in coding and either a generalized understanding of industry or a deep domain expertise will allow you to see opportunities to apply these technologies within a large enterprise or even in a startup context.

We are currently looking for founders building with these skills for our accelerator Base Camp. To find out more about how you can get involved, make sure to visit our website

 

Are you also looking for a way to build up your knowledge at the intersection of business and technology while future-proofing your career in management? Now is the time to do it! Make sure to register for our brand-new virtual certificate program “Blockchain & DLT Manager” until October 1st and learn how to leverage the technologies of tomorrow.

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