We ask developers in the blockchain and cryptocurrency space for their thoughts on the industry…and throw in some random zingers to keep them on their toes!
This week, our 6 questions go to Lynn Liss, Chief Operating Officer and co-founder of Akoin, a cryptocurrency and blockchain ecosystem designed to empower entrepreneurship and nurture emerging entrepreneurs in Africa.
Lynn Liss is the Chief Operating Officer of blockchain and cryptocurrency company Akoin, co-founded with global leader Akon. She is an operations leader and social impact leader driving financial revolutions, building powerful technologies and business models, and forging strategies, partnerships and teams for massive social change. Leading Akoin’s mission to strengthen entrepreneurship and financial inclusion across Africa, she brings to the table 10+ years in social impact and start-ups and another 10 years as a business consultant advising on innovative business and financial models for the world, implements and manages transitions with C-level executives in global top companies. Lynn was a pioneer in the Blockchain for Good space, advising blockchain companies and emerging cryptocurrencies and blockchains with social impact.
1 – What kind of consolidation do you expect in the crypto industry in 2022?
Well, we are certainly currently in the protocol wars between L1s, L2s and all walks of life in between and around the protocol space. While the idea of interoperability allows many protocols to exist simultaneously, space will not require the current set that is envisaged or brought to life. Having these different models to evaluate both technically and financially and to determine where and how you want to experience them, coupled with the pure “compete makes you stronger” mentality is what drives the platforms, their approach and their platform by Minute to sharpen to minute. It is more than exciting to see such a race!
We all benefit from the plethora of strong protocol options that are getting better, including the approach to interoperability that is also getting stronger from an industry perspective, and how we incorporate these tools into our toolset. So, consolidation, yes, but co-existing and cross-chain – also yes.
I’m very encouraged by the sheer number of projects that are getting started. In my opinion, we are witnessing a “renaissance” in the blockchain space where there are no wrong answers. This won’t last forever as it always does, new use cases will make others obsolete, other mechanics will be well received, others will not. This, in turn, will result in launching the next generation of blockchain applications with much higher fidelity from a UX perspective, as well as strong corporate structures and operations. This transition from “experiment” to “use case” as an overarching industry ethos will be exciting to watch over the coming months and years.
2 — What will happen to Bitcoin and Ethereum in the next 10 years?
Speaking of the “walk,” I just took one with a neighborhood friend who is relatively new to the blockchain and cryptocurrency space, and found myself suggesting that a “toe in the water” would involve delving into some of the major currencies invest and logs as a starting point via wallets like Coinbase. Given that bitcoin and ether are the most common stepping stones for the masses (there are one or two others I’ve added to this list, and bitcoin is too volatile for my liking), these OG players are obviously going nowhere, and given the size of the communities they support, along with the new L1s and L2s described above, they will continue to drive industry innovation. As others rise, we will see more competition and interoperability with those majors. This is also the point at which most businesses are first considering receiving cryptocurrencies for basic payments, leaving no doubt that these currencies are only going to get stronger and not going away anytime soon.
More interesting to me is which of the emerging L1 and L2 related currencies will rise to the top and be adopted by the less crypto-savvy players. My prediction is that when it comes to specific industries (i.e. market sectors like lending to geographic markets like we are doing with Akoin in Africa) many altcoins will rise into the top 20 and become commonplace and used for everyday activities. This is the place where you will find users who are genuinely interested in a specific market or area, who want more value and utility than current offerings, and are looking for solutions tailored to their needs. These users will always feel more comfortable holding these assets, not from an investment perspective, but from a real utility and daily usage perspective, which is the holy grail.
Coming back to the original question, the reality is that these main protocols go nowhere, especially as far as Bitcoin is concerned since it is the “gold” equivalent of a store of value on the blockchain. Ethereum, on the other hand, resembles an operating system much more than anything else. Ethereum’s advantage is its constant attention to upgrades and ease of use. While it is currently prohibitively priced for a variety of reasons – not the least of which is exorbitant gas fees – the advent of L2 solutions allows Ethereum to essentially cannibalize the useful mechanisms it encounters while discarding the less useful ones. As a result, I see Ethereum remaining the dominant L1 for years to come, while Bitcoin retains its status as the primary store of value on the blockchain.
3 — When you tell people you are in the blockchain industry, how do they react?
I’m happy to report that people in general are less surprised and at a loss as to what the heck this means than they were two years ago when the ICO craze took the world by storm. Although blockchain technologies and cryptocurrencies are still in their infancy, they have found their way into traditional banks, government agencies, and Fortune 500 companies, right down to the people who own some of the top cryptocurrencies. There seems to be a higher level of comfort in making basic payments in crypto, there is less confusion and more curiosity these days. This curiosity, coupled with people and large corporations willing to dip their toes in the waters of the blockchain, is where major crypto adoption will take place, and we’re excited to find out together. This is what excites me the most – to be at this tipping point between a “new technology paradigm” and widespread adoption into the industry standard. So myself and others who have been in the industry for a long time and want to see the growth of this industry enthusiastically take the time to walk with the newbies and explain them. By doing so, you sharpen the story and path, forging how everyone will find their way into this space one way or another. It all keeps us excited and on our toes too!
4 – List your favorite sports teams and choose the most memorable moment when you see them. If you’re not a sports fan, pick a few movies and a moment!
Ask my husband – I had to ask him who’s playing the Super Bowl and we live in Los Angeles. When it comes to movies, anyone who knows me well knows that Eminem’s Lose Yourself is from the movie 8 miles will play at my funeral (unless we exist in another interdimensional plane by then, but that’s another question). That moment on stage and the lyrics sum it all up.
5 – How do you feel about extraterrestrial intelligence and the existence of life elsewhere in the universe?
I have no doubt about the “existence of life elsewhere in the universe” so a resounding “yes”. For an in-depth look at all things “alien intelligence” and whether we have been visited by such forces here on Earth, you would have to ask my husband Ira Liss who is a semi-expert on the subject. I remain openly curious, as with all things.
6 — Except for today, in which time and country would you like to have lived?
I really had to think about it, from the glamor and sensational music of the 1920s through the ’30s, coming from the jazz renaissance in Paris to ’40s and ’50s New York with its eclectic literary circles and swanky gatherings. That is, I would not choose to exist anywhere other than in my present place and time. One of my favorite sayings is: “Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift! That’s why it’s called the present.” Many wonderful people have been credited with creating this quote, from Eleanor Roosevelt to Bil Keane and more. That resonates with me every day, because making the most of each day and the magical energy that surrounds you is truly a gift.
A wish for the young, up-and-coming blockchain community?
Continued curiosity, experimentation and innovation.
https://cointelegraph.com/magazine/2022/04/17/6-questions-for-lynn-liss-of-akoin 6 questions for Lynn Liss from Akoin – Cointelegraph Magazine