BeInCrypto’s bi-weekly news show host Jessica Walker says the innovation that comes from the blockchain community is simply fantastic.
Here, we sit down with BeInCrypto’s bi-weekly news show host Jessica Walker to get a better idea of her thoughts, predictions, and overall perspective of the cryptocurrency industry. Ideas, some of which will be discussed in her twice weekly YouTube news show, that focus on the biggest industry events, regulatory updates, and breaking crypto news.
Jessica has been a leading figure in the industry for the past three years, having interviewed both leading industry players and has helped launch projects that have become multi-million user platforms.
BeInCrypto spoke with Jessica about her path from her journalism career at Dukasopy Bank to becoming a renowned content creator. We discussed what drew her to the crypto space, what approach she has to the blockchain and crypto industry, and how she prepares for an interview, among many other exciting things.
Let’s get deep with Jessica.
BeInCrypto: What drew you to cryptocurrency?
Jessica Walker (JW): I was introduced to cryptocurrency whilst working as a television reporter for a Swiss Bank in Geneva, in 2015. Many of the guests I interviewed from large banks around the world were moving into cryptocurrency or blockchain-related projects. My first video interview on bitcoin (BTC) was aired in June 2015! I found it extremely refreshing that cryptocurrencies were controlled by users and the technology rather than a central bank.
The main attraction had to be the extreme price fluctuations. My previous role would look at the price swings of commodities and safe haven fx currency pairs, so to see the wild price swings of cryptocurrencies meant once you’d started looking at the price charts, you found it hard to look away!
BeInCrypto: Can you tell us about your approach to the blockchain and crypto industry?
JW: I am extremely lucky to have a very strong network having attended so many events and creating video content with disruptors in the space. Although I don’t manage a project directly, I am passionate about introducing people who then move forward with a business relationship. This is a global industry with so many committed participants.
BeInCrypto: If you were to tokenize one of your assets what would it be?
JW: I always liked the idea of tokenizing real-world assets, so small investors could own a rare artwork or vintage sports car. I don’t have anything exciting enough to tokenize but if I was to purchase tokenization of an asset, it would be a rare jewelry piece like the Peacock Diamond Brooch valued at $100 million.
BeInCrypto: Which use case perfectly epitomizes the potential of blockchain?
JW: Good question! Based on the turbulence of 2020, I’d have to say blockchain for supply chains and international trade is something that holds great potential and benefits. For large corporations, blockchain technology can eliminate fraud, reduce costs and identify issues quickly. From the consumer’s side, it can help establish trust with the supplier and provide end-to-end connectivity.
BeInCrypto: What are the major blockchain adoption barriers?
JW: Education as many people are just not familiar with the concept yet or it seems too daunting to find out. A few months ago in Malta, I went to a fine dining restaurant that advertised that it accepted cryptocurrency. However, the waiting staff had no idea how to process the payment, so we paid in euro instead. Luckily for us, as based on the recent price swings, we’re glad we held on to our bitcoin.
BeInCrypto: How has 2020 impacted you as a journalist?
JW: It has been a challenging year; the need for content has become more important than ever. I was working as Head of Media and Conference for the AIBC Summit, which specializes in major, global events. Due to the pandemic, the events industry had to change massively, so agility was key.
We moved all the conferences to virtual platforms and saved time on travel making the organization more efficient. We were able to hold three digital conferences, covering AI and blockchain developments across Asia, Latin America, and Europe. AIBC Summit’s YouTube channel hosted all the discussions. It was amazing to see that, from my clients’ perspectives, the emerging technology was needed now more than ever before.
BeInCrypto: What do you see the industry doing this year?
JW: This year has already kicked off with such a strong start. Six days into 2021, bitcoin’s price action has already been featured on the front page of the Financial Times, and The Times Business section. People outside our industry are familiarizing themselves with the terminology of “cryptocurrencies” and trust is being established.
I’m expecting more retail investors to get involved, and a younger wave of investors than we’ve seen in previous decades. I discussed this with Alex Mashinsky for a BeInCrypto interview, in late December. As more interest-earning accounts reward you for hodling, this should encourage younger generations to explore this new asset class. Of course, the large headlines of Coinbase’s IPO and PayPal looking to acquire cryptocurrency companies are huge green signals for a rise in adoption and awareness.
BeInCrypto: What is your current ambition?
JW: I love creating content, meeting new people and hearing their stories. The art of storytelling to share someone’s vision that then inspires others is amazing. My ambition is to start rolling out more content of my own, there will be another channel coming soon!
BeInCrypto: What will the new BeInCrypto news show deliver?
JW: I’m really excited to be working on this! Bi-weekly, BeInCrypto will be airing a news show, where we will be taking a look at some of the biggest industry events of the week. Each week will see regulatory updates, company announcements, M&A’s, breaking news and, of course, we can’t forget the price action. It feels like there is a gap in the market for a rolling news show which covers everything in around ten minutes.
BeInCrypto: How do you prepare for a blockchain and crypto interview?
JW: I go through the interviewee’s recent blog posts and social media accounts to find interesting items. I always like to provide an opportunity to include the key questions that viewers will be interested in, so I’ll look through YouTube comments of previous interviews they’ve done.
A lot of the time the most insights and perspectives come from the comments section, even better if a debate breaks out! You can never be too prepared, but some of my favorite interviews have been completely unplanned, grabbing the opportunity to speak with industry friends that I’ve run into at a conference.
BeInCrypto: How have institutional investors changed the blockchain ecosystem?
JW: Institutional investors coming into the market and showing a large interest in bitcoin in recent months have really driven this bull run. A lot of the interest was sparked from this turbulent mix of economic uncertainty and low-interest rates. The interest from institutions brought publicly listed companies like MicroStrategy and Square Inc. to invest in bitcoin.
BeInCrypto: What is the biggest bottleneck to mass adoption of cryptocurrencies?
JW: That’s hard to determine, although I do think regulation will be a constant conversation.
The US SEC and UK’s Financial Conduct Authority will be looking into cryptocurrencies more closely, and that could have a huge impact on buying and selling. Exchanges are also acknowledging the need to take regulation more seriously, so it will be interesting to see how this develops.
BeInCrypto: In your opinion, will bitcoin continue to break all-time highs or will the bubble pop?
JW: Right now, I’m feeling positive about market movements. This huge asset class is gaining interest from financial giants and governments but also retail investors around the globe. I like the phrase “tennis ball theory of investing — what goes up must come down” and while that may be correct for 24hr 15% daily market moves that we see, I don’t see Bitcoin falling below $20,000 in the foreseeable future.
I do think the next three months will be critical, especially when we consider a new regulatory playing field in the US. It will be important to see how the President-elect Joe Biden looks to regulate cryptocurrencies in the future.
BeInCrypto: Are DeFi token sales the new ICOs? Are they good for the market?
JW: I don’t see a direct parallel between the ICO bubble in 2017 and DeFi growth.
DeFi token sales outweighed ICO’s in sales, DeFi application sales rose in 2020, hitting $9 billion, which was 66% bigger than that of the ICO craze.
Based on the DeFi projects I’ve worked with in 2020, it seems that there is less public interest but a more sophisticated batch of investors than those of the comparable ICO craze a few years back. That being said, anyone looking into a new project must do their research and invest responsibly.
BeInCrypto: What is the biggest place to innovate in the blockchain sector?
JW: This whole sector is buzzing with innovative ideas; you just have to take a look around and you’ll see projects that will amaze you. Honestly, the innovation that comes from this community is fantastic. DeFi is probably the biggest innovation to take note of so far — it’s something I feel really passionate about when we look at how challenging the current financial model is for most people.
BeInCrypto: What would “mainstream adoption” of blockchain look like to you?
JW: Mainstream adoption is when people come into contact with this technology daily, without realizing it.
In the healthcare industry alone, there are so many potential uses and we’re at a time in our lives where healthcare development and delivery is critically important. Mainstream adoption in healthcare could see the transferring of patients’ healthcare records transparently yet securely using blockchain technology, and ensure that pharmaceutical products can be stored at the correct temperature, tracked, traced, and not tampered with. Blockchain technology has thousands of use-cases; adoption will be seeing those implemented in every walk of life.
BeInCrypto: What is the best way to get no-coiners to try cryptocurrency?
JW: I think you have to take a step back, and first explain the basic concept of money and that the traditional ways of managing finance haven’t always worked in the current climate. Once you start to look at quantitative easing and how the central banks acted during the 2020 coronavirus outbreak that can encourage looking at the implications this could have on your national currency, be it the GBP, USD, or EUR. Then I think people are ready to listen to alternatives, and this is where cryptocurrencies become such an interesting conversation to have.
BeInCrypto: Do you think having thousands of cryptocurrencies is sustainable or that most of them will end up valueless?
JW: Not at all. I’m shocked that as of January 2021, we have over 8,100 cryptocurrencies listed on CoinMarketCap. For newcomers, this must make the industry daunting. However, I do encourage alternative coins to bitcoin that have provided a solid use case in certain regions of the world. In Latin America, there are a handful of other cryptocurrencies or digital currencies that act as a store of value alongside bitcoin, some are faster and even require no internet connection.
Of course, there are some tokens listed on sites like CoinMarketCap that may not progress in any way, that is up to the individual investor to do their research and look into.
BeInCrypto: What do you look for in a blockchain project?
JW: I start by looking at the core team and their employment background. If the project is emerging and doesn’t have much press attached, I will try to reach out to some of the team members on sites such as LinkedIn or Twitter to confirm that the core team published online is correct and legitimate.
Then I look at the objectives of the project and the planning and proposal of the organization.
BeInCrypto: How has blockchain affected your life?
JW: Incredibly! My career has been centered around blockchain for the past three years. I moved to Malta for a job in the blockchain space and a lot of my friends are those that I have met from this industry. In a typical year, I would travel around Europe and Russia attending conferences, although 2020 was significantly different.
This industry has allowed me to push for more content, interview some incredible people over the years and watch some emerging projects become multi-million user platforms. It’s an industry I’m incredibly thankful to have discovered so early on in my career.
BeInCrypto: Thank you, Jessica.