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My name is Scott Burke. I'm the CEO of BlockCrushr Labs, an award-winning blockchain development lab, and TokenClub, your monthly subscription to curated, vetted ICO tokens. Ask me anything about blockchain technology, cryptocurrencies or ICOs!

Scott Burke
Feb 13, 2018

My name is Scott Burke.

I'm the CEO of BlockCrushr Labs, an award-winning blockchain development lab, and TokenClub, your monthly subscription to curated, vetted ICO tokens.

I've received an award at the World Government Summit for our work in blockchain, developed innovative new products in the online gaming industry, invented a solution to improve donations to homeless and hungry people using Ethereum, and once was an extra in the Martha Stewart made-for-TV movie starring Cybill Shepherd. My companies BlockCrushr Labs and TokenClub have just joined the Techstars family through the new Techstars Anywhere accelerator.

Ask me anything about blockchain technology, cryptocurrencies or ICOs!

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Conversation (69)

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Can you share some book titles or video links where one can learn more about blockchain technology from scratch?

Feb 14, 1:35PM EST0

Do you also believe that cryptocurrencies are just bubbles waiting to burst? Or will these last for many more years?

Feb 14, 5:43AM EST0

Is it too late to invest on popular crypto like Bitcoin?

Feb 14, 2:36AM EST0

Is it important to have enough knowledge about blockchain technology prior to spending money on cryptocurrencies?

Feb 14, 12:38AM EST0

Thank you all, my two hours is up - that was a blast! Thanks for participating and I really appreciate all your questions. I was able to get to most of them - sorry to those I missed! Feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn and follow @scottburke777, @TokenClub and @BlockCrushr on Twitter.

Until next time!

Feb 13, 6:14PM EST0

Working on getting through all your questions! This is fun!

Feb 13, 4:43PM EST0

Hi everyone! Excited to be here. Thanks for submitting so many thoughful and interesting questions. I'll do my best to be insightful. Here goes!

Feb 13, 3:56PM EST0

What products has your company developed in the online gaming industry?

Feb 10, 7:23AM EST0

Some highlights: In 2006, I developed a system of banner ads in which you could free-play common casino games (blackjack, poker, slots) and webmasters who ran affiliate sites could configure their own affiliate link you could click if you wanted to "play for real".

I went on to work with E3WD and World Casino Directory, eventually becoming CEO of that company, and along with my team developed the world's biggest directory of land based casinos, one of the premiere news sites in the gaming industry, and more than 200 other web sites in the space. That company was acquired in 2016.

We also built a whole host of custom dashboards and technology behind the scenes including innovative industry-first valuation models I'm very proud of!

After that I went on to spin up and run Atlantic Canada's first corporate innovation lab for the Atlantic Lottery Corporation (eastern Canada's $1 billion/year state lottery), and along with the very talented folks on my team and in the Innovation group, developed industry first products like Winvelope, a monthly subscription-by-mail service for scratch tickets, and PoolParty, an app that makes it easy and fun to play and manage lottery pools.

Last edited @ Feb 13, 5:09PM EST.
Feb 13, 4:41PM EST0

How has an award-winning blockchain development lab helped you in your personal life?

Feb 10, 6:15AM EST0

In what ways do you envision blockchain technology benefitting stock, options and futures traders/investors in the years ahead?

Feb 9, 11:27PM EST0

Are you willing to achieve more awards anytime soon?

Feb 9, 11:51AM EST0

Sure, why not! :)

Last edited @ Feb 13, 4:45PM EST.
Feb 13, 4:42PM EST0

What is the main objective of TokenClub?

Feb 9, 6:26AM EST0

TokenClub was born out of the insight that although ICOs are revolutionizing fundraising and venture capital worldwide, individually many ICOs are garbage and they can be time consuming and difficult to participate in. You've got to wade through and vet a sea of ICOs, get on the whitelist, get your transaction in at the right time, with the right amount of gas - it can really be a full-time job.

We created TokenClub to curate the best projects and give people a "virtual subscription box" of quality tokens with real utility, with one easy monthly payment.

Feb 13, 4:49PM EST0

What is the process to be candidate for an award within the World Government Summit?

Feb 9, 3:21AM EST0

Last year, the World Government Summit held the largest blockchain hackathon to date, the Blockchain Virtual GovHack, as part of their World GovTechioneers Race. We developed and entered our Hypergive system to the competition, and out of more than 1100 entrants around the world, our team (myself, Andrew Redden and Brian Jeffcock) were invited along with 3 other teams to attend the 2017 World Government Summit in Dubai, UAE, where we were given the 2017 Year of Giving Award by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

Feb 13, 4:32PM EST0

Regarding the factors that increase a cryptocurrency value in the market, do you have any particular ones that you have noticed and think are the most common?

Feb 8, 2:51PM EST0

Some of the factors we look at are: Adoption trajectory, quality of team, code and project, functionality/utility, transformational potential. In most cases you have to understand the underlying technology, business case, and think on a second or third-order level to evaluate this potential.

Feb 13, 5:15PM EST0

Could you explain more about the solution to improve donations to homeless and hungry people using Ethereum?

Feb 7, 7:10PM EST0

Sure. The system is called Hypergive, and it was born out of two insights. One, that we live in a cashless society - even if you want to give money to someone on the street, usually you can't because you're not carrying cash. Two, there is a lot of donor cynicism around where the money goes that inhibits generosity. We tackled these problems by creating a system of crowdfunded digital food wallets, that are basically business card-sized pieces of cardboard with a unique QR code on them. Partner organizations can issue them to people in need, and they can take the cards to a participating retailer to redeem for food or other necessities of life. The cards are uniquely tied to each individual with photo ID on the blockchain so they can't be sold, stolen or traded. Each participating retailer has an inexpensive smartphone running the Hypergive merchant app which they use to scan the card and validate the person and the transaction. Cards can be crowdfunded on the Hypergive web site using common payment methods such as credit cards, debit cards and other digital wallet services.

Feb 13, 4:29PM EST0

What would you say is the key to success in the cryptocurrency world?

Feb 7, 8:41AM EST0

Thanks for the question! In general I think the best thing to do is to get involved, in whatever that means for you. Being literate with blockchain technology, cryptocurrencies and tokens will serve you well as we move forward into the future. Learn and keep learning!

Feb 13, 5:17PM EST0

Following the impact cryptocurrencies have done in today’s world, would you say the biggest economic powers are going to fully utilize those currencies in the near future?

Feb 7, 3:51AM EST0

That's a really great question. It's tricky for the biggest economic powers because by the nature of cryptocurrencies, they have the potential to take the power away from individual countries, governments and other actors to set monetary policy or have the impact and control they're used to. That being said, it may not be a choice. I often compare cryptocurrencies and traditional finance to Napster/MP3s and the record labels. What the record labels should have done was embrace MP3s and digital far earlier than they did. They dug in their heels and refused to embrace the new paradigm. This is a whole different thing but there are important parallels.

Feb 13, 4:53PM EST0

Isn't it an issue that very few of the crypto currencies are actually used as such - as currency to actually buy something? Why do you think that is and is it detrimental? Would it help their wider acceptance if they were to become more practical?

Feb 6, 5:46PM EST0

Thanks for the question! Usability and adoption are two areas where cryptocurrencies need to grow to fulfil their full promise. They're also linked - as usability increases, so will adoption. I don't think we're at the tipping point yet, but we're already seeing significant progress. Literacy with cryptocurrencies continues to grow among the general populace, and over time more people and businesses will become comfortable with paying and receiving payment for goods and services through cryptocurrencies. Wallets, POS terminals and e-commerce flows will improve and there will be more "on-ramps" to crypto. The whole thing will just continue to become more user-friendly. The dApp economy will also help drive transactionality forward as more blockchain-native projects come online.

Feb 13, 6:08PM EST0

Have you ever had any other projects you worked on besides this?

Feb 6, 4:17PM EST0

What are the perks of blockchain technology that can go beyond economics?

Feb 6, 3:16PM EST0

Great question. So much of the focus around blockchain today is about the price of various cryptocurrencies or tokens. But we believe blockchain technology has the power to make people's lives better in a number of ways and drive innovation beyond just financial markets. For example, blockchain technology can provide identification for some of the world's poorest citizens, provide banking for the unbanked, enable machine-to-machine (M2M) co-ordination and value transmission at scale - imagine being in your autonomous vehicle and having it refueled by another autonomous vehicle, at speed, automatically, and the transaction is settled with blockchain tech! Personal data and health records will be secured and controlled by the individual - the list goes on and on.

Feb 13, 5:37PM EST0

Considering Ethereum a fast-growing cryptocurrency, do you think it might be more successful than the Bitcoin?

Feb 6, 3:05PM EST0

It certainly has that potential. Ethereum was what really activated me in the blockchain space to begin with. Bitcoin had been on my radar and I had been using it a bit but when Ethereum was released, that's what really got me going. The idea of Smart contracts and the Ethereum World Computer blew my mind.

You can do more with Ethereum from a functionality perspective, but there is a place in crypto for different use cases. Bitcoin has a longer history and proven itself to be resilient and with a low attack surface. At the end of the day, I am an "Ethereum guy" though.

Feb 13, 4:57PM EST0

Do you have any special hobbies that have directed your path onto the cryptocurrency world?

Feb 6, 11:32AM EST0

According to you, what makes a great CEO?

Feb 6, 10:54AM EST1

Great question. On paper, a CEO has 3 jobs - communicate the company's strategy internally and externally, conduct the primary recruiting and hiring decisions, and make sure the company doesn't run out of money.

Beyond that, people often have a stereotype in their mind of what a successful CEO is (the extroverted, charismatic CEO). However the data has shown that there are many ways to be a successful CEO and those things aren't necessarily correlated with success. In my opinion, it's important to have drive and resilience, be an active communicator and team builder, and be able to visualize the future.

If you want to go deeper on this, I highly recommend reading Good to Great by Jim Collins if you haven't already - it's one of my favorite books on business and leadership.

Feb 13, 4:25PM EST0

Which kind of innovating products would you strive to create in the future with your companies?

Feb 6, 9:15AM EST0

Beautiful ones, useful ones, magical ones, cool ones, exciting ones, transformational ones. Nothing boring.

Feb 13, 5:19PM EST0

Did you enjoy being an extra in the Martha Stewart made-for-TV movie starring Cybill Sheperd?

Feb 6, 9:05AM EST0

You know what, I really did. I was about 20 years old at the time, we were paid well, and having never been around a film set before, it was a really fun window into what a production like that looks like. There was a crazy snowstorm the last night of filming - it made an absolutely perfect atmosphere for the scenes being shot, but after shooting wrapped our car got stuck in a drift and we barely made it home!

Feb 13, 4:18PM EST0

How would you simply define an ICO?

Feb 6, 8:09AM EST0

An ICO is short for Initial Coin Offering. Sometimes they're called a Token Generation Event, or TGE. Broadly, this is where an individual, company or other entity (or autonomous piece of code!) creates and/or distributes blockchain-based tokens.

Feb 13, 5:29PM EST0

Where did the BlockCrushr Labs name came from?

Feb 6, 7:43AM EST0

Great question! The BlockCrushr Labs name is a nod to the "miners" on a blockchain - the computers running the software that compete to solve complex mathematical problems in order to earn the right to process the next "block" of transactions on the chain.

Feb 13, 4:13PM EST0

Do you have any future projects similar to the ones that have been shown?

Feb 6, 1:38AM EST0

We're always working on the blockchain frontier at BlockCrushr Labs! Drop by and sign up for our newsletter and we'll keep you updated on what we're up to.

www.blockcrushr.com

Feb 13, 5:55PM EST0

For the ones that know a little about the Techstars family: Is it required an invitation to join or you just need to fill some requirements?

Feb 6, 1:21AM EST0

Thanks for the question!

Techstars is a worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed. Headquartered in Boulder, Colorado, and with a presence in 25 major cities around the globe, they're one of the top tech accelerators and famously boast a notoriously competitive application process, with less than 1% of applicants making the cut. Techstars founders connect with other entrepreneurs, experts, mentors, alumni, investors, community leaders, and corporations to grow their companies.

You can learn more at www.techstars.com.

Feb 13, 5:08PM EST0

How can you tell if an ICO is good or not? What do you look for as signs, something even not a pro can pick up and use as advice?

Feb 6, 12:46AM EST0

It's a good question. Often low-quality ICOs will have flashy web sites and paid promotion all over the web, so you have to really be discerning about what you read. Large bonuses on token purchases or guaranteed returns are usually signs of a shady ICO. There are quality projects that offer bonuses but if it seems to be the main promotional technique I would avoid. Reddit and some of the ICO review sites can be good sources of information but again, consider the source.

Feb 13, 5:47PM EST0

How does Canada define a Token offering versus a Coin offering? Is the jurisdiction of the subscriber to a token sale more important than the jurisdiction of the entity offering the tokens?

Feb 5, 7:29PM EST0

At what time of your life did you decide you wanted to be working on a big company of your own?

Feb 5, 11:17AM EST0

One of the first things I can remember really lighting my entrepreneurial fire was playing a game called Lemonade Stand on an Apple ][e at school. It was a resource management game where you, surprise, had a lemonade stand, and the goal was to sell as much lemonade and make as much money as possible. You had to buy lemons, sugar, cups, set your prices, and tweak your recipe. Your results were influenced by what you did but also things outside of your control like the weather. (On cloudy days people would buy less lemonade!) If you underestimated your needs for any of your ingredients, you couldn't sell any more lemonade that day. If your price was too high, you wouldn't sell as much, but you'd make more per glass. If you put more sugar in, people would like the lemonade more, but it would increase your costs. Lemonade Stand! Loved it.

Feb 13, 5:54PM EST0

When did you get involved with blockchain technology? What were you passionate about before that?

Feb 5, 7:50AM EST0

How much time have you spent working on those projects?

Feb 5, 6:43AM EST0

BlockCrushr Labs was launched in May of 2016, along with the white paper describing what would become Hypergive. We created the first version of Hypergive in December 2016, and we launched TokenClub in October of 2017.

Feb 13, 5:42PM EST0

What does it mean for an ICO to be curated, vetted?

Feb 5, 4:47AM EST0

How much would it take for cryptocurrencies to take over regular currencies in the world?

Feb 5, 4:12AM EST0

I think this is something that's inevitable and it's going to happen more quickly than people think. Cryptocurrencies have so many characteristics that make them "good money". For example, people in countries with economies or monetary policy who experience hyperinflation can free themselves from this dynamic simply through holding cryptocurrencies.

Here are some things to watch for:

  • People will start to get paid in cryptocurrencies (at their jobs)
  • You'll be able to pay your taxes in cryptocurrencies
  • You'll be able to pay your bills in cryptocurrencies
  • You'll be able to make day to day purchases with cryptocurrencies (restaurants, etc.)
Last edited @ Feb 13, 4:11PM EST.
Feb 13, 4:10PM EST0

I want to become a customer, but I want to understand your ratings system for ICO's. I'm currently using Ian Balinas token matrix system and feel it's a solid way to research projects and score them, what do you think? 

Feb 5, 1:38AM EST0

We evaluate ICOs like a venture capitalist would, in addition to doing a deep technical dive. We look at things like team, project, market opportunity, traction to date, likelyhood of execution, X factor, and then we do a deep dive on the token and technology. CTO Andrew Redden and myself are both blockchain developers so we can look at a project and ask ourselves, is this truly transformative blockchain technology? Oftentimes Andrew will even audit the codebase of the project. We're focused on tokens that have utility and that people will want to hold, in projects that are fundamentally transformative.

Feb 13, 4:04PM EST0

What is the business model of TokenClub? What do you charge for the service? Do you charge the your clients and the ICOs listed?

Feb 4, 7:30PM EST0

Customers decide what they want to spend on TokenClub per month, and we charge 8.45% of that. If your monthly subscription is over $1000/mo, your fee is reduced. We charge our customers, not the ICOs included in the basket, in order to ensure our interests are exclusively aligned with our customers’. We take our fee in the tokens we purchase, rather than ETH or fiat, to show how confident we are in them and to reinforce that alignment.

 A full list of our fees is here: http://help.tokenclub.co/accounts-and-subscriptions/fees/what-are-your-fees

Last edited @ Feb 13, 3:59PM EST.
Feb 13, 3:59PM EST0

Why was the online gaming industry one of your focus when innovating?

Feb 4, 6:52PM EST0

Great question. I started with the online gaming industry back in 2006. The industry hadn’t experienced some of the consolidation it had today, it was breaking new ground in a whol variety of ways, and I saw an opportunity for smaller players to come in and make their mark. In addition, I was fascinated by the math behind casino games, and being a developer and designer, the graphics and animations were super fun and engaging. For me the gaming industry brought together a really engaging combination of money, math, graphics and programming.

Feb 13, 3:58PM EST0
Show all 3 replies

How can an ICO get listed in the TokenClub?

Feb 4, 6:42PM EST0

Great question. We select ICOs for our monthly TokenClub baskets based exclusively on merit – high quality of the project, the team, the token, and focus on fundamental or transformational blockchain technology. We don’t accept fees or promotional compensation from projects we include – the only way to get into a TokenClub basket is to be great! That being said, we’re always looking for excellent projects that are not yet on the radar, so projects are free to reach out to us at hello@tokenclub.co.

Feb 13, 3:57PM EST0
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