Blockchain as a Solution to Financial and Hardware Infrastructure Inefficiencies

Published on
September 25th, 2020
73 minutes

Blockchain as a Solution to Financial and Hardware Infrastructure Inefficiencies

The Interview - Crypto ·
Featuring Halsey Minor and Santiago Velez

Published on: September 25th, 2020 • Duration: 73 minutes

Halsey Minor, tech and digital media entrepreneur, joins Santiago Velez, Co-Founder & R&D Division Lead for Block Digital, to discuss blockchain and its potential use as a core web infrastructure. Halsey describes, in detail, his background, what led up to the creation of Uphold, and VideoCoin and his entry into the blockchain space. He explains his first experience with cryptocurrency and his belief that it can create valuable opportunities by bringing applications even closer to their users via decentralization. Minor touches on the usefulness of blockchain architecture to open up access to underutilized hardware in a permissionless way. Finally, Minor explains a bit about the project he co founded, Public Mint, and its importance to the blockchain ecosystem. Filmed on September 3, 2020



  • DR
    Dan R.
    3 November 2020 @ 01:58
    Nice Job Santiago, great finish with identifying yourself as the first use case for some of the transactions. It shows you are not just talk but actually using, experimenting and learning, lots of credibility in my book. It would be interesting to know who you think he will be partnering up with deposits and interest side. I am using Celsius. Thanks
  • SS
    Stephen S.
    5 October 2020 @ 22:14
    I get wallets are easier than bank accounts, but you can lose a wallet!
  • JV
    Jerry V.
    25 September 2020 @ 22:15
    Santiago wonderful job - Halsey was a major league get
    • SV
      Santiago V. | Contributor
      25 September 2020 @ 23:29
      Thanks Jerry! The subject matter was very counter-narrative to the typical Real Vision Crypto theme, which I think is beneficial for balance around the subject matter. Sometimes ideology gets in the way of pragmatism.
    • TP
      Timothy P.
      28 September 2020 @ 16:23
      Where to begin. First - if you have issues being in an interview setting, lots of verbal "ums" and "so" and all, in addition to not completing sentences, please hire a PR person who can go through the bullet points for you. It was a bit difficult to parse because of this. Second, this offering is an ERC-20 token built on Ethereum, which hasn't even proven itself, and with the coming "2.0" migration debacle pending, may not even make it past that point as a viable network. Third, competing in "video" means you're going up against competitors that aren't requiring some Proof-of-Stake altcoin to get things done. Amazon, Google, Akamai, etc... they have much deeper pockets than this project. Also, the condescending attitude about decentralization put me off "its a moral thing" really? No, its a way to have massive uptime thing. I just get the general impression that this guy saw the "DeFi" degenerates pushing money at crapcoins, and got the itch to insert himself. There exist other networks that handle video. They may not be great, some may not make it, but his proposal isn't unique in that regard. As for the rest - is he a bank, an exchange, what the hell is his service? He goes into rants about stablecoins, yield, etc... but its not completely obvious how he's going to handle KYC/AML -- because he'll have to -- and the rest. Making sweeping claims about "serving the world" is all well and good, but I bet FINCEN and the rest would like to have a word. It reminds me of the self-congratulatory backpatting that accompanied the "Libra" launch, before they understood the implications of what they were actually trying to do. All I see is another coin that will languish on the long tail of irrelevance.
    • SV
      Santiago V. | Contributor
      1 October 2020 @ 14:26
      @Timothy My apologies Timothy, I'm not a professional interviewer. I'll work harder to make my questions succinct and clear, as well as addressing the verbal thought place holders ("ums"). With regards to the ERC-20 token built in Ethereum, I think you are referring specifically to VideoCoin. They did perform an ICO in 2017 and created an ERC-20 VID token, however the token does not rely on the Ethereum network for the processing of video. The Proof of Transcoding protocol of the VideoCoin native blockchain is live and to my knowledge is the first computation proof of work that does not involve security hashing (like BTC PoW). This is extremely important if we are thinking about energy and computation as both security and value. Please don't discount this simply because the project funded itself with a token. All of that being said, the project does not depend on migration to Ethereum 2.0 as it's on it's blockchain. Now, in fairness, the project does rely on VID for delegators to stake against worker nodes (as a security / reputation scoring system). To stake against a worker you do have to "bridge" the ERC-20 token to the native VideoCoin blockchain and that process does take ETH gas (which therefore means there is SOME dependencies to the Ethereum network congestion). I've brought this to the attention of many projects that built their houses on sand and they all have plans of migrating to their own native tokens soon unless E2.0 ameliorates the congestion problems and properly scales. With regards to the competitors, for Akamai in particular video transcoding/caching is now a cost center for them as it will quickly become for Google, AWS, There are several reasons for this. First, those centralized CDNs have to pay for customer redundancies and data load balancing strategies to try and get as much ROI of their CAPEX as they can while still meeting both peak compute demand periods & emergency backup criteria. This means that the centralized model requires underutilized compute and over designed infrastructure. Our internal cost analysis at Block Digital Corporation shows that decentralized compute services (that don't have a direct customer relationship) can deliver the same service at 30 - 45% cheaper than traditional data centers. The reason for this magic is that permissionless compute makes no promises, it's the network as a whole that ensures the redundancy / reliability of the compute process, not any single individual actor. No customers, no excess capacity, no emergency systems. This model doesn't work for all types of compute but it certainly does for consumables (like Video, gaming, AR/VR, etc.). Now imagine a large player like AWS trying to enter the space, they would self-cannabalize their own model, therefore there is a natural mote unless they want to simply run AWS at a loss (which I would not put past Mr. Bezos to acquire market share). Nevertheless, it's a constant "fungis" of attack that just doesn't go away because of the permissionless nature of the activity. With regards to KYC/AML, to withdraw IOU funds from Public Mint a user has to submit requisite documents to the service to allow that. All other on-chain transactions, like send/receive do not require KYC/AML. Does that address that point? With respect to Uphold, it's already a bank so they are already familiar with the likes of the OCC / FinCen, etc.
  • PU
    Peter U.
    27 September 2020 @ 14:06
    Halsey filed for bankruptcy in 2013. I wonder what was behind that. Would love to know.
    • TC
      Thomas C.
      27 September 2020 @ 16:10
      Interesting seems to go to length to promote himself early in the video. This video is painful to listen to. Do I care about salesforce - no. His biggest accomplishnent is his big ego
    • JM
      Justin M.
      27 September 2020 @ 19:50
      It's simple: He was wrong too many times and by using leverage ended up with negative net worth. He's the classic Lucky Fool from Taleb literature. It's a good lens to watch this interview through. He could be right like he was with CNET and Salesforce, or he could be wrong like he was with many of his other ventures. Either way I appreciated the alternative take on this space.
    • SV
      Santiago V. | Contributor
      1 October 2020 @ 14:13
      It's fair game to assess the messenger if they are self-promoting. In this instance I would focus on what it means for the space and less for the personality.
  • TR
    Tadej R.
    28 September 2020 @ 05:37
    Any thought on in relation to videocoin?
    • SV
      Santiago V. | Contributor
      1 October 2020 @ 14:12
      Theta is incentivized content distribution, but it lacks a critical component of the Content Delivery Network (CDN) puzzle, transcoding, and that's the hard part. The VideoCoin team has the benefit of having as their CEO Devadutta Ghat, ex-transcoding engineer at Intel. The technical expertise on the team is off the charts.
  • MM
    Michael M.
    30 September 2020 @ 17:04
    Could you please provide the symbol and exchange that Public Mint trades on.
    • SV
      Santiago V. | Contributor
      1 October 2020 @ 14:11
      Public Mint is not a publicly traded security (yet!). For now you can get details on the project at and for developers
  • CW
    Collin W.
    1 October 2020 @ 11:40
    great interview. Santiago should be a regular on the Crypto channel.
  • WB
    Warrick B.
    29 September 2020 @ 11:02
    Great Interview. Santiago is an incredibly knowledgable interviewer in all things crypto, cant wait for his Gilbert Verdian / Quant interview next month
  • ig
    ian g.
    29 September 2020 @ 03:20
    Absolutely Illuminating....
  • JD
    Jeremy D.
    28 September 2020 @ 20:47
    OUTSTANDING! Both these men killed it. So impressive.
  • RP
    Raoul P. | Founder
    28 September 2020 @ 12:33
    Absolutely fascinating. Thanks
  • MD
    Matt D.
    28 September 2020 @ 05:46
    Fascinating - thanks Santiago, and Halsey. This to me is where the crypto discussions need to focus. This revolutionary stuff.
  • AB
    Ash B. | Real Vision
    28 September 2020 @ 03:07
    Really interesting interview! Well done, Santiago!
  • MC
    Mike C.
    28 September 2020 @ 01:42
    Nice to see the fanatical religious religious crypto ideology taken out of the crypto conversation. No mention of "The Fed printing money" was necessary.
  • RM
    Ron M.
    27 September 2020 @ 14:00
    Santiago delivers again. Really clear questions and learnings from this. Love that RV is creating new reporting stars! Jim Cramer peaked a long time ago and desperately needs to be taken out to pasture.
  • DW
    Dean W.
    27 September 2020 @ 01:18
    Very interesting, thought provoking, wii have to learn more about Uphold, and Videocoin
  • LS
    Lewis S.
    27 September 2020 @ 00:40
    Oh I use Uphold, there you go. Looking forward to being able to use Uphold card in Australia.
  • VK
    Ville K.
    26 September 2020 @ 21:04
    Great work! Would be really great to hear more about stable coin networks and questions related to it overall. I think you could try to have an interview with CEO of OMG Network, Vansa C. They have by far the most potential stable coin and ERC20 value transfer child chain network on top of Ethereum. Keep up the good work!
  • PU
    Peter U.
    26 September 2020 @ 10:13
    Wow!! One of the best videos on RV in a long time!
  • AS
    Akshay S.
    26 September 2020 @ 05:39
    This is a brilliant video, and Halsey has been so underrated in the investments he is involved in. I think the narrative on being able to tie a few disjoint worlds such as infrastructures, 5G, finance takes a breadth of exposure and a macro thinking very few have. Lots of thinking points for me to take away from, even though I am quite deep in tech :)
  • HC
    Hao C.
    26 September 2020 @ 04:47
    Santiago being the first computer to receive videocoin and public mint explains why he’s so knowledgeable in this space. Impressed