On Aug.29th, InnoKOL has a fascinating conversation with Mr. Andrew Kiguel, the Co-Founder and CEO of Tokens.com, talking about his unique work experience and profound insights on blockchain & metaverse.
Jokia: How would you describe yourself in three words? What’s your motto?
Trustworthy, Curious, hardworking.
Hardwork is a key
Jokia: Can you please share more about your educational and professional background? And we’d love to hear what brought you to blockchain.
I did a university education in business finance in 1995. After, I was an investment banker for 20 years in Canada before changing careers to become a blockchain entrepreneur.
Bitcoin got me interested in blockchain. It's a breakthrough in being able to send digital money through the internet. And only 21 million will ever exist, which should make its value increase over time. It is the original cryptocurrency. It is also interesting that we still don't know who invented bitcoin in 2018.
Jokia: From your experience and perspective, why cool technologies sometimes flop?
Technology needs to be easily accessible. If it is too complicated to use, it will fail. If it’s too expensive, it will take time or fail.
The best technology succeeds when it improves our lives and adds value. Or provide entertainment, like video games. And it must be affordable so that it can reach a large audience. Like WeChat.
Jokia: How PropTech is influencing the real estate investment? What's next for PropTech in 2023?
Real estate still functions with traditional methods that are not efficient. Proptech is making things easier to understand in real estate, view real estate and buy real estate. Using the metaverse.
We will see property being linked to digital ownership that can be verified on the blockchain. The metaverse will play a big role in real estate. It will help people see real estate without having to be there physically.
Jokia: From your perspective, what’s unique and game-changing about blockchain technology?
Digital assets that live on the blockchain are fascinating to me. Value no longer needs to have physical properties. This challenges many traditional beliefs about what value is. The blockchain allows for this. It brings digital assets to value. This is hard for many people to understand.
Blockchain allows us to ascribe value to things that only exist digitally. The internet only exists virtually. But it has huge value and many large companies rely on it even though it is not physical. The largest companies in the world rely on the internet, but the internet is only non-physical.
Jokia: How will you explain the distinctions between Metaverse and Web3?
They are very similar and connected in my opinion. Web3 is about consumers having ownership and control. Blockchain tech allows for this. Right now, in North America, only a few companies control the internet like Amazon, Google and Facebook.
Web3 shifts some power from these large tech companies to many people. This will occur in different metaverses where anyone can contribute and own content. Web3 uses crypto tech to help people control more of the content on the internet.
I believe we will shop, go to concerts, play games and interact with friends in the metaverse. The metaverse will be the unifying factor in bringing web3 to consumers. In 10 years, we won't need cell phones anymore. We will all be connected via glasses to the internet and met metaverse, web3.
Jokia: How do you think the metaverse will shake up the real estate world?
Imagine being able to walk through a property virtually. Even if you are miles away or even in a different country. To see how far a property is from transportation, a park or even a restaurant. This is more than just photos we use now. It’s a walk through that feels real uses a headset.
This will make it much easier for real estate agents. The metaverse allows for a virtual tour of physical properties.
Soon, you’ll be able to lease, rent or buy pretty without ever actually stepping into it. This can save time and allow for better information to a buyer that can see the property many times from their computer.
Jokia: How Web3 is shaping the future of finance?
Web3 is replacing traditional ways of banking. It will make finance available to more people. You can use web3 and DeFi to get loans and insurance without going to a bank.
It is more efficient, less costly and faster. Imagine being able to have banking services available 24 hours per day any day of the week without having to walk to a bank.
Smart contracts on blockchain allow this to happen now. There is a lot of demand for this globally.
Jokia：OpenSea, the biggest NFT marketplace, has sacked 20 per cent of its staff in yet another sign of the “crypto winter”. What are the opportunities and challenges facing NFT in the future?
2021 was a year full of hype. Everything was overvalued. NFTs for sure were hyped up. Values of many assets were inflated, including crypto. However, everything moves in cycles. We are on a down cycle now.
However, if you look at the history of all assets, they recover. NFTs will have value beyond art. It is the identification of a digital asset. This will be very valuable technology in the future.
Jokia: Even as bitcoin’s price has slumped from its all-time high of $69,000 in November 2021, the difficulty of mining the cryptocurrency has continued increasing. Is bitcoin mining still a profitable venture?
Bitcoin mining profit is largely determined by electricity price and the price of bitcoin. I believe mining with low-cost electricity is still profitable. But energy prices are rising globally. This will make it hard for many miners unless bitcoin goes up a lot quickly.
This can be a problem for miners. The hash rate has increased because many people bought mining machines when the price was much higher in 2021. We saw the same thing in 2018 and 2019. Bitcoin will recover, but it may take a while. Maybe years. Bitcoin is under a lot of pressure right now below $20,000 again. But I still see it as valuable and with a strong future. It may take another 2 years before we see prices like we did last November.
ABOUT THE GUEST:
Mr.Andrew Kiguel is the Co-founder and CEO of Tokens.com, a publicly listed company that invests in Metaverse real estate, DeFi and NFT related digital assets. Andrew is also the chairman of Metaverse Group, Hulk Labs and was the co-founder and former CEO of Hut 8 Mining, one of the largest publicly listed bitcoin miners in the world.
Prior to that, Andrew spent 20 years as an investment banker with a focus on technology and real estate. Andrew is an accomplished executive with leadership experience in capital markets, corporate governance and entrepreneurship.
ABOUT THE HOST:
Ms. Jokia Yin is the Founder of Innoverview and InnoKOL, the Vice Chairman of HK International Blockchain Finance Association as well as the Head of Media at United States of America-China Chamber of Commerce. Jokia has over 10 years of marketing and management experience, much of which has been in the Asia Pacific Region within events and PR industry. She has held key leadership roles executing market research and entry, developing sales channels and revenue generation, building marketing, finance and Operations related infrastructure for a more than 20 events related to retail, tourism, energy storage, blockchain, cosmetics domains.