Around the Block With Jefferson Nunn – Interview With John Riley at DTX.AI

Around the Block With Jefferson Nunn – Interview With John Riley at DTX.AI

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Jefferson Nunn  0:06   

Live from global headquarters. This is Around the Block with Jefferson Nunn. And I’m here today with very special guest, John Riley DTX.AI. Welcome to the show. How you doing? 

John Riley  0:20   

Thank you very much. Nice to meet you. 

Jefferson Nunn  0:23   

Great, great. So, we were just talking a little bit about the early days to blockchain. And it’s fascinating how far we come and tell me a little bit more about what you what you’ve been doing and what you’re working on. 

John Riley  0:35   

Sure. So, I’ve been just a quick background myself, been in technology space about 20 years worked for an organization like Oracle and CPA and consulting services, got into blockchain around 2017 When the blockchain bug hit me, with like a lot of people, but understanding I was still early on. And over the years, as you’ve seen, Blockchain kind of evolved, it’s really being adopted, it’s been exciting to see the value a lot of people starting to get out of it, even though it’s still new. And for us in the coming up with DTX is, we started to look at areas of focus.

I’m a former Marine veteran myself, and we started looking at the Department of Defense and their new push towards innovative technology. And one area we know is blockchain along with AI, but blockchain is starting to see a lot of value in various areas, I’d say, of DOD, Air Force being probably the first to adopt to it for supply chain. And as we kind of started seeing that were thinking about, okay, what are the areas of Department of Defense could leverage something like this, and a lot of it, as you know, comes with educating them on what the right use cases are for, that it can’t be used for everything, and really seeing how people are becoming more and more open to it.

So, as we kind of look at the future in the direction of it, you know, we still see there’s a lot of education and music be around it. When there’s tends to be confused between blockchain and cryptocurrency, knowing that they’re two separate things once an app really sits on blockchain. And blockchain is really the kind of the machine behind it. So that’s really been our focus so far. 

Jefferson Nunn  2:14   

That’s awesome. So, tell me, I mean, the federal government is just so huge. Yet there’s so many applicable technologies, what what’s the best way to introduce, you know, blockchain to, you know, that kind of an enterprise? 

John Riley  2:36   

Yeah, I mean, as you know, blockchain can run the gamut of work at fit, I mean, from security measures of data. You know, supply chains, I think is probably the easiest use case for it, the DOD, just because of the massive things you need to track, whether it’s parts ammunition, you know, things for airplanes, you know, and it really, you know, but I think, throwing in the security measure, because cyber security is becoming a big part of DOD, but you throw in locking down key data in blockchain is highly valuable, right? What’s immutable data where it can’t be manipulated, or hacked into in that fashion.

So, when we talk to different areas of DOD, depending on what department they’re in, it’s really trying to specify very specific, where the value would be where it would solve a problem where either a making thing more efficient, whether you’re leveraging things like smart contracts, which are be highly beneficial in a lot of areas of DOD, just as you know, I mean, anywhere in the government. So, there’s a lot of minutiae when it comes to contracts and getting things done. And I’d say the audit trail, right, which is the most important thing. So we try to find areas, and DOD where people have these challenges, and really seeing if they can see the benefit of leveraging blockchain technology in those areas. 

Jefferson Nunn  3:58   

Yeah, that’s great. So, for most consumers that are in the traditional space for Bitcoin and blockchain and that sort of thing, they always associate a price with, you know, for example, Bitcoin or Ethereum, even though I think, you know, even personally, there’s a lot more relevant technology that can be utilized. So, what are some of those relevant technologies that would be beneficial to the federal government? 

John Riley  4:24   

I mean, there’s a lot I mean, yeah, Blockchain, you have AI, you know, machine learning, it’s really, I say, collection of data, right is most important thing, especially in the DoD space, and what you do with that data, and with that, you know, the data can be leveraged, whether it’s through blockchain, whether it’s to building out AI algorithms to help them be more efficient and find it and store that data. And this is where I always say, you know, this talk not these technologies kind of cross pollinate each other. When you can incorporate AI and blockchain or you’re collecting data from IoT sensors that they might be leveraging.

It’s kind of in line with that kind of web 3.0, push that you’re seeing a lot out there. And I’d say in the tech space and people talking about it, because it’s not one solution, it’s going to fit fit all, or fix all. But blockchain plays a big part in some of those solution areas of being more efficient, be more accountable, having more visibility into your department, or parts of your organization, where this technology now that wasn’t available, or really being leveraged years ago, is really comes to the forefront. And it’s kind of changing a mindset of how do we prepare ahead of time to adopt these things? Right. So, adoption of it is, I think, probably the biggest hurdle at times the culture that needs to change, we’re adopting innovative technology. And it kind of ties in to digital transformation as well. 

Jefferson Nunn  5:59   

Yes, fascinating. So, I’m just envisioning, you know, some of the federal agencies prior to today, they may have released some information on, you know, hard to reach website, or they may have, you know, think like, Minerals Management Service, you know, they manage the offshore oil and gas platforms. And, you know, they have to maintain records of lease data for these leases. And you know, that all that information is, yes, publicly accessible, but only if you do a lot of digging to get to it. So, do you think something like that could be, you know, turned into a blockchain type of application? 

John Riley  6:48   

Yeah. And I think there’s some use cases out there. I know, I think shell has been in the blockchain for a while now. And then you look at the oil and gas. It’s funny you say that, because we’ve done a project in that space with the fractionalization of royalties from oil wells, using Blockchain. And it was kind of archaic, because when you’re seeing that you’re still doing things on paper, not even excel spreadsheets. And you’re talking about millions of dollars, right, being tracked, you know, how do you do that accurately, but also have a secure audit trail of audit trail, this data that’s being shared? Like you’re saying public information, knowing that can’t be manipulated.

I think blockchain is a huge benefit for these organizations that have done things, you know, when you ask them, well, why don’t you do it this way? Oh, well, we’ve always done it this way. But it takes kind of that shift of somebody saying, hey, you know, what, are some technologies out there, that will really benefit us, one makes it easier for us to secure to share secure information, and be comfortable with that. And, you know, oil and gas are a huge area where blockchain is playing offense? 

Jefferson Nunn  7:57   

Yeah, that’s, that’s great. What are some of the other potentials? I mean, you just briefly mentioned AI ml, for example. What are some of the other potential applications of blockchain technology fits into the government? That, you know, we might have not even thought of at the moment? 

John Riley  8:17   

It runs the gamut. And one thing I think I brought up earlier with smart contracts, and I think that’s probably the biggest, the easiest way for people to get involved with Blockchain smart contracts where they self-execute of, you know, if, if this if it’s this, and it’s that that itself executes, right where it can pay out royalties, it can pay out or renew contracts, right. And the government has tons and tons and 1000s of contracts that are either expire or have to be adjusted. Or even when people set them up, like we’re renewing, set them up.

But now, if you’re doing a smart contract way, it really makes things very efficient. Everybody can have access to it, it can be seen by everyone that’s involved, but also shared and I think, you know, at the end of the day, it’s always coming down to that accountability, right? So, you can have accountability of every contractor I have out there in a smart contract, and self-have themself execute when they’re set up in the system. That just alleviates so much bandwidth for a lot of people like me do more things. And I think I think department Homeland Security is one area has been looking at smart contracts as well. There’s a couple other one I know the army has started to do looking to so that’s probably the simplest way besides getting into even just the supply chain side of it. 

Jefferson Nunn  9:40   

Wow, that’s amazing. I can certainly see how you’re not the military if they were using you know the system. They be like you say a lot more accountable. You know, it’d be more visible I think there’d be less leakage. You know, that maybe it’s a good thing that for example, Russia’s army wasn’t using At the time, right, because… 

John Riley  10:01   

I agree. 

Jefferson Nunn  10:04   

Wow. But yeah, anyway, so yeah, that’s the thing. I mean, you want to make sure that our me is the best in the world. And this, this would definitely do it. So well, but for the contractor that’s out there within the federal government, you know, they had to manage these contracts, what? What would you say to them to try to get him over the fence? You know, doing something, because, you know, they’re very slow to react. Right. But what would push them forward? 

John Riley  10:35   

I think, you know, it’s, it’s usually when there’s a lot of pain is what pushes people forward, right? When there’s pain or of an issue or a mistake that’s happened because of something that is being done manually, right, whether it’s through spreadsheets, or something else, where this is where the conversation helps of, hey, what if we could tell you, this can be done in such a more efficient way? What’s more security, but also more automated? Right? So, I think that’s the biggest thing is making a lot of things more digitized and automated, is what kind of brings the value to them, and kind of educating them on Look who’s doing it now, right?

When people look at blockchain, the first question is, well, who’s doing this? And you know, I go back to 2017. And there’s only a handful of companies, organizations, you could point to that were leveraging starting to leverage blockchain and get into the space. Now, you could throw a rock in any vertical. And I tell people go on Google and put blockchain supply chain. And you’ll see the number of companies that come up, that are leveraging for certain verticals. And if it’s specific to them, I always say, you know, let’s look at who’s using it in your space. So, then they kind of have a litmus test of Wow, there are people leveraging it, there are people getting value out of it, you know, maybe we are a little, you know, we might be late to the game, if we don’t start the process now. Because there is a learning curve with Blockchain. And getting to understand where it fits and doesn’t fit says.

I’d say highly important in the beginning, because they need to be comfortable knowing what it can do and what it can’t do. And then saying, okay, this might be the first phase, but we might want to scale this to this department, and to this area, and allows them kind of the, I say, put their toe in the pool, and start the right way. Instead of just okay, hey, let’s implement. And we’ll figure it out, which was used to be the old way of new technology of all just implemented, and we’ll start leveraging it. You really need to prepare even your end users for what’s coming, even though they won’t know blockchains behind the scene, but just understand that new processes are going to change when you implement blockchain. So, it’s really preparing them early on before they even start. 

Jefferson Nunn  12:48   

Yeah, that’s interesting. So, I think that’s been a lot of people misperception is that well, Blockchain is the future just like they used to say, internet is the future. Well, it’s now literally right now, there’s in the last decade, Blockchain it made incredible strides. And I think proven itself the biggest argument I’ve always made is, you know, right now, Bitcoin has a literal bounty. You know, like, half a billion-dollar minimum, you could hack it, and it’s yet to be hacked. Yeah. Since 2010, really? So, so along those same lines, well, I got into blockchain Bitcoin in 2010. What about you? How did you fall into this space? 

John Riley  13:41   

I fall into space, I mean, I was still working for an Oracle consulting company and came across a book called Blockchain Revolution by Don Tapscott. And that book opened my eyes immensely, as I got into it. And he kind of went into a lot of the use cases that I’m in really, maybe give that perspective of why this is the innovative technology, turn right of what’s out there compared to when the internet came out, and shaping what it would do. Or in the other day, he always said, Blockchain comes down to one thing comes down to trust, that provides trust when there wasn’t trust. And there were so many industries and so many areas out there that I knew this technology was going to be a fit for that I wanted to learn more, and the more I learned in it, and like you brought up earlier, when we’re talking like, you go down that rabbit hole, you can go really deep. And you’d be like, wow, I can go here and go there. And that’s what kind of happened to me. And it really, you know, I’d say out of any technology I’ve come across, really hit me hard with holy cow, like we’re, this will eventually change how the world does business.

When you look at you know, companies can now do cross border transfers, where it used to take two weeks right to validate everything. Now I can do it in almost seconds. And I will I mean, you’re transferring millions of dollars to blockchain cross border, because you have trust now, there’s no more third-party intermediary needs to step in and validate that all the funds are in the bank. Blockchain is all validated that. And when I started seeing that value, I was like, there’s no way that this isn’t going to be something valuable. And you starting to see it.

Now as we roll into 2022. All the events I see going on around blockchain where it was kind of the same way back in 2018, when it was getting really a lot of hype because of Bitcoin. And then kind of had the cryptocurrency, kind of like I’d say winter. And then as it came out of that blockchain started really gaining more interest, more respect, more value, and like you’re saying, with Bitcoin, you know, not even being hacked since 2010, when, um, you know, shows like, hey, this is where we need to store a type of data. And if it cannot be hacked, that’s what people want. I mean, in the age of when cybersecurity is becoming more and more important, and you have a lot of, you know, people out there that want to do cyber, cyber hacks and everything else, and you hear about it with Malware and stuff like that, you’re like, I need to be protected. But what technology is available, that’s their blockchain just happens to be one of them. One of the tools. 

Jefferson Nunn  16:24   

Yeah, interesting. So, yeah, that’s the thing. I think there’s been just a lot of well, misperceptions even by some of the folks that are outside the space, just like with nearly the internet, I fondly remember the guys saying, you know, the local mall did more than the whole entirety of the internet at the time, and that, if it ever flipped, he would eat a sock while he ate his sock. So, what do you think, you know, just picture five years from now, what predictions do you think will hold true about crypto? What do you think it next? 

John Riley  17:09   

I think I’ve seen crypto and I have a lot of people that are in the space and someone worked for the top 10 Crypto companies in the world and hearing how more it’s a quality is coming out when it comes to crypto, right? I’d say you know, back in 2018, you know, there’s there was a rush of, I call it like the gold rush to everybody wanted to get rich, and then you know, the platform’s fell apart, but you look at the players like hyper ledger and Corte, all these really strong platforms that have really stabilized I think, the credibility of blockchain, I think it’s gonna get better and transaction speeds are getting better. And you’re seeing better blockchain projects, projects come out where people are making it easier to get into the space. And that’s what was needed was, you know, people thought you got to be super technical get into it, you don’t really have to, it’s just understanding if you can make it easier for people to adopt it. That’s what’s happening. Now I see. I see. Because it’s easier, a lot more companies are more going against what they used to think of, oh, well wait till everybody else does it.

Now people are no longer waiting like, no, we’re seeing that it’s being made easier, we’re seeing that it’s more secure. And we’re getting more credible people that can validate, if you know the blockchain platform we’re going to be using is going to be a value. So, I see it mean, getting bigger and bigger, but also morphing into incorporating. I mean, you see it now with blockchain and AI platforms, right, where it’s incorporating all these different technologies to be combined and leverage it, which to me, just makes sense.

So, the more and more people are getting away from the old bias of oh, that’s just that Bitcoin stuff. It’s more like, wow, it really does provide that much value, we really need to get into this space. And a case in point that I look at when MSNBC used to make fun of Bitcoin, and laugh at it. And now it’s one of their top tickers this show on this show. And I go, that’s just comes from education of it, right? When people really get to understand what blockchain can provide the value of, then it makes sense. So, I think we’re just gonna see it grow even more and more, and be incorporated, I think, on a global level with countries leveraging it more and more. 

Jefferson Nunn  19:24   

Yeah, fascinating. That’s one of the things that I’ve always admired about this particular space. Similarly, like with the internet, it, it’s, it almost doesn’t matter what people think it’s just gonna happen. You know, and even today, the internet is just transparent. It’s just there. Yeah, I think we’ll get to that kind of a time when blockchain is just there for all of it. 

John Riley  19:48   

I agree. I think it will be I think it’d be one even you’ll just in conversation, even when we talk to people about it. We’re working with them. We never necessarily lead what oh, it’s blockchain. We kind of like to keep an end behind the scenes because it really blockchain is behind the scenes when you’re using an application. It’s not like you’re going into blockchain and logging in, oh, go log into your blockchain.

You know, I think people want to understand that going, Oh, okay. Well, it’s not like that. Well, I have to worry about it. You know, I tell people, you know, when you look back, 2001, and you’re talking about the internet, and I go, and thinking about thinking about Amazon. I go, let me ask you a mean, hindsight 20/20. If is, you know, if it was back in 2001 2002, would you have bought stock in Amazon? And people were like, Yeah, I was like, well, that’s what how innovation takes charge. Right? It’s, it’s scary and new and different. People want to fight against it, because they don’t know about it. But now, how many people go to the mall more than go to Amazon and Water Fix? I mean, it’s, it’s, it’s not even a thought in their head, what they want to do, oh, I can make it easy, right? Because that’s what Amazon provided through the internet of the ease of use of leveraging the website to place orders on, which was never thought of before. And because of that, you know, it’s changed the way we even do business now. 

Jefferson Nunn  21:11   

Awesome. So, well, it’s been a fascinating show. And I really am glad to have met you on the show. Do you have any final thoughts for our listeners? 

John Riley  21:23   

No. I mean, I think if you’re new to blockchain, and you really think is if you can just go on and research areas of blockchain you think would fit in whatever vertical you’re in working it and seeing who’s working with Blockchain does that kind of give you a perspective of how big the space is becoming? The more you hear about it, it’s you want to not be left out. And just understanding a little bit about that might help you get into the space, if you’re new to it. And if I could ever help out, ask questions. I love doing that. You know, feel free to reach out. 

Jefferson Nunn  21:56   

Alright, great. Thank you, John, so much for coming on our show. If they want to find out more about you. Where did they go? 

John Riley  22:02   

They can go to [email protected], or you going to find me on LinkedIn as John Riley III at DTX. 

Jefferson Nunn  22:11   

Cool, thank you so much. 

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Jefferson Nunn

Since 1999, Jefferson Nunn has been a consultant to high net worth individuals. Always an innovator, his ideas have generated millions for his clients including Ronco and GoWireless. He has been involved in the CryptoCurrency industry since mining his first Bitcoin in 2010. Since then, he has met with many of the early pioneers in the CryptoCurrency space including the founders of Ethereum and the founders of Crypto Capital in Panama, and more.