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Blockchain Explained by Peter Smith of Upstate Interactive | S1E3 Growth Mode Conversations Podcast

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Peter Smith of Upstate Interactive sits down with Matt Masur at the Growth Mode Technologies Syracuse office to talk about what his company does with blockchain, crypto currency and related technologies that are shaping the future of business and economics.

Audio Podcast and Text Transcript at – GrowthModeTech.com

Our Guest Peter Smith

Email: peter@peterbsmyth.com
Visit: UpstateInteractive.IO

Mentioned:
Blockchain: The Insights You Need from Harvard Business Review https://g.co/kgs/VnWA5M


Computer Generated Text Transcript:

hello and welcome my friends to the growth mode conversations podcast. We are so excited to bring you this new show. I’m Matt Masur founder and chief growth officer of growth mode technologies. Your local it department. We’re a different type of tech company. And while technology is our business, our purpose is growing businesses and helping our community.

And that’s what we’re doing right here with the growth mode conversations

podcast Each week we’ll interview a different local professional, learn about their life, and get some great advice on how we can all grow and succeed from their experience. The best thing you can do to participate is visit our website growth mode, tech.com and sign up for our news. In the newsletter, you’re going to get updates on this podcast with the latest episodes, you’re going to get some technology tips, some general business information and some events that might be happening in the community.

And of course, if you need technology services to grow your business, not just support it, but make it better. That’s what we do. Again, growth mode. tech.com is the place to be, but enough with the plugs and all that , let’s get into the show. So welcome

to the growth mode conversations podcast I’ve got a very interesting guest I’m excited to learn a lot about him and I’m doing this thing with this podcast where I don’t do introductions folks introduce themselves So if you could go right ahead

tell us who you are

What business you’re in Let’s let’s hear all about it Hi I’m Peter Smith five years ago a few friends and I we started upstate interactive which today is all about blockchain services last year a few friends and I we started something called a codes

That’s a 5 0 1

C3 for the promotion of technology here in Syracuse That’s pretty

And this year friends and

I we

started flexing incorporated

you have better friends

than I do

I’m just say

that right off the bat I’ve already

figured that out but w what is that one about

Way to improve

your

exercise

for

anything that

might be

At

home training a few

years ago

I

wanted to learn

something which is a very challenging gymnastics move

I went to the local gymnastics gym I couldn’t

figure it out

It was

In the

capability of the people there to explain it It just to actually do it was not

Yeah

I found somebody

was about as good as can be on the planet with the idea that he lives in Australia

We needed to train

by

video

So flexing is the

birth of him as a world-class breakdown sir and myself

as a product developer

to come up

with something that the whole world could use

to train

handstands or plans or challenging

fitness moves

And we launched

Um I’m not sure

what the date is but soon that’s that’s incorrect so

you you’ve taken a very

Traditional very physical you know fitness

training athleticism

them

and you’ve found a

to

bring technology

to

the world here spread

it around Is

that

is that accurate

Am I stumbling

the description

right

way

there

Well it’s

very true that there are certain highly challenging

things that people are learning

on YouTube

in a way that’s

revolutionized all of

what people

are doing across the world in a number of Disciplines

For my trainer he saw

YouTube when he was 18

and there

was a move that

a French

breakdancer was doing

It

seemed darn

impossible It was

him though

as a

gymnast

the time that

was

close enough

in

seeing it he was inspired

pursue that

move

And

then he went further and

further

with it and I’ve

what he’s doing

and I’m inspired to do and many others are inspired by his name is Simon at To

try

and train what it seemed

impossible skills

So the idea of flux in is to make the impossible skills possible

That’s awesome

That is

that is such a cool

thing to do I love hearing about this is the reason I’m doing this podcast to be completely honest just to hear about these interesting things

You know I

I

know you’re a

guy in the software

Now

I find out you’re in

fitness business

That’s that’s just I love seeing

people follow their passion

find opportunities and and doing things like that That’s again that’s

whole reason we’re here

Um

let’s go back to your the first business You mentioned I

guess

that’s

Closest

to your

to five You would

say

that the

upstate

interactive

is that

24

7 Yeah Okay Fair

enough

fit in

It

does

fit in what you mentioned

that

you

with blocks that’s that’s

a

huge

buzzword

Everybody’s hearing about this in all different

facets whether

it’s in

the crypto

whether it’s what blockchain

can do for

things

that aren’t

money

what exactly

are

doing

with

it

us

When you say you’re in that business what

does

that actually

mean

A

lot of the world’s

has moved to

the idea that the institutions that serve it

are not

a

fit for the 21st century

while

a lot of

has come out

of the

world of

currency has been decentralized

currency

Bitcoin is and

it was the first to leverage the technology which

blockchain is

which

is

very much a fundamental technology

And that it be not well understood is very natural

It’s just

so

new but that’d

be heard about so

often it’s very possible because of the way that the web works and

communication goes fast and far

beyond

finance

all matter of technology are possible through

blockchain

I’ll

give you a

good example

of

Cassinia

who is as far

as upstate

goes

as brilliant

blockchain person

there is

to

talk

about

And

she’s got a

called M G

D

It is a woman

oriented

a

decentralized

autonomous organization D a

O

Dao

It Sounds

very

revolutionary but it’s very

very simple

A

group of people

anywhere on the planet it can come together and vote on the way money is spent at MTD But the

reality

of it it’s not Robert rules of order It’s not that there’s a parliamentarian under president and

it’s all based on

the blockchain Having

a set

of rules that in the beginning

everyone has

agreed

to

that are

without consensus

Not

changeable

So

everybody

has

agree if we’re

going

to

change

the

rules

but

if we all agree

on the

rules and we all have a float and we do as members of the Dao the

autonomous

organization then we can come together And in the case of MGD give grants to people that are women in order to learn more of how to develop for blockchain

so they can vote on the spending They could

vote on just

direction of an

organization

You could imagine

really

anything that you might

do

in a typical

corporation or

a

nonprofit

can be done

in a D a O Tao

So what is your part

in

the

puzzle What did what are you

Do along the

line

here

Well here I

am

today

there’s some level of the

is not so well

educated

on

blockchain

and

a

degree educating

people whether

they’re looking for

a grounded view on

it

or whether they’re looking

for something

sensational there’s

plenty out there

But

the reality

of

what we do at

upstate

interactive

is

putting aside

whatever

the

maybe

broader

In terms of how

it all

into the

world

We developed this

stuff We are technologists that are out there putting together the software And with that said

our clients

are good examples of how we fit into

the world I’ll

just give you

great idea

sample

Please Create

a Kohl’s

is

a client

out of Boston And the

fellows

that are

running

that company

are having been in blockchain for about

eight years or

so

And

their idea

is so brilliant and it is so well

To

my mind

uh innovative

that it

a no

brainer

take

them as

client

You know that there’s

these

things called NFTs

out there The whole world does

And what

happens is an artist puts out an NFT

and then hope

somebody buys

it

Sure And the price of doing

that per piece of art

it can be 400 us dollar in equivalent

depending on the day

It

up depending on the day it goes down

but

that makes it not possible for a lot of folks to participate because of the upfront

price create

a calls creative goals a

person

looking for art commissions

to say

I’d like

this

and

whatever

they

described could be

a water

bottle on

desk with

a Poster

in the background

that artists

can then post

it before they mint and enough tea before they put that $400 USD

up to

make it a real NFT

they can say

this is what I think it should be And then the commissioner

can say I do like

that and

I want

it and

I’ll buy it

So it creates

a buyer

before the seller has to go through the expense of putting it out on the blockchain

It’s

almost kind of like

a like an

Upwork or a almost

like

a

fiver

for

the

NFT

world

Right

You’re kind of

Ordering

work

oh yeah yeah in that world Good way to think about it I’ll have to suggest that over to the team

over there

Thanks

That’s

great

That’s

So

these

have

decided you

know

they’re

already

sold on

the concept They’re already in this

world and they

say now we need

a tech

partner

and

that’s

where they

they

call

you up Right Is that

yeah

the accurate

two

of

getting something available

in order to work in the blockchain

space

are the part

works on the blockchain

And

those are smart

contracts

Those are those automated sets

rules that are not

changeable

And

then

is how

does anyone

with that

It’s

very abstract to those sets of rules It’s

almost like the contract of

a corporation You probably wouldn’t

C as a

customer the contracts that run

the corporation

when you would

see some

of storefront

And we build that part

We

build a user

interface we build the parts that operate in

collaboration and coordination

those smart

contracts And the easiest thing is to say if when

you

go

the criticals application you can see it you can

touch it

upstate interactive

it Gotcha You’re definitely doing the front end

Okay

Is this something

you

know

as much as we here

about

it

is this something you’re actually seeing actual more

demand for

So are

you getting more

calls

Or

is it a

lot

of

What do

you

know What do you

find in

with

business

results

maybe

growth in

the

blockchain work

this year And

by the end

of

we’ll probably have

gone

up By

not much

We’re currently booking

at least six

out I think for new clients in

order to do

some of this work

And

as a

result of that

I

think that

the

uh Broader

world would agree whether the price of Bitcoin We’re down or whether the price of Ethereum which is

the smart

contract

blockchain

tends to

be related

to

It was up or down There

is a deep and large set of investors that are seeing this nevermind the day to day as the future of a way to operate in a decentralized manner Sure Yeah I mean I’ve heard of you know

I I I

feel like I’ve only scratched

the surface

and it almost

it almost bothers me because I’m a lifelong tech guy you know I’ve been in this business for for 30 years and seeing crypto and seeing these things come and go and

kind of ignoring

them for many

is really I’m really

kicking myself for doing that Especially when

it

comes to I

remember playing with Bitcoin wallets when they were a

thing And like why

did

not just grab

a couple of coins and hide them somewhere

That would be phenomenal today but

This is

such an

incredible world You know I follow in a lot of Gary V for anybody that follows him you know he’s he’s dove in deep in the NFT world and in all those types of things and he talks about you know a future where a mortgage may be in an Ft where you where you transfer uh

anything

you know

uh through these contracts

and decentralized

Because

ways to

kind

of maintain

piece along the

way Right Isn’t

that a it’s say in the case of an NFT where

you

it for me

and

then you

sell

to somebody else but there’s

still kind of a

almost

like a royalty type of thing that

that could

come back

Sure

Some

skepticism

on Gary the chair

I

him in

2011

And he

was sharing

that at some point in the future refrigerators would be ordering milk Okay

not decades

since

my refrigerators

we

still go to the

store and buy milk

And I would say only

that the

Possibilities

that Gary did he

talks

about are as numerous as the whole

planet is talking about

it’s

not clear

exactly what people will do someday down in the future What blockchain it’s just clear that it’s going to get better and it’s going to get broader And I think

that

we believe at upstate interactive that

the

decentralization of trust is the number

thing

that we’re

looking at

with the blockchain

De-centralizing not needing

One

thing that

it solves is a double spend problem That’s

what

Bitcoin does

If you had a

digital it would be trivial to copy it and then spend it into places unlike a real dollar which is in some ways very finite you move it from a to B So what solved this was PayPal It became a third party to say we’re not

going to allow for double spending of our digital dollars

And we’ll be the trusted entity that presents that you get you needed

paper Now

with blockchain PayPal goes away

and you and I

Matt can have a peer to peer transaction without the double spend

There’s

no way

I can take my 10 Bitcoin and send them to you

and then also send

them to

somebody

else

And that’s

Bitcoin’s

great

innovation Gotcha taking that double

spend

out of

Is one of

the

things that makes it

viable for financial work

Now how else

becomes viable is more clear as time goes

by

NFTs are brilliant and very positive and possible example Of course people can

it along

and then

maintain some royalty

That’s

one

possibility Another

client

of ours

John

Orion young

and his initials are

joy And he

embraces

created

Joy world

creates

all these NFTs of deeply intricate 3d models that are available in

different

uh

model

format

So

if

you have

of these Anaptys you can take your 3d

and

do anything

Wow

but

imagine it very much like a collectable sort of

preacher

and he’s experimented

with numerous ways of moving joys around multiple people could own it

And

ownership

could transfer over time

Even

one

contract

said you

could

buy it

at

somebody

also

and not with

permission

just

by

virtue

of spending more

could

buy it away

And

that was built right

into the contract

So

there’s

been

various

different

models on how it

say that

contract

that’s

really

kind

of

software right

So these

ones that’s kind of set in

place

Yeah These things can

happen

automatically

You don’t need

a

person

to

execute

the

contract Right Is that is that

Quite so

quite

So

the

contract

goes

onto

the

Ethereum

virtual

machine

It’s a globally distributed computer And once it’s on there there you go And then

people are

transacting with it

they’re bound

by the rules of the contract

built in

that’s incredible that’s the part that I think a lot of

people

struggle with

a little bit is

you

know like

you said

Th

today if we both had

a few

dollars in our

wallet I could

pay

it for something and

hand you that cash and walk away in

the digital world Unless

have some sort of third party

whether you’re going

through your bank and your credit card or a

PayPal or a

or anybody really even

like the Facebook

pay

the Venmos and things you’re

still

giving

your

money to

them And

then they’re

giving their

money

There’s

that third party here is the the

digital

way of handing you the

cash Right

can open my coin

wallet

and I can say send Peter

five

coins

and and there’s

bank

There’s no PayPal

There’s no you know

uh billionaires

between us

in that transaction Sure

The Facebook

FatCat Facebook

wanted

to

create

a

called the Libra

scale

and

A

Spectrum

of

different

coin

Decentralization

exists

There’s

like

Ethereum

and

Bitcoin

which are

at one

edge

of decentralized There is

no permission

needed It is entirely up

to everybody

who is

in

the

public to

decide what they’d like to use

Yeah

And then there is something on the

side which

is

what

Libra

has

an intention

to

be And that’s

where

there

are authorized

validating computers You

might

as

a

visa

or PayPal participate in Libra by spending

2

us dollar

to

have

privilege

of

validating

the coin

and the trend There

is a practical

benefit to

that level

of

validation

which

is that the

speed goes up

Libra

as proposed would be fast It

would be a fast

and it would happen in

a rapid way

that would imitate

something

closer to visa

And

without

that

on

the other

end

of

it Bitcoin and

Ethereum

transactions don’t happen as fast

They’re

better for

larger transactions but at the

of the day

it might not be I ever at today’s level of speed Plausible to make your daily coffee purchase but that you’d want to be in and out of your coffee shop in about 30 seconds

as

far as the

transaction

part

goes and

would take you a little longer

So the reality be today

we’re not quite

replacing

visa

not quite

there is work being done And in

particular

in

Ethereum

with

staking

and staking moves

all of the

concerns

of speed into

a more rapid cycle

It

gets

faster

I say uh

and they’re

moving

over to it

because

and

that’s

just

for

fun

that

That

are

So

big difference

here where you’re

talking about

decentralization you know right now

visa

say they’ve

got one visa

server

So I

swipe my card

goes ding checks

that server

Matt Scott money

approved done

where

the decentralized

in

It

is not

just one

it’s by

by

definition

There’s

there’s a

lot of literal

computers

and

things

spread out All over the place that has

verify and validate this transaction

Right That’s how it becomes

Secure So

you

can’t have a

server sitting at your house

just validates

transactions You know it gives you

endless money basically

is that is that

accurate Is

it

yeah very

much

is more people become a part

it

The

more challenging

it becomes

to validate

yet it

becomes more secure

So

it’s one

of

these

that

you might these pharmacy right there

oh these

are

doing in these places with all the

Computers

just

to explain

that for a moment

Sure as it does get

more challenging

it becomes

more computationally intensive So

buy

more computers

because the computational intensity goes out Or man

Right

And

the

reward

remains

the

same

It’s a fixed

one Bitcoin that gets rewarded

So the

value

of the

Bitcoin goes up and that it matters that you have more computers You can have more computers calculating it because the reward is greater and you calculate the probabilities and your electrical costs and this that and the other And that’s called proof of work And that’s something that’s very popular today Among all blockchains with Ethereum is doing like I said with staking is a move to a different direction where it is not a mass Buying more computer power It is more a proof of having yourself staked in terms of owning a theory theorem as a participant in the world And then you can do some validation on that and upstate interactive has done that Wow that’s

incredible

So I

think we’re we’re

probably

close to

of

time

But

what

I

wanted to do

is

ask

you this

is

obviously a

deep

subject than I I’m definitely

we’re

going

to have you

back

in and explain more of this

at times

it’s it’s

more and more

in

the

headlines but

you

could give

advice

to

somebody

in

everyday business person

been

in

for years

doing

their thing

haven’t even

thought

about

this blockchain

world

where should

they be Look

at what what is the

thing

really need to be aware of as

business

evolves And

this becomes a

bigger part of it

I would say there’s

a single book

put out by

Harvard business review That’s a primer on blockchain

from folks that are not writing the technology

And they’re also not

doing any Bitcoin farming They’re not and et cetera They’re basically just outside of it seeing it as a comparable to other technologies and they can share a little bit of education with anybody about that beyond

There

is

the other

what’s that one called Well

if you asked

me

now I’ll

tell you

it’s

by Harvard

business

review

it’s a

pink book

and

it’s

put

as part of their must reads So it might say must read blockchain

Well

We’ll

check

it

out and put

it

in

the

notes for folks are cool

And then beyond that

you could find

Other people

that are very very

much

a

part

of this So I would say you could look at what people are doing whether you want it to go on to Twitter

and just look up crypto and find a few people that

you like

You might do that Well I’ll say from my part if you follow John or Ryan Young you’ll be following an artist who is deeply cool in the blockchain world Who’s have found some success And I would say that’d be all right if you want it to follow Cassandra who is constantly going around the world and for upstate interactive checking out What’s the latest whether it’s in Japan or Prague whichever you

can find

her

Twitter at the only Cassinia And beyond that it’s

a

wide open

world And

so

just going down the rabbit hole

it’s is something that a lot

of

people

talk about blockchain way

and

it’ll

pull

you down That’s wonderful

Last

quick

question

Should

people in

their

traditional businesses be accepting

crypto

coins as payment today

I

forgot what they should

do I can tell you what

upstate interactive is decided is a fair

way to transact a bunch

of our

clients

being

in the blockchain world

Do you want

pay

us in a cryptocurrency one or the other And there are stable ones

and they are

denominated by their value being

pegged

to the us dollar So we get paid in something called a di E a I buy some of our clients

And

that

means when

they

pay us

10,000

di

That’s equivalent to 10,000

us dollar Gotcha and we can go forward from there and

Otherwise

you

taking somewhat of a

price appreciation

or

depreciation

risk in buying

Bitcoin

volatile

right Yeah So

what upstate interactive does

today

and

we’re

in

the

Lockchain world and

we’ve had deliberations about what should we do in

terms of on our

balance sheet Bitcoin and this that

when you

come

down to it as a small business and medium business what you’d like is some predictability and some certainty and you

operate by

saying that to get

your

Business rolling and

to be

a part of the crypto world something like die or what are also known more broadly as stable coins are fine and safe and basically

very

much

to U S dollar

way of running your business Wow That is incredible

There is so much to

learn and we will definitely learn

more You

know

this

is

the

In the technology world

but I’m in I’m in the

the it the

business technology

I’m setting

up networks

and we’re putting together computers

servers and cloud

solutions and things

that

But this

is a whole

nother side

of

the tech

world

That again

I’m

Embarrassed

and

angry

with myself

that

I don’t know more

about but

luckily

you’re here and

you can tell us a lot about it So uh

give

me all the just the

real

quick the

upstate interactive the

website and anything like that that you want folks checkup

Very simple to say to find

more you can

out

upstate

interactive

dot

And

that’ll get you our website from there You

can go to all our

corporate stuff

If

you’re interested

more

what I’ve got to say I’d love it If anybody reached out on LinkedIn and that’s Peter B.

Smith

with N

Y where there would be an eye and I’d

be

happy

to respond to any DMS or posts and all

And I will

personally

endorse

your

LinkedIn

You put out

great

content

I

mean some of the videos

you shoot

there

just

even

from just

a

video

perspective

you do

great

job and

you put out some good

informative

content

an I highly recommend folks value

as

well That’s okay

Led me to draw

you in here So

we’ll take your job

and and I’m

I’m so

happy

to have you and I hope you’ll come back again I will That’s the GUI All right Thanks Peter

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