260 episodes

A weekly podcast that looks inside the minds of entrepreneurs and at the crossover of startups, enterprise, finance, technology and life as we know it, hosted by early-stage startup investor Pete Townsend.

MoneyNeverSleeps Pete Townsend

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 9 Ratings

A weekly podcast that looks inside the minds of entrepreneurs and at the crossover of startups, enterprise, finance, technology and life as we know it, hosted by early-stage startup investor Pete Townsend.

    261: Building the Aleph Zero Ecosystem with Antoni Zolciak and Piotr Saczuk

    261: Building the Aleph Zero Ecosystem with Antoni Zolciak and Piotr Saczuk

    This week, we dive into Aleph Zero, a privacy-enhancing layer one blockchain renowned for prioritizing scalability, security and speed, with co-founder Antoni Zolciak and Head of Investments Piotr Saczuk. 

    Antoni discusses his transition from technology marketer to blockchain, emphasizing the humanist aspect of technology and the broad scope of blockchain's potential applications. Piotr shares his journey from TradFi to blockchain investments, highlighting the importance of values and adaptability in the fast-paced crypto industry. 

    The discussion explores the challenges and strategies involved in building the Aleph Zero community, driven by transparency, support, and a user-focused approach. We also talk about the nuances of ecosystem investing, the importance of UX, and the integral role of a strong community in fostering innovation and adoption. Additionally, we look inside Aleph Zero’s relationship with the Techstars Web3 accelerator, and the related benefits to web3 founders.

    00:24 Introducing Aleph Zero: A Privacy-Enhancing Blockchain

    01:16 The Journey to Aleph Zero: Antoni’s and Piotr’s Stories

    01:24 Building a Thriving Ecosystem and Community in Web3

    05:30 The Art of Keeping Up with Blockchain's Pace

    10:48 From Concept to Ecosystem: The Growth of Aleph Zero

    21:27 Investing in the Future: The Ecosystem Funding Program

    25:05 The Importance of UX and Security in Web3 Development

    32:34 Finding the Right Founders to Build on Aleph Zero

    38:33 Closing Thoughts and Personal Revelations

    Antoni Zolciak is co-founder of the Aleph Zero Foundation and Cardinal Cryptography, the core developer of the Aleph Zero blockchain.  Antoni is a technology marketer with over 10 years of professional experience in public relations and content creation projects for global brands such as ING, Samsung, Sony, Olympus and Nikon.  But now, he’s here to tell the story of incredibly smart people working on decentralized innovations.

    Piotr Saczuk is the Head of Investments at the Aleph Zero Foundation.  After university, Piotr had a short spell in TradFi before going down the crypto rabbit hole with Finoa, Unmind DAO, Soonami, and then finally to Cardinal Cryptography and Aleph Zero, first as ecosystem investments manager and then into his current role as Head of Investments.

    LINKS:

    Follow this week’s guests on X/Twitter:

    -Antoni Zolciak:  https://twitter.com/antonizolciak

    -Piotr Saczuk:  https://twitter.com/Piotr_Saczuk

    Learn more about and follow Aleph Zero:

    -X-Twitter:  @aleph__zero  |  https://x.com/aleph__zero

    -Linktree:   https://linktr.ee/alephzero  

    Connect with this week’s guests on LinkedIn:

    -Antoni Zolciak:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/antonizolciak/

    -Piotr Saczuk:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/piotr-saczuk-0347521bb/

    Leave a review and subscribe on 

    -Apple Podcasts:  https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/id1455819294

    -Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/4F8uOLxiscYVWVGEfNxTnd

    -Youtube:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvaaHrJjizUEd0-93mjCKsQ

    MoneyNeverSleeps newsletter on Substack: https://moneyneversleeps.substack.com/

    MoneyNeverSleeps website:  https://www.moneyneversleeps.ie/

    Email us at info@norioventures.com

    Follow on X(Twitter): 

    -Pete Townsend: https://twitter.com/petetownsendnv

    -MoneyNeverSleeps: https://twitter.com/MNSshow  

    Follow on LinkedIn:

    -Pete Townsend: https://www.linkedin.com/in/pete-townsend-1b18301a/

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    • 42 min
    260: Money Talks with Mai Santamaria | The Human Side of Digital Identity

    260: Money Talks with Mai Santamaria | The Human Side of Digital Identity

    This week, I’m joined by guest co-host Mai Santamaria, the head of the financial advisory unit for the Department of Finance in Ireland. We delve into the world of digital identity, discussing the projects of World ID and TON, iris and palm scanning, and how humans are incentivized to digitalize their identity. Mai and I explore the broader implications of digital identity on economic freedoms and the geopolitical landscape that influences the sovereignty of digital infrastructure. 

    Additionally, we touch upon the impact of digital identity in securing basic human rights and the potential shifts towards universal basic income facilitated by emerging technologies. The discussion also includes insights into the challenges and opportunities presented by decentralization, the significance of maintaining digital infrastructure sovereignty, and the ongoing regulatory hurdles faced by companies at the intersection of finance and technology.

    TIMESTAMPS:

    02:54 The Evolution and Impact of Digital Identity Technologies

    03:31 World ID, TON and Digital Identity: A Closer Look

    08:45 Exploring the Future of Universal Basic Income and Digital Identity

    14:07 The Ethical and Practical Implications of Digital Identity Verification

    15:57 Reflecting on the Broader Implications of Digital Identity and Personhood

    20:34 Exploring Mobile Wallet Security and User Comfort

    21:26 Revolutionizing SIM Technology with eSIMs and Wallet Integration

    23:10 The Future of Identity: From Physical to Digital

    24:29 Digital Infrastructure and Sovereignty: A European Perspective

    30:01 Innovations in Mapping and the Importance of Open Infrastructure

    35:03 Navigating Regulatory Challenges in the Crypto Space

    36:58 Optimism for the Future of Digital Identity and Infrastructure

    Mai originally featured on episode 5 of MoneyNeverSleeps back in 2018, she made a cameo on our 200th episode, and she’s a Techstars mentor.  Two of the episodes that I did with Mai recently, episode 241 on the crossover of blockchain and AI and episode 247 on the crossover of blockchain and digital identity, have been very popular with our most loyal listeners, so make sure you check those out.

    STORIES WE COVERED:

    Worldcoin tightens privacy checks, allows users to unverify World ID (9-Apr-24, Cointelegraph)

    TON’s $5M incentive program aims to drive digital ID verification (Cointelegraph, 8-Apr-24)

    Two new satellites join the Galileo constellation (ESA, 29-Apr-24)

    SEC issues Robinhood Crypto with Wells Notice, citing alleged securities violations (The Block, 6-May-24)

    LINKS:

    Follow our guest co-host Mai Santamaria on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mai07/

    Leave a review and subscribe on 

    -Apple Podcasts:  https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/id1455819294

    -Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/4F8uOLxiscYVWVGEfNxTnd

    -Youtube:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvaaHrJjizUEd0-93mjCKsQ

    MoneyNeverSleeps newsletter on Substack: https://moneyneversleeps.substack.com/

    MoneyNeverSleeps website:  https://www.moneyneversleeps.ie/

    Email us at info@norioventures.com

    Follow on X(Twitter): 

    -Pete Townsend: https://twitter.com/petetownsendnv

    -MoneyNeverSleeps: https://twitter.com/MNSshow  

    Follow on LinkedIn:

    -Pete Townsend: https://www.linkedin.com/in/pete-townsend-1b18301a/

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    • 38 min
    259: Blockchain Going Mainstream | Andrea Miele - The Colony | Fabien Arneodo - SportSyncTech | Nick Mason - ProofSpace

    259: Blockchain Going Mainstream | Andrea Miele - The Colony | Fabien Arneodo - SportSyncTech | Nick Mason - ProofSpace

    I’m joined by three of the founders from the Techstars Web3 class of 2024 to help me identify the mainstream adoption path for blockchain technology, including Andrea Miele, Co-Founder and CEO of The Colony, Fabien Arneodo, Co-Founder and CEO of SportSyncTech, and Nick Mason, Co-Founder and CEO of ProofSpace.

    As William Gibson, author of the 1984 book Neuromancer, famously said: “The future is already here, it’s just not that evenly distributed”.  I think of this quote every time I get pushback from naysayers on the long-term usability of blockchain technology.

    In the intro to a recent episode with the first group of 4 founders from Techstars Web3 we talked to about common misconceptions about web3, I referred to the estimated less than 20 million daily active users of crypto. Crypto in all of its shapes and forms is accountable for the overwhelming majority of the use of blockchain technology around the world today.

    Recently, Lex Sokolin from the Fintech Blueprint (shout out to Lex!) summarized things nicely by pointing out that the daily active users of major blockchain protocols such as Ethereum, Binance Chain, Polygon, and Solana increased from 5 million to nearly 8 million this year.  Whether we’re talking about 8 million daily active users or 20 million users, with blockchain, we’re only in the ballpark of the number of Robinhood daily active users or the population of the Netherlands.

    Given how much of my time I spend in crypto and blockchain it feels like we’re already mainstream, and that the future is already here. But, back to the reality of today and our 20 million daily active users, we have some work to do.

    We’re on a trajectory with crypto adoption similar to that of the internet in the 1990’s, and if the growth projections hold water, blockchain by association will become ‘mainstream’ during the 2030s. That’s a 10-year range, so what’s the timeline to where more of humanity with internet access are using blockchain daily than not?

    In terms of adoption, what are the things we need to do more of (or less of) in web3 to trigger blockchain adoption by web2-only users? Do they even need to know they’re using blockchain?

    To answer these questions and more this week, I asked Andrea Miele from The Colony, Fabien Arneodo from SportSyncTech, and Nick Mason from ProofSpace what they think about the mainstream adoption of blockchain technology.

    LINKS:

    Connect with this week’s guests on LinkedIn:

    -Andrea Miele:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/agriffin717/

    -Fabien Arneodo: https://www.linkedin.com/in/fabien-arneodo/

    -Nick Mason: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nick-mason-762316b/

    Follow this week’s guests on X/Twitter:

    -Andrea Miele: https://twitter.com/NFTeafor2

    -Fabien Arneodo: https://twitter.com/FabienArneodo

    -Nick Mason: https://twitter.com/nick__mason

    Learn more about each founder’s business:

    -The Colony: https://thecolony.xyz/   |   https://twitter.com/thecolonyxyz

    -SportsyncTech: https://www.sportsynctech.com/  |   https://twitter.com/SportSyncTech

    -ProofSpace: https://www.proofspace.id/  |   https://twitter.com/proof_space

    Leave a review and subscribe on 

    -Apple Podcasts:  https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/id1455819294

    -Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/4F8uOLxiscYVWVGEfNxTnd

    -Youtube:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvaaHrJjizUEd0-93mjCKsQ

    MoneyNeverSleeps newsletter on Substack: https://moneyneversleeps.substack.com/

    MoneyNeverSleeps website:  https://www.moneyneversleeps.ie/

    Email us at info@norioventures.com

    Follow on X(Twitter): 

    -Pete Townsend: https://twitter.com/petetownsendnv

    -MoneyNeverSleeps: https://twitter.com/MNSshow  

    Follow on LinkedIn:

    -Pete Townsend: https://www.linkedin.com/in/pete-townsend-1b18301a/

    -MoneyNeverSleeps: https://www.linkedin.com/company/28661903/admin/feed/posts/


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    • 31 min
    258: Money Talks with Gray Webb | Bitcoin as a Long-Term Holding | Stablecoins Mainstreaming

    258: Money Talks with Gray Webb | Bitcoin as a Long-Term Holding | Stablecoins Mainstreaming

    Gray Webb is co-founder and CTO at Liquibit Capital, and we kick things off with a look at what’s happened with BTC since the latest bitcoin halving.  Gray and I then riff on the evolution of bitcoin into a long-term holding with huge opportunities for financial innovation.  We also look at the mainstreaming of stablecoins as the killer app for crypto and how stablecoins have only scratched the surface by nudging past Visa in quarterly settlement volume.

    Gray Webb is an entrepreneur and technology professional specializing in Digital Asset & Equity Capital Markets. With over 20 years of experience, he has expertise in high-frequency trading, risk management, and post-trade systems. He is currently the Co-Founder and CTO of Liquibit Capital, an algorithmic-driven trading and asset management company. Gray is also involved in mentoring, teaching, and startup mentoring in the blockchain and Web3 space, and is one of the fantastic mentors for founders in the Techstars Web3 accelerator program. He has a strong background in product management and technology delivery, having worked with companies like Digital Asset and JPMorgan. 

    Liquibit Capital⁠ is a best-in-class investment management firm focused on producing consistent and uncorrelated returns in the emerging digital asset class.

    You can also listen to more of Gray’s backstory and that of his Liquibit co-founder Joseph Chang in episode 138 from 2021. 

    STORIES COVERED:

    BTC as a long-term holding

    Hong Kong's six spot bitcoin, ether ETFs see $11 million in volume on first trading day (The Block, 30-Apr-24)

    Blockworks’ BTC ETF Tracker

    Stablecoins mainstreaming

    PV01 Issues First Digital Bond to Blue-Chip Stablecoin Investors (PRNewswire, 16-Apr-24)

    Tether, USDC and DAI transaction volume surpasses Visa's 2023 monthly average: Nansen (The Block, 29-Apr-24)

    Stripe Brings Back Crypto Payments Via USDC Stablecoin (Yahoo Finance, 25-Apr-24)

    Making sense of stablecoins (Visa, 25-Apr-24)

    LINKS:

    Learn more about Liquibit Capital:  https://liquibit.io/

    Connect with Gray Webb on socials:

    -LinkedIn:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/graywebb/

    -X(Twitter):  https://twitter.com/cryptopacific

    Leave a review and subscribe on 

    -Apple Podcasts:  https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/id1455819294

    -Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/4F8uOLxiscYVWVGEfNxTnd

    -Youtube:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvaaHrJjizUEd0-93mjCKsQ

    MoneyNeverSleeps newsletter on Substack: https://moneyneversleeps.substack.com/

    MoneyNeverSleeps website:  https://www.moneyneversleeps.ie/

    Email us at info@norioventures.com

    Follow on X(Twitter): 

    -Pete Townsend: https://twitter.com/petetownsendnv

    -MoneyNeverSleeps: https://twitter.com/MNSshow  

    Follow on LinkedIn:

    -Pete Townsend: https://www.linkedin.com/in/pete-townsend-1b18301a/

    -MoneyNeverSleeps: https://www.linkedin.com/company/28661903/admin/feed/posts/


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    • 40 min
    257: How I Got To Techstars on a Flywheel | Hesus Inoma Interviews Pete Townsend | Venture With Hesus

    257: How I Got To Techstars on a Flywheel | Hesus Inoma Interviews Pete Townsend | Venture With Hesus

    This week, I’m sharing an episode of the ‘Venture with Hesus’ podcast that I recorded recently with the unstoppable Hesus Inoma, as he interviews me on lessons learned from being part of the startup ecosystem the last 8 years, the power of networks, 2022 token sale aspirations, customer validation, building for users vs building for yourself, usability vs. security in crypto, funding your go to market, pre-seed rounds vs seed rounds, what I look for in founders, mental models, flywheels, how to be successful in an accelerator, how to get excited about regulation, real-world assets and more!

    As Hesus wrote in his original ‘Venture with Hesus’ shownotes, “Buckle up and join us on this thrilling episode with our special guest, Pete, who brings his rich experiences from Boston to Ireland, and Bermuda to Galway. Witness firsthand the often-untold story of the startup ecosystem, the nitty-gritties of co-founder relationships and the transformative potential of Web3 technologies, as Pete lays it all bare.”

    Hesus Inoma is the founder and Head of Strategy & Innovation at i13 Ventures, a venture studio supporting entrepreneurs, startups, universities, corporates and governments to ideate, strategize, build, launch and scale products.

    Hesus originally founded an award-winning global fintech with WeSavvy, and is a well-respected leader within the Irish and European fintech ecosystem. 

    Hesus is passionate about the digitalization of financial services and the collaboration between the financial services and technology sectors with an excellent understanding of financial products and smart technologies underpinning emerging fintech solutions.

    LINKS:

    Original ‘Venture with Hesus’ episode page on i13 Ventures YouTube channel

    https://www.i13ventures.com/media/v/-venture-with-hesus-pete-townsend-and-the-techstars-web3-story-

    Connect with this Hesus Inoma on social media:

    -LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/in/hesusci/

    -X(Twitter) - https://twitter.com/hesusci?

    Leave a review and subscribe on 

    -Apple Podcasts:  https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/id1455819294

    -Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/4F8uOLxiscYVWVGEfNxTnd

    -Youtube:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvaaHrJjizUEd0-93mjCKsQ

    MoneyNeverSleeps newsletter on Substack: https://moneyneversleeps.substack.com/

    MoneyNeverSleeps website:  https://www.moneyneversleeps.ie/

    Email us at info@norioventures.com

    Follow on X(Twitter): 

    -Pete Townsend: https://twitter.com/petetownsendnv

    -MoneyNeverSleeps: https://twitter.com/MNSshow  

    Follow on LinkedIn:

    -Pete Townsend: https://www.linkedin.com/in/pete-townsend-1b18301a/

    -MoneyNeverSleeps: https://www.linkedin.com/company/28661903/admin/feed/posts/


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    • 1 hr 5 min
    256: Common Misconceptions About Web3 | Julia Kemp | Daniel Uribe | Tiago Ferreira | Tom Daniel

    256: Common Misconceptions About Web3 | Julia Kemp | Daniel Uribe | Tiago Ferreira | Tom Daniel

    I’ve brought together 4 of the founders from the Techstars Web3 class of 2024 to help me dispel some of the common misconceptions about web3 with the general public, including Julia Kemp, founder and CEO of Pawpass, Daniel Uribe, founder and CEO of  GenoBank. Tiago Ferreira, co-founder and CEO of FairAI, and Tom Daniel, co-founder and CEO of Ember AI.

    Even with an estimated 500 million crypto users around the world, the number of daily active users of crypto is less than 20 million, compared to 2 billion daily active users of Facebook, for example.  So, for those around the world who have heard of web3, blockchain, crypto, DeFi, digital collectibles, NFTs, etc., the vast majority are uninformed at best, and negative or fearful at worst.  However, they don't really need to be informed about how it works, in the same way you don’t need to understand SMTP to send an email or HTTPS to use a website.    

    In general, as early-stage founders, if you do put your head down and build, find customers and grow your user base, and hit the metrics to raise your round, you don’t have to worry too much about the general public for now - or do you?  

    What if you’ve just decided that building on blockchain technology and leveraging the trustless component of blockchain is the best way to deliver your value proposition to consumers? How will the uninformed react? How have you seen them react and what do you do about it? If what you’re building is more for the crypto-native, does it matter what the general public thinks about web3?

    To answer these questions and more, I asked Julia Kemp, founder and CEO of Pawpass, Daniel Uribe, founder and CEO of GenoBank. Tiago Ferreira, co-founder and CEO of FairAI, and Tom Daniel, co-founder and CEO of Ember AI, what they wish the general public knew about web3.

    LINKS:

    Connect with this week’s guests on LinkedIn

    -Julia Kemp from Pawpass:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/kempjulia/

    -Daniel Uribe from GenoBank:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/uribedaniel/

    -Tiago Ferreira from FairAI:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/carlostiagoferreira/

    -Tom Daniel from Ember AI:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/0xtomdaniel/

    Follow this week’s guests on other social media:

    -Julia Kemp from Pawpass:  https://www.instagram.com/usepawpass/ 

    -Daniel Uribe from GenoBank:  https://twitter.com/genobank_io?lang=en

    -Tiago Ferreira from FairAI:  https://twitter.com/getFairAI

    -Tom Daniel from Ember AI:  https://twitter.com/EmberAGI

    Leave a review and subscribe on 

    -Apple Podcasts:  https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/id1455819294

    -Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/4F8uOLxiscYVWVGEfNxTnd

    -Youtube:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvaaHrJjizUEd0-93mjCKsQ

    MoneyNeverSleeps newsletter on Substack: https://moneyneversleeps.substack.com/

    MoneyNeverSleeps website:  https://www.moneyneversleeps.ie/

    Email us at info@norioventures.com

    Follow on X(Twitter): 

    -Pete Townsend: https://twitter.com/petetownsendnv

    -MoneyNeverSleeps: https://twitter.com/MNSshow  

    Follow on LinkedIn:

    -Pete Townsend: https://www.linkedin.com/in/pete-townsend-1b18301a/

    -MoneyNeverSleeps: https://www.linkedin.com/company/28661903/admin/feed/posts/


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    • 34 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
9 Ratings

9 Ratings

doctordave1979 ,

Great source of valuable information for founders!

Episode 68 gives a valuable insight into a VC’s mindset and expectations when it comes to investing in startups.

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