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360 Blockchain (OTC:BKLLF) companies paving the way for blockchain growth

Tony Zerucha



Jeff Koyen was in the right place at the right time and now finds himself leading 360 Blockchain (OTC:BKLLF) one of the first Canadian publicly listed companies to exclusively focus on the blockchain.

Mr. Koyen’s early exposure to blockchain was as one of the first regular journalists to cover the space. He has followed Bitcoin since 2013 and has invested in the space.

Jeff Koyen

That early knowledge opened some doors and Mr. Koyen became involved with 360 Blockchain through mutual contacts, first as a strategic advisor. Putting his journalism skills to good use, Mr. Koyen sought out and vetted deals. Earlier this year he joined full-time.

While he has personally invested in a few ICOs, Mr. Koyen said Blockchain 360 avoids them entirely.

“We do not invest in ICO companies as a public company. I didn’t think it was a wise use of shareholder money.”

What 360 Blockchain does get involved with are early-stage blockchain and cryptocurrency companies run by active executives with strong category expertise, who are developing real-world applications of the technology. Demonstrable use cases are important, because in these early days of blockchain, where someone is pitching a blockchain-based solution in seemingly every field, it can be easy to be swept up in the hype and buy into a solution in search of a problem.

The parallels between blockchain in 2018 and the Internet 1992-1994 are well documented Mr. Koyen conceded, but he cited a few that investors should consider when vetting opportunities. Learn from the missteps of a quarter century ago  by walking before you run. Back then design agencies would pitch the local plumber on the importance of a website when most didn’t even know what the Internet was. Sure it would have been valuable but the sales pitch was a steep mountain to climb, beginning with explaining what the Internet was.

Better to wait until most get naturally comfortable with the technology and its benefits so you can transition them to higher use cases without them needing to understand what’s under the hood.

“Many of those plumbers just waited a few years until Facebook came along,” Mr. Koyen said.

Looking back on the early Internet years, many successful companies which emerged were the ones that laid the wire and provided the bricks and mortar that enabled the Facebooks and Twitters to shine down the road. 360 Blockchain’s portfolio companies mostly do that, while keeping an eye to the future.

Pressland aims to reclaim the public’s trust in media, Mr. Koyen said. Acquired by 360 Blockchain early in 2018, Pressland is a supply chain index for journalism providing the data necessary so news consumers can trust who produces the news they are consuming. Likening it to agricultural applications which can trace your jug of milk back to the cow, Pressland will allow discerning people to understand the efforts going into the content they consume.

(Pressland will soon conduct a token sale. NXTalpha will provide updates as they occur.)

The closer you look, the more industries you find which conform to a supply chain model, Mr. Koyen said.

“The one area no one foresaw five years ago was supply chain. More industries are supply chains than you realize if you squint right.”

As is often the case, credit the big boys for accelerating blockchain’s supply chain applications, Mr. Koyen said. IBM’s early work, and Walmart’s decision to develop blockchain solutions for food products caused the business world to take note.

ICO Ranker was already a profitable media company when 360 Blockchain acquired it this summer and things will only get better, Mr Koyen believes. Originally a provider of token reviews and ratings, its services will be expanded to include multi-language support for Asian markets, deeper analyses, and better outreach and sponsorship opportunities. In the same transaction 360 Blockchain also acquired, a property scheduled to relaunch late in 2018.

SV CryptoLab is a fully equipped blockchain and cryptography lab in Silicon Valley. During business hours it provides computational resources to blockchain firms while at night it mines cryptocurrency. Investors should note SV CryptoLab is contemplating a move into cannabis, Mr. Koyen said. It makes sense. Many dispensaries have issues with establishing formal banking channels, so early companies gravitated to cryptocurrency, making cannabis-related coins the first viable coins on the blockchain. Given the scrutiny applied to the cannabis industry, the immutability of record keeping on the blockchain is a key factor behind that migration.

Looked at another way, the issues impacting dispensaries can be traced back to a familiar place, Mr. Koyen said.

“Smart people see dispensary issues as supply chain issues.”

360 Blockchain’s fourth portfolio company is Arcology, Mr. Koyen said. Founded by Laurent Zhang, an entrepreneur with a background in machine learning, artificial intelligence and big data algorithmic analysis, Arcology is developing a hierarchical blockchain structure which is self-organizing and self-repairing. Once completed, it should address the issues limiting Ethereum’s enterprise adoption – speed, scale and transaction costs.

“That’s our moonshot,” Mr. Koyen concluded.


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Tony Zerucha

Tony Zerucha is an alternative finance journalist with more than seven years experience in the space. The author of more than 1,000 articles, Tony was named LendIt's 2018 Journalist of the Year.

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