Elvin Zhang [LinkedIn | Facebook] is a Singapore-based polymath and startup founder with his interests ranging from Quantum Physics to Blockchain and Fintech. He, believe it or not, has also won an award for playing a unique Chinese musical instrument.
In this episode Elvin Zhang speaks about:
• why he rejected UC Berkley after receiving rejections from MIT, Stanford, and Harvard (and why he lied about it to his parents)
• Elvin’s first business in a $100 million Singaporean industry
• Elvin’s first exit (a 6 figure USD amount)
• How Toucan Pay came into being
• Why Peter Theil’s Zero to One concept means different things for different startups
• Things startup founders should keep in mind while making a pivot
• Mistakes made by Elvin in his previous startups
• The right way to pitch to VCs
• Elvin’s insights about Blockchain Technology, and what this technology means for FinTech and other industries.
Elvin shared in great detail why
(i) decentralization is not necessarily required by most networks of today
(ii) how decentralization can help in a mature network by eliminating a central point of failure
(iii) Elvin’s personal three-pronged criteria for evaluating blockchain & ICO projects including
(a) whether you really need a blockchain (i.e. decentralizatioN) in the first place (this depends on the amount of mistrust in the current way of doing things)
(b) what type of decentralization is needed, and how much of decentralization? For instance, Ethereum and Bitcoin can be accessed by anyone, whereas a consortium of banks may be on the other end of the spectrum with a closed and restricted blockchain network. All 3 forms of decentralization (public, hybrid, private) requires a different use case depending on the amount of privacy required.
(c) do you really need a new type of crypto-token (rather than using something like, say, the Ethereum token/platform)?
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