Interview with a Blockchain and Crypto Evangelist

 
Karen Salay, Founder of Growth at Trade Layer and Founder of ChatLasso has over 15 years selling technology and helping companies clarify their go to market messaging. She has taught technology classes to corporate clients with incredible success and consistently getting positive feedback from her students.
 
 
To begin with, can you tell us a little about your background? 
 
I came out of college knowing business and computer science.  At the time, there were not many women in the field.  I started coding at Price Waterhouse.  Soon my coding skills were used to help customize demos and do technical pre-sales for PeopleSoft.  I got involved in multiple startups like SugarCRM doing sales and business development.  I leveraged my analytical skills to solve sales,  go to market, marketing and channel challenges.  My unique combination of technical and business skills drove value for companies by solving problems with the ability to look at them with a 360 lens.  I am currently advising multiple blockchain companies on ICO, token economy, marketing, and growth strategies.  I have started a company: ChatLasso which helps growth managers tame the chaos of having multiple chat channels.
 
 
How did you first become interested in blockchain?
 
Friends asked me to start reading blockchain/crypto white papers in 2017 because I understood business and technology.   I was drawn to the possibilities that blockchain offered: the change in attitude from centralized to decentralized systems, the idea of sharing wealth and information, a community of open source code creators just to name a few.  I jumped two feet in and have leveraged my skills in the new environment.
 
 
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies seem to be in the news every day. Why are they important for us to learn about?
 
There are 2 billion unbanked individuals in the world.  If cryptocurrency and blockchain can provide an opportunity to provide peer to peer banking for a portion of these individuals, this would be amazing.  Financial freedom allows people to make independent decisions and life-changing decisions. The breakdown of centralized systems and the introduction of peer-to-peer systems in their place can change how our world functions.  Blockchain and cryptocurrency is a global phenomenon with only around a small portion occurring in the United States.
 
Does blockchain have applications beyond cryptocurrencies? 
 
Blockchain solutions occur in every part of today’s society.  The ideas and uses are endless.  A movement has started that will change our world into a more open cooperative environment that empowers decentralized individuals over areas of centralized power.
 
  • Food-Supply chain
    Food Trust’s goal is to improve the companies’ ability to identify issues involved with food recalls, such as tracing outbreaks more quickly to limit customer risk.
  • Identity:  
    A person’s attributes from their life will be theirs to own: what you buy, what you watch and listen to. You can decide who sees it or not.
  • Healthcare: A person can go to whichever doctor they want to because they will keep their medical records with them.  A person owns their medical data and not the hospital, doctor or insurance company.  The medical costs are on the blockchain so a person can negotiate their rates.
  • Education:
    Blockcerts.org – Open infrastructure for tracking academic credentials. MIT Media Lab.  This open standard allows individuals to remain fully in control of their own academic history. That is important because academic certificates are markers of our lives. They can be tickets to a better job or education, and we can use them to tell a story about who we are and how we have become that person.
 
What is your advice to women and allies interested in working in blockchain or cryptocurrencies?
 
The blockchain and cryptocurrency community is very inviting and supportive.  There are nightly meet-ups in San Francisco and the Peninsula.
 
https://www.cryptoweek.ly/ = weekly update about what is happening in the space
http://unchainedpodcast.co/ = great podcasts about crypto and blockchain
 
Search on Meetup for blockchain/cryptocurrency for events.
 
 
 

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