We ask the buidlers in the blockchain and cryptocurrency sector for their thoughts on the industry… and we throw in a few random zingers to keep them on their toes!
This week, our 6 Questions go to Denelle Dixon, CEO and executive director of the Stellar Development Foundation.
Denelle Dixon is the CEO and executive director of the Stellar Development Foundation, a nonprofit organization using blockchain to unlock the world’s economic potential by making money more fluid, markets more open and people more empowered. Before joining Stellar, Denelle served as the chief operating officer of Mozilla, one of the most successful mission-driven open-source organizations. During her tenure at Mozilla, she led the organization’s business, revenue and policy teams, including the ongoing fight for net neutrality and the global effort to ensure that people can control their personal data. She also pushed Mozilla to understand how to partner with commercial entities while staying true to its core mission of openness, innovation and opportunity on the web. A lawyer by trade, Denelle previously served as a general counsel and legal advisor in private equity and technology. Throughout her career, Denelle has been a vocal advocate for net neutrality, encryption, the disclosure of vulnerabilities by governments, and greater user choice and control.
1 — What’s one problem you think blockchain has a chance to solve but hasn’t been attempted yet?
There is no shortage of ideas for what blockchain can solve in terms of efficiency, transparency, data security, speed and cost. The great thing is blockchain’s versatility can be applied to most if not all industries ranging from finance to healthcare to education to retail. And blockchain has been around long enough that it’s not just for crypto enthusiasts anymore. Companies, organizations and institutions are now looking for ways to make blockchain part of their tech stack. Essentially, if there is a process that can be improved upon with technology, blockchain has the potential to be part of that solution.
But blockchain needs to further mature before we see a fully comprehensive solution happen. So, maybe “attempt” isn’t the right word here so much as “fully implemented.”
I would love to see blockchain tackle cybersecurity. Staying indoors throughout the pandemic has only amplified people’s reliance on technology — through their modes of communication, shopping habits or content consumption/creation. But it’s difficult for users to choose between protecting their data and the incentives provided to them for providing access to their data — not to mention that users are constantly at risk of being scammed or hacked. So, while users need to take a more vigilant approach to safeguarding their own data, blockchain can protect users at the product level via decentralization and built-in encryption methods. I’m very excited to see where blockchain projects focusing on cybersecurity end up in the coming years.
2 — What do you think will be the biggest trend in blockchain for the next 12 months?
From a general standpoint, as blockchain becomes more consumer-friendly, we’ll see more businesses and individuals begin to adopt it. Interest in blockchain is only rising as the technology and infrastructure becomes more robust and useful, allowing people to solve problems in increasingly versatile ways.
This means that industries beyond just fintech will start thinking of ways blockchain can benefit them. I welcome the diversification of industries as they bring more applications, products and services to blockchain, as it indicates growing acceptance by the public that blockchain really can be part of the mainstream.
Regarding financial systems, the conversation around stablecoins and digital currencies will continue to intensify. We’re finally starting to see buy-in from traditional financial institutions that blockchain is a cost-effective, swift and powerful…