Monday 11 December 2017

Nathan's blockchain projects and pilgrimage to London

So as some of you may know I've been heavily involved in the blockchain / crypto world this year.  I started a company called Minespider that uses blockchain tokens to track responsibly sourced metals.  I started a blockchain podcast called Analysis in Chains that has grown to over 1500 regular listeners. 

Well last week I was invited to London because Minespider was a finalist in the Talent Unleashed Awards.  It was a fancy ceremony and dinner at the Museum of London. The prize was an all expense paid trip to Silicon Valley in the spring to meet tech companies and hang out with Steve Wozniak.  

The great news is that I won!  Minespider won the global prize for the Best Idea - One to Watch category.  I'm very excited!

What's more is that the Talent Unleashed team has amazing connections and marketing.  They introduced me to CNBC and I appeared on Squawk Box the next morning to talk a little about Minespider and the current state of bitcoin.  You can check out the segment here:

All in all London was good to me. Here's a little bit more about the projects I'm working on:


If I had to explain blockchain in just a few sentences, it's a way of arranging data that makes it very resistant to tampering. This allows us to create unique digital items called "tokens" that can hold value.  Bitcoin is a great example of this, as it holds about $200b of value right now with each Bitcoin 'token' holding nearly $15000 each. 

But there are other types of value you can store using blockchain.  What about certification value?  

Our project is to create digital certification "tokens" for an amount of metal produced at a responsible mine.  These tokens can be sold as offsets or passed up the supply chain along with shipments of minerals to demonstrate that your supply chain is responsible.  Effectively we want to turn due diligence from a service to be performed into a commodity that can be purchased.

As of this writing we have just completed a scoping study for the GIZ (German International Development Agency), and one of our team has just returned from Rwanda visiting mine sites looking at how we will collect data for the system with a large mining company and a large downstream user of metal.

Analysis in Chains

When I started this project I needed to do a lot of research on Blockchain, what technologies are out there, how they work, who the major players are, and how the crypto economies work.  I also needed a way to engage the people I was meeting so I could really connect in the industry. My friend Neal and I decided to start a podcast that would serve this function.

We started in July and have consistently put out an episode twice a week for the past few months.  We have just passed 40 episodes and 40,000 downloads.  Our most recent episodes average around 1500 listens each.  Mondays we talk about news and developments in the crypto scene and Fridays we will post either an interview with a prominent figure in the blockchain space, or an in-depth look at a crypto project.  We have had some pretty high profile and interesting people on our show already including:

Our target listeners are somewhat familiar with the blockchain world, but new, and want to learn more about the different projects out there, how they work, and the factors that are influencing development of technology as well as the price fluctuations in the Cryptoverse.  Basically we started the show for people like us, and used it as a way of focusing our learning and research.  

We also started a Slack group for people to discuss all the topics we bring up in the show and even made our own crypto token, the Nutshell, that we pass out to people for listening and participating. 

Take a listen and join us at



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