On our Watch List: Vinny Lingham at CES

Vinny Lingham, Brock Pierce, and Martine Paris on stage at CES 2020.

This January, Civic CEO Vinny Lingham joined Brock Pierce, chairman of the Bitcoin Foundation, and Journalist Martine Paris, who has covered the industry since its beginning, for a panel conversation at CES about the untold stories of the crypto revolution. If you’ve ever wondered what the early days of crypto use were all about, this video is the resource you’ve been looking for.

Here are a few highlights that caught my attention from the conversation:

As a co-founder of Blockchain Capital, Brock relied on the Japanese concept of keiretsu, a business relationship where entities have close relationships and sometimes take small equity stakes in each other’s businesses, all while remaining operationally independent. Using this philosophy, which is also a nod to Satoshi Nakamoto, Brock facilitated co-opetition among blockchain founders and built an industry network based on strong personal bonds. The result was a crop of healthy blockchain companies that debuted in 2013-2014. Vinny, as co-founder of Gyft, participated in this investment round. (Timestamp: 14:30)

Over the past few years, the crypto ecosystem has been critically validated by important players, in Brock’s view. As the banking world, including J.P. Morgan among others, ventures into cryptocurrency, it indicates positive momentum for the industry. Further, the introduction of Facebook Libra has brought about critical regulatory conversation that will continue to pave the path forward for the industry. (Timestamp: 37:40)

During the early days of Gyft, Vinny was looking for a way to get people to buy gift cards from anywhere in the world, not just the US. What he found was that a virtual currency like Bitcoin worked well because it was non-reversible and every transaction was guaranteed, unlike credit cards, which proved unreliable as a payment mechanism. This was the insight that led to Gyft becoming the biggest online seller or recipient of Bitcoin, and ultimately to the eventual sale to First Data. (Timestamp: 9:45)

Listen to Civic On-The-Go

Have you caught Civic on a podcast recently? These lively conversations give insight about our mission and add industry color. 

Vinny Lingham Talks The Economic Apocalypse and Anonymity vs. Privacy on Untold Stories With Charlie Shrem. In this big picture conversation, Vinny and Charlie get philosophical about crypto and its impact on the world. They discuss Bitcoin and the world economy, insights about the usage and movement of Bitcoin, privacy and anonymity, and the mindset of successful entrepreneurs.

What is Identity w/ Vinny Lingham & Phillip Shoemaker on What is Crypto? With Michael Nye. In this new series, built to be accessible for crypto beginners, Michael covers the basics of identity with Vinny and Phillip Shoemaker, the executive director of The conversation covers identity and blockchain and finding better, more efficient, safer ways to show who you are.

Decentralized Identity: Civic CEO Vinny Lingham on Barefoot Innovation Group. Vinny and Jo Ann Barefoot talk about the challenge Civic is taking on, what it takes to build an identity company, and key regulatory issues in the space.

Civic: Decentralized Identity & Secure KYC on The State of Identity Podcast. Vinny joins Cameron D’Ambrossi for a conversation about the launch of Civic Wallet, the importance of re-usable KYC to the growing digital economy, and his predictions for the future of digital identity in 2020 and beyond.


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