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Arthur Traviss Corry on Singularity 1 on 1: Give Bitcoin a Try!

Arthur Traviss CorryI have often felt that being located in Toronto, Canada puts me at a bit of a disadvantage with respect to having a futuristic high-tech blog and podcast. Living in Silicon Valley or New York [or a number of cities in Asia and Europe] appears to make it easier to stay at the cutting edge of technology and meet the amazing people pushing it forward. However, after visiting Decentral, I am convinced that there you can meet people who are making things happen and changing the world as we know it. And so I have come to believe that things are changing for the better – not only for Toronto and Canada but also for the world in general.

One of the people behind this change is Arthur Traviss Corry. And so I was very excited to visit Arthur aboard his sail-boat – The Dialectic, and interview him about his work, his passion and the future. During our 40 min conversation with Corry we cover a variety of interesting topics such as: Decentral as start up accelerator, investment fund and mentorship space; exciting ventures in residence such as Buttercoin and Ethereum; the pros and cons of decentralized apps; 51% attack and other vulnerabilities; bitcoin and its potential for good and bad; anarchy and the role of the state; regulation and the potential for backlash; AI and transhumanism…

My favorite quote that I will take away from this conversation with Arthur Traviss Corry is:

“Software development is an art and these are the artists creating it… It is probably the most important art of our time.”

[Help produce more high-quality episodes by sending bitcoin 1gnjsmU3TzWF1LXNFrm3egYYuh3ZJrJ7F or old-fashioned money! Also, don’t miss the secret bonus footage after the credits ;-]


Who is Arthur Traviss Corry?

Arthur Traviss CorryArthur T. Corry has been helping tech companies structure, raise capital, and launch since the beginning of internet commerce. His experience comes from Canada’s West coast and Silicon Valley. Three years ago, Arthur founded Toronto’s first true Startup Accelerator, building a thriving portfolio of 18 tech startups. Arthur’s tech accelerator program was listed by government studies as one of Canada’s top 6 such programs in 2013, which led to Arthur’s nomination by the Toronto Board of Trade for the Business Excellence Award, as one of the region’s top 30 most influential entrepreneurs. Arthur’s company Rockcorry Venture Partners now creates acceleration programs and curriculums of due diligence for organizations, such as investment firms and angel groups. Arthur is also a managing director and partner in an entirely new kind of venture capital fund, called Decentral. It’s focus is on financial technology and the new paradigm of decentralized tech, such as peer-to-peer apps, and bitcoin services.

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  • chip1

    You keep saying the state is required for a free market and progress. Yet trade and economic activity overwhelmingly occurs despite the state. When the Romans sent coral goods to China for silk there was no legal state framework.

    Trade is the normal condition of man. I’m a business owner and most of my activity involves sending goods and money to foreign companies with no legal guarantees.

    It’s based on trust and mutual interest.

    The state has in practise destroyed economic exchange through war, protectionism, and indiscriminate use of taxes and regulations.

    States destroy savings through money printing, inflate bubbles, default, expropriate and confiscate. They don’t trade, make things and create wealth.

    This doesn’t mean a state doesn’t have a role. But it’s on the edges of economic activity, not as the cause of it, as you imply.

  • When the Romans had a dispute they sent their legions to “resolve it”…

    The state provides the legal, political, social and economic framework, at least in the past, for businesses to survive and prosper. The most obvious way of demonstrating this is by looking around – failed states in general have no substantial local, let along any global businesses. The strongest corporations were given birth within, grew up and got initial market share in the strongest states e.g. US, Canada, Europe, Japan etc. [Not in Africa, Latin America or Southern Asia…]

    But let me say that during the interview itself I didn’t mean to imply that the state is necessarily the cause of economic activity – it is certainly not the only one. However, it can be a very major part of it. Examples of that are many but if you look at the the history of economic development of Japan or the other Asian tigers [Singapore, Taiwan or South Korea], you cannot help but see the indispensable role that the state has played in first choosing, then nurturing and, ultimately, blossoming the high-tech industries there. Those were all originally policy decisions taken not by entrepreneurs but by their respective governments. It was only then that the entrepreneurs began operating within the construct that was laid out for them by the state. And they succeeded in getting to the cutting edge of their industries and can compete and win market share globally. So clearly the state can and did play a major positive role – at least in those cases.

    Of course, the state can play a negative role too. And you are giving examples of your own experience. But again, this is not necessarily a condemnation of all states but just a way to rank some states doing better job than others. For example, the US as far as I am concerned does a pretty bad job of being a good state that creates incentives for small business owners like you. If you look at the facts, despite popular misconceptions, I would say that states in Scandinavia and the above Asian countries, for example, do a much better job. And one proof for that is the fact that their economies are more competitive than the US despite of what many in North America see as socialist policies. Those same states end up with more innovation per capita, more competitive economy, higher life expectancy and higher standard of education and living.

    In short, the state can go either way – good or bad. But when it is doing its job properly it can [or at least it has been able to] indeed accomplish its purpose of existence – i.e. provide a peaceful context where citizens and businesses can thrive and proper in a field of their choice.

  • chip1

    The Romans didn’t send their legions to China, which was my point. Beyond the control of states, there was and is trade. Governments don’t trade, because they don’t produce anything to exchange.

    The natural impulse of man is to exchange, whether it’s a chicken for a loaf of bread, labour for money or just ideas.

    Governments interfere more in this process than they nurture it.

    You cite big companies springing from strong states. But it is the near absence of govt in tech that has seen companies like Google and Apple emerge. The tech moved so quickly that the govt didn’t have time to strangle them in regulations.

    Countries like Japan and South Korea have succeeded because of powerful cultural values tied to education, family and work ethic. This worked for a while.

    But now the state is crippling economic activity. Japan has a horrendous amount of debt and Abenomics has been a crippling failure.

    The USSR was the ultimate strong state. How many companies did it create?

  • The USSR was not a state with good policy aimed at creating business. In fact, its whole purpose and ideology was communism – i.e. to nationalize all old business and to prevent new ones from happening in the first place. So it was very successful in that sense.

    The Romans did not send their legions to China because their trade was marginal at that time and China was not within its sphere of direct interest or major trading partner.

    My previous point about companies coming to exist in strong states still stands – you have given no evidence against it but only in support of it. Google and Apple emerged in the USA – a country with endless legislation about almost anything you can think of. A country with strong entrepreneurial tradition. A country with strong central government. A country with education, armed forces, police, executive and legislative branches. If total lack of regulation and government were needed, since by definition the less government you have the less impediments to private business you will have, those companies should have popped up in the middle of some failed state in Africa – where noone can interfere with their growth. But they didn’t. This means that there are other requirements than mere non-interference from governments. That is because for a business to prosper you require many, many layers of context which are provided historically by the government, thought this may well change.

    Japan and Korea or the other Asian Tigers have had the traditions you’ve mentioned for thousands of years. Yet it is only in the past 50 years or so since they have become economic and business powerhouses. What has changed?! It was government policy that changed! And despite their current problems they are still at the top of the heap…

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