Stafford Masie Q&A: Booming AI, BTC, quantum-computing, Starlink and SA’s untapped potential

Tech entrepreneur and former Google Government Stafford Masie solutions questions on the fast rise of cryptocurrency, the mixing of Synthetic Intelligence in enterprise and the rising concern surrounding South Africa’s financial future. Masie highlights the neglected worth of Bitcoin as each an asset and a global foreign money, emphasizes the specter of financial irrelevancy for South Africa in the event that they fail to catch as much as their technologically pioneering friends akin to Rwanda and Nigeria, and discusses the nuances surrounding the inevitable integration of AI into commerce.

Timestamps from the Interview:

  • Stafford Masie on the safety and longevity of Bitcoin given the attainable menace of Quantum Computing improvement – 00:29
  • Masie on the benefit of Bitcoin’s non-reliance on state banking programs and infrastructure – 02:24
  • Masie on why Bitcoin is not only an asset, the cryptocurrency’s “Lightning Community” and its neglected utility as a spendable foreign money – 04:01
  • Masie on the opportunity of South Africa going through financial irrelevancy – 08:07
  • Masie on Elon Musk’s Starlink satellite tv for pc undertaking and its potential significance to South African companies – 12:01
  • Masie on the opportunity of Elon Musk implementing Starlink in South Africa – 15:43
  • Masie on the AI “hype”, whether or not Synthetic Intelligence is the way forward for enterprise and the way AI may be efficiently or unsuccessfully built-in into commerce – 19:04
  • Masie on Cathy Wooden’s prediction that the Bitcoin value will attain $1.5 Million by 2030 – 25:59
  • Masie on the large winners and massive losers of the AI takeover – 27:53

Excerpts from the interview

Stafford Masie feedback on Bitcoin’s utility as a spendable and payable foreign money, slightly than only a safe asset

Now you can, for the primary time in historical past, change worth instantaneously on this planet, with none middleman extra securely than we’ve ever executed within the historical past of humanity. That may be a profound assertion. When you could have frictionless motion of worth, that adjustments society. We’ve seen that within the historical past of cash. Now, what we’ve executed with Bitcoin: Bitcoin is gradual, Bitcoin can solely deal with seven to fifteen transactions a second, however we wish it to be gradual. Bitcoin is tied to electrical energy, it’s tied to power and it mines in a selected means. We don’t need it to maneuver quick.

So what folks have executed is that they’ve constructed what we name a layer two on high of bitcoin. It’s referred to as the Lightning Community. And layer two is a bunch of channels. If I needed to clarify it to you, it’s like I’m within the bar, proper? I give the barman my card and I inform the barman the cap on my card is R500 and I open up a tab. Alec walks in and says, “Oh, I forgot my pockets. I have to settle the barman.” I inform him, “Barman put it on my tab.” Then Janet walks in and also you owe her R100. And also you ask me to settle the R100 and you’ll settle me later. That’s all occurring with out a transaction switching on the financial institution, proper? That’s the Lightning Community. These are channels which are sitting on layer two on high of Bitcoin that enables for transaction processing. A number of the numbers I’ve seen: 400 million transactions per second. 

Learn extra: Nelson Mandela Bay’s opposition coalition: A beacon of stability in SA

So by way of capability it outdoes something on the planet, by way of velocity it outdoes all the pieces on the planet and its accessibility is extraordinary. That is what individuals are doing in Africa at the moment. In Nigeria, they’re paying with Lightning. Now that’s using Lightning on high of Bitcoin. However you understand what’s actually cool? There’s an organization referred to as Strike and there’s different firms prefer it. Are you aware what they’re doing? They’re pumping U.S. {dollars} by their swap they usually’re utilizing Bitcoin as a bearer instrument with Lightning to modify it into one other foreign money. So as an alternative of going over Visa, Swift, the normal banking rails: they’re using Bitcoin Lightning Community because the bearer instrument to modify that worth. So you may pay somebody’s tab in London in kilos or in South African rands. You possibly can pay for his or her beer instantaneously with rands converted Bitcoin and it winds up in kilos within the barman’s pockets instantaneously. We’ve by no means seen this earlier than within the historical past of worth change.

Stafford Masie on South Africa’s untapped potential as a forerunner for technological innovation and the repercussions of leaving this potential unutilized 

I used to argue that [South Africa] is the place you need to be as a technologist. Why? As a result of whenever you construct issues in South Africa, they work in every single place else within the World. I’ve constructed applied sciences right here with the terrestrial challenges that I’ve had. What do we have now on this nation? We’ve bought a number of languages, we’ve bought illiteracy, we’ve bought safety points, we’ve bought value sensitivity, we’ve bought power points and so forth. Should you construct a chunk of know-how right here, you are taking it to Australia and it’s actually actually easy. You’re taking it to India they usually don’t ask questions as a result of your know-how works in South Africa. You possibly can take it to South East Asia, you may take it to Latin America [and it works]. So, that was the argument earlier than. 

And my argument there was that we received’t see the following Fb coming from right here or the following Twitter coming from right here. We’re gonna see the following Fb of agriculture, we’re gonna see the following Twitter of water purification coming from South Africa. Due to the challenges that we have now, you must innovate right here with actual human influence and conviction, not ardour and consumer base and clicks and likes. That’s not what you discover right here, however it’s getting terribly tough. 

And I feel that South Africa’s irrelevancy index is climbing in the meanwhile. We’re shedding extra of our expertise and extra of the enterprise funding that will’ve come right here is transferring up into North Africa. In Nigeria there’s a variety of enterprise funding, [as well as] in Kenya and Rwanda. These international locations are saying the correct issues. Their laws, their rule of legislation, their political stability and so forth. means individuals are leaning [toward] there from a enterprise capital and influx perspective. In South Africa we’re seeing an exit.

Learn extra: Slowing coal-fired energy station decommissioning: Sheer lunacy or a wise transfer? – Ivo Vegter

Stafford Masie on the promise of AI in enterprise in addition to the risks of careless AI integration

I feel try to be involved about AI, however I don’t suppose you need to method it in a damaging means. I feel you need to method it in a optimistic means. I feel there’s a magnificence in human-machine symbiosis. I actually do. I at all times say that the very best iteration of AI shouldn’t be Watson within the nook disseminating radiological info higher than any radiologists on this planet, subsequently all radiologists are going to lose their jobs. Or Blue in that nook now enjoying chess in opposition to Kasparov and whipping him. For me, the very best chess participant on this planet is a centaur. The place it’s the Grandmaster mixed with an AI and also you’ve bought centaur leagues. The most effective radiologist on this planet is an AI plus a human radiologist. That by-product is the best instantiation of a selected service. The truth is, it reimagines the service. 

I do suppose that the accountability on you as a enterprise chief is to know AI very, very, rapidly. Not essentially from an natural adoption perspective, however understanding what’s occurring along with your constituency on the surface of your firewall. The folks that you’re hiring into your corporation are folks which are augmented by AI. The best way you’re going to rent them into your corporation, and the best way you’re going to retain them could be very completely different to the normal means of doing it, from at the moment. It’s already right here, simply erratically distributed. 

So no, the scare tactic shouldn’t be the truth that [I am concerned], however I’m involved. I’m very involved from a legislative framework perspective, from a humanities perspective. The issue that we have now on this planet at the moment is that – Scott Galloway termed this, [he is] an writer of a few books. We now have the idolatry of innovators. We consider a lot in them after they come into the room they usually get on stage they usually wow the viewers, identical to at the moment. Technologists can wow you. They will present you gizmos and devices. The problem with technologists is that we lean into the binary world, we lean into the scientific world, so we are going to ship companies that do extra with much less, as a result of we’re computed that means. So what you want within the room extra now than ever earlier than are the humanities. You want somebody in your board, in your govt group that has Greek mythology and anthropology and Roman historical past as a background. Take heed to that human being greater than you hearken to the technologists within the room and measure that out. And that’s form of my warning to you is that these are superpowers. They actually provide the skill to instantiate a dystopia.

(Visited 11 occasions, 11 visits at the moment)

Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest Articles