Alex Tinsman of NEM North America on Crypto Clothesline
There’s never been a time in history when you could create your own money like this. It’s changing the way we live and we work.
Chatting with Alex Tinsman of NEM North America, really was like having a chat with a switched-on girlfriend over a cuppa: we had to keep our listening keen, our questions short and our intake capacity turned up to full volume…
When listening to a United Nations gathering, sitting on the Floor together with former US representative Dennis Kucinich, he said: “We’re changing our social and economic reality and right now our children are in the thick of the very beginning of this new digital economy.”
As Regional Manager of NEM North America, Alex Tinsman is one busy mum. She talks to Crypto Clothesline about having kids in crypto, her background in gaming, the parallels she sees between the world of gaming and the crypto world, and why NEM blockchain is so different to other blockchains…
Regional Manager of NEM North America
Becoming Regional Manager of NEM North America has been described by Alex as ‘One wild ride!’
Alex started off as a volunteer at Consensus (annual blockchain technology summit in New York) after becoming involved in the NEM telegram group. She offered to create a series of videos interviewing different people in the NEM ecosystem, and from there became an integral and important part of the team.
“I really just found my tribe. And when you find your tribe, it just clicks! Now I’m traveling around the world, interviewing many, many partners that are building on our platform…”
Being a Mum with Kids Into Crypto
These little people in our lives don’t necessarily have all the filters of belief and opinion that adults have often become rigid in in terms of their thinking: there’s so much more acceptance of new information in children because they haven’t developed those concepts too deeply of right/ wrong, good/ bad.
Alex’s son is 13 years old and when he got into crypto he said to her: “Hey mom, I have $300 in iTunes gift cards and I don’t know what to do with it because I’m not going to use it, I’m not going to buy any more games.”
At that point mother and son decided to work together and to buy $300 worth of crypto. Alex had her son download Blockfolio (see show notes) so he can go in and monitor his crypto and get a sense for how it all works. Alex’s son got really good at it and in December 2017 when the height of cryptos was soaring for a lot of the different coins, this kid pulled in thousands of dollars!
“He would spend time every night…just researching different platforms and learning the technology and watching videos.”
Lesson number one: he pulled out what he had put into it because you should only be willing to risk what you are comfortable risking losing.
Lesson number two: you can’t just take, you have to give – you need to also contribute and you need to actually be a creator in the world.
So Alex’s son built a virtual (AR) rig, and he paid for coding camps using the funds that he had made with his crypto investment. To this day a checks block folio every morning to see how his, how his, how his investments are doing…
What seems to us like a whole new thought process developing in the minds of children who are exposed to this information is in fact, simply new learning – just like the facts they hear about in school. It can’t do anything other than prepare them for a future, which quite frankly, we all feel a little uncertain about…
Alex, can you tell us how you went from gaming to blockchain?
After two decades of marketing and community development experience, Alex had a clear focus on online gaming. Pre-crypto, she worked on a lot of the world’s first digital tradable objects like Pokemon online magic, Riot Games on League of Legends and Xbox: basically creating digital economies for games.
Alex draws a number of parallels between gaming and cryptocurrencies:
- being able to buy digital items: in games you have a virtual marketplace, like steam and coinbase in the crypto world
- you have online personas: in gaming everyone uses avatars and you don’t always know who you’re speaking with, same in the crypto space: you have a different personalities out there and they’re larger than life
- you have a reputation system: in gaming you’re trying to level up, the same thing is in cryptocurrency – everyone’s trying to go after the loot and kind of figure out the best coin and what they should back
- you have guilds like twitch: it’s a place where you get together in gaming (like Twitch) and you can learn the insider secrets, you’re working with all different kinds of personalities and you’re banding together to go after the common goal – when you succeed, everybody succeeds. You have that same kind of platform in telegram groups and different platforms like reddit where people come together and share their knowledge and bitcoin talk
- you have ad-ons: in gaming there are digital items that you’re purchasing either to level up your experience or to make it so that you are more protected against the environment around you. Same thing in the crypto space. A Ledger and Tresor (cold storage wallets) are your armour against having people come after your coins!
- Digital money is what you use in video games: for gamers there’s a way that they can actually make virtual money and have it grow, and have a wallet – where your virtual money goes.
“Blockchain is basically a ledger. You can think of it as the ultimate way to keep track of information and data. And if you have all this data, it’s really easy to make sure that that data is legit because it’s timestamped, meaning you can actually see when that data was recorded. And what’s really cool about this data is that it’s immutable, so you can actually say when it was recorded and you can show that this data has not been falsified…
Everybody should actually care about blockchain because the data about you: your personality, who you are, your identity – it’s all wrapped up in data and data is gold, right?
A lot of people confuse bitcoin and blockchain and then they think there’s just locked chain per se.”
Why NEM blockchain is So Different
“I fell in love with the technology for blockchain – I got sucked in by the glamour of it! We began to do our research on different blockchains, that’s when we discovered NEM.
NEM really makes the blockchain as a database solution. We have plugins that are built directly into the core and we basically have templatised smart contracts, meaning these have been tested, they are proven, and they’re safe.
We’ve taken the majority of the smart contracts out there, templatise them so that anyone who wants to build on blockchain can, and they can do it easily using our plugin. It’s a really great solution for companies that want to build on blockchain, that maybe don’t need customised smart contracts, and it’s cost efficient.
The NEM blockchain was built from the ground up with a focus on security, it’s easy to develop on and it can scale.”
What this means for us on the ground floor level is that we can take a business that we have or want to develop, that could benefit from being on the Blockchain (like supply-chain businesses, charities, any business that needs to deal with large volumes of data basically) and plug it into the NEM Blockchain ecosystem.
Biggest Hack in History
“We had a hack in January of this year. The exchange lost more than $500 million dollars’ worth of XEM (NEM’s token) – it was the largest hack in history. We’d been working with this Japanese crypto exchange platform Coincheck. If they had actually used something called a multilevel multisig they would never have been hacked, but they kept other money on the exchange.
Multilevel multisig is pretty amazing because you can do 10 or more different levels where you have a sign off and then a sign off and then sign off.
If you went to approve a transaction, you have to have a lot of people approve it before it goes to the next step.
I want to stress the importance of making sure that you are taking those coins and taking good care of them!
All exchanges are different and so people just need to realise that when you’re leaving large amounts of money on an exchange, it is still putting you at risk!
“So really the best thing you can do is backup your backup: your cryptos!”
“As far as NEM is concerned, tech is intact. We are not forking. Also, we would advise all exchanges to make use of our multi-signature smart contract which is among the best in the landscape. Coincheck didn’t use them and that’s why they could have been hacked. They were very relaxed with their security measures,” Lon Wong, President of the NEM.io Foundation, told Cryptonews.com.
A NEM bar in Japan
There’s a bar in Tokyo, Japan called NEMbar. It’s a bar where you pay with cryptocurrency for drinks and food and things like that: very cool. They love to play Alex’s videos in the bar…
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