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Frank Ricotta and Ed Kim Interview with Matt Bird at Converge2Xcelerate | ESG News – Boston, MA

Frank Ricotta and Ed Kim Interview with Matt Bird at Converge2Xcelerate | ESG News – Boston, MA

Frank Ricotta, CEO/Co-Founder of BurstIQ and Ed Kim, Editor in Chief of Equities News with Matt Bird at Converge2Xcelerate Conference (Boston, MA)


  • Blockchain market size expected to reach $58.3 million by 2025
  • BurstIQ is first blockchain company to be accepted into ITA strategic partnership program
  • Big topic of discussion: Facebook announces launch of new cryptocurrency “Libra”


INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTS: Frank Ricotta, CEO/Co-Founder of BurstIQ and Ed Kim, Editor in Chief at Equities News with Matt Bird

Matt Bird – Host, Traders Network Show: 00:00

We got Frank ricotta, CEO of BurstIQ and Ed Kim who’s been behind the camera. This is the first time you’re going to see him in front of it. Hey guys. Hey man. Hey Frank Ricotta. Ed, you know what great job today you took down, I bought a dozen a feature one on one interviews today. I followed your work. It was pretty terrific.

Ed Kim – Editor in Chief, Equities News: 00:23

It’s easy to talk to people who are really passionate about what they’re doing and that’s what today was start to finish.

Matt Bird – Host, Traders Network Show: 00:29

And had the chance to sit down with Frank.

Ed Kim – Editor in Chief, Equities News: 00:31

I did, I did. Frank and I have known each other now for a couple of years over the phone. It was great to meet him now in person and it’s tremendous to see the progress that he’s been making with BurstIQ.

Frank Ricotta – CEO/Co-Founder, BurstIQ: 00:41

Yeah, I would say it, ed was one of the first ones to see some of the value in what we’re doing and when we were still kind of molding the concept. So it’s been a good journey interacting.

Matt Bird – Host, Traders Network Show: 00:52

Well, it’s been a great journey. In fact today. So you were on three, four panels today are today?

Frank Ricotta – CEO/Co-Founder, BurstIQ: 00:56

Three today. It was a busy day.

Matt Bird – Host, Traders Network Show: 01:02

What’s the big takeaway?

Frank Ricotta – CEO/Co-Founder, BurstIQ: 01:05

Well, you know, if you kind of benchmark from last year I think you’re seeing a lot of things move into the zone of practicality, real adoption now, not just talking about it. So there’s been a lot of discussion over the last two, three years about what blockchain could do within the health sector and what innovations that could help usher in. What’s you’re now starting to see is real adoption around the peripheral and even with some really course solutions.

Matt Bird – Host, Traders Network Show: 01:33

So, you know, I noticed something on one of your panels. It was something that you and I have actually talked about in the past. Which is I think the adoption side of things. It’s the sex appeal. It’s the novelty starting to wear off on the front end of it. It’s really starting to focus on the back end and backend infrastructure. If you can’t fit in the stack, you’re certainly not going to get it to the front of it.

Frank Ricotta – CEO/Co-Founder, BurstIQ: 01:55

Well I agree. You know, it’s, it’s not unlike the internet adoption cycle where, you know, you ha some of the surrounding protocols had to really be developed to make it usable and to work and, and really push broad scale adoption. You know, the web just didn’t automatically emerge and that’s where I think you see things happening now. It’s really kind of rounding off the rough edges and hiding some of the hard technical sides of blockchain and making it very usable.

Matt Bird – Host, Traders Network Show: 02:24

You had a comment, and I want to say that a year ago you said something to the effect of, I see a handful of infrastructure players laying the foundation with a whole bunch of front end applications, much like a iPhone iOS system and all the apps that are built on top of it. Is that in from an analogy standpoint?

Frank Ricotta – CEO/Co-Founder, BurstIQ: 02:45

That’s a great analogy. I mean, this is kind of a geek analogy, but who owns HTTP? You know, really kind of the technology behind the browser. Nobody owns it. It’s just a protocol stack. But there was once that once upon a time where a handful of companies really, really advocated, it really drove adoption. So that’s what I think you’re going to see blockchain, there’ll be some infrastructure providers and network providers, but the protocols will become ambiguous and really be buried in a lot of applications.

Matt Bird – Host, Traders Network Show: 03:10

Ed Kim, it can batch during HTTPS during that era. Ed was at a, at NASDAQ. So, and you’ve, you’ve covered a lot of technology over your time and you’ve got a good inner saying, but from the FinTech and everything else, what is your take on that?

Ed Kim – Editor in Chief, Equities News: 03:25

I think the, the encompassing nature of, of blockchain, what we saw today, especially I spoke for example, with an economist. In the early days of the internet, you didn’t speak to any economists. And so perhaps we’ve learned our lesson that from the very, very beginning, it’s important to understand how incentives work how the different silos need to be connected rather than to see these things try to optimize independently and then at a later stage come together, they’re actually thinking about how do we, how do we interweave these things today? And I think that’s going to be the key to success.

Frank Ricotta – CEO/Co-Founder, BurstIQ: 04:03

That’s an awesome perception because what we’re really talking about is particularly as extends to health. It’s a different variation of this whole capturing value. You know, in the financial side and cryptocurrencies. It’s like the difference between capital and currency capital being a hard asset, current currency being a transaction, and now we’re starting to see it apply to people understanding that, okay, data about you is very valuable. Now how do we capture that in a transactional way and an economic way that produces shared incentives. And I think that’s just an absolutely comment and very important.

Matt Bird – Host, Traders Network Show: 04:39

You know, I think there’s going to be a time where people start looking at their data much like they look at any or any sort of money market account. Your data’s making you money while you work and your day to day vitals and your day to day genomics and your day to day data who you are will be as much as an investment as your 401k it sounds like.

Frank Ricotta – CEO/Co-Founder, BurstIQ: 05:00

Well, you know, we’re all in it together and I see that, I see that transpiring. It’s not just your health data, it’s about everything you’re doing. It’s already valuable. You, came from the, from the ad tech space, right? But you know, the, the monetary value of capturing data about a person to, to really kind of move, move a business model forward and it’s going to be the same thing. It’s just at a hyper level for the next round.

Matt Bird – Host, Traders Network Show: 05:30

Well, we, we got, we got ed, let me ask you this. So you, we got a Libra that’s just been announced it and there is some talk in, in Saturday’s is, is Libra a conflict? Is Libra a conflict mechanism? Not to create a cryptocurrency but to actually share in the monetization of the data so they can get around any regulatory laws. And it’s a really interesting concept when you think about they could lose the cryptocurrency argument, but when the shared monetization argument because their people were getting compensated by use of their data and they don’t have to change our model,

Ed Kim – Editor in Chief, Equities News: 06:01

A cynic might say that Facebook plan this from the very beginning for it to fail the cryptocurrency test because it’s not a cryptocurrency. If you stack up just Bitcoin, for example, the one that is commonly known, if you stack up Bitcoin against Libra, those are two very, very different constructs. I’m starting just with the basis of decentralization versus centralization. Libra is a Facebook tool. It is the thing that I would do if I were Mark Zuckerberg. So I tend to believe that this is where Facebook wanted to get to all along.

Matt Bird – Host, Traders Network Show: 06:34

So if I get to Libra in exchange for my genomics tests or my answers, that’s compensation.

Ed Kim – Editor in Chief, Equities News: 06:41

That is compensation. I don’t see how that isn’t compensation.

Frank Ricotta – CEO/Co-Founder, BurstIQ: 06:47

Well, I think it’s an interesting premise. I think the crypto currency side of life as a low probability of succeeding anytime in the near term, but an internal transaction and compensation method. Absolutely. In fact you know, a cross payment solution in some aspect. Absolutely. and how could you deny the fact in terms of the number of users and there’s many parts of the world where the internet is the Facebook portal. It’s not Google, it’s not just a general browser. It’s Facebook and so we may not see it here. I don’t think we’ll see it here first, but we’re going to see it emerging on a whole lot of parts of the world.

Matt Bird – Host, Traders Network Show: 07:31

You know, I don’t want to take this account in a completely different realm, but you know, I, from a Facebook standpoint, I see the CT to outcomes. I see a subscription model and I see the Libra rev share model. I think that’s all seem where they’re going to go. It’s the only way that I can say to have regulatory issues, but it’s going to bring crypto and digital assets. It’s going to help lift the whole ecosystem.

Ed Kim – Editor in Chief, Equities News: 07:50

I believe on some level I think it will increase the visibility. And I think it’s important to have the discussion of, of what Libra really is and who li who really stands to benefit, right? You’ve got a billion people on the planet at least who, who do not have a bank account but have a cell phone. All right? So, so that’s a billion people who stand to benefit, legitimately benefit from a way to transact in a secure fashion. So I can’t criticize Zuckerberg for that, but he’s going to face and he already has faced a severe resistance in the United States. Not the least of which is, is all the, the issues around data privacy and Facebook’s ability to manage that privacy. So as Frank said, I do think that that Libra’s first success will be outside the U S and that’s where the market is. That’s where many of those billion people are with that bank accounts.

Matt Bird – Host, Traders Network Show: 08:46

It’s where you see the most of the user adoption and digital site. Frank, get it hitting you core. Is it, is it fear that’s going to slow it down here? Fear and lack of those that didn’t come up with it, like, well why it sounds like a fair trade off. Why is this going to be slow to adopt?

Frank Ricotta – CEO/Co-Founder, BurstIQ: 08:56

as it relates to Libra? Well, I think in many of the Western countries, you have an established regulatory framework and banking system. So it, you know, many, many in on that side of life viewed as somewhat of a threat. And that was their initial reaction. Just like actually, just like they did with general cryptocurrencies a couple of years ago. And we were just at OECD and the French financial minister stood up and said, Hey, leaver’s not going to be transacted on French soil. And that made headline news everywhere. But in that same speech, he was talking about the power of blockchain to deal with any money laundering and international settlements and a whole list of things that could be inherent in a Libra framework where they were just because of the association and my opinion with Facebook and push back on it pretty hard.

Matt Bird – Host, Traders Network Show: 09:49

Let’s switch this up. We’re running at a time here, let’s do a 12 month forecast. Where do we see blockchain in healthcare 12 months from now?

Ed Kim – Editor in Chief, Equities News: 10:00

I think we’re going to continue to see more constituencies get involved. You go back a year or two ago and it was just these small upstarts who are self-funded in many cases trying to advance the technology but now you’re going to see more buy in from academia. You’re going to see more buy in from corporate America at the fortune 500 level cause they’re the ones who are going to drive adoption and you’re going to see more buy in at the government level. I think very importantly from the state level but also from the federal level. I mean it may have to wait until this election comes and goes, but I think you’re going to see continued government interest in this as a matter of course because they’re going to have to appeal to their constituents particularly. And that’s why I think healthcare, what you’re doing, Frank is so critical because I think the constituents are going to drive this. They’re going to more and more realize the value of their data and they’re going to tell their Congressman, you know, this is something that we want you, Mr. Congressman, to be interested in.

Matt Bird – Host, Traders Network Show: 11:00

It’s an interesting point because the governmental level, they’re raising all the issues and without, without a solution, then it just becomes, it’s a, it’s a hamster wheel and it’s guys like this that they’re going to create those, those solutions 12 months for out Frank, you’re knee deep in this. In fact, you’re the center of the center of the ecosystem here at least in the US and digital health and blockchain where do you see the industry in 12 months from your vantage point?

Frank Ricotta – CEO/Co-Founder, BurstIQ: 11:24

What I see, I see really solid adoption at the B2B level. So I think we’ve got a little ways to go from a consumer adoption perspective, although there are really some cool apps emerging, but you still need some of the backend infrastructure to be working right. And the data exchange. And I think from the CMS from the government perspective, they love this technology from the standpoint of interoperability. So you’re going to see them start to really push and advocate for an adoption on the B2B side of life this time next year.

Matt Bird – Host, Traders Network Show: 11:54

Well, we’re already seeing you pull some of that stuff off right now in 2019. All right, everybody, CEO BurstIQ, the editor in chief Equities. I’m Matt Bird. We’re here at the Conv2X Conference 2019 here in Boston, Massachusetts. Guys, thanks so much. It was great to see you both. I hope to see you at the reception afterwards. See you later. I’ll see you for a drink. We’ll be right back after this. We have our next guest. Don’t go away.


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