We can say that it probably was not his talent in playing the violin or the skills needed to become a professional javelin thrower – which he seriously considered becoming at one point in his life. Maybe it was him wanting to understand more on what money and currency were about, combined with his analytical thinking that – as he describes it – got him into the rabbit hole of blockchains. He first encountered the expression back when Bitcoin made its way into the media during the financial crisis in Cyprus. He went on this road of self-education via magazines and whitepapers and never looked back.
“I essentially concluded that school education doesn’t teach us much about money, its origins, and how it works...”
Carlos is currently leading the Business Insights Community, where experts develop new methodologies, tools, and approaches to incorporate data analytics into the business decision–making processes. And, when he is not actively focused on data and taking advantage of machine learning, he likes to spend his time with family and friends, painting, doing DIY projects, and getting his hands dirty refurbishing his apartment.
As busy as he gets, Carlos has still managed to squeeze in time for our Blockchain series. One can never understand how much research and reading goes into writing even a single article, not to mention a whole series. Thankfully, his interest in blockchains was never just a thing of the past.
“I read many books on the topic; books are usually my starting point as they are more curated and have more hours of thought put into them to explain issues more clearly and thoroughly.”– he says and adds: “..there are many videos with interviews of people who work in the industry, who design the main protocols, and have a breadth of knowledge in particular on the applications. These were profoundly impactful when developing this series.”
In conclusion, books are an excellent source for anyone trying to gain insight into blockchains. For those trying to get a shortcut and would rather skip reading massive piles of books, there are online videos, blogs, or magazines explaining different aspects of this technology in detail. Carlos’ only advice is always to have a critical mind and look for various sources for each question or topic, as in today’s world, it is very easy to spread misinformation. Misconceptions around blockchain can scare people away from opening their minds to these new concepts, thinking it’s only “a techy thing.”– he says.
“Another common misconception is thinking that the blockchain application is only there to create cryptocurrencies for wild investing for inflating and deflating bubbles.” But Carlos has always had a different view on the relevance of blockchains: “Many years ago I realized that this would not be something exclusively technological; it wouldn’t be a fad or something that is trendy for a while and then dies off. The ability to establish trust with a peer one does not know by simply trusting the technological platform that can intermediate between the two is an incredible feature that everyone would want to take advantage of."
Although knowing a subject well is crucial to writing articles, it isn’t always enough; one has to bring all of the gathered knowledge to paper and have just the right amount of explaining and describing to make the text understandable for everyone. On the other hand, having to explain every second word makes the text hard to comprehend. Carlos admitted that the writing process was a challenge for him but learning how to summarize essential aspects and get the core message across is something he will be able to take advantage of in the future. (I call this a skill unlocked.)
This skill is hard to master, and so reading back, he does feel like some of the episodes might have been a bit too condensed. Still, overall, he is happy with how the series turned out, adding, “Nevertheless, the outcome serves its purpose of introducing a topic that will be evermore so present in our lives, and those who spent the time reading it will get a decent head start in unpacking what blockchain is all about.”
Who can take advantage of the blockchain? Anyone. It is empowering to access marketplaces and see the actual values of the world’s offerings without depending on an intermediary. Carlos says it’s easy: “All you need to take part is a digital wallet that can be run as an app on a mobile phone and have internet access.”
So, what are you waiting for?