The blockchain space is awash with projects that span a wide range of industries. Medical, entertainment, Fintech, even agriculture, and farming. Blockchain tech brings the aspect of decentralization to the foreground, creating distributed platforms that enable P2P trading without the need for intermediaries, for example. The resilience and imaginative drive of those behind these projects will ultimately determine their future viability.
Jeremy Klein is one of those Blockchain enthusiasts who has a clear goal in mind: To drive every project to success. His latest enterprise, HyperionX, is a distributed network for Smart Markets that creates a decentralized ecosystem for the trading of smart products.
But more on this later. Jeremy had plenty to say about blockchain and a lot else.
On becoming involved in Blockchain, and how the tech helps to attain one’s goals
Jeremy has been involved in a number of start-ups, and his entrepreneurial spirit shines through every time. But I was curious to know how he became involved in Blockchain, to begin with.
“I’ve been part of the space for the best part of five years,” Jeremy says. “I remember hearing about Bitcoin just about a decade ago now. I didn’t dive into it right away back then, as I was busy with other projects at the time. I worked for a number of marketing outfits, for example.”
“But then I decided to look more closely into Bitcoin, the technical side of it, and how the underlying technology could benefit different sectors.”
“What really drove me to it were the opportunities for disruption of the different markets,” he continues. “So I started investing in different projects that I thought would really make a difference and an impact.”
“I connected with a few developers, and people who opened my eyes as to what the technology supporting Bitcoin could do.”
“From my own personal standpoint, I was looking for a better way of connecting people and securing data, so blockchain really drove my interest. From there, I reached out to a few people in my network and we started building our own projects.”
Once Jeremy acquired the basic awareness and knowledge about blockchain, he came to realize its potential, and so began devising ways in which the technology could help him achieve his own goals.
He said that “For us specifically, we were looking for a new way of securing data. Basically, being able to take away control from central entities and give control of that data back to users. And also, we were looking to create a transparent ledger where everything could be audited, and people could see what’s going on. Essentially, we wanted transparency and trust in our projects.”
Jeremy continues “as you know, handling and ownership of consumer data is a big issue right now, so I see blockchain as an opportunity for individuals to make the decision for themselves, rather than having their data controlled by entities like Amazon, Facebook, etc.”
He made specific emphasis on the decentralization aspect of this technology, saying that “it is important for a few different reasons. For one, it’s really opening people’s eyes as to what’s really going on behind the scenes, giving people a view that’s not normally seen.”
“Blockchain connects people at a higher level, giving the user better control over their data by eliminating the middle man.”
“Essentially, it enables peer-to-peer trading, thus eliminating burdensome third-party fees, etc. It saves people time and money while securing their data.”
On building a blockchain community
One of the key aspects of building and maintaining a blockchain project is the creation and fostering of a solid and thriving community. How you do this is a very personal notion, as everyone’s approach is different. I wanted to know how Jeremy worked to create a community.
Jeremy said “to build our community, what we are trying to do is making the onboarding as easy as possible. We’re trying to create a bridge from the more advanced technologies to the average consumer. So we’re attempting to do is creating an enhanced user experience, making it very easy for users to understand and digest what the technology is, what it does, and giving people an in-depth, enjoyable, and easy user experience.”
He continues “that’s why we’re taking the gamification experience with our platform. Our community’s first approach is to bring people in on a lighter note. Then we educate them as to what blockchain can offer and what the opportunities are.”
Of course, any user participating in a community will expect to get something in return. Not necessarily in monetary terms, they may wish to obtain knowledge, new skills, or experiences. I asked Jeremy about how he plans to incentivize his community, to stimulate participation and growth.
“We will incentivize our community members through knowledge, by opening their eyes to the fact that all of their data is currently being farmed, and mined, and sold by a number of third parties. And not only that but also let them know that these entities are profiting from this data, rather than the users themselves being able to monetize their data.”
“On top of that, the middle man fees that they incur for having the privilege to use these centralized entities.”
“So what we’re trying to do is teach them that they can save money, and also that they can choose what to do with their data. Basically, they will enjoy more freedom and have more control over their assets by having a say in the ecosystem.”
On the entrepreneurial spirit
Jeremy Klein defines himself as an entrepreneur. But this concept varies in definition for everyone, so I was curious to know how he sees the entrepreneurial spirit within him.
He said that “I believe that entrepreneurship is a skill that can be acquired, though there are people who are born with innate abilities for this. Still, it takes discipline and having the vision to be able to see the bigger picture of things to motivate yourself and act on those ideas and visions.”
“So I think anyone can do it, but there are people who are natural entrepreneurs.”
“I myself, I think I was born with this natural ability to have that entrepreneurial drive to always have more, to go for the bigger goals and visions.”
On the past, and how past experiences defined Jeremy’s persona today
Who we are today does not come out of thin air. We’re constantly being shaped and molded into who we are by our experiences, past, and present.
Following up on the entrepreneurial thread, I wanted to know how Jeremy got to be who he is today.
“I had sort of a rough upbringing. My childhood probably wasn’t as easy as it could have been. I saw people struggling in both my personal and professional lives, so this opened my eyes and taught me that there had to be a better way to go about things. Different options, basically, to get out of a repetitive cycle that people sometimes get stuck into. That’s what drove me to always want more, from a very young age.”
“I want to make changes to people’s lives, to make them easier and better.”
On working with start-ups
Jeremy has been involved with a number of start-up enterprises throughout his career.
A start-up company can be quite challenging, as most would be built from scratch. The genesis of an idea may give rise to one or two people coming together to foster and develop this concept. Sometimes it works out, in many cases it doesn’t.
Jeremy knows a thing or two about this.
“My approach to a start-up is basically making sure that the original idea is sound, and that I fully understand the concept behind it. Then, I tend to strategize smaller goals along the way, and these objectives usually take you to the end goal. So I like to look at every start-up from a strategic standpoint, looking for the right people to be involved.”
“It is important that the people involved are motivated, and that they share your vision for the project’s goal. Look for the people who work hard, the people who will really go after that goal.”
“They say that hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.”
On the peculiar relationship between Yoga and blockchain
Yoga is an ancient discipline for the relaxation of body and mind through physical and mental techniques.
Jeremy is part of a project that combines this discipline with blockchain, which is an unusual combo, to say the least. I wanted to get first-hand knowledge of this.
“Traveling Tree Yoga is sort of a fun side project that I’m working on with a few people. One of my colleagues is a long-time Yoga practitioner, and she realized that it’s hard to find and gauge the right people, the right teacher, and the right guides.”
“Now, using blockchain, we can create an accurate and tamper-proof rating system for Yoga teachers. We realized that it’s quite common to pay people to give you ratings, so reviews are obviously biased and agenda-driven.”
“What we’re looking for is the creation of a rating system for Yoga guides where people can leave reviews of different classes and different teachers, etc. We incentivize this by creating a Yoga token that can be used for interactions, attending classes, etc.”
Jeremy’s latest project is HyperionX, a blockchain-based marketplace. He understands that blockchain may pose a serious technological challenge for those people who may not be technologically-minded. Hence the rationale for HyperionX was the creation of an easy-to-use-and-understand platform that integrates the average individual onto the blockchain space.
Jeremy harbours deep concerns about the security of user data, something that HyperionX addresses at every stage.
“I come from a marketing and sales background, so I’ve seen and dealt with a lot of centralized platforms, and I’ve seen all the issues that this entails. Data breaches, middle man fees, and so on, as we talked before.”
“So we are leveraging blockchain tech for the HyperionX project, looking to create a free market ecosystem that connects peers directly, that’s to say, they don’t have to deal with middle man fees, etc.”
“And more importantly, peers (users) can keep all their data secure, locally, and choose what they wish to share with the network.”
Jeremy’s aware that the success of any application, platform, etc., largely depends on whether or not potential users find it visually appealing, and want to interact with it, to begin with. Bearing this concept in mind, he decided to gamify the entire experience, designing an ecosystem which is both visually appealing and fun to use. This leads to Jeremy coining the term Gemunomics.
He explains it in more detail.
“HyperionX is intended to be almost like a gaming environment, where we turn economics and e-commerce into a fun, interactive game. We want the ecosystem to be enjoyable, secure, and save people time and money.”
“We came up with the idea of tree blockchain. We planted the see, and it has grown. This derives from two core ideas: We (the team) like games, and also appreciate Earth. The actual name, Hyperion, is one of the largest trees in the world. We got inspired by that, and thought the name for the first tree blockchain would be very fitting.”
“It all snowballed from there really, and we realized from the beginning that enjoyable user experience was key. One of the issues I’ve noticed with other blockchain projects is that they are not very user-friendly. It is very hard to onboard people to these projects.”
“Our environment is gamified, so it provides a rather enjoyable experience, and it also provides automation of menial tasks, so it gets very easy for peers to use. They can then connect with other peers at a higher level, as all the backend stuff is handled for them.”
“HyperionX provides a fun, in-depth, game-like experience achieved through decentralization, community consensus, and autonomy.”
The entire HyperionX ecosystem hinges around Peerion a decentralized platform that supports a smart market solution.
Peerion offers a fresh take on entrepreneurship through a gamified eCommerce experience, promoting cooperation, so people can work together to achieve an ‘epic win’.
Jeremy is very passionate about Peerion indeed, and it shows. He says that “Peerion is focused on both young and seasoned entrepreneurs who are looking for new ways to gain exposure, build their brand, network and collaborate with others. Whether it is business services or content production, Peerion’s peer-to-peer network appeals to anyone who is tired of high middleman fees and data mining through centralized platforms.”
“The gamified blockchain features of Peerion act as the catalyst for all users of the platform, giving freedom for creative development and valuable in-depth user experiences.”
“My main motivator is creating something that’s tangible, something that has a major impact, something that changes things at a fundamental level.”
“I like to see things from a different perspective, and blockchain technology and the HyperionX platform opens people’s eyes and teaches that they don’t need to feel trapped.”
“So for me to choose a project to work on, I feel that it has to disrupt something, and it’s achievable.”