Checking in with our good friend Monty Munford who's now a proud Co-Founder of DeFi company Sienna Network that just launched last week!
After what feels like an eternity of never-ending lockdowns, we get into Monty's thoughts on meeting Kim Kardashian, the future of events, launching a blockchain / crypto podcast, co-founding the DeFi company Sienna Network - and finally getting him to consider launching his own creator coin... as soon as he can figure out his own value ;)
Let's start with events:
What was your last big international event, before the pandemic?
My last gig was emceeing the World Congress on Information Technology (WCIT), a three-day event in Armenia in October 2019, but I did manage to make a keynote speech in Karachi, Pakistan during the UK's Lockdown Two in November, 2020.
That experience told me a lot about travelling in the future and how difficult it's going to be and how much paperwork there is, not just for countries, but for airlines.
What’s the backstory behind that selfie you took with Kim Kardashian?
Ha! That was the Armenia event and there was a lot of work involved. We met backstage with 'her people' and it seemed inappropriate to ask, but we had a good chat and I asked her if I could take a selfie later on-stage and she has very happy to do so. She even touched me on my shoulder as she did so. I think she wanted more than a selfie - haha.
Now that most events are shifting almost entirely online what has your experience been like re: speaking online? Any interesting lessons learned from your experience speaking online?
Awful, depressing, ineffective and bad for the brain. I did a few at the beginning and I was conducting interviews for my crypto podcast BlockSpeak.io, but I think even a voicecall is better than a videocall, using one sense instead of two is less of a brainmelt. I'm trying to stay clear of them and that's the one only lesson I can offer.
When borders finally start opening back up to global travel, where will you travel to first?
Blimey, good question. I know it won't be a conference for a while. I would say somewhere like Greece and just lay on the beach/by the pool for a week (with my son).
What about blockchain events? Which ones do like the most that we should have on our radar?
I'm kind-of out of the Zoom events and I think conferences may take a while to come back, so difficult to guess. But I like the SiGMA events in Malta and might even put on my own small conference, but let's see how vaccination goes.
Speaking of Blockchain
Via BlockSpeak, you've interviewed some of the world’s biggest names from marketeers to FinTech to blockchain to Bitcoin Billionaires - which interview(s) did you enjoy recording the most?
I started BlockSpeak last summer and we managed to bring onboard 30 excellent speakers and allowed me to learn from the best as well as realise who the idiots were.
I always like talking to John McAfee (wherever he is now), but the conversations with Alex Mashinsky of Celsius and Charles Hoskinson of Cardano were my favourites.
I see you recently updated your LinkedIn page as the Co-Founder of Sienna Network. What is that and how deep is your involvement?
Yes, we're very excited about this. I'd been approached several times to be commercially involved in blockchain and crypto projects, but nothing grabbed me. However, Sienna Network not only grabbed me, but threw me over a wall. We're a DeFi project that launched last week and things have gone crazy since.
We're solving a problem that the crypto industry needs and many figures, including those I interviewed on BlockSpeak, are talking to us about how they can be involved. We have a roadmap over the next two months that may astonish many in the industry, watch this space!
Do you see any viable business cases for event organizers to start using blockchain?
I think the world is finally catching on about blockchain and early adopters such as charities and logistics appreciate the transparency of the protocol. Smart Contracts and proof of transaction are going to streamline all industries and even democratic elections.
What event organisers do with the technology is a little bit more complicated. Perhaps it will make payments easier, but there's nothing else that springs to mind right now.
What about the rise in monetization of speakers (ie. Creator Coins) - when will Monty Coin hit the market?
Hahaha. Well, I might be behind the curve here and would love to know more, but I'm ALL OVER this idea. Let me talk with 'my people' and I'll see what I can come up with, happy to work with anybody on this - haha.
It sounds a little preposterous, but I much prefer speakers' fees to be made in crypto, so why not base a coin on your own creativity? However, I'm not sure how valuable I am, so I may wait on this one.