Blockchain Rock launched its first podcast in May 2019 and since then has hosted 16 interviews with some of the greatest influencers in the blockchain industry. This fresh and innovative online media platform based in Gibraltar provides an invaluable insight into the fintech community.
Chloe Oppenheimer, Senior Associate at Hassans, hosted a Zoom chat with founders Omri Bouton and Noelle Laguea to reminisce about the past year and find out what’s in store for the future. Check out the interview below.
C: We’re seeing some great interviews coming out of Blockchain Rock recently, how long have you been going and what’s the purpose of the channel? What was the inspiration behind setting up Blockchain Rock?
O: Having past experience in the creative industries, audio producer/engineer, I wanted to leverage some of those skills and tie them up with my current role in order to come up with a creative side “hustle”. Also, about one year and a half ago I discovered the Joe Rogan Experience and fell in love with the format. The idea came when I realised that working in the fintech team of Hassans International Law Firm gave me exposure to very high profile individuals operating and innovating the fintech space. Therefore, I wanted to implement a format similar to that of the Joe Rogan experience with a focus on the visionaries that are using blockchain and other upcoming technologies for their business endeavours, so to have the opportunity to speak with and learn from these very interesting people that form the fintech community. I immediately liked the idea as I knew that implementing it would give me the opportunity to become a better conversationalist. The format of our episodes reflects such a desire. We do not have “ready-made” questions for the interview. Instead, I like to ask our guests to start talking a bit about their background, and from that point onward I try my best to come up with interesting follow-up questions based on what they say. This requires some improvisation, but that is exactly what I enjoy most about Blockchain Rock.
Going back to how Blockchain Rock was born, asking Noelle to implement the idea together was a no brainer given our shared enthusiasm for creative content.
N: Even before Blockchain Rock, Omri and I were accustomed to spending our coffee breaks in the office kitchen thinking about what creative initiatives we could start together alongside our roles as trainee solicitors. While I have always been passionate about photography, I had no prior experience with other areas such as the editing and production of audiovisual material. When we started discussing the Blockchain Rock idea, I immediately saw a great opportunity to expand upon my skill set, and at the same time, gain knowledge in an exciting area that I wanted to know more about: financial technology. We knew that our skills would complement each other well.
O: Anthony Provasoli was the last piece of the puzzle, thanks to his prominence within the blockchain and fintech industry and the connections that he has developed over the years, he was able to give Blockchain Rock a head start by securing very high profile guests.
N: And that’s how Blockchain Rock was born!
C: What sort of followers are you getting?
N: Our initial following came from our colleagues, friends and the local FinTech community. However, we’ve now reached over 750 followers on LinkedIn alone, and we have noticed that our followers do not only come from different countries, but also from different industries.
O: The data that we are able to gather through tools such as LinkedIn analytics, shows us that the audience is very diverse coming from different locations such as the UK, France, India, Australia, US, Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Hong Kong, as well as from a range of industries: from Financial Services to Fashion.
C: Which has been your favourite interview?
O: This is a hard question because I have really enjoyed all interviews, as they all gave us the opportunity to learn from very inspiring people. While I am definitely unable to pick a favourite episode, the topics that tickled my interest most – such as interactive entertainment, game development, and vertical farming – came up during the On Yavin, David Proenza and Arsen Torosian episodes.
N: As I said earlier, a big part of why I was excited about Blockchain Rock was to learn more about FinTech and I have definitely been able to pick up on a lot about blockchain technology and its multiple applications from every episode. If i had to pick a couple of episodes that taught me the most, Kriya Patel and Arsen Torosian come to mind.
C: Who would you love to get in the Blockchain Rock chair next?
O: Hopefully, Satoshi Nakamoto – unless we already interviewed him?! (I know, a bit cheesy…)
N: David Proenza gave us good insight as to how blockchain can be applied to an industry other than financial services. I’d love to see Blockchain Rock host more interviewees like this to showcase the underlying potential of blockchain.
C: What’s the future looking like for Blockchain Rock?
O: As Noelle mentioned, we would like to reach out to more visionaries that apply blockchain technology beyond the financial services industries. David Proenza, CEO of FoodChain, is a good example of that. Food Chain addresses some of the main problems encountered in food production and solves them by combining blockchain with other novel technologies. We would like to interview people from diverse industries to learn about novel implementations of blockchain, and understand what kind of problems this technology can solve, how it can shape our future and (maybe) improve our lives.
N: For a while, we had been discussing the possibility of hosting remote interviews, and due to COVID-19, we had to make that shift in Season 2. There are several benefits with remote interviews, for example, the ability to interview people we would otherwise be unable to reach (Yoni Assia!), as well as the ease in editing this content. Our ‘face-to-face’ interviews do provide intimacy and higher video quality so it is likely we will host remote interviews alongside these when we are unable to meet with a guest in person.
Finally, we plan to attend as many events and conferences as possible in order to expand the reach of Blockchain Rock and to get to know more people within the fintech community. Our goal is to host Blockchain Rock interviews from these conferences.
C: What kind of feedback have you received from viewers?
O: Very positive! We are still growing and each episode gives us the opportunity to improve different aspects. In the first few episodes, for example, we had various technical issues with the microphones and the cameras. For the most part, our problem solving was “real-time” as it was taking place while we were recording the interviews. Also, each time we solve a problem the quality of the content goes up, so we are striving to identify as many issues as possible in order to grow our skills and improve content delivered by Blockchain Rock.
N: We’ve been learning as we go along so we are happy to receive any advice on how we could improve our interviews. We’re always grateful to receive constructive criticism that allows us to improve the end product.