Bloq Builds Formidable Team to Address Blockchain Potential

A "Dream Team" is created to harness the enterprise power of the blockchain

Inside the Bitcoin Blockchain
Getty Images

Over the last decade, we’ve grown used to seeing sports teams win championships by building a “dream team” of top players.  The Miami Heat has its big three of Lebron, Wade and Bosh take them to the NBA championship.  Similarly, as Olympic season comes along, we’ve grown used to our national sports teams being comprised of the top professional athletes, regardless of the team they currently play on.

In business, we can look back and think of Jobs and Wozniak, Gates and Allen, Hewlett and Packard as all stars who comprised their own “dream team” that drove their business to success.

Currently, one of the biggest growth areas for startups and venture capital involves blockchain technology.  Many existing and new companies are realizing that the distributed network technology that provides the infrastructure for Bitcoin, which is the blockchain, provides an improved method for such applications as financial transactions, contracts and overall record keeping. Large companies such as IBM, Deloitte and BNY Mellon are investing money and resources to harness the potential of the blockchain for their own businesses.

It’s also brought on a gold rush of venture capital to startup companies.  Many of these companies were on display at the sold out "Consensus 2016 – Making Blockchain Real" conference held recently in New York City.

  The potential impact of blockchain technology as a major change agent was apparent by the list of prominent speakers at the conference including former Secretary of the Treasury, Lawrence Summers, Bitcoin pioneer Gavin Andresen (who announced at the conference his validation of Wright as the real Satoshi the morning of the announcement) and creator of Ethereum, Vitalik Buterin (who sat next to Andreson and disputed Wright’s claim).

As someone who has attended Bitcoin and blockchain conferences since they began years ago (when many people just came for the free food), one thing I lamented was a difference between those past conferences and this one was the prominence of more suits at the Blockchain conference than at past Bitcoin conferences.

This view was echoed during a conversation I had with Matthew Roszak, who is a co-founder of Bloq and has been involved in the Bitcoin industry for longer than I have been.  Matt comes from a venture capital background, as a founder of Tally Capital and was named one of the “who’s who of the cryptocurrency world” by The Wall Street Journal. He serves on the boards of various companies including Factom, which is a leading startup in the area of using blockchain technology for smart contracts.  He was also a producer of the Bitcoin documentary, "The Rise and Rise of Bitcoin", which provides an excellent view o f the technology and characters involved with the early days of Bitcoin.

“The big difference here is that you’re seeing more suits than at past Bitcoin conferences,” Matt said.  It was clear to both of us that the technology that Matt saw potential in more than five years ago, was now gaining presence and potential (including profit potential), and being recognized by business executives and not just geeks in their hoodies.

Roszak saw the potential of the blockchain early on, and also recognized that at this point, there was a lack of effective enterprise-wide tools and capabilities to allow businesses of all sizes to harness this potential for their entire business. 

It was with this view that he began Bloq, which is a company that provides tools for companies to build blockchain based solutions with a blockchain infrastructure software platform and router software capabilities to provide these solutions across the entire enterprise.

Being the right combination of visionary and businessman, Roszak recognized that to compete and gain visibility in this new arena around the blockchain, he had to assemble a strong team.

“We have a best in class organization,” Roszak said about his new company. 

There’s no doubt that he’s done that.

  Roszak’s co-founder of Bloq is Jeff Garzik, who not only played a leading role at Red Hat (where his code exists in every Android phone and most data centers) but was also a Bitcoin Core Developer.  Garzik brings formidable technical capabilities to the firm that he feels can create a combination of the capabilities that “Red Hat, Cisco and Oracle”  have provided to the blockchain potential for small and large businesses.

The Board of Advisors of Bloq continues the “dream team” lineup with the aforementioned, Gavin Andresen and Nick Szabo, who are both not only pioneers in the Bitcoin world, but both have been considered to be the actual Satoshi at some point.  The team includes Flip Filipowski, who may not be only the nicest guy in all of the technical world (IMHO), but has been a pioneer in the tech world for years, including his creation of Platinum Technologies, which was sold to Computer Associates, for a record (at the time) amount.  He’s currently Chairman of Tally Capital.

It’ll be interesting to see how Bloq does as a business.  What it does show is that as the potential for wider use of the blockchain continues, businesses will need to not only gain the involvement of top talent to build their tools, but it will help to gain visibility and credibility quickly in a growing industry.