InnoKOL | Olinga Taeed: Blockchain Has a Transformative Capability to The World Through Social Tech

2022/08/11 Innoverview Read

On Aug.11th (GMT+8), InnoKOL had a fascinating conversation with Mr. Olinga Taeed, the Expert Advisor and Council Member at China E-Commerce Committee of MOFCOM (Ministry of Commerce People’s Republic of China), talking about his unique work experience in e-commerce and the profound insights on the opportunities& challenges facing the development of NFT.


Jokia: How would you describe yourself in three words? What’s your motto?


I will do it in two words - Total Value, which means both kinds of value generation – financial and non-financial.


I made my early reputation in hard tangible financial value businesses growing to 9000 staff before I retired in 2008


Since then, I have focused on soft intangible financial value – like love, happiness, hope, kindness, etc. which is as important as money.


To study the concept of Total Value, in 2013 I set up the world’s leading think tank on the movement of value which now has 200,000 members, the not-for-profit Centre for Citizenship, Enterprise and Governance (CCEG).


Regarding motto, I think it's just to reiterate the balance in my life between financial value and non-financial value.


Back in 2008 my daughter had 2 breakdowns and now hears voices 24/7. I remember sitting in the farm and thinking, despite having 9 houses, 7 cars, I still did not understand love, happiness, hope ... and that I must have contributed to her misfortunate (as I saw it then). Since 2008 I have set out to understand non-financial value, intangible value, values rather than value, and to seek to develop the currency of non-financial value.


We all know financial value is the dollar, but what is the currency of non-financial value? That has been my goal for over a decade. Frankly, she completely changed my life. and now I can honestly say I am the happiest I have been since the age of 11 ... and I am 62!!


Jokia: Can you please share more about your educational and professional background? And we’d love to hear what brought you to Blockchain.


I graduated with an engineering degree followed by a PhD in Systems Theory, both from UK universities. I sold my first company in computer art, fractals, at 28. When I retired at the age of 48, I had 12 companies including building the largest CCTV company in the world which experienced huge growth and selling eventually to Siemens, mobile telecom companies and a CNN/Reuters JV on Nasdaq with 1.2 billion footprints.


Towards the end of my private sector career, I had started to operate as a philanthropist - I had rescued a 48-bedroom nunnery to become a growing children’s charity, and a 56-bedroom mansion in 20 acres into a residential ballet school. I liked the blended models of private, public, NGO’s and community and in retirement this led me to a 5-year appointment as Impact Investment Advisor to Big Society, the UK Prime Minister’s Think Tank, as well as a couple of Professorships at UK universities.


My lucky break came in 2014 when I was asked to speak at the Vatican for having developed, according to them, “the fastest adopted social impact metric in the world” which the Vatican Press called the “God Metric”. My Social Earnings Ratio (S/E) was the corollary to the universally accepted financial metric - the Price Earnings Ratio (P/E) accepted in all stock markets in the world. Together P/E and S/E is Total Value. We started delivering measurement of non-financial value metrics to governments all round the world to underpin laws in UK, EU, India, Indonesia, etc. using big data analytics or sentiment analysis. This was my speech to The Pope [ ]


By 2016 we had decided that it’s not enough to digitally measure love, happiness, hope, etc. but we wanted to transact them like a bank. So, we looked at ways to transact digitally and went into Blockchain. We raised £9.5m with FCA guidance (the UK regulator) in 2017, I became the world’s first professor in blockchain at Birmingham City University, grew our DLT institutional consultancy in Zurich, and in 2018 I started a peer reviewed academic journal in Switzerland called Frontiers in Blockchain now with 500 editors. In 2019 I was appointed to the Chinese Ministry of Commerce’s ‘China E-Commerce Blockchain Committee’ televised in Yiwu.


In fact, I was supposed to be in Yiwu on 26-28 August this year to speak at their Metaverse conference but they have a Covid problem since a week so the conference is sadly cancelled. I understand it will be rearranged.


Jokia: From your perspective, which industry will benefit from Blockchain most? Which industry needs smart contracts and Blockchain more than others?


There are 4 kinds of actors in Blockchain.

1. The ‘faster and quicker’ than conventional legacy systems

2. The cryptocurrency speculators who want only financial gain

3. The 4th Industrial Revolution technology advocates of DLT, AI, IoT, 5G, Web3

4. The blockchain as a belief, as their religion


Blockchain is the movement of a digital and valuable asset from A to B such as money, gold, diamonds, land, etc. But love, kindness, hope, happiness, etc. are also valuable assets and through tokenization can be transacted and that is what we focus on. In the early days my colleagues Chris Larsen of Ripple (XRP) and Don Tapscott would cite the biggest revolution through blockchain will be in the social space and yet all we see is talk about money. I think blockchain has a transformative capability to the world through social tech.


I guess I am quite unusual in still believing that the greatest benefit will be in the social space.


Perhaps some examples will explain. We are undertaking a project in UAE (Dubai) where we are establishing a bank. not just to deposit money, land, diamonds, gold etc. as usual. But Happiness and Tolerance. Because in UAE they have a Ministry of Happiness (led by Chief of Staff) and Ministry of Tolerance.


Another project is for Saudi US$500 billion of NEOM where they want us to design the ecosystem to represent a new kind of life not just built on money. We specialize in large ecosystems that transform society - that is where we see blockchain transforming life. Because under blockchain you can arbitrage (put on the same basis) tangible and intangible assets for the first time! In my early speeches I used to illustrate by saying "I love you $4.50”. When you compare hard and soft assets you can transact between them ... a big revolution. It means we can create a society built on values, not value, or perhaps treat value and values equally.


Of course, we do a lot of traditional blockchain projects in supply logistics, etc. at - our institutional consultancy in Switzerland, but our larger projects are social transformation. We also got involved in the post-Brexit agreements using DLT for UK HMRC - the tax authority! These smaller projects give us a great deal of learning.


We have easier access to research as I mention we setup a large academic basis in our journal but as you know academia tends to be quite pedestrian. We have failed at many projects in the past, and we have 15 whitepapers to testify to this! Some have been successes and we are getting better!!!!


Jokia: What opportunities and challenges for the e-commerce platforms to catch up the Blockchain revolution wave?


In our sector part of blockchain is already proving a massive USP. I recently gave a speech to Central Bankers and asked them what will be the currency of the world in 2030 for the UN SDG’s? None of them said money – they pointed to data, sentiment or ideology. For the first time e-commerce platforms can arbitrage these intangible currencies as easily as tangible currencies all on the same platform making for radically new solutions that blend these together.


In the West they consider data belongs to companies like Meta, Apple, Google, Amazon, etc who provide us with free products in exchange for our data so they can sell us more. In Europe we believe MyData MyWay, but in reality, all we do is hit cookie acceptance buttons 30 times a day. In China they believe data belongs to governments to safeguard society; Afterall with 1.4 billion people and 72 One Belt One Road countries China cannot safeguard using individual rights but has to use 4IR data systems like DLT, AI, 5G to monitor and reward ‘good’ behavior and punish non-aligned behaviors.


the China 'Social Credit System' - although controversial, is an attempt at using data to reward good behavior. America also has a system called 'money'. If you have money, you can be a woman, Mexican or black. If you don't the system punishes you. There are no perfect examples ... everyone is trying to make the world better using the instruments we have available. I think blockchain can change that.


Jokia: Why are banks and fintechs entering the metaverse?


This reminds me of the early days of the internet where every board had to be ‘online’ and chairmen like myself were thumping the desk and demanding that we had to be ‘online’ with little to no understanding of what it means. This is now the case for the Metaverse where just as before companies can only imagine it as an online version of what physical presence they currently have – e.g. shopping on the internet but with 3D glasses. This is why the only metaverse commercial models are replicas of physical land sales but in a new distant world of online shopping malls. We will laugh retrospectively at this, just as we did with the world wide web.


I think the Metaverse will become the place to digitally rehearse the world we want to live in. Surely, we do not want to replicate our dystopian world on the internet? We have wars now, so let’s have wars in the metaverse. We have sex trafficking in the real world, lets replicate it with more vigor on the metaverse? This is our chance to press reset and re-invent ourselves. The Metaverse allows us to create worlds around individuals as opposed to broadcast to them. With 8 billion people with 8 billion sets of values, we intent do create a metaverse where each person can adhere to their ideology and preferences without threats from or to any other person. The Metaverse of Values is how we describe it.


So, what we know as the Metaverse right now only has a brief glance what it will mean to us in the future. It will of course involve Metaverse retail, etc. but only a small subset.


Basically, it allows us to create a world around each of us individually taking into account our values, our shopping habits, our likes, which celebrities and influencers are important to us ... we can create MY WORLD rather than share it with others in a community - that was Web 2.0.


Web 3.0 protects our individual data so we can develop our personal world around us based on the alignment to our values.


Jokia: GameFi is the integration of gaming and finance and is often framed as an essential stepping stone to the metaverse. Can Play-and-Earn solve the Play-to-Earn Problem from your point of view?


The P2E GameFi sector and the Loan-to-Play Aiza World in Vietnam which I chair essentially believes that gamers hope that the values created from online games can also be used in reality. The online gaming content should have practical values in the real world. This has clearly not happened with cryptocurrency being the goal and not the reason leading to a dead-end metaverse which entices no one. Taking the same ingredients, with a little re-arrangement, however seems to be reaping rewards.


For instance, we have arranged for a Metaverse partnership program that in the last month has attracted 30 companies – that’s one a day with no advertising. Here together we agree to build a metaverse of values where our in-game utility tokens can be transacted outside our own environments but swapped for value in other platforms like retail, films, etc. Where ESG values badges, which have meaning in the real world, are universally accepted both inside and outside the gaming DAOs and accepted in other DAOs, impact driven businesses, and NGOs. The long-term prognosis of the sector remains good but it has to mature.


With the focus on money tokens, it has led to too many gamify scams - it has damaged the industry.


Jokia: NFT is clearly the next step in the art world’s ongoing trajectory towards increasing financialization, even as it is advocated as democratizing the art market. How do you foresee the trends of NFT for the next five years?


I was an early mover in the sector. We now have the world’s first permanent residential NFT gallery and NFT DevCamp which opened in November 2020, in March 2022 we financed a mansion in Portugal and are converting it into a European residential NFT gallery, and are actively looking for our third NFT gallery in England right now. Nevertheless, the uniqueness of NFT is not in art but in capturing Intellectual Property (IP) of any kind of asset efficiently.

[ ] is the NFT gallery (our first)


For example, we are currently applying NFT to the oil and gas petroleum industry for Wildcat Petroleum Plc, a London stock market company, to democratize investment with ESG bonds. Through our celebrity KOL (key opinion influencer) project, MiValues, we are using NFT to capture celebrity engagement with retailers around an agreed social mission agenda to engage customers globally. Whilst art has led the way to NFTs, it is certainly only the beginning!


Jokia: How prepared is MiValues to play a leading role?


This global project was started in early in 2021 but represents over a decade of research in the use of KOL’s to nudge society to a better place through retail engagement. We have just completed our whitepaper and frankly we are very excited by it! It is our 15th whitepaper but easily our best and most comprehensive. We have engaged over 100 celebrities for our pilot alone which we were ready to announce at Yiwu end of this month at the NFT conference which has now been postponed due to a covid outbreak. It operates in pre-existing markets of celebrity engagement directly with fans which has already created a unicorn company, but ours is multiple times larger than this! We have a full management team in place and are actively looking for investors.


Jokia: How to combat fake news through blockchain and DLT from your perspective?


This month we are looking to launch our international think tank in New York called Bureau of Media, Data and Ideology. BMDI launches with well known internationally recognized social media brands and traditional household media outlets who wish to combat the increasing propensity of Fake News and misinformation by rewarding truthful and factual content. To do so, however, requires developing a media ecosystem that differentiates between legitimate ideology and opinion, and those who wish to mislead society. We are 100% non-partisan, neutral and apolitical.


Our DLT research products include NFT-Truth reward, Auto-Fact verification, KOL Bonds, Unique-ID Avatars, Governance spread-voting, Wiki-of-Opinion and others. We are reaching out both to Chinese companies like ByteDance, Tencent, Huawei ….as well as western counterparts to help produce an ecosystem that encourages truthful and accurate content whilst respecting individual voice and individual creative content. It is not a trivial exercise by any means and would love to hear from those who wish to collaborate and help!


Jokia: As a global recognized speaker, what’s your benchmark to select the top-tier conferences?


Although I have been fortunate to work with Heads of State, captains of industry, and been allowed to have my voice heard from all the leading media channels and conferences, I am equally at home with those in abject poverty who often have great insight that I can learn from. Any platform that gives you the greatest opportunity to be heard is a privilege and has to be embraced.


If anyone wishes to contact me, the details are on the front of the whitepaper [ ]


About the guest:

Olinga Taeed PhD FioD

Founder of the Centre for Citizenship, Enterprise and Governance, the world’s leading think tank on the movement of value with 200,000 members. Expert Advisor and Council Member at China E-Commerce Committee of MOFCOM (Ministry of Commerce People’s Republic of China). Chair of Aiza World  (Vietnamese gamyfi developer), and Chair of Bureau of Media, Data and Ideology in New York - a think tank consisting of leading media and social media companies.  In 2018 he became the world’s first Professor of Blockchain at Birmingham City University, Chief Editor of the Swiss peer reviewed academic journal ‘Frontiers in Blockchain’ with c. 500 editors, and NFT advisor to Wildcat Petroleum Plc (London Stock Market). The Vatican attributes him as the inventor of S/E Ratio “the fastest adopted impact metric in the world”, and became Impact Investment Advisor to the UK Prime Minister’s Big Society think tank (2011-14)


About the producer& host:

Ms. Jokia Yin is the Founder of Innoverview and InnoKOL, the Vice Chairman of HK International Blockchain Finance Association as well as the Head of Media at United States of America-China Chamber of Commerce. Jokia has over 10 years of marketing and management experience, much of which has been in the Asia Pacific Region within events and PR industry. She has held key leadership roles executing market research and entry, developing sales channels and revenue generation, building marketing, finance and Operations related infrastructure for a more than 20 events related to retail, tourism, energy storage, blockchain, cosmetics domains.