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Expert Interview


 
Alex Nasciemto, Co-Founder, UCLA Blockchain Lab

Alex Nascimento

Alex Nascimento, MA, MBA is a board member of UCLA Business and Management Executive Education Program Marketing and Advertising Advisory Board. Alex got his MBA from UCLA Anderson School of Management and is a Faculty and Co-founder of the UCLA Blockchain Lab where he lectures on Blockchain Business Applications, Green Marketing Strategy, Writing for Marketing & Advertising, Branding Strategy, and Global Marketing Strategy among other courses.

As an entrepreneur and thought leader in strategy, Mr. Nascimento has developed strategies for Red Bull, WPP Group, Warner Music Group, Polo Ralph Lauren, Honda, Yamaha, Smirnoff, and Coca-Cola, among other prominent brands in the United States, Latin America, and Asia.

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Transcript


 

Adam Chapnick:

Hi everybody. It’s me again, Adam Chapnick with the Security Token Academy. We are here in Los Angeles at CIS 2019. I am joined by someone who is very Los Angeles. He’s a teacher at the UCLA, which is the University of California, Los Angeles. It’s none other than Alex Nascimento. How are you?

Alex Nascimento:

I’m very well. Thanks, Adam, for having me.

Adam Chapnick:

Thanks for being here. So not only are you a teacher ... and not that we don’t love our teachers, we do, God bless them all.

Alex Nascimento:

Important.

Adam Chapnick:

But, in our world of Security Token Academy we have a particular soft spot for teachers like yourself who teach Blockchain technology. So can you tell us a little bit about what you specialize in and what you confer upon the youth of our nations?

Alex Nascimento:

For sure. So I teach two courses at UCLA. One is Blockchain Business Applications, which is mainly reviews of the concepts of Blockchain and actual used cases in different industries like retail, real estate, how Walmart is using Blockchain to track pork from China and mangoes from Mexico. So different real used cases, obviously, touching on FinTech as well.

Then now we are doing the first security token seminar at UCLA, and I’m going to do a shameless plug here-

Adam Chapnick:

Yeah, please.

Alex Nascimento:

It’s on May 3rd and 4th. Please, Google Blockchain UCLA you’re going to see the course offering. It’s open to the public. That was one of our biggest focuses at UCLA Blockchain Lab was that we could offer courses that were not only restricted to UCLA students.

Adam Chapnick:

Fantastic.

Alex Nascimento:

Then on that seminar, May 3rd and 4th of this year, we’re going to review how security tokens are going to revolutionize the business world and the financial industry.

Adam Chapnick:

Wow well without calling it a spoiler, what do you think is the promise of a security token in the business of financial industry? How do we think it’s going to be a revolutionary impact?

Alex Nascimento:

There are many things that I think are going be revolutionary, but some of the low hanging fruits are obviously, you’re going to significantly minimize the cost of back office and paper transaction which is huge for financial institutions.

Adam Chapnick:

Absolutely.

Alex Nascimento:

You’re going to have democratization of investments. You can bring venture capital deals or startup deals to retail investors that just because they don’t have the connections, they’re not at this conference circuit like myself and yourself, they just don’t have the connection to those deals, right?

And then obviously tokenization of different assets that are naturally or traditionally a liquid assets or assets that don’t have a lot of liquidity like art, collectible cars, real estate or capital intensive projects like building a commercial building.

Adam Chapnick:

Got it. So what are the barriers to achieving some of these revolutionary effects, do you think?

Alex Nascimento:

So I think that the biggest barrier is not a barrier it’s just a factor of time. We’re still at the very beginning of the industry, which is great for anyone that wants to join because it’s a fabulous industry. We’ve a lot of potential to really revolutionize the entire way we look at money and investments. So there’s a lot of space for bright minds out there to join the industry, I’d like to welcome everyone.

I think that what we’re trying to do at this point is glue the different parts that are necessary in the industry which mimic traditional markets, right? So you’re talking about custody. Custody is necessary for you to bring institutional investors. After custody, you need to have legal teams that understand that compliance is necessary of issuing a security token under Blockchain.

Then we should look at issuing platforms. Are they issuing under as one common standard or does everyone have their own standard? Then you’re going to get that token and you’re going to throw it on an exchange that needs to have a good number of investors to buy and sell it to generate value. Analogous to the traditional market, you will also need a broker dealer to be able to sell securities.

Adam Chapnick:

Right, compliantly.

Alex Nascimento:

Compliantly. In the end, you will need to verify the investors, just like we do at every day with equities and bonds and the entire world. I think that right now, we are at a time in the security token industry where we’re trying to connect these blocks. So it’s just a matter of time, but it will happen.

Adam Chapnick:

It’s inevitable with you?

Alex Nascimento:

Inevitable.

Adam Chapnick:

No matter what? Okay. So where do you think is the most likely sort of first vertical that this will become common place?

Alex Nascimento:

That’s a really good question. I would say that, you know, traditionally, real estate is a low hanging fruit.

Adam Chapnick:

Yeah.

Alex Nascimento:

I’m sure you interviewed other people here like my friend Ben Sai who is a big proponent of that. Because you need capital, the people who invest in real estate projects are accustomed to writing large checks and via a tokenized share of a real estate project, you can disperse the way you do fundraising for a project, you can facilitate the payments and the distributions of that project and you can easily provide a lot more liquidity to the first investors.

Adam Chapnick:

Yeah, and I think something about real estate, I agree with you. I think that’s the obvious, and we’re already seeing it happen.

Alex Nascimento:

Yeah, exactly.

Adam Chapnick:

But I think the reason maybe that it sort of ... It looks a lot like the old way it’s, you know, there’s a thing and a lot of people own it and you have to go through some compliant offering to get them into it. There’s a ... It’s a little different, but it’s sort of a different flavor of the same ice cream.

Alex Nascimento:

Exactly.

Adam Chapnick:

Whereas, if I want to fractionalize my Van Gogh, there’s no analog for that.

Alex Nascimento:

No.

Adam Chapnick:

So it’s going to take a while, I think. So what about at UCLA? Where are you guys going with the Blockchain Lab? What can we expect in the coming year from you guys?

Alex Nascimento:

Yes, so we founded the UCLA Blockchain Lab, which now evolved to a student leadorganization that is Blockchain at UCLA. They have over 100 students involved in it.

Adam Chapnick:

Fantastic.

Alex Nascimento:

We’re also looking to start our own Blockchain Club within the Anderson School, which was the-

Adam Chapnick:

Anderson is the business school?

Alex Nascimento:

Is the business school, yes, where the MBA program is held and that was originally where we founded UCLA Blockchain Lab, which was an effort of alumni and faculty like myself and then it evolved to being a student lab organization.

So we’re trying to get also effort down at the business school so that we can push UCLA to continue to be the forward thinking technology bedrock of Southern California.

Adam Chapnick:

Amen, plus UCLA neighbor, I wish you all the luck in the world. Please, come back and keep us posted on what’s going on.

Alex Nascimento:

Yeah, thanks for having me. I really appreciate. Great seeing you.

Adam Chapnick:

Great seeing you too.