Editor's Note: Financial Advisor is pleased to bring you #BlockchainProfiles – featuring thought leaders within the blockchain and digital currency space. He spoke with us this past summer.


NAME: Erik Rind
WEB ADDRESS: https://imaginebc.net/

1. How did you personally become involved in blockchain?
I was originally introduced to blockchain technology by John Cronin of BuildCoin.com. I must admit my I was a complete skeptic of the technology but that is only because I did not truly understand its potential. Even though John did not convince me at first, he did enough to get me to do more independent research. By the time I had finished reading up on the topic, especially “Blockchain Revolution” by  Don and Alex Tapscott, I was a complete convert and knew I had to create something using the technology that would help others understand the positive impact the technology could have on society.

2. What does your firm do/offer within the blockchain sector?
We are building an ecosystem where every individual will have complete control over their personal information and be free to monetize their personal information, their intellectual property, their intellectual creativity and perhaps their most important asset, their time. Our suite of free applications, built on blockchain, are designed to make it easy and efficient for individuals to put their personal data to work and makes it easy for individuals to buy and sell goods and services from one another while retaining their anonymity. ImagineBC only makes money when one of our community members has earned money and our community member always makes 7x more than ImagineBC. Without blockchain technology, ImagineBC would just be Equifax and none of us want to be Equifax.

3.What is your role within your firm and what do you do there on any given day?
I am the founder of the company, the creator of the company’s strategy and I am responsible for every aspect of preparing the company for its product launch.

4. What areas of blockchain do you believe will grow the most in the coming five years?
Blockchain will have a disruptive impact on any market that deals with the provenance of property,  deals with supply chain control, or deals with the control of personal information. Although I believe the adoption of digital currency is inevitable, I don’t see that happening within the next five years. Instead, company’s need to focus on using blockchain to improve the trust and transparency of traditional commercial transactions and reduce the reliance individuals have on third parties for completing those commercial transactions.

5. What do you believe the next major innovation in financial technology will be and why?
I see a great adoption by banks and other financial institutions who will use private blockchain solutions to improve internal security of client information and funds.

6. What are the biggest problems facing the blockchain industry in the future?
The two biggest issues I see right now are 1) overcoming the sheer volume of early failures by startups attempting to create solutions using the technology. Blockchain is not a solution by itself. It is a tool that enhances the quality and security of new applications. Entrepreneurs and existing companies must look for the correct targets that offer the best opportunities to utilize the technology and create success stories for the technology and 2) application developers and entrepreneurs must separate the use of blockchain technology from the use of cryptocurrency and tokens. To attempt to educate the masses to the benefits of both blockchain and crypto concurrently is a mistake.

7. What has been the biggest success in your firm to date?
We are prerevenue and prelaunch so defining success can be difficult. But I can tell you that when we started this project roughly 12 months ago, we had a target of having contact information for 10 milion people to invite to join our community by our launch date. With product launch still two months away we have a current inventory of 20 million people to invite to join our community and that number continues to grow.

8. What has been the biggest failure in your firm and how did you adapt?
We had hoped we could attract a handful of large companies to become early adopters of our new marketing model. Although we have considerable interest from a number of very large organizations, they all remain in a “wait and see” mode. They will commit only after we have proven we can build a community of the size we are projecting. So, instead of focusing on a small number of large players, we have refocused our efforts on identifying small to mid-size businesses who have been on the fringes of being able to invest in marketing and advertising and gotten them to become early adopters. We have found this approach to be much easier because a single individual in charge of her/his own business gets our message very quickly.

9.What blockchain leader do you admire the most and why?
I would have to say Tom Berners-Lee. He understands the mistakes he made as one of the creators of the worldwide web and he sees blockchain technology as a way to help correct many of the internet's major problems.

10. How do you feel consumers (or if more relevant for your firm – businesses) are adapting to the facet of blockchain that your company operates within?
We work within a space dominated by the tech giants. Google, Facebook dominate the market for personal information. Our challenge, and it is not an insignificant one, is to educate individuals to the importance of contolling their own data and helping these individuals turn that control into personal profit. ImagineBC is not unlike labor unions in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Union leadership back then needed to educate laborers to the importance of banding together to negotiate against capitalists from a position of strength by creating strength from numbers. ImagineBC has set the same mission for itself. We must educate individuals to understand that only by working together, can we hope to diminish the impact companies like Google and Facebook have on our lives today.

11. If you were to personally invest in just one blockchain firm (other than yours), which one would it be and why?  
I have investments in both XRP and XLM. Both are focused are bringing solutions to the banking sector. I believe banking is a critical sector for disruption by blockchain and I believe these companies are the leaders in this area. I continue to hedge my bet by investing in both equally, figuring that whichever one becomes the dominant player, the gains from investing early with them will easily offset any losses I might incur from my bet on the other.


Erik has over 30 years of experience in building advanced technology solutions and has been involved in the HR services industry since 1990. His professional track-record includes starting and then selling PowerPay software for $22 million and becoming President and CEO of Lyceum Business Services until 2018, when he chose to embrace his entrepreneurial side.