Gossip about Gossip: Mid-Season 3 Catch-Up
Sep 30, 2022
by Hedera Team
Hedera is the most used, sustainable, enterprise-grade public network for the decentralized economy.

Welcome to Gossip about Gossip, powered by Hedera.  In each episode, we'll cut through the hype of blockchain promises, and examine real world examples of organizations creating the next generation of decentralized applications which will bring trust back to the internet - for us all.

So far this season, we've had the pleasure of welcoming speakers from a range of industries and enterprises utilizing the Hedera network for a diverse set of use-cases: cross-border remittance, ESG, web3 gaming, and much more. Our partners over at MarketScale have worked with us to produce comprehensive yet concise overviews of each episode so far; let's take a look back through Season 3 and examine some of the exciting developments happening on Hedera.

Episode 1: Andy Gastwirth - Tokenizing Real World Assets with TOKO

As Chief Innovation Officer for DLA Piper, one of Andrew Gastwirth’s primary responsibilities is to create new, alternative, and exciting revenue businesses for the firm outside the traditional legal services model. One of those innovations is TOKO, a digital asset creation platform. Gastwirth joined Zenobia Godschalk to provide details on this new territory DLA Piper, and the Hedera council have carved out.

Gastwirth said there were two main missions in what DLA Piper was looking to do in asset tokenization. The first mission with TOKO was to create liquidity for traditionally non-liquid assets, such as real estate. The second is to provide democratization of these assets through fractional ownership. “We’re changing the medium of which ownership can be represented, the provenance can be fully tracked, and we can also give additional security, KYC AML, to transactions that normally would have to go through a lot of due diligence.”

The benefit for clients in utilizing a platform like TOKO is they get the backing of DLA Piper. "Our clients want us as the trusted advisor when we're doing any sort of business deal with them to make sure that we're avoiding risk, staying compliant, and all of the regulatory bodies that would oversee whatever the deal may be, are properly being addressed," Gastwirth said. "Our clients can feel good about what they're doing to know that they're mitigating risk," Gastwirth said.

Tokenizing an asset does come with challenges to get it set up correctly. "Part of what we're doing is not only the traditional legal work, and structuring the deal to ensure folks are doing things the right way and that they're not introducing risk into their business," Gastwirth said. "But then the other side of it is, with all the integrations and partnerships that we've built out, globally, what we can do is we can help find that solution of the proper broker/custodian and eventual exchange."

Episode 2: Andy Gastwirth - An Inside Look at the Corporate Utilization Committee (CorpComm)

While still a relatively new Governing Council Committee, the Hedera Corporate Utilization Committee, or CorpComm, is making big strides in the environmental, social, and governance (ESG) arena. Host of Gossip About Gossip, Zenobia Godschalk, discussed this area of opportunity in detail with CorpComm council member and Chief Innovation Officer at DLA Piper, Andy Gastwirth.

Utilizing user and interest groups, the committee discovered an integral issue that was preventing Hedera partners from moving forward. “What we were really missing was that people were presenting use cases, but they didn’t know how to actually engage and get started in building them,” Gastwirth explained. The council realized they could help solve this disconnect through their own industry knowledge and outsourcing additional experts.

For Gastwirth, he enjoys focusing on the issue at hand, which may differ based on the seniority level of the partner. For instance, executive stakeholders aren’t as concerned about the technology, but more so what is the problem and how will the company go about achieving the defined metrics. In fact, often times the council is approached by partners who need advisement or education on blockchain and ESG.

Gastwirth specifically dove into the supply chain and sustainability. As an example, he explained how batteries are comprised of raw materials, and when building a circular economy, it’s important to think bigger: “How do we work with the mining companies to allow them to not only be more profitable in how they’re extracting raw materials, but how are we tracking the raw materials that are being extracted from the ground?” Essentially, this involves a holistic approach, looking at the process and working with all companies essential to that process to reduce waste and hazard while improving efficiency, profitability, and sustainability.

For sustainability targets, organizations need to know:

  1. How to monitor the current sustainability situation.
  2. How to look at business processes to improve sustainability.
  3. What data is being collected/reported on and is accurate and will be accepted to regulatory bodies.
  4. How to tokenize carbon credits.

The reason CorpComm is seeing so much traction and success is because of its customized approach to solving solutions — it’s not a one size fits all solution — and they are able to do it at scale and with speed.

Episode 3: Rohit Sinha - NIST & Post-Quantum Cryptographic Standards

Recent breakthroughs in quantum computing bring a lot of promise, questions, and concerns about what quantum computing technology means for the cryptography world. Rohit Sinha, Head of Cryptography, Swirlds Labs, discussed the latest status of quantum computing, some of the threats it poses to cryptography, and updated NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) standards to provide additional layers of security against quantum algorithm threats.

Sinha said quantum computing’s skill and ability to solve math problems threaten cryptography. “Cryptography, in its essence, relies on the hardness of certain math problems; for example, factoring numbers into primes or solving discreet lab problems. And all the cryptography used all over the internet, including various distributed ledgers, banking systems, and so on, all that cryptography does rely on these assumptions, and some of those assumptions are challenged by increasingly sophisticated quantum machines.”

The concern for cryptographers is this level of sophistication leading to more frequent, dangerous, and unstoppable cyber-attacks. “For one, there is this Grover’s Attack, or Grover’s Algorithm, which is a way for quantum computing to brute force through a large space of different solutions,” Sinha said. “And that could be used to figure out the cryptography key to protect your system,” Sinha said. The current best, and easiest solution to guard against this type of attack, is to use longer encryption keys.

The Shor’s Algorithm is a second quantum algorithm that’s harder to defend. This algorithm could affect public key encryptions and signature schemes. “And signature schemes are used all over the place in distributed ledgers,” Sinha said. “We use signatures to authorize transactions, and that’s one thing where quantum computing can potentially impact security. For that reason, the NIST announcement is of importance,” said Sinha. NIST governs technology standards and creates a competition to generate algorithms that could provide a standard to protect cryptography from new threats posed by quantum computing algorithms.

Episode 4: Max Winograd - Tracking the Lifestyle Impact of Billions of Products on Hedera

At the core of sustainability, businesses simply claiming that a product is green is not accepted by consumers anymore. The Business Journal reported that in TD Bank’s annual consumer report, 62% of millennials said they are conscious of where they shop and what products they buy, and companies must prove their sustainability claims. Furthermore, as production standards are written into law, companies must show they are meeting those expectations. As an important piece of this puzzle, Max Winograd, VP of Connected Products at Avery Dennison, spoke with host of Gossip About Gossip, Zenobia Godschalk, on how Atma.io is helping businesses understand a product’s lifecycle to better prove sustainability measures.

Introducing atma.io., Winograd explained that Atma is all about sustainability and circularity by unlocking the unique end-to-end value of a product. Atma tracks the granular data of a product’s lifecycle, which can be anywhere from 10-20 transactions. Atma.io has more than 22 billion products connected to the platform, and each item has 10-20 different data points of transactions and events. The tracked transactions for each item include “when it was made, when it was shipped, when it was received, when it was sold, and when it was recycled,” Winograd said.

Once the platform is complete, the transactions will post into the Hedera network, where each input will be fixed and sharable. Atma.io and Hedera have a native integration, high throughput, and highspeed transaction sharing. “[The partnership] activates item visibility and stores the information in an immutable way through Hedera,” Winograd noted. It’s through this unyielding traceability that Atma.io is driving sustainability. Every product will have a unique digital identity and life, similar to how the UHF RFID on apparel items has individual sensors.

“As consumers care more about this and want more transparency, the demand for products like this will increase,” Godschalk said. The lifecycle assessment used to be so hypothetical, but now it has real-time, accurate data linked to it that is accessible by many different stakeholders.

Change can only indeed happen if there is a starting measurement. With Atma, products can achieve a more sustainable lifecycle. By counting an accurate carbon footprint, companies can accurately account for holes and reduce greenhouse gases. “From the regulator and conscious consumer perspectives, it's so much more tangible and satisfying knowing that ‘this particular product’ has been traced versus an estimate or an aggregate,” Godschalk said.

Looking to the future, Winograd divulged that non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are in the works. Available later this year in Q3, the plan is to reward clients with NFTs.

Episode 5: Toni Caradonna - Funding Nature Conservation Projects through Collectibles on Hedera

Host Zenobia Godschalk invited Toni Caradonna, CTO of Porini Foundation, to discuss how blockchain technology is used in nature conservation. The Porini Foundation is Swiss-based, “The goal of the foundation is to adopt innovation technology for nature conservation. Protecting nature and the people who live in these areas,” said Caradonna.

The Porini Foundation works to conserve nature and people through disruptive technology. “We adopted and created zero carbon blockchain in 2014,” said Caradonna. Porini Foundation partnered with Hedera last year to build Nature Collectibles. With these NFTs, the foundation can count on recurring income to protect endangered species. Blockchain transparency allows donors to see how their money is being used.

With the first purchase, 100% of the proceeds are distributed to the protected area. “Primary market, the first issuances go to the protected area, even if we have other costs,” said Caradonna. Once a collector has all the species in a collection, they can re-sell the collectibles. If they choose to re-sell a collectible, a part of the proceeds go to the seller, and a part of it goes back to the foundation. Caradonna further explained, “In the secondary market, the re-seller makes some money, but also the interest goes toward the protected area.” Through blockchain transactions, the market is securely transparent.

Hedera can extend its mission further by focusing on the Nature Collectibles and carbon credits. Together, Hedera and the Porini Foundation have strengthened their capabilities while also lending to the healing and conservation of an important cause. Learn more by downloading the Nature Collectibles app.

Episode 6: Michael Mumbauer - Driving the Future of Gaming with Liithos

The world of gaming continues to evolve with advanced technology driving innovation across the board. Despite this, gamers must contend with the fact that the characters and stories they love live in one place. Michael Mumbauer, Founder & CEO Liithos, is ready to change this with Web3. Mumbauer sat down with Gossip About Gossip podcast host Zenobia Godschalk, SVP of Communications at Swirlds Labs, about the inspiration behind the launch of Liithos and what he envisions the future of gaming to look like.

The discussion opened with Mumbauer speaking about the inspiration behind the company name. Based on the word lithos which means “stone” in Latin. When looking into the availability of this word from a business perspective, he discovered it was not viable. It was then that his wife came up with the idea of adding an extra “I” to the word. Pronounced “leethos,” following on the “e” sound of the double-I in Wii, the spirit of the company is grounded in the idea that great masterpieces are meticulously carved out of stone.

So, what makes Mumbauer tick? “I find myself always liking and attracted to new spaces where there are interesting opportunities to engage with players and fans and people in unique ways and grow – and converge technology and art,” he explained. Inspired by disruptive technologies that create innovations that inspire future iterations of gaming evolution, Mumbauer aims to change the face of gaming.

“In this case, what I think is wonderful about DLT technology is evolving social interactions and empowering communities of players, and also connecting entertainment worlds. We want to build really powerful entertainment games that are narrative-driven but we also want to connect them outside of games into areas of television and film and social media platforms and digital comics. We want them to all play together and incentivize each other while feeding the gaming ecosystem,” said Mumbauer.

Episode 7: Meet Newly Elected Governing Council Board Member, lan Putter of Standard Bank

Ian Putter recently joined the Hedera Governing Council Board, motivated to make fundamental changes across his continent. Putter resides and works in South Africa. He talks to Zenobia in the dark because there is an energy-conserving blackout, or load shedding, across the country to preserve the grid.

“I’m very excited to be on the board,” said Putter. He’s been working with Hedera for quite some time and was drawn to the board because of its very collaborative environment. “I met a lot of developers working with Hedera… For the first time in my life, I experienced people working together to make things work on this distributed ledger, and people working together,” said Putter.

“We have significant use cases, and we’re making significant progress on the use cases.” Putter is excited to work on significant changes to how companies run their businesses. Hedera offers a space where companies are encouraged to change their business practices significantly to receive sustainability credits. “It's not just, ‘look, I didn’t chop down this tree,” claiming credits, said Putter.

Putter was motivated to join the board and looks forward to its responsibilities. “To make decisions, to be a part of the growth, Hedera is going through a fantastic growth stage at the moment,” he said. “I want to contribute to this distributed ledger that brings trust.” Putter brings a plethora of experience from the banking industry. “Some of my exposure and experiences will help me to contribute to the Hedera board.”

For enterprises looking to scale, the process takes time. “Real effort into making these things available. It starts slowly. It’s about doing. It’s about mobilizing.” Putter believes Hedera offers a unique space where you can scale very securely.

Episode 8: Niel Skjoldager - Addressing Global Supply Chain Inefficiencies with AVC

Niels Skjoldager, Founder & EVP, Product & Operations at AVC Global, is thinking big and going global. And why not? The issues facing the supply chain impact worldwide, so addressing these challenges needs a global approach. Zenobia Godschalk spoke with Skjodager about what his company does and how AVC’s cloud-based Value Chain platform allows industry and governments to purchase goods while maintaining all global regulatory compliance requirements.

AVC bases its technology on two Blockchains: HyperLedger fabric and Hedera Consensus networks service. These work with AVC’s proprietary SmartHub, which provides a digital representation of robust supply chain functionality, backed with Blockchain’s data verification and notary power. “We bring supply chains at a large scale into the cyberspace, and make all that data immutable at a Blockchain, and create trust and providence at a level that really resonates when talking to governments around the world.”

Supply chain solutions, like the one AVC Global supplies, create a valuable new weapon in the fight against fraudulent goods. Skjoldager pointed to pharmaceuticals as an industry where a fake product can result in harm or death. “Just in the pharmaceutical industry, this is a big issue for humanity, trusting that the medicine you’re about to take is what it claims to be. But this applies to all kinds of supply chains, and for us, the pharmaceutical supply chain is the great entry point, but the mission and the strategy is to do everything.”

Doing everything for the supply chain takes time, and building relationships with countries to begin moving the needle and the goods happens slowly. But Skjodager said AVC is making some exciting progress. “We’re expanding to all types of other products—oil & gas industry, food industry, high-value items, you name it. We have a demand also for services. Not just physical products crossing borders but also services. It’s unbelievable the opportunities that Blockchain, particularly with Hedera, brings to the table and leverage the platform’s power.”

Episode 9: Meet New Hedera Governing Council Board Member, Monique Morrow of Syniverse

Let us introduce you to Monique Morrow, one of the independent board members for Hedera. Morrow works for Syniverse as a Senior Distinguished Architect for Emerging Technologies. Syniverse works in mobile communications with its headquarters in Tampa, Florida. “Our customers vary. Our customers are either mobile or large enterprise customers. We have a carrier business and an enterprise business,” said Morrow.

Morrow’s background in emerging technologies includes distributed ledger technology, blockchain, quantum security, and quantum computing. She’s a chair on the board for GSMA, a public industry forum for standardization and she’s involved in the world economic forum.

“How did I get involved with Hedera? The dance together has been going on for a little over two years.” Morrow explained that she recruited Brett McDowell to speak at a GSMA event. Working with one of Syniverse’s partners and IBM, the conversation of how to get Morrow involved in Hedera has been a few years in the works. Morrow co-chaired the Decentralized Identity Group and Enterprise Group.

Morrow wants to establish Hedera as the standard for distributed ledger technology regulation. “It’s looking at how we agree on governance, and what governance looks like for Hedera as a whole. Assure that we have a governance in place. Holding Hedera as a standard for all. This is a great opportunity for myself and my colleagues together, collectively.” The laws and regulations around DLTs are still forming and emerging. However, many proposed frameworks exist, including the European Commission, which presented a framework for the EU.

With more and more use cases out there, adoption is becoming more extensive. It must be built with trust from the beginning. “We can expect some level of regulation, at least talking with regulators and policymakers. But if we do this well, we can be the standard in the industry,” said Morrow.

Episode 10: Meet New Hedera Governing Council Board Member, Shyam Nagarajan of IBM

Get to know Hedera’s Governing Council board with host Zenobia Godschalk, SVP Communications as she hosts Shyam Nagarajan, Executive Partner, Blockchain, Web 3.0, Metaverse, and Sustainability at IBM and new Hedera Governing Council board member.

The newest board member for the Hedera Governing Council, Nagarajan, has been involved in the project and community since 2018. He has been in the IBM space for seven years and, as such, has seen the market beginning to embrace enterprise.

Nagarajan reflected on his new role with Hedera,“So, in this journey, I think we are at a crucial point where Hedera brings something that is necessary as a accelerator for the market to move.” Excited to be a part of this new journey, Nagarajan noted his experience in past influential roles, including his role with a Hedera team which helped shape the current market. He said, “We were responsible for driving a lot of initiatives including the…adapter and the integration connector that’s used for hybrid situations…”

Nagarajan aims to bring about more application of Hedera for enterprise use-cases. He is eager to share his experience with other council members, change the way the board inducts new members, and open collaboration throughout Hedera’s various organizations.

For mission critical use-cases, Nagarajan said, “My experience is helping enterprise adopt and leverage this technology to accelerate their journey.” This experience will help Hedera orient protocol to help others accelerate the adoption of their products in the market.

Bringing a new face to the Hedera Governing Board Council is sure to add experience, expertise, and knowledge to the Council while continuing to look and act future-forward. Nagarajan does not aim to disappoint and if his past experience is any indication, the future ahead is brighter than ever.

Episode 11: DLT for Good with new Hedera Governing Council Board Member, Tasker Generes of ServiceNow

Founded in 2004 by Fred Luddy, ServiceNow is dedicated to creating more efficient workflow systems to optimize productivity. With a digital-first business model, the organization works with companies to optimize IT workflows, employee workflows, customer workflows, and creator workflows primarily utilizing cloud-based software. The ultimate goal is to digitize and automate siloed processes to improve the employee experience as well as the experiences of those a company works with.

In looking to the future to see what is next, Tasker Generes, VP, Global Head – Vision & Innovation at ServiceNow recently joined the Hedera family as Governing Council Board Member. Generes sat down with Gossip about Gossip podcast host Zenobia Godschalk, SVP of Communications at Swirlds Labs, about why ServiceNow decided to join forces with Hedera. He opened the conversation by discussing what led the company to its current state.

Founded to make work easier. “We started getting known as an IT ticketing system. We’re still relatively well known as that IT ticketing system, that system that helps you run your IT department. But we’ve done so much more since then, we’ve gone back to our roots that Fred created for us so that we could really focus on what enables an experience. What makes it easier for people to do the work that they want to do whether their employees, customers – any part of the business – all the way through,” said Generes.

Joining Hedera will allow ServiceNow to help build trust with its clients within the workflow ecosystem distributed ledger technology (DLT) is one of the best ways to create trusted workflows. Working within the Hedera ecosystem will allow ServiceNow to envision new ways to fill gaps within its current service landscape. Since the company services 80% of Fortune 500 companies, working towards more trust and higher security is critical.

In order to maximize the opportunity, ServiceNow will continue using processes that led to success in the past. For example, when the company partnered with Microsoft for cloud management, they spent the time necessary to develop successful workflows before bringing on additional cloud management clients including AWS, GCP, and Google. With Hedera, they would work with actual use cases from customers to sort out workflow and processes before bringing on additional clients in this area.

Episode 12: Paolo Tasca - Native Staking on the Hedera Network

In July 2022, Hedera announced the first phase of introducing native staking to its proof-of-stake network. Paolo Tasca, Founder and Executive Director of the world’s largest research center on blockchain technologies at UCL Centre for Blockchain Technologies sat down with Gossip about Gossip podcast host Zenobia Godschalk, SVP of Communications at Swirlds Labs, to discuss the organization’s move to native staking and how it will support Hedera’s decentralized network.

Tasca is an expert in the cryptocurrency space having a wide breadth of experience that goes back to when crypto became popular. In addition to his work at UCL (University College London), Tasca is Co-chair of the Treasury Management and Token Economics Committee at Hedera as well as an Executive Board Member at the DEC Institute (DLT Education Consortium). He also spent eight years at The London School of Economics and Political Science and was a visiting scholar at the University of Zurich.

The conversation opened with a discussion of why staking is important for a proof-of-stake network. “It aligns network security with individual incentives… There is a fundamental difference between the incentives in a proof-of-stake system and in a proof-of-work system. The proof-of-stake system is able to work with low block rewards,” noted Tasca.

Incentives are one side of the staking equation, while the other side is security. “Basically, the proof-of-stake is a mechanism that forces every node and every stakeholder to commit some level of collateral in order for them to not break the rules. So, they put their skin in the game, right?” Tasca explained.

Tasca and Godschalk continued to discuss why this move is important to Hedera’s journey and the path towards decentralization, which has typically had all the nodes operated by governing council members. Soon, this transition would mean that non-council member nodes will have more participation.

Episode 13: Nabil Manji - Proof of Reserve: Addressing Stablecoin Uncertainty with WorldPay by FIS

FIS is a global company behind daily transactions, banking, and investments. “I always like to say that FIS is probably the largest company you’ve never heard of,” said Nabil Manji, Senior Vice President, General Manager, Head of Crypto & Web3 at WorldPay. “What we do is provide the core infrastructure, software, business process outsourcing, and other services and products into the financial services ecosystem.” As the largest payment processor in the world, you’ve likely used FIS in the purchasing process.

Manji is an active member of the Hedera Governing Council. FIS and WorldPay are forward-thinking. “We’ve always known that blockchain is something we need to keep tabs on to maintain relevance,” said Manji. In particular, WorldPay has been paying attention to stablecoins. “Stablecoins speeds up payments, make payments quicker, etc., particularly for multinational companies operating across different currencies and countries,” said Manji.

WorldPay offers its clients the ability to receive proceeds in Stablecoins more quickly, more cheaply, and with a more flexible calendar. There are 75 Stablecoins on the crypto scene as of early Q2, 2022 (U.Today). “The transparency around reserves for certain Stablecoins still maybe isn’t exactly where the industry or certain participants in the industry maybe want it to be,” said Manji. The FIS and WorldPay Proof of Reserve create transparency and trust.

“For each transaction where we mint and send out Stablecoins, some sort of proof that we, as WorldPay, have actually provided the minting party, whether its Circle, Coinbase, Paxos, or Finance, whatever stable fund you’re using, that we provided that party with the equivalent amount of Fiat to mint the amount of Stablecoin we minted and then sent to you, the client,” saint Manji. The transparency around a public ledger provides comfort. Learn more about the Proof of Reserve use case on the episode now.