Who’s Who In Crypto: Gina Tiriakidou, Oasis Protocol Foundation Head of Marketing
Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are considered by many to be the possible future for a lot of contracts, proof-of-ownership, and even identification, whilst now they might be mostly used for monkey pictures or play-to-earn games, the technology underpinning them is capable of much more.
If, or when, NFTs start to host information that contains more complex pieces of data, the issue of privacy and security of that data starts to become more paramount. Some, like those at the Oasis Protocol, are already taking steps to ensure the security of these future “data NFTs”.
CryptoVista spoke with Gina Tiriakidou Head of Marketing at the Oasis Protocol Foundation, a Layer-1, proof of stake, decentralised blockchain that supports confidential smart contracts.
What are your priorities for the next 12 months?
There are so many! I am lucky to work at one of the most credible and fastest-growing Layer-1 projects in the industry, so, as you can imagine, every day, we have many things we want to achieve.
As Head of Marketing for Oasis Foundation, my priority is to help our community thrive and get all the support they need to learn more about or build a project on Oasis.
We have had several significant milestones over the last few months, so it has been very busy and rewarding. We recently successfully rolled out Damask, a network upgrade with a super majority vote from our node operators, and in November, we launched Emerald, the EVM-compatible ParaTime. Emerald allows for easy integration with EVM-based DApps and offers 99 per cent lower gas fees than Ethereum. DeFi was also launched on Oasis Network and reached 100 million in TVL in less than 12 hours. It has now surpassed 245 million in TVL.
Some of my top priorities for the next 12 months are to:
- Develop and provide more resources, courses, and programs for developers
- Work on hackathons and events to connect more with our community
- Support the growth of our DeFi Ecosystem
- Support artists and builders develop amazing NFT & GameFI collections on Oasis
- Plan the launch of more incentives following the recent announcements of the $200 million Ecosystem Fund and Grants Program
- Continue supporting our amazing community
On a personal level, my priority is to be able to start traveling again. Especially in places with vibrant blockchain communities!
What does crypto and NFTs mean to you, and what drew you to it?
I worked in the mainstream tech industry for many years before joining the crypto space. I always had a passion for technology, and l joined companies where l had the chance to make an impact by introducing innovative technology.
I got involved in the crypto & NFT space mainly out of curiosity. I started by randomly reading some articles and whitepapers, and the more I got involved, the more excited I got. As opposed to many, I didn’t join as an investor or trader. I was fascinated by the technology and the impact it will have in our lives and wanted to be among the first ones to help power Web3.
I believe that in the future, most of the applications we will use in our daily lives will be blockchain-based because decentralisation and transparency are very much needed, which only blockchain technology can offer.
For example, the Metaverse is the natural progression of the Internet as we know it today, allowing for better accessibility. Work, social, education, and entertainment are all areas of our lives that the Metaverse will be an extension of. However, because the Metaverse creates much more data through Web3 than currently available technology allows, the question of security, privacy, and self-profitability becomes more important than ever. The nature of Web3 is to keep data such as healthcare and financial data private and under the user’s complete control. The Oasis Network puts privacy first.
Another example is DeFi. We hear a lot this term, but I don’t think we have fully seen its impact. DeFi expansion is currently limited by high fees and a lack of a reputation system or identity. The result is an overloaded and expensive system. Data in a blockchain is transparent and open to everybody. Fully public blockchains are beneficial when you want the information to be public, but this is less compelling when you think about more sensitive information like your credit data. You can track anything on the blockchain that’s not available in traditional finance, such as wallet activity, transaction levels, speeds, and throughputs. Privacy is critical for DeFi to capture more of the traditional finance market.
I am excited to be part of Oasis because Oasis is uniquely positioned to combine privacy and blockchain technology in a way that can help blockchain become widely adopted and more usable.
What is your long-term view of crypto and NFTs?
I think there will be two key areas that anyone who wants to participate in crypto & NFTs should keep in mind:
- In the 21st century, your online data is more valuable than oil, but every time you go online or click accept on a Website, you give your data away to someone else. However, I believe that in the near future, everyone will have their own digital identity, secured and stored on the blockchain, that will be yours to market and sell, giving whole, partial, or private access to interested parties. From your medical data to healthcare companies, your credit and financial records to credit reference agencies, and your Internet usage data to advertising companies, there is a universal basic data income to be earned by all.
- The current NFT market relies on buyers accepting that while they own the “original” instantiation of that asset, there may also be many copies. This is fine for digital art, but if you’d like to mint an NFT for your bank account, for example, others being able to copy it would quickly devalue your data. Therefore, we need an NFT that doesn’t just convey ownership, but also access, control, and ultimately privacy. So how do we ensure that ownership is preserved in a meaningful way? In a traditional blockchain environment, data and the application processing it, are entirely public, allowing anyone to peek at their inner workings. On the Oasis Network, data can be processed in a confidential compute environment.
What advice would you give people investing in the space, either crypto or NFTs (or looking to invest for the first time)?
I cannot give investment advice, but l will share my outlook on how NFTs will evolve.
Currently, NFTs are used mainly for static assets, such as art and music. I believe that the next generation of NFTs will be data-backed tokens. These are NFTs where value is tied to the data it contains. Data NFTs take the basic static NFT idea and make it more dynamic. In addition to owning static assets, you will have an NFT that stores and represents a complex piece of data. These tokens could store both physical and digital data, e.g., financial records and transactions, health and medical records, etc. Data NFTs will turn the value exchange around and let consumers take back ownership and control of their data. By uploading their data to their NFT, they can then decide what they want to do with it, who can have access to it, and who can’t.