Patrick is on the VMC team as an advisor. We did an interview with him about his background, his fascination with blockchain technology and VMC.
For the people who do not know you, can you please tell us a bit about yourself?
I was born and raised in Dublin, Ireland and have lived internationally in London, Amsterdam, Hong Kong and Los Angeles before settling again in Amsterdam in 2006. . Earlier on I acquired a lot of experience in two distinct industries — banking and FMCG — in global IT, outsourcing, offshoring and shared-services.
I started my own fintech company, KYCnet, in 2008, sold it in 2016 and transitioned out in late 2017. KYCnet started small, but eventually grew up to 160 people in Amsterdam with further teams in India.
I have an abiding interest in new technologies and ways of providing services. As an evangelist I invented the concept of KYC as a service in 2008 and saw how important it is that you see real value in something you believe in. Be very patient with people and take the time to explain that you see their problem, have your own understanding of their issues and your ideas to help.
I think the KYC was initially for the banking sector, right?
KYC is for any of the regulated industry players, typically banks, but also legal firms, accountancy firms, trusts etc., but even corporate from the biggest utilities to second hand car dealerships, jewelries etc. Most mainly it is financial institutions, whether those are banks, retail banks, wholesale banks, payment server providers or money service businesses.
In the blockchain space, I’m seeing a growing recognition of the importance of KYC. These kinds of businesses require extensive KYC and AML for not only operating the business but also in the early days in issuing tokens as a means of raising investment funds. There is a lot of talk about equity, security and utility tokens. Fom me, utility tokens make the most sense from a real business point of view — but even utility tokens may require KYC, especially in the early stages.
Should a KYC be done for an airdrop?
That is a very good question. There are obviously valuation and tax issues to consider. But from an AML and fraud point of view, I believe that proper risk-based KYC needs to be done. Airdropped tokens can be expected to acquire real value as the utility gains traction. Airdropping can be used, and is a good idea, in driving momentum. But you do need to really know the bigger recipients, you need to have proper proof of identity, and ultimate beneficial ownership of any legal entities, and you also need to screen these people and
entities. But for a properly run and targeted airdrop, you should also already have a good idea of these recipients and their relevance to the network you are creating.
What made you interested in the project VMC?
I’ve known Jochem for a few years and he always kept me interested in the range and evolution of technologies and the business solutions that he has developed. More recently, I’ve been keen to understand more about his blockchain initiatives. He is someone that has gained a lot of experience with crypto and blockchain solutions for the last 2 years. When he explained his current vision and passion project, the mobility project, that made a huge amount of sense to me.
It’s the market-place aspect that I am especially keen on. Open and transparent marketplaces are very important. And the mobility and infrastructure that Jochem described to me struck me as an amazing open architecture and open market-place. It brings back the possibility of anonymous and untracked travelling. That really got me interested in investigating and supporting the project. We have been moving into a situation where there are more and more closed consortiums and platforms where everything you are doing in both the digital and physical world is tracked and traced. At best, personal data would be used for more and more irritating advertising and commercial purposes; but at worst it could be used for more pervasive surveillance and unwelcome monitoring. The anonymous aspect of an open mobility market place made a huge amount of sense. Making it a massively distributed, blockchain-based and anonymous space is brilliant.
The blockchain-based mobility infrastructure that Jochem has envisioned, strikes me as a wonderful way of mixing public and private enterprise together. I’m a huge fan of bicycles and decent public transport and also use the car sharing platforms Greenwheels and car2go. I also, reluctantly use Uber, but also have a few Uber competitors on my phone. It would be even better if there were easier access to more trusted private options as well
as better optimised and subsidized public transport options.
“What makes VMC unique in your opinion?”
I think it is unique because it is based on open and accessible principles. It creates an anonymous mobility market-place that can be used by individuals, companies and service providers.
What kind of future do you predict for VMC?
Again, it gets back to my interest in the open market places. I think the mission and vision as stated already makes a huge amount of societal and economic sense. I am very keen to find out what the future might bring. The company remains committed to the spirit of blockchain openness and the transparency that can be provided. I think being able to allow access to public/private and small/large mobility services will give everyone the opportunity to participate and contribute. While things like car sharing and so on will not work anonymously right now, because of the accidents and responsibility etc., when it comes to autonomous vehicles and public transport there is no reason why anybody needs to know who is in the actual vehicle as long as the payment are made and the vehicles are left in time. Very exciting — and wide open for unimagined new ideas and solutions.