Robin Russel, Priyatham Varma, Luiz Adler on CoinGeek Conversations

Block Dojo latest: Shipping emissions, fintech apps, and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

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CoinGeek Conversations concludes its three-part Block Dojo mini-series with insightful conversations featuring innovators in blockchain technology.

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In the latest interviews, Charles Miller meets three entrepreneurs completing the business incubator program: Robin Russel of Satva Trust, who discusses the use of blockchain to enhance emissions reporting in the shipping industry; Priyatham Varma of Back3nd, who explains his mission to empower non-technical individuals to create fintech products; and Luiz Adler of Smash Mountain Studio, who shares the journey behind developing the world’s first Brazilian Jiu Jitsu game.

In the first interview, Charles speaks to Robin Russel, Co-founder and COO of Satva Trust, a company using blockchain technology to improve emissions reporting in the shipping industry. Robin stresses the importance of accurate data in an industry that releases around a billion tons of carbon dioxide each year, making up 3% of the world’s total emissions.

The current data on emissions is unreliable, creating problems for financial stakeholders like lenders and insurers. “It’s really a question of visibility,” Robin explains about having clear information to make informed decisions about business risks.

When discussing the market for emissions data, he explains that lenders and insurers pay for risk assessments using emissions data, along with shipowners who “would really like to showcase how well they’re doing in that direction.” However, unreliable data makes it hard for shipowners to showcase their environmental efforts.

The first step to producing more reliable data is to eliminate self-reported data from ships. Robin notes the importance of using satellite data, which includes weather, sea conditions, ship details, position, and speed, processed through artificial intelligence (AI).

Charles asks about the social and environmental motivations behind the venture. Robin asserts that “we’re all interested in sustainability,” acknowledging the team’s commitment to addressing climate challenges.

As for the unreliability of data in the shipping industry, Robin noted, “It seems like a situation that needs to change. The technology exists now to make a change.”

Next, Charles sits down with Priyatham Varma, founder and CEO of Back3nd and a former web developer and educator. He has a mission to empower individuals without technical skills to create their own fintech products.

As Priyatham puts it, “Back3nd is a no-code platform where anyone can easily build blockchain applications, especially for the fintech industry.” The platform is so simple to use that even those unfamiliar with coding will be able to build a business on top of blockchain, he says.

“Blockchain is an entirely new system and is rewriting the entire finance industry. You can be a beginner, but in two years, you’ll be an expert in blockchain space.” Back3nd includes products like payment gateways, peer-to-peer lending platforms, and analytics dashboards.

Back3nd offers a range of subscription plans but as Priyatham explains, “If you don’t want to subscribe, you can still use the free version, but we’ll be taking a larger commission on every transaction. Subscribers enjoy reduced transaction costs and access to features like analytics dashboards.”

As for Back3nd’s target users, Priyatham explains, “The first customers are entrepreneurs or innovators who want to build something on top of our platform, 60% of the entire blockchain ecosystem consists of people who aren’t coders but want to build something on top of it.”

Lastly Charles speaks to Luiz Adler, founder and Game Director of Smash Mountain Studio, about the latter’s journey behind creating the world’s first Brazilian Jiu Jitsu game. As Adler points out, “We saw an underserved community in martial arts and recognized the opportunity to enter the multi-billion dollar gaming market.”

Adler, a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt himself, shares his inspiration for the game, explaining, “Jiu Jitsu is a human chess, it’s about strategy, not just bashing buttons. We wanted to represent this amazing martial art authentically.” His background in environmental engineering and passion for the sport led him to create a game that differs from traditional fighting games.

The game, a free-to-play mobile experience, is designed to cater to both enthusiasts and newcomers, and “with the next version, we plan to make it more accessible and fun for those who don’t know Jiu Jitsu, turning it into a card game.”

Adler also discusses the game’s business model, stating, “It’s mainly a free-to-play game with in-app purchases. Players can play for free or spend real money to speed up their progression, offering an exchange of money for time.” He explains the profitability aspect of the business model, made through in-app purchases and mentions expansion to PC gaming.

Adler plans to integrate blockchain technology into the game, saying “We want to give players ownership of in-game assets and their progression, creating a marketplace between players.” This move aims to change the gaming industry by allowing players to cash in on their invested time.

As a participant in the Block Dojo program, Adler shares his positive experience, noting “it took me out of my comfort zone, made me rethink many things, and better prepared me for investor conversations. I feel much more confident to move forward after the program.”

Hear the whole of Robin Russel, Priyatham Varma and Luiz Adler’s interviews in this week’s CoinGeek Conversations podcast or catch up with other recent episodes:

 

You can also watch the podcast video on YouTube.

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