“My mission is to make blockchains and digital assets mainstream” – A Q&A with the new XDB Foundation Managing Director Michael Gord

Michael Gord
Michael Gord

Michael Gord, MLG Blockchain and GDA Capital founder, has contributed to some of the world’s largest blockchain ecosystems, including TRX, LRC, and ONT.  He also served as the first Enterprise Blockchain Developer at TD Bank, one of Canada’s largest banks. Michael Gord has recently been appointed to the position of Managing Director of the XDB Foundation.

The XDB Foundation is a non-profit dedicated to supporting DigitalBits and related technologies. The key objectives include the DigitalBits Ecosystem Support Program aiming to provide both financial and non-financial support to qualified entities and projects within the DigitalBits community, with a focus on innovation and accelerating ecosystem growth.

Q: How does the Foundation benefit DigitalBits – what is the role of the XDB Foundation?

Let me provide some perspective on the XDB Foundation. The Foundation is a neutral agnostic governing body with the goal of accelerating adoption of the DigitalBits ecosystem and blockchain. A key initiative includes the DigitalBits Ecosystem Support Program, aimed at providing financial and non-financial assistance to qualified entities and projects within the DigitalBits community, with a focus on innovation and ecosystem growth. We have already begun talking with several large organizations about their participation, and the feedback we have been getting on branded currencies is great. We are very excited to share more information once it is ready. 

My vision for the Foundation is to accelerate adoption of the DigitalBits ecosystem by focusing on 5 primary pillars: transparency and governance, global community development, developer evangelism, enterprise adoption, and global markets. 

First, with transparency and governance it is important that the Foundation streamlines and ensures the transparency of grant distributions as well as other related compliance matters. 

Second, the global community development pillar is to identify potential champions in the DigitalBits community. We will provide ways in which community champions can participate and add value to the DigitalBits ecosystem. Ultimately we’ll build out a global XDB Ambassador network. 

With a global community in place, the third component, developer evangelism, is focused on activating the hacker and open-source developer communities by hosting global developer challenges, hackathons, and startup competitions to educate and reward developer contributions, connect entrepreneurs with developers to build products, and help projects created in hackathons get funded through investor participation in startup competitions. 

With a strong growing community of developers building solutions in line with what enterprises are requesting, the XDB Foundation will also be working to expand the pipeline of brands integrating with DigitalBits. 

Lastly, the global markets pillar is to ensure that there is always sufficient operating capital for the DigitalBits ecosystem to grow.

 

Q: “What are your thoughts on branded stablecoins?  DigitalBits has championed this emerging asset category for some time now, what interests you most about them?

In my opinion, stablecoins represent the number one way that digital assets will reach a mainstream audience, most people don’t want to hold their savings in volatile assets. . Brands and enterprises issuing their own branded stablecoins, I think, will usher in an enormous wave of adoption. Integration at this level allows millions of users to be onboarded almost overnight, loyalty features can be built seamlessly into the user experience, not to mention the immense savings from running on a blockchain network.  I have had a mission since 2013 to make blockchains and digital assets mainstream, and the potential of stablecoins definitely aligns with this goal. 

 

Q: What do the Kucoin Enterprise Currency Desk and Fireblocks Network really mean for the DigitalBits ecosystem?  What are you planning to bring and what do you expect to see functioning on the network that is going to bring the excitement and value that we’ve all been looking for?

So, low cap blockchain projects experience notoriously wild swings, the market can react very irrationally. The XDB Foundation will not comment on market activities, but will remain focused on building an ecosystem that has value to enterprises and to our community, that developers want to build tools for and that venture capitalists want to invest in.

The Kucoin Enterprise Currency Desk and Fireblocks Network provide the necessary infrastructure to onboard institutional clients. Institutions need an on and offramps for their XDB and branded cryptocurrencies, which is solved for with the Kucoin partnership.  They also need secure storage for their branded cryptocurrencies, which is solved for our relationship with FireBlocks.

I think what everyone in the community is looking for is brand integrations that might onboard a large user base quickly. For us to do this we need to have the infrastructure in place and working seamlessly and securely. Our expectations on timelines will be released in the updated roadmap.

 

Q: What do you think are XDBs biggest challenges and how do you plan to address them?

DigitalBits has built an impressive ecosystem and community up until this point.  There’s a very strong following, but we are far from what we need to get real mainstream adoption.  I’d like to implement programs and campaigns that accelerate enterprise, community and developer adoption and bring more venture capital interest into funding tools using DigitalBits software.  DigitalBits has done a great job with their Early Access Program, but it remains a closed-loop environment that is great for enterprise, but I think it needs to be more open to reach a mainstream audience.

Some things to accelerate the growth of the community include partnerships with large existing developer networks and blockchain communities, global case competitions and hackathons that activate the student audience, and startup competitions to engage investors and entrepreneurs. I’ve always prioritized education in the blockchain space, and I think among other things, this is a really big gap I can help fill. Blockchain is incredible technology, and it doesn’t take people very long once they start understanding it to begin to see the bigger picture.

 

Q: There’s been a lot of talk about “Brand Integration”. In your recent press release, it was stated that in the next quarters of 2020 a new category will be added to the roadmap. What does this mean and what would it look like?  What value can holders expect to see as brands begin coming on board?

The XDB utility token plays various roles in brands issuing on-chain assets and consumers interfacing with DigitalBits technology for day-to-day activities.  We hope to see many of the operations performed by brands running on blockchain technology and using customized branded stablecoins. We have proven that the implementation of these assets increases efficiency, lowers costs, increases access to products and introduces a unique line of services. XDB is the fuel for the ecosystem.

 

Q: What type of connections do you bring to XDB?  You’ve got a pretty star-studded resume, will we see this value transferred over into the DigitalBits ecosystem?

We have relationships with global capital partners, enterprises, governments, developer networks and exchanges that might add value and accelerate participation in the XDB ecosystem.

 

Q: Why did you choose to launch the XDB Foundation and work specifically with the DigitalBits blockchain?  What about this project excites you and what do you see for XDB on the horizon?

As I have already mentioned, my mission is to make blockchains and digital assets mainstream. DigitalBits being a market leader in branded stablecoins attracted me to this project in particular. I am most excited about working with multinational brands on taking to market their blockchain strategies. The XDB Foundation marks a maturity in the DigitalBits lifecycle, moving from proof-of-concept to actual implementation and the beginning of the DigitalBits commercial phase. I’m excited to see where we can grow from here and be in a few years.

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