Today we are talking with Rick Schmitz who is the co-founder and CEO of LTO Network.
- LTO Network is a hybrid blockchain which enhances cost-efficiency, automation and compliance for businesses and organisations, notably saving $7 million annually in process efficiency for the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure.
We’d like to kick things off by asking you a couple of questions regarding your formative years.
1) Firstly, can you tell us the things which interested you the most throughout your childhood and teenage years, and what brought you the most happiness?
In my teenage years I was totally into DJ-ing. Obsessed with mixers and putting 2 records on at the same time at fitted well together. When I want to relax I go to my most recent buy (pioneer xdj rx2) and mix some tracks.
2) Who were your biggest influences growing up, and why did they have such a profound effect on you?
My grandfather. He is a former banker at ABN AMRO and he told me that investing is something you can't learn early enough. He gave me my first shares (Ahold) when I was 7. So making smart bets is something he taught me as a kind and what formed me into how I do business today.
3) Teenage years are often a turbulent time for many, so on this note, can you name a time which was tough for you, and how you managed to overcome it?
My parents got divorced when I was 11. Thats always a tough time when you are a kid. It's not something that you have to overcome, it's more like something that makes you realise that live also comes with disappointments and grief. I think it made me realize that I should be independent and strong. Don't let people get to close as they can hurt you.
4) If there was some advice you could give young aspiring individuals, advice which you would really have liked to have heard yourself as a young person, what would it be?
Success has nothing to do with sheer luck. It comes with extreme dedication, devotion and passion.
We are now going to ask you some questions which will hopefully give our readers something to go on regarding you as a person.
5) Firstly, what are the particular strengths that you feel have made you successful in your field (don’t hold back)?
I have ADHD and I learned to use it in my advantage. I mostly see other partners and connecting the dots in a very different way than others. This creativity and energetic appearance affects people that are around me. Transferring a positive vibe makes people want to do business / work with you.
6) What would you say is your most controversial opinion as regards to blockchain or the crypto space?
Connecting adoption to speculation of the volatile assets. We really put a lot of time into token design, and I am confident it really has value due to clients buying tokens - cash flow into the network, but the space is so immature still. You always need to keep a cool head.
7) In the course of your day you can become under the most ridiculous pressures and stresses, what is your particular way of dealing with this?
Either go kickboxing or grab a Heineken.
8) Outside of crypto/blockchain, what is your favorite thing to do?
Play power league 5 x 5 (football) and DJ-ing at events.
We are now going to ask you some creative and humorous questions, and we are sure people will love to see you what you can come up with.
9) What is the most humorous thing you have seen or experienced during your time in the crypto/blockchain space?
The stage when our community grew to thousands of people. 24/7 communication, trying to prevent bots from sending spam, and Korean community getting the most extreme porno GIFs into the chat. This was really new to me.
10) If you somehow managed to meet Satoshi Nakamoto (that is he is a male person in this scenario) on his deathbed, but only had time to ask him one question, what would it be? Bear in mind you don’t have much time at all, so make it a good one.
I would say it’s better for his identity and wallet to never be touched, it would defeat the purpose of the creation. I would ask what his actual motives were and whether what he sees these days resonates with the vision he has back then as the “founder”.
11) Can you give three policies you'd enact if you became the president of a country tomorrow?
Don’t want to get into political stuff too much as we are trying to include all the groups in the community, but I would make LTO as reserve currency instead “wink*
Communities are often an important backbone for many crypto/blockchain projects, so we’d now like to get some personal thoughts on the community side of things.
12) What do you feel makes the LTO Network community unique compared to others?
Our absolutely transparent approach and inclusiveness. We don’t act as a company, we filter all feedback and let the community shape the path of the project. People appreciate being valued, and we wouldn’t be here without them.
13) Project aside, what are some other crypto/blockchain communities that you admire and why (this is not an endorsement)?
I am not in 100 chats at the same time as I focus on business adoption mostly, however, I always keep an eye out. I definitely resonate with the Ethereum community though.
14) What social-media platform do you like most and why, and are there any improvements which you feel can be made to these platforms for an even better community user-experience?
Twitter. It has the most substance-focused approach, and it’s easier to filter information there. Reddit is too restrictive to newcomers, and Telegram is hard to really keep an eye on 24/7 as it’s a constant stream of updates.
15) With the endgame being mainstream adoption, do you think crypto/blockchain communities will still have an important role to play in a post-adoption environment?
Crypto is about distributed incentives. And the blockchain is just the technology that enables that. Without communities, there is probably neither. If you don’t have crypto aspect to your blockchain, like we did it with the hybrid layer, you are probably better off just using a centralized system.
In our penultimate section we are going to ask you a question regarding LTO Network.
16) What do you feel sets LTO Network apart from your competitors (that is if you have any)?
We are really in a great golden spot, taking the best out of the two worlds - thanks to our hybrid architecture. Layer 2 is privacy by design, making it attractive and easy for companies to use. Layer 1 is really the decentralized community aspect, making network effects grow much quicker.
Well that just about does it, but before we end this interview we’d like to ask you for something which we believe will say a lot about your belief in the industry, and which may inspire those who are reading.
17) Can you come up with a short argument for our readers on why you feel cryptocurrency and blockchain (or just one) has a bright future?
Definitely, it’s pretty clear that working within the centralized silo environment is not only dangerous for your data (see the multiple hacks and leakages) but is also inconvenient as the world becomes more interconnected. Blockchain solves this if you do it right.
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