The Business of Meetings – Episode 128: The Impact of Blockchain on Live Events with Rafa Jimenez
Today we have the great pleasure of speaking with Rafa Jimenez, the blockchain guru for ELCA and Secutix!
Rafa joins us today to shed light on blockchain and discuss its impact on the live event industry. He also discusses his career journey, shares his insights, and explains NFTs.
We hope you enjoy listening to today’s captivating and informative conversation with Rafa Jimenez!
Rafa Jimenez Bio (July 2022)
Rafa is a blockchain, DeFi, and fintech specialist with over 10y experience in the industry, currently leading blockchain and Web3 at Secutix in the event industry solution and ticketing platform used by the largest and most renowned venues, operas, museums, live events, artist, sports clubs and tournaments in the world. With ELCA the Swiss IT solutions company and parent of Secutix, with over 50 years of serving corporate/gov clients worldwide – Rafa serves as a thought leader and general advisor for Blockchain, DeFi, and Digital-Asset strategy.
Previously as Chief Commercial Officer at Alpian, Rafa helped build a mobile-only Swiss private banking platform, now a fully licensed Swiss bank scheduled to launch end of 2022. Before that as founder, he built and lead Alibre.io (originally “AhorroLibre”), a mobile-only metaPSP one-click payment platform helping improve financial inclusion for the base of the pyramid in Mexico, that was recognized as one of the most innovative solutions in LATAM by the Global Entrepreneurship Summit GES Marrakech 2014. He is also a founding member and regular lecturer at KlubAlibre.mx a fintech, blockchain, DeFi & Web3 working and education community in Tijuana Mexico.
Since 2012 Rafa has worked with and advised founders, teams, and developers in the fintech & blockchain space on Venture Building, Fundraising, Strategy, Tech, Customer Journey, BizDev, and G2M launch.
At McKinsey & Co. from 2006-12, he was a management consultant specializing in BizDev, new Product Dev and G2M launch strategy for global financial services players, throughout his 6 years at the firm. Since then, Rafa has served as a counselor and strategic advisor to leaders of fortune 100s, SMEs, Startups, governments, IOs, and NGOs around the globe.
As a big sports and music fan, he practices and plays a wide and eclectic range of sports disciplines and musical instruments. As a passionate and self-proclaimed “tech nerd”, he’s always been the first to use the latest available technology and at an early age, Rafa was already playing with electronics and programming ICs with assembly code & C++. He holds an Electronic Engineering degree from UAG Mexico 1997-01, and an MBA from HEC UNIGE Switzerland 2005-06.
Rafa describes himself as a tech geek, engineer, developer, turned management consultant, turned fintech entrepreneur, turned blockchain expert. Now, he is at Secutix with the ELCA Group, leading everything related to blockchain, the metaverse, and digital assets.
Rafa is from Tijuana, Mexico. He started programming in the mid-90s, taking the electronic engineering undergraduate route and developing integrated systems for communications applications. He graduated in the middle of the tech-bubble crash in 2001. The entire industry was frozen, so he started teaching high school math. A few years later, he got a scholarship from the Swiss government and went to Switzerland in 2005 to do an MBA. He joined McKinsey in 2006 and spent the next three years working with global finance leaders, banks, and insurance companies, focusing primarily on emerging markets and developing new products for financial institutions.
Around 2010, he saw a big financial inclusion gap in some countries. He fell in love with the notion of mobile-only fintech apps as a way of assisting billions of people in emerging markets in accessing financial services. So he left consulting to start a fintech company.
In 2012, he returned to Mexico and founded a fintech company with a peer-to-peer mobile-only app that allowed people to transfer money efficiently. He ran that company for eight years.
Just before he decided to leave consulting in late 2011, Rafa learned about Bitcoin and blockchain from his roommate and felt he had finally found the missing piece in his career.
Understanding the idea behind blockchain and having a way to trade and keep a store of value using a smartphone lit Rafa up! After that, he could not stop reading and learning about blockchain. He spent half his time traveling the world to meetups to learn from others, work with them, and develop ideas.
Teaching blockchain in Spanish
In 2016, Rafa started teaching blockchain in Spanish.
In 2020, he returned to Switzerland and stepped down from managing his company in Mexico to focus on DeFi and blockchain implementation.
Joining a Swiss company
Rafa joined a Swiss company building Switzerland’s first mobile-only digital private bank. He still advises that company.
ELCA and Secutix
While looking for the world’s largest platform implementing blockchain functions, Rafa came across ELCA and Secutix, which asked him to join and lead them.
Rafa explains blockchain
A blockchain changes the paradigm of needing and reconciling thousands of global databases, each with different information.
A blockchain is the marketing name for distributed ledger technology. Instead of having a thousand databases or accounting ledgers, there is only one ledger in the world. It is a distributed ledger that everyone can access and see. It is a way of keeping track of assets that everyone and no one owns at the same time.
There are different blockchains for different assets.
A single worldwide database
There will soon be a single worldwide database for DLT (distributed ledger technology), or a blockchain, where everyone can trade, transfer, or send dollars anywhere in the world without intermediaries.
NFT (Non-fungible token)
An NFT is a certificate of ownership of a digital asset. It is an application of a blockchain. Non-fungible tokens can be traded because they represent unique ownership of something.
How blockchain applies to the live events industry
There are three types of tokens to help different parts of the industry:
- Fungible tokens: These can be used as payment in specific places, like airline miles.
- Non-fungible tokens: NFTs can be used as souvenirs or memorabilia when an event is over.
- ERC11-55: These tokens can get distinguished from one group to another but not amongst each other. (Like shares in different companies.)
All of those will address and minimize most current ticketing problems, enable more potential, and open new opportunities within the industry.
SSI (Self-sovereign identity)
SSI is a way to manage things like single sign-on, identification, and verification. With its advent, ownership of data, power, and control will return to the end user.
Sometimes, blockchains can be detrimental because there is a blockchain trilemma. That means that three options cannot be maximized at the same time. Only two options can be selected: security, decentralization, scalability, or speed.
Over the long term, artists, clubs, and tournaments will be able to engage directly with their fans and provide them with services like ticketing.
Soon, owning customers’ data will no longer be necessary. Empowering customers, users, and fans will become the priority. People will consume what they want in a pull-marketing rather than a push-marketing mindset.
Connect with Eric
Connect with Rafa Jimenez
On Twitter (@rjgamez)
Email Rafa: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Bitcoin Standard: The Decentralized Alternative to Central Banking by Saifedean Ammous