Erica Stanford Crypto Curry Club Cloud Expo Europe 2020
DAVID TERRAR [00:00:11] Hi, this is David Terrar reporting for Disruptive Live. We’re at the London Tech Show here within the Expo Europe. I’ve got to Erica with me is going to talk to me about something very interesting. So, Erica, can you introduce yourself and your organisation?
ERICA STANFORD [00:00:24] Hi. Yes, I’m Erica Stanford. I run that Crypto Curry Club. So it’s the U.K. is number one most popular networking events for not just Crypto, but they do cover Crypto Crypto currency and payments as well as blockchain AI tech, sustainability and emerging tech. We’ve got different events about all the different niche.
DAVID TERRAR [00:00:43] So did you call it Crypto Curry Club just because that trips off the tongue beautifully and sounds cool?
ERICA STANFORD [00:00:48] It does sound cool. So it’s called that because it sounds cool. I called it the Crypto Curry Club because I’d I wanted to meet I’d been working in blockchain for years and I wanted to meet more people in the space and spent months going to every other event going. And the majority of them are shockingly awful. They’re run by used car salesmen just charging speakers, lots of money and your second row is listening.
DAVID TERRAR [00:01:10] Jumping on the Cryptocurrency bandwagon.
ERICA STANFORD [00:01:12] Absolutely, it was a lot of people. This was 2017, 2018, when you had so much hype about all of the ICO’s. And it was a lot of people trying to jump on the bandwagon and and just charging speakers loads of money to basically pitch at their event where they said it was free information or event and you’re sat in rows listening to sales pitches. And I just wanted to meet people. I found it really hard to actually meet people who didn’t know who to talk to there. And I worked in sales and marketing for long enough before that. I was slightly averse to being sales pitched.
DAVID TERRAR [00:01:45] Don’t you think like that hype around the Cryptocurrency stuff has kind of got in the way of the utility of blockchain and the underlying technology?
ERICA STANFORD [00:01:53] 100%, 100% yeah, it really has. And I think especially me, especially Crypto, there’s so many incredible use cases. And I mean, why I was initially interested in Crypto going off, but why I was really interested in Crypto. I’ve got family that live in Mexico and lived in Buenos Aires, in Argentina during the economic crash there so that was at a time when there was so much uncertainty and people walking around the streets just banging pots and pans, protesting the economy collapse. And people in the upper middle classes were just cashing out their Peso’s into Euros and Dollars and literally keeping money in shoeboxes under the bed or keeping cash in the safe because they didn’t trust banks. And you can’t trust Bank and. I had travelled around and spent about a month travelling around Guatemala and got mugged four times in a row. And by that point I had no cards left. Everything had been stolen. So I had to go to Western Union to get money and that was the only way to get money into Guatemala. So I had to go to this Western Union call my dad in London, and wake him up and bless him, the next morning, he went to the local Western Union and sent me money, but it cost 14 percent and took three days to arrive. So I walked back three days later and they gave me my cash, 14 percent less. And that’s the only way that people in that country can get money. And if you look at the world, you’ve got two and a half billion people around the world that can’t access cash easy, that rely on remittance companies to send the money. And the average amount they pay is 6.9 percent. But up to 30 percent. So as soon as I got into Crypto, I could just see that you’ve got this ability to send money for free and instantly without relying on any third party. I could just see the implications. So I was just super excited was geeking out. I was playing out on that.
DAVID TERRAR [00:03:39] So that’s why you got into the Crypto and blockchain technology. Tell us more about the club. Why did you start the club? What are you trying to achieve?
ERICA STANFORD [00:03:47] So the club was a as a result of going to all of these shockingly awful events, I remember years ago I’d been to as a plus one, it was a property developers Christmas curry and it was the best networking event had ever been to. So I figured, well, we need this for the Crypto and blockchain case. Everybody loves Curry. It’s a British national food. It’s fun, it’s sociable. It’s sharing and Crypto Curry, I mean what are you going to call it?
DAVID TERRAR [00:04:10] I used to be involved in running something called Curry in the cloud, so I totally get the idea. So. So you obviously run different curry in the cloud events on different topics. Not curry in the cloud. Apologies, crypto curry. Yes. You run the events on different topics.
ERICA STANFORD [00:04:29] Yeah. So it started off as just one monthly Crypto Curry Club just about Crypto and blockchain and we’ve now got one. The Cryptic Carry Club is about blockchain. And then we’ve got one about crypto called the future of money curries. So they’re newer. And we’ve also got some now about A.I. and some about tech for sustainability. And they all sort of branched out because it was to focus initially was on Crypto and and blockchain. There’s so much integration with other technologies. And we had some speakers that were using blockchain as some sustainability projects, which was just so interesting. We had amazing people. We have to those ones. We had Coca-Cola and Nike and people from the U.N. and the Royal Society.
DAVID TERRAR [00:05:09] So it’s all about sharing those use cases.
ERICA STANFORD [00:05:12] Yeah. And then it’s just branched out. So we’ve now got a few really, really interesting needsand themes going and just incredible people from everything from Google. And those companies, Google, Nike, Coca-Cola, the Bank of England, two founders of start-ups coming. So it’s just a really, really interesting mix of people just sharing ideas, talking. We get really cool speakers in and talking about incredible subjects for everyone.
DAVID TERRAR [00:05:37] It is this is this growing? I mean, obviously, you’re doing this in London, but going to other areas, too.
ERICA STANFORD [00:05:42] Yeah. So for about a year now, we’ve had them in Bristol also and Oxford and we’ve just started in Cambridge and we’ve had a few conversations about having them in Edinburgh as well. So it just had a conversation here today, actually, about bringing him up to Edinburgh with that’s now just being confirmed and that’s where i went to uni so that would be a nice, nice place to go back to.
DAVID TERRAR [00:06:02] If you tried to kind of sum up what your mission is with with with the club, what would it be?
ERICA STANFORD [00:06:08] The plan is to grow the cryptic curry club into the biggest and most popular, most attended networking events, tech networking events and educational events in the UK. There’s been a lot of demand about bringing them abroad. Maybe we’ll see them for the moment. I want to focus on the UK, but just focus on having more themes, more niche. And just grow the community and just keep bringing in the best and most exciting speakers into this space. And just keep meeting more of the most amazing people.
DAVID TERRAR [00:06:35] It sounds like you’re really enthusiastic about kind of promoting the cause of blockchain.
ERICA STANFORD [00:06:40] Yeah. It’s I think it’s great. And I think the more positive PR we can get around it. And there’s been so much just, I’d say, confusion and ignorance about what it is and so much negative media that I think it’s really important to explain to people or help people see what they actually use cases are what companies are doing and how Crypto is is changing the world and how blockchain is is amazing and maybe could create a bit of differentiation between the scams from the past and what the potential is. We’ve also started recently just less than two months ago, the crypto carrier. So it’s a newsletter. So it goes out once a week digitally. It’s all the latest summaries of all the latest news and events have happened in blockchain, crypto currency and in payments. So it goes out every Friday and we summarise what’s happened. It’s meant to be easy to read, digestible, and then anyone can click on the next read further.
DAVID TERRAR [00:07:37] So someone new to the topic. This has been an ideal way to actually get get to grips with it.
ERICA STANFORD [00:07:42] It is designed to be fun and easy to read and understand for everyone, it’s not designed for the super techies So much, but even people working tech would be up to still benefit from it just by keeping a grasp of what’s actually happening around the world and those spaces.
DAVID TERRAR [00:07:55] Are there any particular kind of crypto or blockchain use cases that you point to and say, that’s a brilliant example?
ERICA STANFORD [00:08:00] I mean, there’s so many, there’s so many. I mean, one of my favourite examples is is micro-payments and just being able to send money just without needing a third party. I think digital rights management is crying out for it. You’ve got paying for content on a pay per use basis, is it is to me the most obvious use case. But there’s so many.
DAVID TERRAR [00:08:19] And the micro-payments thing is so important in third world countries.
ERICA STANFORD [00:08:24] Yes. And some of these things simply aren’t really viable with the app to the extent that they are with crypto.
DAVID TERRAR [00:08:32] Erika, it’s been great listening to your story. What’s next?
ERICA STANFORD [00:08:35] Next? So we’re having more events, growing the events, growing the themes that we’ve got. So making a bigger sector for the events, growing bigger for the tech, for sustainability events we started in podcast. So we’ve just started the crypto curry cast starting podcast about tech for sustainability events and just keep getting more of the best speakers and maybe expand into a few new cities and grow that.
DAVID TERRAR [00:09:00] Obviously I can Google. But where do I go to find out more about this?
ERICA STANFORD [00:09:03] So, we’re just getting a new website built by the wonderful HubSpot. So its, www.cryptocurryclub.com says just being updated. But but will be ready very soon. And anyone can email. [email protected] and everything that we do, we post on our LinkedIn page so anyone can go and link and such cryptic curry club and follow the page and see all the updates there.
DAVID TERRAR [00:09:24] I’m certainly gonna be a subscriber. It’s been great talking to you.
ERICA STANFORD [00:09:27] Thank you very much for having me.
DAVID TERRAR [00:09:29] So this is David Terra for Disruptive Live signing off. If you check hashtag CEE 2020 and hashtag Disruptive Live, you’ll get more interviews and content like this one. Thanks very much.