Blockchain & You – Disruption Joe Ep. 009

5 min read

In episode 4, we interview Disruption Joe for our “Blockchain and You” series. We ask his past, present, and future takes on blockchain, cryptocurrenies and their impact on his life.

Disruption Joe is a leader in the Chicago blockchain community, attending and organizing countless meetups and events. Check out his Twitter at, and also an event he hosted, that we had the honor of filming: The Chicago Blockchain Project. He also assisted us in some episodes of our Blockchain Token – What is it? series, which you can find here!

How and when did you first hear about blockchain technology?

So the first time I heard about blockchain technology was really February of this year (2017). Now I had bought bitcoin before that, but I bought it like I was gambling. I had no clue what it really was. And then in February a friend told me that my bitcoin had gone up, and that I should now buy Ethereum. That night I had to understand why bitcoin went up. So I went and found the Vitalik’s video introducing Ethereum at DevCon 1, and I was instantly sold. Blockchain, since then, has been primary focus in my life.

Who are you and what is your role in the blockchain community?

I am Disruption Joe. My name is actually Joe Hernandez, and that’s the brand that I created. My idea was disruption is the cutting edge info that’s gonna change people’s lives in the new tech that’s coming out. And then Joe — like they said your everyday Joe, or Joe’s a plumber in 2008 — your everyday person needs to understand this technology so they’re not affected negatively as automation and AI put a lot of people out of work.

Once you had a grasp on the technology, what impact did you see it having?

The first grasp or understanding that I had of the blockchain technology was this idea of decentralizing trust. Once you decentralize the trust, it allows us to move from the paradigm of competition to collaboration. I think we can achieve a lot more if we have internal competition within a group of people who are all actually actively working on the same goal.

What influence do you think cryptocurrencies will have?

I really think that cryptocurrencies are gonna give us a way to create the currency that has value, based on our personal values. Because we’re always going to choose the currency that is decentralized enough to allow the trust to spread to everybody. The everyday person who’s not on the top 10% is gonna choose the currency that gives them the fairest access to the systems in the world. This is gonna be really, really interesting to see how creative and how amazing some people that never would have had a shot before can be.

When were you intrigued, and when were you sold?

So I was intrigued immediately, the first night I looked at Ethereum. However, I was really sold when I understood this idea of collaboration and what it really means. Looking into the collaboration, I saw these sharing networks, where its the collaboration that meant people could work autonomously without a boss. They get an equitable stake in the network. When somebody buys into Bitwork, they put their stake in the network, but all new value that comes in gets spread equitably among all the stakeholders. I think that’s really important.

Lastly, it allows for consent in the systems that you work in; both in governance and in their values. So you choose to work with the network or collaborate with it, and the network chooses to work with you. They don’t hire you; they’re not your boss, but you can do great things together.

What’s your prediction for the future of blockchain technology & cryptocurrencies?

The future of blockchain tech is going to be very interesting. I see the future of the blockchains being fairly unpredictable because I think it’s the first living organism in the digital space.

What I mean by that is, similar to plants which will bend towards sunlight, we could set them alive because they don’t just sit there and not grow like a desk or a lamp. They actually grow and become something bigger, and they bend towards the nutrition that’s given to them. The cryptocurrency and the blockchain functions as this incentive mechanism.

And the future, as machine learning comes into it, that’s gonna be more like animals. They’re looking for nourishment, but they’re not exactly sure why because they’re not self-aware. I think by the time we have self-aware AI, we will be in a collaborative phase provided by blockchain tech that will allow the AI to realize the true potential of collaboration.

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