Full Transcript: Patientory CEO Chrissa McFarlane On GHOGH Podcast
We discuss the legality of most crypto projects, whether the price of Bitcoin could go to $100K, and the idea that Bitcoin was created by a government intelligence agency.
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Listen to GHOGH with Jamarlin Martin | Episode 63: Chrissa McFarlane
Jamarlin talks to Chrissa McFarlane, founder and CEO of Patientory, one of the first blockchain companies focused on healthcare records. We discuss the legality of most crypto projects, whether the price of Bitcoin could go to $100K, and the idea that Bitcoin was created by a government intelligence agency.
This is a full transcript of the conversation which has been lightly edited for clarity.
Jamarlin Martin: I wrote a book about my life named “Moguldom”. You can get more information about this book at Moguldombook.com. I talk about acquiring the knowledge of self, self-determination and building a business over 10 years. There are some gems in this book that you don’t want to miss. One way to support the GHOGH movement and this podcast is to go to Moguldombook.com. Buy the book on presale to support the GHOGH movement. Let’s GHOGH! You’re listening to GHOGH with Jamarlin Martin. We have a go hard or go home approach as we talk to the leading tech leaders, politicians and influencers. Let’s GHOGH! Today we have Chrissa McFarlanene on the show. Welcome to the show.
Chrissa McFarlane: Thank you.
Jamarlin Martin: Where did you grow up and how did you get into blockchain?
00:47 —Chrissa McFarlane: Those are two big jumps. So I grew up in New York City. I grew up in the Bronx. Family of immigrants, was born in Jamaica, moved to New York City when I was about four years old. Always had an affinity for science and technology and math. My goal as a little girl was to be in medicine, was to be a surgeon and help people. Went to a specialized science and technology high school. Ended up doing pre-medicine courses at Cornell specializing in liberal arts. Decided that I wanted to learn more about entrepreneurship after being involved in entrepreneur courses in undergrad, went out to business school, got involved with Health IT. Then eventually startups, after my post-business school career. And then from there, the researcher in me, the researcher at heart was like, okay, we have this big problem in healthcare. It’s the third largest spend in our economy in terms of GDP. What’s needed? So I started out trying to, based on my past experiences working at digital healthcare startups, telemedicine, looking at the problem, which was not having empowered patients, not having that patient engagement, in the healthcare system, and all all being run really by the payers and those who are dishing out the reimbursements for medical care. And decided that the biggest problem was also these electronic medical records that came to fame the past 10, 15 years. But they were basically banks of health data and they didn’t want to share it with anyone. So the core issue was why, as a patient, do I not have access to my health data? Why am I having to request a fax in 2014, 2015 from my healthcare data? Had been following blockchain and just merged the two industries together way back when, before people were even thinking about bringing blockchain to different industries.
Jamarlin Martin: You got into blockchain of course early, but is there anything that would explain why you were so early ahead of everyone else in terms of blockchain?
Chrissa McFarlane: I would say a part of it is you can say luck or fate, you can throw all these different words. It’s like, you’re in the right place at the right time. Opportunity, that’s basically what it was. The fact that I was exposed so early on toa growing and emergent industry, which is digital healthcare startups and that didn’t exist 15 years ago. We really saw the rise of digital healthcare startups in 2011 so it was just all of these.
Jamarlin Martin: Did you start hearing blockchain mentioned a little bit in the industry press or business press?
03:59 —Chrissa McFarlane: No, not even. It was just looking at how deep and loaded the electronic medical record field was and really go in deep into technology, cryptography, research in different types of technology, that some people don’t even know about today. I think that’s what had stuck with choosing that platform. Looking at, we’re going to solve this problem of bringing together disparate systems, and what’s out there, ledgers and that’s essentially what blockchain is.
Jamarlin Martin: You’re diving into a problem, in terms of digitizing medical records, and when you’re investigating this with your curiosity, your original curiosity, you come across blockchain as a potential solution. Is that fair to say?
Chrissa McFarlane: Yeah.
Jamarlin Martin: Okay. And you mention blockchain is a ledger. For my grandma in Watts, California, how would you explain blockchain?
Chrissa McFarlane: Great question. And there’s different ways I always explain it to different audiences. Blockchain is essentially a electronic transaction method that keeps record of transactions as they happen, and how we’re using blockchain is for storage mechanisms. So the fact that we can now bring all of these different servers together, but also track the files that are being stored there, and each file is given a unique identifier which essentially is a person. It just brings up this entire new world of how we’re managing data.
Jamarlin Martin: Yeah, so there’s a lot of minefields with crypto and I feel like you’re very bad ass. You’ve got your own coin. Hey, I’ve got my own coin. But a lot of ICOs that have come out, they didn’t take the position that they are securities. And so the SEC has kind of caught up with some of the innovation and have declared that most of these ICOs are securities, and they need to be regulated under the SEC law, which complicates things obviously. Did you come out that, our token is a security or did you come out with the consensus view at that time, we’re not a security?
06:32 —Chrissa McFarlane: Yeah, so we were pretty early before SEC decided to put the hammer down. We came out as a utility token. We did our token sale outside of the U.S.
Jamarlin Martin: How much did you raise on your first one?
Chrissa McFarlane: Our token sale netted over $7 million in less than three days. So we were pretty early 2017. We decided we were going to do a token sale at the end of 2016, prepared for it, launched our pre-sale March of 2017 and then opened it up in the end of May, which lasted roughly less than two, three days.
Jamarlin Martin: Okay, got it. So you raised $7 million and it’s time to build a team. You have the capital. How do you go about building your team at Patientory?
Chrissa McFarlane: Yeah, the fact that we just had this big influx of cash at the time in a space that didn’t exist. It was difficult. I’ll be honest. It was also difficult to find healthcare people or just technologists who would grasp the concept of what we were doing.
Jamarlin Martin: And you’ve got to do it in ATL.
Chrissa McFarlane: Yeah. So, we brought on people, some people stayed, some people didn’t, but it was finding that right fit for the product while we continued to test in the architecture and the infrastructure. Now we’re probably in a good space where we see no, the customers has also catched on, we’ve done a year and a half of market education. You’ve seen all these conferences pop up that now focus on healthcare and we see all these different use cases. So we have a better market to start to employ a lot of the testing that would make us successful.
Jamarlin Martin: So your token for the audience, a token would be comparable to stock on the Nasdaq or New York Stock Exchange, but your token price, right? Everyone’s crazy about crypto, ICOs. There’s a gold rush. Everybody is making this money. Everybody’s driving these Ferraris. Does your morale at your company go up and down with the market cap and the token price? Are you seeing a correlation?
08:43 —Chrissa McFarlane: Yeah, it did in the beginning. I think now we’re at a mature state where it’s white noise at the moment. In the beginning it was like we brought on people that because we had raised so much money and we had this token, that’s what they focused on from marketing. We want to see more people come into our slack group or a telegram group and talk about our token because it’s so great. Even though on our roadmap, our platform wasn’t going to be released until the next 15 months. So you had the people in the community who were like, “Oh, it needs to go up more”. And we’re like, we can’t comment on that. So we with all the good news, the bad news it affected the team more because I guess it was so new and they just weren’t prepared and they couldn’t separate it from the actual core business that we were trying to sell.
Jamarlin Martin: So the Securities and Exchange Commission, they drop the hammer down on ICOs. And I imagine that there’s so much fraud with ICOs, the bad smell of scam ICOs. You get caught up into that and it makes things dramatically tougher, and possibly you have to think about optimizing your legal structure. Can you walk us through that?
Chrissa McFarlane: Yeah, I mean, we definitely had a lot of a high burn for legal, not only just looking at de-risking the business. But then I think it just boils down to, again, having a community where you’re constantly updating them, you’re being transparent and that’s really the only way to get ahead of that. But yeah, I mean, again it is aligning yourself. We have built a board of advisers, a board of directors, with credibility and experience behind them. So we were able to de-risk a lot of the business from that as well.
Jamarlin Martin: How big is your team now?
Chrissa McFarlane: We’re pretty conservative. We’re about four people.
Jamarlin Martin: Okay. That’s good.
Chrissa McFarlane: We didn’t get caught up in the “We’re gonna grow 3000 percent”. No.
Jamarlin Martin: And what’s the path to profitability? How much runway do you have until you get profitable?
10:57 —Chrissa McFarlane: I would say another 18 months.
Jamarlin Martin: Another 18 months. And then, the market response. Do you have paying clients now?
Chrissa McFarlane: We’re still pre-revenue. We have pilots, so that’s essentially, we don’t consider them as converted customers, so we don’t track it that way. We just track it as how many pilots are able to actually start using the platform.
Jamarlin Martin: Okay. And is your token, in terms of the SEC guidance that came out, do you term it a security or how did that finish or is it still evolving?
Chrissa McFarlane: I think it’s pretty much still evolving. Again, we were before, I think they ruled anything before July, 2017. You had like a grandfather clause for that.
Jamarlin Martin: So you still view the Patientory token as a utility token?
Chrissa McFarlane: Yeah because it’s fueling our platform. No one owns any stock in our company. It’s not something that we sell as well. It’s part of that open permission blockchain network, which we don’t even own or govern. Right. It’s owned by the members of the blockchain.
Jamarlin Martin: Is that a controversial view in terms of folks still claiming that this is a utility but the conservative view is of course, hey, this is really a security?
Chrissa McFarlane: Yeah, I mean, it’s always going to be there. They say Bitcoin is a utility and they said Ethereum is a utility and then they said it’s a security. So I think there’s just still that adoption or just more work and regulation that needs to go into it.
Jamarlin Martin: What blockchain projects are you excited about that you’re seeing out there that are really interesting and that our audience may want to take a look at? Are there any kind of projects that are really interesting to you?
Chrissa McFarlane: I’m really excited to see how Ripple has grown. People say it’s not a blockchain, but I remember seeing them back in 2017 before we did or they’ve come a long way and it’s interesting to see how much adoption from the financial markets they’ve gotten. So I watch them pretty closely.
Jamarlin Martin: And do you see any evidence that companies are scaling with blockchain where they’re solving problems? Not necessarily too. I want to make the most money and kill everything in my way, like a Google or Facebook. But they really are looking at the problems in society, inequality and they’re using blockchain, they apply it to the solution.
13:40 —Chrissa McFarlane: Yeah, exactly. Yeah. It’s really a shift in society on how we’re looking at business on a whole and then this new concept of globalization and really making the world smaller through network effects. I think blockchain has a lot of good, and that’s with good technology, you have a bad side, you have a good side. But you know, a lot of the projects, they’ve helped refugees who are unbanked have access to assets. These people go into a bank, they would never have been given a bank account. And then just again, the tracking of food we see in China, who have have a big trust issue around the food that they sell to the public. So we definitely see it.
Jamarlin Martin: Yeah. And I remember one of the co-founders of Ethereum saying that they’re working on a project that involves sustainable fishing in terms of tracking the ecosystem there. Do you have a view on where Bitcoin is going to go within the next couple of years. Do you feel like people are going to get wealthy by riding a Bitcoin bull market in the future?
Chrissa McFarlane: I try to stay neutral, but I think Bitcoin is just the beginning. I think we definitely needed Bitcoin to open up this new era as we call it of digital commerce, digital economy, taking it to web 3.0, and again, and we needed that first use case. And I think Bitcoin is just that first use case. Whether it’s going to stay number one in 20 years, we don’t know. But I think the use case that will be prevalent is going to effect as many people across the planet.
Jamarlin Martin: You believe that Bitcoin could go to $100,000 in the future?
Chrissa McFarlane: Not necessarily. No.
Jamarlin Martin: That sounds crazy?
15:52 —Chrissa McFarlane: Yeah.
Jamarlin Martin: $100,000. See, the reason I think Bitcoin could go to $100,000 is of course you go through financial crisis, 2000 and 2008, the Federal Reserve, they’re just printing money, they call it, of course, quantitative easing. But it’s just an experiment. They don’t have any history with it, but they’re desperate to hold up the economy. And so they’re printing money and doing these experiments. And, with the mortgage crisis, people said, “Real estate always goes up. Look at the history, right? It could never crash. It always goes up.” And of course the experts, the scientists, they were wrong. But I believe at some point, fiat money, printing money out of nothing and paying off your own debts with your own money. Just monopoly board, unlimited money. If this system was to surprise the economists and the experts, if that system was to fail, like it’s failed in Venezuela, Zimbabwe or you see the inflation in Argentina or Turkey. If the idea of this money printing that’s not backed by anything, it used to be backed by gold, if people start to question that, that would, I believe, be a huge run for gold, but potentially people will start looking at other monetary systems that are not controlled by a central government and so, I think the, the bull case for Bitcoin I think is in part based on the people’s confidence in the financial system, in fiat money. And I think if that is questioned, Bitcoin could explode.
Chrissa McFarlane: But will it gets to $100,000, I mean there should be a limit.
Jamarlin Martin: Well the $100,000, what I would say is because of the scarcity, meaning that the alternative, there’s not a lot of alternative to fiat money, but because there’s a limited number of Bitcoins, it’s going to be the best option of the crypto. So I’m just saying there’s not a lot of competition in terms of fiat money that governments are printing, they’re buying stocks or doing all these weird things with money in these experiments. And then there’s Bitcoin that has a limited supply. And so if confidence, just a little bit of confidence is transferred over from fiat money to Bitcoin, we saw an appetizer of that when it ran to $20,000, at least I believe. What are the next steps for your business? What are you focused on over the next two years?
18:33 —Chrissa McFarlane: Adoption, right? So getting healthcare organizations using the platform, developing use cases on the platform, whether that’s our startup company or other companies using the network as well.
Jamarlin Martin: And for our audience who were interested in developing blockchain-based businesses or platforms, what have you learned that you can share with them in terms of what they need to know about this when you get into this game, you’re thinking about scaling your company. What do they need to know based on your experience and mistakes of course, that you’ve seen?
Chrissa McFarlane: Yeah. I think it’s really being bull on having an ecosystem mindset. So definitely not only aligning yourself with your ideal customers, but thinking outside of that, so whether that’s government entities, academic partners, institutions, because I think with blockchain it’s definitely a network effect. And it’s a collaboration technology, if we’re going to be successful.
Jamarlin Martin: Who created Bitcoin? What’s your theory?
Chrissa McFarlane: Of course it’s Satoshi. Everyone knows that.
Jamarlin Martin: Yeah. But when you peel that back, who created Bitcoin? But do you have a theory though?
19:58 —Chrissa McFarlane: If I have a theory?
Jamarlin Martin: Yeah, because of course that name is fake. So there’s a white paper they put out and he says, “Hey, we need alternative system. Look at the government bail out of the banks.” This financial system. And then there’s this great technology, but the people don’t know who created it. Do you have a theory?
Chrissa McFarlane: I don’t have a theory. I have multiple theories based on what’s already out there in terms of conspiracies.
Jamarlin Martin: Can you share some of those conspiracy theories?
Chrissa McFarlane: People say it’s the CIA, the U.N., or it’s DARPA, or they even say…
Jamarlin Martin: DARPA, explain that for the audience.
Chrissa McFarlane: Basically, a science and technology intelligence agency, they actually created the…
Jamarlin Martin: Connected to which state or country?
Chrissa McFarlane: It’s connected to a series of countries. I don’t think it’s independent. They actually created the internet back in the 70s, they had the first internet network.
Jamarlin Martin: But they see the U.S. military, that was created inside the U.S. military, the internet. But I guess I’m trying to reconcile DARPA is connected to a lot of folks, at least the U.S. military gets a lot of credit for creating the Internet.
Chrissa McFarlane: They’re a part of it.
Jamarlin Martin: But, yeah, other theories…
Chrissa McFarlane: Yeah. They said it was Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon that created it. The GAFA companies.
Jamarlin Martin: Yeah. From my perspective, I think there’s a strong chance this was created by an intelligence agency. Was it the United States? Was it Russia?
Chrissa McFarlane: China.
Jamarlin Martin: Potentially China. When you look at the security features, it can’t be broken, meaning that people have predicted all these types of security things and things are gonna happen. Bitcoin cannot be broken, at least so far.
21:58 —Chrissa McFarlane: What I heard somewhere is that it takes the size of the sun or multiple suns, the energy needed to actually break the mechanisms that create the network.
Jamarlin Martin: And to your point of where Bitcoin came from and whether it was created by an intelligence agency, United States or somewhere else, they point to the military grade cryptography, meaning that this is not something, hey, you’re a tech company and you can create this stuff. This stuff has a rhythm and quality to it that’s associated with top-level government work. Intelligence work. Yeah. Would you say 50 percent or more that it was created by a government?
Chrissa McFarlane: Or does it have to, I think there’s a step above a government.
Jamarlin Martin: And explain that. Man, you’re about to take us to the Illuminati?
Chrissa McFarlane: No, I’m just saying it may not have been sanctioned by a government, but it may have been organizations or people that work on behalf of governments.
Jamarlin Martin: But what would that look like? So if it wasn’t created by the government, it was created by what entity?
Chrissa McFarlane: I mean if you look at it, it can’t just be one government. I mean we have so much buy in from different countries all over the world.
Jamarlin Martin: So it could be alliances.
Chrissa McFarlane: Exactly.
Jamarlin Martin: And why?
Chrissa McFarlane: Again, we’re stepping into the next wave of industrialism. So in 2017, the World Economic Forum, the whole theme of that was the fourth industrial revolution of data, and data is not just subject to one particular country or government. The way we do business, people, immigration back and forth. So it’s definitely an agreement between different countries, to be able to see the success of this technology move forward.
Jamarlin Martin: Okay. I want to thank Chrissa for coming on the show, where can people check you out online?
Chrissa McFarlane: Well, I’m on Linkedin. linkedin.com. Chrissa McFarlanene. I’m also on Twitter, Chrissa McFarlanene, and you can check out our company, https://patientory.com/. Our app is on the Apple store and we have an ecosystem association, the Patientory Association, which manages our token, and that’s at https://ptoy.org/
Jamarlin Martin: Make sure you check out Chrissa online. She’s a trailblazer in the blockchain space. Thank you for coming on the show.
Chrissa McFarlane: Thank you for having me.
Jamarlin Martin: Let’s GHOGH! Thanks everybody for listening to GHOGH. You can check me out @JamarlinMartin on Twitter and also come check us out at Moguldom.com. That’s M O G U L D O M.com. Be sure to subscribe to our daily newsletter. You can get the latest information on crypto, tech, economic empowerment and politics. Let’s GHOGH!