In an industry that has not spanned up to ten years, a lot of individuals have made their mark and brought ideas and innovation that has helped improve the cryptocurrency and blockchain community. One such personality is Alex Tapscott. He is a globally-recognized writer, investor and advisor who is focused on the impact of emerging technologies such as blockchain and cryptocurrencies on business, society and government.
Let us talk about 15 things you did not know about Alex Tapscott.
Alex was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada in 1986. His father Dan Tapscott is the famous author of the bestselling book Wikinomics. His mother is Mrs. Ana Paula.
He is married to Amy Welsman.
Alex attended Upper Canada College. He has done his bachelors in Law, Jurisprudence and Social Thought from Amherst College in Amherst, Massachusetts. He graduated in 2008.
He represented Canada as a member and captain of the Canadian Men’s Rugby under-21 team in various tournaments in 2006 and 2007.
3.Prior to publishing his book
Alex worked for 7 years in Canadian and U.S. Capital Markets – raising hundreds of millions of dollars in critical growth capital.
During the period of 7 years his career included his role as a senior executive at one of Canada’s ‘Big Five’ investment banks, CIBC.
In 2014, he founded the CIBC’s blockchain practice after he found himself to be increasingly interested in the potential applications for blockchain technology in the financial services industry.
Alex is the co-author of the critically acclaimed non-fiction best-seller, ‘Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin and Other Cryptocurrencies is Changing the World,’ and it has been translated into more than 15 languages. The book was launched on May 5th 2016 at the Rotman School of Management.
According to Alex his decision to quit his job as an investment banker dedicated to the equity market was the best decision ever made.
At that time he delved into what he had pinned faith on ‘a blockchain powered financial system free of intermediaries’ and he collaborated with his father, who was conducting research on blockchain then.
In 2014, Alex published the seminal white paper “A Bitcoin Governance Network.” It provides a picture of bitcoin and blockchain’s potential financial use free of intermediaries by exploring and discussing several potential use cases for cryptocurrencies – which were largely unheard of among members of the public at the time.
Alex gave his first TEDx Talk at TEDx San Francisco in October 2016. Did you know his TedX talk: Blockchain is Eating Wall Street has been viewed over 600,000 times.
Alex is on the Advisory Board of Election Canada, it is an independent, non-partisan agency which is responsible for conducting federal elections and referendums.
He also serves as an advisory board member at early-stage start-ups including Paycase and nuco.
In November 2017, Alex and his father Don Tapscott were recognized with the Digital Thinking Award from Thinkers50, as part of their Distinguished Achievement Awards.
10.Blockchain Research Institute
In 2017, Alex along with his father co-founded the Blockchain Research Institute. BRI is an independent, global think-tank which brings together the world’s top global researchers to undertake ground-breaking research on blockchain technology. It is a multi-million dollar institute that investigates blockchain strategies and opportunities.
Alex’s book The Blockchain revolution became The Globe, Mail and Toronto Star bestseller. Financial Times review of the book was: “The Tapscotts provide a thorough, balanced and enlightening guide to the next big thing.”
His writing has been featured in TIME, Fortune, Forbes, the Harvard Business Review, the Toronto Star, the Globe and Mail and dozens of other publications.
In 2017, Alex founded NetBlock Global and he was its CEO as well. It is a cryptocurrency investment company. It was one of the world’s leading tech startups to support the blockchain technology movement. The same year, the company went through a funding process collecting about twenty million dollars. The funding process ended on July 31st, 2017. But on November 5, 2017 Alex announced that NextBlock was forced to scrap IPO plans due to being dropped by their underwriter, CIBC, after the company was reported to have made false and misleading statements in its marketing materials.
13.Fined by SEC
Alex and his company NetBlock Global was fined by The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission over securities violations.
The SEC said that NextBlock had offered securities which were not registered with the SEC ‘in any capacity’ and when soliciting investors false misrepresentations were made by the firm. SEC ordered Alex to pay $25,000 penalty and also issued a cease-and-desist on further securities violations by him or his firm.
14.Approach to representing Canada
Alex has become one of Canada’s leading minds in the blockchain field, and he does not shy away from any opportunity he gets to praise the potential of blockchain technology. While the phenomenon is global, there is no doubt that Alex has been successful in helping to ensure that Canada plays an important role in the global blockchain conversation. He continues to not only praise blockchain technology but also helps in making its potential a reality through his work.
In May 2019, Alex and NextBlock Global paid $1 million in penalties to settle allegations of breaching securities rules through misleading disclosure.