Interview With The Former Presidential Appointee Cleve Mesidor
We had the pleasure of interviewing Cleve Mesidor. She is a serial entrepreneur in the blockchain sectors. She is the Founder of LOGOS, which is a social network on blockchain. She is also a former Presidential Appointee of the Obama Administration.
Can you tell us what inspired you to pursue this career path? What do you want others to take from your story?
I first learned about bitcoin when I was a presidential appointee in the Obama Administration. A friend asked me to help with a press release for his bitcoin project. Then I saw the movie Dope and my interest peaked. But it was not until 2016 that I became immersed in the crypto ecosystem and Journeyed down the rabbit hole.
Could you tell us about any of the interesting projects that you are working on currently?
I am currently working with Blockchain Latinx Founder Elena Sofia Giralt and Women’s Crypto Playground Founder Theresa Hoang to organize the “Women of Color in Blockchain Congressional Briefing,” which will take place from October 16 – 17, 2019 in Washington DC.
We will convene 25-30 geographically, culturally and professionally diverse female blockchain leaders on Capitol Hill so that Members of Congress can hear from the inclusive voices within the crypto community who are calling for federal regulatory clarity.
Women of color in blockchain have a lot at stake!
Also, I am raising funding to produce the MVP for my blockchain startup – LOGOS – a social network on blockchain for disruptors and activists.
I’m using blockchain to solve for two problems that activists and disruptors face on traditional social media.
First their content is almost always provocative so they face censorship. Second, they often end up wasting time battling trolls and bots – fake profiles intended to discredit them.
So blockchain will enable me to build a platform that is secure and censorship resistant. And it authenticates users so you can be confident you are sparring with one Cleve – not 50 fake ‘Cleves’ I’ve created to try to gain the advantage.
You may be wondering why would disruptors want a peer to peer platform.
The reality is activists already have robust organizing tools and grassroots networks.
LOGOS is intended to activate another level of impact. Disruptors walk to the beat of their own drum and at times feel misunderstood or disconnected.
On LOGOS, they can find their people – the ones who really get them. On LOGOS, they can commiserate, have pity parties, and even date.
Is there a particular person who you would like to credit with helping you get to where you are? Can you share an anecdote about that?
I’ve been blessed with many mentors who are invested in my success and happiness. Two who stand out are Michael Matthews and Robert Raben.
What are the 3 things that you think are most fascinating about blockchain and crypto? Why?
- Blockchain and cryptocurrency regulatory policy is a global conversation that will force nations to come to a consensus. Right now, local municipalities and individual nations are drafting laws. But the decentralized economy will grow at a fast pace that will require international cooperation and coordination in order for governments across the world to keep up.
- It is no exaggeration to say that women of color are the engine of the crypto ecosystem. We are going to blow the world away with what we have started building.
- Decentralization is the golden rule in blockchain for me – shifting power from central authorities to empowered communities. Crypto levels the playing field, ensuring the masses can build and support their own crypto marketplaces.
What are the things that concern you about blockchain and crypto? Why?
- We need to demystify the language of crypto. Expanding the current narrative beyond insider lingo and secret codes will enable the space to better sync with the marketplace and attract mainstream consumers.
- My love of crypto is rooted in the promise of blockchain and the economic revolution cryptocurrency it has sparked. But the many ‘centralized’ concessions being made and the many ‘crypto-intermediaries’ forming may ultimately minimize the level of impact realized.
How have you used your success to bring positive change to the world? Can you share a story?
- One of the most rewarding experiences for me this year was being a mentor for the NYC BlockchainsForSchools Mentoring Program, which connects NYC high school students interested in blockchain with industry mentors.
- Since January 2018, I have published a weekly crypto newsletter – Blockchain Buzz – which is distributed to over 4,000 people every Monday morning to provide a window into the blockchain ecosystem. We keep it fun for the crypto-curious, newbies and influencers.
- I publish a quarterly “BLOCKCHAIN WHO’S WHO: INNOVATORS TO WATCH” list.
The various lists circulating about blockchain often recycle the same 20-30 people. I set out to produce a quarterly roster of the diverse talent that fuels the inclusive crypto ecosystem.
We recently combined the 2019 Q1 & Q2 lists to release LOGOS100 – a sample of the global experts, influencers, leaders advancing blockchain.
The new Q3 list will be released soon.
What are the 3 things that you would advise someone who aspires to emulate your career? Can you share an example for each idea?
- Blockchain is not a silver bullet. There’s a lot of hype out there because people are excited about the promise of crypto. But the space is at a nascent stage and is still evolving. We have to test assumptions, but most of all, we have to find ways to engage mainstream users.
- To determine if blockchain is appropriate, start with a clear understanding of the problem you are trying to solve and see if the protocols and applications of blockchain provide a viable solution.
- There are lots to do to recruit more women to crypto. Non-technical entrepreneurs and founders like me are a critical part of the crypto ecosystem. And there are lots of free resources to train individuals interested in becoming a blockchain developer. Take baby steps. Start with what you know – your current field.
What is the one “Life Lesson Quote” that you stand by? Can you tell us how that had relevance to your own life?
I like to read. Years ago, in a book club selection, the heroine was advised that ‘the truth is always simpler” in life. This stuck with me. We often find ourselves between a rock and a hard place, or in situations where our back is against the wall, or in tight spots where we caused the mess. It’s easy to be tempted to deflect, deny or retreat. But what we will find out, in the long run, is the truth was actually simpler. It can be harsh, can sting and can even expose us. But once it’s out, it’s done – kind of a way to leave everything on the field, freeing you and others to move on!
Who would be one person in the world that you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why?
I would like to meet with executives from the multinational corporations planning to attend the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos in January 2020. My vision is to convene a delegation of women of color in blockchain to attend and meet with key leaders in Davos. Women in blockchain are a key demographic – fueling a new economy and building products and services on blockchain.
Where can our readers find you on social media?
- Twitter: @cmesi
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/cmesi/