>> Announcer: Live from San Juan, Puerto Rico, it's theCUBE, covering Blockchain Unbound, brought to you by Blockchain Industries (upbeat music) >> Welcome back everyone, live here at theCUBE in Puerto Rico for our extended coverage, exclusive coverage, two days, wall-to-wall

I'm John Furrier, the host of theCUBE, co-founder of SliconANGLE Media, Inc We're here with Al Burgio, Founder of DigitalBitsio Two days, Al, since we're rocking here in Puerto Rico >> Puerto Rico

>> Great to see you >> Thanks for having me you guys >> CUBE alumni, you know you're like my wing-man on Crypto We both were at Polycon18 >> Al: That's right

>> You were the only CUBE alumni there, first show in Crypto We start our tour now Now we have amassed, probably like 40 interviews We now have 40 new CUBE alumnis But a great community growing

A minute level of interesting dynamics, I want to get your reaction to In any wave there's always a start Entrepreneurs making things happen, then the promoters The promoters and the entrepreneurs cheer-lead each other They cheer-lead, then it gets up to the point where there's a lot of growth

And then the next levels, a new set of stakeholders, investors, global players, new stakeholders, governments It's happening now For me, this is the moment I'm starting to see the ecosystem going to that next level Blockchain Unbound, the event, we're here in Puerto Rico is a combination of developer conference, industry conference, investor conference, economic world forum, rolled into one So it's kind of a unique thing

You've been doing a lot of presentations, you're a sponsor here, even though you're a startup A lot of conversations, do you agree with that? Your thoughts, your reaction? >> Yeah, there's definitely the topics throughout the presentations, both yesterday and today, have covered all those areas that you've discussed With in addition to that, I would say, a focus on Puerto Rico, itself I mean this particular that event we chose to sponsor which I'd like to point out– >> Yeah, show the lanyard >> Everyone is promoting our logo simply by wearing the lanyard for the event

>> But your product's not even out yet >> No, we actually had an announcement this week >> What was the announcement? >> We issued a press release Basically articulating for everyone to understand the vision for our blockchain and also announcing that it's going to be launched on Monday So we're really excited about that

The team's been working really hard over the past number of months, working away We have more exciting news that obviously will be coming out very shortly in terms of what we've done and so forth But our actual blockchain network is going live on Monday >> I notice Allotery's also a sponsor They have a hot deal, you have a hot deal

You product's not out yet It's coming out on Monday You have an announcement What is the product? Digitalbits, it's an open source project What's it going to end up doing? >> Blockchain infrastructure protocol

It's our own blockchain network that we've launched But anybody can tokenize on this blockchain However, the specific vision for our project is to support the loyalty rewards industry We see a huge, a third of points every year that are issued go unredeemed In the United States alone there's over a hundred billion dollars in perceived value of points sitting on the balance sheets of these issuers from retailers, airlines, so on and so forth

It's a huge liquidity issue and that number grows every year And so that's 10 Blockchain has the opportunity to bring loyalty rewards, obviously, many other things, into two dot O and change that game a bit and eliminate tremendous amount of friction and challenges that traditionally have been experienced by consumers, businesses and so forth in the space So on our blockchain, businesses, whether it's their existing loyalty program or new loyalty program, can tokenize that program on our blockchain

We're not ourselves operating loyalty program but we are very much supporting that industry and in addition to that these various points that are tokenized on our blockchain, consumers can trade points A for points B and so on >> That's awesome Also, Al, you've been also active in the community here in Puerto Rico I've notice that you've been involved in a lot of activities here on site Puerto Rico since the hurricane, sideways, big problems, aid, now getting back on its feet

This community has been doing a lot of stuff >> Al: That's right >> You've been very active in that What's going on? Explain to the people what is the vibe in Puerto Rico? Is it rebounding, is it rebounded, rebounding, coming back? The role of tech, the tax breaks? There's a lot of things going on here >> And there's a number of events, obviously, this week and going into early next week under this theme called restart week

What we've all learned is that there's still a lot of parts to this island without power and so forth What's really great, I think, about this event, among other things, is that all the proceeds from this event, it's non-profit, go to the people of Puerto Rico And beyond that, there is a community here, whether it's early in the morning, throughout the course of the day and so forth, they've arranged initiatives and what have you, do things here to help give back I don't think it's just isolated to just this week There's obviously been a lot of news in terms of things that's been happening leading up to now and things happening in the future

Blockchain and the blockchain community, Cryptocurrency communities and so forth are really focused on wanting to help this island I think it's a wonderful island I mean it's my first visit here but it's not hard to fall in love with Puerto Rico >> Well theCUBE has landed here for two days We're rapping up two days of coverage, what's your observation in the hallways? I hear a lot of things happening

I heard one VC or investor, not VC now, token investor, seven deals, MOUs A lot of smart people here Saw the Block Tower guy earlier I see all the legacy whales are here So the entrepreneurs are here

A lot of money floating around >> So there's obviously a lot of news in terms of how regulation is evolving, some jurisdictions faster than others, in terms of the introduction of clarity and what have you, but that clearly doesn't appear to be stopping the enthusiasm in blockchain I mean it's further validation in terms of how powerful this technology really is and will continue to find its way into society and so forth I think people have faith that in some of these jurisdictions that aren't necessarily moving as quickly that they'll get there And so as a result of that people just continue to stay in the game because it's great to be here early

>> So I got to ask you about the overall activities onsite, offsite, Coin Agenda's around the corner, tomorrow >> Yes, we're a sponsor there as well, by the way (both laugh) >> Well you're flush with cash (Al laughs) Why sponsoring, just curious? 'Cause you're a startup, you don't have product yet? You funded the company >> Yes, yes, so we're getting our brand out there now

We're coming out of stealth mode This is the first event that we chose to sponsor 20-Gen, obviously, being the second So very important, we want to let consumers, businesses, the community, know what we're doing with blockchain We have, again, in the course of the next few weeks additional announcements that we'll be making in terms of the great people who are involved, great partners and so forth

So we're really excited to get that out in the open At the end of the day, when you build a product, marketing is important So this is a great community to support, proceeds are going to, this particular event, proceeds to a great cause A lot of great people are here, among the people on the planet that we would love to have know what we were up to So that's why we made the decision

>> So you're doing an ICO >> Al: We're not doing an ICO, John >> You're not doing an ICO, okay (Al laughs) What are you doing? >> So we have a lot of interest, obviously, in our project And we basically are taking alternative, compliant, approach to this and we'll be announcing that at some point in the future

>> That was a well-said legal statement >> I practiced that one >> You practiced that one? (Al laughs) I'll try to knock you off your game We'll go back and rephrase the question How are you financing this? >> The great thing is that we've done nothing crypto in terms of having capital to build this

>> Meaning, your own capital Yeah, we had our own capital So DigitalBits was born in a company called Fuzechain Fuzechain raised traditional equity to go do what it wanted to do and among those things was to give birth to this open source project called the DigitalBits project We didn't need to prematurely create a token just for the sake of having a funding event so we'd have capital to build this

We did not need to do anything crypto-related to be able to have capital to build our blockchain >> Now you are doing crypto-related? >> What's happening with us is that, again the network goes live on Monday, we'll be clearly demonstrating for the market, the utility and organically you'll see use of what we've done Obviously doing stealth mode, we've evangelized with key partners, perspective partners >> Who's going to be on your launch? Who's going to be using your chain? >> It will be obviously businesses that are looking to tokenize but in addition– >> John: But do you have names? >> We have names but unfortunately, I can't say who they are at this time >> Are you going to announce them on Monday? >> We will be in announcing in the future

So not on Monday >> Okay, Monday's a launch >> We'll announce who are amongst the new additions to the team as well on Monday Following the launch, we'll announce who some of who the partners are as well >> Well rumor has it you got a hot deal

I can tell by your body language, you're trying not to reveal it What's been the reaction for this project? >> It's been phenomenal Obviously as an entrepreneur to see a vision become a reality and for others to share that enthusiasm is humbling We're very focused, we know it's still early There's a saying that I like

In the early days, it's not necessarily the time to crack open the champagne, you still have to demonstrate product market fit You have to help build a market in our particular case So there's a lot of hard work that lies ahead >> Launch is a start-line not the finish line >> Exactly, it's only a step along the whole process

A lot more steps ahead but we're very focused We believe we know what we need to do and it's going to be a phenomenal year for us >> What's the coolest thing you heard this week? And the weirdest thing you heard this week? >> No comment (John laughs) >> No comment was the weirdest thing you heard? Okay, we know there's some weird things going on Al, CUBE alumni, wing-man on the Crypto for theCUBE

Great to see you, great to have you back on >> Thank you for having me, John >> Good stuff Al Borsio, entrepreneur, founder of DigitalBitsio

I'm John Furrier with theCUBE More coverage here in Puerto Rico, Blockchain Unbound after this short break (electronic music)