Corporate Finance, DeFi, Blockchain, Web3 News
Corporate Finance, DeFi, Blockchain News

Interview | Crypto usability for mass adoption

Luke Stokes, MD, Foundation for Interwallet Operability.

Who are you and how did you get involved in cryptocurrency?

My name is Luke Stokes, and I bought my first bitcoin in January of 2013. I spent $50 and got 2.5 BTC. I hold a degree in computer science from UPENN and co-founded an ecommerce shopping cart company in 2007. I quickly realized bitcoin’s potential and gave a presentation early in 2013 about how it would be more disruptive than the Internet. I eventually sold my company back to my business partner in 2018 so I could focus full time on cryptocurrency advising and consulting.

What type of projects did you get involved with and why?

I was fascinated by Hive (previously called Steem) starting in 2016 because it involved human-readable cryptocurrency addresses and a user experience to earn cryptocurrency via blogging that anyone could get familiar with. I ended up becoming a witness (their term for a block producer or validator) and later joined the eosDAC team to help launch the EOS chain. The types of projects I get involved in have the potential to significantly impact and improve voluntary human interactions. eosDAC is a community-owned block producer and DAC enabler, DAC being a Decentralized Autonomous Community. In October of 2018, I met the co-founders of Dapix who were in the process of building the first version of the FIO Protocol. I joined the team as a consultant and later on in December of 2019 became the Managing Director of the Foundation for Interwallet Operability (FIO), the Cayman non-profit that purchased the software from Dapix and open-sourced it to the community which then launched the blockchain just over a year ago in March of 2020.

What is FIO and what attracted you most to it?

The FIO Protocol is a usability improvement to wallets and exchanges which makes using cryptocurrency as easy as PayPal or Venmo. As its own blockchain secured by the native FIO token, it’s a decentralized business model rewarding everyone who adds value to the system such as block producers (also called validators) who secure the network, integration partners like cryptocurrency wallets and exchanges, community members who can be paid for approved worker proposals, and, if the community approves a staking rewards proposal, eventually the token holders who secure the network with their votes for the best validators. The FIO Protocol provides three major features: 1) human readable addresses like luke@stokes for all your crypto (instead of something cryptic like 3FZbgi29cpjq2GjdwV8eyHuJJnkLtktZc5) 2) decentralized payment requests so you can receive exactly the correct token and amount on the specific blockchain you expect, and 3) contextual metadata about transactions which can be as simple as a note or an order invoice or shopping cart manifest. I’m mostly attracted to FIO’s ability to make crypto easier for everyone. I believe mass adoption of cryptocurrency is inevitable and is coming sooner than most people realize. Those involved today put up with far more frustration and technical complexity than those who are coming. If this industry doesn’t provide a great user experience, people will turn to centralized custodial systems which defeats the entire reason for cryptocurrency to exist. I’m passionate about the potential for blockchain technology and cryptocurrency to enable global non-violent consensus while giving individuals full self-sovereign control of their own store of value. Improving the usability of cryptocurrency is critically important for enabling this potential.

Where do you see the future of blockchain and cryptocurrency going?

I feel the same today as I did more than 8 years ago. Cryptocurrency will be more disruptive than the Internet as businesses and individuals and even governments take back the purchasing power of their value creation while exploring previously unimagined benefits of programmable money with no counterparty risk. We’re just starting to see the very beginning of innovation built on top of the blockchain through DEFI, NFTs, gaming, and supply chain management with other solutions coming as well. Any system that requires trust today will be provably secure without trust in the future. The FIO Protocol is right in the middle of that revolution as it works with every blockchain and every token, transcending the current crypto tribalism by adding value to the whole ecosystem.


Luke Stokes, MD, Foundation for Interwallet Operability (FIO), has been involved with cryptocurrency since 2013 and developed the FIO protocol as he wanted to improve the user experience and avoid potential man-in-the-middle attacks so that anyone would feel comfortable making cryptocurrency transactions.
By creating an easy to use infrastructure for cryptocurrencies, the team at FIO aim to deliver on cryptocurrency’s promise for greater financial inclusion and lower costs.

Foundation for Interwallet Operability | FIO
The Foundation for Interwallet Operability (FIO) is a consortium of leading wallets, exchange, and crypto payment processors supporting the FIO Protocol which enables greatly enhanced user experience across all blockchains.

Mardi 6 Avril 2021