Introduction and Biography
My name is Ishay Tentser. I am Co-Founder and CEO at IniTech, an Israeli-based innovative software development company. We help companies use technology to solve core business problems.
We are experts at utilizing cutting-edge digital innovation in such areas as blockchain applications, decentralized technologies, big data, AI and cloud services.
I am a former IDF/ Mamram officer and a graduate of both Hebrew University (B.Sc. in Computer Sciences) and the Technion (MBA).
I have over a decade of broad industry expertise. I’m a founding member in several startups, I give mentorship in startup accelerators and help clients to implement their digital products.
How would you define blockchain to the average person?
Blockchain is a decentralized network of resources and data that works without one central source of truth.
When were you first introduced to blockchain?
The first time I heard about blockchain was five years ago in the context of cryptocurrency, namely bitcoin. I played with this idea for a while that I could buy some coins, sell them, turn a profit, and it was interesting. However, the first time that I was actually introduced to the implementation of blockchain outside of cryptocurrency was two years ago during a meeting in the Israeli Ministry of Health. We discussed different ways to implement a mixture of peoples’ private data, various health documents, and somebody proposed that we did so using blockchain. And all of us just looked at the guy who had this idea with surprised expressions. Isn’t blockchain intended for bitcoin? Was our first thought. Apparently not. The person who proposed this idea explained to us that you can actually use blockchain principles outside of the realm of money. I soon began to delve into blockchain and learn more about this technology, and have since then run several projects using this technology.
I run a software development company, which received several PLCs (Programmable Logic Controller) that run off of and implement decentralized systems. Until that point, decentralized architecture was not really used in the general world. People in the world of academia at universities played with this idea, but there were only very few implementations in the common world of decentralized systems. Blockchain provided a new reason to pursue decentralization.
Why are so many tech-based Startups preoccupied with creating platforms that are powered off Blockchain?
The short answer is ICO (Initial Coin Offering). Some companies that dive into ICO end up raising vast sums of money, way more than they otherwise would have obtained doing it the old fashion way with VC’s and early stage investors. When you find yourself in a situation in which your competitors have the possibility to raised ten times more money then you, then you must equivalently pursue that method of gaining capital. You cannot remain in the old economy because one of your competitors could potentially run an ICO and raise way more money than you, and thus acquire more resources that will enable their processes to run much faster. So today, CEOs in the tech arena have good reason to think about whether or not it would be wise to take a shot at ICO. Additionally, if someone has some sort of business idea, it would be wise to figure out how that idea could pivot to accommodate decentralization, and then perhaps that person could potentially run an ICO to raise money.
Will cryptocurrencies eventually render centralized banking systems as obsolete?
I believe that banks will remain, but the banking era will change. For instance, I have worked with the Israeli Central Bank on implementing and discussing a central, country-made cryptocurrency. And Israel isn’t alone in pursuing such an idea. In fact, countries like Switzerland, UK, USA, and many more have been working on this. I believe that cryptocurrencies are here to stay, but I’m unsure of which one (Bitcoin, Ethereum, etc.) will triumph, and what exact use that currency will have. For the time being, most of the crypto world is composed of speculative actions (buying, selling, profiting off price changes). We don’t really have many useful cases for using crypto in day-to-day life. However, I do think that we will see country-made, government-ruled cryptocurrencies that will be intended for different purposes. You can look at this through the lens of the beginning of the internet era, for example. Nobody believed that HTTP and other protocols would be enough to make video transactions, audio, data, etc. Many believed that it would just be separate networks, but the Internet network has allowed us to do all of these activities. I believe that the same thing can happen with cryptocurrencies, but governments and banking systems will remain and simply adapt to the new era and use these new tools to survive.
What is the difference between Bitcoin and Ethereum?
There are some conceptual differences between bitcoin and ethereum, as well as other cryptos. The most basic difference lies in the way that the protocol of the network runs. In the case of Bitcoin, it runs on the principle of proof of work. In other words, you need to do a lot of hard work, like mining, in order to receive the next coin. In the ethereum network, for example, you have a proof of stake. You cannot waste all of your time and energy on mining coins. You can instead get these coins via some mathematical principles, as well as through being a trusted member of the network. Also, the ethereum network provides more options like smart contracts. If you think about bitcoin as only a currency, essentially the main purposed of bitcoin is to store value, and to be valued (like gold). Ethereum provides many more tools to use blockchain principles and ways to implement different usages of these principles. So basically, bitcoin is money, and ethereum is an opportunity—it is a network that allows you to use blockchain principles like decentralization in various ways
What is another excellent implementation of blockchain besides cryptocurrency?
Some great usages of blockchain including proving identity, ownership, or sharing resources or things that you own.
How do you see Blockchain influencing the future?
I believe that blockchain technology will enable us to establish a new format of companies, governments, and a new method of collaboration between people and organizations who don’t fully trust each other. Today, in order to establish collaboration, you need to deal with a party that can be trusted. With blockchain principles, you have the ability to establish new things without the need for this trusted party. I think it will make it easier for us to connect, and it will make connections between people much easier and secure.
Why is Blockchain so fast?
Blockchain tech isn’t faster than usual centralized technologies. First, think about what a decentralized network is. Well, it means that each node in the network should receive and store all of that network’s data. So, there’s a lot of copying and pasting that has to be done in order to make sure that all of the network members have all of the information. So why in some cases do people claim that their network or application is faster because of blockchain? Essentially, the claim is based on the fact that you don’t have one single server that everybody must reach in order to receive information. In other words, you don’t have just one single point of failure. You have many different members that contain all of your needed data. And the process of copying and pasting data takes a lot of time, but it can be done offline. So, when you have some sort action that you need to implement, it takes no time to do it at all. Of course, in the background there are a lot of processes going on to make it work. So, you have a lot network maintenance process that always happen in the background, but direct interaction is very fast.
The world is governed by centralized structures (governments, banks, corporations). Do you think that these centralized structures will fight against the implementation of decentralized systems?
Even today, we see that governments in China, North and South Korea, and Japan, are trying to control cryptocurrencies. So, governments are trying to understand, learn, and find new ways to live with this tech because it provides the citizen with much more power. Of course, governments are trying to build their own stuff. For example, China will try to get their citizens to use its own crypto, and not that of the US because cryptocurrency of the US is no different than the USD today—it’s just virtual. Big countries like Russia and China try to control citizens and control payments, how much money people can move outside of the country, and they will try to make their own currency and control crypto exchanges–places where people can come with bitcoin, for example, and buy USD or Euro or another crypto. So today, even in the USA if you run a substantial crypto exchange, you must report your exchange in order for the government to monitor it and make sure that it is not illegal activity.
Ishay’s contact details:
Initech’s Site: https://initech.co.il/en/blockchain-and-crypto/