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Matthijs de Vries, CEO of Nuklai, on Market Slowdown, Bullish Outlook for H2, Blockchain and AI Joining Hands, and Future of Decentralized Data | Ep. 350

Sead Fadilpašić
Last updated: | 5 min read

In an exclusive interview with Cryptonews Podcast, Matthijs de Vries, Founder and CEO of the collaborative smart data ecosystem and decentralized data infrastructure provider Nuklai, discussed the recent market slowdown, what triggered the fear, and why he is bullish.

The CEO talked about blockchain and AI shaping the future together, as well as the issue of fragmented data and solutions for it.

Lastly, he discussed giants like Google, Meta, and OpenAI “sitting on huge monopolies of data” and how this will change with the democratization of data.

Panic and Fear Triggered: Rip Off the Market Band-Aid

The crypto market has recently seen a relatively longer slowdown. “The market conditions are maybe not the best,” de Vries said.

However, the market will always reach its worst point, he stressed. From then on, it will improve again. “The reversal has to be near.”

As for the reasons behind this latest downturn, several things come into play. These include the priced-in fear of Mt. Gox, Germany potentially selling Bitcoins, and perhaps a more crypto-adverse US president, among others.

News and speculations surrounding these events triggered “a lot of panic and fear.”

Notably, in TradFi, we see a lot of people working together behind the curtains, directing the market trends, but the crypto industry is a different type of beast.

This is not to say that there isn’t collaboration – there’s a lot of it, de Vries argued. Many “powerful people in the Web3 industry definitely work together in order to orchestrate things.”

However, when it comes to the situation with the Bitcoins in Germany and Mt. Gox selling BTC, “there is absolutely no way that we’re working together in order to have a healthy sale of Bitcoin.”

Importantly, Mt. Gox is not selling Bitcoins but distributing repayments to its creditors.

Per the CEO, it’s actually better if everything happens at once. “Rip the band-aid off, let it hurt now, and then we can move on. Because if this gets dragged out for the next few months, we will never recover in that time,” he stated.

All this said, de Vries is very bullish on the second half of this year. The sentiment is so bad, he said, “this can only go up.”

We may see a few more corrections, but the rest of H2 “I think is going to be amazing.”


Blockchain and AI Shaping the Future Together

The most popular AI use case currently is large language models (LLMs). This is a problem as there is a misconception that LLMs are AI and “that’s it,” de Vries said.

But AI is more than LLMs. It’s all around us, though we can’t see it. Many enterprises, for example, use it to generate revenue and/or save costs.

However, AI needs accountability and traceability. And this is what blockchain brings.

Completely decentralized AI is going to be very difficult, the CEO said. There are massive amounts of data that one cannot completely decentralize. It’s impossible, at least with the storage options we currently have.

Therefore, decentralized AI for de Vries is centered around accountability, traceability, and fair reward mechanisms.

Traceability will make sure that the answers provided by AIs are correct – they can be verified. Without this, the technology is unlikely to reach the heights it has the potential for.

The reward mechanism ensures that when data is used, the source receives payment.

Fragmented Data Problems and Solutions

De Vries explained that data is currently fragmented. This results in lengthy and costly processes to make the data interoperable.

For decades, enterprises, organizations, governments, and others have been collecting a lot of data, storing it in different sources and formats.

For one of these entities to combine its data and employ AI, it needs to first build “a lot of expensive data pipelines” and deploy new infrastructure.

Then, if they want that data to work with data from another organization, they need to build connectors.

Data collaboration, sharing, and monetization are already occurring, but according to de Vries, they are not “really greatly facilitated.”

“So if you really boil down to what problem we are solving” at Nuklai, he said, “we are saving time and money for organizations to innovate on their data.”

The team, said the CEO, envisions a future where data is interoperable, with AI on top of that wealth of high-quality data.

Different industries can collaborate on top of the data, and the individuals generating the data are fairly rewarded for it.

Future of Data Economy: Google, Meta, OpenAI, and Leveling the Playing Field

Companies like Google, Meta, and OpenAI “sit on huge monopolies of data,” de Vries said.

Importantly, data is a gold mine, and numerous products depend on it.

Therefore, these companies are not going to necessarily sell the data to third parties. Not as long as they need it and depend on it at least.

And this is another reason to democratize data, de Vries remarked.

So, when the team talks about bringing all this data to Nuklai, it doesn’t mean the company becomes the owner.

It means that all the network participants become the data owners and no one really owns it at the same time.

Per the CEO, “this is a really important step forward in order to democratize access to data, to see data more as something that we need to live, like oxygen, instead of something that we can speculate on, like oil.”

This would not necessarily remove the giants from their thrones, but it would level the playing field a bit more, he concluded.


That’s not all.

In this interview, de Vries also discussed:

  • the future of crypto and AI: how blockchain and AI work together;
  • data solutions are heavily underrated;
  • AI and content creation: could be both a threat and an opportunity;
  • the existence and future of AI agents – it might be closer than we think;
  • tokenizing real-world assets (RWAs): making the whole industry better, more mature, and more sustainable;
  • predictions for the second half of 2024;
  • becoming a software developer at just 11;
  • his journey into the blockchain, crypto, and AI industries;
  • discovering Bitcoin and Ethereum and becoming “completely obsessed with everything decentralized and on-chain.”

You can watch the full podcast episode here.


About Matthijs de Vries

Matthijs de Vries is a serial entrepreneur with a passion for blockchain. He is interested in this technology’s role in the future of data and AI.

De Vries is currently building the collaborative smart data ecosystem and decentralized data infrastructure provider Nuklai.

With extensive experience in DeFi and Web3, he is a co-founder of the tokenization infrastructure expert Nexera (f.k.a. AllianceBlock) and the DeFi trading strategy software provider Nuant, as well as a strategic advisor for the smart wallet project Brillion.