All About Blockchain

Tokenizing Transportation | Jimmie Lenz

December 05, 2023 The UBRI Podcast from Ripple Season 6 Episode 3
All About Blockchain
Tokenizing Transportation | Jimmie Lenz
Show Notes Transcript

We have the technology to improve payment terms, without the use of selling invoices to 3rd parties, for millions of small trucking firms. Tokens can return 100 cents on the dollar to these businesses and improve economies for more than just profits and growth.

Catch this  rich discussion on how small businesses can take better control over their finances with
Coffee & Crypto podcast host, Dr. Jimmie Lenz, an experienced executive, lecturer and scholar in the field of banking and capital markets.    

Lauren Weymouth: 00:00 Hi. I'm Lauren Weymouth, leading UBRI, Ripple's University Blockchain Research Initiative, and your host of All About Blockchain.

This podcast uncovers blockchain use cases that solve current problems across various sectors that will impact our lives for the better. We're trying to get away from fear of understanding the tech by shining a light on the impact and results, where meaningful projects on-chain will take us in the future.

We just held UBRI Connect, our annual blockchain academic industry convening and the theme was on-chain finance.

There are over 35 sessions of where this can go, how blockchain can allow for retooling of economics and banking. Financing has more than one dimension. And today we're going to discuss the practical applications of blockchain and tokens that exist with the transportation industry. Truck drivers. With us is Doctor Jimmie Lenz, an experienced executive, lecturer, and scholar, in the field of banking and capital markets. He is Duke's Exec Director of the Master's in Engineering in FinTech at the Pratt School.

Jimmie Lenz: 01:42 Thank you so much for having me, Lauren. This is a real pleasure.

Lauren Weymouth: 01:46 So where are you right now, speaking to us?

Jimmie Lenz: 01:48 I am speaking to you from my, uh, palatial office, here at Duke University, in Durham, North Carolina.

Lauren Weymouth: 01:56 All right. And what drew you to be an Exec in Residence at Duke, at the Pratt School of Engineering?

Jimmie Lenz: 02:01 Wow. How long do you have? It's a interesting story, how I came here. My, history has been in finance,  primarily in, uh, the capital market side of things. Trading and, uh, in particular, electronic and algorithmic trading, for the vast majority of my career. Because I was fortunate enough to, uh, to have entered the industry at the right time, I was able to leverage a lot of the new technologies. And that's always been something that fascinated me, throughout my career, was looking at new technologies. So when I have the opportunity to kind of transition out of traditional finance, into a different role, fortunate for me, Duke was looking to start a Master of Engineering in Financial Technology program. And through some mutual contacts, we were able to meet

Lauren Weymouth: 03:06 Good on you. And you're no stranger to podcasts. You co-host Coffee & Crypto. What was your mission with that show?

Jimmie Lenz: 03:12 Coffee & Crypto started off as, uh, a little bit of just a whim that, my- my co-host, Lee Reiners, and I had. And it was to bring, a little bit of the academic realm to digital assets. But also to be very topical. And so, when we started doing the, uh, podcast, we did it about once a month. And then it went to every other week. And now it's every Friday morning. We have a nice following of folks.

And so we receive a lot of feedback, on what we do. A lot of it good. Some bad. but that's all good. And we- we really enjoy it. And so I think that we will continue as long as people are very interested in what we're doing. Uh, Lee and I take very different tacks on things. I'm a, uh, proponent of using digital assets for a lot of things. Uh, Lee is a former regulator. We definitely come at the subject from very different perspectives, which I think people like. But we are civil about it, so we do try to maintain a sense of decorum (laughs) during the podcast.

Lauren Weymouth: 04:27 But that does make for an interesting show, kinda hearing, a legal background versus, you know, business application. What's the top thing you want your Master's in FinTech graduates to walk away with, after going through your program?

Jimmie Lenz: 04:43 Wow. It's- it- it's a little bit varied. I would say what I want them to walk away with is, more considerations they have, than when they came into the program. And, by that, I mean I want them to eave with a broad education that can be applied to a number of financial technology applications. And that could be, starting a new blockchain company, which we have had students do. It could be moving into the quantitative or algorithmic trading space, Or to use their knowledge in kind of different applications in different industries, to uncover trends, uncover findings. Um, and in analyst roles. And we've had a number of students, large number of students, do that.

The program has grown really significantly the first year, we had two hundred, three hundred applications and we had about thirty students. now we're receiving well over a thousand applications for about 100 seats a year.

And so students come in with different ideas about what they want to do. I would say that most of them changed that during the course of their study. And that's, I think, part of my job, is to expose them to a lot of different things.  for instance, almost none come in saying, "Wow. I want to be a consultant." But a good portion, probably 20%, actually go to work in some sort of a consulting capacity, because they have,moved to a place where they want to understand more. They want to see behind the curtains, in more places. And they see consulting as a really good way to do that.

Lauren Weymouth: 06:25 I can totally see that, with so many different avenues for them to go after they graduate. It's a really attractive program. So it makes sense that your numbers are going up there.

I mean, I love hearing that you're seeing entrepreneurship happen, some start-ups come out of it, like that- that bug has hit them. any cool examples of start-ups from your graduates.

Jimmie Lenz: 06:43 So I'll- I will tell you about two.

One that launched last year two students who were in the program. One did undergrad here at Duke. The other one, did he undergrad at University of South Carolina. one's from the United States. One's from China. And they founded a company called Validity ID, which, is an offshoot of something I did several years ago, with my, blockchain program on Coursera. And that was, creating their, certificates as an NFT.

Well, these guys took the idea and just took it to completely in the next level. they are,, creating diplomas, basically, on a blockchain., and they do it in such a, smooth fashion that the people that they're doing this for, don't even realize they have wallets.

They have now signed up several schools, and some of the schools have uploaded data from like 10 years ago. the registrars of schools, sorta think this is like the greatest thing since sliced bread, because they don't want to be faxing things and (laughs) sending things in the mail. And so this gets that off their plate.

The other company that was really interesting is one of my Coursera students he pitched a company to put, basically, something kinda of boring, wills, on a blockchain.and there were wills for both, tangible and intangible assets. So virtual assets, that,, - he had had a problem... and he's like, well- And he was a single parent. And he said, "What would happen if- if I died and my child, they wouldn't know how to get my digital assets, my cryptocurrency."

And so, he basically came up with this idea, pitched it at a pitch for the country of Australia. He won. it was funded by He won it and they commercialized it and they're off to the races.

Lauren Weymouth: 08:49 That's awesome. I love both of those ideas.

Jimmie Lenz: 08:53 Yeah.

Lauren Weymouth: 08:53 And  I can imagine that with the Validity ID, if they've cracked it to be m- m- more user-friendly and that's happening in the background without too much, you know, fuss that schools would easily be adopting it. Is Duke adopting it?

Jimmie Lenz: 09:07 Duke is. Duke is one of the first schools. they put 10 years' worth of graduation information on it. And they liked it so much that- The registrar here, Frank Blalark, is a phenomenal guy.  he liked it so much, he actually sent letters out to registrars from, I think, to all of the ACC schools, and said, "You guys got to look at this, because this is- uh, you been looking for that time saver? This is it."

Lauren Weymouth: do you ever tell your students the story, or start-up, your lessons, with how you, yourself, got turned onto blockchain?

Jimmie Lenz: 09:42 I do it every once in a while. it's a strange story. I know you and I have talked about it before. It is kind of a strange story, of how I started.

I have two daughters. And one of them was at a smaller college, Davidson College, here in North Carolina. for those of you who know it, it's, a lot like a lot of other small,liberal arts schools. Wellesley, Williams, those kinds of places.

so I would go down and visit her, every once in a while. And I went down to visit her. She was probably a sophomore at the time, I think. And there was kinda this guy hanging around her. And he was talking about Bitcoin. And it's like, "Yeah, I read about it and heard about it, but, nah."

Ah, so next time I go down there, I think I was helping her move in, and this guy's around again. And he was telling me, "You got to check this out. You got to check out this- this Bitcoin thing." 

It's like, "Okay. let me read a little bit more about it." And he's like, sending me links and all kinds of things.

And so I- I start looking at it and it's like, wow. This is pretty cool.

I started getting into it, that way. So it was one of my daughters friends who- who kind of introduced me to it. And this was probably back in, like, '14 or '15.

I started looking at it and thinking about it. I was still the- the Chief Risk Officer at Wells Fargo Advisors at the time. It's like the largest brokerage firm in America. And I was thinking, hey, this could have some application to what we do here. and so we actually did apply for, I think one or two patents, that are based on blockchain. I kept kind of maturing that idea and the thought of that idea around using it for- for other things.

at the end of the day, that guy still reminds me that he's the one that introduced me to it and he's now my son-in-law. (Laughs) he does remind me of that. And he actually teaches blockchain at a different university  and is coming out with a Coursera course.

Lauren Weymouth: 11:37 Oh, that's great. 

Jimmie Lenz: 11:39 Yeah.

Lauren Weymouth: 11:39 You literally welcomed him into your family.

Jimmie Lenz: 11:42 Yeah. Absolutely.

Lauren Weymouth: 11:44 Uh, now you get to look at impactful projects as they're coming out, you know? Exciting new projects.

Jimmie Lenz: 11:44 Mm-hmm.

Lauren Weymouth: 11:49 Uh, when did the light bulb go off for you to use blockchain, this technology, for trucking?

Jimmie Lenz: 11:54 it was a couple of things. one, somebody I met, but also I think the- the idea of supply chain logistics, you know, supply chain logistics,has been kind of a use case since the very beginning. I know a lot of companies have explored. Boeing and IBM. IBM with Hyperledger, I mean, it was their first big project, right, with Maersk. And a lot of things like that.

12:18 And so, when I started thinking about it and hearing about it and I- I met, a founder of a company, TruckCoinSwap, who was doing things in the trucking space, so I thought, well, wow. This has a lot of application. There are over a million small trucking companies in America. And in United States, for your listeners who aren't from the United States, everything arrives by truck. it's just we're a really, really big country (laughs) and we're really spread out.

12:46 And so this idea of, you know, trucking and the supply chain logistics and, in particular, the financing side of supply chain, it just seemed to be kind of a natural, like a lot of other, supply chain type operations.

on top of that,  I think people started seeing the impact and everybody kind of recognized it. at the very beginning of COVID, when we had, you know, interruptions in supply chain, people started clinging onto the fact that, wait, this is- this is like a real thing. (Laughs) If stuff doesn't show up at the store, it doesn't show up at the store.

13:23 And so there were a- a number of things that I think that all, came to, a nexus. And that's what had me starting and thinking about this in a little bit different way.

Lauren Weymouth: 13:35 Okay. So the problem you're trying to solve is supply chain interruptions. Right? That's the big thing. And so why do you need decentralization for that? Why- Why would blockchain solve that and be important for it?

Jimmie Lenz: 13:46 So there are a couple of factors, in supply chain, that I think are very amenable to- to blockchain. financing is- is certainly one.

13:59 But the other one is transparency. and the interoperability that you have with blockchain.

the fact that it- things are immutable, probably is- is- is a nice benefit, too.

if you're a company that's building something, and, a lot of assembly takes place with autos and aircraft and all kinds of things like that, it's really good to be able to look into a supply chain and somebody might tell you, "Oh, yeah. That's on the way." But to be able to look into a supply chain and see if it's really on the way, makes a huge difference, In Charleston, South Carolina, where I lived for, uh, for a long time, that's where they assemble 787 aircraft. you can imagine, you can't keep a lot of a stock of aircraft parts around. And so it's one of those, on-demand type things.

14:47 Well, it's really nice to be able to look into a supply chain and see, yeah, that fuselage, piece number two, is really on its way.

14:53 looking into this part of it was really cool. But in addition to that, you have the financing side of it. that's something else that, people haven't looked at. And we're starting to see, I think, the more traditional industries like trucking, or even banking, and things like that, look at blockchain in a very... what I'll call practical or maybe boring manner. it's not the really super cool, I'm gonna revolutionize the world and we're gonna do things in a totally different way. It's like, no, we're just gonna make what we do now a lot better.

Lauren Weymouth: 15:32 are you looking at this predominantly in the US? Or you're also looking at this applying globally?

Jimmie Lenz: 15:39 North America. So US, Canada, and- and Mexico, to some extent.these are all really big places. so if- if anybody's-

Lauren Weymouth: 15:50 Yeah.

Jimmie Lenz: 15:50 ... ever driven across the United States, you know how big it is. But at least, you know, you have, uh, towns that you can stop in and things like that. Try doing the same thing in Canada. (Laughs)

Lauren Weymouth: 16:00 (Laughs) All right. So we can hear how it benefits the shipper, or- or the companies that are trying to move goods across the country, or north or south. are there any benefits to the actual driver? Or the- the laborers?

Jimmie Lenz: 16:11 Yeah. There are. And- And that's what we were really interested in, was  trying to help out these small companies, because most of the companies in the- the trucking industry have less than 10 trucks.

they move a phenomenal amount of the freight that goes across the country. People are familiar with the really, you know, the couple of big names, but most- most stuff moves in the smaller companies. And being able to help them to finance themselves, as a small company, is always a challenge.

And so what we are attempting to do is to help streamline that quite a bit. You could imagine, like with any small company, trucking companies, they, make a delivery... It's just like if you were manufacturing something. You manufacture something. You deliver it. And then what happens?

Well, you sit back and you wait for your paycheck to come in. in any small business, I mean, having that capital is huge.

in trucking, you know, you have to pay for fuel. You have to pay for insurance. You have to make payments on your- on your equipment,just like in any other small business.  You have to have that. And y- how do they do it now?

Well, they do it now with really expensive loans, basically, they're financing their receivables and so what we're attempting to do is to lower the cost of that very, very significantly, using blockchain. And helping, these small businesses, get the money they need little bit quicker, little bit more efficiently. And, at the same time being able to ensure that everybody is- is very connected with this.

As I said, we've focused on the transportation industry because there's so many small businesses, a million small businesses.

But I think the same type of thing could be done at a lot of other places that are running into the same problem, having to finance their receivables, basically just to- to make ends meet, to keep the- to keep the company moving.

it's probably one of the biggest challenges for small businesses. I mean, if you have friends who have restaurants, same thing. and they're getting their money pretty- pretty darn quick.

But if you have people that are doing, you know, small manufacturing and things along those lines, it- it's very, very different because payment terms for these guys are usually, you know, 60 to 90, sometimes 120 days.

I mean, can you imagine waiting for your paycheck for 120 days? And none of us can. People who, you know, work for big companies, they get paid every two weeks or on- every four weeks. I mean, we know that's going to come very regularly.

These small businesses, like transportation companies, they- they don't have a good sense of when they're actually going to get paid, but they know it could be 90 days, 120 days, with some of the shippers.  it's a real problem out there. And having to finance things for that period of time, to keep yourself going, one, it's- it's always going to cost you something, and, two, you don't know if it's always going to be there.

Lauren Weymouth: 19:16 Right. So this is a real example of moving away from traditional financer, TradFi.

Now, when you say, "using blockchain," do you mean using tokens for instant payments?

Jimmie Lenz: 19:24 Yes. Yeah. Using tokens, to help facilitate the- the payments. And being able to use some of the mechanisms that are already set up that are being used now, on some of the exchanges and things like that, to help the financing along.

And I think as we see the, industry mature, we're starting to see people think about these things in a little bit different ways. We see some ATSs. Not just exchanges, but ATSs, similar to what provenance uses.

those kinds of things are starting to pop up. I know that IEX the big exchange for equities they're starting to look at this. they've hired a couple of people to start exploring this.

we're starting to see the practical application of this. Startin' to spread out a little bit. I think that people are starting to take notice and looking for these kinds of, as I said, kind of traditional opportunities in boring spaces,, but that can be improved with the use of blockchain.

Lauren Weymouth: 20:38 you kind of answered my question. I was going to ask, - what new market participants, enter into this realm? And you're saying it's like digital access exchanges?

Jimmie Lenz: 20:48 Some of the exchanges, I think we're going to see some more traditional, exchanges that have been associated with more traditional assets, like equities and- and things like that get involved. I would not be surprised at all to see,even some of the really big players possibly get involved in this type of thing.

21:08 we're starting to see now, a lot more international interest in that side of it. 

21:21 these types of uses are global in nature. They're not just US-centric.

Lauren Weymouth: 21:31 any bright, young students working with you, to get this launched?

Jimmie Lenz: 21:38 we don't have any that are connected directly with this. we do have a lot that are connected with other things.

we probably have... gosh, uh, a number of- of blockchain and,distributed ledger technology type projects that we're working on. we're working' on these through internships. We're workin' on 'em in capstone projects.

Certainly we've had several students go to work for some of the big block chain companies, uh, JPMorgan, Onyx. We have students there. Fidelity Digital Assets, we have people there. some of the partners that we're working with are places like Depository Trust Company, DTCC. So, you know, largest clearinghouse in the world. They are definitely exploring some,. the uses of blockchain in a couple of different ways.

And that's, gosh... That's like the most traditional, traditional places (laughs), probably.

Lauren Weymouth: 22:36 (Laughs) Yeah.

Jimmie Lenz: 22:37 But- But we are seeing some- some really cool things, I think, from those kinds of companies. And students are very anxious to, I think, pursue those types of things.

We teach several blockchain classes here at the university. every semester, we offer kind of an intro to blockchain class, which I teach. And then we have an advanced blockchain class that, we also teach. And then we've had a couple of Web3, classes that are taught.

And students are, I mean, hugely fascinated with this. And not just here in the engineering school, I have applications from across the university, people want to get in and learn more about it, are interested in applying this. You know, they've heard about it and they have this idea for a new company. And that was- that was actually how Digital Assets at Duke was born.

Lauren Weymouth: 23:32 Yeah, I mean, with- with you, Jimmie, I've been in this over five years and I've seen the interest level and the adoption and the innovation coming out of universities has just been increasing tremendously every year.

So for our audience members who have big ideas and they have viable use cases and they'd like to get something off the ground, walk us through what challenges exist and, how you mitigate those, or what solutions you've been finding to launch a business-

Jimmie Lenz: 23:59 Sure.

Lauren Weymouth: 24:00 ... invention?

Jimmie Lenz: 24:00 You know, I would say if somebody's interested, look for- look for partners that are interested in helping you out. I don't mean venture capital partners. I mean, partners at places like universities. Universities are always, always interested in talking with people.

I literally just had somebody in my office this morning with an idea around,ESG and forest products. I spoke with him. And not just Duke., every school has people that are working in the blockchain space.MIT has a big lab. Columbia. Johns Hopkins. I mean, I could go on and on and on. There's- There's a million of 'em.

we're all very interested in working with people and helping people to, mature ideas. so that's on the plus side.  There are a lot of opportunities out there.

People sometimes, I think, are reluctant, "Oh, wow. That's- That's a really good school." You know, Columbia, Duke, or wherever. It's like, reach out. We're just people. There- There's nothing exclusive, really. I mean, our emails are all very public. Um, reach out to us and ask. I'm volunteering my colleagues at other universities, but they're- they're all- I- I think everybody's interested in- in hearing about these things and working.

Um, the other thing I would say is, try to get involved with some of the conferences and things like that, that go on, because there are a lot.

On the challenges side, right now, as you know, there've been, um, there's been a- a pullback in the amount of investment in particular from, the venture capital and private equity type places. But that doesn't mean that investment isn't out there. it might just be a little bit harder to- to come by. But it is certainly out there.

The other thing I would say is, if you have a good idea, don't limit yourself to the area that you live in. blockchain and some of the things on the distributed ledger space are global.

I'm heading off to Abu Dhabi in a few weeks. And I'll tell you what, the United Arab Emirates is a huge innovation hub. I mean, like unbelievable innovation hub. And not just around blockchain and digital assets, but around, you know, a million different things. There are a lot of people from around the world that are now basing themselves in places like that, in places like Singapore, in places that are facilitating a lot of things and there are like-minded individuals.

So if you are looking for ideas or for investment, feel free to- to kind of reach out beyond your boundaries.

But I would encourage people to continue, I think it's still something that is fascinating a lot of people. all you have to do is look around. Look at the headlines of the companies that are getting into things like tokenization. You know, BlackRock and places like that. I mean, these are huge money managers.

So the idea that,this is, you know, fallen on the wayside a little bit, or isn't attracting attention, I would say blockchain is quietly attracting as much attention and probably as much internal investment and external investment as it ever has. You just don't know about it because it's not making the front page of Cointelegraph.

Lauren Weymouth: 26:57 I couldn't agree more. There are so many different stakeholders and everyone is willing to collaborate. It's highly open.

and as you mentioned, United Emirates, Ripple just had their big annual customer-facing, or client conference there. And we love the region because there's clear regulation, right? New companies and innovators know how to operate because there's clear guidelines in the space. Places like Singapore and Dubai have that, which make it much easier.

Jimmie Lenz: 28:12 the clear regulatory structure in places like the UAE, is a huge benefit. I mean, I am hearing companies saying very, very consciously, "I'm going to set up in the UAE because of the- the regulatory landscape there, is much clearer."

I think, in the United States, we are definitely losing, companies. We are losing innovation because of the regulatory quagmire and the unknown,that is taking place here now, which is extremely unfortunate.

The other thing I should've mentioned, when you were asking about partners, is you guys. I mean, Ripple has been, like, a phenomenal place. you guys have support- how many universities? I mean, literally, dozens and dozens and dozens of universities. And projects at universitiesyou guys have been a- a stalwart. One, you guys are- have been around for forever. But you guys have probably been the single, largest supporter of university projects in the space for years now.

Lauren Weymouth: 29:22 Well, thanks for saying that. I feel really fortunate to be with a company that we have leadership that's highly committed,, to leading the space.Ripple's been around for 11 years now. And with this program that I manage, the UBRI program, its entire mission is to accelerate understanding, adoption, and innovation in the space.

and it's great, having all these universities as partners, because it gives us a seat at the table, at top research being done, amazing conferences and convenings, which, actually, we can talk about next.

You've launched a digital asset lab. You have research and published work and you've also has your successful Digital Assets Conference. How has that journey been?

Jimmie Lenz: 30:01 it has been a journey. It's moved really fast. I was doing a little bit of work in the digital asset space, teaching classes.

And so we had a sponsor, a donor that came to us and said, "Hey, if I was able to fund a lab, could you do more?"

And I said, "Yeah, we could." 

So we founded the Digital Asset Research and Engineering Collaborative. we've produced several research works. been published now in, peer-reviewed academic journals. We have, I think, two or three pieces that are out right now, being reviewed for journals. so we've done a lot in that space.

And kind of along the same lines, we were hearing more from other people about bringing more people into the fold.

And so, Lee Reiners and I, my co-host for, the Digital Asset Conference, we were just talking about it And we decided, hey, why don't we try to start a digital asset conference?

And so we started,Digital Assets at Duke. had a- our first conference last year. It worked out so well.  It was just incredible. We couldn't believe it. great sponsors.

and this is a little bit different than most of the- the blockchain conferences out there. We weren't selling anything. This was, very much a discussion-based, we were trying to attract who are builders in the industry, as well as people, from the regulatory environment and academics.

we sold out and had a long waiting for the- for the first conference. so that went really, really well. As soon as it was over, people were like,  When are you doing this again next year? When are the dates?"

And it's like, wow. Okay. Um, I guess this is a real thing now.

Lauren Weymouth: 31:49 (Laughs)

Jimmie Lenz: 31:52 we're getting ready for, uh, this next year. It's, uh, January 31st through February 2nd. We have eight or 10 sponsors this year. Crazy. big companies, too which is just fantastic.anybody wants to go, it's

And so we were asked, "Hey, how about, uh, thinking about doing this, you know, outside of the United States?"

seems like the natural place, honestly, was Abu Dhabi. And so,in four weeks, we'll be doing Digital Assets at Duke Abu Dhabi.

Lauren Weymouth: 32:34 (Laughs)

Jimmie Lenz: 32:36 (Laughs) With the same kind of environment. very discussion-based. Not so much people presenting things as people leading discussion, around [inaudible 00:32:49]-

Lauren Weymouth: 32:49 kind of round table style?

Jimmie Lenz: 32:50 Mm-hmm. A little bit more [inaudible 00:32:51]-

Lauren Weymouth: 32:51 That's great.

Jimmie Lenz: 32:51 Yeah.

Lauren Weymouth: 32:52 Well, these efforts definitely help bring blockchain more mainstream.

as we wrap up, anything that we haven't discussed that you'd like our listeners to know about?

Jimmie Lenz: 33:01 I- I think the- the biggest thing is, blockchain goes way beyond the price of crypto. I think so many people tie the value of- of blockchain and, what's happening,  the innovation in the space and things like that, to prices that they hear about on the news, or see on the Internet.

Blockchain is so much more than the price of, Ethereum and Bitcoin. that is probably the biggest thing. The innovation continues, regardless of what happens with prices. So don't get caught up in that one element. look- look way, way beyond crypto, because blockchain's much bigger than cryptocurrency.

Lauren Weymouth: 33:42 I'm so glad you said that. It's why I interview elite academics and industry people like yourself, is to get that message across. There's so many different use cases and possibilities what we can do with this technology.

and how do you keep up with this fast-moving industry? I always like to provide resources to our,listeners.

Jimmie Lenz: 34:00 I talk to a ton of people. I listen, some podcasts. I read a lot. but it's talking to people.

as I said, I had a meeting with the guy who is trying to do this on the forestry side, this morning.I had had a meeting this morning with somebody from Bank Lastalle. Had coffee with them. And I do that probably every day. I will have a call or a Zoom or a coffee with somebody who is  just front and center in the industry. I think there's nothing like that.

I would say, just reach out to people. I think people are very afraid sometimes. Oh, well, this guy founded this. I mean, you know, here, speaking to my class, I've had Mike Cagney who founded SoFi and then Provenance. had Joe Lubin,who was co-founder of Ethereum. I mean, these are just regular people. They will talk to you. Just reach out to 'em.

Lauren Weymouth: 34:53 Yeah. And if you don't have their- their email, hit 'em up on LinkedIn.

Jimmie Lenz: 34:57 There you go. (Laughs)

Lauren Weymouth: 34:57 Hey, there's- there's always a way, right?

Okay. And how do listeners find out about your projects?

Jimmie Lenz: 35:01 you can write's just Or you can go to my website,  It's J-I-M-M-I-E. I-E. Not Y. and that really is my name. People always ask, "Is that really your name?" Yes, that's really my name. 

Lauren Weymouth: 35:20 (Laughs)

Jimmie Lenz: 35:20 I'm Jimmie. My dad was Jimmie. I'm from South Carolina, so I can get away with it.  But yeah, you can- you can go to both those places. I- I do a lot of things. Uh, listen to the podcast. Coffee & Crypto with Lee and Jimmie. as I said  we drop that and it goes to, you know, Spotify and those kinda sources. we are definitely out there, I'm always willing to talk to folks.

Lauren Weymouth: 35:47 Well, Jimmie,  you are creating efficiency in this space, and that is so important. We thank you for joining us today and for being an advocate of using this emerging tech, to tackle challenges for small businesses, being a pioneer and leveraging the benefits of blockchain for good. So we're excited to see this use case positively impact the trucking industry.

Jimmie Lenz: 28:00 Lauren, thanks so much for having me. It's been a real pleasure.

Lauren Weymouth: 28:09 And listeners, thanks for your time and continuous feedback to my email. If you have any questions about this episode, or feedback for a future episodes, please reach out. Until next time.