Interview: Cinderella Amar – Web4, AI, and Blockchain evangelist

May 8, 2024

  • Cinderella Amar is a Managing Partner of tech VC fund Glass Ventures
  • After a start in traditional capital markets, Amar found her true passion in tech investment
  • Amar pioneered the use of AI chatbots in trading and now focuses on Web4 opportunities

Cinderella Amar, Managing Partner of Glass Ventures—a venture capital firm specializing in Web4 projects—provided insights into the transformative potential of AI and Blockchain from an entrepreneur’s viewpoint.

Although Cinderella Amar began her career in traditional finance, her trajectory shifted towards blockchain and AI after witnessing firsthand the disruptive impact of these technologies.

We had the chance to delve into how this transition unfolded and to gain her perspectives on the future of Web4, AI, and Blockchain.

Cinderella Amar. Source: Supplied

Q: You started in traditional finance. How is it that you ended up more focused on tech like AI and blockchain?

“I spent about 15 years in traditional finance, particularly in capital markets. I’ll be honest—it has never been my true passion. Something felt missing, and I didn’t realize what until a pivotal moment.

In 2016, I witnessed a transformative event when two French banks executed a repurchase agreement entirely on a blockchain platform, dramatically shortening the trade process. I was part of those teams and that has been my ‘aha’ moment.

The trade was instant, direct, and cost-effective. I realized then that a profound shift was underway, and I was captivated by this technology. Hooked. Once you experience that, there’s no turning back.

Later, in Hong Kong, I began pioneering the use of AI chatbots to enhance trading activities, driven by the need for faster, more efficient execution and that was mind-blowing.”

Q: How did you eventually get into creating chatbots?

“In 2017, while managing various trading activities, I found the processes completely dysfunctional and chaotic. There was so much noise before and after trades—unnecessary distractions for my team of Sales and Traders, not to mention for myself. There should be another ‘intelligence’ to deal with the ‘noise around’.

Picture this: my sales team receives multiple requests from different clients, each involving various products simultaneously. How do you prioritize which trade offers the highest probability of success or profitability in such a scenario?

It all started with a fundamental need for responsiveness and agility to capture trading opportunities swiftly. Waiting 30 minutes for a decision was simply dysfunctional. So, I embarked on a path of incremental innovation to streamline this process.

The solution? Implementing a system where data is consolidated into a master data lake, allows for real-time data mining and analysis. By doing so, we drastically reduced our execution time from 30 minutes to just 3 seconds. 3 seconds! The impact was profound.

Now, armed with this efficiency, our operations became laser-focused and lightning-fast. We could execute trades swiftly and precisely, maximizing our effectiveness in a dynamic market landscape.”

Q: We’re just trying to get to grips with Web3, but you’re passionate about Web4. Could you explain more about your Web4 thesis?

“The evolution from Web Zero to Web4 is a fascinating journey that reflects the rapid development of the internet and digital technologies.

It all began with Web Zero, represented by Minitel, the French precursor to the World Wide Web (www). Then came Web1, where we transitioned from consuming information passively (‘read only’) to engaging with it online (‘read and write’).

Web2, the era of interactivity, then allowed us to not only read but also write and participate online through platforms like Wikipedia, email, Zoom, and WhatsApp.

Web3 brought ownership and decentralized experiences to the forefront, notably with NFTs and the concept of the Metaverse. However, despite its emergence, the Metaverse has yet to realize its full potential and achieve widespread adoption beyond certain demographics.

This gap led to the inception of Web4, propelled by advancements in artificial intelligence (AI), particularly GenAI. Web4 serves as the gateway to mass adoption of Web3 technologies.

Web4 isn’t in competition with Web3; rather, it complements it by enhancing ownership and data utilization. In essence, Web4 transforms the internet into a smart, peer-to-peer network decentralized by blockchain, powered by AI, and on steroids potentially with quantum computing.

At Glass Ventures, we envision Web4 as the intelligent internet layer that drives mass adoption of Web3 technologies, integrating advanced applications to unlock the full potential of decentralized digital experiences.

This layered approach is essential for realizing the broader societal impact of the evolving internet landscape.”

Q: When people speak about Web4 they also speak about the symbiotic web. What does that mean?

“Moving beyond the semantic web of Web3.0, the symbiotic web represents a unified marketplace—a singular platform where intelligent connections thrive. It embodies an internet where human-machine interaction is symbiotic, fostering seamless collaboration and integration.

Our exploration into Web4 began when we noticed a scarcity of information about it online. This prompted us to embark on our own research journey.

At Glass Ventures, our collaboration with Cambridge Blockchain Labs (CBL) has been instrumental. The CBL team serves as our dedicated research and development (R&D) unit, enabling us to navigate complex technologies like AI and quantum computing with confidence.

This strategic partnership embodies our ethos of transparency and rigorous risk management, which is core to our identity as Glass Ventures. Our name, Glass, reflects our commitment to clarity and insight in the rapidly evolving landscape of digital innovation.”

Q: What will AI together with blockchain and Web4 enable me to do that I can’t do now?

“Let me paint a picture of the future enabled by AI, blockchain, and Web4 through an exciting startup called Promeet.

Imagine attending a concert by the renowned DJ Black Coffee in Dubai. I went to this event with the Promeet team and it was the perfect opportunity for them to showcase their innovative platform, which seamlessly integrates live streaming with blockchain technology.

Here’s how it works: During the concert, Promeet’s two co-founders, Jonathan and Gadi, live stream the event and share the link via WhatsApp to their friends interested in watching.

They attach a small fee, say $2, for access to the exclusive content. This encrypted transaction is not only secure but also enables cross-border payments, transforming the way we engage with content.

Now, take another scenario. Imagine being backstage at a Black Eyed Peas concert, capturing a video of Fergie. With Promeet, you can monetize this unique content by adding relevant tags and sharing it with fans who are eager to experience such exclusive moments.

Promeet’s model, known as LSG (Login-Share-Get Paid), seamlessly bridges Web2 and Web3, empowering creators to monetize their content directly. This platform puts the control back in the hands of creators, allowing them to decide the visibility and audience of their content.

The beauty of Promeet lies in its encryption, ensuring privacy and protecting freedom of speech. Your content remains yours to share, monetize, and control, opening up a world of possibilities that blend technology with creativity in unprecedented ways.

This fusion of AI, blockchain, and Web4 promises a future where content creators can thrive and innovate like never before.”

Q: With so much innovation and new products, there’s money to be made. Is that the reason why you started Glass Ventures?

“The driving force behind founding Glass Ventures stems from a genuine passion for technology shared between my co-founder, Bundeep, and myself.

Transitioning from the confines of traditional finance, where each day felt like a journey into a mine, to the limitless landscape of the tech world has been transformative (understatement).

In the digital realm, I discovered a realm where I could work tirelessly, dedicating 20 hours a day without feeling a glitch of exhaustion, nor boredom. This profound connection to the tech industry fuels our enthusiasm and drives our pursuit of innovation through Glass Ventures.”

Q: With so much new development happening, what role do you see regulation playing?

“My perspective on this is quite nuanced. Coming from a highly regulated background and having witnessed the aftermath of the financial crisis, I understand the critical role that regulation plays. When I entered traditional finance just before Lehman crashed, it underscored the necessity of robust oversight.

Regulation is crucial, no doubt about that. However, timing is key. If regulation stifles creativity, innovation suffers. The balance lies in regulating effectively without hampering progress.

In this decentralized landscape, each jurisdiction interprets regulation differently, leading to regulatory arbitrage. As an investor, navigating this complexity is paramount. The Web3 ecosystem offers diverse opportunities across various sectors like NFTs, real-world asset tokenization, AI, and quantum computing, each potentially more favorable in specific jurisdictions.

Ultimately, technology is a global force, transcending borders and regulatory frameworks. The challenge is harnessing its potential while respecting the necessary guardrails for stability and fairness.”

Q: If you put your future-looking hat on, if you are pushed to make some predictions, what are you excited about for the near and longer-term future for AI?

“Looking ahead with a future-focused lens, I am particularly excited about the convergence of AI and quantum computing. Quantum computing, once thought of as a mythical unicorn, is already a reality. I’ve witnessed its potential firsthand, and it’s a game-changer.

Consider this: in our daily lives, we navigate through a staggering amount of data—emails, messages on various platforms like Telegram, WhatsApp, and WeChat, social media updates, calls, and more—often without realizing the extent of it.

Now, envision having an AI personal assistant by your side, absorbing all this information effortlessly.

This AI companion would not only capture and process vast amounts of data but also possess the capability to understand and summarize conversations in real time, even across different languages. Imagine receiving a concise wrap-up at the end of your day, highlighting the most important insights and events that you might have overlooked amidst the information overload.

The transformative potential of AI, coupled with advancements in quantum computing, promises to revolutionize how we interact with and harness data, ultimately empowering us with unparalleled efficiency and insight.

This future holds immense promise and potential for optimizing productivity and decision-making in both the near and long term.”

Q: And you see, you see quantum computing leveraging what AI and blockchain are today and taking it to the next level?

“Absolutely. Looking forward, the integration of quantum computing with AI and blockchain represents a monumental leap in technological advancement.

When I say quantum computing puts AI on steroids, I truly mean it. The democratization and widespread accessibility of quantum computing will shatter traditional limitations. The possibilities become limitless—beyond the sky.

As humans, we often fear the unknown, but this is a moment to embrace it wholeheartedly. Embracing quantum computing opens doors to unprecedented innovation and discovery.

To delve deeper into these topics or explore the projects Glass Ventures is involved in, feel free to visit my LinkedIn page here or check out Glass Ventures’ website here. Let’s embark on this transformative journey together.”

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Eugene van der Watt

Eugene comes from an electronic engineering background and loves all things tech. When he takes a break from consuming AI news you'll find him at the snooker table.


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