Sam Padilla joins us to discuss on Making Austin the Crypto Capital of the World with ATX DAO.
Sam Padilla is a Web3 cloud engineer at Google Cloud and one of the core members of ATX DAO. For Google Cloud, Sam focuses on designing and engineering scalable blockchain architectures using cloud technology, optimizing node topology, and on-chain data analytics techniques. For ATX DAO, Sam helps design the strategy and governance of the DAO, and has been a leading force in the DAOs public policy efforts – especially when it comes to DAO legislation in Texas. Sam is also an author and consultant, focusing on the overlap of decentralization, philosophy, and technology.
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The following transcript was created using artificial intelligence. There will be some grammatical errors below.
00:00:18:10 – 00:00:51:25
Richard Carthon: Hello everyone. Welcome to another episode of Crypto Current, your host here with your Richard Carthon . And I got another special one for you. This will be the last segment leading up to the AG Me conference as the time this recording goes live will be right before the actual event takes place. Friday, October 28th, over at the Speakeasy downtown Austin. Looking forward to seeing you all there. So we have another speaker that’s going to be there on the a really good conversation on the panel around Dallas. So we have Sam Padilla, who’s one of the textile core contributors here in Austin.
00:00:51:28 – 00:00:52:28
Richard Carthon: How are you doing today? So I’m.
00:00:53:18 – 00:00:58:19
Sam Padilla: Doing great. Thank you so much. Super happy to be here in the main two video. Really cool.
00:00:59:06 – 00:01:07:04
Richard Carthon: Thank you. Now, I definitely appreciate that. Well, first, before we dive into everything, we’ll learn a little bit more about you. Can you give us some background on yourself?
00:01:07:21 – 00:01:42:00
Sam Padilla: Yeah, for sure. So when Sam, I am originally from Colombia, when I was relatively young, like when I was eight or nine and moved to Brazil and I grew up in Brazil, so I grew up speaking Portuguese and Spanish. I was like, not a not a great student or anything, but I play tennis. So I played dance for a super long time. And as a consequence, I ended up getting a scholarship to play for the university that I eventually ended up going to in in Iowa. So I played tennis for them for a few years and then I played dropping tennis eventually.
00:01:42:02 – 00:01:58:12
Sam Padilla: But that allowed me to come here and play and set in the U.S. So I majored in computer science and I graduated last year and joined I joined Google right out of right out of the gate, and I’ve been working with Google in doing crypto and in week three at Google ever since,
00:02:00:00 – 00:02:19:13
Sam Padilla: and also got really involved with with crypto, not only crypto but specifically. So last year I joined as an official member at the beginning of this year and spent a lot of work, a lot of work ever since. But yeah, that’s a, that’s a 50,000 fee that would be off of my life trajectory I guess.
00:02:19:26 – 00:02:44:05
Richard Carthon: Now that’s great, and I think it’s a really good background to show just how you were able to get into the space, be able to work in tech, be here in Austin, and then still be involved in the web3 and crypto community. So you were one of the core contributors to the ATX DAO. First of all, for all those listening who are still unfamiliar with those and trying to get more into it, what is it? And then why did you, why was when created specifically to Austin?
00:02:45:04 – 00:03:18:09
Sam Padilla: Yeah, good question. So that was basically a decentralized autonomous organization, right? That’s what that was sensory. And I, by the way, is not DAO, so don’t be a boomer. San Diego I had a I have a pet. The people whose idea that I started is just basically an experiment in governance. It’s a way to orchestrate a group of people around a specific goal and governance to share resources in creative ways. So that was usually pull a bunch of money together from contributors.
00:03:18:14 – 00:03:48:28
Sam Padilla: So usually it’s like a token sale or NFT or whatever. And then those that money sits in a treasury and then the entire community votes on how to use that treasury. You think about it, it’s very similar to the way that a co-op operates. The beauty of it, though, is that it is just it allows you to get really involved with governance design and governance positions. And I’m sure that’s one of the reasons why I’m so excited about that was as a concept, because my personal crypto thesis is that crypto changes everything.
00:03:49:00 – 00:04:24:24
Sam Padilla: So crypto changes everything about peer to peer interactions, it changes everything about the financial system and changes everything about the governance system. And I think the way that we see the changes in the governance system reflecting is via that was that was there that innovation in governance that we need to have crypto kind of achieved surprises and it’s just a fascinating area to, to, to, to explore what a decentralized organization can do and what are some of the things that you can achieve with this new type of social social slash residence organization.
00:04:25:07 – 00:05:05:07
Sam Padilla: Now, specifically for Austin, I think we we ATX our was born more like with the focus of being a social now. And the idea was basically just a way to have the crypto communities of Austin get together, hangout crypto, connect professionals and see what happens. Right? But I think as slowly and as the community started to grow, we all realize kind of like the magnitude of what we were doing and we realized that we were probably the first or one of the first daos out there to pioneer the concept of a local DAO.
00:05:05:20 – 00:05:35:23
Sam Padilla: So there’s a lot of those out there to have that have created a Dao around a specific geographic area. But it’s basically they start with the Dow and the. They go to the geographic area. Let’s set it down. There’s a cabin down here, here in nearby Austin. So stated it was like an experiment. Instead of building in Wyoming, Cabin Dow is like an external, decentralized living near near Austin. What we did was like, we had a city, we had a community, we created a downtown, that community.
00:05:35:25 – 00:05:44:13
Sam Padilla: And our mission came from from trying to connect the crypto communities Only we we expanded our mission and vision and we.
00:05:46:00 – 00:06:05:08
Sam Padilla: We’re tackling the challenge of making Austin the crypto capital of the world. So how do we take the city that already has a lot of things going for it and make it even better to be a crypto? And how do we scale scale it so that for anything crypto in the world, Austin becomes a reference. And that’s kind of what what with the ATX our mission is and what it became over time.
00:06:06:05 – 00:06:39:20
Richard Carthon: And it’s cool that like you gave a good breakdown of all the different ways that daos can be utilized and how with Austin being more the ATX, DAO being more social, DAO trying to integrate and have Austin be one, you know, the crypto capital of the world. And with that I know that as I’ve gone to a couple of different events at ATX DAO, you have a large blend of people from all kinds of backgrounds, from tech, health care, people who are heavily involved in the web, the community, and just those who are just crypto curious. How have you seen the Dow evolve over the last year since initially becoming a DAO?
00:06:40:12 – 00:07:10:12
Sam Padilla: Yes. So as I was saying, I think like the the the mission kind of evolved from just connecting the crypto communities into more holistically making Austin equipped the capital of the world and and that that that a specific mission of making Austin the crypto capital of the world translated into three main areas the streaming here has being what you what you’ve seen like the social aspect of it. But then we started also doing a lot of work with the Austin ecosystem in terms of like local artists, local businesses.
00:07:10:24 – 00:07:44:09
Sam Padilla: So if you’ve been to one of the native, the native meetups, to probably have seen like the mural that I had that we had helped spin up on the outset of Native, we have relationships and a lot of core businesses in town and trying to help them explore ways in which they can use data to improve their businesses. And then the last part, which is kind of like the one that I’ve been the most involved in and kind of like leading somehow is the policy side. So helping the city and the state drives better crypto policy and advise them and become kind of a center of expertise for anything related to crypto and policy in in in Austin, Texas.
00:07:45:13 – 00:08:18:04
Sam Padilla: And not only for Austin, but we also kind of like try to expand this vision. So we we’ve been working with with people in several cities across across the US, and we’ve talked to folks across the world about how do you replicate this model of a local DAO to different cities. So there is folks in, in Vancouver who are starting with VR DAO, which is a Vancouver send out, and they’re also following a similar model, starting with social activities and then going on to a few more, a few more areas that are relevant to their city.
00:08:18:15 – 00:08:37:11
Sam Padilla: We’re talking to folks in New York and in Tampa and like a bunch of other cities across the world that that are trying similar things that we’re trying to build kind of like this, this network of local daos across across the world. And I think there’s a really interesting concept that has a lot of potential that it’s it’s cool to explore.
00:08:37:28 – 00:09:17:19
Richard Carthon: Oh, definitely. I think it’s amazing that Austin’s Dao AJ Styles helping to lead the way for a lot of local communities that are trying to spin this up. And y’all are also advocating for, you know, three different areas and one of the big ones is policy. You know, as we get more regulation into this web3 space, the easier it is for more organizations and businesses to want to come and interact in the space as it’s clear rules that they can engage with. Plus, by all making a model, you can continue to expand to other cities, just like you said. So for someone who’s listening to this, who’s locally in Austin or if not, you know, internationally and they want to try to create something like this where they are, how can they connect with you and people in ATX style?
00:09:18:14 – 00:09:56:24
Sam Padilla: Yes, I think the easiest way would be to reach reach out to us on on Twitter. So just at ATX out and we have a channel, we have a Discord channel where we’re trying to get all the builders of local Dallas together to just think, share experiences and get the synergy going. So we’re calling it the the local down network or the local DAO Foundation. The idea is basically like abstract, this concept from Austin and also like from other cities and see what they’re doing right, forwarding right and what what sort of like blueprints we can build for anybody who’s trying to join this now, going to this.
00:09:57:19 – 00:10:01:12
Sam Padilla: But this is, this is exciting way because if you think about it.
00:10:03:12 – 00:10:32:06
Sam Padilla: There is a really big disconnect between the crypto world and the real world. There is a really big disconnect between what we do in crypto and I mean, like like I have I have some money in my metamask wallet. I can’t go to a coffee shop and pay for my coffee and you see what I mean? Not even here. It’s like just unstable. And that’s not going to happen in the next, I don’t know. I hope to be wrong, but maybe next two three years spread. So if you think about it, that disconnect makes it so that crypto is just like.
00:10:33:27 – 00:11:12:03
Sam Padilla: Out of not necessarily Madiba’s traditional speaking matter, but it’s like it’s matter thing that lives on the Internet and doesn’t really doesn’t are really spread out to the real world. The cool things about local, the cool thing about local doubts, he said, as opposed to an IRA first story as opposed to an online first eyeroll second model. We follow an IRA first online second model. So most communities that have formed, they started on the Internet and then maybe sometimes via a conference or when the community gets big enough, they do like, Oh yeah, let’s meet up, let’s do like this actual meetup here in in Austin or Consensys or, or at permissionless, whatever, whatever conference going on.
00:11:13:02 – 00:11:51:06
Sam Padilla: What we are proposing is a different model in which the community starts locally first and then grows onto the Internet. So if you think about it, if you started in Austin and then and then we are about Austin Mercer, then we’re about pretty even. There’s a lot of folks even in Austin that are really new into crypto, but they really care about Austin, they really care about the community. And that’s that’s kind of what unites us all. And then from there we go on to the Internet and we actually try to spread this model online. But it’s powerful because the fact that we are more about the community and more about the city than we are about the crypto itself makes it so that we become like the links in the outer part of the network that are actually getting people to on board on crypto.
00:11:51:14 – 00:12:22:02
Sam Padilla: So a lot of the people who’ve never heard of crypto, never seen crypto before, hear about it because of the stuff that we’re doing, because of the mural that we’re painting or because of the events that we’re throwing or because of the policy work that we’re doing, They’re like, Oh, this is interesting. Let me look a little bit deeper into it. So. Local dollar has become like that engine of onboarding. And I think that’s just like a new way to look at how do you support people and how do you spread the ideas of of crypto? Not for the sake of crypto, but for the sake of the communities, which at the end of the day is what crypto is all about.
00:12:22:08 – 00:12:30:02
Sam Padilla: How do you make world society a better place to have this technology? And that’s generally the challenge that local daos specifically focused on their communities.
00:12:30:26 – 00:12:55:27
Richard Carthon: And I think that’s awesome. And you’re focusing on the in real life truly building that community aspect and getting people to really dial in and care and then go into Internet and let it expand from there. So I think that’s really awesome. I think ATX now has a really good model that’s going to be replicated and going to be helped to kind of spread across the land. But you know, as we look to next week, as we get closer to Acme, you know, what is what are the things that you’re looking forward to at the conference and being able to speak at your panel?
00:12:56:21 – 00:13:31:10
Sam Padilla: Yeah. So I I’ve been on a few panels and I’ve heard to a few people on on several conferences. And it’s interesting. They like panels usually tend to go one of one of two ways. So it’s either a super basic panel where people just like repeat the same arguments that all of us are really now. Like there are one, but two or three or, or the, the privacy stuff. And like now your coins and your crypto whatever, like the things that we’re writing know that are, that have been around seems like forever.
00:13:32:02 – 00:14:08:13
Sam Padilla: What I’m really looking forward to and I think this is going to happen at Acme because of the people that are going to be speaking not only on my panel but like some of the other panels broadly is the big vision thinking, like the big, bold ideas, like the the the nonconventional things. And I have a few when it comes to to Dallas is specifically to local Dallas and specifically to this area that we’re building. I think I have a few non-conventional ideas there, but I’m just excited to share those right now. I’m excited to like talk about big things and I’m excited to share the big vision of of of what those both local dollars and non-local dollars can eventually become.
00:14:09:11 – 00:14:43:08
Richard Carthon: Yeah. And I think you bring up a good point. And we were very thoughtful with who we put on each panel so it wouldn’t be mundane, it wouldn’t be the cookie cutter, you know, everyone singing each other’s praises. I want people to come with their own opinions, stand behind it, and let’s talk about it. And and also put up these new visions of of where we’re headed and how are we going to get through, you know, where the current market is and sentiment and how do we get past it and how are we going to make it through all this. So I know that I’m excited. I’m excited to go hear your panel. But, you know, finally, Sam, as we kind of wrap up here, what’s the final thought that you want to leave with all the listeners today?
00:14:44:08 – 00:15:05:12
Sam Padilla: Yeah, So. I think that allows for people who are trying to get involved into into crypto for the first time. Those are a really good way to do so and a really friendly ecosystem, especially if you have the chance to to be in Austin or to have to be in a city that has a local doubt that is coming up and then growing, get involved with that
00:15:06:27 – 00:15:42:21
Sam Padilla: and just see what happens is like a really cool, cool space to be in. That being said, I would say if you are going to get involved in it, you’re going to get more involved in crypto. Make sure that you know the reasons why. I think there’s a lot of people in the space that are and I’m going to be talking about this in my panel too, but I think there’s a lot of people in the space who have gotten in. Not necessarily for the wrong reasons, but just like who don’t really know why this matters and don’t see like they’ll have a vision of where this can go and they’ll have like a strong foundation, philosophical foundation of like why crypto matters and and why crypto changes things.
00:15:42:23 – 00:16:03:04
Sam Padilla: So make sure those, those core foundational ideas are right, because that’s the only way they’re going to keep building when things get tough. And and that’s the only way that we can make sure that like this this this technology something actually good that actually brings a lot of good society. So there’s a lot of exciting stuff happening. There’s a lot of exciting stuff coming both for ATX out as well as for interior space. So.
00:16:05:03 – 00:16:06:26
Sam Padilla: Come through and stick around.
00:16:07:27 – 00:16:20:15
Richard Carthon: Definitely. I think it’s a great final thought. Come listen to Sam’s panel. That’s coming up, as well as the rest of the speakers are going to be there. Sam, again, thank you so much for your time. And of course, as always, for everyone listening, stay cryptocurrency.
00:16:21:13 – 00:16:44:28
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