WTF is the Blockchain?

You’ve heard about Bitcoin. You might have heard the word ‘blockchain’. But what about Ethereum? In this episode, you’ll get the full explanation of what a blockchain is, how cryptocurrencies have value, and how ‘smart contracts’ are shaping the future of transactions.

You will then hear about one company using this technology – CPay – which is using the Ethereum blockchain to make everyday payments simpler, faster, more secure, and also provide community benefit. Simon Love speaks with founder Jon Underwood and lead developer Ryan Casey about this fascinating technology. Listen in to hear why Jon says “Ethereum will either thrive or fade away based on how well it can solve real-world problems with smart contracts”

Jon Underwood

Founder and CEO, cPay

Jon UnderwoodJon Underwood is the Founder & CEO of Cloud Currencies, dba cPay.

Jon sees money like water, and has studied the way money flows for a long time. cPay started with the question “What if we could dig ‘local trenches’ to make money flow where we wanted it to, transforming scarcity into abundance, and creating a new source of economic strength that could ‘flood’ our local economies, building community health and wealth for everyone?”

Jon has a strong interest in Rudolf Steiner’s economic indications, often referred to as Associative Economics, and has started numerous ventures and companies. Jon has ongoing interests in local currencies, local foodsheds, local energy, localizing regional economies, community-wide rewards programs, and exploring new corporate governance and management structures that are better able to support the varied interests of the community of stakeholders. Jon received his BA in Economics from U.C. Berkeley, and his ‘Green’ MBA in Sustainable Business form Marylhurst University. Jon and his wife Carrie live near Reed College, along with their two Weimaraners Henry and Evelyn.

Ryan Casey

Lead Developer, cPay

Ryan CaseyRyan Casey is a global expert on the Ethereum blockchain, making him an invaluable asset to cPay. A native of Portland, he began programming in the first grade. Ryan has been building web apps since 2011, and has focused almost exclusively on several open source projects using the Ethereum blockchain. A highly skilled programmer, Ryan is part of a global group working on the infrastructure necessary to build out the Ethereum Blockchain ecosystem, and specializes in smart contracts. Ryan states “cPay helps keep capital in the bioregional economy, which enriches all local market participants, and furthermore redirects money that would have otherwise been lost to transnational corporations into projects that directly impact the local quality of life. If you want to improve the region you live in, invest in it.”

Ryan is a programmer with Nexus Development and contributor to Maker DAO, and built our payment App from the ground up. He received his B.S. in Computer Science from George Fox University.

cPay is currently building out their technology infrastructure, and seeking mission-aligned capital for a beta launch in Portland on or around August 15. Beta testers wanted! Please signup on our mailing list on our website for more info.

In this episode you will learn:

  • What is a blockchain?
  • How blockchains function without a central command
  • What is cryptocurrency and how is value created?
  • The difference between Bitcoin and Ethereum blockchains
  • What ‘mining’ is in the context of blockchains, and how value is created
  • How value can come from proof of work or proof of stake
  • The risks of blockchains, such as the 51% attack?
  • How cryptocurrency differs from cash and credit cards
  • How Ethereum can be used with Smart Contracts
  • Why a fixed supply of cryptocurrency (e.g. Bitcoin) is not essential for value storage
  • Why half of the people on the planet will have SOME money stored in the cloud in 5-10 years
  • How CPay is able to minimize transaction fees and donate to charities of the user’s choice


Ethereum Website

CPay website

CPay Investment Page (OR Residents ONLY)

Ethereum Wikipedia Page

Vitalik Buterin’s Writings

Ethereum community on Reddit

Bitcoin community on Reddit

“What is Ethereum?” on