Noah Kline: ‘I wish I still had that Bitcoin I used to buy a fake ID on the dark web’
While Noah Diskin Kline has a degree in economics, he’s been into tech from a very young age. Growing up, both his parents were into entertainment tech with his father a senior video game executive working on innovative technologies for enterprise companies and his mother writing scripts for science fiction movies.
He was constantly exposed to new technologies which played into his love to build things.
“I was the kid always building – everything from robotics to souped up go-karts,” he joyfully recalls.
“And I was that kid who had the lemonade stand.”
Things changed dramatically in his sophomore year in school when he became very sick and ended up spending months in hospital. Looking at catching up on his schoolwork he did not want to cram in class – then a friend suggested remote learning. His school agreed, sending him learning packets to his home, which he would read, complete the assignments and return.
“I caught up but then I’d have loads of spare time.”
A chance invitation to a Pixar conference really opened up his eyes. He loved the tech, the music and was inspired to set up an electronic music company in his spare time.
“I was still a sophomore but now I was a home-schooled sophomore with a job.”
Electronic music was a huge interest for Kline. He started going to electronic concerts even though he was underage. To put that into context, six months later, and still a sophomore in highschool, he had 40 people working for him.
The company morphed into one of the first VR live streaming platforms for electronic music festivals in the world. Kline even had to use a fake ID to access the concerts.
“So I knew from an early age that I wanted to build companies. I am a lot better at executing on my own vision than going into someone else’s structure.”
Blockchain and cryptocurrency would have been around him from a young age, but it only made sense when he wanted to buy goods on the dark web – such as buying his fake ID, for example.
“Gosh, I wish I still had the Bitcoin I used to purchase that fake ID.”
It wasn’t until 2016 that Kline became interested again and started building ASIC mining rigs in his apartment. At that time, he had set up a data analysis team within the now public company called Science 37. This led onto his setting up a black hat opps division operating in the clinical trials sector of healthcare. He quickly realised that blockchain technology was perfect to create an audit trail for pharmaceutical firms.
“I could see how we could save the industry millions of dollars by eliminating middlemen and putting all the data on chain. So, I set up one of the first blockchain-based audit trails for the healthcare industry on JPMorgan’s Quorum with a friend and we were very excited with the potential.”
However, the red tape in healthcare was too much. He got great feedback, his potential customers loved it, but he found that enterprise space worked in very slow cycles.
“I just wanted to build. I couldn’t wait.”
Kline set up Kilobytes Labs to move into providing direct support for early innovative companies. He credits his earlier work as an employee in upskilling his talents. With the streaming service he learnt how to negotiate contracts with some of the biggest names in the business including ESPN, Fox Network and NFL networks. He also worked with emerging technology platforms to set up watch parties, some years before Netflix popularised it.
At the same time, Kline began to blend his learnings. He could see the development of original interactive game shows, where customers were no longer just buying and selling collectable cards, but forging games and plays.
“I had a eureka moment. I was working with Topps, one of the largest collectable card companies, and could see the passion of the customers. I could see how this would explode online.
“Everyone was offering the same experience in collectable cards, but it was very static. Coming from the Entertainment industry I knew we could do so much more.”
“I genuinely think people will get bored of just swapping cards. Then with physical cards there is the whole issue of authenticity, of not getting scammed with counterfeits. With NFTs you can be sure of provenance immediately.”
Kline’s idea was to look at streaming, a tech with which he was very familiar, and to combine that with NFTs.
“We are not gambling, there is too much red tape involved with that, we are helping people collect live moments, using auctions to secure the desired NFT of that moment.”
Kline’s new idea was named Wincast. To make sense of how it works, he produced a demo where the actual footage from the Last World series featuring the Dodgers was used. The final pitch was an emotional moment where fans wanted to see the result.
“We want to combine that heart-thumping emotion with ownership – of fans being able to own the NFT from that final pitch.”
In this example, the game hangs in limbo, it all hangs in the balance. As the superstar batter steps up to the plate, what will happen? Just at that moment, fans will get a notification in their app to say bidding has opened. Will the batter hit the ball, or will it be a strikeout? By the time it happens, a fan owns the moment, the greatest moment in the game.
Which is Wincast’s tagline – Own the moment before it becomes the moment.
But it doesn’t stop there. Now Kline has defined a play that involves sport, emotion and ownership – the next stage is to look at gamification.
“There are a tonne of ideas we are working with to take emotion and ownership and turn it into an interactive experience. It’s not just about the sale.”
Ultimately, Wincast aims to deliver an experience that is unique, collectable and interactive.
While still in pre seed funding, Wincast has attracted big names including backers in Binance and CoinFund.
Kline loves working with CoinFund and believes their experience in this sector positions them to be both inspirational and focused.
“Every conversation I’ve had with their CEO Jake Brukhman is brilliant. He is visionary and pushes us to look further ahead and develop long term strategies. CoinFund also deeply understands the digital collectable market having been early investors in Dapper Labs and Blockdaemon. They also acknowledge our experience – we’ve been successfully building in this space for some years.”
Part of that experience has led Kline and his team to remove barriers to entry including having custodial wallets and fiat to crypto payments.
“We want to include the ease of Web 2 ecommerce to the Web 3 space, delivering simple user experiences, highlighting a path to utility and making it fun.”
Part of the future viewing means Kline is looking at ideas that include subscriptions, possible sports wagers, sports streaming platforms, fantasy sports, engagement, and a whole lot more.
“From experience, I know it takes a while to build these communities, including contracts and users and relationships, but when you do, the world is your oyster.”