Vinay Gupta has layers within layers. Though his lineage is partly South Asian, his lilting burr has the unmistakable mark of a Scottish upbringing. His education was in engineering, but he has spent much of his career helping governments and militaries strategize around energy and disaster preparedness. While working in the defense sector, he was also making regular appearances at early Burning Man events. Those disparate pursuits converged in his design for the Hexayurt, a sturdy, portable, inexpensive shelter intended for use by climate refugees, now omnipresent in Black Rock Desert every year.
Gupta’s latest chapter has him deeply involved in the Ethereum ecosystem and blockchain economics more broadly. He handled communications during the original Ethereum token sale and platform launch, and now heads Mattereum, a “smart property register” that aims to do for high-value business assets what eBay and Amazon have done for retail e-commerce. More than just technology, Mattereum aims to address the legal and commercial challenges to putting property on the blockchain.