Sasha Ivanova is NEM’s Business Developer Manager and product manager at the Sharp Shark startup. Taking advantage of its presence to present Catapult during the Blockchain Summit Latam Uruguay, Cointelegraph in Spanish spoke with her on September 5 in Montevideo, to know, among other things, the perspectives from the NEM Foundation in blockchain.
How did you start in the blockchain world?
Sasha Ivanova (SI): I started writing about the topic Blockchain. I won a best text contest for an ICO-crowdfunding startup. This was in September 2017 and there was a lot of demand for writers. To my colleague, the Blockchain issue seemed very complex and few wanted to get involved. I went deeply into the subject and fell completely in love with the philosophy of decentralization, cryptographic consensus algorithms and of course the cryptocurrencies that solved a problem that I had for a long time, that is to receive payments for my work from abroad. In a short time I met the Crypto Blockchain community in Argentina and after Latin America, which allowed me to organize several meetups and events to popularize technology. Then, at the beginning of 2018 I joined NEM. My connections allowed me to become an NEM ambassador in Argentina. Then I trained as a business developer & product manager and was part of NEM Business Development Vertical.
How do you see the blockchain scenario in Latin America? Is growing?
SI: It is curious that the hype of ICOs in Latin America went relatively unnoticed. There were not so many projects that were creating tokens and raising funds in cryptocurrencies. The good thing about this is that we don’t burn the market. The bad thing is that we don’t adapt to the speed of the global Blockchain market due to lack of professional teams.
But what we all know is that there is wide adoption of cryptocurrencies in Latin America due to historical reasons, a very high level of distrust of official entities. There are situations like that of Venezuela where there are families in which their members mine bitcoin starting with the grandmother and ending with the grandchildren. At the junction of these two aspects, projects such as the notorious Venezuelan cryptocurrency are born. However, not everyone knows that several well-known Blockchains coredevs are from Latin America.
No doubt there are many brilliant talents here that every so often surprise the market.
The crypto ecosystem is a bit stagnant due to lack of regulation and prohibitions, so I think Latam is taking the same trajectory as the Blockchain industry in general, developing cases of real uses of technology.
Considering that they are in contact with other places, such as Russia, how do you see the emergence of this technology in the rest of the world?
SI: We are passing the valley of the dead. Gartner doesn’t even put Blockchain on his hype cycle. The strongest projects with the best offer for the market will survive. And from the NEM Foundation we are working very hard to deliver Catapult, our Blockchain development engine for high load systems.
What important changes has the NEM Foundation had in the last year?
YES: NEM is managed by community through PoI (proof of importance) voting. The community voted and elected a new executive council. The elected president was Alexandra Tinsman and with her the foundation definitely became much more human. Previously, the foundation’s policy was an aggressive expansion that corresponded to the market state of the 2016-2018 era. President Tinsman changed the focus of the foundation with more product orientation and focused on the development of Catapult, which corresponds to the state of the market in 2019.
What are the sectors most interested in using blockchain?
SI: I cannot speak for all industries because you cannot know everyone’s problems, but since Blockchain technology speeds up business processes, I can say that industries where they have the critical point in the speed of processes can take great advantage Blockchain
And what are the sectors most interested in using NEM?
SI: NEM is Blockchain for enterprise. In other words, in the “decentralization – security – scalability” trilemma we are focused more on the last two, sacrificing anarchy in favor of the controlled processes of large companies. I don’t think I’m going to tell any secret by saying that, if you think of “enterprise”, you don’t need asset decentralization but you need asset control. For example, now in Catapult we are developing several proofs of asset tokenization concepts. We are tokenized assets of the financial world as bonds and futures, and we are also successfully completing tests of tokenization of intellectual property.
What is Catapult and who will benefit from its development?
YES: Catapult is the hybrid Blockchain development engine that combines advantages of public and private Blockchain, and is suitable for high load systems. One of the outstanding features that it will have is “smart assets as a service”. Facilitates development thanks to a comprehensive API and SDk system
Do you think it is important to educate about Blockchain technology?
Definitely, especially to companies and developers. For this we are collaborating with several edtech startups and also universities, offering official NEM certification for devs. We continually organize training for coaches, workshops and courses.
In Argentina, from the NEM Foundation they have had several initiatives for real use cases. Can you tell us about them?
SI: I will tell about an initiative of mine tokenization of intellectual property that arose through an agreement with the trade union circle of journalists (in the city of Córdoba), creating proof of concept to protect copyright, for journalists and photographers During the tests we have realized how we can tokenize intellectual property and the concept pivoted and grew. Now we are working on compliance.
Has the XEM cryptocurrency been affected after the rise of Bitcoin this year?
At NEM we only seek organic growth and technology adoption. The token is secondary in our field.
What are the plans you have since the NEM Foundation for this year?
With Catapult we have solved the trilemma of “scalability – security – flexibility” We will work on the creation of products, smart assets as a service and adoption.
Also published on Medium.