A Day In The Life of the Senior Blockchain Solution Architect at BlockchainDriven
Senior Blockchain Solution Architect, BlockchainDriven
As a Senior Blockchain Solution Architect, Peter leads the development team to employ blockchain technology and figure out the blueprint of each project for BlockchainDriven’s clients while communicating with all sides of the team. He prepares relevant research reports and marketing materials regarding blockchain integration for a variety of economic sectors including finance, logistics, healthcare, energy and governments.
He also establishes strategic relationships with corporate decision-makers and government officials in the U.S, Latin America, Central Asia and Eastern Europe while prioritizing education and implementation methodologies of blockchain technology.
Peter began his day with a green drink; rich with protein and one of his favorites, as of lately.
He’s hooked as the fresh, healthy energy is unparalleled.
On days prior to Covid-19, Peter commuted under an hour on the train to Union Square.
The recent pandemic has himself (and many others) working out of his home in NYC.
Peter described the vibe of the office—in-person or virtually—as, “a disorder creating order, or something like that,” leading the charge in an industry where the possibilities are endless and territory is somewhat uncharted.
Blockchain evokes a fast paced, high energy environment with tasks piled high from yesterday’s to-do list. Peter boasts about his team and the uplifting clients he works with to be substantial drivers in the success of each day.
It’s all about the people and blockchain has the best people I have ever worked with.
Peter took a call with the Blockchain Developers.
Conversations like these can be upwards of hours on end, depending on the current workload. Architecture design holds 10-20% of the life-cycle of the projects and as Peter completes this process, fluid communication between himself and the developers is imperative.
The cost of a small mistake or error can translate into a significant suspension down the road because steps of a blockchain are interdependent. If an adjustment needs to be made during step six, for example, all prior steps will also need adjusting. Blockchain is not the typical IT product with parts that can be modified later.
Any blockchain-based product must envelop the entire ecosystem and doing so correctly, from the beginning, is vital. All limitations must be known and communicated to the client ahead of time to properly correct the solution, if one is necessary. Once that is completed, the next phase begins.
Project phases look something like this:
- A client comes to BlockchainDriven with a problem.
- The architect (Peter in this case) establishes language around the problem and communicates with developers to design a solution.
- Developers do the job and coding.
Understanding coding language is essential to be in a role like the developers. This includes; C++, Assembler, Python and C#. Peter serves as a liaison between the client and the developers. He deep dives into each issue and problem to then vocalize a solution while orchestrating the workflow and function of such.
Peter cannot stress enough the importance of building strong relationships between all members of the development team, from designers to project leads and front-end to back-end developers. To communicate efficiently, he is an advocate for being direct. There are no tricks other than his personal philosophy of speaking from a genuine and authentic approach. Peter speaks immediately about doubts or concerns and delivers any and all news in the moment. Building the proper team of like-minded individuals here, is also important to keep this system flowing.
Communication is the epicenter of moving forward.
Peter works on community building, market research and algorithmic strategy for a DeFi project, RoninAi.
To the naked eye, the prototype of RoninAi looks like a simple, stylish black box. While the latter adjective is true, the former is far from the case. RoninAi is a B2C-decentralized network using a combination of AI and blockchain as well as hardware and software to provide crypto portfolios management while mitigating risk. Think of RoninAi as a program that can essentially trade, sell, manage, invest, analyze data, (what have you), for you.
The main goal of the RoninAi project is to bring crypto and money management to the masses as a global decentralized network. We mentioned where AI comes in terms of the possibilities of functionalities, but the reason the blockchain is an important aspect to the project as well, Peter said, is because it requires a community around it in the name of transparency and accessibility. For example, with blockchain implementation, the trading fees can be lowered, the transparency of the trades can be provided and the portfolio management can be as transparent as possible.
People don’t care about buying Bitcoin anymore, unfortunately because it doesn’t go up 10,000% anymore. People care about managing their money… this little guy can solve that.
So far, the device was built under budget and has been distributed to 17 countries globally in which around 12 have reported success. To join the community and use RoninAi, users, businesses and governments from countries all over the world sign up using this Telegram link where you’ll be sent educational materials followed by a free trial. Those who have joined the RoninAi community following their free trial, Peter said, have an “average net worth of a million dollars,” which is why there’s a push to get more users to join so more people of all income levels can garner the benefits.
Learn more about RoninAi here.
Peter maintains close contact and communicates with these countries routinely, which he attributes to his time-zone flexibility and work ethic. Peter likes to view his leadership style as working for his team, rather than contrarily.
The B2C (business to consumer) model requires constant communication with the community; prioritizing and recognizing their precedence over technology. The community will tell you what they want, react genuinely to products or services, correct behavior, inspire moving forward and extend love (and sometimes, inevitable hatred.) Peter experiences blockchain projects fail by building first and hoping that the people will come second.
In BlockchainDriven’s experience, people are always first. This doesn’t mean reacting to each piece of feedback or spending enormous amounts of resources from a community tip, but allowing the sentiment to drive the project.
Community. Community. Community. Especially with B2C blockchain projects.
Peter had a call with the Designers and Front-End Developers.
(Yes… everything is important!)
Peter and his team are working on the user interfaces for HealthChain, a blockchain startup focusing on enhancing collaboration and trust between medical companies and hospitals by streamlining the healthcare supply chain. He has a few options to present to the client and after a review is conducted, the feedback will be sent to the designers and front-end development team to create the final mockup of the user interface to be coded in the near future.
Peter and his team utilized the current climate induced by Covid-19 to reflect on the largest problem in the blockchain space: proper education, or better yet, lack thereof. He had a call with the marketing team for BlockchainDriven’s educational Academy launching soon.
Blockchain is new technology in an emerging field with a substantial lack of educational material and resources. Because of this, BlockchainDriven has spent an abundance of time educating clients, event attendees, potential leads, interns and users about blockchain technology and its implications.
BlockchainDriven educates 100% of potential clients and in return, moves forward with only 10% after the remaining 90% understand blockchain to be unnecessary for their particular solution, as a result. For these individuals without prior knowledge or a clear understanding of the way blockchain functions, a common misconception is its similarity to an average IT project.
In reality, blockchain is vastly different from standard technology. Unlike building a website and figuring out the process as the project moves along, blockchain requires a clear understanding and outline of every step before beginning. This can be unattainable for many of the problems clients try and solve through blockchain as it is not the panacea to all.
BlockchainDriven’s efforts to further education resulted in the design of an Academy geared towards delivering proper resources for people eager to learn the technology. The team took full advantage of Covid-19 as a catalyst for launching the Academy with hopes it supports blockchain enthusiasts to pivot their careers into a new domain. During the call, Peter and the marketing team discussed the presentation deck, slides and bullet points that needed to be sharpened on the team’s next webinar.
The message Peter plans to hone in on is the criticality of NOW as the time to dive into blockchain, with Covid-19 as a primary supporting example.
Peter believes Covid-19 to exemplify substantial inefficiencies in the supply chain, governance and centralized decision making that blockchain could have supported. He goes on to express that questions of PPE availability and staff quantity and how many people with Covid or the antibodies still remain unclear.
If we were to utilize blockchain here, this data could have been store on the blockchain and distributed to the people or to hospitals and medical professionals, allowing the entering of symptoms in a decentralized fashion, including the IP address and geolocation to figure out the epicenter of the virus outbreak and as a result take proper measures with the proper supply chain. If this happened, Peter claims Covid-19 would not have been so shocking to the economy.
To summarize, Blockchain could have been used to accomplish three things if implemented during Covid-19:
- Collect data
- Decentralize the decision making
- Optimize the supply chain
Through increasing education of blockchain, Peter also expects the innovation of the space to propel forward. As said before, the architecture of blockchain is the MVP, so to speak and numerous individuals involved from developers (front-end and back-end) to the client.
Since all variables have to be considered at the same time when developing the architecture, blockchain isn’t where it should be due to the lack of talent able to fit in these roles successfully. The architecture of blockchain incorporates the interactions of every perspective and the core is there from the start of the project to the end. Without people who understand how to navigate this journey the correct way, progressing forward is slow.
As blockchain expands, the innovation in industries as a result will be exuberant.
Blockchain will be implemented in the banking and financial space by decentralizing projects in a way that motivates the hell out of Peter! Other fields with room for improvement through blockchain are healthcare, legal or anywhere with more than one type of entity or enterprise with work needing to be organized and optimized while cutting down on waste. For Peter, making a difference is his utmost concern.
To be honest, I don’t mind what industry I’m disrupting, as long as I can add value through blockchain.
Peter had a call with the Columbia-IBM Blockchain Accelerator team.
The Columbia Blockchain Accelerator is a profound initiative by Columbia University focused on helping talented blockchain startups progress to the next step of the equation. Peter is a technical advisor for two out of ten participating teams and this call was with one of the two. He is advising on relevant blockchain architecture and potential token insurance. The main and most popular question here is to move forward with public permission-less or private blockchain as the architecture type of the project.
When working with blockchain and the sensitive material/data often involved, most clients are immediately drawn towards the private architecture type but in reality, that tends to over complicate the projects. With a public permission-less architecture type, anyone can join with access to the technology, allowing for scalability. A public permission-less type in no way means users have visibility to account information on the ledger, as the name evokes. The opposite is true. When it comes to a private type, there is a lack of architectural and infrastructural hard coded elements that ultimately prevents the systems from expanding therefore reaching more users and driving more economic growth.
Peter is an advocate for a public permission-less strategy, as the data is still very much private and secure. Although this debate is an inevitable one and seemingly never-ending, the answer becomes simple once the business user case is defined. The process, nevertheless, takes days and weeks to decide upon.
Peter takes an immense amount of pride in his mission to help the world adopt blockchain. He finds himself circling the subject 24/7 believing a world with blockchain is a better one!
Going to sleep? NYC never sleeps.
Peter graduated from NYU Stern School of Business and went forward to pursue a career in the financial industry, specifically the private equity space. He first began his career working on the infamous Wall Street at an investment bank, but sought other opportunities a few years later after becoming turned off by a few financial details of the market.
While trying to break into the IT industry, he overcame initial self-doubts of coding inexperience and stumbled into the blockchain space. With only a small pool of talent occupying blockchain, Peter understood quickly that the necessary components to success in the field were hard work and diligence. After jumping in headfirst to learn all there was about blockchain, he settled with BlockchainDriven as the Architect he is today—contributing mounds to the progression of the technology.
For someone without prior technical or blockchain understanding but with an interest in the Architectural role, what do you suggest to be a beneficial starting point?
For someone interested in a role similar to Peter’s, he suggests three primary steps:
1. Read as many books on blockchain as possible.
Resources are limited, as blockchain is emerging technology and books might be hard to get your hands on. One that Peter recommends to pick up is IBM’s, Blockchain for Dummies.
2. Attend blockchain events to network with the people occupying the space.
Scattered throughout New York City is the largest blockchain community, BlockchainNYC where events and educational gatherings are held (when social standards permit). Founded by Peter’s colleague, Art Malkov, BlockchainNYC is hosted by the few professionals in the space and opens to the public and company’s interested in learning more. Peter suggests getting both hands and feet involved at these events, in NYC or elsewhere, to not only network but further personal education from the experts.
3. Find a mentor.
Peter communicates daily with numerous countries about blockchain. He suggests seeking out developers from India, Eastern Europe or Asia and befriending them. Once these connections are established, Peter advises a trade, offering the developers something of value in exchange for education on blockchain. The information from an apprenticeship is invaluable and would offer the highest level of teaching for someone serious about entering the world. Understanding the ins and outs is key.
What would you tell your 18-year-old self?
Peter lives with few yearnings of regret, but one thing he does feel to have stifled him at a young age was a lack of networking. He advises college students, or anyone for that matter, to firmly grasp the value in genuine communication and establishing authentic connections. Seldom is a business solely about a product; communication is the determining factor.
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