Mentors Monday with: Daria Suvorova

#blockchain #tech #legal

Photo: Daniel Karl Fidelis Fuchs

Blockchain is the buzzword everyone is trying to wrap their heads around. Luckily, we have Daria Suvorova as our Blockchain and Legal mentor to advice startups on how to fully understand and find purposeful implementations of this technology.

1. You are the Blockchain Lead at moinworld, a tech community for women in Hamburg. That’s trendy! How do you help entrepreneurs and developers getting into the blockchain?

“Trendy” is a good word to get attention of the younger people. There are so many beautiful minds out there that don’t yet know how much they can contribute. So, it’s a matter of catching their interest.

Hopefully we can start slowly doing this by opening the door for them to the blockchain community with such an event as moinblockchain. This conference is our main tool to get entrepreneurs and developers into the topic. We welcome everyone who supports our mission and is eager to learn.

Note 👉 It’s important not to be skeptic here, the space is still evolving. And when you call yourself an expert, you’re probably an expert in only 5% of what blockchain can do. There is just so much more coming in the future — and this is amazing!

2. As our Blockchain and Legal mentor, what kind of advices could you offer to the startups?

For startups thinking of implementing blockchain:

#1: To make use of this technology the most effective way is to consider both, its limitations and potentials. Before startups start integrating this technology, they need to ask themselves: “Is this really necessary for my project? What value does it bring at its core?”. Just putting the buzzword next to your project to hype it up without bringing the real utility value it’s unfair to the users — and it’s just a waste of time.

#2: It’s important to stay open-minded and interdisciplinary. Learn how to cross-connect different topics and industries to find your unique proposition. Where one is encountering the most problems and inefficiencies — that’s where innovation is required. Be bold to change this and to bring a valuable product to the society.

#3: Get everyone on board. Start helping in building a new society, where companies, communities, individuals are all thriving. It is not enough to just throw a blockchain solution into the market, someone needs to bring the users in.

#4: Help the ecosystem to grow. Blockchain equals community. You should start creating strong community around you and collaborate with other projects.

As for the legal side…

In general, blockchain lies in a grey regulatory zone and most probably it will remain there for some time. Startups need to stay up to date, be aware of the most pressing regulatory developments and that is especially important in an innovative scene that is always moving forward. Lawmakers can make it or take it: Have this in mind.

There are currently many groups working on solving the regulatory pain points, they are wrapping their heads around the best solutions as they strive to keep blockchain scene progressing and not overly restricted.

Mentor’s tip💡: For updates on the current regulatory debate around blockchain in Germany, take a look at the Blockchain Bundesverband.

“Help the ecosystem to grow. Blockchain equals community.”

3. Blockchain is already a buzz among Fintech. How do you think it can help media and ad-tech startups?

Before we think how we can apply blockchain, we have to think where disruption is needed. The ad-tech industry, specifically, seems to be an extremely inefficient ecosystem. We see users, advertisers and publishers all at hurt:

Users are overwhelmed by the number of advertisements and the ad- frauds they encounter on a daily basis. Advertisers, who should track and monitor user experience, are actually losing large sums amount of money due to poor targeting, and this is despite all the resources they have. Publishers cannot monetize on the value-added services when users run ad-blockings and where we see Google and Facebook dominating the market.

“Before we think how we can apply blockchain, we have to think where disruption is needed.”

Additionally, we see many middlemen existent in value chains and money ending up with intermediaries,where only a fraction of this then received by the advertisers and even less is by publishers. That is also an issue.

Another problem would be the billing and the transaction structures within the industry. They are non-transparent and cannot display efficiently who is paying for what services. This leads to trust issues between all three parties. Similar tensions exist in the media: we have stakeholders guarding their information and not allowing the industry to study online behavior: It’s overly protective.

Blockchain can be a solution to those issues mentioned above.

This technology could solve the trust and transparency issues. Fraud could be mitigated through the use of cryptography and then transparency could be achieved through open source. Publicly visible blockchain will make data prone to misrepresentation and will allow industry participants to work together on a shared platform that they can rely on. And this in return will enhance the data value, where every member of the supply and value chains will then be operating with the same information without requiring third parties.

Users could finally get control over the data, as they can decide on what is shared, to whom it’s being sold to. (Good project I recommend to look into → check out BAT).

Another critical application specifically for business engagements are smart contracts..

For ad-tech, smart contracts could serve as a tool for automatically enforcing the contractual agreements, whenever the predefined terms of the parties are met. This will streamline the agreements between publishers and advertisements.

Media would benefit a lot from monetization and more lined payments. Smart contracts could reduce the potential conflicts that arise from promotional engagements. They would allow automatic payment to writers, bloggers or influencers once he/she had published the agreed upon content. Simple as that. This solution is transparent and cannot be cheated or misrepresented.

Thank you, Daria! We are happy to have you on board our network.

You can connect and find more about her work on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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