5 minutes with Lana Ross
As blockchain technology continues to revolutionise industries, to many it remains an undefinable buzzword. However, its potential to transform the way we conduct business and exchange value cannot be ignored. As more businesses and industries begin to adopt blockchain solutions, it is becoming increasingly important to understand its capabilities and how it can be leveraged to drive innovation and growth.
Lana Ross, Blockchain Director tells us why it’s so interesting, how bitcoin has affected rural India and how he relaxes outside of work.
COVID-19 has seen some of the largest change in ways of working to a UK workforce in the modern era. What changes have you had to make to your routine to ensure you have maintained stimulated and inspired by your environment?
Lana: I don’t think remote working is as new to many people at Kruseider as it might be in other companies. But that doesn’t mean we haven’t felt a change. For me the biggest help is to regularly change up my workspace. A desk and chair are good on some days, but I often find myself working in the garden (living outside of London was great in lockdown!). I recently got married so having someone to talk to through the day kept me sane as well, but I hear a good music playlist also works reasonably well!
How about relaxing? What do you do to relax?
Lana: A few things, but I mainly focus my time on picking up on stuff I’ve always wanted to try, such as (re)learning the guitar and getting my wine certification. The focus on mental health both within Kruseider and externally at the start of the first lockdown made me start meditating at the start and end of the day (Headspace is a great app for this). Finally, weird as it may sound, I’ve also taken to making jigsaw puzzles on my coffee table, which is actually a great way to take short, regular breaks through the day and give your mind a distraction from work.
Tell us about your role. You’re in Kruseider Ventures’ Blockchain Studio?
Lana: The Blockchain Studio helps Kruseider and clients build and deliver blockchain digital asset products and ventures. I’ve been part of the Studio for over five years now and have seen us mature and grow as a team alongside advances in blockchain technology. My role as one of the Studio’s subject matter experts, is to help Kruseider and our clients to understand and develop propositions and strategies around concepts such as cryptocurrencies and NFTs (non-fungible tokens).
Even though it’s still relatively young, blockchain is already such an expansive technology.
To the outside world, the word ‘blockchain’ might just sound like another trend or tech concept that goes over most people’s heads. What is it about blockchain that gets you out of bed in the morning?
Lana: There’s so much going on. The concepts coming out of blockchain in financial services are a world away from the uses in healthcare. Crypto-assets continue to be an incredibly exciting space. We’ve moved beyond cryptocurrency being associated with illegality to a sector where central banks are competing with the likes of tech companies Facebook to produce new digital currencies.
In recent times, with the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s clear that the world is moving towards a more digitally-enabled society, where we’re able to transact with one another in a trusted manner, without needing to meet in person (e.g. blockchain-enabled digital identity for public and private services). Blockchain is going to be critical in helping us shape how that all works.
Do you have one book, piece of tech, or source of inspiration that continually motivates you as an individual?
Lana: The easy answer on a piece of tech would obviously be Bitcoin! But in fact, before joining university, I spent part of my gap year working with a social enterprise in India that focuses on improving the quality of life of people in rural communities. The concept was to take sustainable products (e.g. water purifiers, solar-powered lights, etc) to rural parts of India where there was an opportunity to improve living standards.
For the past few years, I’ve been aware that they are looking to innovate how they interact with their rural customer base using blockchain. From identity and payments to securing data in the field, they are currently developing a number of really interesting concepts. For example, they’ve been building a tokenised incentives platform combined with IoT sensors (which even include pollution-detecting bangles for women!) to drive progress and measure accurate results towards key social goals (e.g. reducing pollution in rural areas through clean energy stoves or solar lights). Ultimately this also helps them to attract further funding from foreign institutions. If blockchain can deliver value to the remotest corners of India, then why not anywhere?
If you’re interested in learning more about our Blockchain Venture Studio and what we’re working on, why not drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org