"Blockchain and crypto are still in their infancy," says CEO of Blockchain Association of Ukraine by@shahmeer

"Blockchain and crypto are still in their infancy," says CEO of Blockchain Association of Ukraine

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Shahmeer Khan

Tech writer sharing insights in a fun and informative way.

Ukraine's tech sector has been a bright spot in the Ukrainian economy for the past few years. Last year, Ukraine set many tech records, such as its first "decacorns" - start-ups that have exceeded a valuation of $10 billion (€8.8 billion) - and growth of its IT industry of 36 percent.

Amidst the current Russian invasion, Ukraine’s IT sector has had to adapt to the realities of war. Even though many Ukrainian startups and entrepreneurs had to shift operations to other countries but continue to operate at almost full capacity despite the extraordinary conditions: a sign of their, and Ukraine’s, resilience.

One such entrepreneur is Natalia Drik, the CEO of Blockchain Association of Ukraine and CIO of Attarius Network.

Who's the Guest?

NameNatalia Drik

💪What they do: Natalia Drik is CEO of Blockchain Association of Ukraine and CIO of Attarius Network.

We had an opportunity to talk to Natalia and listen to her amazing journey in the tech world. Let's dive straight into it without wasting any time.

Shahmeer: Please brief our audience about your journey as an entrepreneur until your current position at Attarius Network?

Natalia: I started out my career path in the investment space, but in 2015, I took a leap of faith and joined the team of innovators that united professionals from various fields, including reformers of Georgia. Having accumulated experience and specific skiIl-set, I worked my way up to become the head of an NGO Innovation and Development Foundation.

In 2018, I took up the position of CEO of the Blockchain Association of Ukraine and established the blockchain school for developers called Blockchain Hub Academy.

Gamification theories have always been my passion and last year I had a chance to join the exciting project - Attarius Network, an ecosystem for gamers and game creators. 

2. Tell us something about the vision behind Attarius Network?

Attarius Network represents an ecosystem of straightforward decentralized solutions for game developers and gamers - it is an evolution in play-to-earn and NFT.

At the core, Attarius aims to provide equal opportunities for game developers, by eliminating the barriers they face.

Our mission at its core is not only about the infrastructural solution for GameFi - we are building a comprehensive ecosystem, but also the acceleration and support we provide for early-stage gaming projects.

3. Enlighten us on how you have made an impact on blockchain and the gaming industry through your expertise?

I am well-versed in all the major trends in the blockchain. I have been communicating with hundreds of blockchain projects as CEO of the Blockchain Association of Ukraine for years, so I am very much aware of the major pain points of gaming industry players. That’s why I’m fully capable of taking on the blockchain framework and introducing it into the gaming industry. 

4. Describe a bit about values and the work culture that drives your organization?

We are a diverse team of creators. At Attarius, we aim to build a new ecosystem for game developers. Our team strongly believes in the bright future for blockchain games and we strive to support gaming projects at all stages of their development, starting right from the concept stage and up to the ultimate release of the end product to users. 

5. Is Blockchain the Answer to Future Online Gaming?

I think blockchain has already infiltrated all major industry sectors, and online gaming is no exception. With the spread of AR, VR, 5G, and Metaverse, it’s only a matter of time for blockchain to become mainstream.

I strongly believe that soon everything will be blockchain-based, including online gaming.

It’s all due to blockchain’s unique features: complete preservation of data, security of transactions, and ability to control assets by users themselves without the involvement of third parties.

6. If given a chance, what change would you like to bring to the blockchain and gaming industry?

Blockchain and crypto are still in their infancy and are somewhat akin to the advent of the internet. It’s on everyone’s lips now, but most users need guidance and education.

The ecosystem of Attarius aims to allow developers and gamers to explore entirely new horizons in a virtually unlimited and vast infrastructure that provides new opportunities to integrate an infinite variety of modules and technologies.

7. What, according to you, could be the next big change in the industry? 

Blockchain brings new monetization opportunities for gamers and game developers. With the data democratization provided by the blockchain in Web 3.0, it is hypothesized that as everyone has access to the same data, it will spur competition, ultimately leading to better consumer experiences.

8. How is your company preparing to be a part of that change?

Our vision is to make it easier for blockchain gaming to hit the market and to offer new, enhanced economic opportunities to gamers. We create one of the most feature-rich play-to-earn platforms that will open up new avenues for millions of gamers and game developers.

9. The Metaverse industry has been the talk of the town for a while now... Considering this, how do you think emergent projects like Attarius Network can carve out a niche for themselves there?

The Metaverse is a relatively new concept. The critical components of the metaverse should be able to enhance the “reality” of the experience. It is possible to achieve with such essential elements as interoperability, blockchain, and standardization. Interoperability allows users to move across virtual spaces and purchase any virtual assets.

Blockchain-based technologies like cryptocurrencies and NFTs enable a virtual economy. Digital assets facilitate purchases within the metaverse, allowing users to own and move digital items through virtual borders. Standardization is important for the interconnection of all the platforms and services across the entire metaverse. Finally, technological consistency is necessary for universal adoption.

All these components are essential parts of the Attarius Network. 

10. What are the top challenges you currently face as a CIO? And how do you go about tackling them?

The top challenge for any C-level manager or founder is to gather around team members and partners that aim for the same goal and align with the values your organization represents.

Undoubtedly, the CEO will always remain the most important asset and advocate of the company, but it’s impossible to do anything grand on your own.

So the biggest challenge is to bolster the company so that it can fully realize its potential and bring tangible value to the world. It’s also essential to remove the fundamental mismatch between all team members and investors, and I think we’ve been successful in this area so far. 

11. Where do you envision yourself to be in the long run, and what are your future goals for the company?

We’re definitely looking to expand our activities and add new viable features to our basic toolkit. We’re constantly seeking ways to develop new tools for better user experience and profit-generating opportunities.

Among other priorities is to increase community outreach, boost the company's reputation and further contribute to deployment of blockchain in the gaming sector.

12. Which non-paid activities would you be keen to take part in if the opportunity raised your profile or delivered value to your audience?

I’ve been leaning towards corporate philanthropy for a long time now, and I think a charitable initiative is something we’d like to launch in the offing. Not only does it provide much-needed support to worthy causes, but it also improves the company’s visibility and boosts employee morale. Not to mention, this can bring value to our users who can participate in charity and donate part of their winnings to people in need.

Shahmeer: Well, Thanks Natalia for sharing your journey with us. I am sure, it will inspire many!

Thanks, Hackers, for reading :) If you have any suggestions regarding questions to ask in this series or if you want to get featured, you can reach out to me on Linkedin ;)

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