Community//

“Life is like a video game, the main reward for finishing a level is the opportunity to play a harder level” With Areiel Wolanow

The game can throw money or upgrades or power-ups your way, but...


”Life is like a video game. The game can throw money or upgrades or power-ups your way, but the main reward for finishing a level is the opportunity to play a harder level”. This is an explanation I first came up with when trying to explain business to my then 7-year-old son, but over time I came to realize that it was a very accurate descriptor of my motivation for pretty much everything I do.


I had the pleasure of interviewing Areiel Wolanow, the managing director of Finserv Experts, an independent consultancy that provides delivery and advisory services in blockchain and machine learning. Areiel led IBM’s blockchain consulting practice in the ASEAN region, and has addressed the G20 and other major international forums on the potential for emerging technologies to change people’s lives. Currently, he is engaged by Lloyd’s of London to design a new, DLT-enabled business model for the London insurance market.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us the story of how reached your career path?

I first got involved with regtech when putting together a solution to assure the provenance of Fair Trade coffee coming out of Ethiopia. The Ethiopian Commodity exchange had an issue with fraudulent use of the Fair Trade designation, and was looking for a way to make sure that only coffee coming from plantations that genuinely employed Fair Trade practices labelled their coffee that way.

What are the top concerns that firms like yours should be considering in order to have a competitive edge?

Work together to establish independent standards against which you can measure your solutions. Cryptocurrency today is mostly a niche investment that appeals to a small cadre of technologically empowered, risk seeking investors. To be embraced by enterprises, governments, and mainstream institutional investors, crypto solutions will need to satisfy the needs of these organizations to have credible measures of whether or not a solution is safe to be use

Look for opportunities to interoperate with the existing global payments infrastructure. Even the best crypto solution in the world is useless in a vacuum; the market is already glutted with startups who have the hubris to think that their solution is so superior that the world will be willing to abandon their current financial infrastructure to use it. The firms who are being successful to date are those who have found a way to live within the existing ecosystem, even when providing an entirely new product or service that ecosystem has never offered before

Get your smart contracts independently audited. Almost every major hack or breach in the crypto and blockchain world to date has been the result of a poorly designed or executed smart contract. Hire an independent firm with no other involvement in your solution to perform a detailed, line-level review of your smart contract code to ensure that no contractual loopholes or other exploits are readily apparent.


Can you share a story of a time when things went south for you? What kept you going and helped you to overcome those times?

When I left IBM to start a new services firm, the initial consulting engagement I had lined up fell through. For the first six months things looked pretty grim. What kept me going during those hard times was the people around me: my family, friends, and close colleagues. The best advice I can give anyone is to invest heavily in your human relationships, both personal and professional. This investment will pay off in a big way when everything else isn’t.

What are some things that you do on daily basis regardless of how busy you are?

I forget where I initially learned it, but I try organizing most of my days using something called the 40–30–20–10 rule. In summary, this means that each day you should divide up your time as follows:

o 40% of your day should be spent working on the main responsibility you are tasked with

o 30% of your day should be spent investing in your relationships. This usually means helping someone else with their main responsibility

o 20% of your day should be spent on innovation. Instead of just performing your main business responsibility, you should be working on ways to make it better or more efficient

o 10% of your day should be spent having fun

Obviously, you can’t live by this rule every day; there are going to be times where 100% of your day (or more) will have to be focused on your main business responsibility. But remembering this breakdown is a great way to keep from being isolated, to become or remain a thought leader in your domain, and to keep yourself energized.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

”Life is like a video game. The game can throw money or upgrades or power-ups your way, but the main reward for finishing a level is the opportunity to play a harder level”. This is an explanation I first came up with when trying to explain business to my then 7-year-old son, but over time I came to realize that it was a very accurate descriptor of my motivation for pretty much everything I do.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/areiel/

Twitter: @FinservExperts

Thank you so much for this. This was very enlightening!

Originally published at medium.com

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres. We publish pieces written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Learn more or join us as a community member!
Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.