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“Focus on your purpose.” with Fotis Georgiadis & Michelle Chuang

Asensys paves the way for the promise of the decentralized web to be fulfilled — an internet that benefits users and everyday consumers because everyone owns and controls their own data and they also have the ability to earn value in exchange for their data. Companies will also benefit by not having to bear responsibility […]

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Asensys paves the way for the promise of the decentralized web to be fulfilled — an internet that benefits users and everyday consumers because everyone owns and controls their own data and they also have the ability to earn value in exchange for their data. Companies will also benefit by not having to bear responsibility for securing consumer data because the decentralized network will handle all data storage. The sourcing of products will be more transparent. Consumers will be able to easily trace the origins of goods they are purchasing to make sure the company and all its affiliates are using ethical practices. Additionally, the governance of these internet systems will be in the hands of users rather than corporations.


As a part of our series about cutting edge technological breakthroughs I had the pleasure of interviewing Michelle Chuang, COO of Asensys. She comes to Asensys with over 20 years of experience in marketing and customer engagement and has led key initiatives for companies such as Starbucks, Chevron, and Staples Inc.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

Ihave worked in marketing for more than twenty years with a history of building successful brands. To do this successfully requires effectively conveying a company’s purpose to its primary audience. Through my experience working with such household names as Starbucks, Chevron, and Staples Inc., I’ve witnessed how technology has changed the way we live, interact, and experience. This shift is reflected in the way companies tell their stories and connect with customers. Some of the greatest technological changes can be witnessed in transportation, information exchange, social media, and e-commerce verticals, but the change is pervasive across industries. Ultimately, the most disruptive technology platforms are those that have made a difference in people’s everyday lives. The most revolutionary technology of this decade and beyond is blockchain technology. Like the internet, it is destined to change the way we live, interact, and experience the world. I joined Asensys as COO because I recognized the potential for blockchain systems to transform the digital landscape for the better. Asensys has the talent, innovative thinking, and backing from leading technologists to bring its solution to the masses and form the foundation for the next iteration of the internet: the Web 3.0.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

There have been countless stories that have made my career rewarding. As it pertains to technology, I was most fascinated when Google first rolled out their retargeting program that allows them to serve up ads based on user search behavior. I had heard about it through an industry article but I remember when I first experienced it first-hand. I searched for a pair of nude pumps and the advertising banner of that specific pair of nude pumps followed me for days. I called it the “nude pumps that haunted my wallet.” Of course, the story had a happy ending for Google and the shoe company. I ended up buying that pair of shoes, along with many other styles of nude pumps; evidence of the success of re-targeting.

Can you tell us about the “Bleeding edge” technological breakthroughs that you are working on? How do you think that will help people?

Asensys introduces a breakthrough innovation in distributed computing that will allow blockchain technology to scale to meet the needs of the ever-expanding digital economy. Blockchain technology allows for increased transparency, security, and control over one’s own value, which manifests across so many industries. For example, social media platforms depend on the contributions of users in the form of content creation, curation, and promotion, but users gain little more than Likes in return for performing these essential functions. In a blockchain-powered system, users could be earning tokens in exchange for creating great content, sharing posts, and being a tastemaker of interesting articles, videos, photos, and memes. Blockchain technology can help to keep interpersonal communication that occurs through messaging apps like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp secure and private. Additionally, in the age of Internet of Things (IoT), everything from our ca,r to our in-home assistant, to our fridge is connected to the internet. These smart devices have access to highly sensitive information about who we are, pertaining to our health, fitness, and the private conversations we have in our homes. Blockchain technology can ensure this data is owned and controlled by people, not the companies behind the products. With so much data creation and a lack of secure systems to store and share it, data breaches like the Equifax hack will continue to occur with more and more frequency. We need to harness the power of blockchain technology to improve data security. The problem is that blockchain systems have had difficulty scaling while retaining the decentralization that makes these systems more secure than centralized databases. The Asensys system solves this scalability problem with its novel structure created by our founder, Dr. Brendon (JiaPing) Wang.

How do you think this might change the world?

The reasons for blockchain’s scalability problem are myriad, but what Asensys realized is that these legacy blockchain networks like Bitcoin and Ethereum are unnecessarily over-redundant in their design. Through extensive research and modeling, our founder, Dr. Brendon (JiaPing) Wang invented Asensys to dramatically reduce over-redundancy and effectively solve blockchain’s scalability problem. We are able to achieve this by introducing the novel concept of Asynchronous Consensus Zones, which essentially “divides and conquers” all network tasks. We also introduce proprietary systems to increase security and efficiency of the system to ensure the scalability necessary to meet the needs of the modern digital economy can be realized.

Asensys paves the way for the promise of the decentralized web to be fulfilled — an internet that benefits users and everyday consumers because everyone owns and controls their own data and they also have the ability to earn value in exchange for their data. Companies will also benefit by not having to bear responsibility for securing consumer data because the decentralized network will handle all data storage. The sourcing of products will be more transparent. Consumers will be able to easily trace the origins of goods they are purchasing to make sure the company and all its affiliates are using ethical practices. Additionally, the governance of these internet systems will be in the hands of users rather than corporations.

Keeping “Black Mirror” in mind can you see any potential drawbacks about this technology that people should think more deeply about?

Technology is only as good as the people behind it. I am very much concerned about the repercussions of rampant data collection. As of now, our methods of securing data and sensitive information are ineffective to non-existent. If we fail to safeguard our information, we are putting ourselves at risk to identity theft, scams, and manipulation. This is why I’m so interested in blockchain technology’s capacity for securing data and granting control to users. If users control their own data, they can decide which data is safe to share and with which entities. For example, they may want to share health information collected from a fitness app with their doctor while keeping those details from advertisers and other third parties.

Was there a “tipping point” that led you to this breakthrough? Can you tell us that story?

A few years ago I started to learn about artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). Of course, as soon as you begin to comprehend the potential for AI, terminator-inspired fears arise, but the more I learned about emerging technologies, the more confident I became that technology could be leveraged for good. When I joined Asensys, I began to understand the power of combining the forces of AI with blockchain. AI works best when applied to giant data sets. Mass data collection and storage of sensitive information could put peoples’ personal details at risk. That’s where blockchain comes into play. Blockchain technology can be deployed to secure the large data sets that AI depends on. We need the transparency and auditing capabilities enabled by blockchain technology if we are to invest fully in an AI-driven future in which automation plays a role in every aspect of our lives, including the way we work, communicate, shop, and learn. Since joining Asensys, I’ve become even more affirmed in my belief that emerging technologies have a great capacity to change the world for the better.

What do you need to lead this technology to widespread adoption?

The question of how blockchain technology will achieve mass adoption has been a driving force behind new startups and projects in the tech sphere for the past decade. One of the major roadblocks to mainstream usage has been the scalability problem, which Asensys addresses with its novel blockchain infrastructure. As a team, it is now our challenge to spread the word to developers and users about the value of the decentralized web. As usability improves and people recognize the benefits of increased transparency, security, and self-governance, I believe we will see a switch from the current internet to the decentralized web of applications comprising the Web 3.0.

What have you been doing to publicize this idea? Have you been using any innovative marketing strategies?

We continue to tell the truth about the benefits of decentralization. We make sure people are aware of the inadequacies of our current internet system: namely, that users lack ownership over their own data and their personal information is constantly at risk to hacks. Additionally, we need more accountability and transparency from corporations and companies. There are millions of people who lack bank accounts and who could benefit from a borderless store of value and means of payment. Asensys can help build a better future that addresses these inadequacies with its blockchain system designed to meet the needs of the modern digital economy.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

My husband is my best friend, mentor, and biggest supporter. He is a successful entrepreneur, starting one of the premiere packaging manufacturing companies in the nation. I greatly admire his ability to guide his company in an age where constant innovation is a requirement. He has led one transformation after the next, demonstrating great resilience. He is fond of saying, always give your best and never let any excuse come between you and your goal, and I try my best to live out that advice each and every day.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

As a woman in tech and in leadership, I understand the importance of being a mentor to young female professionals and supporting them in fulfilling their potential. There is especially a need for more female voices in the blockchain sphere, which remains mostly male dominated. Diverse teams tend to perform better, and so the blockchain community as a whole should be making a bigger push to incorporate more women and people of different backgrounds (it will ultimately benefit their own productivity!). I’ve also been an active member of STOP, a non-profit org that fights human trafficking in Asia. Most recently, I was a board member of CIELO Community, a local non-profit organization that supports entrepreneurship in underserved communities within OC.

What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why. (Please share a story or example for each.)

Over the course of my career, from Starbucks to my current role as COO of Asensys, I’ve learned these 5 lessons:

  1. Focus on your purpose
  2. Listen to your customers
  3. Be ready to pivot
  4. There are no shortcuts
  5. Be ready for more change

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

Be an advocate and early adopter of emerging technology. We have the capability to change the world for the better by harnessing the power of technology, but we depend on early adopters to spark big shifts. If everyone was open to new ideas, we could enact real change that much faster.

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

“Those who stand for nothing fall for anything” is a quote attributed to Alexander Hamilton. For me, this message has resonance because we are given so many choices in life and without a core set of values guiding us, there are so many traps that can lead to unhappiness and a lack of fulfillment. Especially as someone working in the tech sphere, I believe it is important to stand up for your values, because if you do not, what is the reason for innovation? You lose that light leading the way to a better future.

Some very well known VCs read this column. If you had 60 seconds to make a pitch to a VC, what would you say? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂

If, like me, you believe technology can be harnessed to build a better future, you will appreciate the Asensys mission to form the foundation for a decentralized web that empowers users with more control over their own data and value, leading to a more secure and transparent digital economy.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

To stay up-to-date on Asensys news and developments, check out our website and follow us on social media.

Website: https://www.asensys.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AsensysChain

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/asensys-blockchain/

Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational.

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