If you are not of technical background, do not get discouraged thinking that in this space you can only become successful if you are a developer. There are a lot of roles evolving in the ecosystem that can suit a variety of backgrounds and skillsets well.
I had the pleasure to interview Marina Titova, Head of Advisory, NKB Group. NKB Group is an international investment bank and advisory firm focused on blockchain technology. It offers a full-service solution for clients who want to access the new world of crypto assets, with expertise in wealth and asset management, brokerage, ICO (Initial Coin Offering) advisory, and principal investment. It also provides tailor-made technical, legal and tax solutions regarding blockchain investment.
Thank you so much for doing this with us. Can you share with us the story of how you decided to pursue this career path? What lessons can others learn from your story?
I was taking a break from my prior role in traditional investment banking and my ex-colleagues from Morgan Stanley were doing something exciting in blockchain out of LA, so I thought I would explore. At that time my impression about the blockchain was mostly around the Silk Road dark-net prosecution case that I read about in the Financial Times. As I started to dig more into the technology, however, I realised that there is huge potential in both blockchain technology and crypto. I feel like in this sector, I can make a real difference as part of a small team, in a space wide open for innovation.
Can you tell me about the most interesting projects you are working on now?
1. Nebula Genomics:
Nebula Genomics is building a genomic and health data marketplace for consumers. Its blockchain and token enable implementation of a self-governing system that drives genomic data generation and sharing.
SUKU aims to transform supply chains through its revolutionary blockchain-powered ecosystem. The SUKU platform will open up an environment of collaboration through a layered architecture — enabling the community and technology partners to develop and integrate features easily throughout the supply chain ecosystem.
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 former boss at Morgan Stanley, her name is also Marina. She taught me of the importance of a strong work ethic, commitment, patience, and integrity in the workplace
What are the 5 things that most excite you about blockchain and crypto? Why?
- Blockchain is on the bleeding edge of technology so this is where you meet a lot of strongly motivated, amazingly bright individuals.
- I love working with entrepreneurs who are highly motivated and keen to change the world. The nature of the industry means that I meet and interact with these kinds of people a lot.
- I also feel that individuals at start-ups are rarely restricted by structures in the workplace that would, for many others in established businesses, limit progress.
- As the technology is so new, developments and changes occur at rapid pace — no two days are the same in the land of blockchain and crypto
- The technology can be applied to so many industries — there really is no single way to get involved with blockchain. And every industry can benefit in some way.
What are the 5 things that worry you about blockchain and crypto? Why?
There is really just one major point to consider — that this space is still very immature, which means that there is a risk of participants who do not necessarily operate ethically. As the market matures, I think it will become more and more important that individuals from traditional capital markets backgrounds, with the right governance experience, come and join the market to raise standards around investing in blockchain and crypto projects.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world? Can you share a story?
It would be wrong to say I personally bring ‘goodness’ to the world, but there are so many companies out there doing good things which are benefitting from the blockchain, which ultimately benefits society. Nebula Genomics, for example, is building a better world within medicine as gathering genomic and health data can help inform more efficient treatment and care of individuals.
As you know there are not that many women in your industry. Can you share 3 things that you would advise to other women in the blockchain space to thrive?
- If you are not of technical background, do not get discouraged thinking that in this space you can only become successful if you are a developer. There are a lot of roles evolving in the ecosystem that can suit a variety of backgrounds and skillsets well.
- Don’t be afraid to get involved in broader advocacy initiatives around the sector. Every little bit helps in reducing the stigma that still remains around the sector.
- Look to what the universities are doing for inspiration — I find their efforts particularly important. I see a lot of amazing work coming out of Oxford Blockchain Group, for example, and many other universities are also doing interesting things in the blockchain space.
Can you advise what is needed to engage more women into the blockchain industry?
Put simply, we all, men and women, need to be aware of the potential social biases we hold. There is a place for more women in the blockchain industry and I encourage everyone to be mindful of who they engage and to really support every individual they come across, so that more women are encouraged to enter into a career in the blockchain industry.
What is your favourite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share a story of how that had relevance to your own life?
“The only thing which is permanent is change”.
For me, this is about the capability us humans have to evolve. Many of us have felt stagnant in our lives as the routine takes charge and we are not prepared to change our lives for the better, being scared of the unknown. I try to always remember that this is the greatest capability we all have — to evolve, move forward and bring the best of ourselves into the world.
You are a person of great influence. If you could start 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. 🙂
Along the lines of the previous question, I’d like for everyone to become deeply convinced that they are in no way limited by who they are today. Our family paradigm, upbringing, life experiences sometimes make it difficult for us to aim for higher in life. Opportunities show up when we are ready, but to be ready we need that belief firmly ingrained in us. How to make this into a movement I do not yet know, ideas welcome 🙂
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Tyler is the CEO and Founder of Regal Assets, an international alternative assets firm with offices in the United States, Canada, London and United Arab Emirates focused on helping private and institutional wealth procure alternative assets for their investment portfolios. Regal Assets is an Inc. 500 company and has been featured in many publications such as Forbes, Bloomberg, Market Watch and Reuters. With offices in multiple countries, Regal Assets is uniquely positioned as an international leader in the alternative assets industry and was awarded the first ever crypto-commodities license by the DMCC in late 2017. Regal Assets is currently the only firm in the world that holds a license to legally buy and sell cryptos within the Middle East and works closely with the DMCC to help evolve and grow the understanding and application of blockchain technology. In addition to his role with Regal Assets, Tyler has been featured in many news publications and has been featured as a expert commentator on “The News with Ed Shultz”. Prior to founding Regal Assets, Tyler worked for a Microsoft startup led by legendary tech giant Karl Jacob who was an executive at Microsoft, and an original Facebook board member.