Big financial institutions are investing huge sums of money in blockchain technology, recognizing the improvement it can bring to their operations. But what about the many companies that don’t have access to the capital and human resources these big institutions have?
Many companies don’t have IT staff with blockchain development skills. To make sure that no one gets cut out of the emerging blockchain economy, a team of entrepreneurs has created Blockgeeks, a blockchain technology resource.
The Blockgeeks website describes the company as a blockchain innovation hub and marketplace offering access to education, news, jobs and “world class talent that helps you and your company grow.”
Blockgeeks founders Vlad Martynov, Dmitry Buterin and Ameer Rosic want to make sure mainstream businesses and investors have access practical blockchain expertise. This, in turn, will help the business world benefit from the technology’s ability to make commerce more secure and efficient.
“The biggest challenge is that businesses outside of fintech don’t understand it, and therefore either ignore it or run away from it, reducing the chances for blockchain to interface with the mainstream economy,” Rosic told CCN.com. “This is especially true when there are scare stories or controversies, even if these are entirely natural for such a radical new technology.”
“I was helping a couple of other blockchain-related companies with their business and a bunch of my startup friends kept asking me ‘what is blockchain?’” Rosic added. “At the same time I came across companies that were looking for expert skills, and investors looking for good projects, and I couldn’t believe there wasn’t a platform to connect all of these people. Since I had known Dmitry Buterin as friend for some time, I told him of my idea and then he told Vlad and, the next thing you know, Blockgeeks was born.”
Martynov and Buterin (the father of Vitalik Buterin, founder of Ethereum) are also partners in Wild Apricot, which offers tools and guidance to more than 16,000 non-profit organizations.
“We have been discussing with Dmitri over the last year about investment opportunities in different blockchain-related startups,” Martynov said. “Ameer knew Dmitry and presented this amazing idea for what the space was missing. Dmitry and myself liked it and decided to support it.”
The big financial institutions and high-tech companies already are struggling to recruit engineers with the necessary distributed ledger technology skills. There are only around 4,000 blockchain developers in the world, versus 10 million web developers.
Blockgeeks’ talent pool is designed as a “go-to” for companies, connecting them with developers actively involved with distributed ledger technology.
The workflows of smaller businesses, charities and government agencies also stand to benefit from blockchain technology.
More than lacking the necessary technical skills, these organizations often suffer from a lack of clarity about how blockchain technology can apply to their activities. Blockgeeks will provide this clarity by means of weekly “ask me anything” sessions (AMAs) and messaging opportunities with on-demand blockchain experts, in addition to educational courses and blog posts.
“The blockchain is being held back from fast adoption because there are too few people with an incentive to explore its value to business,” says Martynov. “Blockgeeks will bring fresh incentives for talented coders to sign up for projects, answer the community’s questions, and ultimately help business leaders to find competitive advantage.”
“Financial businesses are the ones most clued-up to blockchain’s value, so initially we will do our best to serve their needs,” Rosic said. “In the longer term, however, we aim to provide a welcoming, practical environment for other types of business too.”
Buterin founded three multi-million dollars businesses, including the membership management software company, Wild Apricot.
Rosic is a blockchain marketing expert, investor and blogger who has served as a commentator on sites like VentureBeat and the Huffington Post.
Martynov brings 20 years of experience in software and digital technology as a co-founder, angel investor and CEO of several startups. He created the world’s first dual screen smartphone, YotaPhone, and has held senior positions at Microsoft and SAP.
Where cryptocurrencies replace traditional cash, distributed ledgers go deeper. It can replace a company’s dependence on banking services, legal services, governments and any “trusted” intermediary normally relied upon to oversee or enforce transactions.
Blockchain services are already being built which can:
● Track the movement of a diamond through a supply chain and authenticate its provenance, without relying on an expert or salesman;
● Build a tamper-proof escrow that pays out automatically when certain conditions are met, without a third party;
● Provide a digital wallet to people who lack traditional identity papers or bank accounts, enabling them to build savings, take loans and pay for things independently of the fiat currency or bureaucracy in the country where they live.
“We’re building a dedicated job board, but in the meantime, we can serve this functional the old-fashioned way (i.e., manually),” Rosic added. “If you’re looking for work or looking to hire in the blockchain space, come and post at Blockgeeks and we will do our utmost to impress with you with the immediacy of the results.”
Blockgeeks also wants to promote formal blockchain education.
“Improving access to blockchain-related courses is something that the ecosystem desperately needs, due to the current skills shortage,” Rosic said. “Blockgeeks aims to provide a welcoming space where people can come and find the right type of course for them, and then find the right avenue for their new skills.”
Featured image from iStock/Eplisterra.