In Conversation With Nena Vuckovic, CEO At TheBlockBox
We had the pleasure of interviewing Nena Vuckovic, CEO at TheBlockBox. Nena is an expert and thought leader on the blockchain technologies, and brings tremendous passion and strategic depth in this field. TheBlockBox builds end-to-end blockchain applications for a wide range of industries, including finance, banking, supply chain, healthcare, transportation, digital identity, and advertising.
Can you tell us what inspired you to pursue this career path? What do you want others to take from your story?
After a decade long career at Apple Engineering, I’ve decided to continue in an active role with digital transformation technologies. As a critical-thinker and a problem-solver, working with emerging technologies such as Blockchain, AI, IoT, and ML, continue to spark my imagination and creativity. Digital transformation technologies are not only changing the way how people and businesses operate and deliver value, but it also provides cultural change needed to challenge how things stand constantly.
It takes courage to venture into something as disruptive and revolutionary as Blockchain, and one must strive to do better and follow his own aspirations.
People need to push themselves progressively and pursue their dreams with a lot of dedication, persistence, and passion.
Could you tell us about any of the exciting projects that you are working on currently?
We have recently opened a Blockchain Design and Development (D&D) Hub in Belgrade, Serbia, dedicated to Blockchain Product Design and Software Development, Mobile Apps, and Information Security.
We are developing a customizable, Hyperledger-based blockchain supply chain solution “Catena Copia”. The project goal is to enable more transparent, safer, immutable, and efficient supply chain management that blockchain technology leverages. TheBlockBox solution will help enterprises keep their customers informed on products’ provenance, authenticity, quality, and safety. We will be piloting “Catena Copia” with customers in the food industry, luxury goods, and shipping in Q1 2020.
“Verto” is our 2nd flagship project. It’s a white label cryptocurrency exchange platform with KYC/AML profiles, multiple trading options, various types of orders, and enhanced information security. “Verto” is planned to be available in Q2 2020.
Is there a particular person who you would like to credit with helping you get to where you are? Can you share an anecdote about that?
I would definitely credit Vladeta Marjanovic for my initiation into the Blockverse. Once I realized how Blockchain works, and how it empowers cryptocurrencies, I took a trip down a memory lane back to drastic inflation measures that were taking a toll on Serbia and Montenegro in mid-’90s. If we had BTC or any other type of digital currency back then, no amount of inflation would be able to bring down the value of money.
I was captivated by his vision and how he perceives the acceleration of the projects across leading Blockchain verticals and how they further lead to business process changes.
What are the 5 things that you think are most fascinating about Blockchain and crypto? Why?
Looking back, every disruptive technology we’ve ever come across was doubted at first. People may often speak out about how they want changes to be made, but deep down, most of them would like things to stay as they are. And if anything starts threatening the status quo, they feel the need to push back. It’s only natural and we, as innovators, need to respect that.
Blockchain, by default, brings copious changes to the norm. It’s immutable, decentralized, and secured. And this is why many people have kept the distance from it for a while. They had a chance to embrace the change or be ignorant and risk that they may be impacted by it.
I think that the 5 most fascinating factors about Blockchain all relate to its impact on business models and its refinement.
What are the 5 things that concern you about Blockchain and crypto? Why?
I feel like there’s a lot of room to advance the current state of the crypto market.
Cryptocurrency transaction speeds, consensus mechanisms, scaling, overall security, ease of use, user experience, etc — these are all aspects of cryptos that could do with some improving and I’m certain we’ll see a lot of progress in the next couple of years.
However, while we will work hard to improve the way the market works, cryptocurrencies have already made their main mark on the world. They’ve done something I feel will prove to be a monumental moment for the 21st century — they brought internet of money and blockchains into the spotlight and sparked a fantastic interest in the technology of distributed ledgers.
They also demonstrated the incredible potential of tokenization, which is poised to make an impact on various industries across the globe.
How have you used your success to bring positive change to the world? Can you share a story?
On the personal side, I am always looking to be involved in different giving and charitable/donating projects. I’ve donated funds for educational help – mostly for coding, software development for kids, and similar causes. I also enjoy seeing a growing number of women in emerging technologies, which is awesome.
As for young women looking to get into the rising blockchain technology, I’d say either follow my blueprint or start by learning everything there are about blockchains. In my case, I made a name for myself outside of the blockchain community, so when I wanted to make the transition to a new field, my reputation preceded me and gave me some leg-up.
This approach will take years, though — if you’d like to start earlier, I’d say get in the trenches and learn how Blockchain works, learn about cryptography, read as many whitepapers as you can, and ultimately learn to code. I think we’re way past the illusion that only boys are good at programming and are the only ones with computer-savviness to them, so you should be giving it you’re all every day to learn as much as you can.
What is the one “Life Lesson Quote” that you stand by? Can you tell us how that had relevance to your own life?
“Stay hungry, stay foolish,” – quoting the immortal Steve Jobs.
Always push yourself, keep trying the things people say cannot be done.
Who would be one person in the world that you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why?
Hmm. One won’t suffice.
I would really like to travel back in time and meet the great Amelia Earhart whose pioneering contributions in the aviation industry are still being taught and admired today.
On another hand, what Christine Lagarde has been doing in the world of finance and politics is just extraordinary. What’s interesting is that Christine also supports the application of Blockchain and has encouraged the use of crypto on a state level.
What these two have in common is their boldness to preserve against all the odds, and to persist in their endeavors unwaveringly. They are also the first women in their respected fields to have changed the world for the better, but also the way we perceive it.
Where can our readers find you on social media?