Blockchain technology promises innovative solutions to long-standing problems across various industries. To learn about the work of a blockchain consultant, Charles Miller sat down with IBM blockchain specialist Dr. Agata Slater in this week’s CoinGeek Conversations, in which Agata talks about her role, IBM’s approach to blockchain and the implications for Web3 technology.
As a blockchain consultant at IBM, Agata focuses on helping enterprise clients design and implement blockchain solutions. This includes everything from identifying use cases and architectural design to the actual implementation and ongoing technical support.
According to Agata, IBM assists a diverse range of clients with varying levels of blockchain knowledge. Some approach IBM with a vision for implementing blockchain while others have specific problems they need to solve, with blockchain potentially being just one piece of the solution. Agata emphasizes that the primary goal should always be addressing the client’s problems effectively, even if it means advising against blockchain when it’s not the right fit.
Agata’s department, IBM Consulting, remains technology agnostic. This means they can propose solutions from IBM’s software portfolio but are not limited to them. They can leverage existing solutions from the market or partner with technology providers to best address the client’s needs. For Agata, this flexibility allows them to serve and support clients in the most effective way possible.
When it comes to selecting the right blockchain solution, Agata points out that many enterprise clients prefer permissioned blockchains like Hyperledger Fabric due to their focus on privacy, control, and compliance. She acknowledges that while permissionless blockchains have their place, enterprises often require a high degree of control and stability, which permissioned blockchains can provide.
Agata also discusses the concept of Web3 what she sees as its four pillars: identity, tokenization, traceability, and payments. She sees Web3 as a promise of what the internet could become and believes these pillars are essential enablers for realizing that promise. While solutions for these aspects already exist, she believes that Web3 can bring them together in a decentralized ecosystem.
Interestingly, Agata holds a Ph.D. in Linguistics from the University of Edinburgh, where she studied the language of the Caribbean. She explains how her academic background focused on language and identity, which involved ethnographic research and the analysis of grammatical features in vernacular speech. While her academic journey may seem unrelated to blockchain, she points out that understanding cultural nuances and effective communication are essential skills when dealing with diverse clients and communities in the blockchain ecosystem.
While Agata acknowledges the passion around the different blockchain technologies and protocols, she says she refrains from getting caught up in debates over which blockchain is superior. As for her thoughts on BSV blockchain’s capabilities, she acknowledges its potential in terms of scalability. She anticipates that only when more enterprises with substantial scale requirements enter the ecosystem will BSV blockchain’s full potential be realized.
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