In our employee stories, we will share an interview with our staff to get to know how they got into the blockchain space and why they chose to work for SettleMint.
Today, we will be digging deeper into the mind of co-founder & CTO, Roderik van der Veer, the brains behind SettleMints’ middleware Mint. He has about 15 years experience in digital development and management. In 2016, he took the plunge and dove head first, together with business partner Matthew, into their new venture, SettleMint.
1. How do you encourage creative thinking within your organization?
What I firmly believe in, is that the technology we are using — the entire blockchain thing — is so new, radical and different from anything any developer has ever done before. That is why you need a huge amount of perseverance in being able to research and figure out how things work as well as making sure everything works together nicely.
You cannot just pick people off the streets and expect them to start working with blockchain. Besides, a lot of the questions we encounter while developing our core products are questions no one has the answers to, yet. So, in my opinion asking questions will get you nowhere.
For the blockchain revolution, you need special people who can figure it out since this entire technology space is so new, that there isn’t even a box to think in yet, let alone think outside of it. That is why we only hire the best.
2. What do you want to achieve with Blockchain?
We want to make a dent in the world, meaning we want to make the world a better place in any way we can. For the first time since the creation of the internet, we have a technology that puts the power back into the hands of people. Additionally, blockchain permits us to use the internet in a digital way: things will get more affordable and easier than today.
For example, land registration is one of the main reasons why there are underdeveloped countries. If you want to have a developed and wealthy country, how do you become one if you do not have a decent operational cadastral system? Due to lots of corruption, it used to be a very hard thing to do, but now thanks to blockchain it becomes possible. The work we are doing at SettleMint can remove the $800 million cost that landowners in the U.S. had to spend on title insurance in 2014 and 2015. Moreover, that is a great thing. The cost is cut in half, the risk is lower, and people make more money. With no cadastral system, there is just dead capital.
Furthermore voting. What exists today for voting processes is an entirely flawed system, affecting our daily lives by how wrong it is. We want to build it in a way you can give your vote to the right person making the right decisions. Again, this is a visionary thing, in the short term we look at proxy-voting which is essentially the same thing. With blockchain technology, you can do that at a fraction of the cost and save a whole bunch of money.
The same is true for our Databroker app. We all dream of smart cities, I would like my car to know where to park and in turn make the city healthier and more sustainable. Right now, billions are spent on sensors for just primary use, but with blockchain, we can monetize those things. Since it is easy to accomplish value online, it can liquidate all this dead capital. We are good at this. Everyone here at SettleMint has experience in the field.
3. What has been your favorite project at SettleMint?
My favourite one thus far is Databroker. The potential of monetizing the data from trillions of IoT sensors is just mindblowing.