Interviews and Reviews

Exploring FinTech and Blockchain Innovations with Asutosh Mourya

Exploring FinTech and Blockchain Innovations with Asutosh Mourya

In this interview, we will discuss innovations and trends in FinTech and blockchain with Mr. Asutosh Mourya, an experienced engineering manager who has worked at Trilitech, Meta, and Indeed.com. At Trilitech, a top blockchain research and development hub for the Tezos blockchain, he has worked on integrating programming languages natively into blockchain infrastructure, developing AI-based NFT games, and implementing Layer 2 solutions for smart contracts.

Before Trilitech, Asutosh made important contributions at Meta and Indeed.com. He is known for his skill in integrating complex systems and improving operational efficiency, making him a key figure in the industry. Asutosh is the author of several insightful articles on blockchain and an engaging interviewee. If you are interested in the topic, hop in to learn more.

Q. Let us begin with your recent project at Trilitech. Can you explain the development process and significance of building the roll-up Level 2 solution? What were the main technical obstacles you met while implementing this solution?

One of the challenges in blockchain is getting developers to adopt it, mainly due to the steep learning curve. Traditionally, the programming languages used for writing smart contracts are quite different from those used in web2 technologies. This creates a gap between what developers know and what they need to learn to build on web3.

We aimed to bridge this gap by enabling developers to use popular programming languages with our roll-up Level 2 solution. The idea is to meet developers where they are, using the languages they’re already familiar with, to make building web3 applications more accessible.

The development process was not simple either. We needed to modify a runtime to work with the roll-up virtual machine, which was no small feat. Besides, it was necessary to create crypto-native APIs that fit the paradigms of these familiar programming languages. Integrating these seamlessly with the rest of the blockchain ecosystem was also important.

So we aimed to lower the entry barriers for developers, making it easier for them to transition from web2 to web3 and thus driving greater adoption of blockchain technology.

Q. What inspired the development of AI-based games integrating blockchain and AI?

AI is evolving incredibly fast, especially with the advent of large language models. We saw an opportunity to create a simple yet engaging game that uses the conversational capabilities of AI. And integrating blockchain, we can add an innovative twist with a rewards distribution system. This combination of AI and blockchain makes the game more interactive and also brings security and transparency to how rewards are managed and distributed.

Q. Could you share some insights into the user engagement and feedback for these AI-based NFT games?

The feedback for our AI-based NFT games has been overwhelmingly positive. We saw several thousand gameplays, and hundreds of NFTs were claimed by players who won the game. Such engagement was very encouraging. Of course, it validated our approach and provided us with some learnings. These will be incredibly useful as we work on developing more complex, multi-level games in the future.

Q. At Meta and Indeed.com, you focused on enhancing operational efficiency. Can you share some strategies or practices that were particularly effective?

One key strategy for enhancing operational efficiency is automation. I always looked for repetitive tasks that people were doing and evaluated whether it made sense to automate them. Generally, this decision is based on the ratio of the effort required to automate versus the effort saved by not having to do the task manually. This is a good starting point, but there’s more to consider, especially with high-performing engineering teams.

One often overlooked factor is the context switch cost. When engineers have to stop their core tasks to handle manual work, it disrupts their flow and can impact their motivation. While it’s tough to quantify this, it’s important to consider it when deciding what to automate.

Aside from automation, other effective practices include using agile development methodologies, which allow for small and frequent releases. We also implemented data-driven prioritisation frameworks to ensure we were focusing on the most impactful tasks. Finally, the use of collaboration tools helped facilitate communication and keep everyone on the same page.

Q. What best practices do you follow in managing engineering teams to ensure high productivity and foster innovation?

When it comes to managing engineering teams, I have a few key practices that I believe are essential for maintaining high productivity and fostering innovation.

First and foremost, it’s about hiring the right people and setting a high bar. Once you have a strong team in place, it’s crucial to maintain that standard and hold everyone accountable for it. Having a clear vision and set goals is also vital. When everyone knows the direction we’re heading, it’s easier for them to align their efforts and stay focused on what’s important. I believe that those closest to the problem are best positioned to create the solutions. 

Therefore, I ensure that our engineers are well-connected with our users. This direct line of communication helps them understand real-world issues and come up with practical solutions.

We also adopt a bottom-up approach for generating ideas for improvements. This way, everyone feels involved and valued, and we get a diverse range of ideas. Setting ambitious but achievable goals is another practice I follow. It keeps the team motivated and driven, while also ensuring that the goals are realistic and attainable. Creating an environment where people feel safe to take risks and fail is essential for innovation. When team members aren’t afraid of failure, they’re more likely to experiment and come up with creative solutions. 

We make sure that meetings are used for brainstorming, ideation, and discussion, rather than just for status updates, which can be handled asynchronously. This keeps meetings productive and focused on generating new ideas. I also give engineers time to work on their own ideas. This freedom can lead to some great innovations and keeps the team engaged and enthusiastic about their work. Understanding that we’re in this for the long haul is key. 

We always bear in mind that It’s a marathon, not a sprint. Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is crucial for long-term, sustainable productivity. Our processes are there to serve us, not the other way around. We remain flexible and adjust our processes as needed to best support the team’s work. Finally, making data-driven decisions ensures that we’re always moving in the right direction based on solid evidence rather than just gut feeling.

Q. Blockchain is a rather innovative domain. How do you balance technical innovation with regulatory compliance and operational efficiency?

Balancing technical innovation with regulatory compliance and operational efficiency in the blockchain space can be quite challenging, but it’s definitely achievable with the right approach.

First off,  it is essential to understand regulatory requirements. I make sure to stay informed about the latest developments in blockchain regulations. I constantly read up on new laws, and even engage with experts who specialise in blockchain and digital assets. 

Compliance training is another component. This keeps everyone up-to-date and aware of their responsibilities. All in all, it makes compliance a seamless part of our daily operations. 

I need to dress, that leadership support is critical here. When top management prioritises compliance, it sets the tone for the entire organisation. We work hard to foster a culture where everyone understands the importance of compliance and their role in maintaining it. Transparency is a big part of this. We are always open and clear in our operations and decision-making processes.

Regular audits play a significant role as well. They help us identify any gaps in our compliance efforts and address them proactively. This not only keeps us in line with regulations but also improves our operational efficiency by streamlining processes.

In balancing innovation with these compliance measures, I find it’s about integrating compliance into the innovation process itself. 

Q. Can you name some trends that you see are shaping the fintech and blockchain industries?

Yes, certainly, there are exciting trends shaping the landscape. Right now, decentralised finance, or DeFi, is really taking off. These platforms offer financial services like lending and borrowing without traditional intermediaries. Stablecoins, which are pegged to fiat currencies, are also gaining popularity because they provide much-needed stability for transactions.

We’re also seeing more assets being tokenized. For example, real estate and commodities are being converted into digital tokens, which makes them easier to trade and own fractionally. Security token offerings are emerging as a regulated way to issue digital securities, opening new investment opportunities. Cross-border payments are becoming faster and cheaper thanks to blockchain technology. This is particularly beneficial for remittances and corporate payments, making international transactions more efficient.

What is more, we’re expecting improvements in blockchain scalability and interoperability. Central Bank Digital Currencies are another big development, as you may know, many central banks are exploring digital versions of their currencies, and this will definitely enhance financial systems.

Q. What advice can you give young professionals interested in a career in blockchain?

Well, first of all, I’d recommend starting with a strong foundation in computer science. You will need to understand the basics. Next, dive into blockchain fundamentals and try to get at least a general view of how the technology works.

Then you can already start looking into relevant education and certifications. Do not forget about networking — connect with professionals in the industry through events, online forums, and social media.

Most importantly, focus on areas that really interest you as you will need motivation along the way. 


Comments
To Top

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This