Arcual Life: Meet Our Blockchain Lead, Lucas!

July 25, 2023

We sat down with Arcual's Blockchain Lead to find out what drew him to Arcual, and discover where he sees himself in two years!

Tell us about your professional background?

Hello Arcual Life! I started my career at BAE systems, doing mostly classified work, but primarily developing my Java skills. Through my coworkers, I came into contact with blockchain, which ignited a flame for what is now both my job and my passion. I founded  a startup called Axioms, focused on the monetization of social media micro-interactions, which was later acquired. This business model allowed companies to leverage average users for a more creative way to expand their reach while rewarding them directly. Shortly after, I joined the EY Ethereum taskforce in Paris, where I worked on blockchain projects ranging from supply chain to procurement. One of my proudest achievements was an initiative called Baseline, spearheaded by ConsenSys, EY, and Microsoft. We used zero-knowledge proofs to use the blockchain as a messaging board for companies to store their data on, and be able to share it with other companies on demand, revealing only specific elements from their information set.

I then led a small team for a company building  a product for Baseline to commercialise it for companies, as a way of tearing down silos and a cheaper way to leverage blockchain technologies. From there, I hopped onto the DeFi hype-train for a company that had just rolled out of ConsenSys. There, I lead  a team building  a Real World Asset liquidity pool. With the help of our Capital Markets team, we financed over 5 million dollars of real-world debt through our OnChain solution. This venture involved creating several liquidity pools in companies, and also spawned  deep and philosophical conversations with the Maker team on the future of real-world assets, especially relevant when we were faced with the existential threat of crypto regulation in the US. Now  here at Arcual, I lead  our  blockchain initiatives and, more importantly, the blockchain team!

What was a career highlight?

This is a tough question; I've had many moments in my career where I've felt proud of my work. But most of the time, I could only have achieved those moments with the help of an amazing team. So I will share something I hold close to my heart that may seem like a relatively small achievement now, but six years ago was no small feat. I had just been onboarded at EY, and the person sitting next to me was the team’s cryptographer. We struck up a friendship, and over the course of several weeks, he introduced me to the idea of zero-knowledge proofs and their mathematical underpinnings. It was all a bit foggy at the beginning, but piqued  my interest enough to look into it further; not too long after, I wrote my first circuit in ZoKrates, a library written in Rust with a DSL (Domain Specific Language) for circuit creation. After many hours of finessing, I managed to get a small prototype working locally, and everything clicked. I understood how privacy, and more specifically, sovereign privacy could shape the future of blockchain technology, and I have been on that path ever since. Looking back, it was the 'eureka' moment that marked my career direction.

What drew you to Arcual?

Blockchain has gone through what people consider boom-bust cycles; in these cycles, companies can make bold  claims about their objectives, positioning, and approach to problems which serve to boost their valuations and attract talent. After a couple of cycles, I have grown able to identify companies with  achievable projects, which I want  to dedicate  time and effort to. After all, if you’re  going to be working several years on a project, you want something to show for it and to have made a positive impact in the world, right? The startup world is always shifting, so it can be hard to determine what companies will survive. What attracted me to Arcual was its grounded, direct approach to using blockchain  as a technical facilitator to solve trust and efficiency issues within the art world, and specifically its transaction market. Blockchain technology was pitched as any other backend technology would have been, and the immense knowledge, passion, and expertise of the existing team indicated that Arcual was trying to build value, and leverage the right technology for the job, which was a very attractive offer.

What does a typical day look like for you and your team?

In our team, I think we have now reached a good working cadence. We're excited about the next phase of what we are building, and we have a plan for how to get there. Arcual currently has a test network which we have used to prove out the major components of what we are building, and we're getting the production network up and running. It is a very exciting moment, and we're going to make the migration seamless for customers.

What is your favourite thing about culture at Arcual?

There are many things I enjoy about Arcual; I've always loved and have been drawn to art, so the constant exposure to it through our all-hands meetings - where different team members present their favourite artists, which other team members may be less familiar with - is always enjoyable. The various galleries I have had the pleasure of visiting through Arcual, is also a highlight. Finally, having worked with a wide range of nationalities, I appreciate the level of punctuality and efficiency in Arcual meetings, something not always the norm in the startup world!

What would you be if you weren’t a Blockchain Lead?

I'd like to proffer an answer which I hope would make 9 year old Lucas proud. I think he would really enjoy the job we are in, and be proud of where we are, but he also wanted to be a WWE wrestler, back when we all believed it was real, but apparently it's staged?! So, that killed the magic a little bit. Being slightly more serious for a moment, my time in tech sometimes leaves me wanting to spend more time in nature working with my hands. So one day, I would love to own a small farm in the Italian Riviera with some animals including cows, chickens and ducks, to tend to. That would be my dream.

Where do you see Arcual in two year’s time?

Two years is a long time in start-ups! In 18 months, I believe we will have an active and growing community continuing to use our products and transacting on our blockchain, and see the first third-party use-cases being built on the ecosystem, allowing Arcual to start taking a step back in terms of governance and decentralisation of the network.

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