Arcual Life: Meet Our Senior Blockchain Engineer, Duke!

August 16, 2023

We learn more about Duke's professional experiences, his passions outside work, and discover what he enjoys most about Arcual's culture.

Tell us about your professional background?

Hey there! My journey as a software engineer started back in my college days when I was studying computer science. I got into the world of software development, working with startups. After that, I decided to go for a Master's degree in computer science at the Technical University of Berlin. During that time, I got really into cloud computing and distributed technologies, and I dug deep into the whole blockchain thing. This journey not only boosted my tech skills, but it also got me super excited about research and development. I got really interested in finding cool new ways to use blockchain in different areas like Energy trading, DeFi (that's Decentralised Finance), and Supply Chain Management Systems. Over the past six years, I've been working as a blockchain engineer and I've had some awesome experiences in the blockchain world. I've been part of a bunch of open source projects where I've been showing off my skills in web3 development.

Right now, I'm working as a senior blockchain engineer at Arcual, which is a perfect fit for my passion for pushing the boundaries of new tech.

What was a career highlight?

The most significant career highlight for me was my last experience at an early stage startup called AFTS, which is located in Berlin. The company's primary focus was to revolutionise supply chains by leveraging cutting-edge blockchain technology to enhance transparency and accountability. Our mission extended even further, as we diligently tracked progress towards sustainable development goals. During that time, I had the incredible opportunity to lead the development of an innovative blockchain based solution. As the senior full-stack engineer, I played a crucial role in architecting our tech-stack by using a public blockchain that underpinned our innovative SaaS platform. One of the most rewarding aspects of this experience was the privilege to lead and manage a talented and dedicated remote team of developers. Together, we transformed ambitious ideas into an actual cool product. Our work didn't just involve coding; it had a real-world impact by disrupting supply chains and making them more transparent, efficient, and environmentally conscious.

What drew you to Arcual?

I was drawn to Arcual by the realisation that NFTs were not being utilised to their full potential in the art industry during the early 2021 hype. Believing that blockchain technology could significantly benefit the art industry beyond digital art, I found Arcual's vision of solving industry challenges, like instant payment distribution and resale terms, through blockchain technology compelling. Additionally, as a blockchain engineer experienced in public blockchains, the idea of developing a permissioned blockchain with a focus on data privacy, with advanced cryptography such as zero-knowledge proofs, intrigued me. This aligned with my desire to apply my expertise to enhance security and privacy in industries like art. Collaborating with a team passionate about pushing blockchain's boundaries in the art industry made joining Arcual an exciting and fulfilling career move.

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

Every team within Arcual has their own structural ways of working, where mutual respect  and empowerment are embraced. A typical day at the Berlin office starts with grabbing a morning coffee with the colleagues and then having our daily standups with our teams, where we chat about what needs to get done and who's tackling what. During the day we're always keeping in touch, hopping on Google meetings and chatting away on Slack. This helps us all stay on the same page, keep track of progress, and tackle any hurdles as a team. The emphasis on constant communication and mutual support and respect helps create a cohesive and efficient working environment within each team at Arcual.

What is your favourite thing about culture at Arcual?

My favourite aspect of the culture at Arcual is the vibrant and inclusive environment that the company cultivates. With a presence across three hubs in Berlin, London, and Zurich, Arcual embraces diversity with over 20 nationalities represented among its members. What stands out to me is the remarkable blend of highly talented and skilled individuals who not only excel in their respective roles but also consistently exhibit a strong sense of collaboration, helpfulness, and respect towards one another. This enriching cultural dynamic fosters a collective spirit of innovation and teamwork, making Arcual an inspiring and rewarding place to be.

What would you be, if you weren’t Arcual’s Senior Blockchain Engineer?

If I weren't Arcual's Senior Blockchain Engineer, I would probably try my luck and talent at being a professional football player. During my early years, I dedicated myself to football by playing for several professional teams. Nowadays, I continue to enjoy the sport by playing for a local team in Berlin for fun, alongside some of my post-graduate friends from university. While technology and blockchain have become my primary focus, my passion for football still finds a way to thrive in my spare time.

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

As I look ahead to the next two years, I see Arcual evolving into the undeniable leader in blockchain infrastructure for the art industry. Our journey as a dynamic startup points to a future as the ultimate destination for artists, galleries and collectors seeking a transformative art ecosystem. This entails offering a comprehensive suite of features, including cutting-edge privacy measures and advanced security protocols, alongside a seamless global payment framework. This collective effort can empower the art world, creating a space where creativity and commerce flourish hand in hand. Furthermore, I'm genuinely enthusiastic about the prospect of our infrastructure transcending the confines of the art industry. In the upcoming years, I envision Arcual evolving into a bedrock upon which various creative applications and use-cases within the art industry can be built. This entails empowering artists, galleries and collectors with unparalleled tools that foster growth and healthy collaboration.

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