Interview: Viktoria Dolzhenko – Blockchain Developer

Blockchain expert Viktoria Dolzhenko shares insights from her career in an interview with Scott Koegler. She discusses how her interest in blockchain grew from seeking high salaries to appreciating its innovative potential, technical challenges faced when building her first blockchain system, the evolution of blockchain architecture, and meanings she finds in developing blockchain solutions. Viktoria also provides perspectives on blockchain applications, common misconceptions about the technology, considerations for integration, and her vision for the future of blockchain.

Scott: Viktoria, what first sparked your interest in blockchain technology and its potential applications?

Viktoria: Haha. I think that my answer, like the answer of most blockchain programmers, will be a high salary. But it was in the beginning, after immersing myself in the innovative field of blockchain and talking with other inspired developers, I realized that I would be here for a long time. Every year, my interest in this technology only grows. Something new is constantly appearing, for example, a new blockchain SUI has recently appeared, which is written in the Move language, which is new to me. And this is another point of growth for me.

Scott: Can you walk me through how you built your first blockchain system? What were some of the key technical challenges?

Viktoria: My first system was a cryptocurrency exchange with a blockchain wallet. It was a small startup that raised $8 million in investment. We wrote the cryptocurrency exchange quite quickly, since it used familiar technologies not related to blockchain. The problems started with the wallet. It was necessary to track blockchain transactions and identify user receipts to our wallet. The difficulty was that our wallet supported many types of blockchains and tokens, and working with each of them was a challenge. Another problem was the different speed at which each developer on the team learned blockchain, which led to misunderstandings and delays in the release of the project.

Scott: How has blockchain architecture and development evolved since you started working in this field?

Viktoria: What surprises me most about the changes in the blockchain is the manifold increase in the complexity of smart contracts and systems built on their basis. If earlier we wrote one or two simple smart contracts in a project, now there are dozens of them. In addition, many design patterns for the architecture of systems built on smart contracts have emerged, for example, look at the encouraging progress of uniswap.

Scott: What do you find most exciting or meaningful about developing blockchain-based systems?

Viktoria: What’s most exciting to me is the incredible variety of projects being built on the blockchain, from financial instruments such as crypto exchanges, wallets and payment systems, to creative niches such as gaming, NFT sales and online casinos. Secondly, an important fact for me is the reliability of users to the systems built in the building. Anyone can open a dedicated website and look at the code that I personally wrote and see that the code does exactly what they need. In general, any blockchain technology is built on trust and openness, and this will bring success.

Scott: Can you share some examples of how blockchain can help solve problems or create opportunities in business or society?

Viktoria: What I personally would like to see happen in the world is the transfer of ownership of property via blockchain. Firstly, it would significantly simplify the procedure for buying and selling property. Secondly, it would eliminate the need for intermediaries, because the role of intermediary would be an open and understandable smart contract for both parties. He will take on all the work to ensure the transaction procedure. And guarantees its implementation. For example, you want to buy a house, for this you transfer the necessary cryptocurrency to the smart contract account. The seller transfers the NFT of the house there, to the same smart contract account. The smart contract works the magic described earlier by both participants in the process and completes the transaction. As a result, the NFT of the house is transferred to the buyer’s account, and the cryptocurrency is transferred to the seller’s account.

Scott: How do you see blockchain transforming workflows, transactions, and operations in the future?

Viktoria: They will become simpler, more open, more accessible and faster. After all, many processes can be carried out without complex legal and bureaucratic procedures. I think that these advantages will allow many people in the future to actively use blockchain in their daily lives.

Scott: What are some common misconceptions people have about blockchain?

Viktoria: The biggest misconception is that blockchain is difficult. Although this is much easier than understanding the laws, bureaucratic procedures, and spending time in banks and lawyers’ offices. The second misconception is that blockchain is illegal everywhere. This is wrong! In fact, many governments at the state level are introducing laws legalizing blockchain, for example Malta, Canada, Germany and Spain, some even equating Bitcoin to the state currency, for example El Salvador, and Paraguay and Panama are seriously thinking about it. Some countries have gone further and are developing their own blockchain with cryptocurrency. The third misconception is the high transaction fees of blockchains. Now there are many blockchains not only with very low (even less than 1 cent), or even with zero commission, for example Tron.

Scott: What are some of the biggest risks or pitfalls to avoid when implementing blockchain solutions?

Viktoria: One of the biggest benefits of blockchain is also its biggest risk. This is irreversibility and the impossibility of canceling the transaction. For example, you can send money to the wrong recipient and lose it forever. I know many real stories of people who lost money like this, down to just one bitcoin. Fortunately, we are creating systems that double-check and ask the user about the transfer data several times before creating a transaction, and therefore such sad cases are becoming less and less common.

Scott: How can businesses thoughtfully integrate blockchain in a way that provides value?

Viktoria: To begin with, let me explain that blockchain is not only about money and cryptocurrency, first of all, it is about open and reliable storage of various information. For example, you can store any information about people, events, organizations, and so on there. Thus, I believe that blockchain would be extremely useful in the field of education and science. Imagine how convenient and transparent it would be for any person or company to verify the reliability of the qualifications of a future employee, provided that educational institutions would enter information about completion of training, receipt of certificates, achievements and other merits directly into the blockchain.

From the point of view of making a profit, I can assume that the introduction of blockchain with a minimum commission would be a good solution for the trade and service sector, for example, online stores or hairdressers, as this would reduce transaction costs. But in each specific case, you need to select a unique integration solution.

Scott: What security considerations are unique to blockchain compared to other technologies?

Viktoria: The first and most important thing is decentralization. No one has the ability to take your money, like a government or a bank can, for example. If you have not given your wallet key to anyone, then no one will ever be able to manage your funds. Another advantage of a decentralized system is the low probability of losing information about transactions. If banks have hundreds of copies of databases with this information, then there are tens of thousands of them on the blockchain, scattered around the world.

Scott: How has your thinking about blockchain changed or evolved over the course of your career?

Viktoria: If at the beginning of my career I thought that blockchain was exclusively a financial mechanism, now I understand that it is a technology that can be implemented in many areas of our lives. Replacing all the money with it, replacing all paper documents – contracts, checks, etc. and most legal procedures associated with transactions.

Scott: What do you wish more people understood about blockchain technology?

Viktoria: As I said earlier, the most important thing is to educate people about the pros and pitfalls of this technology. But unfortunately, not all people will have enough of this alone. Then theoretical information about the structure of the blockchain, mining, supercomputers, and schemes for working with this technology should come into play; people will need to show a personal example of using the blockchain.

Scott: What skills have proven most valuable in your blockchain work?

Viktoria: The most important thing is my openness to something completely new. Willingness to accept new rules of the world order, even if many did not see or recognize these global changes. Thanks to this, I studied and mastered blockchain every day, even in my free time. I wasn’t afraid to use it for personal purposes to better visualize how I could personally improve the systems I developed for users. But it is also worth noting that my extensive experience in the IT field and deep knowledge of several programming languages helped me concentrate exclusively on this technology and the design of systems based on it.

Scott: What advice would you give someone looking to get into blockchain development?

Viktoria: I would advise such people to go to some blockchain academy, where, under the guidance of experienced mentors, they would quickly learn this technology. Also, these schools often cooperate with a pool of employers and can help in finding a job. I believe that at this stage of development, blockchain is accessible for learning even for people without deep knowledge of any programming languages. This is its own special world. The main thing is to be open to new things.

Scott: Where do you see the most impactful blockchain applications in the next 5-10 years?

Viktoria: It’s simple! Blockchain is not as young a technology as everyone seems to think. It is already actively growing in most areas of our lives. That is, it has already been implemented almost everywhere. And over the next 5-10 years, it will only strengthen and expand its influence. As a result, blockchain technology will spread to online banking, investments, trade, services and much more. All that’s left to do is wait.

Scott: What are you working on now in the blockchain space that excites or inspires you?

Viktoria: I’m currently working at a startup that is building a bridge between conventional government currencies and the world’s cryptocurrencies. The user can easily exchange one type for another. At this stage, I see not so much user demand for cryptocurrency. I believe that the reason for this is the large gap in people’s attitudes towards cryptocurrencies and regular currencies. I want this to be an equal concept for every person. Unfortunately, the gap is too wide now.

Scott: How do you evaluate when blockchain is – or isn’t – the right solution for a problem?

Viktoria: Wherever decentralization, security and reliability are needed, there is a place for blockchain. The question is solely about the complexity of the architectural solution to the problem. If a blockchain solution turns out to be too complex, then I easily abandon it. Blockchain is not a panacea. Don’t forget about old and proven system design patterns.

Scott: What innovations would help unlock the full potential of blockchain?

Viktoria: The two most popular blockchains, Ethereum and Bitcoin, have critically low conductivity. That is, the number of transactions carried out there per second is not enough to satisfy the needs of all users. We need an innovation that will solve this problem. The developers of the Ethereum network are actively working in this direction and I believe that they will soon achieve success. The second global problem with blockchain is the consumption of huge amounts of energy, which is incredibly harmful to the environment. It would be useful to create a new mining algorithm for those who use renewable energy sources.

Scott: How can blockchain systems be designed for sustainability?

Viktoria: From a technological point of view, blockchain systems are among the most highly reliable and advanced systems in the world. They are decentralized, have consensus protocols and strong encryption. Therefore, the main threat to this technology is only the tough legislative policy on the part of the leading countries of the world. By uniting, they can significantly worsen the situation of blockchain ecosystems or even destroy them. But I don’t think that will ever happen. Blockchain is too convenient a technology for humanity, which helps solve many applied problems.

Scott: If you could wave a magic wand and change something about the blockchain industry, what would it be?

Viktoria: The blockchain industry is very popular now. This generates an infusion of large amounts of investment money. Unfortunately, some people take advantage of this. They create startups, take investors’ money, spend their money for personal purposes and do not implement the project. This is terrible for the industry as investor confidence is lost and worthwhile quality projects do not receive enough funding. I would like to wave a magic wand and make sure that such unscrupulous startups will never exist again.


Viktoria Dolzhenko is a Senior Software Engineer in the blockchain field, where she designs architecture and develops blockchain projects from start to finish.
Viktoria worked with large blockchain startups such as Itez and Tokenbox, which helped people exchange their money for cryptocurrency and invest in new crypto coins. From cooperation with Viktoria you can expect 100% results in creating highly loaded and complex systems.

Viktoria is a very sociable and cheerful person. Swimming and ergonomic keyboards enthusiast. To get in touch, write to the email address [email protected] or linkedIn profile http://www.linkedin.com/in/vdolzhenko.

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