A former professional tennis player turned blockchain lead, Daria Suvorova, originally from Moscow, Russia, seems to have an exceptional sense of how to make life interesting. Although she still has most years ahead of her, her experiences are worth a lifetime. She spent her teenage years between Moscow and Miami, where she trained to become a professional tennis player until she had to quit her career at age 15. She enrolled at the University of Miami to study business, law and psychology. Now living in Hamburg, Daria has discovered a new devotion: the blockchain scene.
Text: Sabela García Cuesta
Moscow, Miami and now Hamburg: how would you describe these three “homes”?
Well, Miami really started to grow in the 1940s as it became the centre of the art-deco scene. It was and will always be the “pearl” of Florida, but it’s difficult to work and grow professionally when you’re surrounded by a paradise. It is my second home and believe me, you won’t find an ocean breeze like that anywhere else in the world! With Hamburg I have a love-hate relationship. I can’t stand the weather, but I absolutely love the lifestyle and the German approach to work-life-balance: they nailed it! Yet it’s Moscow that will always be my first home. It’s where my traditions are, I go there to refresh my Russian spirit. In the end, I certainly feel and identify myself as a Russian woman, but living in the US and Europe for so many years had its effects: you wouldn’t consider me to be a typical Russian when you meet me.
So, what brought you to Hamburg?
I came here to acquire my Master’s degree in Law. Actually that’s how I ended up in the world of blockchain! I was looking for a topic to write my thesis about and I wasn’t interested in the traditional, conservative legal topics, so I decided to write about something unimaginable back then – “smart contracts”.
Smart contracts were first proposed by computer scientist Nick Szabo in 1994. They’re not actual contracts yet, but programs that digitally execute and enforce pre-defined terms of transacting parties. Smart contracts were my first serious encounter with blockchain technology. I started researching more about this new technology first from a legal perspective and then slowly I got more into technical articles and white papers.
And now you work as a legal consultant for a tech company, doing what exactly?
So, while we aren’t building up another exchange of cryptocurrencies, we do offer a platform which enables traders with higher efficiency in cryptocurrency trading. It’s challenging but I have a great team! Furthermore I am also the Blockchain Lead at moinworld, a women’s non-profit tech organization. We are now organizing the moinblockchain conference in Hamburg.
How do people react when you say you work in blockchain?
In general, people are very interested in the topic and I love taking the time to explain what it’s all about. As a matter of fact, while many have heard of blockchain, most only have limited knowledge or got their information from inaccurate resources. I try to change that and explain the positive impacts of this technology. This “disruptive” technology is here to serve us all: the general public need to understand why it’s important to support decentralization, to own your privacy, your data and your sovereignty.
What’s happening next with blockchain?
While there was already plenty of hype in 2017, 2018 will be the year of projects going live and being deployed at a larger scale. I am personally very excited for projects like the Aragon Project, Mattereum, SweetBridge and Gnosis and there are many others out there that you should start learning about now!
Oof, that’s a lot!
That’s why moinblockchain conference is so relevant. We invite everyone who is interested to learn: whether they’re businesses, lawyers, designers, developers, creatives or even philosophers. With moinblockchain we want to raise widespread awareness, our wish is to inspire other women and men regardless of their specialization or origin – and hopefully we can encourage others to start their own projects or initiatives!
Powerful! Moving away from blockchain now, where can we find you in Hamburg?
It is also very important to step out every once in a while! I love farmers markets: Isemarkt is definitely a place you could spot me at when I have free time. If I want to feel like the old times in Miami I go to the Alsterperle cafe on the shores of the Alster lake. It has this beautiful view over the water and the wide perspective makes me feel like on one of the beaches in Miami with an endless ocean view – haha!
The two-day moinblockchain conference takes place in Hamburg on March 9 – 10. Buy your ticket now before they are all gone! Both women and men are welcome to join, not only those in tech but all curious minds. Let’s discover what this technology has to offer for the future.