“Blockchain is the key to a fairer future”
By using blockchain technology in innovative ways, Zara Zamani, Chief Solutions Officer at ChromaWay & co-founder at Neoki, believes that it can be used to revolutionize data ownership and create freedom and borderless communities.
If you were to ask a dozen people to explain blockchain technology, you’d be hard pressed to get a clear, correct answer. To put it extremely simple – blockchain is a type of database, consisting of several blocks, or records, linked together in a chain because each block retains information about the previous block.
Zara Zamani is a researcher in blockchain at Halmstad University, and has a strong belief that blockchain technology can affect our lives for the better, even though we don’t realize it – yet.
In the public eye, blockchain is still very new and the majority of people aren’t really aware of how this can change our everyday lives.
Blockchain technology was introduced to serve as the public distributed ledger for bitcoin cryptocurrency transactions.
“It took a long time for crypto to establish a credit in the market. The more you start innovation in a regulated space, the more difficult it is to move it,” Zamani explains.
Applying blockchain to less regulated markets
After some time, companies realized they needed to use the blockchain technology in less regulated industries through everyday cases, to prove the usability of it.
“At ChromaWay, we decided to aim our efforts at sectors like fashion and gaming, which are less regulated than finance or healthcare. Additionally, art and music are really big for blockchain, yet we are to introduce that one big game changer application to the market which we are hoping to do it by creating Chromia, a permissionless blockchain that makes it super easy to build blockchain based on decentralized applications,” Zara Zamani says.
Apart from being a researcher in blockchain solutions at Halmstad University, Zara Zamani is also the Chief Solutions Officer at ChromaWay, a leading blockchain company in the Nordics. The road from her native Iran to Sweden, Halland and Halmstad hasn’t exactly been devoid of bumps. On the opposite, it’s been filled with challenges, cultural demands, and gender-based workplace challenges.
“I left Iran as a teenager, and studied in England, Malaysia, and worked as a field engineer in the oil and gas indutry in twelve different countries. In 2012, I moved back to Iran and started my own company, which was a successful venture after some failures. But for many different reasons, I couldn’t continue working there. I didn’t fit in the environment, and I refused to comply with that glass ceiling whether it was being told how to look, how to dress, how to behave. I didn’t want to be controlled like that,” Zamani says.
Halland offered interesting innovation opportunities
Zara Zamani always saw Sweden as a lovely, small country but had little faith in the opportunities offered to grow – especially in tech. It wasn’t until she attended a conference about innovation in payment systems in Iran that she became more aware of Sweden.
“The speaker after me was a Swedish woman, and I loved how she presented and everything she said about innovation in Sweden. So I reached out to her and told her I wanted to do more and begin researching blockchain, since this was a new technology at the time. We got to know each other and kept in touch for about a year. Eventually I got a PhD offer in blockchain adoption in Sweden, and the same lady, professor Susanne Durst, that I’d gotten to know, became my supervisor and I moved here,” Zamani says and continues:
“There’s an incubation center attached to the university and they’re doing a good job and I think the startup space of Halland could grow even more. There are so many possibilities for larger manufacturing companies to look into how they could be sponsoring startups and push those spaces to grow. There is a lot of potential for opportunities here.”
After stabilizing her new journey in Sweden, Zara Zamani, together with Hamid Azarak, chose Halland as their new home. Here, they founded an open world, multi metaverse platform to democratize the world of design and allow people to experience extended virtual life. Today, Neoki is nominated among the top five blockchain companies of Europe and has closed multiple global partnerships, bringing tremendous value to Halland.
Currency of the future
For Zara Zamani, it’s all about scrutinizing the application of blockchain and its use cases. If you create data, and that data is being used to generate value that means you and your actions, and the time you invested in creating and adding the data in the value chain, should include you in the economy your data creates. However, this economy is rather in control of centralized big entities. Blockchain changes this and brings financial inclusion and ensures you are part of the value chain reward system, and be part of its economy, according to Zara Zamani.
I think our data is the currency of the future and blockchain is the future economy platform enabler. Since you’re going to own the data that you produce, you should be very much involved with the economy of the data.
“As an example, in healthcare there’s an abundance of data but it’s not 100% owned by healthcare. Instead, your anonymous data is sold in data packages used in research to governments, research centers, universities, and so on. You’re not part of that economy. But the blockchain changes that and traces the records, allows to to have full control over your data and is included in the economy. By applying blockchain in healthcare data management systems, for end users it will bring inclusivity, transparency and usability,” Zamani explains.
“With Neoki, we want to bring accessibility, democratization, inclusivity, diversity and monetization to the space of art, design and creativity by creating community owned and controlled worlds and in a way give power back to them. These are the real values that this technology is going to be bringing to the public.”