The first quarter of this year was unbelievable for the crypto & blockchain world. Bitcoin surged over $50k the first time, it was added to PayPal, and Tesla & Microstrategy invested into Bitcoin around $6 billion. For block42 it was a great quarter as well. We started working on exciting projects and building our own products, grew as a company, and strengthened our internal processes.
Following our company value Transparency, we will share everything that happened in the last quarter in this company update.
New Groundbreaking Projects
Fortify is a new product and a service that we created based on the STIN use case we did last year. We combine an NFC chip together with blockchain, to ensure the authenticity and rarity of any physical product. It’s basically an NFT in a physical world that can be used in almost any industry.
We launched an exhibition for our Fortify Artwork use case with an artist Stebo that is running in an LKH University Hospital. And we are currently in talks with several companies in esport, distilleries, and art industries that are interested in authenticating their products.
In the photos, you can see how the chip is seamlessly attached to the paintings and then how it is being initiated.
Brokkr is a financial product that enables decentralized finance on Thorchain and will make the whole usage of DeFi easy.
In the beginning, Brokkr will be offering exchange of crypto native tokens for Thorchain synthetic twins, deriving and representing the value of the underlying asset. This will enable low transaction fees around 0,02 RUNE ($0,25) and it will make the interaction with the Cosmos IBC ecosystem possible. Then there will be crypto ETFs, Lending & Borrowing, and more!
But that’s just a start, we aim to provide an easy access point for everyone entering and using DeFi. There are so many protocols and dApps and it’s hard to get through them all. Brokkr will act as a platform from where you can interact and manage all other DeFi protocols.
Other Projects Running
Our Telegram bots for running nodes on Thorchain and Terra got new features, Direct voting on Terra, and Profit rollup on Thorchain that parses the rewards of each node.
Personal & Professional Growth Inside block42
People of block42 are the ones who make the goal of shared prosperity happen and we are making sure they have the best possible environment. As a next step in realizing that, we introduced a Career Growth Framework.
This framework says how everyone in the company can grow into the role they dream of and shows exactly where the person stands and what are the expectations of each level of the position. That makes the process of “laddering up” more transparent and fair to everyone. Also, it simplifies the promotions and compensation system, as it’s based on tangible metrics.
It is constructed from 6 levels with a split to two branches, either to continue as an individual professional or as a team manager. Moving through the levels is based on 6 factors and their grade, where each grade requirement is clearly described. These 6 factors are Knowledge, Ownership, Communication & Leadership, Identification, and Experience.
We Are Growing In Numbers!
We’re delighted to announce two new members who are joining our block42 rocket. The first one is Florian, Senior Engineer, whose skills, mindset, and experience perfectly match what we’re looking for at block42 for our blockchain projects. The second one is Michael, our new Marketing Manager, who is the first member joining us from the Czech Republic, and he will be managing all marketing-related activities around block42 and its products.
I hope you will love it here with us!
block42.com New Look
Over the last three years, block42 has evolved from a three-person startup into a fast growing scale up. We started with just investing in crypto and ended up as a Venture-Driven Tech Company, creating our own blockchain products and heavily investing in the most exciting crypto projects. For that, we needed a new website that would reflect it, so let us welcome the new block42.com.
Increasing The Remote Work Experience
block42 is, and always has been, a remote first company. More than 80% of our team works remotely, distributed over Europe and Asia. And it works.
Our “remote stack” consists of tools like Slack, Telegram, Miro, or Jira. Recently we tested a new tool Gather Town, and the remote experience skyrocketed. We’re loving it.
Basically, it is just a tool for video calls, but it disrupts the user experience we are used to from other tools. Forget about setting up meetings with your colleagues and sending links to them. In Gather Town you build virtual office space and move inside it with your avatar, it’s like a Bomberman without the bombs. Once you approach your colleague’s avatar, video and microphone get activated, and you can video chat with each other.
Even though we work fully remotely, we believe that having frequent contact with a random chit-chat with each other, is necessary for the whole team and its perfect functioning. Gather Town enables exactly that while also working as a professional tool for video meetings.
Goals For The Q2
Enabling ESOP For Every Team Member
We truly believe in our mission of achieving global Shared prosperity, to achieve that, we must start with ourselves and block42. We just introduced the Growth Framework, and we will continue with the Employee Stock Option Plan (ESOP). We want to distribute the success of block42 to each team member and incentivize them not only with a salary but by owning a part of the company as well. Finishing it is our main internal goal for this year.
Transfer From Contracted work → Own products
At the very beginning of block42, we were doing exclusively software development as a service for the largest Layer 1 and Layer 2 networks. But as we grew as a company, we started having room for creating our own products, like Fortify and Brokkr, and that’s what we always dreamt of. It’s a natural progression from the service side to the product side of the work. We will still cooperate with the other crypto & blockchain projects, and we will provide a helping hand, but it won’t be as often as it was now.
This is it! Those were the most exciting updates from block42 for the previous quarter. We will be releasing updates like this one every quarter, so everyone knows what it feels like to be working in the blockchain industry and for block42!