The European Blockchain Association is thrilled to announce a new member to its board. Dr. Clara Guerra will work closely with Chairman Dr. Michael Gebert and Co-Chair Michael Reuter. We talked to her about her many projects and interests, her ideas on how to drive innovation, education and progress, her favourite sources of information, and of course her goals for the EBA.
🎤 Clara, Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get involved in blockchain and crypto?
I have always been passionate about innovation and emerging tech. I believe, people fascinated by blockchain are in it either for the money, the technology, or the philosophy. I am falling under the latter category. I believe in the positive, transforming potential of technology. While the internet was initiated and built by users with a user-oriented approach, the pendulum has now swung very far into the other direction – with a handful of powerful centralized tech- and data companies in control. I believe that in the transition from the physical to the more and more digital world, blockchain technology offers the chance to shift the power dynamic away from centralized companies, back to users and the community, thus enhancing privacy, sovereignty, and decentralised collaboration. For a generally impatient person as me, it’s sometimes a struggle to accept that adoption is slow but not impossible. But as Nietzsche put it: “He who has a why can bear almost any how.”
🎤 As a board member of the EBA, what are your goals for the EBA in the long and short term?
Right now, we are at a decisive point and time in Europe to lay the foundations for how we want to deal with these innovative, technological developments and their potential for the economy and society. So, in the short term I will put a focus on my input with regards to the regulatory and policy work of the EBA.
Overall, I think the EBA, and its work deserves even more visibility and recognition. I want to help our community to rise and grow together, expand our knowledge and our network. I would like to see the EBA referred to as “The leading independent association for industry players who want to make an impact”. Also, I really like the set-up of the organisation as a decentralised semi-autonomous organisation and want to showcase this successful decentralized collaboration platform committed to driving progress.
I want to contribute by creating synergies, fostering education and driving innovation regulation. I look forward to sharing my various experience – be it from engagements in higher education, my entrepreneurial activity in the MedTech field or my industry experience in telecommunications, automotive/mobility, data protection and digital lifestyle – with the EBA community and leverage my extended network to promote collaboration.
When it comes to education, I very much side with Wittgenstein who said: the limits of my language mean the limits of my world. I believe firmly that in order to build bridges between the old and this emerging new world we also need a lingua franca and terminology; we must know what we say so that we can say what we mean.
As for innovation regulation, it is important to note that innovation does not occur in isolation. It needs a joint effort from government, regulators, innovators, and market participants alike to foster an environment to fully leverage the potential of tokenisation and emerging technologies. I am very much looking forward to contributing my expertise regarding how to best enable innovation through regulation also within the EBA, to engage in dialogue and to bring forth concrete suggestions.
🎤 The web3, blockchain and crypto space is vast and can be confusing. Where do you get your information and what are your favourite sources to stay up to date?
This is a challenge indeed. The space is crowded and filled with a lot of noise. It is critical to exercise heightened discernment. Obviously, there are the popular sources such as BTC Echo, CoinDesk, Cointelegraph, the Defiant, various Telegram groups, or Twitter. However, in my experience, it is my network and a very inclusive dialogue with the market participants or affiliated actors and the exchange with real industry practitioners that provide the best information and insights.
🎤 When you were approached with the offer to join the EBA board, what convinced you to do so?
The EBA and its community walks their talk. There is a wealth of expertise, a resourceful network, committed to supporting the transition and driving innovation in a tangible manner. It is a community of makers and creators with strong personalities, personal initiative, expertise, complementary skill sets, and proven track-records in their respective fields. I could not imagine better framework conditions and set-up for a successful collaboration.
🎤 2022 was a year of reckoning for the crypto industry. Which are the three things the industry should change immediately?
In my opinion, the three most important changes and actions right now are:
1. Recognizing the relevance of blockchain technology and tokenisation.
2. Engaging in constructive dialogue to provide the basic and necessary (regulatory) safeguards.
3. Act with a future-oriented mindset and out of understanding, not out of fear and speculation.
🎤 Which topics and trends do you follow closely?
We are confronted with complex modern problems for which we need to find global solutions, i.e., we need to enable a broader brain trust to better work together. Having said that, I am very interested in the meta-areas, e.g., choice and control, creator empowerment, and collaboration infrastructures that are enabled and powered by decentralized technology. Web3 helps communities to become more effective at driving progress with code-driven pathways to establish trust amongst strangers, align incentives, reward contribution, and even enforce operational governance and treasury management. It becomes easier, cheaper and more efficient to collaborate at scale.