Putting together a secure, decentralised e-commerce application is no small feat. BitBoost’s talented and multidisciplinary team encompasses all of the different skills required to create, launch and promote the project successfully.
The team behind The Block have diverse backgrounds and experience in software development, IT, blockchain technology, business, marketing and more. The project originally began in the Nxt ecosystem back in 2014, when Andrew and Paul first implemented their vision of truly free online trade with the intention of creating an e-commerce experience like any other – similar to eBay or Amazon – but without the censorship or the high transaction fees and commission rates that are endemic in the sector. The result was the NxtFreeMarket initiative: a downloadable app that used the Nxt blockchain to list, update and sell products of all kinds.
Andrew Lekar, founder and lead developer, back-end
Paul Mahone, founder and lead developer, front-end
Based in Switzerland, Paul is a programmer and entrepreneur with over two decades of experience in e-commerce. Since graduating from Harvard, Paul has accumulated extensive expertise as a high technology entrepreneur. He was a co-founder and director of Molecular Robotics, the first nanotechnology company to be listed on NASDAQ, and runs his own IT consultancy, whose clients include Harvard Law School.
Whilst NxtFreeMarket was – like Nxt itself – groundbreaking, for various reasons the platform was not truly suited to this kind of application. The Nxt-based implementation was forced to use arbitrary messages to store information on the blockchain, which proved an inefficient way to list and update products. When Ethereum launched in 2015, they explored the benefits of a smart contracts-based approach and immediately recognised that it would make possible everything that a peer-to-peer e-commerce application required.
As the possibilities that Ethereum held out became clearer, the core team began to expand. This is when the idea of The Block was born: a fully peer-to-peer marketplace, with integrated ether payments and a decentralised reputation system to protect buyers and sellers. Privacy would be built into the implementation, along with filters that allowed users the control they needed to trade within the laws of their own jurisdictions.
Samuele Maran, founder and project manager
Based in Padua, Italy, Samuele is an experienced project manager and financial expert. His background is in IT for large residential property projects, and as well as having a strong track record in co-ordinating complex projects and heterogeneous teams, he has broad experience in managing bank, customer and community relations. As such, Samuele was also the ideal fit for BitBoost’s community manager and to take charge of customer relations. Samuele is a graduate of the Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, holds a master’s degree in Business Administration, and is a certified accountant.
As the core team who founded the project began to develop the first working beta version of The Block, they were joined by a small group of experts with all the necessary skills to complete and promote it – pushing it out of the realm of the crypto community alone and into the mass market.
Gianluigi Davassi, CTO
Gianluigi is based in Berlin, Germany. He is an algorithmic trader and smart contract developer who specialises in the Java8 stack and possesses a profound knowledge of blockchain technology and Tangle. Gianluigi holds a bachelor’s degree in Information Technology from the University of Pisa.
Alvaro Rodriguez, director of marketing
Alvaro is a seasoned digital expert, with experience in marketing, business development and strategy in both start-ups and established companies. He has a PhD in History and an MBA in Digital Business. Alvaro brings many years of experience of digital communication to the team.
Critical for such an application is the user interface, which must be intuitive and accessible if it is to compete against traditional e-commerce solutions. Finally, then, The Block’s distinctive UX is provided by BitBoost’s application developer, Max.
Maksim Sergeev, application developer
Max is a MEAN stack expert based in Moscow. He is highly proficient in the technologies
that lie behind The Block, including Angular 2 TypeScript, Node.js, and Electron. Max has already successfully completed a large number of challenging projects and is continuously expanding his already impressive skillset.
This combination of a strong team, over two years of development effort and a wealth of experience in dealing with various blockchain technologies and e-commerce means that The Block is well positioned to become the leading peer-to-peer marketplace in the world. To find out more or test the free beta version, visit www.BitBoost.net.
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