Hakan Yuksel on Hashing It Out

Hakan Yuksel on ‘Hashing It Out’ Episode 20: The journey from SaaS to blockchain

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While I was in Saudi Arabia attending LEAP in Riyadh and several other BSV blockchain-focused events in the area, I had the pleasure of spending time with nChain’s CEO since October 2021, Hakan Yuksel

Yuksel is a man of many countries and has a deep history with leading software-as-a-service (SaaS) companies such as SAP and Oracle. Now residing in the outskirts of Zurich, Yuksel has recently taken the reins of Swiss based nChain, an R&D firm dedicated to innovating with the BSV blockchain and providing tamper-proof data solutions to enterprises. 

According to Yuksel, his background in enterprise software helped very much in his transition to the traditionally research-oriented nChain but emphasized that he will bring a more commercial orientation to the company. 

“This is my past. I’ve led countries and regions in software, and I think I can bring this kind of culture into nChain,” Yuksel revealed.

To transition the culture of nChain from its traditional R&D focus to more of a commercial focus, Yuksel wants face time with his team and is ready to get into the trenches himself to see what needs to be done.

“I think that you have to be here. If I would have stayed in London, in Zurich. I would have gotten a summary. Someone would have filtered the information, but you would have never understood really the amplitude of the need, but also the local practices,” Yuksel said of his trip to Saudi Arabia.

“There are specificities here and you have to come here and listen to that because sometimes you get it right or wrong by very little. And I want to have it right for nChain, by a lot,” he added.

The gambling industry in particular has heard a lot about nChain, mainly through their Sales Director Nick Hill who has been educating the vertical on nChain’s Kensei Connect, a disruptive data integrity platform that is available today.

“nChain is here very much to code and deploy a global platform, an open platform. And that’s wonderful. And Kensei comes as a layer in an industry agnostic matter. So what we provide is valid for the gambling industry, but it could be health care, it could be automotive, name it. So yeah, it’s valid for everyone,” Yuksel explained.

In addition to further commercializing the Kensei platform, nChain also has plans to enter the realm of payment solutions, an area of huge opportunity in the blockchain space.

“When you think about the origin of Bitcoin, payment comes very much as a first topic. And payments are large in quantity…we will be putting a lot of effort, nChain will be putting double digit millions into that industry,” Yuksel confirmed.

“We’re very much following and what is valid for currencies for some nation states or cash solutions, so all of that is very much in our agenda and very much demanded by central banks or by financial services institution. And I know the gaming industry is very close as a next step and there is a need for that,” he added.

Yuksel pointed out the blockchain industry is young and the talent pool comes from across the world, so when everyone comes together the result is a very innovative solutions. And innovative solutions are the exact future vision he has for nChain.

“We should be a synonym of future technology. And I think that in order to get that in an orderly fashion, we have a lot of IP, a lot of patents on the go and we will find ways of actually enabling the industry with the usage of blockchain,” he said.

“So we’ll find ways of commercializing IP, possibly indirectly with the technology transfer method, or sometimes just through our products,” Yuksel added.

With such big plans for nChain while still learning the ropes of blockchain technology, it’s clear Yuksel has his work cut out for him, but this does not scare him away. The majority of executives running everything from enterprises to an online gambling business to a start-up company have no idea how blockchain works and avoid the tech because it is unfamiliar. When asked what advice he would provide to such executives, Yuksel’s response was education, education, education is really the first step.

“Educate yourself, educate your staff. Usually, large corporations have done large, large investment in some type of technologies, and you need to reskill so people must be brave and adapt to the new,” Yuksel advised.

“So educate yourself and then start with something small, like a POC in an area, and then we’ll try together and we’ll make it happen. And then this snowball will be rolling,” he said.

New to blockchain? Check out CoinGeek’s Blockchain for Beginners section, the ultimate resource guide to learn more about blockchain technology.