In October, we announced that Mark Hemsley had been appointed as Chairman of the Board at Zilliqa, bringing a wealth of expertise and experience to the company’s leadership as we work to deliver the best and most innovative layer-1 blockchain protocol available.
Hemsley has had an illustrious career in the technology and finance space, including a three-year tenure as President of Cboe Europe and Executive Vice President of Cboe Global Markets. We’re excited to have him spearheading the next major evolution of the network to Zilliqa 2.0.
We sat down with Hemsley to learn more about his background, his thoughts on blockchain technology, as well as his vision for the Zilliqa ecosystem.
Read our full interview with Hemsley below.
Tell us about your background and what led you to joining Zilliqa as Chairman of the Board?
I have spent the last 20 years in electronic trading, particularly in high-volume markets such as equities and derivatives.
Part of this experience was witnessing the market changes that are required to make low-cost, high-volume transaction processing environments successful, and I hope to utilise some of that experience in working with Zilliqa.
I have also been an advisor to the group since the early Anquan days, so I know the history of the company well.
When did you first encounter blockchain technology?
Blockchain technology was starting to be actively discussed in electronic trading markets in parallel with Bitcoin’s growth, so probably about 10 years ago.
My prior company was one of the first companies to launch USD-settled Bitcoin futures, so we were always following crypto markets and the associated technology.
What excites you about the future of blockchain technology?
The opportunities for multiple-application, highly secure, globally distributed, transactional data platforms are many and diverse.
The key, I believe, is to drive usage that has financial and technical benefit to the users of the blockchain by achieving results that are superior to existing technology. This makes the usage of a blockchain attractive strategically, grows the network of users, and enables layer-1 providers to be financially rewarded.
Why did you decide to join Zilliqa?
I think there is a strong team with a strong technical platform at Zilliqa, and I am very keen to see the network succeed commercially.
I would like to help the team filter the plethora of opportunities that we have to focus on getting the platform processing high-volume/value business transactions that can drive revenue as well as increasing the utilisation and value of ZIL.
What factors will be critical for Zilliqa’s success moving forward?
There are two key factors critical to Zilliqa’s success.
Firstly, continuing to be a first-rate technological platform in terms of factors such as functionality, performance, security, and resilience.
Secondly, improving commercial traction in areas that leverage the capabilities of the platform.
What is one thing the Zilliqa community should know about you?
I really enjoy building technology-driven trading businesses in their broadest sense and look forward to learning from the community on where Zilliqa should focus its technical and business growth.
Where do you see Zilliqa in five years?
At the centre of a broad-based thriving electronic trading environment that services both legacy markets that are being redefined by blockchain-related technologies and the new, exciting markets that are being developed to directly leverage its features.
As Chairman of the Board, Hemsley will play an important role in shaping the future of Zilliqa as a scalable, secure, and low-cost layer-1 protocol that can meet the demands of the blockchain industry as it continues to mature.
In guiding the transition of Zilliqa to cater to broader applications through Zilliqa 2.0, Hemsley hopes the network will be in a prime position to take advantage of new opportunities across a range of industries and capitalise on its ability to deliver high-volume, low-cost transactions at scale.