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Block&Chai(n): meet Shuchi Tyagi, Jur’s new smart contract developer
4 min read
We sat down with one of the newer members of Jur’s team, Shuchi Tyagi. As a smart contract developer working on the Jur Beta Platform, she plays a big role in bringing our vision of decentralized legal tech to life. Based in India’s tech hub Bangalore, she is part of a young and talented team being managed by CTO Luca Daniel. Shuchi first got into blockchain back in 2016, when she was impressed by the possibilities and promises the decentralized technology could bring to applications and systems all over the world. Her introduction to Bitcoin soon led her to Ethereum, where she found a platform that was open to developers to build and code upon, baptizing her into the world of smart contracts. She quickly became absorbed into the cryptocurrency and blockchain space, unlocking a possible new direction for her talents as a developer. https://www.linkedin.com/in/tyagishuchi/ Early market demand in India pushed her to shift her career focus to blockchain, and she found steady work as a freelancer. Still, her ultimate goal was to find a project that she could settle into and bring consistent value to the team, which is why she kept her eye out for more full-time positions. However, 2018 slowing market conditions and a tight regulatory environment in India made it difficult to find a project that she could get excited about. Shuchi was adamant about the importance of believing in the product, something she claims to have finally found these days. After noticing a Jur job posting from Jur’s CTO Luca Daniel in 2019, she was intrigued by the idea of using the blockchain in legaltech. Initially, it was discouraging to find out that Luca was looking for someone more experienced than her, but she asked him to consider her application anyways. They soon arranged a phone call, and after finding their interests to be closely aligned, were able to finalize a deal to make her part of the Jur team. The more you hear about the product, the more you read about the features, it just gets you even more excited to be here. Shuchi Tyagi With all the arbitration methods now, it’s just so slow, and there’s just no transparency. It’s so hard to find a good arbitrator, and once they’ve given their verdict on something, it’s final. With Jur, every arbitrator is encouraged to maintain transparency and be fair, since they are being reviewed by other arbitrators who can check his or her performance. — Shuchi Tyagi on the Court Layer of the Jur Platform Currently, Shuchi is hard at work on the next phases of the platform. She talked about the challenges of the job, with the main one being they are in such uncharted territory. Everything has to be built from scratch, without previous projects or models to borrow from. That makes planning an important part of her role, as the team must design smart contracts that interact seamlessly with other contracts and servers. This challenge is what makes the job so interesting for her, as she has to approach every new step with an innovative mindset, figuring out ways to design and reverse-engineer many elements of the smart contract. At every step, you have to think about security, because once a contract is deployed on the blockchain, it’s the final thing. You can’t modify it, if there are any bugs it just stays there, we have to strive for perfection. She noted that leadership was another area she really likes about Jur, starting with CEO Alessandro Palombo. “I think we need more people like Ale and Luca, especially in the tech industry. They are just so supportive and really bring their passion and talent to keep everyone moving forward.” She talked about how when she first joined the team, they were really welcoming and took her out to dinner at a local Italian restaurant. The two Italians walked her through the ordering process, and taught her a lot about their native cuisine. And while they had an enjoyable evening, they were sure to make clear that Italian food in India was a far cry from what they were used to back in Rome. Her role as a blockchain developer is quite interesting, mostly because of India’s conservative attitude towards the new technology. She jokes and said she struggled to explain the concept of blockchain to her friends and family, since most people associated it with the more negative sides of the industry. With a laugh, she added that her de facto response is now “Jur is legaltech on the blockchain, and it helps to improve the entire law ecosystem altogether. Then I tell them not to ask me any more questions.” On the subject of cryptocurrency, Shuchi explained that India hasn’t outright banned them, but has outlawed the use of them as a legal tender. Investing or “holding” cryptocurrency is still allowed, but she blames this restrictive policy for making Indian blockchain innovation hard to find. She remains optimistic, however, because she believes India is observing the use of blockchain in other countries and waiting for the industry to mature, which is one of the reasons they haven’t passed legislation completely banning the technology altogether. https://twitter.com/NischalShetty/status/1195232060941701127?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fcdn.embedly.com%2Fwidgets%2Fmedia.html%3Ftype%3Dtext%252Fhtml%26key%3Da19fcc184b9711e1b4764040d3dc5c07%26schema%3Dtwitter%26url%3Dhttps%253A%2F%2Ftwitter.com%2Fnischalshetty%2Fstatus%2F1195232060941701127%26image%3Dhttps%253A%2F%2Fi.embed.ly%2F1%2Fimage%253Furl%253Dhttps%25253A%25252F%25252Fpbs.twimg.com%25252Fprofile_images%25252F960826344413286400%25252Fp8yDflBO_400x400.jpg%2526key%253Da19fcc184b9711e1b4764040d3dc5c07 When questioned about the experience of being a female in a pre-dominantly male industry, Shuchi shrugged and stated she believes ambition is the key. Taking advantage of resources and getting past a fear of failure is critical for young people, regardless of gender. She mentions she was probably lucky to have met progressive people like Luca and Ale, who never consider her gender when working together. For Shuchi, her enthusiasm for her work is very evident. She was adamant that she and the rest of the Jur team are committed to providing the community with a legal solution that makes a massive impact. She noted the team was grateful for the support they receive from the community, and appreciate all the feedback and suggestions they get from people trying out the Jur Beta Platform. I really hope that everyone notices the kind of dedication the team has put in up till now. We appreciate Shuchi taking the time to sit down with us! Do you want to follow all the updates about Jur? Cover Photo by Hitesh Choudhary on Unsplash

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Block&Chai(n): meet Ashish, Our New Developer
During this stage of platform creation, the developers are an important part of bringing the decentralized justice ecosystem to life. Jur is offering an inside look at some of the brilliant minds tackling development step-by-step. The Open Justice Platform creation process is a complex mix of traditional platform development, blockchain development, and legal technology. Part of the dev team is based in Bangalore, also known as India’s Silicon Valley. Ashish (Ash, for short) is a tech lead, channelling a diverse mix of experience as a product manager, an entrepreneur, and as a software developer.  Read earlier articles about our developers Suhail and Shuchi. Getting to know Ash Ash’s previous experiences make him a natural fit for Jur and blockchain in general. Going back to his time as a college student in Mumbai, he was a huge proponent of open-source software and even developed his own Linux-based operating system. He also ran a startup community for promoting the local coding environment. Encouraging others to get involved with the technology scene was important to him, especially as a way to empower communities and people.  I do whatever is needed to get things working. On the surface, people really don’t see what happens on the code side. I have a real “get it done” sort of attitude.Ash, on his approach as a developer After college, he began working with a lot of technology including IoT sensors, mobile computing and cloud technology. He even helped co-found and manage a few companies, including one that focused on IoT logistics for last-mile delivery services. While the businesses weren’t always successful, they taught him a lot about understanding the needs of users in a rapidly evolving internet age. It also helped to make him more well-rounded as a professional, learning new skills along the way. Now he’s able to take all those skills and apply them not just as a developer himself, but also on the management side of a project.  Gravitating towards blockchain When you ask Ash about what he’s passionate about, the first words out of his mouth are nascent technology and economics. He spends a lot of free time reading about technology or past events and the effect they had on markets. That’s why it’s no surprise that he got his first taste of blockchain early on through learning about Bitcoin. Later, he became more accustomed to tokens and smart contracts when he worked on a World Bank-funded project. The project was a blockchain-based carbon credit scheme in India that rewarded companies for treating water with coins. It showed him a lot about the versatility and power of blockchain to do good in society. At the time, the project was limited by the IoT sensors they had available, but as the IoT and machine learning technology continues to grow, he sees the whole world adopting solutions like this.  After that experience, his interest in emerging technology made it his goal to get into a company dealing with machine learning or blockchain, which led him to Jur. When he found out about what the company was trying to do with smart contracts and legal tech, he got excited. “In the past, when I was running my own company, maybe on a monthly basis we would create one or two contracts with different entities, such as a third party business looking for a software solution or a freelancer who just wants to work with us. So there was a lot of contract making and I’m very used to that. When I heard about what Jur was doing, it got me excited, I thought ‘Ok, this makes sense.’” For Ash, 2020 has been interesting as he was onboarded with Jur early in April, right as the Coronavirus began affecting parts of India and the world. Luckily, he had been working remotely with his previous company since 2018, so the change was minor for him. Perhaps the biggest change was working as a team instead of being the founder. Ash credited the Jur team for teaching him a lot about working as an organization.  Now as a tech lead he is managing a team of developers with a mix of management and hands-on coding. Initially, he is taking a focus on the front end, but later on, the role will scale to encompass all technical aspects. This includes working on smart contracts and blockchain development, something that Ash values as a use of time. He sees the blockchain as a great tool for businesses and people, beyond just being used to manage cryptocurrencies.  Ash believes that the future of legaltech and blockchain is very bright. The challenge will be for developers and lawyers to find ways to automate key processes and express themselves in non-traditional ways.  “Because you can write code and programs on top of it, you can automate it, you have a lot more power to make things happen with a higher level of control. The reliability and guarantees are there. I see this as the natural evolution of the legal industry. That’s how it is going to be in the future.” Ash is also quite happy with his decision to work on such a groundbreaking project. When asked about his impressions of the company, Ash simply grins. “I can see myself being here a long time.” We are developing the first Multi-Jurisdiction Platform for Online Dispute Resolution: the Open Justice. Check it out! Cover Photo by Hitesh Choudhary on Unsplash