David Cunningham, the head of strategy and partnerships for digital assets at Citi, is a skilled leader in the world of blockchain and digital assets. With his expertise, he spearheads Citi’s initiatives and explores how blockchain technology can revolutionize the company’s offerings in the global market.
Cunningham’s typical day is a fine balance between interacting with Citi’s clients and collaborating with his global team. He ensures that the blockchain solutions they develop address real challenges faced by businesses worldwide. From validating ideas with clients to attending conferences and forums, Cunningham’s work knows no geographical boundaries.
In his role, he delves deep into the practical applications of blockchain technology, specifically in the realm of treasury professionals. Understanding their current operations and tools is essential to showcase how blockchain can provide innovative solutions.
One of Cunningham’s recent endeavors is the development of Citi Token Services. This groundbreaking platform integrates blockchain, tokenized deposits, and smart contracts into Citi’s existing global network infrastructure, enhancing core cash management and trade finance capabilities. By seamlessly integrating these services into Citi’s operations, clients are guaranteed a streamlined experience.
Working with blockchain technology brings its challenges. Cunningham is keen on avoiding the common pitfall of using blockchain as a solution in search of a problem. Remaining objective and continuously asking “why” helps steer the team away from unproductive rabbit holes, ensuring that their focus is always meaningful.
When it comes to productivity, Cunningham believes in eliminating unnecessary distractions, such as deleting Twitter from his phone. He also prioritizes attending meetings only when his presence is truly needed, allowing him to maintain his incessant focus on achieving desired outcomes.
Communication plays a vital role in Cunningham’s work. Zoom meetings with his colleagues benefit from having the camera on, as nonverbal cues add clarity and context to conversations. In a globally distributed team, understanding context and facial expressions across multiple languages is key to effective communication.
As for the future of deep technology, particularly in AI, Cunningham believes they are just scratching the surface. While he is adjacent to the AI center of excellence in Dublin, the nature of his work has not yet drastically changed. However, he recognizes the immense potential AI holds for the future.
For Cunningham, the most enjoyable aspect of working in the realm of blockchain and digital assets is contributing to the global financial infrastructure’s transformation. He relishes the opportunity to witness blockchain technology utilized on an unprecedented scale, delivering tangible value to businesses worldwide.
To those aspiring to work in this technology-driven field, Cunningham’s advice is simple: expertise in deep tech is not limited by geography or financial means. The internet provides a treasure trove of free information, such as podcasts, meetups, and videos, that can help anyone get started. From there, actively engaging with the community and continuously learning will open doors to exciting opportunities.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Citi Token Services?
Citi Token Services is a platform developed by Citi that integrates blockchain, tokenized deposits, and smart contracts into its global network infrastructure. It upgrades core cash management and trade finance capabilities for clients, providing them with a seamless and enhanced experience.
What are the challenges of working with blockchain technology?
One of the main challenges of working with blockchain technology is avoiding the tendency to treat it as a solution in search of a problem. It requires being objective and constantly questioning the purpose and value of the initiatives being pursued to avoid wasting time and resources.
How does David Cunningham communicate with his colleagues?
David Cunningham utilizes various communication tools to interact with his colleagues, with a preference for having his camera on during Zoom meetings. Nonverbal cues, such as facial expressions, help add clarity and context to discussions, especially in a globally distributed team.
What advice does David Cunningham have for those interested in working with blockchain and deep tech?
According to David Cunningham, expertise in deep tech is not limited by geography or financial means. Free resources available online, such as podcasts, meetups, and videos, can provide valuable knowledge and insights. Actively engaging with the community and continuously learning are crucial for success in this field.