Meet Laura Takenaka | Secretary

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Can you tell us about your background?

I’m originally from Canada’s east coast — a small island called Cape Breton. In High School I was part of a group of ‘nerds’ as they called us back then, that had the first desktop PC’s at home (my friend’s house) and we made some rudimentary programs — but mostly worked on hardware.

I went on to live in a lot of different places in the country, came back home, and got a job working for the Nova Scotia Department of Education in the Labour Market Partnerships division. I stayed there for 5 years then moved to Japan where I spent 7 years working in the Education sector. A job transfer brought myself and my daughter to Bangkok, Thailand which is where we are today. While in Thailand, I’ve worked in a few different industries including education, back to the public sector with the UN, and with the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Thailand.

I actually started with LoyalCoin — helping them run a successful event here in Bangkok and then moved over to NEM later in the same year. I was brought on to head up Thailand activities. I am currently the Secretary for the Executive Committee so it’s been quite a ride for me, I even have a blockchain CEO kid!

Why do you like NEM?

I like the ease of use for NEM. Whenever I talk about NEM, I always highlight that ‘even my kid can create a token’. I find it’s of paramount importance that blockchain appeals and reaches as many people as possible for mainstream adoption. We are still at the beginning of a nascent technology class, so ‘demystifying’ blockchain and cryptocurrencies is really important to me.

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What are you currently working on?

Lately I’ve not been as visible outside of the inner workings of NEM. I’ve been focused on internal communications and the Secretariat Office role and overseeing marketing activities. We highlight our partners and team members that have some great things to share. Also I have been working on policies and procedures, interviewing candidates for the new global director of marketing and lots of management and paperwork.

Which part of Catapult are you most excited about?

It’s honestly so hard to choose, I’m tied between Atomic Swaps and Aggregated Transactions. In previous conversations with projects that wanted to do something like paying influencers on social media with crypto when they generate clicks or likes, they found it difficult due to the fees for micro transactions. Now, with aggregated transactions written in, it expands our use cases even more. Atomic Swaps/cross chain swaps are exciting for their interoperability. We need to look to work with other chains, not against them, if we actually want mainstream adoption.

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Fun Facts:

Favourite movie: Deep Impact, LOTR, Star Wars

Bucket list goal: I’m an ancient history nerd so some private time in Egypt with no tourists around Hatshepsut’s temple.

Random fact: I used to sing quite a bit. I once sang the national anthem at a sporting event.

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