Blockchain for Europe and IOTA Foundation feature VIA’s Web3 solutions in recent report

Blockchain for Europe, a members-only organization that serves “companies driving innovation, integrity, and empowerment through blockchain,” partnered with IOTA Foundation, a non-profit that develops next generation protocols, to write a comprehensive report on the ways blockchain is supporting global sustainability efforts.

The report titled, “An Overview of Blockchain for Climate Action and Sustainability,” includes VIA’s Web3 solutions in a section that covers global climate change initiatives. The authors discuss Skylight and a more recent initiative for EVs:

VIA’s Web3 platform will then also allow verification of the fuel mix of the charge and discharge of EV batteries, incorporating VIA’s zero-knowledge proof (ZKP) to maintain the privacy of sensitive data that currently creates friction for the data owner in the decision to share this information.

For the full report and details written about VIA’s Skylight and ZKPs application for EVs, visit the Blockchain for Europe website. If you would like to speak directly with a member of our team about the ways we can help your organization using Web3, contact us!

Top Burning Questions Q5: Where would I use a “Credentials Wallet?”

A wallet is a means for users to confirm their blockchain transactions. A common question from our customers is: “what‘s an example of a wallet in an enterprise context?”

To illustrate this, here’s an example of how a wallet might be used by an equipment manufacturer that is selling to other enterprises (i.e., B2B).

The equipment manufacturer provides an uptime guarantee to its customers. If the equipment is offline, the event can be automatically recorded in a blockchain for both the customer and the manufacturer to see.

The more important question for the manufacturer and its customers is: why was the equipment offline? Was the equipment offline for a valid reason, such as regularly scheduled maintenance? Or, was it offline due to a fault (and therefore there may be contractual penalties)? Or, were there external factors, like a flood, that will trigger insurance coverage?

In this example, the customer and the manufacturer submit their explanation and evidence (e.g., photos of the flooded equipment). Fingerprints of the documentation are logged on the blockchain. The actual data is stored off chain.

Recording the explanation and evidence in an immutable and auditable format creates trust. This trust speeds up processes like vendor performance review meetings, contract renewals, insurance claims, and regulator investigations.

So, what about the wallet?

Well, in a fully automated system there’s no need for one. That is, if the equipment being offline automatically triggered an alert, storing that alert information on the blockchain could be completely automated without the need for a wallet.

In our example, the “why” piece is a manual diagnostic. This information requires some authorization and authentication to make sure the person submitting it is who they claim to be, and has the permission to submit the documents.

One way to verify that the documents were submitted by authorized parties is to have each submitter digitally sign the transaction at submission. With multiple submitters (e.g., a manufacturer and customers), each party would have to integrate the submission system with their respective digital signature system.

With the VIA Credentials Wallet, all parties receive a simple mechanism to sign blockchain transactions without each participant having to integrate a new system. Each party also maintains their own enterprise user management systems (e.g., role-based access control (RBAC) models, identity access models (IAM), single sign-on (SSO), active directory service, etc.). This approach is particularly valuable at enterprises that have their employees hold their own private keys, such as through Yubikey (like Amazon, Apple, Google, Microsoft …) or an access card to login to their computers.

One of the key benefits to this approach is that the same Credentials Wallet can be used across multiple applications (e.g., systems from different manufacturers). In addition, RBAC integration with the wallet and VIA’s blockchain enables each organization to have their own rules to verify a transaction. Enterprises could decide to have multiple signatures to confirm a transaction, or only signatures from a certain role as submitters of a confirmation.

There are other benefits as well to a VIA-specific wallet. Long-time VIA blog readers will know that cybersecurity is a running theme as a differentiator for VIA in our platform. Everyone deserves the best cybersecurity. Over and above this, companies have a legal obligation to make sure they are protecting their financial and data assets. VIA has made the investment to harden VIA’s Credentials Wallet to U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) cybersecurity standards.

Looking for more information or have a related query? Don’t hesitate to contact us at and submit your question.

Meet the Team: Yousuf LaHaye, Software Developer

We’re back with a fan favorite: VIA’s Meet the Team blog series! Through a Q&A-style interview, you will hear from our very own VIAneers about everything from a typical day at VIA to their favorite books, emojis, and activities outside the office. Now, let’s meet ‘em! 

What does a typical day at VIA look like for you?

First and foremost… coffee. This is followed by checking my emails for any correspondence on pull requests and checking slack messages for anything urgent that needs to be answered. After that I attend my daily standup, where I coordinate with my teammates and Program Lead about what I have on my plate for the day, and If I have any questions or blockers surrounding the current work I am doing. Then more coffee.

As for what I actually work on when I really get to it…that changes everyday! I could be doing backend work developing API’s in python, working on CI/CD pipelines or developing infrastructure with Kubernetes and Helm. Somedays include an “All Hands” meeting where I hear some (usually exciting!) news about new opportunities for VIA or a “donut chat” (a company-wide program that randomly connects people for 15-minute syncs weekly) where I can connect with a coworker I wouldn’t normally chat with. 

How has VIA’s adoption of flexible work locations impacted your work-life harmony?

VIA is my first job after graduating, and since I graduated during the pandemic, I entered the world of flexible working arrangements (I’m lucky!). Regardless, VIA’s flexible work arrangement has been instrumental for me in keeping a healthy work-life balance. My favorite part is being able to close my laptop at the end of the day and immediately throw on my running shoes to get out for a run. This gives me an opportunity to disconnect fully and transition into whatever I have planned for the rest of my evening.

What’s something you have worked on at VIA that you are most proud of?

Upgrading one of VIA’s core platform components, Web3 Multi-Party Computation (MPC), to a new and improved version! It has been extremely satisfying redesigning the old system to make it even faster, leaner, and more capable. I have especially enjoyed working on the infrastructure of the new MPC component in what we internally refer to as the “Lego MPC Node” and “Lego Data Node”. We call them this because the MPC component is highly configurable. Each Epic (VIA’s name for a development team) or customer using MPC can deploy and connect the specific “lego pieces” they need, based on the application. This reduces resources, saves capital and makes updates to a live MPC implementation much easier!

What’s your favorite VIA memory?

There are several good ones, but my favorite was our 2022 offsite. It was a great opportunity to discuss big picture ideas, challenge the way we were approaching current problems and to better understand why we are doing what we are doing at VIA. An added bonus was being able to let off some steam with coworkers and finally get to meet people in person that I had been working remotely with for almost 2 years!

What’s something everyone may not, but should know about working at VIA?

We have a VXP (VIAneer Experience Program), dedicated to employee development and well-being. As part of this program, we have wellness check-ins with a wellness advisor to talk about how we are feeling with our current work, our ambitions and career goals, and new technical skills we want to learn. It’s usually quite casual, and has plenty of time for chatting about what I have planned for the weekend and how I think this is the year the Leafs will win the cup.  

What potential do you see in VIA’s Web3 projects?

I see a lot of potential in our Skylight application and how it can be used to monitor, predict, and manage peak load for utilities. Utilities can use this information to manage the grid and to inform residents when to reduce energy usage to avoid blackouts. Furthermore, residents can be incentivized to reduce energy through the app and can be instantly rewarded for doing so. A win-win for both parties!

Why is our VXP program important to you?

The VXP is important to me because it makes me feel seen and heard as an employee at VIA.

The wellness check-ins that are a part of the VXP are a safe space to voice how I feel and to talk about what I like and what I think could be better about my experience at VIA. My most fond memory of the VXP was when I voiced a desire to make a career transition from being a Data Specialist to a Software Developer. I was placed on a new team and under the guidance of senior software developers to make the transition as smooth as possible. I felt supported throughout the whole process, and this experience really solidified my confidence in the VXP and how valuable it is for employee wellness!

Just for fun this time, what are your top favorite podcasts / books?

No Country for Old Men – Cormac McCarthy

Also one of my favorite movies – it’s a crime thriller with a slow developing story that gives you a chance to think deeply about the symbolism in the book surrounding fate and circumstance. 

Thinking Fast and Slow – Daniel Kahneman

A book about our two thought systems (fast and slow), while it is non-fiction some of the examples in the book almost read like sci-fi. It has helped me understand my biases and to approach problems more rationally. 

A Spy Among Friends Ben Macintyre

I am a bit of a history buff, and this book follows the story of an English spy who was secretly acting as a double agent for the Soviet Union for several years before, during and after the second world war. In addition to being a thrilling read I also enjoyed the wisdom around friendship and what it means to stay true to your principles.

What are your favorite emojis?


Intrigued by the VIAneer’s Experience program? Apply here for our open roles and learn about it firsthand!

Top Burning Questions Q4: Why does VIA have its own blockchain?

Q4: Why does VIA have its own blockchain?

There are as many as 1,000 blockchains in the world today. A very reasonable question to ask is why create another one?

While VIA does connect to public blockchains if financial transitions are required, our motivation stems from customer requirements to control permission and analysis of off-chain datasets.

Read more below on the key reasons that drove VIA to create VIAsecurechain.

Data – Many blockchains are focused on financial transactions and not on data. At VIA, we are using blockchain to enable the secure verification, integration, and analysis of data. More specifically, we’re focused on large, decentralized datasets that need to be kept private and confidential. We accomplish this by storing hashes of individual digital assets (e.g., datasets) and making them searchable through an off-chain database. This private data use case considerably narrowed the set of available blockchains.[1]

CostMany blockchains today require a token system for consensus and key functionality. While there are benefits to a token, gas fees can add up quickly. A voting-based consensus mechanism (like Tendermint) can provide security without the expense of a token. The customer requirement for low cost combined with a data-centric blockchain led VIA in 2018 to build upon BigchainDB and Tendermint as core components.

CybersecurityAll customers, like those in critical infrastructure such as energy and transportation care about cybersecurity standards. This is particularly true for VIA’s defense customers. This requirement was not something that we found anywhere else.The result is that VIA forked code from BigchainDB and Tendermint and invested to meet the U.S. TOP SECRET level cybersecurity standards (e.g., zero-trust architecture, hardened containers) for the blockchain, consensus mechanism, and the hash storage database (MongoDB). The combination of these three elements are the core of VIAsecurechain. The result is that VIAsecurechain is the U.S. Department of Defense’s first and only cybersecurity accredited blockchain.

Explore the other components of VIA’s Web3 platform here and read more about VIAsecurechain in our solution brief.

[1]  Of course, the combination of a data-centric blockchain with a public, financial transaction blockchain enables the best of both worlds: secure markets for private data. This concept was first proposed in our 2018 white paper and now a reality through our partnership with Polygon.

VIA announces 10th patent granted in January 2023

VIA, the leader in Web3 for secure verification, integration, and analysis of private data, is pleased to share that the United States Patent and Trademark Office has granted VIA its 10th patent. The patent portfolio covers a range of Web3 capabilities including cryptography, and secure, decentralized AI analysis orchestration.

GreenBiz highlights VIA CEO’s insights about electric vehicles

As we enter 2023, many of us in the energy space are eager to learn about the year’s outlook. If you are one of those people, you are in luck, because VIA’s CEO Colin Gounden was selected to share some valuable insights in a recent article by GreenBiz. This feature is a part of an extensive 2023 predictions piece in the transportation and mobility sector. The author of the article Vartan Badalian, GreenBiz Group Transportation Analyst, offers his thoughts on the race to net zero. Vartan highlights challenges, opportunities, and trends shared by world transportation leaders, such as Delta Air Lines, Lyft, Enel X Way, and many others. 

While more than 20 experts provide their views, Colin’s comments are the only ones related to Web3 and also bidirectional charging:

We expect a dramatic rise in vehicle-to-building and vehicle-to-grid charging. With extreme weather, aging infrastructure and record supply chain shortages, the new generation of bidirectional electric vehicles will be a highly attractive source of energy flexibility for grid operators. Web3 technologies like zero-knowledge proofs will help verify that the electrons returning to the grid are from renewable sources while maintaining the privacy and anonymity of EV owners.

To read the full article on the GreenBiz website, click here. Curious to learn more or continue the conversation? Feel free to reach out to Colin directly on LinkedIn or email our team at

VIA’s 2022 Highlights in 60 Seconds –
How the VIA values shaped our 2022

One clear theme for VIA emerged in 2022: W3. What do we mean by that? VIA CEO Colin Gounden explains in under 60 seconds.


Examples of Living Our VIA Values in 2022

The VIA values are expressed not just in our day-to-day interactions and culture, but also as a guide for decisions we make as a company. Here’s a look back at how we integrated our values into everything we did in 2022.


Love in = Love out

Our Love in = Love out value is all about taking pride in what you do. VIAneers got to express their pride in our mission captured in the video below.

Be each other’s biggest fan

For the first time in three (3!) years, we hosted our semi-annual Power Up in person at our Montreal office. This was our largest company onsite ever with nearly 20 new VIAneers hired this year. VIAneers got together to share ideas, lend support, and brainstorm.

As a company located across multiple countries, we know that getting ALL of our VIAneers in one space was not an easy feat. In true VIA fashion we’d like to share a shout out to our People & Operations team for organizing and coordinating a fabulous multi-day onsite!

Stay curious

As a company at the forefront of cutting-edge Web3 technologies, not only do we need to be curious about what others are building in the community, but we share our own learnings as well.

In 2022, VIA was featured in a record number of podcasts. One standout interview was with Nasdaq’s TradeTalks, where VIA CEO, Colin Gounden, explained the connections between Web3, blockchain, the U.S. DOD, and clean energy in 6 minutes.

Not only were we giving talks remotely – we did it in person too! Chainlink invited VIA to speak at 2022’s must-attend Web3 event, SmartCon 2022. Didn’t get to be there? Luckily for you we have a 90 second summary of Colin’s talk!


Learning never goes out of style

At VIA, we’re always learning. We began the year by being one of only ten companies out of more than 100 applicants selected to join Wharton University’s Stevens Center Cypher Accelerator program, where we learned from the biggest names in blockchain such as a16z and Pantera.

Then, we ended the year with another innovative accelerator program, when we were selected as one of only nine companies out of more than 200 applicants to learn from industry leaders at the AWS Sustainable Cities Accelerator for Infrastructure.


Ready, set, RESILIENCE!

In 2022, not only did we improve and upgrade our current technology infrastructure, we added brand new features to our Web3 platform. We wrote multiple blogs about zero-knowledge proofs, homomorphic encryption, and even shared some open source code.

Respect a challenge and challenge with respect

The energy sector faces tough challenges in war, weather, and waning infrastructure globally. This year VIA rose to that challenge with the launch of Skylight, our Web3 platform to support ultra-fine grained demand response. Read about how we leverage zero-knowledge proofs, NFTs, and more in our latest white paper.

And that’s a selection of our 2022 milestones! We couldn’t have done it without the contributions and continued support of customers, partners, and of course our very own VIAneers. 

In last year’s end of year reflection blog, we aimed to scale up in 2022 – all of which came true. After all, the best way to predict the future is to build it. In 2023, VIA is looking forward to announcing our contributions to communities big and small globally.

The year in Switzerland:
highlights of mission-driven initiatives in 2022

Avid VIA blog readers will be familiar with the many reasons for why we picked Switzerland as our European headquarters. In short, the country is a leader in clean energy, data privacy, and blockchain – three areas that strongly align with VIA’s mission to make communities cleaner, safer, and more equitable. 

The prestigious Tell Award we received in October of 2021 recognized VIA, along with Moderna, at a national level in Switzerland and set us up for an eventful year ahead. For all of you visual learners following VIA, here’s a look back at all things VIA that took place in Switzerland in 2022.

January 2022: Swiss media features VIA and HSLU in an article on securing smart meter data. Learn more here.

Swiss Ambassador to the United States, Markus Börlin, interviews VIA CEO Colin Gounden in New York. Learn more here.

EPRI puts VIA data privacy through its paces with an independent evaluation process. Learn more here.

July 2022: The VIA team hosts Swiss VIAneers Jeanine Pilloud and Martin Ramsler at VIA’s Boston headquarters.

August 2022: VIA Expansion Manager Ray Neubauer speaks at the SUEID conference in Bern. Learn more here.

September 2022: VIA participates in the Energy Data Hackdays event in Brugg for the third consecutive year with a challenge developed by VIA’s Skylight team. Learn more here.

October 2022: Our Swiss site,, is launched in three languages: English, French, and German.

Swiss podcast Insider’s Guide to Energy interviews VIA CEO Colin Gounden to talk blockchain and energy. Learn more here.

December 2022: VIA CEO Colin Gounden travels to Switzerland to meet with our Swiss counterparts and customers to talk Skylight. Pictured below – Innovation Process Technology in Zurich hosts Swiss VIAneers Raimund Philip Neubauer, Jeannine Pilloud, and Colin Gounden for dinner after a Web3 talk.

As 2023 approaches, we look forward to scaling the technology and partnerships in Switzerland. In the meantime, thank you to all our partners and VIAneers for your support in creating a solid foundation. We are sending our sincerest and warmest holiday wishes to all of our European communities.

Top Burning Questions Q3: What do cryptocurrencies have to do with data privacy?

Question: What do cryptocurrencies have to do with data privacy?

There is no shortage of news around cryptocurrencies today, especially given the collapse of FTX, the crypto exchange company, earlier this year. Now more than ever, a question that we are getting is how cryptocurrencies are relevant to our Web3 data privacy platform.

What astute readers know is that the “crypto” in “cryptocurrencies” is for cryptography. The tech stack in the blockchain ecosystem related to encryption, privacy, and security is evolving faster than the technology of any single company. This is the main reason that VIA is committed to leveraging crypto technologies in our data privacy solutions.

Zero-knowledge proofs (ZKPs) are a good example of this. Long-time VIA blog readers will be very familiar with ZKPs. While their mathematical origin goes back to 1982, the first widespread application came from verifying cryptocurrency transactions. Here’s a quick example:

Imagine a disagreement between Adam trying to buy one bitcoin from Eve. Eve says she sent it. Adam says he never received it. In a traditional banking transaction, Adam and Eve would know each other’s names, bank details, and there would be at least one bank that can verify what happened. In the case of a cryptocurrency like bitcoin, the whole point is anonymous (so Adam and Eve don’t know each other) and peer-to-peer (so there’s no independent middleman to verify) transactions. That’s where ZKPs come in. They are a software mechanism to verify a transaction of a digital asset while maintaining the anonymity of each party, and without the need for a middleman.

That neat trick of verifying a digital transaction between two direct parties and maintaining the privacy of each one is hugely valuable in more than just bitcoin. In VIA’s case we made a choice to leverage ZKPs in energy and data transactions rather than try and invent a new technology. ZKPs are just one of the many digital asset privacy and protection mechanisms we use at VIA from the crypto world. 

Of course, don’t just take our word for it. Large, established institutions are formally embracing Web3 technologies.

“The DoD believes that Web 3.0 Blockchain technology can be leveraged to build systems that focus on protecting the data independently of the systems that store, transport, and process it through decentralization.”

That’s a recent quote from the CIO of the U.S. Department of Defense. In the past few months we’ve seen a significant uptick in the number of large companies that are asking us more sophisticated questions about our blockchain and Web3 technologies to embed with their own Web3 teams and initiatives. We see a bright future in blockchain and Web3 for those interested in the best in data privacy technology. 

Top Burning Questions Q2: Why do we work with the DoD, and what does it mean to have a top secret cybersecurity accreditation?

Question: Why do we work with the U.S. Department of Defense, and what does it mean to have a top secret cybersecurity accreditation?

In short, our work with the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) is in direct support of our mission. Long-time readers will be familiar with our core mission to make communities cleaner, safer, and more equitable.

Of course, the DoD provides humanitarian assistance ranging from providing food and shelter to individuals impacted by natural disasters to evacuating refugees from war-torn regions.

Air Force personnel load a supply of rice and soy-based meals for shipment to Guatemala. Photo by U.S. Air Force.

There is also a strong tie to energy, where we focus almost all of our commercial solutions. As a nation, the U.S. is the single largest consumer of energy on the planet. Moreover, a whopping 77%1 of the energy consumption of the entire U.S. Government is by the U.S. DoD. In our view, if we aim to accelerate clean energy, then working with entities like the U.S. Air Force to adopt electric vehicles and move to renewables is a must.

In addition, working with DoD installations on the topic of electrification helps us learn about how we can support civilian communities. A military base is like a city, with tens of thousands of people, thousands of buildings, roads, and vehicles. How we make a base more efficient directly helps us make urban environments cleaner.

Last, but not least, there’s the cybersecurity element. The standards required for our Web3 platform to run at the DoD include things like zero-trust architecture, hardened containers, and continuous vulnerability checks. Everything we do at the DoD can be brought to our commercial customers who are equally concerned about cybersecurity attacks. In our view, there is no higher standard for cybersecurity, and therefore no better way to make our communities safer.

We’re just beginning our work at the DoD. We look forward to a long relationship to support the DoD’s mission and, at the same time, bring our knowledge to improve the lives of residents in local communities.

Are you a community transitioning to clean energy and electric vehicles? We’d love to hear from you regarding your journey and share your learning with others.

Meet the Team: Will Chapman, Energy Solutions Lead

We’re back with a fan favorite: VIA’s Meet the Team blog series! Through a Q&A-style interview, you will hear from our very own VIAneers about everything from a typical day at VIA to their favorite books, emojis, and activities outside the office. Now, let’s meet ‘em! 

What does a typical day at VIA look like for you?

One of the things I appreciate about VIA is that there isn’t a “typical day”!  It’s a combination of business development activities, strategizing how to advance VIA’s offerings in the marketplace, and creating sales collateral such as a blog series, ROI documents, presentation decks, etc.

How has VIA’s adoption of flexible work locations impacted your work-life harmony?

The flexibility has been helpful to me, especially because of everything I have going on outside of VIA with school, family, and friend events.

What’s something you have worked on at VIA that you are most proud of?

I had never given a formal presentation at a conference before. Recently, I was able to deliver a presentation at the 2022 Cooperative Technologies Conferences and Exposition on a complex piece of technology, to a room full of electrical engineering consulting firms and southern-based electric cooperatives. It was a wonderful experience for me. I would also say I’m proud of all of the work I’ve done to support our go-to-market strategy.

What’s your favorite VIA memory?

I can’t distill it down to just one memory because it has been a culmination of the little things! I’ve had a fair share of laughs from the daily Commercial Team stand-up meetings, and whiteboard sessions with fellow VIAneers have been enlightening and energizing.

What’s something everyone may not, but should know about working at VIA?

VIA offers the opportunity to work on a meaningful mission, to learn about advanced technologies, and to work with bright and thoughtful people.

What is your favorite customer success story at VIA?

In the truest sense it is a partnership between VIA and customers. With the consistent communication VIA has with its customers and the flexibility of VIA’s platform, it’s been neat to see all of the valuable product enhancements that have occurred from these relationships.

What potential do you see in VIA’s Web3 projects?

I see a lot of potential! In our increasingly digitized society, the need for data privacy, security, control, and verification will be more and more important. On the other side of the coin, there is a need to have flexibility because there is a lot to learn from analyzing data. 

VIA’s Web3 technologies help to marry all of these needs together to address big problems in a variety of sectors, especially in the energy and public sectors.

Just for fun this time, what are your top favorite podcasts / books?

My favorite books are like the weather because they change all the time. The first book that immediately comes to mind is Wooden: A Lifetime of Observations and Reflections On and Off the Court by legendary basketball coach John Wooden. There are so many nuggets of wisdom and it’s written eloquently. A book I recently read that I would recommend is a memoir by the lead singer of indie rock band Japanese Breakfast, Michelle Zauner. The third book is a literary classic,A Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankel. I’m all ears for recommendations!

What are your favorite emojis?

🙌  – ⚡️

Interested in joining a team like Will describes? Check out our Careers page or contact us to learn more! 

DataDrivenInvestor highlights Tech on Reg podcast interview with VIA CEO Colin Gounden

Dara Tarkowski, host of the Tech on Reg podcast, published an article on DataDrivenInvestor, a media platform at the intersection of technology, finance, and society. The article covers key points from the recent podcast interview she did with VIA’s CEO, Colin Gounden. Dara commented that the conversation with Colin around technology and clean energy was both relevant and timely: 

“In light of the global energy crisis and the perennial, devastating effects of climate change, it’s about time we talked about how technology can disrupt our reliance on fossil fuels.”

In the article, Dara breaks down the different insights Colin gave on data privacy, federal intelligence, energy data, and equity. One quote from Colin highlighted in the article that stands out is when he describes the reasons why local and national government agencies are investing in energy independence:

“I don’t know that it was the case a few years ago when we started, but it’s becoming the case now, for two major reasons. One is that since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, cyber attacks on the power grid infrastructure have gone up tenfold. That’s a big concern for local and national governments, because these attacks go much deeper than simply disabling popular websites. Modern life requires a lot of electricity, so protecting our grid is fundamental in our societal hierarchy of needs. If you lose the internet, it’s inconvenient and you kind of go back to life in 1976. If you lose power, you go back to life in 1876.” 

To discover the second major reason Colin touches on, head over to the DataDrivenInvestor website and read the full article

Meet the Team: Santiago Vázquez Enríquez, Senior DevOps Specialist

We’re back with a fan favorite: VIA’s Meet the Team blog series! Through a Q&A-style interview, you will hear from our very own VIAneers about everything from a typical day at VIA to their favorite books, emojis, and activities outside the office. Now, let’s meet ‘em!

What does a typical day at VIA look like for you?

It usually starts with coffee and reviewing pull requests. After that, we have the usual agile ceremonies with the team and from there it all depends on the project I’m working on during each sprint. It could be more coding or design sessions, debugging, troubleshooting, and/or taking care of our deployments. To sum up, I am problem solving all day!

How has VIA’s adoption of flexible work locations impacted your work-life harmony?

I love remote work!

I’m close to our Montreal office and sometimes I choose to work from there. Days start easier with that level of flexibility, less rushing after dropping my son at school and more homemade meals for lunch. Speaking of lunch, sometimes that time of day could include jogging for an hour or a workout session, if time permits.

What’s something you have worked on at VIA that you are most proud of?

I’m proud to have been part of the team that achieved DoD’s Platform One accreditation. This was a big project that involved hardening our containerized application’s security, implementing DevSecOps pipelines, and configuring our Kubernetes clusters to run one of DoD’s hardened platforms on top of them. It was hard work, but felt good to be compliant with such a high level of cybersecurity!

What’s your favorite VIA memory?

When I joined VIA, remote work and lockdowns were already in place. Because of this, it was about a year before I met my teammates in person at the first Montreal office event. It was great to have offline chats and hang out! Since then, my favorite moments are from in-person events. A few weeks ago, we had an AWESOME in-person event, where we spent a couple of days learning and having fun together!

What’s something everyone may not, but should know about working at VIA?

From day one, you get to work on cutting-edge technology. The software that we build is complex to the point that it might feel like rocket science. It would be intimidating if it wasn’t for being surrounded by awesome teammates. Every one of them will help you succeed and it feels great to know that the leadership team has our backs with consistent feedback and support.

How does VIA’s Tech Stack compare to past experiences?

We are serious about maintaining our Infrastructure as Code, and automation is at the heart of our operations. To achieve this, we rely on orchestration systems such as Kubernetes to deploy and manage our applications. We are constantly building on top of the Kubernetes ecosystem to implement vendor agnostic tools such as the Istio service mesh to enable encrypted communications. As the ecosystem evolves, we bring in more features and tools that translate into more automation and a better developer experience.

Why is our VIAneer Experience Program (VXP) important to you?

I see the VXP as my best ally to avoid burnout. It’s a system that focuses on wellness and growth. It is also an open line of communication to address our goals and needs and align them with those of VIA.

Just for fun this time, what are your top favorite podcasts / books?

I like reading biographies and I loved “Just Kids” by Patti Smith. When it comes to fiction, I prefer Spanish and one of the latest horror novels I’ve read is “Nuestra parte de noche” (Our share of night) by Mariana Enriquez. I’m subscribed to a lot of podcasts (I bite off more than I can chew…) but one of my favorites is “Philosophize This!” There’s a lot of work behind each episode and it demands full attention from the listener, but it’s worth the effort!

What are 1-3 of your favorite emojis?

☕️ – 🤣 – 🙌

Interested in joining a team like Santiago describes? Check out our Careers page or contact us to learn more! 

Meet the Team: Maria Cesarini, Data Specialist

We’re back with a fan favorite: VIA’s Meet the Team blog series! Through a Q&A-style interview, you will hear from our very own VIAneers about everything from a typical day at VIA to their favorite books, emojis, and activities outside the office. Now, let’s meet ‘em! 

What does a typical day at VIA look like for you?

Typically my day begins with coffee and the creation of my to-do list (which more often than not includes “make to-do list” as the top item), followed by a daily check-in with my team at 9:30 where we discuss what we hope to accomplish for the day and plan any potential pair programming sessions. 

I am on the JARVIS solution team, where I help ingest and visualize data pertaining to infrastructure. I usually spend my day either updating wrangling scripts, creating data visualizations in Tableau, or presenting our work to customers. Over the last few weeks, I have spent a lot of time designing a new database schema and mapping out wrangling scripts for one of our newest customers. It’s a lot of fun collaborating with my team to solve the wide variety of challenges that we encounter daily!

How has VIA’s adoption of flexible work locations impacted your work-life harmony?

I absolutely love having the option to work remotely! My apartment is only a 15 minute walk from the office and it is such a treat to have the option to start the day from home and head in a little later after my morning meetings. I walk along this really pretty path that leads directly into Davis Square, so the commute itself is quite pleasant. I’m originally from the Seattle area, so having the option to work from my parents house and not have to take time off when I travel out there is something I really appreciate.

What’s something you have worked on at VIA that you are most proud of?

I have been very proud to have ownership over the creation of various visualizations and data ingestion processes, especially this early on in my time at VIA! The responsibility can sometimes feel a little daunting, but I have an incredibly supportive team that I know I can turn to whenever I need help. I have also been proud to give several successful end-to-end demonstrations of our work to customers. As someone who never considered herself a strong public speaker, it is exciting and a little exhilarating to receive positive feedback on a skill I had always assumed I inherently lacked! 

What’s your favorite VIA memory?

I have two favorite VIA memories: the first is actually from my first day working here! I was going through a career change and was extremely nervous about making a good impression and living up to expectations. That day, a group of my coworkers took me out to lunch and made me feel so incredibly welcome that it put a lot of my anxieties to rest. My second favorite memory is from the company offsite – our first night there, the People and Operations and Marketing teams put together a game night at our office in Montreal! I’m not usually a big game person, but it was so much fun to see everyone let loose and have a good time!

What’s something everyone may not, but should know about working at VIA?

All the talk about mission and values is not just lip service! The mission and values are embodied not only in the work that our company chooses to pursue, but in the very culture that has been cultivated here at VIA. Never have I experienced such an uplifting, supportive environment where I am consistently encouraged to learn and grow. It makes me want to do a good job not only for myself, but for the people around me who have so much faith in what I am capable of.

In your role, you work and collaborate closely with Colin (CEO), Kate (COO), and VIA product owners. What’s that like?

Colin and Kate are the heart and soul of VIA, and they are a huge part of what makes VIA so special! It is a privilege to be able to work and collaborate with them. Not only do they do a phenomenal job managing the company, but they always make sure to be uplifting with their employees by giving shout-outs and acknowledging a job well done. It is inspiring to be a part of their vision and creation, and I am excited to continue to learn from them.

What potential do you see in VIA’s Web3 projects?

Web3 is still very mysterious to me! Jesus (SVP, Product Architecture) gave a wonderful, informational talk about it during our company offsite and it sounds like an interesting new direction for the field. It is exciting that VIA is steering into this change and is an active participant in shaping what Web3 will look like in practice.

Just for fun this time, what are your top favorite podcasts / books?

I am obsessed with the podcast Binchtopia – I think it has shaped at least 20% of my personality at this point. If you are interested in witty and interesting sociological and psychological perspectives on pop culture, you should give it a try! I recommend the episodes “Ben Franklin off the Percs”, “In My Old Hag Era”, and “Honey, I Monetized the Kids”. My two favorite books of all time are Pride and Prejudice (which I read so much my copy fell apart) and For Whom The Bell Tolls.

Interested in joining a team like Maria describes? Check out our Careers page or contact us to learn more! 

Swiss podcast Insider’s Guide to Energy interviews VIA’s CEO Colin Gounden to talk blockchain and energy

Insider’s Guide to Energy, a Swiss-based podcast that explores topics such as innovation, disruptive technologies, and emerging trends in the energy space, invited VIA’s CEO Colin Gounden on the show to discuss anything and everything that is at the intersection of energy and blockchain. 

The hosts of the podcast, Chris Saas and Johan Oberg, are known for interviewing strong leaders across the globe, with other episodes that included GE Power, Fortum, and Enel North America, to name a few.

Since the interview clocks in at around 48 minutes, we’re breaking it down into bite-sized segments with timestamps to allow you to easily listen to your favorite topics (below).  

Listen to the podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or YouTube (see video below).

5:00 – 8:38: What are the key components of energy and blockchain?

Do you drive an EV? Listen to Colin make the connection between EVs and energy access, and how closely it relates to VIA’s mission.

11:20 – 14:20: Is data the new oil?

The short answer is: it all has to do with MATH. Hear just how that’s possible in this clip.

14:35 – 16:55: Who are VIA’s customers?

Did you know that the U.S. government is the single largest consumer of energy on the planet? Keeping data private while enabling data analysis is what led VIA to working with the Department of Defense (DOD). Don’t miss hearing about other companies VIA proudly works with.

19:36 -22:40: The price of blockchain

In this segment Colin talks about VIAsecurechain, Polygon, and the value of cryptography.

22:45 – 25:00: Managing a global company 

Learn about VIA’s team located around the globe including offices in Boston, Montreal, and Switzerland.

28:40 – 32:20: The near future of blockchain

Smart contracts. Selling back electricity. This segment is not to be missed!

34:20 – 36:25: The impact of the Inflation Reduction Act

This act is a BIG deal. VIA even published a blog about it – check it out!

37:55 – 39:50: So, what’s next for VIA?

Colin shares insights on how VIA stays current in a fast-moving world. 

45:30 – 46:40: Data regulations in energy and big tech

Colin briefly reflects on government regulations.

The hosts wrap up by inviting Colin to come back for a conversation around data science. Don’t want to miss it? Follow VIA on social (Linkedin and Twitter) and check our news page for the latest updates!