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Keith Steva | The eBay Veteran for Lantah’s Blockchain Implementation


Blockchain scalability is right up Keith’s alley. Large scale implementations have been the bread and butter of his successful career for 40 years. We definitely wanted to know more. Thanks to Keith for taking time out of his busy schedule to chat about himself and some of the things he’s bringing to the Lantah team.

1. Where did you grow up?

I was fortunate to grow up on a dairy, hog, and sheep farm in Northeast Iowa. Rural Iowa at that time exemplified family values, honest work, and a sense of community.

What are some things about the town, your early days have influenced how you work?

Farming, at that time, was still very much a family run business. My grandfather, dad, and uncle all worked together to help each other farm. All the cousins spent a lot of time together and were very close.

We kids were expected to help out a lot on the farm. Not only did we have our daily chores and were especially to help with the heavy lifting of bales in the summer, but we were also expected to do well in school and be active in sports, band, choir, and other school, church, and community activities.

One lesson I especially learned was when a job needs to be done, there is no excuse for not getting it done. After growing up on a farm, which I enjoyed the benefits of immensely, I have never had a work experience that seemed hard. Compared to milking cows in subzero weather, nothing seems hard.

2. What’s one problem you have solved in the past that you're proud of?

Over the span of my career a number of big opportunities and challenges have come my way. The journey has been rewarding and I am proud of what I was able to accomplish.

One example that I'm particularly proud of was developing and leading a systems operations team in Shanghai, in the Republic of China for eBay.

The challenge was to develop the team to meet, then exceed, the expectations of the operations team in San Jose. Eventually, we proved ourselves to able and achieved the recognition and trust that lead to eBay Shanghai Operations running the global eBay site 8 hours each day.

One incident I found particularly rewarding came because eBay and PayPal were being blocked by the Chinese government. My security team figured out how the Chinese government "great firewall" worked, and we were able to guide the software changes to eliminate the causes of filtering content by the government.

Another accomplishment I am proud of was to design and implement software, hardware, and automation equipment to entirely run Digi-Key. These were internally designed and implemented applications and controls. The design included manual and business processes.

Digi-Key continues to run to this day on the architecture and design developed originally around 1980 on assembly language and Cobol. It has evolved through several technology generations and replatforming cycles. I feel proud and partly responsible for the technology that has grown it to a $2 billion company.

3. What's one of the first things you plan to do at Lantah?

My personal goal is to make Lantah a household word for people across the world. I want people to think of Lantah when they wish to purchase items and services from global merchants because it's faster, simpler and by using blockchain that it's low cost and secure across international borders.

My first goal is develop and clearly communicate a vision of the Lantah global merchant network. My team will architect and design the initial technologies necessary to be the basis of the global Lantah platform. And, most important, to begin to develop a world-class technical team to quickly innovate and implement that vision. https://www.linkedin.com/in/keithsteva/ eBay cover image by Coolcaesar at English Wikipedia [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons. Lantah is not affiliated with or endorsed by eBay Inc.

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