Benjamin Bukari, Esq.
“Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.” Those are the words that have driven Benjamin Bukari his entire career. Just like Muhammad Ali, the world-renowned boxer who coined the phrase, Benjamin is resilient—not only learning from every experience but integrating those lessons into his own life and profession. The successful attorney and entrepreneur garnered his extensive skill set by providing legal services to some of the top companies in the nation: Deque Systems, Inc., T-Mobile USA, Inc., and Deloitte & Touche LLP, to name a few. Then, Benjamin decided to bring all his knowledge and expertise together to launch his own company, Genesis Straits LLC, an international consultancy scoped to information technology and emerging markets, including blockchain, distributed ledger technology, smart contracts, directed acyclic graphs, and next gen io protocols. We sat down with him to learn more about his impressive career, his accomplishments in the legal industry, and his exciting new role as a business owner.
Before we talk about your new company, tell us more about your background.
After law school, I started as a litigation defense associate for Potter, DeAgostino, O’Dea & Patterson, a multi-faceted litigation defense law firm where I served as the youngest associate attorney with a focus on commercial contract disputes, employment litigation, and EEOC charges of discrimination involving claims of race, age, gender, and disability discrimination. I later joined Deloitte & Touche LLP as an external commercial contract attorney to specialize in enterprise risk management and contract analytics to address the Federal Reserve Board of Governor’s macroprudential regulation of financial markets that bore out of the 2008-09 financial crises. It was an amazing experience for which I plan to use to bridge the gap with blockchain and distributed ledger technology. I got a lot of client interaction, went to New York to spearhead training services for the attorney roster, and learned a great deal about risk mitigation and improving cost efficiencies for the domestic banking organization’s core business lines, including broker-dealer services, clearing services, capital markets, municipal deposits, liquidity services, asset servicing, and derivatives margin management and collateral management.
How did you get involved in information technology?
My introduction to IT came about a few years later when I served as an external in-house secondment attorney and principal commercial contracts outsourcing (CCO) attorney for T-Mobile USA, Inc. in Bellevue, Washington. This is where business-centric lessons really started for me, such that I learned how to contextualize collaborative feedback and cross-functional support for seven core business lines, including indirect procurement, retail leasing, title review, cell site leasing, siting advocacy, corporate real estate, and critical environments, which is immensely helpful with 5G deployments as well as blockchain interoperability.
When did you start working for Deque Systems, Inc.?
I joined Deque in 2019. Deque is the industry-leading digital accessibility vendor in the world, with principal aims of promoting digital equality and inclusion for all persons and fostering web and mobile compliance solutions in accordance with, inter alia, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010, and the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) versions 2.0/2.1, levels A and AA success criteria. I served as counsel to the company’s business teams and wholly-owned subsidiaries with a specialized focus on producing digital accessibility software and professional service solutions for myriad digital assets, including HTML websites, mobile web properties, and native iOS and Android applications. I supported the C-suite, administrative, sales, services, development, dev services, marketing, and information security teams. I was with Deque for nearly two and one-half years. During that time, the company grew substantially, doubling its annual bookings by implementing cost-effective process engineering and release management solutions to yield streamlined service delivery modules and holistic recurring revenue streams.
What led to start your own firm, and how did you come up with its name?
I’ve worked for some amazing companies, but I felt it was time to leverage that experience to launch my firm. I chose the name Genesis Straits as an ode to blockchain and the state where I grew up. “Genesis” was the first block of bitcoin ever mined, and “straits” refers to Detroit, Michigan, which is called the City of the Straits, and the world-renowned Great Lakes and Straits of Mackinac in northern Michigan, which underly the Mackinac Bridge that connects the Lower Peninsula to the Upper Peninsula between Lake Michigan and Lake Huron.
Describe your vision for Genesis Straits.
I see us as an international consulting firm related to blockchain and distributed ledger technology. Right now, I’m focusing on evangelizing this emerging asset class. Still, we could potentially get into custodial and non-custodial services, i.e., mining, staking, trading, clearing, asset liquidity, derivative margin management, and collateral management. I plan to work with both the public and private sectors alike, including federal and foreign governments, to formulate the regulatory landscape, so retail investors and enterprise organizations have clarity and consistency with market operations, regulatory oversight, etc. Institutional adoption and exponential market participation will hinge on staggering interoperability, scalability, authenticity, and immutability. Also of utmost importance is adherence to anti-money laundering (AML) and know your customer (KYC) laws, rules, and regulations as we venture into the new world of the metaverse, which will include novel verticals such as decentralized finance (DeFi), digital lending, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and the like.
In what ways will your prior work experience play a part in your new firm?
Everything I learned from Deque will help move forward, especially in terms of interoperability and integration of traditional and hybrid deployments and environments across all aspects of the software development life cycle. While at Deque, I collaborated with companies of all sizes facing like-kind issues with integration and deployment of novel and/or existing technology stacks across all stages of the software development life cycle. The federal government work I did at Deque has been the most valuable; I successfully drafted and negotiated Deque’s Multiple Award Schedule, Contract No. GS-35F-150LA [#47QTCA21D004E], in conjunction with the General Services Administration and the Department of Justice. Those collaborative efforts included the commercial supplier agreement and end user license agreement, scoped to the Federal Acquisition Regulation and Code of Federal Regulations, and fair and reasonable pricing under the transactional data reporting pilot program for software licenses, IT professional services, and IT training services.
Benjamin holds a Juris Doctor from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Business Administration from Michigan State University.
Benjamin Bukari, Esq.
Genesis Straits LLC
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