Meet Álvaro García Vizcayo. Álvaro is a Training Specialist at Chainalysis based in Amsterdam, NL.
Álvaro recently traveled to Kigali, Rwanda to conduct training on the Chainalysis Reactor tool with officials from 27 different countries in Africa. As part of the team behind the Chainalysis Academy, Álvaro has had the opportunity to travel to over 5 different countries to spread blockchain knowledge, in just over a year.
We sat down with Álvaro to learn more about him and his journey at Chainalysis.
Q&A with Álvaro
Q: How did you first hear about Chainalysis?
A: In 2018, I had an internship with Europol in the European Cyber Crimes Sector. I heard about Chainalysis products first through my colleagues there. As one of the first public European organizations to use Reactor, the team at Europol was already familiar with the use cases for Chainalysis products. Fast forward nearly 5 years later, I heard about the role with the training team at Chainalysis. It piqued my interest to hear from the company I knew back in the day. Once I learned more about the opportunities for development at Chainalysis, I joined.
Q: Who is behind the Chainalysis Training Team?
A: The Chainalysis Global Training & Academy Team is made up of content creation specialists and training specialists. Together we enable our customers in both the private and public sector to use the most advanced blockchain analytics solution on the market. We educate government entities, and businesses with crypto products, about the blockchain ecosystem and how to stay informed. It’s a group effort, including localization teams translating and customizing training delivery to each context. I also have the opportunity to create content when possible, using customer feedback from my training session in the field.
We provide training to institutions all around the globe, both virtually and on site. Our ultimate goal is to support the mission of Chainalysis: to build trust in blockchains.
Q: How does your experience with Europol transfer into your work at Chainalysis?
A: My background has helped me in many different ways at Chainalysis. I acquired a lot of experience in credit card fraud and theft in darknet marketplaces. I also worked for a multinational company after my time at Europol. There, I was first introduced to the law enforcement sector. This experience made me adept at delivering training to audiences in this domain.
In my current position with the training team, I’ve used the Chainalysis Academy to learn everything from crypto fundamentals to more advanced blockchain analytics concepts. I’m excited about my most recent Cryptocurrency Investigation Specialist Certification. I’ve been able to keep learning technical in-depth information as we continue to roll out new courses.
Now, I have the opportunity to travel and share that knowledge with law officials all over Europe, and more.
Q: Tell us about your recent trip to Rwanda.
A: In February, my colleague Chris Brooks and I traveled to Kigali, Rwanda. Together with AfriPol and Interpol, we held training to promote transparency in crypto for investigators. I met a lot of amazing people from those two organizations, and from the Rwandan law enforcement. They treated us with hospitality from the moment we arrived. We met the head of the cybersecurity department and the general director of the entire Rwanda Investigation Bureau.
Our goal was to support ongoing law enforcement efforts in countries throughout Africa in the fight against cybercrime. Officials from over 27 countries like Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Nigeria, South Sudan attended the training.
During training, the conversations and stimulating questions helped us learn about the needs of the local context. By partnering with the experienced investigators on the ground, I believe Chainalysis tools and education can help create a safer ecosystem on the blockchain.
Q: Did you have a chance to explore Kigali while you were there?
A: Yes! Our hosts from the Rwanda Investigation Bureau invited us to experience the culture in Rwanda. We enjoyed the local food, went dancing, and even went on safari. That was a first for me.
We traveled over two hours by car to Akagera National Park in Rwanda. There were all different types of animals that I had never seen before wandering around completely free. While we slept in tents, you could hear the sounds of the different animals, it was really cool. A wild boar approached the tent, but in a nice way.
Experiencing different cultures is important to me, so I’m grateful for this opportunity to see this part of the world.
Q: What impact has your role at Chainalysis had on you, personally or professionally?
A: In terms of skills, the training team at Chainlaysis has helped develop my public speaking. This may be more of a personal impact as public speaking can reinforce your confidence. This skill also crosses over to my role as a trainer. When you’re in the field or online delivering training, you get to help people from around the world. You’re talking about the latest innovation in blockchain analytics and people are paying attention. You get to be the subject matter expert. It feels fulfilling and rewarding to contribute to something greater. Aside from that, the people and cultures that I’m immersed in have expanded my perspective.
About Álvaro outside of Chainalysis
Q: Tell us more about yourself, off-chain? What motivates you? What are your hobbies?
A: My main passion is music. My brother and I have been making music since we were young. He sings and I play the flamenco guitar, a type of music which is popular in Spain. On the training team at Chainalysis, there are quite a few people that love music and play instruments too.
Lately, I have also been playing chess. It lets me practice thinking strategically and planning ahead. In chess, you play out different scenarios in your head. These are good skills to have in the work environment as well, so if anyone at Chainalysis wants to accept my chess match challenge let me know.
Q: Where do you learn more about the industry?
A: The first thing I did when I joined Chainalysis was to take all the certifications available. We even offer free training on Crypto Fundamentals (español | english) through the Chainalysis Academy. I also used Nexo Academy. They offer different online tutorials with key technical information. Our team also offers excellent product training. For example, I’m learning about the Solana blockchain as we just added it to our Reactor product.
Outside of internal training, I learn a lot from our customers and clients while I’m on-site or online for training. The institutions I work with specialize in everything related to digital currency, from money laundering to tax field specialists.
Interested in learning more about working at Chainalysis? Visit chainalysis.com/careers to view our open roles and get a glimpse into our culture.
Alvaro’s Manager Says:
Álvaro brings a wealth of experience to the Chainalysis Global Training & Academy Team. His cool, calm and collected style has been a hit, particularly when educating our Spanish speaking students. – Dan Poar, Public Sector Training Manager.