What is the secret to Fin Techs and
banks successfully collaborating?
I think one cannot be the other.
You have to find the appropriate
bridge that connects the two.
Banks are established organisations
embedded in regulatory frameworks that everyone feels comfortable with. On the other hand,
Fin Techs have the flexibility.
Larger organisations have to be
more reserved in how they talk to
regulators and take a more conservative approach because they have
more to lose.
Compare this to Fin Techs who
have nothing to lose. There is no
revenue to lose, there is no large
business to lose.
So on the one hand you have the
steady ships providing quality services; whereas on the other, start-ups are more about innovation.
As these are two different worlds,
a bridge between innovation of
Fin Techs and the resilience and
trustworthiness of banks is needed
whereby both can benefit from
How important is incorporating
legacy systems in the development
of Fin Tech?
For us it is critical to integrate with
legacy systems, and there are two
ways to do that: firstly, connecting
DLT with existing upstream systems
at incumbent organisations in front
and back office, and interoperability
of assets between existing environments and blockchain environments.
You cannot expect to replace
legacy systems with Fin Tech solu-
tions and in the long run I am not
sure it is even possible. Financial
institutions also need to justify the
implementation costs to satisfy
boards and shareholders.
You must also consider opportunities in the short- and long-term
and banks have to satisfy board and
shareholders who may be more
focused on short-term rather than
A key element in this context
is also management of cash to
achieve full settlement finality.
Further down the line, interoperability between different DLT
technologies needs to be addressed, but we don’t see that as
a technical challenge.
Has blockchain technology moved
on from its initial hype?
If 2014 and before were marked by
bitcoin, 2015 was about blockchain
and scalability, while this year the
discussion has moved to issues
around confidentiality and permissioning in the use of blockchain.
We are also moving away from
blockchain’s original technical
design, built initially for bitcoin,
While I do not believe we have
moved past the initial hype, there
has been a lot of experimenta-
tion and work to understand the
technology, with more firms having
carried out proof of concepts. There
is a better understanding of what
is and what is not possible with the
technology and what it really takes
to move something into production.
What developments can we expect
to see next year and further into the
As with every innovation, we will
have first movers and fast adopters.
Some will be leading the pack and
bringing something into the productive environment faster than
others. However, it is a journey. It
is a fast changing environment and
we will see more solutions coming
into production in 2017.
I am not sure if there is any real
solution for blockchain in a productive environment.
What we will also never see is a
universal silver bullet, a blockchain
fit for all purposes.
There are a number of blockchain
solutions providers, including ourselves, who are working to bring
targeted solutions into actual use,
such as platforms to issue, settle
and record ownership of assets in
an efficient way over time.
“It is a fast changing environment and we will see
more solutions coming into production in 2017.”
“As these are two
a bridge between
innovation of Fin Techs
and the resilience and
banks is needed.”