Can blockchain address some of the financial services industry’s most vexing problems?
Developers of several promising blockchain companies targeting various aspects of financial services made their case that it can on the opening day of Fintech Week New York 2018. In five-minute presentations to an audience studded with major banks, venture capitalists and other investors, they outlined the benefits of their projects.
The financial services industry has a growing interest in blockchain technology and its many applications.
Since Fintech Worldwide launched its conference series in 2014, it has become an important meeting point for financial technology developers and the organizations they hope to serve.
Blockchain has taken a larger presence at the events. Days two and three of the New York event will include blockchain entrepreneurs in no less than a half-dozen panel discussions, speeches and other sessions.
This more robust presence signals the financial services industry’s heightened interest in blockchain. Among the scheduled panel speakers are Sanjay Matthew, head of Oracle’s Open Banking Digital Platforms & Fintech Innovation, and Sanaya Mirpuri, head of marketing strategy, at Consensys’ Token Foundry.
A New Coin
BLAKFX CEO and President Robert Statica said his company is creating a coin that is encrypted “to ensure that anyone who does intercept the coins cannot open them.” Both Statica and co-founder Kara Coppa said BLAKFX can help create “a borderless universal economy” with their proposed “ecosystem” of cost effective security. The system will make it easier to reach the billions of those with no access to banks.
“We’re making advancements in blockchain by adding security and making it more efficient.” said Coppa, adding that BLAKFX is doing this by “using existing algorithms in new ways.” Statica said the company is building a system that “not even a quantum computer can hack.”
“We’re using five types of ciphers,” he said. “We use elliptical cryptography as well,” the same system on which bitcoin (BTC) is based. Statica said his company’s “end-to-end solution” includes a cipher that “is 10 million times more powerful than the ciphers we use to secure nuclear weapons for the U.S.”
Commercial Real Estate
RealBlocks founder and CEO Perrin Quarshie outlined his company’s plan to increase liquidity in the real estate capital markets using the Ethereum blockchain. Quarshie, a former summer associate at Barclays and real estate development project engineer, said his project “allows sponsors to avoid the dialing for dollars approach” traditionally used to raise capital for private offerings.
Financial Fraud and Money Laundering
ComplyAdvantage uses artificial intelligence, machine learning, and Big Data analytics to improve KYC and AML procedures. Head of Blockchain Joon Pak said the company has “automated the data collection process using data science” to better fight financial crime and fraud. “We are reducing false positives down to 3 percent” he said.
Privacy and Identity
Joey Ferwerda, the co-founder and lead developer of VMC.AI, meanwhile, said his company wants to tackle one of the chief hassles associated with paying for mass transportation: giving up private data that could ultimately be seen by the prying eyes of third parties. VMC.AI “wants to make sure people can travel without getting tracked,” Ferwarda said.
The Amsterdam company is “utilizing hyperledger software with multiple blockchains” he added. An upcoming pilot will involve VMC.AI with development of what he said will be the first-ever blockchain-based bus.