Adhara: Redefining Payment Solutions
Adhara is a leading international payment solution company that provides real time, multi-currency and liquidity management solutions. Adhara’s holistic liquidity management for payments and market making solutions, help manage forex risk and leverage liquidity globally, on a network, in real time. At the helm of affairs at Adhara is Julio Faura. He has been driving innovation for more than 20 years in various financial services firms. He has held several senior roles in Investment Banking, Consumer Finance, IT & Operations and global M&A. Excerpts from an interview with Julio:
Adhara – The Story Behind
Being pragmatic financial industry veterans, the founders of Adhara wanted to serve banks and other regulated players of the wholesale financial industry instead of trying to disrupt them. Said Julio Faura, CEO, Adhara, “We try to help them solve key issues related to inefficient payments processes and their settlement cycles, which are often disconnected and result in higher than desirable operational and financial costs related to the excessive and fragmented liquidity levels that are needed.” He added that he along with the co-founders (who also happened to be friends) – Ed Budd and Peter Munnings sensed tremendous transformational potential that blockchain technology could have in the wholesale financial industry in 2018 and thus started Adhara.
Tokenized Money Platform
Adhara builds next-generation wholesale settlement platforms based on tokenized money, cross border payments, forex and liquidity trading platforms. The company has developed tools for banks that could be leveraged and processed for facilitating instant cross border payments. This help them manage their forex and liquidity exposures in real time. “This also allows them to save millions of dollars avoiding reconciliations, reducing the amount of liquidity they need to conduct their payments operations including better management of their forex market risk. They can also offer innovative payments and treasury management solutions to large and small corporate clients, including instant movements of money, cash pooling and forex services.” Adhara packages its solutions along four main business lines: RegionNet, GroupNet, HubIT and Token+.
Noting that blockchain technology has improved dramatically over the past 2-3 years, Julio observed that it has now reached a point where it is ready to support the first real, productive use cases including wholesale settlements. “Previously known challenges such as low performance or lack of privacy are now essentially solved, with implementations such as Hyperledger Besu that offers hundreds – if not thousands – of transactions per second, a vast array of tools to configure permissioned networks, and different solutions for confidentiality and privacy such as private channels and homomorphic encryption.”
Economic Slump Effecting Blockchain
Julio noted that there is a proliferation of projects in the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) space both from a retail and wholesale perspective. “While there are a number of drivers at play, the economic impact of Covid has certainly bought these projects to the fore with Central Banks and technologists looking at how one could use CBDCs to minimize the use of cash, support economic stimulus and in many ways finding levers to better manage financial stability.”
There are a select few well-respected blockchain companies, Adhara included, who have been working on the technology to support the concepts of tokenized money long before it became as topical. “While competition in this space is heating up, it is key that a firm can balance the technology demands with deep financial markets know-how and an understanding of the complex regulatory environment.”
Future of Blockchain Technology
Blockchain technology and to a large extent the applications built on top of it have evolved significantly over the recent years. “In particular the growing ability for enterprise blockchain technologies to support permissioned network topologies and decentralized governance in general has been crucial.”
“In terms of recent professional milestones, we have been fortunate to be appointed as the blockchain technical partner to Fnality International, responsible for building all the core blockchain infrastructure for them” said Julio.
“My co-founders and I were very committed from the very beginning of Adhara to build a place that would attract the best talent in the industry, get all of us to work as a family, build really useful products for our clients, and have fun throughout the journey” signed off Julio.