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.”
AppsCo, an international blockchain & Employee Management company combines the interdisciplinary capabilities in the field and use innovations to deliver quick solutions across sectors. The company’s blockchain technology provides enterprises, access to applications and services, using a secure workplace that connect users, cloud services and connected devices across various industries. Its unique technology offers a platform for securing production data, measurement values etc. It deploys technology that is vertical-agnostic and is a key component to digital transformation.
The Entrepreneurial Streak
A specialist in business software, technology outsourcing and cyber security with more than 20 years of experience in the technology field, Geir Christian is a true entrepreneur. He has created several technology companies in Norway, USA, Slovakia and Serbia, with an industrial exit in HR software. Said Geir Christian, that he has always been an entrepreneur. “I think I have always been an entrepreneur by spirit and can easily and creatively see and propose solutions for problems.”
Attrace is a decentralised affiliate marketing platform using a custom-made dedicated blockchain. It is an Ecosystem for E-commerce that enables anybody to start an agreement in online marketing with a counterparty without a middleman involved (including SaaS propositions). Attrace blockchain takes out the middleman in affiliate marketing (online adverstising where advertiser only pays publisher per sale achieved), in that way solving all problems that are restraining affiliate marketing from reaching its full potential.
At the helm of affairs at Attrace is Erwin Werring, CEO of the company. Excerpts from an interview with Erwin:
Attrace – The Story Behind
Blockchain caught Erwin’s attention when he learned about Ethereum in 2015. “It was Ethereum that made me realise that blockchain tech is not only crypto currency but can also be a tool to solve use cases as well. To be more precise, a tool to solve problems by making a middleman obsolete. Two years later Attrace was co-founded.”
For Waqas Mizra, business success lies in persistently ensuring that the customers achieve their desired outcome. Apart from implementing the best technology tools, he does this by understanding customer needs and critically analyzing their landscape. “Our customers prefer us over other technology providers due to our team’s unwavering commitment to our customers in fulfilling their project objectives,” says Mirza, CEO, Avanza Innovations.
Being an innovation-focused company, Avanza built the state-of-the-art blockchain orchestration and governance platform, Cipher, that comes pre-packaged with dozens of components and micro-services which are required in any blockchain implementation. Besides that, Cipher is also pre-loaded with integration adaptors for all prevailing blockchain platforms, thereby enabling organizations to abstract their legacy systems and ERPs from the underlying blockchain platforms.
Nothing Less than Excellence: Mirza encourages his team to study the market and have a relentless focus on excellence to triumph amidst the competition.
“Being normal. I think that’s actually really important when it comes to understanding your team, creating an organization that works for everyone in it, building trust,” says Nicolas Katan, CEO and co-founder of Bitit.io. Katan believes in living a simple life and applies the same to his work environment. Bitit.io is a France based crypto-currency exchange platform launched in 2015. The platform offers the option to buy Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, and DASH. It offers services in 50 countries with a focus on Europe. Forbes France featured them in their magazine as one of the best platforms to buy bitcoin, Ethereum, and Ripple.
Crossing the Chasm
“We still haven’t gotten to the famous point of ‘crossing the chasm’, where we get to real, mainstream adoption and use,” says Katan about the challenges of crypto-currency. The prime challenge faced by crypto-currency is its complication. Users have trouble understanding complicated terms like blockchain. “We’ve focused on design and ease-of-use from the beginning, to make Bitit the absolute easiest way to buy and sell crypto-assets,” says Katan.
Bloqs4Good is a cutting-edge technology that builds solutions for B2B and B2C. B4G is leading the decentralized economy revolution in a unique direction – Connecting Humanity and Technology by delivering an ecosystem of people, businesses, and communities, empowering them to act with purpose and generate value, while guaranteeing their values of Trust, Integrity, and Sustainability.
The vision is to employ decentralized technology to promote new avenues of commerce for all their stakeholders and partners. Bloqs4Good divisions working together for this common theme of empowering peer-to-peer commerce, consumer choice, innovation, and security while doing GOOD for surrounding communities.
The company offers a varied ecosystem of vertical solutions, especially in the blockchain sector, based on technology solutions for existing industries. As a champion in the decentralized technology industry, Bloqs4Good aims at improvising outdated processes while increasing competitiveness for industry players.
An established global virtual currency player, Coinify runs a Blockchain trading & Payment platform for users to buy and sell cryptocurrencies. Offering solutions in globally, the company also acts as a Payment Service Provider (PSP) that lets banks and merchants accept payment in 17 different cryptocurrencies while getting paid in their own local currencies. Other services the company offers include individual currency trading, corporate brokerage, payment processing services and Enterprise solutions via Coinify API. Riding the wave of blockchain enthusiasm in the financial service world globally, the company is looking to mainstream the use of virtual currencies by helping businesses and individuals foster financial innovation. It also intends to bridge the gap between the current financial world and all the fintech innovations. Mark Højgaard, CEO & Founder, Coinify spoke on a spate of topics. Excerpts from the interview:
The Story behind Founding of Coinify: Copenhagen-headquartered Coinify was incorporated in 2014, as the founders saw a need in the market for a safe and compliant means for users to operate and trade between the fiat and Cryptocurrency world “We started Coinify to act as that bridge.
A relentless optimist by nature, Roham Gharegozlou, CEO of Dapper Labs, is focused on making the world a more open place by driving adoption of blockchain technology. To do this, he uses the “power of play” and delivers blockchain-based experiences, creating new digital economies and empowering creators in the process. “We create products for real people. If something doesn’t matter to you, it doesn’t matter to us,” says Roham.
The Next-gen Products
Taking blockchain gaming to the next level, Roham and his team designed innovative and fun products like Flow, NBA Top Shot, Dapper, and CryptoKitties. Flow is a new blockchain built for the next generation of apps, games, and the digital assets that power them. It is designed from the ground up as a foundation for internet-scale protocols and applications that also require exceptional user experience. It provides a developer first experience and consumer-friendly onboarding for developers and product people everywhere to build their next project.
Ember is the first mobile app that allows users to easily buy into a managed cryptocurrency fund, without holding users’ assets. The company believes in fundamentally transforming those investment products people have access to on a global scale and uses cryptocurrencies to achieve the same. At the helm of affairs of Ember Fund is Alex Wang, Co-Founder & CEO. Excerpts from an interview with him:
Story Behind Ember Fund
Ember Fund is the first mobile app that allows anyone in the world to invest like a crypto hedge fund, with just a few hundred dollars. According to Alex, the company partners with the best minds in crypto (hedge funds, quants, etc.) to bring sophisticated institutional grade trading strategies to the masses. It also earns the distinction of being fully non-custodial as the company does not store sensitive data including private keys. It leverages machine learning to build an amazing customer and personalized product experience.
The newly appointed CEO of Hut8 Mining Corp, Jaime Leverton has her hands full. At Hut8, she will work towards enabling momentum and change, while driving approach-based solutions thus delivering quick wins. Over the last 20 years she has driven operational re-imagining in increasingly senior executive roles with leading tech companies. She also transformed operations and accelerated growth which is her primary objective at Hut8 Mining Corp. An active mentor and a board member of the Stratford Festival, TECHNATION and the Merry-Go-Round Children’s Foundation, Jaimie is an ardent advocate of gender equality and believes that women should hold senior positions at top management levels. An avid runner, reader and a loving wife and a mother, she spoke to us on an array of topics. Excerpts from an interview:
Taking Reigns as the New CEO
Jaime calls her model for success that she follows joining a new organization as a 90-day game plan. “At Hut8, I am focusing my initial few weeks spending time with our employees, our board members, our partners and our investors as we work to build out the framework for short and long term value creation.”
IOVlabs develops the blockchain technologies needed for a new global financial ecosystem. The organization has developed RSK Smart Contract Network, RSK Infrastructure Framework (RIF), and Taringa!’s platforms. The RSK Network is one of the more secure smart contract platforms in the world, designed to leverage Bitcoin’s unparalleled power. RSK Infrastructure Framework (RIF) is a suite of open and decentralized infrastructure protocols that enable faster, easier, and scalable development of distributed applications (dApps) within a unified environment and aims to add the identity, storage, communications, marketplaces, micro-payments, and gateways layers to allow the creation of Decentralized Sharing Economies.Taringa! is Latin America’s largest Spanish speaking social network with 30 million users and 1,000 active online communities. Excerpts from an interview with Diego Gutiérrez Zaldívar, IOVlabs CEO:
Idea Behind Founding of IOVlabs: IOVlabs platforms help people to create digital identities, build reputations, establish and enforce agreements, including engaging in commercial transactions without intermediaries.
Oftentimes leaders do not recognize the power in them until they pursue it persistently. From a shy dancer first on stage to a bold TED speaker later in life, Galya Westler discovered the potential in her with relentless perseverance despite the odds she faced.
Originally graduating as a Software Engineer, Galya quickly climbed the corporate ladder but soon realized that she wanted the independence and freedom to develop her own company as an entrepreneur. She decided to quit the corporate world and devote her entire focus to cutting-edge technology projects. “I took what I learned from my corporate experience; onboarded clients and identified projects that were not only interesting to me but where I felt that I could really make a difference in this world,” says Galya. “Slowly, I built my team and took on projects, initially, in mobile app development, DIY B2B tools, and more recently, in Blockchain enterprise solutions.”
Today, being the CEO of Plazus Technologies and GO Health Technologies Inc., Galya’s success factor lies in stepping outside of her comfort zone, facing issues head-on, and using any and all challenges and as learning tools to build on her expertise and knowledge.
“Once you have a vision, build a strategy around it to execute the vision.” A serial entrepreneur across markets, Arman Sarhaddar is a dreamer by nature who believes in carefully building the strategic foundation that shapes his dreams. Born and raised in Vienna, Austria, Sarhaddar became an active investment banker in 2000. He worked for big investment firms in various markets and managed companies with up to 50 brokers in the U.S.
The Blockchain Journey
Having over 20 years of wealth management experience, Sarhaddar has always been fascinated about the distributed ledger technology which brings true authenticity, integrity, and security in to play. “At the beginning, Bitcoin was a remarkable technology, but it was not until the developments in the recent years that the true potential of distributed technologies crystalized themselves,” he notes. Moreover, all those new areas of applications reflected with his personal story. “My personal belongings were stolen from a secured area.
In recent days, blockchain is one of the most common terms we listen in the finance and trading sector is blockchain, and also folks are aware of its basic definition i.e. a decentralized digital ledger with complete information of transactions done on this platform. But apart from this basic definition, there is lot more to know about blockchain technology. Now most of the folks interested in finance and trading are techies and well familiar with the frequent technology growth, still use of blockchain is rarely a handful of folks all across the world and the reason behind this is lack of proper knowledge about the benefits and uses of blockchain technology. If you are new to this technological sector and willing to know more about it before you step into it then you are on the right page. Here we will discuss some major uses of blockchain which is really being a reason of finance and trading transformations. Blockchain is configured using latest and high-end technologies which make the money transactions really swift. Most folks use different types of money transaction platforms but late processing stuck their work for a while and this issue has been noticed by every second folk using money transaction applications.
Blockchain is one of the latest technologies emerging out as a boon for various trading and finance companies. This technology is summarized as a digital ledger of online transactions decentralized to open its access to everyone using this platform with a 0% change of forgery or theft. With the explosion of this latest technology a big transformation has been seen in the finance industry and it has come up with great advancements and benefits and also has changed the way of online transactions. Every coin has two sides, at one side where blockchain is making trading easier and secure, on the other hand it is also facing challenges in its way of development. There are several benefits offered by blockchain technology, but before stepping into this sector it is important to know the possibilities of challenges this industry is facing now or may face in future. Main issues: Blockchain completely works digitally and it has no such manual involvement directly, hence a robust technical background is required to run blockchain smoothly. Major issues faced by this technology are difficult integration with legacy system, lack of interoperability; it is not scalable, higher stage of complexities, and also in-depth knowledge of this technology to run it smoothly.
Bockchain technology is gaining popularity in recent years and is able to attain attention of techies. It can be defined as a digital ledger having details of every single transaction. This digital ledger is decentralized to allow access to every registered candidate and also allowing them to transmit, edit and store the details of the transactions. The blockchain technology is being used in various industries such as, fintech, real estate, manufacturing, medicine and health, travelling, and more. The blockchain industry is followed by a number of principles and also the number of advantages offered by this industry is countless. Blockchain is the most robust platform when counted on the security point of view.
Cyber-attacks on blockchain: Being an open digital ledger, blockchain is always being questioned about its security. The answer is its strongest and inherent structure that uses per-to-peer networking of blocks to store the details of transaction. The structure of blockchain infrastructure consists of digital log files linked with each other.
Trade finance is growing with every successive day and the growth is emerging out with secure and swift technologies of trading. Blockchain is one of the most secure ways of trading as if follows the concept of decentralizing and digitizing the currency. This technology generates a digital record of every transaction and is accessible for long term, it not just record the details of sender but the receiver too making the process rigid and secure. Being a new technology, much folks are now well familiar with it and have a number of confusions and myth about it. There are different concepts based on which blackchain can be segregated from other various trading technologies and also can be understood in the better way.
Blockchain and bitcoins are distinct: In recent few years two names a have gained a lot of popularity in the trading sector and they are blockchain and bitcoins. Being emerged at the same time most of the folks have a misconception that both are same, but the fact is blockchain is the underlying technology on which bitcoin works.
Blockchain is one of the recently emerging technologies opted by a number of folks. But the reach of blockchain connection is still limited due to lack of knowledge about the technology, it uses, benefits, etc. There are a number of facts related to blockchain and it is necessary to know everything about this technology before you become a member of this digital platform. First you need to understand what blockchain is? Blockchain is a digital ledger in which currency is stored and transferred in the digital format which is hard to hack, change or steal. The currency used in blockchain is known as bit coins. There are several factors other than the meaning of blockchain to onboard this platform. If you are also willing to invest in bit coins to become a part of blockchain but seeking for more details to start with it and attain most benefit out of it, then you are on the right page.
Blockchain’s technical capabilities: There are several blockchains depending on the guidelines and offers of the companies and hence the processes are built distinctly. With different ideas most of the companies start the blockchain concept and name the currency based on their processes.
If you are closely related to banking and finance, then you might have come across a word blockchain in the recent decade. Most of the folks get confused with its functioning when they try to take out a literal meaning out of the name blockchain, but here the name block refers to the digital data and the chain refers to the storage of information in public database. In finance terms it is decentralized, distributed, public ledger. These complex words make the technology intricate for common folks but it can be simply explained with the help of an example of Google document. When you create a Google document you don’t copy or transfer the information, instead keep it decentralized and distributed so allowed folks can access it from anywhere.
Likely, blockchain is a piece of digital information with three distinguished parts which includes:
- Information about the transactions made, like amount in dollar, date, time
- Along with your transaction details, blockchain also keep a record of all other participants involved in that transaction