On Wednesday night, at Tower Hill in London, Chain-Finance held its first Blockchain Finance workshop, designed to inform and educate listeners on the potential benefits of using blockchain technology in various financial situations. The focus of the discussion for this first event was using blockchain technology to improve credit markets.
Adam Vaziri and Hans Lombardo, who organized the event, spoke in the beginning, with Vaziri giving an overview of the credit markets and blockchain technology and Lombardo giving the audience an example use-case of the Overstock-t0 cryptobond, where the world’s first digital bonds were issued by utilizing the bitcoin blockchain. Between these speakers was a talk from Daniel Adeyemi, who presented some research from the Freshfields Lawrence Scholar Report that he had been a part of. The talk covered a number of potential aspects and setups of blockchain technology that could be used in credit markets, particularly noting the possibility of issuing IoUs on a blockchain, when combined with personal information and a feedback method to allow them to be regulated; to utilize the transparency, reduced settlement times and ability to add apps that Vaziri had noted earlier. The conclusion of the research carried out by Adeyemi and his team had very much been that the marketplace would need to adapt to this new technology or risk being left behind in the dust.
Following the conclusion of Lombardo’s presentation on Overstock and t0 cryptobonds, three guest speakers came forward from different blockchain companies: George Hallam from the Ethereum Foundation, Nick Grove from NXT and Nick Williamson from Credits Vison. In their presentations, each speaker highlighted the potential for blockchain technology to revolutionise the way financial markets are run by reducing time to settle, providing transparency for regulation lowering the risk involve. Alongside this, the speakers gave an overview of the benefits of each of their different blockchains abilities.
Hallam promoted the benefits of using Ethereum to issue smart contracts, stating there were credit instruments on Ethereum for bonds and OTC derivatives. Grove explained that NXT was one of the more mature blockchain 2.0 projects and could be used to quickly create tokens for use in decentralized or closed loop systems. He urged people to ‘dip their toes’ in with blockchain technology and try whatever they could. Williamson reiterated the ability of blockchain for the credit market, but also mentioned the possibility of identity assertion, with there being the potential to link people to their public keys, though it would likely need face-to-face meetings to confirm identities.
To end the conference, Peter Jensens from Finclusion Systems gave a presentation on HEAL Bond Alliance, which is issuing ‘HEAL Bonds’ on the blockchain with the overall philanthropic aim of raising money to fund research into a cure for HIV faster.
The general impression given by the conference was that blockchain technology will definitely revolutionize the credit markets, it’s simply a matter of when it will happen and if the big names in the industry manage to get on board in time or will be left behind using outdated technology.