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“The blockchain will bring to the e-commerce industry more transparency” - Alex Gadotti, CEO & Founder at Zwoop

Alex has a PhD from Rome University. He joined EY and became the youngest partner in the Consulting Division, and was Co-Head of the Technology Innovation Division in the US. Alex ran the IT Business at Value Partners and managed 5,000 people across 3 continents. He was the founder and CEO of the startup MPayMe and raised a multi-million series A funding, exiting with success in 2014.

How are you using or planning to use Blockchain in your organisation?

Zwoop’s deep understanding of the e-commerce environment is developed through a combination of AI, advanced machine learning and artificial intelligence. This is supported by the Zwoop blockchain and the Zwoop Token (ZWP).

Adding to the core elements of the Zwoop FIND ENGINE, the use of the blockchain and Zwoop token will allow:

  • Consumers to make purchases using major cryptocurrencies and ZWP (in addition to Fiat) even when the merchant does not accept crypto. This creates real-world relevance for cryptocurrencies.
  • Consumers to control access to their personal shopping data.
  • Consumers to access a verified, tokenised peer-to-peer market.
  • Merchants to provide personalised offers, targeted and auditable advertising and token-based reward programmes.
  • Crawling partners to earn rewards for participating in the Zwoop crawling pool.

 

What benefits do you think Blockchain will bring to your industry?

The blockchain will bring to the e-commerce industry more transparency, universal crypto acceptance, allow users to control their personal data, allow merchants and brands to connect and reward directly any person and create trusted peer-to-peer markets.

What impact do you expect Blockchain to have on your business?

Blockchain integration enables Zwoop to make e-commerce, advertising, shipping and reselling more efficient and democratic; streamline payments and provides borderless access to goods and products. Furthermore, a decentralised data platform allows consumers to control access to their data, determine the level of engagement they desire and be rewarded if they choose to share their data.

What will it take for Blockchain to go mainstream?

There are more new use cases and new projects using blockchains to solve real life problems. One of these examples is Zwoop. Zwoop will allow for the first time, any person to pay with crypto to any e-commerce website in the world.

Some projects are bringing the blockchain and crypto mass adoption.  Telegram is also one good example: will soon integrate a crypto wallet in their 200 million users app.

How important to do you consider collaboration on Blockchain to be within industries?

We see more and more collaboration across industries to implement cross industry blockchain solutions. Zwoop for example will link brands, retailers and consumers.

There are blockchain based projects connecting all the actors of one industry or complete supply chains, allowing for example traceability of products from the producer, manufacturer, wholesaler, retailer, regulator to the consumer

Where do you see restrictions in Blockchain technology currently and how can they be overcome?

One of the biggest restrictions is the fact that we lack projects that allow the mass adoption and bring the blockchain to the masses. The world needs more mature blockchain solutions and this will be overcome with time, great projects and smooth regulation environment.

How should Blockchain be regulated?

A clean and clear legal framework allow projects to have some market guidelines. However, ultimately, considering the decentralised nature of blockchains, it is impossible to regulate it like “normal” institutions.

What will be the impact of smart contracts across enterprise?

Smart contracts will automate processes and reflect real world contracts. In our case for example, Zwoop will implement a peer to peer market that is supported by tokenized items and smart contracts that will work as escrow.

What are the challenges of taking Blockchain from proof of concept to live deployment?

Scalability issues may be seen as one of the biggest challenges. However, there are different solutions for this, from the Ethereum Casper upgrade, second layer solutions and side chains, as well as faster blockchains such as EOS.

‘Data ownership is key to changing the power dynamics within the finance industry back towards the borrower.’ Barry Levett, Co-Founder and CEO, Credible Network

The 28th August sees the start of Blockchain Summit Singapore 2018, the leading blockchain technology event in Asia. With extensive talks and panels, and over 1000 attendees, it is set to be the top event of the blockchain calendar. Tickets to the expo have now sold out due to exceptional demand to see our speakers, who are all elite within their field. These include guests such as Barry Levett, Co-Founder and CEO of Credible Network, who will be speaking on our Crypto Currency panel - ‘Is There a Long-Term Future for the Crypto Currency Market?’

A Crypto trader since 2016, Barry is a FinTech entrepreneur with specialisation in development of innovative payment and financial inclusion solutions for emerging markets. Under his guidance, the business has grown into 5 markets across the globe. He has a wide range of experience ranging from tech start-ups to large multinationals in Asia, Europe and Africa. He has taken some time to answer our Blockchain Summit Singapore Speaker Questionnaire to give an insight into his experience of working with Blockchain technology:

How are you using or planning to use Blockchain in your organisation?

We are reinventing credit scoring.  Credible is a new blockchain network for business credit data designed to disrupt the incumbent credit bureaus and inefficient loan processes.  Blockchain allows us to democratize credit data ownership, putting it back into the hands of businesses.  Credible has its own infrastructure – a blockchain for public access, data contribution and querying and the owners of the data are the merchants themselves.

What benefits do you think Blockchain will bring to your industry?

Each year there is a $5.2 trillion funding gap suffered by SMEs who struggle to gain credit because of a lack of trustworthy data. Blockchain will allow us to build a new credit ecosystem where everyone wins.  The benefits of better Credit Data:

* Easier loans for Merchants

* Lower transaction costs and risks for Lenders

* Less due diligence required and stronger relationship for Trade Partners

* Financial Institutions become more efficient

* Overall society benefits from financial inclusion

What impact do you expect Blockchain to have on your business?

It has a fundamental impact.  Blockchain has changed our business and how we build products for customers. Credible is our 3rd blockchain project and using Blockchain technology is the only way to solve the trust and data problem whereby merchants own their own data. Data ownership is key to changing the power dynamics within the finance industry back towards the borrower.

What will it take for Blockchain to go mainstream?

The tipping point to Blockchain going mainstream is distributed data. Inherent in Blockchain is decentralised control, ownership and consumption of data. Unless all of these boxes are ticked, a use case will not work in the real world. We've seen that many use cases for Blockchain can be more efficiently done through existing technologies and these will not survive.

How important to do you consider collaboration on Blockchain to be within industries?

Vital.  The distributed nature of blockchain requires collaboration and cooperation in order for the benefits to the whole society to outweigh the costs.  If a blockchain is only implemented for a single company, existing technologies will almost always be more efficient.  So, it is not only vital but a prerequisite for a successful blockchain project.

Where do you see restrictions in Blockchain technology currently and how can they be overcome?

The key restriction on open blockchains is the throughput, capacity and transaction costs, e.g. Proof of Work in Bitcoin.  For real world applications, throughput needs to be in the order of thousands of transactions per second and the per transaction cost must be negligible.  In order to achieve this, projects must trade off various issues against one another including participation (private networks) and governance.

How should Blockchain be regulated?

Blockchain by itself is just a technology.  It is an implementation that needs regulation and for this it should be treated as if the same implementation was using any other technology.  Specifically, regulators must provide guidance as to how existing laws and regulations will apply given how a particular blockchain is used.  It would be best that all regulators together provide guidance across the board – e.g. banking, taxation and investments.

How can DLTs be used to better serve customers?

Customers want choice.  Distributed services using DLT provides customers with choice where their data is in their own wallets and under their control.  Customers can easily move their loyalty from one provider to another without all the usual sign-up complexities and the data tie-ins.

What will be the impact of smart contracts across enterprise?

Smart contracts will have a large impact in narrow a set of areas, being what futures contracts are to the forward market.  They are not an elixir for all blockchains though since some implementations may need greater flexibility when implemented in the real world.

What are the challenges of taking Blockchain from proof of concept to live deployment?

Firstly, the major challenges that apply to other technology companies during implementation apply to blockchain companies too.  These are significant and include customer acceptance, regulatory compliance, cash flow management, marketing etc.  In addition, blockchain businesses often struggle with the level of adoption required to get going given its distributed nature – you simply have to convince more people of the benefits.

‘As emerging technology, Blockchain is a digital and verifiable global ledger that brings ability to add new financial transactions without any central authority.’ Edward W Mandel, CEO, BQT Technologies

Blockchain Summit Singapore arrives in just four days’ time Suntec, Singapore. The sold-out event sees over 1000 attendees from round the world coming together for a full day of blockchain panels, networking opportunities and talks from the leaders in blockchain technology.

The summits speakers are from a wide range of industries, covering everything from blockchain revolutionising art to Crypto-Assets. One such talk is ‘Introducing Hedge Trades, Interactive and Flexible Trading for Crypto Assets’ from Edward W Mandel, the CEO of BQT Technologies.

An avid entrepreneur, Edward is an Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist, Blockchain Enthusiast and visionary behind many successful organizations. Edward’s previous work includes creating revolutionary start-ups such as CallMD.com and MDhotline.com which uses technology to connect patients with healthcare professionals, helping millions of Americans to get immediate access to healthcare. Edward also has been advising and consulting for various successful Blockchain technology and ICO projects.

Edward took some time out to answer our Blockchain Summit Singapore Speaker Questionnaire:

How are you using or planning to use Blockchain in your organisation?

The aim of BQT is to build a community and culture of Crypto Traders utilizing the Platform, helping the community and benefiting from the community.  As a P2P Hedge Exchange, we rely on Blockchain for obvious reasons to provide secure and transparent transactions between peer traders.

What benefits do you think Blockchain will bring to your industry?

As emerging technology, Blockchain is a digital and verifiable global ledger that brings ability to add new financial transactions without any central authority. Blockchain also creates secure transacting between traders because it is verified by each participating computer on the network validating every transaction. It will change the way trading and financial transactions are conducted.

What impact do you expect Blockchain to have on your business?

We believe that demand for desired acquisition of crypto assets can be fulfilled with significant supply of various crypto holdings and negotiated directly by traders.  Blockchain allows us to connect trader peers to negotiate their crypto transactions securely and with transparency.

What will it take for Blockchain to go mainstream?

I believe most financial institutions such as banks and traditional exchanges are spending funds to enter into Blockchain for years and very enthusiastic about benefits blockchain technologies can bring as decentralized and distributed ledger.

Peer to peer trading between clients and institutions or just between clients themselves can be introduced without any need of a third party for settling transaction as traditionally required. This provides immediate settlement and reduces settlement or transaction fees.  Besides it is a 24/7 moving and liquid market, which of course includes holidays and weekends and does not require much support from personnel.

As for the banks, cost reduction benefits are also very significant. Instant international wire transactions that take a long time going through various nodes of verifications and high expense fees is a good example.

Blockchain would allow validate the transaction between peers and eliminate bureaucracy of banking and get to the end peer instantly or within minutes.  It would reduce costs for banking institutions and increase customer satisfaction rates.

How important to do you consider collaboration on Blockchain to be within industries?

Not just important, it’s inevitable and is happening now.  Blockchain innovations are created by such collaborative efforts.

Where do you see restrictions in Blockchain technology currently and how can they be overcome?

There are more benefits and opportunities than limitations. However, as blockchain network is growing it causes slower transactions at times and new hacking attacks.  But as with any new technology it is evolving its resistance. Just like viruses and trojans on traditional computer networks meet antivirus applications.  Of course, there are still a lot of regulatory and political issues but with time these will evolve into better regulations.

How should Blockchain be regulated?

In my opinion, self-regulated rules coupled with the transparent reporting would be best combination.  In the decentralized world privacy is important and blockchain supports it but it is also important for businesses to follow certain government regulation and voluntarily provide certain reporting.  At the same time there needs to be clear guidance and not just vague reporting requirements which governmental agencies should establish.

How can DLTs be used to better serve customers?

DLT, especially in financial area can make business processes much more efficient and can replace many manual mid-point settlement transactions and help settling transactions much faster peer-to-peer.  This would lower the cost and provide many options to consumers, especially unbanked population, such as money transfers transactions.

What will be the impact of smart contracts across enterprise?

Smart contracts are great tools for entrepreneurs to start and fund new innovative projects.  At the same time use of smart contracts as a tool for businesses to enter into various transactions is certainly a huge advantage.  Contract is set in stone and is self-running per terms that are clearly defined.  It brings accountability and once again transparency to any business dealings. At the same time smart contracts are still unproven from solid risk perspective so there are challenges but I see this trend evolving in the future more and more.

What are the challenges of taking Blockchain from proof of concept to live deployment?

Quality assurance, data security challenges and inter-departmental business transactions testing are the top ones which impact business continuity during live deployment.

“The biggest obstacle for blockchain technologies is regulatory acceptance.” – Dr Meeta Yadav, Director of the Singapore Research Center, IBM

Blockchain Summit Singapore, taking place on the 28th August at Suntec, Singapore, is the largest dedicated blockchain event in Asia. The event, which has attracted over 60 visionary speakers, will offer all attendees over 18 hours of quality content, cutting edge case studies and a ‘hot-to’ approach to deploying blockchain technologies.

One of the event’s expert speakers, Dr Meeta Yadav, Phd, is the Director of the IBM Singapore Research Center, including the IBM Center for Blockchain Innovation.

Prior to this, she was the Chief Data Officer for Blockchain Technologies at IBM.  In that role, Meeta led the data group for blockchain and was responsible for managing the business unit’s global data and data governance policies, operationalizing IBM’s blockchain offerings, understanding market insights, developing customer engagement strategy, and creating business value from data. Meeta also led the delivery of the industry-leading IBM Blockchain Platform to the market including clients and external interest groups such as analysts.

Meeta’s work on Blockchain has earned her a spot in the Top 5 data officers of 2016 by Innovation Enterprise Magazine.

Meeta, who will be talking about ‘Going beyond the hype – making blockchain real for business’, took some time to complete the speaker Q&A:

How are you using or planning to use Blockchain in your organisation?

IBM has an integrated strategy on blockchain. We are working with the Linux Foundation in the open world building the fabric for business. We have our platform offering which is our Software as a Service offering and with solutions built on top of it. We are working on a food Safety network, we are working jointly with Maersk on blockchain based shipping solutions, and we are working on building blockchain based microfinancing platform. From tracking diamonds to fine wine to tracking shipments, the use cases we are working on span a broad spectrum.

What benefits do you think Blockchain will bring to your industry?

Blockchain is the new operating system of trust. Wherever there are multiple parties involved that need to transact, we can help make the process more seamless, reduce cost, time and risk, using blockchain technology. At the same time, it will help define new business models at is starts to disrupt intermediaries.  

What impact do you expect Blockchain to have on your business?

Blockchain will disintermediate and revolutionize most industries. Payments, tokenization of assets, supply chain, cyber security, Internet of things, healthcare and logistics to name a few. The impact is going to tremendous with most business processes redefined and new ones created.

What will it take for Blockchain to go mainstream?

Blockchain is outpacing most technology adoption curves. For blockchain to go mainstream, the regulatory bodies need to support it and we need industries to start thinking about governance of these networks

How important to do you consider collaboration on Blockchain to be within industries?

Collaboration is key within industries for adoption of this technology. It is for this reason we are working in the open to build the new operating system of trust.

Where do you see restrictions in Blockchain technology currently and how can they be overcome?

The biggest obstacle for blockchain technologies is regulatory acceptance. I think once we see regulations come about around the technology we will see wider scale acceptance.

How can DLTs be used to better serve customers?

DLTs will disrupt intermediaries thereby making complex processes more efficient and the eventually translate into benefits for the end user in terms of lower cost, radical transparency, lower risk, higher efficiencies.

“Ultimately, blockchain has the potential to take a highly complex system, and within an agreed framework, bring beauty through clarity.” Darian McBain, Global Director of Sustainability, Thai Union

Blockchain Summit Singapore, taking place on the 28th August is bringing over 700 attendees together for a full day of blockchain discussions and debates. The event, which is the largest dedicated Blockchain event in Asia, has seen all expo tickets sell out due to the high calibre of speakers in attendance.. One session not to be missed is ‘Transforming Supply Chain with Blockchain’ being held by Dr. Darian McBain, Global Director of Sustainable Development at Thai Union.

Darian’s previous work includes serving as the Sustainable Procurement Lead for the United Kingdom’s National Health Service, advising the United Nations, working in partnership with the World Wildlife Fund, and heading her own strategy and sustainability consultancy. She holds a PhD on social indicators for global supply chain analysis from the University of Sydney, where she serves as an Adjunct Senior Lecturer of Integrated Sustainability Analysis.

Darian completed the Blockchain Summit Singapore Speaker Questionnaire:

How are you using or planning to use Blockchain in your organisation?

For Thai Union, traceability is the backbone of sustainability. We plan to use blockchain to enhance trust placed by our customers in our traceability system, as well as engage suppliers along the supply chain.

What benefits do you think Blockchain will bring to your industry?

The use of blockchain in the seafood industry can help bring the whole supply chain – from the fishers or farmers, to the processors and the customers - into a distributed system that can not only provide authentication for supply chain data, but also link with an incentive system to provide information.

What will it take for Blockchain to go mainstream?

There are still concerns about how blockchain operates and the use of cryptocurrencies. If you are using blockchain for some level of supply chain data, you will need to ensure that governments and regulators will accept the data, as well as customers. This doesn’t always sit well with the more utopian ideas for a free and self-regulating market that Bitcoin was developed in. Ultimately, to go mainstream in supply chain transparency will require trust in Blockchain as an evolving tool for transparency as well as a blue print for how to do it well.

How important to do you consider collaboration on Blockchain to be within industries?

Blockchain can be a great equalizer, and can help foster collaboration within industries but also with outsiders to an industry looking in, by bringing transparency. Ultimately, blockchain has the potential to take a highly complex system, and within an agreed framework, bring beauty through clarity.

What are the challenges of taking Blockchain from proof of concept to live deployment?

With a challenge comes an opportunity – Thai Union’s collaboration with Each Mile to deploy a live blockchain ecosystem within a seafood supply chain is throwing up hurdles but also great opportunities. When it comes to live deployment, we are starting small, failing fast, collaborating openly and building on from there. It’s an exciting time to be working on blockchain for supply chain transparency.

Nearly all of the world’s leading companies run computerized enterprise resource planning (ERP) and supply chain management software. From connected manufacturing equipment to digital shipping notices and RFID scanning, products are tracked on computerized systems from their earliest origins, often all the way to the recycling bin. Yet despite this huge investment in digital infrastructure, most companies have only limited visibility and insight into where all their products are at any given moment.