Nivaura was a blockchain pioneer in London, working with banks, stock exchanges, financial market infrastructures and law firms on a string of high-profile regulatory sandbox projects that proved blockchain technology could support private placements, structured products, bonds, crypto-currency-backed bonds and equity settlements, even within the existing regulatory regime.
The company is now automating data flows in the primary debt capital markets and nurturing the growth of the open-source General Legal Mark-up Language (GLML), a standard for digitizing documents. Next up is derivatives. Future of Finance Co-founder Dominic Hobson caught up with Scott Eaton, CEO, and Co-founder Dr Vic Arulchandran.
Questions being asked
1. Your flagship product, Aurora, aims to automate primary debt capital markets flows between issuers, dealers, investors, lawyers, exchanges and ratings agencies. What problem are you solving?
2. Which asset classes (bonds, MTNs, CP, CDs) does Aurara support?
3. How big is the addressable market?
4. The primary market generates a lot of price-sensitive and confidential information. How do you keep it secure?
5. Has the questions of ownership and control of data been an obstacle to growing your business?
6. How hard is it to use Aurora -do users have to have some coding capability?
7. More than one firm (Agora, Capexmove, Origin Markets, and Ipreo) sees the primary debt market process as ripe for automation. What will determine adoption?
8. Most of us first came across Nivaura in the FCA sandboxes when you were tokenizing bonds on blockchain, issuing crypto-currency-backed bonds on Ethereum and working with LSEG on equity settlements on blockchain. So you clearly started thinking blockchain was the answer but have in the end adopted conventional on-premises or Cloud-based options. Is it all over for Nivaura and blockchain?
9. Is the real obstacle to blockchain adoption lack of scalability?
10. Nivaura led the development of the (now open source) General Legal Mark-up Language (GLML). How does it work?
11. Can GLML become an industry standard for digitizing documents at source?
12. Is GLML jurisdiction-specific, i.e. English law only?
13. Unstructured ….,yulptiple standards…. Would it help GLML adoption to map it to other data standards such as FIX, FpML and SWIFT?
14. Nivaura is also part of the ISO 20022 Working Group of ISSA. Where does ISO 20022 fit into what you are doing?
15. Your flagship client is London Stock Exchange Group. Are you doing anything else with them apart from Aurora?
16. Aurora is also in production at DBS in Singapore, which is obviously not an exchange. How are they using it compared with LSEG?
17. The bond markets don’t seem to be in that much of hurry to move onto blockchain, despite successful POCs. What does that tell us?
18. What do you see as the future use-cases for the work that you have done so far (e.g. equity capital markets – as pioneered in FCA Sandbox 4)?
19. How would you characterise Nivaura – as the new model of financial infrastructure or as a collaborative network provider or as a technology vendor or as something else?
20. Nivaura has been a pioneer, and a pragmatist. How quickly do you think the conventional securities markets will be displaced by tokenization?