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Is it the destiny of Blockchain to become the Open Infrastructure? Transcript

The transcript of the webinar of May 26 2022 entitled Is it the destiny of Blockchain to become the Open Infrastructure?

TRANSCRIPT

Is it the destiny of Blockchain to become the Open Infrastructure?

Dominic Hobson 0.25 

Hello  everybody. I’m Dominic Hobson, co- founder of Future of Finance. Welcome to our webinar on, `Is it the destiny of blockchain to become the Open Infrastructure?’ We tend to think of blockchain as a system for recording information – a database technology if you like. We tend not to think of it as a general purpose technology like electricity or the road network, or indeed as an infrastructure. But both general purpose technologies and infrastructures are not only open to all-comers but provide common means to multiple ends. The electricity network, for example, provides light and transport, powers machines, including computers and the Internet – and indeed, it mines Bitcoins. Could blockchain be like that? Could blockchain be not what we thought it was – a distributed, trustless ledger – not just another piece of software or another database but actually a framework on which we build many new and undreamt-of possibilities. Could that be what blockchain is becoming or must become? To help us decide, I’m joined by five people who have been thinking about this question for much longer than I have. Martin Hargreaves is Chief Product Officer at Quant Network, the creators of the overlay blockchain operating system Overledger that makes blockchain protocols and traditional systems interoperable. Amrit Kumar is co-founder of Zilica Capital, and chairman of Binarii Labs, which promises to make blockchain – and I liked this phrase – `boring, dependable and fit for business.’ Claudio Calderon is a strategic business project manager at DCV, the Chilean CSD, which is building a blockchain infrastructure for the fixed income market and a member of a consortium that is developing a blockchain ecosystem. Sara Feenan is a senior product manager at Infura, part of Consensys which supplies APIs and developer tools to accelerate progress in the creation of a web 3.0 open and decentralised infrastructure. Yves Messy is head tutor at the Said Business School at the University of Oxford, with a background in blockchain engineering. In addition to our panellists, we do course also have you, our audience. We want your questions; we want your comments. So do please send them and keep sending them throughout this webinar using the Q&A functionality at the bottom of your Zoom screens. Rest assured we won’t save them all up to the end but will deal with them as we go along. So you will be, if you choose to be, an integral part of this discussion right from the start. And I speak for al six of us when I say we will be very disappointed if you don’t take that opportunity. Now I’d like to begin, Martin, with you. Is it plausible to think of blockchain as a general purpose technology like the electricity network or the internal combustion engine that can be applied to multiple uses, and has the potential to totally transform our economy and our society or is it just another software or database technology? 

Martin Hargreaves  3.09 Is Blockchain just another software or database technology or is it a general purpose technology capable of totally transforming our economy and society?

It’s definitely sensible to think of that as a possibility. So there’s a number of projects that are heading in that direction, across multiple continents. And they are looking at creating basically foundational infrastructures for countries, regions, states of countries in some areas. And some of those are kind of government-derived, so they’re providing citizen services. Some of them were commercial. And then some of them are kind of operated by NGOs. And there’s quite a lot of experimentation in the form of that. So in Europe, there’s the European Blockchain Services Infrastructure (EBSI), which government agencies from all of the EU countries can join – they have a lot of interoperability there, and they’ve been they’ve been working on that for some time. In South America, LACChain is a little bit more ambitious than that. So they have 12 countries and a very well developed model in terms of their membership, which I think we’ll talk about later – how that kind of thing works. And they’ve got a wide variety of different projects that are going on there. And some of those are governmental, some of them are citizen services, some of them are commercial. That, for me is probably the best example of what can be done with that; they’ve just got on with that. Obviously, China has their Blockchain Services Network, which is linked to city to city, so they have city nodes there and service based around cities. Plus, there’s quite a lot of commercial and vertical market type blockchains. So different consortium type use cases – supply chains, transportation, those sorts of things. There’s a number of – not very interoperable – [projects] but covering the constituencies that they’re interested in. So I think the difference really between blockchain and a traditional database is that it maps on to the real world interests of different groups. So whether that’s a region of countries that have aligned interests, or whether it’s a number of companies that have aligned interests, it maps on to that as a technology layer. And then there’s kind of governance and legal and all of the other things you need to make that sort of stuff work. So it is potentially quite a foundational layer in terms of bringing together these kinds of entities. And when you start building things on that, that becomes very, very sticky. So if you start to move things like Citizen ID services for a bunch of countries onto a chain, that makes a lot of things really easy. So a lot of the point of this is taking costs and taking effort out of what are quite difficult processes today. And as well as innovation into kind of completely new processes, which we will talk about later.

Amrit Kuma  6.00 

If I may add to what Martin was saying, I mean, the other aspects of this as well. For example, if you look at the DeFi side of things where developers are building applications that can either stand on their own – for example, you could have a marketplace where you can trade, let’s say assets. And these applications sometimes also compose with other applications as well. And that’s the kind of beauty of this openness that, you know, open APIs in the early days tried to try to achieve. So you’re seeing these applications not just sitting on their own, but actually interacting with them on a daily basis. And that’s really powerful. So that’s one point that I’d like to add. The second thing is, you know, when Ethereum, particularly when it came in, this idea was that – or the vision was that – we would build a single layer where you could put all applications in one place. So one single tech stack, where you could put all of these. Well, that has played out in some decent way for us. But they’re also this other philosophy that has come into play, which kind of plays with what Martin was hinting at, that there are also cases where people are saying, `Look, we can also build application-specific chains of some sort.’ So you have these applications, Cosmos SDK, for example, where it allows any developer to basically spin up a chain, and put that application on that chain. And that way, you have block space, you have this resource that is dedicated for your specific application. So it has it has both models, a model where you have a complete sovereignty of your application sitting on a certain tech stack. And then another model where you have applications basically interacting with each other, whenever they need to.

Martin Hargreaves  7.37

Yeah, I think that’s a great point because that writing of applications, then making them available as a service to the network, you see that with MCM Litecoin and a bunch of these things. Particularly digital identity, and increasingly payment applications, then become services that can be consumed by other applications on there. And that, I think, multiplies the power of that as an infrastructure. So if you want an application developer, or you’re a corporate, if you connect to that, all of those services are already there. That is a massive accelerator to actually delivering something new.

Dominic Hobson  8.12 Is Ethereum a blockchain infrastructure?

Hello, Martin, I’m sorry, I disappeared there. I hope you can hear me now. I’m afraid that my video isn’t functioning, so you’re going to have to hear me as a disembodied voice throughout this webinar. I obviously missed something of what you were saying there. But what I would have done is go straight to Sara and ask her about Ethereum. You may have been there already while I was having my leave of absence. But if you didn’t, I’d love Sara to address the question, `Is Ethereum actually an infrastructure?’ It’s open to anybody, people can through composability put together all sorts of products and services using the Ethereum protocol.

Sara Feenan  8.49

Yeah, it’s a very interesting question. And sort of to build on to Martin’s and Amrit’s points from before which unfortunately, you missed Dominic. I think when it comes to general purpose technology, my view is it’s actually too early to say but definitely has a lot of potentials around that, especially around the organisational sense of whether it would become a general purpose technology. I think what we’ve seen so far, and I speak from the public blockchain space, as opposed to an Enterprise [space], although I have spent four years in Enterprise so I sort of get a sense of both. I don’t … I mean, to your specific question – just touching a little bit there on my views of general purpose technologies – but to your question around, `Is Ethereum an infrastructure?,’ I would say, there’s nuance to that. No, it’s a protocol. But there are very many different companies around, such as ourselves, and, you know, exchanges and other API providers and node operators that actually are the infrastructure parts of this. So the interesting part about something like Ethereum is you have all of these different nodes connected in various different parts of the world that are running software on them, that will execute on this protocol. So it’s kind of a little bit nuanced in that sense, but I think from a high level, you know, academically, I think there is there is some merit to the argument that Ethereum or you know, other blockchains are an infrastructure in in themselves

Dominic Hobson  10.15

Claudio. You were about to say something. Go ahead. 

Claudio Calderón  10.21

Yeah. Adding to what has already been said, I think the different elements that compose this new technology, like the peer-to-peer technology, the crypto tech that allows [us] to link blocks of transactions in a very reliable and secure manner, providing inter-operability, the incentives to participate with prices on the public networks allows [us] to resolve third party trust problems. I think this technology clearly offers the opportunity to become a huge enabler to new business models that can transform the current landscape. And also if you see the statistics. For example, the recent study by ISSA on DLT in the Real World, where more than 100 organisations participated, you can see the increasing interest and importance to these organisations of this technology: the use-cases are doubled compared against last year. And many organisations are moving from just the PoCs  to [Pilot Tests and implementations]. I think it has the potential to do to become a huge enabler. 

Yves Messy  11.49

I think what I’ll add to that is that obviously blockchain technology, it’s a commercial technology as well. It’s a technology of agreement, right? We can all remember a time when the Internet was getting adopted, and we were still uncertain that we can have online transactions that have anything to do with money safely. So blockchain is technology of trust. The reason why we have corporations is because we’ve evolved in such a way that organisations [organised] in a traditional corporate way was the best way to process information, signatures and agreements at scale. Blockchain is flattening that organisation. And it’s creating very, very incredible business models, essentially, that essentially don’t have to follow the usual path, the traditional path and traditional models that we typically learn about in business school. I think the last point that I’ll add to this as well is that blockchain is making the Metaverse possible, right. Let’s not forget that if we’re creating a technology of trust, if we’re making online technology, online interactions, something that can be immutable, witnessed by everyone and true for the rest of time, things like the Metaverse became, you know, become very, very tangible today. And I think the best example we have of that is JP Morgan obviously opening its first bank branch in the Metaverse, right? To cement that fact that blockchain is essentially making trust cheaper, faster, and available simply as an infrastructure.

Dominic Hobson  13.13 Is blockchain technology too slow and, as a result, not scalable enough to rank as a true infrastructure?

Thanks for that, Yves. Amrit, can I ask you a what might seem a blindingly obvious question, which is, if blockchain is to become a kind of infrastructure, is it not constrained by its problems with speed and scalability? Just purely as a technology, is it not too slow and not scalable enough?

Amrit Kuma  13.34

Right, so obviously, you know, we have seen since the birth of Bitcoin and Ethereum, we have seen some of the challenges that these platforms have faced. If you go back in 2017, every single time Ethereum handled an ICO, basically the underlying platform became unusable for many other users. But I think we are making progress in terms of technology. You know, we have realized the problems of the underlying blockchain space, and there are solutions out there today, where, you know, we have separated, for example, the execution component, and the consensus component of blockchains. And some of these are actually delivering scalability, which is an order of magnitude higher than what the initial platforms like Ethereum 1.0 and Bitcoin used to offer. So yes, the short answer is yes, there are certain limitations that we still have to work on. But I think we are heading in the right direction with some of the new technologies and ideas actually being implemented and being used today.

Claudio Calderón  14.29

I totally agree with that. Some use-cases require improvement on these features. But what we already have is useful to various use-cases such as traceability, provenance, and if these scalability issues are improved, probably, I think undoubtedly, new use-cases will be unlocked.

Dominic Hobson  15.05

Did you want to say something, Yves?

Yves Messy  15.06

Well, yes, it was also about this matter of scalability and performance. It’s changing, right? We have blockchain such as Solana, we have blockchain such as Dfinity, we have all sorts of blockchains that are appearing to move all sorts of business cases, just like we have many types of web pages to support all sorts of businesses. It wasn’t clear when the Internet was being adopted 20-25 years ago, that you would need trillions of web pages. It seemed like maybe there were about 17 that were good ones. So I think we have the same thing happening with types of blockchains, types of consensus, and that’s because we’re calibrating the rate at which we agree, depending on the business context. So blockchain is turning out to be a very multiform technology. And the issue of scalability really depends on the blockchain that you choose. And obviously, there’s content on that available of course as well.

Dominic Hobson  15.55 Is lack of inter-operability between different blockchain protocols an obstacle to blockchain becoming an infrastructural technology? 

Now, if we’re getting lots of different samples of blockchain, they also need to inter-operate, don’t they? So interoperability between these various block chains is going to be pretty crucial. And yet, we’ve got all these basically incompatible protocols proliferating. Now, is that not going to be a block on the development of blockchain as an infrastructure?

Yves Messy  16.17

I don’t believe that it’s going to be a block. I mean, I’ve personally worked on a project called Peggy which was essentially bridging the Cosmos chain and the Ethereum blockchain to make a number of capital market use cases possible in between these two crypto economies. Bridging is tricky. Bridging is still as in its early years. If you’ve heard of something called the Wormhole hack this year, which was about two months ago, one month ago, US$325 million was stolen by someone hacking the bridge between chains. These things still happen. But you also have things like Dfinity, where they’ve essentially not had to use bridges to make two blockchains inter-operate, creating one more new way for a multichain set of business models to emerge, right? So you can have Bitcoin on Dfinity without a bridge, for example. So it’s not such a challenge. But, if truth be told, it’s always best to stay within the same ecosystem – better if it’s a huge one. But I think the rest of the venture capital industry, when it comes to blockchain, is investing on a multichain future. And a number of companies and protocols like THORChain, for example, are natively multichain and they are infrastructure that are also being used.

Dominic Hobson  17.27

I’d be interested to know what you think, Martin, about the question of interoperability. But before you address that, perhaps I can ask  Sarah for her views on this first? I think we’re agreeing interoperability is pretty crucial here. Is the answer to that going to be some sort of standard, like a SWIFT standard? And are there signs that those are being developed?

Sara Feenan  17.49

That is a good question. I think there’s you know, there’s always the issue with standards that if you try and create a standard, you end up instead of 14 different ways of doing it, 15 different ways of doing it. So I think it’s very early days. I mean, as Yves mentioned, there’s Peggy and I think there’s IBC, as well. And I think Ripple were working on one. IPL? I could be getting the acronyms wrong there. But yeah, I mean, from a public space as well, we’re definitely seeing a trend to move into the multichain world. I think once people start to understand these protocols and the trade-offs between different types of technology, and the business case, the use-case in question, we certainly see the need for different types of chains that are suitable for different types of use-case. And, you know, we’ve been talking about bridging and different standards that work together as well. I think the very important thing to keep in mind there is the trade-off, whether it’s security or speed, or centralisation, versus, you know, security and trust. Those things are very important to keep in mind. So, you know, some kind of way of being able to evaluate these frameworks that come along, I think would be really important going forward.

Dominic Hobson  19.00

Martin?

Martin Hargreaves  19.03

Yes. So I think it is, I mean, obviously, that’s one of the things we do at Quant. So the, I mean, a lot of the larger blockchain projects assume they will be the only one. So Ethereum does it. Hyperledger definitely does it, R3 do to an extent. And so when they talk about inter-operability, they usually mean instances of their blockchain are compatible with one that was designed with it. So we were kind of looking at the Enterprise space. If you are a company that wants to connect to a variety of different blockchains, you are going to have to get engineers for all of those things. And likewise, the bridging at the blockchain level is good. But as you’ve hinted, it’s technically complex. And there’s … it’s very difficult to find engineers. So we and a couple of other projects and products out there take a slightly different approach, which is to put a gateway in front of the blockchain. So two blockchains can talk to each other through their gateways, but also talk to legacy applications and traditional applications through that, and then tend to surface the blockchain functionality through an API. So that becomes more consumable for higher level applications. And, you know, we can connect pretty much any blockchain to any blockchain that way; it’s not the same as a bridge. But also it doesn’t have the same attack surface that a bridge does. As Yves mentioned, there are hacks on the Ethereum Mainnet pretty much weekly. It’s not doing the industry any favours from a reputational point of view. So, yeah, from my point of view, it is critical to scaling. So everyone … The industry looks like kind of the early days of mini computers, or the early days of databases, where everybody’s got their own proprietary stack and system, and there’s nothing that’s common. And we will need ways for all of these things to talk to each other. We probably will converge on a standard. I agree with Sara. It’s early days on standards. So we’re involved in a number of those with ISO with IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force). I know pretty much everyone is working on a blockchain standard. And it’s probably only a matter of time till we have a standard for blockchains. So yeah, we, I mean, it’s super-important. It is a partially solved thing at the moment. It’s as with kind of the scaling. It’s an early market, and there’s continuous work going on. So we will see where it pans out. But certainly many blockchain operators aren’t concerned with inter-operability with other folks that are in their in their area. And there’s a number of different competing solutions and models for solutions at the moment.

Dominic Hobson  21.45

So, Martin, what’s the downside of your gateway model?

Martin Hargreaves  21.50

If you are very into a particular ecosystem, so all of your applications are on Ethereum, you live on Ethereum, most things happen on Ethereum, and you’re an Ethereum native, it will be… there’s less utility. So if you need to go from there to a Hyperledger network, you’re going to sacrifice functionality on the way through. The Hyperledger folks will need to re-do it. So what we try to do is standardise some of that functionality, make it available for all of those networks. And then surface that directly. In terms of the advantage of the other techniques  – the bridges and the wormholes and those sorts of things – [the fact] they don’t involve any other infrastructure is primarily the thing. So you can write it to one blockchain and then unattended it will go and do what it needs to on other blockchains rather than having gateways in between. So there’s no control points between it. It’s fully automated between the blockchains.

Dominic Hobson  22.46

Now we’ve had an interesting question from [‘ANONYMISED] here. I can’t answer it, I hope one of you can. It’s `How do you rate level zero solutions like Polkadot for bridging?’ Amrit – can you answer that?

Amrit Kuma  23.03  

As I said earlier, you know, there’s kind of two philosophies today in the in the blockchain world. One is where you could say, `We are going to build a single platform on which all the applications will reside.’ So basically, you have a free source, which is the block space, and you will have all these applications, which will share the same block space, right? And that’s kind of the Ethereum model. The other model is where people believe that, `No, it’s very difficult to build a single, you know, chain on which all the applications will reside, because, you know, you can imagine an app is extremely popular, and it might want more block space, while that block base is basically consumed by other, less popular applications.’ And therefore, this idea of sort of sovereign chains came into play. Sovereign app chains were like Polkadot or Cosmos, where, if you are a user, if you’re an app developer, and you’d like to see your app sitting on its own dedicated block space, then you could do that, through polka.org, or Cosmos. There’s a sort of difference between how the security gets transferred across the different chains in app chains. But the answer is, `Yes, you could use some of these solutions to scale as well.’ And then, if you talk about, sort of, interoperability, there are also different sorts of ways in which you interoperate across, let’s say, a very traditional generic universal chain, like Ethereum. But most of the interoperability today between, say, Ethereum and other similar generic chains is through bridges. And those bridges are mostly I’d say around tokens. So you take one token from one chain, and you move that token to another chain. That’s basically what you do through these bridges. And the idea through IBC, or some of the other protocols, is, `Can you actually do more than that?’ So imagine, for example, a user who is sitting on … who has assets on a single chain, and he sees that, `Okay, if I put these assets to work on a different chain, then I might be able to generate returns on my on my assets.’ But he doesn’t want to move all these assets from one chain to the other. He wants all of that to happen in the background, behind the scenes. And the only thing that a user wants to do is be able to click and say, `Okay, here’s my asset, put this asset to work.’ And the backend infrastructure should be able to handle everything behind the scenes for the user. I think they are some solutions that are being built today, but they’re not quite there yet. So all the bridges today are very primitive in that sense, if you see what I mean, basically.

Yves Messy  25.23

I think it’s also worth adding the concept of wrapped tokens across networks, right? Because you don’t have to bridge. You can have an instance of a particular network’s coin on another instance, another chain, as long as that’s obviously an asset that’s backed by a one-to-one collateral. And I guess it’s not the time to talk about Stablecoins?

Dominic Hobson  25.42 Is blockchain a sufficiently powerful social technology to transform the way our societies operate?

No, it’s not the time to talk about that. But it is the time, I think, perhaps, to talk about something we’ve talked about quite technically here. Maybe it’s time to talk about, or go back to the essence of this, which is basically blockchain as a social technology. You know, it’s not like a software application. It’s not offering services. It’s just this immutable ledger of these transactions, which you can change by the consensus mechanism. So it does suit an economy which is increasingly driven by data, by information – it’s a kind of legalised, financialised, bureaucratised economy, if you like, which is driven by exchanges of information in digital form. So I wonder whether we agree that blockchain has this power to totally reinvent the foundations on which our economy and our society are built. And to that end, [ANONYMISED] has made a comment, which is that `DLT brings regulatory ambitions to the next level, because it represents an opportunity. One wants to take it, to transform markets, introduce more transparency, lower risk and reduce intermediation.’ That’s obviously a kind of financial services perspective on this. But if we look beyond that, do we think that this is actually not just a digital technology, but actually a very, very powerful social technology capable of dissolving the ways that we do things now? And Sara, it’s a bit of a philosophical question, but I’d be interested to know what you think. And then I’d like Claudio to chip in perhaps with some experience from the LACChain experiment in Latin America. But Sara, give us a philosophical answer to my philosophical question.

Sara Feenan  27.35

Yeah, definitely. I mean, this was the ethos really that brought blockchains into play, and in particular, kind of brought together a nexus of existing technologies and kind of layered a business model over it with incentivisation. And that, I think, conceptually is very, very powerful, because it opens the doors to have this kind of self-sovereign identity, which, you know – side note, we’re very far away from. But theoretically, you could have ownership over your data rather than Facebook owning it, Google owning it, Uber owning it, those kinds of things – sorry to bring out the old innovation trope there.

Dominic Hobson  28.12

It has been an important part of the change here, from these large corporations controlling your data to you as a consumer, controlling your data and your identity. That is a dissolution of one of the foundations of our economy, I think.

Sara Feenan  28.25

Yeah, for sure, for web 2.0, where everything kind of moved into these centralised silos where personal data is held. But the reward mechanism that kind of was brought about by the propagation of these networks is very interesting. And it kind of translates well, and there’s a couple of projects out there already, like the Brave browser and various sort of blogging sites where you can actually receive these micro payments for whether somebody reads your article, or whether you give time to be advertised to online, which of course, we will do for free nowadays. But those kind of very small changes, I think, in mindset for people that they they’re not the product anymore, they can actually monetise their own way of doing things. And this kind of concept of, of data labour, which we all participate in, unwillingly sometimes in Web 2.0, the idea with Web 3.0 is to move towards decentralising that. And I do certainly speak from a non-Enterprise perspective here, and I know that the audience is very much tuned to Enterprise. But I think that, you know, the point that was made before about the, kind of, changing infrastructure across all the markets. I do have experience in Enterprise blockchain and also traditional finance. In clearing and settlement, you know, front-end, sort of front of house and that kind of thing in the trading platforms, you kind of just see this collapse in between the trade and the settlement. And that, as we know —  the infrastructure in between all of those two points of a trade – is huge at the moment, so collapsing those into effectively one complete transaction [would be helpful]. If that takes 10 minutes. Well, it’s, you know, a darn sight better than today.

Dominic Hobson  30.08 What examples do we have of blockchain infrastructures in use today?

Claudio, you, as we said at the outset, you know, the CSD you work for in Chile is building a fixed income bond market infrastructure, but you’re also a member of this blockchain consortium that’s developing a national ecosystem. Are the companies which are supporting that ecosystem project thinking to themselves, `Well, this is this is a cheaper, better, easier way of building some new products and services on a blockchain than we could do if we had to fund it ourselves.’ Or are they actually thinking, `We are now part of a massive transformation in the Chilean economy, we’re moving away from this old corporate model, where large companies control all the capital to this, you know, ownership economy where everyone has a stake in the system. We’re moving from that intermediated financial system to the peer-to-peer system. We’re moving from what Sara and I just talked about, which is away from ,you know, Facebook and Google and Microsoft controlling your data to one in which you control your own data and indeed use it to prove your identity.’ What’s the thinking of the companies – do they feel they’re part of a revolution or just [engaging in] a normal business transaction?

Claudio Calderón  31.18

I think that we are in the middle of that. Blockchain allows us to improve our current process of the agents to have a better flow of the security sequence, and we see a blockchain as an opportunity to solve and to improve the process. Although we all know that blockchain allows you to handle your own procedures, your own balances in a traditional way and in the financial market, you need to have a third party to act as trusted to handle the single truth. So probably, on this step, we’re handling the blockchain as an enabler to improve our process. And in the future, we can move to the next step – that is, to give access to the owners to move their own procedures.

Dominic Hobson  32.36

And how enthusiastic are the members of your ecosystem about this LACChain Alliance- this project led by the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) to provide a secure open, transparent, zero fee, public permissioned blockchain network for Latin America and the Caribbean. Do they see that as a great opportunity? Are they willing to support it as it grows?

Claudio Calderón  33.04

Well, currently, we are not engaged with the LACChain Alliance. I think Blockchain 3.0 that focuses on creating solutions, solutions for services or industries outside of the words of finance, is where initiatives like LACChain can improve on [the status quo].  As mentioned, they work on financial inclusion, sovereign identity to civility issues. And I, my experience, or what I have seen about their development, is that they promote the digital economy through the development of centralised registration technologies or blockchain. They provide an infrastructure to accelerate innovation and that allows [us] to minimise the time to market on our own DLT service.

Dominic Hobson  34.08

Martin, at the outset you were able to read off a list of projects which you saw as kind of putative blockchain infrastructures of which the LACChain was one. I myself have a little list of them. Alastria in Spain and the EBSI project I think you mentioned in Europe, but I also think of ASX in Australia making its blockchain technology available to third parties. I think of other CSDs, not just DCV, but KDPW in Poland also looking to build a blockchain infrastructure for the capital markets. Are these … Just to sort of try and get to the bottom of this, are these just ways for people to use blockchain which are a bit cheaper than doing it yourself? Or are we actually seeing something very fundamental shifting?

Martin Hargreaves  35.03

Certainly closer to the second, I would say. There are some commercial ones. So China’s Blockchain Service Network, the international version of that is very much just a commercial platform, more or less a blockchain as a service. Now, the things with some of these networks is they are … a lot of them are experiments, but they’re experiments in governance as well. So we talked about LACChain. LACChain is not a public network. But it’s also not a private network. It’s a public permissioned network. So anybody can get a node on there. And then they have to sign up to a contract. And the contracts have been translated into the legals for all the countries they support. And they then have legal liability for their transactions and their users. So users can still be anonymous to the network, but they have to be known by someone who’s liable. That is very similar to the social structures we have today in the way that banks and payment systems work. So a lot of things translate directly onto that. EBSI, on the other hand, is only available to government agencies. So EBSI services the data sharing across [borders] that will be available to EU citizens through applications that those agencies like. But if you’re a corporate or you’re an individual, you can’t join that network. So they’re operating at kind of different levels. And I think it’s still very early to say which of those is likely to be either the most successful or the most successful for the context that they’re in. As Claudio said, one of the key drivers for LACChain is around economic development, financial inclusion, digital inclusion, and that’s a really key driver for them. They’ve got kind of 60 to 80 different institutions of different sizes, including lot of government agencies across the whole region, and that’s what most of their use-cases are around. EBSI is more around digital ID, and a variety of kind of citizen services. And obviously, the commercial ones such as ASX, but they are relating to the markets that they’re in. So I think the governance models and how they run is as much an area of experimentation as the technology. And in general, I think, rather than undermining or revolutionising how we do society, which certainly, definitely was one of the initial goals of the public blockchains, I think it’s a technology that that can very quickly and effectively reflect changes that are happening. So there’s the clash, the kind of data labour against the concentration of wealth with a few large companies and a few individuals, is well represented by what’s happening on the public blockchains. And some of that is filtering over into wider society. I think it will be reflected in the models that these emerging new blockchain infrastructures adopt.

Amrit Kuma  37.59

Dominic, just a quick note, I really think everything is not rosy either, to be honest. I think if you look at kind of [vision of] this DeFi revolution, that people at least in the public blockchain space, people were painting, that you will be able to access any financial application without requiring XYZ or let’s say, your KYC, and whatnot. But if you look at the applications that have been built on those rails, about 10 per cent, or 20 per cent of that, maximum, I would say, is actually being used by people who are not financially included already. So if you look at the sort of demographics of people actually using DeFi, most of them, these people actually come from the very developed countries, whether it be Europe or America, and the number of people actually coming from countries like Bangladesh, Indonesia, and you know, those places where financial inclusion is a challenge, it’s actually, you know, the percentage is actually quite low. So I think we have a really long way to sort of reach that mission or the goal that we started with. So that’s, that’s another perspective. But I think, either we as a technologist or we as people doing and building these businesses around them, we are not doing the best job, in some sense to attract the right people who actually need these technologies. The most, for example, today in remote parts, you know, villages in Bangladesh, it’s very hard to [reach]. Let’s say, you know, to do microlending, for example, it’s very difficult. And the idea, the initial vision of DeFi, was to be able to simplify that. Unfortunately, I don’t think we are quite there yet.

Dominic Hobson  39.30 Who should govern blockchain-based infrastructures?

Now, Yves, Martin brought up the question of the governance of these blockchain infrastructures and it’s clear we’re not going to end up here with one national blockchain infrastructure in every country like one national roadwork or one national electricity grid. There’s going to be sort of networks of networks, but they might hook up in ways which create interesting infrastructural possibilities. But who should govern those? Are we talking governments or stock exchanges or telecoms companies? 

Yves Messy  39.57

It’s a tricky one, because obviously, there’s a tension. Anyone who is involved in regulated business and blockchain has this tension of needing something that is run by crowds, right, essentially crowd. The wisdom of crowds, essentially, is what governs blockchain markets today. It’s meant to be fairly anarchical. There’s no central point of failure, and no central point of decision. But the question of standards? I think it’s best to understand the blockchain world as a wild west where standards emerge from repeated custom that’s followed. So a company will release tokens for free occasionally, after having had an initial token offering in order to encourage and bootstrap access to services. That’s a customer that’s emerging in the blockchain space. And these standards are emerging from the customs in blockchain systems, in blockchain algorithms, and it’s in the code as well. Who should govern those? It should be the token holders. The regulators should be active participants. And obviously any infrastructure providers like miners or validators will have a say that will obviously have to be listened to in every situation. But these are the ones running and governing the blockchain today. The token holders, the infrastructure providers in terms of the hardware, and obviously the people who are the most engaged with the protocol and have a say in code may not be legal to operate [the infrastructure] according to regulations and laws.

Dominic Hobson  41.18 What role should governments play in blockchain infrastructure?

Could there be an argument for a government or governments to agree a set of standards? I don’t know, best practices, maybe even technical standards which blockchains within their remit have to sign up to which makes it possible for them to, to inter-operate. Or does that blow up the whole dream of a decentralised market?

Yves Messy  41.38

You can have both. I think that the role of governments in the world of permissionless blockchain is very much one of an entity that should be listened to. But obviously listening to governments, unfortunately, it’s not …  it’s fairly optional, right, for blockchains such as Bitcoin. But for more regulated chains, for most centralised chains, there’s absolutely a question of listening to governments. And the UK has done an incredible job, right, as of late, of engaging, giving some opinions on the safety of custody, of the safety of token sales and distribution of token products to retail users who don’t know any better. So I think government has shown the way. But blockchain token holders and infrastructure providers such as miners and validators will probably have more of a say in what actually happens with the advice of, obviously, governments that must be listened to.

Dominic Hobson  42.25

Sara, you were smiling, as I asked Yves that question. What were you smiling about? Was it an ironic smile?

Sara Feenan  42.31

It was a partial smile and a partial grimace if I’m honest, Dominic. I think that would be … it would be a very nice utopia if we were, all across the globe, living in environments where governments were pro innovation and pro openness and egalitarian in many ways. I think it’s fair to say that we’re not. So I think the thought of having standards where governments would even, you know, impose certain technologies or technological standards on various different projects, [is unwelcome]. I mean, the only one that I can think of where that actually happened was Open Banking, where there was the standard APIs, which was obviously with a view to opening up banking and making it more competitive for individuals and small businesses. That’s …  I mean, I could be wrong – so someone jump in. But that’s the only example I can think of where a technology or a standard has been, kind of passed down from government to the creators of these things, or the users of these things. And I’d also add on to that, well, I mean, to sort of finish, to round off that point, I think when it comes to Enterprise cases and regulated markets, yes, absolutely, of course. But when it comes to the public space, it’s not going to happen. It just won’t happen. It’s a case of a nine foot wall and a 10 foot ladder. So I don’t I think, you know, to echo what Yves said, I think the UK Government has done a really good job of engaging and, and with a view to kind of pro innovation, but obviously pro protection of retail investors too. But not all governments have and not all regulatory bodies have been, and you see the sort of contrast with the US. It seems like, it’s kind of, it’s working against innovation, in my view. And that’s, you know, very interesting, and it’s sort of meant to be a sort of very pro business country. But I think in many ways, what their response to crypto has been, has not been that. So, you know, there’s various different responses across the across the world too. So that would be my view on regulators imposing standards, or governments imposing standards.

Dominic Hobson  44.50

I’m interested, you bring up Open Banking, Open Data. I can see that, you know, there are 60 or 70 countries around the world now at least who have Open Banking, Open Finance, and even Open Data initiatives in train. They’re all running into different forms of headwinds. But we do now have standardised APIs [for Open Banking]. And, logically, if you push that logic to its extreme, it does undermine the control of the customer by large corporations in the long run. It does require customers to be proactive. And it does indeed require those large corporations to be prepared to accommodate the standardised APIs and the changes which are being imposed upon them. And in some ways, you know, I sort of think of that as a nascent infrastructure, which will take a long time to come to fruition, but it’s part of this end-state in which the customers are in control of their own data and of their own identity. And they use that as a lever to switch between corporations and it is that which changes the nature of capitalism – that instead of consumers being fed products and services by companies, companies started having to respond to consumers. 

Sara Feenan  46.06

Yeah, for sure. And sorry, to, you know, hog this, but I remember when the API Standards were being developed. Of course, it wasn’t just handed down by the UK Government. It was it was done with the community of legacy banks and challenger banks. And you kind of see this David versus Goliath approach where the legacy banks will, you know, to use a blockchain term, collude and try and push these specific standards or put these blockers in place or, you know, have these requirements that the challenger banks can’t quite reach.  You don’t end up with something pro consumer. You end up with something that is pro legacy. And this is where I think the public space and the Enterprise space can kind of learn from each other and hopefully, you know, theoretically, kind of converge on something that is still, you know, a way that small businesses and medium-sized businesses can create money and jobs, but also is good for the consumer too. Call me idealistic.

Dominic Hobson  47.05 

Martin, you were nodding fiercely there, as Sara was saying this is pro legacy. Yes, and the existing system of capital does have an immense power to slow things down and defend itself.

Martin Hargreaves  47.17

Very much so. And you’ve seen that in the kind of the prior generations of payment systems as well. So Faster Payments was kind of the predecessor of that. It went live in 2007 with 11 banks, and had 11 banks for a very long time because there was there was high barriers to entry on that. I think, where blockchain and Open Banking are different from the traditional networks … In some cases, it is that usually in kind of the traditional networks – certainly in the domain that I’m from, which is payments – the folks that are involved in the network, they’re actually operating stuff [INAUDIBLE] are typically, the folks that have a role in governance and governing it. So if you were part of Faster Payments, you would have become a shareholder in it, right? So you have voting rights. Same with SWIFT –  it’s member-owned. Same with a lot of those networks. In Open Banking, they don’t have quite the leverage that they used to. And in the blockchain world, it’s devolved to miners, validators, that sort of thing. I’m going to come back to LACChain again, because they are my favourite example. What they have actually is, there are things to join. And that also you get voting rights with that. So it looks more like a traditional network. And actually, in the traditional networks, the folks that are involved in providing services that are connected to their work generally do have a decent say in that, as opposed to kind of that moving out to [INAUDIBLE] like token holders, speculators, miners who are really in it to … don’t really care about the service largely; they care about making a return on the fact that the service exists. So again, I think we’re experimenting with governance models. And we may rediscover the reasons why some of our older governance models were in place in the first place, by trial and error, or we might come across some wholly new ones that work well. As Sara said, particularly in the consumer space, it’s very different because these networks have not really existed before. And there’s a whole bunch of different drivers.

Dominic Hobson  49.17 What contribution can operating systems make to improving inter-operability between blockchain protocols?

Well, I’d like to come back in a minute to actually how we make this happen – we’re into our last 10 or 15 minutes now – but could we, just before I do that, dispose of a technical question here from [ANOYMISED] in which he asks, `Do operating systems play a big role in inter-operability between blockchains? And if so, is there one that your companies prefer to develop on?’ Martin, I don’t know if you’ve got a thought on that. 

Yves Messy  49.44

Yeah, I’m happy to have a view on that front. Well, I think the operating system doesn’t matter. But if you’re really into the philosophy of blockchain, you will want to use a Linux-based machine or an open source operating system-based machine. And obviously, if you’re an Enterprise user, then it’s usually best to look at things like Red Hat. And obviously, you know, Azure. Microsoft Azure has some strong activity on blockchain specifically, so it will be recommended. Perhaps Google is attempting to have a similar presence now, but I would say that they’re falling short a little bit. So in terms of operating system, anything Linux-based will be ideal for deployments. And in terms of your own development, Mac is usually preferable, frankly, to Windows environments, from what I’ve seen as a developer, no matter how senior. So I would say anything Linux-based would be best in every situation.

Dominic Hobson  50.38

Amrit, do you want to add anything to that? Or do you feel that Yves has addressed it?

Amrit Kuma  50.42

I agree with Yves. It was just that, you know, developers are building some of these public, let’s say, applications or platforms. They are developing on Linux systems. So whatever they release, whether it be libraries or whatnot, they are, first and foremost, our main [INAUDIBLE] in systems. So that also helps you, you know. You may read at some time they do release releases for Windows as well. But, you know, you may have to wait for a longer time. Priorities for most of these developers is always Linux.

Dominic Hobson  51.13 How can the idea of a blockchain infrastructure best be realised in practice?

Okay, let’s use our last 10 minutes to ask ourselves how we can perhaps make this dream of a blockchain infrastructure actually happen. A few minutes ago, Sara and Martin were portraying a world in which the consumer is not sufficiently active. The legacy corporations are certainly active enough to slow down adoption of blockchain. So if we were looking for the fastest route, the best way to accelerate adoption, is it to persist with our present system of hoping competition will do the job? And the existing corporations will make interesting choices and consumers will help them make those interesting choices? And somehow we’ll end up in a blockchained, decentralised peer-to-peer economy, just by the normal processes of the market? Or do we need some form of collaboration throughout the economy between different – I don’t know what I’m talking about – different banks, companies, consumer groups – I don’t know what I’m talking about here-  but some form of collaboration between people who genuinely want an innovative new system? Which is best? Can we rely on competition? Or do we need to collaborate? Now, Claudio I’m sure you’re actually thinking about this question when you’re building your ecosystem in Latin America. What’s your thought on this? Can we rely on competitive forces in a marketplace? Or do we need, as in a way your project is showing, we need collaboration between the various forces to make something happen? Where does the balance fall in your experience? 

Claudio Calderón  52.54

I think that technology changes the role and needs of the market with sophisticated products, and new services. It requires agility and highest quality. So creating new ideas, products, or a market, is a job that requires a lot of commitment. And the adoption of this technology, it can’t be achieved without collaborating. So we must encourage, to build business applications, the solving of shared problems with a win-win balance between competition and collaboration. It’s a must.

Dominic Hobson  53.33

Now, what … 

Amrit Kuma  53.35

Can I provide an example, Dominic? You know, if you look at challenger banks in the UK, particularly Revolut, for example. They really set some examples on how to do certain things. For example, they were the first ones to introduce, or actually, you know, add support for crypto assets. So for example, initially, you could go and buy Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other assets. Now that, for example, I’ve heard or read somewhere that they are planning to build custodial and non-custodial wallets of their own. And then they are potentially planning to build the NFT marketplace of the world. Now, with these kinds of changes, I think that really brings a kind of a slick model here, which encourages other legacy banks to move forward as well. And now we’re seeing that change as well in other countries at least in in Asia. For example, in Singapore there are banks which are openly allowing custody of crypto assets for institutional clients. So I think that some of these new participants in the ecosystem, whether it be challenger banks, or you know, DeFi, you know, [INAUDIBLE], for example, some of these companies in the UK, like Aave, they applied for a licence in the UK to operate certain businesses. And you can see that convergence happening. So it’s also a model where some of the newer participants are pushing forward. And that is really sort of pushing also the legacy institutions as well to make changes, maybe not as fast as the challenger ones, but at least they’re making changes.

Yves Messy  55.02

Yeah, I think it’s worth noting as well as the actors that Amrit just pointed out – the banks, the challenger banks, and the blockchains – there are more industries jumping into this blockchain area. Don’t forget the impact of the NFT wave during bullish months this past year alone, right, the past 12 months. So there are companies like gaming companies, automotive companies, there’s a whole suite of Enterprise use cases, in addition, beyond just the DeFi, which are also jumping in. And soon you’ll have these as well, having something to say, essentially, about, for example, consumer safety when it comes to automotive blockchain use cases or transportation standards for aviation using blockchain, for example. There’s a lot more than just banks and developers in this story.

Dominic Hobson  55.50 Do you believe blockchain can be steered off its present purely private, commercial course onto a public, infrastructural course from which everybody in a society and an economy can benefit?

Now our time is almost up. And I’d like to just get a final thought from each of you on the heart of the matter here, which is, at the moment, we, as you say, Yves, we’ve got lots of companies jumping into blockchain, trying in effect to privatise the gains from doing something different, trying to make money for themselves. And in principle, there’s nothing harmful about that; it’s how the system works. But what if we took an infrastructural view of blockchains, when what we’re actually going to do is provide a common means to many ends. It’s going to be a genuine infrastructure, on which lots of people can create value that is enormously beneficial in terms of social and economic spillover effects. How – Sara I’d like you to address this first – how do we make that happen? Can a bunch of innovators actually build a very low cost or even zero cost blockchain infrastructure? [INAUDIBLE] It’s kind of where Ethereum comes from, if you like, so you’re well placed to answer it. How can that sort of dream which people had at the beginning be sort of resurrected, some of that ardour and passion which people had when we first started going down this path five or six years ago? Is it powerful enough to start displacing existing infrastructures? In securities markets?

Sara Feenan  57.08

Yeah, I think so. In you know, in short answer. Longer answer, I won’t go into too much now. But I definitely think that you’ve seen this huge amount of innovation come up. And I think that the trends over the past, you know, five, six years. Before, everything was kind of, in the, you know, nascent or even non-existent [stage]. You see, the trends. Like NFTs have been mentioned a couple of times today – that’s really gone into the mainstream. And I think these are the times when we can address things like scalability, when you start to see all this usage from a technological perspective. But I think from a mindset perspective, I do think that the ideological ideas are still coming through, you know. The thought that people can create their own art and sell it to people across the globe is very compelling for some artists. And I think as the technology expands, and, you know, use-cases like gaming and video streaming, then become possible, I think the same thing will happen. There’s always going to be a slight dilution in ideology when a number of competing different forces come in. But the one thing I would say to Enterprises is, `Keep an eye on what’s going on in the public space and keep an eye on what the technological trends are.’ Because, if there is this kind of Utopian merger or something where we do have this general purpose technology, almost to bring it full circle, we will need to inter-operate.

Dominic Hobson  58.33

Claudio, a last thought from you on how we bring about this general purpose technology-led infrastructure from which everybody in a society or economy can benefit.

Claudio Calderón  58.50

Dominic, can you repeat the question? 

Dominic Hobson  58.52

It’s my final question. It is how you think we can best achieve a blockchain infrastructure, which is open to everybody at very low costs so they can create lots of different products and services from which they derive value, but society and the economy benefit as well.

Claudio Calderón  59.18 

Sorry, I cannot hear you.

Dominic Hobson  59.26 

You can’t hear me. I’ll ask the question again, in a different way. The purpose of our discussion this afternoon is to work out whether blockchain is an infrastructure and if it is how to build one which is of maximum social and economic value. You’ve explained that collaboration is an important part of that. We’ve agreed competition is part of it as well. If I asked you the question, what’s the next thing we should do to help to bring it about what would you say?

Claudio Calderón  59.54

Well, blockchain itself is part of an infrastructure. In order to move to the next steps, we need to have better inter-operability which is based on standards and also provide a set of capabilities like the governance which has to have the definition  – in that part of the market that is engaging with  blockchain in particular – of the principles that govern the blockchain consortium. And there are things that need to be a governed in a network, you know, in a consortium.

Dominic Hobson  1:00:59

Thanks, Claudio. Now, Yves, you’ve heard Sara talk about capitalising on innovations which are clearly working and you know, make them scalable and grow fast. You’ve heard Claudio say that we need standards to provide the inter-operability and we need also, governance standards. These are concrete steps which can be taken towards the idea of building a blockchain infrastructure. What’s your idea of a good next step to make this thing happen?

Yves Messy  1:01:29

I think the issue of or the promise of the multichain world, and the standards that come from multichain interaction is going to be useful because it’s going to make principles apply on more than just one ecosystem. I’ll give you an example: the ERC 721 standard is the one behind what we call NFTs. It was an Ethereum proposal by the community that became reality and is now the rule really in the blockchain space. And once you interact with other networks, you see that you have the same Ethereum standards in other blockchains as well, right? So I think what would really be useful is if we have a thicker view, of multichain interaction and to propagate basic governance principles across networks, algorithmically. I know it’s a Tekkie answer. But, you know, data standards, consensus standards as a definition of standards, going from one massively dominant network like Bitcoin or Ethereum, but then proliferating, along with rules and methods to comply to regulation propagated to other chains. So we need electronic digital tools to embed our realised customs and regulations into the code. To an extent that will obviously have blockchain be in everyone’s daily life, legally.

Dominic Hobson  1:02.52

Thanks, you. So, Amrit, you’ve heard everyone else’s ideas here. It’s capitalise on innovations, let’s set governance standards, let’s have inter-operability standards, and from Yves there a kind of technical, algorithmic type of collaboration, which we tend not to think of – we often think of collaboration but as a human activity. Actually that  interaction, that iteration does lead to, you know, reinforcing stuff that works, doesn’t it? I mean, what’s your advice?

Amrit Kuma  1:03.19

I would like to give two pierces of advice. One is that I think we as developers are building things for developers. So no matter what products you use today, you know, it’s impossible to use some of these products unless you go and watch a one hour tutorial video by your favorite influencer. It’s not as seamless as downloading another app from a FinTech app, let’s say and a banking application from your app store. So I think we need to think from a user perspective a bit more. And second thing, we have to be responsible, you know, every other [INAUDIBLE] here, hacks happening left and right. And honestly, that pushes people away, that pushes users away, that pushes people who are thinking or Enterprises thinking about adopting blockchains. And you know, it gets hard time from them as well. So I think we should …  you know, there’s a tendency among developers that, `Oh, here’s an application that I built overnight and let’s go and use it.’ I think we need to be slightly more responsible when we push products into the wild for people to use.

Dominic Hobson  1.04.18

Martin, a last word from you. It’s a thankless task this, because four other people have given us all their ideas already. 

Martin Hargreaves  1:04:24

No, that’s absolutely fine. So I think there is in terms of collaboration and competition, there’s a definite … there’s a balance between public sector and private sector here. So private sector, like as you say lots of money to be made, innovate very fast compared to government. But for the sort of infrastructure that we’re talking about – that is, it sits alongside railways, roads, that sort of thing – it becomes kind of de facto business infrastructure that is built into government, that sort of thing. That’s what, where people are potentially going, right? Wherever they’re going. It’s where China are going, Alastria to an extent. That needs input from government, not to build it, but potentially to sponsor it, and certainly to use it. And the other thing that we will need to do on those rails is build out two things. Foundational services that make it useful to build on – so identity and payment primarily. Once you’ve got those, you’ve got citizens on there, they can identify themselves, they can pay for things, then you can start to move applications onto them to make them useful. And probably the final point on that is you have to find those useful applications. So there needs to be a really strong, `What’s in it for me?’ As a consumer, there’s going to be a level of friction and the starting point is far too high at the moment, right? If you’ve ever tried using wallets and that sort of thing, it’s not something you would get your grandmother to do. So the compelling use-cases for consumers, which are primarily around, `How can we make your life simpler?’ Because we can, right?  If you’ve got digital identity, you can make an insurance claim with a button click rather than coming up with all of your documents, those sorts of things, because it can all be held securely on that blockchain. Those sorts of things really need to be started to be built out because that will build the demand side of it. But I think it is the sorts of things that countries and societies will use as a basis of competition because it can act, certainly as an accelerator and a multiplier for the level of innovation and the efficiency of a lot of the processes in that economy.

Dominic Hobson  1:06:30

Thank you, Martin. Very useful, very useful thoughts. Did you want to say something, Claudio, before we go in a minute?

Claudio Calderón  1:06:37

I would like to add that increasing education on the different elements of DLT, like the use-cases, the benefits and the risks, are really important to share. I think the companies that are adopting or experimenting with DLT technologies need to look for a way to share the experience. This will aid blockchain adoption across the industry.

Dominic Hobson  1:07:12

Well, I can certainly vouch for that having spent two hours this morning trying to hire a car, both to prove who I was and to pay for it. But there’s certainly lots of scope for improvement there. But I think we must, we must stop there. I’d like to apologise for being a blank and disappearing very briefly there. But it’s been a very fascinating discussion. I’d like to thank our panelists Martin Hargreaves from Quant Network, Amrit Kumar from Zilica Capital and Binarii Labs, Caludio Calderon from DCV, Sara Feenan from Infura and Yves Messy from the Said Business School. I’d also like to thank you the audience for your questions and your comments. Here at Future of Finance our next webinar is two weeks away. I hope to be there in full colour. Thursday 9th June, same time, same place, 2 pm on Zoom. In it we’re going to be addressing the question, `Is the digital asset custody industry ready to grow up?’ by which we mean being ready for institutional money and ready to facilitate the growth of the security token industry. And I hope that many of you will be able to join us then. But for now, it’s goodbye from the six of us. Goodbye.

If you would like more information or we can assist in any way or you would like to join future discussions please email Wendy Gallagher on wendy.gallagher@futureoffinance.biz