IEO is a promising technology. A Senior Solution Manager from IBM says
"IEO is very interesting because we need to be able to help the developers monetize their efforts, because it's the basis of the future innovation and development of different solutions for the future. It's the way how developers can get rewarded for their projects, so I currently see that IEO is a very promising technology. "
Sasha lazarevic, a Senior Solution Manager at IBM Switzerland, told Jinse Finance & Cointime at the 2019 Chain Plus Asia Pacific Blockchain Summit on April 11.
At the same time, Sasha lazarevic thinks that the cryptocurrency exchanges might get even more strictly regulated because small investors are flowing into the space and they need to be protected.
Sasha also had talked about the future combination between blockchain and 5G and AI. Sasha said that 5G will definitely stimulate the development of the Internet of Things, and Internet of Things will definitely need a platform for the transparent and safe transaction, storage and processing. This is where blockchain actually comes into play.
But Sasha thinks that artificial intelligence and blockchain are very different technologies. Artificial intelligence needs a lot of available data about a particular domain in order to do the predictions. Blockchain is actually protecting our data so that we as the owners can decide how to manage it. so we need to think about how to merge Artificial intelligence and blockchain in the end.
At the beginning of the interview, Sasha also explained how World Wire——IBM blockchain-based payment system——works in detail. IBM Blockchain World Wire was not based on hyperledger fabric but on Stellar which is a completely different technology developed outside of IBM. In the IBM World Wire system, if a customer wants to transfer his money from one country to another, his country A's fiat money will be converted into an intermediary stablecoin or a kind of central bank digital currency and then the intermediary digital currency was converted again into the country B's currency.
Sasha tells cointime that IBM World Wire now is available in 72 countries for 46 different currencies. The users of this solution are financial institutions——banks and non-banks primarily.
The following are the Q&As：
Cointime: Please briefly introduce yourself.
Sasha lazarevic: I live in Switzerland and work at IBM. As you know, IBM is famous for commodity trading and trade finance. IBM is also a large technology solution provider in domains like blockchain, artificial intelligence, cloud computing, quantum computing, automation of all kinds.
IBM is one of the founders of hyperledger foundation, and we have currently about thirty percent of the B2B blockchain projects markets. There is a lot of interest from our clients to use blockchain technology or we also call it distributed ledger technology. So we have a lot of projects, especially in the financial services sector.
I work as a senior solution manager, which means that I'm responsible for the solution design and those commercial part of the solutions in the offerings.
Cointime: After JP Morgan and Facebook, IBM also launched its own global blockchain-based payments network World Wire. Can you share us some more information about it?
Sasha lazarevic: There was a big announcement last month about IBM blockchain World Wire. it is interesting because of the solution. This payment system was not based on hyperledger fabric but on Stellar which is a completely different technology developed outside of IBM. But we believe it is very suited for international payments.
It is now being available in 72 countries for 46 different currencies. Primarily the users of this solution are financial institutions——banks, and non-banks. they are able to send the payment in a very cost-efficient manner from one country to another. So they can choose it if they want to use it as an intermediary stable coin or a kind of central bank digital currency. And then the fiat money from one country is converted into this intermediary token and then converted again from this token into the target currency. Basically, that's the way how it works.
There is a lot of interest among different market participants currently and how to eventually use it in other interesting projects that we have. IBM also supports different trading platforms, for example, We.trade which is a trading platform supported by IBM. It is a large consortium of banks that are very active in trade and finance industry in Europe.
Hyperledger fabric is also used in Asia. For example, eConnect trade platform based in Hong Kong is using the same technology. We have already signed a memorandum of understanding for a kind of interlink between these two platforms so that Chinese and Asian banks and trading companies can eventually automatically exchange payment information with European banks. Different elements are coming together into play. And hopefully, we’ll have synergies between these different projects in the end in order to enable a true digital transformation of financial services.
Cointime: Blockchain and cryptocurrency are relatively new technologies. Different models keep coming. ICO, STO, Dapps, stable coins and IEO are recent coming-outs. From your perspective, which is a more healthy and promising way for the market?
Sasha lazarevic: it is difficult to say. Talking about the token economy, cryptocurrencies and investing in different blockchain projects, there is a lot of attraction with the latest innovations in the IEO. It's very interesting because we need to be able to help the developers monetize their efforts because it's the basis of the future innovation and development of different solutions for the future. It's the way how developers can get rewarded for their projects, so I currently see that IEO is a very promising technology. I believe that there will be a lot of learning around this new concept.
I'm afraid that as this (concept) gets replicated by other exchanges which may be lack of security in one of these exchanges could lead to some problems and situations, where a particular site gets hacked and things like that, things that we have already seen in the past. This is something that we have to be careful about.
The next thing I believe is that these exchanges might get even more strictly regulated because more and more investors will be actually using these services to invest their money in the projects there. It is a good thing because basically small investors need to be protected and need to be aware of different risks. But the whole industry is learning.
So, I think these solutions that you mentioned will also evolve in the future. Thus, we’ll see a lot of things around IEO and STO for example. What I would say and what we need to do is basically to pay more attention to the utility of the projects, the scalabilities of the technologies, and about the user experience.
This is going to lead to more confidence basically in the use of different platforms, and the benefits which we can get from these different projects.
Cointime: The whole blockchain and cryptocurrency market is still very small compared to the traditional financial market. How can we bring our new users into the space and bring massive adoptions for it (blockchain and cryptocurrency)?
Sasha lazarevic: It's difficult to say. I mean it takes patience. The current financial service sector is looking very poor for innovations. All these started with fintech innovations and phoenix startup companies. Now we get even better profiling and positioning of different fintech companies for different sectors. We see progress and we see a lot of appetite from different financial services companies to use this technology. It takes time. And as I have mentioned, better user experience and better security will lead to more and more people having confidence in using it (fin-tech innovations/blockchain/crypto).
Some of the markets will progress faster, some of them will progress slower, but those which are faster basically will be able to pull the other markets in that direction. I believe that in five to ten years, if we satisfy the expectations of the market for security and for the user experience, we'll see much more users than we have today.
Cointime: How do you think the condition between blockchain and upcoming 5G, AI, machine-learning technologies?
Sasha lazarevic: It's a very good question because I'm particularly interested in specializing myself in this domain of the intersection between artificial intelligence and blockchain. There is a lot of potentials and a lot of interest in the market. 5G will definitely stimulate the development of the Internet of Things, and Internet of Things will definitely need a platform for the transparent and safe transaction, storage and processing. And this is where blockchain actually comes into play.
Talking about artificial intelligence, artificial intelligence and blockchain are very different technologies. Artificial intelligence needs a lot of available data about a particular domain in order to do the predictions. Blockchain is actually protecting our data so that we as the owners can decide how to manage it. I believe the best way of how to get them to work in the future when we will be able to benefit from all these technologies, is at the time being that we work on scaling up these two technologies individually. Artificial intelligence and blockchain, we need to think about how to merge them in the end.
I see three are different ways of how artificial intelligence and blockchain can provide synergies. One and the simplest use case would be to combine artificial intelligence and blockchain in one single application, so you have artificial intelligence to take some conclusion, to make a prediction, to do identification, and then to store the result of that in a blockchain. We already have one similar application. It's actually to identify if a particular product is genuine or not, we have an application that we used to verify, for example, diamonds. It was an application developed by IBM, and the result of that (verification) is basically stored as a transaction on the blockchain. We will see more and more such cases. For example, having a very complex smart contract, we'll have to use something like what they call AI judge because there needs to be a decision. And in some cases, this is not just a smart contract to take this decision. So, we need to involve artificial intelligence to take this decision.
And then, once the decision is taken, it is going to be registered together with all the elements of how we came to this decision on a blockchain for the transparency and security purposes, so this is one use case. Another use case would be using artificial intelligence to manage blockchain. We already have some companies which are developing the solution, so I'm sure we will see more and more of it (using artificial intelligence to manage blockchain). The third group of use cases is using blockchain and smart contracts to provide artificial intelligence as a service using a smart contract.
This is something that I see is the way how artificial intelligence and blockchain could have very nice interlock and combine into a sophisticated solution.
Executive editor： Maxwell