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Blockcast.cc: Good morning, I am Jenny Zheng, Cofounder of Blockcast.cc, a regional blockchain media company. During the Singapore Fintech and Blockchain Week 2019, experts gathered in Singapore. Some said that Singapore Fintech and Blockchain Week 2019 is one of the biggest event on technology, we have no doubts about it. This morning we continue our conversations with experts. We have Anton Golub from Switzerland today to share with us his journey in the Fintech and blockchain world. Anton, please introduce yourself.
Anton: Thanks Jenny. I am currently the founder and CEO of flovtec, liquidity provider with a purpose to unlock digital assets. I also a co-founded Trust Square AG, a pre-eminent blockchain technology hub located in Zurich’s financial district.
Blockcast.cc: Can you share with us your past experiences?
Anton: Definitely! In 2013, I have co-founded Lykke Corp, a Swiss-based company that is building a global marketplace on top of the blockchain for the free exchange of digital assets. Prior to Lykke, I was a quantitative researcher at Olsen Ltd, an asset management firm that pioneered the field of computerized trading. As a Marie Curie Research Fellow at the Manchester Business School, I worked on high-frequency trading, market microstructure and flash crashes. In 2012, I was invited to participate in the Foresight Project – The Future of Computer Trading in Financial Markets, an international project on algorithmic trading funded by HM Treasury in the UK. I have also been involved in several research projects backed by the European Union (EU) and I am still currently in the Supervisory Board for the BigDataFinance project funded through Horizon 2020, the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation. Ok top of that I have co-authored 13 academic papers and two books.
Blockcast.cc: That is a lot of information. Your experience in Europe is extraordinary. Separately before this interview, you have spoken to us about international transactions and how it should be free and fast. Can you elaborate more on this?
Anton: Over the past few decades, the world has experienced an unprecedented digital transformation. Almost every sphere of life has been affected, with one curious exception: the banking and finance world. Today, we are still used to waiting two days for an international transaction to reach its destination. We stand patiently in queues in bank branches and rely on letters to be informed. We accept fees for processes that should be free in a digital world.
But since 2009, these archaic structures have been challenged by a revolutionary new system. Blockchain has the potential to redesign the architecture of the banking and finance world. With a decentralized blueprint, a transparent, public and secure network was created, which manages itself. Today, there are many blockchains that are collectively grouped under the generic term “Distributed Ledger Technology” (DLT).
Blockcast.cc: In your own opinion, what is the next step for this evolution?
Anton: Essentially, this is about the next step in the evolution of the internet: in addition to information and services, assets can now also be transferred and exchanged. Recently, the term “tokenization” has become the buzz word in the technology-savvy alternative financial world. It involves the creation of digital asset, which is transferred to a blockchain. The possibilities are inconceivable if everything that represents a value gets a digital representation and thus becomes accessible to all people. In other words, we are facing a democratization of financial systems. But there is a crucial hurdle that blocks the way for this future.
Blockcast.cc: Looks like the big hurdle is liquidity?
Anton: Liquidity is the degree of simplicity with which assets can be traded. In a liquid market, buying/selling an asset at low fees is possible at any time. The key success factor of DLT will be liquidity. At the moment, we see that most of the tokens are locked due to lack of liquidity. This threatens to stifle the enormous potential of decentralized financial system. flovtec was founded to meet this challenge. As a quantitative investment firm in digital markets, the company’s objective is to provide liquidity. Based on algorithms that, in addition to identifying statistical patterns in markets, are also inspired by AI & machine learning research, prices are automatically offered at which tokens can be bought or sold at any time. With a visionary team and state-of-the-art software technology, flovtec is helping to shape our digital future. It combines the knowledge of blockchain pioneers, experienced hedge fund managers and quantitative analysts into a unique mosaic.
Blockcast.cc: You have a good point here. We were speaking to a few experts about the future of finance and how securities tokens will come to mainstream. We spoke to Anndy Lian, during the Blockchain Week too and he highlighted that liquidity is one of the biggest key issue, there are plenty of issuances but no takers. During that interview, my fellow Cofounder Melody finds that his perspectives are a bit less positive so it was omitted from the interview. Now, after speaking to you, it seems like this is a big matter.
Anton: Anndy is very right on this. Many ‘experts’ choose to ignore this reality. They want to paint a nice picture so that they can be the most popular guy ‘in town talking about blockchain. We know who they are.
To conclude, the future is digital, decentralized and networked. The activities of flovtec help to bring about this paradigm shift in the financial world quickly and sustainably.
Blockcast.cc: I hope I have not taken too much of your time. Understand you are in Dubai right now. Last but not least, can you share an inspiring quote for our readers?
Anton: Sure. This is the quote-
“Blockchain is the greatest discovery we are going to witness in our lifetime!”
Blockcast.cc: Thanks Anton. We have learnt a lot from you today.