Rise, created by Barclays, launches new Insights report that decrypts crypto

Rise Insights report lead, Colin DeLarso (Assistant Vice President – Innovation, Barclays) shares some highlights

The latest edition of the Rise Insights report, “Decrypting crypto”, reviews the new world of digital assets in financial services. It demystifies some of the most pertinent and often complex concepts, explores what the innovations might mean to FinTechs and institutions, and examines ways they can both benefit – from subjects as diverse as regulation, efficiencies in payment systems, rolling out Central Bank Digital Currencies and what it means to bring about universal participation in the crypto-economy.

The FinTech ecsosystem is leading the charge in this blockchain-driven space, designing the platforms on which crypto-assets are created, stored and exchanged, and developing the decentralised apps (‘dapps’) that support some extremely new use cases. The pace of change is so fast, and market interest is so high, that now everyone is taking notice - even large banks.

Charlotte Kanagasabapathy, Global FinTech Platform Director in Barclays Innovation, makes the point that:

“it’s only a matter of time before technological limitations such as scalability and interoperability are overcome. Beyond that point, a financial system built on blockchain may be unrecognisable by today’s standards.”

In the report, Shreepad Shukla, Enterprise Architect in Barclays’ Chief Technology Office, makes the case for deep and collaborative enterprise engagement.

“Turning crypto-use cases into workable solutions will require organisations to innovate alongside FinTechs, central banks, regulators and even competitors,” writes Shreepad.

Digital assets are being implemented by traditional financial institutions. Compared with the wildfire of FinTech disruption, it’s been a slow burn for larger enterprises, but they’re definitely accelerating their adoption of blockchain technology. Here’s a survey of some of the work taking place and the considerations many enterprises face. Read more about these subjects in the report.

Corporate infrastructure meets blockchain

Alisa DiCaprio, Head of Trade at R3, explains why implementing Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) is such a huge task for any enterprise financial services firm, and how they can keep up to date. This involves both DLT interoperability and, unsurprisingly, careful consideration of legacy systems.

Enterprise-ready security opens the crypto-economy to institutions

Financial institutions will be one of the biggest contributors to growth of the crypto-economy. The signs are that this is more than a research project for them. They’re investing in crypto in record volumes, say Coinbase’s Brett Tejpaul, Head of Institutional Sales, and Greg Tusar, Head of Institutional Product. While security remains a concern for larger organisations, infrastructure is being created that allows crypto-trading to become a reality for them.

STOs and smart contracts are reinventing securities

Security Token Offerings (STOs) have built-in restrictions to make them more compliant with securities regulations. STOs combined with smart contracts are allowing companies to formulate new financial propositions, save costs and simplify processes. Chris Housser, Interim CEO of Polymath, leads us through these concepts and suggests ways for traditional financial institutions to adapt to and take part in new forms of investing.

DLT innovations at Barclays

Barclays’ Chief Technology Office (CTO) is at the cutting edge of Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) and has a long history of innovation. Shreepad Shukla, Enterprise Architect in the CTO, describe the work he’s been doing on two crypto-projects: digital fiat currencies and wholesale payments. The key to success with both innovations is close collaboration with governments, regulators and FinTechs.

FinTechs featured in the report

Contributors to this edition of the Insights report include:

  • Chainalysis is an alumnus of the 2015 New York Barclays Accelerator, powered by Techstars, and provides data, software, services and research to government and law-enforcement agencies, exchanges, financial institutions and cybersecurity companies in over 50 countries, helping them to ensure cryptocurrency compliance
  • R3 delivers trust technology for multi-party applications, connected networks and ecosystems, and regulated markets expertise. R3 is the creator of Corda, a permissioned blockchain platform allowing businesses to build networks so they can transact directly and privately using Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT)
  • Coinbase operates the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the United States by trading volume[1] and is enabling universal participation in the crypto-economy for institutions and corporations
  • Solana is a decentralised, permissionless blockchain built to enable scalable, user-friendly apps for the world. The project is Open Source and has an extensive ecosystem of developers and validators (who validate transactions added to the blockchain ledger)
  • Polymath has an Ethereum-based solution for securities trading using security tokens. Polymath’s Polymesh platform supports confidentiality, identity, governance and cross-jurisdiction execution
  • Arch is an alumnus of the 2015 New York Barclays Accelerator, powered by Techstars. Arch (formerly Smash) untangles DeFi, allowing investors to buy into diversified strategies at the crypto frontier
  • Andrea Maria Cosentino is Co-Founder of Licas Ventures and Global Business Strategy & Development Manager at Bloomberg. He has extensive corporate and startup experience in financial markets and technology

Get involved

“I’m a big believer in the ability of blockchain technology to effect fundamental change in the infrastructure of the financial service industry.”Bob Greifeld, CEO of NASDAQ

  • Download the Rise Insights report to learn more about how digital assets are impacting financial services, and for more on the FinTech companies mentioned here
  • Listen to the latest episode of the Rise FinTech Podcast
  • Contact the Rise team in London or New York to meet any of the companies featured in the report or in the Rise ecosystem of over 100 FinTech startups

[1] Bloomberg