A week ago, I turned up at a recruiting event at Startupbootcamp London Fintech filled with anticipation. I was there to listen to the pitches of the teams within the accelerator program, and see if any of their requirements were a match for my skillset and interests. As I had recently been telling all of my friends, I was keen to work as part of an energetic, ambitious start up team, to help to bring an exciting, innovative technology to market. And that’s exactly what I found with Tradle.
It wasn’t until my first Skype call with Gene and Mark that I really clocked on to the significance of the potential implications of the ‘global trust network’ they are creating. Not only to the banking industry, but also within healthcare and travel. From my initial research, I realised that the technology world has already caught onto this fact and I (like many other non-technical individuals) was only now catching up.
From what I gather, a blockchain is public ledger of all the transactions ever created. A block is the latest batch of transactions that have been timestamped and authenticated, and the blockchain consists of blocks connected together. Each transaction stores a bit of data and this is where ‘proofs’ are stored. Once a record is added to the blockchain, it can never be deleted or amended. Tradle provides an encrypted link between the customer, the blockchain and the bank; to the verified customer identification data. Tradle stores the proof of customer data…i.e. the proof that the bank has said they have verified the customer’s identification documents.
The technology allows banks to benefit from access to a global centralized repository that adheres to regulation and is auditable. Cost reduction and increased conversion will also be a benefit as the KYC process is reduced. Tradle’s aim is to reduce the duplication of the KYC process as data can be shared between banks and also within the bank’s internal departments (i.e. Current Accounts to Mortgages). For the consumer, the idea is that they regain control of their identity via a single point of KYC data. Thus removing ownership of data from large corporations that may be susceptible to fraud and/or misuse.
There’s nothing as exciting as listening to someone who is an expert in their field share their vision of changing the world with you. A week ago, I knew very little about blockchain technology. Fast forward seven days and I’m a fan! I have to admit that it took me a few of hours of desktop research to get an understanding of how the technology works. But after skype calls, lots of emails and a couple of trips to Rainmaking Loft I now understand why the team is so excited.
It’s been a busy week for me, as I’m trying to work on this project while juggling a full time role. However, I am learning so much and definitely loving the buzz and excitement. “What do you mean it can’t be hacked?! I’m sorry, can you run that by me again?” Just one of my many moments of enlightenment. From the look of things, I can see there will be many more of these in the weeks ahead.