By William Piquard, Managing Director Europe, Gatecoin.
William, can you please tell the Risk Insights readers a little bit about yourself, your experiences and what your current professional focus is?
I am the ex-COO and new Europe Managing Director of Gatecoin, a cryptocurrency and blockchain token exchange headquartered in Hong Kong.
About Gatecoin was the first exchange to list ether in 2015 and underwrite ICOs. We have now more than 50,000 verified traders, including hedge funds, family offices, brokerage firms and high net worth individuals. Around 10m USD are being traded on daily basis on the exchange. I am originally from Paris and former strategy consultant, I graduated from HEC Paris and I also hold a CEMS Master degree in International Business.
At Gatecoin, I am currently in charge of developing the European business, supervise the European licensing setup and create specific services for Blockchain projects.
At the Technology & Innovation Risk Summit, you will be presenting on ‘Reviewing the opportunities and potential use cases of distributed ledger technology and its impact on the banking industry’. Why is this a key talking point in the industry right now?
The key talking point in the industry at the moment is definitely regulation. The regulatory framework of ICOs, cryptocurrencies, the distributed ledger technology and the companies working in this ecosystem will shape the underlying value proposition of this ecosystem. As a result, it is in the best interest of all stakeholders to collaborate in order to define a consistent and exhaustive legal framework that will help legitimizing this disruptive technology and protect efficiently their adopters.
What impact has distributed ledger technology had on the banking industry?
Currently, the impact is marginal. However, the applications of DLT like cryptocurrencies could potentially replace SWIFT or retail banking and disrupt investment banking, stock exchanges, startup investments by facilitating the securitization of assets and their transfers over the internet, as well as removing intermediaries in charge of storing and maintaining those assets on behalf of the clients. Some other applications, like Ethereum, could more broadly create a new decentralized internet, which could disrupt far more than just banking. In short, the impact could be immense, at least as important as the internet disruption in the 1990’-2000’.
What opportunities have become available because of emerging technologies in the banking industry?
ICOs have disrupted investment, cryptocurrencies have changed the way people exchange value over the internet, the DLT will change the way decision-making is made in organizations.
How do you see the technology risk landscape evolving over the next 6-12 months?
From a DLT perspective, it is expected to have new protocols than Bitcoin or Ethereum emerging, with the characteristics of being more flexible to facilitate smart contract coding, but also more reliable, in order to design bug-free smart contracts. The mitigation of the tech risks when designing smart contracts would initiate a new phase in the DLT development: The rise of de-centralised autonomous Organizations, that will completely disrupt the decision-making and the structure of any entity.