DLT and Payments


Over the last few years, I have engaged with both the ‘true believers’ in crypto and the sceptics. In this highly politicised debate, the opportunity to assess, objectively, what unique capabilities are offered by Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) to design innovative payment solutions appears to have been swept aside. Of course, there are gaps (scalability springs to mind) but we can expect many to be fixed as the technology is improved.

‘Core competencies‘ as a management concept were first proposed in the 1990 HBR article “The Core Competence of the Corporation” by C.K. Prahalad and Gary Hamel. In developing Information Technology (IT) strategies for companies in a past life, I have used ‘IT Capabilities‘ to capture new competencies derived from the use of information technology, for business leverage.

As an example, the use of artificial intelligence tools (or even simple ‘rules engines’ from the olden days), can enable a payment services provider to significantly improve KYC and risk assessment of payers and payees to meet compliance standards and regulatory obligations.

The unique IT capabilities offered by DLT and tokenisation can similarly be captured to help spur ideas that solve existing problems or even conceive new business models. I call these #DLTSuperPowers – simply to be less boring than ‘DLT Capabilities’! I’m hoping to offer a framework to generate dozens of new use cases that might land on fertile ground and find sponsors who take some up for trial, despite the reservations of sceptics.

I will be presenting these ideas at an online panel session next week with the Emerging Payments Association Asia, details below. I will share details in a subsequent post, watch this space!

Designing with Digital Tokens: A Primer for Central Bankers

Many central and commercial banks are now exploring the use of blockchain or more generally, distributed ledger technology (DLT) for the design of new payment systems infrastructure around the world. Native crypto-assets as well as tokens issued on DLT networks, such as Central Bank issued Digital Currency (CBDC) and so-called stablecoins, are being considered as building blocks.

Dilip Rao offers a framework for the assessment of needs for different use cases against the attributes of various DLT tokens for a more rigorous selection of technology.

In summary:
– Digital token attributes are critical to solving for your use case of interest
– CBDC, bank tokens and crypto-assets solve different problems and can work together
– A thoughtful design approach can result in better outcomes at lower costs and risks

Read more: Courtesy Currency Research.

Hello world!

What does one do after retiring from a dream job and a long career across three continents?

A new website is a start – welcome to Woomera Labs and a new journey for me!

I first set up Woomera Labs in early 2014 in the USA to incubate startups that might need help to engage with large corporates. In San Francisco I chanced upon Ripple Labs and secured two large Australian banks to conduct proof of concept projects with them. Things went so well that I wound up working for Ripple, full-time from January 2015. Until Dec 2019.

So this is ‘back to the future’ but with a looser brief – anything that looks interesting where I can add some value to make good things happen.

Ping me on Twitter or LinkedIn!