Wall Street Blockchain Alliance Expands With Addition Of BlockEx And RiskSpan

On September 19, 2017, the Wall Street Blockchain Alliance (WSBA) inducted newest members BlockEx Ltd. and RiskSpan Inc. in an ongoing effort to expand corporate membership.

The WSBA's mission is to promote the adoption of blockchain technology in financial markets, participating with innovators, regulators, businesses, and policymakers. It engages members and others to interact in a public dialogue about executable distributed code contracts, or smart contracts, and how these innovations can shape the emerging FinTech sector. BlockEx's platform was built to create, manage, issue, and service digital objects pinned to financial assets with blockchain technology. RiskSpan offers data-management analytics to industries using a holistic approach to enable a more effective use of data by professionals.

In exclusive correspondence with WSBA chairman and founder Ron Quaranta, ETHNews gained an understanding of the impact that the addition of RiskSpan and BlockEx represents:

"The addition of BlockEx and RiskSpan further the goals of the WSBA, by not only expanding our corporate member base of thought leaders, but also by allowing new and existing corporate members to cooperate and collaborate on the best uses of blockchain technology in their particular market segments. Having innovative firms like BlockEx and RiskSpan, in the fields of financial asset issuance and precision data analytics respectively, join the WSBA adds their expertise to the thought leadership of the organization and members as we collectively work to promote blockchain adoption."

CEO of BlockEx Adam Leonard and RiskSpan co-founder Suhrud Dagli both expressed excitement over the partnership with WSBA.

Leonard called blockchain technology "one of the most transformational technologies of the 20th century powering the 4th Industrial Revolution."

Dagli added that RiskSpan has played an active role leading the world's financial institutions to better manage data and acquire insights from it. He also described a recent project, SmartLink Labs, built to provide businesses guidance on securitization. "[W]ith SmartLink Labs, we’re building a blockchain platform to support structured finance transactions across different asset classes. We feel that aligning with the Wall Street Blockchain Alliance will help bolster our presence in this space as SmartLink Labs continues to develop its technology."

Quaranta explained that the WSBA is committed to extolling the virtues of blockchain technology to the marketplace:

"As an industry-leading trade association, the WSBA focus is to guide, promote and enable the most practical implementations of blockchain technology across global markets. To that end, our members and working groups, which span across multiple segments of markets, including banking, brokerage, financial technology and more, are focused on the most relevant use cases for blockchain, the challenges of blockchain implementation, the importance of interoperability and ultimately the best standards and practices needed to realize the full benefits of this innovative technology."

Regarding the WSBA's perception of blockchain technology as a disruptor factor in the modern marketplace, Quaranta explained, "The WSBA believes that blockchain technology represents an important innovation that helps to evolve how value transfer is accomplished across multiple marketplaces and indeed multiple industries. The immutable aspects of blockchain data, the ability to minimize the frictions caused by multiple data sets and ultimately the possibility of minimizing the ‘trust problem’ by operating in potentially trustless environments are some of the most impactful features. We are beginning to see these capabilities manifest themselves in the marketplace with prototypes in areas such as commercial loans, securities trading and settlement, supply chain management and more, to name just a few."

Quaranta also related advice to Wall Street investors who wish to poise themselves favorably as they adapt to the possible changes blockchain technology may bring to the market. He said:

 "Wall Street investors, and indeed all participants in global financial markets, would be best suited to learn as much as possible about blockchain technology, at the business and product levels, not just the technological levels. This is part of the education component of the WSBA. Additionally, long-standing financial markets resources and publications are now working to disseminate blockchain information around the world. The ecosystem of Wall Street and global financial markets is evolving very rapidly in the face of blockchain technology and other innovations, and Wall Street investors will begin to see specific blockchain implementations emerge from the myriad of pilot projects that have been initiated. By adapting to this financial markets evolution, investors and others will be able to see new efficiencies and new opportunities that this innovation will make available in the future."

As it continues to make moves in the blockchain space, ETHNews will provide additional coverage of the WSBA and its members.