For the next in our series of interviews with Asian fintech visionaries I was excited to catch up with Bluzelle CEO Pavel Bains. During our conversation we focused on the opportunity to move the blockchain conversation on from theory to practice, and why Symbol: The Asian Fintech Summit will come at just the right time for the ecosystem.
Can you tell us a little bit about Bluzelle?
Bluzelle provides blockchain powered applications for banks and insurance companies to improve their business operations. We’ve got a platform that has real-time payments, smart contracts, and records management built in. From there we can customize specific applications. We tap into all Blockchain protocols (i.e. Ethereum, Ripple) and integrate the most relevant parts for our solution. This gives the financial institution the best type of product without having to deal with the plumbing behind it.
How can you best overcome the preconceptions that customers might have about blockchain technology?
Right now there is just too much hype. Whether it’s the media that builds it or other tech companies just doing a PR blitz. The thing we focus on is delivery of real products and applications with real customers. We find showing that directly to potential customers in a live setting makes them go “ok, now I see it. Up until now everyone just shows us slides and PDFs.”.
Which services do you see as having the greatest potential for disruption by blockchain?
I try not to think of Blockchain as disruption. I see it as the next evolution of the Internet. So in that sense, many things can change. Right now the application is primarily around financial services, which we all know has a lot of legacy. So that’s the biggest place for improvement, especially around processes. Currently that’s what we do for banks and insurance companies. Things that used to take 10 steps we want to bring down to 2. But in the future I can see digital rights management for content being a big thing. Music, user-generated content in video games…
What is your vision for the future of Bluzelle?
Our vision is to be like an Oracle or Red Hat where we are powering systems and solutions for the financial industry. I can’t see us going the consumer route as others are already great at that. I come from the video game space where I was always envious of the technology engine companies like Epic. Their engines powered the development of many of the biggest games out. We take that approach where we want our blockchain platform to power the best financial applications.
Beyond blockchain, which areas of fintech are of interest to you?
Any products for consumers that lower their barriers to entry into financial services. So anything around financial inclusion. I like what’s going on in robo-advisory as it can help anyone with only $100-$500 at a time to invest. Right now consumers think they need at least $5,000.
Why are you excited to join us and speak at Symbol: The Asian Fintech Summit?
First, it takes place almost a year after I arrived in Singapore so it’ll be good to see how things have changed for me. Second, the market will be at a place where people will want to see real blockchain applications. And we’ll be able to show everyone a few solutions and make people move away from the hype. Third, I think this will be a major event to put Singapore on the map for it’s place as the top fintech global centre.
Pavel is one of over 100 speakers who will be joining us at Symbol: The Asian Fintech Summit. To find out more or to book your pass to attend, check out our event website here.