Fintech Meetup of the Asia-Pacific Executives Forum was recently held at Hilton Colombo; the forum is jointly organised by Colorado, USA-based American Academy of Project Management (AAPM) and Global Academy of Finance and Management (GAFM), in collaboration with Interstellar Strategic Partners and a number of other institutions.
At the forum, the forming of the ‘Fintech Association of Sri Lanka’ was initiated.
Andrew Holmes, an Australia based Fintech Consultant in his keynote speech come out with a number issues on Cryptocurrency and blockchain related issues.
Central Bank Assistant Governor Ananda Jayalath explained regulatory role of Central Bank on Fintech.
Sri Lanka based German hotelier Dr. Dietmar Doering, former Federation Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka (FCCISL) and American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) Sri Lanka President and TJ Associates Managing Partner Dr. Tissa Jayaweera, filmmaker and Asian Aviation Centre (AAC) Chairman Chandran Rutnam and Public Finance Specialist Rifas Raseek also participated in the panel discussion.
AAPM/GAFM Representative in Sri Lanka and Maldives Rajkumar Kanagasingam moderated the forum session.
Andrew Holmes in his keynote speech explained the concept of the blockchain and its underlying technology. He highlighted the importance to distinguish between cryptocurrency digital assets and the blockchain, clearing the common misconceptions held by the public that the two were the same.
Holmes said the technology’s revolutionary aspect lies in its ability to enable two parties to transact with each other directly. In current systems a third party is required to mediate transactions, this third party, in most cases, maintains the record keeping and performs activity in relation to verification and facilitation. The blockchain does these automatically without the need for the third party.
He further stated to exemplify its potential, one can think of PickMe or AirBnb operating without the organisation. The blockchain could connect both the service provider and requestor directly. This would reduce costs to both parties significantly by bypassing high middlemen fees and promote true free market demand and supply.
Holmes highlighted since the blockchains debut with its application for Bitcoin, there has been some upgrades to its features. One of the most significant advances has been the ability to ‘program’ the blockchain. This ability to specify conditions and produce desired outcomes when certain criteria has been met is termed as ‘Smart Contracts’. Ethereum is the world’s first smart contract platform; if Bitcoin is a calculator you can think of Ethereum as a personal computer. Smart contracts are going to be used heavily in the future to automate activity and governance.
He exclaimed, “Imagine the ability to program money and how it should behave or create your own ‘will’ that is governed by a program that will execute exactly as you specified. Even a world where you can rent your mobile phone or computers processing power to earn some passive income.” Holmes said these are some of the possibilities the blockchain is going to facilitate without the need of centralised bodies governing them.
And he concluded all of these activities will be occurring by our collective contributions with the help of our own devices.