Home Fintech IBM Blockchain Solutions: An Interview with Nitin Gaur

IBM Blockchain Solutions: An Interview with Nitin Gaur

by Meredith Loughran

Crypto, Trader, News. is proud to present highlights from our interview with Nitin Gaur, the director of IBM Worldwide Digital Asset Labs, who speaks candidly with Dennis H. Lewis about IBM’s blockchain solutions and what we can expect in 2020 and beyond.

Watch the full interview here or directly on our YouTube channel.

[Timestamp 4:01]
Nitin talks about bringing about the notion of digital assets, which is something of value. An analogy might be blockchain is to value as internet is to information. Moving asset tokenization to a form that is understood. For example, taking a physical item and making a digital manifestation or taking the concept of dematerialized assets, which are the contracts like mortgage-backed securities and commodity contracts.

The idea is to facilitate an exchange with these assets within regulatory compliance systems that are already in place.

Digital Assets Lab was created to help better understand and facilitate the economic systems and models for the movement of said assets.

Because the technology is still very new, one of the hardest things that Nitin admits to is keeping up with the ever-evolving technology and maintaining a way for the cross-network movement of assets, plus the changing regulatory environment, which is critical to keeping enterprise clients up-to-date and relevant.

How Digital Assets Lab can help IBM stay competitive in the market

Clients have often asked Nitin why he’s moving in the direction of blockchain. You can see his response at [Timestamp 6:00].

  • The core business of IBM has been to build transactions systems from its inception; from early mainframe to middleware to cloud systems. Blockchain, at its root, was made for transaction systems.
  • Technical components inside of blockchain like cryptography and quantum computing will help IBM stay competitive and relevant in the market for decades, if not hundreds of years.

Some of the relevant enterprises that blockchain can streamline

Supply chain can help track each item from raw sources to grave. For example, food safety: to track the germination of seeds, to its growth environment, to transportation and distribution, to ultimately the consumer purchase.

As IBM does the work to research and develop the technologies, they are helping their enterprise clients also remain competitive and relevant in their field.

Moving from speculation to solving real world problems

[Timestamp 10:10]
Nitin explains why he began his journey and how it’s important to proliferate between the good and bad information that’s available; using discretion and one’s own intelligence to know the difference of what you consume.

There are many inefficiencies around the systems that are in place today. Once there is a trust foundation built around the emerging technology, Nitin believes that many developing countries can catapult their economic systems by having access to a fair market, but also having access to a system that assures transactions without embezzlement and fraud.

What Mr. Gaur’s team is working on will digitize existing models and assets while ensuring the integrity of that asset is preserved without duplicating it; a problem that’s often associated by paper systems. He foresees a time where our digital wallets might go beyond cryptocurrencies but our other digital assets.

[Timestamp 17:16]
From Nitin’s perspective, he speaks about building the framework today for the transactions and business models that do not exist yet. When the mainstream truly begins to understand the potential behind blockchain, he believes that this could lead to a new wave of innovation and creativity through democratizing one’s own talent, creating a global marketplace for that talent in a frictionless atmosphere.

Understanding Hyperledger

[Timestamp 20:00]
Nitin Gaur explains that Hyperledger is a project for the next foundation with approximately 13 or more tools and frameworks in development. This is to help tackle the current issues of blockchain like speed and scalability. Right now, it’s the building blocks to creating a technology framework and infrastructure that’s needed for applications that are yet to come.

At the moment, we are only on layer one; the TCP/IP of the internet, if you will. It’s also open source and transparent so the entire community is working on incorporating different items into the next generation framework which can later be ‘productized’ and monetized. He states that the community-based approach is necessary for the broad technology adoption.

How do we get to where we are to where we want to be?

[Timestamp 25:20]
Gaur states that “like many of the evolutions and revolutions...things that we have learned to do like going and making our bookings online and Uber; there’s no going back from it.” Now that the behavior has changed in how we consume goods and products, he doesn’t subscribe to a complete maximalist belief. People will, most likely, stay with centralized authorities, but this movement is necessary in order to evolve and do things better.

One of the things Gaur is addressing now is how does blockchain and technology address sustainable finance, and tracking and tracing where the money goes; how the ESG (Economic, Social and Global) Index can put our money and investments to work in a responsible way. He feels that this is the real agenda of our current times.

How do we get mass adoption?

[Timestamp 27:40]
The answer is that blockchain should be “invisible tech.” Nitin explains that the majority of people don’t really care what a TCP/IP or an IP schema is, or the amount of tech involved that keeps the internet operating. So too, blockchain will exist invisibly to make enterprise transactions work.

Another analogy would be one that I’ve used often. No one cares how electricity got into your house. They only care that the lights come on when you flip the switch.

Nitin Gaur says that it has to be in every part of our life. Maybe we stop using more technical terms so it doesn’t scare off the mainstream consumers who aren’t technically savvy. Community engagement and incentives will be very important for mass adoption.

2020 Predictions

[Timestamp 30:25]
Nitin believes that a lot of the hype will fade away. The phase of ICO/STO/IEOs are not as prevalent as developers settle into creating use cases to normalize the blockchain stack.

In 2013, AI technology was a mystery. People didn’t know what it was or how it could be used. Fast forward nearly a decade and it’s being incorporated into our everyday life. So too will the development of blockchain.

Be sure to watch the video interview in its entirety to get the full context of these highlights.

More about Nitin Gaur

In his 18 years with IBM, Nitin Gaur, has achieved various industry-recognized certifications and been involved with enterprise project implementations and technical paper presentations for both internal and external conferences. The author of three books, Mr. Gaur presents topics from software architecture to improving management processes.

Nitin holds an MS in Management Information Systems and an MBA in Finance from University of Maryland. He currently serves as the Director of IBM Worldwide Digital Asset Labs, serving to devise industry standards, use cases and working diligently toward making blockchain for enterprise a reality. He has led the effort for establishing enterprise-level blockchain practices since 2012, the early days of blockchain.

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