Decentralised finance has the power to transform business processes and customer experiences. Algorand Inc.’s Sean Ford discusses the misconceptions about the technology and why organisations need to get onboard, or get left behind
Blockchain digital- Blockchain has been eluding business leaders since its ideation. But Sean Ford, chief operating officer of Algorand Inc., the creators of the public permissionless Algorand blockchain platform, believes the technology has the power to totally disrupt the financial services industry.
“Traditional finance products were created around centralised, physical institutions with geographical constraints that largely appeal to their local populations,” he explains. “They were created before significant technical advancements. As a result, there has been a lot of friction in traditional finance, behind the scenes and for customers.”
This friction has caused these institutions to struggle with efficiency, costs and security. “It has created borders that prevent a lot of people from participating in financial prosperity,” says Ford. “Decentralised finance removes these borders to improve inclusion, access and efficiency.”
But blockchain itself has had to come a long way in recent years to facilitate this level of global inclusion and borderless operations.
“Blockchain creators have struggled with the trilemma of making their solutions scalable, secure and decentralised,” Ford explains. “Before Algorand, you could only have two of the three, which made it difficult to ensure a solution’s efficacy.
“We have designed our experiences to be simple and user-friendly. We want our protocol to feel familiar, in a bid to demystify blockchain.”
Algorand’s simplicity and instant verification have helped to enhance attitudes towards the technology.
“Institutions didn’t want to degrade the user experience from those offered by more traditional organisations and products,” says Ford. “There wasn’t a blockchain that could deliver those transfer speeds until Algorand. With our platform, transactions are completed and final in around four seconds – that’s pretty revolutionary.”