Nicole Junkermann on The Success of Blockchain and Its New Crypto Trading Platform
It’s been a busy year for crypto company Blockchain Inc, the blockchain innovators on a mission to revolutionise the cryptocurrency market. Besides seeing its user base balloon, Blockchain has added more cryptocurrencies to its profile and has developed it’s own crypto trading platform.
Nicole Sherrod, Blockchain’s Head of Retail Products, discussed some of the issues facing today’s current crypto trading platforms in an interview with Yahoo Finance. Sherrod shared particular concerns about matching engines, which are often unreliable and raise liquidity issues. With this in mind, Blockchain has been focusing on improving trading speed, liquidity and reliability. The company has developed several innovative schemes including the creation of its London-based exchange known as The PIT.
The PIT was launched at the end of July, but despite its infancy the exchange is already causing a buzz among industry experts thanks to the unprecedented speed with which its users can trade. Where other crypto platforms measure transactions in milliseconds, The PIT works in microseconds and can complete orders at around 10 times the current industry rate. This speed of service is one of many reasons why Sherrod expects The PIT to “redefine the category” of the crypto exchange.
As well as improving user experience, Sherrod hopes that Blockchain's commitment to care for small investors will please cryptocurrency regulators, noting "if you’re doing what’s right for the retail investor, you’re doing what’s right for regulators”.
By tailoring its services to individual traders, The PIT aims to overcome what Blockchain CEO Peter Smith referred to as “unreliable, illiquid and often unfair” exchanges. According to Sherrod, the company has worked hard to “stand up the business in such a way that regulators will be pleased”, employing one of the best lawyers in the crypto industry to ensure this.
Expansion that PAX a punch says Junkermann
At the end of May, Blockchain added PAX stablecoin to its mobile wallets as part of their planned expansion strategy. This integration of a dollar-pegged cryptocurrency brought the company to the attention of a broader demographic of customers, sparking impressive growth in their user base. Nicole Junkermann, founder of NJF Capital, praised Blockchain – one of the companies in the NJF portfolio – for its recent successful expansion, insisting a "greater variety of supported currencies will strengthen Blockchain's overall position".
In an interview with CoinDesk, the manager of Blockchain's wallet product, Xen Baynham-Herd, was enthusiastic about the introduction of PAX. He noted that integration of a stablecoin allows anyone with an internet connection to download a wallet and access USD funds. This evolution has the potential to link people with various assets across the globe – assets that might previously have been difficult to reach. It also paves the way for further growth within Blockchain, with Baynam-Herd suggesting the company may enable fiat redemptions in the future.
Customer TLC via GCP
Critics of cryptocurrency often focus on trading platform security. In line with its recent growth, Blockchain has increased its use of the Google Cloud Platform to help manage its expanding data needs and ensure high levels of security for Blockchain users.
A recent Computer Weekly article highlighted how Blockchain is successfully using GCP technologies to process data, quicken trading and minimise fraud. Addressing its ever-growing user base and the surge in the amount of data to manage, Blockchain shifted its technical infrastructure to GCP's Compute Engine service. The company also recently replaced its database with Google’s Cloud Spanner, a move that has increased capacity and saved around 30% on operational overheads.
Using Google’s Stackdriver tools has also allowed Blockchain to better safeguard customer funds. Stackdriver’s ability to log and track data ensures it can identify and quickly address any unusual activity. The impact of Stackdriver together with Google’s Cloud Identity-Aware Proxy (Cloud IAP) has been, according to Blockchain’s head of platform engineering, Lewis Tuff, “huge”. The result is better fraud detection and improved security for all Blockchain customers.
Venturing into uncharted territory
In a talk given at The Business of Fashion’s 2018 VOICES event, Ken Seiff likened the use of blockchain technology to the discovery of fire. We know some of what this technology can do and some of what might be achieved, but its potential is yet to be fully realised. In the world of cryptocurrency, the possibilities of where blockchain technology might lead are almost endless.
As Junkermann recently noted, Blockchain Inc is currently the world's largest provider for digital currency, so the company is well-versed in the use of blockchains for cryptocurrency exchange. However, with the creation of The PIT, Blockchain now facilitates millions of exchanges worldwide and the sheer scale of this operation is a venture into uncharted territory.
Investors such as Junkermann have applauded Blockchain’s recent successes and other supporters note that the company's latest achievements may be just the tip of the iceberg. Junkermann stated that NJF Capital “With the creation of PIT and the arrival of huge actors like Facebook and the LIBRA Association Members in the crypto space, there are changes happening that will help to democratise and facilitate access to crypto currencies. We are excited to be a part of that landscape”.
Just the beginning?
Blockchain Inc CEO Peter Smith also spoke at The Business of Fashion's 2018 VOICES event where he defined a blockchain as "a distributed ledger, secured by a lot of entities... a distributed way of securing truth". In launching The PIT, Smith has helped Blockchain take a step into the unknown and it is already proving fruitful. By drawing on the experience of industry experts, noting existing issues with crypto exchanges and carefully integrating cutting-edge technologies to overcome them, The PIT is, at present, the gold standard of crypto trading platforms. The backing of industry leaders like Nicole Junkermann suggests this is likely just the beginning of The PIT's success.