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TRADERS Q&A: Baton’s Jayaram Explores Viability and Future of DLT

Traders Magazine Online News, April 25, 2018

John D'Antona Jr.

Is distributed ledger technology (DLT) really going to be as revolutionary as many say?

Or is it all about the hype?

Baton Systems CEO and Founder Arjun Jayaram thinks the technology is real, viable and coming to a company near you. In a conversation with Traders Magazine, Jayaram told of how his company has onboarded major financial firms such as Citi and CME as new clients and is currently one of only 4 fintech vendors working on a distributed ledger technology POC with the Bank of England. He shared his thoughts with editor John D’Antona Jr. on the applications and viability of DLT, how ready it actually is for banks and financial institutions, and when and where we should expect to see it in the next several years.

The following is an edited version of the conversation:

Traders Magazine: With the many potential applications of distributed ledger technology (DLT), do you see a wide adoption of the technology by banks in the next few years?

Arjun Jayaram: It will be at least a few years before we see any wide adoption of distributed ledger technology or blockchain. However, the underlying concept of DLT should not be overlooked as a great starting point, including as a foundational idea for our solution.

A key factor will, of course, be the budgets at financial institutions. Are they going to be willing to continue committing resources to testing and proof of concepts? The big hurdle for banks is finding and investing in technology that can solve their challenges now, not in five years.

With that being said, there are a litany of tests and proof of concepts being conducted by banks around the world. In fact, the Bank of England is currently working with Baton and three other fintech vendors on a proof of concept project for real-time gross settlement using distributed ledger technology.

TM:      What regions do you foresee having the most promise in DLT development over the coming years?

Jayaram:  We’re still seeing a lot of testing done across major banks and institutions in the US and the UK. With Brexit looming, many European firms are sprinkling their internal technologists across different regions within the EU, as opposed to targeting single fintech-heavy cities. As a result, we should see an uptick in DLT experimination in cities like Paris, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, and Dublin.

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