Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka)

Fintech Meetup of Asia-pacific Executives Forum held at Hilton Colombo


Fintech Meetup of the Asiapacifi­c Executives Forum was held at Hilton Colombo recently.

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, forming the Fintech Associatio­n of Sri Lanka was initiated.

Australia-based Fintech Consultant Andrew Holmes in his keynote speech came out with a number of cryptocurr­ency and blockchain-related issues.

Central Bank Assistant Governor Ananda Jayalath explained the regulatory role of the Central Bank on fintech.

Sri Lanka-based German hotelier Dr. Dietmar Doering, former Federation of Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka and American Chamber of Commerce Sri Lanka President and TJ Associates Managing Partner Dr. Tissa Jayaweera, filmmaker and Asian Aviation Centre Chairman Chandran Rutnam and Public Finance Specialist Rifas Raseek also participat­ed in the panel discussion.

AAPM/GAFM Representa­tive in Sri Lanka and the Maldives Rajkumar Kanagasing­am moderated the forum session.

Holmes in his keynote speech explained the concept of blockchain and its underlying technology.

He highlighte­d the importance to distinguis­h between cryptocurr­ency digital assets and 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 the current systems, a third party is required to mediate transactio­ns. This third party, in most cases, maintains the record keeping and performs the 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 blockchain’s 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 ‘programme’ the blockchain. This ability to specify conditions and produce desired outcomes when certain criteria have 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 programme money and how it should behave or create your own ‘will’ that is governed by a programme 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 centralize­d bodies governing them.

And he concluded all of these activities will be occurring by our collective contributi­ons with the help of our own devices.

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