capitalmarketsciooutlook

BLOQ: Building Next - Generation Blockchain Solutions

CIO VendorJeff Garzik, Co-founder & CEO In recent years, organizations in financial markets have jumped on the bandwagon to initiate blockchain pilots and proofs of concepts. They have launched innovation labs, hosted hackathons, teamed up with fintechs, and joined consortia to pave the way for blockchain. Even major institutions like the Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation (DTCC), anticipating disintermediation, have started their trials with banks and digital asset holdings on credit swaps and repos respectively. This flurry of activity has led many experts to ponder if financial institutions are caught up in a hype cycle or does blockchain really have the potential to reshape the capital markets industry?

As one of the core developers of bitcoin, Jeff Garzik, answers this question. Highlighting the nuances of the opposing approaches, he explains: The traditional and centralized business models of the capital market that exist today is time-consuming and suffer from various limitations like multiple versions of the truth (which is maintained in siloed systems). Blockchain, on the other hand promises to maintain only one version of the truth, and thereby provides better security with its digitally signed transactions. Moreover, it is truly peer to peer; it does not require powerful intermediaries to authenticate or to settle transactions. “There’s more to the technology underlying bitcoins (blockchain), than it meets the eye!” exclaims Garzik. Driven by this instinct, Garzik along with Mathew Roszak set out to establish Bloq in 2015. Bloq intends to revolutionize enterprises with blockchain technology by solving key business issues surrounding security, provenance, authentication, and reconciliation in the capital market. Highlighting the unique value proposition of the company, Garzik, the CEO of Bloq, says, “Bloq’s strong team of business leaders, financial experts, and software engineers with decades of experience in technology and investment is your one-stop shop for all the enterprise-grade blockchain requirements—we aim to elevate the way businesses exist and operate.”

The Complete Blockchain Management System

Garzik opines that the true blockchain-led transformation of a business is still many years away. “That is because blockchain is not a ‘disruptive’ technology, which can attack a traditional business model with a lower-cost solution and overtake incumbent firms quickly,” he clarifies. Blockchain is a foundational technology: it has the potential to create new fundamentals for economic and social systems.

Bloq has a dozen customers who see value in their business model because of its ability to allow enterprises to access open source blockchain, without having to hire full-time developers


However, there is no denying that the impact of blockchain in the enterprise world will be enormous. Bloq endeavors to be at the forefront of this transformation journey. By providing the best of ongoing enterprise support and open source technology, Bloq aims to build tomorrow’s future-ready enterprises, today.

Motivated by such ethos, the company offers BloqEnterprise—an open source blockchain infrastructure solution. The comprehensive solution aids businesses to develop blockchain-enabled solutions that address some of the ongoing challenges facing the business landscape today. BloqEnterprise can be used to build public, private or confederated blockchains, and it incorporates a trustless build architecture, which Garzik calls “the most hardened build infrastructure in fintech,” making it almost impossible to hack. That said, what truly makes the solution unique in the marketplace is its flexible subscription-based business model. “It lets businesses focus on what they do best, while we deliver the trusted blockchain management system and support,” explains Garzik.

Complementing BloqEnterprise is another breakthrough solution offered by the company—BloqThink. Unlike the former solution, which is used for established businesses already using blockchain, BloqThink is for organizations that are just starting out with blockchain and need help implementing blockchain applications from the ground up. Bloq experts help those companies in strategically implementing blockchain solutions based on their requirements, along with rapid prototype design and development services. Once the solutions are implemented, Bloq also helps the organizations with ongoing training services (through innovation workshops, research, and education).

Unrivaled Support

Garzik estimates that today, Bloq has a dozen customers who see value in their business model because of its ability to allow enterprises to access open source blockchain, without having to hire full-time developers. “They don’t want to hire five core developers because they want to manage a wallet or a private chain. Whether the client has to build applications for different vertical markets or manage its records for clearing and settlement, our extensive service offerings cater to each of their needs,” says Garzik.
An added impetus is that Bloq offers 24/7 support to clients, in an effort to better assuage concerns about working with open source tech. Bloq engineers are always committed to understanding the exclusive demands of clients and implementing those features into its bitcoin’s code. Garzik describes this work as implementing the ‘scaffolding.’

"Advancing into the future, Bloq is tirelessly pushing the envelope of blockchain solutions as a whole"

Inspiring Innovation through BloqLabs

What drives Bloq ahead of the competition curve is its appetite for innovation. “We are constantly devoted to exploring and supporting new initiatives and integrating the most successful ventures, projects, and aspects from these forward-thinking endeavors into Bloq’s full product stack,” mentions Garzik. To make this happen, the company has established BloqLabs—a blockchain technology research and development center created to promote innovation between global businesses and the open source community. Inspired by Bell Labs, BloqLabs is a key technical contributor, financial sponsor, and supporter of some of the most exciting projects in the blockchain ecosystem. “We will try things, break things, and push things to their limits in an effort to further explore and enhance the possibilities of this new technology frontier. Providing critical strategic resources is core to our mission of cultivating this fount of innovation within our community of developers and innovators,” says Garzik. Bloq proudly supports projects that serve as the foundation across the blockchain ecosystem. Among the handful of projects currently undertaken by BloqLabs are bitcoinj, a bitcoin client library used in digital wallet services, and Drivechains, a technology which makes competing blockchain networks compatible with one another.

A Promising Future

Advancing into the future, Bloq is tirelessly pushing the envelope of blockchain solutions as a whole. Touching upon the company’s upcoming endeavors, Garzik highlights Bloq’s plan to launch Metronome (MTN), the world’s first cross-blockchain cryptocurrency. “Metronome is a next-generation cryptocurrency with a predictable and autonomously managed token supply, built for store-of-value, payment, and transactional use cases,” Garzik notes. What definitely stands out as the selling point is its claim to offer users the ability to switch the same token back and forth between blockchains as desired. Developed by renowned technologists and pioneers in the blockchain industry, Metronome emerges from a vision of a novel cryptocurrency that could provide both immediate utility and multi-generational longevity. “With Metronome, we sought to design an autonomous cryptocurrency system that is highly resistant to governance failure and is intended to last for generations,” Garzik adds. Upon launch, an initial supply of 10 million MTN tokens will be issued, with 8 million MTN tokens sold in a descending price auction (DPA) for Ethereum’s currency. In this light, Garzik is confident that metronome will turn out to be a reliable store of value and foundation for distributed applications in the future.