As the EIT Digital Challenge of 2017 is closing in fast, we are going to feature yet another previous winner of the challenge. This interview will be all about Quantoz, the Dutch fintech scaleup that won the second prize in 2016 in the domain Digital Finance. Quantoz is a technology-driven business, specialized in building blockchain-based solutions in the field of financial services, The Internet of Things, retail payments, and cryptocurrency. The company enables other businesses to accelerate their pace of innovation. While the focus of Quantoz is in the financial services industry, for now, their solutions are expected to be applicable for a wider array of markets.
We interviewed Henri de Jong, Head of Business Development at Quantoz, on the company’s current state of affairs, how it is progressing and what EIT Digital’s role was during their participation in the EIT Digital Challenge of 2016.
So what is the blockchain exactly? In short, it is a distributed database of information that grows continually. This database consists of blocks of information, which are linked and secured by cryptography. Each block typically has a hash pointer (a link to a previous block), a time stamp and transaction data. Because of the link to previous blocks, the blockchain is inherently resistant to modification of data. The whole database would change as the result of one modification. The blockchain is also managed by a peer-to-peer network in most cases, validating new blocks inherently. Because of the decentralized consensus that is achieved with the blockchain, it is a viable system to manage all kinds of different records. In the case of Quantoz, it is currently about the management of financial information of banks.
Confronting new technologies
Banks are currently being confronted by new entrants and technologies. With the emergence of digital wallets of companies like Apple, PayPal, Google, the core competency of banks is being challenged. The same goes for P2P money transfers. These companies are now focusing on smaller parts of banking, enabling them to deliver competitive customer experiences.
However, according to Quantoz, the blockchain could change the way for the financial world. With this technology, banks could provide their customers with a low cost and innovative financial infrastructure based on a distributed settlement, improving latency and system security. It could ensure that banks remain the trusted custodian of money, despite of the new entrants in the financial sector. We interviewed Henri de Jong on how Quantoz is progressing.
What is the current state of affairs of your company and how is it fairing?
Henri de Jong: “We are doing very well. In the 1st half year of 2017, we doubled revenue compared to the whole year 2016. We are working with large corporates on challenging blockchain projects. Furthermore, we founded the Quasar Payment Network with two German companies”.
Quantoz has been building blockchain-solutions since 2013. And as a result, the company has come up with Quasar. This is an open-standards, distributed, permissioned blockchain-based electronic cash system with built-in rules to fulfil regulatory and compliance guidelines. In short, it is the solution banks have been waiting for. Quasar can be used to bring account-driven digital payment propositions to market quickly, but it also provides a means for banks to consolidate and strengthen their value proposition. The two German companies that collaborated with Quantoz during the development of Quasar are Syngenio AG and Crout GMBH.
What did you achieve and receive during at EIT Digital?
“The EIT Digital Challenge resulted in a lot of very positive press coverage. The extended network of the EIT ecosystem was also very useful. The event in Bruxelles, earlier this year, resulted in new, valuable contacts.”
You won the 2nd prize during the EIT Digital Challenge of 2016. How do you expect the sector, in which Quantoz is active, to change?
“Technological innovations and a changing society have a big impact on incumbant financial services such as banking and insurances. Quantoz offers these organizations the tools to build a bridge between traditional financial services and new business models like the sharing economy and the Internet of Things.”
EIT Digital Challenge 2017
Quantoz is on its way to become a true European player in the financial world. With their technology, Quantoz is aiming to help banks keep up with the current developments in the financial market. Are you part of a tech scaleup that is looking for a boost to grow internationally?Do you want to gain international visibility and access to international markets? If the answers to these questions are yes, what are you waiting for? The EIT Digital Challenge 2017 is open for applications.
Scaleups can apply until October 8th, 2017.
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