Paolo Tasca, our new advisor, is an expert in digital innovation with salient expertise on Fintech. With the in-depth knowledge of new digital finance and blockchain, Paolo has the reputation of being one of the most influential leader in the industry. His penetrating insights and strategic directions will help AlphaNu to achieve the best performance.
1. Tell us about your background.
I am a Digital Economist specialising in P2P financial systems. I have advised different international organizations on blockchain technologies including the EU Parliament and the United Nations. I am founder and Executive Director of the Centre for Blockchain Technologies (UCL CBT) at University College London. Previously, I was Lead Economist on digital currencies and P2P financial systems at Deutsche Bundesbank, Frankfurt. I am also a serial entrepreneur and a patent holder on blockchain interoperability.
2. How do you feel about blockchain’s future development?
DLT’s future is bright. We are at a point where there has been a tremendous amount of investment and many proofs-of-concept and we are beginning to see projects emerge into production. DLT is a foundational technology, and still only a few years old. If we think about the paradigm of the Internet, it took many years for that to move from private networks to public and dramatically changed the world as it was. DLT has the same capability, but it is early days, and there will be ups and downs. Currently the biggest interest is in private DLT networks adopted by enterprise. As this matures I believe interest will once again switch to public networks, much as it did for the Internet. Of course we are at the first stage of development, mainly around better coordination of information. As this develops further around smart contract deployment and tokenization the ubiquity and impact of DLT will only increase.
Once fully deployed, blockchain will open the door towards an authentic sharing and fair economy where all assets will be tokenized and all data will be blockchained. Governance will be decentralized and people will be fairly rewarded according to their respective contributions to the economy. Eventually, centralized platforms controlled by tech giants would be replaced by decentralized autonomous cooperatives models enabled by distributed ledgers.
3. Can you see any potential impacts that blockchain will have on your industry?
A conservative attitude toward innovation in the educational sector has hindered the adoption of new technologies in general. Partly this is due to the fact that the benefits of a new technology are undermined if there is a high cost of training people in its use. But with blockchain the trade-off weighs decisively in favor of its adoption, since it addresses each of the key administrative challenges facing high schools and universities: data transparency, auditability, availability, immutability and efficiency.
There will be multiple impacts on DLT in academia. Firstly, around provenance of certification. This refers to verifying the academic qualifications that individuals have from academic institutions. Secondly there will be an impact regarding academic intellectual property. Again, on the theme of registering provenance in this area about academic research and intellectual property (IP) it will make it much easier and transparent to trace IP. Thirdly around data sharing for scientific purposes. Currently due to the lack of transparent and secure means of sharing valuable data, for instance around medical data, scientific research is hampered by this. Through utilization of a DLT in this particular area, data marketplaces could emerge that facilitate data sharing in an easier way and also ensure potential remuneration of those who have generated data and also better permissions for sharing data. This would be particularly important with student data for instance.
High-security cryptographic techniques ensures that students’ personal information is never manipulated, or subject to malicious data leaks or (unauthorized) commercial surveillance. Universities and other educational bodies can free up staff time by automating the data verification process for administrative records relating to, for instance, attendance, grades, immunization, and transcript requests. And employment agencies and job seekers can greatly speed up the complicated and lengthy processes involved in background checks and evaluations of job applicants.
Despite these benefits, obstacles remain to the adoption of blockchain technology in the education sector. There are, in particular, areas of tension between the use of blockchain as an immutable registry for digital records, and data protection laws that grant individuals certain legal rights over the use of that personal data. Raw personal data may need to be stored off-chain to provide some mechanism for the deletion of private keys where these give access to an individual’s data. Whether regulators would find such an implementation compliant with data protection law is an important question that has yet to be answered.
4. How did you first meet AlphaNu team?
I was contacted by Allen Sung in April 2019, as we share a common important contact. I am always very careful when I receive new project proposals. However, after having completed the due diligence process, I realized that AlphaNu has a great potential. I gained relevant information from the technical reports and from long meetings with the team. I lived in Far East for a short period in the past and I know how important is the blockchain development in the area. AlphaNu represents one of the most interesting concepts I have analyzed in the last years.
5. What motivated you to become an advisor?
AlphaNu impressed me for three reasons. First, the team is composed by senior managers and highly skilled members. This is of fundamental importance in the crypto space where most of the people involved in new projects do not have the proper experience and knowledge to succeed. Second, the core idea is interesting and innovative. We are talking about a “blue ocean” strategy where there are almost no competitors. Third, AlphaNu unique datasets from top Asian exchanges represent a priceless asset which will give AlphaNu a strong competitive advantage in the market.
6. How do you think AlphaNu will create change?
So far, it’s estimated that only 5% of the Chinese trading volume is executed by computer programs. The 95% of the trades is done manually by investors. AlphaNu wants to reverse this paradigm by giving to retail investors access to the best professional computer trading programs available on Wall Street and London. This can disrupt the way the Chinese markets have been traded so far. Data will also be available to analysts outside the country. This will increase the competition among researchers. Fed with more and more data, the quality of the algorithms will improve over time, guaranteeing better performance to investors and higher rewards for the analysts and greater revenue to brokers. It is a win-win-win solution where all parties involved will receive added value: 1) Retail investors will have cheap access to the best professional trading algorithms, 2) developers will enter the huge Asian market fixing the price of their own trading programs in a competitive environment and 3), brokers will benefit from increasing trading volumes.
Linkedin: Paolo Tasca