Sharing The Centrifuge OS White Paper

We are excited to publish the first version of the Centrifuge OS White Paper.

The Centrifuge team has been active in the global financial supply chain for two decades. The software we built together is used by millions of businesses around the world today and is processing billions of dollars’ worth of transactions daily. It accelerates the processing of financial documents for the largest organizations on the planet and provides capital to their supply chains everywhere. When we came together again to start Centrifuge we wanted to go one step beyond building a single application or a single service that will incrementally improve existing processes and systems. We asked ourselves the question “What will the platform of the future look like to enable a completely new era of applications for the financial supply chain?”.

The financial supply chain has fundamentally operated in the same way for hundreds of years. The ways companies place orders, send and receive invoices, and pay have been essentially the same for a long time. When computers, and later the internet, came along the existing processes have been optimized and tremendously sped up. However, even now the basic flow of processes and documents is the same. Software and service providers who create applications for the financial supply chain — accounting, electronic invoicing, e-procurement, supply chain finance, etc. — provide valuable services to support this optimization and incremental improvements. However, at the core of their existing business models always is the creation of competitive moats, lock-in of customers, and harvesting of customer data to create further products to make switching of service providers costlier for their users. Data is centrally stored and processed. The incentives for existing networks and software firms are set to guard existing information, prevent true interoperability, and avoid re-use of network effects for others.

To break out of this mindset of centralized incrementalism — to truly reinvent how companies can do business with each other — a new platform needs to be built and deployed. A system where participants have full data sovereignty and can control who has access to which parts of their information. What would be possible if we could connect previously disjointed processes and sets of data? If we could deploy applications that have access to the combined knowledge of the financial supply chain? If we could change the incentives such that application providers get rewarded to continuously generate added value instead of locking up information and holding users captive? If these applications could work hand in hand instead of avoiding data sharing?

Over the last months, our team has been busy working on the Centrifuge Operating System — an open, decentralized, public network for a new era of applications for the financial supply chain. We are early on in our journey and, as with any project of this size, we still have lots of work to do. The first test-deployments with users and partners are happening right now but we are only scratching the surface of what will be possible in the future.

One big step on the journey to building a project like Centrifuge is to verbalize our vision, the immediate goals, as well as describing how we solve the challenges ahead; from a technology and organizational perspective.

Today we are excited to publicly share the first version of the Centrifuge OS white paper. A document that outlines what we believe to be the first steps towards answering the question we asked ourselves when we started working on Centrifuge.

The document was initially shared with a small group of advisors and investors. Partners and first users read early versions and we received valuable feedback from many. Publishing the paper publicly, we are excited to receive comments from you about our approach, possible improvements, or how you might be able to join up with us in the time ahead. Please don’t hesitate to send us a note to hello@centrifuge.io.

All the best from the Centrifuge team!