OriginTrail Fintech Advisor Anthony Lai Talks the Future of Supply Chain and Trade Finance
Anthony Lai is a Singapore-based advisor to OriginTrail in the field of fintech. He is a senior director of an Asian commercial bank and shareholder & co-founder of Inspirar group/Petra. Prior to that, he worked for Barclays Investment Bank, the Royal Bank of Scotland and Deutsche Bank. He attended executive education programs at Cornell University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the University of Warwick.
It is our honor to have the chance to speak with Mr. Lai about what attracted him to become actively involved with OriginTrail as an advisor and hear his views on protocol adoption potential in Asian markets and various verticals (industries). Here is an interview we conducted with him.
Can you describe your affiliation with OriginTrail?
I have been in banking for 20 over years and I have been involved in many projects from an investment angle. Besides focusing on a commercial level on projects, I have always appreciated projects that also have a clear social responsibility and environmental sustainability value proposition. When I realized what OriginTrail is trying to accomplish, I was immediately attracted by the idea that this technology could help many people, especially in Asia, where food safety (or a lack of it) is a real problem. Later on, I learned that its applications are much broader, which got me even more interested.
How did you first learn about OriginTrail and what caught your attention?
I met Žiga Drev, co-founder and COO, at a blockchain event in Singapore. We started discussing the blockchain and he explained the value propositions of OriginTrail and the progress it has made so far especially in China. I was impressed by Žiga’s explanation and started to find out more about the company. I came away convinced that this company will do well, so I ended up investing in their ICO presales round.
What are the main benefits of the protocol and what long-term potential do you see in OriginTrail for the fintech sector?
The supply chain protocol can be applied to other areas and even beyond, — into supply chain finance and trade finance. Currently, the processes and documentation in trade finance are very manual and prone to fraud. It is a very big area to tackle as we need to get the banks and logistics partners to work together.
Nevertheless, I believe banks are also conducting their testing on their own private blockchains. But these efforts are fragmented at best, and we need a neutral party such as OriginTrail to come in to provide standardized protocols and make it easier for participants to adapt and work together.
What problems can OriginTrail help solve in South-East Asia?
OriginTrail can definitely extend its current scope in food provenance and expand that to other countries in ASEAN. One big opportunity to note is to connect the mega supply chain along the Belt and Road project. The Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-century Maritime Silk Road or The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is a development strategy proposed by the Chinese government that focuses on connectivity and cooperation between Eurasian countries, primarily the People’s Republic of China (PRC), the land-based Silk Road Economic Belt (SREB) and the ocean-going Maritime Silk Road (MSR). I see the big potential for companies that will eventually be part of this supply chain to be utilizing OriginTrail’s protocol to track and monitor the movement of goods in a timely manner.
What are use cases for the OriginTrail protocol that you are personally most excited about?
OriginTrail protocol could be enabling authentication of luxury goods, allowing customers to be sure the products they purchase are genuine and free from unethical manufacturing practices and material sourcing. I would also be excited if we could put an IoT chip in every electrical and electronic device on this planet and make it work with OriginTrail’s protocol, to enable green micro-mining and gathering data for AI analytics.
OriginTrail’s Advisors Are Actively Involved with the Project
This interview is a part of the Meet Our Advisory Board initiative at OriginTrail. All our advisors are actively involved in OriginTrail’s strategy and operations.
See the other advisors’ interviews here:
- Key Lyon and Peter Kass: Supply chain and Technology Advisors
- Ken Lyon video greetings
- Srdjan Krčo, IoT advisor
- John G. Keogh, Supply Chain Integrity & Standards Advisor video greetings
And stay tuned for more advisors-related content to be published.