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A Quick Glimpse into TradeFinex 2019

TradeFinex 2019 RoundTable Conference held at ADGM Academy, Al Maqam Tower, 20th Floor ADGM Square, Abu Dhabi, UAE on June 18, 2019.

June 2019 was an exciting month for the blockchain community with events like World Blockchain Summit (Taiwan), Blockchain Expo Global (London), Blockchain Life 2019 (Singapore) attracting thousands of people from across the globe. Amidst all these colossal events, there was one small but impactful event that stole the limelight. It was TradeFinex 2019 held at ADGM Academy, Al Maqam Tower, 20th Floor ADGM Square, Al Maryah Island, Abu Dhabi, UAE on June 18, 2019.

A bit about TradeFinex 2019-ADGM RoundTable Conference, Abu Dhabi UAE

Organized in association with ADGM Academy on June 18, 2019, TradeFinex 2019 was a one-day blockchain powered trade and finance roundtable conference that attracted some bigwigs of blockchain, trading, and finance industry.

One of the finest events held in Abu Dhabi, UAE in the year 2019, TradeFinex 2019 was led and arranged by the co-founders of TradeFinex Tech Ltd. (an ADGM RegLab Participant)-Ritesh Kakkad and Atul Khekade. The attendees consisted of well-known industry leaders and speakers and emerging talents like Ken Coghill (Dubai Financial Services Authority), Steve Barnett (ADGM), Robert Jan De Jong (Bitfinex), Natalia Bushkevich , Inès Taki (Bpifrance), Satyajit Roy (Vistra), Meng Chan Shu (Connect Blockchain), Priyesh Kapadia (BDO, UAE), Stewart Adams (Vistra), Sudhir Bettadapura (PKF UAE), Rijil Raj (PKF UAE), Jignesh Ved (, and Tim Draper (Draper Associates/DFJ/Draper University), Paul Ruskin (Trace Financial), Tadashi Yoshida (TradeFinex) who were virtual attendees.

Ritesh Kakkad, Co-Founder, TradeFinex welcomes participants to TradeFinex 2019

Ritesh Kakkad

Ritesh Kakkad

Ritesh Kakkad, the co-founder of TradeFinex kick-started the event and welcomed all participants to a one-day blockchain powered trade and finance roundtable TradeFinex 2019 ADGM conference.

Atul Khekade, Co-Founder, TradeFinex introduces TradeFinex 2019

Atul Khekade

Atul Khekade

The first session was the introductory session in which Atul Khekade, the co-founder of TradeFinex introduced the TradeFinex platform, discussed XinFin license, ADGM license, and live network & integration. He threw some light on the purpose of holding such blockchain roundtable conferences and also invited financial institutions and organizations worldwide to come together to make open standards for blockchain based global trade and finance.

Here are a few highlights from his speech:

Importance of building an ecosystem: TradeFinex is an open standards platform which brings together all stakeholders including customers, organizations, regulators on one single platform. Thus, building an ecosystem for open standards.

Importance of open standards and protocols: Lack of standards hurts the trade and finance industry the most and interoperability can be achieved through TradeFinex 2019, open standards roundtable and working together.

The building of a value system: The foundation of any ecosystem/economy is the intent for a buyer and a seller to work together. How the two parties are going to honor the agreements, what rules and regulations they are bound by, what standards they are governed by are the points to be noticed while building a value system. Working with different regulated markets, companies, and industries across various jurisdictions is a constraint.

The Focus of TradeFinex: The main intent of TradeFinex 2019 is to bring all the global ecosystem partners together and ensure that there are minimum friction and overhead for them while working with a digital system. TradeFinex doesn’t aim to disrupt the legacy systems but focuses on building open standards that interoperate and exist with legacy systems. TradeFinex is also platform agnostic and extends its open plug-n-play APIs that can work with any platform and are designed to be interoperable.

The network: The hybrid network combines the power and transparency of public network and the security and speed of the private network. It can easily work with regulated institutions that want a part of their data to be public and rest remain private. The private network can interoperate with any other platform and verify the required data and transactions — something that helps in cross border trade and settlements. TradeFinex works with core banking systems, regulated systems, standardized systems like ISO20022, international SWIFT partners. The network is really designed for enterprises and financial institutions to work and create a digital replica of what they already have on the network.

Lastly, Atul Khekade invited all the partners like financial institutions, regulators, liquidity providers enterprises and governments to come and work together to build an interoperable and open standards ecosystem. Interested participants can visit now.

One stage and two regulators

TradeFinex was one of the first events organized in Abu Dhabi in which two different regulators came on stage together. The two regulators are Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) and Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA). The two speakers-Steve Barnett (ADGM) and Ken Coghill (DFSA) were the center of attraction at TradeFinex 2019.

Representative members from Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum* were also attraction from Dubai (*as per Wikipedia, CEO, and chairman of Emirates Group, A billionaire member of Dubai’s ruling Al Maktoum family, he is believed to be one of the world’s wealthiest royals.)

Representative members from Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum with Atul and Ritesh.

Steve Barnett, Head of Financial Centre Development, ADGM introduces ADGM

Steve Barnett

Steve Barnett

Steve Barnett introduced ADGM and RegLab and explained their approach towards the new technology. He also went on to discuss their purpose behind RegLab/Sandbox facility. He discussed the three things that have separated ADGM from others. They wanted to provide a platform for people to do business in the region. They went out and talked to their stakeholders, clients, potential organizations, and ensured they provided something that fulfilled organizations’ needs. The first one was they had to a price where people could trust the environment. They needed a legal framework which was supportive of the worth of business. The second was ADGM should be an easy-price-to-do business and they should try and cut through some of the inherent challenges doing business in emerging markets in that region. The third thing was ADGM should be innovative and regulator-friendly. ADGM believes in doing good business ensuring that the standards are met and the growth of the markets is protected.

A panel discussion on Assets Tokenization

Natalia Bushkevich

Natalia Bushkevich

The third session consisted of a 5 minutes presentation by each panel member, panel discussion and a Q&A session.

The panel members were:

  1. Natalia Bushkevich- Oracle
  2. Atul Khekade- TradeFinex
  3. Ken Coghill- DFSA

The important takeaways from the session were:

  1. The growing trend and popularity of asset tokenization across the globe
  2. Asset tokenization helps reduce the trade and finance gaps
  3. According to Natalia Bushkevich, Business Innovation & Technology Advisor , “There is a lot of interest and curiosity in the market about asset tokenization”

A panel discussion on Advances in Trade Finance, Procurement & Technology

Atul Khekade, Inès Taki, and Steve Barnett

Atul Khekade, Inès Taki, and Steve Barnett (from left to right)

The fourth session consisted of a 5 minutes presentation by each panel member, panel discussion and a Q&A session.

The panel members were:

a. Paul Ruskin-Trace Financial

b. Inès Taki- Bpifrance

c. Steve Barnett-ADGM

d. Atul Khekade-TradeFinex (panel moderator)

The important takeaways from the session were:

  1. According to Paul Ruskin, Director of Business Development Trace Financial, “The blockchain adoption is growing worldwide by the institutions and we excited to work with XinFin for various use-cases.”
  2. Inès Taki, Bpifrance, said, “Bpifrance came out with various startups programme to adopt new technology. We are already given funding of 100k each to a few startups to experiment with various innovative technologies.”

A panel discussion on Enabling Secondary Markets for Greater Liquidity

Ritesh Kakkad, Robert Jan De Jong, Meng Chan Shu, Ken Coghill, Jignesh Ved (from left to right)

The fifth session consisted of a 5 minutes presentation by each panel member, panel discussion and a Q&A session.

The panel members were:

a. Robert Jan De Jong-Bitfinex

b. Ken Coghill-DFSA

c. Jignesh Ved-Alpha Labs

d. Meng Chan Shu-Connect Blockchain

e. Ritesh Kakkad-TradeFinex (panel moderator)

The important takeaways from the session were:

  1. Accessing secondary markets is adding more and more liquidity to secondary markets
  2. Ken Coghill, DFSA, one of the regulators discussed various KYC and AML guidelines
  3. Audience expressed their views on the various tedious KYC processes and why they want a seamless KYC process
  4. According to Robert Jan De Jong, Business Development Manager Bitfinex, “as a regulatory requirement we might also ask for income proof to verify the source of the fund.”
  5. Jignesh Ved, IT Consultant, Alpha Labs said, “Digital exchanges are not only restricted to cryptocurrency trading but they are also about adding any other digital assets like receivables, tokenization, instruments or assets exchange.”

Tim Draper was a virtual speaker from USA, at the TradeFinex event. He also shared his views on bitcoin, blockchain, artificial intelligence, and associated technologies.

Tim Draper

Tim Draper

The importance takeaways from the session and video recording were:

  1. Satrajit Roy, Governance, Risk and Compliance Professional, Vistra said, “Blockchain can reduce KYC process time from 72hrs to 7hrs since the technology already has traceability of data.”
  2. Tim Draper said, “I love the sandbox idea. I love the idea that people are experimenting with the new government programs to allow all of these interesting technologies to flow in.”
  3. According to Tim Draper, “Bitcoin and all the associated technologies like artificial intelligence and more are going to potentially transform the biggest industries in the world the way the internet transformed various industries.”

Tadashi Yoshida on TradeFinex 2019

Tadashi Yoshida

Another virtual speaker at TradeFinex 2019 was Tadashi Yoshida, the community development head for Japan region. He shared his views on the TradeFinex platform.

A panel discussion on Empowering MSME’s and Looking Ahead: Data Standardization, Sharing & Blockchain Interoperability

Ritesh Kakkad, Inès Taki, and Satyajit Roy (from left to right)

The sixth and the final session consisted of a panel discussion and a video by Tim Draper.

The panel members were:

a. Inès Taki- Bpifrance

b. Satyajit Roy- Vistra

c. Ritesh Kakkad-TradeFinex (panel moderator)

Some more Pictures from the event.

Details on TradeFinex:

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