Bloq is the enterprise-focused blockchain startup co-founded by Tally Capital Founding Partner Matthew Roszak and former Bitcoin Core contributor Jeff Garzik. The duo appeared on stage together at the recent Distributed Markets conference in Atlanta to discuss to their vision for enterprise adoption of blockchain technology.
During their fireside chat with Money 20/20 Chief Marketing Officer Sanjid Kalita, Garzik and Roszak explained how a multi-step approach is needed to bring blockchain technology to their enterprise customers. Bloq intends to attract enterprise customers to their blockchain stack through simple pitches, such as cutting costs, at first before helping them transform entire industries.
“[We’re talking about going from] cutting settlement from T+30 days to T+90 minutes for settling physical gold to disrupting the entire gold industry,” noted Garzik. “That’s where the innovative parts of these enterprises are really going to start to pick up the interest in Bloq Enterprise, but we have years to get there.”
Cost, Growth, and Transformation
There are three main steps in Bloq’s process of bringing blockchain technology to enterprises: cutting costs, growth, and transformation. Bloq sees blockchain technology’s ability to cut costs in their enterprise customers’ back offices as an example of how to get their feet wet with this new technology.
“You’re not going to get an enterprise customer, especially the ones that are racing into the room (banks and insurance companies), to just jump to transformation,” said Roszak during the fireside chat.
Roszak added that stepping stones are needed to get enterprise customers interested in the more transformative capabilities of the technology. He compared the process to how intranets, which are private computer networks, were used to eventually get these sorts of large enterprises on the internet.
“On our blockchain that we just used to lever here, let’s now open this up to customers, suppliers, and partners, and let’s extensify this particular railroad,” Roszak explained as the second layer of Bloq’s staircase strategy. “And then it opens up a lot of doors that can’t be seen right now that gets you to that transformative piece.”
The Two Sides of Blockchain Innovation
Roszak also explained that there are essentially two kinds of revolutions happening in terms of the use of blockchain technology. “On [one] side, it’s the replumbing of Wall Street,” he said. “A lot of enterprise companies are trying to replumb themselves, be more efficient. And that’s happening in real time.”
Roszak went on to explain that the other side of the blockchain revolution is the “whippersnapper” blockchain companies who want to disrupt the old systems and create new, decentralized models.
“Are these worlds going to connect or collide?” Roszak wondered aloud.
A Network of One is Not Very Exciting
Near the end of this particular part of the fireside chat, Garzik specifically mentioned permissioned blockchains, where the network is controlled by a set group of entities rather than a permissionless P2P network (some have noted this isn’t much different from traditional database systems), as stepping stones for enterprise adoption of public blockchains such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.
“Blockchains are networks, and a network of one is not very exciting,” said Garzik. “But again, how do enterprises digest software? The first step is going to be that intranet type shape. And so, you have a private network, you have a permissioned chain, but we see that as a staircase to – where’s that front of innovation? That is the public networks (the Bitcoins and Ethereums). You absolutely want to have compatibility and a migration path towards those public networks.”
On the point of compatibility with public blockchains, it was recently announced that Bloq has joined the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA), which is an effort to connect Fortune 500 enterprises and startups with Ethereum experts.
Compatibility between private blockchains and the public Ethereum blockchain is a key goal of the EEA.
“It’s very much a, maybe, ‘blockchain with training wheels’ type approach where you start out small but you have a migration path towards that bigger picture,” added Garzik.
Image from Wikimedia Commons.