The LHoFT is excited to be partner & sponsor of the Paris Fintech Forum 2018, which will be held on January 30th & 31st, at the former stock exchange market in the very heart of Paris. We will be joined by a delegation of members and partners, including many key figures of Luxembourg’s financial technology ecosystem.
We asked each representative a few questions to help shed light on their work, as a part of our series of interviews: The Innovators.
This time we caught up with Pierre Gérard, CEO & Co-founder of Scorechain.
“I hope that 2018 will be a year of ‘doing’. A year where people will better understand the world of cryptocurrencies, talk more about working use-cases and the positive impact of blockchains.” — Pierre Gérard
Could you introduce yourself?
I am an entrepreneur with a background in computer science. I have created companies for almost 20 years now, mostly linked with ICT. It has been now 5 years since I have turned to fintech, more especially to blockchain and crypto currencies.
Today, Scorechain is organized into two activities. The first one is the development of blockchain products. The adventure started with the creation of a mobile Bitcoin wallet (Yallet). Then, with my partner we wanted to act as blockchain’s ecosystem pioneers by building products to help companies to manage their digital assets. As we believe in the potential of cryptocurrencies, we want to solve the problem of lack of trust and regulation Bitcoin is suffering from, we created our monitoring tool for AML/compliance: Scorechain Bitcoin Analytics. Today, we are developing in-house Proofs-of-Concept such as our euros tokenization application, and are working on a new product designed for cryptocurrency’s corporate investors.
Our second range of activities is our suite of services for companies willing to innovate with blockchains such as trainings, development and advisory services. Besides, it has been now more than 1 year since we have launched Fundchain. We work closely and collaboratively with major financial institutions in Luxembourg to implement ready-to-use blockchain solutions in the Fund Industry.
The Scorechain dashboard.
As European financial power base that is embracing innovation, which aspects of Luxembourg’s financial technology ecosystem have been most beneficial to your company?
In the past few years, we have seen many fintech initiatives launching in Luxembourg, among which LHoFT is one of the perfect example! These initiatives can be private or public (such as Digital Luxembourg) but in any case, it creates a great dynamic for the fintech ecosystem.
We’ve seen many formal or informal events where entrepreneurs and big companies executives meet to discuss innovation in finance. I think all of these initiatives designed to educate, debate and share information about technology in finance are one of the best ways to inspire and increase fintech growth. It is really important because the finance industry was initially reluctant to embrace fintech, and those initiatives have contributed to a more positive image. Financial institutions realized they need to cooperate. Our success with Fundchain has benefited from this dynamic, and this positive mindset towards fintech.
The Scorechain team.
What do you think are the key challenges and risks for the different financial technology players in Luxembourg and in Europe?
I will answer from a startup’s perspective, as in my entrepreneur’s career I have noticed that raising funds as an early stage tech startup in Europe is not so easy, compared to other parts of the world such as US or the tech cities in Asia. The fundraising sector in Europe is doing well, but primarily for startups with proven prototypes or some maturity. Europe has still a long way to go to trust early-stage startups, and for me this is a real challenge because most of the promising financial technology players are using disruptive technologies which are, most of the time, not so mature.
Another key question would also be the human resources challenge, even if I think it is part of innovation. Technology is moving fast and recruiting high-tech profiles is sometimes challenging. That is why at Scorechain we hire more and more young talents eager to learn with no specific competencies in distributed ledger technologies. The aim is to create a win-win situation by offering them long-term training plans on blockchains.
Which trend in financial technology do you think deserves more discussion, and which less?
As part of the blockchain cryptocurrencies sector, most of the recent discussion revolves around regulation. This is great, because technology would certainly profit from open and specific regulation framework. Nevertheless, now it seems regulation in fintech is the main point of discussion. For me it is quite reductive as we miss the most important: the use cases. We should talk more about feasible applications, new business models, and economic benefits.
What are you most looking forward to getting out of Paris Fintech Forum this year?
Now we have efficient products available on the market such as our Bitcoin blockchain compliance tool, we think Paris Fintech Forum is an excellent place to showcase our technologies and experience in blockchains. The aim is to value and promote our blockchain vision, skills and solutions to find reliable business partners. Also we plan to announce publicly the new product we are currently working on and designed for crypto assets investors. Also, it is an honor to be part of the LHoFT delegation, to have the chance to show Luxembourg fintech community strengths and diversity at one of the major fintech event in Europe.
Any final thoughts or predictions for Fintech in 2018 you wish to share?
Again, I will answer in a blockchain/cryptocurrencies perspective. I think (and I also truly hope) that this year we are going to stop speaking about cryptocurrencies regulation and speculation. The last few months, the blockchain sector has suffered from a lot of concerns that sometimes led to reductive publicity. I hope that 2018 will be a year of ‘doing’. A year where people will better understand the world of cryptocurrencies, talk more about working use-cases and the positive impact of blockchains. To sum up, I wish less fear and more understanding regarding blockchain technology.