Blockchain Technology Partners is an Edinburgh-based startup that embodies the potential for Scotland to be a world leader in the most critical of technology fields, the Blockchain.
Founded in 2018 by Duncan Johnston-Watt and Kevin O’Donnell, the company recently announced the appointment of Paul Forrest as its inaugural chair and a participant in an angel investment led by investment industry veterans Martin Gilbert and Andrew Laing.
Early client work includes an exciting project for the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.
The Tokenization of Everything
The massive global trend the company is positioned at the centre of is described in this article ‘The Tokenization of Everything‘.
As the title suggests this refers to an evolution where every asset with inherent value will eventually be represented by a cryptographic token on a blockchain.
The goal of the InterWork Alliance, of which BTP is a founding member, is to define the standards frameworks needed to increase innovation across token-enabled ecosystems in much the same way that the Internet Society (ISOC) enabled the wide-spread adoption of the internet.
At the heart of this is DAML, an open-source ‘smart contract’ language designed for multi-party distributed applications and transactions. Smart contracts are the building block of asset digitization, facilitating the core mechanics of negotiated exchanges.
Building on their Cloud automation expertise (Duncan previously founded Cloudsoft) BTP are specializing in the provisioning of the infrastructure for this new economy of applications.
Their core product Sextant automates the deployment and ongoing management of enterprise-grade blockchain networks and smart contract infrastructure, facilitating use cases such as enabling customers to execute their smart contracts on distributed ledgers like Ethereum-compatible Hyperledger Besu as well as on centralised ledgers such as the Amazon Quantum Ledger Database, a managed, serverless database which features an immutable and cryptographically verifiable transaction log.
In partnership with Digital Asset, the creators of DAML, the solution expands the ‘Cloud Native’ suite of tools that developers can build upon to create new applications. They are freed from any concerns of managing the underlying Cloud and Blockchain infrastructure, allowing them to focus entirely on the business logic and apply the disruptive capability to their industry specialism.
A Blockchain Roadmap for Scotland
The scale of the opportunity for Scotland can be seen through the breadth and depth of the worldwide transformation this trend will drive.
Financial services will be a keynote adopter of tokenization, transforming the flow of assets and disrupting traditional models. For example in the case of the Tel Aviv stock market they were experiencing a dwindling equities business but they are now leveraging the Blockchain to pioneer a new peer-to-peer model for securities lending to reinvent their success in that space. In countries like the USA, Canada and others initiatives are underway to launch so-called ‘Digital Dollars’, digital currencies facilitated by this same underlying capability.
This same depth of disruptive transformation is possible and will happen across all industries – Healthcare, Retail, Supply Chain and Logistics and many others. As contracts are the universal building blocks for any and all business models so smart contracts will be the same for digital business models.
Given the staggering size of the potential market Johnston-Watt wants to develop Scotland as a centre of excellence for smart contract development, positioning the country at the forefront of this trend and a global leader driving this transformation.
“We have both the talent and the drive to succeed and this is a tremendous opportunity for us to apply both and to establish Scotland at the epicentre of a seismic shift in the way we transact and intereract with the world whether in business or as individuals.”
Other industry organizations like FinTech Scotland have done sterling work to cultivate that particular industry niche, offering the shoulders of giants to stand upon to incorporate tokenization into the innovative applications they are already developing for hyper-growth sectors like Open Banking.