The emerging technology company Everledger is making strides in reducing fraud and assisting in the reduction of risk through innovative solutions that sit on the Blockchain. Leanne Kemp, Founder and CEO of Everledger, has shared the company’s story with KAE, her thoughts on the potential of Blockchain and why it is important to not get carried away with industry dialogue.
[KAE] Tell us more about Everledger. What makes the company and its vision unique?
We develop and deploy innovative technological solutions to markets where provenance matters such as diamonds, fine wine and art by creating an immutable digital thumbprint of an item on the Blockchain.
By harnessing the best of emerging technology, we have the opportunity to give the world’s most valuable objects, from a bottle of rare wine to a treasured diamond ring, a layer of reputational trust that allows us to protect and preserve an object’s origin, history and authenticity for generations to come. We’re using this technology to enable greater transparency in marketplaces and help to identify and reduce instances of fraud, theft and global trafficking to solve some of the world’s biggest problems.
Once items are registered on the Blockchain, the records are permanent and provide a clear audit trail to be used by parties throughout the supply chain to prove authenticity, reduce the risk of fraud, and enable financial instruments to be created.
[KAE] What have been the critical components for Everledger’s success up until now and what barriers have you encountered along the way?
Provenance and sustainability are now very high priorities in most industries. Both consumers and businesses have now raised trust and ethical standards. We have been involved in these industries long enough to understand the extent of these challenges and how technology can solve them.
Our success comes from our talented and dedicated team who come from a mixed background with diverse experience in jewellery and luxury goods, insurance, IT and finance. The combination of our team’s skills has enabled us to build a unique platform to serve a various group of clients.
The greatest barrier we have faced so far is educating our clients about Blockchain and how this technology will benefit them in so many ways.
[KAE] What areas do you feel are ripe for disruption by Blockchain technology and/or cryptocurrencies?
We believe that Blockchain technologies will do for trust what the world wide web did for information. The web allows us to have access to all the information via very simple interfaces, but can we really trust that information?
Blockchain has the potential to become a transactional trust layer to underpin every aspect of the businesses. We believe it will have a major impact in industries such as trade, insurance, and every industry where provenance, certification and identification are linked to or form the trust of an object. It is paramount to the trust layer of trade.
[KAE] Are there any common misconceptions held by peers, Financial Institutions and other industry stakeholders around Blockchain technology and its application? Why do you think this is the case?
The issue faced by all companies in the emerging tech space is the expectation from the industry of what is possible through the technology. For us in the Blockchain world, there is a current narrative around Blockchain being the solution for all the world’s problems. Somewhat of a Genies’ bottle – by rubbing three times, it will grant your wishes and magically solve complicated problems.
Everledger sees itself as custodians of the technology for our chosen industry and has to be mindful of its current capabilities and understand the application to the problems that is being solved. At Everledger, we never allow ourselves to get carried away with industry dialogue and instead focus on building the architecture for our proposed solution faster and better than anyone else.
[KAE] Outside of the Blockchain space, what would you call out as the key trend and/or technology that will be the most transformative this year? And why?
We all heard about the impact of AI, IoT and Blockchain and how these technologies will transform every aspect of our life, both as consumers and businesses. But what I find really exciting is to understand how those technologies will play together and what new business models will arise. You could imagine a parallel with smartphones and cloud computing and how those brought us an unpredictable wave of innovation and access to people, data and regions never imagined before. Technologies alone are not transformative, it is the combination of innovative thinking and the courage to approach problems in a different way.
[KAE] What is the one pearl of wisdom you would share with anyone starting their journey as a FinTech?
Have a very clear subject knowledge, not only of the problem you are solving but the application of the technology. In summary, know the market, have a 5-year plan, surround yourself with good people and add a little imagination into everything you do.
About the Author:
Leanne Kemp is the founder & CEO of Everledger – a digital, global ledger that tracks and protects diamonds and other valuable items on their lifetime journey.
With a wealth of successful startup companies under her belt, Leanne is pushing boundaries in protecting the global market of diamonds and luxury goods. Using her extensive background in emerging technologies, business, jewellery and insurance – Leanne and Everledger are working towards ensuring global transparency by constructing a digital verification system that assists in the reduction of fraud, black markets and trafficking.
Everledger is leading the market in real world application of blockchain technology with a set of industry awards including the Meffy Award 2015 for Innovation in FinTech, BBVA Open Talent 2015, FinTech Finals 2016 for Best in Show, European Financial Tech Awards 2016 for Best Blockchain Company, Asia Insurance Technology Awards 2016 for Best Newcomer and Penrose Award for Innovator of the Year.
More about FinTech Vantage:
This post is part of the FinTech Vantage series by KAE that provides a fresh perspective and hears first-hand from various players across the FinTech ecosystem.
KAE will be posting a number of interviews with FinTechs that share their candid viewpoints and to really get under the skin of the FinTech world.
If you would like to share your views and participate in this series, please reach out to us at FinTech@kae.com