From Blockchain PoCs to commercial launch

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People working in big companies experimenting with we receive PoC proposals every week, and in most cases the selling argument is always how cheap the is, with phrases like “you don´t need any special integration, we can set up a private network or a public node in this or that cloud” (always very well known clouds with Blockchain as a Service offering). I always wonder the value of those PoCs not integrated with core systems or at least  with a sandbox environment.

Most PoCs I have seen so far not take into account the security and regulatory requirements when launching a financial service into production

I mean, when we decided to build our own blockchain banking infrastructure the goal was to build a blockchain platform that meets banking security architectural standards and is easy to integrate with existing core banking so that going into production could be done straight away. The first thing we did was to hold meetings with our architects to understand our current architecture (fo both the core banking and digital extensions) with the special focus on the security, APIs and microservices pieces. After those meetings, we realised that we had to change some of our initial assumptions for the blockchain technical design, based on the PoCs we had run outside the banking infrastructure.

The problem is that this technology was born to replace the banking industry and most start-ups and IT vendors have no real experience in the banking industry and the requirements around security in payments or customers personal data and credentials, or they just suggest you to abandon the current core banking and use blockchain as a standalone piece.  So, most PoCs I have seen so far not take into account the security and regulatory requirements when launching a financial service into production, or even worse a profitable business model (but profitability is another story I may write about in future). At the end, all the work done during the PoC is not valid and has to be thrown away and remanufactured from scratch.

When designing a PoC we must take into account the requirements for integration with the IT systems

So, my humble recommendation when designing a PoC we must take into account the requirements for integration with the IT systems since it can impact the customer experience, platform productivity, and even the investment costs/ business case when going live. Otherwise, the movement from PoC to commercial pilot/ launch could be a nightmare.


 is Innovation Manager at Santander Group (IT&Operations Global Division)