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This blog post shares some more details about the Digital Asset Grid session. The session Digital Asset Grid will take place on Wednesday 31 Oct 2012 from 16:00 till 17:30 in the Conference Room-3. It is part of the Main Conference sessions of Sibos. The overall Innotribe Program at Sibos here, and I try to keep that post up-to-date with the very latest speaker and program announcements.
I have written extensively about the Digital Asset Grid in previous blog posts. Most recently in Banks-as-a-Platform and the Cambrian Explosion of Everything, all reflections on what it means to live in a hyper-connected world, to be immersed in the digital age.

 

We swim in a sea of data and the sea level is rising rapidly. Tens of millions of connected people, billions of sensors, trillions of transactions now work to create unimaginable amounts of information. A new environment requiring a lot of adaptability. We are species from the land that have to learn to live in the ocean. Like camels that used to live in the desert, that now have to survive in the ocean.

A new environment requires a new design.

The digital age and making the new design presents both threats and opportunities for Banks:

  • Dis-intermediation and erosion of market share by new entrants, telco’s and dominant technology companies threaten the position of Banks – and are increasing in velocity – reducing margins and profitability.
  • But there are also opportunities: new sources of rich information are multiplying, and the information that is available is being digitised.

 

Every business is becoming a digital business,

also banks and financial institutions

 

However, the potential benefits of the explosion in number of nodes and the data volume explosion are being squandered due to low levels of trust, concerns about security, and barriers to monetisation. The Digital Asset Grid has the ambition to tackle these challenges.

The Digital Asset Grid is a research project by Innotribe, SWIFT’s Innovation initiative for enabling collaborative innovation.

The Digital Asset Grid is probably one of the most forward-looking incubation projects of Innotribe.

 

The project proposes a new infrastructure

for banks to provide a platform

for secure peer-to-peer data sharing

between trusted people, businesses, and devices

 

The Digital Asset Grid does for data what SWIFT has already done for payments: providing a new scalable global network that supports “digital data banking”, a trusted peer to peer sharing of any digital asset between two or more nodes on the network. Banks existing qualities in management of de-materialized assets (today this is money but tomorrow this will be data), trust, regulatory compliance, market coverage and risk management puts them in a unique position to assume this role.

Indeed, with the Digital Asset Grid, we believe we are setting the direction for creating an internet-scale digital platform for information logistics.

The Digital Asset Grid acts as a digital map which describes:

  • The location of the data,
  • The trust framework governing access,
  • The digital identities who have access to that data, and
  • The usage rights these identities have under trust frameworks.

 

It overcomes the “data frictions” such as lack of security and trust and enables data to flow, leading to the creation of a low cost eco-system of revenue generating apps & services.

In addition, the Digital Asset Grid leverages SWIFT’s core skills and competences regarding governance, identity, security and operational excellence, establishing thus a global data-sharing platform as ubiquitous and reliable as today’s global banking network.

As part of the research, we wanted to go beyond mere PowerPoint presentation of a concept. What we have done is building an end-to-end prototype, with working applications and a working back-end infrastructure, together with a solid business story that is the result of a consultation with several banks of our community. In addition we produced a “foresight”-video of possible use cases.

Innotribe and its collaboration partners will present this prototype at Sibos on Wednesday 31 October 2012 from 4pm – 5:30pm in Conference Room 3. The session is part of the Main Conference Sessions of Sibos.

What we will show-case is:

  • A very strong opening with a strategy story by Antonio Benjamin – Global Chief Technology Officer & MD Citi GTS/ICG
  • A exciting intro into the changes in the digital data landscape
  • A brand new HD video – in the style of “Flowers for Grandma” and “Fly me to the Moon”, taking you into a not so far future 2013-2014, and showing in life environment of what is possible with current technology and the apps that we have built as part of the prototype.
  • A working prototype of the Digital Asset Grid server, server code and APIs
  • 4 applications illustrating the power of the Digital Asset Grid; some apps are relevant for the retail space, others are more relevant in a B2B context.
  • A compelling Business Story, where the opportunities are categories in three groups:
    • Creating new revenue streams through monetization of existing and new data assets
    • Doing the same better
    • Delivering New Services

 

But it would not be Innotribe if we added some elements of performance and interactivity. I can’t reveal everything in this blog post, but the staging of this session will include a motorcycle and smoking server.

Also, we will have facilitated breakout sessions to create an immersive learning experience for the audience. In these breakouts you will have the opportunity to get into person-to-person conversation with the developers of the applications and the back-end infrastructure, and the partners who have built the Business Story.

And at the end, Yobie and senior representatives from two other major banks will wrap-up the sessions with some suggestions on the way forward. And we’ll have some other surprises and some very cool announcements, which of course I cannot share now, if not you would not come to the session ;-)

The Digital Asset Grid offers Banks the opportunity to transform their industry, making them and their customers more efficient, generating new value and enabling Banks to launch a range of new services – it is a game changer.

The financial industry has a unique chance to seize this opportunity and position themselves in a very compelling competitive position in a future of real-time information logistics.

I cannot enough emphasise the importance of the Banks-as-a-Platform meme: it means that the value creation moves from the centre to the nodes. The market used to think in monopolistic, silo-ed service providers, that put themselves in the middle of the nodes-universe, leading to non-interoperable silos of data and value creation. By moving from a central to distributed architecture at internet-scale, banks suddenly have the opportunity to be themselves the platform, with SWIFT as a shared beacon of governance and trust.

I believe this is a “good” project. Good for our industry. It comes at the right time and at a tipping point where we see an evolution towards a peer-to-peer economy between trusted nodes in the grid.

It is fantastic that SWIFT – through the Innotribe Incubation Fund – makes this sort of research and experimentation projects possible.

Incubation is in my opinion indeed about “catalysing ideas”: it is about setting waves of thinking into motion, planting seeds in the brain, and getting the chance to develop those ideas in full so that they become foresight scenarios that become in their turn reference points for decision making.

Only when you have some strong foresight scenario/reference in your brain, you can spot and recognise the disruptive change signals from the market and make relevant and inspired decisions on “what would I do if this scenario happens?”

The Digital Asset Grid is one of those foresight scenarios of a catalysed idea, a strong testimony that innovation beyond adjacencies can happen in more traditional environments.

The team has done a great job in depicting the “foresight reference model” of a not-so-far-out possible future. The test for our community will be to validate whether we can rally ourselves to take the foresight model out of its incubation sandbox and move it to the next phase of acceleration and do it for real.

I am very excited to be able to share soon with a wider audience the results of the last couple of months of hard work, and I am very curious to see how and when our industry will seize this opportunity. I feel privileged to witness this turning point, and I am deeply grateful to the team, the customers, and SWIFT who made all this happen.

See you all in Osaka! Wednesday 31 Oct 2012, at 16:00 in Conference Room-3.

By @petervan from the Innotribe team

Dominik De Buyser
Supporting Innotribe from SWIFT's communications team now.
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