“The blockchain, like most ground-breaking new technologies, came with a big promise: to provide both decentralization and security using distributed and immutable ledgers. This approach has led to clear benefits, but we want more”, Ricardo Orsi, CEO from the FinTech Startup InterlockLedger says. By “more”, the Brazilian entrepreneur means: better design with processing and storage divided by nodes that offers the same results with fewer resources and processing. Read in this interview how InterlockLedger wants to innovate the finance industry with blockchain.
How are you planning on revolutionizing blockchain?
The InterlockLedger is a general-purpose blockchain made for real-world applications. This perspective unties transactions and applications from data in a way that every transaction uses only the data required which leads to greater customization, adaptability and efficiency at the same time. We are avoiding unnecessary processing and storage.
What does InterlockLedger do differently from the competitors?
Conventional blockchain platforms, agents responsible for building the common ledger – the so-called miners – must process and validate each transaction information to decide what is to be added to a distributed ledger. The process needs resources that must be funded somehow. It usually ends up being sponsored through rewarding mechanisms that build a token system: a cryptocurrency. These alternate currencies are then exchanged by real-world resources in order to finance operations. The exchange services which transact these tokens work like traditional stock exchanges. The only way for such a system not to collapse is by frequently feeding the network with more resources coming from external sources. These new resources mostly come from investors speculating on future token values. When no new external resource is added to the system due to lack of interest or lack of new users, there is no incentive to keep the mining process running, and the network becomes subject to collapse. This framework makes the system quite expensive and impractical due to processing scale costs. It usually demands a lot of computing power and very cheap energy to get to minimal profitability. We aim for less network usage and lower energy consumption; kind of a green blockchain. At this point, we have over 100,000 lines of code written mainly on C++ and C#.
Can you tell us more about InterlockLedger’s mission?
To make the world a better and fairer place through distributed trust! We still don’t know where the money for our Startup will come from, but entrepreneurship should never be about funding. If you create value, the money will follow at some point. We have been developing this project since September 2016. We consider it an offspring, rather than a spin-off. InterlockLedger is the result of years of research and development by a hard-working and passionate group, the folks at our original company in Brazil.
Your Startup forms part of the fourth batch of the F10 Incubation Program. Why had you decided to apply for this program in Zurich?
The number one reason to apply was the market exposure the participation in the program would generate as we needed to reach relevance in the FinTech industry. We are very happy about the progress we made since joining the program and our evolvement was indeed accelerated after joining F10. The close collaboration with the F10 corporate members, mentors and Startup coaches helped InterlockLedger to find their place within the FinTech ecosystem.
InterlockLedger is a Brazilian Startup and you're permanently moving to Zurich. Which cultural differences were the most surprising or challenging for you?
We are more aligned with the Swiss way of life and doing business! We prefer the organization skills, promise-fulfilment and punctuality in Switzerland. Once your Startup or your idea is good to go, you will never have to worry again. Our mentor Marc Lussy understands the Brazilian market and culture which has helped us to combine the best of both worlds.
How has the Accelerator Program helped your team to progress?
One of the biggest advantages of F10 is the availability of a dense network of coaches, mentors and corporate members with the contributions of Marc Lussy and his belief in InterlockLedger having been the most important benefit for us. F10 co-founder Andreas Iten and the F10 mentors helped us to shape our strategy. The dedication and involvement of the corporate members were also extremely beneficial to our evolvement. The critic vision from SIX employees was instrumental in improving our approach and speech and the participation of Julius Baer scouts made us understand use cases that we otherwise would not have had access to.
What has been the biggest challenge on your Startup journey so far?
The most difficult challenge for InterlockLedger – and countless other innovators as well – is that innovation is not pushed in most companies. There tend to be huge discrepancies between thinking innovation and actually innovating. Disruption still tends to frighten people and innovators are often not supported by the board – which would be a crucial factor when transforming companies. Therefore, a lot is at stake for employees trying to innovate and they often need to trade-off the long-term benefits for the company with personal and instant recognition. To overcome this challenge, innovation should be tied to measurable factors so that innovation managers can predict and prove the impact of the actions taken.
Can you describe your investment status?
So far, we have invested 1.8 million Swiss francs consisting of our own money we put in and the opportunity costs. We are looking for 3.2 million francs of investment and being part of the F10 ecosystem helps to get in touch with potential investors.
Do you have any advice for other entrepreneurs with innovative prototypes in FinTech, RegTech or InsurTech?
Most importantly, you must believe in the cause with your full heart and your full responsibility. Both co-founders of InterlockLedger have been willing to invest all their money, time and energy into the project – without knowing if and how we would be able to create revenue. But how much money can we potentially lose if we never try to realize our idea? It should always be about the mission and never about single team members. We are all just tools bringing in different skills to reach a common goal. This is why we opted against a bonus system, every team member should entirely focus on the Startup and not on being personally recognized
.InterlockLedger is one of the Startups in the fourth batch of our P2 “Prototype to Product” program tailored for FinTech, RegTech and InsurTech Startups keen on revolutionizing the finance industry. Applications for the next batch of this Startup Accelerator Program starting in October 2019 are being accepted until 2nd of June 2019. Learn more and apply now!