Blockchain startup aims to help companies unlock unused assets

| by Bradley Cooper
Blockchain startup aims to help companies unlock unused assets

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Blockchain startups are the lifeblood of a young industry; new entrants are constantly showing up in the marketplace with fresh, interesting ideas.

One such startup is Sweetbridge. Blockchain Tech News interviewed Scott Nelson, CEO of this emerging blockchain player, to get his perspective on the market and learn more about his company, which allows companies to borrow against their assets by putting them into smart contracts.

Q: How did you get started in the blockchain space?

A: Frustrated by the inefficiencies caused by intermediaries within trade financing, I was prompted to create an organization that used blockchain to address some of these issues. Prior to Sweetbridge, I founded a multinational supply chain business in 1993 that aimed to eliminate delays in transactions and settlement and increase the amount of working capital in global supply chains. I saw the potential that a network of trusted participants working together with aligned incentives had for improving issues in logistics management; unfortunately, the technology to support it had not yet been created.

At the time, a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) was not a common term. I and other executives considered pairing nonprofits with businesses on a global scale to create a federated model supply chain. Over time, I revisited the federated model in hopes of pairing economics with supply chains in this manner, but continued to conclude that it was too early to attempt it.

In 2016, myself and a team of like-minded executives who had founded and built technology businesses in the supply chain logistics industry decided it was time to move forward. They saw the potential for blockchain, smart contracts, and decentralized applications and governance models had in unlocking the underused assets and stagnant resource locked up in companies, supply chains and economies around the world. Through this realization, Sweetbridge was initially born.

Q: What is your company's unique offering in the marketplace?

A: Sweetbridge aims to improve the way that companies do business by increasing the amount of working capital and available resources, promoting fair and moral practices, and incentivizing economic participants to act responsibly. The technology stack consists of five protocols to improve liquidity, settlement, accounting, risk management and resource optimization. Each Sweetbridge protocol is designed to provide a set of rules, messages, and agreements that govern interactions of processes among humans, apps and machines to create a decentralized operating global economy.

The Sweetbridge liquidity protocol allows individual investors, as well as large enterprises, borrow at little-to-no-interest against their illiquid assets. This could mean that a freight company can use their accounts receivable as collateral in order to finance a capital-intensive operation or that a cryptocurrency investor can simultaneously hold bitcoin and wait for it to appreciate, while also extracting its value in a more liquid currency such as the U.S. dollar. This drastically decreases the cost of capital for companies operating along the supply chain. 

Q: Where do you see the market going in the near future?

A: In terms of research and development, it is still quite early on in the blockchain industry. However, we believe that the market is maturing and governments will soon start to enable more innovation within the space and many great projects will begin to come to fruition at the end of 2018 and beginning of 2019. Hopefully, this will bring the industry closer to having market-ready, enterprise-level blockchain solutions.

Q: How do you think blockchain will transform businesses?

A: There are many ways that people are trying to use blockchain to transform businesses. We see the most promise within the banking and supply chain industries. The value in blockchain technology for businesses lies in increasing liquidity, freeing working capital and easing settlement in today's global supply chains. This will benefit world economies, and the people working within them.

Q: What is your plan for the future?

A:Our plan is to create transformative solutions to improve the way that people do business and make global commerce more accessible to everyone. We are focused on the $54 trillion global supply chain and logistics market, which offers a substantial opportunity to make a positive impact on society.

Q: How does the blockchain enable smart contracts?

A:Due to blockchain's trustless, decentralized nature, it enables these contracts to be carried out without the need of a third party to verify them. For Sweetbridge, blockchain enables the smart contract to enact the terms of a loan, using your own asset as collateral.

Q: How are you innovating in the smart contract sphere?

A:For blockchain to achieve global adoption in the industrial and commercial world, it is critically important that standards for blockchain smart contract enforcement are as high or higher than that for ordinary contracts. That doesn't just mean that the technical parts work perfectly. The unpredictable circumstances of the real world also need to be managed flawlessly. Sweetbridge is working with Mattereum, a legal-technical interface connecting digital assets on the blockchain with the material world, to ensure that the framework behind our smart contracts is legally enforceable in multiple jurisdictions.

Topics: Blockchain, Retail

Bradley Cooper

Bradley Cooper is a Technology Editor for His background is in information technology, advertising, and writing.

wwwView Bradley Cooper's profile on LinkedIn

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