Case Study

Applied Blockchain

Applied Blockchain designs and develops secure next generation applications for companies using advanced cryptography and blockchain technology. Based at Level39 in London, a leading global fintech hub, the company has so far developed over 70 distributed solutions for start-ups and major multinationals.

We spoke to Adi Ben-Ari, founder and CEO, about the importance of its UK operations and its plans for next generation products and services.

What does your company do?

Our company advises on, builds and supports blockchain based solutions for companies. We started trading in 2016 and we now have a team of 20 people. My background is in computer science and business and, five years ago, I saw an opportunity in blockchain so I founded the company. I had led development teams, worked as a developer and software architect for 15 years in the telecoms sector and also for five years in financial services.

One of the things early on with blockchain was that it did not handle things like data privacy very well. So we developed our own IP. One of our USPs was adding privacy to these blockchain solutions. We were among the first to do this as privacy was not built into blockchain platforms at that time. Our first major clients operated in financial services. We have since won clients from other sectors such as energy, aviation and automative, and in areas like lawtech and legal services.

We have looked at legal agreements and the onboarding of clients for lawyers. We've also handled payments for law firms to make that whole process more efficient and more robust.

We got Shell as a client by winning a global blockchain competition and built them an energy derivatives trading platform. Shell then became a seed investor in 2017 as did Calibrate Management, a venture capital investor. We have since recently secured stage 2 investment from QBN Capital, an investor based in Hong Kong.”

Although business can be done remotely, as we have seen amid the COVID-19 pandemic, anyone who can do business face-to-face will have an advantage as you can still build better, closer and more efficient relations. Competition will mean people will go back to face-to-face meetings so our location in London is important.

Tell us about your UK operations.

Our headquarters and leadership are in London in Level39 in Canary Wharf, the biggest fintech hub in Europe. We found both investors and customers there.

Although business can be done remotely, as we have seen amid the COVID-19 pandemic, anyone who can do business face-to-face will have an advantage as you can still build better, closer and more efficient relations when it comes to B2B selling and investment. Competition will mean people will go back to face-to-face meetings so our location in London is important.

We also have a growing development centre in Porto in Portugal.

What are some of the benefits to being based in the UK?

London, and the City in particular, is such a global business and financial centre, almost unrivalled around the world. It was probably the perfect place to start our business. For developers and talent, we found that there was an epicentre here and a perfect storm of people interested in this technology.

There is a lot of academic talent here in the UK and the City itself has all that financial infrastructure and knowledge. People from all over Europe, Asia and the US are always doing business through London so it is a massive hub for us. Many industry events are held in London and the City and these offer a great opportunity to be seen and to form strategic business relationships.

London, and the City in particular, is such a global business and financial centre, almost unrivalled around the world. It was probably the perfect place to start our business. For developers and talent, we found that there was an epicentre here and a perfect storm of people interested in this technology.

What are your company's expansion plans?

There is a lot of rationalisation going on in the blockchain sector at the moment so customers are re-evaluating and some competitors are falling away. We can see a second wave of innovation and adoption of blockchain technology over the next two to three years in the UK and globally.

The next generation of technology will further enhance privacy. It will be very transformative in business. There is going to be a pull back by businesses in handing over data. We are building a platform “Silent Data” that allows companies to collaborate with partners, customers and suppliers using private, sensitive and personal, commercial and financial data without the need for any sensitive data to be shared, revealed and without leaving organisation boundaries.

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