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article imageBlockchain foundations of financial instruments: Q&A Special

By Tim Sandle     Jul 9, 2018 in Business
In the new blockchain world, to write financial contracts a small business usually has to hire high-cost individuals to write the code. As an alternative, the company Firmo has a code language that opens the door for people without coding skills.
The problem for most businesses that require financial contracts based on blockchain is that it is very hard to find someone to write the code and the cost is often prohibitive. With Firmo’s offering, businesses can write their own codes for any financial instrument.
Firmo is aiming to lay the foundations of future financial instruments on blockchain technology, through the use of a code language opens the door for people without coding skills to create safe and secure financial contracts on the blockchain.
To find out more about the of blockchain for small businesses and the Firmo product, Digital Journal spoke with Dr. Omri Ross, CEO of Firmo Network.
DJ: How important is blockchain now, in relation to business?
Dr. Omri Ross: Blockchain technology can drastically reduce costs by changing the role of intermediaries, bringing a new level of integrity to business processes. While it is too early to correctly estimate the impact of these technologies, it is likely that we are entering a new paradigm of trust, transparency and, as a result, distribution of value.
DJ: Who are the main players?
Ross: This highly depends on the industry vertical we are looking at. In terms of infrastructure research, I find statechannels, off-chain computations, formal verification methodologies and general research in distributed governance very interesting.
From the user facing side, I find stablecoins, such as the MakerDao, to be a necessary element of these emerging markets.
DJ: What are the barriers to blockchain adoption?
Ross: It’s important to remember that blockchain is still an early stage technology. There is a lot of work to be done in terms of UI and developing use cases that work with existing infrastructure. From a technical perspective, there are several unresolved issues in scalability and security
Recently, researchers from the University of Singapore found that 45% of smart contracts currently deployed on Ethereum contained a set of known vulnerabilities. At Firmo, we work to mitigate these security risks through the use of formally verified, domain-specific languages like FirmoLang.
DJ: How can blockchain influence financial contracts?
Ross: The vast majority of financial contracts can be expressed, quite simply, as timed transfers of value, conditioned on a set of observable values like prices, or similar data. These simple tasks happens to be exactly what the blockchain is best at, making blockchain technology an ideal solution for clearing and settlement processes in derivatives and similar instruments.
DJ: How easy would this be for companies to adopt?
Ross: An organization's ability to reorganize and adopt new technologies, depends on the agility and willingness of the managing team to embrace change. For some organizations, the shift towards decentralized value capture will be a natural evolution, while others may struggle with inertia.
DJ: What services does Firmo provide?
Ross: Firmo’s is building financial infrastructure for the crypto economy. Our domain-specific formally verified language - FirmoLang - enables smart financial contracts to be compiled onto any major blockchain supporting smart contracts. Our current focus with FirmoLang is to enable exchanges and other financial players to offer secure and decentralized derivatives for their users. Firmo currently compiles to Ethereum while we are exploring strategic partnerships with Neo,Cardano and QTUM, amongst others.
DJ: Which companies do you work with?
Ross: We are currently publicly associated with the Bancor Foundation and QTUM with several undisclosed partnerships to be published later this summer.
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