As a growing blockchain (non-developer) enthusiast and occasional investor, I am beginning to realise how important the development team and the community is when it comes to the future viability and success of a project. For me, I think accumulating a set of questions about a project to decide if it is worth investing time and capital is sensible. These questions might include:
- what is the purpose and aim of the project and does it solve a real world problem?
- can it be a disruptive technology and reorient the way services are provided?
- is it a first mover with its product and is it competing with others in the space, and if so, how does it distinguishes itself and improve on other projects?
- does it have a clearly articulated and realistic roadmap (and white paper) that undergoes iterations?
- does it have open and accessible channels of engagement with its community and ways to foster its growth and input?
- is the team identifiable and transparent, and does it have experience and strong record working in the blockchain related venture (industry experience)?
- does the team have a record or plan for securing partnerships with other enterprises that can improve and scale the project?
I know some of these questions (and many others) are easier to validate than others but I wanted to focus on the “team and previous experience” in the context of Centrifuge.
I have learned that some in the Centrifuge team were founders of Taulia, a supply chain management and financing company that provides working capital management, electronic invoicing, supply chain finance and dynamic discounting service. The value proposition at Taulia at its inception was to help buyers and suppliers accelerate payments, improve supply chain health and unlock trapped cash in the cycle. Taulia has grown to be one of the largest financial supply facilitators, with over 1.2 million supplier connections and transactions of $500 billion annually through its network. According to its publications, 97 out of 100 Forbes companies use it to provide liquidity when it comes to accounts payable.
The founders at Centrifuge (on my understanding) recognise the ability of blockchain and open source protocol to improve upon and overcome some of the limitations in the Tualia model, despite its unquestionable success.
I understand Centrifuge has sought to use the blockchain to build and map a global network of buyer supplier relationships. The growth of this network would ultimately allow a large number of suppliers to leverage the accreditation of the buyer and to be financed by a global network as opposed to closed financing markets.
Centrifuge recognises that with blockchain, all transactions become verifiable data points, which cultivates an ecosystem which is less trust dependent. Blockchain as a source for decentralised finance allows for the turning of physical financially documents (records, invoices etc) into digitally scarce and non-exchangable assets, creating value and unlocking previously trapped funds for the participants. Furthermore, Centrifuge allows parties to maintain privacy of data, revealing only what is necessary between the parties interacting, while allowing for third parties to undertake risk assessments on the financial documents involved in the business transaction.
The Centrifuge team has expertise in the realm of supply chain financing, founding and building a company that is now one of the most successful in the financial supply chain industry. It is using this experience and innovative mind set to leverage the advantages of blockchain technology to overcome the limitations of existing options, and create a network of lenders and borrowers. What’s also exciting is that there is a use case for other industries and applications beyond what we know.
If I have mischaracterised any information or missed any key points, I would be most grateful for any input as I’m interested in learning more about Centrifuge beyond my own superficial understanding.