Podcasts

SAP’s Kris Hansen on blockchain: ‘Put the trust into the algorithm’

  • Blockhain hype still outstrips real world activity.
  • To see what's going on in the real world, we spoke to a blockchain expert at SAP.
close

Email a Friend

SAP’s Kris Hansen on blockchain: ‘Put the trust into the algorithm’

In our coverage of bitcoin and supporting blockchain technologies, it’s clear that the hype way overshoots what’s actually happening on the ground. So, to better understand how companies are actually interacting with distributed ledger tech, we went to Kris Hansen.

Kris is a senior principal at SAP, focused on financial services at the global software player. In his role on the value engineering team, he works to identify ways that digital approaches can be used to find interesting opportunities to create disruptive business value. A self proclaimed “recovering” chief architect of a bank, he brings an interesting perspective on changing business models and technology platforms in financial services.

Subscribe: iTunes I SoundCloud

Below are highlights, edited for clarity, from the episode.

The challenging transformation of today’s banks

I often refer to myself as a recovering chief architect from a bank. It can be a tricky job. You have all this technology complexity and legacy investment. And then you have the business showing up and saying it wants to do something completely different. You’ve got to somehow get this massive legacy shaped and formed in the right direction to go forward. Occasionally, you get an opportunity to transform and rethink the legacy. But that becomes a challenge in managing scope and finding a solution that’s really going to make a difference. You’re on the hook for feasibility (the stuff has to work) and the business outcomes (the business has to be happy with what they get). Being a bank architect is a tough job.

Preparation for the coming blockchain movement

Personally, I’m a tacit learner. For me to understand Bitcoin and Ethereum, I set up a node to see it and understand it. Businesses need to start getting hands-on. Understand what cryptocurrencies are and the differences in the platforms. From there, you have to start thinking about what it would take to connect the existing world to this new world. Quantifying that gap and determining what’s involved to change is where organizations should be at this point.

Industry cooperation around distributed ledgers

I’d really like to see us get to industry-wide collaboration. One of the great advantages of the consensus protocol is that we can establish trust where trust doesn’t need to be explicitly built between counterparties. We can put the trust into the algorithm. We can put the trust into cryptography.

I don’t see a lot of that happening with most of the enterprise adoption of these platforms. We aren’t there, yet. There tends to be more of a closed network. Some of it is the challenge of building the network and getting people to the table and agree on how to run these proof of concept projects. It’s hard enough to get multiple divisions in a bank to work together. Multiply that by 40 and you can see the challenge with some of the blockchain consortia. They have a lot of meetings. What we need to see is some of the bureaucracy-breaking concepts built into the platforms. Instead of having meetings, let’s lean on consensus technology to agree on how we’ll form this consortium. So far, the technology hasn’t helped align these groups.

0 comments on “SAP’s Kris Hansen on blockchain: ‘Put the trust into the algorithm’”

Where Credit's Due Podcast

Where Credit’s Due Ep. 10: Getting capital without dilution or debt through recurring revenue financing, with Pipe and Anthemis

  • Today we're talking about another way of accessing capital: recurring revenue financing. If there's cash flow coming in, this recurring revenue is made into a tradable asset that can be sold to investors.
  • It's a dilution-free and debt-free form of financing, which we explore in detail with Michal Cieplinski, Chief Business Officer at Pipe, and Farhan Lalji, Investor at Anthemis.
Iulia Ciutina | September 28, 2022
Podcasts

Behind Amex’s use of Kabbage as ‘the heartbeat’ of its strategy to help SMBs with cash flow

  • Two years after American Express bought small business lender Kabbage, the products are integrated and growing.
  • Tearsheet sat down with Kabbage's head of marketing to get insight on where the growth is coming from and where the company is headed.
Zachary Miller | September 27, 2022
Payments, Power of Payments Podcast

Power of Payments Ep. 14: JPMorgan vs Stripe and Block, CFPB is coming for BNPL, and is LTO a viable BNPL alternative?

  • This week, we talk about JPMorgan’s acquisition of payments firms Renovite, and the CFPB’s recent report on BNPL firms, which suggests that regulation is coming for the sector.
  • We also discuss why lease-to-own, which is another type of installment payment option, has been gaining popularity in recent months.
Ismail Umar | September 23, 2022
Data, Podcasts, Sponsored

‘Earned wage access is the next evolution in improving day-to-day liquidity’: Argyle’s Matthew Gomes

  • Director of strategy at Argyle, Matt Gomes, joins us on the Tearsheet Podcast.
  • Listen in to our conversation about how payroll and employment data API platforms enable financial institutions to bring the next generation of financial products to consumers.
Argyle | September 22, 2022
Data, Podcasts, Sponsored

‘Developers have become as central a figure as the banks’: Fiserv’s Niranjan Ramaswamy

  • VP and GM of embedded fintech at Fiserv, Niranjan Ramaswamy, joins us on the Tearsheet Podcast.
  • Listen to our conversation about how Fiserv empowers developers to build products that bring fintechs and FIs together.
Fiserv | September 21, 2022
More Articles