A Discussion with a Blockchain Evangelist and Pragmatist

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10/19/2018

On last week’s podcast, we had an interesting conversation with Syed Hussain, Chief Commercial Officer for BANKEX, surrounding blockchain technology and the infrastructure for the blockchain space. BANKEX strives to bring the capital markets onto the blockchain—and they are trying to partner with financial firms in these efforts. The BANKEX website describes their platform as “Securitization 2.0” for providing a new operating system for the capital markets.

 

Hussain discussed the parallels between companies going on the Internet with those going onto the blockchain. At first, many companies resisted going on the Internet when it first came out. They would often start with internal communications and intranets for exchanging information before branching out to wider networks. Hussain sees private blockchains as a starting point for banks before they go more broad and public.

 

We also discussed the opportunities for securitization and the challenges from Securitization 1.0—which was associated with the financial crisis and the packaging and distribution of mortgage securities.

 

BANKEX has a number of interesting platforms.

 

One is trying to disrupt Hollywood financing and the full infrastructure around movies—trying to democratize what is today privileged access to participation in investing in movies and entertainment. Hussain also emphasized how for BANKEX this is about much more than raising capital for movies but also about streamlining and making the contract process more efficient. He kept coming back to the backbone and infrastructure improvements that are likely to come.

 

Hussain also discussed the implications for the real estate markets as one of the most opaque markets for contracts and titling—where he thinks the blockchain can dramatically transform the marketplace.

 

This was our first in-depth conversation on the blockchain on our “Behind the Markets” podcast, and we are grateful to Syed Hussain for spending time with us on this topic. Please listen to the full conversation below.

 

About the Contributor
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Executive Vice President, Global Head of Research

Jeremy Schwartz has served as our Executive Vice President, Global Head of Research since November 2018 and leads WisdomTree’s investment strategy team in the construction of WisdomTree’s equity indexes, quantitative active strategies and multi-asset model portfolios. Mr. Schwartz joined WisdomTree in May 2005 as a Senior Analyst, adding to his responsibilities in February 2007 as Deputy Director of Research and thereafter, from October 2008 to October 2018, as Director of Research. Prior to joining WisdomTree, he was head research assistant for Professor Jeremy Siegel and helped with the research and writing of Stocks for the Long Run and The Future for Investors. Mr. Schwartz also is co-author of the Financial Analysts Journal paper, What Happened to the Original Stocks in the S&P 500? He received his B.S. in Economics from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and hosts the Wharton Business Radio program Behind the Markets on SiriusXM 132. Mr. Schwartz is also a member of the CFA Society of Philadelphia.