The “Truthful and Verifiable” Beauty of the Blockchain: An Interview with Nuco’s Matthew Spoke
In 2015, Matthew Spoke pitched the idea of blockchain technology to his employers at Deloitte. “Deloitte was sold it when we told them that the blockchain would eliminate the need for auditors in a decade,” said Spoke in an interview with Bitcoin Magazine. “They began to realize that once you have perfect information that’s truthful and verifiable, then you don’t need an auditor to prove anything anymore.”
As a CPA and former senior consultant for the international consulting service practice at Deloitte, Spoke has successfully pitched and secured funding from the company to explore opportunities in the emerging blockchain space. He has led a 15-person blockchain team that successfully secured several global projects in the blockchain domain. He also developed prototypes of commercial use cases in healthcare and government, among other industries.
In 2016, building upon his Deloitte stint, which opened him to the enterprise world, he co-founded Nuco, a Toronto-based infrastructure solutions provider specializing in the development and deployment of custom blockchain networks. Nuco’s platform allows enterprise clients to seamlessly set up private blockchains tailored to their specific use case and business requirements, while having the choice between multiple consensus mechanisms, performance optimization tools and legacy integrations.
The company’s modular architecture allows for infrastructure customization to enable use cases across a wide range of industries. Nuco’s value proposition includes digitally signed identities, advanced cybersecurity, enforced consensus, automated audit trails, asset tokenization and immutable records management.
“Nuco’s potential impact is in overhauling traditional processes, which are based on the conventional wisdom of ‘trusted 3rd party’ reliance,” said Spoke. “We aim to bring the improvements of blockchain technology to the domains that stand to gain most from its introduction, namely: problems that cannot be efficiently addressed by any other means.”
Reaching Out to the Unbanked Market
The company, he says, is particularly stoked about solving issues facing billions of people worldwide who currently fall in the “unbanked” category.
“Our focus on the unbanked is something we are increasingly experimenting with. It boils down to figuring out how to extend bank infrastructural capability to people who are outside of the traditional space. It also involves making it affordable for financial institutions to increase their reach utilizing digital infrastructure.”
Spoke says that the basic premise involves opening up basic financial access in the forms of lending, credit and mortgages off of blockchain systems, essentially automating the process. He points out that one of the biggest expenses in addition to brick-and-mortar infrastructure is staff onboarding to review the applications of the clients. A key factor is the extent to which it can be automated and made autonomously intelligent in a blockchain smart contract for things like lending applications.
Spoke says that he and his team are also looking to establish a footprint with modern energy grids in a way that will bring about new levels of efficiency by autonomously trading electricity amongst all of its users in real time.
Blockchain as a Tool for Transparency
Spoke also believes that from a regulatory perspective, blockchain technology will offer better tools for regulators to more effectively do their jobs because of access to real-time information. He also sees it as a way to counter corruption.
“We’re going to prove that there is a right way to track information and transactions to create immutable records of truth. And once we get there, there won’t be any going backward because a new standard of proof will have been established — one that will permeate through every digital system moving forward.”
Spoke believes that blockchain technology’s ability to achieve consensus among interacting parties without utilizing a centralized authority model is a particularly big breakthrough, with far-reaching implications in a multitude of domains.
He credits his team of advisors, which includes Ethereum mastermind Vitalik Buterin and blockchain thought leader Alex Tapscott, as pivotal to Nuco remaining on track relative to its progression in this space.
“Vitalik of course has led the efforts to shape the Ethereum for Enterprise ecosystem. His knowledge of our product roadmap helps The Ethereum Foundation to collaborate and deliver on enterprise-centric features that will benefit Nuco’s platform and offerings. It also enables us to leverage on Ethereum’s vast user and developer base.
“And Alex, as a globally recognized thought leader on blockchain tech and the co-author of the bestselling book ‘Blockchain Revolution,’ has been great about raising awareness on blockchain [technology] and Nuco, thus expanding our global exposure.”
In terms of emerging trends for the enterprise blockchain space over the next 12 to 18 months, Spoke cited three:
1. The development of dApps (decentralized applications) on public networks.
2. Increased investments and implementations within the blockchain space, with many companies building prototypes and proof-of-concepts (POCs) to integrate with existing legacy systems.
3. The shaping of open standards focused on legal and regulatory compliance.
Spoke said that while markets are generally in agreement on blockchain technology playing a major enterprise-related role in the years ahead, technology has just come out of its inception stage.
“We are starting to witness the first hints of solutions getting closer to production. Seeing some traditional companies convert their status quo business models onto a blockchain system is going to be a step forward. I believe that we’ll see more and more of this as 2017 progresses.”