Jeremy Almond: We have another product where most of the time when a payment that needs to be authorized goes beyond a certain amount, there are controls in place. Maybe your accounts payable clerk can pay bills under $10,000. For over $10,000, it needs to go to the controller.
Over $50,000, it needs to go to the treasury and CFO. One of the areas that we use Blockchain is for the sign off and approvals. We can keep track of all of the sign off records. Blockchain ensures that the person who’s signing off on the approval has not been tampered with. Those are two of the several ways that we use Blockchain in internal operations to improve our payment network.
Sramana Mitra: Let’s switch the line of questioning to the other topic, which is what are the broad trends that you see in your space? Where do you see open problems that you would encourage new entrepreneurs to start trying to solve and build companies around?
Jeremy Almond: One of the areas that we think where Blockchain will be fundamentally transformative is in core parts of our economy. We have this new thesis that Blockchain is the new cloud. What we mean by that is, cloud really was the enabling infrastructure that made the web real. At least, from a B2B perspective.
Sramana Mitra: Especially penetrating into the smaller businesses.
Jeremy Almond: Exactly. So when you start talking about getting to a million companies with a million dollars in revenue, cloud made it so much easier for you to start up a business. Blockchain is actually the next evolution of that where there are core parts of our infrastructure that are not digitally-enabled today.
These include banking, insurance, and a lot of traditional industries. Ultimately, Blockchain will be the next driving force. Just like if you were starting a company a decade ago and building a B2B SaaS company, you would naturally be building on cloud because cloud was a competitive advantage. If you’re an entrepreneur today and you’re building a B2B SaaS company, you should look really deeply at how what you’re building could be built with Blockchain.
Sramana Mitra: It’s interesting, what you said. If you were to build a B2B SaaS company with real deep defensibility at this stage, there are two trends that you need to take into account. One is Blockhain and the other is artificial intelligence. See where you can apply either trends.
Jeremy Almond: Those worlds haven’t met yet. One of the things we’re watching very closely is smart contracts. Blockchain allows you to create a smart contract which means you can automate some kind of a business rule or business logic. Contracts drive a lot of how we do business today.
Smart contract means that the actual agreement that we have can be auto-executed. That’s the Blockchain component. At some point, that automation that happens in the smart contract will be smart from an AI perspective. AI is the intelligence that will sit on top of what we believe is the infrastructure.
Sramana Mitra: Great! Thank you for your time.