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Digital Asset: Functional Programming and Distributed Ledgers go Enterprise 🚀

Nick Maraj and Josh Gretton 8 March, 2018 (2 min read)


Digital Asset has become one of the world’s leading innovators in the distributed ledger space. Whilst the crypto and blockchain markets have hit the headlines, this fintech has quietly built something extraordinary.

Why do we care about another blockchain company?


Digital Asset has not built a blockchain, nor do they sit on any other existing blockchain infrastructure. They do not have a coin, any tokens or plan on doing an ICO. What they have taken are some of the more fundamental principles surrounding all this technology. Namely distributed ledger technology, then applied this to solve what is essentially a reconciliation problem, post trade within the financial markets. Existing settlement systems used in financial markets are costly, slow and prone to error.

What is post trade reconciliation, it sounds thrilling?


When a derivative is traded between two parties on a trading platform, a ticket is generated for both parties, which allows them to confirm this trade on both sides. This ticket adjusts according to the contract agreed in the trade, and it’s value changes accordingly. This duplicated ticket, involves multiple separate systems within each organization and requires independent calculations and confirmations between the two parties or via a third party (normally an exchange).

“This is a technology that enables institutions to do what they do already today using databases but a lot cheaper, a lot quicker, with far lower error rates, with less resulting risk and as a result with lower capital requirements and less vulnerability to cyber attacks.” - Blythe Masters, CEO


DAcombinedGif.gif.gif Source: Digital Asset

How can we be sure this is all legit?


With significant backing from Goldman Sachs, Jefferson River Capital, ASX, to name few, they have raised over $110M as of March 2018. This is investment that has been put to good use with the team growing by over 100 employees in just 2017. Plus some significant hires into the executive suite including their new CTO, Clyde Rodriguez from the systematic fund Two Sigma Investments. At the helm, CEO, Blythe Masters has been influential in the evolution of derivatives in financial markets, is now leading a movement to improve the way they are transacted.

So what has changed?


Digital Asset has moved from plucky startup, working on a proof of concept, to established commercial software provider. The announcement in December 2017, that the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) would be replacing their legacy CHESS system with Digital Asset’s distributed ledger solution, signalled the arrival of a major contributor to the space. This is a commercial implementation of the principles of Blockchain technology, in 3 years Digital Asset has proven the concept of distributed ledgers can work for Financial Services.

Their recent shift in technology hiring needs towards experienced enterprise software developers further highlights the scale at which their platform is now operating. The nature of the global traded derivatives market, and the complex financial data embedded means security and reliability are paramount. Therefore, the technical challenges being faced are starting to resemble those of Oracle, SAP and even Microsoft.

What does this mean for me?


If you have experience building and maintaining enterprise grade, distributed systems which are inherently secure and can recover gracefully from failure, this is a chance to leverage that experience in a new and exciting technology space. With the majority of the high-stakes risk phase behind them, Digital Asset can concentrate on dealing with rolling out fresh product lines for new as well as existing clients. This may well suit those who are curious about this technology but were not in a position to take a gamble on what was an unproven product up until now.

If you are interested in seeing how you could help contribute to Digital Asset’s mission then please explore the job listings below.

Roles at Digital Asset