Anonymous Handshake Explained

At the very core of our pandemic management solution, which goes live in Brazil in three weeks, is the principle that an one person’s data belongs exclusively to that person, and never leaves their possession. To this end, our solution has no database, no blockchain, no central data store of any kind with individual people’s data in it.

Once people get this core idea, their invariable next question is: if you don”t have a central database, how can you get anything done? The answer is a concept we call the anonymous handshake, for which we have a patent application in process. Here is a short video to explain how it works…



Finserv Experts Delivers DCEP Event in London

One of the most significant understandings that one acquires from working in financial inclusion for any length of time is that philanthropy doesn’t scale. In the long term, eradicating poverty will always come down to a single common denominator: enabling a pathway for people in the poorest parts of the world to become successful in their commercial endeavours. Any number of ideas have been put forward about how to enable that kind of success; research and experimentation have identified a few approaches that seem to work well – such as better education, improved infrastructure, or easier access to commercial credit – as well as many approaches that don’t seem to help at all.

But despite wave after wave of innovation, one of the most basic and fundamental barriers to commercial success for individuals and small companies remains in place, even in mature economies: it is difficult, complex, and in many cases simply not possible for small businesses to market their goods and services outside their own countries. Due to their economies of scale, larger enterprises are often able to invest in overcoming these obstacles, but small businesses and individuals don’t have access to the same level of resources.

The announcement of Libra by Facebook last year sparked considerable excitement in the financial inclusion community that Libra – or a similar global derivative currency like it – might actually provide a solution to this most intransigent of barriers to development and growth. Interest in Libra has since waned, largely due to some serious and well-founded doubts about whether Facebook would be a reliable custodian of the unprecedented quality and depth of data that would be accessible to someone who operated a global digital currency like Libra. But the fundamental idea remains sound, and no less exciting.

In the second half of last year my firm, Finserv Experts, was commissioned by a public sector client to help understand the impact of Libra better. In addition to the more typical literature review and quantitative analysis, we also endeavoured to tell the story of Libra’s potential in a more human story, and put forward a narrative of what access to a global market of buyers might mean to a woman whose employment was weaving blankets in Bangladesh. Cursory online inquiry revealed that the average earnings for someone making hand-woven blankets in Bangladesh was in the neighbourhood of USD $52 per month. Meanwhile, the average of the first twelve listings when doing a search on Etsy for woven blankets came to USD $69. In other words, if a weaver in Bangladesh were able to list and accept payment for her blankets to the rest of the world, she could double her earnings by selling only one blanket each month.

According to the World Bank, the number of people living in extreme poverty around the world fell over 70% between the advent of the internet and 2016. Allowing individuals and small business access to world markets could drive a similar level of change, not only in developing economies but for small enterprises in mature economies as well. The world may or may not be ready for a truly global basket-based currency like Libra, but central banks around the world are beginning to digitize their existing currencies, including the country with the single largest market of potential customers, China, via their recently announced DCEP initiative. And China has made it manifestly clear that one of the goals of DCEP is to make it accessible to companies operating outside China.

Because of this overwhelming potential to stimulate the commercial success of individuals and small businesses around the world by granting them access to the world’s largest market of buyers, Finserv Experts has elected to begin investing in the capability to help small businesses enable themselves to operate, access, and sell via DCEP.  The world’s largest enterprises will manage to connect to DCEP themselves, or engage some of the world’s large systems integrators to accomplish it. But smaller companies will need help doing this, and our aim is that Finserv Experts will be there to help them get it done.

To help the technical and finance community in the UK better understand what DCEP is and the impact it is going to have on the global financial community, Finserv Experts held a session on DCEP in London on the evening of 18 February.  This session was delivered by Kefirah Kang, our China-based delivery leader, and by Ewan Puckle Hobbs, our Singapore-based enterprise business architect.  The evening was hosted by Erica Stanford as part of the excellent London Crypto Curry series, and was attended by senior businesspeople and thought leaders from the UK and abroad.

You can download a copy of the slides via this link.



Finserv Experts establishes build capability, establihses an office in Hong Kong

Finserv Experts has provided advisory, solution architecture, and program leadership capabilities to help enterprises enable world-changing business models that could not have existed before.  To date though, we have always done this on behalf of our clients, using their own delivery resources or those of their business partners, and for some of our clients, this will continue to be their preferred way of engaging with us.  But we have now grown to the point where we are also able to provide actual solution delivery capaiblity ourselves, in addition to the advisory and leadership capabilities we already provide.

On 14 November 2019, Finserv Experts incorporated in Hong Kong.  Our Hong Kong office will directly support our Asian Clients, but it will also serve as the HQ of a solution dleivery capability based in mainland China.  This capability will be on line in February 2020, and is already planned to support two of our existing clients.

This represents a major milestone in our firm’s three year history. We are very proud to have come this far, and look forward to delivering even greater success for our clients going forward.



Areiel takes part in the launch of Pynk Tank Live

Pynk Tank — the social engagement platform that accompanies the wildly successful Pynk colloaborate investment platform — launched their live streamed show on Thursday 13 June, and invited Finserv Experts managing director Areiel Wolanow to take part in the festivities.

The inaugural show focused on blockchain for social good, and went out to over 4,000 viewers.  You can find a recording of the show on Pynk Tank’s Facebook page:

Emma McClarkin shines at EU election debates

Finserv Experts congratulates its Digital Transformation Ambassador @Emma McClarkin MEP for an outstanding performance in today’s debates. The ability to select your own leaders is a right denied most people in the world. Don’t take it for granted; we urge everyone living in the EU, regardless of which party they support, to go to the polls this Thursday and make your voice heard.

(photo from BBC)


Areiel Wolanow named LBCF Ambassador

Finserv Experts is  very pleased to announce that managing director Areiel Wolanow has been named as the Solutions and Business Models ambassador for the London Blockchain Foundation (LBCF). There are of course many blockchain groups in London, but in a very short few months LBCF has become the most influential and eminent. Like many such groups, LBCF hosts a regular series of events featuring key thought leaders. The LBCF events have been excellent, but this represents only a fraction of what the group is working on. LCBF members advise on DLT-related regulations, are active in Parliament’s working group on blockchain, and are working on partnerships with several notable blockchain-focused accelerators. Most exciting of all, Finserv Experts will be partnering with LBCF to facilitate full-bore blockchain solutioning workshops, in which the collective capability of the LBCF members is made available to people and companies who are looking to use blockchain to address not only business problems but social issues as well.  We are very excited to be working with LBCF to make a difference.

Finserv Experts welcomes Emma McClarkin MEP

Greetings all. I am delighted to announce that. Emma McClarkin MEP has agreed to join Finserv Experts as our Digital Transformation Ambassador. Emma has served for the past ten years as a U.K. representative in the European Parliament representing East Midlands. In this time she has earned a reputation for expertise in trade finance and intellectual property, and established herself as the Parlaiment’s leading expert on Blockchain. Emma and I have a fair bit in both serve on APPG Blockchain, and she delivered opening comments at the Parliamentary Blockchain Showcase where Charles Ayorinde, Vikas Kumar, and I demonstrated the DLT prototype commissioned by Lloyd’s of London on behalf of the LMTOM program. Finally, Emma and I have both authored chapters in Antony Welfare’s book on commercialising commercialising blockchain. Finserv Experts is a small firm, so we all wear a lot of hats, but Emma’s main role will be bringing the value that we can add to a completely new group of stakeholders and experts, which she will be doing this week at the Blockchain Summit in Dubai. We are thrilled to have Emma on board, and look forward to a successful and enjoyable partnership.

Areiel Wolanow to deliver keynote at Blockchain for Insurance Europe 2019

Greetings all,
I am pleased to announce that I have been invited to deliver the Day 2 Keynote for the Blockchain for Insurance Europe conference, 18-19 June in London. I will be discussing what the UK Government is doing to secure the UK’s global thought leadership in blockchain and DLT.
With its focus on real world solutions, this is going to be a thought-provoking and directly useful two days. The line-up of speakers that @Amy Radley and the rest of the team at Hanson-Wade have put together is truly impressive. See for yourselves: download a copy of the programme at
I hope you can join us, and look forward to seeing you there!