Easier Blockchain App Creation Is Proxeus Goal

Proxeus is a workflow engine and document generator for creating blockchain applications. Winner of the 2018 Swiss FinTech Early Stage Award, Proxeus allows users to develop solutions by inputting information and building workflows without the need to learn a new programming language.

The company was founded in 2015 and over the last two years  has been testing its tool with trade finance, tokenization of assets, and legal & compliance companies.

Proxeus has successfully raised $25M as a part of their ICO. CEO Antonine Verdon talked with Block Tribune about the company plans.      

BLOCK TRIBUNE: Walk me through how this works for a company that wants to get on the blockchain.

ANTOINE VERDON: Using Proxeus, we tried to build a system ahead of its time. Twenty years ago, when you wanted to create a website, you had to open a blank page, and try to write in HTML code. Then, when Patrick and I met a couple of years ago, werealized that blockchain is pretty much at the same stage today. If you want to create a blockchain application, then you won’t create a new blockchain, but everything that comes on top of the blockchain must be programmed manually.

And for that you need experts, you need long-time commitment and budget. We tried to solve that by looking at what makes almost all blockchain applications, what they all have in common. I think they all have in common a set of workflows and documents at their core, and that’s what we created with Proxeus. It’s a toolbox that allows you to create this blockchain application, so we can teach where you put on the blockchain. You can recreate your business workflows, connect them to smart contracts, and then on top, put your own design to start serving your customers with a new blockchain competitive approach.

BLOCK TRIBUNE: So if somebody who’s technically adept comes there, they can find all the tools they need to get a blockchain app created?

ANTOINE VERDON:  Yeah, anyone can create a blockchain application using our tool without knowing how to program without writing advanced code.

BLOCK TRIBUNE: Okay. So the goals for this are what, specifically? To create one-stop shopping for blockchain? 

ANTOINE VERDON: The goals are to make easier for organizations to start choosing blockchain. Currently the entry barrier is quite high, and they don’t know where to start, or they take all this time creating the applications, and we allow them to very quickly get the project back together just by using taking advantage of blockchain. And we’ve been working with a series of companies in different fields, in trade finance … We’ve been working with a contemporary arts fair, helping them organize the assets. We are currently working with Switzerland, helping them improve the company creation process. And in each case, we start by looking at the current business workflows they are using. We recreate those workflows using our tool, and so can we see if it is a workflow engine and document generator, or instead of choosing Word Documents and SAP … you start creating workflows and creating input forms, so that the users can input their information, and that’s the basis for their blockchain system.

BLOCK TRIBUNE: Now, compliance is a huge issue, particularly here in the United States right now. Is there any tool in there that will assure that what you’re creating is compliant, or is that up to the individual?

ANTOINE VERDON: Compliance is not an issue using our tool, because all you do is transfer the current processes you have and make them compatible with the blockchain ecosystem. Then, of course, once you are active on the blockchain, if you use cryptocurrencies, if you’re writing to create your own token, then you must make sure that you follow the different tools, but blockchain, we think, brings a lot and helps companies improve their business processes without requiring them to create then their own cryptocurrencies.

The current project we have now with Switzerland, where we help them improve their company incorporation process, the use of blockchain we make there is simply to, with the help of the smart contract, accelerate the company incorporation process by breaking the sequence that previously existed. Previously when you wanted to create a company in Switzerland, you had to go to a lawyer, then to a notary, then to a bank to get the capital payment confirmation, then back to the notary, and then to the company register, and you had to wait that every one of those actors had finished his job before going to the next one. And that was the reason why Switzerland was listed on place 56 worldwide, according to the World Academy Experiment.

What we do is with the smart contract we say … we changed the way that works, and you as an entrepreneur, you incorporate your own company in the public register. Just because it’s a smart contract, some conditions are pending, so the notary must come and say, ‘Yes, the purpose of the company is correct,’ the bank must come and say, ‘Yes, the capital has been paid in,’ but with the smart contract, you can see there’s a list of check boxes and conditions that need to be filled, and it changes the whole way people work without going into [inaudible 00:06:03] where you had your own tokens and cryptocurrencies, which is by using smart contracts you can accelerate a lot of processes.

BLOCK TRIBUNE:  What are the revenue streams for your company?

ANTOINE VERDON: We are creating a decentralized ecosystem with Proxeus. Proxeus will not have direct revenues. We are making possible for people using our system as revenues making their workflows available to others. We did an ICO a couple of weeks ago. They’re talking about launch beginning of February, and it’s a utility token. It’s budgeted like a crowdfunding project, where if money has been paid in… so that is on the promise to create this ecosystem, and it will be spent to deliver the ecosystem to the community. And then in order to make the ecosystem known and show how Proxeus can be used, we are working with a couple of industry leaders to create examples how the technology can be used. And then on this basis, for-profit companies will be able to come, and just like you have with WordPress, you have WordPress.org and WordPress.com, you’ll have the possibility to create hosted services and to offer business services based on this free and open-source ecosystem in the future.

BLOCK TRIBUNE:  Just on the macro level, what do you see as the barriers for blockchain growth beyond creating the actual apps based off it?  

ANTOINE VERDON: I think the main barrier is educational. If we talk about cryptocurrencies, there is now a lot of regulatory barriers, but as mentioned before, I think blockchain can be used outside of cryptocurrencies, just by using smart contracts to improve the way business processes work, but there is a lot of education effort to be made so that people move away from centralized application thinking to decentralized one, and explain how to be active as a company. This new decentralized framework brought by blockchain … or about creating a whole system where every actor is involved in new proprietary technology, but it’s about how blockchain can be used as a layer to help proprietary systems communicate with one another, and I think understanding this and how to position your business in this context will be key for companies to start using blockchain.

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