Meet our Blockchain Expert

Our blockchain expert, Dr Stephane Savanah, talks about his experience at the forefront of research and development in blockchain technology and how it has influenced his new series of blockchain masterclasses.

  • 15th June 2018
  • Author: Petrina Joseph

Meet Dr Stephane Savanah, an expert at the forefront of blockchain technology, who is delivering Blockchain Masterclass courses in 2018.

“We’re standing at a crossroads, really, when it comes to blockchain technology. We’re going to see a lot more banks adopting the technology - but whether they use it appropriately or efficiently, that remains to be seen.”

That’s the opinion of Dr Stephane Savanah, who has been at the forefront of innovation and development of blockchain technology for the past five years. Stephane’s insight into the industry certainly corroborates our own findings in this year’s Change Perspective, which highlighted the uncertainty of major banks in the UK when it comes to blockchain technology. The many opportunities that blockchain represents are starting to gather pace, however a solid understanding of the fundamentals are essential before organisations begin developing their own strategy.

That’s why, together with Dr Stephane Savanah, we have developed a Blockchain Masterclass, aimed at decision makers and CTOs in the banking sector, to help prepare them and equip them with the tools to properly assess the value of blockchain adoption. So, read on to find out more about Dr Savanah and what you will acquire during his Blockchain Masterclass.

Dr Stephane, please could you tell us a bit about your background and experience?

“My 35-year career has been primarily focused in capital markets, where I have nearly 20 years of experience with some of the largest banks in the world. During my time with Morgan Stanley, I worked from many of their major global offices, spending time in New York, London, Tokyo and Sydney. I also worked for JPMorgan Chase, operating from their Sydney office.”

What were those roles and some of your responsibilities?

“They covered the major areas of IT, including software development, infrastructure, and production support. Those roles increased in responsibility over the years, from hands-on development to team and department leadership. I worked on a whole range of financial applications for capital markets, including front-end trading systems and back-end settlement systems. Later in my career, an opportunity presented itself to work in cryptography and blockchain technology, which is where I began to develop my own expertise in the field.”

That brings us on to our next question - how long have you been working with blockchain technology?

That brings us on to our next question - how long have you been working with blockchain technology?

Tell us about those - it must have required a very high level of technical expertise to formulate such complex inventions.

“You could say that. As well as creating the specific designs I wrote detailed source papers for patent applications. While I was working at nChain I was named co-inventor on 57 patent applications. Our inventions related to a whole series of use cases for blockchain technology but some of the underlying techniques include tokenisation, self-enforcing (or ‘smart’) contracts, and programmatic transactions. Those are some of the extended possibilities for blockchain technology beyond its utility as a payment system, which I also touch upon in the Masterclass.”

Finally, do you think the banking sector is fully utilising blockchain technology?

“I think it’s fair to say that ‘no’ is the answer to that question. We’re standing at a crossroads, really, when it comes to blockchain technology. We’re going to see a lot more banks adopting the technology - but whether they use it appropriately or efficiently, that remains to be seen. There’s a real danger that inappropriate use of the blockchain could cost banks untold sums of money. It’s really important that, before making multi-million dollar decisions, there is a fundamental understanding of what the technology is actually capable of; the benefits but also the overheads and unfit uses.

People need to go into this with their eyes open. With the best will in the world, it’s not wise to make potentially costly decisions based on effusive recommendations from people with only a cursory understanding of the topic. That’s what these Masterclasses set out to do - to empower decision makers and technology officers with a good grounding so they can shape their own strategies and make informed decisions as to where the real opportunities exist.”

If you’d like to find out more about our one-day Blockchain Masterclass, or to enquire about Dr Stephane Savanah delivering an in-house session for your technology team, email info@bishopsgate-financial.com or call us on +44 (0) 207 448 3000.