Interview with Credits CEO & Co-Founder, Nick Williamson

Cecile Baird

1. Blockchain has been 2015’s most hyped-up word in tech. Do you think there is any substance to this?

With the hype and recent increase in mainstream media coverage, there have been a lot of people jumping on the blockchain bandwagon. This has led to a large amount of noise as companies, both small and large, are trying to figure out how blockchain technology might benefit them.

Behind the hype, there have been a number of projects quietly building value and developing meaningful technology.  These are now starting to surface as the industry moves past the most euphoric stage of the hype cycle.

This has led to an interesting mix of large companies collaborating with start-ups and smaller players to explore how blockchain might help them streamline and modernize their operations or allow them to offer new, compelling services.

2. With all the hype, why should Credits be singled out?

At this point, everyone knows businesses are actively looking to figure out what opportunities blockchain platforms present.  Further to this, they are looking for  blockchain platforms that have the ability to integrate with legacy infrastructure and handle the needs of the enterprise.

As a result, we are building Credits to complement real-world infrastructure so we can integrate and augment a company’s existing capabilities, without requiring a complete change of how they operate.

A private blockchain enables you to selectively limit access to private information so only authorised people can see it, while allowing everyone who is authorised to query the same data on a restricted basis.  This makes it very useful for industries where there are different levels of data access, and privacy comes as a fundamental requirement.

Finally, our platform has been built specifically for the scale and reliability needed in an enterprise environment.  It can process high volumes at near real-time speeds, allowing it to be used in applications where time and volume of transactions are vital considerations.

3. So is it just about the technology?

While technology is certainly important, it takes more than that to run a successful business.

A lot of start-ups don’t succeed not because of their technology, but because they don’t find a product-market fit. This is why we have assembled a team that has real-world experience at the highest levels of their respective fields. Our management team is composed of a mix of technology experts and senior business executives from the financial sector. We also have an advisory board of subject matter experts which has helped us gain great industry access, generate mindshare, and most importantly, engage with our target customers within the relatively short period of time our company has been in existence.

4. What problems do Credits help solve?

Credits is great in situations where managing trust is a challenge.  This could be associated with determining provenance of data, validating identity, or reconciling information between siloed systems. These are challenges that are faced by many industries – from corporations dealing in luxury goods, food and entertainment, to financial institutions and governments.

We’re looking at many potential use cases, ranging from how a Credits blockchain could be used in establishing trust in the provenance of a commodity being traded to introducing trust over the internet in the Know Your Customer process to streamlining payments networks.  The potential applications you could build on a Credits blockchain are many, it’s just a matter of finding the use cases that are appropriate to the pros, cons, and trade-offs that come with putting your service on a blockchain.

5. Why have you chosen to build an infrastructure company rather than focus on a specific blockchain application?

When people think of blockchain, they often think of Bitcoin and other digital currencies. While these currently capture a significant amount of interest, we are seeing blockchains being used in an ever-broadening range of applications. The Credits infrastructure has been established with an ever-broadening set of potential applications as we have been diligently exploring focused use cases internally and externally to find where our technology may be the right fit.

By transitioning to provide the infrastructure, not the individual application, we are positioned to enable these use cases to co-exist together and interact with each other as the ecosystem grows.

Finally, as an infrastructure provider, we can also partner with enterprise developers who have the expertise and capability to work in many different industries, not limiting our reach to the domains that we both understand and have bandwidth to pursue ourselves.

6. Who has Credits been working with?

We have announced our work with the Isle of Man government on initiatives such as the first government run service on the blockchain. We’re also working with the Isle of Man on a federated KYC project that we will be tested in the Isle of Man and later expand to larger jurisdictions as we prove out the technology in a real world environment.  

We have additionally been working with two of the three large European Central Securities Depositories (CSDs) on projects involving both clearing and settlement and securities reference data, and we will soon be releasing details of our work with one of the largest technology vendors in pursuit of open standards around blockchain technology.

While we have been working with some exciting partners, and we have quite a few projects in the pipeline with them and others, we aren’t yet able to speak too freely about much of what we’ve been working on to date.

7. What’s next for Credits?

We are only a couple months away from launching our official Partners Program. This will open up our platform to developers & start-ups as well as established businesses looking to build blockchain applications.  We will be equipping our partners to build on the Credits Framework by providing the right tools and support, so that they can easily develop and deploy their own applications.

We will soon be launching with an initial list of 10-20 companies and start growing our ecosystem from there. This list will be a mix of technology providers, start-ups, and companies in the financial services space.

Shortly following the launch of that program, we will be launching a cloud SaaS offering on one of the major cloud providers by the end of Q1 2016, allowing for much greater access to the tools we have been building to enable real business value to be created on blockchain technology.

We have been self-funded so far, and we now are in the middle of our first fundraising round which we are looking to close in January 2016.

8. How can we participate in Credits' potential?

Contact [email protected]




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