Chain-Finance had the opportunity to ask Professor Michael Mainelli, Executive Chairman of Z/Yen, some questions about the London group’s blockchain technology joint venture with the Channel Island of Alderney.
Is the MetroGnomo ledger a Z/Yen project and is Z/Yen the timestamping service provider?
MetroGnomo is a Z/Yen project, but if you wanted to list MetroGnomo separately under the States of Alderney and ChainZy under Z/Yen, that might help make things clearer, but MetroGnomo is a joint venture of Z/Yen and the States of Alderney. It’s a demo, as Alderney note - Alderney Press Release on Blockchain Trial - “Alderney seeks to become the leading centre for regulation and standards for mutual distributed ledgers.” – that they have stated they will run for five years to provide confidence.
Can you provide further technical details on the MetroGnomo ledger - for example what consensus system is used?
It’s not a consensus system, it’s a woven broadcasting approach. For timestamping this means that there is an irrefutable evidence trail but no need for ‘mining’.
You mention a utility for insurance: “These range from an insurance company coordinating the provision of products between counterparties in real time at low cost” is there a real problem of proving when something occurred that is particular to the insurance market as opposed to say other financial markets?
You’re right that proof of time is rife throughout financial services, it’s just that for us insurance is easier to work with. It’s behind in automation and our MDLs allow it to leapfrog – insurance is to Africa as our MDLs are to mPesa.
Outside of pricing, how does MetroGnomo compare with Factom or Tierion?
Not really tracking Factom or Tierion so can’t really say. I think the big difference is that our ChainZy software suite - http://www.zyen.com/what-we-do/1615-chainzy.html - is able to build multiple ledgers interacting extremely swiftly (there are actually five different MetroGnomos looking like one) and very cheaply, about six or seven orders of magnitude cheaper per transaction than Bitcoin or Ethereum. We have built many many MDLs over 20 years, probably 200 or so, though only about 50 worth taking beyond proof of concept. That said, 50 is a lot more than anybody else I’ve heard of.
Professor Michael Mainelli will be speaking at the 18 May 2016 Chain-Finance event covering blockchain technology in the insurance industry.