George Kouzmov is a full stack developer in Portfolio Management Tools – Investment Risk team within the Aladdin Product Group. This team builds risk management products including firm-wide exposure & exception management tools across Issuer, Country, Counterparty, Liquidity, Enterprise and Investment risk classes. He is a part of the blockchain working group in BlackRock. George joined the company in August 2014 and studied Software Engineering at the University of Glasgow.
On 26th October, BlackRock hosted a tech meetup on Blockchain in London in collaboration with Enterprise Blockchain, a group that is focused on applications of this technology in Fintech.
The evening was kicked off with an introduction to the Blockchain Lab – a group of BlackRock employees familiar with Blockchain technology, and leading an initiative to explore how BlackRock can leverage its benefits. The primary goal of this group is to reach out to the business users, help identify use cases, and, develop proof of concept applications to enable wider understanding and knowledge of Blockchain technology.
Next, George – a member of the BlackRock Blockchain Lab – provided with an in-depth introduction to Blockchain, and outlined the three core concepts – distributed ledgers, consensus protocol and cryptography. He also highlighted one of the key features of Blockchain – a ledger that is shared, trusted and transactions are visible to everyone without any single point of control.
So how does it work? George outlined how Blockchain uses a “general agreement” between nodes – a consensus protocol, also, called a proof function – to validate the transactions. Next, he went into more detail on several proof functions such as proof of work, proof of stake, proof of elapsed time and hash signing with Round Robin. He, also, touched upon public versus private and permission-less versus permissioned ledgers. Finally, he summarized the anticipated benefits that Blockchain brings, and some use cases where they can be leveraged.
In the second part of the talk, George spoke about Multichain, which is a Blockchain platform providing support of multiple assets and permissions, simple set-up and easy to use API, and why the BlackRock Blockchain Lab has decided to research this particular Blockchain solution.