Lykke Corp, the Swiss fintech company and builder of marketplaces for digital financial assets, today launched ‘The Open Initiative’, a project dedicated to helping governments envision the ways digital technology can transform the global supply chain and financial system in a post-COVID-19 economy.The Open Initiative aims to provide a minimum of CHF 50,000.00 (USD 51,300.00) for each selected proposal by individuals, teams and companies that are working to create solutions that address the crisis, while offering direct access and support for governments to benefit from newly developed solutions.
In an interview, I had a chance to speak with Richard Olsen, CEO and Founder of Lykke and J. Christopher Giancarlo, Senior Counsel at Willkie Farr and Gallagher and former Chairman of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission met this January at St. Moritz, Switzerland during the very private and exclusive Crypto Finance Conference. Realizing how they both similarly believed in the potential of digital technology to change the world with a new wave of the Internet that is taking place, it was decided a ‘call to action’ around the world was needed.
Giancarlo will serve as a Strategic Advisor to the Open Initiative. Giancarlo noted, ‘The COVID-19 crisis is a global crisis…[the Open Initiative] will rally the people around the globe to contribute to new technology in an open and guided way that projects a clear vision with what are the clear remedies, and how to contribute.”
Olsen noted how he has been fascinated that, “…we have such marvelous technology that we can communicate now across the globe with barely any effort at all but when we run society it is still so painful. Using a scientific-driven approach with new theories and explanations to drive the economy we can create a more seamless process. Lykke brings traditional finance to blockchain as a call to action. We will strike the iron while it is hot. We will be innovative and not just wait.’
Giancarlo noted that his leaning into the international nature of this is that, in the case of the dollar dollar and its benefits to the U.S. and the world, how do we apply blockchain technology for good?’ Blockchain offers precision, efficiency, and the low-friction aspects that with the Open Initiative, include the way it can benefit global supply chain, money transmissions and international payments. Giancarlo notes the, “beauty of this technology wave, by bringing digital precision to value, we are going to make it less costly to obtain these necessities of life.”
Olsen noted how COVID-19 has had such a horrific impact on GDP, with a revenue loss in the order of magnitude to 80 billion, which is 10 percent of the gdp, and this is up to 8 trillion dollars, without even counting the companies going bankrupt. Blockchain enables any asset or legal claim to have an alter ego on a digital token, where you can sell the whole token to a potential customer or a fraction of a token at close to zero cost.’
The Open Initiative is accepting proposals for four categories. First, a Digital Vouchers Platform for digitizing government initiatives for SMEs, the labor force, and more. Second, a Supply Chain Platform for leveraging the efficiency of financial market mechanisms to solve supply chain problems. Third, a Real-Time Economic Information System for aggregating and verifying relevant information for economic forecasts. Finally, Research Initiatives for contributing new approaches and ideas to the management of the current crisis and the development of useful solutions.
The process for submitting proposals will be open until July 3, 2020. Selected entries will be evaluated by a jury of government and industry leaders, and winners will be considered for future initiatives eligible for additional funding. A link to the new initiative is below.