The recently released third episode of Chainlink’s new “The Future Is On” spotlight series features Westpac Banking Corporation’s Group Strategy Director, Eugene Zaid, who shared his perspective on how traditional financial institutions are finding opportunities in the blockchain and digital assets space.
Zaid said Westpac’s approach to blockchain as Australia’s oldest bank is uncovering new ways to create better futures for its customers, shareholders, and communities.
“What we think about blockchain is that it adds a lot of value, and not just by itself, but even more so when you combine it with other technologies such as digital identity, such as AI, such as data, and that’s where we believe it starts to shine,” he explained.
“Our strategy is about finding the right balance between the value proposition for our customers and the risks that we need to manage to keep it safe and secure.”
Uncovering key use cases that amplify Westpac’s existing business strategy is central to Zaid’s work.
“We view digital assets and the blockchain infrastructure as a supporting tool, as a way to be able to execute faster on the existing business strategies,” he said. We don’t view blockchain strategy, blockchain use cases, as a standalone thing.”
When it comes to the global financial system, Zaid believes universal blockchain interoperability standards are “hugely important” to avoid domestic silos.
“To enable this journey, to enable all the players to move at their own pace and ensure interoperability between what they’re doing, they need a standard,” he said. “We all need a standard or a set of standards for that to work. We need a framework that we can all refer back to, because without it, we will just build even more silos and we will create so much pain that we will spend a lot of time, a lot of money, trying to get out of.”
As illustrated by Swift’s recent proof of concept, Chainlink’s Cross-Chain Interoperability Protocol (CCIP) allows banks to transact with a wide range of private and public blockchains using their existing infrastructure. Zaid underscored the importance of blockchain technology that works with legacy systems.
“These systems, yes they may be legacy, they may be around for a while, but they are hardened; they’re battle-tested; they are solid and reliable,” he said. “What we’re looking for is to build blockchain-based solutions – to build them up to the same level of resilience and reliability and make them as solid as our proud legacy that we’re all reliant on. That’s our goal.”
Watch the third episode of “The Future Is On” featuring Westpac’s Eugene Zaid.