California-based startups BCware and Synadia have teamed with Germany-based BCC Group to launch Web3Link, an online platform that offers smart contract services to financial services companies.
Web3Link allows clients to quickly offer a wide range of services based on blockchain technologies and integrated with legacy enterprise applications. The partnership claims that its approach allows off-chain integration with blockchain-type technologies.
The founding teams of the startups have much in common -- nearly all used to work at Tibco Software -- a veteran Silicon Valley company that started life by providing real-time data services to Wall Street companies. To some degree, the Web3Link companies are recreating Tibco but using modern technologies, which are decentralized and based on blockchain concepts.
"We know how to talk to financial services companies; we understand the 'off-chain' world, but other startups coming from the blockchain world don't understand the needs of financial organizations and have trouble communicating," said Tugrul Firatli, BCware founder and CEO.
The trinity of companies behind Web3Link has managed to combine BCware's blockchain agnostic technologies with BCC Group's data services, running on Synadia's low-latency enterprise communications technologies. It's a best-of-breed approach that enables the creation of smart contracts which also interface with existing enterprise apps and IT architectures.
The Web3Link platform is designed to enable client companies to quickly enter rapidly growing digital asset marketplaces, including exotic and somewhat controversial digital products such as Non-fungible Tokens (NFTs). Some NFTs have sold for tens of millions of dollars.
Smart contracts have been available on the Ethereum blockchain platform for several years. But Firatli and his colleagues at BCC and Synadia see there is demand for smart contract capabilities across multiple platforms yet also integrated with current IT systems.
"It's important to be blockchain agnostic because then you can transfer digital assets more easily, and that helps grow markets," says Firatli. For example, markets for NFTs are growing rapidly and have reached a size that attracts larger financial services companies interested in offering related management services. By being agnostic, BCware has a larger potential market, and its clients are also somewhat protected from any big changes in the sector.
The Web3 Link platform can be used to create applications that are abstracted from underlying blockchain or other technologies yet can interface with current IT applications. This offers a future-proof approach to software development that cuts costs over time.
Cloud IT giants such as Amazon are gradually adding blockchain-related services, but BCware is not concerned. It believes that Web3Link can offer premium-level services that cannot be matched by the mainstream cloud IT vendors who are interested in commodity technologies for mass markets rather than serving specific industries with specialist needs.
The key to success, according to Firatli, is knowing the financial services industry and how it has developed and grown over several decades. "I am very grateful to have assembled some of the greatest minds I have worked with at Tibco at all levels," he said.
David Bressler, Customer Success at BCware, said, "At BCware, we live and breathe blockchain and DeFi [Decentralized Finance] every day. We're going to be better at it, and our products are going to be better able to meet the demanding needs of the financial services market."
Even though Wall Street firms have formidable in-house IT capabilities, platforms such as Web3Link will allow them to test out innovative services quickly and then scale them rapidly if they show promise. Provisioning such capabilities in-house would take a lot longer.