SPEAKER INTERVIEW - Pindar Wong
Can you give an overview of your conference topic/session?
There are two goals really. The first is to provide an accessible mental model of blockchain technology and the value proposition by comparing it with the Internet. Specifically, how the Internet enabled to lower the cost of data crossing international boundaries and, by comparison, how blockchain technology lowers the cost of establishing and crossing trust boundaries -- such as those involved with cross-border trade.
Taking legal and regulatory friction out of the international system will be important, especially for the Belt and Road and hence I will focus on the benefits of the Belt and Road Blockchain in building out the soft-infrastructure for the BRI.
Why is this an important topic to discuss?
Blockchain is an important topic to discuss because the technology is moving from proof-of-concept to deployed systems. China's Belt and Road Initiative is a very special opportunity to deploy new global trade infrastructure and Hong Kong's experience with digital methods complements existing plans and will help drive digital efficiencies for the benefit of all. Thus is helps meet one of the 5 main aims of the BRI.
What can attendees expect to learn and discover from your session?
They can expect to have a minimal idea of why Blockchain is important and how it applies to the Belt and Road Initiative. Through my two session I hope that they will take action to deploy the digital identifiers both for their smart companies and their smart containers.
What do you think is the biggest issue being faced / discussed in your industry at the moment?
The lack of scale i.e. the lack of large scale deployments of the technology. In other words going from small scale proto-types to full fledged, complex working systems. It is my hope that providing such inputs will help frame how the next generation of e-ports will both be designed but also managed in a seamless 24x7 way.
What is the biggest lesson you learned in 2017?
Time does not scale
What do you think the biggest challenge for the industry will be in 2018?
To learn to pick one, common problem, that they can all work on. I will be proposing that we all work on an open standard for blockchain-aware smart container locks. These kinds of locks, more advance form of Hong Kong's e-locks will help minimize dwell and cross-border custom's inspection times, thus saving time and money, whilst providing legal certainty, for all.
What innovative measures should the industry adopt in the next few years to ensure market sustainability and growth?
My main suggestion would be to first work on providing a blockchain digital identity for all parties involved in intermodal shipping (blockchain enables you to self-administer such identifiers in a decentralized way). Thus, knowing which are your counter parties is a very powerful means to kick-start new digital technologies. China has an opportunity to work together with other nations to build this new standard using blockchain for the Belt and Road. Hence that is why the Belt and Road Blockchain, which I architected, is important.
Why do you think events like Intermodal Asia are important for the industry?
You have the convening power to bring the right people, with the right ideas, at the right time, to the right place ... to get the right result. Not many events can do that and that is why Intermodal Asia is important for the industry.