Quant provides blockchain interoperability solutions to LACChain, a pan-regional blockchain initiative in Latin America and the Caribbean that fosters financial inclusion, sustainability and creates new efficiencies through digitisation.
Three years ago, the IDB Lab, the innovation laboratory of the Inter-American Development Group, set up LACChain, a pan-regional blockchain programme across 12 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. This initiative uses distributed ledger technology to create sustainable solutions to the region’s most pressing economic and social issues.
Formed by a consortium of Latin American and Caribbean participants: private companies, universities and governments, LACChain’s governance model respects the sovereignty of individual countries. Its architecture, a public-permissioned network on the Hyperledger Besu network, offers a state-of-the-art technology platform for the entire region.
LACChain was born out of the idea that blockchain technology can solve big challenges faced by societies. DLT applications have the potential to vastly increase financial inclusion, improve the sustainability of supply chains, protect intellectual property, reduce fraud and support democratic processes.
Preventing technology silos
We began working with LACChain in 2021 by providing interoperability solutions. Gilbert Verdian, Quant’s CEO and Founder, explains: “through our Overledger gateway, we enable participants to connect their private, public and permissioned blockchains to LACChain. Networks and DLTs that were once siloed can now interact.”
Our solution brings new possibilities and efficiencies to consumers, institutions and businesses. We developed smart contracts and tokenised money through our APIs; these transact between LACChain participants on different networks, facilitating a range of use cases in payments and banking, including:
- Stablecoin, programmeable currency that can be fiat-backed for interbank payments and reconciliation with ATM networks to create systemic efficiencies.
- Remittance solutions using stablecoin to instantly move money across borders. This can help itinerant workers send money to their home countries, cheaper and faster.
- Wholesale stablecoin and account-management functionality for banks, credit unions and other financial institutions to set up consumer or business bank accounts. Additionally, institutions can conduct anti-money laundering and know your customer checks, add primary and secondary account owners. They can also establish batch payments, account freezing and whitelisting, and initiate complex payment workflows, including escrow functionality and four-eyes or six-eyes approvals.
The impact of Quant’s work with LACChain
The technological impact of DLTs has been profound. As of June 2021, LACChain reports* that 1.6m people have directly benefitted from its services.
The ability to ‘leapfrog’ legacy technology using DLTs has been a chief benefit. In Northern Europe, for example, monetary transactions are largely cashless. There, consumers pay using digitised bank cards and wallets such as Apple Pay, GooglePay and Paypal. Other regions with less access to these services, can use DLTs and stablecoins that run on this technology to open new possibilities for payments.
“Moving to blockchain-based payments and using networks like LACChain can be vastly cheaper and more efficient than re-engineering older payments infrastructure,” says Gilbert.
Much progress has been made already. “It’s been more than a year since we started an ambitious line of work with Quant to enable a solution for tokenised money on LACChain,” says Marcos Allende Lopez, LACChain Technical Leader. “As a committed partner, they’ve brought exceptional expertise and technical proficiency to the project.”
As if connecting 12 countries isn’t enough, Quant and LACChain have a larger vision to connect to other regional DLT ecosystems in America, Europe, Asia and Africa. “We’re beginning to see regional trade networks already,” Gilbert adds, but Quant wants to see a time when all these closed-loop ecosystems are connected in one big global trading network. Blockchain technology is still nascent. As more companies, institutions and governments embrace it, its potential can be fully realised.
* A. Vegezzi, Singapore Fintech Festival, June 2021
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