The speed of the NPP is often touted as the infrastructure’s standout benefit. But the Platform’s ability to enable significant business automation is also a major opportunity, in particular the ‘chaining together’ of actions.
Block8 is a tech company using the NPP to combine fast payments with blockchain to create new products and services. The company’s CTO Sam Brooks says they have partnered with myStake — an equity management, compliance and share register platform that digitises assets on a blockchain — to develop a service that enables shareholders to trade between each other with immediate settlement over the NPP.
“This is the first use of the NPP within Block8’s portfolio where we have used smart contracts to enable an immediate, cash-based payment alternative for transacting private equities,” said Sam.
Sam says the NPP can breathe life into the concept of programmable money through smart contracts
“Block8 has several other fiat-to-smart-contract software patterns that we deploy on various distributed ledger technology use–cases for our customers. These patterns are designed to integrate the movement of cash with the execution of smart contracts, typically falling under either ‘settlement’ or ‘satisfying payment obligations’ use-cases,” he said.
While some industry observers may see the NPP and fiat currencies as competitors, Sam believes the NPP could instead be used to enable Australia’s existing currency and financial services infrastructure to advance in line with blockchain’s own ongoing ‘maturity’ and evolution.
“The capabilities of the NPP could certainly help to keep fiat relevant in a space where some technologists feel that government-issued currencies are politically and technologically inferior to cryptocurrencies.
“For example, we’ve seen some interesting moves by Facebook recently and there’s little doubt in my mind that Libra’s financial services will be quickly superior to, for example, the existing financial infrastructure available to millions in parts of Africa; users which already comprise a large segment of Facebook’s user base.
“The NPP can breathe life into the concept of programmable money by using smart contracts hooked up to programmatic pushes and pulls between BSBs and account numbers. This could mean we avoid ’tokenising fiat’ in order to program it (like what Facebook has done). The point is that if fiat money technology leaves a tech vacuum, blockchain will seek to fill it,” said Sam.