Digital Wealth News is pleased to bring you our “Fintech Luminaries” series – featuring thought leaders within the blockchain and digital currency space. For the next feature in this series, we’d like you to meet Juan Hernandez, CEO of OpenFinance Network, which is a trading platform for alternative assets, including security tokens and other tokenized assets.
NAME: Juan Hernandez
COMPANY: OpenFinance Network
WEB ADDRESS: https://www.openfinance.io/
How did you personally become involved in blockchain?
We started exploring blockchain technology at the firm in 2016, when like any other financial exchange we started looking at it for clearing & settlement.
What does your firm do/offer within the blockchain sector?
The plan was always to leverage the strength of blockchain technology. We’ve been working on the blockchain-related development of the OFN platform for over a year. However, we’ve built relationships across the appropriate counterparties and raised funds in the traditional capital markets as well; we believe standard funding still has a place in innovation.
That said, we think it’s critical to practice what we preach. The clearest way for us to express our belief in the value and potential of blockchain technology is to actually use that technology to do a capital raise. This particular token distribution event is targeting a different kind of investor, giving them the opportunity to purchase future computing time on the most exclusive, next-generation platform ever created. Today, we’re one of the very few platforms to have fully supported a securities token trade.
What is your role within your firm and what do you do there on any given day?
I am the founder and CEO of OpenFinance Network. On a big-picture level, I am responsible for establishing strategic partnerships and business development. On a day-to-day level, I manage a talented team of developers who bring our most innovative products and solutions to life, and who ensure smooth transactions across all functions of our platform.
What area/s of blockchain do you believe will grow the most in the coming 5 years?
In the coming 5 years, I believe we will see the most growth from decentralized exchanges. OFN believes that the disintermediation of financial markets is to the benefit of the individual investor, so long as there is proper protection for the Average Joe/Jane.
Ultimately, we believe regulation is in place for the benefit of everyone.
What do you believe the next major innovation in financial technology will be and why?
I believe resolving the issue of custodianship will be the next major innovation in fintech. For too long, this issue has been a large barrier to the institutional players as they step into this burgeoning market. I believe we’ll see a lot more efficiency within the fintech space once this matter is resolved.
What are the biggest problems facing the blockchain industry in the future?
We believe there is a significant need to improve inefficiencies in the alternative security markets to meet the rising consumer demand and challenges of the emerging “crypto” alternative asset class.
What has been the biggest success in your firm to date?
OFN has certainly seen a lot of success already, but the greatest win to date was being the first to hit the market with a securities token trading platform.
What has been the biggest failure in your firm and how did you adapt?
Luckily we haven’t encountered any large failures to date. The biggest challenge, however, would probably be the slower adoption of blockchain technology across enterprise partners. We are meeting this challenge with adjusted messaging and a more strategic approach to the market in search of faster adoption across the board.
Which blockchain leader do you admire the most and why?
Anthony “Pomp” Pompliano. He’s someone that has been evangelizing the message of “Tokenize the World” for a long time, and we are big fans of his.
How do you feel consumers and businesses are adapting to the facet of blockchain that your company operates within?
Blockchain is here to stay. It’s not some passing fad that we’ll see dissolve or go away any time soon; it’s a serious piece of both capital and society, and we believe that consumers are slowly recognizing and adopting this technology as exactly that.
If you were to personally invest in just one blockchain firm (other than yours), which one would it be and why?
If I could go back in time, I would invest more into Ethereum.
A serial entrepreneur and business strategist with over 14 years of business technology and strategic management experience, Juan has built multiple startups including PeerRealty, Endurance Commerce, and the Pop Stock Exchange. Prior to entrepreneurship, Juan spent his career designing and developing financial exchange platforms, algorithmic trading systems and healthcare security networks.