Digital Wealth News is pleased to bring you our “Fintech Luminaries” series – featuring thought leaders within the blockchain and digital currency space.  For the fourth feature in this series, we’d like you to meet Michael Petersohn, Co-Founder of ARC Financial Technologies, which is currently automating workflows in Foreign Exchange and Crypto Currency trading.

NAME: Michael Petersohn
TITLE: Co-Founder/Business Development and Sales
COMPANY: ARC Financial Technologies

How did you personally become involved in blockchain?

I started to follow developments in the blockchain and crypto currency markets when I was at CME Group. As Director of Intermediaries I was in a unique position to work on the internal Bitcoin committee and help to facilitate making the rounds to see a number of the early players and push for the acceptance of a futures product. I was very fortunate to work with some great innovators and thought leaders who have gone on to some amazing roles in the space.

What does your firm do/offer within the blockchain sector?

We are an ISV providing aggregation, execution, risk management and reporting services with capabilities in Crypto currencies, FX and Futures. ARCFinTech is a marriage of computer science, financial engineering, connectivity and market practitioners providing solutions for the financial community.

What is your role within your firm and what do you do there on any given day?

I engage with our potential customers ( Institutional and Retail Brokers as well as Buy Side end users) around our execution, match engine and connectivity solutions. As a former FX broker and salesperson, I work with our developers to understand the end needs of our clients and translate the nuance of the OTC brokerage community into practical solutions.
What area/s of blockchain do you believe will grow the most in the coming 5 years? External to the financial markets I keenly believe blockchain holds many solutions for the real estate sector.

Additionally I would like to see blockchain used to fix the archaic voting system we have in this country to ensure that everyone is properly represented.

What do you believe the next major innovation in financial technology will be and why?

My colleague has been expounding the virtues of Tokenization for financial services. The concept of offering real-time token creation and redemption with secure, transparent and auditable handling of the underlying assets feels inevitable.

What are the biggest problems facing the blockchain industry in the future?

I believe there are two answers to this although you asked for one! First and foremost is a dearth of regulation that by nature creates a risky environment that precludes more traditional financial services players from entering the space. True markets need true oversight.

Additionally, I believe that the environmental impact of mining is incredibly problematic.
What has been the biggest success in your firm to date? We have built a remarkably fast and resilient work flow engine for financial services. Our technology is completely modular and allows for n number of OMS to be supported by our EMS infrastructure. We currently support 1.2 million messages a second on our platform and are connected to the top crypto exchanges and prime brokers.

What has been the biggest failure in your firm and how did you adapt?

An alternative asset manager in the P2P space asked to have a platform built to support loan management. It was a great opportunity with an incredibly pedigreed group, but it took our focus off of staying true to pure Financial Services. We quickly refocused on our core services.

What blockchain leader do you admire the most and why?

From what I have read, IBM seems to be taking great strides in creating solutions for a number of industries. From food safety issues to inventory management I think they have uniquely embraced blockchain. I think we will see a lot out of Big Blue.

How do you feel consumers (or if more relevant for your firm – businesses) are adapting to the facet of blockchain that your company operates within?

The Retail space for investors has been super-hot for the last three years in the Crytpo space. By providing Wall Street grade solutions around execution and reporting with a global reach, we believe we are giving institutions comfort in being able to trade and manage risk in solutions that are familiar to them.

If you were to personally invest in just one blockchain firm (other than yours), which one would it be and why?

I am big fan of Ripple and their management. I believe their global payments infrastructure is a game changer and will help to speed the time of payments globally while greatly reducing costs. This is an example of where blockchian is doing exactly what it was designed to do. These solutions will be extremely beneficial to the underbanked.

Leveraging the power of the Interledger Protocol (ILP), the Ripple Solution offers a way to simplify and reduce the cost of developing inclusive payments platforms to connect customers, banks, small businesses and local governments that I believe will greatly accelerate growth and globalization in an inclusive way.

Michael Petersohn is a Co-Founder and Director of Sales & Business Development at Arc Fintech, which was founded on the philosophy that workflow automation is a fundamental building block of success to an organization.