Computer geek and serial entrepreneur David Moskowitz, who is the CEO and Co-Founder of Attores – a company championing Smart Contracts-as-a-Service – is super passionate about the potential of blockchain in changing how things works in future.
Tell me a little bit about yourself.
I’ve always had an interest in tech and computers- When I was 10 (1982) I wrote my first program in basic on a PET computer, the only computer in our elementary school. Fast forward to 2007 when I had started a website to help people set up membership/subscription sites online while living in Japan. That brought me to Singapore in 2009, when I put the business into a corporate entity.
In 2013 I became deeply involved with Bitcoin and cryptocurrency scene. I started a brokering service for people in Singapore to buy and sell bitcoin called Coin Republic- which I subsequently sold in 2015.
I continued to do bitcoin/blockchain consulting under a new company in 2015 called Attores. That’s when I met my co-founder Gaurang Torvekar, and we began discussing what the future would look like, what problems we could solve and how blockchain would be a part of that.
What is your business venture about?
We are helping businesses digitize existing processes or create new opportunities with digitization and blockchain. Attores allows you to move from paper issuance of certificates, licenses, and accreditations, digitize them, and securely place them on the blockchain. This allows for a drastic cost savings to the issuer in both time spent producing the certificates, and in having to do manual checks on incoming verifications. Since the certificates are on the blockchain, the issuance can be cryptographically proven to have been issued by the institution at a specific time- eliminating fraudulent certificates. It allows the receiver to securely share their certificates.
We also enable associations and societies to use the technology to create ‘membership badges’, which allows members to place badges on their websites to show their membership in the organizations. This is a way to create value for the associations members, and a link back to the associations website.
What is your mission at the outset?
To make is easy for industries to utilize the power of blockchain.
How did you get your idea or concept for the business?
We saw that it was difficult for people in various industries to create smart contracts. An easy to use interface to create, deploy and interact with smart contracts was needed in financial and other markets. With that, we developed a series of smart contract templates for writing swaps and forwards for digital assets on the Ethereum blockchain. We then began looking at wider use cases for this and saw that there was a pain point with fraudulent certificates for schools and employers.
What have been the biggest obstacles?
The move to digitization is difficult for middle management. It requires that they may have to increase their own workload in the short term as the digital initiatives run alongside their traditional workflows initially.
If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?
Finding a hungry market with a pain point and developing a product that solves that pain is the most important thing. If you are just out of school, just f-in do it! You have little to lose, have high energy and fearlessness.
Singapore has many grants and startup programs for locals starting new businesses. You hopefully haven’t been ‘institutionalized’ yet into thinking things can’t change or can only change with the help of the incumbents. Do something truly disruptive that will benefit society at large, without concern for the existing structures.
For older workers, you have domain knowledge and networks- this is extremely valuable. Do you see any big problems in your industry that you can solve? Test your hypothesis, get an early customer with your network, build a well rounded team of business and tech, develop a business plan, a powerful go to market strategy and shoot for the moon!
Who is your biggest inspiration or drive to do what you are doing?
I love being part of an industry and technology which will be so instrumental in changing the way things will work in the future. When I’m older and looking back, I want to be able to say to myself, I was a part of that revolution.
Hock Lai has 18 years of experience in the financial industry, having performed roles in both business and technology. He graduated from the National University of Singapore (Real Estate), Nanyang Technological University (Infocomm Technology) and Nanyang Polytechnic (Fund Management & Administration).
He is also a Fellow of the Singapore University of Social Science, advisor to FinTech Startups and mentor to student FinTech projects.
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