The experts within FTI Technology’s Blockchain & Digital Assets Practice know the industry is so much more than cryptocurrency and tokens. The technology can be used to solve countless problems, increase transparency across legacy processes and enable meaningful automation. Managing Director Sam Davies is an engineer, software designer and innovator committed to building blockchain-based solutions that solve client challenges in creative and unexpected ways. He holds multiple patents in user interfaces for multimedia archives, audio analysis and emotion extraction from text. In this Q&A, Sam discusses his practice and his views of the future of blockchain.
Sam, will you start with sharing some highlights from your professional background?
I’ve spent the last 18-plus years working in research and development, engineering and analytics roles bringing emerging technologies and complex infrastructure applications into reality. This includes developing blockchain-based products, services, infrastructure and programs across a wide range of use cases.
I’ve also spent significant time working in software as a service (SaaS) and artificial intelligence, which are foundational to my approach to blockchain development. I was previously the Director of global blockchain product engineering at a Big Four firm, where I oversaw a large team of engineers and product developers. I’m very passionate about helping clients in manufacturing, technology, automotive, financial services and other industries successfully design, develop and implement blockchain platforms.
That’s essentially what you’re focusing on at FTI Technology, correct? What are some specific examples of the work that you’re doing here?
I’m working with our team to develop blockchain technology offerings to enable them to take advantage of blockchain, NFTs, digital assets and web3 more broadly. We’re prioritising delivery of cost-effective, low risk platforms and services that allow clients to start seeing returns, benefits and new business generation very quickly. Use cases span NFT loyalty programs, supply chain solutions, environmental social and governance (ESG) workflows and financial services implementations. We are also developing offerings which are at the intersection of blockchain with other emerging technologies, such as generative artificial intelligence machine learning, working to bring trust and automation.
What brought you to the team here, and what do you think is unique about this practice?
The most powerful offerings in blockchain are underpinned by a combination of industry expertise (i.e., people) and technology. FTI Technology has an incredible team of experts across sectors and is fundamentally focused on integrating people, process and technology to help clients leverage next generation business and technology opportunities. This is why I chose to join the firm, and why I know we stand out against the rest of the market.
In your view, what are the biggest challenges and barriers facing clients right now?
In the blockchain and digital assets space, our clients are facing several challenges. Access to technology and skills is one of the key issues. Many organisations are not interested in the complexities and inner workings of the technology, rather, they want to see and understand the benefits it provides. Additionally, most do not want to manage keys, tokens or integrations and are looking for simple managed services, such as Blockchain as a Service (BaaS) and hosted models, that allow them to focus on the business. Our team has the ability to advise on implementations for clients that choose to manage their implementations internally, and we also have complete blockchain solutions that are hosted and delivered as managed services for those that do not. That’s why we’re uniquely positioned, as we can interpret our clients’ needs from technology and business perspectives to offer a comprehensive and effective solution.
Do you have any predictions for where the industry is headed in the coming year?
Over the last few years, there’s been a shift away from deploying blockchain as a technology. The trend is moving toward solving problems and creating new business offerings with blockchain as one of the technologies in the toolkit. For example, within the financial services, blockchain-backed solutions are already being implemented and successfully used without fanfare. Tokenisation of illiquid assets is one example, which illustrates how blockchain can become part of an infrastructure, behind the scenes, without consumers knowing blockchain is the powering technology. The key point here is that people and organizations will increasingly use blockchain not because its novel but because it is functional in solving particular problems, and as the technology and usage grows more sophisticated, it will underpin many applications without a broad awareness that blockchain is what’s being used. Looking forward, this will likely lead to a commoditisation of blockchain technology.
I also expect to see increased tokenisation with NFTs as digital twins for physical goods, services or offerings. NFTS will be used in immersive, innovative loyalty programs that lean into the power of web3 experiences, and fungible tokens will be increasingly used for digital assets.
We are now at a really exciting time with this technology. A quick glance at any major bank will show that this technology is now being deployed across a magnitude of use-cases. As adoption in financial services grows, we’ll see further implementation across other industries that are taking advantage of the networks and platforms deployed.
The views expressed herein are those of the author(s) and not necessarily the views of FTI Consulting, its management, its subsidiaries, its affiliates, or its other professionals.