Eleni Lina KotzasteE-Trading Developer at Morgan Stanley
A multilingual with international reach, Lina is an innovative technologies enthusiast. Having started her career as a Big Data Engineer in Santander UK Technology, Lina aimed at implementing a governance structure for data lakes and data design. Shifting from Big Data to Market Data, Lina then joined Santander Global Corporate Bank in Risk Delivery where she worked on risk metrics of the Standard Initial Margin Model (SIMM) for non-cleared derivatives, hedge accounting and rate curves. After participating in numerous hackathons around Europe, Lina completed Morgan Stanley’s Technology Analyst Programme to join the electronic trading FX team of Morgan Stanley as a Low Latency C++ Developer. Lina holds an MSc in Mathematical Finance from Queen Mary, University of London and a BSc in Physics from University of Crete.
What are some of the best use cases you've seen for blockchain in banking and finance?
"A use case for Blockchain that seems to becoming very popular across many commercial banks is international payments. Cross-border payments have become so much faster with Blockchain technologies rather than through a traditional banking system. In Blockchain, global transactions are executed in near real time, thus are safeguarded against currency fluctuations that could result in a possible loss of value. Furthermore, with the elimination of an intermediary and significantly less remittance costs, Blockchain transactions are much less expensive and affordable. By adding the appropriate regulations I think international payments will be one of the first Blockchain examples to go mainstream."
How long do you believe it will take for blockchain to go mainstream, and why?
"I would say another 5-10 years, optimistically, with delays mainly caused due to regulations and controls. Although the technology is already there, regulating Blockchain transactions and defining the new laws that Blockchain needs to comply to is a relatively slow and controversial procedure. Not to mention the great importance of establishing a secure protocol under which Blockchain will be running. Security and compliance are two main factors that are keeping Blockchain from going mainstream at this point of time, and of course these two factors are not something we can (and we shouldn't) bypass. Once we resolve security and compliance, there is nothing stopping Blockchain from becoming the leading and most common technology behind most everyday apps."
What is your favourite feature of blockchain?
"I would say transparency is one of the most important and favourite features of Blockchain. Despite all the efforts to keep them safe, databases are subject to the risk of getting hacked, or changed by fraudsters. Blockchain is immutable, transparent and almost impossible to fake. Changing Blockchain records is almost impossible because each record is linked to the previous one, so if one tampers with one record, then the whole Blockchain would have to be changed. Again, this is almost impossible with the current computational power, as fraudsters would have to break all cryptographic functions in the Blockchain. Furthermore, Blockchain records are available to all. If something changes, everyone in the Blockchain would be notified and the consensus would identify and reject the change, if fraudulent, at once. Finally, it is almost impossible to turn off the Blockchain network, as the Blockchain nodes are distributed all around the globe over thousands of computers, so compromising the network would require an enormous, and currently non-existent, amount of computational power."
Could you tell us a bit more about your presentation at Blockchain for Business Summit, with regards to the opportunities in the interconnection of blockchain and quantum computing?
"As I mentioned above Blockchain is almost impossible to hack and almost impossible to compromise. Almost! The rise of Quantum Computing will open new possibilities of higher computational power that could eventually break the cryptographic algorithms that give Blockchain it's unique and attractive characteristics. Cryptography will jump to new levels of complexity as well as hacking. During my presentation, we will discover what new possibilities the quantum revolution will achieve and, furthermore, explore what type of changes the quantum reality will bring and how can Blockchain re-adjust to survive this new quantum era."