CasperLabs is a company focused on blockchain development for enterprises. In this interview with TechBullion, Medha Parlikar, co-founder and CTO of CasperLabs will help you understand how you can leverage blockchain technology to build a successful enterprise without necessarily creating a cryptocurrency.
Please tell us a little more about yourself?
My name is Medha Parlikar and I am the co-founder and CTO of CasperLabs, a leader in blockchain. I am a technology veteran with more than 30 years of tech experience and am considered to be one of the top women in blockchain. I started working in technology in the early 1980’s, building computers in the basement. For the past two decades, I have been delivering production SaaS software for large companies including Adobe, Omniture and Avalara. I excel in building high-functioning technical teams, and inspiring them to deliver solutions that solve customer problems. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Information Systems and Programming from Coleman College and I have a black belt in karate too.
What is CasperLabs and what is your mission for the blockchain industry?
The Casper blockchain is the first fully decentralized, truly scalable blockchain designed for real-world speed and security.
As CTO for CasperLabs, I am focused on making blockchain the platform for doing business in the future. Future-proofing and de-risking how businesses use public blockchain is a fundamental goal of the company. The Casper platform is designed for businesses to secure and tokenize content including patents, stock, human resources, supply chain, and more.
What is the business benefit of integrating blockchain into a company’s best practices?
Blockchain is not just a buzzword, it’s an emerging market. In fact, Gartner forecasts that the business value generated by blockchain will reach $176 billion by 2025 and $3.1 trillion by 2030, which means there is a huge business advantage to adopt early.
Enterprise blockchains streamline operations and empower businesses with accountability, immutability, scalability, security, ease of use, and control. From supply chain management to secure data exchanges, the corporate world is making moves to embrace blockchain use cases that help them radically transform the course of their business.
CasperLabs works with enterprises of all sizes to ensure they are ready to integrate a secure and trusted blockchain.
How hard is it to integrate a blockchain platform and how do you work with companies to onramp?
Most businesses don’t know where to start with blockchain because they don’t understand the full value. Blockchain is not scary. It’s a protocol. You can start out small and build the platform over time. Every business has its own blockchain thumbprint and it can start within any operational side of the business from human resources, finance or intellectual property. Over time, blockchain will be THE choice—not the alternative—once businesses see the extra layer of security and trust.
We were all once hesitant to get on the Internet and now it’s the standard. Blockchain will become as ubiquitous a protocol as the Internet.
What are some of the key application areas that businesses can benefit from blockchain?
Human resources, patents, stock certificates, and finance, as well as key industries such as pharma benefit. To dig in a bit deeper, let’s take a look at the clinical trial data within pharmaceutical product development. The company needs to go through a very detailed clinical audit process reported to the FDA. Oftentimes, the audit process is longer than the development process itself. Using blockchain, pharmaceutical companies can deliver products to market much faster, collecting authentic real-time data collection throughout the entire development process with more transparency and trust.
Could you enlighten us more on the difference and relationship between Blockchain and cryptocurrency and how easy is it today to create a blockchain platform?
It’s quite simple. Blockchain is a protocol designed for authenticity. Crypto, on the other hand, is an application of blockchain and it requires a blockchain in order to prove its authenticity. And what this really means is that the cryptocurrency uses the blockchain technology to keep track of how much cryptocurrency there is, who owns what cryptocurrency, who transferred what amount of cryptocurrency from person A to person B or account over time. One of the reasons people trust Bitcoin is because of its blockchain protocol. That trust would not be possible without a blockchain.
Can you share a unique case study or example on how blockchain can prove itself valuable?
We have worked with so many, but two that stand out include two companies creating new marketplaces for difficult to sell or to discover products. In one case, we needed to ensure the ownership of a patent was accurate. As it turns out, 10 percent of all IP sold is done so by someone besides the authorized owner! By setting up a blockchain, we created a protocol to track the ownership of intellectual property. Another customer, Metacask, needed to create a digital marketplace for investors to buy and sell whiskey on the blockchain. Before blockchain, the purchase or sale of these casks were impossible to prove, making a marketplace impossible. Blockchain made price discovery possible and streamlined an entire market. So if you apply the same security and authenticity to product development, human resources, stock and medical records…the protocol is going to gain speed and trust quickly.
What trends should we be looking at in 2022 and at the World Economic Forum in the Spring?
Businesses that don’t embrace blockchain in 2022 will get left behind. At the World Economic Forum, we will be leading discussions on the latest trends in the Digital Asset Ecosystem, DeFi, Blockchain Enterprise Solutions, and NFTs in media, art and sports. Panel discussions and networking will also take place daily.
Who are the brains behind CasperLabs, tell us more about your team and level of customer support?
We have assembled a world-class leadership team. Mrinal Manohar, co-Founder and CEO, has a legacy of experience in traditional finance. He has an extensive career as both a computer programmer and a finance professional. Before founding Casper, Mrinal was a principal and the technology/media/telecom sector head at Sagard Capital, a ~$1b long-only hedge fund. Mrinal also previously served as a private equity associate at Bain Capital in Boston, and as an associate consultant at Bain & Company. Mrinal has been personally investing in the blockchain industry since 2012 as a seed investor in Ethereum, Blockstack, Basis, Maker, Filecoin, and more.
Our Chief Operating Officer at CasperLabs is Cliff Sarkin. Cliff is a seasoned tech entrepreneur and licensed attorney with more than 15 years of experience. Before joining CasperLabs, Cliff served as VP of business development at DNA, a leading early-stage blockchain venture fund. Prior to DNA, he helped grow and scale three successful internet technology startups, during which time he raised multiple venture funding rounds for all three companies, helped scale Duda.co from 12 employees to 70+, and led VideoSurf’s $80M acquisition by Microsoft in 2011.
The additional CasperLabs team possesses deep enterprise technology experience, hailing from organizations including Google, Adobe, AWS, Dropbox, and Microsoft.
Do you have any available opportunities for investors and partners at CasperLabs, any more information you would like to share with our readers?
Yes, we are actively raising funding and it’s a great time to be in front of the blockchain curve.
Visit the website Casperlabs.io for more information.