Raj Chowdhury is the CEO of HashCash Consultants and a Blockchain pioneer. Raj pioneered the first interbank Trade Finance and Remittance implementation of Blockchain Technology between two of the largest global banks. Raj is an eminent voice in the Blockchain and Cryptocurrency space and actively engages with policy makers in this area. He is a contributor to Economic Times, Business World, CNNMoney and advises industry leaders in adoption of Blockchain.
1. Can you tell us about your role at HashCash Consultants?
As CEO of HashCash Consultants, my key role is to drive the strategic course of the organization, influencing the industry at large. I am in constant communication with my team brainstorming with them, ensuring that we stay updated to the market influences while keeping innovation central to all our solutions and services.
Apart from my operational engagement within HashCash, I actively take part in creating global standards for interoperability by engaging with the International Standards organization and other industry entities. I also work with regulators globally to invent and create scalable architectures for businesses in the blockchain and crypto space to prosper. I believe that prosperity and advancement come with strategic alliances rather than competing with peers, especially in the world that we live in today.
2. Can you tell us about your journey into this industry?
It was early 2011 when I first came across Bitcoin. Having experienced the depression of 2008 first hand; the concept of crypto fascinated me. That was the reckoning that led me into the world of blockchain and cryptocurrency.
I went to Tufts University, Santa Clara University and the Fletcher School of International Law and Diplomacy for MS, MBA and other academic certifications. Post that I was a research associate at MIT’s Microsystems Technology Lab. I have been associated with multiple start-ups and went on to co-found Power Enhancing Devices, which designed Piezoelectric NEMS applications to harness environmental energy for portable devices. I also co-founded Locus International that worked with the generation of mapping data for GPS navigation.
I initiated the first-ever interbank Trade Finance and Remittance implementations of Blockchain between two major Global Banks. Then in 2017, I joined HashCash Consultants as CEO and since then we have launched several blockchain and crypto services and products and built a robust network of global partners and clients initiating interoperability across verticals.
3. How do you think technology is upgrading the Crypto trading arena?
Crypto in itself is a revolutionary asset with blockchain as its underlying technology that keeps evolving rapidly, influencing reformation within the realm of crypto trading.
The upgrade in technology has been highly beneficial to the traders, it has made crypto more accessible and appealing to the people.
4. How according to you Corporate Payments differ from Consumer Payments?
The structure of corporate payment is complex in comparison to consumer payments. The prevalence of third-party payment processors creates a fragmented and opaque course from initiation to completion of payment that is hard to track. Not to mention, it is time-consuming and expensive.
Powered by blockchain, HashCash’s Corporate Payment executes B2B payments with ease. We offer a platform for secured, faster and transparent transactions between businesses, unifying all the participants in a single network. It reduces the processing time and allows businesses to share documents in real-time and enjoy instant reconciliation through smart contracts.
5. What do you think is the scope of Crypto Payments in the Corporate world?
The use of cryptocurrencies for corporate payments such as B2B transactions simplifies the process and the transactions get processed peer-to-peer, in an instant and at a lower cost, in comparison to traditional payment methods such as wire transfers, cheque payments, ACH and others, involving third-party payment processors. Crypto facilitates international B2B transactions with much ease reducing the chances of fraud.
So, there is a lot of scope within the corporate world for crypto payments. The businesses mutually stand to gain immensely from such a unified and coordinated payment structure and many global clients that we are working with are refurbishing the existing payment processing architecture onto one that facilitates crypto payments as well and we are working on that. In the recent years, many organizations have started paying their employees via crypto, so it is fair to say that the transition is on full swing across sectors.
6. What is the criticality of Digital Identity in current times?
Digital identity is our most valuable asset. It is the access point, the foundational element of the decentralized future of the world. It can give one easy access to banking, healthcare and education along with scores of other services. Considering its importance in shaping the digital world, it is highly critical who gets to create, access, and control people’s identities and personal information.
Blockchain technology is the ultimate protector of our digital identity as it is through the value of immutability and transparency, that it keeps control of identity solely in the hands of the owner. So, with mass adoption, issues like identity thefts and data breaches can be addressed and solved with DLT and we are advancing in that path through our digital identity verification platform, offering it to partners and enterprises.
7. Can you explain to us in detail about the working of HC Remit?
HC Remit is used to process transactions and record currency and asset movement across borders. It replaces the traditional systems like SWIFT and other payment gateways with blockchain-enabled platforms for instantaneous, inexpensive and auditable remittance transactions. The settlement takes place in real-time between the beneficiary and the remitter along with the correspondent banks. HC Remit allows complete visibility of the transaction status as well as of the prefunded or NOSTRO account at any point of time. Being backed by blockchain allows instant reconciliation of funds.
8. We recently covered the news of HashCash Modernizing Property Ownership with Real Estate Tokenization Platform. Can you lead us onto that?
We are streamlining real estate investments and property ownership through our blockchain-based real estate tokenization platform. The platform combines the fundamental features of a decentralized network with the values of the utility token, which in this case is the digitization of real estate assets to facilitate fractional ownership, widening the scope of real estate investments in the market.
9. What advice would you like to give to the technology Start-Ups?
Be innovative with your ideas and have a customer-centric approach.
10. How do you prepare for an AI-Centric world?
Through integration and interoperability! All new age and emerging technologies are interlinked and for digitization to take its course we need a unification to build a robust digital architecture.
11. What are the major developments you are planning, in recent time?
Our primary focus at the moment is to provide enterprises and our partners across geographies and sectors with sustainable and futuristic blockchain and IT solutions to help them mitigate the pandemic repercussions and fortify their existing systems.
12. Can you tell us about your team and how it supports you?
HashCash has physical offices in five locations along with a global network of partners that culminate into a 1200+ workforce. Each member of the team is crucial for the growth and development of the company and we are what we are because of their cumulative effort.
13. Which books are you reading these days?
Brief Answers to the Big Questions by Stephen Hawking
Sapiens: A Brief History on Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari
14. Can you give us a glance of the applications you use on your phone?
PayBito, LinkedIn, Bloomberg Business News, WhatsApp for communicating among the rest.