Hilton Supra, Vice President of Ztudium, interviews Aron Alexander, the Founder and CEO of Runa, in the latest episode of citiesabc YouTube podcast. The two financial industry experts discuss the complexities in the current financial market, driven by rapid technological trends, and consequently the importance of creating a digital value infrastructure that simplifies payout processes.
The ongoing accelerated digital transformation of industries, coupled with globalisation, demands a foundation that facilitates seamless cross-border transactions, fosters financial inclusion, and ensures security and trust in digital interactions. This infrastructure streamlines operations, reduces costs, and fuels innovation, driving economic growth while promoting regulatory compliance and environmental sustainability.
Founded in 2016, Runa offers a digital value infrastructure that simplifies payout processes. The platform facilitates a smooth and instant transfer and exchange of digital value, including from fractional shares and gift cards.
Speaking about the underlying idea of bringing the concept of Runa to life, Aron told Hilton:
"Runa is about digitalisation a piece of paper and getting enough merchants to agree to accept whatever you are issuing digitally and have a mechanism to transfer value which is borderless, frictionless, real-time, and potentially very data rich, depending on how you integrate with those data merchants."
In an era where data is paramount, a robust digital value infrastructure not only enhances data management but also fortifies business resilience and continuity, making it an essential cornerstone of the modern global economy.
As we stand on the precipice of a new era, it's essential to delve into the significance of creating a robust and inclusive Digital Value Infrastructure.
The digital transformation revolution: A background
The rapid digital transformation of industries, driven by advancements in technologies like blockchain, artificial intelligence, and the Internet of Things, is reshaping the global economic landscape. This transformation transcends traditional borders and transcends sectors, leading to the emergence of a new, interconnected digital economy.
"There are over 30 use cases and 20 trillion dollars every year of business to consumer flow of funds, and they are very difficult to facilitate on traditional card and banking networks, because these networks are expensive to use at low value.
We have allowed businesses to effectively deposit fiat money and we convert that virtually into a gift card. So, we really are moving digital value around in any format that the consumer wants: cash, airtime, or subscriptions, and then being able to spend that value with a merchant", highlighted Aron.
At its core, a Digital Value Infrastructure encompasses the infrastructure, protocols, and systems that facilitate the secure and efficient exchange of digital assets, data, and value. These assets can range from cryptocurrencies and digital tokens to digital identities and intellectual property. It is the foundation upon which innovative solutions like decentralized finance (DeFi), non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and smart contracts are built.
The inclusive nature of digital value infrastructure
A critical aspect of building a Digital Value Infrastructure is ensuring inclusivity. It should not be limited to a select few but must cater to individuals, businesses, and governments worldwide. A truly inclusive infrastructure democratises access to financial services, enhances cross-border trade, and empowers individuals to participate in the global economy, regardless of their geographical location or socioeconomic status.
"Runa network is cash-like and can be used to transfer money at lower costs and across borders. It can be used in more ways and with increased demand from customers to be able to use it for wage earning or gig economy payouts", Aron told Hilton.
Blockchain technology plays a pivotal role in achieving this inclusivity. By providing transparent, immutable, and decentralized systems, blockchain allows for trust to be established without the need for intermediaries. This not only reduces costs but also promotes financial inclusion by extending access to banking and financial services to those previously excluded.
Digital Value Infrastructure: Challenges and opportunities ahead
Creating a Digital Value Infrastructure is not without its challenges. Privacy and security concerns, regulatory frameworks, and interoperability issues must be addressed to ensure a smooth transition into this digital era. Collaboration between governments, private sector entities, and the broader tech community is vital to overcoming these hurdles.
However, these challenges also present opportunities for innovation and growth. Digital identities, for instance, can enhance security and streamline user experiences, while blockchain's tamper-proof nature can instill trust in digital transactions. Moreover, smart contracts can automate complex agreements, reducing the need for intermediaries and increasing efficiency.
Digital Value Infrastructure: A New Frontier
As we navigate the complexities of our increasingly digitized world, creating a robust Digital Value Infrastructure becomes imperative. It forms the bedrock of a global digital economy that is inclusive, secure, and efficient. Through collaboration, innovation, and a commitment to overcoming challenges, we can shape this infrastructure to empower individuals, drive economic growth, and redefine the way we exchange value in the 21st century. In doing so, we embark on a new frontier that promises to be transformative for generations to come.