Mads Stolberg-Larsen

Interview: Blockchain Specialist at Tradeshift, Mads Stolberg-Larsen, Explains How Platform Works

Mads Stolberg-Larsen, blockchain specialist at Tradeshift, a company driving supply chain innovation for the digital economy, recently shared his views and insights with CryptoCoreMedia in an exclusive interview. 

CryptoCoreMedia: Licensed, or regulated, electronic money might become more usable and practical for businesses because it allows transactions to be conducted in a compliant manner. How important do you think licensed e-money will be to the future economy?

Mads Stolberg-Larsen: “In Tradeshift Frontiers we believe licensed e-money on blockchain is likely to be very important looking at a 3 to 7 year horizon. Potentially this type of money could unlock smart contract use on open permissionless ledgers. This in turn could leapfrog incumbent banks relatively slow response to Open Banking and PSD2 regulation.”

CryptoCoreMedia: Icelandic retailer Nordic Store recently purchased goods from IKEA using Tradeshift’s platform and smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain. You mentioned that your organization is blockchain-agnostic, so what other DLT platforms would you consider for conducting similar transactions in the future?

Mads Stolberg-Larsen: “We used Ethereum for this transaction. Other protocols we have looked into are Hyperledger, Corda and Stellar. Given that the blockchain space is moving at breakneck speed it is important to keep options open. The ‘triangle’ of features we would like to see consists of privacy, scalability, and money on chain recognized as money by regulators.”

CryptoCoreMedia: Reducing the amount of paperwork required to conduct business is one of Tradeshift’s main goals. Please explain how you intend to, or are already accomplishing this?

Mads Stolberg-Larsen: “Tradeshift has been connecting ERP data silos for close to 10 years through cloud technology. To be specific the three founders of Tradeshift drove the implementation of e-invoicing by the Danish government in the mid-2000s and drove the so-called PEPPOL standard in Europe afterwards.

So even though there are lots of good use cases for blockchain connecting ERP data silos, we have chosen in Tradeshift Frontiers to focus our blockchain efforts on connecting the information flow that is already on the platform with smart contracts on blockchain. This way we can digitize B2B trade end-to-end.”

CryptoCoreMedia: Smart contracts might be able to automate and streamline many routine business processes. However, smart contract code can contain bugs, which has previously led to huge losses. How does your organization ensure that smart contract code has been properly audited for security purposes?

Mads Stolberg-Larsen: “First of all we use test-driven code development framework. Second we, like others, have explored how a functional paradigm could potentially be beneficial. Last, but not least, we need to open source code to take this to scale while ensuring code-integrity.”

CryptoCoreMedia: Please explain the main products and services Tradeshift offers. Also tell us about the products your organization intends to offer in the future?

Mads Stolberg-Larsen: “Tradeshift is a business network that allows companies to digitally connect (LinkedIn for companies if you will). Using the open source and ISO-certified data standard, Universal Business Language, companies can share and collaborate on business documents like invoices, purchase orders, contracts etc. through both Tradeshift and 3rd party apps. That way you have a shared view on the information that is flowing between companies.

Based on this standardized and shared information new financial models can be built on top. The award winning SCF program by Kuehne + Nagel is one such example. With blockchain we see it being possible to open up new financial services.”