21 May Carolyne Quinn
Carolyne Quinn works with Corda Network, where companies across many industries are joining to transact together in blockchain consortia. She focuses on governance, strategy, process design, marketing, and customer relationship management of the network. She also serves as Director at Corda Network Foundation, which is the governing body of the network.
Interview conducted February, 13th 2020, by Miho Tanaka
What is Corda Network and its governance structure?
Corda Network is a global public permitted blockchain network. The network is flexible and enables services such as exchange of data or assets. Most of our early customers on the network are in Financial Services – in particular, insurance and trade finance, but we’ll see several other industries joining in the second half of this year. Corda Network is governed by an independent, not-for-profit foundation; the foundation consists of a governing board of 11 directors – 9 who are customers of the network, and 2 who come from R3, the company which set up the network.
We have decided to establish a governing board composed of participants on the network rather than leaving all decision-making open to all participants each time; the board is based on the idea of representative democracy and enables efficient decision-making. Our first democratic election is taking place in June 2020.
How would you evaluate the effectiveness/success of the governance network? Corda network has a detailed “governance guidelines”, which mentions elements such as; fairness and openness, stability, and network effectiveness. Could you please elaborate, or are there any additional elements?
I believe the effectiveness of the governance would only be measured in the long-term. I would evaluate around governance being fair, open, and transparent, whether decisions are made efficiently, what decisions have been made, as well as the number of the customers.
What did you look into when you designed Corda’s governance structure?
We have looked beyond blockchain networks- we were inspired by the governance model of ICANN for the Internet which involves a large number of stakeholders in an effective way. They gave us a hint about having diversity criteria and a democratic election. We also looked into open source Foundations such as Linux Foundation and Apache.
Investments in blockchain technology are declining. What is your outlook for the future of blockchain technology?
I don’t think I can generalize because projects using blockchain technology are quite diverse. Furthermore, the definition of blockchain could differ depending on the person you talk to. Regarding the company I work for, R3; I am excited about its future.
Career background- what has made you interested in a career in this field?
I started my career at Accenture, then went to pursue an MBA degree, partly to take some time off and try out new things. During the MBA, I worked in two FinTech startups which I enjoyed. Blockchain is interesting because technology is developing rapidly and making effects on how companies transact together and how it impacts costs and efficiency of financial transactions, cost-effectiveness; innovation, and interesting business.