Wealth Creation

Adam Jiwan Wants to Bring the Blockchain to Your Bank Account

Thirty years ago, you could buy a Mac II with a whopping two megabytes of storage for the price of a used car. And when you applied for a loan or a bank account, some unfortunate soul had to verify your identity manually into a database – every single time. All that has changed, right?
Well, not exactly. When it comes to opening a financial account, it’s still about as frustrating as it’s always been. And Adam Jiwan, a Canadian entrepreneur, is on a mission to change that frustration for the financial institutions and the consumer alike. Adam Jiwan, with his team at Spring Labs, wants to bring the blockchain to your bank account. 
What’s Broken About Customer Data
Customer data has become digitized long before it’s become properly secure. Just over a year ago, Equifax announced that hackers compromised data from nearly 150 million consumers. And although stored in databases that hackers can access, other financial institutions are often left out. Consumers routinely have to tediously re-verify their identity using the same documents and personal data that low-tech criminals can use for fraud and identity theft.
Adam Jiwan and his team at Spring Labs are building a new blockchain technology-based solution that has the potential to revolutionize how financial institutions onboard new customers. His solution is based on the blockchain technology that has been developed over the last decade and, although it hasn’t even launched yet, investors like August Capital have invested over $15 million in seed capital.
Meet Adam Jiwan 
Some entrepreneurs are bred. Others are born. Adam Jiwan registered his first business at the age of twelve. After receiving his undergraduate degree from Harvard College and working at Goldman Sachs and Blackstone, he joined Soros Fund Management in New York in 2002 and would later spend over six years as a partner at the hedge firm TPG-Axon Capital.
Since, Jiwan has developed a number of financial and technology companies as a founder and seed investor – from fintech to financial aid – while investing in a global portfolio spanning finance, real estate services, and artificial intelligence, gaming and vertical software. He’s an early riser who makes certain that he meditates and exercises each morning before heading into the office for what is usually a marathon day on the go.
One of Adam Jiwan’s notable early investments was Avant, an online lending service valued at $1.9 billion. In late 2017, he partnered with two former Avant executives – John Sun and Anna Fridman – to launch Spring Labs (Avant CEO Al Goldstein sits on the Spring Labs board). Spring Labs has a growing team of entrepreneurs, innovators, and technologists that are working together to develop the Spring Protocol, a network designed to allow any network participant to exchange information without exchanging source data, which may have profound implications for the financial services industry, the health care industry, among many others.
Jiwan states in earlier interviews that, ‘In many ways, building this business feels like a “must do” endeavor. It’s the culmination of a lot of experiences backed by a strong desire/passion to drive big change.”
How the Spring Protocol Works
Developed by Adam Jiwan and his Spring Labs partners, the Spring Protocol should enable financial institutions to share credit and identity information in a more safe and secure way. Using blockchain technology and a number of innovative approaches, the network facilitates the exchange of information in a way that addresses regulatory considerations and competitive sensitivity, the two historical hurdles to sharing directly.
While financial institutions are known for being reluctant to share information, the Spring Protocol intends to employ financial incentives and advanced cryptography to address the historical reluctance to share information directly.
After the pilot with a handful of institutions during 2019, the Spring Network intends to open up on a more public basis during later 2019 trusted institutions in 2019. If Adam Jiwan is successful, the Spring Protocol could make it easier for banks to meet anti-laundering and Know Your Customer (KYC) regulations while offering insurance companies better data. Spring Labs might even be able to compete with the three major credit bureaus that currently report FICO scores.
The Blockchain and Your Wallet
While some readers may have personally traded in digital currencies – and a few may even own an active digital currency portfolio right now – many others have been skeptical that the blockchain technology would have a meaningful impact for the average consumer.
Spring Labs is working to fix some of the most inefficient systems in our daily lives, embedding those subtle changes in our relationship with banks and other financial institutions. And after several decades of doing it the old way, the blockchain is just getting started.