A financial market on your phone – innovation winner’s next goal

A financial market on your phone – innovation winner’s next goal

A university professor, whose fraud-detection computer program has revolutionised the world’s financial markets and won the Prime Minister’s Innovation Prize, has a bigger goal in sight – creating a financial market on your phone.

Professor Michael Aitken and his team created the SMARTS system, which catches insider trading and market manipulation around the world with such success it was sold in 2010 for $90 million to the world’s largest exchange company, the US-based Nasdaq.

That sale helped fund a new generation of research entrepreneurs under Professor Aitken’s Capital Markets Cooperative Research Centre, which is using the same technology to pick up fraud, abuse, waste and over-servicing in the health and mortgage industries.

While the Prime Minister’s Prize for Innovation was awarded to Macquarie University’s Professor Aitken for commercialising technology that makes markets fairer and more efficient, Professor Aitken is focused on Capital Markets’ latest venture, digi.cash.

Forget about Bitcoin and Blockchain, digi.cash is an actual digital currency on your phone, rather than a ledger of credits and debits held elsewhere.

While his team’s health spin-off company Lorica Health – which identifies financial fraud and abuse in Australia’s sprawling health sector – is probably worth “10 times” the pioneering SMARTS system, Professor Aitken predicts even bigger things for digi.cash.

“This is probably worth 100 times SMARTS,” he said.

Electronic banknote

Launched in August 2016 with digital Australian dollars available through Apple App Store or Google Play, digi.cash is essentially an electronic banknote kept on your phone or computer and is based on cryptographic work from the 1980s.

“We’ve got the real cash on your phone, so it’s a digital token,” Professor Aitken said.

“You can have money on your phone, you can have digital shares on your phone and you can use your phone in effect to create an exchange.”


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Source: A financial market on your phone – innovation winner’s next goal | afr.com