Dan Doney, CEO and Lead Architect of Securrency, is an unparalleled visionary and architect of complex systems and a recognized thought leader in the blockchain-FinTech space.
Following the horrific incidents of 9/11, Dan was recruited into the National Security Agency (NSA), which was the first step in a long and distinguished career within the US national security and intelligence community. Serving in various roles with NSA, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), his unique ability to ideate and architect complex technical systems, as well as his leadership of teams that developed and deployed these systems, led to numerous awards and his ultimate appointment as Chief Innovation Officer of the DIA.
During his time in the US Government, Dan worked with sophisticated, leading-edge technologies centered around neural networks and artificial intelligence, sophisticated identity and credentialing systems, and, by 2013, blockchain technology. This unique and powerful experience, combined with his natural ability to visualize and architect solutions to tie together multiple complex systems into a common framework, positioned Dan to play a leading role in the transformation of global financial systems that was about to take place as blockchain technology exploded onto the scene.
The Key Decision:
As Dan approached the challenge of architecting a new financial services infrastructure to leverage the benefits of blockchain technology, he recognized that interoperability – the ability of systems with differing architecture, standards, and processes to efficiently interact with each other – is critical to the functioning of safe, efficient, and liquid markets. He also recognized that true interoperability can only be achieved if the linking technology is convenient at all levels so market participants – banks, service providers, and investors, alike – can interconnect easily and without significant additional expense. Finally, he knew the infrastructure would need to meet the needs of regulators, providing transparency and compliance with existing regulations.
Drawing upon his experience in the US intelligence community, Dan made the critical decision to build Securrency’s core identity server, credentialing (rules) engine, and interoperating rails in a hybrid architecture (linking on and off-chain functions), without dependency on a particular distributed ledger (blockchain) solution. This was a truly countercultural proposition in 2016, a time at which blockchain technology was being hailed as a revolutionary panacea and blockchain “purists” were mainly focused on developing ledger dependent, on-chain solutions.
Dan correctly foresaw the proliferation of competing public blockchains, as well as the apprehension large financial services incumbents would have about entrusting value to these public ledgers. In his view, there was a great deal of excellent work being done in many different distributed ledger technologies, as well as with private-permissioned ledgers, and different ledgers demonstrated different strengths in supporting financial networks: some could support sophisticated smart contracts, some demonstrated the speed expected for financial transactions, etc. Getting these disparate systems to work and to support existing infrastructure was the challenge. Dan’s solution was to build in an off-chain environment the “pipes” that would allow for all these systems to interconnect, as well as the foundational tools upon which myriad sophisticated financial services tools could be built. This approach also allowed him to avoid the need to pick winners at such an early stage in the development of this powerful technology and to “future proof” the Securrency infrastructure by allowing any blockchain or even legacy system to easily interconnect through this infrastructure.