ZTLment: Europe’s First Regulated Payments Institution Built on Blockchain

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By Erika Rosenstein

ZTLment is a European payment service provider offering a smart contract software that is fully compliant with PSD2. The company has two main goals: to eliminate the $1.7 trillion global trade finance gap; to help businesses and B2B platforms unlock cash flows, save costs and improve user experiences.

Following the Nordic Blockchain Conference, I interviewed Mads Stolberg-Larsen, Co-founder and CEO of ZTLment.

ZTLment: how did you come up with this idea?
In my previous job we executed the world’s first euro transactions on permissionless blockchain. As part of it, we found out that the user experience for signing off on transactions was not made for regular business people – to put it mildly. Also it was evident that end-to-end compliance with existing European payments law wasn’t entirely there. We more or less set out with the hypothesis that the rails for money and value are changing – for the better – but financial regulation is here to stay. So by solving the user experience challenge in a regulatory compliant way, we can play a key role accelerating this change.

What are the challenges that you have faced so far?
Building Europe’s first payments institution on blockchain was hard. Fitting in novel technology into current regulations is a unique challenge and thus takes time and energy, with regulators asking difficult questions!

What is the state of crypto payments? (in other words: do you think that people, companies, institutions are ready?)
It is a big question that we don’t have the answer to. To the best of our knowledge, crypto is not recognised as money, but instead is considered as an asset. This, in turn, means it will take a long long time before mainstream businesses will be willing to accept crypto or unregulated stablecoins to settle regular B2B transactions.

That is why we have focused on moving fiat currency peer-to-peer on decentralized rails. Long story short, we believe that regular business users should not need to know which ledger technology is being used. Business users should simply be able to move money as they wish instantly and automatically.

What are your plans for 2023?
We recently announced our partnership with the carbon credit platform, Agreena. So we will keep building out that use case as well as execute on other projects that are in the pipeline. Besides that, we are figuring out how to inject liquidity into the workflows we support. Basically, we want to be able to do “Milestone Based Finance” such that when a workflow milestone is hit then funds are released from a financier. The global trade finance gap stands at a staggering 1700 billion dollars, so the opportunity in getting this right with smart contract software is absolutely massive.

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