Traditional value chains and business models were under stress after the financial crisis. The protracted economic stagnation and the weakness of the financial system accelerated a process of dis-intermediation. This process is unparalleled in the world economic history. Bitcoin was the early manifestation of the new economic idea, challenging the monopoly of the state in the issuance of money. The distributed ledger technology (DLT) that underpin crypto-currencies is much wider than that.
Smart contracts, contracts of transfer of value without the need of a trusted intermediary, elevated Blockchain in the second level. The technology, allows the transfer of assets, in a disintermediate way. The idea is not limited to finance whatsoever. It runs through a wide range of applications in every aspect of our life, from trusted voting systems to energy distribution to M2M transaction capacity.
Blockchain is the vehicle not only for digital, but also for social disruption. The institution-building dimension is extremely challenging as well. In the course of human history every institutional formation had two basic ingredients: trust and identity. Imagine the challenges of institution-building in the era of Blockchain, when trust is the security of the code and identity the digital fingerprint.
Perhaps, it is early to evaluate the impact of a technology that even its developers are not sure about how it will evolve. What we should do right now, is to explore the range of its application, the way it transform value chains in every aspect of our life and reliable ways to build and preserve trust and security for its users.
Eva Kaili MEP and EIF Member
Dr. Julian Hosp, The Blockchain Expert
Peteris Zilgalvis, Head of Unit, Start-ups and Innovation, DG CONNECT, European Commission
Marc Taverner, Head of Sales, Bitfury
Daniel Gasteiger, Co Founder and CEO, Pro-civis
Louis de Bruin, Blockchain Leader for Europe, IBM