As the Internet has done over the years' 90, so blockchain is the technology that is revolutionizing the whole world, every industry and every company. What makes it so special is a series of unique features, unlike anything that existed until the beginning of 2009.
Blockchain is an unalterable record platform that eliminates the problem of "trusted third parties", since all transactions are now guaranteed by technology and protected by cryptography.
What makes this technology a universal tool is that it can be implemented in almost any type of transaction or registration between one or more parts. Therefore, a person, a company or a government can execute smart contracts, vote and elections, manage the supply chain, register patents and trademarks and all kinds of important documents (title deeds, medical records, identity documents). , personal records or credit history).
"While many focus on price description, this fact is actually the tip of the iceberg: the maturation of projects such as Zeppelin, Decentraland or MakerDao (all built on ethereum) shows that the advancement of a sovereign Internet it does not stop, "said Santiago Siri, founder of Democracy Earth.
In the financial use of the blockchain, the stablecoins marked the field. Diego Gutierrez Zaldívar, an enterprising bitcoiner and founder of the crypt RSK company, said that "In 2018, we saw how technology and the regulatory framework around the blockchain did not stop developing".
"We have seen an awakening of stablecoins (crypto-assets that follow the price of fiat or commodity currencies), the first steps of security tokens (assets that represent company shares or shares of real estate shares). of peer-to-peer payments (Lightning) and the first bitcoin-protected smart bargaining platform (RSK), as well as the launch of networks with alternative security models such as EOS, while those already established on ethereum have continued to advance in the process of experimentation, "said Zaldivar.
For Zaldívar, 2018 was a year in which, even with very pessimistic markets, construction and investment in the ecosystem did not stop for a moment. "In the next two years, when all these progresses converge, the world will be able to perceive for the first time the revolutionary transformation initiated by Bitcoin and that will give life to the new Internet of Value".
Blockchain is like a river that is looking for where to go. The application of this technology varies from industry to industry, but this year there have been some exceptional cases.
The art industry has been one of the most innovative quests of the year. Blockchain is helping to shape a new way of accessing the art market in the future. Such as? In July 2018 the blockchain platform Maecenas collaborated with the Dadiani Fine Art gallery in London to offer fractional insertions in a theatrical work by Andy Warhol (1980). 32% of Warhol's work went on sale in bitcoin (BTC) and in ethereum (ETH), for a total of about 5.6 million dollars at the time of the transaction. The interesting thing is that the executive director of Macenas said that this was "the first work of art of many others to come".
The tokenisation of a work of art democratizes the access to products that are generally only accessible to a few, allowing diversification of investments and reduction of transaction costs.
In addition to this milestone in the history of blockchain, Christie & # 39; s New York did not want to lag behind and collaborate with the blockbuster Artory with the goal of recording some of the blockchain transactions. Among these transactions, the most important sale of the year was recorded, resulting in a transaction of USD 318 million. This implied that, kept in blockchain, the interested party could trace the history, the origin of the product and keep the anonymity of the buyer and the seller.
"The provenance and authenticity are the main determinants of the value of any work of art," said the founder of Artory. "At the moment, it was impossible to have total trust in these aspects for many works of art," he added.
Similar to what is happening in the art industry, blockchain is changing the way we make purchases and real estate sales. The use of smart contracts to complete real estate contracts, trusts, real estate registers (shares) and the depositing of funds without the need to hire lawyers or scribes for transactions.
They are the automatic distributors 2.0: the buyer deposits the money and the machine (the software) gives you the title. All without the intervention of a human being. The transaction could become, in the near future, as easy as buying spaghetti on the Jumbo, Carrefour or Coto page.
This is one of the points where more pilots use blockchain, especially to avoid the endless stacks of papers and documents needed for foreign trade. Why do we depend so much on the physical role when the rest of our life is almost completely digitalized? The results of the elimination of paper from the medium are a significant reduction in administrative costs and an immediate simplification in the access to the registers necessary to operate. Furthermore, the use of blockchain accreditation security is provided by the decentralized nature of the network.
In the logistics area, blockchain can track the goods in real time. In fact, Walmart has worked with IBM to work on the Hyperledger Fabric platform to record the supply chain of its food products.
This technology comes to kick this monstrous industry. According to World Bank data measuring logistics performance (LPI), an average export to Argentina takes 51 hours and costs around 210 USD. In contrast, the cost of an importation reaches 1,400 USD and takes about 10 days, including the time of customs procedures.
It also promises to be consolidated for the monitoring of luxury goods, since the origin of such expensive blockchain products and the record of ownership can be certified. With the storage of documents such as photographs, reports and certifications, interested parties can obtain reliability in the authenticity of the products.
The exponential growth of the Internet coincided with an increase in the number of identity theft and fraud cases. According to the Breach Level, 2.6 billion documents were stolen in the world in 2017. 67% of the total is due to the theft of identity documents. When using the identity verification blockchain, a new dimension is added safely.
Locally, Red Link along with Signatura has announced that they are working on a pilot digital identity project, which promises to revolutionize the way we manage traditional financial institutions. A person can check their documents (IDs, bank records, services in their own name, etc.) with an & # 39; entity and store them in blockchain. Thus, you can grant access to another entity (another bank, for example) to those documents that have already been validated and digitized by the previous company, saving valuable time and resources.
In the world of solidarity, this technology allows the tracking of funds so that they are used specifically for the reason they were donated. This prevents corruption and transparency for donors who can verify in real time where their money is going.
The World Food Program is already using blockchain in combination with biometric technology to ensure an efficient and secure supply of external assistance to Syrian refugees in Jordan.
The well-known bitcoin and blockchain instructor Andreas Antonopoulos said in a recent interview with Cripto247 that the gaming industry will be one of the first to adopt this technology in several projects.
With the use of this decentralized technology and the creation of what we call non-fungible tokens (NFT in English), such as those compatible with ERC-721 created by CryptoKitties, end users can create characters, weapons, vehicles that will possess For all life. There are already games like CryptoWars or Decentraland that allow you to create your own digital products. In this latest game, users have the opportunity to purchase virtual land with real mortgage loans promoted by RCN, a peer-to-peer platform that uses smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain.
"As for the games, it was a crucial year, just a few months ago a blockchain game could not be played on mobile devices, now it's possible, a year ago there were no infrastructures to scale thousands of users, but the our game CryptoWars had 100,000 blockchain transactions in the last 5 days, 2018 was a year of growth in the generation of infrastructure, in 2019 I hope to see games that reach millions of people since the technology will allow it, "explained Matías Nisenson, Experimental CEO.
Gonzalo Blousson, president of the NGO Bitcoin Argentina and founder of Signatura explained: "This year has been a year of experimentation, we have seen many developments and implementations of proof of concept that apply blockchain technology in almost all industries, looking for to find where blockchain today is able to provide more value ".
He added that he hoped that in 2019 it will be the year in which we will see how many of these POCs become productive solutions, improving the efficiency, safety and transparency of many processes and, above all, allowing the development of new solutions. whose implementation was not possible until the appearance of blockchain.
This story was originally published in Spanish at Cripto247