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Technology review: startup and bitcoin

Looking back at the year that is about to close, It is very gratifying to see the proliferation of startups in the city.

According to an annual survey of Invest Hong Kong published in 2006 mid-Decemberthere were 2625 startups active in the main workplaces and public and private incubators, up 18% compared to 2017. Together, these startups employed about 10,000 people, a 51 percent increase compared to the previous one year.

People involved in financial technology accounted for 16% of startups, while others covered various technology sectors, including e-commerce, supply chain management, logistics, professional services and consulting, computers is information technology.

I was recently asked what I thought was the most advertised technology in 2018 and my answer was blockchain.

Blockchain has become famous for being the technology behind cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. Offers a digital recording of trations that can not be altered. It is believed to have enormous potential for disrupting financial services and other sectors.

In the budget speech two years ago, the government said it would encourage the application of blockchain technology in the financial sector as a means of reducing transaction costs and preventing suspicious transactions.

In fact, the government and the business community have studied how to exploit the potentials of technologybut so far the efforts have gone much further strategic discussions on paper.

The reason is that the technology has yet to come to killer application that could subvert the existing system and provide substantial benefits.

By comparison, when the Internet-enabled smartphone was introduced in 2009, it really changed the way we communicate. The smartphone has replaced the traditional voice-based mobile phone and announced the popularity and success of 3G.

At the same time, the blockchain operation consumes a lot of electricity. It is reported that a bitcoin transaction consumes around 300 KWh of electricity from the computer, which alone costs more than HK $ 200.

It is also said that when using a computer to do "mining" (which refers to the production of cryptocurrencies of solving mathematical puzzles), the extra charge of electricity is about 1,000 HK $ a month.

Therefore, when the blockchain is used for more complex commercial applications, the electricity bill would be very high.

That's why Gartner's IOC Survey 2018 conclusions did not surprise you. According to the chief information officer survey, only 1% has confirmed that it has adopted blockchain technology within its own organizations and only 8% said they have planned or actively tested this emerging technology to be used in the near future.

Almost 80% of respondents did not indicate the intention to use the technology.

However, blockchain could be of the utmost importance for many industries. Its ability to record transactions and ensure that they are not dismantled will help protect personal data.

Previously, I reported a "blockchain-based" test program decentralized data infrastructure for citizens to own their data "in Barcelona, ​​Spain.

In the program, citizens will do it decide which personal information can be opened to the public and can customize the conditions, for example to whom information can be disclosed and what the restrictions are.

Citizens can track how their personal information is used, when and how they are used and from which organization.

This system removes the concern of the public opinion on the use of their personal data by the government and business organizations.

Many other trends are emerging. As such, 2019 promises to be an exciting year in the field of technology and innovation.

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  • A photo by Eric Chu of KMT, who announced plans last week to attend the Taiwan presidential election in 2020. Photo: Bloomberg

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