Blockchain Keynote – Edgar Versteeg

The second edition of DIQQ College was on Wednesday the 13th of February. This edition it was time to discuss a subject a lot of people heard of but do not have a good vision of: blockchain. Is blockchain the same thing as crypto? Is it a hype? And more importantly: what can you do with it? 

This is what DIQQ wanted to know more about! And who better to ask to explain all of this then Edgar Versteeg? Edgar is a blockchain specialist. He works for different clients as a Product Owner, with a focus on blockchain and cybersecurity. In this blog Edgar shares his vision on blockchain: 

What is blockchain and what are the advantages? 

In my opinion the power of blockchain consists of three elements.

1.    Blockchain is a new technique, which enable users to exchange data in a safe way, is a distributed network. De security of the network is being protected by applicating cryptography. A well-known definition is a shared ledger. This ledger contains all transactions of the network, which can be consulted by everyone. In this way the database offers maximal transparency (something that is not always the case with other databases, because they are being shielded). De security of the data and the network is being protected through cryptography. Hereby it is impossible to hack blockchain or to manipulate the data. Nowadays cybersecurity is an important theme and when you look at hacks (for example Mt Gox) you will see that in these kind of situations hackers have managed to hack the platform of the (online) wallet, but not the blockchain technology itself.

2.    Blockchain technology does not have an added value without an ecosystem where data is shared. The power of blockchain relates to the fact that it is an open source technology, causing everybody to be able to contribute to the ecosystem. Besides that is it possible to share peer to peer data of value in the decentral network, which is a powerful quality. There is no need for a central authority of middleman. Thus, you can achieve a high level of efficiency.

3.    Third, crypto economics of game theory play a big part in blockchain. This means that your network is protected by thinking from ‘game rules’ and ‘adversarial thinking’ (‘What would users do to disrupt the network?’). The shaping of the ecosystem and the desired and unwanted behaviors between all (decentral) users can be coded using an incentive mechanism (tokenization and a smart contract), this had a lot of potential. The teamwork of a well-designed ecosystem, the design patterns from the game theory and the using of cryptography on all concrete customer needs of use cases determine the success of blockchain.  

Blockchain in practice

Blockchain is a powerful technology that can be used in diverse ways, often in combination with existing technology. Worldwide people are experimenting with the diverse uses of blockchain. With this the focus is creating value for the customers and sharing information in a transparent and efficient way with chain-partners. A well-known example is bitcoin. Bitcoin can be seen as an alternative economic system. The bitcoin network is being carried by users, the cryptography protects the network and makes sure the transition of value is possible. In contrast to the euro there is no central party that can influence the operation of the bitcoin ecosystem. This brings a lot of advantages with it. Random crypto is hanging in a sphere of ‘become rich fast’ and fraud and that is why the governance of a blockchain ecosystem is very important to prevent other unwanted behavior. Worldwide people are experimenting with all kinds of applications of blockchain, that are able to disrupt platforms as Uber, Netflix and Facebook.

Smart Contract

A smart contract is the programming of transactions that take place on a blockchain. A blockchain can carry value (think of bitcoin for example) which is automatically paid out, as soon as a transaction meets particular conditions. This means that all kinds of processes in finance, legal and logistics can be optimized and that there are significantly less people needed to check the transactions in the network. A lot of startups and corporates are trying to develop applications of blockchain that have a lot of impact on the digitalized world. 

Maturity

Blockchain is momentarily still in its infancy. After the hype in 2017 and the beginning of 2018 the peace has returned. The power of blockchain is that the technology can carry value (for example as a cryptocurrency) and that the desired behavior in the ecosystem can be programmed, think of tokenization and the application of smart contracts. Although the value of diverse cryptocurrencies as bitcoin has decreased a lot the past time, there are still a lot of companies that are experimenting with blockchain technology. In short, the technology is in full development and is searching for the right ‘use cases’ of product-market combination. In my role as a product owner this is what makes my job so challenging!

Would you like to learn more about blockchain and its applications? Do not hesitate to contact Edgar Versteeg