Blockchain, decentralized trust … @Radio RKS

Column by Rafale Varela, March 3, 2021 at Miroir des Sciences, on Radio RKS Spirit of Grenoble.

I would like to tell you a short (true) story, an experience that begins with a friend in trouble. This friend, an entrepreneur from a distant country, asked me to help stabilize his cash flow during the crisis.

I answered those present and agreed to do him a favor … And now, two weeks ago, I first buy … cryptocurrency!

Cryptocurrency, for those unfamiliar with the term, is electronic currency issued by computers without the need for a central bank, financial authority, or anyone else. Cryptocurrencies can be used on a decentralized computer network: BLOCKCHAIN. It is very important to emphasize this concept of decentralization, because thanks to this and the encryption, this network is considered inviolable!

Virtual currencies have a reputation for being highly volatile, not tied to the “real” world.

For this first experience, I chose a so-called stable cryptocurrency pegged to the US dollar. I was not at all serene! I checked each step carefully with great suspicion … a lump in my stomach!

In a few clicks, I was able to create my digital wallet. I was also able to transfer assets instantly and almost free of charge. No more commissions for paying left and right, no more administration or exchange fees … simple, fast and efficient! (and legally ?!)

I took the opportunity to get another virtual asset, more volatile and unstable. Less than 10 days later, I became richer by about 15 euros! Here is a successful crypto trader!

We see more and more companies accepting payments in cryptocurrency, these fluctuations are quite detrimental to their acceptance …

Really. Most recent example: Tesla exchanged some of its cash for bitcoins and made the price of that currency skyrocket, taken by storm by investors … Financial speculation is a misuse of cryptocurrencies that aims to “ eliminate any middleman and ensure that transactions.

However, it’s important to note that blockchain, the technology behind all these cryptocurrencies, has many more applications … endless! This is a breakthrough in several areas of activity, in particular those for which traceability is important. For example, blockchain is capable of detecting fraud … the number of use cases related to logistics and supply chain is increasing. There are even companies that offer to track the origin of the energy we use to make sure it is indeed renewable. AOC labels can also be converted to digital prints to prevent counterfeiting. These solutions have already been tested on skin and drugs. (Source: IBM)

One can imagine applications in the public sector and for combating tax fraud … countless possibilities!

Beyond the legal (sometimes geopolitical) issues surrounding the use of computers instead of banks, accountants, notaries and even politicians, blockchain will destroy society. Let’s see: we’re talking about a network that conveys trust!

In fact, blockchain can be the mainstay of great social transformations. Realization of a trend that emerged in the 90s, but which was accelerated by the Covid crisis: trade based on values! Exchanges are made based on reasons and ideas that we hold dear. We want to make sure, for example, that we don’t finance deforestation in the Amazon with our golden ring, or that we don’t take advantage of the forced labor of Uyghurs in China with our mobile phones, and that we don’t finance corrupt elites by fueling our car. .. in short

This compulsory consumption appears to be the successor to globalization and its free trade model. However, blockchain is a technology (perhaps the only one) that can provide us with the necessary traceability of commercial exchanges. We will need more computers and more powerful computers … this is another speculative investment idea! And education … so that this technology will benefit not only a very small group who will know how to use it.

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