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New Technologies are Changing the Way we Live Blockchain is one of them

Mark Kalin, Head of Innovation Office and New Technology, BTC d.d.
Mark Kalin, Head of Innovation Office and New Technology, BTC d.d.

Mark Kalin, Head of Innovation Office and New Technology, BTC d.d.

Disruptive technologies like the Internet of Things, virtual reality, mixed reality, augmented reality, robotics, artificial intelligence, machine learning and blockchain are changing our everyday lives. We now have a little over than 5 billion unique mobile users and 8 billion devices that are connected to the internet constantly. Technology is here to stay. Most of the companies have realized that digital transformation is, and will continue to have a big impact on our lives and all the industries. They are using new technologies to improve their existing business models and optimize processes and resources. New, additional, business models are being made, influencing strategies and culture of the companies. Most of the companies need to transform and reposition innovation at the core of their business to become leaders or follow trends. We have found ourselves in a paradigm, where companies are completely reinventing new business models and revenue streams by implementing new disruptive technologies, one of them being blockchain.

  Today, I can send a piece of information or even better cryptocurrency, digital money, to a person across the entire globe in a matter of seconds, in a fast, secure and safe way with extremely low transaction fees 

Blockchain is a technology that is not completely new but has gained a lot of reputation in the last three years with the cryptocurrency market and the overwhelming number of blockchain projects. The technology itself is, in my opinion, brilliantly designed. It can and above all, it will solve many challenges our modern society is going to face now and in the future. Its features are thrust, security, transparency and speed of doing business.

We have come to a momentum, where bitcoin frenzy has slowed down, most of the projects have not proven their value and proof of concept, but there are still a few projects with great value and even greater potential. If we look at serious players like central banks and other institutional players, we can see that they are slowly applying blockchain technology, which indicates that blockchain technology is here to stay and will be going mainstream. We have big partnerships like Visa and Coinbase, which enable users to pay with cryptocurrency and use cryptocurrency for our daily needs. There is an ever-growing number of top brands that are accepting cryptocurrency as means of payment, like Starbucks, Whole Foods, which results in showing a slow realization that fiat and cryptocurrency will eventually be treated the same.

DLT technology is, in my opinion, misunderstood. It is a record of information or a decentralized database that is spread all over the network with everyone having access to it. Blockchain is just one type of distributed ledger that has information shared and replicated across a network of peer-to-peer computers. The information is shared among users of the network and uses cryptography to provide a secure exchange of information, as well as to secure identification of sender and receiver. When information is added to the blockchain, other peers- users need to confirm it. Basically, the decentralized network of users needs to confirm it. This information is then added to a block. Furthermore, each block of information includes a unique hash, a so-called digital fingerprint, that links blocks together, creating a chain. Therefore, the term blockchain. This technology is fantastic because we all know that information is correct, verified and allows a fast peer-to-peer exchange. Users can exchange information directly without any intermediary securely and effectively.

I believe we have reached a crossroad in our history, where for the first time blockchain technology enables the user to transfer securely and safely a piece of digital property, information, to another user. Today, I can send a piece of information or even better cryptocurrency, digital money, to a person across the entire globe in a matter of seconds, in a fast, secure and safe way with extremely low transaction fees. If we would do it in a traditional way we all know, I, for example, would need to go to the bank and do this from a regular bank account, which will most likely take a few days. The money would most likely have to switch hands between a couple of banks to be transferred to destination, where every time transaction fees would be calculated.

Another real-life example focuses on the quality and traceability of goods and food. I believe that we, the consumers, are becoming more aware and demanding towards the market and retailers, because we want to know the origin of products, ingredients, the authenticity of the product, and much more. Consumers want to look at what they are purchasing thoroughly. We have a lot of counterfeits and products that claim to be organic and healthy but are fake and not even remotely healthy. We trust the labelling, not knowing if the ingredients are true and if the origin is as well.

I have worked on a couple of projects. One that I would certainly like to share is Origin trail, which enables trusted data sharing to global supply chains. We have implemented their solution in our BTC Company’s Logistics and in the food industry. Moreover, solutions like these enable fraud prevention and brand protection and offer us a way to track each product, food especially, in a detailed way, giving consumers all the required information and a piece of mind. Knowing what you eat and what you buy is crucial in these fast pacing and technology-oriented and based world. With all these technologies, it is a must, a necessity, an added value.

I would like to conclude that all these technologies, especially blockchain, are here to change our lives towards the better. We still need more great projects that will showcase all the benefits to the world, because often some technologies are used just because they are trendy, and not because of their great usage. The same goes with blockchain, it’s not suitable for every company and every project, an evaluation must be conducted, and strategies prepared, assessing the need and implementation of blockchain technology. The life as we know it is changing in front of our very eyes and technologies are the reason. Let’s be ready to embrace change.

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