GB: What Blockchain applications excite you the most and why?
AlDamati: Blockchain smart property applications: Smart contracts can revolutionise the traditional lending system. For instance, unconventional money lenders (e.g. hard money lenders) service borrowers who have poor credit with needed loans – while charging two to ten percent of the loan amount and claiming their property as collateral. Too many borrowers fall into bankruptcy and lose homes. The blockchain can undercut this by allowing a stranger to loan you money and taking your smart property as collateral. No need to show the lender credit or work history. No need to manually process the numerous documents. The property’s encoded on the blockchain for all to see.
Blockchain Internet-of-Things (IoT): Any material object is a ‘thing.’ It becomes an internet of things (IoT) when it has an on/ off switch that connects it to the internet and to each other. By being connected to a computer network, the object, such as a car, become more than just an object. It is now people-people, people-things, and things-things.
The analyst firm Gartner says that by 2020 there will be over 26 billion connected devices. Others raise that number to over 100. How does the IoT affect you? Your printer can automatically order cartridges from Amazon when it runs low. Your alarm clock will change your time for brewing coffee, while your oven will produce an immaculately timed turkey for Thanksgiving. These are just some examples. On a larger scale, cities and governments can use IoT to develop cleaner environments, more efficient energy use and so-called ‘smart cities,’ to improve how we live and work.
There’s a lot of excitement around the technology from both private and public enterprises. Is this translating to actionable plans? List a few.
Since its introduction, blockchain has undergone several iterations as the general public and private corporations sought to take advantage of its valuable infrastructure. Blockchain is a capable architecture that enables frictionless relationships, whether between company units and service providers in the case of private blockchains, or communities separated by national boundaries.
One of the major complaints about blockchains is their inability to share data, or lack of compatibility, a common challenge faced by both private and public chains. If blockchains are a means to transmit and transfer value, whether digital or physical, eventually a conduit must be formed to bridge disconnected systems to expand the reach of existing applications.
Enterprise blockchains typically run on private or permissioned blockchains, which are centrally administered but invitation-only affairs for those using the peer-to-peer, decentralised transactional network.
Like the internet, public blockchains are shared by all users and don’t require special tools or access to join in. Public blockchains are best known for the creation and exchange of digital currencies, such as Ether and bitcoin.
On a public blockchain, the network is already in place and one integration could work for all business parties involved – no need to create separate networks for each industry or region to manage privacy
What is holding back broader Blockchain adoption despite the obvious benefits?
The technology requires more detail in terms of enabling better understanding, hence better implementation. Notably, blockchain implementation challenges simply imply that there is more to work on before the technology can fulfill its promise.
And some of the challenges are implementation cost, scalability, data privacy, insufficient internal blockchain knowledge while transitioning from the legacy structure is proving difficult. Also, security, criminal activity, lack of regulatory clarity, interoperability of enterprise blockchain platforms and many other factors are holding it back.
How do you see the technology and its applications evolving in the region in coming years? Do you see the current environment encouraging more blockchain applications?
Blockchain provides a fundamental shift from the Internet of information/communications to the Internet of Value.
And it enables new ways of organising economic activities, reduces costs and time associated with intermediaries, and strengthens the trust in an ecosystem of actors. The impact of this seminal technology is reflected by an upcoming research stream and various firms that examine the potential uses of blockchain technology. While there are promising use cases of this new technology, research and practice are still in their infancy about altering existing and creating new business models.
We started seeing a lot of impact of the technology to transform multiple industries and to significantly alter the fields of its application. Besides this, we found there are a lot of financial institutions, governments and enterprise businesses start moving forward with the use of the technology and found and new integrations and enhancements on cross-border payments, real state adaptions, logistics, healthcare.
So, we believe we will see more adaption, regulations in the coming years to increase the adaptions of the technology.