Trust: the number 1 value of blockchain. Takeaways from the N-sight of 6 Nov 2018


As companies and organisations assess the potential of Blockchain, they want to know: is this new technology worthwhile for us? Will it provide real added value or can we ignore it?  And if we have a good use case, how do we get started with a Blockchain project?


SettleMint started the session with two real-live cases yet very diverse on tokenisation and best practices for a Blockchain project roadmap. Then, we heard from SD Worx and Isabel about getting their own projects going, as well as their expectations and learnings.


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Tokenisation on Blockchain - from beer to banking


Tokenisation was the connecting thread for the two cases presented by Tom De Block, Blockchain Solution Architect for SettleMint, as he elaborated on projects for Brouwerij 3 Fonteinen and the Islamic Development bank.


The Islamic Development bank is using blockchain as part of its 'sharia-compliant ethical' banking principles, while Brouwerij 3 Fonteinen used a token to enable crowdfunding to rescue the 'Schaarbeekse Kriekelaar' tree: the ideal tree for the brewery’s cherry beer. Tom also spoke about the 'RealHarts project, which enables transparency for monetary donations to projects in developing countries.


Tom laid out the blockchain project roadmap, from discovery and analysis, through platform development, and on to network deployment and integration: from start to finish it can be carried out in about 21 weeks.


The number 1 value in blockchain, Tom concluded, is Trust.


Building a practical application: Smart Paper


Next up was Peter Van Ostaeyen, Business Consultant Blockchain & IoT at SD Worx.  He revealed SD Worx’s smart paper project triangle, consisting of 3 elements:

  • Blockchain platforms
  • IoT stuff
  • Massive data blocks
  • Artificial Intelligence enables these 3 elements to communicate and work with each other.


Peter sees human ability to adapt and learn as an important obstacle in the development of blockchain.


Demonstrating annual paper consumption worldwide (slide 5), Peter wondered “What if only 22% of this consumption is needed in 2019?” Giving several examples of some of the forms of ‘smart paper’, Peter went to a few practical opportunities, such as RFID tags to share data.


SD Worx saw an important opportunity for itself in smart paper, such as for payslips.  This payroll consultant company aims to compartmentalise all data on a payslip.  Each compartment then receives a unique string of numbers.  That unique code can be put in a blockchain, and these blockchain strings can easily be checked for validity by interested parties such as banks, landlords, lawcourts, etc.


To wrap up, Peter described other use cases, including:

  • biometric sensors and data for standardised exams
  • subsidies for insulating houses - smart paper can be used to verify e.g. the energy performance of the house
  • RFIDs in bank notes – enabling the paper trail to be monitored.


In all cases, Peter concluded: the transition model is key when building a blockchain roadmap.


Building a Blockchain-based ecosystem? Do’s and don’ts from a real project!


Frank Verhaest, Program Manager Innovation & Blockchain from Isabel Group (a consortium of 4 Belgian banks) then took over, explaining that the consortium came up with a blockchain initiative. The use case: the know your customer (KYC) process to verify the identity of clients and assess potential risks of illegal intentions. For a bank this is often a lengthy paper process and a source of frustration to all parties.  Transparency, efficiency, control and trust are all challenging.


This case showed the benefits of

  • Mutualising the effort
  • Using a corporate KYC blockchain platform
  • Creating trust and a single truth


The reasons for choosing blockchain in this project were:

  • Ledger
  • Immutability
  • Trust
  • Network


Over time, also other parties might obtain (partial) access to this closed blockchain, which will increase the efficiency and added value of the Isabel system.


In terms of governance, defining rules is key:

  • who can be part of the consortium
  • how new functionalities can be deployed
  • how integration with the different parties will be achieved
  • who will pay for what
  • who is accountable
  • how communication will be enabled.


Once the ecosystem is alive, Frank concluded, the sky is the limit for adding more services and applications, built on the existing blockchain. Some examples he gave included: fraud management, corporate ID, government-specific apps, e-Invoicing, etc.


















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