On November 6th, David Furlonger (Distinguished VP Analyst, Gartner) tackled the trendy topic of Blockchain during the Gartner Symposium/ITXpo which took place in Barcelona. His presentation was entitled "Blockchain Society" and described a world where the distributed ledger technology could be used to govern and create value in an entire new societal context.

"Our current society is fragile and broken: the iron triangle can no longer support the weight of society. Therefore, let's look at the hype Blockchain provides as it could offer a new way forward and new ways to operate," started David Furlonger, who then explained that companies, infrastructures and governments are all being challenged, from political pressure to the rise of fake news. "The pressure on society is significant. How we view money and how it is created changes control. A such democratized, decentralized money, such as Blockchain, with everyone participating for the greater good, could offer new opportunities".

A society, which is a group of people engaged in persistent social interaction, mixed with the Blockchain technology – an expanding list of cryptographically signed, irrevocable transactional records shared by all participants in a network, could result in the creation of a Blockchain Society, with a re-engineered authority using shared, distributed and intelligent capabilities. "While it can sound frightening for some people, it also means huge opportunities to all of the people taking part in the newly created Blockchain Society," added the Distinguished VP Analyst. David Furlonger then asked to the following question: what is driving the emergence of such a society? Networks and Compute, Consortia-Based Collaboration, Natively Intelligent Things, Self-Designing Systems, Asset Fluidity, Asset Monetizability and finally, Decentralized and Distributed Trust. "And while traditional society slays within boundaries, Blockchain Society plays with boundaries. It notably ignores national and corporate borders. These societies develop without any notion of boundaries," he highlighted.

The Blockchain also offer new organizational structures, based on participation rather than ownership. It can provide fairer systems for decision-making, with a notion of futarchy-based societal governance: the Blockchain community provides randomized input, suggestions and votes on issues, "experts" used prediction markets to execute their beliefs on outcomes, with the outcome being delegated democracy. As explained by David Furlonger, "it notably happens in the context of civic investments. For instance, a microgrid with its small, autonomous and distributed services at the local level. Solar panels gather energy and instantly, a local energy market is created. People can therefore generate their own energy, control who has access to it and determine the investment that's required".

Estonia is already working on building a Blockchain nation, laying the first stones to get to that point with the creation of e-identities, e-governance, healthcare services, education means, innovative mobility services, and much more. "Other countries are pursuing such initiatives, namely Lithuania, Cyprus, Malta, Singapore, etc. They aim at creating a new economic environment and as business-enablers, encourage startups to settle in their country," he explained. In such societies, Blockchain is the key orchestrator of a new trust paradigm and allows for new forms of digital identity and "distributed self". It has also been used in West Virginia to vote using a mobile device and offering real-time analyses.

When it comes to money, society will transit from centrally controlled fiat to community facilitated digital assets, allowing transference of value control to public, entities and networks, but also a new era of entrepreneurship and reimagined economic models. As a matter of fact, the future of money will evolve into a future of value.

To conclude, David Furlonger highlighted that such societies could very well be created in the next 5 years: "We already need to understand the risks, legal challenges, etc. How is it going to change the way we live? Then, we could be able to create all kinds of distributed apps and new forms of organizations".


Alexandre Keilmann

Publié le 13 décembre 2018