The Need For a Blockchain For My Company
The blockchain-related hype and Bitcoin madness of the media makes us easily believe that this breakthrough technology will revolutionize our society . By revolution, I mean the replacement of everything we know today with, consequently, the consideration of the subject by entrepreneurs . The question they ask then is to know when they can implement a blockchain themselves. Still, the question that should be asked would be: ” Do I really need a blockchain for my business? “. However, business leaders involved in the sector rarely ask this question … It is central yet essential .
A blockchain can not correct human errors
This is a well-known idea : thanks to the blockchain, you will definitely eliminate human errors. However, there has never been a question of mitigating the limits of the human being and even less his perversities. As the article, which I put the link just above, says so well, “if you feed your garbage blockchain, they’ll get you out of the garbage!” The blockchain is (for now …) only a robot programmed by the human. If the robot is infallible, it’s the opposite of the human being .
For example, Carrefour has introduced a blockchain to ensure the traceability of certain foods. That’s fine … but it’s important to know first-hand the identity of the person recording the information in the blockchain. Indeed, if Carrefour is judge and party, the authenticity and transparency of this blockchain will be strongly questioned . In this case, is it really useful to set up a blockchain? Not really .
The usefulness of the smart contract for my company
I have already wondered about the legal value of smart contracts . On the other hand, I have not yet asked the question of its real utility . Beyond its technical characteristics, how is a smart contract useful? This computer program will allow the automatic execution of a service, scheduled in advance , in case of the occurrence of a suspensive condition . Let’s take an example: I subscribe a plane delay insurance, I am compensated if my plane is two hours late on arrival. I do not invent anything, it already exists at Axa ( Fizzy) . You have a contractual object (to take the plane), a service planned in advance (payment of an indemnity) and, more importantly, the condition precedent to perform this service (the plane is 2 hours late at its point arrival). And that’s all . No need for papers or supporting documents to be sent to the airline.
All this is exciting … but do I need it? The fascinating nature of the smart contract does not, however, provide a universal remedy for the various difficulties encountered in executing a contract . Indeed, many businesses have no use in setting up smart contracts . Instead of giving you a multitude of examples, just look at the three conditions of application for a smart contract to run properly : a contractual object, a service scheduled in advance, the condition precedent to perform the task. provision. However, if the first two conditions of application still exist, this is not the case of the condition precedent . Indeed, a contract can be executed without a suspensive condition and that is the majority of them. In other words, in the absence of a suspensive condition, the need for a smart contract is strongly questioned.
The risk of developing a technology that is not (or almost) legislated
This issue may seem controversial and I totally understand it. Indeed, if we had to wait for well-crafted legislation, blockchain projects or the simple implementation of a blockchain simply would not exist . Legislation relating to blockchain remains a difficult subject in France , as long as its contours are not really defined, discussed and evolve without having been fixed in advance. If there are countries in Europe, such as Malta, where legislation is much more advanced or permissive, it is mainly in the field of crypto-currencies alone .
For an entrepreneur, the risk is to develop a technology with little or no law. Once the technology is in place, a law can very well make completely evolve some very important aspects of the whole system created by the company, thus questioning its durability . This problem, real, is perhaps one of the reasons why banks are very reluctant when blockchain projects are presented (but, of course, this is not the only reason …).
Nevertheless, what would be risk-free entrepreneurship? Waiting for clear legislation could take years, knowing that it could change dramatically depending on the government in place. This problem is therefore secondary and the need for a blockchain may be more important than the expectation of clear legislation .
The blockchain does not seem suitable for all sectors of activity
It may still be a little early to draw conclusions. However, it seems that technology is better at improving three sectors in particular : broad-based finance, energy and the media. For other sectors, nothing is prohibitive but the advantage of a blockchain against existing technologies is not as obvious as one might think .
In the world of finance , no need to draw a picture. crypto-currencies or insurance with the example of Fizzy is the natural environment of the blockchain . This sector could be totally challenged in a few years by a technology made to revolutionize it. By questioning, I do not necessarily mean a disappearance of the existing . On the contrary, banks could very well appropriate the technology, as with the example of the R3 consortium .
For energy, it is the emergence of smart grids that could completely revolutionize and “clean up” the sector. In my opinion, the energy sector is even the biggest beneficiary of the blockchain . Finally, the media sector should also benefit from the blockchain by direct remuneration of authors who could share their works directly without going through a centralized platform like Spotify. For all other sectors, the cost / benefit ratio needs to be put into perspective.