The blockchain will create a real sharing economy

26 Jan, 2019

This technology will crowd out the current intermediaries, who will be replaced by new service facilitators, more efficient and less expensive, according to Geneva Blockchain Congress speakers held Monday at Palexpo.

On paper, the possibilities offered by the blockchain seem endless. This decentralized and secure database makes it possible to exchange value without intermediaries, as the internet makes it possible to exchange information. In a word, ensure trust between actors who do not know each other. Still, 99% of the population does not know what this technology consists of, even if applications already exist and reveal a new type of intermediary.

We are often close to science fiction when the blockchain specialists describe the future. Nobody doubts the level of security offered by this technology: the hack would amount to "reconstituting a chicken from a chicken nugget," summarized Don Tapscott Monday before the 550 participants of the Geneva Blockchain Congress (including Le Temps is partner.

In this future, there are standalone technologies, which make decisions based on predefined scenarios - through smart contracts - and companies that will be able to do without employees or managers. This already exists, or has already existed, like The DAO, an automated venture capital project launched by a small German start-up,, in 2016.


A real sharing economy

Without going so far, the hotel industry could see offers fully automated through the blockchain, says the author of Blockchain Revolution: "After an online reservation, a partial payment is triggered when the customer enters the room ; a levy is made when he takes a coffee   with a machine installed in the room, and the full payment is realized at the departure of the customer, who will not forget to leave an opinion on his experience »

New business models will emerge, says the Toronto-born thinker, to create a true sharing economy: "The service provided by Uber or Airbnb can be replaced by blockchain and databases, which will make the link between customers and service providers. This task is for the moment centralized by these companies, who cash money precisely because they do not share. "

Rather than eliminating all middlemen, the blockchain allows for a new, more efficient intermediation, continues Don Tapscott, who quotes the Canadian company PayCase Remit, allowing cash transfers between mobile phones to the Philippines, in 1 second and for 1 to 1.5% fee. "The old middlemen are doomed, but there are many opportunities in the new middlemen," concludes one of the best-known blockchain personalities.


Ten Hiroshima a day

But before arriving at this optimized future, several major challenges remain to be solved. That of energy, to begin with, connects Toufi Saliba, founder of the TODA network: "The equivalent of ten Hiroshima is consumed every day" by the miners on the blockchain. Nevertheless, the blockchain's impact will be positive on the planet when it makes a business much more efficient. For him, this will be the case from 2023, otherwise the blockchain will not become global.

According to Toufi Saliba, for the blockchain to really prevail, it must improve its security, its effectiveness, its confidentiality, will have to be much more scalable and expandable, and allow different channels to communicate.


But even if all these conditions are met, all the unknowns will not be lifted, says Delphine Bracher, ethicist of innovation: we often trust something because we know that someone will be accountable; but how to make account to protocols or machines ...?


So, the large-scale adoption of the blockchain would it be impossible? "You do not need to understand a technology to use it: what really matters is the user experience," concludes Krzysztof Gagacki, creator of IOVO, a platform for centralizing and controlling his data.

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