Wait – isn’t Blockchain the same as Bitcoin? How is that going to help us, citizens, to redefine governance? A word from our Blockchain curator Sebastien Arbogast:
You can often read that the blockchain is the technology behind Bitcoin. And historically it’s true. But reducing it to its origin would be like saying the Internet is the technology behind email. At the heart of the blockchain is the notion of decentralization, a really disruptive concept that pushes us to completely rethink the way we collaborate and structure our organizations, in the same way as Bitcoin completely redesigned a monetary system.
But where Bitcoin is a specialized blockchain, designed to create and transfer cryptocurrency, there are now generic blockchains that function as decentralized computers, making it possible for developers to build all sorts of decentralized applications on top of them. As such, Ethereum and others like it create another level of infrastructure, to create a new generation of software applications based on smart contracts.
The technology is still very young, as Ethereum was launched in summer 2015, and it still faces some challenges. But while they are being addressed, it’s already possible to imagine, design and even implement new business models, new governance mechanisms, new community systems where trust third parties are not necessary anymore, where citizens are empowered to stay in control of their own data and identity, and where everyone can participate in the evolution of the platform as a whole.
So join us in hacking Belgium… heck, in hacking the world, with the blockchain.