Software and solutions company DVT recently held the latest in a series of customer-driven DVT Insights events at the iconic Marriott Crystal Towers Hotel in Cape Town.
Back in March the company’s first Insights event of the year focused on Robotics and Automation; this time the focus was on the rapidly accelerating concept of Blockchain, a decentralised accounting and verification system most commonly used to track and manage cryptocurrency transactions, but increasingly popular as an enablement paradigm for a plethora of next-generation enterprise IT solutions.
Special guest speaker and strategic foresight practitioner Michael Haupt was on hand to share his own personal story of self-awareness and discovery that made him one of the world’s foremost authorities on blockchain, with more than 1,500 published white papers on the subject.
“Blockchain will have more than 100 times the impact on humanity than the Internet,” says Haupt.
“In absolute terms I can count only three innovations in the history of accounting: single entry, double entry and now, with blockchain, triple entry,” he says. “Whereas double entry, credited to Luca Pacioli in the late 1400s, gave us interest rates, free trade and financial crises, Yuji Ijiri’s seminal 1989 paper lead to the first manifestation of triple entry in modern society – a third entry entered cryptographically into the blockchain that powers the world’s first cryptocurrency, Bitcoin.”
Haupt says blockchain is easier to describe through what it enables rather than what it is. “Modern social crises are the direct consequence of a lack of transparency in the way big systems work. Blockchain enables absolute transparency in commerce, politics, voting, identity, governance and more. It’s not just about business as usual and making it more efficient, it’s a radical reinvention of how the world functions.”
Some of the ways blockchain is shaping society includes:
- Identity vs documentation - individuals become defined by the data they generate and consume, not the documents that identify them.
- Governance vs government - interactions between institutions and individuals.
- Stewardship vs ownership – reputations become based on how we look after what we use, not what own.
- Incentives vs salary - rewards are based on how well we steward what we use.
- Learning vs education - self-directed lifelong learning without having the institutions of schools. We have full access to the world’s knowledge so why do we need institutions of learning.
Trustlab’s Lohan Spies and Bruce Good were also on hand to deliver three very practical examples of how their upstart technology business is using the principles of blockchain to drive real-world applications in South Africa and beyond.
The three locally-developed solutions – consent, Amply and ixo - use blockchain in different ways, and with different results, depending on the context of the application. For example, consent aims to create a global platform for decentralised self-sovereign identity and uses blockchain to securely verify the source and integrity of digital credentials while decentalising personal identifiers that enable self-identification.
It can therefore be used in practical ways for people to open their own bank accounts, apply for their own insurance and even secure bank loans without having to wade through the mountains of paperwork and red tape that currently bottlenecks these applications using today’s technology.
Similarly, Amply uses undswerlying blockchain technology for third-party verification of learner attendance at early childhood development centres, with over 3,100 children already registered in the system in the Western Cape. ixo, in contrast, uses blockchain to measure impact data for global projects, including a development impact bond in India and a reforestation project in Madagascar.
“With DVT Insights we’re continually trying to expose our clients to the people and technologies that are shaping the world we all live and work in today, to better place them to take advantage of the skills and technologies they’ll need to keep their own businesses both relevant and competitive,” says DVT Western cape MD Jacques Fouché.
For more information on future DVT Insights, or to book your place at our next event, please contact Karen Heydenrych on email@example.com.