Nowadays there is a lot of talk about Blockchain technology. We are in a historical moment in which this innovation is attracting plenty of attention, but all too often we get caught up in a still fairly generalised confusion between cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin, Blockchain platforms, Smart Contracts and so on.

We asked Giampiero Zito, CEO and Innovation Manager of Mediterraneo Lab 4.0, a strategic and management consulting company.

Q: What is blockchain for you?
A: Beyond the more or less known definitions of blockchain, besides its different validation protocols (proof of work or Proof of stake), or the different types of blockchain (open/public or closed/private), for me blockchain is more than just (more than anything?) a technology that allows digital data to be securely managed and made traceable and unchangeable on distributed ledgers, in effect certifying everything that has value, not just coins. Blockchain can change our lives and the way we look at it!

Q: How can it change our lives?
A: First of all, it gives us the possibility of creating a certified and inviolable digital identity through encryption. You may wonder what changes compared to a current operator that already allows people identification! There are two main differences: the first is that the registration of people on private ‘permissioned’ blockchains takes place on the basis of stringent procedures such as KYC (know-your-customer) and AML (anti-machine laundering); the second is that the data entered on the distributed registers (ledgers) are no longer modifiable. Or rather the subject may do so, but there would always remain a trace on the logs of every single operation to which a string of ‘hashcode corresponds.

Q: So where does all this lead?
A: Well, imagine how much time will be saved by operators dealing with the veracity of information in public procurement, for example, rather than in compliance checks with contracts/clauses (e.g. real estate), as well as in the simplification of processes for defining levels of civil, criminal and administrative liability.

Q: What about companies?
All this can lead companies to completely revise their business model. Before, the value of a company was perceived consumers on the strength of the brand, of the storytelling, on the sometimes biased account of the sustainability of products and processes. Today, with blockchain, you can’t fool anyone: everything concerning the life of a natural or legal person can be certified and recorded!
From user identity  to the origin of products,  but also transport and delivery methods, contracts or obligations, formal and non-formal skills of a person/worker, work activities, health status… and much more.

Q: Are there already concrete examples of this?
Of course, both internationally and locally… indeed, we are proud to have bet on the potential of Blockchain 2 years ago, starting from Campania. I remember someone calling us crazy when we conceived, proposed and designed the first university specialization course for “Blockchain Professionals” https://www.uniparthenope.it/bando/corso-di-perfezionamento-universitario-blockchain-professional-and-business-services .

The Parthenope University of Naples believed in our idea and to date we are launching the second edition which, incidentally, has received important recognition and funding from MISE  (Italian Ministry of Economic Development) for its experimental nature. The participants (managers, c-levels and students) are not just told about the Blockchain but rather illustrated and taught through the use of Blockchain applications of private operators, our partners. We also issued certificates of participation in blockchain and certified to participants – only to those who completed kyc procedures –  training and practice activities on their skills booklet.

Q: Are there plans for the manufacturing world as well?
Sure! A specific project has just been approved (“Tr.A.Ce.- Tracciabilità agroalimentare certificata”, Avviso Innovazione 1/2019). It was presented to FONDIMPRESA by 8 companies in the food&packaging sector, which decided to invest in Blockchain for the traceability of the entire supply chain, certifying raw materials from suppliers, quality processes, purchase and sale operations, thus offering the possibility to their customers and final consumers to verify in real time through hashcodes the veracity of the information.

As you can see, we are moving from perceived value to certified and measurable value!
Other projects being approved are in the health sector for the purpose of  traceability and certification of patients health data, and others are in the agricultural and the cold chain sector, a sore point for economic operators in our area, who are increasingly confronted with foreign operators putting more attention – and rightly so – on quality and shelf-life of raw materials and finished products.

Q: So, in conclusion, long live the Blockchain?
The technology and the projects described above open the way for interesting solutions that increasingly meet the needs of consumers (sustainable and responsible consumption), but also of public operators (Public Administration and public-private authorities) and intermediate bodies that are ever more “responsible” (ref. Law 231) for the data issued and opposed to third parties.

The real open challenge remains, however, that of open innovation: only innovation based on the sharing of projects, experiences, know-how and objectives will lead the Blockchain to expand and be used not only by private but also public operators, paving the way for a new era: the one of smart economy and internet of value!

Together with our Partners, both in academic and professional training, and in the world of research as well, we build blockchain solutions to improve intra-company processes in order to offer Made in Italy more opportunities to compete alongside international players on the global stage.

dott. Giampiero Zito – Linkedin
Mediterraneo Lab 4.0

THINK DIGITAL… ACT SUSTAINABLE!
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