today cast will still might continue to exist

today are the miners and the consultancy companies”, said Mr. William O’RORKE,, Legal
Team Blockchain Partners, but most of the companies could make
profits from blockchain in terms of cost and time saving and increasing of
trust, if they go further in the proof of concepts, as at the moment most of
them, according to Mr. William
O’RORKE, Legal Team Blockchain Partners are “not
exploiting completely the potential of the technology; and this might be caused
as well by the language you use on developing a protocol. The more you use a
language which developers knows, the more it is easier – i.e. Aethereum with
Javascript”.

 

In fact blockchain could eliminate the fraud issue, which many
companies are confronted with nowadays. Indeed, according to a 2014 study made
the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, companies across the world are
losing 5% of revenues to fraud annually. According to the same source, the
money lost every year to frauds amounts to 3 billions dollars. In Europe, the
European Anti Fraud Office revealed that the EU itself lost nearly a 900
millions euros to fraudulent claimants in 2015. We then understand that a
protocol which track every move in complete transparency for all the users
might be very interesting for those companies which are facing relevant fraud
issues.

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Nowadays, the
legislation has not taken into account formally the blockchain technology and
the optimistics think that it is going to substitute the law itself. The good news
is that the notaries’ and lawyers’ cast will still might continue to exist
as the technology itself cannot take the place of the competent human being who
needs to validate at the first stage a contract and the related documents. The
expert Mr. William O’RORKE, Legal Team Blockchain Partners, also shares this
idea:

 “the notary will still
be fundamental for the building and the validation of a contract, the
blockchain cannot replace the law.”

 

There are different bodies at the European  Union Level in
charge of observing and monitoring the evolution of the bitcoin and blockchain
technologies but also starting to being involved in blockchain – related
initiatives.

 

In 2014, the European Banking Authority (EBA), responsible for guaranteeing effective and consistent prudential
regulation and supervision across the European banking sector, shed a negative
light on blockchain- based currencies in its “Opinion on Virtual
Currencies”. the EBA stressed the risks generated by these types of blockchains
and advised financial institutions to avoid using digital currencies until the
industry was regulated. It also dismissed its most obvious advantages, i.e
fast, safe and cheap transfers as non-relevant to the EU where conventional
transfers are already presenting these advantages. The European Commission also
set up in 2016 an internal task force dedicated to digital currencies and
blockchain technology. Its main responsibilities include monitoring the evolutions
of the blockchain and recommending any necessary legislation, the main
objectives being for the European Commission to be ahead of the latest
blockchain innovations before blockchain applications become systemic. The
Commission is also financially supporting blockchain initiatives, or what it
calls “Distributed Ledger Technology” such as MyHealth-My Data’ which relates
to the privacy of healthcare records in Italy.

 

The European Parliament is keeping a close eye on the impact of
the blockchain technology, as shown by the last report it commissioned in 2017
on ” How blockchain technology could change our lives” ,  prepared for and
addressed to the members and staff of the European Parliament. The report
concludes that the biggest impact of blockchain technology lies outside the
currency field , i.e. in the areas of digital patents, supply chains, e-voting
and smarts contracts.

 

Depending on the field, however, the opinions on the impacts of
the blockchain on the industry itself might change. In the healthcare industry,
according to Dr.
Johnny NOBLES,  Blockchain
Specialist, Senior Principal Advisory at BlockRx at Government Blockchain
Association in the USA, blockchain technology might “save
significant resources as it will lead to an increased automatization which will
likely lead to lesser dependency on workforce. The reduction of time in any
transaction in Healthcare Delivery will be considerable and the savings in the
insurance claims processing, payment processing and formalization of a document
between the patient-payer-healthcare provider (HCP) will be significant.”

 

Without doubt, the most relevant impact of this disruptive and
fascinating technology it is linked with the change in the concept of power
itself  as it offers “a different system of power where everyone has a
“voice” and one can be user and governor of the protocol at the same time.”,
states Mr. Antoine YERETZIAN,
Co-founder of Blockchain Partner, France.

 

The technology is revising the actual power structure definition
in the most different fields through its decentralization characteristic: “the
BC is a decentralized autonomous organization that disrupts the normal power
structure and system of governance. We have in front of us a mutually
beneficial cooperation where each party gets what they want in return for
observing a required set of rules.” states
Mr. Ivan KARADZHOV, Co-founder
of Bitcomo, Russia. In the digital marketing field Mr. Karadzhov emphasizes
that blockchain allows the “users to track every click and every action
taken by a potential customer; creating by this a self sufficient community of
advertisers and publisher without the involvement of centralized forces. The
protocol enables publishers to advertise anything from everywhere in the world
in accordance with the demands and preference of their target audience. The
whole exchange cycle is completely transparent and thus more efficient.”

 

1.1.1      Advantages

Even if blockchain
technology might be considered as  a bubble by the sceptics, i.e. a trend
that will soon decrease after it has done its curve path, the experts are
confident that because of the advantages brought by this technology to all the
stakeholders involved , it will become soon as important as internet.

Most of the
advantages the blockchain will bring are linked to its own peculiar
characteristics. The traceability and its total transparency are the elements
which are most valuable in terms of advantages. If we look again to the
advertisement sector “the opportunity to
precisely target audiences on a large scale at a lower cost will support
businesses to reduce their advertising costs while increasing their benefits in
terms of impact. Besides the publishers are only paid for the quality traffic
they actually generated and that leads to an increase in the actual sales”, states Mr. KARADZHOV.

Of the same opinion is also Mr. NOBLES referring
to the healthcare industry: ” Its application will decrease repeated
transactions from insurance companies to banks (Hospital/ Patient payment), it
will lead to significant savings for insurance companies as less bank
transaction charges will be levied; and overall will reduce complexities as
multiple parties with granted access can see the data simultaneously  thus
reducing errors, duplications and waste of time”

 

Of course, having a system which allows everyone involved to see
all your moves and the changes a specific document might have constitute an
obstacle to any eventual fraud initiative. “Currently fraudulent activities
in insurance payments lead to higher premium to patient and greater scrutiny of
the documents given by the hospitals or labs. Blockchain will be able to reduce
the fraudulent activity which may lead to the reduction of premiums.”,
continues Mr. Nobles.

 

The eventuality to put in place fraud initiatives without being
discovered, at this moment seem to be impossible: “An affiliate marketing
network based on the blockchain protocol is completely impervious to ad fraud
and payout problems. In the era of streaming the blockchain might finally put
an end to the pirate activities related to movies, music and books. “,
concludes Mr.  Karadzhov.

In terms of costs
generated by the applications of blockchain technology, most of the experts
agree that this will bring a significant decrease. On the other side, companies
have not yet the potential budget  (in terms of time and costs) necessary
to implement the technology to one or more of their processes. According to Mr.
O’RORKE it is not so difficult to implement the technology as companies might
imagine especially in the retail industry:  “The application of
blockchain to the retail industry can be considered easier than building an app
as you just give to your suppliers (if applied to supply chain) the key access
and all the operation work is done outside the blockchain”.  It might
depends of course on which type of blockchain the company is interested in, if
private or public blockchain, as the first one “is free of costs, except the
cost of the electriciy and the storage”, continues Mr. O’Rorke.

Mr. NOBLES
is positive about the advantages that blockchain might bring to the healthcare
industry for all the stakeholders involved in terms of rapidity and security: “As accurate patient data will be available Real –
Time, payment processing will be done very quickly. All the stakeholders will
benefit from secure and faster payments which will lead to increased productivity
primarily by hospitals”, shared with us during his interview.
 Blockchain will “solve the problem of late payments and unpaid debts by implementing instant
payments and verified smart contracts”, added Mr. KARADZHOV.

 

Having the ability to process all the data
quickly will bring a decrease of time necessary today to invest on dealing with
the  bureaucracy and administrative issues closing the gap of 9 trillion
of dollars that according to the last researches the bureaucracy and
administrative activities cost to the 32 countries in the OECD1.

1.1.2      Risks/
limits

 

The blockchain technology is still in the stages of
development, and there are potential risks and limitations that should be
invoked. The risks and limitations are both internal and external, and include
those related to technical issues with the underlying technology, public
perception, government regulation, and the mainstream adoption of technology2.

 

Transactions’
speed

According to Ivan KARADZHOV, Co-founder of Bitcomo
(Russia/Poland) and Jeroen van Megchelen, CEO of Ledger Leopard (The
Netherlands), one of the main technical limits of the blockchain protocols is
the transactions’ speed.

 

For example, VISA can
handle on average 1667 transactions per second and can accommodate peak volumes
of 10,000 transactions per second. It is even capable of processing more than
56,000 transaction