The term blockchain is popping up everywhere, especially now that the second Blockchaingers Hackaton will be held in Groningen from April 5 to 8. Hundreds of pioneers from around the world are going to co-create in teams with the business community, governments and institutions to deploy blockchain for concrete issues. The NOM - which facilitates regional consultations around blockchain - is calling on entrepreneurs to delve into the possibilities of this promising technology.
Fair is fair, blockchain is a difficult technology for laymen to fathom. Yet according to Siem Jansen, it is not necessary to understand exactly how it works. "Much more important is gaining insight into the possible applications by talking to people who do understand it," states the NOM director, who quickly realized that this technology can bring about major market developments. "Blockchain is known from bitcoins, but there are many more conceivable applications besides secure trading in crypto-currencies. And as soon as there are opportunities for new services, products and revenue models, we are naturally on top of them as part of business development."
Now be sharp
Due to the disruptive nature of blockchain, many new applications simply cannot be imagined yet. "Precisely because the wider deployment of this technology is still in its infancy, this is the phase to be sharp," Jansen believes. "Yes, blockchain still raises many questions, but in the meantime, for example, the system behind the Stadjerspas in Groningen is already running on this technology. Blockchain offers opportunities in payments, but also in areas where reliable information is essential, such as in the medical sector and production chains. And how convenient it would be if, for example, identity documents, diplomas and contracts were encrypted in a transparent and reliable blockchain." are stored! The possibilities are so great that we can hardly contemplate them at the moment."
As a catalyst of economic development, NOM is pleased that blockchain seems to be evolving well in the Northern Netherlands, of all places. According to Jansen, this is partly thanks to expert Rutger van Zuidam, organizer of the world's largest blockchain hackaton in Groningen and developer of new applications. "Because he worked at the NOM and is still active for us from time to time, blockchain came our way at an early stage.Since then, we have deliberately facilitated regional consultations around blockchain. This involves - besides Van Zuidam - stakeholders from the northern provinces and municipalities as well as companies and institutions, such as Gasunie and the Education Executive Agency (DUO). In this way we want to encourage this region to remain a forerunner."
Go explore actively
Due to the second Blockchaingers Hackaton in April, the Northern Netherlands is currently captivated by blockchain. Jansen advises entrepreneurs to actively explore the possibilities themselves by talking to experts. "For one entrepreneur a revenue model is possible with blockchain in the future, while other companies can apply a usage model to work more efficiently, transparently and reliably. It pays to get educated or present concrete challenges where blockchain leads to possible solutions, as is happening at the Blockchaingers Hackaton. I'm very curious to see what rolls out this year. In the meantime, we as NOM continue to remove barriers and make connections wherever possible to encourage new business around blockchain."