A few months ago, I completed a master’s program, and to my surprise, I received my Digital Certificate from the Business School via email. By simply clicking on the dedicated button, I accessed my personal area on the school’s website to manage my Digital Certificate and view the Diploma I obtained. I then used it to update my professional profile.
This is an eco-friendly approach that eliminates the need for paper, ink, or other physical resources for production. It’s an excellent way to contribute to reducing environmental impact and promoting sustainability.
This became possible thanks to Blockchain technology or DLT (Distributed Ledger Technology), which is one of the current buzzwords. It functions as a chronological record of transactions that is immutable and shared among all participants in the ledger. This allows for information storage and validation without the need for a trusted third party.
The immediate service result, which is highly customer-oriented, actually conceals a certain level of complexity in its implementation. Users need to access the Blockchain platform, the entity publishing the digital certificate must have the rights to do so, and the chosen blockchain (there are thousands of them) must have gained credibility over the years as an immutable ledger.
DLT emerged as an alternative to centralized systems, with its first practical application being Bitcoin, which aimed to be a payment tool that didn’t require an intermediary. However, as a technology, we will see it applied in many other aspects of daily life.
According to the estimates from Grand View Research’s Blockchain Technology Market Growth & Trends, an international consulting and market research company, the global market was valued at $ 10.02 billion in 2022 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 86.2% from 2023 to 2030.
The world of payments, in general, still has few areas of application, partly due to significant barriers such as:
- Skill development
- Limited technology adoption
Another point of discussion is the evolution of interoperability between different platforms, and even specialized use cases, which will increase the ability to “compose” one’s own use cases.
In the Italian payment market, where I work, the use cases presented at the 2022 ABI Lab Forum ranked the Spunta service (bank reconciliation) as the top application, followed by less significant services like cryptocurrency management, document notarization (ensuring the immutability of a document on a specific date), P2P payments, Trade Finance (financial banking operations linked to the logistics chain of large companies), trading, and other minor services.
Two projects worth mentioning are:
- Digital Sureties, which allows for the issuance and management of surety bonds through a native digital and secure process based on DLT technology.
- Easy Loan DLT, which involves the reengineering of the employee’s withholding management service for public administration employees seeking a loan through salary assignment.
In a broader sense, according to the Blockchain Observatory of the Polytechnic University of Milan, 2022 witnessed a significant increase in Italian companies’ blockchain projects (in contrast to global trends). Approximately 42 million euros were invested, marking a 50% increase from 2021. The financial and insurance sector led in terms of investment (+33%), followed by the retail and fashion industry (+23%), which was a new development in 2022. The automotive and public administration sectors also showed interest, with +10% and +7% of the market, respectively.
It is important to engage in various discussions and working groups on Blockchain at both the Italian and European levels to understand the potential future of this technology in the world of payments and, if you will, in our everyday lives. With the immense potential of blockchain to drive positive change, we can expect a wide range of innovative applications.