Blockchain: What You Need to Know

Blockchain is the new buzzword in the tech world. All sectors are starting to work on concrete use cases, but few players can claim to have developed revolutionary solutions. For good reason: blockchain technology is still very complex to understand.

Blockchain (which is translated into French as blockchain) is a technology that allows information to be stored and transmitted transparently, securely and without a central control body. It looks like a large database which contains the history of all the exchanges made between its users since its creation. The blockchain can be used in three ways: for the transfer of assets (currency, securities, shares, etc.), for better traceability of assets and products and to automatically execute contracts (“smart contracts”).

The great peculiarity of the blockchain is its decentralized architecture, that is to say that it is not hosted by a single server but by some of the users. There is no intermediary so that everyone can verify the validity of the chain themselves. The information contained in the blocks (transactions, title deeds, contracts, etc.) is protected by cryptographic procedures which prevent users from modifying them a posteriori.

Blockchain applications
Blockchain technology is still young, but a few applications are already operational. One of the most widespread is food traceability. Carrefour is one of the pioneers with its QR code affixed to several types of food (chicken, tomato, egg …) which allows you to know everything about the origin of the product (provenance, name of the producer, date of packaging, etc. .). Automatically triggering compensation is an application of great interest to insurers. This is made possible through smart contracts, stand-alone programs that run automatically following pre-defined conditions. Axa, for example, allows passengers to be compensated for a flight that is delayed. Finance has also made good progress in the field of blockchain, particularly in the field of “security tokens”, financial securities digitized and recorded on the blockchain. For the issuer of the token (or token), there are only advantages: less intermediary, almost immediate execution and settlement and less expensive process. The world of video games has found a use case in blockchain: digitizing features. Thanks to a system of tokens (or tokens), players actually own their objects (and no longer the publisher) and can therefore buy, sell and exchange them at their own disposal. There are many others such as securing commercial transactions in trade finance or disintermediation in advertising.