How Blockchain Could Move Beyond Cryptocurrency and Transform Politics

Eva Kaili has a big plan.

Eva Kaili has big plans for the future. She’s a Greek member of the European Parliament, and a key advocate for blockchain technology. In an interview this week, Kaili explained how the distributed ledger could move beyond a means of registering cryptocurrency transactions and solve key issues in politics.

While the cryptocurrency market itself has noticeably cooled in recent months, moving from a valuation of $814 billion at the start of January to $146 billion today, Kaili is interested in how some of the underlying technologies could apply to other areas. Speaking to EAK TV, Kaili noted that supply chains have already benefitted from the technology, but there is future scope for Ethereum-style smart contracts, identity, and cross-border transactions. Kaili said that “I would say that in every sector I can see interesting developments, but value maybe more with supply chain…the other things are removing friction with intermediaries, saving us from costs that we shouldn’t have in financial services.”

Bitcoin is not the only use for blockchain.

Flickr / Bestpicko

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Kaili is not the first person to suggest governments should employ blockchain technology. Arnaud Castaignet, head of public relations for Estonia’s e-Residency initiative, detailed a similar idea to Inverse last December, where users could identify themselves with blockchain-based tokens to cut back on bureaucracy and verification costs. In May, Microsoft explained how blockchain could protect against statelessness by providing a transparent digital record of a citizen’s identity.

The European Union, with 28 member states and over 500 million people, could benefit from such cross-border technology. In the same interview, Kaili suggested that the European Parliament was warming to the potential for blockchain: “I would say we try to have a very positive environment for innovation and technology, not to accept the resistance of the traditional system and banking system…I think everybody now understands the potential and impact that this technology could have.”

The European Commission is supporting these efforts through the Blockchain for Social Good competition, open until September 3, 2019, which will award €1 million ($1.1 million) each to five winners that can demonstrate blockchain-based solutions to social issues.

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