Blockchain applications are strongly promoted in the United States. Our blockchain specialist Robert Herinkton shows what he recognized after a study trip to the USA and wants to develop further here.
What is the status of blockchain technology in the USA?
The discussion about the blockchain-based currency Libra from Facebook has recently raised awareness of blockchain technology and the importance of digital currencies (if not only in a positive sense). In Washington DC we got to know the “US Congressional Blockchain Caucus”. The initiative sensitizes legislators to the possibilities of blockchain technology and examines how it can be used for the state. We learned how important it is in discussions with political decision-makers to tell real stories about how technology solves problems instead of focusing on technical details – a mistake that many experts make.
Your most important insights?
Blockchain applications are strongly promoted in the United States. Non-profit organizations and public-private partnerships play a major role in this.
Where is blockchain technology currently in the US?
Blockchain-based digital identity is also a big issue in the United States. However, since identity is national, it will be difficult to establish a global identity system. Blockchain technology can be used in many areas – from tracking food from its origin to the plate to digital medical records. On the one hand, this is very gratifying, but it also has difficulties: Blockchain technology cannot be squeezed into a single department, such as taxes, which requires the involvement of many stakeholders and complicates the political discussion.
We will intensify our research activities in the field of digital identity in the future.
What measures have you taken for your work based on these findings?
We have already done some research on digital identity. We will strengthen this in the future. The resulting contacts and friendships will help the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts to further develop this topic on an international level.
Do study trips like this bring anything at all or could you also meet and inform digitally?
Of course, such programs bring something: digital communication is focused on the topic and quick – and quickly forgotten again. Physical encounters, face-to-face conversations over dinner or coffee and a shared history combine stronger and more sustainably. They also greatly simplify the subsequent digital communication.
Physical encounters greatly simplify the subsequent digital communication.
Your personal highlight?
In addition to the informative and well-planned meetings with the experts, the exchange with all the exciting people in our group from 16 countries was a real highlight. Even if we had to cut our program to two weeks due to the Corona crisis, we have grown together as a group.
A social blockchain project that you have got to know?
Yes, for example in Detroit: in 2017, 40 percent of people there had no fast internet access, which increased the economic imbalance. Thanks to a blockchain-based Mesh net non-connected households in a neighborhood now have access to high-speed Internet. This shows how blockchain technology can help apart from money and speculation.
A mesh network enables a community to access the Internet mostly through wireless connections. Some of the users give their neighbors access.
Educational trip in the USA – the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP)
The IVLP annually invites executives from around the world to the United States to exchange ideas. The aim of the program was to learn more about the digital economy and innovations in the United States. The participants learned about blockchain projects in the social field and the effects of cryptocurrencies on the economies and met advocates, start-up employees, investors and government officials.