Blockchain Interview: Georgios Papageorgiou
Some words about...
Now everybody is falling in love with Bitcoin and blockchain. Georgios Papageorgious love in Bitcoin and Blockchain is older and it is much more substantial as he is a part of Bitcoin experts, who offered the first world wide Crypto Currencies MOOC at the University of Nicosia. Why Nicosia, why Cyprus? In April 2013 Cyprus people felt the consequences of entrusting all their money to one bank. While rescuing the banks, savers were expropriated. At the same time, Bitcoin was at a high and Cyprus people discovered Bitcoin as a chance to become independent from banks and the state.
Let´s start with an easy question. How would you explain Blockchain to children?
Easy Answer: It’s the first self-monetizing technology enabling a decentralized database for storing the ownership accounts of native digital assets by the use of game theory and incentive structures.
Hard Answer: You and your friends want to keep track of your toys when you’re meeting with friends to play. So you take a picture of your toys with your phone before you share your toys, and share the picture and the toys themselves with everyone to play. If everyone does that, then there won’t be any infighting about who owns what toys at the end of your play, and everyone can play with everyone’s toys in the meantime 😀
What can you do with Blockchain? What is it good for?
Right now, transferring ownership of native digital assets, tomorrow all kinds of interesting things with that native token acting as collateral.
Is the Blockchain a technological or a social innovation?
It is both because it needs both to function at a distance. One feeds into the other and maintains the incentive structures that are needed to keep it decentralized and all participants satisfied but unable to control it.
What are the benefits of using the Blockchain technology for banks?
There are two pills, the blue pill (permissioned blockchains) lets them cut costs, automate processes and remain beholden to correlated assets as they’ve done their whole lives, and the red pill (permissionless blockchains) allow them to leapfrog their competition, carve out new markets and race in the global market for the next disruptor, while minimizing systemic risks and investing in uncorrelated assets.
What will Blockchain mean for people?
Most people fail to understand that Blockchains have a dualistic nature when it comes to transparency and privacy. You either have all you can have, or you have none in the long run. Any scenario where we do not have absolute privacy is a dystopian scenario in which others have full control over us. Permissioned Blockchains are all about control in a few hands and a walled garden in which magic happens. What is rarely mentioned is the increasing systemic risks inherent in less control surface of such systems and the way they could go bad for all participants if they’re compromised.
This is the original thinking that gave rise to cypherpunks first, and decentralized currencies after decades. Those that ignore these and the teachings from global finance are doomed to relive them.
Could the blockchain be a rescue anchor for banks, or what impact will the blockchain technology have on the financial sector?
Alone, a blockchain is just a data structure. For most bankers, it will look nothing more than a new OS being installed. Making the best of it means serious and deep organizational changes, strategic initiatives, innovative and flexible thinking, the ability to be competitive and transparent, even open to the dynamism of the markets
Comparatively, the dinosaurs didn’t die because mammals came about. Mammals survived because they were more adaptable to black swans in the environment, so you tell me 😉
Which countries have a more progressive blockchain community? Where are the most promising blockchain centers and ecosystems?
Switzerland, Berlin/Germany, Singapore, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Ukraine, India (and yes Nigeria). The US is a different case, not so much a single ecosystem, but powerful all around (where it’s allowed to flourish).
In the USA, there is now a blockchain consortium of cooperative banks. Do cooperative banks have a special relationship and therefore also a special opportunity in the successful application of this technology?
Yes, I believe they have a more special cooperative relationship, and perhaps enough dispersion to validate a shared trust model more than other consortiums, but I don’t think that will confer any significant special opportunities.
To be continued….