Executive summary

AuthorBellia, M.; Kounelis, I.; Anderberg, A.; Calès, L.; Andonova, E.; Pólvora, A.; Petracco Giudici, M.; Nascimento, S.; Inamorato dos Santos, A.; Rossetti, F.; Papanagiotou, E.; Nai Fovino, I.; Spirito, L.; Sobolewski, M.
We have come a long way, in a short period
of time, from the f‌irst views on Bitcoin and
cryptocurren cies to a growing hype and media
coverage capturing public attention, and now
a profusion of funding and experiment ation with
blockchain or, in a broader sense, distributed
ledger technologies.
Blockchain can enable par ties with no par ticular
trust in each other to exchange digital data on
a peer-to-peer basis with fewer or no third parties
or intermediaries. Data could corresp ond, for
instance, to money, insurance policies, contracts,
land titles, medical a nd educational records, bir th
and marriage certif‌ic ates, buying and selling goods
and services, or any transaction or asset that can
be translated into a digital form . The potential
of blockchain to engender wide-ra nging changes
in the economy, industry and so ciety – both now
and tomorrow – is currently being ex plored across
sectors and by a variet y of organisations.
The report Blockchain N ow and Tomorrow brings
together research from dif‌ferent u nits and
disciplinary f‌ields of the Joint Researc h Centre
(JRC), the European Co mmission’s science and
knowledge service. It provides multidimensional
insights into the stat e of blockchain technology by
identifying ongoing and upcoming transformations
in a range of sectors a nd setting out an
anticipatory approach for further exploration .
Moving beyond the hype and debunking some
of its controversies, we aim to of‌fer both
an in-depth and practical unders tanding
of blockchain and its possible applications.
There is space beyond cryptocurrencies
and f‌inancial applications
It is the technology behind cr yptocurrencies –
blockchain – that has been cap turing most of
the attention. B eyond its f‌inancial app lications,
its potential has come to t he foreground
in many other sectors, such as trade and supp ly
chains, manufacturing, energy, creative
industries, healthcare, a nd government,
public and third sect ors.
A global ecosystem is on the rise from
start-ups to capital investment
The rise of blockchain technolog y is witnessed
by both the sharp growt h in blockchain star t-ups
and by the volume of their funding. In ternational
players in the United States are taking the lead,
followed by China and the European Union .
Funding reached over EUR 7.4 billion in 2018
due to the explosion of ICOs and vent ure
capital investment s.
Blockchain does not follow
a ‘one-size-f‌its-all’ model
The potential oppor tunities and challenges of
deploying blockchain technology ar e strongly
related to context , application or sec torial issues.
That is why organisations should not develop
solutions looking for problems, but instead should
f‌ind existing or foreseeable problems in t heir
operations or business, and then look for possible
blockchain solutions.
Executive summary

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