In Chile, Daniel Vargas Mazuela is CEO of Signtum and president of the Santiago chapter of the Government Blockchain Association. Cointelegraph in Spanish interviewed him to learn more about his vision of blockchain technology and the existing landscape in Chile.
Fernando Quirós (FQ) What potential do you see for blockchain technology?
Daniel Vargas Mazuela (DVM): I see great growth potential. The origins of this technology go back to the 1990s. With the introduction of Bitcoin in 2009, it became known outside the academic world. In 2015, intelligent contracts with Ethereum were added to the blockchain network and new market opportunities were opened for business purposes. In 2018, decentralized applications were added that serve a variety of purposes. In addition, today we have formal programs at universities to learn this technology, which will involve a large number of professionals to undertake new private and government projects.
CF: Is blockchain a fad or does it solve problems?
DVM: In recent years, blockchain has been a fad that has resulted in an explosion with the ICO model that has betrayed thousands of people, as mentioned in a Statis Group study cited on July 13, 2018 by Cointelegraph. Time has shown that projects that really have a value proposition for consumers have survived.
Blockchain has developed into an effective solution. An example of this is the banking industry, which participates in Ripple, an ecosystem created to solve problems related to international transfers at a marginal price. In addition, some companies, such as Intel, SAP, Microsoft, American Express and IBM, invest in alliances and actively participate in order to assert their own interests and rules. Some of them are, for example, the Wall Street Blockchain Alliance, Hyperleadger and R3.
FQ: What is the current situation in the blockchain ecosystem in Chile?
DVM: In 2018 and 2019, fluctuations in cryptocurrencies, regulations, and bank blocks on the stock markets have been a major blow to many in the past. This led to a decline in the use of technology. There is currently great interest in the commercial use of this technology, in new ecosystem projects, in continuing education, and in formal study programs at the most prestigious Chilean universities, such as the University of Chile and the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile.
CF: Do you think more digital transformation education is needed?
DVM: In addition to digital transformation, we can see that the explosive increase in zoom levels was worth more than the world’s seven largest airlines. This indicates an increase in the enforced adoption of digital transformation in the face of coronavirus contingency. It is no longer necessary to talk about the benefits of digital transformation. Now we are all on top of this car and it is necessary to educate people about the good use of technology, data protection and the confidentiality of information.
CF: What is the potential of blockchain technology in Chile? Are there any real use cases?
DVM: I see great potential at company level, large national companies are following international trends. There are no further initiatives in terms of transparency for the state and increased corporate productivity.
As President of the Santiago Chapter of the Government Blockchain Association, I take part in various events where I have seen real cases in different phases. For example, the National Energy Regulatory Agency has spent almost two years on its project on the traceability of renewable energy generation and has published the records on the Ethereum network. Another case is La Bolsa de Santiago, which, with Hyperleadger, has a blockchain system for short sales and loans of securities and, based on this successful experience, founded a consortium to set up a blockchain company network in August 2019. There is also a solar token in addition to some startups that are supported by the state through the Corfo organization. With Signtum, we have implemented a blockchain network using the IBM Blockchain Platform with Hyperleadger to ensure the traceability of electronic signatures.
FQ: Which industries are most interested in blockchain technology in Chile?
DVM: The financial sector, the health sector and I know that the maritime sector is trying to use this technology to trace loads. Nevertheless, the interest of companies is still based on proofs of concept and only a few dare to develop productive applications.
CF: What is sigtum?
DVM: Signtum is an electronic signature solution that integrates artificial intelligence for identity recognition and blockchain to ensure the traceability of signatures on documents. It has an integrated document manager that allows users to legally and legally sign documents over the Internet. Signatures signatures have the same legal proof as a signed document on paper. There are several plans and as a result of the pandemic, a completely free plan has been created so that anyone who needs it can sign documents and reliably record the blockchain signatures.
FQ: What is the use of electronic signature for individuals and companies?
DVM: Physical security first. With quarantines and the fear of infection, it becomes complex for people to register personally. On the other hand, we have the advantages already known from the point of view of digital transformation: savings in paper, transport costs and reduction of the ecological footprint.
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