Íñigo Molero is co-author of the book “Blockchain, the Industrial Revolution of the Internet”, member of Blockchain Spain and BD Manager and Head of Communication at EthicHub. Cointelegraph in Spanish spoke to him to learn more about his vision and perspective of Bitcoin and Blockchain technology.
Fernando Quirós (FQ): How did you get into the world of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies?
Inigo Molero (IM): Well, many years ago and the truth is, I have to admit that I was very lucky because I immediately recognized the importance of Bitcoin and this new technology. At that time I was working in third sector organizations and we had problems with micro donations time and again. The traditional banking system made them impractical and we had to give them up. And with that frustration in my head one day I read something about Bitcoin and was absolutely fascinated. The promise that Bitcoin made to us was that a person from Australia could donate 30 cents to us and that they would arrive in a few minutes and at a low cost. So I recognized a use case that solved all of our problems. From that moment on, I couldn’t think about other things anymore and devoted myself to studying technology, writing articles and actively participating in the various communities that developed around Bitcoin, Blockchain and the possibilities of decentralization. And until now. The truth is, if someone at that time had pointed out that we would have this level of interest and development in technology today, it would have been very little if he had smiled in disbelief. It is astonishing how quickly everything is progressing and what remains to be seen
QQ: Do you think blockchain technology is necessary in a context where it is normal to speak of digital transformation?
IN THE: I believe that bitcoin or blockchain technology can be the cornerstone in a new context of digital transformation where many other disruptive technologies are used. Of course, as long as the use of technology makes sense and effectively solves a problem or optimizes current processes. We are actually talking about doing without trustworthy central units and thinking about new models based on decentralization. But it is not easy to achieve. I think Bitcoin is annoying and proving it day after day … but I also think that many other technology-based projects will stay on the road; because they have not applied technology well, because decentralization makes no sense, because they have been very pioneering and there is still no critical mass of users. In the same way, I also think that Google or Amazon of the future is already developing in this technological environment. We will see, but in any case we are very happy to be contemporaries of all of these and to be able to actively participate in the development of the ecosystem. Everything should be built
FQ: Which industries are most interested in this technology?
IN THE: Well i would say all more or less. Technology is so transversal as a cell phone that we use it for both our personal and professional relationships, whether we are lawyers or plumbers. Banking is the industry that invests the most money in studying and developing technology, as they probably understood that their traditional business model can be overtaken by a small fintech company. The world of insurance is also characterized by investments. However, I believe that there is an extraordinary opportunity for entrepreneurship in the world of impact investing. And there are very interesting proposals in this area. If we are able to harmonize the interests of the actors involved very well, we can create an ecosystem in which all participants win through mutual relationships and cooperation and the entire generated value is shared among the participants without any value the platform needs to be extracted.
FQ: Do you think blockchain is a fad or does it solve problems?
IN THE: With the birth of Bitcoin, an unsolvable problem was solved for almost half a century; Avoid duplicate expenses on the Internet. And that was the genius of Satoshi Nakamoto, who over the decades has collected very brilliant discoveries and contributions from different people and structured them in a “magical and elegant way” to create decentralized money. From there, a million dollar industry with thousands and thousands of alternative projects was gradually created. At one point, it seemed that blockchain could solve all of our problems. But it was nothing more than a somewhat ridiculous fashion that degenerated into a bubble. In the late 17’s, a bitcoin was trading at around $ 20,000, which brought the ecosystem to trading highs. And then the fashion went flat. However, today Bitcoin is a much better project than it was then, both in terms of development and in terms of network strength or user community. All of this is somewhat reminiscent of the bubble we live in the world of Dotcom. There were many expectations that were deflated. But not all. Those who contributed something new and disturbing survived, and that’s why we have Amazon, Google, Facebook, Twitter today.
CF: Do you think blockchain technology has potential in the field of communication?
IN THE: Yes, sure. I just think that for freelance reporters, opinion-makers, or investigative journalists who show honest work, it probably makes more sense than for the mainstream media. The reference heads were the big losers of the information internet because they could not cope with the wave of innovation caused by the internet. And even though they were more awake this time and there are several suggestions for using blockchain technology, it’s hard to believe that they can develop a disruptive model and benefit from decentralization. But I think it’s more of a fundamental problem that, because of its centralized structure, has no easy solution. The mainstream media have become very badly known and are losing followers every day. Instead of exercising fourth power and controlling or denouncing the actions of governments and excess power, they sometimes seem to be an instrument to serve them. Today you have the option of accessing level information in opinion forums, specialist media or even in press offices. We are already seeing how many individual journalists are funded by Patreon with contributions from micropatronage. Well, I think we will see the same model much more optimized thanks to the use of cryptocurrencies, and the beneficiaries will be the true content generators and consumers of information. It’s just a matter of time and technology is gaining users.
FQ: How do you see the blockchain ecosystem in Spain?
IN THE: I think that in Spain we have a wonderful opportunity to lead and lead projects that can be developed around this technology. We have all the necessary requirements; A lot of talent, imagination, infrastructure, ability to invest. It is a thriving system with many options. In particular, I would like to highlight the work that has been done by the various communities that have been created – and are being created – to protect those who are new to technology learning. This is also a way to create synergies and bring people with the same concerns into contact. And we also experience an interesting fact, that these relationships and collaborations cross borders. For example, Blockchain Spain is part of the Iberoamerican Blockchain Alliance and it makes perfect sense because we are talking about new technology and we all face the same problems and challenges in our respective countries, but it is also an opportunity to learn one of the following others share experiences and integrate best practices that can take place in other countries.
CF: What changes have you noticed in recent years?
IN THE: It is much easier now to get started with Bitcoin, Blockchain and Decentralization. Fortunately, there are special media like yours that provide high quality information and there are several training options. However, it would highlight the importance of active community participation. There is probably one in your city … and if not, then nothing prevents you from creating it and gathering people for the same purpose. In this sense, my experience was very positive. During one of these physical encounters, I had the opportunity to meet the founders of EthicHub. And little by little I started working with them until I became fully involved. EthicHub brought two things together that fascinated me; the opportunity to have a positive impact on a global scale and the use of blockchain technology. And after two and a half years of work, EthicHub is a recognized Spanish startup with a functioning blockchain platform, whose work has received national and international awards. We have also received funding from IDBLab, the Inter-American Development Bank’s innovation laboratory dedicated to our disruptive model of financial inclusion for small farmers around the world. It is true that we are starting and that the entire ecosystem has not yet matured and realized all these promises, but it is also true that this is a perfect moment because we have a great opportunity to be activists and not just spectators.
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