Virginia Mijes Martin is Vice President of the Blockchain Association Catalonia (Spain). In addition to an MBA, she introduces herself as a consultant, trainer, mentor and entrepreneur. Cointelegraph in Spanish spoke to her to find out her vision of technology, which industries are most interested, and what activities the association she belongs to does, among other things.
Fernando Quirós (FQ): How did you get into the world of blockchain technology?
Virgina Mijes Martin (VMM): I have seen the most important digital and technological changes in the last decades of technological development. In my case, from the first 486 processors to digital machines to the switch to digital systems in companies, software, communication, further development of social media, e-commerce, etc. I belong to the generation that has been profound in the past thirty years Change in society was nurtured. In addition, I have managed projects and strategic decisions in the product and service business in all SMEs and multinational companies in which I have been working for 25 years, in which the social and business changes in digitization change: communication, operations, system implementations. This helped me to understand the difficulties and opportunities in management as well as in the processes and in the value that digitization offers.
I attended a conference in January 2008 and was fascinated by the ingredients of blockchain technology. The paradigm shift, the benefits, the architecture. And I started studying and reading hundreds of articles and lectures. I have taken courses and have a real information library. I was completely self-taught. I later started building networks in the ecosystem. Few people and very technical profiles. Programmers, developers. In fact, they always ask me if I am one of these profiles, but no. Although I’ve been in the technology sector for so many years, I’ve worked together and known these profiles so it’s not an effort for me.
From that time until now, I’ve been very involved in blockchain on a local and international level. I like to understand the solutions and see the development. I think at this point in time we have a technology that will accompany us in digitization and the future and that is becoming increasingly popular. We will see variants and new forms of interaction both in the same design of technology development and in the implementation of integration with other technologies. That is the great value. Knowing how to improve the technology that brings improvements or synergies for business or communication systems with every integration and brings blockchain together. That’s why I always define blockchain technology as transversal technology.
FQ: Do you think blockchain technology is necessary in a current context where many talk about digital transformation?
VMM: Yes, that’s the way. It is a technology where we really saw how digital products and services were born: decentralized finance, digital identity, cryptocurrencies, tokens, smart contracts. They are systems for the exchange, execution and transfer of new creation that were previously unknown in the dimension of the effects on the globality of society and companies. In fact, we’ll still see how far we can go by incorporating creativity and new business or profit models. On the other hand, new economic and social models are emerging.
FQ: Which industries are most interested in this technology?
VMM: There is the surprise of this technology. It was quickly developed for the supply chain, but many industries have adopted it for different solutions: verified certifications for industries – this can be an opportunity to give guarantees to brands, companies and raw materials. In the financial area, there was a disruption in creating currency and fast transaction solutions. Sectors like agriculture will include the Internet of Things. The retail sector is supplemented by AI. The health sector guarantees the certification of images, research and help with the traceability of pharmaceuticals, for example of materials and manufacture, signage, real estate. Art where we can guarantee your intellectual property, records, authorship. In the legal area, you upload unchangeable documents to the network. And that of telecommunications, which integrates technology in 5G, where data speed is crucial and saves costs.
It is also a technology that is transparent, immutable, and secure, and offers us a fraud scenario. We have never seen a technology like this before that is transversal and affects all industries.
CF Do you think blockchain solves problems or is it a fad?
VMM: Until recently, blockchain technology was – perhaps – considered “hype” technology. Time, investment and globality have shown that this is not the case. Hopefully it would be fashionable. It is a technology that will receive billions of investments that is considered top qualification this year 2020 and that is estimated to create a million jobs this year alone. On the other hand, new profiles and reskills can be created. I also think that there are many women in many countries who are leaders in technological development. I am amazed at it. More technical profiles are missing and there is also an opportunity for women in humanistic fields to complement the design of solutions. And they lead to the creation of technology companies and women.
Blockchain doesn’t solve all problems. There are important points in the value chain that already have other more suitable technologies or that do not really create more value than what has already been implemented. The business model corresponds to the brand. Blockchain enables the optimization and automation of processes, certifications and even the consensus of communities or actors. Blockchain as an allowed, not allowed or hybrid technology. Every sector, every company, every unit has to adapt what is most useful under technology. For this reason, we have to be constantly trained to understand which new software and architecture solutions are being developed and which guidelines we can follow.
CF What is the Asociación Blockchain Catalunya?
VMM: The association was founded with the aim of spreading and spreading blockchain technology. It is intended to be a benchmark and a union point for public administration, companies, the media and citizens in Catalonia. The membership fees are minimum prices and are defined for the different profiles. We have fees for students, companies wishing to participate, and very low prices for nonprofit associations or organizations, the unemployed. They are accessible to everyone. .
CF: What activities do you do?
VMM: We take part in forums and conferences and take part in training courses to promote the understanding and introduction of technology. Very focused on education through universities, schools and oriented towards the social economy and cooperatism. We have collaborations of profiles with a lot of experience and knowledge in blockchain, for which we grant value. The mission is to be the prescriber of the ecosystem. Much remains to be done. Although technological growth has been exponential in the past two years, our mission is to educate society in general about technology. As with all technologies, the user shouldn’t have to know the programming code, the software, but the benefit and value. For this reason, we call it the Internet of Value, a further development of the known. We want to bring technology to everyone.
CF: What options does blockchain offer?
VMM: Blockchain is a technology that has come at a time in our history of technological evolution and transformation and offers a great opportunity to change models of economic and social systems.
Private and public institutions, as well as other institutions, must endeavor to invest in technological education, to create profiles and new profiles, to promote entrepreneurship in technology companies and to open up pathways for technological innovations. Sectors such as research and health or in the legal field, in which there has been no major technological progress in recent years. On the other hand, the vision of a global and decentralized technology with values that encourage individual participation in a consensus that enables community coordination, data integration and data culture promotion is many aspects of the challenges that arise . Let us not forget that every technology needs 30 or 40 years of evolution and that blockchain is based on cryptography, protocols, and developments that have already been created and improved. Soon quantics or other technologies and innovations will surprise us and open up new solutions. It is a challenge for society and the business world to approach this technological culture. It is important to create a foundation for education and, above all, to make a contribution so that people can adapt to technology.
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