Tag: Hyperledger

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Blockchain, the Bitcoin technology that changes paradigms

Interview with Alejandro Narancio about Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies.
Unalterable, decentralized and transparent, this tool promises to revolutionize several business industries; In Uruguay, some companies are beginning to develop products and explore niches.

When in 2008 Bitcoin was created by Satoshi Nakamoto (whose whereabouts and true identity are unknown) some people came to a very important detail: the blockchain, the technology behind the cryptocurrency.

Now the “chain of blocks” seems to be fashionable and it is not for less. Its technology may revolutionize the way companies and governments are managed. The key lies in the security provided by its information storage system.

The technology is similar to a database shared by many computers (nodes) around the world, which works as a ledger of operations or transactions (blocks) that are recorded chronologically with a code (hash). The only ones who can make changes are the “miners” (people behind the computers), who register and broadcast the blocks on the network so that the nodes verify their validity and update the status of the chain.

However it was Vitalik Buterin, a young man of Russian origin, who helped make the technology open to all areas. In 2014, he built the Ethereum blockchain technology in order to create his own cryptocurrency, Ether. What it spawned was even broader: a system that allows any element that is programmable to be transacted, with anyone, without the need for a central authority.

Local trials

In Uruguay, several players have begun to research, test and even develop specific products based on this technology. Mauro Flores, manager of security services and technical leader of blockchain for Latin America at Deloitte understands that there is great potential in the financial and public sector and his consultancy is already working on solutions for these sectors.

«We are in the process of identifying, within the reality of each organization or company, where they could achieve significant benefits. It is like legos, they are constructive foundations, but what can be built varies a lot according to the needs of each business», he said. In his opinion, one of the aspects where it can impact the most is in the companies’ internal processes. «Internally, in organizations, in processes with complicated logistics such as the flow of internal approvals, internal contracts, contracting of internal services between areas; it can help improve management», he noted.

It can even reduce conflicts. For example, if a company must handle a very large stock and move it, traceability can be made more efficient with blockchain; to know if a merchandise was received or not, if it was moved, etc.

Sergio Fogel, co-founder of Astropay, indicated that his company began to experiment with blockchain (Ethereum). «We set up a laboratory to experiment with technology in various aspects», he asserted.

IIBM already works with this technology globally based on Hyperlegder (a closed blockchain system where few actors have access) since several years ago. It has also begun exploring the local market in areas of government, the financial sector, distribution, health and regulatory, said Gonzalo Boix, leader of blockchain initiatives of the technology giant for Uruguay and Paraguay. «There are many sensible cases in Uruguay, but we want to be sure to apply this with a return on investment for the companies or the ecosystem where it is applied. For example, its use in the management of medical history is very interesting, because it empowers the patient», he noted.

Alejandro Narancio, CEO of Infuy,also invested in blockchain and this year he launched ZirconTech, a spinoff dedicated to exploring this technology. «Since March we have been exploring our first product, a usage-based car insurance tool. Through an app or device, the driver’s information is ‘tracked’, which is sent to the blockchain for scoring calculations to be made. Everything is recorded and is immutable. The plan is to launch at the end of 2018. Now we are carrying out pilot plans with companies in Uruguay and Argentina and we have advanced negotiations with companies in Chile», he stated.

Another player that entered the market is the technology company Inmind, which began pilot tests of its first product, a “medical ledger”, two months ago. «Through a mobile application, patients access their medical history and are the only ones who can allow access to doctors. In this way, the patients, if they decide to change hospital or doctor, do not depend on communication between clinics to share the information. Likewise, patients will be able to use the application to obtain prescribed medications in the pharmacies as they will appear in their history», he explained. «One of the values of applying it in medical records is that it guarantees absolute and unchangeable traceability. If a doctor enters data incorrectly, it cannot be edited, a new record must be added to ‘correct’ the previous one. This provides transparency and guarantees when evaluating a treatment’s performance», he remarked.

Despite the “benefits” of the new platform, adoption is still slow. «It is a technology that changes the rules of the game, changes the scenarios and, for example, you have to be more collaborative», said Flores, expert from Deloitte . Perhaps this is where the chain has its weakest link.

Reference interview: http://www.elpais.com.uy/el-empresario/blockchain-tecnologia-bitcoin-cambia-paradigmas.html

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 On July 14th we had our second meetup!


The agenda had two main topics

  • Practical uses from bitcoin, what is it? , use of exchanges, how to trade?, private and public keys and something of altcoins given by Fatima.
  • Real example of project based on Hyperledger fabric, Smart contracts, and real examples of source-code currently being developed at Zircontech, given by Ricardo.

Regarding the project that is being developed at Infuy.  If you want to know more about ZirconTech’s project, you can read one of his co-founders articles in  https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/zircon-tech-demo-usage-based-insurance-hyperledger-andres-zunino

We would like to give special thanks for the time to prepare the talks give by the speakers.

Again, the audience was very interested and asked a lot of new terminology and questions that brings up.

As we said in the previous posts, more meetups are planned, and will address topics like blockchain and the internet of things, Solidity (the most popular language for writing smart contracts in Ethereum), Hyperledger and blockchain based architectures.
After the meeting the crowd again enjoyed pizzas, crafted beers and cupcakes. Thanks to Infuy who sponsored the event.

Here you can find some links from the talks (this was the first time that we had done this so sorry if the audio or image does not accomplish the quality of the talks) 🙂

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Uruguay is creating capabilities and starting projects in Distributed Ledger Technologies.
Monday sunset witnessed a group of people meeting to talk about distributed ledger technologies in a rooftop very close to the Catholic University in Montevideo. In fact, Alejandro Narancio, a seasoned architect and software developer for more than 15 years, who runs a professional services company servicing customers in Latin America and United States, conducted this first meetup.
He has been involved with bitcoin and blockchain technologies since 2010, and currently is handling a project fully based in distributed ledger technologies using IBM Bluemix. Alejandro decided to start blockchain meetups in Montevideo and kicked off explaining to the audience what is bitcoin, how blockchain works, the importance of the smart contracts and some platforms like Ethereum. Deeper sessions are expected for future meetups to discuss multiple applications in different industries and addressing topics of interest of an unexpected numerous audience.
The meetup group was created by mid-December 2016 and got interest very quickly with many folks joining the group. Alejandro had to close the meetup invitations weeks in advance since the interest filled the rooftop capacity.
Alejandro proposed a very practical agenda, just to show the basics of these technologies and its origins. The audience in Uruguay could learn about bitcoin features and Satoshi Nakamoto, its main components, the problems that addresses, the process of sending a bitcoin, how mining works, cold storage, the underlying blockchain technology and its features, hashes, blocks and block chains. He also explained the concept of public and private blockchains and applications in the form of business use cases.The audience was very interested and was uncovered lot of interest of doing things in these technologies. That’s why the audience kept the attention to listen about smart contracts (something Nick Szabo started to talk about 20 years ago), what they are and some examples, and main platform products like Ethereum, Hyperledger IBM Bluemix and Argentinian RSK Rootstock Smart Contracts. The session finished with some details about Ethereum platform.

More meetups are planned, and will address topics like blockchain and the internet of things, Solidity (the most popular language for writing smart contracts in Ethereum), Hyperledger and blockchain based architectures.
After the meeting the crowd enjoyed pizzas, crafted beers and cupcakes. The attendees received a Paper Wallet Gift and a Cheat Sheet from the host InfUY who sponsored the event.

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