Currently, the blockchain business takes relevance all over the world. However, in Colombia it barely reached US $4.8 million last year.
When talking about Blockchain, the subject of Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrencies used for financial transactions is also raised. However, that term also refers to a technology that is used for handling information safely, generating traceability and monitoring the different processes effectively.
In Latin America, Blockchain has been growing slowly but steadily, and is expected to reach US $1,356 million by 2024. Whilst Argentina and Mexico are the countries with the greatest progress, its use in Colombia is still incipient. According to projections by the consulting firm Frost & Sullivan and the Vice Presidency of Innovation and Sector Intelligence of Procolombia, this business will go from US $4.8 million registered in 2018 to US $92.7 million in 2024.
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Initiatives have been developed in the public sector to boost the use of Blockchain, such as student electronic voting, land ownership and academic certificates, inter alia. However, the regulatory frameworks still remain to be developed. Phillippe Boland, CEO of Token Partner, considers that work is necessary to integrate the interests of the State, academia, the productive sector and civil society.
Boland says that it is essential that Blockchain become a high usability technology that allows control over data. In his opinion, people should be trained in this technology and, in that sense, universities play an important role. The Engineering Faculty of the National University is currently working to deliver academic certificates with Blockchain.
Ana María Moreno, Coordinator of the University Network for the Promotion of Research on Information and Communication Technologies (UxTIC), states that the most important aspect about this technology is the transfer of value. For the education sector this is an alternative as it allows making the traceability of the subjects. In the end, students will obtain their diplomas, based on the credits earned throughout their university studies, thus avoiding the traffic of diplomas.
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Alejandro Fernández, founder and CEO of Token Sport and advisor on the subject, says that Blockchain is being valued for its application in precision agriculture, aiming at having the traceability of crops. Medical cannabis companies are interested in Blockchain, since they can track the growth of plants, their characteristics, the fruits that they produce and the conditions for this to occur. This information can be accessed by potential buyers anywhere in the world.
The expert says that Colombia has achieved much progress regarding usability, but not in terms of development. However, he notes that Ruta N recently inaugurated the Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which uses blockchain for research, development and application. A proof of the usability of the blockchain is Qubit Labs, a company created by Juan Carlos Marín and Lina Sánchez, which allows acquiring tickets for cultural, musical and sporting events, using Blockchain to send a QR code to the cell phone.
This allows users to save time and money, since they must not go to a ticket office or wait for a home delivery service to acquire a ticket. Entrepreneurs agree that companies have not understood blockchain very well due to lack of knowledge. The role of academia is essential for this business to develop and the country to expand the offer beyond commodities and traditional products.
By Willmen Blanco