Joost Volker is Oracle's Business Development Director for Blockchain, EMEA. We caught up with him ahead of his keynote at the Blockchain Summit in Frankfurt.
Joost - can you share a taster of what you’ll be speaking about in Frankfurt?
Construction of blockchains and what this means for industry. People are saying we’re in blockchain’s ‘winter’ - but we’re only ten years in to the development of the technology. We’re actually in summer! We’re still learning, and just on the brink of big developments in understanding. Customers, vendors and users are just learning where to use blockchain where it makes most sense.
Secondly, we see the rise now of public permissioned blockchains where government and enterprise need to learn new ways of collaboration and governance. There isn’t one party that rules the game - there are several participants who need to understand why they would jump onto a blockchain and do business.
As Oracle we see the first customers testing the model, and we see the growth of value chains with multiple powers who have to think about how to work together.
What should businesses understand when they’re considering using blockchain?
You need to think about who has to see what at which moment. The main benefit of blockchain is that the right information gets to the right participants at the right time - not that all information gets to everyone.
As Oracle’s Business Development Director for Blockchain, EMEA you are clearly a proponent of the technology. What are the main benefits blockchain can bring to businesses?
Blockchain is simple to use if you get it right, and you can overcome lots of issues around integration, governance, and sharing information.
It will not overthrow every existing technology. But in cases where it has been hard to exchange information, blockchain makes it easier to do, at a lower cost.
Blockchain has been proven to work in many use cases - at a certain point it will be used as an established method of data exchange.
What will it take to move blockchain into the mainstream - into ‘summer’?
When businesses consider using blockchain in a balanced way. If there’s a use case where it can be used as a disruptive technology, but it still supplies efficiency, that is where it makes sense to use it. That is what people should be looking for.
Don’t just do innovative stuff with blockchain. Look at it from both angles - as something innovative, and how it impacts on your ‘business as usual’. That is when using blockchain makes sense.
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