Mark Van Rijeman Speaks Out on Blockchain Changing the Business World

Mark Van Rijeman Speaks Out on How Blockchain Can Change Business and World

When Bitcoin first hit the markets following the mysterious whitepaper by the enigmatic Satoshi Nakamoto, people were not sure what to make of the technology. The cryptocurrency was called everything from a revolution to a bubble—and names still apply today. The debate rages on within the economics community as to whether cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are here to stay, or whether they are simply fads that will fade from existence with time.

But regardless of one’s opinion on cryptocurrencies, there is no denying the importance of blockchain as a technology of its own. The blockchain backs up the cryptocurrencies which have become so popular in recent years. The Bitcoin blockchain was the first and most popular of the major blockchains, having solved several key issues in a technical realm involving financial transactions and information consensus. But since Bitcoin, blockchains have been created all over the world—and not just for finances. The Ethereum network has made it easier than ever for developers to create their own blockchain, and companies all over the world are patenting their own applications of blockchain technology in nearly every conceivable sector.

The CEO of blockchain company DataFlog sat down in an interview with to explain the reasons behind the bold claim in his new book: that blockchain will transform both business and world for the better.

The Book

The key topic discussed in Blockchain: Transforming your Business and our World is, of course, blockchain technology. Rijeman’s charming informational piece lists some of the major local and global benefits allotted by blockchain technology. Echoing the sentiments of other professionals in the same field, he highlights blockchain’s ability to fight fake news and identity theft, prevent climate change, and check corruption in government, just to name a few.

One myth that the novel seeks to dispel is the concept that blockchain is only useful within the small global bubble of financial technology and financial services. As Rijeman attempts to demonstrate, the reach of the distributed ledger technology is far beyond the realm of finances—it is a truly global tech with massive worldwide influences.

Identity Verification Via Blockchain

One core section included in van Rijeman’s book involves the identity verification process, which could be easily improved if blockchain is wielded by the right hands. He outlined in his interview with that identity verification is actually the “first problem” that forward-thinking minds should be trying to solve. According to him, the issue of identity verification is the preliminary problem in a variety of issues, and solving it can massively influence the world at-large.

Van Rijeman believes that the world needs to establish what he refers to as the “Self-Sovereign Identity.” In this system, identity has three main parts. The first part of identity is comprised of the attributes that make up a person. The second is made of the overt reputation, which typically applies equally to organizations as individuals. The final part of the identity puzzle is a little more interesting. Called the “shadow reputation,” it is a conglomeration of the people that an individual or organization associate with.

With all three of these aspects of identity combined, the self-sovereign identity of someone is determined. For proponents of the blockchain and blockchain technology, self-sovereign identity is a much more effective way to understand, conceptualize, and apply the idea of identity management than the current system.

Blockchain and The Internet of Things

The Internet of Things is an idea that has fascinated researchers for years, even before the invention of decentralized public ledgers like the blockchain. The Internet of Things (IoT) is created when inanimate objects and technologies are linked to one another by a singular network. This concept, paired with artificial intelligence, is seen by many businesses and tech experts to be the future of data management.

In the larger sense, the true IoT is created when organizations all over the world are able to collaborate, seamlessly sharing assets, information, and commodities in a way that maximizes efficiency and minimizes energy. Though this system would undoubtably be used by many for business, the applications are also significant for the public sector. Governments could run hospitals, court systems, or even a subway system much more effectively by using the kind of IoT that the blockchain could provide.

A Popular Concept

The blockchain Internet of Things is not simply a theoretical pipe-dream, either. According to the author of this new book, over 2,000 unique startups created during the ICO boom of the last two years seek to create some sort of IoT for applications in various sectors. Though many of those ICOs are, in van Rijeman’s own words, scams.

He goes on to state, though, that the regulation of the Initial Coin Offering (ICO) market is important for the healthy growth of both the industry and the concept in coming years.

Regulatory Hang-ups

Another issue addressed in the interview with was the concept of regulation in the world of blockchain and Initial Coin Offerings. Van Rijeman was clear in his position that while too much regulation can stifle progress and prevent innovative changes from occurring within the ever-evolving industry, some sort of regulation is absolutely necessary in order for blockchain to prosper.

Specifically, he pointed to China as an example of a country that has gone too hard onto trying to prevent crypto from flourishing. As a result, he exhumed, the country is having more trouble than ever trying to stop the gigantic force of blockchain within its borders.

The Next Big Thing

Interviewers also picked the expert’s brain on when they might see the “next significant development” coming out of the growing blockchain sector. He responded by saying that the space moves “really fast,” and that, when one considers all the progress that has been made in the ten years that have passed since the original Bitcoin whitepaper in 2008, there can be no doubt that progress will happen significantly in the next decade.

Though interviewers were quick to point out the failures of crypto tech, including the hack of DAO or the popularity of the CryptoKitties website, Rijeman is clear in his conviction that these issues are growing pains, signs that blockchain technology is growing up. As the industry works through some of its most pressing problems, Rijeman is in good company with his belief that the tech will continue to expand and grow in application and in theory.

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