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Much more than Bitcoins: New study on blockchain technologies

Berlin is Europe's blockchain capital. The technology that is radically transforming the financial sector and pushing into many new areas is developed here. A new study called “Blockchains, Smart Contracts und das Dezentrale Web” (Blockchains, Smart Contracts and the Decentralised Web) is looking into specific areas of application for the new technology.

For the purposes of the study, “blockchain” is defined as a technology used to verify data transactions. This involves a specific type of data distribution and backup that could be used as a basis for the decentralisation of many functions that are now part of centrally organised information systems. Blockchain technology could be used in applications involving the secure management and verification of data, such as the energy economy, the health sector, and as part of IT services.

Blockchains are set to revolutionise the entire contract system in the medium term. Notarial certifications will be replaced by so-called smart contracts, which constitute a disruptive technology, in particular in terms of international supply and service relationships. Blockchain technology offers a range of benefits, for Berlin in particular, as it could be used as an alternative to applications that are based on central clearing systems. For instance, blockchain technology offers great potential in the following industries: Energy economy, data security and transparency, banking, insurance and FinTech, creative, IoT and industry 4.0, administration and e-government, mobility and legal tech.

Using Berlin as an example, where a variety of blockchain startups are based, the study suggests to strongly support pilot projects, meetups and events relating to blockchain and to promote development of the underlying technology.