Global Blockchain CEO Shidan Gouran spoke to TechRepublic's Dan Patterson about the changes ahead for governance and accounting, thanks to Blockchain automation. The following is an edited transcript of the interview.
Dan Patterson: How do you scale this or at least find analogs between the media industry and other industries that are experimenting with blockchain? There's a lot of data that says upwards of 70% of CISOs and of decision makers in IT departments have experimented with the blockchain, but only 1% actually have adopted it inside the enterprise. What advice do you have for other company technology leaders that would like to implement blockchain technology, but have yet to find a purpose for it?
Shidan Gouran: Before I answer that, can I just also mention that there's another media application to this, which is voting. Blockchains are perfect solutions for voting, actually. On a global scale, where millions of people can vote on something, you know the system can't be rigged. We're working with one media company, which has a show where people vote for the contestants and whatnot. If you give the contestants a certain number of tokens and say, "You only have "x" number of tokens for the year. You have to be very wise about how you use these tokens for voting with them," You don't even have to make them tradable in this case, it becomes a perfect tool for having a more fair voting system, because the person is giving something of value that he can't gain back. So he has to really make a choice on what he's voting, or not voting.
Going from there into the enterprise, the same thing applies in the enterprise. In the enterprise, blockchains can completely change everything. The reason for that is because they make accounting and governance very automated compared to what it is today. One project-
Dan Patterson: Do you have any example? Can you explain that?
Shidan Gouran: Yeah, so one project we're working on right now is called the "Stratus Marketplace," which is a de-centralized storage network, and the enterprise. So for example: inside of an enterprise, you can have two different departments and one of them has extra storage capacity and other department needs an extra storage capacity. Right now, getting that system is a chore. You have to go through management approval, you have to get accountants to approve it. It's a lot of resources that are spent on this. With blockchains, you can automate that process and make it in a way that the data is also segregated. Even inside of an enterprise, there are semi-autonomous departments that don't necessarily want to talk to each other at a level where they're sharing all their information with each other.
SEE: IT leader's guide to the blockchain (Tech Pro Research)
Here, you can both encrypt and have secure data on somebody else's server and a completely automated way of approving and accounting for the resources used, and that's a huge benefit. When you deal with a massively... a massive enterprise, a big corporation that's so autonomous, you really need a system like blockchains; which govern autonomous systems, right? This system Stratus we've developed, doesn't just work inside the enterprise, it also works between enterprises. You can have, for example— I'm just giving this theoretically— Shell and BP who are competitors, Shell could offer storage on the general consortium of companies who are part of this network, and BP could buy that storage and yet they know that the data won't be visible to the opposing party.
It greatly reduces costs of storage, because now, you're selling your excess capacity.
Dan Patterson: Exactly, right. I love the idea of selling excess capacity and making processes more efficient, even if it's a competitor because the blockchain can validate certain types of information.
Shidan Gouran: So take this model, you can even apply it to consumers, because this is very similar to what Dropbox or iCloud do, at the end of the day. When you put your information on Dropbox, at the end of the day, you're dealing with a third party, who can access your content, potentially. It's in their hands. Here, you have a very open network where you're the only person who can control the data and the people that you want to control the data, and it turns companies like Dropbox and iCloud into much more commodity businesses who are really just user-interfaces on top of this network.
That can be potentially revolutionary, and I really do think that this model for storage can really change the Internet as we know it. It can turn it from a tree structure into a more graph-like structure, where things are available and gives people the opportunity to compete on a level that they couldn't in the past.
- How blockchain will disrupt business (ZDNet special report) | Download the report as a PDF (TechRepublic)
- Walmart implements IBM's blockchain for food traceability (ZDNet)
- Blockchain: A cheat sheet (TechRepublic)
- Walmart deploys 17,000 Oculus Go headsets to train its employees (ZDNet)
- The 6 best blockchain jobs of the future (TechRepublic)
Dan Patterson has nothing to disclose. He does not hold investments in the technology companies he covers.
Dan is a Senior Writer for TechRepublic. He covers cybersecurity and the intersection of technology, politics and government.