Blockchain or Bitcoin? That is the dilemma. And it was the main topic of “Fintech & Blockchain Forum”, the event hosted last March 6th by “Le fonti”, a business web-TV, at Palazzo Mezzanotte, the Borsa Italiana headquarters. A meaningful debate with three main issues discussed by the panelists: Crypto, Blockchain and Fintech.
During the introduction, the keynote speaker Giacomo Zucco, researcher and founder of BlockchainLab, pointed out that blockchain as a word has been misused many times. “The real revolution is Bitcoin, that is not really a revolution but an evolution” explained Zucco during his speech. ”It’s just a return to the old normal: that your personal data should stay private, because the way we spend our money must be confidential, and currently with the ordinary banks that’s not possible anymore”. So the last 20 years has been an “historical anomaly” according to Zucco.
After this speech, the two founders of SeedVenture, CEO William Pividori and strategist Sergio De Prisco, introduced their project: a new way of investing in innovative startups and creating an innovative venture capitalism incubator. In SeedVenture, they explained, you can act as your own bank using a crypto currency and buying tokens, and the investor can be rewarded in a shorter time than when using ordinary money. Besides that, this free market competition could benefit the best project from the very beginning and help startups to survive the initial moment and reduce mortality.
The topic of businesses that choose crypto to do banking on their own was widely discussed by the first roundtable of debates. Federico Tenga, cofounder of Chainside, a platform for firms that are willing to accept bitcoin payments, argued that “Bitcoin is not only a way to maintain control of our privacy and our funds, but it also serves as a tool to learn to be more independent in making the proper pick in investing money.” Dindicash, a community that aims to spread crypto in the real economy, has a similar goal, as Fernando Tozzi, project manager of DindiCash, explained: “On our platform members would be able to exchange goods and services with their own money, created using our blockchain, for a better use of their assets”.
But there are also some legal and practical issue, such as taxes and regulation. In the second debate, one of the participants, Massimo Simbula of the Simbula law firm, argued that “the regulators could help us. The spread of internet use during the ’90s was favoured by EU directives, so the use of crypto and blockchain could be helped in the very same way”. But Simona Macellari, chief operating officer of BlockchainLab, took a swipe at the regulations, saying that “definitive legal instruments are often totally inadequate to deal with an environment that is continuously changing”.
The last panel focused on the practical aspects of blockchain use in business.
For example: why should a firm use a currency printed by a central bank and therefore accept someone else’s conditions? Michele Ficara Manganelli, president of Assodigitale, staunchly affirmed this sentence: “Thanks to blockchain, the company could act as its own bank and use its own currency”.
He later made an example to explain the concept better: “This process is called tokenization, and it has already happened without anyone noticing it. Think about the telephone booth tokens of the past. These were not only used to call, but could be resold or used in exchange for goods. Nothing new was invented, we have simply managed to improve the technological system but on a case history that has existed for more than 40 years.” Ficara Manganelli explained his case referencing existing token currency: the Amazon Gift card, the tokenization of the Juventus season ticket campaign or Burger King, which launched its own currency valued at a single hamburger.