Today saw the launch of the National Blockchain Coalition, an alliance that seeks to create the conditions for reliable application of blockchain technology in society.
The decision to coordinate the various initiatives throughout the Netherlands was spearheaded by the Ministry of Economic Affairs. ABN AMRO was an early invitee to participate in the National Blockchain Coalition, now a partnership between more than twenty members. Those members gathered at the Ministry this morning, 30 March 2017, as Minister Kamp officially kicked off the Coalition.
Blockchain can be seen as a collective and decentralised ledger that spreads and shares data across multiple networks and servers. Whenever changes are made to the ledger, they need to be approved separately by each of the networked computers. With multiple owners, unauthorised access becomes virtually, if not entirely, impossible. While the technology has already been established in general terms, the laws and regulations need to be updated to lend legal validity to official transactions, for example.
ABN AMRO is currently investing in blockchain. Working with various partners, we will consider every part of our organisation to explore how blockchain will affect our core processes, products and services: from mortgages and risk models to cross-border payments.
Initially, the National Blockchain Coalition will focus primarily on issues of identification, to lay the groundwork for trusting blockchain. If every blockchain user can prove his or her identity, transactions will not require third parties such as civil-law notaries and banks to finalise them, improving the speed and efficiency of the related processes.