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29 March 2020

Interview With Daniel Marco On the State of Blockchain in Catalonia

Interview With Daniel Marco On the State of Blockchain in Catalonia

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Several years ago, a blockchain strategy for Catalonia was revealed to the world, presenting a comprehensive outline of how a government — albeit a local one — can in time switch to being an e-government.

Smart Catalonia helped us because it's a connection between the digital strategy of the government and the local authorities who have the most innovative public administrations — not only the cities but also the counties. .

DM: For us, digital identity is a key project of our blockchain strategy, but it's also a pillar for the overall digital approach because it will not only be helpful for just blockchain and other ledger projects. .

And if we arrive at that place, which is our goal and we are very committed to doing that, we will be the first public administration to promote digital identity without the control of the government.

At the end, what we want is to validate identity and this will be our role — the validation that you are you. .

And also, we would make sure that all the governance is fully legal and provides confidence, because the government also needs to define things and to put in all these processes and the legal framework.

CT: So, this blockchain system, would it be developed and powered by local companies, or will it be outsourced or maybe a combination of local and foreign firms.

And that means that we are working on adoption and accelerating the adoption of these strategies to have a positive impact on our citizens.

It’s not like the government only wants to work with local firms because they are here — we want that because it generates economic growth. .

Now, it's the really early stage because we have 76 companies identified as consultancies, developers or companies that are using blockchain in their core business.

CT: But most small companies will likely need some help from the government.

DM: We are helping because we have established a national strategy with different departments.

I think that at the start, one of the best things that this ecosystem needs is to have projects and the right products.

And then, we put the challenge to the community — and at the end, we had some different projects that will help accelerate that, because first we set a challenge, and then we help the smaller companies with development. .

Right now, we have two universities that are doing master's degrees in blockchain.

Adding an extra twist to the Catalan blockchain issue is a proposed law that seeks to grant the government the rights to turn on the internet-censorship guillotine.

DM: Right now, we have the biggest challenge, which is that we have a decree from the Spanish government that disallows any public institution to promote or develop this kind of technology.

We will fight against this because the position is not related to the technology of the Spanish government, but it's related only to the specific situation here in Catalonia.

CT: Theoretically, blockchain is partially the solution to the problem, but yet you don't have enough time to develop that solution.

DM: This is because when you talk about all these free technologies, it's really kind of a radical new way of connection, which are intelligence networks that can connect anything, with any person, with anything — these identities that can talk to each other

It is starting to develop blockchain solutions, but the main projects that they are doing are not with blockchain

Also, we have other smaller companies that are doing blockchain voting

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