Slides presented at the ONTOCHAIN Summit for Trustworthy Internet by Alberto Ciaramella, ONTOCHAIN core partner & CEO and founder at IntelliSemantic
1 June 2022 - BerIin
Alberto Ciaramella - Intellisemantic
o Today web challenges
o Motivations and feasibility of blockchain applications
o Technology enablers
TODAY WEB CHALLENGES
o The web is becoming more and more pervasive, enabling access to portals and data bases, e-
commerce services and social networks which changed our habits of working and living.
o Today most used web applications are based on centralized data bases : this kind of architecture
is efficient, but raises some concerns about security, privacy and trust.
o This implies a significant unbalance of power between the user and the provider.
o Last, but not least, the offer is becoming more and more oligopolistic, due the due the scale
BLOCKCHAIN MOTIVATIONS AT A HIGH LEVEL (1)
o A solution for these challenges is to rely on a decentralized database as in the blockchain
architecture, which can be more secure, as the database is replicated.
o Moreover this kind of architecture gives to the user more control about his/her privacy and
control of his/her data: hence blockchain based applications are increasing.
o Last, but not least, this kind of architecture facilitates the assembly of a whole application by
consortia of different partners with different roles, as network providers, database providers,
application providers, with a the possibility to enable a less oligopolistic market.
BLOCKCHAIN MOTIVATIONS AT A HIGH LEVEL (2)
As in any technology new wave, blockchain adoption can be motivated: :
o To reduce risks associated with the old technology
When risks are perceived relevant
Example: blockchain to improve the security in comparison to centralized solutions
o To improve the efficiency and total costs of the solution
Without forgetting technology switching costs
Example: more efficient logistic solutions with blockchain
o To enable new applications, new business models and even new markets
innovative users and early adopter have an important role
Example: DeFi, DAO
BLOCKCHAIN APPLICATIONS FEASIBILITY (1)
Not all web applications will migrate to blockchain!
Not all new possible applications will be successful!
Two sieves have to be applied : a technology sieve and a business sieve.
o The technology sieve: an increasing amount of scientific papers analyzes:
○ If a web application is suitable to a blockchain architecture or a centralized
database architecture is sufficient
○ which is the most suitable blockchain architecture (permissionless,
permissioned and public, permissioned and private)
■ permissionless architectures are more challenging and should not be the
only option to consider
BLOCKCHAIN APPLICATIONS FEASIBILITY (2)
o The business sieve.
○ value for customer
○ market size and attractivity
Based on such kind kind of analysis, a technologically advanced solution can fail or a
simpler, but properly positioned and implemented application can be successful.
TECHNOLOGY ENABLERS FOR APPLICATIONS
o For the emergence of a new wave of applications, e.g. in blockchain, the technology
should be of course mature enough to provide an adequate infrastructure, a rich
repository of building blocks and adequate development tools, if possible.
o the status of the art in technologies suggests that the time for applications is now
o in ONTOCHAIN we have developed:
○ a rich repository of building blocks, including a development tool, as those
summarized at https://ontochain.ngi.eu/selected-projects (see also the
presentations tomorrow), of which OC3 applicants for topics B can rely
○ a baseline architecture, which can further evolve with the contribution of OC3
applicants for topics A
APPLICATIONS MOTIVATION EXAMPLES, BY KIND
o B2B: blockchain applications should facilitate multiparty interplay, as in supply
chain and logistic
o C2C: blockchain applications enhance the role of consumers and
professionals as providers (other than users) in marketplaces of data,
services and goods
o B2C blockchain applications should enable a better control of customers
o G2G: blockchain applications should facilitate the synchronization of info
between different institutions, also crossborder
o G2B, G2C blockchain applications should avoid the repeated input of the
same data (the “Once Only” principle)
o Other more complex interactions have also to be considered, as B2B2C
APPLICATIONS: BY VERTICAL, AS IN OC3
An interesting taxonomy is exemplified in the OC3 document for applicants and
will be summarized in next session this afternoon.
This taxonomy is a reminder of some applications we consider of interest and at
the same time reuse at best the functions developed in OC1 and OC2.
This taxonomy, which is summarized in the following slide, is an open taxonomy,
since it includes also the category “other applications”.
APPLICATIONS: BY VERTICAL (3)
BLOCKCHAIN APPLICATIONS TAXONOMY (1)
To fully categorize and analyse blockchain applications, a two level taxonomy can
o The high level extends the classification of verticals used in OC3, making more
explicit the verticals mentioned under the topic B12 (others), which can include
health, hospitality, travels and many others.
o The low level specifies the most relevant applications by vertical, as exemplified
in the following slide for the energy.
BLOCKCHAIN APPLICATIONS TAXONOMY (2)
Most relevant applications for the energy vertical:
o Metering, billing and security
o Cryptocurrencies, tokens and investments for energy
o Decentralized energy trading
o Green certificates and carbon trading
o Grid management
o smart devices automation and management
These challenges can affect in different ways different markets or applications:
o technology challenges
o users challenges
o business model
o legal challenges
o standard challenges
These challenges can change and reduce also their impact with the time;
in any case they have to be analyzed before launching any application.
By the way, take into account these challenges when applying to OC3!
BLOCKCHAIN CHALLENGES - TECHNOLOGY
o Energy consumption
but more and more efficient consensus protocols are identified
this is explicitly addressed in OC3 A3: “energy efficient infrastructure”
o Market fragmentation by platform (platform locking)
but new dialogue methods are emerging
this is explicitly addressed in OC3 A1: “service integration”
o Implementation efficiency
suitable tools and building blocks are emerging
see OC1 and OC2 results and (in part )the OC3 A2 “Semantic matching and reasonin
o New hardware technologies (quantum computers)
in mid term more advanced cryptography technologies will be required
BLOCKCHAIN CHALLENGES - USERS
o Evolve applications to blockchain to solve well perceived users need
o A good dialogue between technologists and final users is recommended
o Identify new applications which can really benefit from blockchain technologies
o totally new applications, as DeFi, DAO, are challenging, but can be rewarding
o Disintermediation is potentially attractive
o but some verticals can be still afraid of this disruptive perspective
BLOCKCHAIN CHALLENGES - BUSINESS MODELS
o Identify the most appropriate business model
o Evaluate costs/benefits when migrating existing applications to blockchain
o do not overlook the costs of the legacy solution
o do not overestimate the potential of new solutions
o be fair in distributing rewards between different contributors
o fairness enables business sustainability
BLOCKCHAIN CHALLENGES – LEGAL AND STANDADS
o Legal norms maturity and alignment by countries and verticals, as
○ the validity of certificates and contracts
○ the liability and certification of different actors
o Financial norms maturity and alignment by countries and by kind of tokens
o Standardisation maturity Including protocols
AND GET INVOLVED!
Any comment or