An event called “Blockchain: Opportunities for PA, Industry and Finance”, promoted by the association Italia4blockchain and Confassociazioni was held in Bari a few days ago. Among the speakers, there was also William Nonnis, full-stack blockchain developer of the Italian Ministry of Defence. On this occasion, The Cryptonomist was able to have a chat with Nonnis to talk about DLT and its use cases.
As a full-stack developer at the Ministry of Defense, can you tell us what are the projects aimed at implementing the blockchain or crypto in the public domain?
Certainly, the P2P project, for example, is an energy system based on the local sharing of renewable sources, a sector that in other countries is managed with the blockchain protocol and with a consistent use of tokenisation and cryptocurrencies, thus activating various social benefits such as good energy management, awareness of the environment and, above all, a considerable saving for the citizen’s wallet.
Stablecoins are often seen as the alternative or at least as a solution to the problem of the volatility of cryptocurrencies, how do you judge this type of approach?
It is true that, given the soaring and dizzying repercussions of cryptocurrencies, stablecoins are now beginning to enjoy ever more solid reliability, but I do not believe that they can be the solution to everything. By contrast, in fact, cryptocurrencies have considerable advantages:
- Bitcoin represents a store of value for each country and it has landed on the Wall Street Stock Exchange about four days ago;
- Ethereum is the only digital currency that operates smart contracts, thus becoming the reference platform, just like Google;
- Ripple is another crypto on the rise, for which I foresee the real possibility that it will really become a currency of exchange between citizens. And if it is true that today it is centralised, XRP has nevertheless played smart by first securing agreements with banks and various financial institutions and then, as recently stated, reviewing the transition on blockchain and DLT. As a result, Ripple has a great chance of becoming a cryptocurrency that is truly used constantly.
Speaking of stablecoins, we can not ignore what Facebook did with Libra, which has generated many issues. Is such a system desirable?
As I have already explained and pointed out on several occasions, Libra is just an advanced payment system, mostly copied from Alipay, the virtual payment platform launched in China.
In my opinion, the digital currency of Facebook, given its popular origin, can finally stir the interest of the masses, thus attracting the attention of institutions. But, not being based on a public blockchain, which is the only way to guarantee absolute transparency and traceability of transactions, for crypto purists it is exactly the opposite of Bitcoin as it controls data and users.
We also know that there are several companies and countries that want to propose their own state cryptocurrency, what impact would it have on this sector?
I think it’s very positive that states are paying attention and finally understanding the potential of crypto for the entire economic performance of various populations, as well as companies, just think of Amazon which now allows bitcoin payments.
The world is changing, the future is changing or, as I like to say, the positive future is coming and the States, the banks and the major economic and financial giants must accept this change or, rather, revolution.
This radical transformation of the socio-cultural paradigm will at last result in the people being the centre and the ultimate goal of the markets of production and finance, as stated by Satoshi Nakamoto in the Bitcoin whitepaper, in which there is the talk of a circular and transparent public economy.
The blockchain applies to many sectors. Which ones do you think will be the most involved?
The blockchain, assisted by AI and IoT, can certainly be of great support in many areas, far from the economic-financial ones for which this protocol was initially developed and photography is just one of the areas in question, considering facial recognition or pixel processing.
But I’m also convinced that today the blockchain should be essentially used in socially useful contexts, such as PA, healthcare or agrifood because it is in those sectors that its benefits are macroscopic and more functional, which I list below:
- The citizen/company will be able to respond to the requested service quickly and safely;
- The State will have greater monitoring of the main services managed by the various companies, visualizing in real-time the transactions carried out;
- A strong reduction in bureaucracy thanks to the digitalisation of services, resulting in considerable savings in the administrative process for the benefit of the company and the citizen, thus gaining total confidence in the institutions;
- Data will no longer be redundant thanks to the use of digital identities;
- Instant cross-checking for multiple institutional or governmental needs;
- Immediate and objective verification of the data;
- Security and transparency guaranteed by the reliability and solidity of the technology;
- Combating tax evasion and crime.
Many do not believe in crypto, recently at the event in Bari, Mr Deiana has clearly affirmed his scepticism towards cryptocurrencies by citing volatility reasons. What do you think?
I do not share the scepticism of Mr Deiana’s assessment of crypto because, if that were the case, Bitcoin would already be dead, rather than increasingly being a reference in the technologically advanced societies. In fact, I firmly believe that the current economic system is now obsolete and incomplete to meet the countless needs that contemporary man has to face daily and crypto can cover this shortcoming very well.
But not only in the economic field with crypto, which we know well do not have the right to exist without blockchain, but, as already mentioned, also in other areas critical for society. Blockchain technology is accomplishing, at this precise moment in history, a real and total innovation.
This social revolution will be fully completed and assimilated, but only when the socio-cultural paradigm change mentioned above will have taken place.
For this reason, my commitment as a full stack developer and as a widespread promoter of the blockchain is focused on the study, improvement and dissemination of a technology that is human friendly, fair, equitable and ethical, not as an end in itself, but that is aimed at the total well-being and support of man in their everyday lives.
A humanised technology, the value of which is not only given by algorithms and bytes, but by interpersonal relationships in which mutual trust is essential; a truly democratic technology that unites people in a global network, bounded by common objectives and directions.