Since the Alastria network was announced in October 2017, it has evolved at speed to become the world’s first regulated national network. Cover image source.
The not-for-profit ecosystem has already on-boarded over 70 Spanish firms and has earned the backing of leading names including BBVA, Santander, Telefonica, University of Girona, University of Malaga, and the University of Valencia. Alastria’s Blockchain Infrastructure is called Red Alastria whilst its digital identity standard is ID Alastria.
Crucially, the network will provide a standard methodology for information to flow across all the consortium members, as well as digital ID, data security that’s compliant with European regulations and a smart contracts function.
With Alastra’s consortium including institutions from an array of sectors including banking, higher education and technology to name but a few, a Blockchain-based network could be very useful in encouraging developers to create apps that are consistent and inter-operable across multiple industries.
“the internet is being reinvented so that we can share and do business in a verified and secure way, but it is necessary to have a standard that allows all industries and the developer community to work with the same base”
– Alex Puig, CEO, Alastria
The collaboration with several universities, and more importantly, regulators, could also be significant. Sometimes, having too many players can lead to too many voices, and amongst all the noise progress can be impacted in a negative manner and slowed. Despite this, working with academicians, practitioners, innovators and regulators, feels like it could be a huge positive in this context.
As the initiative progresses, there are research opportunities possible (and that is part of the objective) between the public and private sector players and the universities involved. When data-intensive research (by the academia) accompanies execution of a use case (by the industry), it often helps keep the industry honest about the motivations behind the use case. If research results are contradictory to what the practitioners claim, it often helps make decisions on course correction.
In order to achieve scalable innovation, generating a buzz amongst developers is pivotal. Taking this into account, Alastria’s initial focus will undoubtedly be on developing a community on the platform.
As of August last year, statistics released by Deloitte showed that the Financial Services sector is comfortably leading the way in terms of the number of blockchain consortia formed. However, with an ever-increasing number of Public and Private sector collaborations, this is likely to change in the future.
For me, it’s worth considering the purpose of creating national networks such as the Dubai and Alastria Blockchain initiatives. Looking beyond national boundaries there is a bigger picture and these networks could potentially have a much larger impact.