Why and how we are using blockchain for Finance 4.0

Blockchain technology: What is it all about? There is a wealth of reporting that tries to explain blockchain in simple, easy-to-understand terms. Some of the benefits of blockchain technology? It increases speed for certain transactions, it's resistant to censorship, it improves data accuracy, and it's transparent. Some of the trickier things involve scalability and regulation, and there are various solutions to deal with these challenges.

But once we know what blockchain is and what it can be used for, the question still remains: How can we apply this technology to achieve meaningful change? New, progressive companies are using blockchain to innovate in everything from health care data to journalism. With Finance 4.0, we use a public blockchain (so that the reading and writing process is open to everyone) to align values and measurements with incentives to create sustainable societies.

You probably just thought to yourself, "wait, what?" But that sounds more complicated than it is. The problem, as we see it, is that our goals as societies are misaligned with incentive structures -- that is, people often don't get paid or rewarded for important work that moves us collectively towards our goals. If we develop a way to measure and reward healthy, helpful actions, like biking instead of driving, or shopping at second-hand stores instead of first-hand retailers who aren't fair trade, we can work towards maximising the intended positive consequences of our choices.

The system of measuring this we call smart distributed incentivization. Communities determine actions they want to reward, use Finance 4.0 technology to measure and prove these actions, and reward individuals with tokens that represent values that the communities set themselves. The tokens could represent something more tangible, like access to a free service or a discount for a product, or less tangible, like reputation in the app. This would gamify sustainable behaviors, making these choices fun and a little bit competitive (as does our event, the Climate City Olympics).

How Finance 4.0 would function (approximately)

We hope you have a better idea now of how we at FuturICT 2.0 are using blockchain to achieve meaningful change, specifically within the framework of the Finance 4.0 project. We'll explain this again in more detail in our upcoming video! Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel to stay up to date.

A connected Zurich, where measurements are constantly taking place


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