Sat. Apr 20th, 2019

The 'tokenization' of the economy, the great challenge of transformation | Trends

The 'tokenization' of the economy, the great challenge of transformation | Trends


Let's start at the beginning. With much word technological, it is easy to get lost. You are even likely to use a technology, even if you have never called it that. With the tokens often happens. This tool is nothing more than providing digital value -generally in cryptocurrencies- to a physical product or service. That is, when you pay with your mobile, you use tokens; and the moment you receive points from an airline, more of the same. These are just a few small examples of what is to come if the economy finishes opening new markets around this idea.

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"We're tokenizing very little. It is the great challenge we have because the real disruption, the most innovative, will come from here, "says José Luis Núñez, responsible for blockchain of Telefónica. In his opinion, thanks to this way of operating, the transformation not only reaches the markets, but it increases liquidity and the ability to create new assets in a highly digitized economy. Take, for example, the conversion of time and the commitment of the workers of any company. They win tokens depending on whether they give courses to their classmates, enroll in volunteer programs or collaborate in communication campaigns. Depending on all those who have accumulated, they will have some advantages or others.

José Luis Núñez, responsible for Telefónica's blockchain last January, during his participation in the event 'Blockchain and the economy of the token', organized by El País Retina

Labor relations appear simple, but the idea on which it is based can be extrapolated to any sector. The one of the culture and the real estate, that already have begun with some projects, are more examples of how to enter this new way of operating in the market. As Núñez says, in most cases you have to resort to blockchain to get a true tokenization. "Thanks to its cryptographic base, we can give a right of use to the owner of an asset. The good as such, as with bitcoin, is not tangible, but the annotations of who owns it, "he adds.

If this model grows, as some experts predicted in the Blockchain event and the economy of the token, organized by EL PAÍS Retina, would put the network operators, as in the case of Telefónica, before a new scenario in which they could enable new business. In Núñez's words, they would allow the assets tokenized flow safely and without compromising the value or good they represent. Go back to the cryptocurrency example to explain this opportunity. "The network would always have control of the content represented by the token and nobody could fake it or hack it, only those who were out of the network. It's the same as with a bitcoin, which is only transmitted and consumed in your network, "he says.

Lurking new markets

One of the main difficulties with which the economy of tokens is the exchange of different products. Energy or network services are tokenizables, but, right now, they are not integrated into the same market. Until the providers of this economic model do not learn to work with tokens, it will be impossible to combine heterogeneous sectors. For the moment, we can trade oil for oil or gigas per gigas, but not with each other. "For the profitability of a startup It would be easier for a business model in which different fields, such as energy and communication, are crossed, "argues Núñez.

Setbacks on the sidelines, an idea that underlies this whole network of tokens It is that of decentralization. Generates a horizontal, traceable and immutable relationship in which those who own a product or service can negotiate on an equal footing. After all, they share a shared digital value between them. "But it's not only money, it also allows you to manage the asset," Núñez suggests. It would be a way to grant rights to something that, with a traditional model, would not provide any kind of return. Open new business routes from a kind of digital files.

'Tokenization': my watch has been transformed into a credit card

The person in charge of blockchain Telefónica does not have the slightest doubt that innovation has to go through the channels of the tokens. With small steps, in your company you have already started with the trial-error technique to see how much potential this technology can have. He is aware that it is still necessary to give it a whole body to make sense of everything, although certain wickers are already present - like the need for the chain of blocks. As a warning to sailors, leave an idea that claims to be disruptive: "If I can simplify customers who can do everything that allows this tool, we will open new markets."

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