Fabien Aufrechter, director of Havas Sovereign Technologies, spoke at a plenary conference hosted at the Ready for IT trade show, which takes place this week in Monaco. For him, there is no question of denying the “buzz” dimension of expressions such as blockchainNFT or even Metaverse – which is dedicated the latest edition of our Applications & Data eZine.
A big misunderstanding
According to Fabien Aufrechter, the extension of the adoption of blockchain-type decentralized technologies is indisputable. But the lack of understanding remains large – two elements that help to explain the difficulties of recruitment in the field.
So Fabien Aufrechter takes the example of a spiral notebook to illustrate the concept of blockchain: the page is a block inscribed with indelible ink, connected to others of the spiral, the chain. But this is not entirely hidden on a single point of error, the famous single fault point, but replicated to all users’ computers in the chain. The risk of unavailability or change is thus significantly reduced. And the contents of each block are transparently accessible.
But “nothing is free”. Going from one page of the notebook to another, or from one block to another in the chain, requires energy: “the model has envisioned a reward system for this work, mining, to compensate for lost value, such as energy used. , token “. And it is this “that makes it possible to create what is called cryptocurrencies […] there is no blockchain without cryptocurrency ”.
This value can take other forms, explains Fabien Aufrechter, other types of tokens, starting with “use tokens, to use a service”, which can be converted into economic value, “a positive value, ie a financial act digitized, or negative, a digitized debt. ”In addition, fungible and non-fungible tokens, the latter referring to NFTs.
And got ideas
Fabien Aufrechter does not fail to quote the creator of Etherum, Vitalik Buterin: “90% of ICOs [émissions initiales de jetons, NDLR] is fraud ”. For the director of Havas Sovereign Technologies, it’s almost obvious, for the launch of a new blockchain, “it’s very simple”. So anyone can demand it. This justifies strong regulation.
Fabien Aufrechter also wants to twist the battle against “preconceived ideas”, starting with “the blockchain, it finances terrorism”. For him, transparency and traceability are sufficient networks to counter criminal activities. On paper, this may seem fair, and the traceability of Bitcoin is quite clear used by law enforcement to detect criminal activity. But reality is nuanced.
Second received idea, “cryptoassets are a speculative bubble”. Fabien Aufrechter also has an answer to this, noting that speculative bubbles can arise for any asset without the corresponding market itself being speculative.
Finally, is any chain of blocks necessarily polluting because of its massively distributed nature? “We’re necessarily thinking of bitcoin” and there, “it’s true”. But it is far from the only blockchain, and other models are more sober.
Applications and benefits
But Fabien Aufrechter sees much more than just buzz in these decentralized technologies. For him, concretely, “the word Blockchain sells. When you associate that word with a product, it sells better.” And take the well-known example of Carrefour, which adopted blockchain to make the traceability of some of its products more transparent : and precisely “the blockchain product sells better because it is more reassuring”. Even if the “buzzword” effect also plays.
Another application put forward by the Director of Havas Sovereign Technologies, securing sensitive data against possible destruction, such as diplomas or cadastral data.
The next step is NFTs, non-fungible tokens, that connect an object, physical or virtual, to a digital identity: “some artists use them to sell unique digital works”, but that’s not all. “NFTs enable Palau to produce unique, tamper-proof digital passports.” NFTs also make it possible to produce digital duplicates – “which are neither more nor less than a certificate of ownership”, by e.g. works of art. “And besides, we can link a lot of content to these certificates”.
But for Fabien Aufrechter, companies must now look beyond all this and focus on portfolios of cryptocurrencies: “it is they who capture the value”, regardless of the cryptocurrency. And to estimate that “the war for digital wallets will be the next war in terms of sovereignty. This is where you need to look.” and assets get their full value.