Q&A - Sally Eaves, Team Blockchain

Sally Eaves combines working on the board of Team Blockchain, an independent consultancy firm, alongside being chief technology officer at MindFit ltd as well as a number of directorships

What is Team Blockchain's mission and how did it come about?

Being truly independent, Team Blockchain Ltd is able to select best of breed expertise to help a broad range of organisations to find the relevant solution to the specific challenges they face. This mission emerged from the rising demand to provide clarity on the speculation and hype that surrounds blockchain and associated technologies with regards their likely impact on day to day activities.

Have you noticed a particular rise in applications of blockchain outside of Bitcoin over the past year? What has caused it?

The original principles and early applications of blockchain are now being rapidly engineered and expanded for cross-sector benefit, given its natural fit with a variety of contexts which involve the compilation and transmission of highly complex data sets on a global scale.

Ethereum has seen a particular rise over the past 12 months and covers many different industries. This is demonstrated by its token price massively increasing in value since July 2014. It resonates with the gold rush in California where people made far more money selling shovels than panning for the gold itself!

What's the most exciting application of blockchain technology you have seen so far?

I am passionate about building and promoting opportunities for technology to support social impact and social inclusion, so have been excited by developments in this area. There has been much coverage regarding the two billion un-banked and those excluded from the digital economy – if blockchain and related technologies can just help 5 of these people it wilt be a huge advancement with sustainable socio- economic benefits.

An example is the US start-up Bext360, which combines blockchain with mobile robotics to assess product weight and quality, and then pay coffee farmers fairly and instantly. This is an industry involving over 125 million people, yet traditionally many of the farmers have regularly lived on less than $2 a day.

I am also personally involved in projects regarding the use of blockchain to monitor food supply arid support ethical trade which can particularly aid developing economies

Which industries do you think are set to have the biggest impact through blockchain and why?

In the short term, the finance industry is set to be most impacted. There are so many costs that can be removed through blockchain and coupled with new entrants coming into banking as a result of PSD2 [payment services directive] across Europe, they will actively use this new technology and not be handicapped by legacy system complexities.

There is a critical role for blockchain in respect to data security, privacy and identity management which crosses sectors and organisational types.tn particular and coupled with PSD2, this will help individuals to gain better transparency, protection and control of how their personal digital assets are utilised and indeed monetised. This is in keeping with a move away from passive consumers to active prosumers.

In the medium term, there are huge opportunities in the healthcare sector. As populations increasingly age we need to find ways to be more efficient with healthcare budgets using technology as an enabler, and thereby allowing a greater focus on illness prevention rather than cure.

This article is reprinted from IoTnews June 2017. You can access the original version of the article on page 24 here.