Future Manager Italy Insights

Blockchain: Innovation and Ethical Issues

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Author: Future Manager Research Center

The Blockchain technology appeared for the first time in 2008, concomitantly with the spread of the “dematerialized” cryptocurrency called Bitcoin. The main purpose of the Blockchain was to secure financial transactions made with Bitcoin, without the need to go through an intermediary.

More specifically, this technology constitutes an independent and secure means of transmitting and managing information, a service that was usually guaranteed by a central control body. A Blockchain is basically a huge database that, like a “Big Brother”, meticulously records each exchange that occurs as a result of its installation and, interaction after interaction, the chain is formed. There is no possibility to falsify, delete or alter anything since users share the same database, which is structured on a large number of nodes. The nodes are not hierarchized under a single form of fixed client or server, but the concatenation is composed of equivalent or ‘peer’ nodes. In short: to steal information from a Blockchain a hacker should take possession of at least half of the personal devices of a group of individuals (an almost impossible feat).

How could Blockchain technology be advantageous in the field of Human Resources? This tool is able to allow a candidate to own (and possibly share) a complete digital ID based on Blockchain that contains personal information useful to any employers. This sort of “metacurriculum” could include education, skills, training and previous professional experience. Through this digital ID, everyone would be able to transform their credentials into real value in the job market, while employers could identify the right employees more accurately and effectively through data-driven insights.

This new digital equipment represents a revolution as important as it is uncertain in fact the Blockchain has not yet managed to conquer a predominant role in the web habits of users due to ethical problems that have arisen. The repercussions would be felt in various fields, for example, in the banking context it would be possible to make money transfers abroad, at a lower cost if we consider that the commissions currently exercised by the exchange platforms sometimes approach 10%. It is therefore true that the decentralization of information and the elimination of third parties allows users to be put in direct contact without going through an interface, which is often expensive, thus creating strong conflicts of interest.

Secondly, Blockchain would eliminate the need for interaction in praesentia between individuals or organizations, however in personal relationships human beings always feel the need to know if they can trust other people and to do so they prefer direct contact.

For these reasons, only 0.5% of the global population currently uses the blockchain technology, the demand is certainly on the rise and 80% of the population is expected to somehow make use of that technology within 10 years. Some companies dare and try to develop applications using Blockchain, but ethical limits still hinder its full spread.