Blockchain in Latin America
Chile is looking into blockchain technology as tech experts gathered in Santiago, Chile for an open learning session on blockchain. In attendance was Marco Alarcón, chief Blockchain architect at the Santiago Stock Exchange. Alarcón is working with IBM to implement a private blockchain to manage the trading of information at the stock exchange between securities lenders, banks, regulators and institutional clients. It is expected to reduce the time it takes to do back-office processes by 40%.
Alarcón said: “It’s a very exciting project for Chile. I see blockchain as an enabler of new opportunities and new businesses. I think it is a very good initiative that Allianz is exploring blockchain and other new technologies to know what the real potential these kinds of technologies have,”
The program will go live in May, and could eventually connect Chile’s stock market with those in Peru, Colombia and Mexico.
Entrepreneur Gabriel Gurovich, who attended the discussion, remarked: “The biggest potential for a city like Santiago—which has all of the difficulties that a big city has like traffic jams and pollution—will be to rely on something which is trusted and organised by the crowd.”
Another thought leader who attended the panel discussion was Guillermo Acuña, co-founder of Cumplo.com, a Latin American crowd-lending platform which has issued $300 million in loans since 2012. His company is beginning to implement blockchain technology.
Acuña commented: “Why blockchain? Right now we’re only in Chile and we want to become a global company. And the only way to become a global company is to have technology that enables you to be anywhere in the world. I think the Allianz Global Explorer program is a very good initiative because it gathers people to talk about new and emerging technologies that are going to change how we see the world and collaborate as humans.”
Meanwhile, blockchain expert Cristobal Pereira, said the technology has the potential to transform everyday life in the future. He gave examples about how blockchain could replacing identity documents, store medical information, disrupt real estate, and prevent theft and fraud.
The event was part of Allianz’s Global Explorer Program, a series of global and local partnerships, digital and physical activations and crowd-generated content platforms that call out to curious minds around the globe.