Roundup: U.S. experts optimistic about broad application prospects of blockchain

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NEW YORK, Aug. 20 (Xinhua) -- Although it is in the early stage of development, the broad application prospects of blockchain technology, combined with a new tech wave including artificial intelligence and virtual reality, are highly and widely anticipated by many U.S. experts.

"We will see smart contracts that essentially rely on blockchain, (and) we will see great economies of scale in manufacturing processes in a command and control system and process," Lawrence Trautman, a professor at Western Carolina University, told Xinhua in a recent interview on the sidelines of blockchain technology & organizations research symposium 2018 held by UConn School of Business.

Systematically, blockchain will reduce the risk of human error and failure in many systems that are profoundly important to all of us, he added, referring to the trends of blockahin technology's development.

A decade ago, the Bitcoin whitepaper was published. In it, a peer-to-peer version of electronic cash is described together with the underlying digital infrastructure now commonly known as blockchain technology.

Since then, blockchain technology and its applications have drawn much interest in public, business and academic circles.

Blockchain "is a wonderful technological invention for mankind, and virtual currencies are simply one application for the use of blockchain," Trautman noted.

The applications of blockchain could be used in many areas like finance, insurance and government data management, echoed David Noble, director of the Peter J. Werth Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute at UConn.

For example, "the insurance industry can become a lot more efficient at pricing risk if they know who owns it within 20 or 30 minutes instead of three or four days," he said.

The government sector where a piece of paper is stamped or licensed or certified could also become a robust place to introduce blockchain technology and digitize that paper in a secure way.

Meanwhile, Robert Dahlstrom, a professor of marketing at Miami University, believes that blockchain technology, with its transparent, traceable and immutable character, will be well adopted in supply chain management.

With the help of blockchain technology, consumers can clearly know where each part of the product comes from, which will help producers build reputation and eventually benefit high-quality producers, Dahlstrom said.

However, the expensive transaction costs with high levels of monitoring are still the main obstacle before blockchain technology can be widely used in this sector.

Blockchain is part of a big tech revolution, and "a robotics, virtual reality, artificial intelligence and blockchain are all going to play an important role in that," said Noble.

"With Moore's law and the processing speed of computers increasing constantly, and combined with the decline in the cost of storage, I think that 10 years from now we may see profound applications (of blockchain)," said Trautman. Enditem

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