Blockchain Technology

The bitcoin, this virtual currency whose name has been on everyone’s lips for a few months, is based on a technology that remains mysterious for many: the chain of blocks. This technology, which many liken to a large virtual accounting book, is of interest to the most diverse fields, from finance to health and agrifood. Yann Rousselot-Pailley, president of and specialist of chains of blocks, popularizes their operation in an interview with Matthieu Dugal.

“From the moment someone wants to digitize something and must guarantee ownership to someone in particular, we can do it with the chain of blocks,” says Mr. Rousselot-Pailley. If we want to ensure that the digital asset that we have passes from one person to another, we can use the chain of blocks. “

Tamper-proof chains of blocks?

All computers in the same chain of blocks have a copy of this ledger that can be used to authenticate the transactions that are made on their network. Block chains are therefore considered inviolable, in the current state of knowledge, since it would be necessary to falsify all the copies of an accounting book to defraud it.

However, portfolios containing the famous cryptocurrency, they are not immune to theft or loss. Indeed, to use its bitcoins or another cryptocurrency operating according to similar rules, it is necessary to use a kind of password called “private key”. About 4 million bitcoins were lost when their owners forgot or lost their private key.

“There are all sorts of interfaces around the chain of blocks that they are not at all inviolable, warns Yann Rousselot-Pailley. For example, your bank is tamper-proof, since you can not go digging into your bank account. However, the website that allows you to access your bank may have weaknesses. [For blockchains], it is in these interfaces that there may be weaknesses. “

A geopolitical issue

Those who doubt the importance of block chains in the coming years and decades would be well advised to look to Singapore, Switzerland, Estonia, China and Russia, according to Mr. Rousselot-Pailley. All these countries are leading the charge of what some compare to the web revolution, which started in the late 1980s and continues.

China even has up to 70 percent of computers dedicated to processing bitcoin transactions worldwide, according to Yann Rousselot-Pailley.

“If the traditional economy continues to move in the direction of digitization and great historical powers like Europe and the United States do nothing to move in this direction, other countries will have a head start and will benefit, “concludes the expert.