L’Italia ha un problema gravissimo con il digitale, e questa è cosa ormai stranota. Da qualche anno occupiamo stabilmente gli ultimi posti Europa, e continuiamo a peggiorare, in particolare stando a quegli indici che misurano le competenze digitali dei cittadini. Sembra una maledizione: nonostante il proliferare di iniziative pubbliche, di fondazioni dedicate, di progetti europei nazionali e regionali, il divario tra l’abbondanza di strumenti e le capacità degli italiani di usarli con profitto nella vita lavorativa o privata continua ad allargarsi.
William Nonnis has been a professional Full Stack Developer since 2000. He has developed a large portfolio of applications and websites for the Italian Ministry of Defense and other public administrations.
Since 2013, William has been fully involved in the study and development of the blockchain and cryptocurrency technologies, carrying out seminars, courses, participation in events and development tests on Smart Contracts, Ethereum and Distributed Ledger Technologies.
From January 2019, he is part of the CEN/CENELEC Focus Group “Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technologies”.
Let us talk about your main research topic: the blockchain. In your opinion, which benefits can it bring to the public sector?
There are many advantages that can be obtained through the blockchain. A practical example is the management of the services issued by public bodies for the citizens and the businesses.
For example, the issue of a certificate at the user’s request can trigger feedback and monitoring actions, in order to evaluate the issuer’s productivity (delivery time, work skills and professionalism, as well as production bonus that can be assigned to truly achieved and tangible goals).
Other major advantages can be summarized as follows:
- Strong reduction of the bureaucracy burden, with a considerable saving on the “public machinery” to the advantage of the citizens, thus restoring trust in the institutions
- Reduced data redundancy (“once only principle”)
- Automated cross-check for data coherency
- Security, transparency, reliability
- Contrast to tax evasion and crime
Thanks to its architecture, the blockchain is evolving to become more and more interoperable with any kind of external entity, such as hospitals, banks, IoT devices and applications, allowing efficient and secure data exchange and building the foundations for a productive, safe, and functional public administration.
What are the most conspicuous advantages for businesses?
The greatest advantages for companies are given by the provision of more efficient services, by the credibility received by the customers who use them and by the efficiency and speed of the result obtained, which are essential elements to compete in the global market.
Such scenario, however, requires the public administration to provide their own services on a “governance” blockchain. This implies that all the services implemented by any company will need to comply with reference rules enforced by the governance model.
In which directions will the blockchain technology evolve?
The blockchain technology is not only quite mature, as in many countries it is already used systematically, but its “next evolutions” are also being developed.
Take for example AION: this is a multilevel system designed to solve unresolved scalability and interoperability issues in first-generation blockchain networks. Without diving too deep into technicalities, AION implements bridges that allow different blockchain implementations to communicate with each other.
Thus, transaction security will be further improved, although this is already a crucial tenet of the blockchain technology. The AION technology is designed to foster an open and distributed blockchain environment, able to meet the specific requirements of a blockchain multiplayer network structure.
Can you describe your professional profile?
At the moment, my technical and professional role (as part of the Italian Ministry of Defense) is of great responsibility, since it is up to me to understand and mediate highly sectorial frameworks and concepts. Our studies, our constant commitment and enormous efforts, which we developers constantly dedicate to the progress of new technologies, are leading to an enormous ethical, social, and cultural change that will have repercussions in everyday life in the near future.
The epochal change which I refer to has not only to do with the purely technological aspects; rather, it is a fundamental change in trust relationships between public and private, companies and citizens.
Moreover, programmers will not only have to develop code (e.g., Smart Contracts), but will also need a certain degree of conversancy in other fields, such as law and governance issues, in order to fully develop their potential. Hybrid roles, fluent in multiple fields, will be indispensable in many industries (AI, IoT, cybersecurity, communication, legal, administrative, production processes, supply chain management, fintech).
In short, the future that I dream of and on which I concentrate all my efforts is a future in which technology “holds mankind by the hand”, putting human values at the centre and simplifying everyday life. It is a future in which technology is humanized, restoring the essential value of mutual trust; a future in which nobody will be left behind and alone. The future I dream of is that of a global network, enabled by technology, of diverse people working on common goals.
A final word…
Happy future to everybody!
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