3 QUESTIONS TO SÉBASTIEN BOURGUIGNON, PRINCIPAL AND LEAD DIGITAL INFLUENCER FOR MARGO
They are our clients, our friends, good contacts or just people we met in the crypto-community. They have new vision, they are running great projects, they are developing new services or they just want to share their story. Once a week (maybe more or maybe less depending of your feedback!), Havas Blockchain will interview key people of the blockchain ecosystem.
First of all, can you present us who you are and your activities ?
My name is Sébastien Bourguignon, I’m Principal and Lead Digital Influencer for Margo, a consulting firm. We advise our clients on their digital transformation program on three level : technology, methodology and organization. Our current offerings concern data and artificial intelligence, agile transformation and organizational coaching, renovation of information systems and finally all about high performance computing in constrained environments. The blockchain is an offer that we are structuring and should be ready before the end of the year.
I have been working on the subject of blockchain since 2015. I have been advising my clients on their projects based on this technology in the financial services sector for more than 2 years. I give training on blockchain and I publish lots of content on different websites like Les Echos Solutions, La Tribune or Siècle Digital as well as on social media like Twitter and Linkedin.
You have worked on several ICOs and blockchain project : what is the key to success for ICOs? And for blockchain projects ?
For me there are several key success factors to make an ICO succeed. The first, and surely the most important, is the white paper which must contain a clear and understandable value proposition for everyone. There is nothing worse than a project that you do not understand on first reading. A second factor concerns of course blockchain technology and the value it brings to the platform that will develop the startup. The third key success factor is the token economics offered by the management team, how the token that they sell will be useful in the project and how it will increase in value. Marketing and communication are crucial, there are hundreds of projects that have started since the beginning of the year, and standing out, being known, and being identified as a project with high potential requires serious work on these areas.
Finally, there are still many other success criteria but I will finish with a fifth and final key success factor, this is the budget. Starting a cryptocurrency fundraising today requires large amounts of money. A few months ago it was possible to raise a lot with very little money, things have changed very quickly especially because marketing and communication are expensive and also because legal support, which is unavoidable, is also expensive.
To succeed in a blockchain project, it is first necessary to get out of the box and manage to imagine what this technology can bring through decentralization, transparency or traceability and security for a business. Many key account customers experienced last year’s blockchain, in some cases only, they identified a pain that only the blockchain could answer. Startups on the other hand have quickly emerged with great ideas that are anchored on the blockchain right from the start but here it is often the lack of maturity of the teams and the limited resources that cause problems, even if the ICOs solve part of the problem for the funding.
The challenge now is to find the skills and expertise in the market to develop projects based on blockchain or DLT. These are very recent technologies, 2009 for Bitcoin and 2014 for Ethereum, or more concretely 2015 for developers of DApp and smart contracts. As for solutions like Corda (open-sourced on November 30, 2016) or Hyperledger (the project announced its production-ready Hyperledger Fabric 1.0 on 12 July, 2017) they are even more recent and skills are even rarer on the market. There is a need in the coming years for training courses to be set up at the professional and academic level, in the same way it is important for developers and architects to train themselves in the interim to respond to market demands. This creates a lot of opportunities for those who start today in the race.
- Can you tell us about your favourite applications of blockchain technologies ?
I can share with you the projects that I like and that bring today real breaks thanks to the blockchain. I am thinking in particular of a French project like Booking Token Unit (BTU) whose promise is to revolutionize the tourism sector by providing a low level technical protocol on Ethereum that will allow everyone to have a decentralized booking solution without having to go through traditional platforms, it would be the uberizer of AirBnB.
In another field, I also very much like projects like CounterParty which has developed a solution above Bitcoin with which it is possible to organize a vote. The operation is relatively simple, the organizer of the election created within this application as many tokens as there are votes to express. Each created token corresponds to a transaction on Bitcoin containing specific metadata corresponding to the organized vote and the associated transaction fees for taking into account of the vote within a block. Then, the tokens are distributed to the voters in a wallet which belongs to them, this wallet represents their electoral card, and each candidate has a ballot box in the form of a wallet too to receive the votes which are attributed to them. The count at the end is done by comparing the number of tokens in the polls of each of the candidates.
And a third to finish, the case of Estonia which we do not speak about enough but who invented a technology based on the blockchain before the creation of Bitcoin, the X-Road protocol. Thanks to this technology, this small European state has dematerialized all the identities of its fellow citizens and has created a state platform allowing access to all the services of the administration through a smart card that is connected to their computer, create a business, open a bank account or access insurance is done in minutes and a few clicks. Thanks to this, it creates the concept of an e-resident which allows any non-citizen of Estonia to have e-citizenship and access to the same state services as Estonians.