Blockchain, Not Just For Fintech!

The Luxembourg Blockchain Lab is an initiative jointly launched by Infrachain, LHoFT, LIST, SnT and LëtzBlock to create and nurture the blockchain ecosystem in Luxembourg and to establish a historic European hub for blockchain research, education and industrial projects.

Photo: Emilie Allaert has been tasked to set up the project of creating the Luxembourg Blockchain Lab. / Credits © Kaori Anna Jolliffe / Silicon Luxembourg

We could compare the blockchain to bricks of information connected to each other in a secure way. If you stack them up and remove a brick, you only break one connection of the chain: you cannot remove the information contained in this brick. It can be used for financial transactions in order to give or receive money in full transparency and in an autonomous collaborative system.

The general public is tacitly aware of the blockchain principle through the QR codes that we flash on consumer products (textiles, food…) and that refer to a whole series of related links (chains) that are part of the production process of this product. For example, breeding conditions, traceability, serial numbers, safety can be linked together via a QR code that makes the information accessible to the consumer. Companies sometimes have a server that hosts a node of the blockchain, so that the security of their data is maintained and transactions remain secure.

“Many people confuse Bitcoins and blockchain, yet if one does not go without the other, the reverse is not true… It is much more complex.”

A laboratory to chain blocks!

Emilie Allaert works for the LHoFT. She has been tasked to set up the project of creating the Luxembourg Blockchain Lab, which is now operational. As startups have their own incubators, companies that have a project related to blockchain technology will be able to find at the Lab all the useful resources including information, training, feedback, technological and legal partners.

Emilie Allaert is confident: “We want to consolidate the Luxembourg blockchain ecosystem.” Industries, but also startups and the general public who are interested in the subject will find conferences and workshops, evening courses or webinars to understand everything about this complex technology that is blockchain. “Many people confuse Bitcoins and blockchain, yet if one does not go without the other, the reverse is not true… It is much more complex.”

Like a prom

Following a call for applications last October, 25 projects were submitted for approval by the selection committee of the 5 co-founders, to which 3 ministries (Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Economy and Ministry of Digitization) were added. Among these 25 applications, more than half were based in Luxembourg; Sweden, Singapore, Slovenia, Ireland and the UK were also represented.

In December 2020, 8 projects were selected to participate in a coaching program for 6 to 8 months. They will meet with mentors, other blockchain players already in place, to help them realize their project in a reasonable amount of time and bring them to a proof of concept.

“There was a gap between what research centers are currently offering, which are 3 to 5 year initiatives that are too long, and very short term projects. The Luxembourg Blockchain Lab is not just for fintech or industrial projects, but precisely wants to open up to other fields such as logistics, health, culture, sustainable development goals…” Today there are 56 companies in the Luxembourg blockchain map. Eventually, the use of this technology will be found in pivotal uses such as medical records, tax returns, or information related to your vehicle (roadworthiness, car registration, insurance, driver’s license points) where multiple organizations with multiple personal data are linked to … a single individual!

“Women tend to work on IT subjects that have a social or educational impact. I think we should start coding in school. It’s a language like any other. You have to keep your curiosity as a child, even when it comes to the most complex subjects,” she says.

From April 26 to 30, the Luxembourg Blockchain Week will allow all those who are passionate about the subject to discover the eight projects selected by the Lab.

Who are the 8 selected in the Blockchain Lab?

Climate Action Blockchain (Luxembourg)
Compellio (Luxembourg)
Evercity (Singapour)
Filedgr (Luxembourg)
Green Earth Agro (Luxembourg)
Medlogistics (Hôpitaux Robert Schuman) (Luxembourg)
Neofacto (Luxembourg)
Stampify (Luxembourg)

Blockchain in Luxembourg in figures

● Luxembourg was the first European country to open the doors to digital assets in 2014
● 56 companies related to blockchain technology are in Luxembourg
● More than 43% of crypto investors are women
● 2 crypto-exchanges based in Luxembourg: Bitstamp and bitFlyer
● 2 Blockchain laws exist to facilitate financial transactions on the blockchain
● Bitcoin has passed the $50,000 mark
● Blockchain Lab: 25 applications, 13 interviews, 8 projects selected
● 2 Luxembourg-based companies featured in the CB insights Blockchain 50: The Innovators Using Blockchain & Crypto To Transform Industries

This article was first published in Silicon Luxembourg magazine. Read our full Fintech edition.

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