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NEDAO: a decentralised platform for the people of Neuchâtel

Jan 21, 2021News

Fabio Bonfiglio is President of the NEDAO Association. He advocates for a re-decentralisation of the web and a better digital education for future generations.
With 20 years of experience in project management and software
development in industrial automation and enterprise software, he has specialised since 2016 in DLT (distributed ledger technology) / blockchain, and accompanies companies and organisations in this new digital transformation, with his company FBO Developments. Interview.


What is the NEDAO project?

It consists in creating a platform that will be both :

  • a demonstrator of new technologies for decentralisation, smart contracts, etc,
  • a functional tool for financing projects of regional interest, whether they be innovative, cultural and/or economic, for the residents of Neuchâtel.

What were the major advances of the project in 2020?

We had to organise bi-monthly conferences and workshops in order to accompany the first users, collect their feedback and understand what were the key points to put forward and develop. The ultimate goal was to get everyone to use these new technologies. The very first of these conferences was scheduled for March 2020, and the lockdown was announced a few days before it could take place.
We had to adapt the planning and development milestones accordingly and concentrate the developments on the basic technological bricks, so that the user interfaces could be adapted as much as possible to the needs expressed by the first users
. We have already been able to demonstrate how the decentralised identity works (see video below) and we hope to be able to open these first interfaces to the general public very soon so that they can start testing them.

Why is NEDAO inseparable from decentralised technologies, such as blockchain?

Its objective is to demonstrate to the population and the regional industrial and economic fabric the potential for improving administrative efficiency, accelerating the exchange of value, and its considerable contribution in terms of transparency and traceability.

How long do you think it will take for such a mode of operation to become more widespread?

It is clear that we are still at the equivalent of the mid-1990s for the Internet, and that it will take a few more years for these technologies to be fully democratised. Nevertheless, COVID has acted as an eye-opener for many organisations around the world, revealing the urgent need for truly effective digitalisation solutions. I rather like the image of the contract still being signed, in 2021, by hand with a good old-fashioned pen, scanned and sent back by e-mail so that it can be processed by an administrative department. This is not digitisation, it’s DIY!
 True digitisation would work without a physical medium, thanks to the generation of a cryptographic signature. The whole thing would be integrated into a transaction published on a DLT (Distributed Ledger Technology)
network and would automatically trigger a service or payment, instantly and without any administrative intermediary. This is how I see digitalisation: direct, instantaneous exchanges, without unnecessary extra costs, without risk of corruption or censorship.

How does the canton of Neuchâtel promote this type of project?

The Canton financed the NEDAO project via NPR (New Regional Policies) funding. The region has a strong manufacturing history, with major innovations, particularly in microtechnology. These innovations have had a worldwide impact. This is an unprecedented opportunity for the canton’s industrial players to position themselves as pioneers in these new technologies.
For the watchmaking sector, for example, we can imagine the development of standards for certifying the conformity of subcontracted parts, which could have an enormous impact in terms of efficiency and cost reduction of production equipment (lean). This is just one example among hundreds that can be applied in industry, organisations, the academic and institutional world or even to the democratic tools themselves.

For more information, visit the dedicated website: www.nedao.ch



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