17 April 2019 • Arie Verhoef
Minor about the promise of blockchain
Blockchain technology can revolutionise our business traffic. Imagine buying concert tickets without scalpers, transferring money safely without banks or selling your house without a notary. Hence the popularity of the minor FinTech and Blockchain Technology. Students Dennis IJlst and Jeroen Nijkamp look back on a minor that greatly influenced their professional development.
The first thought that hit Jeroen Nijkamp was: “My goodness, what have I gotten myself into?” But the User Experience Design student soon changed his mind. Thanks to the subject itself, the passion with which lecturer Jordi Jansen and professor Martijn van der Linden taught and their interactive teaching method. “As a result, you naturally become fascinated by the new world that opens up with this technology.”
The power of money
IJlst, a Commercial Economics student with a specialisation in marketing and sales, was already interested in blockchain before the minor. “This technology will increase the transparency of financial processes. It will lead to a decentralisation of financial power, among other things. A good thing, because it will also reduce the abuse of that power. I am convinced that the world will look quite different when blockchain techniques have become commonplace.”
Wait and see
Despite a promising future, the application of blockchain is still limited. Most people are sceptical about this technology. Nijkamp thinks that will change quickly with the next economic crisis. He explains his view using the events in Venezuela as an example. “Inflation is rampant there. As a result, the appreciation of crypto coins based on blockchain technology is increasing rapidly. These are much less sensitive to inflation than the Venezuelan bolivar or any other conventional currency.”
Just like the internet
IJlst: “For many, blockchain technology, with bitcoins as its most talked-about exponent, is still seen as an issue that is not directly of interest. All the same, this technology offers many possibilities. Compare it to the rise of the internet. People were also hesitant about it at first. Today everyone uses the internet, while only a few know exactly how it works. As soon as entire infrastructures are built on blockchain, users will only notice its convenience.”
Nijkamp sees many connections between User Experience Design on the one hand and blockchains on the other. “Anyone who learns about bitcoins is flooded with difficult terms. These scare people off. I want to use my knowledge of multimedia design to make the message more attractive.”
The minor concluded with an event where Nijkamp and IJlst gave a presentation. The presentations included many interesting concepts and ideas. There was also a lot of discussion. IJlst: “The event has helped people from many central organisations and governments realise that blockchain is going to be really significant. With this minor we are at the national forefront of a completely new development in the field of Finance & Control. That is an awesome feeling!”
Business people. Representatives of the city of The Hague. Officials from the province of South Holland. Even members of the European Parliament. They all attended the final event of the FinTech and Blockchain technology minor on April 5, organised for the second time in a row by the Finance & Control degree programme and the New Finance research group.
The enthusiasm of lecturer Jordi Jansen motivated student Jeroen Nijkamp to continue with the minor.