While the 90s-era boasted the spirit of innovation sparked by the shift towards the personal computers and mass adoption of the internet, the subsequent decade was, conversely, rather weak on creative powers and productivity growth. Back then investors, sceptical about the possibility of another global growth revival, gradually started losing ardour and became more apathetic about the future economic prospects. That used to be the prevailing mood at the start of 2020, right before the fatal breakout of the covid-19. The unanticipated upsurge of a small virus in Chinese province and its rapid takeover of the entire world brought consequences that outshot in severity the boldest forecasts of industry analysts – namely, keeping the whole world at halt even one year after the pandemic erupted. On a closer examination, however, covid-19 may prove to be much more than a bottom of another economic crisis. Having more in store than just a downward pressure on global markets, covid-19 could mark the rebirth of the economy from ashes and revamp the spirit of innovation that would change the modern world – once and for all.
As the year behind has successfully proved, covid-19 was that much-need spark that prompted the economy to set on a rally towards digitization. From healthcare to online retailing, all industries have now adopted the new vector towards digital transformation. Everything, from AI to blockchain is now experimented with vigour previously unseen, and the exploration of capabilities of biotechnologies seems to have just begun. In the face of this rapid shift of paradigm, cryptocurrencies may finally become a part of a new reality – and growing institutional adoption of Bitcoin is a living proof for that. At the end of the day, the millennia that started without much promise may finally bolster some optimism the world has been waiting for.
The result of this will be the wipe-out of the decadent market practices. Many enterprises have already realized that the new environment will be much more stringent towards security and protection of consumers rights, as well as gear their efforts towards reinforcing data privacy. That’s why the enterprises like Opacity already started building a stronger foothold of centralization-free, democratized data solutions. Fully maintained on blockchain, Opacity could be an interesting trigger for sharing and storing private business files on decentralized technology, ensuring that no single piece of information leaks or clasps in hands of one single organization. That being said, Opacity enables an encrypted, fully network-administered cloud storage where any company may rest assured in confidentiality and non-disclosure of all information kept in an utter rigour.
To carry out a deeper probe of the matter, I invited Esther Katz, a Marketing lead at Opacity, for an interview. During our talk, she shared her perspective on the gradual proliferation of blockchain-based applications in business, as well as gave a glance at what new horizons for blockchain and digital currency are opened up by covid-19 in 2021.
Hi, many thanks for joining me for a talk. First question – what inspired you to follow the idea of a decentralized cloud? And what are technological properties that make Opacity to stand out among other competitive solutions introduced earlier on, like IBM Storage?
Hi, my honest pleasure! In my opinion, Opacity stands in a separate line from the rest of the market, just because only decentralised cloud could guarantee full encryption and safety of data. That cannot always be said about corporations with highly centralized structure, even if their products claim to be fully democratized. At Opacity we believe in the basic right of a person for privacy within strictly legal limits. To be precise, Opacity is not yet a decentralised storage, but we are moving in that direction and making huge advancements towards it every day.
Last year has been marked with unparalleled growth in DeFi – the time after which the new solutions will be, obviously, quick to pop up. Are you ready for a cutting-throat competition? What would you say are the ways to get on a winning streak when competitors are breathing down your neck?
As Opacity is not a DeFi in a full sense of this word, we plan to profit from the growth of this sector and cooperate with reputable players in the field. Decentralized exchange is one of the directions we’re planning to move into, that’s why we already work with Uniswap. The current challenge may be that there are only few products on the market that truly respond to the demands of decentralised trade, but we have an ambition of bringing something truly valuable that will attract a lot of interest. The incognito team is developing an interesting project and we are looking into potential cooperation there as well.
The big strides towards the adoption of decentralized technology have been already made, especially prompted by the pandemic havoc. How much more time would it take for a full-scale global transformation towards decentralization, and would the centralized economic model ever become fully scrapped?
I would say, it depends on a lot of variables, and the level of acceptance by the global governments is only one of them. In general, we can see polarizing views on the topics of both cryptocurrency and blockchain, but from 2020 there’s generally a bullish stance on these both. I think, investors got more optimistic seeing how Bitcoin has performed since the last year, and they also got more inclined to say that decentralized currency may give them an umbrella during the financial crisis. But decentralized currency is unthinkable without the decentralized technology. I’m pretty sure, the times will come when these both will take dominion on the market.
Speaking about the development of technology in general. Looking at AI, IoT and cybersecurity – what are the trends of the future we could already speak of? What role will they play in the development of blockchain capabilities, and how could both trends benefit from this synergy?
My opinion is, technologies like AI may have a self-destructive effect in the long term. I know that it’s a bit extreme, and there are numerous advantages too, but we have to be accountable that things may suddenly go wrong. The problems will just multiply, and when problems multiply, solutions appear. That’s where, in my view, blockchain technology may help. Right now, for example, businesses experience a serious threat from ransom – that especially goes with regard to R&D. Only the solutions like blockchain, the ones that can guarantee full safety and protection, can lead us out of a crisis.
I’m aware that companies are now struggling with a growing amount of debt down to the deteriorating economic conditions, and may, in fact, pay little heed to the latest tech advancements. How can the companies in a current languishing environment speed up the new tech adoption?
Right now, the tech evolution will speed up, and very soon many technologies we only remotely heard of will become a part of our everyday life. So it’s not even a question that anyone can escape this major technological change – it’s just not possible. The responsible, foreseeing leaders understand this fact, and they always try to keep one step ahead. This includes investment into new technology and early-stage adoption. The rest of the market are just the followers, and they are not necessarily staying at the forefront of this race. I would say, for each company it’s important to define its position, especially in the course of a few years, and then act accordingly.
To what sort of data threats users are the most vulnerable to, and how can blockchain help to take the user security to the new verge? Do you think covid-19 will prompt a radical reconsideration in the way how users approach their data treatment?
In our age, the foremost concern is, of course, data anonymity. No one can steal what does not exist. You have to always be aware that data can never be left unprotected. Information stops at our door.
What would be your competitive evaluation of the environment you are currently playing in? How many similar solutions are there on the market so far, and what could make Opacity to build an edge over them?
Generally speaking, blockchain-based cloud is only a nascent trend. We are at a stage when the industry makes its baby steps in the world. While corporate players like IBM, Microsoft and Oracle are trying to expand their product portfolio to decentralized solutions, we cannot say to what extent they will pay respect to privacy. At the end of the day, only Opacity can guarantee full democratization of data, which constitutes the core mission of our company and is therefore rooted into our DNA.
What are the troubles of marketing a decentralized platform, especially if it’s a solution previously unknown to the broader audience? How much time will it take to build the product loyalty and emotional attachment to a certain brand or solution that has just started gaining traction on the market?
People in general show a tendency to show little interest to dig deeper and run a full investigation into what it is that you are exactly doing. That’s why, communication is so important. We have to build a short and comprehensible message for all kinds of audiences. So far, it’s this: we are a user-friendly SaaS and we will talk to our users in their language. With time, our message will spread, and we will create a full-fledged platform that will match consumer needs all over the world.
What is the role of your platform in building a secure space on the internet freed of cyber-attacks and other sorts of malicious threats? What are the instances when users need to be cautious of their security, even if the data on blockchain is safeguarded behind the iron wall?
We are a centerpiece in the process of shift towards complete data security. And the way it looks is actually pretty simple. We offer complete anonymity as a solution, allowing you to save your payment structure and who you are sharing your data with. Once you start being in charge of your data, you automatically step beyond the reach of any cybercriminals in this space.
And, as the final cord, the question about your native asset – OPCT token. What are its main technological properties of this digital asset, and how can users take advantage of it? What are the main factors the price of your asset is building on, and what could be the predictions for it in the long term?
It is pegged to storage. It allows anonymous service provision. It supports the decentralization network for payments.
In the future, it will also be used for staking and dapp payments. We can’t use another token and be able to peg value easily or expand the platform. At the core, it is a payment token, but still represents storage quantity.
However, in the longer term, the peg will be removed. The token price will adjust based on the supply and demand of services and applications in the Opacity ecosystem. Some providers will be able to offer higher speed or more reliability, etc. Eventually, what matters is that the token allows the system to have one representation of storage value rather than whatever other forces influence the value of other tokens. It is also important to note that Opacity is agnostic to payment options and there are credit card plans for less techy users choosing traditional payment providers.