The transformative power of blockchain
Is the future of brand management blockchain-first?
In January 2018, WPP’s app development and design company ArcTouch launched BlockFirst, a consulting practice designed to help companies transform their business operations with the help of blockchain.
Although the thinking behind blockchain was first published in 2008 and it became the backbone of crypto-currencies like Bitcoin, it was only in 2015 that a version called Ethereum provided a platform for decentralized apps, called DApps. ArcTouch was one of the first to explore the possibilities.
“We are bullish about blockchain because we see it as being as fundamental a shift to our industry as mobile was a decade ago,” says Adam Fingerman, ArcTouch chief experience officer.
BlockFirst helps companies formulate their blockchain strategy and put their ideas to the test through a “proof of concept” process, uncovering where real transformational business models can produce tangible results.
We see blockchain as being as fundamental a shift as mobile was a decade ago
ArcTouch developed 14 proofs of concept, aimed at specific verticals and specific potential clients. One example is a loyalty token generated from the lid of a beer bottle; the customer has to share with someone else to redeem the token which can be exchanged for more beer or merchandise.
A second example would see blockchain used to create a micro car-sharing app for a household or small group of friends. “Using blockchain enables you to record all the expenditure, whenever one person takes the car, buys gasoline, or gets an oil change,” says ArcTouch CEO Eric N. Shapiro. “It’s all reconciled on the shared database.”
What BlockFirst offers is a consulting service for strategy, architecture and implementation that typically starts with ideation covered in a discovery session or workshop. Proofs of concept can take just a few days to develop.
Shapiro says: “Now is the time to dip your toe in the water. In five years’ time if you aren’t doing blockchain solutions, you won’t be doing state of the art.”