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Blockchain banking industry

This technology makes it possible to transfer data and capital in a completely secure manner thanks to sophisticated encryption and coding. Aware of the change that this disruption can have in the world of banking, at Santander we want to be pioneers when it comes to applying it to our services.

You may have heard this term and still not know what it means, nor the impact it could have on your life. As happened with the incursion of the Internet, blockchain could change the way we relate to the digital world of banking, favoring, among other aspects, transactions, security or the management of the online entity. In addition, it allows a reduction of the bureaucracy required in financial operations and improves transparency.

The blockchain is a technology that allows the creation of networks of devices without the need for a central and localized server to connect them to each other. It could be said that it works like a ledger, where the operations of buying, selling or any transaction are recorded. For these movements to be recorded, they must have been approved by the other participants in the ‘block’ network, i.e., the users of this technology. And, once the information is entered in them, it can no longer be deleted, only new records can be added.

A fast and fraud-free payment alternative

One of the advantages of this tool is that it offers the possibility of carrying out economic transactions quickly and securely against possible fraud and manipulation, since it uses encryption and encoding. This allows companies to offer a more global payment alternative to customers, without jeopardizing the security of both parties.

Another great benefit it offers is the possibility of implementing a totally transparent business system in which we can all see the status of the accounts registered in “this big book”, i.e., what comes in and what goes out, in real time and at a low cost.

But the blockchain does not only work for economic transactions. With this technology, important company documents and information can be stored and transferred without the possibility of anyone being able to access it without your consent. And more importantly: without the danger of it being modified. To guarantee the security and transparency of the vote, at Santander we use this technology for voting at our General Shareholders’ Meeting.

We invest in security and transparency

Aware of the impact blockchain can have on the financial world, we have launched the first bond with end-to-end blockchain technology, marking a first step towards a possible secondary market for tokenized securities in the future. The $20 million bond will be held on the blockchain for its entire life, until maturity.

For the issuance of this bond, we have used the Ethereum public blockchain, one of the most advanced open source blockchain technologies. This has allowed us to securely tokenize the bond and register it permissively on the blockchain.

“Santander is at the forefront in the process of deep digital transformation of the financial sector and this transaction is an example. We want to leverage any technology that accelerates that process to move our customers forward and make them faster and more efficient, and blockchain is one of those technologies,” said José García Cantera, CFO of Banco Santander.

More and more people and companies are entrusting their data to this technology for the aforementioned reasons. For blockchain to become an everyday reality is something that could happen very soon and we, committed to innovation, want to contribute to a technology that helps create a more open, connected and transparent society for citizens.

The Digital Economy: Our Future or Not

Almost without realizing it, Internet connection and access to information in real time has changed the way we access traditional products and services. Sectors such as banking and commerce have been transformed by technology, and others such as agriculture are already on their way.

In the mid-1990s, Canadian financial expert Don Tapscott wrote ‘The Digital Economy’, a book in which he warned about how the emergence of the Internet and the digitization of information could change the way we do business in the future. Time has proven the author right to such an extent that today these technological innovations are very present in business activities, both in large and small companies as well as in personal finance.

Specifically, the digital economy refers to the use of information technologies in the production processes of goods and services, as well as in their marketing and consumption. This term highlights how industry creates new products and services or transforms existing ones, taking advantage of technology. Digital banking, e-commerce, virtual education, mobile applications, collaborative platforms, among others, are some examples.

The three characteristics of the digital economy

Every day, more and more people become users of devices with Internet connection, such as cell phones, computers, smart watches and bracelets, etc., allowing them to interact in a global environment without limits of time and space. This makes the digital economy accessible to millions of people around the world, either to offer or demand goods and services.

Another expert on the subject, the American economist and statistician Thomas Mesenbourg, explained in a paper published in 2001 that there are three components that define the digital economy and differentiate it from the traditional one:

Infrastructure. These are the technological resources available to the business. It includes software, hardware and specialized human talent.
E-business. Refers to the processes that are developed using computer applications, online tools or digital platforms.
E-commerce. This is the most familiar concept, since it refers to the buying and selling of products and services over the Internet.

Advantages of the digital economy

The digital economy has gained weight in our lives and for the future promises to continue to do so with the development of technologies such as the Internet of things, artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality, blockchain, autonomous cars… Having these types of possibilities within reach offers us advantages such as:

Information. Users have enough data to make decisions about the products or services they are looking for. In addition to that provided by the manufacturer, information from other customers in forums or reviews help to improve the shopping experience.
Proximity. Through the different customer service channel options, the customer can contact the manufacturer or service provider more directly to resolve doubts or solve problems.
Global presence. The supply of goods and services can be available to users at any time and place, allowing companies to access different markets.
Security. Digital transactions have technology that makes them secure. Strong authentication of digital payments is an example of this.

The ability to continue transforming traditional productive sectors makes the digital economy a bet on the future. Agriculture, for example, has already begun to benefit from technological innovations that connect crops with the farmer through mobile applications, offering real-time data on the status of plantations, soil quality or irrigation needs, becoming a key element for management and decision making.

Esports Definition & Meaning

Professional players, organized leagues, worldwide events, millions of followers… Video games started as a hobby played in the living room with a game console, but nowadays it is a professional industry that works in a similar way to the most popular sports competitions. We tell you everything you need to know to understand esports.

Esports are competitions that take place in the world of video games and are gaining more and more ground in the entertainment industry. The traditional modality in which participants gather around a video console to play a game of their favorite game has evolved over time to become a professional, organized activity, capable of bringing together thousands of competitors in the same event -whether online or in person- and generating the interest of millions of spectators.

In 2021, the global turnover of esports exceeded one billion dollars, according to estimates by Newzoo, a consulting firm specializing in video games, and the forecast is that the market will continue to grow, with Asia and the United States as leaders in this sector, while in Europe, countries such as Spain are among those with the highest penetration of this industry.

What are esports?

It is worth pointing out that the name esports comes from the union of two English words: the ‘e’, which refers to electronic (electronic), and sports, which means sports, so it is also common to call them electronic sports, e-Sports or cybersports, among others. In addition, competitors are known as ‘gamers’.

Esports are organized in leagues and their competitions are structured in a similar way to soccer, basketball, tennis or any other sporting activity. Depending on the video game, it can be played individually or in teams, and participants train daily to compete in events, and win titles and prize money awarded by game developers or sponsors.

Such is the relevance that esports have reached nowadays, that there are professional players dedicated exclusively to training and competing, and who receive a salary for it. There are also teams that have coaches, psychologists, physical trainers and experts in different areas to increase the performance of their gamers.

As in conventional sports, e-sports have developed gigantic logistics and invested in innovation to capture the attention of spectators. For example, there are digital platforms such as Twitch that broadcast tournaments, specialized media that cover the news of the sector, brands that sponsor teams and players, among other players that are part of this entertainment industry.

Which video games are considered esports?

It should be pointed out that not all video games are considered esports, since they must comply with certain characteristics. While by video game we mean all games that can be developed through a screen (game consoles, computers, smartphones, tablets…), to be part of the esports category they must meet the following requirements:

Be designed for two or more participants to face each other.
Have clear rules and equal conditions for all competitors, in order for the winner to prevail thanks to his or her own skill.
Have an organized league and develop official competitions.
To reach a sufficiently large number of players to arouse the interest of spectators and the media.

Taking into account the above conditions, video games such as Fortnite, League of Legends, FIFA, Call of Duty, Rainbow Six, Starcraft, among many others, are considered esports.

What is the most played esport?

Due to the variety of devices from which esports can be played, in addition to the large number of developers and platforms that offer them, it can be difficult to establish precisely which is the most played eSport in the world. What is clear, taking into account download figures, the number of spectators at events, Google searches for information, among other aspects, is the undisputed popularity of two of them:

Fortnite. It is a third-person video game and the main theme is survival. It was launched in 2017 and since then it has not stopped winning professional and amateur players, in addition to millions of followers. Every year the Fortnite World Cup is held and, despite the fact that in 2020 and 2021 it was canceled due to the health crisis, in 2019 it delivered 100 million dollars in prizes and the final reached an audience of over two million viewers.
League of Legends. It is common to find it with the acronym ‘Lol’ and it is an action and strategy game created in 2009 in which participants must protect their base and destroy the opponent’s one. It also has its world tournament, which in 2021 reached an audience of more than 73 million viewers in total. It is one of the esports with the most annual tournaments: more than 2,500.