As mentioned in our previous post, this week we presented the project in Paris at La Maison du Bitcoin. In this post, I would like to share with you some things that we learned from this experience—a very nourishing one indeed.
To our surprise, the public was composed not only by blockchain enthusiasts but also—and more interestingly—by seniors who were completely unfamiliar with the blockchain space. We soon realised that these persons were authentic potential users of the service as they were genuinely interested in understanding how to use it.
The presentation was given by Felipe and included a little bit of everything: a high-level overview of the service, a glimpse of the alpha version of the application and also some business and technical aspects. About 20 minutes of presentation were followed by more than an hour of questions, which provided us with very valuable feedback. Next I’ll mention some of the most interesting questions, as well as the corresponding answers we provided.
Question: Why using the Blockchain results in a better service?
Answer: The Blockchain not only gives us the possibility to create smart contracts, but also has a bunch of important features. A Blockchain is the best technology to transfer digital assets securely. Being composed by many nodes, they also have a very high degree of availability, and are very resistant to attacks. Using the Blockchain we can also provide extremely reliable storage. A smart contract will never be lost nor modified by a third party.
Q: Why should we prefer your service to the traditional system?
A: In addition to all the advantages that we just mentioned, there is a more simple reason: a traditional will does not allow you to transfer digital assets securely. If for instance, you wanted to transfer a highly sensible document after you died, you’d need a trusted third party to have access to it. If you wanted to transfer your cryptocurrency holdings, someone must had access to your private keys. With a smart contract, the transfer is done automatically and without the intervention of a third party.
Q: Can a smart contract completely replace the old will and testament system? Is it actually legal?
A: Yes, we believe that there is no fundamental reason why that can’t happen. However, Legacy’s first release won’t completely replace the system—it’ll allow only to manage your digital possessions. By the second release, we expect to deliver a much more complete solution, including legally-bound smart contracts that would allow you to transfer any kind of digital asset directly on the Blockchain. Currently, there are still some minor technological barriers to cope with. For instance, it may be necessary to get your will signed by a notary, whether it is a smart contract or not. With digital signatures—which are already implemented in many places—this won’t be a burden at all. Is it legal? Yes, Legacy would never bypass any legal constraint. But there is always some extent of responsibility laying on the users and how they use the service.
These were, in my opinion, the questions that were more important for those who were actually considering using the service. Overall, we felt that there is still some unease, in particular from the elderly, when it comes to using a new technology that replaces an old system—which is of course quite natural. What we have learned from this experience is that we need to be very clear in the way in which we communicate the project to our potential users. More specifically, we must focus on transmitting a message of confidence regarding all legal aspects. As a first approach to the community, we are very happy about the results. Our public was very enthusiast and showed much interest in the project.