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Exceeding expectations and transforming realities, LACNet turns two

Exceeding expectations and transforming realities, LACNet turns two

It's often said that time is a relative measure and that what for some tasks may mean a short time, for others sounds like an eternity. For an athlete competing in a "short shot" competition, for example, milliseconds can make the difference between missing the podium and winning the world record. The same metric, however, does not apply to other activities, such as writing a report or constructing a building. What is the value of time when we think about major projects, that have the capacity to transform people's lives? How many seconds, days or years are enough for an initiative to mature and achieve its goals? The example of LACNet, which orchestrates LACChain's blockchain networks, shows that a lot can be done in a short time.

The initiative celebrated its second anniversary on February 26 in a webinar that brought together experts and authorities from partner organizations to celebrate the achievements of the network, the result of an alliance between RedCLARA and LACNIC in collaboration with the IDB Lab, within the framework of the LACChain regional program.

In just two years, LACNet has already accumulated significant successes in its mission to implement Web3 for real life and inclusion, being classified by the main entities of the ecosystem, such as Hyperledger, as one of the largest networks with public permission in the world; it enables a multi-purpose, production and enterprise-level network unique in the world. "Through the orchestration of a public and open infrastructure, we have been able to innovate and revolutionize the way formal and informal financial institutions grant loans, credit and opportunities; the evolution in terms of interoperability of certificates, academic credentials and skills certificates that facilitate work integration and access to better livelihoods; and the way farmers map out the processes for selling their crops, increasing the transparency and security of the highly confidential information they handle," explains the senior specialist at the IDB Lab and leader of LACChain, Alejandro Pardo.

Web3, of which Pardo speaks, is a set of technologies that represents a new milestone in the evolution of the Internet. Its main premise is the decentralization of the web, reinforced by concepts such as blockchain and digital tokenization, contrary to a scenario in which data and platforms are concentrated in Big Tech.

In this context, LACNet provides a reference blockchain infrastructure, with public permission, for projects in production with guaranteed scalability and impact on inclusion. It is a membership-based usage model that eliminates the high transactional and energy-intensive costs of other networks, with neutral and non-profit orchestration, guaranteeing resilience and trust in a decentralized and open environment. In addition, it does not carry out data mining and is therefore environmentally friendly - with an almost zero carbon footprint - with the characteristics of a public good. This makes it possible for governments, universities, companies, NGOs and startups, among other sectors, to implement projects with the guarantees of use they need, implementing the governance of the Internet itself, guaranteeing neutrality and decentralization, while providing the confidence of being in line with the most demanding national and international regulations.

According to Oscar del Barrio, vice president of LACNet, the network has exceeded everyone's expectations. "During these two years, LACNet has shown remarkable development, becoming a world reference in the management of permissioned networks. The growing number of real use cases supported by the networks managed by LACNet in key sectors for the economic and social development of the region, such as the financial, health and education sectors, are just the basis of what is to come, with new projects that will generate more and more impact, boosting commercial relations in the region thanks to the reduction of administrative barriers; facilitating the relationship between companies and administrations; and helping to improve people's living conditions thanks to the development of the full potential of technology.

Impact on the lives of real people

Complex technological terms can often mean that less attention is paid to the positive impact LACNet has on people's lives. According to the initiative's own estimates, its work has already benefited more than nine million people in 18 countries through 104 digital solutions implemented on the platform, in more than seven different sectors. At least 82 of these solutions have a direct impact on vulnerable populations in the region. "LACNet enables solutions ranging from digital credentials such as diplomas, value chain traceability, transparency processes for public procurement or the issuance of tokenized assets," says Marcos Allende, LACNet's technical leader.

Among the outstanding projects implemented on the LACNet network is BloxTek, used by the Universidad Autónoma de Nueva León in Mexico, which has revolutionized the way it manages its official study certificates, diplomas and digital documents. Using blockchain technology, electronic documents have become fully verifiable (employers and other institutions can check their authenticity, in real time, without having to go to the issuer), immutable (records cannot be modified once issued, reducing the possibility of fraud), portable (students can share their electronic diploma with anyone they wish and publish it on professional social networks) and interoperable (certificates are issued under BloxTek's highly accepted open standard). The process of receiving e-degrees on blockchain is done through an application and they are stored in a digital wallet.

Another important project developed at LACNet is Statwig, a supply chain optimization company centered on blockchain, which guarantees transparency and promotes trust between stakeholders. The company was founded with a dynamic and flexible vision to work with supply chains in various sectors to turn data into powerful insights and provide constant monitoring of the location and other restrictions of goods. Its main areas of focus are the traceability of medicines, food and vaccines, which are highly relevant to human health and nutrition.

According to RedCLARA's executive director, Luis Eliécer Cadenas, LACNet plays an essential role in the region's transformation. "LACNet is fundamental to the future of Latin America and the Caribbean. Blockchain can be a great tool for exchanging services, capabilities and solutions to the challenges our region faces, from issues related to issuing digital certificates, empowering student development, to food traceability, improving the lives of farmers," he said.

An initiative based on blockchain technology is also being developed within the regional advanced network and will operate on LACNet networks. This is the “Diploma”, a project to issue and verify digital diplomas that will serve as an essential facilitator for various processes of inclusion in the labor market, academic mobility and continuing education. This innovative project unites Latin America's National Research and Education Networks (NRENs) into a federated regional network for degree verification.

During its pilot phase, it brought together the NRENs of Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Mexico, with the technical support of LACNet and the coordination of RedCLARA, and focused on addressing important challenges for academic accreditation, such as facilitating the mutual recognition of degrees across borders, ensuring secure and real-time verification, combating the proliferation of fake certifications, establishing trust in credential issuers and compatibility with other reliable registries.

In essence, the project takes advantage of the blockchain's self-sovereign identity (SSI) layer within the LACChain network to manage the lifecycle of verifiable digital academic degrees. The result is a system that allows graduates to present and share their academic credentials via digital wallets and modernize their verification, creating a qualified and certified workforce that can access job opportunities without geographical limitations. By facilitating compatibility between different entities and establishing a strong Registry of Trust, the Diploma Project seems not only to have simplified academic processes, but also to have created a sustainable business model for NRENs and academic institutions.

For Alejandro Pardo, LACNet was built on a vision that promotes inclusion and development. "We want to empower people. By giving them control over their credentials and digital tokens, they won't need to depend on third parties to exchange value between them and, with appropriate regulatory policies, they will be better covered and more protected. We want to promote accessibility; digital payment schemes, for example, will allow communities to generate credit histories and access loans while exchanging value. We'll do this while guaranteeing data privacy, as people won't have to rely on third parties to authenticate them," he emphasizes.

If before the launch of LACNet, anyone had said that the organization would achieve so much in such a short time, it would have seemed unbelievable. The orchestrated networks, however, are proof that every second counts when you work seriously, with high technology and the best interests of society at heart. "There is a magnificent working environment that allows us to promote LACNet's path of continuous improvement as a blockchain network operator at the service of the Community, in an environment in which competition and cooperation come together and in which more and better business opportunities will be generated for all the actors involved," concludes Oscar del Barrio.

For more information on the history and achievements of LACNet, please visit

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