Web Summit 2023 Insights: The levva in the world

We attended the largest and most important conference on technology, innovation and entrepreneurship in the world, The WebSummit, Lisbon 2021

At a time of great uncertainty for many sectors and, indeed, for the world itself, Web Summit 2021 brought together the founders and CEOs of technology companies, startups, policymakers, and heads of state to ask a simple question: what's next? All this in Portugal's entrepreneurial ecosystem, which ranks among the best in Europe.

WebSummit 2021

Check out the insights from Marcelo Pinheiro - Levva Global Tech Lead, resident in Portugal

Low-code/No-code at Web Summit 2021

Large software development companies in the market are starting to look at the advances in productivity when it comes to repetitive code creation using Low code tools. And repetitive code is much more present in everyday life than we would like to admit. Just ask any front-end developer how many times they had to develop a table pagination, or even, how many CRUDS a backend developer had to code.

The fact is that most of the tasks performed today in programming are repetitive, and there is much to be gained from complete solutions where this repetitive part of development is abstracted to simpler processes. And I know you care, dear developer.

"These solutions will steal our jobs"

you say
WebSummit 2021

But rest assured, since the right name to give to this type of solution would be "Not-so-much-code-but-youstil-need-a-little-bit-of-it" (I will patent this term). This is because the idea of the solutions is not to replace the software developer, but to make him/her more productive, using the maxim that real problems, which need deep technical analysis, knowledge in scalability and software architecture, can hardly be abstracted to a simple drag-and-drop tool.

And that is the idea that wants to be sold by the main cases of Low-code/No-code. Siemens, for example, has its own platform, and its main effort at the Web Summit was, while showing the platform in the market, to convince the developer community that this is a welcome change in productivity and empowerment of this class of professionals. They even gave chocolates to the devs (very tasty, by the way!). Who doubts someone who gives chocolates? (I've never heard the fable of John and Mary in my life).

Low code/No code are tools, like any other, from the infinite range that we have to use every day. And the maxim: there is no silver bullet. It solves the problem of repetition, of simple codes, of standardization, but there is still an infinity of problems to be solved by developers. The good developer is not the guy who does everything from scratch, but the one who takes advantage of opportunities to be productive and deliver more value.

Blockchain/NFT/Property solutions

The subject that EVERYONE at the web summit talked about. Seriously, I think about 30% of the talks involved something about blockchain. But to understand why everyone is talking about it, we need to understand the concept and possibilities.

Blockchain can be considered a database, but unlike centralised databases, where only one entity (a company, a bank, the owner of that database) can enter information, blockchain is a distributed database, where thousands of people can write and validate the information entered.

Each time information is inserted into this database, it is validated and inserted into a block with other transactions, and a specific signature is then generated for this block, taking into account the information in the block itself and the previous block, which prevents this information from being frauded, for example, by modifying some value of a transaction (an insertion) that was already saved, because this modification would change this shared signature and everyone would know that it is false or has been modified. This new block then gets inserted into a blockchain (hence, blockchain), and that information is saved and immutable.

WebSummit 2021

In this way, it is possible to have a history of all transactions in a given context and that is why blockchain is so widely used for cryptocurrencies: everyone knows what everyone has received and spent, so no one can come along and claim they are going to send you 20,000 reais in bitcoin without actually having it, because every transaction you try to make will take into account the history of your wallet to know if you have the necessary balance to make a certain transaction.

There is still the advantage that a blockchain does not belong to anyone, not even the person who created it. Because once the blockchain is working, several people can have copies of this information. Let's suppose that, from one day to the next, the government of Brazil decides to ban cryptocurrencies.

This would have no impact on the amount of bitcoins you have in your wallet, because the bitcoin blockchain is decentralised on millions of machines around the world.

That was a summary of the summary of what blockchain is, but we already have an idea of the possibilities. Imagine using this technology to determine the validity of documents, or transactions of works of art, validity of tests and prescriptions, and so on.

And that's where NFT comes in - the acronym translates as Non-Fungible Tokens. To understand what these words mean, it is first necessary to define what is fungible.

For example, money is fungible, because if I give you a 10 Real note and you give me back two 5 Real notes, I won't get mad because, deep down, the value (10 Real) can be dissolved in other forms of notes.

Non-fungible, however, means something that, if divided, loses its value and are unique, by definition. Works of art, for example, are non-fungible goods. There may be thousands of copies of the Monalisa, but you know that the real one is an ancient and expensive work of art and is in the Louvre museum.

WebSummit 2021

Let's face it, "half a Monalisa" is certainly worth a lot less, if not nothing, isn't it? The point of NFT is to use blockchain to guarantee the "non-fungibility" of a given digital asset.

Intellectual property from movies, illustrations or music, even reaching into issues like Fortnite (or any other game) skins and rare images are now worth thousands of reals because they are exclusive. Even if someone took a snapshot of your NFT, it would be the equivalent of the pictures they take of the Monalisa. They're not Monalisa.

In a tangible context like ours, it seems too abstract. This is where new virtual experiences come in, such as the Metaverse, where all goods will be virtual and it is necessary to guarantee the non-fungibility of these goods. We are at the beginning of this new distributed era, and there are still many things to happen. And get this: you are part of this moment. Keep Up!

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