Blockchain & Distributed Ledger

Gruppo di Lavoro


Established in 2018, the mission of the Blockchain & Distributed Ledger Observatory is to generate and share knowledge on Blockchain and Distributed Ledger related topics and contribute to the development of the Italian market, creating meeting and comparison opportunities for the main players that are active in this field.
Blockchain and Distributed Ledger are getting increasing attention from the media and are acknowledged as one of the most interesting trends of upcoming years. The technology today, however, is not yet completely mature and there is much confusion and misuse around its usage opportunities.
The innovation introduced by Blockchain technology enables to effectively integrate well consolidated technological solutions (such as cryptography, hash functions, mechanism design, distributed systems) to develop a faultless “value” transfer system, unrestricted by central warrantors and potentially anonymous. The revolutionary reach of these technologies could lead to a paradigm change and the consequent creation of the Internet of Value: a system the enables the exchange of value goods without intermediaries and in a programmable way.
Due to the collaboration between the Management, Economics and Industrial Engineering Department and the Department of Electronics, Information and Bioengineering, the Observatory analyzes these topics from both a business and technical perspective.


Activities planned by the Observatory for 2018, performed in collaboration with the DEIB - Dipartimento di Elettronica Informazione e Bioingegneria (Dept of Electronics, Information and Bioengineering) of the Politecnico di Milano, are the following:

  • In-field Research involving major National and International market players;
  • Many meeting and in-depth consultation opportunities:
    • 1 design Workshop, closed-doors with sponsors, aimed at sharing the Research advancement status and at addressing next-step activities;
    • 5 interaction and education Workshops dedicated exclusively to sponsors and some prominent stakeholders;
    • vertical round table meetings dedicated to supporters and the community of reference (the topics are defined by the Research team in collaboration with research supporters).
  • public Conference to present Research results, with breakout sessions and keynotes delivered by leading figures of the business world (planned for January 2020);
  • A hard-copy Report including main 2019 Research results, which will be distributed at the Conference, and some online Reports examining more in depth the themes of Research conducted in 2018;
  • A weekly Press release for Partners and Sponsors to highlight the most relevant news of the international and Italian markets.


The 2019 edition, in keeping with the previous edition, will further the following areas of research.

  • 7 cross research streams:
    • Definitions and characteristics: analysis of how Blockchain and DLT can be used; analysis of Blockchain project governance models; development of a consistent framework which puts in relation modes of use, application areas, and platforms.
    • Application environments: census of Blockchain technology application areas and projects developed by national and international companies to establish which use cases are more interesting and promising.
    • Technology, security and privacy: definition of a decision tree (based on benefits and limitations) to guide companies through the selection of the best platform; analysis of the various innovative solutions currently offered on the market; analysis of new technologies on the horizon and their possible developments.
    • Investments and level of interest: identification of the approaches to the technology by large Italian companies; estimate of the level of investments and projects in Italy; analysis of the decision making process of adopting Blockchain and DLT; development of a framework to evaluate the applicability of Blockchain and DLT to a specific business problem.
    • Startups and innovation drivers: analysis of Italian and international startups financed by both institutional and non-institutional investors; analysis of ICOs and their main characteristics, identification of main innovation drivers/.
    • Regulation and legislation: develop a legislation analysis framework; monitor and control international legislative developments, analysis of national legislation; analysis of regulatory authority rulings.
    • Cost and benefits analysis: validation of the cost and benefit analysis resulting from the round table meetings; estimate of costs and benefits of interesting usage cases defined by the work team through the analysis model.
  • 2/3 vertical research streams, therefore specific to application sector/area, that will be defined by the Research team in collaboration with research sponsors. Verticals will be divided in:
    • A table focused on identifying a cost and benefit analysis to be specifically applied to Blockchain and Distributed Ledger projects;
    • One or two groups that will analyze some Blockchain and Distributed Ledger enabled ecosystem solutions to identify their characteristics and define the business models of the players involved. For example, solutions could concern: self-sovereign identity, ecosystem traceability, p2p insurance, invoice trading, media transparency, p2p energy, capital market, etc.

Sponsorship opportunities

Every year more than 300 companies join the Digital Innovation Observatories activities, getting in touch with the corporate, institutional and academic decision makers

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Partners and Sponsors

The 2018 of the Blockchain & Distributed Ledger Observatory is accomplished with the support of: Enel; Consorzio CBI, GS1, Tesisquare.


For more information on the possibility of collaborating and supporting research conducted by the Blockchain & Distributed Ledger Observatory, please contact Valeria Portale (valeria.portale@polimi.it) and Giacomo Vella (giacomo.vella@polimi.it).