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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 debate and meeting opportunities for the main players that are active in this field. Blockchain and Distributed Ledger technologies in 2019 have consolidated numerous projects started in previous years by companies - from PoC (proof of concept) to business targeted applications - and improved platform performances. There have also been a variety of more radical innovations at the technology level as well as the entry of new players, with investments also by public entities. This new awareness at global level has decreed the addition, in their own right, of Blockchain and Distributed Ledger technologies among the underlying technologies of forthcoming years. With ecosystems based on these technologies, it is now possible to solve the lack of trust issue that arises when centralised intermediaries are missing, thus enabling the Internet of Value: a system that makes it possible to exchange valuable 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 analyses these topics from both a business and technical perspective.


Activities planned by the Observatory for 2020, 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;
    • 4 horizontal Workshops dedicated exclusively to select stakeholders aiming to be an important moment to share some Research results and an opportunity to examine some topics in greater depth;
    • 3 vertical debate Workshops where Partners and Sponsors will have an active role in presenting Research. External stakeholders will also be present at the event.
  • public Conference to present Research results, with breakout sessions and keynotes delivered by leading figures of the business world (planned for November 2020);
  • A hard-copy Report including main 2020 Research results, which will be distributed at the Conference, and some online Reports examining the themes of Research conducted in 2018 in greater depth;
  • A weekly Press release for Partners and Sponsors to highlight the most relevant news of the international and Italian markets.


The 2020 edition, in keeping with the previous edition, will study further the following areas of research.

  • 6 lines of business research:
    • Projects across the world:Analysis of how Blockchain and Distributed Ledger technologies are used by companies worldwide.
    • Italian market:estimate investments and amount of projects implemented by companies in Italy; determine the level of knowledge and adoption of Blockchain and Distributed Ledger technologies in Italian companies..
    • Startups and innovative trends: analysis of startups across the world and the spread of collected funding; description of the Italian startup ecosystem as regards Blockchain.
    • Opportunities offered by tokens: analysis of token application opportunities to identify the potential of digital assets.
    • Project governance: identify a framework to analyse project and platform governance; identify key elements that characterize the governance of Blockchain and Distributed Ledger multi-player projects and the various management strategies.
    • Costs – Benefits: identify main categories of benefits that characterize the use of Blockchain and Distributed Ledger technologies.
  • 6 lines of tech research:
    • DApp and programmability: definition of the tools and methodologies that can be used to develop decentralized applications.
    • Data privacy: identification of ways enabling to control information sharing in Blockchain and Distributed Ledger platforms.
    • Performance and scalability: identification of the differences and of ways of filling the gap between current performances of existing platforms and requirements of various applications.
    • Interoperability: analysis of main approaches to interoperability between different platforms, and of potential benefits.
    • Comparison of platforms: continuous monitoring of major and most interesting platforms and comparison of most relevant features/characteristics.
    • Convergence with other techs: monitor interaction of Blockchain and Distributed Ledger technologies with other technologies (i.e. AI, IoT)
  • 2 lines of legal research:
    • Compliance and regulation: analysis of regulatory developments in countries already included in the Research Framework and addition of new ones.
    • analysis of some vertical matters on new topics that will be defined by the Research team in collaboration with research supporters.
  • 3 lines of vertical research:
    • Self-Sovereign Identity: analysis of main solutions and the potential for companies of Self Sovereign Identity.
    • Supply Chain: analysis of the application of Blockchain and Distributed Ledger technologies within production chains in various sectors.
    • Digital assets: analysis of main solutions and applications, and of the potential offered by digital assets.

Aiming to promote an ongoing debate with institutions, associations, and research centers, an Advisory Board will be established to drive Research towards trends that are of greater value to companies and institutions. The Advisory Board will consist of a select group of institution representatives.

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

More Details

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 ( and Giacomo Vella (