Blockchain creates a “global community of inclusion”, it is a “technology to power open finance”. At least that is what the homepage says. And certainly – neither press nor geeks nor any major digital conference can nowadays ignore the topic. The idea of an open network that allows anyone to verify transactions is indeed revolutionary. People who don’t have access to bank accounts or other financial tools can participate in transactions using Bitcoin and the – often costly – services of banks are no longer needed.
But how does blockchain work, where are the possibilities and where are dangers of this new technology?
A crash course and challenging consensus
A blockchain is an extensible list of data sets (blocks). Every block is linked to the previous and secured from revision. Blockchain is the basis for crypto currencies like Bitcoin, the oldest and most prominent application of blockchain.
Jaya Klara Brekke and Elias Haase give a comprehensible overview of how blockchain works. Together with the audience, they draw up the most important aspects of how blockchain technology works. They also ask the difficult question: how will this decentralisation of power impact the traditional banking system?
Blockchain, Smart Contracts & The Future of Democracy
Due to Shermin Voshmgir, blockchain is a game changer that will revolutionize our use of the internet and even our society. In her session at re:publica 2016, she explains the terms Smart Contracts, dApps (Decentralized Applications) and DAOs (Decentralized Autonomous Organizations) and how our future crypto economy is going to work. She is convinced that these new technologies allow us to create
- Money without Banks
- Companies without Managers
- Governments without Politicians
Does that sound utopian? Listen to the inspiring talk and form your own opinion.
Blockchain and the future of governance
What is all the hype about? Does blockchain really have the power to transform our society? Andrea Bauer and Boris Moshkovits (D.DAY network), Shermin Voshmgir from BlockchainHub and Vinay Gupta of Ethereum Project discuss the potential and the challenges of this value exchange protocol.
Apart from revolutionizing the banking system, which Bitcoin is already about to do, they take a closer look at democratic processes. Can the technology be used to reform political decision making, lobbying involvement and budget allocation?
Blockchain and Bitcoin: the future of music business?
Today, most people buy their music online. However, streaming platforms have been under criticism for not compensating the artists adequately for quite some time. Now the blockchain technology seems to open up a new possibility for better and fairer music management, for a more direct artist-fan relationship.
Benjamin Bailer (Bailer Music Publishing), Jörg Heidemann (VUT), Benji Rogers (PledgeMusic) and Thomas Theune (GEMA) – all experts on music monetarization – take a look into the future at Reeperbahn Festival.
Smart contracts [th]at work
At the Open Tech Summit 2016, blockchain was an important topic, too. Jörg Wittenberger (Askemos), for example, examined the legal questions behind blockchain protocols. What are contracts – texts or processes? Contracts transfer rights – all rights, or are some rights inalienable? How do “smart contracts” machines decide what is right?
His company, Askemos, makes a great promise: “Askemos eliminates the need for trust in digital relationships – be it trust in physical components or in people.” How is that possible?
The lecture is held in German.
Coming up: Real world use case for blockchain
Next Monday the Codemotion, one of the biggest tech conferences in Europe, will bring international developers to Berlin. Max Edwards (Thoughtworks) will give an introduction to blockchain and smart contracts on the Bitcoin and Ethereum networks. He will also explore use cases that have nothing to do with finances.
Tune in to the live stream on October 25th, at 2.50 pm.
Photo: BTC Keychain via flickr