Last week in blockchain – 2018 week 11

Last week in blockchain for week 11 of 2018, a podcast with the latest developments in the world of the blockchain.

Welcome to Last week in blockchain. My name is Wim Pelgrim, a blockchain enthusiast and with this weekly podcast you’ll stay up to speed about all the major developments on the blockchain. And that in under 10 minutes!

This week I’m going to talk about transparent chicken, voting in The Netherlands and Sierra Leone and the Iota distributed ledger.

First of all: transparent chicken. Carrefour’s home brand chicken will have a blockchain based supply chain. Consumers can scan the QR-code on the package and see the full route the chicken took: breeding location and type of food they had for example. Carrefour wants to bring eight more products with a similar chain: eggs, tomatoes, salmon and milk among others. Real transparency in your next door supermarket!

Then two elections on the blockchain: in The Netherlands and Sierra Leone. Next week are the local elections and a referendum on a new intelligence agency law in The Netherlands. After problems with voting machines, voting is done with paper and pencil. The city of Groningen is going to do a test with digital voting: the QR-code on the voting pass will be scanned to check the attendance rate. It’s a small step: keeping track of the attendance rate on five ballot stations.

Sierra Leone has done a larger test last week with the presidential elections: all the casted votes were inputted in a blockchain application and the full results will be auditable in a public format in the coming days! Not an entire election on the blockchain, but a big step for transparent and distributed data management. Fraud in elections and all kinds of other problems with this election make it a messy ground to pull off a test like this, but if the company, Agora, can show it works or will work here, it can work in many other places!

But the biggest part of this podcast I want to spend on Iota. I came across Iota a few week ago and because there isn’t that much striking news this week, I finally have time to talk about it. What is Iota? It seems just another blockchain alternative, besides Bitcoin, Ethereum, Hyperledger, Azure and other distributed ledger technologies. But there is a big technological difference.

Blockchains like the ones I mentioned are based on a chain of blocks: the computer algorithms determine which transaction and blocks are added to the chain. I’m not going to dive deep into the technical details of the blockchain, but a single string on which you can add a bead at a time: anyone with younger children in their surroundings can imagine that situation.

Iota works a little different. In stead of taking the string as a given and beads mathematically fighting to be next bead on the string, Iota takes the beads as a starting point and makes the bead search for two other beads to string it to. This technology is called Tangle and promises to be faster and cheaper then an ‘old fashioned’ blockchain solution. A novel idea, published in a white paper in 2017. Search for this whitepaper on and compare it to some other white papers, interesting stuff for technologically interested listeners.

You see, the technology in the distributed ledgers is far from fully developed. You can discuss if technology will ever be fully ‘developed’, but what will be the standard in 10 or 20 years? Hyperledger? Ethereum? Iota? I have no idea. I hope both technology and content will help solve real world problems.

For the time being, crypto’s are the hot topic for most of the people googling at the moment. And I hope they find the great video of Last week tonight, with John Oliver about Bitcoin, blockchain and crypto’s. A link is found in the description.

And that wraps up this Last week in blockchain. Check my website: for more info on me and my podcast and a full transcript of this episode. Check the links to all the news items I talked about in the description: transparent chicken, elections and Iota.  And definitely check back next week for my new podcast on Soundcloud!

Full transcript
You can download a full transcript of this podcast here.


Transparent chicken

Election in The Netherlands

Election in Sierra Leone

Iota (check their whitepaper)

John Oliver


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