Last week in blockchain for week 15 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! And if you like what you have heard: please share this podcast on your socials and spread the word.
This week I’m going to talk about two hardware inventions using the blockchain: the first blockchain smartphone and a blockchain speaker. But most importantly I’ll be filling you in about BlockChaingers: the worlds biggest blockchain hackathon!
You could wait for it, the first smartphone on the blockchain. And it’s produced by Foxconn, the producer of the iPhone. And the Finney as the phone is called, is primarily produced for cryptocurrencies: you can securely store and pay using crypto’s with the phone. The phone will cost 999 dollars and has good specs compared to the rest of the market. But I’m not a hardware podcaster. I just think it’s great to see the blockchain making its way into other markets and becoming part of the ‘normal’.
An other hardware product with the blockchain built in is the Volareo speaker: you can listen to music streams and tip an artist if you like what you hear. You do that by pressing a button or by clapping your hands. I like nerdy fun things like that, like the eraser on my Surface Pen. But whwat Volareo really tries to solve is the earnings of a starting artist. If you need 1.5 milion streams on Spotify to make a minimum wage, you know starting artist won’t make it just by using the Spotify platform. And because everything is stored on the blockchain, listeners can communicate directly and transparently with their favourite artists and vice versa, artists can contact their listeners easier.
But the biggest event last week was the BlockChaingers Hackathon in Groningen, The Netherlands. 700 participants In 63 teams worked on seven tracks to solve global challenges. I’ll be talking you through all the tracks and the winners and boy, do I have some amazing blockchain based ideas for you!
First Future of Pensions. APG, the biggest pension funds manager of The Netherlands, set out two challenges: a global pension smart contract and a challenge to combine transparency and privacy. Or teams could present an out of the box idea. The winners did just that. A group of students from Fontys University of Applied Science wanted to proof microtransactions could contribute to your pension and the awareness of youngster of saving for later in live. They built an application to choose whether to get deposit money or revenue on an old cellphone in cash or to deposit it into your pension fund. It sounds so easy, you almost ask yourself why this wasn’t invented before.
Then health. The University Hospital Groningen wanted a solution to provide hospital care at home: data accessibility and privacy have to go hand in hand again. And the second challenge was the one the winners of this track tried to solve: kickstarting scientific health research. Groningen has the largest biobank and study on healthy ageing in Europe. Is it possible to decentralize the records and give participants the choice to give their data for research? I can’t find details on the presented solution, unfortunately, but team Consense states on their teams page: A network linking data subjects with researchers and insights coming from scientific research. Common people fully control their data containers, which provide analytical solutions. If consent is given, researchers can query containers to create bigger models.
The Energy Transition track had three challenges: GDPR&blockchain, IoT&blockchain and Remote payment 2 machine. Especially the last track had some interesting questions: How can blockchain help, using remote payment directly to the smart meter with eg colored coins? How can we help people in need, donate to a school or non-profit? How can fraud be prevented and bureaucracy reduced by the use of blockchain? Is it possible to use payment channels via the lightning network? The team of Gaslicht.com won the track with an out of the box solution: simplifying the transition from one energy company to an other or moving house. They compare energy contracts for years and now they built a solution for all the companies to work on making the switch easier and keeping track of that switch. And it’s applicable in other areas too.
The public safety and security track set a high bar: a world standard blockchain proof of evidence and the development of a safe public-private international cooperation to fight cybercrime. No small challenges here. The Netherlands always was one of the forerunners when it came to soft drugs. Now weed is legalized in several parts of the world and the Dutch are doing a test for the next few years to legalize the growing, selling and transporting of weed. PSS presented their project Oregano to track the entire process of buying safe weed. It resembles a lot of blockchain supply chains, but the age limit and police involvement (making sure sometimes police can see who is who on the blockchain) made this a more difficult project, but they found some innovative solutions.
The next track was sponsored by the Dutch Chambre of Commerce and the Kadaster. Two organizations keeping track of businesses in the Netherlands and property ownership in our country. The Chambre of Commerce challenged the teams to invent a smarter way of proving the identity of a company worldwide and reinventing the business infrastructure. The Kadaster was looking for a unique building ID, based on the proof of concept they already have. The winners were the team of The Ledger, a Belgian/Dutch company I’m currently working with on my BlockChange project. They built a house pas: a house can maintain itself and offer contractors a possibility to bid on repairs. It also gives the owner of the house information on grants from the government on energy improvements for example. A big project they took on in 48 hours, but they nailed it.
The Machine to machine economy track had two more serious challenges and one more fun one based on gaming. The game should show how the world of tomorrow would look like. The more serious tracks focused on creating a self sovereign machine for societal benefit and to develop a startup for the good of society as a part of a co-creating ecosystem. Team Krya built a swarm of nodes working together in a search and rescue use case. And the goal was to make humans trust robots more. It’s unfortunate they couldn’t let real drones fly in he old factory where the hackathon was held, but the simulation is beautiful too.
And last but not least: the global identity track, sponsored by DUO and Sweetbridge. The first challenge was to make sure medicines reach patients in Nigeria, without corruption or counterfeiting. The second and third challenge focused on identity: how to cope with a lost ID (for example during a war) and insuring identity on the blockchain. The winner tried to solve the first challenge: every handover is stored on the blockchain and every box of medicine is tracked using Raspberry Pi’s, hashes, security and a app for the smartphone. Everything can be used in rural Africa: with a conscious hart, he can give the medicine to his patient, because he knows what he gives is the right thing! Wow.
If you check the hashtag #bc1718 on Twitter and other socials, you can see a lot of energy in the pictures and videos that are shared. A beautiful event and I hope we see some of the winners or other teams back in this podcast when they launch or present their final products.
And that wraps up this Last week in blockchain. Check my website: www.wimpelgrim.nl 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: the blockchain smartphone and speaker and BlockChaingers hackathon. And definitely check back next week for my new podcast on Soundcloud!
You can download a full transcript of this podcast here
The blockchain smartphone
The blockchain speaker
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