Last week in blockchain – 2018, week 45

Welcome to Last week in blockchain. My name is Wim Pelgrim, a blockchain realist and with this weekly podcast you’ll stay up to speed about all the major developments on the blockchain. And if you like what you’ve heard: share this podcast, like it in your podcast app or support me by going to www.patreon.com/wimpelgrim

This week my personal field of work: blockchain in education, EOS isn’t a blockchain, Google Trends, 10 years Bitcoin White Paper, Maersk and a 125 million dollar giveaway.

Personal

As you may know, I’m working on a blockchain project in secondary education in The Netherlands. The Dutch organization Kennisnet wrote a report on their vision for blockchain in education. And it stated what I could have predicted: they don’t think it is the best idea for education. Joel de Bruijn, a blockchain enthusiast from vocational education wrote a piece about this. You can check this very interesting Dutch article in the show notes.

Technology
A few weeks ago (podcast 20) I spoke about the launch of EOS: a new blockchain platform. Whiteblock, a blockchain testing company tested the network and last week their verdict came out: EOS is not a blockchain. It is not immutable, it is not decentralized. Whiteblock build a replica of the EOS blockchain to do laboratory tests. The conclusion after two months: de consensus algorithm is flawed and is in fact a centralized model. The block producers, special nodes in the network, function as intermediaries, could form cartels and are the single point of failure. Speeds aren’t as high as promised and basic elements like Byzantine Fault Tolerance and a consensus algorithm aren’t built in. Whiteblock even stated the platform doesn’t use cryptography! But Hardfork, part of The Next Web, is practices good journalism and asked a reaction from EOS and describes the ties between Whiteblock, Consensys and Ethereum, EOS’s main competitor. Read the full story to see for yourself, but the report by Whiteblock seems legit.

Background articles

Great news, brilliant news, wonderful news this week: blockchain is more popular than cryptocurrencies! An analysis of Google Trends data by TNW shows the interest in blockchain surpassed cryptocurrencies in July of 2018. Bitcoin is by far the most searched term in the market, surpassing both blockchain and cryptocurrency by 10 times or so. But it is a promising trend in my eyes. I don’t believe in crypto’s as a purposefull product, just like Buterin stated some time ago (podcast #24), and that is why my podcast focusses on technique and application.

And Bitcoin is a popular term in the last week, because the Bitcoin White Paper by Satashi Nakamoto was published exactly 10 years ago. A week in which a lot of people look back on the first 10 years of cryptocurrencies, the potential, the position of the field and everything that hasn’t worked out. You can find a lot of information online but I think it’s important to keep in mind we are over the biggest hype spike and people will be more critical about what you do with blockchain. Also the promised revolution didn’t come and I don’t think it will ever come. But maybe, in 10 years’ time, we will see great change.

 

Companies

And the fact that change is hard, is demonstrated by Maersk and IBM. Their blockchain application was in the news a lot in the last year (listen to podcast #4) and we see that there are bumps on the road. Forbes wrote an article about their analysis of these problems and it seems that because Maersk has a share in the joint venture, it benefits from the application and that and makes other companies hesitant to join the blockchain. And what this project shows is that blockchain isn’t a trust machine. It isn’t as simple as trusting the code equals trusting the people. And this is the power of blockchain as a social construct: it changes the way you have to look at the way you organize things. Forbes notes that it is essential in this case that Maersk develops a model for sharing the profit across the participants in the network.

Governments and law

New applications

Hardware

Oh my god!

Oh my god, I want to talk about crypto’s for a change. But that is not because I just said I was glad blockchain is more popular than crypto’s in Google and want to prove myself wrong. It is because Blockchain and Stellar announced to give away 125 million dollars! The press release tells us they have a purpose with this “airdrop” but I’m not convinced it isn’t just a marketing stunt.

Research

Referrals

Last week was the Malta Blockchain Summit. I know there are a lot of summits, but Malta is a frontrunner, so a lot of interesting things are happening there. Check all the information online, for example the recap videos by Coingeek. And if you want to watch some more videos, check the playlist made by TED, the 34 year old organizer of conferences around Technology, Entertainment and Design. And finally, Nasdaq and Microsoft partnered up to implement blockchain.

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 mentioned in this episode in the description: blockchain in education by Kennisnet, the EOS research, Google Trends, 10 years Bitcoin White Paper, Maersk and a 125 million dollar giveaway.. And I hope to see you next week for my next episode. And if you like what you’ve heard, share this podcast with your friends and on social media and click those five stars in your podcast app. See you next week!

Sources

Kennisnet
https://www.kennisnet.nl/artikel/is-blockchaintechnologie-geschikt-voor-het-onderwijs/

Joel de Bruijn
https://twitter.com/blogisch/status/1058613191570276352?s=19

EOS
https://thenextweb.com/hardfork/2018/11/01/eos-blockchain-benchmark/

Google Trends
https://thenextweb.com/hardfork/2018/11/01/cryptocurrency-google-bitcoin-blockchain/

Bitcoin White Paper
https://bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf

Maersk and IBM
https://www.forbes.com/sites/andreatinianow/2018/10/30/how-maersks-bad-business-model-is-breaking-its-blockchain/

Stellar giveaway
http://fortune.com/2018/11/06/blockchain-stellar/

 

Referrals

Malta
https://coingeek.com/malta-blockchain-summit-2018-day-2-recap-video/

TED
https://www.ted.com/topics/blockchain

Microsoft and Nasdaq
https://thenextweb.com/hardfork/2018/10/31/microsoft-blockchain-nasdaq/

 

 

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