Last week in blockchain – 2019, week 5

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 please leave a review on iTunes so my podcast will get higher in the search results, share it with your friends and if you listen to this podcast for the first time: subscribe using your podcast app.

This week a nice interview with Sheila Warren, blockchain and DLT lead at World Economic Forum, blockchain law in Italy, a crypto wallet on the Samsung Galaxy S10 and a Duplo Train powered by a cryptocurrency.


Welcome to all my new listeners from Brussels. Thank you for listening and hope you enjoy this weeks podcast.


Background articles and research

Last week has been the week of the Davos conference of the World Economic Forum. Blockchain was the buzzword of the 2018 conference and this year there were several talks about blockchain too. A Bitcoin Troll ripped crypto and blockchain as overhyped, Bitcoin could nosedive to zero and while Sheila Warren talked about ways of land titling in India  changing using blockchain. So a mixed picture, just as we have seen for the last few months. You can find these topics in the shownotes. I’ll now continue on Sheila Warren. Why? Because she is head of blockchain and DLT and World Economic Forum, so she’s an interesting voice in this field and conference. Consensys had an interview with her. It’s an interesting read and I’ll share a few quotes with you. First: “We see blockchain as a foundational technology. While blockchain certainly has its own applications that are somewhat bespoke or unique, it also has the ability to serve as a layer in a tech stack that amplifies technologies like AI or IoT.” So finaly blockchain isn’t the hamer anymore that makes every problem a nail. It isn’t the technology to solve every problem. It is finding its place in the fabric of digital technologies. But it is a field that is rapidly evolving. Warren about this speed: “The reality is that these technologies are already big money businesses. Where you have rapid opportunities for ROI, there isn’t necessarily the thought put into what the downstream consequences are when taken collectively, and how they may impact our world. We’re [she means the World Economic Forum department of blockchain and DLT] very focused on the ethical implication of these things and their intersectionality.” And that is something everyone in the field should think about AND where the real value and ROI will be: long term, well thought trough solutions that have their full impact in mind. But how to get blockchain adopted. Warren thinks we should look at governments for this: “If we can find a way to use government to actually deploy and use blockchain technology, we’re going to move a long way towards adoption. Much of what we do with the Forum is speak to governments, central banks, and other bodies about their own exploration of this technology.” Let’s check back in 2020 to see what will happen in the coming year.

Companies en applications

Governments and law

Italy is taking steps to include blockchain in law. Definitions of blockchain and smart contracts are in the amendment. Aim is to add DLT/blockchain and smart contracts as procedures to legal effects of the time validation as according to EU Regulations. In other words: timestamped information on blockchain is a legal way to register in time when something happened and is usable as evidence in court. The senate of Italy has already approved this amendment and now the Italian Parliament has to talk about it.


After the buzz around two blockchain phones last year, a major cellphone producer is taking a big step. Samsung supposedly is going to put a blockchain keystore on the Samsung Galaxy S10. You can have your crypto wallet right on your new Samsung in 2019. But the source is a Twitter account referring to an other Twitter account. But if true, it is an interesting route Samsung is taking.

Oh my god!

And as my last news item of this week: a funny oh my god moment. A Dutch hacker has put his kid’s Duplo train on blockchain. Literally, blockchain is powering this train. The train has been modified to be driven by streaming a cryptocurrency in real-time. And on top of that, the number of transactions in each block has an effect on its speed: the bigger the block, the faster the train. And when he signs a block, the train makes a choo-choo noise. But you have to wait for the laughing my pants of moment: he is using the STEEM cryptocurrency… so it is a STEEM train…


And if you want to read more, check the articles about Davos I mentioned earlier: Bitcoin price going to zero, Bitcoin troll rips crypto and blockchain could transform land titling in India. If you want to go to a nice blockchain conference this year, check the guide to the top blockchain conferences. Another article about GDPR. And if you want to read more about conflict minerals (podcast #44): read more about Hyperledger Fabric in Rwanda.

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 mentioned in this episode in the description: Sheila Warren at Davos, Italy, Samsung and the Duplo Train. And if you like what you’ve heard, share this podcast with your friends and on social media and subscribe to this podcast in your podcast app. See you next week!


Sheila Warren (World Economic Forum)



Duplo train


Bitcoin price

Bitcoin troll rips crypto

Land titling in India

Guide to blockchain conferences



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