Last week in blockchain – 2019, week 9

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 safer, easier and nationwide blockchain solutions: safer clinical trials in San Francisco, a secure digital ID by Seraph and Malta doing a nationwide pilot of BlockCerts credentials on blockchain.


The day after the release of this podcast, I’ll start moving. Next week, I will not publish a podcast, but in week 11, I’ll be back and hopefully completely settled in my new house. And having done a lot of paperwork for the banks, notary and public registries, I see a lot of room for blockchain applications in this field!


Background articles and research

Companies en applications

In San Fransisco, at the University of California, a proof-of-concept was presented by Daniel Wong, PhD candidate, to protect the integrity of data generated during clinical trials. Clinical trials are the basis of new medication and treatment in hospitals and medicine. Before a new treatment is generally used, it has to be tested and those tests are subject to regulation and auditing. To make sure the test are authentic, every data event would be recorded during a clinical trial across multiple ledgers and each would be protected with cryptographic hashes to prevent tampering. Regulators and oversight organizations can view and authenticate the trials this way. But unlike most blockchain projects, this one would be more central: with a authentication authority to operate the web portal, register all parties and maintain the blockchain ledger. The University built a prototype to check if the data could be altered or deleted. In the first instance, the ledger simply appended information that data had been removed without actually removing it from the blockchain. And, in the instance of tampering, Wong tried to change earlier records to show a different medication, and an examination of the blockchain made it obvious where the tampering occurred. A great cause and usecase for blockchain!

At NEO Devcon 2019, Swisscom Blockchain announced a decentralized digital identity solution. In an article on the website of NEO Devcon, the history of identity online is explained. But the real news is the next step Seraph ID wants to take. Waldemar Scherer presented the solution which access and management of your own data and the possibility to use dApps, smart contracts and third party access to verifiable claims. In the presentation (which can be found via the link in the shownotes), Sherer portrays a university graduate in the job application process. Seraph ID lets the University sign the diploma claim and transfer it to the identity owner, The Graduate. The Graduate then counter-signs the claim and presents the claim to the verifier, The Company. The Company is now able to verify the claim by both the identity holder and issuer, if the claim is valid, and if the claim hasn’t been revoked. In this scenario, as the issuer, The University, must be a trusted party in the network to issue those claims. The issuer can revoke claims at any time. And this is exactly the field I’m working in today with my blockchain project and the kind of project Malta is working on.

Governments and law

Malta is working together with Learning Machine Technologies tot launch a first nationwide pilot of blockchain credentials. In essence this is the same type of solution Seraph is working on, but where Seraph has a more general purpose, the blockchain solution in Malta is specifically focused on credentials. The Minister of Education and Employment in Malta, Evarist Bartolo, said: “For the first time, Maltese learners have a way to keep track of their lifelong achievements in one place, with the flexibility to share them with whomever they choose at no cost. Maltese businesses will find that hiring workers with the right qualifications has gotten much easier. This is a win/win for Malta, whose skilled workforce is among the primary drivers of its economic success.” Using the BlockCerts standard, anyone can store, share and validate diplomas and other credentials.  And Malta is a big player in the field of blockchain, as I talked about in podcast #19. If they can live of up the hype around Malta is a big question, but they are taking concrete steps towards a blockchain future.


Oh my god!


And if you want to read more, check out these articles: The Next Web had a nice background article on the history of white papers in the blockchain field. Hedera Hashgraph (listen to podcast #7 for more info on that project) starts cooperating with Deutsche Telekom and others in an alternative governing council. And if you work on IoT, check out the challenge by the Trusted IoT Alliance (TIoTA)!

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: safer clinical trials, a secure digital ID by Seraph and Malta doing a nationwide pilot of BlockCerts credentials on blockchain. 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!


Clinical trials

Seraph ID

Malta & Learning Machine


White Papers

Hedera Hashgraph

TIoTA Challenge

Check my website:

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