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Luxembourg’s Action-Packed Blockchain Day

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Published on Wednesday, 11 October 2017

These days, everyone seems to be talking about Blockchain. The technology is taking the world by storm, and has already proven useful beyond the realms of the financial sector.

At the same time, it’s safe to say that Blockchain isn’t going to be universally adopted overnight. So, with Hyperledger Executive Director Brian Behlendorf and Louis de Bruin, Blockchain Leader IBM Europe, paying us a visit, we made the most of this chance to see what the technology has to offer.

First Act: An Exclusive Look at Blockchain Technologies for Industry

By 9 o’clock, a swarm of high-profile attendees had already filled the plush conference hall at Arendt House. CEOs, directors, senior engineers, consultants, technology leaders, product managers, and lawyers – all came to gain the latest insights on Blockchain technologies.

Arendt House

The event was originally planned with 40 participants in mind, but such was the demand that we re-arranged the room to accommodate ten lucky additional guests. After a brief welcome speech, Brian Behlendorf took the stage and launched right into the nuts and bolts of Blockchain technologies. He touched on the basics with vivid examples, elaborated on the differences between Ethereum and Hyperledger, outlined the risks and benefits of different adoption strategies and highlighted the strengths and weaknesses of Blockchain.

From left to right: Louis de Bruin (IBM), Brian Behlendorf (Hyperledger), Karl Johannesson (SnT), Frank Roessig (Telindus)

 

Meanwhile, Louis de Bruin introduced a number of use cases to illustrate the potential of this novel technology, from tracking e-bikes in Amsterdam to keeping blood diamonds out of the market. Attendees were then presented with live demos by Laurent Kratz (Scorechain), and Frank Roessig (Telindus).

Second Act: Blockchain in Research

The Blockchain event changed location at mid-day, as a crowd of researchers gathered to welcome Brian and Louis to SnT. The two speakers masterfully balanced their talk to satisfy a broad spectrum of research expertise, and hands shot into the air, as curious researchers asked question after question. Both executives further elaborated on specific, technical issues, sitting down with individual research groups during the afternoon.

Brian Behlendorf (Hyperledger) at SnT

SnT scientists appreciated the opportunity to have a one-on-one exchange with Brian:

“We discussed the aspect of deletion and immutability in blockchain networks. Brian considered the immutability as an inherent feature of the blockchain network, but pointed us to some work that is attempting to wipe data that was written in previous blocks.” Stefan Hommes (SEDAN)

“I got to learn about Hyperledger Indy, which gave me the idea for a new credit card-less payment system based on biometric identity and blockchain in Luxembourg.” Nida Kahn (SEDAN)

“It was interesting to learn how they work in terms of model, IP and software licenses. We told him about some of our recent projects and as a test we will try to share one of the smart contract projects using their framework.” Alex Byriukov (Cryptolux)

“We found mutual interest on the scalability of blockchain applications, while preserving consistency and security. In particular, our research work on blockchain consensus might be one of the candidate building blocks to improve Hypherledger’s scalability, while providing resilience guarantees.” Jiangshan Yu (CritiX)

Marc Lemmer (SnT) opens the SnT event

Third Act: Blockchain for All!

Blockchain Day wrapped up with a casual meetup open to all. A diverse group of people trickled in as the scent of pizza filled up the SnT building. By 18:30 the place was packed. As people settled in their seats, Brian Behlendorf launched into his last talk of the day. This dynamic crowd was in for a treat: the well-versed Hyperledger executive used plenty of practical examples to illustrate the potential of Blockchain. The audience particularly enjoyed his example of blockchain being used to bring together all the data concerning your pet dog. Louis de Bruin (IBM), Marco Houwen (Infrachain - featured below), and Frank Roessig (Telindus) rounded up the meetup line-up.

Marco Houwen on Infrachain

Having two leading figures in Blockchain technologies spend the day at SnT was enlightening, inspiring, and fun. If you missed it, Hyperledger offers plenty of opportunities for you to bring your Blockchain knowledge up to speed, like a free edXcourse.

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