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A Downpour That Filled The Blockchain Souls

The excellence of blockchain is that it makes a worldwide network of people with shared interests and objectives. Recently we experienced an elaborated table spread of blockchain and a host of networking opportunities with blockchain specialists, investors and organizations who joined us live from around the globe to go along with us. Ergo we thought to shed some light from the international blockchain summit to help you out in case you missed the event.

Amid unveiling what’s inside, firstly thank all the blockchain visionaries, digital entrepreneurs, technology geeks, academicians, and attendees who joined the virtual congregation of blockchain thinkers making the 3rd International Summit: BlockHash LIVE 2020 a grand success.

To prefigure,

BlockHash LIVE is a two-day international summit organized by blockchain crusader Kerala Blockchain Academy. The prime focus is to gather the top blockchain leaders and practitioners under one roof. The foundation for biennial was laid in 2018 with a vision to discuss the most important happenings in blockchain technology with no miss. The initial summit served as the basis for introducing blockchain technology to the rising Kerala community. It was indeed a small gathering with about thirty crypto-enthusiasts and early developers. Since then, there was no looking back. The subsequent years brought in larger representations of blockchain footprints from global space.

All In New Avatar

BlockHash LIVE 2020 was no less than a gala. Dolled up in the new attire of virtual summit, the conclave extended a visually rich virtual experience to the audience. One of India’s largest blockchain summits, BlockHash LIVE 2020 presented a series of interactive discussions blanketing various industry use-cases spanning over 48 hours covering the major questions of blockchain development, adoption and application to industry, business and society. It covered everything from the theoretical perspectives of highly disruptive technology to the legal, social and governance aspects of its applicability in various fields touching human lives.

The virtual event witnessed to the downpour of great, unparalleled contents, discussion panels, keynote addresses, hands-on workshops, interactive knowledge sharing from global experts, also a wackier scavenger hunt to engage the brain and get everybody moving.

900+ registrants from 45+ countries 40+ speakers, 15+ keynotes, 4-panel discussions, 3 workshops and a hackathon.

Who All’s Footprints

The event was honoured to have blockchain giants like Hyperledger President Brian Behlendorf, Julian Gordan, Vice-President of Hyperledger Blockchain, Dr.Jane Thomason, Renowned Author and Industry Associate at Center of Blockchain Technology, Michael Gord, MLG Blockchain Founder, Kirsten Pomales Langenbrunner COO, DLT Governance Solutions, Thomas Cox, Principal Governance Advisor, StrongBlock, and many more on the opening day of the summit; their presence and involvement reflected the current status of the DLT mass adoption — it is now not only the crypto-enthusiasts but states and societies facing the soon and inevitable digital transformation by blockchain.

Moving on, the second day was flooded with the industrial and business leaders like Prasanna Lohar, Head Digital of DCB Bank, Bob Tapscott Author, Blockchain Research Institute, Harsh Rajat, Founder of Ethereum Push Notification Services, Julian Gordon Vice President of Asia Pacific — Hyperledger, Robert Schwertner, CEO of Innomagic GmbH, and more broadly sharing their vision, use-cases and ongoing pilot projects of blockchain incorporation; all with one purpose to cast light on the blockchain application beyond common crypto and trading, taking us to the world of decentralized tomorrow!

The day was also blessed with the voices of high profile academicians, lawyers, and bureaucrats on potentials of blockchain technology. They simply triggered the diverse audiences of enthusiasts, developers and entrepreneurs with insights on latest practices from industries, regulatory development, blockchain ongoing researches and asset management.

Menus Served On Table

Buckle up!

It’s going to be wild……

Flagging off the event, the extensive viability of Hyperledger Blockchain was highlighted by Brian Behlendorf, the President of Hyperledger Project at his keynote address. The 30 minutes journeyed what Hyperledger is, how fertile ground they are for enterprise blockchain platforms. In his opening speech, Brian briefed the Hyperledger journey from being a rudimentary platform to now crowning the statue of a de-facto standard for enterprise blockchain platforms.

The following panel discussions on 5 Years of Hyperledger with Hyperledger Members- Arun S M (Walmart), Gigo Joseph (Chainyard), Dharmen Dhulla (Senior Solutions Architect — Blockchain COE, Tech Mahindra), Alex Albano (Director of Sales & Marketing, Chainstack) Suji Thampi (Chairman, Singapore Blockchain Chapter), Adarsh S (Research Scientist & Convener, KBA) headed by Brian, simply imprinted trust over Hyperleder potentials. The panel highlighted how the modular framework of Hyperledger makes it easier for technology companies and software developers to build the enterprise blockchain platform, as well as decentralized applications. The members gave a virtual tour of their individual contributions adopting Hyperledger Blockchain. Each via their personal experience unearthed the capability of Hyperledger blockchain frameworks in delivering flexibility, resilience, and scalability to help innovators ignite a global business transformation. Meanwhile ushering a new era of trust, transparency and accountability.

Prevention is Better Than Cure

Not everything that we do is going to work exactly as we planned, and we need to think about the unintended consequences of what we are building. And unless we engage in a broader conversation about the impact of blockchains on society, then we’re likely to miss things”, these were the thought-provoking words rendered by Dr Jane Thomason, the Industry Associate at UCL Centre for Blockchain, London at BlockHash LIVE 2020.

Dr Jane was keynoting on Maximizing Blockchain Benefits and Reducing Harm for a generative tomorrow. Dr Jane pressed the need for digital ethics for positively shaping the technology like blockchain in order to explore and suffice its potential consequences. According to Dr Jane, blockchain ethics can be examined at three levels- Technology Stack, Applications, Institutions and Society. She urged that the blockchain field should work towards standardizing guidelines for ethical research so as to minimize the harm it can cause to a nation — for instance in the crypto space, probing and disclosing security vulnerabilities — can put other people’s money at risk. She underlined that the speed and scale of the impact of one decision can get hardcoded into a machine and can have consequences for billions of people, and blockchain technology is no exception from this.

It’s All About Mutual Consent

The consensus is a way for diverse groups of people to make decisions without conflict. According to Arun SM, the Senior Software Engineer at Walmart, Consensus protocols lies at the heart of distributed ledger technology. It allows the network members to agree on a piece of data or a proposed transaction without any chaos or biased manner. He also stated that there is a great diversity of algorithms in blockchain for building consensus based on its requirements. It can be the blockchain’s performance, scalability, consistency, governance, security or fault redundancy. Consensus simply allows the connected machines to work together as a group that can even survive if some of its members fail. Watch the simple explanation of Blockchain Consensus here.

The Era of Digital Assets

According to Makoto Takemiya, Co-founder and CEO of Soramitsu, Hyperledger Iroha is the next-generation permissioned blockchain platform aiming to transform how businesses and financial institutions perform. His founding organization- Somaristu uses Hyperledger Iroha to create services for users including the mobile applications for managing digital assets, identity and contract. Speaking at the BlockHash LIVE 2020, on Hyperledger Iroha for Digital Asset Use cases, he opined that Hyperledger Iroha provides fast and clear payment options using built-in commands, permissions, roles, multi-signature accounts and batches. More on, asset management is easy with Iroha as it simplifies the rules and commands required to create and transfer assets, besides maintaining high-security guarantees for the same. His Japanese fintech company specializes in Hyperledger Iroha for delivering blockchain-based solutions for enterprises, universities, and governments.

Elephant and Carbon

It all boils down to Carbon dioxide……!

Across the globe, citizens are increasingly becoming aware of and concerned about the impact of greenhouse gas emissions, urging companies to redesign their architecture to reduce carbon footprints. In this scenario, it is no less than a blessing if any technology could aid in reducing the emission or help with tracking carbon emissions.

According to Walid Al Saqaaf, Founder of InsureBlocks, forest elephants play a huge role in supporting the carbon sequestration power of their tropical habitats. Hungry pachyderms act as the gardeners of these forests as they roam across the landscape searching for bits of leaves, tree bark and fruit; spreading seeds in their dung. This promotes the growth of larger carbon-absorbing trees, allowing forests to sequester more carbon from the air. However, now their disappearance is troubling. Poachers are killing the elephants in the greed of ivories. Speaking at the event, Walid expressed his joy of starting a new innovation- a plan of incentivizing locals in return of protecting their natural resources, not exploit them.

Keynoting on Re-imaging Carbon Markets with Blockchain and Elephants, Walid Al Saqqaf, underlined the quality of adopting the secure nature of blockchain to attract international governmental agencies as well as private sector banks and insurance companies who will increasingly want to offset carbon footprints by investing in carbon-sequestering natural resources.

“We take a toxic asset such as carbon and transform it into carbon for social good,” Walid went saying.

A New-Gen Blockchain

Introducing the brand new Algorand blockchain to the event attendees, Gnana Lekshmi, a senior blockchain architect pinned the necessity for newer and latest frameworks in blockchain to meet the diverse demands of consumers. She briefed that Algorand is committed to the ongoing development of best-in-class solutions for the future of economic exchange. It is the world’s first open, permissionless, pure proof-of-stake blockchain protocol that, without forking, provides the necessary security, scalability, and decentralization needed for today’s economy.

Do not get dismayed if you feel outdated or illiterate on the latest happenings in blockchain space. Learn the insides of PyTeal-Algorand Smart Contracts in Python that abstracts away the complexities in writing smart contracts. The workshop is a gold nugget to learn the in and out of TEAL, the latest craze in the blockchain.

Adoption Post Covid

What is driving this sudden institutional interest in Bitcoin or other digital assets?

Is it the interest rates or inflation or geopolitical instability that is triggering the adoption of digital assets? Get to know the rising prominence of digital assets particularly relevant in post-COVID times: Watch Micheal Gord, Founder of MLG Blockchain touring on mainstream adoption digital assets; ascertaining that in the near future, high quantitative easing and depressed demand may point to a phase of potential stagflation and digital assets may be seen as a cheaper, more liquid, and transparent safe haven compared to other asset classes.

Look Before You Leap

Have you heard of Pre-Governance for Enterprise Blockchain? The pre-governance comes after you make the business case for creating the chain, but prior to creating the governance systems of a blockchain. The importance of the concept is far beyond than we anticipate. But no worries….. The IEEE Professional Blockchain Workshop helps in learning what’s involved in a pre-governance analysis, and tactics to unite stakeholders for the DLT. The BlockHash LIVE 2020 special workshop was headed by Kirsten Pomales Langenbrunner (COO, DLT Governance Solutions) and Thomas Cox (Principal Governance Advisor, StrongBlock) detailing on outcomes of pre-governance and the skills you need to engage successfully in the pre-governance phase. Watch the secret sauce with no further delay!

Into Space

Blockchain and The Space Economy by Samson Williams were no less than a wild tour on eleven years of Bitcoin, and three years of Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) — when cryptocurrencies were destined for the moon. Providing a historical perspective on not only what Bitcoin is, but more importantly what the technology-blockchain is, Samson simply lured the audience. The anthropologist’s perspective on the human side of currency, money, finance, and value is something not to miss. Well! You can watch the full episode right here to know what’s real, what’s hype and where we and our monetary and economic policies are heading in a digital age dictated by 5G, artificial intelligence, IoT, The Cloud, Machine Learning and the 5th Industrial Revolution i.e. the New Space Race.

Ethereum 2.0: In and Out

Ethereum 2.0 is the latest buzzword in the blockchain technology. Nurturing itself as the upgrade to the already existing Ethereum blockchain, the new Ethereum variant aims to increase the speed, efficiency, and scalability of the Ethereum network, enabling it to address the bottlenecks and increase the number of transactions. Kate Stapleton, the Vice President of Blockchain Education Network, in her awe-inspiring keynote address at BlockHash LIVE glided through the key features of Ethereum 2.0, the different between Ethereum and Ethereum 2.0, and also the implementation of shard chains that anticipates to speed up the network compared to its ancestor. To know more about Ethereum 2.0 and its anticipated benefits, click here.

Challenges and Disruptions

When organizations adopt new technologies, the context of that technology is vital. How people deal with the material properties of the technology is dependent on the previous experience of the user- whether they have previously used a similar one or completely new to it. Since Blockchain is still in the infancy, the mass adoption of the technology solely depends on disruptive properties and the lesser amount of challenges”, says Bob Tapscott.

As per the renowned blockchain enthusiast, the current challenge what blockchain technology face today is Brewer’s CAP Theorem. According to the CAP theorem, in any distributed network it is impossible to achieve more than two of these three properties ( C- consistency, A- availability, P- partition) as a guaranteed feature. The overcoming of this challenge can further take blockchain to a greater height just like Proof of Stake is promising to solve the excessive power consumption problem caused by Proof of Work. According to Bob, Ethereum 2.0 is a promise for tomorrow benefitting scalability, throughput and security for the blockchain. Bob Tapscott also pressed that innovations like Polkadot, Cosmos, and Chainlink are to definitely change the future via facilitating cross-chain communications by connecting different blockchains under one unified network. He was keynoting on Blockchain Challenges and Disruptive Opportunites at the second day of BlockHash LIVE 2020 organized by Kerala Blockchain Academy.

Privacy in the Digital Age

In the last decade, both governments and giant corporations have become data miners, collecting information about every aspect of our activities, behaviour and lifestyle. However, the movement is constantly creating a situation of severe tension and incompatibility between the right of privacy and extensive data pooling. Identity management in midst of technological advancements is turning into a key concern, with billions of dollars being spent on usability, security and privacy.

According to Prasanna Lohar, Innovation Head, DCB Bank, Blockchain has immense potential to solve the identity crisis. Blockchain’s so-called self-sovereign identity is inherently unalterable and more secure than traditional identity systems. This can completely change the way one uses the identities to connect to different online services. He was contrasting the blockchain provided self-sovereign identity with the traditional system- Aadhar, India’s massive digital identity program. He urged the necessity to think of a concept that stems from the belief that individuals must have control over their identity administration. Pointing the flaws in Aadhar System being centralized database with a centralized point of failure, he urged the public to rethink of a model of digital identity where individuals and entities alike are in full control of their digital identity. He urged to think how individuals would use their self-sovereign ID to verify their identity, removing intermediaries or passwords.

Blockchain Adoption In Indian Context: Public Sector Leading the Way

Seeing the rising potential of blockchain in every possible industry, more government around the world has shifted their focus towards blockchain adoption and India has shown a great interest right from the beginning. Andhra Pradesh government has become the first state in the country to pilot blockchain technology across the administration wing ”, proudly stated Jayesh Ranjan IAS, Secretary, Department of IT, Telangana Government while keynoting at BlockHash LIVE 2020.

Speaking at the international blockchain summit organized by Kerala, Blockchain Academy, he opined that blockchain can candidly transform an array of government and public sector administration activities, which includes legal entities management, land registration, identity management, voting (elections and proxy), corporate registration, taxation, health care, supply chain and many others. Enforcing blockchain in the government sector is expected to provide ease of operations for the government and ease of living for the citizens. Establishing a blockchain-based government model, every citizen including the common man, businesses, and governments can share resources over a distributed ledger database which is highly secured using the cryptographic web. The model thus eliminates every single point of failure alongside inherently protects every sensitive citizen and government data.

“The government is playing an important role not only as a regulator but also as a consumer of Blockchain solutions in India”, stated Dr Saji Gopinath, Vice-Chancellor of Kerala University of Digital Sciences, Innovation and Technolgy. He pointed that nearly half the states in India have already embraced blockchain solutions for addressing different elements of citizen service delivery and many have already surpassed their pilot stage. This indicates that there is a rise in demand for the blockchain resources in the nearer future and therefore, the institutions serving the knowledge should seriously take up providing quality education on the same. The Panel Discussion also witnessed to the insightful words of Dr Rajasree MS, Vice-Chancellor of APJ Abdul Kalam Technological University, Mohammed Y Safirulla IAS, IT Secretary, Kerala Government, J A Chowdary, Chairman of the India Blockchain Technology Standards Committee.

Zero Notification, Zero Action

We live in a phase where the services directly reach out to the users whenever an action is required from their end. The notifications have engraved so deeply that it has significantly increased the user engagement rate to 5x, massively improving the experience. This is the baseline for Ethereum Push Notification Service (EPNS) founded by the folk- Harsh Rajat. He brought into action the world’s first notifications protocol that enables users to receive notifications. Using EPNS, any dApp, smart contract or service can send notifications to users in an agnostic fashion. Until now, there is no such decentralized applications or any service on web3 that provides a way to inform users on any important event. Instead, the users have to go back to the service time to check their activity. But now, EPNS does the job.

Listen to what went into building EPNS clicking here.

Unveiling the Interplay of Law

On Cruise: Hon’ble Justice Prathiba M. Singh (Judge, Hon’ble Delhi High Court), Adv. Nappinai N S ( Advocate, Hon’ble Supreme Court of India & Founder — Cyber Saathi), Aprajita Rana (Partner, AZB & Partners) Rohan Bagai (Partner, AZB & Partners) and Adv. Shivshankar R Panicker (Partner, Panicker and Panicker; Founder, QuickPleas).

Technology is like water, its flow cannot be stopped. However, dams can be built to make use of its power for the benefit of mankind”, expressed Honourable Justice Prathibha M. Singh. She was speaking at BlockHash LIVE 2020 on the panel discussion titled Legal Frameworks Around Blockchain Technology. Addressing the virtual conference Justice Singh opined that, blockchain is enriched with versatility and can be applied in any domains that render customer delivery. Law is no exception to this, instead, blockchain in law domain has great significance in terms of eliminating third-party intervention. She expressed her interest in technology pointing that lawyers could efficiently use blockchain to store the legal data instead of emailing sensitive personal data back and forth. Justice Prathibha specified that there are nearly 112 patent applications in blockchain technology that have been published in India. The transactions using this technology could easily resolve contractual disputes, consumer disputes, and even disputes under the negotiable instruments act.

Describing the provisions of intellectual property rights on the blockchain, Justice Prathiba expressed the feeling that there are two dimensions to it; one whether the technology is entitled to any form of protection and secondly who would be owning the IP in this technology and its implementations.

What about privacy law treating blockchain?

According to Adv Nappinai N.S., the privacy compliance will not be an issue in blockchain as transactions occurring on the ledger is clearly visible to everyone, which is great for privacy. She added that the current privacy law in practice is the IT Act and it does apply to the blockchain as it regulates transactions in online space. Having said that, she also pinned that when some use a public network, it becomes a little challenging for applying the law. Watch the entire episode here.

Its Time for a Workshop

Learn about the first blockchain project under Hyperledger that can operate on a public blockchain. Watch the expert session on Hyperledger Besu, the latest project to join the Hyperledger.

Did you know the Bank of Thailand CBDC is running on Hyperledger Besu meeting both functional and non-functional requirements of Central Bank Digital Currency ( CBDC).

Flashlights on DeFi

One area in cryptocurrencies attracting huge attention is DeFi or decentralised finance. The financial services using smart contract are fully automated and runs on pre-defined enforceable agreements that eliminate intermediaries like bank or lawyer. It uses blockchain technology instead.

Learn A-Z of DeFi from the panel discussion headed by Felix Mago (Co-Founder, Dash Next), Harsh Rajat (Founder, EPNS), Marc Zeller (AAVE), Albert Castellana (CEO, StakeHound), and Mark Smargon (CEO, Fuse.io). Get to know the craze behind whether is it is -

Higher returns to the savers? or…….

Traditional finance’s unsecured lending?or………….

The legal requirement behind borrow?……

Experience That Matters

Ethereum is aiming at something very big- changing the world. The cryptocurrency after Bitcoin serves as a general-purpose computing platform that enables building applications on top, making possible new forms of social organization. And now Ethereum 2.0, a radical upgrade is finally allowing the network to realize its true power”, stated Robert Schwertner, CEO, Innomagic GmbH, while addressing his first experience in Europe on Ethereum 2.0 at BlockHash LIVE 2020 organized by Kerala Blockchain Academy.

According to Robert a handful of idealistic researchers, developers, and administrators in charge of maintaining its software are under increasing pressure to overcome technical glitches that stymie the network’s growth. The open-source network is fast-pacing to towards a more controllable, equitable, digital space. Robert also added that Ethereum with its new staking mechanism is getting closer to CBDC. It is anticipated to dramatically boost the system’s capacity to handle transactions without sacrificing its resilience — and substantially reduce the carbon emissions from Ethereum’s growing network of power-hungry computers.

Sowing the Seeds of Change

Blockchain is making inroads into the agricultural sector, with Genevieve Leveille, Founder and CEO Agri Ledger taking the industry to new heights. Speaking at the BlockHash LIVE 2020, Genevieve briefed how she adopted blockchain technology and explored its capacities in creating a link between producers of agricultural products and the end-user. According to her, blockchain can be effectively placed in the agri-sector for creating a frictionless environment that, in turn, enables businesses to transact directly with each other, providing real value to the growers. Explaining the architecture of Agri leger, Ms Leveille briefed the importance of the information-rich flow of data between farmers and consumers, in assuring the product quality, value, benefit and all more transparency to the business.

Dusk Till Dawn

BlockHash LIVE 2020 concluded with an interactive session by the representatives of Algorand Blockchain Foundation- Russel Fustino (Technical Evangelist, Algorand), Jason Weathersby (Senior Director, Developer Relations, Algorand), and Ryan R Fox (Developer Advocate, Algorand) discussing the protocols that are operating in the blockchain space, also the questions of adoption, social and business integration and migrating to the DLT.

To conclude,

Blockchain education is the path that leads to new promising horizons and possibilities, and mass adoption leads to mutual prosperity.

The great news is that Kerala Blockchain Academy will continue to excite blockchain enthusiasts with more innovative lectures and blockchain tutorials.

Yes, BlockHash LIVE 2021 will happen and we’ll make sure that you get gifted with the best speakers in the blockchain town to delve deep into this promising nascent technology.

We can’t wait to see you again!

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