The Blockchain – conference report
This is a guest post by Joseph Kim, who received a sponsored ticket to attend the The Blockchain NZ Conference during Techweek 2017.
Initially, I didn’t know a great deal about what this ‘blockchain’ was about. I had a quick look around online and saw it had a link between technology and a broad range of fields (from medical fields, agriculture, law, finance, and practically most fields). Knowing little about the subject matter, I was hoping to benefit from this experience by finding out what exactly blockchain is, and how it can benefit our future.
In session one we were introduced to what blockchain and smart contracts are. Blockchain is ultimately a digital, and chronological record of all cryptocurrency transactions, so that it can prove to be a timestamp. Furthermore, the blockchain runs as a decentralised (so the record stays synchronised and tamper-proof) system, transparent (so its public), immutable (the data is secure and ultimately tamper proof). The key characteristics of a blockchain justifies the immense excitement it is generating and showcases potential to be a big part of the future. Consequently, smart contracts can be built on the blockchain to fulfil its purpose of validation and enforcement of contracts autonomously whilst being secure and tamper-proof.
Based off these ideas, countless speakers were invited to talk each about their involvement with their possible upcoming agenda. The great number of seminars included but were not limited to lawyers talking about how smart contracts will influence their current legal practices, cryptocurrency (such as Bitcoin) influencing the future of money, how the medical field could be revolutionised using blockchain, and how the blockchain could disrupt current business models.
Throughout the course of the seminar-packed two days, there were intervals every two to three hours that provided enough time to meet fellow attendees and network. Although, it was impossible to meet and network with everyone there, I met a diverse range of people (from a doctor, self-employed, an engineer, to private investors). It was very interesting to see so many people from different backgrounds share a common interest in blockchain and how it could impact them. Furthermore, numerous attendees shared a common opinion that cryptocurrency could be the future, which prompted me to research more on that topic so I wouldn’t get lost in the conversations.
Overall, through this eye-opening and awesome experience I was able to gain awareness of how blockchains may potentially be a game-changer for many of our current practices. Additionally, the full-on two days created an exciting atmosphere for those sharing a common interest in blockchains and cryptocurrency, to network and get excited about the future together.
I would like to thank you once again for giving me the opportunity to attend this once in a lifetime experience.