Bitcoin, Blockchain and Donuts

Last Friday, more than 500 students came together at the VU University Amsterdam to learn about Bitcoin and Blockchain-based technologies. The event, organised by the Blockchain Student Network, gave them a general idea about the logic and inner workings of this promising technology.

Several guest speakers, directly involved at the heart of the Blockchain space, delivered a talk and interacted with the young and vibrant audience. However, there was more than Blockchain: all attendees were provided with donuts during the break!

Missed the event? Find a short summary below!

We look forward to you joining us next time! (donuts guaranteed)

Summary of the talks:
▪️ Badreddine Tazrouti, who has recently finished his thesis on the Blockchain topic, gave the audience an overview of the Bitcoin and Blockchain space. “The Blockchain maintains the Bitcoin transaction ledger. Yet, it can also be used for other types of transactions. Corporates, startups and even governments are currently experimenting with this technology.”

He finished his talk describing how “Dubai is moving toward becoming the world’s first Blockchain-powered city by 2020. Nothing but a hat off to them for setting the bar high.”

▪️ Joël Happé discussed the most important happenings in terms of the Bitcoin price since its launch. “Bitcoin’s first exchange rate? 1309 bitcoins for 1 USD in 2009. First purchase ever with bitcoin? Two pizzas for 10.000 bitcoins in 2010.”

“Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are experimental and nascent, with a lot of untested code”. Although, Joël states “there is a huge potential for Blockchain as a technology in the long run, beyond Bitcoin”.

▪️ Venkataraman Viravanallur, founder of KrypC, explained in a simplistic and non-technical way how the Blockchain functions. He emphasized the large potential of smart contracts (self-executing contracts written in computer code), and illustrated this with an example of a digital media publisher.

▪️ Combining Blockchain technology and Internet Of Things, facilitating environmental sustainability. That is what Rabobank’s Pay-Per-Use platform is about. “Low transaction costs enable consumers to pay per wash for example.” says Djuri Baars, Blockchain lead at the Rabobank. “This opens possibilities for new business models” he adds. “Why should you buy equipment if you can use it as a service instead?”

▪️ Toufic Al Rjula is a Syrian refugee whose birth certificate was destroyed during the war. “A birth certificate is the weakest link in the identity chain” he says. As an invisible man, he co-founded Tykn to tackle the issues of paper-based identity systems. “By leveraging Blockchain technology, we can bring trust, privacy and interoperability to vital records.”

Toufic and his team aim high: “there are currently 230 million children worldwide without a birth certificate. We want to have zero invisible children by 2020.”

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