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Event Recap: Workshop Digital Identity & Mobility

On October 30th we, the team of Blockchain HELIX, organized the first workshop on Digital Identity & Mobility. The event took place in our office, which is also the home of the FinTech Headquarter community. Most of the guests came from the automotive industry, but it was still a gathering with various backgrounds. Amongst the guests were automotive suppliers, developers with an interest in blockchain technology and innovation consultants from auditing companies.

Yet, all the guests had one thing in common: a keen interest in innovative concepts for the future of mobility. On one hand, the guests were hoping for insights into our Digital Identity solution, helix id. It uses blockchain technology to provide the individual, corporation or machine with a highly secure Digital Identity. This enables new opportunities for digitizing and automating mobility.

On the other hand, Oliver Naegele, founder of Blockchain HELIX and with many years of experience in the field of Digital Identity, shared his knowledge and opinion on blockchain topics and Digital Identity for mobility. If you have the image of a founder, who holds a monologue on his subject for hours, you are wrong. The workshop was designed to be interactive, so that every guest had the chance to ask his or her questions and contribute to the discussion.

Blockchain — from hype to purpose

After Oliver referred to our house rules, the event began with an assessment of the current state of blockchain technology.

The FTHQ house rules.

Even the guests, who had only marginally dealt with the new technology, knew about its immense hype at the beginning of 2017. At that time, the Bitcoin price — Blockchain’s first use case — skyrocketed and so did the media attention. The cryptocurrency’s underlying technology soon rose in popularity and was propagated as a “universal remedy” for many modern problems.

Intermediaries were supposed to become obsolete, whole value chains should become much more effective and secure. The hopes and expectations were high, sometimes even utopian.

The first hype quickly diminished, it became clear that blockchains were not suitable for every use case. For this, Oliver referred to the Gartner hype cycle, which describes the degree of public attention whenever a new technology is introduced.

The Gartner hype cycle. Source: Wikipedia.

Thus, the hype reached its peak phase in 2017, with 2018 being the year of disillusionment. According to Oliver, 2019 constitutes the year in which the point of productivity has been reached, the tipping point where blockchain technology finds suitable use cases. One of them is identity management.

Furthermore, current topics such as Facebook’s Libra, the digital Euro and the planned digital currency of the Chinese Central Bank were discussed. The guests gained a good impression of the state of blockchain technology. The fact that the technology has arrived in the mainstream found general approval among the guests.

helix id and mobility

The workshop’s goal was to discuss the possibilities of secure Digital Identities for the future of mobility. Currently, the mobility sector is facing major changes. As one guest remarked, it used to be quite common for young adults to buy their own car. Today, however, less and less young adults own a car; they switch to car sharing services or use other means of transport. This trend will continue, which is why traditional car manufacturers have to rethink their strategy. Mobility concepts will become more digital, more user-friendly and more automated.

As an introduction to the topic, Oliver and our COO, Alex Rockstroh, showcased the Mobility Blockchain Platform, a project in cooperation with Daimler and three other startups. The aim of the project is to offer a platform for end-to-end mobility solutions. It is designed to be a neutral and open ecosystem where other mobility providers are also able to offer their services or products. The idea of partnership and open ecosystems is an essential component of the Mobility Blockchain Platform and stands in contrast to the centralized and isolated solutions we see nowadays.

Showcase of the helix id and the Mobility Blockchain Platform. Source: Youtube.

Of course, the guests were also curious about the role of helix id in the project. For example, the question came up as to how helix id represents the changes of a person’s identity attributes. Because a blockchain stores data unchangeably and potentially for a long time. Alex replied that helix id avoids this problem by storing the personal data off-chain, i.e. not on the blockchain directly.

The only data you can find on the helix id blockchain are the cross sums and some additional information, which unambiguously verify the data. Thus, personal data is stored both GDPR compliant and changeably.

There were also questions about the future of blockchain technology. One of them referred to the emergence of quantum computers and the danger they pose to cryptographic processes. The immensely improved computing power of quantum technology is supposed to decrypt cryptographic standards which are considered to be secure. That would endanger the integrity of the data on the blockchain.

As Oliver noted, the development of quantum technology should be observed, but cryptographic processes are going to evolve as well. The new standards can be then integrated into the helix id blockchain.

At the end of the event, all guests were invited to a networking round. Additional questions could be addressed directly to Oliver and Alex.

We thank all the guests for their appearance. It was a pleasant and informative evening for all of us.

See you at the next workshop!

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helix id Team

helix id Team

Our vision is to provide a verified Digital Identity to every European citizen. Pioneer spirit and Blockchain technology make it possible!

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