Explaining Ethereum while at EDCON
In Paris this year, the EDCON 2017 took place where a dedicated community met for a new technological revolution. Roland Kofler representing IBC, was there and took the opportunity to write a brief introduction on smart contracts and Ethereum technology for a broader audience.
Around 400 participants from Europe and all over the world came together at the European Ethereum Developer conference. Participants included hackers, entrepreneurs, scientists as well as investors, eager to learn about the latest, cutting edge developments in the Blockchain ecosystem. Originating from the discovery of Bitcoin, this technology has grown rapidly over the last two years. Ethereum is currently the most advanced Blockchain technology available.
Blockchain a technical solution for a social problem
Today, Blockchain is a technological solution for a social problem
How can (1) independent parties (2) agree on future interpretations of arrangements (3) in a trustful way?
The historic way to solve this problem was to to develop an agreement, a contract, that was then backed up by institutions that implemented a contractual law. The blockchain works a little differently in this situation by making use of “Smart Contracts”. These contracts are simply computer protocols, that can verify or enforce an agreement. This is then stored on the blockchain which serves as a digitized ledger of sorts. The main goal of these smart contracts is to allow people to do business with strangers without having to go through the aforementioned institutions which implement contractual laws.
Use cases for certain code
Stephan Karpischek presented such a use case at the EDCON 2017. Parametric Insurances. This type of insurance pays out when a certain criteria has been fulfilled which makes it immune and independent to complicated evaluations on insurance claims. A simple example would be that if there would be no rain for a month, an insured farmer would be eligible for payment. Stephan’s Startup Etherisc, is planning on reducing the cost barriers of parametric insurance schemes by making use of Smart Contracts. This technology has the potential to sharply reduce the costs and financial losses involved during droughts in developing countries. More information can be found in the presentation itself: Decentralized Insurance Applications.pdf
Political scientist Louis Margot-Duclot is also hard at work on a startup, based on blockchain tech that can be implemented in public services. During a pre-conference presentation, Margot-Duclot presented a solution for a blockchain based UNO. With the Project UNO 2.0, he participated in the competition “New Shape Price” from Swedish Billionaire László Szombatfalvy
A young discipline in search of its form
Vitalik Buterin, founder of Ethereum spoke about the newly developing discipline of Cryptoeconomics Introduction to Cryptoeconomics. Many of the presentations were based on advanced topics that were difficult to understand even for more advanced users, since this current technological revolution and the theory behind it, is only just starting to emerge.
Jeff Coleman from Ledger Labs, gained attention from his idea that Smart Contracts may not even need to be executed, they simply need to show that they can be executed at any time and all parties involved stick to this agreement.
More information can the conference can be found here