Innovating through Blockchain

Benjamin Shirazi Written by Benjamin Shirazi
Published on 06 June 2018
3 min. read

On 8th May 2018, over 60 innovators attended our “Innovating Through Blockchain” event to discover how this new technology will radically transform both STEM and the business landscape.

The first speaker, Haydn Jones, gave an incisive twenty-minute overview of blockchain.  Drawing from his extensive career and his experience as CEO of the Blockchain Hub, Haydn explained that although blockchain was first developed to create a digital currency, the underlying protocol allows untrusting entities to share any form of data securely with each other.  He charted the exponential growth of cryptocurrency, starting with Nakamoto’ seminal white paper in 2008 which laid out the bitcoin protocol and eventually led to next generation platforms and smart contracts.  He went on to describe how these new technologies have a wide variety of potential applications across STEM.

Blockchain in healthcare was the subject of the next speaker, Abdullah Albeyatti. He discussed how his successful start-up, Medicalchain, was aiming to transform the way patient health data is managed.  He hoped to provide a means for patients to allow third parties to access to their data in a secure, auditable and transparent way.  He also gave valuable insight into the ICO (Initial Coin Offering) process.  He weighed the difficulty faced by investors in distinguishing between authentic and insincere projects, against the relative ease with which they could support new innovate enterprises.

Offering a more academic perspective, Associate Professor Gavin Brown rounded off the keynote speeches.  He explored the past, present and future of blockchain technology and currency itself, without ever getting bogged down in heavy technical detail, and described how “tokenisation” could impact the future economy.  This included the transformative power of microtransactions, which could revolutionise payments in developing countries, as well as being implemented into the internet of things with real-time payments.

The audience then had an opportunity to engage directly with the keynote speakers, who were joined by Tony Xhufi representing Energimine, Richard Banach from the University of Manchester and Joshua Riddett from Easy Crypto Hunter.  There was  a lively and engaging panel discussion. Attendees then gathered outside the lecture hall and had the opportunity to network and ask more probing questions of our speakers and panellists.

The Innovation Forum was proud to offer this engaging event and would like to offer a special thanks to Easy Crypto Hunter who helped contribute towards the cost of refreshments.

We are looking to build on this successful event by expanding our team.  If you are interested in the cutting edge of science and building bridges between industry, academia and Government, please do not hesitate to get in touch and find out more!

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