BCTvol3 – AI, philanthropy and much more

The diversity of blockchain applications in one evening

By Oana Dumitru

2018 started off great for Blockchaintalks! Already at its 3rd conference and scaling up with this edition being organized consequently in 2 Dutch cities. First was Amsterdam, with its large and loyal blockchain community selling out the tickets as usual for our conferences. And next day, it was the turn of all the blockchain enthusiasts, experts and entrepreneurs from The Hague to benefit of the same lineup of Blockchaintalks volume 3.
Despite similar events focusing on the great financial gains in the crypto space (how about those last few “red” days!?), Blockchaintalks keeps the ambition to focus on #blockchain4good as we select projects that inspire and generate productive discussions on how the technology can be used for the common good.

Flow of the evening
The evening started with potentially the most intriguing topic: is there a new way to achieve consensus on a decentralized network? Apparently, there is something even more disruptive than the current consensus algorithms used by blockchain applications – the Hashgraph – called by its’ creators “the future of blockchain”.
Paul Madsen from Hashgraph started his presentation with a question “how can we allow for a community of people that do not trust each other to reach an agreement?” and then continued by describing the various types of consensus algorithms that exist and that can solve that challenge:
• Leader-based consensus on recent transactions is chosen by an elected member unilaterally choosing consensus on recent transactions;
proof of work allows for the member that wins a race to complete a math puzzle to choose transaction consensus;
proof of stake in which the amount that each node has of some coin influences consensus by either selecting the node to write the block or who gets to vote;
• voting based – which lets multiple members of the community to make proposals while other vote for preferences on transactions consensus.

Each of these consensus algorithms have advantages and disadvantages with one of the largest set-backs being scalability and speed of processing transactions. Hashgraph is solving that by bringing all the advantages of voting, without its disadvantages and it does that through virtual voting and “gossip about gossip”. Basically, it allows for the nodes in the network to determine what other nodes know about a given transaction and so they can vote based on that information. Looking forward to hear more about scalable applications built on the Hashgraph.

The next speaker, Chris R. Dawe the Project Lead of Effect.ai had a very informal presentation describing the path that lead them to come up with a decentralized network for AI built on the NEO platform. Coming straight from the office and doing long working hours in preparation to raise funds for the project, Chris described how the current AI environment is dominated by large players controlling the platforms where developers use to train their AI models. Effect.ai is set to change that, first by decentralizing the network and opening the data stream to anybody; secondly by building a decentralized marketplace where people can buy and sell AI services and lastly by fully distributing and decentralizing the computational power of AI. Eventually, this will run popular deep-learning frameworks.

In the next session, speakers were surprised not just by the a philanthropy use case of blockchain presented by Arnaud Saint Paul, but also by a live game that engaged the whole audience in the room. The GIVE project is aiming to empower children in South-East Asia to experience the benefits of giving and thus also gaining financial literacy at the same time. Built on the blockchain, this project will impact 10k children and will eventually give 1 billion dollars in the next 10 years. And to taste a bit of how children will learn about the experience of giving financial assets, the Blockchaintalks audience also played with GIVE currencies giving the lucky winners VIP tickets to the next event!

After the networking break, the conference continued full-force with another blockchain-for-good project. Raphael Mazet from Alice.si presented their usecase of blockchain supporting to increase transparency to social funding. Through smart contracts empowered by Ethereum network, Alice is a social fund and impact platform incentivizing charities or NGOs to run projects more transparently, scale up their funding and thus have a bigger social impact. The project starts by building a framework of impact data, supporting investors to better identify the social organizations that are most effective, invest in them and eventually allow for these charities to grow.

Next in line, was the young Chris van Maarseveen, representing Komodo, one of the main partners of Blockchaintalks conference. By offering blockchain tools, support, and services, Komodo helps developers of any level and any industry to rapidly deploy their solutions. In his presentation, Chris focused on the Komodo decentralized exchange platform described how using atomic swaps to power up their platform is a key differentiator to what might seem as similar decentralized exchanges. The Komodo atomic-swap powered decentralized exchange is serving not only the investor, but also the blockchain entrepreneur.

Last but not least, Ayoub Fakir of Peculium, brought back the discussion to AI and presented their ambitious project to predict crypto currencies price evolutions and support individuals and companies to automatize their investments based on the most efficient gains. While answering the challenging and constructive questions from the audience, Ayup brought somewhat more light into the mechanisms that will make up AIEVE, their AI solution act as an advisor for investors.

The evening ended with a networking slot, allowing participants to approach the speakers and challenge, discuss and propose solutions to their projects.
Watch the live stream of our 3rd event here and stay tuned for our next conference on https://blockchaintalks.io/!

Photo’s of the event