Blockchain summit report: Demo day

Notes taken on phone today. Was tired from lack of sleep, so was a little grumpy in my analysis.

Event happenings

I was able to get my hands on one of the coveted “Hard fork café” tshirts. Victor Lysenko from Acronis had brought a collection of them along, and was handing them out to for free to special people. Awwww❤

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In the evening I was able to have dinner with Vitalik *swoon*
He ended up ordering a selection of dishes on behalf of the table. He did a brilliant job and managed to do it in Mandarin. (Made me realise I need to step up my Mandarin lessons).

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There were quite a few presentations delivered in Chinese today. Live translation headsets were available. I was extremely impressed with the ladies doing the live translation, they were able to handle all the technical words and kept up very well with the demos. Apparently behind the scenes they had to train themselves up by reading blog posts and researching the topic so that they understood the technical jargon.

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Demo day sessions summary

Today was demo presentations to a panel of judges, who voted on and decided the winners at the end of the day. http://www.blockchainweek2016.org/

On the negative grumpy side, there were so many similar projects (identity, stablecoins, distributed loan platform). But their were HEAPS of projects revolving around them building their own Blockchain, but never saying why their particular one is better than the existing Blockchain solutions. They always talked of the benefits of the Blockchain for business in general, but never their particular one specifically.

However on the positive side, there were many great projects that made me sit up. The most interesting ones were projects like Weifund that leverage many other existing projects on the blockchain.
Interestingly there were 17 projects that were building directly on top of the existing Ethereum Blockchain technology (both public & private) and leveraging the network effects. But strangely I didn’t see any projects building on any other existing Blockchains such as BTC or Hyperledger (beside the 2 presentations by IBM pre-demo).

Vitalik’s comment near the end of the day summed it up well for me. A lot of the demos are creating projects that aren’t really leveraging the Blockchain,  and aren’t better than the traditional version.  A lot of the solutions are also still centralized, and rely on a single company. Don’t try and create your project as a standalone solution. This is especially true with the many many identity services that are being created as new silos. Try and build something decentralised that can outlive a company and can grow.

Uport was 1st prize. Other winners were weifund, Cosmos and others I didn’t catch. I unfortunately missed uPort as I was late coming back in after the break😦

Keynotes

Keynote – IBM Hyperledger
Very very high level information. Blockchain is useful. The value of a network grows exponentially with each new node
Generic slides showing “Blockchain allows people to interact via the Blockchain”.
He said that “Companies in Silicon valley are trying Ethereum and then moving to Hyperledger in droves”, sounds a bit farfetched to me (but i am biased)

Opening speech by Sinodata
Blockchain is important for the future of business. Sinodata are building things for b2b & b2c
No details.
Other companies are looking into 1.0 & 2.0, but they are more advanced.
They are willing to share their vast experience in blockchain with other blockchain companies.
“We are the creator & users of blockchain.”

Demos

During the introduction of the judges, the MC introduces Vitalik and the crowd cheers loudly. Chinese MC: “Oh… the audience is very excited about this judge, he must be very important”

Ujo music
“Fair drm”
Music consumption is at an all time high.
If consumption is waaay up, how is it artists are still hardly earning enough to support themselves. Artists have lost control
An artist has fragmented identities on Spotify, soundcloud, discography, beatport.
Difficult to keep fans up to dates on tour days
Fan remixes on soundcloud get pulled down due to copyright infringement.
Ujo gives fans a way to pay directly to the artist
Use Ujo as their kit / digital container, to be in charge of their identity
Reach piece of content is marked with their digital ID, so it can be tied to artist.
Can set policies on fair use and creative rights

Bestowit.global
Everything changes when someone dies. Difficult time, need to find the will, usually paper based.
If no will exists, then government decides.
Difficult to know where to look for wills, no central place to look.
Succesion law hasn’t been updated in a long time, isn’t up to date in a digital world.
Created “living ledger”. Wills on the ledger.
Created a smart envelope, an iot device to put will inside and then seal and out on blockchain

Vechain
Unique ID on Blockchain
Seems “to do everything”: Id, lifecycle management, management portals. (no focus, which judges also commented on)
Has a chip you can embed into anything to tag it. Can put on clothes or a bag, every article has a unique Id

My thought: For those that like to show off their money & brands, now why just buy your avatar digital clothes to show off on social media. Instead now you can buy a Chanel bag, then you can prove on social media that you own own to show off.

Decentralized capital
Summary: it is a stable coin
They use DC capital to back tokens.
Use assets to purchase and back tokens.

Bubi Blockchain
Summary: they built their own Blockchain
Data sets data is centralized. You don’t own your own data. Your data is being monetized by other companies.
They provide Bass Blockchain as a Service.

Applications can use their Blockchain. Get data security. Finance. Etc etc
Can do loyalty points, games, etc
It is a Blockchain…
They have 20k transactions a week
“People should use our Blockchain. Will give you more opportunities and value”

DGX
A real stable coin
Digital gold. 1 DGX = 1 gram of gold
Each token is back by real gold in a vault,  fully insured. The certificate of authenticity is put into  IPFS
Is ERC20 token compatible
Introduction digix 2.0
Can log on and buy gold. Is implementing KYC (know your customer)

Me: I like it,  I tried to join the pre-sale, but sold out instantly.

Cosmos (prize winner)
Http://cosmos.network
http://tendermint.com
A network of Blockchains (Cosmos hub).
Securely communicate between the chains
Uses Tendermint (which they built)
Cosmos is a public Blockchain built on Tendermint.
Could have a number of  EVM based networks,  then put a Cosmos hub in the middle to allow them to communicate with each other.
Ethereum & Tendermint work well together.

DeVita
People waste lots of time trying to find answers on the Internet
Post bounty for answers
But bounties are posted on forums. How to enforce payment.
They created a decentralized bounty system
Can use the data of people who answer to create a CV “proof of expertise”.

EtherLoan
Problems with centralized lending platforms, include hacking and high costs.
Their solution connect distributed members with borrowers.
Lenders can send funds to smart contact to participate in a loan.
Borrower repays the loan, gets distributed to the lenders
Borrower creates a new EtherLoan. Can customise the terms. If lenders like it, they fund it. Can negotiate the interest terms
Is currently a PoC. Only supports simple loans with single repayment. Integration with unorthodox. Reputation system.
Future : compound interest. Integration with credit score & risk management systems

Qtum
Qtum.org
Yet another Blockchain? They built it on incentive PoS. Can bring regulators &  government.
They want compatibility with Bitcoin &  Ethereum.
Pluggable consensus. Public & permissioned Blockchain.
Supports EVM. EVM 2.0
Can apparently do anything that any other chain can do because you just code it in.
Support for oracles.
Integrates with  KYC/AML
Can run zcash in here.
“does everything”

Vitalik gave A LOT of feedback after the talk for it trying to do too much with no focus.

Benefactory
Like a next gen The DAO,  but the funds are for non profits?
Platform for distributed organisations.
Pooling funds is hard
Let individuals decide how to use their own funds
Commonwealths are distributed non-profit organisations.
What problems should you propose to solve to achieve a commonwealth objectives (and get funding)

Zhong Tou Bang
Lots of pollution and health issues in China
Most Chinese people don’t have health insurance
Health insurance of on Blockchain
Problems of privacy,  how to protect it.
User identity

Trusted key
Secure trusted identify
Online id systems don’t attest to a real world identify.
Currently each online service (e.g. Airbnb) had their own verified user system which is not transferable.
Using identity documents like drivers licence. Take photo of documents, take a selfish.  Submit it. Once verified the proof is attached to identify.
Can later provide proof the parts of the proof you want to share (name, age, gender
Can then later cryptographically sign documents, like bank documents with your digital signature

Coral legacy
Creating a direct link from various to consumers. For wine.
For $100 you can purchase a grape vine at a vineyard. You get the wine created from that vine.
The vine is tokenism on the Blockchain. Your wine is in Blockchain, tied to your vine. Date, history,  etc.
Vine is $100. Administration is $10 / year. To make and record the wine is $30 / year

B8
https://eth-b8.com
Location based  Blockchain service
Organiser can drop a prize anywhere (geocache ?)
People gather around a prize, one enough people have gathered, prize is distributed.
Encourage people to gather at a point for an event eg. Mall opening
Simple command line,  put geo coords, number of people required to trigger, and total amount of ETH to distribute.
Can try and counter GPS spoofing by using GPS & beacons. While also tracking user to detect anomalies, like jumping from USA to China in 5 minutes

Judges (and attendees) were more interested in the anti-GPS spoofing technology, than their blockchain Dapp

BioT. Blockchain IoT
Like Slock.It
IoT device with a light client that can connect to the Blockchain
Can send ether to trigger the IoT device (like a vending machine, or smart meter).
Can have a mobile SIM in it.

Weifund (prize winner)
Http://weifund.io
Nick Dodson
Make crowd funding an easy and simple thing to do. Decentralised kickstarter
Crowdsales are not an easy thing to code yourself in a smart contact. They have put a lot of effort into security in their solution.
They will have many types of campaigns, like presales.
Supports many types of currencies.
Is built fully decentralised, distributed via IPFS.
Uses Metamask & uPort for identity

Fluent
Http://fluent.network
Platform for financial operating network for global trade. Very enterprisey.

Token
http://token.im
Chinese Blockchain startup
Digital wallet, mobile app. “digital assets wallet”
Light wallet.
Looks very clean and slick. Trade tokens,  use Dapps.
Alipay app is popular here in China. They hope to be as popular for digital. Built a Ethfans &  carbon vote integration

Token factory
http://thetokenfactory.com/
Create something that would allow people to experiment. Make easy to create and distribute your own token.
Issue any token on any Ethereum network
Simple wallet interface. Follows the token ERC20 standard
Works with Metamask uPort Mist my ether wallet

Stabl Coin
http://stabl.money
Literally just another stable coin

Alta apps
Another Blockchain with their own platform

Hyperchain
Another Blockchain
Other Blockchains take too long to confirm. Bitcoin can take an hour
Theirs is better because of lower block time

ANX international
Abs Blockchain services. Provide Blockchain services. Have their own platform.
Provide a white labelling service of wallets,  tokens

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