Blockchain is a comparatively young technology, a “new kid on the block”: Since 2009, the development of Blockchain-related applications (“Smart Contracts”) have made decentralised transactions possible through the use of cryptographic functions such as Trusted Computing. Say what?

Simply put: Imagine Blockchain as a container, in which anyone can store information for making exchange processes of any kind transparent or for identifying themselves. In this way, the service providers/intermediaries who, until now, carried out the authentication can potentially be replaced technologically. Although “decentralised” has historically always been better on the web: Can DAOs (Decentralised Autonomous Organisations) really live up to all the hopes that are being laid at their feet from so many different sections of society, to the extent that it even moves beyond political allegiances?  

We want to use this year’s “Blockchain” topic to focus on the developments that the Blockchain technology has made. When dealing with possible and current fields of application, you encounter a wild mix of euphoria, cypherpunk and the iconisation of technological solutionism.  

Ask the developers and enthusiasts, and you’ll hear that transactions on Blockchain are faster, cheaper and, at least mathematically, “safer” than IRL. The straight peer-to-peer communication allows for the exchange of information without any institutions. Does this mean we’ve got a shift from top-down organisations to bottom-up cooperation in store? Are we dealing with a utopia or are we headed towards a cybernetic disaster? And what concrete environmental and societal effects is Blockchain already having today? Blockchain has a special advantage when dealing with non-physical goods, such as music, digital artworks or energy. What role can it therefore play in collective ownership or in the energy revolution? And is crypto really the answer to the problems of our democracies or will the externalisation of exchange processes in technology lead to an intensification of “surveillance capitalism”?

We’ve already prepared a detailed, basic introduction to Blockchain for you here. And for the one's who understand German, our friends over at Netzpolitik currently have an exciting, three-part interview series running on the technology: part 1 and part 2.

We will be discussing applications of Blockhain in the Finance sector in our FinTech-Topic at #rp18.

supported by T-Labs

T-Labs
  • re:publica
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    In the upcoming IoT era, humans and machines do need to have secure and trustworthy digital identities. Only then data and values can be transferred reliably. This means that the modeling and handling of data and tokens needs to reach higher levels of security and transparency as well as respect for data privacy. Blockchain-enabled systems can achieve all of that, and on top automated data and value transfer. This will enable very efficient processes that use digital twins, trusted machine or sensor data, smart contracts and trustworthy identities to settle them.

    [Partnersession]
  • re:publica
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    Having in mind the enterprise mission, but also considering the social impact of new technologies in various fields, generates a paradigm shift. The role of enterprise shifts towards being a social enabler, contributor and partner for sustainable social development.
  • Business & Innovation
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    Venue is the German Museum of Technology Berlin, Trebbiner Str. 9, 10963 Berlin - in the immediate vicinity of re:publica 2018. Access is free with a regular re:publica 18 ticket.
    Admission based on: First Come, first serve!
  • Business & Innovation
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    Venue is the German Museum of Technology Berlin, Trebbiner Str. 9, 10963 Berlin - in the immediate vicinity of re:publica 2018. Access is free with a regular re:publica 18 ticket.
    Admission based on: First Come, first serve!
  • Arts & Culture
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    Can Blockchain be a potential gamechanger for the global underground of future music makers all around the world?
  • Politics & Society
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    Against the backdrop of more than one billion people lacking legal proof of identity, we want to bring together technologists and development experts to single out a common vision on how blockchain-powered identification systems need to be designed to leave no one behind. You are invited to develop concrete ideas around use cases of self-sovereign identity in collaboration with GIZ and other experts.
  • Business & Innovation
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    How blockchain technologies could impact film, TV, digital media and gaming sectors? Let’s take the time to illustrate through a series of projects in development, what does this “Internet of value” mean in terms of IP, DRM, collaboration, distribution, monetization, royalties and investments recoupment. A presentation, with a Canadian point of view: case studies from Canada, the Canadian media and blockchain ecosystem and some tips and advice on how collaborate and coproduce with Canadian creators.
  • Politics & Society
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    Das exponentielle Wachstum an Aufmerksamkeit und Investitionen in Blockchain Technologie erzeugt nicht zuletzt einen Bedarf an politischer Diskussion und Einordnung. Mit dem Ziel einen politisch neutralen und innovationsfreundlichen Dialog zu ermöglichen, hat sich 2017 der Blockchain Bundesverband gegründet. Die PanelistInnen werden ihre Erfahrungen aus dem ersten Jahr Bundesblock teilen und dabei vor allem auf die gesellschaftliche Relevanz, Initial Coin Offerings und Sicherheitsaspekte der Technologie eingehen.
  • Mobility & City
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    Blockchain ist derzeit allgegenwärtig. Doch auch wenn der anhaltende Hype um diese Technologie es oft in Vergessenheit geraten lässt: Blockchain ist kein Allheilmittel, sondern ein äußerst komplexer und bisweilen noch höchst energieintensiver Ansatz, dessen zweifelsohne herausragende Vorteile nur in passenden Anwendungsfällen zum Tragen kommen.

    [Partnersession]
  • Arts & Culture
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    How cultural projects, cultural organizations and funding are organized via decentralized technologies:
    While most people appreciate the outcomes of cultural production, both the modes of production and its organizational structures are largely ignored. The present bureaucratic system of labels, distribution services and cultural organizations make it difficult for producers to efficiently connect with their audience and build a livelihood. This panel explores in what ways decentralized technologies might help lowering the barriers to funding, communication and sales.
  • Science & Technology
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    Blockchain technology will reduce transaction costs in the energy sector, enable active participation of a larger number of market participants (consumers and devices) and, as a consequence, accelerate the transition towards a cleaner, more resilient, and more cost effective system.
    The EWF, through its Energy Web Platform, is developing a public standard platform that ensures interoperability, reduces costs and complexity and aligns currently dispersed blockchain initiatives.
  • Research & Education
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    Die Grenze des Möglichen – oder; Können Programme Wälder verwalten, Naturschutz betreiben und Eigentum besitzen? Blockchain basierte Technologien wie Smart Contracts, Tokens und Decentralized Autonomous Organisations (DAO) schaffen neue Infrastruktur und sind beispielsweise in der Lage die Verwaltung von Ressourcen zu übernehmen. Mit den Technologien kommen auch neue ökonomisch-ökologische und ethische Fragen, auf die eine klare Positionierung erfordern.
    Das interdisziplinäre Forschungsprojekt terra1 untersucht, inwiefern dezentrale Technologien das Potenzial haben neue Formen der Forstwirtschaft zu ermöglichen. Ziel ist, neben einer transparenten und nachhaltigen Bewirtschaftung von Wäldern, durch kollaborative Entscheidungsmechanismen
    Bürgerinnen und Bürger partizipativ in den aktuellen Diskurs rund um eine umweltbewusste Forstindustrie einzubinden.