Words by Tina Götschi
Posted 4 months ago

The first Ada Blockchain Conference was held in April, our Head of Computer Science reflects on the day.

At Ada, the National College for Digital Skills, we want to empower our students to contribute to shaping our world.  Blockchain technologies have a huge potential impact on ways of doing business and society as whole - we want to prepare our students for that future. They should understand blockchain technologies, think critically about their limitations and dream about the problems blockchain technologies could help solve.

On Sat 21 and Sun 22 April we host our first ever #AdaBlockchain conference.

IBMers Sam Winslet and Joe Payne kicked us off with a great keynote titled “How to rob a bank” and got attendees thinking about the numbers involved in blockchain technologies and why this is a technology that everyone in digital should know about.

Tyler Welmans of Deloitte introduced us to many uses for blockchain including Cryptokitties (yes, really!)

We had a wide variety of speakers and topics over the two days and, despite competing with the best summer weather we’ve had in London all year,  we hosted a really successful buzzy event that we are sure to repeat next year on a rainy and cold weekend!


Here are the speakers and topics that were covered:

Dianna Kyles, King's College London: Can blockchain save the world?

A non-technical take on debunking current myths (and use-cases) of blockchain through the consideration of: input data (IoT), permissioned access, shifting power structures via cryptographic proofs, the real opportunities for smart contracts and (of course) taxes on tokens.

Simona Pop -  Bounties Network, a ConsenSys formation: Collaboration 2.0: The Future of Work in on the Blockchain

How blockchain is transforming the way we work, collaborate on projects and get paid. Run through some practical applications active now and attendees can get setup on Bounties Network, contribute to a live bounty and get paid in ETH- a great practical way to interact with the technology

Fiona Delaney: What's a blockchain? How many are there? How do I chose one for my project?

Lab session - Exploring open source blockchain software and determining evaluation criteria

Linda Ilonze: Introduction to Blockchain

30 min talk with Q&A

Anna Poberezhna & Hugh Halford-Thompson: Blockchain in Action

Hugh discussed how blockchain can be used for gas trading and Anna covered how supply chains can be efficiently managed using blockchain.

Fiona Delaney: 'Why should I believe you?'

Who do consumers trust to get the information that's important to them about the products they buy? What role do distributed technologies, including blockchain, play in 21st Century consumer trust relations?

*This is an interactive session involving group work and agile methodologies: persona and use case development from user centred design.

Rachel Black: "Hands on intro to smart contracts"

Smart contract mini workshop. Get your hands dirty writing an ethereum smart contract.

Ruth Catlow: "Artists on the Blockchain"

We will explore how artists are working with the blockchain, smart contracts, and cryptocurrency systems like Ethereum to explore how the world is changed by these new technologies. Artworks take the form of a self-owning forest with ideas of expansion; a self-replicating android flower; a crypto-mining rig that runs on human breath; a clicker game, that mines clicks; and a wind-turbine that runs a computer to generate cryptocurrency for climate change research.

Yi Jean Chow: Blockchain in the energy sector

How we can use blockchain in the energy sector to enable peer-to-peer energy trading

Ben Byford: Positives & pitfalls

How decentralised is blockchain, how hackable is it, how efficient is it and should we care?

Nabila M. Iquebal: Legal and Regulatory challenges of bitcoin

An analysis of the main legal issues and risks bitcoin is currently facing, as well as the government's approach in order regulate bitcoin.

Rob Sollars: Build a blockchain in python

A workshop to explore the technical implementation of a simple blockchain. Participants will get to add to a centralised blockchain and write code to validate the contents of the chain.

Tee Ganbold, ConsenSys: Data regulation in the post Facebook era: the role of blockchain

With GDPR a month away and the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica scandal forcing the US to consider more progressive data regulation, now is the time to consider the role of blockchain in a decentralised data economy. This talk will consider the past and present of data regulation in the US and EU, and look forward to what is coming next

Hristian Daskalov

Application of Blockchain Technology in Learning & Development - Is the Future of Education and Career Development on the Distributed Ledger?

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