Jan Christoph Ebersbach of CHAINSTEP, together with Leutrim Mustafa and Noah Winneberger, who represent the MINDCHAINS team, gave a premiere lecture on the “Last Mile” demonstrator during this year’s Techcamp in Hamburg on 5 April. Especially a live demonstration convinced, besides a detailed technical description, with a self-propelled truck and blockchain transactions via touch screen. The aim of the demonstrator presented was the safe and transparent delivery of parcels, even on the “last mile”. This was achieved by combining NFC data, which confirms the current position of the package, and a blockchain, which then stores and uses the data transparently and unchangeably for all partners involved.

Here are some pictures of the event and the video of the presentation (german language) – the demonstrator can be seen from minute 28:18. The second video (1:38 Min) shows the demonstrator including english explanation text.

 

Mid of November 2017 the “Innovationsforum Blockchain” congress took place at the Dockland in the Habour of Hamburg. A detailed report on the event you find on the website of the project, which is funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. The videos of the talks you can watch here on the related YouTube channel.

“Special guest” of the congress: William Mougayar. He is said to be one of the most prominent masterminds of the digital change and has more than 30 years experience in the technology industry. Since a couple of years William focusses on the use of blockchain technology and  with “The Business Blockchain” he published one of the most important publications when it comes to the deployment of blockchain, smart contracts and crypto economics in businesses. At the end of the congress each of the congress participants received one signed copy of the bestseller.

Besides listening to his keynote (here you finde the slides) we had the opportunity to discuss some customer projects with William and Dr. Philipp Giese could interview him for BTC-Echo.

 

Already for the sixth times EECC – a joint venture by GS1 Germany, Deutsche Post DHL and METRO Group – invited to their annual “Innovation Day”. In this year the exploitation of blockchain in combination with RFID technology was one of the highlights.

After an entertaining introduction talk of Conrad von Bonin, MD of EECC, Benjamin Brüser. well-known as one of the co-founders of “Emmas Enkel” (later sold to METRO Group) gave some interesting insights on “Trends and Innovations in Digital Trade”. Last presenter was Frank Bolten, he explained with his talk “Blockchain: Game Changer for Supply Chain Management” some of the magnifold opportunities of the technology.

After this the live presentations started. Among others a showcase for predictive maintanance, which had been prepared by the developers of EECC with the support of CHAINSTEP, was shown. In this showcase a harddisk could be bought inclusive two optional extra features:

– control on the contractual agreed upon maximum run time of the harddisk

– monitoring of the surrounding temperature

In the setup RFID technology inclusive sensors was used (a special role played the unique UHF-RFID sensor technology). E.g.: when the temperature overexceeded an agreed upon maximum value, a message was sent via a smart contract e.g. to a smartphone app.

The audience was obviously impressed about the by blockchain and smart contracts automatically executed agreements and discussed the possible further uses. One often picked example: control of the cool chain in transport logistics.

Here you find a video demonstrating the show case:

Together Prof. Dr. Philipp Sandner, Head of the Frankfurt School Blockchain Center, CHAISNTEP executed a webinar with the title “Blockchain in Supply Chain / Transport Logistics”. After a brief introduction into blockchain technology, smart contracts and an explanation about the difference between “public” and “enterprise” blockchain some examples of the most important blockchain based projects in transport logistic and supply chain manangement where explained. Especially the areas of platforms, consortia and additive manufacturing where highlighted.

Here you find a YouTube linkand below there ist the presentation which has been shown.

At the end of June, the “Innovationsforum Blockchain” sponsored by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research presented itself for the first time with an evening event on “Blockchain and Banking”. The evening was moderated by Frank Bolten, CHAINSTEP Managing Partner. In the premises of the lawyer and tax advisory firm CMS Hasche Sigle in Hamburg, nearly 80 interested persons had gathered. The evening was opened by Dr. Jan C. Rode, project manager at the Innovationsforum and CHAINSTEP Marketing Manager, before Bolten took over the moderation.

Moritz Gerdes from Comdirect Bank gave a talk on blockchain-based innovations and future scenarios for the financial sector. Comdirekt itself works on a blockchain use case for peer-to-peer trading of CFDs with risk limitation. Participants can issue financial contracts themselves and act directly without an intermediary. The first test ran on Ethereum, which proved to be not yet perfomant enough for this case, the second series of tests will be handled by the Linux and IBM supported Hyperledger blockchain. “Due to its special characteristics, the blockchain technology is predestined for use in the financial sector. In theory, the improved security architecture could simplify operational processes, but some regulatory hurdles still need to be overcome “, summarized the Innovation Manager.

Dr. Jörn Heckmann, host for the evening and senior associate at CMS, spoke about smart contracts. This does not include contracts in the proper sense, but automatically and previously unstoppable programs, which, however, can lead to legal consequences (eg if the leasing company blocks the ignition in the case of ubpaid leasing leases for the car). Here, the contractors act as both judicial and executive power (in the event of a loss) – something which we deliberately separate in our society and gives a first glimpse of possible regulation within the blockchain world. “However, Smart Contracts are the logical next step in a world where contracts are digitized and automated,” says Heckmann.

Prof. Dr. Philipp Sandner is the head of the Frankfurt School Blockchain Center at the Frankfurt School of Finance & Management. In his talk he reviewed the efficiency of our current payment system in comparison to the increasingly popular blockchain technology. In Initial Coin Offerings (ICO), startups take ever higher and higher sums – in part only for concepts and not even for functioning prototypes. “Nevertheless, banks and other intermediaries have to think about their business model if they want to remain part of the development,” said the blockchain expert.

The event was rounded off by a short panel with moderator Bolten and all three guests, before the buffet and networking were opened after just 2.5 hours. Here you can read the report of the Innovationsforum (including videos of the lectures).

At the second day of CeBIT 2017 the first “CeBIT Blockchain Summit” took place. The full day, fee-based, event was very well visited (around 140 tickets sold according to the organisers) and the structure of the international audience varied: some visitors were quite well experienced, others still seeking for a first base understanding what blockchain makes so powerful. It is somehow logical that this diverse knowledge level among the audience members must have been a challenge for the organisers to find the right setup for the summit.

To my mind for the future there is some room for improvement when it comes to a proper structure. It would be beneficial to divide the event into some logical segments like “basics”, “technology” and “business” or so. But besides this the summit was a success. The CeBIT team provided a nice speaker lineup with great talks (among others: Meinhard Benn from Satoshi Pay, Sven Laepple from Astratum or Fabian Vogelsteller from Ethereum), the feedback from the visitors was impressive. I look forward how this format will be developed at CeBIT.

Talking of CeBIT development: on the day following the summit Oliver Frese, head of CeBIT, announced a radically changed CeBIT concept from 2018 onwards: a mixture of business, conference and festival – no longer in March, but in June. Please see the official announcement here. It will be interesting to witness, how this new concept evolves. And what roll blockchain technology will play.

Attached you find some impressions from the summit as well as from the press announcement for CeBIT2018. Last not least there is a link to my CeBIT Blockchain Summit 2017 presentation “Blockchain in Business: Technology Overview and Current Projects.” on Slideshare.

 

 

 

“Blockchain technology has the potential to revolutionise the energy system.” Using this quote from Süddeutsche Zeitung the Germany Energy Agency dena invited to participate at the dialogue forum “Blockchain – new opportunities for the energy market” to Berlin´ Novotel on the 1st of March 2017. Almost one hundred guests followed this invitation and experienced a day full of information as well as interesting discussions around blockchain technologies.

After some welcome words by Andreas Kuhlmann, Chairman of the dena executive board, and by Dr. Wolfgang Langen from BMWi, Philipp Richard, project director at dena, explained about the agenda of the day and how this dialogue forum fits into the dgitization projects of dena.

Afterwards I had the pleasure to hold some introduction presentation to blockchain (please find the link to the presentation below). A brief Q+A session next to my presentation was a good indicator that a reasonable share of the participants already had digged into the “blockchain space”.

Following there was an interesting panel discussion among a couple of energy market experts. Tobias Frederico from Energy Brainpool brought a distinctive aspect into play: “Blockchain can make the energy transition more reliable.” And Kirsten Hasberg, Co-Founder of StromDAO.de, made an interesting comparism between early promotors of Renewable Energy and Blockchain.

Christoph Burger, Senior Lecturer / Senior Associate Dean of Executive Education ESMT Berlin, was next with his talk about “Business fields for blockchain in the energy sector”. Clear statement: the focus for the development of blockchain-based applications should be on process optimization and on platforms.

Before the coffee break a workshop part was conducted – divided into three groups: technology and efficiency, data protection and data security as well as standards, interfaces and regulation. The interesting discussions held there made it obvious, how complex the challenges in the energy sector are – especially when it comes to the usage of new technology concepts like blockchain.

The final presentation was held by Prof. Dr. Strüker, professor for energy management at the Fresenius University of Applied Sciences in Frankfurt. He concentrated on what concretely needs to be done now to come from the idea to a real implementation. E.g. I found his statement that we are on the way into a realtime energy economy remarkable.

Phillip Richard, Project Lead Energy Systems and Energy Services at dena, about the dialogue forum “Blockchain – new opportunities for the energy market”:

“It is important to understand the key characteristics of digitization in order to seize its opportunities and to handle its risks. Among its key characteristics are e.g. extremely high amounts of data that are being exchanged at an increasing pace; the possibility of data scaling and an increasingly accurate identification of target groups; aspirations for transparency and sharing; multiple use of data sets for different purposes. The vision of blockchain addresses these key characteristics in a unique way and offers the potential for solutions both for upcoming questions concerning digitization in general and for the issues of data security and data protection in particular. On its way to concrete solutions and applications the blockchain technology has yet to confirm its ambitious targets. Trust in this technology has to build up slowly and the efficiency of the technology will have to increase significantly in the coming years.”

Please find additional information on the event on the dena website (german only).

Take a look at the presentation on Slideshare:

On Monday, 20th of February 2017, there was a kind of “Blockchain Super-Monday” in Berlin. Vitalik Buterin was visiting the Ethereum Dev UG, in parallel Gavin Wood presented “Polkadot” – his fascinating project to establish interoperability among different blockchains (even between “public” and “enterprise” blockchains) at another Blockchain Meetup. I decided to attend the Ethereum Dev UG event – like a lot of other people… the room was jam-packed… Vitalik Buterin explained his view on “Cryptoeconomies”, below you find – besides some impressions of the event – the links to his presentation on Youtube and to the slide deck on Vitalik¬¥s website. And for your convience you find the link to the presentation of Gavin Wood as well. I wish you an interesting learning experience.

 

The link to the slide deck: http://vitalik.ca/files/intro_cryptoeconomics.pdf

Last not least the link to Gavin´s presentation Рhis part starts at 41:30 min (please copy the link into Youtube Рonly starts that way):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wsNh6ePeuX8

 

Some days before Christmas “Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR)” invited to hold an expert talk about “use cases for blockchain technology” on behalf of the Bundeswirtschaftsministerium BMWi (Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy). The meeting was well organised by Matthias Kuom (DLR) and had the main purpose to discuss the innovation potential of blockchain technology among a small number of experts from academics and business on the one side and a couple of members from BMWi and DLR on the other side. The accountable department from BMWi uses that kind of event formats during the opinion-building process when the necessary steps shall be defined to foster the development of attractive ICT solutions for the national economy , especially for the German “Mittelstand”.

As a start I was asked to hold a 15 minutes presentation on blockchain (you find the presentation below), after that each out of our expert group of seven had the opportunity to comment on three mayor topics: “state of play”, “disruptive potential” and “the role of the government”. The further participating experts were (in alphabetical order):

Raimund Gross (Innovation Manager Blockchain from the SAP Innovation Center Network)
Prof. Wolfgang Prinz (Vice Chair Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Information Technology FIT)
Philipp Richard, Project Director at the “Deutsche-Energie-Agentur GmbH” (Dena)
Stefan Teis (SVP, Group Product & Business Development, Deutsche Börse AG and Member of the Governing Board of the Hyperledger Projekts)
Stephan Zimprich (Partner at the law firm Fieldfisher and head of the competence group blockchain at the eco association)

In a closing discussion round some additional experts played an active role. With Kirsten Hasberg, energy expert BlockchainHub Berlin, gave very interesting insights into blockchain based projects in the market for renewable energies. Another expert was Dr. Martin Holland, who is a member of the management board of PROSTEP AG and the responsible coordinator of the interesting project SAMPL (Secure Additive Manufacturing Platform), which you can find here.

During my business life I happened to attend a couple of events with the target to convey the standpoints of academics and business to responsible persons from the government. The expert talk “use cases for blockchain technology” for me was an outstanding event. The chosen format (brief introduction presentation as a start, afterwards a round of questions to well chosen experts following a clear framework and finishing with a discussion round) was well fitting the complexity of blockchain. And our “target audience” – the members from BMWi and DLR – were well prepared and put intelligent questions what led to good and intensive discussions.

For sure there will be further events “politics meets blockchain”. The many-layered aspects of the blockchain technology bear enormous potential, where politics can, and probably here and there must, play an important role – either when we look at regulations challenges or when we look at the gonvernment as a user.

 

 

 

Almost six months after my article to give a general introduction to blockchain technologies was published (click here to read the related post) I wrote a brief explanation on the use case section on this website. In the article on intelligente-welt.de you can find some explanation about the structure of the use case section and how how you can filter the for you interesting projects out of the far more than one hundred entries. Here you find the link to the article (German language only).