Rustat Conference on Blockchain in the Real World
Blockchain has been held up as one of the greatest innovations of this century. Many automatically associate it with cryptocurrencies, specifically bitcoin, but blockchain and other distributed ledger technologies (DLT)s could have many other roles.
Blockchain technology has the potential to shake multiple industries, both through decentralisation and transparancy. For example, Walmart teamed up with IBM to incorporate blockchains in their food management system, claiming that this would enable full knowledge of where food came from, providing health, safety, environmental and human rights benefits.
However,others point out that although there are many examples cited of people considering using blockchain or DLTs, many of them go no further, with the hype significantly exceeding the reality of use. Is bitcoin a real currency or a ponzi scheme? Is blockchain and DLT the underpining of a new wave of technology, or a buzzword in search of a purpose? Does the promise of ultra-efficient decentralised processing have any prospect of being realised? What would it mean for society and for businesses if it were realised?
In this Rustat Conference we will try to explore the myths and realities, and ask: what role does blockchain have in our daily lives? how might it help improve the human condition in decades to come? how might it change our concepts of trust in other humans and in machines? what role does it have in security? how might blockchain impact democracy, including voting? is it as innovative as many puport?