T:WTF 008 – Hyperledger – The Opensource Blockchain

Marta Piekarska is the Director of Ecosystem at Hyperledger – and whats really cool about the Hyperledger Blockchain is that is an open source blockchain platform.

Wine and The Hyperledger Blockchain

That’s where we started the Hyperledger conversation.

The Hyperledger blockchain allows you to track everything about wine. You can track the provenance of grapes, the age, quality – anything. It provides full traceability through the supply.

This means you will be able to scan a product anywhere in the world and see the details. Verified through a smart contract.

Marta goes down into the details of this. Fascinating! She also references the big brother example of this; Blood Diamonds.

We all know of the pain and the size of the problem. Yet, Everledger is redefining the Diamond industry. It’s a project that built on Hyperledger and SAP. It allows you to trace and verification what diamond is from where,

An Evolution, Not A Revolution

As Brett points out this, pulls together many things: IoT, Big Data, Cloud, Artificial Intelligence or Machine Learning. It’s a great point.

Marta makes the point that Blockchain needs to be an evolution – it needs to plug into what you have already. This is a very different way of thinking.

But What Is Hyperledger

Hyperledger is an open source collaborative, hosted by the Linux Foundation. It creates permission based Blockchains for enterprises.

It brings together leaders in finance, banking, IoT, supply chain, manufacturing, and technology.

Marta’s talk showed how this next-generation blockchain is dedicated, adapted and scalable for professional applications.

Opensource and the Blockchain Baking & Cookie Example

Opensource is powerful. It takes the common – or baseline elements of a process, makes it freely available. This allows you build your unique value on top of it and commercialise it.

History has proven that it works.

It is a truly distributed system that balances centralisation and decentralisation. Marta used a great example to help us understand how to use the Hyperledger Blockchain. She talked about baking and cookies.

In essence, Hyperledger provides the piping. This allows a consortium – banks, insurance companies etc – to build a common foundation. They are then able to leverage this through their unique IP or customer experience.

The bottom line is that you can make huge cash while contributing to the greater good!

The Permission vs Permisionless, Public Vs, Private Blockchains Spectrum

There is a spectrum of blockchains. Go listen to get a better understanding.

Marta breaks down the difference using medical records and her desire for a Harvard Degree. A mind-blowing discussion that comes down to incentives and personal motivations around consensus.

Hyperledger has built their own blockchain. It’s not about the currencies and they have built permission-based blockchains.

If you want to learn more about Hyperledger, you can do the free online course.


The Blockchain Africa Conference

Blockchain Africa Conference
Blockchain Africa Conference

The WTF #ThinkDigital Podcast spent two days interviewing many of the groundbreaking speakers at the Blockchain Africa Conference (#BAC18). The big topic was inter-operability and how the blockchain is maturing.

T:WTF 007 – Peter Manning and The SARB Blockchain POC

The Blockchain Will Disrupt Everything. The reason? It’s a distributed ledger and everything in capitalism is built on a ledger. Blockchain gets to the very foundation of what capitalism is built on. Project Khokha is proof of how disruptive it can be.

Project Khokha: The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) Blockchain POC

The pilot project was called Project Khokha. And it was a quick job – as Peter explains. The decision was made and they had to hustle to get the POC done in a couple of months. There were certain criteria that the Consensys Team has to make sure they hit.

The pilot focused on the real-time settlements between the central bank and the different commercial banks. As Peter shares, the current settlement technology (SAMOS) works very well. It does not to change.

So the question is why? And how disruptive can the really be?

There were 7 commercial banks in the Project Khokha POC project. The Central bank facilitates the settlements between each bank. So, if I bank with FNB and you are with Standard Bank, the reserve bank will manage the settlement process.

So with each bank having a ledger account with the SARB and SARB has a mirror account with each bank. With 7 commercial banks, it means we have 14 different ledgers.
Once Ledger, Real-Time Settlement. Privately.

What Peter and his Project Khokha team were able to do was consolidate the different ledgers into one ledger. They were able to run it in real time with the right privacy levels.

This is a very big deal. It means that auditors are no longer needed to check that the transactions are correct. They are verified in real time. It means that the risk of problems, errors and possible theft is dramatically reduced. No lawyers arguing over risk issues or lost money.

It Will Take Just One

While this is still a POC project, the genie is out of the bottle. It will take just one Central Bank to embrace this fully and we will see the change start happening. For us its a question of when. Not if. As we said, the blockchain will disrupt everything!


A Little Echo

The way we record our podcast is that we record live at different locations. We have a little mixer and some pretty good microphones. That said, every now and then we get caught up in a room with a bit of an echo – which is what happened here. So for any of the initial sound quality issues, we apologise.

Thanks for Listening!

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T:WTF 006 – Peter Munnings on the Blockchain, Central Banking, & Fiat Currency

Will a Central Bank Blockchain change they way money works? And how disruptive will it be?

It’s an important question given the truth that most people do not understand money. They cannot answer the simple questions like; What is money and where does it come from?  Perhaps this is best summed up by Henry Ford;

It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.

Satoshi Created Bitcoin to solve the money problem.

Satoshi created the Bitcoin token and blockchain in direct response to the 2008 financial collapse. The design of Bitcoin is to solve the money problem.

To put this into some perspective, think of money as collateralised debt. Commercial banks have the power to originate or create money. We call is the fractional reserve framework. This means that you are not borrowing someone else’s saving. Rather the bank is creating money out of nothing based on a reserve percentage.

Positive Money breaks down of how banks create money and what the issue with debt is.

Central Banks and Blockchain!

The Central bank does not originate money in the form of commercial debt. The central bank does print real money in the form of cash. What you carry around in your wallet. They are also responsible for the countries Fiat Currency.

But what happens if Central Banks started putting their fiat currencies onto the blockchain? This has the power and potential to change everything.

In this What’s The Future podcast, we chat to Consensys’s Peter Munnings. Peter is building some amazing blockchain technology within the banking space.

We dig into this subject and it opens up some very interesting possibilities. Here is some stuff that you will get of this podcast:

  • Peter goes into a bit of background into the growth of Consensus, the work they are doing.
  • What happens when you issue a countries currency onto the Blockchain. What are the implication and the compliance frameworks that it needs?
  • Peter breaks down wholesale banking. This looks at inter-banking payment facility through Central Banks. The idea is to increase resilience and reduce costs. This leads to the cross-border payments cross borders.
  • Of course, we spoke about how a Central Bank’s Blockchain can solve SASSA and Fees Must Fall. The big issue is the last mile and giving people access to their money. A lot of work is being done in this area and its a matter of time.
  • What is the implication of full reserve banking? This is a move away from a fractional reserve banking system. The implication is huge. And it is now possible with Blockchain technology. This will stabilise the boom-bust cycle that we currently experience. What happens when we turn money from a Liability to an Asset.
  • And what happens when we have one ledger system rather than multiple ledgers. Every intermediary in the banking chain has their own ledger. A Central Bak Blockchain can streamline this into one ledger.

T:WTF 003 – Why The Blockchain Will Disrupt Everything

Monica Singer is the creator of opportunities for Consensys South Africa. She is a strong advocate for building blockchain solutions after her experience at Strate.  And it’s no wonder when you think about how it will redefine how we live our lives.

Andrew Keys and Monica Singer Explain Why The Blockchain Will Disrupt Everything

In this Podcast, she gets to introduce us to her “Boss”. Andrew works at Consensys and has been there since the beginning (he even denied he was employee number 1). As he explains Consensus is a Holacracy (Google it), you get his Andrew’s reaction. But Holacracy aside. Andrew was an explosion of information! He gave us a brilliant break down why the Blockchain will disrupt everything. He also shared what the Consensys Vision is and why they are so passionate about changing the world.

The Internet’s 94 of 96

Andrew points out we are in the internet’s 94 of 96. This makes the blockchain and exciting, yet untested model. It has the potential to solve the world’s most common problem; The Geni Co-efficient! He explains 85 individuals have the same amount of wealth as 3,5 billion people. He goes on to explains that trust is everything. Yet, until now, trust needs to work through an intermediary. He is working on commoditising trust. Freaking nuts right! Andrew also explained how the world we are moving into is broken into 3 foundational aspects:

  • Self Sovereign Identity
  • Peer to Peer Interactions
  • Natively Digital Assets

Why is this important?

It will open up a whole new world of commerce. It builds the critical element of trust. And with the growing interoperability of the Blockchain, it will affect you! And this is why you have to learn about this. Monica makes the profound point that capitalism is based on the recording of The Ledger. And she will know! She is a Charted Account, an ex-World bank employee and previous CEO of Strate. Strate the intermediary that runs the JSE backend and is where Monica built a blockchain. In this podcast, Andrew’s expands on his talk that The Blockchain Will Disrupt Everything.

Watch Andrew’s Keynote

Here is Andrew’s shortened bio:

Andrew drives the enterprise business development strategy for ConsenSys and co-founded ConsenSys Enterprise, to create Ethereum blockchain solutions for Fortune 500 companies and governments. Andrew co-created the first Ethereum Blockchain-as-a-Service offering with Microsoft and catalyzed the creation of Enterprise Ethereum Alliance, an open-source cross-industry initiative focused on permeating Ethereum technology through enterprise environments.

Andrew keys and Monica Singer at the Blockchain Africa Confrence
Andrew keys and Monica Singer from Consensys talking about blockchain disruption

The Blockchain Africa Conference

Blockchain Africa Conference
Blockchain Africa Conference

The WTF #ThinkDigital Podcast spent two days interviewing many of the groundbreaking speakers at the Blockchain Africa Conference (#BAC18). The big topic was inter-operability and how the blockchain is maturing.


In Math We Trust: Bitcoin & Blockchain

The Futurology team bring us interviews from the CX (Customer Experience) Innovation & Tech Fest held in Johannesburg.

Human trust is undergoing its most significant transformation in history. Money is the second most important societal construct after language and is currently undergoing its biggest transformation. Beyond money, this will fundamentally change contracts and creative work, leaving no business untouched… leading some prominent computer scientists to call the blockchain a more significant invention than the internet itself.

Simon Dingle is a designer at Phantom Design.

This show was originally published on the cliffcentral.com Futurology Page