June 30, 2017
“I could see it in their eyes – the entire crowd was ravenous for blockchain information,” – Hoang Ngoc Toan, Infinity Blockchain Lab’s (IBL) Technical Leader.
An Introduction to Blockchain
When IBL held its first blockchain workshop nearly one year ago today, we were excited to have ten interested attendees. On Wednesday, we had over eight times that many students, entrepreneurs, business people and curious individuals pack the CirCo working space in D4 to learn about blockchain. Clearly, in only one year the technology has made great advances in entering the mainstream. Ethereum, Bitcoin, ICOs, smart contracts – these words have been appearing in media across all sectors and formats and it’s obvious that one must familiarize themselves with the facts. But where to start?
Infinity Blockchain Labs addressed that very question by holding the free workshop, “Blockchain Amidst Global Identity and Privacy Crisis” in coordination with GetLinks, Vietnam’s leading tech hiring marketplace. During the first half of the event, Infinity Blockchain Labs Technical Leader, Bui Thi Thu Ha, introduced the history of the dispersed ledger system, from its invention by the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto, to its current state as the hottest trend in technology that every major corporation is researching and implementing. Ha discussed the fundamentals behind how it works, defining terms and concepts such as nodes, mining, private keys, hashes and smart contracts in ways the largely beginner audience could understand. She also explained why its inherently decentralized, autonomous and secure nature makes it an appealing tool for businesses and individuals involved in finance and management of property, contracts and identity.
Privacy and Identity
When any new technology emerges, people are understandably cautious about it. This trepidation is especially strong when it comes to matters involving the internet and one’s personal and financial information. Ironically, rather than being an area of concern, the blockchain has the potential to make one’s private information more secure. Hoang Ngoc Toan, IBL Technical Leader, began the second half of the presentation discussing issues with the world’s current identity systems. Traditional methods involve time-consuming paperwork and many people (children, people without banks, those in underdeveloped nations) remain without true or accurate identities. Compatibility between countries and regions remains an issue, as well. All attempts to address these problems have so-far proven flawed. For example E-Identities are susceptible to fraud and hacking (LinkedIn was breached four years ago and 117 million passwords were stolen, for example).
Because the blockchain is a distributed storage system that offers complete autonomy and transparency, it has the potential to address current concerns. To illustrate the ways in which the technology can keep one’s identity and information secure, Toan introduced uPort as a case study. The blockchain company was founded in 2015 and allows individuals to access transportation, dining, travel and leisure services with a level of security never before possible. He supported the belief that blockchain is truly the key to more secure identities by detailing adoption plans currently in development by companies such as Deloitte, IBM, Microsoft, and Samsung.
A crowd’s level of engagement reveals itself in the amount of questions asked. Following the presentation, individuals remained in their seats for almost an hour inquiring about various aspects of blockchain. Common questions involved cryptocurrencies, ICOs, and investment strategies. Several foreigners were interested in the specific growth and presence of the technology in Vietnam. IBL leaders relied on their expert research and development experiences to offer insights and guidance. The questions also allowed them to touch on topics they hadn’t earlier, such as explaining how one builds applications on the Ethereum platform. After the formal question period ended, many guests stayed to have conversations with one another and IBL members in the large and inviting co-working space.
IBL’s core mission involves raising awareness about blockchain within Vietnam and nurturing a community of entrepreneurs, enthusiasts and partners in business and government. Providing information and encouraging interest is one of the most integral steps in that process, and the “Blockchain Amidst Global Identity and Privacy Crisis” workshop stands as a tangible example. IBL has hosted more than 20 similar events in the country, and plans to hold many more on a variety of topics, increasing their range and complexity as the community grows.
You can learn more about Infinity Blockchain Labs and stay current with our activities by visiting our website and social media accounts below:
LinkedIn: Infinity Blockchain Labs
Nicole Nguyen PR@blockchainlabs.asia
Vietnam Blockchain Club Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/VietnamBlockchainClub/