Working for Johnson and Johnson I am researching how Blockchain Technology in Pharma can improve the life of our patients. This is my “personal wrap-up” from the “DappCon Blockchain Conference” with 1300 developers in Berlin - a hotspot for Blockchain & Innovation.
- ZK-STARKs - Why you should think more about mathematics!
- Governance - Why this is the key for all SW projects!
- Token Engineering - How Tokens can control an economy!
Why you should look out for ZK-STARKs?
ZK stands for “Zero Knowledge Proof”, meaning you can proof (without doubt) that you know something, without revealing any of the underlying data.
Sounds funny, it is - so let's start a dream:
When you apply for a new private health insurance plan, the insurance company will soon start ask personal questions or even ask allowance to request information from your doctor, they collect and process this information to calculate your “health risk” and the insurance fee.
Not anymore with ZK-STARKs: The Health Insurance will only ask: “Is the patient eligible for Health Plan with XY conditions?”. The ZK-STARKs protocol will provide a mathematical proof based on Health Records (EHR) stored on your mobile phone & Blockchain, that your EHR records fulfill this condition. No information from your EHR will be sent to the Insurance.
This makes it much easier to compare insurances and make the patient really to the owner of his data (as he has not to share it, only to share the answer of the question).
This is still a bit away from reality (ZK-STARK protocol was published 2018) - but you can see more and more EHR systems being build, application that are using ZK-STARKs are popping up everywhere - so let's be optimistic that this vision becomes reality. And let's think about all the opportunities 🙂
Why is Governance the key?
450 Million Euro - controlled by “nobody”!
Google, Amazon and Facebook are central corporations working with our data to increase their shareholder value. A Decentral Organisation is the opposite: transparent and controlled by individuals that are taking sovereign decisions. Blockchain allows us to implement this organisations via Software, you become a DAO - Decentralized Autonomous Organisation running on the Blockchain.
The rules are designed by humans, written into smart contracts and uploaded on the Blockchain. Sounds irreal - its not!! The MakerDao is managing 450 Million Euro, his Smart Contracts allow you to execute financial transactions and provide a *stable* blockchain currency “DAI” linked to the USD.
In 2016 a DAO with 50 Million Euro was hacked due to a programming error. By a coordinated action of all community members a technical workaround was found to freeze the money and to prevent a financial disaster.
2019 - Did we learn anything from this?
If hardcore developers are joining panels and workshops for Governance, you can see- the 2016 DAO hack left an impression, the lessons learned are taken:
Every piece of SW needs a governance process that defines how decisions are being made for scenarios that are not covered in program code. A DAO may be just a piece of SW, but it must have a legal representation that can react on this scenario - and finally it must have a face.
The face can be group of people keeping a stake in the DAO - having a reputation and a known in the real world. It's also not democratic to assume everybody read understand a Smart Contract - again we will need to put trust into humans who design the system and execute the compliance check.
What seems to be very obvious for a DAO, its valid for each piece of SW: Make sure your SW has a “face” that users can trust and that is supporting a Governance model.
Token Engineering - How Tokens control economy!
Lectures are being hold about “Token Engineering “ to run Crypto Economic systems. A token is a trade-able piece of SW running on the Blockchain (BitCoin is a kind of token). But it can represent you reputation, a real asset or an intellectual properties. Token Engineering helps designing rules for this tokens.
A great example is a project by Deborah Simpier “Tales from the field” that is using tokens on the Ethereum blockchain control the the connection of remote houses in a rural area by radio relays. People running the relays and people using the internet are are rewarded and paid by the tokens. The token design provides the incentive to run a radio-delay, to do efficient routing, to use the internet reasonable.
The token takes over the function of a telecom-company, but with much lower cost and higher transparency. And its working -the network is growing
I could you say YES -the hype is over: People start to realize that not all problems can be solved with Blockchain, BC will not change the world and banks will not be replaced by Smart Contracts.
But - in reality, it's just starting !
It's a different way of thinking, moving away from central organizations to decentralized application. DeFi (Decentralized Finance) is coming, at DappCon startups where presenting mobile apps based on Blockchain technology providing trust and scalability, that is only possible with Blockchain.
For sure, not everything can be solved with BC and we may not see so many applications. But theses few application can have an impact and will make us “the user” be more self sovereign again.