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Blockchain: An (updated) 101 at Cisco Live Las Vegas 2017

Cisco Employee

Okay...A slight admission - this blog is an update from my previous blog on blockchain at CiscoLive - but you should totally still read it!

Blockchain - Now there’s a word that has many an industry worried and excited in equal measure. As well as having boardroom execs raising eyebrows everywhere, it has developers the world over salivating at the possible applications of the technology.

"Why all the interest?”…I hear you ponder.

Because, blockchain technology, the technology behind many a cryptocurrency including Bitcoin and numerous others, has the potential to revolutionize and completely disrupt how numerous global business models function today. From finance and healthcare to the music industry, IoT enablement and beyond.

“Uh-huh…Really?”, I hear you scoff…”How so?"

Blockchain technology was originally developed to power the cryptocurrency Bitcoin. The further application of this technology across industries has since began to emerge and is now recognised to have the potential to change many of them, from banking applications and transactions, through to energy management and smart metering applications.

“OK. Sounds very grand. But get to the tech. WHAT is a blockchain?”

In essence, a blockchain is a cryptographically secure record, or ledger, of digital events (say, an IoT device like a Drone being registered at manufacture). This record is totally distributed - shared among many different people and parties. BUT, very secure. It can only be updated by consensus of a majority of the participants in the system – participants being person-owned compute ‘nodes’ that are part of a particular blockchain network. Once a ‘block’ of transactions is validated and entered into the ‘chain’ (‘block-chain’ - clever, huh?!), the transaction information can never be erased.

“Alright…so....what can developers do with it?"

A lot. Blockchains these days come with the ability to write code and deploy to the chain, much in the same way as regular transactions are recorded. This code can then be called and executed on demand or via events (such as time events, other code executing, etc.). This means you have a global database and system of record that uses  every end node in the world attached to the chain as processing power for your application. A world computer!

“Woah! I’m just about holding it together here, where can I get more information on the tech and the applications / use cases?”

At Cisco Live Las Vegas at the end of June, Vallard Benincosa and I will be providing a 101 session on blockchain technology, code uses that will hopefully expand your mind! We’ll also talk about the pitfalls in today’s blockchain offerings and there’ll be a demo and we’ll provide excellent stage banter for you to cringe and shake your head at, too. Not to be missed for anyone wanting a glimpse into the world of Blockchain!

Feel free to register here.

See you there!


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