Meeting Notes for September: Blockchain

Sat, 09/30/2017 - 13:30 -- JackC

300 Rockefeller Hall, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY

Lightning Talk

Joseph Apuzzo: Atom

Joe presented a short talk centered around Atom, a Python Code Editor with Plugins. The quick overview illustrated how to add modules, highlighting, code alignment and completions morkto "make Python programming Fun!"

Main Talk: Blockchain

Presented by: Dr. Rebecca Gott

Rebecca presented the immensly complicated and popular world of Blockchain - the underlying structure of a number of methods of recording the current state of a "Chain of Custody" or ownership, notably (and popularly) of BitCoin, but also of many more business-oriented transactions.

Dr. Gott presented the basics of the concepts that underpin the use of Blockchain - including a number of companies that are currently involved with an IBM in a production form of the method.

Blockchain provides (among other things)

  • A record of the State of an Asset
  • Parties who do not know each other to transact business faithfully
  • Automates contractual agreements

Blockchain resolves the "Byzantine  General's [or Two General's] Problem" - that is, the problem of Consensus. Blockchain allows those using it (through an application that employs the method) to track "anything" - not just Crypto Currency. Examples presented generally centered on Medical concerns - such as Care Providers being able to determine certain limits, but discussion was far-ranging into other tracking considerations.

IBM's open project HyperLedger was discussed and generally used as the center of the discussion. Many questions were taken and once the main talk concluded, Dr. Gott had a very large crowd asking further questions directly. It wa an amazing talk.

Blockchain is and incredibly deetailed and nuanced thing, and Dr. Gott stoked considerable interest in the short time allowed, as evidenced by having to drag more people out at the end of the session than I think I personally have ever seen!

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