IGF 2018 WS #256 "Is Blockchain the right technology for you?"

Organizer 1: Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group
Organizer 2: Technical Community, Asia-Pacific Group

This sessions is relavant via its high practicality of reviewing a modern technology and looking at its applicability in new applications and everyday life. Both the latest applications of Blockchain for business and government will be reviewed and discussed.

Tag 1: Blockchain use cases (Regional Dubai and Bahrain), both government and industry (fintech industry)
Tag 2: Blockstat the new internet
Tag 3: Blockchain evaluation Framework

Format: 

Round Table - 90 Min

Interventions: 

The Round-Table will have a mix of Subject Matter Experts (Economists, Internet Governance Resource Persons) as well as representatives of Business, Government, and Civil Society from different regions, who will be present in person as well by remote participation and social media (largely Twitter, but questions would be taken on email as well).
The Session would start with the domain experts (Economists and IG specialists) who would start off with a 10 minute introduction to the topic, followed by brief interventions (5 minutes or less) by speakers and walk-in participants (local and remote) from different stakeholder groups. 20 min will be set apart for open questions which will be answered by speakers that the moderator may identify.
There will be no difference in priority between previously identified speakers, walk-in users in the audience, remote speakers and social media participants.

Diversity: 

The proposal strives to bring in diversity in its different aspects, as it has speakers, co-organizers, and moderators, from different regions, stakeholder groups, age, gender, disability and specialization. Further diversity will be brought in from participants in the audience as well as remote. While the topic is centered around the Blockchain technology, Blockstat and its applicability. By giving appropriate publicity about the workshop, and by ensuring top-class

World Economic Forum – June 2017:
“Like the first generation of the internet, this second generation promises to disrupt business models and transform industries. Blockchain (also called distributed ledger), the technology enabling crypto currencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum, is pulling us into a new era of openness, decentralization and global inclusion.”
We are fortunate to live in a disruptive time. Since the invention of Bitcoin in 2008, the ideals of decentralisation, public consensus, and creating new trust models between parties conducting transactions has been embraced. Principles of consensus, efficiency and mutual trust are treasured by the community, as demonstrated by the rapid adoption of blockchain technology, crypto-currencies and other digital assets by both businesses and individuals in numerous jurisdictions globally.
Token sales have captured imaginations, giving rise to a wide range of innovative new projects and generating unexpectedly large amounts of funds. To date, over USD $3.4 billion has been raised via token sales (source: Coindesk). The flexibility and speed to market of token sales has created a fundamental change in fund raising, however, it comes with several associated risks. Governments and regulators around the world have struggled to find a solution for dealing with fund raising via token issuance without inhibiting business or the development of new technology.
At a high level, we can categorise three types of digital assets as follows:
medium of exchange digital assets: these are digital coins and other digital assets, such as Bitcoin, in which encryption techniques are used to regulate the generation of units and verify their transfer. They operate independently of a central bank or other issuer;
utility tokens: these are digital assets that are intended to facilitate access to services or units of services that can be purchased with those assets. These tokens can be compared to API keys, used to access the service; and
tokenised securities: these are digital assets that represent a regulated “security”. product in a particular jurisdiction. Regulations and structures vary widely, but generally, this can capture products that are (or reflect interests in) shares, debentures, managed investment schemes and structured products.
Digital assets can also serve as digital representations of tangible assets. There are also various other possible types of digital assets and more will undoubtedly emerge.
Blockchain also delivers 3 major capabilities:
Smart Contracts, are self-executing contracts with the terms of the agreement between buyer and seller being directly written into lines of code. The code and the agreements contained therein exist across a distributed, decentralized blockchain network.
Consensus, A consensus algorithm is a process in computer science used to achieve agreement on a single data value among distributed processes or systems. Consensus algorithms are designed to achieve reliability in a network involving multiple unreliable nodes. As a result, consensus algorithms must be fault-tolerant and fully distributed
Decentralisation, A blockchain is a decentralized, distributed and public digital ledger that is used to record transactions across many computers so that the record cannot be altered retroactively without the alteration of all subsequent blocks and the collusion of the network.
Blockchain also has major challenges such as:
1. Maturity
2. Performance
3. Security
4. Consensus Algorithms evolution
Immutability, The data once committed on the Blockchain can not be changed. The trusted nature of blockchain is one of its magic pieces. You can believe that data on the blockchain is legitimate, having been validated by multiple participants in the network.
A Framework will be presented and demonstrated on the applicability of use cases to the Blockchain technology by structurally evaluating its relevance
1. Tokenization
2. Smart contracts
3. Distribution
4. Decentralization
5. Consensus Algorithms
A completed review of practical uses cases in various leading Geographies will also be conducted:
1. Use cases from Dubai Blockchain Center for Dubai 2020
2. Use cases from Bahrain EDB Sandbox
3. Review of Blockstack as a use case
Blockstack is a network for decentralized applications built using Blockchain technology. Blockstack as a Blockchain use case aims to address the centralization at the application-layer of the internet. More specifically, Blockstack builds an alternate DNS and alternate public-key infrastructure. It's the first implementation of a decentralized DNS system on top of the Bitcoin blockchain. It combines DNS functionality with public key infrastructure and is primarily meant to be used by new blockchain applications. Blockstack always evolving and is being developed by a group of engineers and researchers coming from both industry and academia and is currently released as open-source. A short live demo of Blockstack will also be conducted.

Discussion Facilitation: 

The session will follow the following format:
1. Welcome and Session Objectives: Moderator (5 min)
2. Blockchain & Blockstack the new Internet and its Apps : Domain Expert (15 min)
3. Blockchain the technology of distributed trust: Domain Expert (15 min)
4. Blockstack building the new internet: Domain Expert (15 min)
5. Evaluation Framework for Blockchain applicability (15 min)
6. Blockstack practical applications (15 min)
7. Open Q & A (15 min)
8. Summing up and Conclusions: Moderator (5 min)

Online Participation: 

The online moderator for the session will be Lianna Galstyan, who is has participated in several IGFs in the past (including IGF 2016) and is an experienced online moderator. Online participation will be encouraged from all participants including the host-provided remote participation tool (such as Adobe Connect) as well as email and Twitter. The online moderator will ensure that remote participants get the same priority as the speakers and the audience physically present in the session. The advantage of the Round-table format is that (a) it is easily amenable to remote participants to see and participate; and (b) since it is based on conversations, it is easier for remote participants to join the discussions

Contact Information

United Nations
Secretariat of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF)

Villa Le Bocage
Palais des Nations,
CH-1211 Geneva 10
Switzerland

igf [at] un [dot] org
+41 (0) 229 173 678