I went to BlockchainConf.tech 2018
BlockchainConf 2018 happened September 6–7, 2018. This year’s conference about blockchain technology is the first of hopefully many years to come. People from all over the world came for two days full of sessions about blockchain theory and practice. Thanks to Women Who Code Atlanta, I was able to attend the conference and the one-day workshop preceding it.
My impression of blockchain
I’m a blockchain newbie but I was interested in learning more about the technology behind all the cryptocurrency hype. I own some Bitcoin and Ethereum but didn’t know that much about the blockchain technology underpinning those. I did know that cryptocurrency isn’t the only use for blockchain or even necessarily the future of blockchain.
Before the main conference, they offered an optional one day hands-on workshop where we created our own private blockchain using python. By the end of the day, I had a two-node blockchain app that could post transactions, mine blocks and resolve conflicts between the nodes. We also took a brief look at how you would store something like medical provider information (NPI) on a blockchain.
There were two different tracks — Blockchain in Practice and Blockchain in Theory — each with hour-long sessions throughout the day. I attended a mix of sessions from both tracks.
During one session, I learned about the Hyperledger project, which many private blockchains use. Another delved into how blockchain will disrupt database technology. That’s something I definitely want to dig into more. I also attended one really interesting session about the decentralized cloud computing platform that Computes is creating. Think SETI@home but more broadly useful.
I came out of the conference with way more questions than I went in with. At the end of each day, I had tons of new browser tabs open with topics to explore. I don’t know exactly where blockchain is heading or what its “final form” is, but I don’t think anyone truly does. It’s an exciting time for those interested in this technology.