hi I’m Whitney icepick the CEO of the MIT Alumni Association and I hope you

hi I’m Whitney icepick the CEO of the MIT Alumni Association and I hope you enjoy this digital production created for alumni and friends like you okay hello everyone my name is Mark Weber and welcome to the MIT faculty forum I will serve as today’s moderator and I’ll also present on some of my own work as a reminder we welcome your questions during this chat right now for MIT alumni allene if you could mute yourself or Steven I’m hearing either them would be helpful thanks for MIT alumni joining us via zoom please use the Q&A feature found on your toolbar for all others listening on YouTube you may add your questions to the comments field and we also encourage you to tweet using hashtag MIT better world and we’ll get to as many questions as we can throughout this discussion so today we’re talking about blockchain which is an exciting new technology and something that’s very much part of the zeitgeist today all of us are working at academic institutions all three of us and I think that this is an important time in this space for academic research because the hype is is is ahead of the technology at this point there’s a lot of foundational research that needs to happen in order to make sure that this that this space is shepherded and oriented toward the public good a lot of unfortunately it there is a massive bubble going on and you can argue that that’s a necessary a necessary thing in a similar way that we had a dot-com bubble that was a lot of people lost a lot of money a lot of people got burned but it did kind of out of that came you know came a lot of very real applications and innovations around the internet and I think we’re seeing a similar time right now and so just as academia played an important role and the shepherding of the internet I think it’s going to play an important role in the shepherding of blockchain technology so we will explain what we’re working on with in that regard both at a high level and we’ll take you into some very specific use cases and applications that we’ve each of us have been working on so without further ado I will have a lean introduce himself and then following a lean will be Steven Gordon from Babson College and then I will close things out sharing with you some lay on research so lean take it away thank you mark hello everyone my name is Alan Drago’s and I work at the MIT Media Lab in a group called the digital currency initiative here I had strategic partnerships for the group and I also lead our efforts on product management for the lactic Network which is our our layer to scalability solution before MIT I was a vice president at Prezi a corporation leading a family of products for banking under banked individuals across the world I’ve also spent a good amount of time in start-up world and a variety of roles from raising funds to skeleton business models and to managing a post acquisition integration first I wanted to give a little bit of a background on the digital currency initiative which we affectionately call the DCI we’re a group of researchers how’s the D MIT Media Lab working on developing the software and infrastructure needed for open block trades to reach their full potential this includes security scalability stable and stability and Inter power operability for public permissionless block chains and when I say that I mean Bitcoin and aetherium and everything that doesn’t require some sort of permissioning today I also wanted to bring up our work on layer 2 scalability and interoperability right this is based on my colleague Todd Rogers work – being the co-author for the original lightning Network paper first let’s start with some context right which is I just wanted to kind of start by saying that despite the hype public block JS are in their emphases this is very very early days the existing design in which all of the nodes participate in the consistent mechanism works great for gathering initial action ok getting blockages up to a particular level but it doesn’t scale Bitcoin and etherium are the two public chains with most acute skilling issues as some of us has experience with with the crypto kiddie craze or with the ICO or the latest IC of the day basically you reach a number of transactions that that basically freezes the network which is which is a big problem right and there are a number of projects working to address this problem which is which is really good and we have the DCI our work on some of them also to make things a little bit easier to follow I’d like to differentiate between on chain solutions the so called layer 1 scalable surgeons and off chain solutions that we call layer 2 what layer 1 solutions are those solutions that improved and improve the number of transactions that can be processed by all nodes in the system whether by increasing block size or by reducing shunt transaction size or signature size there there are a number of approaches right layer 2 solutions eliminate the need for all nodes to process every transaction and it did create a direct channel between two participants thus allowing for those participants to transact directly if you will so you may say ok this is not a perfect idea right and that you’re now reducing the level of security in this system well this is what lightning Network and this is where attach tragedies really really relevant work came came into place the the Lydian reintroduced awaits transact between notes without materially reducing security of those transactions so this works this is a fairly elegant solution and also brings a number of material benefits out of which a limb for write the first one is that you now have instantaneous ala transactions right so the way this works is it’s a mark and I want to transact you know we could do it on chain and payee they really really high fees and wait for six blocks before we actually transact or we could open this channel between the two of us right each of us put some amount of money in the channel it saves I put two coins in mark book and the you know let’s say the Bitcoin world knows that together it’s generally of five points and then we can we can exchange the value between the two of us however many times we want without needing to hit the blockchain every every single time right this allows for instantaneous transactions basically it now allows for for using crypto in a face-to-face conversation which is really valuable it allows for cheaper transactions because you no longer need to pay the the really high excuse me there really is a really high fees it also it also allows for transactions that are smaller than the typical Bitcoin transactions right so today if you try to transact on Bitcoin you see area there’s a limit of ten thousand satoshis just built into the system but also it doesn’t really make sense to kind of make small transactions and that exists across all of the developed world infrastructure which you know you cannot only send transactions that I below as a cent if you work with Lightning Network you can you know the limit is one Satoshi which you know it depends it varies with a Bitcoin price but right now I think it’s just significantly less than one hundreds of a penny which is really really better one right there’s there’s also this fourth benefit which i think is really really important and will i’m all going to deserves but i think is really exciting and that allows for participants within separate block chains to transact to one another which is which is really valuable right because now you can have somebody who has a life point amount to transact someone has a Bitcoin amount without losing custody of those funds without having a third party in the middle of the transaction right so why why we want more what I want to talk about this today it’s because the lining network is finally able to process transactions on on main let that’s that’s courtesy of a development that the the startup called lightning labs introduced last week they done I’m a really good amount of work there it’s still early days so you cannot really do much with it but it’s going to develop fairly well right so I think that that’s really something to get into it the other thing that I’d like to announce is that if you want to know more about this we have the DCI we’re going to be discussing this topic in a little bit more detail we’re going to organize an event called the l2 summit with fidelity here in Boston in May 18-19 and we will definitely going to be discussing more about this then if I leave you with nothing more I’d like for everyone to kind of remember that the fact that block trains have limitations today it doesn’t mean that they’ll have those limitations forever right because this technology moves really really fast and I think we’re gonna see some amazing designs short so let me let me pause right there give everyone else a chance to talk and let me pass over to Steven so before we go on to Steven aleni if you could just feel this question from from from our audience about the there’s there’s the layer to work that you’re working on what effect would it have on the energy costs to process transactions so the energy cost the process transaction doesn’t change right you will have a whole lot less a whole lot fewer on chain transactions which is valuable but you know a transaction the transaction and and there’s you know there’s a lot of whole lot of other efforts towards reducing that energy cost but lighting network itself doesn’t change the the energy cost process right thanks Elaine okay Steven so welcome everyone Steve Gordon I am a faculty member at Babson College which is a small business small medium-sized Business School in Wellesley Massachusetts all of our undergraduates are business majors and we do have some graduate we have an MBA and a few other graduate programs I’m a relatively new be in this space I think I first began to get it be interested in the blockchain and cryptocurrency is about two years ago about a year ago I thought about the implications for business and wondered if any any of my fact a fact of my co faculty members were offering any courses in it or knew anything about it I found out they weren’t I did a search on the web to find out if there were any schools that were teaching about blockchain to businesses and I was surprised I could not find any syllabi for business applications although they were I was syllabi at MIT and at Stanford and and other places that were very technical in nature and I don’t know how many of those of you who were listening here today know a great deal but but my thinking was that this is something that touches really every area business it touches finance it touches accounting it touches operations it touches law it touches almost every area that we teach in and as a result the need to understand how blockchain can be used is great and as a result I decided I would create a course at Babson and actually began to teach it this semester so so it is interesting I opened it’s an 8 o’clock in the morning and I figured nobody would attend but in fact within about 10 seconds the course was filled all with seniors second semester seniors getting up at 8 o’clock in the morning for this class so it shows that interest is high we are at the top of the hype cycle as Mark has said but but things will change I think for the better I didn’t want to tell you just before going into some use case to tell you a little bit about the course and what I want to do is share my screen so let me do that and I think here you can see how the course is organized and for the most part use cases are predominant sections of course we do have six sections on technology and let me see if I can do this make it a little bigger sessions on technology and and then some other sessions on a variety of different things you’ll see cryptocurrency takes up only two of our sessions relatively small amount on cryptocurrency in economics we deal with the regulatory and legal aspects and there are a couple of sessions on smart contracts on the technology topics we have some things that that you would need to understand in order to be able to follow any discussion about a blockchain and we do have a whole bunch of use case topics and I was at a IDC Direction’s conference yesterday actually and we were talking about um see how do I get back I’ll stop sharing we were talking about the various use cases and what IDC claimed and and I tend to think it’s true is that the questions that they’re getting as consultants by industry throughout is that 95% of those relate not to public blockchains but to permissioned or private blockchains and a lot of the use cases right now the Alpha the Alpha and Beta implementations of these use cases are almost entirely on permission blockchains so we’ve done a reasonable amount of focus on the permission blockchains with a good number of use cases I can go do I have time to go into one I think so so for example if are those I don’t know how how well this you this as an audience understands what the use cases might be but let’s take as an example the diamond manufacturer or the diamond mining the the supply chain from diamond mining to eventual sale of a diamond and so ever ledger I think is the lead in this particular case if you do a google search on ever ledger and diamonds or even blockchains and diamonds the their name will come up but basically what they’ve done is they found a way to essentially take a make a fingerprint of the diamond as identify its source identify its cut color clarity all of the various aspects you want identify every transaction that takes place how much was paid for it for the for the diamond cutter eventually for it going to retail and then essentially being sold and so anyone who’s selling such a diamond that’s been tracked alone the blockchain has a record of where it stands an immutable record cannot be changed of every place where that diamond was exchanged along the way so if anyone is worried about purchasing diamonds from conflict areas they can be assured that that was not the case and the value of the diamond from the retailer’s perspective could also go up um I did see a question what do I think of a blockchain for voting and and that’s interesting because I do think that there are applications there for voting we have one of the things that if I could share my screen again is that we do have a variety of I think voting was was one of the applications maybe not but my students are required to do a an industry study and two of my students did an industry study on voting and I do think that there’s um promise there I think a recent voting in someplace in South Africa Botswana I was was done by blockchain so I think that they’re they’re certainly as promised there another question which technology do you feel is the best prospect to deal with fraud and rollback of blockchain transactions so blockchain Trento there are a bunch of questions I’m not sure how many of them you want me to answer let me let me ask mark who’s moderating this oh yeah go ahead and if you don’t have to answer everyone we can the three of us can can also answer by typing but if you see one Steve that you that that calls to you feel free to answer it and then what I’ll do is why don’t you actually tell you what guys I’ll give one more presentation real quick and then all three of us can circle back and give some thoughtful answers to we’ll leave some a good a good 10-15 minutes for QA all three of us will circle back and answer your questions I think that’ll be more productive exits okay so thanks both Alena and Stephen for for sharing so now we’ll circle back to the work we’re doing at the digital currency initiative at the MIT Media Lab which is where both alene and I work I’m a graduate researcher there and a project manager as well so I wear a couple hats one of the hats I wear is managing our DCI working groups model this is an exciting time where tons and tons of student interest from across campus is pouring into the DCI Stephen kind of mentioned this we’ve actually been teaching classes on this unboxing for two years now so long before it was it was you know the the boom kind of happened both at the business school at Sloan and we’ve also been the DCI specifically has been involved in teaching some engineering classes so we actually publish the engineering class content on our website we’re about to launch a new website very soon and so I will try to find a way to send a link to to our new website and well it’s easy if you if you want to write it down now it’s DCI mit.edu you can go to our website right now but you can also I’ll try to send a newsletter link so you can subscribe if you’re interested in receiving updates from us occasionally but are working we have classes as I said and working groups and working group sar the way that we bring MIT students from across different disciplines from the School of Engineering from the school of computer science and artificial intelligence to the business school system dynamics bringing in creating teams of students with different skill sets to hack on pressing topics in this space so this year we had a pretty competitive application process because there is so much interest and we were able to form about eight different working groups focused on different things everything from working with our colleague Bravo Leon on prototyping and thinking through Fiat cryptocurrency so this would be like the US dollar convert you know becoming a crypto currency to new ways to do auditing with zero knowledge proof which is an exciting exciting method in cryptography to more of the finance side working with groups like fidelity to to come up with valuation frameworks for crypto assets and icos one of those working groups is the one that I lead research that we’ve been doing for about two years now the project is called be verify and it’s a project focused on providing verifiable records and verifiable claims to support finance financing for small medium-sized enterprises or really any of any enterprises especially once and supply chains so this actually grew out of a prop a research I was doing a couple years ago on blockchain based land title which we presented to the Mexican government and Ministry of Finance and Ministry of the economy at the time they were very interested in this possibility there’s lots of land title pilots going on around the world but they also directed our attention to this other asset that we hadn’t really considered which was stored agricultural commodities so warehouse receipts our type of financial instrument that allows a farmer for example to deposit his coffee or his or her coffee in a warehouse get a paper certificate of those Goods being stored there and then bring and then bring that document to a bank to pledged those goods was collateral for a loan it’s been found by World Bank and throughout numerous studies from the World Bank UN and others to have positive positive impact on the availability of credit affordability of credit and also things like price discovery and and in food security especially in agricultural markets however there’s also been a lot of frauds some very high-profile frauds that introduce both institutional and systemic risk to to the system and to the economy and and so there’s a desire to make to fortify these these record systems to de-risk and therefore open up more credit and more societal benefits so we’ve been taking this warehouse use case as a very concrete simple example of a way to bring more transparency and dynamism to asset backed securities markets more broadly so that you know especially thinking about issues like 2008 where you had systemic risk build-up and the mortgage-backed securities market because of obscurity and all kinds of and the trading of in the trading of derivatives of which the underlying the underlying assets were very actually very tenuous it turned out we’re thinking we’re approaching this huge problem by is narrowing in on a very very specific use case in warehouses and if you think about it there’s actually trillions of dollars of commodities and assets stored in warehouses all over the world and then once you start to rip like once you start to grow out of that very specific use case you can think about all kinds of other types of financial instruments and assets including in material assets like accounts receivables that can be used to to generate more working capital for everyday small medium sized enterprises and bigger to allow economies to be both more dynamic and more resilient to some of the catastrophic collapses that we can see in things like 2008 so that was a bit of a long explanation but I’ll just toggle over and click the share screen button here real quick and show you just show you the prototype that we built because I know that sometimes blockchain conversations can be very high-level and we never actually show you what we’re building so let me just show you real quick kind of a I don’t have the code ready to show you but I’ll show you the here we go share screen I’ll show you the presentation this is our new website which we’ll be launching soon by the way but here’s a Boop’s I’m having there we go so this is I hope you can all see my screen this is what a warehouse might look like but this is the this year this the the image that I’m showing you is I’m trying to go to the next image there we go here’s a system overview what we’ve created so the prototype is it’s written in Java and we’re in the process of developing a pilot kit which will be an open-source package of code implementation instructions and use case ideas and and we’re trying to create a like a very simple model for warehouses with the idea that software developers around the world can you know working with governments or development banks or anybody in agricultural finance or beyond can take this and actually customize it for various other use cases other than you know including warehouses but not limited to warehouses so in this use case we have a farmer depositor a warehouse system and the warehouse system includes both the warehouse employee and warehouse digital devices so we actually demonstrate an IOT component where we have a digital scale that up that communicates independently with the ledger verifying or disputing the entry of the warehouse employee and this can be really helpful if you could think about plugging in satellite information or drone imaging or lasers measuring grain pouring into a warehouse or RFID location devices to have an added level of security backing up or disputing the warehouse employees records because oftentimes some of the frauds happen at the warehouse employee level and then the bank and then we’ve been using the Bitcoin blockchain as a public blockchain to to hash information based it’s a naming convention that we came up with which is the combination of a hash and some some high-level data where and then the the the rest of the data is stored on a on a separate server so it’s not a completely decentralized system but it’s it’s it’s kind of a combination of the two and then we can walk you through a few different actions that you can take so if a farmer comes in and deposits his or her goods that deposit is his first signed by the warehouse employee and any digital devices the farmer receives an SMS and it is invited to sign that transaction at which point the transaction is hashed to the Bitcoin blockchain the second step is pledging those goods as collateral so farmer comes in and says I’d like to pledge a hundred units of coffee to as collateral for a loan the bank first queries that previous block where that hash where the deposit hash exists to confirm that yes this farmer actually has these units to pledge and then can upload begins a second transaction which is uploading a loan terms document along with any other with with those loan terms both at the document level which is hash but also at an application level in a smart contract that will self execute the terms of that contract so for example if the loan terms are expire in 30 days and the and the loan is not repaid you can add a smart contract level at an application layer level execute a smart contract to automatically Reaper mission the pledged collateral over to the lender if the loan is yet unpaid and so that’s an example where you you know we’re leaving a lot of room for customization but we’re trying to demonstrate the the what you what you can do with that so that’s just a very quick bangbang intro and I think we have 15 more minutes so I will stop there and we can turn over turn back to some of your questions and I’m just trying to figure out how to get back to that screen sorry but Steven and Steven and Elena I invite you to hop back on here and help me if you’ve looked at any of those questions and you want to chime in on any of those we can we can get to that sure I think mark if you if you move your cursor up to the top of the screen there’s an option to there’s table share guys okay yes I’m happy to answer any of the questions so let me first since I think the one about about diamonds was addressed to me probably the what’s the point of the diamond blockchain if it’s not going to be public so the point of the blockchain so of a private blockchain is that it doesn’t have to be public and ideally what you want is to have those people who are interacting on the blockchain and putting transactions on it known to you and verified and verifiable by all the parties that actually agree that the entry on the blockchain is good now there’s another question about who can view the blockchain even though a blockchain may be private governance is governance is really an interesting question because there are many different ways in which you can set up governance of a blockchain but even for a block private blockchain you can allow for public viewing of the items on that blockchain so that certainly makes it possible the question is is it’s susceptible to attacks perhaps theoretically so but the fact that you know who the people who can put who are those who can put transactions on the blockchain may said pretty clear that it that it is not going to be attacked it is a good use case it’s being used and and there are similar use cases in anything of value such as wine art is another good example or things that even if they don’t have too much value you want to know the provenance of so so Walmart is using it for knowing where some of their goods come from they don’t want it to come from factories where their chat where there is child labor there are some companies who are using it for responsible fishing for example and it would be a similar type of application simply following through all the transactions and making sure that is with people that you trust now whether or not they can get around the system just because you verify them as being an organic farmer or as a Fisher as a fish company fishing company that uses only sustainable practices of course they can be certified and qualified but then perhaps they can cheat and there are ways to get around that too for example and this is one of the things that mark was talking about is is the ability to use io the IOT so if we actually have a camera on the ship that can actually see the catch as it’s being done we can use that and put that on the blockchain or put actually we wouldn’t put the whole video on the blockchain we put it elsewhere but we’d have a link to it on the blockchain so I think that there these are good use case or I would argue that these are good these cases thanks Steven so I heard a couple clarifying questions the the URL I was providing is DCI that’s digital currency initiative dot mit.edu I’m also going to tweet I can’t figure out a way to share a link with all of you so I’m just going to tweet the link to our website and a link to subscribe to our a new email list that we’re creating we want to be able to share the research and papers that are coming out we’re not gonna do like a weekly news e-newsletter II type thing but we will send you a new paper like send out a paper or you know let you know about what working groups are going on and that actually connects to your question I see a question from bill Wendell I wanted to share we would love more alumni engagement you know so much of MIT as we all know is you know men’s at Manas and an action learning I think there’s lots of opportunities to connect what the students and researchers are working on with what alumni the problems that our alumni are seeing from from different perspectives and industries and so I think engaging with our us through our newsletter is a great way to stay in touch with what kinds of things we’re working on and and our emails you know we’re easy just easy to connect with over email you can email at us at DCI at Media mit.edu and I’m happy to you know you can find me on twitter at mark our Weber always happy to be a resource to help connect the Alumni community with the work that we’re doing here I see a question about online resources for non-technical big business executives you know that’s a good question we have technical resources available I it’s hard to wreck it’s really honestly it’s finding good resources in this space is really hard because there because it’s hard to differentiate kind of the fact from fiction and hype from what’s actually being you know what’s actually being done so I’m gonna think about that more and we’re gonna we’re gonna be trying to find ways to provide both technical and non-technical resources for you guys that you can trust because oftentimes when unfortunately when they’re coming from from corporations they’re in a sales mentality they want to sell you their their services they’re bought chain services and so we’re trying to figure out how we can provide more neutral neutral resources aleem are you still with us did you see any questions I am I’m in on yes yes two commas that I wanted to make thanks mark so the first one I would say I’m actually quite happy to see that there’s a healthy amount of skepticism on the folks that attend this call which is great we have the DCI very much encouraged that the fact that you here blockchain solves everything I would say that you know I think most Steve and Mark can address that right you know pipe is high so it good amount of skepticism is a really really good way to agree to address this there’s also a lot of research going on folks haven’t really figured out you know that’s probably the reason why we haven’t seen a lot of adoption yet because you know companies are still trying to figure out right you know one of the things that we added this year our focus on is permissionless blockchains right we do a lot of work on permissionless watchings we don’t really go into permission blockchain to some extent because we don’t we we don’t have a lot of a lot of software out there because you know that the space is fairly well served by the likes of IBM or Microsoft or all the other technology companies right the other end is we believe that the impact for permissionless blockchain can be significantly bigger than the ones for permission markings so so that that’s another one point that I would like to make the other thing I wanted to address is a couple of really interesting one the first one I thought I thought is pretty cool is the fact that central bank’s attacked that coin and they say that the body scheme and you know this is something that has happened I think ever since I started you know it’s a new approach the reason why Bitcoin has value is not because it’s backed by some underlying infrastructure or anything not because the energy is X and you know you use a lot of area just about well right it’s not as appose people think it has bad you know communities of individuals have come together and said you know what we think this has true value and and you know the banks are right we know whatever whenever these communities of individuals say you know what this car doesn’t value any more than the values oh no right I don’t think they’re necessarily wrong crimina they’re thinking that yes there’s not something that that backs up this way and then they’re right but I wouldn’t I wouldn’t underestimate this this this ethos of decentralized technology and and the fact that community of individuals are really looking for alternative to centralized models and I think that’s what bitcoin proposes propose an alternative you know it’s the first time that Whitman was the person who actually had an alternative for moving money without involving backs that’s a fairly poor move right should you know should that should that that miss as they change and community of individuals realized okay you know what bitcoin is actually not valuable yes the bail is gonna go to zero because there’s no underlying asset that backs it up but you know this has been going on for ten years now it’s it’s hard to say yes there’s no there’s nobody there so that’s one thing I think it’s it’s relevant and then I have another one that I wanted to address because I thought it’s very slick around consensus mechanisms whether it’s proof of war proof of stake proof of you know useful activity whatever name it right proof of work is the one that works today and it has been you know it has been tested has been battle tested he has many flaws there is a lot of energy it’s incredibly dumb as a no calculation if you will it’s kind of inefficient so many many flaws but it works and you know the when it was introduced it was introduced as a way to stop spamming networks and the fact that it is attached to that has introduced in because in conjunction with Bitcoin it was actually really pretty brilliant move and it has a lot of value so yes it’s not perfect and there’s a lot of research to replace it but so far there’s no there’s no obvious winner if you were proposed take their there are approaches to introduce the rustics delegates delegates consensus you know al-quran has a very interesting approach that just came up a cerium does a lot of research on proposed take but it’s not obvious that it will work Pierce I mean folks do believe that don’t work but it’s not obvious and it’s hard to say that that in the future proof of work will absolutely go away well maybe we see different authorities you may see maybe to the hybrid model who knows but but I and I would not assume that because we’re a proof-of-work right now then that’s never changed I can also jump in on that there are some distributed ledger approaches that aren’t even blockchain that work on very different consensus algorithms and I know has chain is very big at MIT and that’s a DAT the the directed a cyclical graph approach for distributed ledger technology and so that’s something that that you should look into I know there let me also add there were some questions about where you can learn more if you’re less technical and I do have three sources that I’d like to recommend one is um let’s say I’m viewing marks screen one is the chain letter from MIT tech review so I pretty much trust that I think it’s pretty good and it’s um it’s not very technical but certainly you can google that and you can sign up for it and it comes out I think either once a day or once a week fairly frequently there’s another there’s another item that comes news item that comes out on a pretty much a daily basis called the distributed ledger and another one called medium daily digest so you might want to follow any of those three yeah those are good those are those are good thanks for bringing those up you know we’ve had we’ve had good relationships with the tech review we were actually partnering with them on event called the business of blockchain which is coming up one of the things that we’re trying to do at the DCI is partner with conferences to help to help you know guide the guide the conversation and and provide some nuance and you know the interesting example with the tech review I don’t know if any of you have followed the kind of the story between iota this cryptocurrency iota and I but this is an example of you know some iota is it was a cryptocurrency is a cryptocurrency that was getting a lot of positive press press and business because it taps into all the best buzz words like IOT and crypto and AI and they have an amazing website but some of our cryptographers last summer took a closer look at what they were doing and found some real problems and real vulnerabilities and here this is like a multi-billion dollar market cap cryptocurrency I think it was the 10th largest cryptocurrency at the time and getting a tons of press and so it’s important even you know even with trusted sources like there are very smart people at the tech review but they don’t have a cryptography team that can actually go in and look at the crypto and so it’s always important from any source to just take everything with a grain of salt and understand that this is a very new space and to always be playing devil’s advocate and I think that I think that people that that’s a way especially if you’re going to be investing or making business decisions in this space you know you know proceed proceed with caution I think we’re you know there’s lots that I saw another oean the proof of work proof of proof of stake debate also you know there’s so much more to say about that we are actually planning to do we had the MIT Bitcoin Expo here this past weekend and it was a really fantastic debate we’re actually gonna try to do recreate that debate on a Facebook live episode through the DCI so again that’s another another reason to sign up to the to our email list we’ll let you know and we’re having some of these more sophisticated debates because it takes time to really get into the details and do these two you know do these topics justice because there are no simple answers and good people can disagree on on the right you know what is the what is the right way to do things I see one question I can answer fairly quickly so somebody asks and this is actually probably something people want to know this is a common question is for our platform for our prototype you verify why did we choose Bitcoin over aetherium and you know why not you use a er-er c22 to tokenize what we’re doing I think that’s it that’s another way of doing it when we started this research we felt aetherium was really too young and too too unproven we wanted to give give aetherium a couple years to get its legs under it and and and i think and what we’re actually doing is what we call blockchain agnostic where we’re trying to create a protocol a way of doing something that you could actually you could use Bitcoin or aetherium you could also have blockchain redundancies so if you were really concerned about anyone blockchain you could actually duplicate the protocol to simultaneously hash the Bitcoin blockchain and to the etherium blockchain and need to have kind of an added layer of resilience with that record I think that there are there issues some are people you know there was some really there’s some technical issues with that with etherium I think some some of which were revealed like with the Dow last year and you think scaling issues like with crypto kitties this year that are revealing some of the some of the design flaws and I think if their room is a great project but it’s it’s yet to be seen how robust it’ll be and the same is true with Bitcoin but bitcoins ledger even though bitcoins price has been very volatile bitcoins ledger has been pretty stable over the last eight years let’s see there’s so many good questions here I’m so sorry that we’re not gonna be able to get to all of them because I for one can stay a few extra minutes I’m not sure Aaron how how how long we have to go but go ahead Steven I was going to ask if we can answer once the once the session is done can we answer them like can we continue to answer them by text or will that go away that’s a great question I don’t know the answer to it I asked until us yeah Aaron if you’re online and you can tell us that’d be great otherwise I’m surprised if all of this just disappeared so I’m pretty sure we can hey guys it’s Aaron I can actually download the questions and a lot of them I can identify who the person who the alum was asking that question so you could follow it up with them over email even if that works but you won’t be able to use the chat feature once we log off but we do have the questions to download some of you are asking first you know some some questions like how do how do public in private blockchains work those are the kinds of things actually some of this information is easy to get a clear answer just by doing a couple google searches there’s a lot of good explanations online about how the technology actually works and those you can trust the the harder thing to trust is is what’s actually happening in terms of applications you know some of the more some of the more creative applications and currencies and tokens you know is it token actually going to do to do what they say it’s going to do in general from our office at the DCI we’re very skeptical of the ICO craze and it’s funny because we actually one of our two of my colleagues wrote a paper nine months before the ICO craze happened kind of predicting the the app coin token economy that eventually came about we never realized people would be raising a billion dollars on it in a matter of weeks but there’s several like really concerning things about the space one is and in a lot of it is you know the it’s an exciting time it’s exciting in a sense I SEOs are exciting in a sense that they they could help us envision a time when you know maybe venture capital doesn’t have a stranglehold on all new all new ventures and projects and that you could raise capital and almost like an IndieGoGo Kickstarter type way while also providing real and lasting value to the people who are funding you the problem is is that it’s outpacing you know there’s a reason we have various securities laws and investment laws because people can get burned in this space and I think one thing that concerns us a lot about even the icos that are genuine I think there’s a lot of icos that are genuinely good people they’re not all scams they’re not all trying to scam you but even then I think you know there’s a question of are they kind of making a a devil’s bargain with regard to the there’s a if you read the fine print they don’t promise you anything but on the front page of their website it seems to promise you something that if I buy this token I will be able to do X Y & Z with it but if you read the fine print they’re very explicit saying that you don’t have any right to anything and we have we owe you nothing basically and so this discrepancy is kind of a red flag when you see this discrepancy between the way something is marketed in the way that the fine illegal fine print actually reads and so I think that it’s a great it’s a really important space to watch and I’m sure you know all of you I’m sure some of you are investors and I think I think it’s great take take those arrows up for the rest of us but but yeah we do encourage everyone to proceed with caution and John Oliver actually did a pretty funny piece on this last week he and it features one of our colleagues a senior adviser to the DCI Michael Casey oh by the way let me plug Michael Michaels book it’s a new book called the truck truth machine and a bit of a marketing title but the contents really good and among other things that actually features some of the work that we’ve we’ve been doing at the DCI as well as kind of a historical he paints the historical arc of the technology even you know before Bitcoin came about so those are a couple resources additional resources you can check out so somebody mentioned oh you already you already tackled voting there’s actually a controversy over whether or not it was actually used for voting or or not the government seems to be saying no it wasn’t used for voting this is actually another perfect example of where the private company is trying to is is overstating what it actually did so I look and I encourage you to look into the sierra leone’s the government’s response to voting commission’s response to the company’s claim that they did the first blockchain voting because they actually did not there are some people in our office who think blockchain voting is a terrible idea and that in some cases digital systems are much more susceptible to fraud and corruption than paper-based systems which in a way are paper-based systems are actually a form of distributed system if you think about it there’s no single point of attack the paper is literally distributed all over the country counted by different people all over the country and so in some cases if you if you move to a centralized system with a single point of attack you in a blockchain even though it’s distributed the you still can have a garbage in garbage out problem so if if you find some single point of attack for the information that’s that’s put on to the blockchain then you can you could have disastrous results from that so again exciting stuff but we’re always we’re always playing devil’s advocate to some of the hype as well the cutting edge of technology so I think we’ll see in a few years will be quite interesting I know that a IDC predicts that by 2020 25 percent of the global banks nearly 30 percent of the manufacturers and retailers and 20 percent of healthcare organizations will use the blockchain that’s based on their survey of these various companies whether it will come to pass I don’t know but it’s certainly possible I’m seeing a few different people ask for our emails I will actually Stephen if it’s okay with you I’ll put I’ll just add our emails into it onto a slide here and go to and do a quick screen share so that so that you guys can see our our emails and write them down and Emily if there’s a better way to do that let me know I’m not sure if we can send a text message to the entire group or not mark you can also send a text message here in the chat box if you click all panelists and attendees panelists and attendees sorry everyone this is my first time using this zoom I see all attendees but I’m not seeing how to send a message the other thing we’ll have a survey going out after the broadcast today it will go to either today or tomorrow and we we can include any information mark and Steven in allene that you’d like to include okay great okay yeah I think our github repository actually has a lot of great information we have a reading list the classes we thought are still there so folks who are interested in want to educate themselves they can definitely use that so we can definitely share that as well and of course Stevens I think Stevens Stevens questions also yes I’m happy to share my PowerPoint I’m sorry I can’t I can’t send a message to everyone but just below where it says to all panelists and in 10 days you can type a message in the chat window yeah I don’t actually see an all participants I see a participants button right Oh in the chat chat there’s nothing nothing I see okay Gavin okay all right everyone I’m sending I’m sending our also send our emails and and everything right now so if you want to follow up with us that way I’ll send the link to the eyes you can send that send any links that you have to content for for people as well and I’m also going to send the SUBSCRIBE link if you want to subscribe to the to our new email list and as I said we’re we’re not nearly organized enough to spam you but we will try to we will try to let people know when we come out with a new paper or when we announce you know our working groups and we’d love to have more engagement from the alumni community especially people who are in the Boston Cambridge area still or people who are working in this space would be it’d be great to have more engagement from you guys and we have a Facebook page i’ll post as well i’m sorry we couldn’t get to everyone’s questions obviously this is a exciting space and there’s a lot of a lot more to talk about but hopefully through these other platforms we can continue the conversation and engagement with you guys so thank you stephen and thank you aleem we’ll look forward to and thank you to all of you who joined us today I see we had over 175 people which is which is great and we’ll look forward to having more more engagement with you guys in the future so thanks a lot everyone thank you all bye now thank you thanks for joining us and for more information on how to connect with the MIT Alumni Association please visit our website you