Microsoft took the headlines today with their announcement of Benchley, which makes it easy to create your own ethereum based private blockchain, Cryptolet, a smart contracts oracle, and Enclaves, “an area of the chip itself where you can have code and have data run that is tamper resistant,” according to Marley Gray, head of Microsoft’s Ethereum Blockchain as a Service on Azure, speaking to IBTimes.
Dr Tim Nugent from Thomson Reuters attracted some media attention for his highlights of blockchain based developments at the household brand. All their work is currently based on ethereum’s public blockchain, with some emphasis on providing oracle services for smart contracts as well as potentially using the blockchain for content licensing and other services.
Those were just two presentations, with many, many more taking the stage. First mention goes to IPFS, which announced today that their project, filecoin, will now be based on Ethereum.
Numerous ethereum projects are currently using IPFS as it gives blockchain projects memory by allowing distributed data storage. It works somewhat like bittorrent. You keep files on your computer, and through an IPFS node, allow others to access the data you wish to share. With filecoin, for the service, you receive filecoins.
Unlike public blockchains, every node has its own data, rather than all nodes replicating the same information, thus complementing public blockchains and providing them with distributed data storage.
Uport demoed today with Christian Lundkvist and Rouven Heck presenting the mobile based “universal identity platform” which allows for “secure key management for everyday users” as well as a “persistent identifier”, according to the presentation, maintaining your identity even if, say, your phone is lost.
Some are calling it the next facebook logging, but blockchain based real life identity, which is very similar to property registration, is difficult to get right on all levels, so we look forward to the full video and future articles to learn the exact details of this project.
Martin Koeppelmann, co-founder of Gnosis, took the stage to present Futarchy and Gnosis’s vision of creating a prediction market for better information sharing and as a way of gaining some level of knowledge certainty. Koeppelmann stated Gnosis can be further used for hedging as a type of insurance or even for real time feedback and information based market testing.
The project, while a competitor to Augur, which had their own presentation today by Joey Krug, Augur’s co-founder, takes a more collaborative attitude, with both ethereum based, so seeing themselves as competitor friends.
According to Koeppelmann’s public statements, a Gnosis crowdsale is expected sometime in November, but a beta version has already been released on August the 25th.
Another interesting project presented today was from Julian Zawistowski who introduced Golem. They aim to build a decentralized supercomputer with primary emphasis on computer graphics. Their team seems fairly qualified for the highly ambitious project which, according to Zawistowski, remains in alpha testing with a potential release in one month.
Unfortunately, we have no space to mention many more, including Digix, Maker, a presentation on “decentralized commercial banking,” Orbit and others. Undoubtedly they will be covered in future articles. Today, however, was final day, and time for a group photo.
After an eventful three days, ethereum developers applauded the audience, showing they highly value the strong community that has formed around Ethereum. Some, however, wanted a bit more, so a hackathon was held in Shanghai’s evening, while others went to socialize in one of the bars of the great city to celebrate the many achievements of this community which only a year ago did not even exist.
International Blockchain Week continuing as Demo Day starts tomorrow (or late this evening for Europeans and Americans) where many Ethereum projects are to showcase. Way too many to mention, but we'll be back with the highlights.
Featured image from iStock/Ni Qin.