The Hyperledger Foundation’s Global Forum opened in Dublin on Monday 12 September, with the foundation’s executive director Daniela Barbosa welcoming the attendees, and acknowledging the trying time that had passed since the previous forum in 2020.
She introduced two key stakeholders, Vipin Bharathan, technical strategist, DLT.nyc, and Jyoti Ponnapalli, director, Technology Strategy, DTCC, who set the scene and the context for the forum, characterising some of the many developments that had occurred recently, both driving and challenging the development of blockchain generally, and HyperLedger Fabric in particular.
Blockchain Ireland’s Lory Kehoe, head of EMEA Marketing operations, Coinbase, took to the stage to describe the evolution of Ireland’s blockchain ecosystem. Drawing on the work from Blockchain Ireland’s position paper submitted to government in May of this year, Kehoe emphasised the importance of the cooperation of government, academia, start-ups, and corporates in creating and developing a vibrant ecosystem to support a broad industry.
Kehoe went to contrast how the involvement and inclusivity of the community had grown from 2015, and a handful of interested parties, to today’s Blockchain Ireland and a community of more than 6,000, encompassing hundreds of bodies across the spectrum of academia, public sector, corporates, and start-ups.
Melanie Cutlan, managing director, Metaverse XR and blockchain lead, Accenture, presented on how the metaverse continuum is creating a defining moment for blockchain leaders. She said the metaverse idea ‘has driven the tokenisation of everything.’
Acknowledging that the metaverse will be an evolution of technologies that will coalesce over time and not simply pop into existence, she illustrated other examples of where blockchain was underpinning long held ambitions, such as farm to fork provenance in food, as well as how logistics could be impacted with a convergence of IIoT, blockchains and AR/VR to bring virtual tours of distribution centres to life, with rich, overlaid data visualisations.
Another area for application of blockchains she cited was around education, She quoted that 90% of executives globally admitted their learning platforms need to be improved. Verifiable education credentials, tracked on a blockchain, is another real world application already delivering value in various implementations.
A panel, moderated by Csilla Zsigri of BTP, discussed blockchain in action, with representatives from Allianz Technology, DTCC, and Fujitsu.
Rob Palatnick, managing director, global head of technology, research, and innovation with DTCC, observed that there was no industry he had encountered that hasn’t had some discussion or innovation from fintechs around using blockchain or DLT. He said he had seen organisations with a DLT system running as part of core processes, with another leveraging blockchain enabled technologies that will replace a mainframe application. He added that he was working with three other industry partners on DLT multiparty workflow.
Allianz Technology’s Bob Crozier, chief architect and head of enterprise architecture and global blockchain, said that with Allianz use cases included claims, onboarding, and asset management. He said there is a blockchain enabled product live for more than a year in international claims settlement.
Fujitsu’s Christopher Piling, principle consultant, said that customers are sitting down with his team with a list of business requirements, and the technology is secondary. There is a toolset and a maturity that lets us focus very precisely on business requirements, with Hyperledger Fabric at the centre of it, he said.
Allianz’s Crozier said that the company had taken the decision to take blockchain and DLT out of its innovation lab. It is no longer experimental, he concluded.