Come along and hear Alex Sims of the University of Auckland will discuss the basics of blockchain technology.
Blockchain technology creates an immutable ledger that can be public (decentralized) or private (permissioned). Rather than requiring a trusted entity that keeps and verify ledgers and/or requiring entities to reconcile their copies of ledgers, the records in the ledgers are spread across everyone in the network and are updated simultaneously. Blockchain therefore removes the need for expensive and slow intermediaries, particularly with financial transactions.
The first use of blockchain technology was for the cryptocurrency Bitcoin, but blockchain’s potential reach is much wider. This seminar explains how the technology works and its possible uses, which include: tracking materials in supply chains; storing and transferring titles to land; facilitating smart grids that allow people to sell their excess electricity; allowing secure digital identity; allowing regulators to see transactions in real time; and the list goes on. Smart contracts (self-executing contracts) are possible using blockchain, which will remove the need for human intervention in many cases. In addition, smart contracts could see the likes of Airbnb and Uber disrupted as people would have no need to use central entities to share resources.
A light lunch will be provided, so be sure to RSVP before Monday 17 April.
Alex Sims is an Associate Professor in the Department of Commercial Law and Head of Department of Commercial Law. She teaches a wide range of commercial law subjects. Her primary areas of research and publication are consumer law, intellectual property law (in particular copyright law) and blockchain technology (the regulation of cryptocurrencies and legal issues surrounding smart contracts).