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Blockchain is most commonly known as the technology underpinning the Bitcoin cryptocurrency. But in recent years the open source code of the Bitcoin blockchain has been taken and extended by many groups to expand its capabilities. Blockchain technology, which can be thought of as a public distributed ledger, promises to revolutionise the financial world. A World Economic Forum survey in 2015 found that those polled believe that there will be a tipping point for the government use of blockchain by 2023. Governments, large banks, software vendors and companies involved in stock exchanges (especially the Nasdaq stock exchange) are investing heavily in the area. For example, the UK Government recently announced that it is investing £10M into blockchain research and Santander have identified 20-25 internal use cases for the technology and predict a reduction of banks’ infrastructure costs by up to £12.8 billion a year.
The reach of blockchain technology will go beyond the financial sector however, through the use of ‘smart contracts’ which allow business and legal agreements to be stored and executed online. For example, the startup company Tallysticks aims to use blockchain based smart contracts to automate invoicing. In October, 2015 Visa and DocuSign showcased a proof of concept demonstrating how smart contracts could be used to greatly speed up the processes involved in car rental – rental cars can be driven out of the car park without any need to fill in or sign forms. The ability to run smart contracts led Forbes to recently run an article comparing the future impact of blockchains to that of the Web and Internet.
We believe the blockchain technology and smart contracts can also be used in education in many interesting and potentially revolutionary scenarios. On this website you can see some of the ways we see the future of education developing using the blockchain and what we are doing to progress towards our vision.Find out more about Blockchains
Ethereum is a platform for decentralised applications, built on top of a blockchain mechanism, which can be used for public data storage and computation. It acts as an immutable public ledger, which provides strong cryptographic guarantees for data integrity. One definitive feature of the Ethereum platform is the ability to execute Turing-complete Smart Contracts. A Smart Contract is a program on the blockchain. We have been investigating the possibilities that the Ethereum blockchain infrastructure affords.
Covid19 Immunity Credentials on the Blockchain
Below you can see some screencasts of some of our other experiments with Ethereum:
This video was filmed in July 2019 as part of The Open University Business and Law Festival, during The Open University's 50th Anniversary celebrations. #OU50 Following the announcement from Facebook that they will launch their own cryptocurrency (Libra) in 2020 interest in blockchains and claims about their potential continue to grow. Karen Foley interviews John Domingue and Dr Robert Herian, who will very briefly explain what this technology is and then explore its implications for the legal arena. Their shared viewpoint is based on experiences in implementing and deploying blockchains in a variety of contexts and working with and advising a wide variety of players including startups and large companies and the European Commission.
The Open University in Milton Keynes is at the heart of a £40 million drive by the Government to help train more computer scientists. It is leading one of the five main themes – on university learners – being addressed at the new Institute of Coding.
Credit Business Weekly
How does blockchain work and has its usefulness been over or under estimated? John Domingue and Sajida Zouarhi show how blockchain is being implemented in a real-world setting. Blockchain, the technology that underpins cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, has an almost unlimited number of applications beyond finance. From digital identities to kidney transplants, blockchain technology solves the problem of intermediary trust between parties without a central authority.
This event took place on the Monday 24th September 2018
A talk at the University of Bonn Computer Science Colloquium. It covers how distributed ledgers (blockchains) combined with decentralised linked data technologies such as Solid can support the management of personal data avoiding the issues highlighted in the media around for example, Facebook and Cambridge Analytica.
This event took place on the Wednesday 21st November 2018
9th February 2019, Tokyo, Japan
METI has been holding discussions on the applicability of the technologies to the domains of academic degrees, courses and career certifications as well as management of research data, taking advantage of its project titled “FY2018 Industrial Technology Survey”(Research for Applicability of Blockchain Technologies to Universities and Research Institutes to Promote Mobility of Domestic and Overseas Human Resources and Secure Reliability of Research Results as well as Research for Winning of Standards therefor). In light of the discussion results, METI will organize a Blockchain Hackathon, aiming to further promote social implementation of the technologies.
25th April 2019, Olympia Grand, London
The World’s largest Blockchain Conference and Exhibition focuses on the future of enterprise technology. The event showcases two days of top-level content from leading brands, embracing and developing cutting edge blockchain technologies. Arriving at Olympia Grand London on April 25-26, the Blockchain event is co-located with the IoT Tech Expo, AI & Big Data Expo and Cyber Security & Cloud Expo so you can explore the convergence of these technologies in one place.
12th March 2019, London
World's First 'Scholars in Blockchain' Conference. International Recognition of your work by Blockchain Scientific Community.
Our department is a research department, so we do not offer any blockchain courses at present. We have collated a list of some of the online courses currently out there. Please contact us if you know of other courses you feel we should be listing.
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Research & Innovation Software Manager
Lecturer in Law
PhD Research Student
The OpenBlockchain team have a wealth of knowledge and experience and a testbed architecture to support investigations in the use of blockchain in almost any scenario imaginable. We provide Research Consultancy Services that are tailored to your individual needs and can support anything from improving your understanding of the potential of blockchain, to in depth technical discussion and testing of scenarios at prototype stage. We are keen to build research relationships with commercial and academic partners and to identify sources of research funding that we can leverage to fund longer term relationships. We have already submitted a number of bids to research grant funds in the UK, working with commercial partners in domains including energy management, professional development, teaching and recruitment.
Our Research Consultancy starts from as little as £1000 per day and we will always enter into initial conversations without any fee.
If you have an idea you would like to discuss, just use the contact form and tell us a little about it – we will be happy to start a conversation and work out how we can help you.