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Blockchain: hope or hype?

Discover how blockchain technology is being implemented in real-world situations, in this joint event with the Embassy of France.

ladislau.girona via flickr

Event description

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. But how does the blockchain work? And has its usefulness been overstated? Join John Domingue and Sajida Zouarhi to find out more about this exciting technology and see how it is being implemented in real-world situations, in this joint event with the Embassy of France.

About the speakers

John Domingue is the Director of the Knowledge Media Institute at The Open University and the President of STI International, a semantics focused networking organization. He has published over 250 refereed articles (h-index 50) in the areas of semantics, the Web, and eLearning. His current work focuses on how blockchains (which underpins Bitcoin) can enhance educational value ecosystems and its relationship to Linked Data. He currently serves as Theme Leader for the UK’s National Institute of Coding; the OU representative to W3C; the Chair of the Steering Committee for the ESWC Conference Series, and on the Applied Ontology Journal and Journal of British Blockchain Association’s editorial boards. From January 2015 to January 2018 he served as the Project Coordinator for the European Data Science Academy which aimed to address the skills gap in data science across Europe.

You can find him on Twitter: @johndmk

Sajida Zouarhi is an Engineer and works as a Blockchain Architect @Consensys. She is also a Computer Science researcher and worked with a major Telecommunications Operator (Orange) during her PhD thesis in Grenoble about private data transmission over communication channels on complex systems. She is President of the eHealth and BlockchTain Think Tank and a technical advisor on the board of several Blockchain projects. As the founder of the Kidner Project, she collaborated with WHO to help prevent Kidney Trafficking using Blockchain technology. She is an international Hackathon Mentor and a hackathon organizer with the Blockfest that she co-founded in 2016 in France.

Follow her on Twitter: @Saj_JZ

Follow her Blockchain World Tour on Instagram: @LookingForSatoshi

About the chair

David Gerard writes the cryptocurrency and blockchain news site Attack of the 50 Foot Blockchain, and is the author of the 2017 book Attack of the 50 Foot Blockchain: Bitcoin, Blockchain, Ethereum & Smart Contracts. As well as being a crypto journalist, he also works as a Unix system administrator, where his job includes keeping track of exciting new technologies, and advising against the bad ones. He has also been an award-winning music journalist, and has blogged about music at since 2001. He is a volunteer spokesman for Wikipedia, and is on the board of the RationalMedia Foundation, host of skeptical wiki Originally from Australia, he lives in east London with his spouse Arkady Rose and their daughter. Until he reinstalled the laptop they were on, he was the proud owner of six Dogecoins.


The doors will open at approximately 6.30pm, with a prompt start at 7.00pm. There will be time for questions after the talk.

Latecomers will be admitted into the gallery.


This event will be filmed and on the Ri's YouTube channel within a few months. Subscribe for free to hear when new videos are released.