[community] Revisiting the discussion about blockchains...

Jutta Treviranus jutta.trevira at gmail.com
Mon Jun 13 12:29:15 UTC 2016

Another maturing experiment with blockchains in education can be found here:


Scroll down to the demonstration videos. The emerging functions described there promise to address some of the shortcomings we have found with current authority systems and how they handle value (diversity, assessment, certification and gatekeeping). 


> On Jun 12, 2016, at 3:52 PM, OCADU <ad12fn at student.ocadu.ca> wrote:
> I can see the potential to improve healthcare data, both securely and timely - accuracy however is dependent still on the input and much of that unfortunately still occurs manually across Canada at least. 
> I can see the benefits quite broadly for healthcare and certainly in our ability to manage risks as well as inform policy changes faster... 
> Peter do you know if the NHS is currently leveraging this... I will read the report you attached :)
> Thx 
> Angela Dosis MDes
> 416.274.5645
> Sent from my iPhone
>> On Jun 10, 2016, at 5:24 PM, Peter Pennefather <p.pennefather at gmail.com> wrote:
>> An important issue is the distinguish between two outcomes using the
>> algorithms underlying this technology. On the one hand distributed ledgers
>> are set up that can facilitate access and capacity for making a registered,
>> permanent entry into that ledger in a way that can be witnessed by all
>> without revealing the owner or content of that entry.  On the other hand
>> those ledger entries are owned by someone who can authorize a network
>> mediated transaction that is deemed to have a real world value. The first
>> outcome transforms activity into data deemed within a certain market to
>> have a certain potential value.  The second allows that value to be
>> extracted by someone else in exchange for some consideration to the
>> original owner. The velocity and anonymity of those transactions increase
>> opportunities.
>> The UK government has provided a nice overview of this technology:
>> www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/492972/gs-16-1-distributed-ledger-technology.pdf
>> Peter Pennefather,
>> Academic Director, Laboratory for Collaborative Diagnostics
>> Professor, Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy
>> University of Toronto, 144 College St, Toronto, ON.
>> cell 647-773-3987; office 416-946-7840
>> p.pennefather at utoronto.ca
>> On Fri, Jun 10, 2016 at 10:45 AM, Jutta Treviranus <jutta.trevira at gmail.com>
>> wrote:
>>> Thanks John, what better way to use an amazing community of diverse minds
>>> than to explore these emerging topics.
>>> To your definition, the first application was in cryptocurrency (bitcoin).
>>> I’m not that interested in this aspect. Many people are talking about it as
>>> a decentralized trust mechanism for applications that have nothing to do
>>> with cryptocurrency.
>>> Here is a more generic definition:
>>> = "a distributed cryptographic ledger shared amongst all nodes
>>> participating in the network, over which every successfully performed
>>> transaction is recorded". [1]
>>> See, from Rachel O'Dwyer: How the Blockchain Might Support a Commons
>>> http://p2pfoundation.net/Blockchain
>>> Jutta
>>>>> On Jun 10, 2016, at 10:23 AM, John W (personal) <pickupwillis at gmail.com>
>>>> wrote:
>>>> ...gee, you like simple questions, Jutta :-)
>>>> For info of any of us who might be shy to say 'what's a blockchain
>>> again?'
>>>> -
>>>> Techopedia explains Blockchain
>>>> The block chain ledger helps to provide transparency for transactions.
>>>> Although many bitcoin transactions are in some ways anonymous, the block
>>>> chain ledger can link individuals and companies to bitcoin purchases and
>>>> ownership by allowing individual parties, called miners, to process
>>>> payments and verify transactions. Rather than a central company presiding
>>>> over the use of bitcoin, these block chain originators serve central
>>> roles
>>>> in the management and administration of this alternative currency system.
>>>> On Fri, Jun 10, 2016 at 10:10 AM, Jutta Treviranus <
>>> jutta.trevira at gmail.com>
>>>> wrote:
>>>>> Last year I broached the topic of blockchains to many people on this
>>> list,
>>>>> asking what the implications and opportunities were for inclusive
>>> design.
>>>>> How could we make use of a fully decentralized immutable technical
>>> system
>>>>> without intermediaries (e.g., trusted diversification of academic
>>>>> credentialing without academic institutions as gatekeepers) and what
>>> were
>>>>> the risks for an area currently dependent on regulations for
>>> intermediaries
>>>>> (e.g., regulating UBER for ridesharing vs. a completely distributed
>>> person
>>>>> to person ridesharing system)?
>>>>> Several of you gave very good arguments for dismissing blockchain
>>>>> technologies. I spoke to Tim Berners Lee about the implications of
>>>>> blockchains at the WWW2016 conference and he maintained that the same
>>>>> functionality can be derived from existing Web technologies and
>>> standards.
>>>>> He said the same later in his keynote address.
>>>>> Since then Don Tapscott and his son have released a book on the
>>> potential
>>>>> of blockchains:
>>> http://dontapscott.com/2015/06/blockchain-revolution-the-brilliant-technology-changing-money-business-and-the-world/
>>>>> <
>>> http://dontapscott.com/2015/06/blockchain-revolution-the-brilliant-technology-changing-money-business-and-the-world/
>>>>> ….and our friends at the Internet Archive co-hosted a summit on the
>>> topic
>>>>> (unfortunately I couldn’t go because of all the things happening here
>>> this
>>>>> week) that included Tim, Vint Cerf, Brewster Kahle and others. See:
>>>>> http://www.decentralizedweb.net <http://www.decentralizedweb.net/>
>>>>> I wanted to revisit this discussion…. not necessarily limited to the use
>>>>> of blockchains specifically (for one thing the power consumption of
>>>>> maintaining and growing them seems to be prohibitive) but how to achieve
>>>>> the functions that blockchains promised.
>>>>> What are your thoughts?
>>>>> Jutta
>>>>> ________________________________________
>>>>> Inclusive Design Community (community at lists.idrc.ocadu.ca)
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>>>> --
>>>> *John D. Willis | *
>>>> *CMRP, MDes *Inclusive design, strategy and research
>>>> Toronto CANADA
>>>> Web: www.jdwillis.ca
>>>> LinkedIn: https://ca.linkedin.com/in/tojohnw
>>>> Twitter: @TOjohnw
>>>> Skype: johnwillis416
>>>> ________________________________________
>>>> Inclusive Design Community (community at lists.idrc.ocadu.ca)
>>>> To manage your subscription, please visit:
>>> http://lists.idrc.ocadu.ca/mailman/listinfo/community
>>> ________________________________________
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