On the 13th of November 2019, Dr. Vidy Potdar, Director, Blockchain R&D Lab at Curtin University, Perth, Australia conducted a guest lecture on the topic of blockchain technology and its practical applications. The session was very informative and informative as Dr. Vidy expertly charted a course through the myriad concepts of blockchain technology starting from what it is, to how it can be used to revolutionize and shape the businesses of tomorrow. Dr. Vidy spoke at length about his mission at the Blockchain R&D lab at Curtin University, which was set up in 2019; the lab was set up in order to provide cutting edge research, development, consulting and education services in the field of blockchain applications.

He took the time to educate us about the basics of blockchain; from the constituents of each block in a blockchain to the concept of proof of work and how it helps contribute to the infallible nature of the distributed nature of the blockchain. A section was also dedicated to explaining why people and businesses started adopting blockchain only in the late 2000s even though the underlying concepts and ideas existed in the early 1990s. This time gap can be equated to the following three reasons:

  • Vast improvements in Technology
  • Improvements in Storage devices specifically with reference to capacity
  • Accessibility and penetration of the internet.

Dr. Vidy treated the audience to a practical demonstration of how a blockchain operates, this was supplemented with his attempt to demystify blockchain and debunk the many myths that are prevalent around the topic, the main two myths being

  • Blockchain is equivalent to Bitcoins, and
  • Blockchain is very energy intensive.

He also shed some much needed light on his work with the Blockchain R&D Lab, and provided a glimpse into all the possible industries which can and will be disrupted by blockchain in the near future this list included the domains of banking, supply chain management, cyber security, insurance, networking and IOT, governance and online data storage.

Dr. Vidy concluded the session by answering questions posed by the faculty and students, while also reminding us to focus on how we can utilize blockchain to solve problems emerging in the modern world.

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