Blockchain technology: hype or universal remedy?

Blockchain Technology is currently resounded throughout the land. Although it was initially introduced to support the digital currency Bitcoin, this decentralized technology cannot only be used for the financial section, but also for other areas of business.

At the moment, as can often be observed for new promising technologies, block chain technology is hyped as a universal remedy for all domains. In order to find out for which applications blockchains can be used, compared to established, centralized technologies, Dominik Engel and Simon Kranzer organized a workshop „Silver Bullet Blockchain-Technologie?“ with domain experts for interested participants from science and industry.

In the practical workshop, it was shown how a simple Bitcoin-based blockchain can be set up. The participants could mine (i.e., create new coins) the digital currency on their own computers and exchange them with other participants.
As a reality check, use cases from the energy sector were analyzed and the possibilities and limitations of the blockchain technology for this sector were discussed.

In three expert talks, the topic blockchains was highlighted from different view points:

Fabian Knirsch, lecturer at ITS and scientist at the Josef Ressel Center for User-Centric Smart Grid Privacy, Security and Control discussed the combination of privacy-enhancing technologies and blockchain technology for applications in the smart grid. Furthermore, a new promising method was proposed. A special focus was on the possibility to replace a central trusted party by decentralized trust through blockchains.

Tobias Hoffmann from explained the foundations of the Bitcoin technology, i.e., mining, chaining of blocks, the required hardware as well as future trends such as smart contracts.

Erwin Smole, CSO and co-founder of Grid Singularity spoke about blockchain technology as an enabler for the energy sector. The successful Austrian startup uses Etherium as a platform for applications on the energy market.