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Updates from the last Blockchain Expert Group meeting 19.02.2020

The 8th meeting of the expert group “Blockchain Technology in Supply Chain Management” was split into two parts. 

During the first part, the members were informed about how the future of the expert group will look like since the current program will expire at the end of 2020. First, it 
was emphasized that the Swiss Alliance for Data-Intensive Services will continue with the current format. Secondly, the current topic leaders explained that there is a new format called “NTN Innovation Booster”. The booster aims at promoting science-based innovation in collaboration with companies, universities, and society. This should happen by creating design thinking workshops for companies, customers and experts. The result of the workshops is the creation and development of ideas, which will be reviewed by a consortium. If an idea is promising the consortium will fund it and its further development will be supported. The current topic leaders elaborated that they applied for an innovation booster called “Decentralised Value Chains”, 
which promotes areas such as self-sovereign identities, economy of things and cross-company processes. 

For the second part, we invited Thomas Locher and Sebastian Obermeier to present their paper called “When Can a Distributed Ledger Replace a Trusted Third Party?”. 
The paper examines on an abstract level how distributed ledgers work and dissect them by identifying key components. Moreover, they identify two fundamental criteria that must be met for ledger-based use cases. They continued by examining currently well-known use cases such as inter-bank payments, supply chains management or microgrid energy trading accordingly to those fundamental criteria and explained, to which extent the use cases meet them. After their presentation, the expert groups discussed the presentation and the paper’s results. The diverse experiences and opinions of the expert groups enlivened the discussion. Overall, it helped everybody to gain a better understanding of distributed ledger and the role of trust within them. 

The meeting was concluded with an apéro, where further ideas were exchanged.