November 2015

Blockchain, from Bitcoins and beyond

This time our 20-links story starts in a mysterious way in 2008, with a research paper written by Satoshi Nakamoto, a pseudonymous for an unknown person (or a group of) dedicated to a “purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash”, AKA the Bitcoins.

Is this about Bitcoins?

In a way… We've already talked about them, but now it's important to get how Bitcoins come to life. It's all based on a process called mining that extracts the coins solving a complex algorithm and verifying each transaction through a distributed network of peers known as the Blockchain.

Block. Chain.

Because of its distributed nature: each node of the network plays a role in verifying the information, sending them to the following in a chain composed by blocks. You can check in real-time the results of the mining process and learn more about the Trust Machine.

Got it. It's futuristic and powerful. Any real example?

Blockchain applications are rising and the field of implementations is wide. Watch out, the example list is coming: Factom provides documents archiviation, Augur is a decentralized prediction app, Bitnation aims to manage governance and elections, Blockverify is working on goods anti-counterfeit, Storj is on cloud storage, Etherparty removes the complexity of creating smart contracts, Thingchain tracks production in the supply chain, Filament connects IoT devices and Onename is in charge of verifying your identity. Enough?

Pretty much everything. What's next?

Blockchain technology is continuously evolving: it's facing limitations in the original project, adding new features as the Sidechains, building dedicated hardware and software development platforms.

How to stay up to date with this always running innovation?

In Reply we started with a Blockchain Hackathon, a 48-hours coding marathon where 40 engineers proposed and built in teams demo projects dedicated to Blockchain technology.

Seems cool, but I'm still a student…

This is completely for you: on November 6th more than 700 students from 3 of the most important tech universities in Europe, the Politecnico di Torino, Politecnico di Milano and Aachen RWTH competed in the Reply's Student Tech Clash, an idea generation challenge based on the Blockchain. Students presented more than 150 projects, publishing tons of social interactions during the day. Take a look at the highlights video!

I want a t-shirt!

So keep following Reply U and the R20 Break, we're on Medium, too.

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Gamification is not over

Do you remember this fancy not-so-old trend known as gamification, the art of apply game related techniques to the real world? One news for you: gamification is not dead, it’s still a trend and it’s spreading in a wide range of fields.

Another one? 20 links to learn more in this R20. Follow us!

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Back to school!

Welcome everyone, hope you’re ready to be back in business!

We’re here to help with our special selection of 20 links, this time dedicated to all the high-school and university students who are warming up to be back on books!

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Let's travel!

Sun is shining, sea is waiting and so it’s time to unplug the PC, pack your stuff and explore the world for a while!

Join this R20 session with our tech deep dive in 20 useful links to plan a digital journey somewhere in the physical world.

Ready? Go!

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