Dr. Julie Maupin, IOTA Foundation | Going the Last Mile

Dr. Julie Maupin, IOTA Foundation | Going the Last Mile


(Music) (Music) Julie: My name is Julie and was just said I usually give talks like this in my capacity as an academic researcher. So I try to be very objective and clinical and unbiased and all that. But today I’m actually here, wearing my hat as an advisor to the IOTA foundation and so I’m going to throw caution to the wind and show you a little bit of my passion, which is using these technologies for social good. Erm so let’s figure out if I can, here you go, the big green button, there we go. So, we all know that distributed ledger technologies are awesome. We can do really cool things that weren’t possible in the past, like have frictionless direct global markets. This is a screen shot from OpenBazar. Erm, we can create opportunities for micro-scale sustainable investment in things like decentralised power grids in off-grid communities in Sub-Saharan Africa. Super cool. We can help integrate the unbanked into the b¡global economy for the first time. There’s 2 billion people that we hear about, who still don’t have access to the banking system. That’s great, but, can distributed ledger technologies go the last mile? Erm, so we still have 1.6 billion people who don’t have electricity, in the world. We have only 40% of the population of the world has reliable internet access today and we have also among those who do have reliable internet access, a number of them only have partial internet access because they live in places where there access is censored in some way or otherwise blocked. So, these are big big problems and the question is: how can we make sure that these revolutionary new technologies that we’ve been hearing about for the past couple of days, and that many of you here are building, actually do reach those people that we just talked about and don’t worsen rather than improve the digital divide? So I’m going to look for inspiration today to developments that are happening in the Internet of Things space which is obviously centrally related to blockchain, but wasn’t where it started. And we are going to talk a little bit about how that might potentially provide some inspiration for moving forward in this last mile problem. So what do you get when you combine blockchain and the Internet of Things? As we are hearing a lot, we get a machine economy, a machine-to-machine economy, machine-self-owned economies, machine economies in which artificial intelligence or machine learning is helping figure out how the ecosystem works. But obviously all of those things take electricity and they take internet access. So we are moving in this model, away from dumb decentralisation to smart centralisation and then now to smart decentralisation, to try and build this new sharing economy. Where we have devices trading resources among each other with various types of, I completely agree with our last speaker, controls and things in effect to think about the governance now rather than later. Erm, but in order to do that, it’s difficult to make all these machines interact because we need to have a lightweight architecture that’s capable of processing far far more transactions than any public blockchain that we have currently available. Far more transactions. And also to be able to do it, in a transaction cost-free way. So what the development team at IOTA came up with, was they went back to the drawing board and they said okay we’re not going to build a blockchain. We’re going to build a tangle. So a tangle is like a blockchain, without the blocks or the chain. (Laughter) And essentially it is based on technology called directed acyclic graphs. This is a 15 minute talk and so there’s no way we can talk about directed acyclic graphs if you want to know the technical details, read the white paper or you can come up to me in the break and I’ll point you to the developer resources on Reddit and GitHub etc. Erm, so basically the main idea is you have cryptographically secured data in the tangle. So each new transaction that gets broadcast to the network in order to get confirmed itself, has to do sort of a mini proof-of-work algorithm to confirm 2 other transactions somewhere nearby it. It doesn’t get to select which transactions it confirms, it gets told which transactions to confirm, that’s a part of the security feature. And this enables micro-scale transactions to happen very quickly and you can actually do it in a transaction fee way. So that if you send 0.01 cent from one machine the other machine gets the full 0.01 cent, without any transaction fee costs being lost because there’s no mining in the system. So the miners aren’t taking their cut. So the great news it, it scales and it becomes faster actually the more people participate. The bad news is, it’s not really secure until it’s scaled. So erm at a small number of users, you need extra mechanisms in place in order to provide security features. Again, technical stuff, we can talk about in the break. There’s been about 4 billion transacted so far on the IOTA network with no fees. Erm and the other cool thing about it, is that it’s partition tolerant. So you can actually develop offline, off-tangle clusters that go along in an off-tangle way for a while and then reattach to the main tangle. This is something that’s in experimental development through the flash network on IOTA and other experiments. Obviously there are really difficult economical incentive problems to figure out here about how you make sure that people don’t try and spend the same funds simultaneously in different tangles and things. But there are possible solutions to that as well. So, the focus of today is how can these things help with the last mile problem? Erm, so there’s a new development that’s being researched very actively in a lot of different corners of many different spaces and opportunistic mesh networks, you can Google this if you’re not familiar with this terminology already. Basically these are networks that function in an asynchronous way. So that the network doesn’t all have to be connected at the same time. They don’t need constant internet access. They don’t need a constant power supply. They can carry machine to machine messages and also human to human messages, encrypted ones, securely. And the inbuilt cryptoeconomics of the system is able to allow people who have extremely limited resources, like people among these 2 billion unbanked or 1.6 billion without reliable electricity, to actually participate. So you build it into the system that they actually get rewarded for transmitting messages. Now how can you actually do this in practice? I’ll just give a concrete example, in the interest of time, just one. So Refunite is an organisation that was started by two Danish brothers, the Mikkelsens. Erm back maybe 10 years ago, because they happened to meet a refugee I think he was from Sudan, who was trying to find his family. And it turns out it super hard to find your family if you’re a refugee using existing legacy systems. Because you come into a refugee camp, you’re fleeing some kind of bad situation you have no documents, you have no papers, your family maybe got split up and went to other refuge camps, you don’t even know what country they’re in. So you get some sort of initial intake processing from the Red Cross or whoever is running the refugee camp. They take what details you give them, they enter it into some kind of database which may or may not ever talk to the database of the camp down the road. It makes it extremely difficult to find your family members. They helped this guy, I think it took them about 8 years to find his brother. And they finally reunited them. And they started thinking about, how can we do this in a more efficient way? How can we use technology to do this in a more efficient way? And so what they have built, is essentially a system that uses an opportunistic mesh network on cellphones in refugee camps. And it can work over internet obviously, but it can work over bluetooth, you could theoretically do it using radio waves you could use all kinds of different, satellite, all kinds of different communication mediums to make this work. And what it does, is it allows tiny packets of messages to hop from one persons phone to the next, in an opportunistic way. So I happen to be in a camp somewhere in Sudan and I walk past someone else who has a message that they want to exchange with me. We have a bluetooth exchange, it goes from my pocket to their pocket, we keep walking, then I end up in some other camp in Zambia or something like that and my message, I keep passing the message forward. So it just happens opportunistically whenever the devices have a chance to transact and so that eventually the message reaches it’s destination. Erm, this is, there are a lot of really complicated design features I’m completely skipping over here but that’s the basic idea and it’s super cool because it allows you to reach people who don’t have electricity and who aren’t constantly connected. And they are, they have a huge database of people that they’ve been able to work with in a couple of countries and they’re constantly expanding. So what does this, when you combine that with a technology like IOTA which has no transaction fees then you can potentially find a way to actually pay people to carry these messages. Because one of the big challenges if you have a cell phone but you don’t have, erm you don’t have reliable internet access and you don’t have electricity at home is how do you recharge your cell phone? You have to go to a kiosk and you have to pay somebody, usually using something like M-Pesa to charge your phone for you, for an hour or two, so that then you have internet access again. If people can be paid however, for participating in the network, micropayments that will cover those costs then you can actually make it economically possible for them in a human to human way to transmit messages all over the globe. And to the extent that they are able to do so in countries where the internet is banned or censored, you can even get past that barrier as well. So really cool stuff, they’re developing all kinds of ways of making this usable also for people who are illiterate, erm lots of challenges but extremely exciting stuff. So, how can you get involved? Start building stuff please, that shares global, that solves shared global problems. Here are a couple of examples of hackathons, the one on the right happened already in Oslo earlier this year. UN women sponsored a hackathon to figure out how to help women refugees and some cool solutions came out of that, or ideas. On the left, there’s going to be a hack4climate. At the erm, to coincide with the conference of the parties of the Paris Climate Agreement in November. So if you’re interested in climate change and ways to use DLTs to solve climate change by all means apply and participate in that. Erm and generally speaking just show governments how to achieve their policy objectives using DLTs, like Refunite is doing. The IOTA Foundation by the way is, I’ve been working on this for quite a while now, the IOTA Foundation has just recently received the regulatory approval from the German Regulatory Authorities to actually be constituted as a proper Foundation under German law, here in Berlin. Woo-hoo, I’m really excited about this. (Applause) So. Erm. (applause) So this will be the first Foundation in Germany to be capitalised using cryptoassets. Erm most of them as probably, most of you probably know are in Switzerland for various reasons. But we managed to have it happen here in Germany. We’re excited to have the full weight of the regulatory authority of the European Union behind us. And we want to do this in a way that, that really helps society advance. So erm, there is a 10 million dollar ecosystem fund available through the foundation. If you’re a developer and you want to participate and you want to build solutions like this, we would love to hear from you. Especially if you happen to be a full stack developer who knows DAGS there are probably like 2 of you in the world. (Laughter) But if that’s you, then please get in touch. And this is my contact info. I’m happy to talk during the break over muffins and coffee. (Applause) (Music) (Music)

17 comments on “Dr. Julie Maupin, IOTA Foundation | Going the Last Mile

  1. IOTA and it's potential is phenomenal. Get in on it now. I have these tabs open every time I open Chrome: How to Buy IOTA: https://howtobuyiota.co.uk . The Official Subreddit for IOTA : https://reddit.com/r/iota and IOTA Dashboard: https://iota.guide/dashboard. Bookmark those pages.

  2. http://refunite.org/ has given me an idea on how to help end Sex Slavery. Interested? please contact me, we can make a such a difference! [email protected] How about we make the next London IOTA meetup about this? Let's brainstorm, collaborate and 'get shit done'! https://www.meetup.com/IOTA-Beyond-Blockchain-London/

  3. IOTA is hiring wonderwomen, Jesse Babbra: she is like Sheldon's sister but with Sheldon's brain. Dr. Julie Maupin, she is charismatic and she has "Dr" before her name.

  4. I want an IOTA-connected Bittorrent client so that one can get paid for hosting unique content.

    I also wonder if it would be possible to build something like Steemit on the Tangle. That would surely create tons of traffic on the Tangle.

    And then we have projects like Basic Attention Token and Golem that could be done much better on the Tangle. The blockchain people can't compete with free transactions, even if EOS etc are aiming for it.

  5. Loving IOTA! Check my channel to know how to buy IOTA ! So much potential here, Well done guys!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ME6DSxdFSew

  6. Hello Big Chain DB i am a follower of this great project, but i download a light wallet and a short seed someone stole my 4.9 Gi can you help me to recover and follow the transaction i have the hash and rhe address where the iotas were send, i want to make a donation to the iota foundation if you help me to recover my iotas, i appreciate your support and i believe that this is a great project, thank you for all you give too us and expecting for a response,
    Regards

  7. Iota is not only other cryptoproject. Iota is one technological revolution. That is the beginning of the future

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